If I am being completely honest, when I was at St. Andrew’s looking at colleges, I never even considered Millsaps. No matter how highly friends and alumni had spoken to me about it, I had set in my mind that there was no way I was going to attend college in Jackson, Mississippi. I had grown up and lived in Jackson my whole life and wanted to go to school out of state. Because of this, I didn’t apply to Millsaps or even go and visit.
So as I began my freshman year at a liberal arts university in San Antonio, Texas, I started experiencing some health issues causing me to have to move home. This meant that I was going to have to live at home with my parents again and attend Millsaps for what I hoped would just be a semester. Frankly, I thought this was the end of the world. Little did I know, I would soon fall in love with the beautiful campus, incredible faculty, and supportive community that welcomed me back home.
I feel that there are a few preconceived notions that high school students from Jackson have about Millsaps. At least, I know I did. Here are a few of the thoughts I had when anyone had brought up considering Millsaps for college…
First, “I have lived in Jackson my entire life. There’s nothing to do here and I’m bored with it.” In high school, my friends and I thought that all there was to do in Jackson was hang out at each other’s houses, go to the movie theaters, and eat at different restaurants. This is how I expected the Millsaps social life would be as well, but I was so wrong. Millsaps has an incredible location, minutes from Fondren, Belhaven, and Downtown. Plus, being surrounded by a whole new group of people who are excited to explore Jackson really makes you find new places and activities to enjoy. Not to mention all of the activities on campus such as intramural sports, clubs, Greek life, community service, and so much more!
My second thought was this: “I don’t want to see my parents when I leave campus or go out.” This was my biggest concern. Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents, but I wanted to be independent and feel like I was getting the full college experience. We may not always realize it, but our parents really are excited for us to go out and be a college student and have fun. But if you may consider your parents to be clingy, Millsaps can be as far away as you need it to be. I’ve personally never bumped into my parents around Jackson. And the best part to me is that whenever you are craving your favorite home-cooked meal or your own bed, home is just a short drive away.
Lastly, I said, “I went to a small high school, so I want to go to a bigger college.” Having attended St. Andrew’s since I was four, I always grew up with teachers who knew me well and wanted me to excel academically. The first university I attended freshman year did not have this same type of student-teacher relationship and that was something I struggled to get used to. Moving back to Millsaps, I felt at home so quickly because the professors knew me by name and really wanted to get to know me as a person. The type of learning environment that Millsaps offers was something I took advantage of while I was at St. Andrew’s. The faculty are so understanding and work extremely hard to make sure you are actually learning and growing as a student. You certainly can’t find that everywhere.
I really hope that all of y’all will give Millsaps a chance. I made a huge mistake not visiting the campus during my college search. Sometimes the best fit for you is right under your nose and you don’t even realize it. That one semester that I was “forced” to have at Millsaps turned out to be one of the greatest blessings and led me to choose to stay here for the rest of my time in college. The students, faculty, and staff are all a big family full of the friendliest and most genuine people you will ever meet. So, please come on a tour and see campus for yourself. Millsaps is truly one of a kind.
St. Andrew’s ’16, Millsaps ’20