Why I Chose To Go To Troy University

Why I Chose To Go To Troy University

Making Troy, Ala., my home away from home.
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Before I found Troy, I thought of Alabama as the state that lives and breathes college football, the home of the Civil Rights movement, and the song lyric “Alabama, Arkansas, I sure love my Ma & Pa” from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ song “Home.” It was just another state in the South for me, which also was equal to no snow (which made me happy to think about.)

Going into my senior year of high school, I became the Distinguished Young Woman of Caroline County, Maryland. Becoming involved with Distinguished Young Women opened the doors for me to find my new college home. My directors loved Troy and highly recommended it to me. So I applied, reluctantly, I might add. At that point in my life, I was sold on going to Savannah College of Art and Design to study theatre.

In January, my dad and I packed up our suitcases and headed to Alabama. I visited Troy with an open mind. I knew it was a lot smaller than SCAD, even though it was a Division 1 school. But what about Troy made me want to pack my bags up and move to a place 900 miles from home?

The Sound of the South

If you’ve ever been to a football game here on campus or are out and about around 4 o’clock, chances are that you have heard the powerful entity that is the Sound of the South. The beloved Troy marching band, which is celebrating 50 years of the “Sound” this year, is one of the main reasons I came to Troy. After auditioning and being put on the color guard for this school year, I was excited to continue my marching career here at Troy with the best band in the land.

The Cost of Tuition

Let’s all acknowledge that Troy is such an affordable school. And compared to school costs back home in Maryland, Troy’s bill looks superb. I was happy to have found a school that I loved that wouldn’t leave me in debt for the rest of my life. Especially since Troy was one of the two state schools I applied to, you can imagine how much prettier the numbers looked compared to some of the private colleges I thought about attending.

Scholarships

Besides being affordable, Troy offers so many scholarships. Foundation scholarships, the Trojan Opportunity scholarships, Band scholarships, the list goes on and on.

Troy Theatre and Dance Department

I had always loved performing and chose to be a theatre major when I came to college. At first, going to Troy to study theatre seemed kind of absurd. However, you just sit down and talk to some of Troy’s Theatre and Dance Department (TDT) employees, and you will fall in love. Everyone is so nice and helpful. They understand why you want to be a performer, because they are actors, actresses, and dancers just like the students they teach. You become a crazy family, and it’s amazing how much I’ve grown to love that environment and the people I am surrounded by in such a short time. I can only wish that everyone else finds a place in their own educational department like I have found mine with TDT.

The Size of Campus

Troy’s campus isn’t teeny tiny, but it isn’t giant. It’s just right, like in "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." I explored college campuses of all kinds until, at last, I found Troy. You can be a part of the student population and, despite the school being a Division 1 NCAA school, can still feel like you are someone.

Distance from Home

Troy is exactly 900 miles from my hometown on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It is a 13-hour car ride, and about a two-and-a-half-hour flight from Birmingham to Baltimore. I can’t exactly go home on the weekends, but I have the distance that allows me to be independent. I was also able to completely start over when I came to Troy, which was a nice change from the small-town high school I went to. I love my home, but it is exciting to make Troy University your new home.

The Trojan Spirit

Let’s face it, Troy has a ton of school spirit. Learning the fight song was a piece of cake after you listen to it so many times in one day. The Alma Mater is sung with so much pride too, people simply love Troy University. I knew I wanted to be a part of a school who had a lot of school spirit, regardless of how our sports teams are doing.

The Weather

The Alabama heat is one of my favorite things about Troy. Just last week there were snow flurries at home, but here I am enjoying the range of warm temperatures that will keep me thawed out all winter long.

Whatever the reason that you came to Troy, we are all here now. From here on out, Troy, Alabama, will hold a special place in every student’s heart. Troy University can only get better from here. Take the opportunities you are given and make your college life all that it can be!

Cover Image Credit: Katelyn Gunderson

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Andy Ruiz Jr. May Not Look Like The Typical Boxer, But It Doesn't Make His Victory Any Less Deserved

Andy Ruiz Jr. just proved that dreams can come true.

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On June 1, boxing fans witnessed something special as Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO after going seven rounds in the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world. Ruiz Jr. (33-1) was a heavy underdog (+1100) heading into the match-up with Joshua (22-1) but ultimately flipped the script to hand the British fighter his first professional loss ever. Surely the fight will go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Some members of the media and fans have been quick to label the fight as a 'fluke' and 'rigged' which in the end is no surprise to me. That always happens in the sports world. Many did not believe we would get this result yet failed to remember the one rule of sports -- expect the unexpected. Over the past week, I've been coming to the defense of Ruiz Jr. in the wake of others choosing to call him a joke.

I was shocked and surprised to hear two of my favorite sports analysts, Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe, make fun of Ruiz Jr. and frame him as just a guy that looked like 'Butterbean.' When I viewed their tweets on social media it honestly made me upset. Sure, Ruiz Jr. may not have fit the mold of what a professional boxer should look like, but they simply should not have just judged a book by its cover.

Personally, I thought it was disrespectful for Smith and Sharpe to throw shade at Ruiz Jr. in the way they did. I felt like they should have done a better job of acknowledging the winner considering the result of the match. Yet choosing to bash someone because of their physical composition appeared like a low blow. The very foundation of sports allows people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and backgrounds to compete -- that's why most people follow them in the first place.

Smith was open behind his reasoning for his tweets in which I'd like to shed some light on. Smith was upset about how boxing time after time contains elements of corruption with fans having to wait years until promoters schedule big fights. He along with other followers of the sport were looking forward to the highly anticipated yet potential future match-up between Joshua and fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Smith believes that by Ruiz Jr. beating Joshua it essentially diminished the chances of that fight ever happening with the same amount of buildup, but that still doesn't provide any excuse for mocking the new heavyweight champ.

Ruiz Jr. was there for a reason and ultimately seized the opportunity that was right in front of him -- that's not his fault for getting the job done. Just because someone doesn't look like the part doesn't mean they don't possess the same qualities and characteristics as their counterparts. The following pair of videos display the amount of talent Ruiz Jr. does have in the ring. Even fellow boxer Canelo Alvarez and former UFC lightweight/featherweight champion Conor McGregor acknowledge that and have come out to say something on their behalf.

Unfortunately, I don't expect much to change because most will stand their ground and continue to behave the same way. All I'm saying is I did not enjoy some of the top figures within sports media stereotyping Ruiz Jr. based on his looks. I would think that we would be better than that and recognize that anyone can accomplish something great in this world. It all just starts with a simple dream.

I understand and respect other people's takes on this subject, maybe I'm looking into things deeper than what they are, but it struck a chord with me and I felt the need to say something about it.

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