You’d be hard-pressed to find another student who represents a better first impression of Campbell University than Jsaela Barrow.
For many current underclassmen, Barrow (first name pronounced “JAY-la”) was the first smiling face they saw during orientation or visitation days. An orientation leader and Admissions ambassador for the past three years, the Morehead City native relished in the opportunity to share her enthusiasm for the school she fell in love with during her first visitation back in 2014.
Barrow will walk the stage as a member of the Class of 2018 on May 12, leaving behind a legacy of students whose final decision to call Campbell “home” was at least partially influenced by her.
“I’ve really enjoyed showing them Campbell through my eyes,” she says. “In fact, I saw a student this last Visitation Day who was someone I had previously given a tour of campus. Hopefully, I made a good first impression, and hopefully, you’ll see her in orange this fall.”
She wasn’t always this excited about Campbell. She had her mind set on another private university in the state when her father’s best friend (whose son owns Creek Coffee near the campus) suggested she give Buies Creek a chance.
“I remember asking my dad where Campbell was and then learning it was in the middle of nowhere,” she says. “But I agreed to the tour, telling myself I would do it just for my dad.”
The first person Barrow met on campus was Jason Hall, assistant vice president for admissions and a 1998 Campbell graduate. She remembers Hall’s demeanor and attitude — her first impression of the school — and found Campbell to be “very welcoming.”
“I remember him telling my family that I’ll be taken care of here,” she recalls. “For the head of admissions to assure that, my parents really felt like I was going to a place that cared. That was the biggest thing we took away from that trip. The tour itself was just icing on the cake.”
Not a bad first impression.
Barrow will graduate with a degree in biology, pre-medicine. The upcoming year will be a “gap year” as she has three internships lined up — one with an orthopedic surgeon, another in pediatrics and a third with a spinal doctor. Her career choice was the product of a torn meniscus she suffered while playing basketball in high school. Her doctor then assured her she would be running and playing ball again within six months of the surgery, and he was correct.
“That’s what I want to do for other people,” she declares with confidence. “Especially athletes.”
She’ll be racking up the hours to prepare her med school applications, with hopes of being accepted in fall 2019. Of course, Campbell Med is at the top of her list, but she’ll be applying to other schools in and around the state as well.
Barrow says the biggest thing she’ll take away from her four years at Campbell is developing the will to persevere in the face of adversity. Biolgoy, she says, was by no means an easy major, and there were times, she says, where she felt like giving up or not studying as a big test approached.
“I had incredible professors who encouraged me to never give up on my dreams,” she says. “Professors who reminded me that I’d come this far, and there was no turning back. My faith in God got stronger at Campbell, and I benefited from having faculty who pushed me to my greatest potential. I’ll forever be grateful for that.”