Why I And Many Others Chose The South

Why I And Many Others Chose The South

Where the tea is sweet and the southern hospitality is even sweeter.

“Why Winthrop?” is the most common question an out-of-state student such as myself has received since my acceptance to Winthrop University. Coming from Virginia, many ask the question and are surprised I walked away from schools such as University of Richmond, Georgetown, and the University of Virginia. Those are all perfectly reasonable options, but Winthrop truly screamed home to the Southern belle that I would say is present in me (some would agree due to my slight obsession with Luke Bryan, mason jars, and an appetite for Arnold Palmers).

One answer to this commonly asked question is quite simple: I feel comfortable here, which is important for a place you are going to be calling home for the next four years. Ever since I was young I always enjoyed hearing my father say “We’re going to South Carolina for vacation.” South Carolina, for me, has always been a second home. Although the eight-hour drive was not ideal, it would be worth it to finally see the “Welcome to South Carolina” sign, my eyes popping open with excitement. Being able to sink my toes in the Myrtle Beach sand and being around the “country side,” was always an exciting time for me in the summer. When the time came to grow up and start thinking about where I would want to go to further my means of education, South Carolina was a reoccurring theme. It is a familiar place for me, in some ways more familiar than my own home. South Carolina has that sweet Southern hospitality when you think of the good ol’ South. I knew that it was a state I could come and find to love even more than I already did.

Specifically, Winthrop seems to be the holy grail of Southern hospitality. During my first visit in July of 2015, walking around campus spoke to the Southern belle in me. The magnolia trees and the perfectly structured white benches to swing on across Scholar’s Walk. My eyes had immediately been replaced with heart eyes as I could picture myself sitting there with a mason jar full of sweet tea, attempting to tackle some assignment. Even down to the people, the southern hospitality shines through and through. From my amazing Orientation Leader Bri Rae, who taught her “Beach Ballers” everything to about killer Freshman year, to professors who speak with such warming southern accents, it was an inviting place for me to be.

Other out-of-state students seem to agree that the welcoming atmosphere of Winthrop, make it a place to want to call home.

“I didn’t pick it due to the fact that it was out-of-state. It was my favorite place so I was willing to make the sacrifice,” my roommateTess Norman said. She, also being an out-of-state student, sees Winthrop as an inviting place to be. As far as it being out-of-state, it is not the only attribute for her choosing this university; it was the great sense of community that she finds to be most appealing, especially during her college decision-making process.

My other roommate, Melody Bryden from Connecticut, also feels the same about the question “Why Winthrop?”

“I knew that I wanted to go out-of-state, and relatively far away, to experience somewhere new and learn to be more independent,” she said. “I knew from my first tour that this is where I wanted to go because it had a very inviting atmosphere. Winthrop was definitely the right choice because I have never felt so at home as I do here.”

Although, we may be giving you the cliché lines to such a commonly asked question it is proven that Winthrop University has a sense of community that made us love it more than any other school in our home state. I am sure that myself, as well as other out-of-state students, will hear this question asked time and time again, and the answer will only get better. From an out-of-state student, thank you, Winthrop for making South Carolina truly feel like home.

Cover Image Credit: DP3 Architects

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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If Shonda Can Do A Year Of Yes, Then So Can I



A few years ago, Shonda Rimes decided to do a year of saying yes, after her sister told her she says "No" to everything. It ended up changing her life.

So, I've decided to embark on my own year of yes.

Sure, it may be easy to say yes to everything when you're a millionaire with a bunch of record-setting televisions shows, but the rest of us can do it too.

Say yes to treating yourself.

Say yes to taking care of yourself.

Say yes to saying no, don't stretch yourself too thin.

Say yes to new opportunities

The year of yes is about taking better care of yourself.

My year of yes starts right now.

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