Hi, my name is Payten Bovat and I am from Chesapeake, Virginia! I have just finished my freshman year at Longwood, majoring in Liberal Studies with a concentration in elementary and middle education. About halfway through my first semester, I added an English minor to my degree because I realized how much I truly love the subject and that I would like to teach it one day. During my first year, I became very involved on Longwood’s campus. I served on the 2022 Class Council as a representative of the freshman class, Student Finance Committee, Elwood’s Cabinet, and Chess Club. Next semester is shaping up to be even busier with my new roles including 2022 Class President, Honor and Conduct Board member, Director of Donations for Elwood’s Cabinet, and my continued involvement in Chess Club and InterVarsity. I am a very service oriented person and I love being involved in various organizations that aim to help others. My biggest goal I hope to accomplish in the upcoming semester is to create a club where students will work together to help the homeless community in Farmville and surrounding areas. I believe that a club with this purpose truly captures Longwood’s spirit of community and extends that importance to people off of Longwood’s campus. So far I have absolutely loved the experiences I’ve had at Longwood. I went to a very small, private high school and the atmosphere at Longwood feels very similar in that it is a small, tight-knit community. I truly feel at home when I am at Longwood and I could not have asked for a better college experience!

Update: It has been one year since I wrote the above biography and oh my, life sure has changed! There have been two changes in my major that have led me to English with a concentration in Professional Writing. As you can see above, I came into Longwood with a deep desire to teach elementary and middle school students. In Fall 2019 I began my practicum to teach and I decided to change my major to English with a concentration in Secondary Education because I did not like the prospect of teaching all subjects because English has always been my main passion. After a few weeks in the school system I realized that I did not want to be a teacher at all. Teaching has always been what I thought I would do with my life. I love education and I love children. but the classroom was not for me. It has taken a lot of introspective thinking for me to figure out what I would do instead, and I am so relieved to say that I am beginning to figure it out. My sophomore year challenged me in ways that I never could have expected, but I am so happy that I faced these challenges because they have saved me from one midlife crisis. My new major has already opened up opportunities for me and I love the small, intimate department that I am now a part of. I truly love the things that I am studying and I feel my analytical skills building not just in the classroom but in life as well.

Spring 2020 began as the best semester I had had. I loved my major, I was thriving in the organizations I was a part of…and then a pandemic hit and rocked the whole world. We were sent home and all courses switched to an online format which nobody was prepared for, especially the professors. There was a huge learning curve and everyone was overwhelmed and stressed out because of the new learning format. Despite the seemingly never ending chaos, I am able to look back at this year with fond memories and accomplishments I am proud of.

Hop on over to the Professional Development tab to find out how I have evolved this academic year!