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Holcomb learns outside classroom

October 11, 2010

Katie Holcomb is an outdoor ed major and hopes to be a part of wilderness medicine. Photo by Jacob Stone

Karen Rodriguez, Staff Writer

Some see her, some talk to her, but do they really know her? Katie Holcomb is not just another junior here at Young Harris College; and, as a matter of fact, she is one of the few outdoor education majors on campus.

Holcomb states that YHC was her first and only choice when she decided to continue with her education after high school.

“I like the fact that YHC is small and intimate. When I came to visit the atmosphere was so relaxing. And, once I moved in, I felt an instant connection with the people that I met, the campus and everything,” Holcomb said.

She loves animals and the outdoors, so she decided to attain her bachelor’s degree in biology. However, the fall semester of her sophomore year, she decided that she wanted something more hands on, and so she changed her major to outdoor education.

“I am an active learner. I can’t just sit in the classroom all the time,” Holcomb said.

Many people may not know this about her, but she has extreme obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD, which is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts or obsessions and/or repetitive behaviors or compulsions.

“I am very open about my OCD. I don’t believe it should be something that I should have to hide,” Holcomb explained.

She also enjoys reading and writing poetry.

“My first year at YHC I entered a poem about my OCD and won first place,” Holcomb said.

When Katie imagined college life, she didn’t have any idea what was in store for her.

“College is definitely a learning experience- not just in the classroom, but there are many things about yourself that you learn. I’ve had many experiences, not all have been good, but those are the most important to learn from,” Holcomb said.

She also stated that YHC has helped in many ways, but most importantly, in the growth of her spiritual life.
When asked what she wanted to do with her outdoor education degree, Holcomb expressed the desire to become a camp counselor. Through her education she hopes to become a part of wilderness medicine.

Holcomb explains, “it’s called wilderness medicine. It’s where they take troubled kids with troubled lives into the wilderness and help them by teaching them about wild life.”

She said she wants to be able to wake up in the morning and look forward to her job.

“I want to be able to live and be happy and when I think about my job, I don’t want to be able to say, ‘today is going to suck,’” Holcomb said.

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  1. Carol Best
    October 15, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Katie,
    I doubt you’d remember meeting me, it was so long ago, I am your grandfather’s wife, Marilyn’s sister. She has kept me up to date as you’ve grown in your life and in her heart. She sent me this article, she’s so proud of you and all your goals. It sounds like you have not let your OCD hold you back and you should hold your head high and accept the pride and praise from those who care about you. I offer mine and hope all goes well as you complete your college education.

    Best wishes,
    Carol Best…I’d say step Aunt, but think that sounds just wrong.

  2. Carol Best
    October 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Katie,
    I doubt you’d remember meeting me, it was so long ago, I am your grandfather’s wife, Marilyn’s sister. She has kept me up to date as you’ve grown in your life and in her heart. She sent me this article, she’s so proud of you and all your goals. It sounds like you have not let your OCD hold you back and you should hold your head high and accept the pride and praise from those who care about you. I offer mine and hope all goes well as you complete your college education.

    Best wishes,
    Carol Best…I’d say step Aunt, but think that sounds just wrong.

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