Arianne Krulish has to pinch herself. She can’t believe how blessed she is. She has wonderful friends, gets to go on mission trips, has a great job lined up for the summer; and best of all, she is at Freed-Hardeman University. There are many students who could probably say a few of the same things, but it’s doubtful if many other students have the kind of story that Arianne does.
Arianne’s story begins in Jamestown, New York, where she grew up with her parents, Wayne and Ricki, her twin sister Jennalyn and her younger sister Ema’lee. The Krulish family was close to another family in the area by the name of Pfaff who had a son named Eric. Eric had been awarded a scholarship to a major university in the northeast where he was to pursue law or medicine. However, Eric and his father decided to tour some other universities and somehow ended up in Tennessee. Either by chance, or by Eric’s dad’s intervention, the Pfaff’s drove through Henderson between Nashville and Memphis. On a whim, Eric asked his father if they could stop and check out the tiny university that sat “in the middle of nowhere.” After a campus tour and meeting several students, Eric fell in love with Freed-Hardeman University, gave up his prior plans, and decided that he should attend.
Through conversations and visits when he was home, Eric told Arianne and her family about his experiences at FHU. Arianne’s sister, Jennalyn decided that FHU was the place for her, but Arianne wasn’t so sure. However, when Arianne visited Jennalyn for Lectureships, she knew that she had to get to Freed-Hardeman. The relationships she saw that week and the energy on campus made her hungry for more. Where she lived, there were few Christians and not many opportunities to be together with them. When she saw that there was a place where she could literally be surrounded by thousands of Christians at once, she knew that she could not pass up this opportunity. She immediately began working on her plan to get to FHU.
The road to Henderson was still a tough one for Arianne. After she applied, she worked many hours at her job at Wegman’s grocery store, saving money for tuition and expenses. In the mean time, she went on a mission work with Jennalyn through a FHU group. Her experiences with that group reinforced her resolve, but she still had one hurdle to overcome. When she applied for financial aid, she didn’t get the answer she wanted – her income from working had put her just over the limit to get the aid she needed to come to FHU. After some teary phone calls and weeks of prayer, Arianne had all but given up.
During the last week of summer camp, known as Senior Week, Arianne had an epiphany. After listening to the other girls in the cabin rant about some typical teenage woes, Arianne decided to give what she calls an “impromptu devotional” on putting things in perspective, having priorities, and “giving it to God.” It was then and there that she decided that she would take her own advice and stop worrying about college. She knew it would all work out. The very next day, she got a call from the Financial Aid Office, telling her that she would be able to get the aid she needed. Through financial aid and a generous scholarship from the Associates, Arianne would be able to live her dream of coming to FHU.
To say that Arianne has thrived here is an understatement. She is involved in every aspect of campus. Arianne is socially active, makes good grades, and is active in spiritual activities as well. In 2009, she was accepted into the Student Alumni Association. After graduating next year, her career goal is to be a physician assistant and to work at St. Jude Children’s Hospital. No matter where her career takes her, she knows that she will be involved with children and missions in some way. Her attitude toward FHU remains strong and positive. She loves her friends and she lights up when she talks about her roommates and her plans for the summer. Her attitude can best be described by the T-shirt she wore during exam week. It read simply, “Too Blessed to be Stressed.”
For Arianne Krulish, the road to this point has been a winding one. It started with a friend’s chance encounter with campus and through many twists and turns; it has ended with Arianne at Freed-Hardeman University, living her dream come true. When asked about her alma mater, she beams her signature smile and says, “It’s the relationships that keep people here – a bond that goes beyond anything you can imagine.” Arianne is right. It was relationships that got Arianne here and it is those same relationships that have kept her here and will impact others through her.