Learn to Love the Process

Sam Ahl at Downtown Auburn, AL.

We have all been there. We have lived that season of life when the pressure starts to build. It’s kind of like when the ocean’s currents push hard in and pull even harder out. You are tossed around and messed with.

Decisions—it’s a mind game. It’s people throwing their opinions in the mix, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

“It can be just simply blocking out yourself from your own head, blocking out other people’s opinions, and stripping all of those things away to step in faith. To follow your heart and trust the process,” says Sam Ahl.

Sam, a junior at Auburn University majoring in Marketing, chose to step out of her comfort zone and moved 949 miles away from home, which is Minneapolis, Minnesota. She left everything she once knew. She traded in normal and comfortable for the not-so-normal and uncomfortable.

A decision that was not easy for her to make has turned into one of the best choices of her life.

“It is crazy to think about what all I have gained from one small, but huge decision I made to come to Auburn, Alabama. I never would have met my best friends. I never would have a built a stronger relationship with my family. Nor would I have found my niche and purpose. And those are just some things. I could go on with more!”

Since moving to Auburn, Sam has gotten to experience so much, like warm winters and southern food. “In Minnesota, we don’t eat anything fried, but in Alabama, people find a way to fry everything,” says Sam. She has gotten to broaden her horizons with sweet tea, boiled peanuts, all the yes ma’ams and no sirs to everyone, and of course, SEC football.

At Auburn, she has found her home-away-from-home. She has fallen in love with The Plains, where she gets to be a part of the Auburn family and traditions. Rolling Toomers and using “War Eagle” as a way to say hey to people she passes on the concourse is a way of life. She has learned that Aubie is the best mascot in the United States, and she and her friends scream “bodda getta” to the top of their lungs.

Sam Ahl and friends on Samford lawn.

Sam says, “Auburn has been way more than just a university that is setting me up for my future career. It has been the place to mold me and has given me so much. It’s the place where I have met my best friends. It’s the place where me and Connor Casey are inseparable and laugh at everything. It’s the place where I finally decided what career path was for me. It’s the place where I found my relationship with Jesus.”

Her family back in Minnesota has benefitted greatly from her coming to Auburn as well. They have gotten to come experience the southern culture and Auburn traditions. “One decision I made my senior year in high school has changed the whole culture and tone of my family,” says Sam. Her decision to move and decisions she has been making since she has been here have been affecting her family. Not only has she grown closer to God, but her family has also.

“Life is full of decisions and making choices, but coming to Auburn has taught me not to be fearful of the unknown. Instead, I place everything I am and now know into a place where God has gone before and behind me. I now trust the process, and trust me, this ride has been more than I could have ever fathomed,” says Sam.

Live Out Your Passions

Amanda Loyal with Aubie at a Auburn game.
Amanda Loyal with Aubie at an Auburn game.

For Amanda Loyal, a senior majoring in integrative biology, football has always been a passion for her. It all started with her dad being a high school football coach. When she was younger, she was the water girl for her dad’s football team, and she has always just loved the sport. She has been an Auburn football fan since she can remember.

Amanda’s love for Auburn sprouted because of her aunt, who was the biggest Auburn fan in her family. “One of my biggest dreams in life was to come to Auburn. I never even considered other schools because I was so set on Auburn. Honestly, I think it’s the most beautiful and amazing place. I couldn’t imagine anything more from my time in college. Auburn has truly given me the best of the best in all aspects of college life,” says Amanda.

She is involved in her sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, she is a 252 intern at Church of the Highlands, and she has a on-campus job. Since coming to Auburn, she has gotten many amazing opportunities, but her most proud is being an Auburn Athletic Recruiter, which has made her able to carry on her passion for the sport. “Getting to be behind the scenes of the athletic recruitment process and playing a small but impactful part seemed like the coolest thing to me, and it is,” says Amanda.

Amanda Loyal in Jordan Hare Stadium.
Amanda Loyal in Jordan Hare Stadium.

Being an athletic recruiter has taught her much more than she could have ever imagined. She has bettered herself in the area that she can now better connect with people and do it comfortably. Amanda has to talk and connect with recruits and their families, which she has never met before and has to do this for hours. On top of gaining people skills, her love for Auburn has grown more despite her not thinking that was possible.

“I have gotten to see a side of Auburn football that most people don’t get to see. I get to interact with the coaches and staff in a way I would have never been able to if I hadn’t tried out for athletic recruiter—everyone is so genuine and nice and I just love it,” says Amanda. It has also taught her all of the rules and regulations that comes with recruiting.

She has many favorite memories of being a recruiter for the past two football seasons, but some of her favorites are getting to go on the field during half time of one of the games of the last season, winning against LSU last season and rushing the field, getting pictures with Aubie on the sidelines, meeting the sweetest of families and getting to share her love of Auburn with them.

Amanda Loyal with Kathryn Hamilton.
Amanda Loyal with Kathryn Hamilton.

Amanda has been touched by Auburn and her experience as an Athletic Recruiter. She wants to continue to grow and embody everything Auburn is and has taught her. “Because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it!” Amanda says, “This last line is a culmination of all the things above mentioned in the creed and all things that make Auburn so amazing to me. These are the reasons why I genuinely believe in auburn and love it so much.”