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Ole Miss Seniors Reflect On What They Will Miss Most After Graduation

graduationWith graduation quickly approaching, several Ole Miss seniors were asked their thoughts on leaving their beloved town and university. Here’s what they had to say:

grad story 1Maggie Durnien is a journalism major with a public relations specialization from Saint Louis, Missouri. She came to Ole Miss following in her older sister’s footsteps and said that no matter how hard she tried not to copy her sister, nothing compared to Oxford.
“I can’t talk about graduation without getting a lump in my throat,” Durnien said. “The thought of leaving this place and the people is so upsetting, but I am so happy I spent four wonderful years here.”
Durnien said she wouldn’t change a thing about her time here.
“I had the time of my life,” she said. “I will always come back to Ole Miss.”

grad story 2Lexi Willcoxon is an English major from Joplin, Missouri. She came to Ole Miss because she wanted to go out of state and experience something new.
“Honestly, I’m in denial about graduating,” Willcoxon said. “I can’t imagine leaving Ole Miss, and it feels surreal that these past four years are coming to a close.”
Willcoxon said the only thing keeping her going is knowing that she will never actually graduate from Ole Miss.
“I’ll always be able to come home to Oxford,” Willcoxon said.

grad storyBenton Garrison is a marketing and corporate relations major from El Dorado, Arkansas. She came to Ole Miss wanting to do something on her own and make new friends.
“I feel like I just started school at Ole Miss last semester,” Garrison said. “I wish I could go back and do it all over again.”
Garrison said she is going to miss living with friends and her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma.
“I’m looking forward to coming back for football games as an alumni,” she said.

grad story 3Madisen Theobald is a journalism major and graphic design minor. She came to Ole Miss to play soccer and ended up changing her mind and not wanting to play. Even though her plans changed, she still loved her college experience.
“I am going to miss swaps and date parties,” she said. “I will also miss school as a whole because I have always loved school and learning new curriculum.”

grad story 4Molly Moran is an integrated marketing communications major with a double minor in business and art from Atlanta, Georgia. She came to Ole Miss to experience a new life with new friends and a new culture.
“I can’t believe we only have a month left of college,” Moran said. “I may actually be in denial.”
Moran said she is going to miss being within a mile or even a few feet of my best friends and sisters.
“I’ll miss walking around our beautiful campus and experiencing the utter joy our cute little town brings me,” she added, “But I know I’ll be back in the near future.”
Moran cannot wait for what the future holds and says she owes her future success to the University of Mississippi.

grad story 5Mary Frances Graham is an exercise science major from Columbus, Georgia. She came to Ole Miss because she wanted to do something different than most of the people in her hometown. Graham said that when she got into UGA and did not go, everyone told her she was crazy.
Now being a senior, “I think they are crazy for thinking I should’ve gone anywhere else but Ole Miss,” she said. “I am really going to miss being able to drive a mile maximum to see all of my friends and having the freedom to do fun stuff with them during the day.”
Graham will be attending Mercer Physical Therapy school in Atlanta in the fall, and will also miss the comfort of knowing someone everywhere she goes.
“I will especially miss football games as a student because honestly I’m just not ready to grow up yet and leave this beautiful town that has been my home for four years now,” Graham said.
Graham said that graduation was bittersweet.
“I am excited to start physical therapy school and start a new journey, but am so sad to be leaving,” Graham said.

grad story 6Elizabeth Kruczek is an accounting major and finance minor from Memphis, Tennessee. Never considering going to school so close to home, she came to Ole Miss and fell in love with the campus on her first visit.
As graduation approaches, “I honestly cannot believe it has all come to an end,” Kruczek said. “I have a hard time imagining my life any other way.”
Kruczek said this place had become home.
“I know that what makes this place so special is not necessarily the place but the people I share it with,” she said. “I’m confident that as long as I have the friends I’ve made in Oxford and at Ole Miss, this sense of home will forever be with me.”

Taryn Ternberg is an elementary education major with a special education endorsement from Greenville, South Carolina. She visited Ole Miss with friends on a whim and fell in love with the school, the Square and the people.
“I will, of course, miss the school, football games, and all of the great things that I’ve learned here, but what I will miss most is having all of my friends in one place so close to me,” Ternberg said. “Oxford has become home and the thought of leaving feels surreal.”
Ternberg said she has had experiences and made memories here that she will never forget.
“Luckily I’ll be here for another year to get my masters in education, so I’m hoping to make the most of it,” she said, “but it will be a totally different experience without a lot of the people I love not being here.”

grad story 7Stefan Lindmark is a managerial and banking finance major and real estate minor from Stockholm, Sweden. He came to Ole Miss to play tennis and was recruited by head coach Toby Hansson in Switzerland when he was playing the European Championships.
“I am actually not graduating in May,” Lindmark said, “I will be staying an extra year adding another major and minor to my degree.”
Lindmark says what he will miss most is all of the friends he has met here.

grad story 8And as for me? My name is Joanie Sanders, and I am a journalism major, public relations specialization from Kensington, Maryland. I visited Ole Miss during my ‘southern school tour road trip,’ and honestly, it was the last place I thought I would ever end up. My first visit to the school was a torrential downpour, and I did not know a single person attending this university that was 15 hours away from everything I knew, and filled with people whose culture was entirely different from my own. Everything was different, the voices, the sayings, the culture, the food, the pace. I wondered if I would fit in and if I could make a life here.

I did not know that these wonderful people would become my family, the beautiful town and school would become my home, Southern sayings and way of life would become a habit and that I would be so extremely sad to be leaving somewhere that only four years ago I knew nothing about.

So here’s to you Ole Miss! Thank you for the most amazing four years of my life and for all of the people who made it so special.

Joanie Sanders is an intern for hottytoddy.com and is a student at The Meek School of Journalism and New Media. Joanie can be reached at jgsander@go.olemiss.edu.

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