I have been an Ole Miss Rebel born and raised in central Mississippi.
Not once-- not even during college application season-- was I swayed
by anyone to go somewhere else. It has always been Ole Miss. In the
eighteen years I have been alive, I have struggled with my biases and
how close minded I used to be. The most impactful article I read this
week had to be, "How They Do in Oxford," by Kiese Laymon.
Laymon talks about the white pimp, Colonel Reb, Ole Miss' old mascot.
Though discontinued as the official mascot in 2003, the year I was
born, I know for a fact that there's photos of me standing next to
Colonel Reb, in some of them I am probably as old as five or six. I
also remember keeping a t-shirt with the Colonel Reb symbol well into
middle school, and I know that a time or two I would be glad to wear
it, especially after beating Alabama in football two years in a row.
Looking back on this I cringe-- the same way Laymon's mother did back
in his little league football years.
The way Laymon writes is telling and hits close to home. I can not
help but wonder why it took Mississippi so long to change the state
flag, and why did it only change after the threat of SEC football
being taken away from the state? What does that say about
Mississippians? What does that say about me? I could not vote on the
new design for the flag, but I gladly supported the change. I am tired
of Mississippi having a bad rap-- even if I plan on leaving it after
Kiese Laymon writes, "The moral authority to critique Mississippi
generally, and Oxford specifically, definitely belongs to someone. I'm
not at all sure that someone is me." Who's moral authority is it?
Mississippians? African Americans? Northerners? I critique Mississippi
and its ways yet I know that I do not have the moral authority to.
I am embarrassed by the way I know some of my fellow classmates
vehemently disagree with the change of the flag-- even if they aren't
from here and haven't lived in Mississippi their entire lives the way
I have. I have seen firsthand the close mindedness of my mother,
originally from Dallas, Texas, who went to school at Ole Miss, who
didn't want the Confederate statue taken down in The Circle, didn't
want the mascot changed, and at times I remember her saying "They're
getting worked up over nothing," when discussions of changing the flag
in my household happened. Meanwhile, my father, from the Mississippi
Delta, who talks of out of state students not understanding the
culture of Mississippi, and complaining when those students call the
poverty of Clarksdale or Greenville "charming," believes in changing
the flag and mascot and relocating the statue. How is it that my
mother and my father are so different from one another, yet created
me, someone who's ready for Mississippi to finally grow up?
Subscribe to our
My favorite spots.
Philadelphia has its beauty, but some of you may have not been to some of the most beautiful hidden spots in the city. This summer is a chance for new adventures and exploring, so here are a few places that I highly recommend you should visit at least once.
1. Spruce Street Harbor Park
Hammocks, pretty lights, yummy food, and good drinks...need I say more? Perfect place for a date or a hangout with your friends. The best time to go is at night, and it's located right next to the water. Franklin Fountain (aka the best ice cream spot in Philly) is right there, and you can't go wrong on a perfect sunny day. Definitely recommend if you haven't been yet.
2. Old City
Old city is the cutest part of Philadelphia in my opinion. The architecture is stunning and goes back hundreds of years. There is so much history there, and that's what makes it such a gem. Perfect spot to walk around and just explore!. Also good for picture taking! 10/10.
3. Cira Green
This place is located close to Drexel University. It is located on the rooftop, so you're going to have to go up the elevator to get there. It is a beautiful are of grass and greenery with a great view of the city. It is an ideal spot for those who want to have a picnic, or just wanting to lay and talk with someone. And again, a perfect place for picture taking.
4. Magic Gardens
Again, super obvious choice for Philly natives, but for those of you who haven't been should definitely come to Magic Gardens on South Street. Aesthetically pleasing and pretty art to look at. Definitely recommend this place for those willing to spend a bit!
5. Boathouse Row
The most beautiful views can be seen during sunset while overlooking Boathouse Row. Located on the east bank of the Schuylkill River, it is a great place to come sit and relax, and maybe even row some boats while you're at it. Riding bikes along here is also a fun thing to do.
6. Penn's Landing
Penn's Landing has it all. Concerts, movie screenings, fireworks, etc. There is always something happening at Penn's Landing, especially during the summer. Always keep an eye out online on the events that are happening here. Along the water once again, it is a place with beautiful views and a happy atmosphere. Last, but definitely not the least on this list.
So, here are some places you should visit this summer. I know, most of these are pretty common, but how many have you actually been to? And if you've been to all, go again, because these places are common and most talked about for a reason! Happy summer!
A thank you note.
To my boyfriend's parents,
I just wanted to say that I know I probably didn't make a great first impression, and I am sure you've had some bad thoughts about me. I was quiet and awkward (and still am at times, and I am working on that) and I am trying my best to still impress you--I still get nervous about it. I know I am not much of a people person because I tend to be bad in social situations (and I am working on that too). But you should know that I wrote this to you because I care.
This is a thank you for raising your son the way you have. For teaching him to respect women, teaching him to be so generous, and teaching him how to be a gentlemen (even if he's a pain sometimes).
