Starting as early as freshman year of high school, brochures and flyers slowly start to fill the mailboxes of students across America. “Come Visit Us Today!” they repeat over and over again in various ways, trying to convince you they are the best college that ever existed.
As a high school student myself, I’ve been lucky enough to see several college campuses in my lifetime; however, the big difference between seeing and staying may just be three letters but in reality, the experiences are two totally different things.
When I made my plans to attend the USM Journalism Summer Workshop, it took two different maps and a GPS navigation system on my phone to get me to Century Park Building One for registration. The weather was hot and humid like any other fine Mississippi day and I was scared out of my mind. I didn’t know a soul when I walked in and I was three and a half hours away from home on top of that! I knew I just had to walk in and make the most out of my experience. After all, plenty of teenagers coming would feel exactly like myself.
The first day alone showed me I was not in Kansas anymore; this was not a hotel and the maids would definitely not be making their rounds to change all my towels and bed sheets! At USM, people are friendly but always seem to be on a mission! They go about campus with their earphones in, coffees in hand, and walking with a gait that would make any Kentucky Derby winner proud. It’s not full of stereotypes like Hollywood tries to put off and no one tries to bother you or laugh at you when you have a "freshman" moment!
The USM faculty, be it in the classroom or cafeteria, have shown me smiles and made my experience at the University of Southern Mississippi one to remember! Southern Miss was never a place I would have considered going, but after staying here and getting the full experience, I may just re-consider!!