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COLUMN: Ole Miss starting to feel like home

My first month at Ole Miss has been stressful, but fulfilling.

I had so much anxiety about how well I would do under pressure with a new job, a new school. Everything was new and big and different to me at first.

At my former junior college it seemed I knew everyone. The social aspect was easy because being connected was an option. Here it means the difference in feeling isolated and depressed rather than familiar and “known.”

I am really thankful for my job at the Oxford EAGLE and for my journalism classes that give me an excuse to talk to random strangers. If I hadn’t talked to strangers my first two weeks, my other social interaction with someone would have been a friend or family member over the phone. I took for granted how close my family and friends were.

After the first few weeks, I catch myself talking with strangers and introducing myself to others in the Starbucks line and at the library — things I did back home that came second nature to me. It’s starting to feel like home.

The more time I spend sitting in class, listening to my teachers, sitting in the Grove, I am beginning to feel more connected to the campus. Ole Miss still feels huge, but, whenever I think that, I stop and tell myself the reason I was so glad to finally be done with junior college.

Then I remembered some old advice I was once given: think of your self as a rubber band. It sounds silly, but once you have been through a hard time in life, you are never the same. A rubber band doesn’t break under stress; it’s stretched to a new dimension that can handle it better.

We cannot change many of the circumstances that impact our lives, but we can change how we view them. Some of the hardest situations I have been through have made me who I am today. I have to admit begrudgingly, that the hard times were worth it because I have grown through them.

You have to rethink how you feel about situations and be thankful for opportunities — not gripe about more responsibilities. I’m just now realizing the benefits of a big campus and taking advantage of a clean slate. There’s a sense of freedom when I think of it as a “fresh start.”

Within the next few weeks I hope to be completely moved in. I am over worrying about the little things and I am over feeling like a “transfer student.” I am an Ole Miss student now and I am welcoming the stressful times.

Lyndy Berryhill is a staff writer at the Oxford EAGLE. Contact her at lyndy.berryhill@oxfordeagle.com.