an illustration of an elon student
Illustration by Sarah Shin, George Washington University
College x
an illustration of an elon student
Illustration by Sarah Shin, George Washington University

This private university offers more than meets the eye.

Welcome to Elon University, a private university of around 6,500 undergraduates. Located in Elon, North Carolina, the school is a reasonable distance from major cities such as Durham, Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte. As the town of Elon is small, potential students may expect to face boredom often — but as a senior, I know this is far from the truth.

Elon has offered opportunities to join clubs and organizations, find jobs and locate the most interesting places that could only be found in and around a town like Elon. Here’s what a week in my life at Elon looks like:

Sunday

Most of Sunday I spend doing homework or catching up with friends. At 8:30 p.m., my sorority, Kappa Delta (KD), holds its weekly chapter. Two of my roommates, Grace and Julia, are also in KD, so we head there together. This week, the president called for a pajamas chapter, so everyone looks quite cozy.

After chapter, my roommates and I drive to Cook Out, a local chain, to get milkshakes and fries in preparation for a good week.

Monday

I start my Mondays at 9:30 a.m., when I meet with my research mentor, Dr. Huber. I am fortunate to have close relationships with many of my professors because Elon caps its classes at 33 students, which is significantly less than most universities. I give her an update on my classes, which are almost entirely in my major, religious studies. I ask questions and provide concerns for my TLA class, and then we discuss my research. Elon has many opportunities to do research, and as an Honors Fellow, I am in the middle of my two-year thesis project.

At 10:30 a.m., I head to The Oak House, which is a popular coffee shop in Downtown Elon, to get some thesis work done. My friend Alanna walks in around 10:50 a.m. after her class gets out and comes to chat. Elon is the perfect size, where you don’t know everyone, but you’ll always find someone you know.

Around 12:45 p.m., I head to my apartment, which is within walking distance of campus. The apartments are owned by Elon but still off-campus. After a quick lunch, I head to the Koinsberger Learning Center, a section of the library, at 2 p.m. for the class Religion and War in America. I get home from class around 4 p.m. and join my roommate Grace at my apartment complex’s pool.

At 6 p.m., I go to Tangent with Alanna, a restaurant in Downtown Elon that serves specialty tacos, such as chicken and waffles tacos and Korean BBQ tacos. Tonight, Alanna and I go to the library and manage to get a private study room. I only stay for a bit before heading to the first floor of the library because my shift in the school’s writing center starts at 8 p.m.

The other consultant who works this shift is Elain, another friend of mine. At 10 p.m., I go back upstairs to do more homework. The library is open 24-hours during the week, but it closes Friday and Saturday nights. Still, I leave before midnight.

Tuesday

While my first class is not until 10:30 a.m., I leave my apartment early to get to Phi Beta Kappa Plaza at 9:40 a.m. Every Tuesday, the plaza hosts College Coffee, where the university provides food and coffee to students while clubs and organizations set up tables to promote or give away gifts. I see half of my professors and a handful of friends there, and even talk with a professor who still remembers me from fall during my first year.

It ends at 10:30 a.m., when the next class starts, but I leave early to head to class in Global Commons, which is known to students as Gloco. The building is in Elon’s Global neighborhood — Elon organizes its residence halls into neighborhoods based on location and/or dorm style.

My class in Gloco is my Senior Periclean Scholars Seminar. I am part of the Periclean Scholars program at Elon, which is a three-year, service-learning program particular to Elon. Each year of Periclean Scholars is assigned a country and works with an NGO (non-governmental organization) in said country to do service for the country. The goal of the program is to counter the white-savior complex by doing only what the NGO asks of us and what it cannot do. My class’ country is Sri Lanka, and I’m hopeful that I will have the opportunity to visit the country for the program in January, during Elon’s “J-term,” when students take one class every day for the month of January.

I end up back by Phi Beta Kappa Plaza at 12:30 p.m. for Jewish Traditions in Belk Pavilion. At 2:30 p.m., I am in the building next to Belk, Spence Pavilion, which houses the religious studies department. This course is Ghosts, Demons and Ancestors, which is about the beliefs, practices and rituals surrounding these topics in South and Southeast Asian traditions.

I eat dinner at 4:30 p.m., which is early, but I have Club Rugby from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Women’s Club Rugby is a new addition to Elon this year, but I was curious about the sport. At the first practice of the year, I found my Little had joined also — see, I always find someone I know.

