Annabeth Mellon is this year’s winner of the William P. Bloom Scholarship Award, a University-wide Premier Award which honors a junior who has improved intergroup relations within the University community. Annabeth, who is from Oxford, Alabama, is majoring in interdisciplinary studies with a depth study in gender and media studies.
What has been your favorite experience?
My favorite experience so far has actually been acting in a short film! It was directed by one of my film teachers and the crew was all students. I used to be interested in acting but hadn’t done it in a very long time, but my teacher encouraged me to audition for the movie, and I ended up getting cast as a cool ghost girl. It was such a fun way to see what I had learned about in classes applied to the real world AND get to express myself in a fun new way. (I made new friends, too, which is always fun.)
What made you choose UA?
In high school, when I first told my college advisor what I envisioned for my ideal educational experience, she immediately told me about New College at UA. It sounded so perfect for me, with everything I wanted and needed from a school. (Small community, the opportunity to learn as many things as possible and find out what I’m good at, close relationships with teachers and advisor) I had mostly looked at art schools until then, so I sort of took a risk by choosing UA, but I know I definitely made the right decision! New College is such a wonderful program and has given me all the support I need, both in and out of the classroom, to thrive and reach my full potential.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
Try as many things as possible, and if freshman year is hard, let it be hard. Some people don’t make friends or find their “place” on campus immediately, and that’s okay! It honestly took all of my freshman year for UA to finally feel like home, and no matter what you see on social media or in movies, that’s normal. If this is your first time being on your own, learn how to enjoy being alone. Go out and see movies and plays and music shows by yourself. If you see a poster for a lecture that sounds interesting, go to it. Talk to your professors! If you’re really interested in their class, go up to them after class or their office hours; the connections you build freshman year can grow into a strong network. If you’re struggling in a class, tell your professor. Your professors WANT to help you. Go to their office hours and take advantage of every resource available. You came to UA for a reason, and there’s a home here just waiting for you to find it. We really grow into our strongest selves during tough periods, and this is an exciting opportunity for you to grow into someone you never thought you could be.