Upon graduation, Arielle Boland, ’17, takes with her a range of experiences, lasting connections, and hard-won wisdom that she has developed over her four years at Meredith.
Opportunities for involvement are part of what has made Meredith special for Arielle. “I have been involved with two groups, the teaching fellows and honors program. Both have stretched, encouraged, and inspired me as I have taken honors courses, met and collaborated with fellow peers, and attended amazing cultural events such as Wicked at the Durham Performing Arts Center.”
Her honors thesis adviser, Associate Professor of History Dan Fountain, challenged her to analyze courses differently and pushed her to be more professional, all while providing encouragement. She was able to combine her interest in education and history through her honors thesis, which examined how the American Revolution is presented in textbooks over the decades. Arielle was honored for her work in the history department by being awarded the Alice B. Keith scholarship at the end of her junior year.
Outside of the classroom, Arielle has participated in every tradition possible, and she has seen how traditions unite students and create bonds that last a lifetime.
“Class Day is a favorite memory because it is just so beautiful and serene. I was crying inside and out, because my big sis’ and all my friends in the older Odd class were just about to graduate.” As a commuter student, Arielle’s participation in the Meredith traditions helped her remain connected to campus.
Involvement on campus and in the community have enhanced Arielle’s experiences and prepared her for the future. While attending college full-time, she served as a freshman student adviser, taught piano lessons, directed the children’s choir at her church, and volunteered weekly at local elementary schools.
A self-proclaimed over-achiever, at times Arielle found her tendency to become involved a challenge to manage.
“Spring of my junior year I had way too much on my plate and had to drop almost everything to just focus on school.” The renewed focus helped her maintain her high GPA – and reinforced that Meredith’s support was unwavering.
“Sometimes you fall and fall hard. But when you fall, analyze how you got there, get back up, and move forward.”
Arielle will graduate with a B.A. in history and a minor in public history. After student teaching, she plans to complete her K-6 and middle school social studies teaching licensure.
And as promised, support from Meredith friends, faculty, and staff helped prove she is even stronger than she thought.
“I can say confidently that the best lessons I have learned at Meredith were the ones that prepared me for the world beyond the textbook. They prepared me for real life.”
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