My name is Mary Noble Howard and I’m from Jackson, Mississippi. Compared to the rest of the south, I did not grow up in the average household. My family did not go to football games on the weekend. No team had a sticker on the back of our family car, and we did not cry after a loss. Both my parents went to Millsaps College, and now both their children do. Believe it or not, my sister and I never stepped on campus growing up. We did not know anything about Millsaps except the fun stories that our parents would tell us while reminiscing on their youth. That was enough for me.
Millsaps was not on my initial list of my college considerations. I applied and got accepted to seven different universities. Millsaps was the last one, and in all honesty I only did it to appease my sister. “It is free to apply!!” That phrase would ring in my ears day and night. She was relentless! At the time it was slightly annoying, but I am so glad she did not give up.
My senior year of high school was when I first was exposed to Millsaps. I was visiting my sister and just going to waste some time and feel grown up for the day on a college campus. After that first visit, I started coming back more and more. Millsaps was still not at the top of my list, but the more I was on campus the more I became infatuated with the people and the environment.
The one thing I did not care about when looking at colleges was the classes. Big or small, professor or teaching assistant, number or name, I just wanted a place I could be happy before I entered the, as adults like to put it, “real world.” The funny thing is that Millsaps ripped every expectation I ever had and replaced it with a much better reality. My classes are one of my favorite parts of Millsaps. I get giddy going to class, talking to professors (they care so much about their students), and being a part of the classroom. I am a studio art major and so proud of it. My professors helped me realize exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I would still be “undecided” if it were not for them.
I have found the most fun in the small, unexpected things. My friends will call me at midnight to go get food which leads to us driving to the Overlook on the Reservoir to enjoy a view, and that leads to us truly just enjoying the small moments. Things like looking at the stars and listening to the water or listening to music with the windows down laughing so hard we can’t breathe. Those are the moments that make Millsaps so special. The moments you don’t plan and the moments you don’t expect.
Like I said earlier, Millsaps will rip up all your expectations and leave you with a much better reality. I hope you will give Millsaps a chance because it truly will introduce you to a college experience you never expected.
Mary Noble Howard