By Malik McIntyre
As my time here at Ole Miss winds down, I’ve been reflecting on how much I’ve changed over the past four years. My collegiate journey has not been an easy one. After my first semester at the university, I was put on academic probation. When that happened I wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to make it all four years. Being at such a low point so early in the process scared me.
In high school, I never felt as challenged academically as I did the first semester of college. It was also a new type of freedom for me, so I wasn’t the best at creating a balance of school and fun. After that first semester, I was able to turn things around for the better. That obstacle showed me a lot about myself and the abilities I have.
Outside of the classroom, things have gone much more smoothly. I’ve been able to establish some of the best friendships I’ve ever had. In high school I didn’t have many friends, so I wasn’t sure if that would change coming to college. I’m so thankful for the friends that I have gained through this experience. I remember when I came out to my mom over the phone, the people who I met in college were there to experience that with me. That is only one of many significant moments in my life that they’ve been a part of. Navigating our way through college together has made them feel more like family to me. That’s magic about Ole Miss; there are so many good people and amazing opportunities, on and off-campus.
I don’t know what my future looks like at the moment. Many people say that college is supposed to set you up for the next chapter in life, but now that I’m closer to the end, things have been more confusing than ever. Going through a global pandemic your senior year isn’t something that you would expect to happen. This year has been the most challenging year of my life. Losing loved ones so close together all while dealing with the stresses of college has been a lot. Life comes at everyone in different ways, at different times, but it’s never the end.
I’m a very optimistic person, some would like to say it’s because I’m a Sagittarius. Wherever life takes me I know I have the tools to make the best of it. Don’t get me wrong, I do have some goals for myself. I’ve currently signed a lease for an apartment in Dallas, Texas. I would love to do social media marketing for a company there.
Outside of work, I’m excited to try new things, meet new people, and learn more about who I am. I can honestly say that I will miss college. My time in college has changed me tremendously compared to high school. Ole Miss has been a wild ride. I would not have made it this far without the help of my friends, family, and the Ole Miss faculty. The city of Oxford has been a great place to spend these last four years of my life. I couldn’t be more excited to write the next chapter of my life.