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The South Carolina Honors College student experience

Maddie Claire Porterfield '20

The South Carolina Honors College has truly allowed me to find my community. I have taken interesting and fun classes, made awesome friends and participated in activities that go way beyond the books. It's no secret we have the top ranked honors college in the nation. Here are my reasons we're No. 1! 

1. I get to take fun and unique honors courses. 

As an Honors College student, I have the ability to take specialized themed classes that count toward my graduation requirements. For example, students can take Food and Modern U.S. Literature instead of basic English 101. For an analytics reasoning credit, students can take Mathematics of Game Shows, and a course that counts as an arts credit is Washington D.C. Theatre and Culture. My favorite course so far is Visions of the Apocalypse, where I learned about creation myths from the Polynesian Islands.

The class sizes are also very small regardless of the subject. A 300-person lecture class for others is a 15-person class for me. I really enjoy the smaller class sizes because I can easily meet other students and get more one-on-one time with professors. As a junior, I feel I can reach out to my past honors professors for advice and even letters of recommendation. 

2. It's a college within a college.

Living in the Honors Residence freshman year and attending regular events has helped me build strong friendships at South Carolina. The common area is the perfect place for studying, movie nights with friends and meeting new people. The sense of community stems beyond the dorm freshman year. Although I may not live with those friends anymore, we still have classes together and are able to maintain the bond we built. Because of the small class sizes, I have been able to meet people who became my "let's go grab coffee" friends and also study group members.

3. We have access to exclusive events. 

The Honors College hosts events throughout the year. I really enjoy the monthly Bedtime Stories, where a professor or staff member reads a novel or journal to students and provides Insomnia Cookies and hot chocolate (my favorite part). During final exam weeks, the college will bring catering to campus for a pick-me-up. Nothing beats a donut and coffee break from studying! There is also a formal event every year, which is a great time for all of us to get dressed up and dance the night away.

4. I have support to complete my senior thesis. 

As my final semesters approach, I have started to work on my honors thesis. I am currently enrolled in an online course, which helps me keep on track to finish it. We have check points for when certain sections and drafts are due. It's very helpful to have guidance along the way. As a life-long dancer, I am choosing to write about how dance builds confidence and helps shape people into a better version of themselves. My research will ultimately prove that dance influences confidence. My thesis is something I can take with me as I apply to graduate school and beyond. 







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