Abby Hopkins wanted to come to Florida College because of the friendships she had formed at Florida College summer camps. Now that she is a student, she is building the same lifelong relationships with both her peers and her professors.

Although Abby came to Florida College as a communication major, she switched to the history program after her first class with Dr. Brian Crispell, Florida College’s academic dean and history professor. She was already interested in history, but Dr. Crispell helped her explore potential career options so she felt like she could actually pursue her passion.

“Dr. Crispell just held my hand through the whole process and opened doors for me and helped me understand things that I wouldn’t have understood otherwise,” Abby said.

But Dr. Crispell isn’t the only professor who has taken an interest in Abby’s success. She has also been privileged to develop friendships with Adam Greiving, Dr. Thaxter Dickey and Dean Jason Longstreth, among others. According to Abby, having professors who care about you makes learning a much more personal experience.

“It’s encouraging having people that care about my personal life as well as my academic career,” she said.

Last year, Abby worked as Dr. Dickey’s secretary and as a supplemental instructor for Dr. Crispell’s American History course, and she will serve as a supplemental instructor for Dr. Crispell’s Western Civilization course this year. These on-campus jobs have been great opportunities to continue to develop relationships with a couple of her favorite professors and learn some along the way.

Abby also participates on campus as a member of Zeta Phi Epsilon, though she mostly focuses her efforts on helping to boost the group’s GPA rather than competing as an athlete.

“I’m more of a student than a very involved society member,” Abby said. “I spend more time studying than going to games.”

Instead of playing intramural sports, Abby spends her free time involved with the Florida College Friends. She’s been a vocalist in the group for the last year and a half and has formed many friendships through her involvement.

The relationships Abby is building on campus teach her much more than she could learn from a textbook or in a classroom. Her friendships with her peers and professors help her to grow personally, academically and spiritually.

“Florida College is hard,” Abby said, “but I feel like I’m getting more out of the money I’m spending because I’m actually being challenged and motivated by others to better myself as a student, a Christian and a person in general.”

That’s how Abby Hopkins is learning His way.