by Havilah Miller

CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews) — More than 175 Truett-McConnell College students soared through the trees in Helen, Ga., at ZipNTime as part of the college’s new student orientation known as Thrive.

The two-hour long course included five zip lines from 300-to-500 feet long, up to 70 feet high, and culminated with the “The Intimidator” — a half-mile line across the Sautee-Nacoochee Valley under the gaze of Mt. Yonah. Lasting only a few seconds, the runs reaches a zippy 55 miles per hour.

“At first, I was terrified,” said Alyssa Lawson, a TMC freshman. “But, there were really awesome girls in my group and they helped me get comfortable. Some of the girls I hadn’t talked to before, but since we were all high up there in the trees together, I got to know them very well.”

TMC’s Thrive seeks to help new students succeed spiritually, academically, and socially during their college years. The novice zippers built relationships with group leaders and each other.

New to TMC’s Thrive program, zip lining proved a creative way to reinforce principles of succeeding in life as students stepped out of their comfort zones and discovered new experiences.

“It [was] nerve-wracking, but once you took that first step, there was nothing you could do. After the first step, you realize how much fun it really is,” said Thrive leader, Stephen Crane.

Co-Directors of Student Life Jonathan Morris and Andrew Gailey believe ZipNTime may have made this year’s Thrive program the best yet.

“We were tremendously pleased with ZipNTime,” Morris said. “The staff was great. They were very accommodating and well trained. It was an opportunity for our students to bond with each other as well as face their fears. All in all, a worthwhile investment.”


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