Southern Miss is Always at The Top

Southern Miss is Always at The Top

My first two years have been golden, and I can't wait for more.
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Two years ago, had you told me that I would love college as much as I would love high school, I would have laughed in your face. Now, I am so proud to say that I go to the university that I do.

My journey to Southern Miss started my junior year of high school. When I toured it, there was something that I kept going back to. I did not know it at the time, but that something was falling in love with the little school with a big heart. I knew before my senior year of high school started that Southern Miss was my home, and I was nervous and excited.

I could have gone the way that many of my high school friends went and stayed closer to home. I could have gone to a bigger Southeastern Conference school that was also close to home. But I wanted to do something different. I have always been one that does not conform to what people think I should do, and with my college decision, it was no different.

I was a scared freshman when I walked onto the University of Southern Mississippi's campus in the summer of 2015. Looking back, I had no reason to be. My campus is diverse, and there is a 99.9% chance you will run into someone you know when you are walking around. At the time, though, I did not know any different. Orientation got me used to the idea of college, but I still had no idea what I was in for.

I moved in that August like all freshmen do. I attended Golden Eagle Welcome Week and got acquainted to my campus. A lot changed when I went through sorority recruitment and did not get into a sorority, but that did not stop me. That fall, I found SGA, but I like to say that SGA actually found me. In it, I have gotten to redefine my own definition of family. While my actual family may not be there for me through thick and thin, my Student Government and Southern Miss family always have my back.

The struggles I had seemed so big at the time, but my friend Amanda Jo is right when she says that "everything happens for a reason." No matter how big or small your struggles are, in the long run, they are worth it. You may not always get what you apply for, but sometimes, other, better things happen. It's serendipity.

I am the happiest I have ever been because of Southern Miss. I have two people to thank for being my light posts for it. First off, Mrs. B. Thank you for showing me that Southern Miss was my home and that the golden spirit that lives at Southern Miss is with me. Secondly, Mrs. Rotolo. You exemplify what it means to have spirit for Southern Miss, and you instilled that in me. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Thank you, Southern Miss, for being my light in my sometimes overcast world. Thank you for showing me who I am as a person, and that I am more than my struggles. Thank you for not allowing me to be a number. I am a proud golden eagle, and this university has given me wings to soar.

Southern Miss? You know the rest.

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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I’m Glad I Waited Until I Was An Adult Before Learning To Drive

I really had no need for my driver’s license when I was sixteen.

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I recently started learning how to drive and so far, it's been okay. I mean, I think it's been okay, but my mom may or may not have a different opinion.

Anyway, I decided not to get my license when I was 16. That was completely my decision. I live someplace where every place I needed to go was in walking distance. Literally, the old school was right down the street and I can see the new school from my house. And since that was the only place I was going to was high school, I was perfectly content with using my two God-given legs to get there. I also go to college where I get access to public transportation (which is awesome, I love public transportation).

But now that I'm older, not driving is getting more inconvenient. I mean, I can't just go home and visit my mom and sister whenever I feel like it during the school year because my hometown is a two and a half hour drive from Cleveland and public transport to the middle of nowhere isn't a thing. I'm also planning on moving into an apartment next year, so I'm going to have to be able to drive to get to school, go to work, get groceries, and other things like that.

That being said, I'm perfectly content with my decision to wait to drive.

For one, I don't have to pay for gas or insurance or car maintenance. I also don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a parking pass for school (which saves me money on tuition) and I don't have to worry about parking in Downtown Cleveland (if you've ever been to Cleveland, you'd know parking is horrendous).

Some people tell me about all the “freedom" I would have had if I had gotten my license in high school, but in all honesty, it's not like I would've gone wherever I wanted to whenever I wanted to. After all, my mom, my sister, and I have had the conversation about, “Just because you can drive, doesn't mean you're taking the car whenever you want."

Besides, it's not like I'm suddenly going to galavant all over Hell and Creation just because I'm an adult. I have school and I'll have a job in the fall. I'll have responsibilities. I'm also living on-campus again and not planning on taking a car with me because I don't want to buy a parking pass and worry about someone breaking into the car (because it's Downtown Cleveland and that's always a possibility, even though I know better than to keep anything valuable just sitting in plain sight - I'm still a very paranoid person when it comes to things like that).

I mean, I plan on having my license before winter (ideally before I even start fall semester, but I know that might be pushing it). But I don't really feel like I missed out on anything by not getting my license the second I turned 16. In fact, I feel that it's better that I waited because I am way more mature now than I was at sixteen.

The fact that I'm more mature — which means I have a better understanding of the responsibility of driving — and have saved money is why I'm glad I waited until I was an adult to start learning how to drive.

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Pexels

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