Becoming Inspired at Thomas College

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

emily cough

Emily Cough ‘19 says the most important thing she learned at Thomas College was true, unconditional friendship.

“While I had great friends growing up, I never felt truly accepted, for whatever reason,” said Emily. “But the minute I came to Thomas, I met all of my wonderful friends who made me feel wanted. That helped me to learn and reciprocate the unconditional friendship that they gave me. Though many of us have drifted apart due to conflicting schedules and commuting from different areas, I know they are always only going to be a text or phone call away, and it’ll be like no time has passed.”

While at Thomas, Emily has studied abroad for a semester each in both Honolulu and London. She had great experiences, but it also proved how friendly Thomas truly is.

“I was surprised at how much I missed friendly, smiling faces. Little things, like holding the door for someone or having them hold it for you, is something that I almost took for granted, before I left Thomas for a year. I’m willing to bet you can’t find a more hospitable school like Thomas,” she said.

Emily studies English at Thomas College. She says she enjoys the program – especially the professors.

“I think I most enjoy how relaxed the classes are. While they are definitely thought-provoking and challenging (in a positive way), the classes, especially English courses, aren’t stuffy, mostly because the English professors don’t take themselves too seriously. While they certainly expect their students to do well, by treating us more like equals, rather than subordinates, the English professors here (and that goes along with other professors as well) act like they really care about the students. That, in turn, makes students want to engage and learn.”

One professor in particular has left an impression on Emily: Professor Judy Hansen-Childers.

“I think I’ve taken every single one of her classes, because she is so incredibly fun, is knowledgeable, and engages the students all the time,” said Emily. “Whenever I have a bad day, whenever I have her class I instantly perk up because her energy is so inviting and energizing.”

Emily’s transition to college from high school made her more motivated to do well and be inspired.

“While I would get the work done in high school, I was incredibly passionless about it. When I came to Thomas, however, that all quickly changed– probably because I was expected to truly hold myself accountable for the work that I produced,” she said. “I didn’t want to slack off anymore, because I knew the professors expected more out of me. That, in turn, boosted my confidence and my assurance within myself.”

“If I hadn’t gone to Thomas, and used it as a stepping stone, I wouldn’t have done all the amazing things I had done in my life so far,” she said.

After Thomas College, Emily isn’t quite certain what she wants to do career-wise but she has many potential aspirations.

“Being a singer, actress, travel writer, and journalist are among the list of things I’d like to do or accomplish in my life. Basically, anything that allows me to be creative, I suppose,” she said. 

When Emily graduates this May, she’s going to miss the community.

“People will go out of their way to help you with whatever you need–you just need to ask. Since it’s a small school, everyone either knows everyone or knows of them, so you never ever will feel alone,” she said. “The majority of people don’t judge, like they did at my other schools I went to, so there isn’t anything to worry about, if someone chooses to study here. I’m truly going to miss that aspect, when I graduate.”

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