When Cheyenne Zuck reflects on her experience at Wake Forest she simply says, “I say this to people as I’m graduating, but the memories you’ll create here are wonderful.” A double major in classical languages (Greek) and theatre, Zuck speaks to the importance of finding your passion through study.
“I am a Theatre and Classical Languages [double] major and I’m going into theatre — at least for now but I can always change my career path later,” she said. “You’ll be able to find a way to make it. I’ve had a job in theatre before and I can continue what I want to do which is not something that people expect. I’m doing what I love to do, so why wouldn’t I do it.”
Next year, Zuck is working as a sound apprentice for the Actors Theatre of Louisville.
However, Wake Forest was more than just a stepping stone for Zuck to pursue her career goals. During her freshman year, she suffered a serious injury, but was able to overcome.
“My best memory is knowing how much people cared about me and wanted me to be okay. The next morning [after the injury], I had six or seven different emails from different faculty and had several of my friends stop by just to check on me to see if I was okay,” Zuck recalled. “It’s honestly one of those things where it didn’t hit me that I was at my second home until that point where I knew people actually cared,” she remembers.
For Zuck, it was in a time of need when she first discovered the tight-knit community of the Department of Classical Languages where she has excelled in the study of the Greek language. Her lower division advisor, Professor T.H.M Gellar-Goad, encouraged her to learn Greek and pursue a major in classical languages.
“It was his first year teaching as an assistant professor at Wake but he was my first-year seminar professor and was someone I knew I could go to at all times,” Zuck said. “He made himself so available to his advisees and we’re his first round of advisees to graduate. It’s quite sentimental.”
She also credits Dr. Amy Lather, her honors thesis advisor. “She was so patient in terms of [me] keeping up with my Greek and [made sure] my papers and my arguments made sense.”
After taking the bulk of her Greek language courses at another institution, the classical languages department was supportive of her when she came back.
“When you get to the small departments, you realize that they really care about you and your education. Immediately when I came back they said, “let’s dive in, let’s go right for it.”
The biggest lesson Cheyenne has learned from Wake Forest is: “time management and learning how to take care of yourself more than anything.” After taking a moment to think about what she would tell the Class of 2022, she offers the incoming Demon Deacons a few words of advice.
“Be smart about who your friends are. Don’t let yourself get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Do what you love to do because you love to do it and you’ll find your niche that way. You’ll find your group.”