Thank you for letting me stay at your house, feeding me a lot, and taking me along to places. Thank you for always giving me such thoughtful, amazing gifts, and for everything you have ever done for me, and still do, even when I am gone.
Here are a few things I've learned about you and from you through your son:
Family Over Everything
Although he can be a bit of a handful sometimes, I can tell how much his family means to him. He always loves to stop by the house and just talk, to sit down and eat dinner, to spend time at home and bond. It reminds me of how important family is, to be together, and love each other and to never take them for granted.
Dedication and Commitment
When it comes to things like running and music, he gives his all, his 110 percent, and doesn't look back. He has passion and drive and determination to be the best he can be. He works hard and he cares, and his effort shows not only with those things, but the effort he makes in the relationship as well.
Trust is hard for anyone, but he has earned mine in all ways possible. Thank you for teaching him to not be deceptive, to mean his word, to be honest. It goes a long way not only in our relationship, but any relationship he will ever encounter.
Believing in Him (and in Us)
A thank you for believing in his dreams, his goals, his ideas. Going to his cross country meets, his track meets, and supporting him. For believing in us and the long distance. Because through that, he has my back and is there for me. He gives me strength and takes away my doubts; he gives unending support for what I want to do. He believes in me.
With him being so carefree, it has kind of rubbed off on me as time goes on. He knows how to laugh at himself and make the best of a bad situation. If something isn't going as planned he always looks for the positive, and now I do too, more so than I ever did before. He might not always be serious when he should be, but his way of not stressing over the little things is something more people need to be doing. Thank you for bringing up such an easy person to be around.
(And I know it doesn't always show, haha!) But he really is filled with patience, even when I'm being difficult for no reason or indecisive. He knows when to give people space and just be patient as they cool down. He is OK with waiting and with me when I'm being irrational and completely ridiculous.
A Smile Goes a Long Way
One thing I can always count on him for is to put a smile on my face. I could be in the worst mood, but he never fails to somehow make me laugh. He is extremely funny and uses his humor for good. He can lighten a mood or break the ice in any kind of situation, and that is a quality everyone needs to have. Thank you for raising him with a comical side.
Of all the lessons I have learned from him, this is the greatest of them all. Of course sometimes he is a mooch, and convinces me to buy him B-dubs (because he is almost too good with persuasion and sales), but he actually is one of the most generous people I know. Before he had a job and was getting paid every two weeks, it wasn't easy to go out to eat all the time, or see a movie, or whatever it was that we wanted to do. I paid for things (which I didn't mind because I think the girl should pay sometimes too!) a lot of the time when I could. But through all of that, if I really wanted something he was sure to get me it. He might not have had anything, but he gave me everything. And now, with his job, he spoils me rotten and I have to tell him to stop.
Thank you for raising your son the way you have. Thank you for bringing him up well. Thank you for everything.
Lastly, thank you for letting me date your son.
Holy cow. If you're like me, you are bored out of your mind taking summer classes all the way until August. Then just to come right back and take more classes for the Fall?
It is like I am going insane.
I mean, I am taking rigorous classes which allow me to devote a lot of my time towards them, but still...it is only two classes. By the time I get done, I have a whole half of the day full of nothing. I end up just sitting on my phone for most of the day instead of doing something practical.
So here I have compiled a list of how to keep yourself from not going crazy!
1. Hit the gym.
Yeah, yeah, I know. I have been on this little gym kick lately. But seriously, I go to the Leach for about an hour a day, right after Orgo. Which although it may not sound like a lot of time, it keeps me busy. Do some simple exercises to get your body in the best shape it can be. For me personally, I have just been trying to tone up my legs, get some more profound abs, haha we will see, and then work out my arms.
2. Make home-cooked meals.
Like I have said previously I have tried to stop eating out as much as I used to. Instead, I have gone out and bought fresh produce and veggies so that I can create yummy meals that are satisfying enough to where I don't need to snack throughout the day. I try new recipes or make up my own depending on the day.
3. I keep my grades as my top priority.
That's what I came here to do. To get good grades in my hard classes that I am taking this summer. That was the goal, the whole point of why I stayed here instead of going and sitting at the beach all day...I miss home, I do, but I am trying to get ahead. During the day after class I try to relax some, but then at night, I read ahead in whatever class I need to, take some notes, and try to get my homework done early.
4. I try to keep positive, plan stuff for the month of what I am going to do.
Luckily, my weekends are pretty busy. But I would recommend planning to visit people, go to the beach, shopping, anything to keep your mind off how much longer you have to be here over summer...not like your counting or anything (8 weeks). For instance, June 17th is Father's Day, so take a trip home and visit your Dad, or at least that is what I am doing. The following weekend, I am going to Atlanta to visit a special someone and go to a Major League Baseball game for the first time. The weekend after, I have friends visiting...then it leads on into July.
