An Interview with Miss Auburn
Laura Davenport — a true Auburn woman who stands for honesty and truthfulness, spreads love across campus, and encourages others with humility — has been chosen to serve as the 2019 Miss Auburn.
We chatted with Laura about her platform, wellness, advice she would give her freshman-year self, and her workout routine (obviously!).
Be Well: Tell us a little about your platform and why you chose it.
Laura Davenport: My platform centers around the line of the Creed that says, “I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.” I chose this line because it’s one I have to work to improve daily. Being honest and truthful with people doesn’t come naturally. It’s especially important when applied to our day-to-day interactions. We need to be honest with ourselves about how we treat people who are from different walks of life than we are. Inclusion and diversity on our campus starts with our interactions with peers and colleagues. Unconscious bias is something we need to acknowledge and address.
I also think it’s important to be truthful with the people around us about what’s really going on in our life. My first few semesters at Auburn, I tried to convince everyone around me that I had it all together and everything was great all the time. It wasn’t until I decided to be truthful about how it was really going that I made those deep, meaningful connections I had been searching for.
Finally, I think it’s time we redefine fellow men — not that there’s anything wrong with the way George Petrie wrote it; just that fellow men looks different now than it did then. All students are worthy of love and respect regardless of any genetic or socioeconomic pre-dispositions. We are all individuals, but we are also all equals. Even if you don’t agree with someone else’s opinion, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of respect. Everyone brings something worthwhile to the table and we need to take the time to figure out what that is.
BW: We know genuine interactions and relationships are important to you. How do you think they affect overall wellness?
LD: Genuine interactions, trust, and vulnerability are the core of healthy relationships. Overall wellness includes developing and maintaining healthy relationships. If we aren’t confident that the people around us love us and support us, it’s easy to feel alone or inadequate. I was one of those people. I was emotionally exhausted and drained constantly from always trying to be “on my game.” I was guarded and kept my walls up, keeping people at arm’s distance so they couldn’t see what was really going on. When I let my walls down, my quality of life improved and I physically felt better. Friends that build you up and push you to improve make you a better person and as a result, improve overall wellness.
BW: What does wellness mean to you?
LD: Wellness to me is holistic. It’s the active pursuit of good health on all levels. Wellness to me includes mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health. It’s easy to put too much emphasis on one area of health. Studying is important, but so is sleep. Working out is important, but so is spending daily time with God. Friendships and social interactions are important, but so is taking some quiet time for yourself. Wellness is all about balance; taking the time to make sure that you’re leading a healthy life on all levels.
BW: You show others a lot of love. How do you take care of yourself and practice self-love?
LD: Honestly, sometimes it’s hard to always love yourself. It’s easy to get caught up comparing yourself to the people around you and to get frustrated with yourself when you do so. I’m not going to sit here and act like there aren’t days when I struggle to love myself. I love to pour love into people, but you can’t pour from an empty glass. Taking time to take care of yourself allows you to better love the people around you.
“I love to pour love into people, but you can’t pour from an empty glass. Taking time to take care of yourself allows you to better love the people around you.”
BW: What are you most excited for in your role as Miss Auburn? Most nervous for?
LD: I am most excited to meet so many new people and serve the university that has done so much for me over my three years here. My love language is acts of service — so what better way to show my love for Auburn than serve it the best way I know how? I’m most nervous about maintaining balance. I never want to be too busy to take time to be present with the people around me. I’m also applying to professional school this year, and I don’t want to neglect my school work either.
BW: What goals do you have for your time as Miss Auburn?
LD: I hope that through my time as Miss Auburn I make the role more approachable and tangible to the everyday student. My platform is based on those day-to-day conversations and interactions and I want to be someone that all students feel like they can comfortably approach. I want to continue to bring light to the fact that even people that might seem like they have it figured out, don’t. It’s okay to be human, and I want to make the role of Miss Auburn seem more human to the students of Auburn’s campus.
BW: If you could tell your freshman self one thing, what would it be?
LD: I wish I could tell freshman Laura that everything is going to be okay. I was SO stressed about things my freshman year. Grades, picking a major, friends, the future — it’s so crazy to look back now and see how perfectly God handled things. I wish I would’ve been more confident and trusting in His plans and just stopped to enjoy where I was.
BW: Favorite workout routine or Group Fitness class?
LD: I’m a big fan of working out alone. As an introvert (believe it or not) I de-stress by working out and listening to a good playlist. I try to go to The Rec every day and do cardio, core, and an alternating arm or leg workout. I try to push myself daily, to do just a few more reps than I did the day before. I’m not perfect about my routine — life gets busy sometimes — but I do go as often as I can!
BW: Favorite Auburn tradition?
LD: My favorite Auburn tradition is definitely the phrase “War Eagle.” As a pilot’s daughter, I love to travel. I try to wear Auburn gear when I’m at the airport. Having a random stranger come up to you and say, “War Eagle!” all over the United States is awesome. It serves as a reminder of how big the Auburn family is, and how proud they are to be a part of it! It reaffirms my love for a place that so many call home — even from far away.
If you see Laura around campus, don’t be afraid to say hey! We’re excited to see how she impacts Auburn this year. Join her in seeking honesty and truthfulness through your daily interactions and see the impact it makes in your life and the lives of those around you.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography by Anna B.