During move-in week ’19, we asked UI faculty members to tell us a story about their own experience of leaving home for the first time. Here’s Amy Mays Woods, the James F. & Karen S. McKechnie Professor in the UI’s College of Applied Health Sciences, who earned all three of her degrees at Southern schools — Winthrop (bachelor’s), Tennessee (master’s) and South Carolina (Ph.D.).
“In the early ’80s at Winthrop (S.C.) College, students didn’t leave the dorms after freshman year. I lived in Margaret Nance Hall in Room 319 with the same roommate all four years.
“In the first days of our freshman hall life, long-term relationships were kindled. Although most girls on the hall had Southern accents like my own, Lisa and Suzanne were from New York, and Amanda hailed from Michigan.
"Within days, we’d all meet to walk to the cafeteria together, holding each other accountable for making 8 a.m. classes and deciding which parties to attend.
“We called our group the ‘Eunice-es.’ Just this summer, we had our eighth Eunice Reunion on the South Carolina coast. Nineteen of us celebrated all weekend, still demonstrating our freshman spirit.
“My recommendation to first-year students is to work hard on academics and establish quality friendships. New college acquaintances may become friends for life.”