Eion Riley isn’t the same person as when he started his freshman year at Coker College.
“If I went to a different university, I wouldn’t be the student that I am today and I appreciate Coker for that,” says Riley, a sophomore at Coker majoring in biology with a concentration in pre-med. “It brought out a side of me that I didn’t know in high school and it’s broadening my horizon for things I didn’t know I could accomplish.”
Originally from Mebane, N.C., Riley learned about Coker after playing in a soccer tournament in Raleigh. He received an email from the former assistant soccer coach who invited him to tour the campus. That tour is what convinced Riley to come to Coker.
“It felt right so I pulled the trigger,” he says.
Hartsville reminded Riley of his hometown, which was initially a concern. However, after two years here, he says the city has grown on him and he greatly enjoys watching it develop.
“It’s exciting to see how the city is changing,” Riley says. “It’s becoming my home.”
When Riley came to Coker College in 2015, he joined the soccer team for which he’d been scouted. After several concussions, Riley ultimately decided to step away from soccer.
Despite the change in plans, Riley has maintained a positive outlook. “It was a pretty big blow,” he says. “But I managed to find ways to stay involved on campus so that I could still make an impact here at Coker.”
Riley is definitely staying involved. He’s a resident assistant for Belk Hall, the assistant director for the Sophomore Scholars program, chief of staff for the Student Government Association, a member of Enactus and is on the Presidential Advisory Committee with Coker’s President, Dr. Robert Wyatt. He is also the recipient of the Arthur W. Ziegler Endowed Scholarship for students majoring in science.
In spite of his busy schedule, Riley says Coker has helped prepare him for the future. “I’ve developed skills to manage my time better so that I can stay on top of everything,” says Riley.
He credits his job as a resident assistant as one of the main contributors to his ability to multitask. He says also having so many responsibilities helps him put forth his best effort so he can perform at a higher level.
RIley wants to share some wisdom from his experiences with his classmates, “Look for ways to stay involved. Branch out, look for things you’re not used to doing, take classes you aren’t accustomed to. Look for ways that you can explore what Coker can offer so that you can find something that you enjoy doing outside of your normal day.”
As for plans after college, that chapter hasn’t been committed to the page just yet. “I would love to go to med school,” he says. “But at this current moment I’m exploring other options a biology degree holds for me.”
Written by William Henry, alumni relations intern
Edited by Elizabeth Coxe Hubbard, content marketing specialist