Alumna reflects upon time at ‘Western’

Andrea Hayden


I wrote a very eloquent essay as a senior in high school in the spring of 2005 which earned me a small scholarship and possibly foretold my future as an English major at WKU.

The prompt? “Painfully squish all your deepest desires and reasoning for wanting to attend WKU in 100 words or less.” (Or something like that). My response was full of it and had something to do with “the spirit of Western” and getting a small hometown feel at a university.

I had no idea what I was talking about, which is precisely why I believe I won the scholarship and I excelled in my major.

The more time I spent at Western, however, the more I realized there actually was something to this whole “spirit” thing. Some examples:

My first day on the Hill, I had a mild panic attack at lunch time because I knew I was still too green to pull off the eat-by-yourself-with-a-book look, and scanned Garrett Food Court for a sign of anyone I might possibly know. I chose a seat next to a weird blonde girl from my floor. We lived together for the next five years. 

During four of those five years, I spent my life working as a desk clerk at Barnes Campbell Hall and attribute many friendships to the job. I also believe the study hall time it gave me is the only reason I graduated. My inclination to say “Naked,” instead of “Thank you” to see if anyone noticed kept me from getting too bored (Sorry, HRL).

As an education major I student taught, and while student teaching my last semester, I lived for those Thursday nights when we had to go to a seminar on campus on Friday instead of going to teach. We spent our time wisely, partying too hard on Thursday nights and waking up still drunk on Friday to finish our homework before seminar. I want to take this opportunity to thank Kappa Sigma for donating their couch and their T-shirts to two very appreciative girls on many occasions.

The majority of those nights, any other weekend, breaks between class, Monday night, and hiding out from “gunmen” on campus, was spent at Froggy’s (I don’t know what the kids are calling it nowadays, nor do I care). 

The crowd there was always perfect – never a single, select group, but just anyone hanging out near campus that wanted to party. One night two years ago, I scoped out a cute boy and let him give me a piggy back ride to the aforementioned fraternity house. He quickly became my best friend, boyfriend, and the reason I eventually fled my dear Bowling Green.

The spring break after I graduated, while my degree was getting put to good use waiting tables, I skipped town with a bunch of drunkards claiming fan hood, and headed off to Hot Springs, Ark., for a week of basketball, beer pong, and my favorite college memories.  

I highly recommend this trip for anyone who has even a small amount of spirit or can at least fake it with some face paint.

My time on the Hill was more than I ever could have dreamed to write about in a scholarship essay, and still I’m finding bits of the spirit of Western even away from campus. I love you, Big Red.

Andrea Hayden

WKU Alumna