Jamie Carlson never really thought she would enjoy her time at Lord Fairfax Community College's (LFCC) Fauquier Campus. She entered the College as a home-schooled student who intended to take only a few classes.
After a month and a half at the College, she had changed her mind! She recalled saying to herself and others, "I really like it here-I want to stay." By her second semester, she was a full-time student. "I ended up falling in love with it," she said of the College. In May 2007, Carlson graduated from LFCC with an associate degree in education.
Carlson, who had moved to Virginia during her junior year of high school, did not easily connect with her peers after her family's relocation and lost some of her overall sense of purpose following the transition. At LFCC, she made new, meaningful connections with her fellow students and instructors. "I really had that sense of purpose again," she said.
She found friends-some of whom she feels she'll know for the rest of her life-and received an excellent education, with a personal touch. A professor she took a course from during her first semester at LFCC still said "hi" to her in the halls during her final semester, she said. Her professors and others were always willing to provide help whenever it was needed, she said. "I never felt like I would fail."
Although Carlson originally planned to focus on English courses at LFCC, she switched to history after her experiences in Nicole Martin's classes, which inspired her to consider teaching the subject herself. Martin's influence is still making an impact on Carlson, now that she is studying at Virginia Tech. "Her class definitely prepared me for the workload," Carlson said.
Lord Fairfax Community College isn't ever really that far away from Carlson, even though she's now in Blacksburg hours away from her Culpeper home. She lives with a girl who also graduated from LFCC, and while Virginia Tech is different, it has some of the same qualities she prized at LFCC, such as community and connection. "It's like a big Lord Fairfax [Community College]," she said.
Still, she already misses LFCC, and her first college experience holds a special place in her heart. "It will always be the foundation for where I am today and where I will be 10 years from now," she said.