Amazing Students Profiles

Ariel Garrett

Ariel Garrett

Ariel Garrett believes in living and learning life to its fullest. When she graduates next year with a double major in psychology and English, the Haralson County native will be a mere 20 years old. During that time, Ariel has traveled the globe, worked her way through school, remained in the Honors Program and has aspirations of managing her own organic farm and bakery using recipes from all over the world.


Tallapoosa, Georgia

High School:

Haralson County High

Degree objective:

BS in Psychology, BA in English

Expected graduation:

Spring 2012

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

“The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. `Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?’ he asked. `Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely, `and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
– Alice in Wonderland

I’m afraid that I do not yet know the end, for I have not reached it; however, I can begin at the beginning. I was accepted into the University of West Georgia Honors College when I was 15 via the Advanced Academy. I spent the subsequent two years of my undergraduate education pursuing an English major and philosophy minor. I worked as an office clerk in my residence hall and as a barista for a small town coffee shop near the university and earned HOPE and various grants. My first year, I was invited to join Alpha Lambda Delta and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

I transferred to the University of Georgia the fall semester of 2010 and declared my second major as psychology. I began working at the School of Social Work to add to HOPE and university/federal grants. It is my goal to graduate entirely free of debt. I’ve been on the Dean’s List five out of six semesters and will graduate with honors and two degrees before the age of 20. I’m on my way!

Current Employment:

University of Georgia School of Social Work

Family Ties to UGA:

Aside from my great uncle Richard on my mother’s side, I have no other known family ties to UGA.

I chose to attend UGA because…

I chose to attend UGA for several reasons:
• Location: Athens is well-known for its vibrant culture, and my hometown is a bit more than two hours away (close enough that I can get there, but far enough that I can live independently).
• Price: I am a Georgia resident, born and raised, so HOPE (now Zell B. Miller for me) made UGA affordable; I get the big school resources without the big school price. I’ve held a job every year of school, and I will graduate without any debt. Thanks to work, scholarships and grants, I’ve never had to take out a loan.
• Transfer credits: I transferred to UGA from the University of West Georgia, a sister school to UGA; and all my earned credits applied to my majors.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

I really enjoy grabbing a mug of coffee and relaxing with a book under one of the giant magnolias; biking the paths on North Campus in the early morning when the cars and people are still scarce; knitting with the UGA Knitwits on Wednesdays; attending Demosthenian debates; strolling North Campus on cloudy days; perusing the book shelves in the library (there are books that are more than 100 years old available for check out!).

When I have free time, I like…

I like to read, bake/cook/create food, bike around Athens (specifically the Botanical Gardens), knit, debate, watch old black and white movies and musicals, listen to music, dance and go geocaching, hiking and horseback riding. The list can go on.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

I went on an 18-day mission trip to Africa in the middle of the school year when I was 14. I raised my own funds by bussing tables at a small, family-owned restaurant and went with a church team (the next youngest member was around 48 or 49). We went to Ghana, West Africa, Nigeria and South Africa. I still remember phrases and songs that I learned in each country. I’ve wanted to go back ever since. If I do volunteer work, it will most certainly be somewhere in Africa.

My favorite place to study is…

I enjoy several places including the Espresso Royale Cafe (now Jittery Joe’s), the fourth floor of the MLC, the sixth floor of the library and my front porch.

My favorite professor is…

It’s a tie for both majors!

Dr. Douglas Anderson and Dr. Christopher Pizzino tie for my favorite English professors. Both are fair, intelligent and passionate professors who bring literature to life in the classroom.

Dr. Lisa Renzi and Dr. Kacy Welsh tie for my favorite psychology professors. Dr. Renzi is animated and devoted; she is one of the few professors who has dedicated her life to students, and she has impacted my own perspectives in a positive way. Dr. Welsh is very competent in her field and she makes psychology as tangible and exciting as it truly is.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

This is particularly difficult because I admire a great many theologians/philosophers/actors and actresses/authors, etc. I also realize that people are still people; and, occasionally, a person can create a work that is an inspiration even for their own lives and minds. I tend to stick to my family, friends and the people who make up my actual life.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

I would take dancing and singing lessons, learn seven languages, begin painting and learn how to play the piano, violin and guitar. Any one of these aspirations is doable, but if I knew that time would not fail me, I would go after all of them. I would also find the key to the sub-conscience brain. I do believe I can achieve just about anything I set my mind to, but there are opportunity costs: Some goals would be at the expense of others in terms of time, money or, perhaps, physical ability.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to…

I would love to own my own bakery and all the land I need to grow my own organic ingredients to make recipes I’ve gathered from around the world. I would also love to design and build my own house with any and all of the best quality, environmentally friendly materials.

After graduation, I plan to…

I may begin to fulfill my dream of world travel; I plan to learn a few languages and broaden my perspective through the lens of different cultures. I have considered the Peace Corps and other volunteer organizations including TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and WOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms). I would love to own my own sustainable, locally sourced cafe/bakery one day; I plan to gather recipes from around the world regardless. I am also considering pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

I will always remember the first time I went sledding. It was during the “snow-pocalypse.” My housemates and I walked the snow- and ice-covered streets around midnight. We came across a steep, deserted, hilly street and decided that recycling bins would make perfect sleds. I was raised in Georgia so I haven’t had the chance to perfect the art of sledding. I found that I was very good at it; I didn’t fall over even once. I’ll always remember walking home, passing beneath the street lights and catching the echo of a song from one of my favorite musicals (“On The Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady). Even though the person belting it out wasn’t singing it to me, the sound bounced across the cloak of snow and made for a complete experience.