5. If you are moving into an apartment, you might want to start packing.
Since I already lived in an apartment this year, that means I have to pack up all of the stuff I already have, and transfer it into yet..another apartment. I didn't realize how much I accumulated over this past year. Plus I like to stay organized, so everything must have a place until I move into my new apartment in August. Just going to take it room by room.
The whole point of summer is to enjoy your life, even if it does mean taking a couple of classes. Do I wish I was on a cruise heading towards some tropical island? Ugh, duh. Do I wish I was sitting on the beach with my dog? Yeah. Do I wish I just wasn't here taking classes? Um, of course. But it just didn't work out that way for me. Instead, I am trying to make the most of my time here this summer, because I only have a few more years until I hit the real world. Yay...can't wait to adult some more!
August rolls around, and school starts again...
Most of us officially embarked on the journey of college. Yay! more school, how great is that? (Sarcasm people) This past week has been my first week at this amazing university. I've been finding all of the neat little short cuts that save me 10 minutes to get to a class, or just allow me to de-stress a little when I feel over whelmed.
This week I've learned that college is very very different from highschool. I guess those days are meant to be let go, but of course, not forgotten. I guess you could say that one of the lucky ones, because I don't have any of those tiring 8AM classes.
College in a way is very freeing. You've finally set on your path to your ideal self and who you want to be in the future. I didn't mean for this article to sound so philosophical, but I'm just stating the facts. With being on our own, we are now put to the task of deciding our own morals, and hoping that our family taught us enough about them.
Everyone hopes that we will make the right choices with what we decide to do. Through this journey, there will be things that we have yet to experience. There will be bumps. There will be sleepless nights and bad grades. These are just small fragments of our lives that we are continually striving to live. This week I have seen and experienced so many new things that I never thought would happen.
On an ending note, college is definitely a great weight loss program. Just stay away from that freshman 15.
What Time is it? School Time!
With August here and in full swing, chances are your either back in school or getting ready for it to hit you. These days, it seems like summer lasts just long enough for us to get used to no homework before we're slammed with heavy textbooks and loads of tests before you know it. Incoming deadlines, lengthy assignments, and long lectures... Welcome back to college! Here are 10 thoughts every college student has about going back to school.
1. Wait... It's August?
We all know the feeling. Summer was here one minute, gone the next. Sure, no one keeps track of the days on summer break, but it certainly shouldn't be going by this fast. Remembering that it's August is like remembering that you're almost 20 years old and have no idea what you want to do with your life. Scary.
2. Wait... I'm a Junior in College?
Anyone else sometimes forget that you're not twelve years old and in fifth grade anymore? Me too. While we might advance in age and grade level, our minds probably peaked around 5 years ago. Plus, who's keeping track of their grade level at this point- it all goes by WAY too fast. Is this what aging is like?
3. Back to school? More like Back to Dying
Back to school is great when you're in first or second grade and have absolutely no obligations. The higher grade level you enter into, you realize back to school means back to stress, lack of sleep and lots of tests. Every time a college midterm is taken, we die a little bit on the inside.
4. More books and school supplies to spend money on
Buying books and school supplies can be an exciting and fun experience when you're young. Being a broke college student takes the experience to a whole other level. It's always an adventure trying to get through hoards of other students to find the cheapest and most inexpensive supplies. Who even cares if the textbook is old and has it's front cover ripped off- It'll probably still cost you more than your last paycheck!
5. Back to midterms and finals
If there's one thing college students hate most, it's midterms. The Bane of everyone's existence, midterms are the true reason why college students dread school. With tons of hours of studying and tests that set you up to fail, who's surprised midterms bring out the worst in everyone. Tears, stress and lack of sleep- what could possibly be better than that!
6. Socialization has returned
Sure, maybe your summer if filled with fun events, but with all these tests and midterms, all college students need to have a little bit more fun. Whether it be in the form of sorority events, club meetings or parties, going back to college gives you endless ways to socialize and destress.
7. "There Goes All My Savings!"
While summer allows us time to make money, be productive and build our savings, the school year completely demolishes our bank accounts. It's like clockwork. College can be expensive and your bank account won't have time to keep up with all the spending you'll be doing.
8. Time to see college friends again
College is hard in that you build quick and close-knit friendships away from home in a short period of time, yet have to leave those friendships behind for months at a time. Going back to college allows you to reunite with your close college friends and get right back to where you left off before!
9. Time to figure out what to do with your degree
Like everything else, it's easy to put off that burning question you have in your mind- "What am I going to do with my degree?" With school back in swing, it's time to take classes, ask you professors questions, and give your future a little bit more thought than before.
10. It'll be over before you know it
While going back to college can be a complete pain, we've all got graduation in the back of our minds. It's important to embrace all the fun and crazy moments college has to offer because it'll be over sooner than we could ever imagine. While it's easy to hate the tests, stress and anxiety that come with college, it's even harder to think about the future ahead of us. College goes by fast, so appreciate it while you can!
1. Brittany Morgan, National Writer's Society
2. Radhi, SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign