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Miller Balances Athletics and Academics at Ole Miss

Jennifer Miller for Pharmacy shoot Photo by Ellen O'Nan/Ole Miss Athletics.
Jennifer Miller for Pharmacy shoot
Photo by Ellen O’Nan/Ole Miss Athletics.

Jennifer Miller is a 5-1 senior midfielder for the Ole Miss soccer team. Miller is also a student in the University Of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. Neither of these accomplishments are easy feats, but she somehow finds a way to balance both.

“Jenn is in pharmacy school now and earned her undergraduate degree in three years as a 4.0 student. She’s been really special to us here,” noted Ole Miss Head Soccer Coach Matthew Mott.

Miller arrived on campus as a freshman, not sure of what her ultimate goal would be. However, she always knew that she had a love for the sciences, which drew her toward her biology major. As she began to learn more and more, her path ultimately became clear.

“Freshman year, I spent a lot of time shadowing doctors, nurses and pharmacists,” explained Miller. “During my sophomore year, I really decided that pharmacy school was what I wanted to do. From there I planned everything out so that I could attend pharmacy school.”

Miller has never stopped reaching new feats both on and off the field. She has spent the last several years as a student-athlete competing in the Southeastern Conference, where each day the competition never wavers in excellence and the desire to excel rarely leaves a student-athlete’s mind.

During her freshman campaign, Miller played in 16 games for Ole Miss. By her sophomore year, she was a regular starter. Miller played a total of 2,032 minutes and started all 24 matches in 2013, scoring four goals to help lead the Rebels to the best season in program history and an NCAA Tournament berth. Her persistence continued to pay off during her junior season. Once again, Miller started every match, totaling 18 games.

The amount of time Miller spends on the field is telling of her character. Her leadership and dedication are evident to everyone around her. Because of this, she has been a team captain as a junior and now as a senior.

“We call her the wizard because when she gets the ball she does something special with it. She is able to see things that other players don’t. She is just so cerebral,” explained Coach Mott.

Miller also has a true passion for her sport. When her junior year came to an end, and it was time to enter pharmacy school, there was a decision to be made. Miller had one year left of eligibility to play soccer and she was not yet ready to give up her sport.

“You only get four years to play a college sport. I wasn’t ready to give up soccer. I know that I’m going to miss soccer so much when it is over, so I wanted to enjoy it as long as possible,” said Miller. “I knew that it would be hard balancing both soccer and pharmacy school, but I wanted to be able to play for my full four years.”

Pharmacy school requires intense focus and commitment. How would she balance both pharmacy school and being a student-athlete? Miller knew she would be able to find a way to make it work, and she has developed a system for her daily grind.

“The advice that they gave us when we were coming into pharmacy school was to treat it as an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. job,” explained Miller. “That actually really helps, especially with our practices being at night. I’m able to get up in the morning and start studying before I go to class. Then, I go to soccer and as soon as I get home from soccer, I start studying again. It is really a lot of time management and planning.”

Miller has played over 5,000 minutes throughout her career as a Rebel. With Ole Miss rolling through another season, Miller has started all 10 matches thus far and she doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon. She sets the bar high and knows that she is fully capable of accomplishing all of her goals both on and off the pitch. She is also aware of how much work and time this requires from her.

“A lot of times during the summer, (strength) coach Randall Dorvin talks about using self-talk to get us through running,” said Miller. “I definitely do a lot of self-talk throughout the day knowing that I am doing what I need to do.”

Miller sets an incredible example of being able to achieve whatever you set your mind to. Her unwavering work ethic shines each and every day both on the field and in the classroom. Although the 2015 season will be her final year as a midfielder for the Rebels, Miller is sure to find more success in all of her future endeavors.

With Friday, September 25 being World Pharmacist Day, Miller and the rest of the Rebel soccer team will celebrate the day during their matchup versus Alabama that night. Leadership from the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy will be in attendance and recognized with an on-field presentation. Fans are encouraged to wear white as part of the day and help cheer the Rebels to another victory versus the Crimson Tide. The SEC contest is set to begin at 7 p.m. from the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.

Courtesy of Morgan Goff / Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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