“For the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10b.
These are the words Sheila Boggs sees every morning when she stares into the mirror. She taped them there and surrounded them with family snapshots.
The Olive Hill freshman lives on the third floor of McCormack Hall. She had never been away from home for more than a week when she came to Western this fall. She clothed her room in original artwork and displayed her stuffed bear collection on a shelf to make the dorm more homey.
Now, after having three roommates and dropping a German class, the first semester of her college career is almost over.
“Since the third week of school I was like ‘I’m settled in,'” she said.
The road to settling in was a little rocky at first. The roommate she had in August switched rooms and her second roommate dropped out of school.
Boggs also dropped a German class earlier this semester.
“It was too much studying… I hadn’t even had English yet either,” she said.
Class work and tests haven’t been the only thing on her mind this semester though.
“My parents wanted me to better myself,” she said. “But they were worried about me being five hours away from home.”
The distance wasn’t Boggs’ only concern. Bowling Green is very different from Olive Hill – which is home to about 2,000 people and is several miles from a Wal-Mart.
“I like being able to go to the Wal-Mart more than once a month,” she said.
The people at Western have helped her make it through her time away from home.
She fills a lot of time hanging out with her current roommate and her boyfriend of three weeks, Mount Washington sophomore Jason Samuels.
“We roller blade … we play pool at DUC,” she said. “It’s good to always have a buddy to eat with.”
She says being involved with the Baptist Student Union is “extremely important” and attends a weekly BSU bible study and worship service.
“I think she’s settled here really well,” Samuels said.
Boggs is also 3rd floor representative and intramural coordinator for McCormack Hall council.
“Some girls on council are like sisters,” she said.
She shares her room with Hillary Hess, a Sea Girt, N.J., sophomore. Hess is an art major and Boggs is interested in art as well so the room is plastered with prints and original artworks.
“I like abstract painting,” Boggs said gesturing to the multi-colored jigsaw-like designs hanging over her bed.
Painting is her hobby, but she has other interests as well.
“I’m thinking maybe about taking an equestrian class, but I don’t know,” she said uncertainly.
With a major in recombinant genetics, she’ll have a long way to go after she graduates in 2006.
She knew from a very early age that she was interested in medicine.
“When I was little my parents told me nobody was perfect, so I thought they meant everybody was sick and needed a cure,” she said.
It became her mission to find that cure. Her parents cleared up the misunderstanding, but Boggs was stuck on the idea of helping people.
Her major requires advanced work in various areas of science which has her only a little worried.
“I love experiments … but I’m worried about chemistry,” she said.
She will tackle Biology 113 and a biology and chemistry lab next semester. She will also take a course in philosophy that focuses on love and friendship.
Boggs has juggled relationships and class work this semester – but she doesn’t seem to mind.
“She has handled things pretty well, she seems to enjoy her activities,” Hess said.
The only inconvenience is lack of transportation.
She doesn’t have a car, and when she feels the need to go home she catches a ride with a friend.
Not that she feels that need often.
She calls Western home and hasn’t been back to Olive Hill since fall break.