Senior English major Annika Bastian, a native of Pell City, quickly canceled any plans she had of touring other college campuses after she got a taste of life at Montevallo during her junior year in high school.
Bastian’s cousin was a student living in the UM residence halls at the time, and invited her to visit her one weekend to see what the Montevallo experience was all about. After meeting some of her cousin’s friends, touring the UM campus and eating in the Caf, Bastian knew exactly where she wanted to spend her college years.
“I knew it was right. I don’t even think I toured my runner-up school,” Bastian said. “I just came home and said ‘Mom, I love it there and I want to apply.’ I have felt like this was home ever since.”
Bastian is planning to graduate in May 2020 with an English degree focused on writing, and she plans to put her education to use shortly after graduation by seeking a career creating social media content in the corporate world. She recently completed an internship with a Birmingham-based company during which she gained experience writing blog posts, creating social media content and managing the company’s online presence.
During her more than three years as a UM student, Bastian has served as the poetry editor for The Tower, played bassoon in the UM Wind Ensemble and Purple Side College Night orchestra, been heavily involved in the Honors Program and worked in Carmichael Library.
This involvement has created memories Bastian will cherish for the rest of her life.
“Purple Side has given me a lot of friends, and I’ve made a lot of professional advancements through honors program and through being poetry editor,” she said. “As far as campus enrichment, being in the Purple Side orchestra has been a great experience.”
Bastian said she is excited about the opportunities a well-rounded liberal arts education affords her.
“On honors day when we split up to go sit down for our majors, Dr. (Paul) Mahaffey told us ‘What can’t you do with an English major?’’ Bastian said. “I was very excited about that because the open possibilities of a liberal arts education are really rewarding.”