What were some key reasons you decided to attend Guilford?
Having spent my entire life in Michigan, I wanted to use my college experience to get out of my comfort zone and live in a new part of the country, preferably with warmer winters! I have some family that lives in Greensboro, so while visiting them I stopped by Guilford for a visit. I met with the cross country coach and stayed in contact with him throughout my application process. I also decided I wanted to attend a smaller school instead of becoming “just a number” on a larger campus. Between the location, the kindness of the people on campus, and the smaller size, Guilford was the right choice for me!
What were some factors that helped you realize the success you enjoyed as a student at Guilford?
One of the best things about Guilford is the small class sizes. It really gives you an opportunity to get to know professors on a more personal level, and they are willing to do whatever they can to help you reach your goals. Whether needing some additional help on a difficult topic, or moving the schedule of a class because of a conflict, I always felt confident knowing the faculty was there to support me 100%.
What were some factors that helped you realize the success you enjoyed as an athlete at Guilford?
Initially I was not sure if I wanted to compete at an NCAA Division III school, but it was a great experience for me. I was always serious about running, but I was even more serious about my education. If a meeting or presentation for class came up during practice time, the coaching staff was great about adjusting schedules to make sure academics came first, but it also allowed me to get the most out of athletics. As a smaller team, the coaching staff really cared about each and every athlete and went above and beyond to make sure we each got the best student-athlete experience possible.
What have you been up to since you left Guilford?
After I graduated in 2014 I moved back to Michigan and worked as a medical scribe in an emergency room for a year. I also worked as a volunteer cross country and track coach at my high school during that time. I also applied to medical schools, and I am currently a first-year student at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medical School in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
How has Guilford prepared you for where you are today?
Guilford gave me access to all of the resources and opportunities I needed to be successful as I continue my education. The faculty in the science departments is fantastic in helping students get where they want to go. The professors not only make sure you are getting the most out of your classes, but they also help you explore your interests along the way. I was lucky to set up an internship shadowing one of Guilford’s team doctors, which really helped solidify my plans to apply for medical school. I also completed a senior thesis, which was a great opportunity for independent research on a topic of my choice. Combining these experiences with the education that I received along the way helped me feel fully prepared to apply for medical school.
What about your experience as a Guilford student-athlete has helped you the most?
I have found my experience as a college athlete helped me move forward into the real world, whether it was getting a job or continuing my education. During an interview it is very easy to talk about learning how to balance time between sports and school, dedication to reaching a goal, teamwork, or leadership. Athletes are the type of people that employers and schools want because they know they possess all of these traits.
What do you miss most about Guilford?
I think what I miss most about Guilford is just day-to-day life on campus. Guilford is a great little community, and you get to know a lot of different people during your time there. It is nice to walk across campus and see different friends and acquaintances along the way. Our campus is just a very comfortable place.
What are your future plans?
I am currently attending medical school on the Health Professions Scholarship Program through the United States Army, so once I graduate from medical school I will go on to residency at a military base and will begin my career as a physician in the military.
What is one thing a high school student-athlete considering college needs to know?
The most important thing an incoming student-athlete needs to do is to make sure their priorities are straight. They need to make sure that they are ready to commit themselves to both their sport, as well as their academics when their schedules become busy with sports, school, and extracurricular activity. The student-athlete experience can be highly rewarding. However, if you are not able to balance your time well, it may not be worth it.
Identify and describe one or two of your favorite moments or experiences while at Guilford.
My proudest moment at Guilford was my 26th-place finish at cross country nationals in 2013. One of my major goals when I came to Guilford was to be an All-American athlete. It took a lot of hard work, and there were a lot of ups and downs along the way, but the day I finally achieved my goal was definitely worth it.
- Chad Norton '14 (cross country bio)
- Chad Norton '14 (track bio)