Caroline Loudon 2015
The lack of a youth group at her home church helped pave the way for Caroline Loudon to come to Bluffton from her hometown of Cornell, Ill. Now, while she admits that being so far from home wasn’t easy at first, “I’m positive I made the right decision.”
Introduction to Bluffton
As a student at Flanagan-Cornell High School without a youth group at church, Loudon started going with a friend to youth meetings at nearby Prairieview Mennonite Church. “That’s how I heard of Bluffton,” she says, from Prairieview churchgoers who came to northwest Ohio for college, including current Bluffton junior Ben Roeschley and 2012 alumnus Darin Gundy.
Visiting the university during her junior year, “I found myself liking the campus,” Loudon recalls. “Everybody was super friendly; it seemed like the right college for me.”
Her experience as a first-year student confirmed the feeling from her visit. “I really enjoyed my time” last year, says the biology major. “Meeting new people was easy,” she adds, saying she was able to quickly get comfortable and get involved. She joined the choral group Camerata Singers, for instance, as well as playing intramural volleyball.
Settling into science
She also liked the science classes in which she was scheduled after enrolling, officially at least, with an undecided major. “I had an idea that maybe a science major was the way to go,” says Loudon, who ended her first year not only with a major in biology but also with a chemistry achievement award.
She had been thinking about a career in the medical field, too, she says, and in the last year has been looking into eventually entering a two-year graduate program to become a physician assistant. “I’ve always been interested in health and thought it would be a great way to reach out to people and help them,” she explains.
Speaking from experience
In the meantime, she advises prospective students to check out Bluffton like she did just a couple years ago. “Keep an open mind—and definitely visit,” Loudon suggests. Seeing the university firsthand “will play more of an important role than you think,” she says. “You’ll really get a feel for the campus when you visit.”