For Libby Barnes, Florida College was not her first choice, and halfway through her first semester, she remembers wondering if she had made the wrong one. She took her parents’ advice — to “tough it out” — and stayed a second semester, where she remembers a few of her first semester friendships blossomed.

Some of those friendships began during her time working for The Royal Palm, the College’s yearbook.

“I wasn’t expecting to join,” she recalled. “I remember the announcement [for yearbook auditions at the beginning of the year] and decided to join because I had worked for my high school newspaper.”

After a year as a writer, a copy editor and her current role as editor in chief, she describes her experience as incredibly time-consuming and often stressful, but ultimately worth the sacrifice.

She appreciates the atmosphere of “people coming together and being creative to express an idea that means a lot to others — that makes it worth it.”

Although she is a talented and experienced writer who also works part-time in the College’s writing lab, Barnes’ career interests are pointing her in a different direction.

A liberal studies major with components in behavioral sciences, biblical literature and English, Barnes hopes to attend graduate school next year where she plans on studying family counseling.

“Dr. Walker’s counseling classes were very influential in helping me make this decision,” she said, referring to Dr. Steve Walker, the College’s longtime student advisor. “It’s sometimes discouraging to be a Christian in this field, but he came from a very practical and biblically based standpoint.”

If accepted, Barnes will be the second student this calendar year to enter the field of psychology on the graduate level.

From being around Christians daily, Libby believes she has witnessed a few essential lessons on counseling outside the classrooms as well.

“I’ve learned that good individuals can help make strong families, and that strong families can produce strong, capable individuals, though there are always exceptions,” she said. “I want to help in whatever way I can.”

That’s how Libby is living His way.