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First-Year Student Stories

Goodnight Blog: Chandler Parrish

Chandler Parrish, Goodnight Class of 2024, is an active member of the Goodnight Scholars volleyball team. Keep reading to learn more about how her interests and passions relate to the sport of volleyball!

On most Wednesday nights, you’ll find me at Carmichael Gymnasium alongside our Goodnight volleyball team. Our games are always a refreshing break from the academic stresses of the week. Like the nature of any game, some nights we play better than others. Without fail, though, we always play the best when we’re having fun. In my time at NC State I’ve come to learn that’s usually the case for most things in life.

It took me a long time to find my place in college. For me, the hardest part about the transition to college was the amount of decisions that stopped being made for me. Having the liberty to choose how to spend my time and what classes to take was great in theory, but daunting in reality. After all, there’s hundreds of courses in the catalog and a whole new sea of people, each of them an opportunity to build a friendship. 

Starting college, I didn’t have a firm grasp on my passions or interests. I made decisions sort of blindly, with a naive optimism that I’d somehow figure it all out. The ways in which I was spending my time didn’t feel right and fulfilling. To remedy this, I began chasing things that simply felt fun to me. I joined the University Activities Board, became an ambassador and mentor within the Goodnight program. My involvement in these roles has given me the chance to build both personal and professional skills, all while introducing me to some great people. The passion and enjoyment that met me in these things that I pursued, let me know that I was doing the right thing.

It was that same conviction that led me to declare a major in Sustainable Materials and Technology (SMT, for short). It’s an interdisciplinary major that explores a variety of concepts under sustainability such as business, lab science, and policy. The wide-reaching nature of the major and the incredible importance of sustainability work in today’s society made the decision to study SMT an easy one, and it’s been one of the most rewarding choices I’ve made in college. It’s given me the space to build and define my career interests which revolve around the interconnectedness of sustainability and society, which is fascinating and puzzling all at once. 

In the major, I’ve had the opportunity to research and explore projects I’m interested in, and create a strong community with my classmates. Given that it’s such a tight knit major, myself and a group of my SMT colleagues made the decision to create the SMT Student Association (SMTSA) to promote community among students in the major. In this group, we have been able to host seminars, panels, and socials for students with plans to continue and expand next year. 

Now just a few months away from my senior year, I’m filled with love for the community I’ve built at NC State. Honing in on and following my passions has led me to the great opportunities and people that have characterized my college experience. These things make life fun, and just as on the volleyball court, that’s always when I perform the best.