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Graduate finds college ‘family’ by getting involved in student clubs

Peyton Pettyjohn in cap and gown at Commencement

Peyton Pettyjohn, Class of 2023, was Student Activities Board president during her time at Pellissippi State and encourages all students to “break out of their shells.”

Despite starting out in the tumultuous, mid-pandemic semester of fall 2021, Pellissippi State graduate Peyton Pettyjohn made connections and wore many hats within the College, including serving as president of the Student Activities Board, vice president of the Student Government Association and as a worker in Student Engagement and Leadership. Peyton was regularly seen at campus events and was always happy to encourage students by handing out giveaways, refreshments and college advice between classes.

Admittedly, Peyton had reservations about attending Pellissippi State back in 2021, but getting involved is what made her fall in love with college life. “It was an insane year, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Peyton recalls. “I made a lot of lifelong friends and skills. It’s just been so cool to help lead and be a part of this family, to meet so many people and do so many different things.”

Now that Peyton has completed her Associate of Fine Arts degree, she advises future students to “break out of their shells” as soon as possible. “Honestly, it is kind of cheesy and I feel like everyone says it, but just get involved,” she suggests. “Just get into organizations. Get in the college clubs. And once you find your family, it can totally 180 the college experience for you.”

Peyton plans to transfer to a university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, but admits she is sad to leave Pellissippi State. Things are certainly looking bright for this college grad who contributed so much to the Pellissippi State community, who quoted her favorite “Legally Blonde” character, Elle Woods, by saying, “We did it. Just…congratulations. All the fight, all the hard work has finally paid off. Just enjoy the moment and revel in it a little bit before you move on and just be proud of yourself, because you worked really hard!”

— Story and photo by Jessie Tipton, visual media coordinator for Pellissippi State