All my life I grew up thinking that I was going to go to one of the two main universities in my home state; but as senior year (and the start of college application season) began approaching, I became more and more unsure of myself. Did I really want to spend 4 more years with the same people from high school? Was I too afraid of breaking out of my comfort zone? With all these questions looming over me, I began to search for other options. Finally, a teacher of mine, who I will never be able to thank enough, introduced me to my future home-Ole Miss. Here are the five things that really convinced me Ole Miss was meant to be my home-away-from home for the next 4 years.
1. The Scholarships
One of the first questions my parents was how I could help them make it affordable. If you go to Ole Miss’ financial aid website, there’s a whole list of scholarships that are available for in-state and out-of-state students. For me, the Academic Excellence Scholarship was the most beneficial, but I was also lucky enough to receive several others from outside sources!
2. The Southern Hospitality
When my parents and I first walked onto Ole Miss’ campus, we were incredibly lost. We asked several students for directions, and every one of them could not have been more polite. This theme continued on throughout my visit; from the students to my tour guide to a professor I was able to speak to. Since I was raised in the South, having this level of warmth, kindness, and manners was extremely important to me.
3. The Location
If you’ve never been to Oxford, Mississippi, I suggest you pack up your bags and head there immediately. From the highly recommended restaurants to the eclectic little shops to the numerous bookstores, there is truly something in Oxford for everyone. In my home state, one of the main schools is in the suburbs and the other is in the city; I hated both options, so being able to find a perfect in-between was the cherry on top of my visit to Ole Miss’ beautiful campus.
4. The Beautiful Campus
There is nothing quite like a Mississippi sunset. I can promise you that it is even more beautiful when watching it from the steps of the Lyceum. The campus is truly one of a kind and enough to seal the deal on anybody on going.
I was lucky enough to meet my future roommate on my tour in October of my senior year and we, and our families, immediately clicked. Since I was an out of state student and knew I wasn’t going to know anybody when I got there; but having that person who could guide me and build a friendship with was such a blessing. I honestly don’t know if I would have been so dead set on Ole Miss right away if I didn’t have my roommate to assure me. (I would’ve probably come to my senses eventually.)
These are just some of the few things that made my decision to go to Ole Miss so easy; but there were a million other factors too. If you had asked me a year ago if I would be attending Ole Miss, I would have said “No way in hell”. But now, I am so glad I changed my mind and found my new home in Mississippi.