Adrienne Smith, a sophomore biology major from Memphis, has found a second home at UT Martin and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Originally choosing UT Martin because of her experience with the Governor’s School for the Humanities (one of two governor’s schools hosted by UT Martin) in 2010, Smith remained at UT Martin because of the comfortable atmosphere and small class sizes.
“I see people all the time on campus, and I don’t know them, but I recognize their faces,” she said. “I love how it’s a small school, but it’s not so small that everyone knows everything (about everyone else).”
Smith, who hopes to become a physician’s assistant after graduation, feels that her UT Martin education is preparing her for the challenges ahead.
“These classes aren’t easy, by any means, so I feel like they are preparing me to go toward grad school where they’re even harder. They are helping me hone in on what kind of studier I am and what kind of student I am, so that once I get to those upper-level grad school courses, I will be able to go in head first knowing who I am, how I am and how I learn best, without flailing in the water,” she said. “It’s preparing me to be me and to understand who I am in order to move forward.”
Smith appreciates how her professors are willing to help, but also expect her to be an adult and be responsible for her own grades and success. “I feel like they are helping me to not be so reliant on others, but to rely solely on myself for my own grades,” she said. She knows this mindset will help her be successful in graduate school, as well as in the workforce.
“Someone said during freshman orientation that, ‘You’re getting a private school education at a public school price,’ and that really hit home for me. I realized, ‘Wow, that is very true!’” she added. “Even when you’re in intro classes, they’re not gigantic. … You can really get to know your teachers and they can get to know you. Even if you’re not going in to ask questions all the time, they will still know your name by the end of the semester.”
She also enjoys the campus life and community, saying, “There’s always something to do. There are always fliers for this, that or the other. There’s always something going on, so people who say Martin’s boring just haven’t been looking.” Smith is involved with the honor society Phi Eta Sigma, and hopes to become more involved on campus as her education progresses.