Okay the title is a tad misleading. Technically I went to a liberal arts university with a military (or ROTC) program. It is “THE military college of Georgia” and also a leading senior military college in the nation (HB says THE leading, but I’m not so sure about that), so technically the title is still right. [When people use the phrase above they always put the emphasis on “the” so I wanted to make sure I wrote it correctly.]
I don’t do a great job at concealing where I live or went to school. I should probably do a better job, but at the same time I’m just starting to not care. It makes things a lot more difficult when you’re trying to talk about something you think other people would enjoy doing or seeing when you don’t provide the location. [UGH! I hear my mother in my head saying “Don’t tell people on the internet where you live! Don’t give out too much information!” Sorry, Mama, it’s a bit too late. Oops! I’ll just think of you all as friends…unless one of you is a stalker. Then we can’t be friends and there will be some issues.]
My university is in Dahlonega, Georgia (that’s pronounced Duh-lawn-egg-ah, not Dal-uh-neg-uh like a lot of people think), and has gone through quite a few names over the years. Originally it was called North Georgia Agricultural College. During this time it was the first college in Georgia to allow males and females to go to school with one another (surprisingly progressive, but we make up for it later with a mild scandal that caught just a little attention. I’ll provide a video at the end of this post.). The school then became North Georgia College. In 1996 we became a university (YAY go us!) and became North Georgia College & State University, or NGCSU for short. Alumni were pissed that dropping “college” off of North Georgia was even a consideration. Sucks for them, because that’s exactly what happened during my third/fourth year. In 2012 we merged with a college, which was, and still is, a total cluster-fuck, and became the University of North Georgia. This name may stick around for a while, but who knows.
During UNG’s entire existence there’s been some sort of military presence. [Wow that sounds very dystopian-like when I phrase it like that. Okay, it sounds kind of dystopian no mater how you phrase it, but I promise it’s not] The military side of the school is for students that want to make the military their career, out of state students that want to pay instate tuition, or students that just want to be in ROTC for whatever reason. More goes into it than what I’m about to tell you, but basically if a student wants to make the military their career, usually, their best option is to become an officer (the pay is better, and you aren’t enlisted). How they can go about that is go to a university with a military program, joining the military before university is optional. After a few years and several standards have been met you will sign a contract with the military saying “yeah, I want to be an officer. My soul is your until this contract expires or I retire,” or something along those lines. I don’t know I’ve never signed one. After that you continue as normal until you’re about a year from graduating. Then life gets super crappy for you, but provided you make it through you branch (you find out what branch of the Army you have been assigned to. You give them a list and usually they pick one on that list). After that you graduate and go into your career as an officer. Well you go to training first, and then you start your career. [Having a career right out of college is almost tempting enough for me to consider it, but I have authority issues, a tiny, frail body, and an autoimmune disease so the military is not for me]
North Georgia is kind of a weird place to go to school. Freshman year my roommate and I would leave the window open to listen to cadences as the cadets ran by our dorm. At 7 revelry played and at 5 it was retreat. Everything stopped during both. Cadets wore their uniforms every day, unless it was a free weekend or “civies day”. OH! I forgot to mention the cannon. At 7 and 5 they would also fire off a cannon, which if you didn’t know about or expect really scares the daylights out of you. We’d occasionally hear gunfire from some training they were doing. Actually taking the time to think about all of this makes me realize how different my college experience was from a lot of people. I mean it was strange in the beginning, but it became the norm pretty quick. [I mean who doesn’t like looking at men and women in uniform? I certainly do.]
But as different as UNG is it’s also the same as all other colleges and universities across the U.S. The civilian side of things is actually the majority of the school. We have sports like normal schools; although, we do not have an American football team. We do have rugby, though. We have Greek life, clubs, and what-have-you.
By far my favorite thing about UNG is its location. Dahlonega is a place that everyone refers to as “my little mountain town”. The biggest thing in Dahlonega is the university. The second biggest is the Walmart. It’s nestled right in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. There are hundreds of waterfalls and hiking trails throughout the surrounding areas. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful place. I think so, at least.
As promised, here’s the video of Bill Maher making fun of my university: