When he first arrived at NC State, Luke Dillard struggled to make friends and find his place on campus. But as he became more involved in student organizations and leadership programs, he established many close friendships—and confidence in himself.
“My biggest piece of advice for students who are trying to make friends and find their place here is patience,” Dillard said. “Personally, I expected to find my best friends within the first semester of college, when in reality it takes time to find people you have things in common with and then form quality, genuine friendships with them. NC State is full of many amazing people and organizations so I have no doubt you will find your group of great friends; just stay patient and positive.”
Now a sophomore majoring in biological sciences, Dillard has become a leader on campus. He is a member of the Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program, College Mentors for Kids, the pre-health and pre-physical therapy/occupational therapy clubs, the Scholars program, and is an ambassador for the Shelton Leadership Center. He also participates in a small Bible study group through Campus Crusade for Christ International (CRU).
In the classroom, Dillard’s favorite classes have been Intro to Sociology and Anatomy and Physiology (A). In fact, the enthusiasm and passion of his professors for those courses have helped feed his aspirations of becoming a physical therapist.
“My various involvements are preparing me for my future in physical therapy in a variety of ways,” Dillard said. “I’ve been able to learn very relevant content through my Anatomy and Physiology classes, as well as in Exercise Physiology, and continue to grow as a leader within the organizations I take part in. I’ve learned how to more effectively work with others and interact with others who are in varying stages of life.
“In the end, it is imperative to have the ability to relate to and interact with other people to be an effective physical therapist,” Dillard continued. “I have already grown and learned so much in that area in my first two years at NC State, and look forward to continuing that growth during these next two years.”
In his words…
Reflecting on his almost two years at NC State, Dillard believes his biggest accomplishment has been learning to find balance between his personal and academic life. During the remainder of his time at the university, Dillard plans to advance in his physical therapy studies and get accepted into a graduate program. He also hopes to continue to strengthen both his religious and personal relationships.
“Growing up, my dad always stressed the importance of balance and it has been something that has stuck with me here at NC State,” Dillard said. “Maintaining balance between my spiritual life, my academic pursuits, friendships/social life, extracurricular activities, and physical health is something I think I have done fairly well over these two years.”