“I had a gut feeling about Central. I knew I was going to come, and I knew there was something in store for me here.”
— Makenna Hall ’23
A sprawling campus and getting lost in the sea of black and gold pouring into Division I athletics events — that’s the college experience Makenna Hall ’23 thought she wanted.
Until she visited Central College, that is.
Hall came to campus in the role of supportive friend to watch her best friend, a Central student, perform with the dance team. Afterward, her friend showed her around campus and greeted every person she passed.
“I was like, ‘How do you know so many people?’” Hall says. “That was really cool.”
Dazzled by the beauty of campus and Central’s friendly community, Hall was drawn back to campus for another visit.
“I had an official tour, and I fell in love with it,” Hall says. “It’s a beautiful campus, the people were really friendly, I loved that everything was so compact, and I felt this would be more of a community-style place.”
Hall initially believed the large, state school journey she saw friends experience would be the best fit for her.
“I just kind of assumed I would be happiest at a state school, and I thought small schools wouldn’t offer me what I was looking for,” Hall says. “But that definitely wasn’t the case.”
In fact, Hall discovered more opportunities after transferring to Central than she found at the state school she attended previously.
“When I came here, I actually found I was able to have the athletics experience I wanted and a lot of different activities at the same time,” Hall says. “And then the smaller class sizes and having leadership opportunities that weren’t possible at a bigger school.”
In fact, Central coaches emphasize the importance of academics; student-athletes at Central are students first and athletes second. Central’s volleyball team received the U.S. Marine Corps/American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award for a record 21st consecutive year in July 2021.
“It’s really nice that they care and want us to be involved with all the different things we value,” Hall says. “They make sure we have study sessions and are keeping up with our homework.”
Hall thrives on the structure of a loaded schedule and appreciates the built-in time for homework and studying.
“I thought it was going to be a lot more difficult than it is to manage everything,” Hall admits. “But, honestly, I’m the kind of person who thrives off having a schedule. Having practice then going to a meeting for a campus club and having a designated time to do my homework really works for me.”
Hall’s love of meeting new people and forming relationships was a natural fit for a student ambassador position within Central’s admission department. And given her experience at a state school prior to coming to Central, she is well-equipped to explain exactly what students miss when they choose to attend other colleges.
“I love Central and being from Iowa,” Hall states. “Before coming here, I didn’t know what I was missing out on. When I got here, I realized all the amazing things Central has to offer. I’m so excited about sharing that with other people and explaining why I love Central — and why I think they also will love Central.”
Her favorite part of Central?
“Definitely the smaller class sizes. I used to be in classes with 350 to 400 students, so I never once talked to a professor. All of the learning was done on my own,” Hall laments. “At Central, the professors really do want to get to know you. And I know people say it sounds cheesy or cliché, but it’s actually the truth!”
Transferring colleges presents unique challenges, but sometimes there is a tangible feeling inspiring action.
“I had a gut feeling about Central,” Hall admits. “I knew I was going to come, and I knew there was something in store for me here.”