The Ottumwa Courier

January 3, 2014

Sisters find ‘A Little Bit of Home’


The Chronicle

Pella — People say that two is better than one. That is definitely the case for junior Jessica Laflin and sophomore Hannah Laflin. The Chandler, Ariz., natives are a long way from home, but they have a little bit of home on the Central College campus.

“It’s like there is some part of home here,” says Jessica. “It’s nice to have some family here, and when we travel, we have someone to travel with. We get to visit home on the major breaks, but it’s awesome to have someone near.”

Both sisters are Central volleyball players. When Jessica became interested in Central for the volleyball program, she came on a visit and fell in love with Pella and the team.

“I came out on a visit my senior year, and I loved the campus, the volleyball team and the administration I met,” Jessica says. “I wanted to go to a smaller school, because my high school was smaller, and I really like the atmosphere and the relationships you have with your professors.”

After learning about the Central experience from her sister, Hannah decided that Iowa might just be for her, too.

“I loved the weather here and the campus and all the brick,” Hannah says with a smile. “It was really beautiful, and all the ladies on the volleyball team were so welcoming and really sweet.”

Jessica and Hannah are best friends, but they have the opportunity to explore their own interests at Central.

Although together a lot for volleyball, Hannah and Jessica each explore their own interests. Jessica is a biology major with minors in chemistry and psychology. Hannah is thinking of pursuing a major in biology or sociology with an art minor. With different class schedules, the sisters eat breakfast together every morning to catch up and then head their separate ways to explore everything Central has to offer.

“We don’t really get sick of each other because we’re not together all of the time,” Hannah says. “We have different classes. And the campus is big enough to allow us to have time apart, but small enough to make sure we get to spend time together every morning.”

“Besides,” Jessica says with a laugh. “We are basically best friends, so it isn’t an issue that we go to the same school!”

As for their remaining years at Central, the Laflins plan to make the most of it by attending athletic and school events sponsored by the Campus Activities Board, like comedians, bingo night and Charity Ball—a fundraising dance. Although going to school far away seemed daunting at first, Jessica and Hannah say it is totally worth every mile to be in a place that feels like home.

“We can’t just go home every weekend like some students can,” says Jessica. “Coming to Central has been a great way to branch out and learn to be on our own. Sometimes students are scared to leave home or about the price tag, but if you love the people and you love the campus, then there is nothing that should stop you. Central is a great place to be. It’s a new home.”