The Columns

My W&L: Turner Meeks ’15

— by on September 5th, 2016

Turner Meeks '15

“At W&L you learn so much more in your interactions with others than what you see in the classroom.”

In my time at W&L I have taken part in several extracurricular activities in my pursuit to become a well-rounded individual. Each team or club has given me a unique experience and a new perspective of the university community. The most rewarding experience I have had, however, is taking part in the Peer Counseling program, as it has shown me the heart of what makes W&L a special place.

The goal of the Peer Counseling program is to provide non-judgmental and compassionate support for the university community. We undergo detailed training to gain knowledge and insight into ways to respond to issues faced by members of the student body. It is our dream as a program to make W&L as perfect a community as possible through our care and desire to help others. Through my experience as a peer counselor, I have seen personal growth as a leader in striving to set an example for my peers. I find great meaning in being a shoulder to lean on, someone to offer a warm greeting, and simply a good friend to others. My wish is to help all other members of the W&L community have as a memorable and rewarding college experience, and being a peer counselor has enabled me to further that pursuit.

The more time I have spent with my fellow peer counselors, the more I have come to realize that the program is a microcosm for the W&L community as a whole. The Speaking Tradition provides a warm welcome to anyone to step foot on campus and at W&L everyone will go out of their way to lend a helping hand and support someone in need. When I am among a group of individuals from the W&L community, be it students, alumni, professors, administrators or faculty, I am filled with a sense of togetherness and care for one another. This unique bond cannot be simulated and is fundamentally what makes W&L what it is–a place where you are always welcome and encouraged to become the best you can be. Everyone who walks the Colonnade knows there is something special about W&L, and I have found what that is for me in through the Peer Counseling program.

My grandfather had a saying that perfectly applies to my experience at W&L: “Don’t let your studies interfere with your education.” At W&L you learn so much more in your interactions with others than what you see in the classroom. The lessons in life that I have learned as a peer counselor have shaped me into the man I am today. I am blessed to take part in such a wonderful program and honored to be a member of this incredible university community.