Why My College Is So Much More Than Just A College To Me
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Student Life

My College Is So Much More Than Just A College To Me

Jacksonville State University isn't just where I go to school, it's a place I'm proud to call home.

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Before I start, I would just like to say that I still love my hometown of Locust Fork. I spent the first 18 years of my life and made lifelong friends there. I went to Locust Fork High School for 13 years and loved every minute of it. Needless to say, Locust Fork will always hold a special place in my heart.

I am not writing this article to say that Jacksonville is better than my hometown. I am writing this article to say that Jacksonville reminds me so much of my hometown, I feel like I am truly where I belong.

As many of you may know, the city of Jacksonville, Alabama, as well as the college, Jacksonville State University, was struck by an EF-3 tornado a year ago on March 19, 2018. Even though I wasn't yet an official student, I remember exactly how that day went.

I was sitting on my couch at home watching James Spann. It was one of those days where everyone was watching the weather as if it were a football game (if you're from Alabama, you know the kind of day I'm talking about). I remember hearing Spann say, "If you're in Jacksonville, you need to get to a safe space now."

My ears perked up when I heard "Jacksonville," because of course at that point I had already decided I would be attending JSU. Several of the incoming freshmen had created a group chat earlier in the year, and I remember someone sending in it that a tornado was near campus about the same time I heard James Spann's voice say, "A tornado has touched down on the campus of Jacksonville State University."

At that moment I remember feeling really scared. Not because I was in any danger at that moment, but because the campus that I already loved and the people there were. Seeing all of the damage afterward was devastating, but I knew after I saw it that I wanted to be around when it was rebuilt.

After the tornado, even more than before, I knew that the JSU community was something I wanted to be a part of, and since then, I have watched the campus transform. I've seen buildings repaired and, with them, the soul of the campus restored.

I've seen people come together in ways you would never expect. While there is still work to do, and some of it I know is going to take a while, I am proud of how far we've come as a community.

Through this university, I have made friends that I know without a shadow of a doubt will be here for me for the rest of my life. I have had professors that know my name and care about my experience. I have found organizations to join that have welcomed me with open arms despite the fact that I can be a little quirky.

Throughout the entirety of my time here so far, I have been shown nothing but love and kindness. No matter who you are or what you believe, the people here accept you.

JSU isn't just a college to me, it is my second home, and I love it with all of my heart. I can say with absolute certainty that JSU is truly the friendliest campus in the south, and I am forever grateful to have the privilege of going here.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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