Mackenzie is not, in fact, my sorority Little but my fraternity Little. After practice ends, I drive us to the Circle K, where I stock up on snacks and candy. At 8:30 p.m., we are at chapter for Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity we are members of.

Wednesday

I wake early and go to the gym. My apartment complex has a gym, but I go to the one on-campus because it has more equipment.

My plans after that consist of going to The Gilded Bean Coffee Bar in Gibsonville, which is a five-minute drive from campus. I chat with the barista, who is an Elon student that I know, and split my time between homework and work for my other on-campus job as a Spirit and Pride intern. Spirit and Pride is an organization that works between the religious center (Truitt Center) and LGBTQIA+ center (GLC) of campus to create a space where people can be comfortable with all their identities.

I eat lunch at home before Religion and War in America. After class, my friend Sam and I drive to the Prison Run Pass and Breakaway Trail, which are short and easy hiking trails near Elon. Elon is close to many hiking trails, but these are my favorites.

I leave in time to eat a quick dinner and begin my shift in the writing center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. After my shift, I go back to my apartment and join a neighborhood social that my apartment managers have put on. Free food is involved, so I run to my apartment to grab Tupperware to take leftovers. When Elon has events, there will always be free food.

Thursday

My Thursday differs slightly from my Tuesday. I am at Elon at 9:40 a.m., not for College Coffee but for Numen Lumen, which takes place in the Truitt Center. As the center for religion on campus, the Truitt Center hosts speakers on Thursdays, which I love to attend.

At 10:30 a.m. I go to the class that I am a TLA for: Sex Lives of Saints. The course is taught by my mentor Dr. Huber and covers how ancient Mediterranean religious traditions constructed and regulated gender and sexuality. The class is in Duke, which houses computer science and mathematics. One thing is certain about Elon — there is a high probability that your class will not be held in the building that houses the subject.

From there, I attend the Jewish Traditions and Ghosts, Demons and Ancestors classes again. Today is my friend Lily’s birthday, so we go to Simply Thai to celebrate. Simply Thai is one of my favorite places in Elon, but The Root and Pandora’s are also very popular.

After the dinner, we go and sit by Lake Mary Nell, which is one of three lakes/ponds on Elon’s campus. A few of Lily’s friends and myself brought hammocks, and I hang mine between two trees. Some of the others set their hammocks up on the big hammock stand by the lake; Elon has hammock stands posted across campus. I find myself drawn into a game of beach volleyball because Elon has a couple sand volleyball courts on campus, and one happens to be beside the lake. This court is next to a large basketball court.

I head home briefly before returning to campus, specifically to Moseley, the student center on campus. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, the student union board (SUB) hosts games and activities and calls it Late Night. My roommates and I get there at 10 p.m., 30 minutes early for bingo. I lose bingo every time, but my roommate Violet wins AirPods. SUB has a large budget for prizes at these events. After it ends, we go to Lakeside Dining Hall, which also participates in Late Night by providing food from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., and my roommates and I try to go every time it has breakfast food during Late Night.

Friday

Fridays are significantly less packed. I have no classes on Friday, but my shift in the writing center starts at 10 a.m. At noon, I go to Flat Out for lunch, which makes flatbreads. By 2 p.m., I am seated in my weekly Spirit and Pride cohort meeting, and today, we cross over for an extra 30 minutes to meet also with the Interfaith Interns cohort.

In the afternoon, my friend Kelley and I drive to the Streets at Southpoint shopping mall in Durham, 45 minutes away. I am shopping for a date night dress for my sorority. Before we leave, we get cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory.

I’m back in time to go to Turner Theater at 8 p.m. Alongside providing Late Night activities, SUB shows movies in Turner on Friday and Saturday nights.

Saturday

On Saturday, a couple of my friends and I get a late brunch at Print Works in Greensboro, which is a short 25-minute drive. After, we drive north to a local farm hosting a flower festival, which is fun and great for photos.

Today, my apartment complex’s pool is too crowded to go, but my friend Emerson suggests we go to Haw River to swim. The water is clear, and Emerson saw online that the water had been tested recently and deemed clean enough to swim in. We spend the afternoon there and end the week relaxed, preparing for another week of Elon activities.

Writer Profile

Virginia Beall

Elon University
Religious Studies

Hello! I’m Virginia, and I am an incoming senior at Elon University. My favorite pastime is reading, and I am working on expanding my reading taste by reading classics and more literary fiction.

Leave a Reply