Anyone who attends Southern Miss has their heart stolen by this University almost instantly. There are a million reasons that USM will forever be the best college there is but, for now, I'm going to stick to 10 reasons USM is the best college in the state.

1. We're closer to the beach AND New Orleans

In Hattiesburg, both the beach and New Orleans are just an hour or two up the road. You can travel to New Orleans for the weekend and still be back in time for class on Monday.

2. We get a Mardi Gras break

Speaking of New Orleans, we actually get off for Mardi Gras break. Since we are so close to the to major Mardi Gras cities (New Orleans and Mobile) we get a lot of student who grew up celebrating the holiday. So, you can be guaranteed another break in your academic schedule.

3. We have cheaper tuition

If you’re looking to pay for college on your own, Southern Miss is your best bet for both in and out of state tuition. Southern Miss also gives out more scholarships to help out their students, which means less student loans for you.

4. A smaller campus isn't a bad thing

If you go on a tour at USM, you will probably told a million times about how the campus is only one square mile, and that you can walk from any building on campus to another within 15 minutes. This is one of Southern Miss’s better qualities, in my opinion, because I know I could never make it on a huge college campus. It’s super easy to find your way around on campus and there is always someone who can point you where you need to go.

5. Smaller classes are a great thing

Obviously, a small campus means less students and smaller classes. This means that your professors will have more time for one-on-one time with their students, which is great if you’re someone who likes to communicate with professors often and visit during office hours.

6. We have an awesome Greek life community

I may be a little biased, but Greek life at Southern Miss is amazing. Having less students means that it’s so much easier to get to know, not only people in your own chapter, but other chapters as well. The Greek life community here at USM is super tight-nit. You can always count on other chapters to show up for philanthropy events, no matter how big or small, and you know that they will go all-out. When we lost a sister in a car accident a few years ago, every chapter reached out to us with flowers and kind notes to let us know that they were here for us. There is nothing like having, not only your own sisters, but an entire Greek community behind you in support.

7. We're more exclusive

Believe it or not, USM’s acceptance rates are slightly lower than both Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Depending on the type of person you are, that could either be a good or a bad thing.

8. We have a better marching band

Sorry, but the Pride is the best marching band in Mississippi. There’s just no debating it.

9. Game Day is a BLAST

If you’ve never experienced game day at the Rock, you are truly missing out. The Southern Miss campus comes to life on game day. There are tailgates everywhere and everyone has “their spots.” My parents and their friends with kids at USM all put together one big tailgate for almost every home game. My dad has even made friends with a few of the people that they always tailgate next to. The District is also flooded with college students eating and mingling every time there’s a game.

10. The campus staff is fabulous

The best thing that Southern Miss has to offer has to be the awesome staff on campus. You can count on Ms. Gloria in the Fresh to ask you “how you percolatin’?” Heath from the bookstore always has great book recommendations in any genres and has the best puns you have ever heard. And Ms. Rosalind who works at the POD in the LAB will always greet you with a warm smile and ask about your day.