by Jordan West
CLEVELAND, Ga (TMNews) – Kasie Beris has a passion for Christ and golf. When considering a college to further her education, she relentlessly pursued a school that offered both. But not any school would do.
A long road
Beris and her family traveled twelve hours on the road for her freshman move-in day on August 26th, all the way from Madison, Ohio, to Cleveland, Ga. Though, her real journey to Truett-McConnell began in high school.
“During my junior year in high school, the school offered an opportunity for me to intern somewhere and I have family near Savannah, Ga.,” Beris shared. “I hadn’t seen them for a while, and I missed them – they’re like my godparents, so I went there and interned at a small animal hospital for a month.”
It didn’t take long until the south made Beris feel at home. “I fell in love with Georgia” she said, “just the people, the ‘Bible Belt,’ and the firm beliefs, and so I started looking around at colleges. I knew someone that said he was going to Truett-McConnell College, and that was my first time hearing anything about Truett. I left my options open, though, and visited a few Christian colleges in Ohio.”
Beris knew she wanted to attend a school which had both chapel and a golf team. So she narrowed her search and then focused on Christian colleges in the southeast.
“The time span for golf for most colleges in Ohio is really short” Beris explained, “and that’s one of the reasons why I thought I might want to go to school in the south. I wrote down all the Christian colleges in the south and I just started calling them.”
She had two specific questions in mind as she made her calls. “My first question for them would be, ‘Is chapel mandatory?’ If they said no, it was a click. I would hang up. I just didn’t want to be a part of a Christian college where chapel wasn’t mandatory. Then, I asked if they had a golf team.”
Beris checked out many schools, but the list quickly shortened. “Nothing was working out anywhere for golf, academics, or finances,” she said. “I came to visit Truett and everything lined up. It fell into place.”
A contagious atmosphere
Her initial visit to campus was one that changed her life. “I thought it was a small campus at first,” she described…but it’s a huge campus academically and spiritually. There are so many opportunities and outlets and I really liked that.”
“As I visited other colleges, I kept thinking how I loved that it felt like a community at Truett instead of a huge organization that didn’t care.”
The words of the college’s president resonated with Beris. “When I came here to visit, Dr. Caner told me he was praying for me no matter where I would go, even if I didn’t pick this place, and I just saw that true spirit of God in him. I was very drawn to that ideology.”
The transition to TMC
Beris’ transition to life so far away from home has been challenging. “It’s hard knowing I can’t go back home for a weekend,” she said. “But I know I can be home in a few hours by plane if I need something. Knowing that option is there is comforting.”
However, she acknowledges that she’s walking in the Lord’s will. “I feel like the Lord was really leading me here and I didn’t feel scared at all,” she said. “Except on the first day of orientation. I was thinking, ‘Do I really want to do this?’ but then I found out everyone was feeling the same way.”
Now that classes have started, and while she’s enjoying them, Beris is anxious to get past the first few tests. “I get a little bit nervous thinking about exam week,” she shared. “I just want to get through my first exam and really get my feet wet before I can decide what I think about my classes. I like them so far, but I have a lot of work to do.”
In addition to studying, Beris has been able to take advantage of the student life activities, and the different sports and games that go on around campus. “I really enjoy spike ball, volleyball, and ultimate frisbee!”
Naming several other highlights to her time at TMC thus far, Beris mentioned the atmosphere on campus: “I just like the overall atmosphere. Also, I know people are going to be surprised, but I really do like the Caf [cafeteria]! I like the healthy part of it because I visited a lot of colleges that didn’t have many healthy options.”
Beris hopes to grow academically and spiritually during her time at Truett-McConnell. “I really look forward to seeing my relationship with God grow and become more kind-hearted. I know I can be hard-hearted and I really want to be able to give and volunteer more. I feel like [Truett-McConnell] is really going to push me towards that.”
“I really feel like Truett will bring out the best in me and that the growth I experience will stick.”
Jordan is a senior English major and a freelance writer for the Truett-McConnell.
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