by TM Staff

CLEVELAND, Ga., (TMNews)) –On August 16, 230 college freshman stepped foot onto the campus of Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga. They soon would consider the ‘Gateway to the Mountains’ their home away from home.

In recent years, Truett-McConnell has experienced exponential growth. During the 2013-14 academic year, 1,213 students attended TMC, 493 of those classified as on campus residents. At the start of the 2014-15 academic year, the total headcount jumped to 1,636 with 504 students now living on campus.

Also new this year is the Masters of Arts in Theology program which plays host to 16 graduate level students.

Life at TMC

Late night Frosty runs, pillow forts in dorm lobbies, and countless options at the Truett-McConnell Dining Hall, popularly named the ‘Caf’ by students, are only a few highlights to living on campus.

“I love the atmosphere at the Caf,” freshman Savannah Rainey said. “You get to see the majority of the students all at once and you can mingle with them. It gives great opportunities to share with your friends what has happened in your day and you also get the chance to sit with new people that you may otherwise not meet.”

While some love the socialization community eating brings, others come simply for the food: “The best part about the Caf is having plenty of choices and always having dessert at every meal,” freshman Jacob Williams said. “So far, my favorite meal is the stir fry.”

Dorm life is something that many adjust to quickly, and with the intimate atmosphere at TMC, many on campus students rave about the joys of living with 50 of their closest friends. “I love being able to just walk to someone’s room and visit with them,” said senior Charissa Veal. “I love watching movies with my friends, going to the hall programs and Bible studies, and making lasting memories.”

Rainey echoed the senior’s enthusiasm and added that dorm life “is very loud!” “I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” she said. “My weekends consist of sleepovers in my friends rooms and I love being able to just spend time together.”

“My favorite activity so far would have to be playing volleyball on the front lawn with my friends or getting together and playing and singing music,” Rainey said. “It is so amazing to get together with other people your age and feel comfortable and have a blast doing what you love.”

Community Life

While on campus living is a highlight to life at Truett-McConnell, many students enjoy stepping off campus and involving themselves in the community by visiting local stores, restaurants, and involving themselves in community activities.

“I find myself at Walmart almost every other day,” Rainey said. “I normally go to pick up crafty things for my dorm, or snacks; my room has a lot more color and my snack drawer is full because of these trips!”

Rainey commented on the close-knit community and claims she feels “very at home” in Cleveland: “I have had many great conversations with people in the community and have met many wonderful people. I absolutely love Cleveland!”

Rainey is also a member of the Community Choir which is held on TMC’s campus: “This gives me an opportunity to get to know people of all ages while singing for our performance of The Messiah.”

Veal noted several of her favorite aspects to the city of Cleveland: “Deb’s Dollar is awesome!” she said when asked about a favorite place around town. “Everyone should go to Deb’s; they have some pretty sweet deals!” Veal also noted her appreciation for the variety of allergy friendly and organic items at Ingles.

Rainey and Veal each commented on Cleveland’s local eateries and how they enjoy eating with the locals: “So far, I’ve eaten at Zaxby’s, Wendy’s, and Yonah Burger,” Rainey said. “My favorite out of those is Yonah Burger… the burger melted in my mouth and I was in heaven!” Veal added that Captain D’s fish and fries keep her coming back for more.

At the beginning of their college experience, the ‘Gateway to the Mountains’ may have seemed like just another place; but now, more than 500 TMC students consider Cleveland home.



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