AU happy

Benjamin Russell graduate Darby Hines, left, who is now a Tiger Paw, and Aubie pump the crowd to begin the recent Lake Martin Auburn Club's kickoff event.

Auburn University was recently named the No. 1 college for happiest students by The Princeton Review, and local college students agree.

The college was ranked as having the happiest students in the review’s “Best 385 Colleges,” and criteria for the rankings was based on data from surveys of 140,000 students from 385 schools.

Rising junior rehabilitation and disabilities major Darby Hines graduated from Benjamin Russell in 2017 and said she’s not surprised Auburn received the ranking.

“It’s literally the best atmosphere and I could not imagine going anywhere else,” Hines said.

Alexander City native and rising sophomore Tyler Watts said his experiences have been great there.

“I haven’t had any bad times at Auburn other than the football team not doing well, but that’s OK,” Watts said. “Maybe we’ll get better.”

Hines described the Auburn community as a family and the school’s creed has taught her about hard work.

“It’s when you’re here, you’re family,” Hines said. “But even when you’re away you’re still a family because there have been multiple times where I would be out of town or in another state and even this summer I went to Costa Rica for two weeks on a medical mission trip and there was a guy and he had on an Auburn hat and I told him ‘War Eagle’ and he said ‘War Eagle’ back.”

Watts described the campus as a positive environment and that everyone tries to lift each other up there. He said Auburn also has a small-town feeling to it.

Auburn’s community appealed to transfer student Leighann Futral when she applied to the college. Futral graduated from BRHS in 2017 and said she’s not surprised the school has the happiest students.

“I actually thought I had read something like that on Facebook and wasn’t shocked by it at all just because when you walk on the streets (there) you always see people having a good time laughing with friend,” Futral said.

Incoming freshman and Alexander City native Dylan McDaniel said he always wanted to attend Auburn.

“Honestly it’s pretty fitting,” McDaniel said. “I would say everyone here is (happy).”

Students positively noted the downtown, campus and recreation center in the review.

“Also being around campus, it’s a happy vibe,” Hines said. “That’s the way I would describe it.”