How a born and bred Yankee actually came to love Ole Miss

The South was a bit confusing at first

All my life, I’ve swum the opposite way of the crowd — hence why I chose to attend school in the South, at Ole Miss. I wanted nothing more than to break out of the “norm.” But the one thing no one told me was how much I would feel like a fish out of water.

In summer of 2014, I entered a little world called Oxford, Mississippi. Boy, William Faulkner sure was right: “To understand the world you must first understand a place like Mississippi.” I knew nothing about any of it, but I loved it. It was college — I mean, what could be so different, right? Little did I know, it would be a culture shock to say the least.

Walking out my last semester.

Girls wore tee-shirts larger than an obese man, and everyone had on these clunky-looking Jesus sandals. I immediately went to Google and typed in “strappy thick sandals.” A variety of companies came up, but I soon found out they were a brand called Chacos. Turns out, Chacos were the least of my worries.

My first week, I began to notice the wide array of humans walking around campus with Greek letters all over these gigantic, colorful, washed-out tee-shirts. Aside from all the white noise, I had no idea how huge the Greek community was at Ole Miss.

Boy, I wasn’t feeling too sharp now because back home, Greek life is almost non-existent. So here I am: I talk “funny,” I wore tighter tee-shirts than everyone else, I had on shoes that were NOT Chacos, I didn’t have a clue what any of these Greek letters meant, I was the epitome of a “Yankee” and I had a nose ring, which is the exact opposite of what a southern belle would label as “classy.”

I transferred in, and slowly began to get the feel of how things were done here. It wasn’t until my second year that I came to realize this place is more than big tee-shirts and Chacos. It is also more than categorizing yourself through a Greek system.

Photo taken by Meghan Huntley, on the square in Oxford.

Let me tell you, I have been to my fair share of places, but never to a place where tradition is held with such high regard.
Outside of campus, the entire community is camouflaged in Ole Miss Apparel, college students or not. Rain or shine, Oxford residents, as well as “out-of-towners,” fill the Grove with one thing in common, their dedication to watch one team, and one team only: The Ole Miss Rebels. Not even State gets that much love.

Photo taken by Meghan Huntley of Ole Miss’ campus.

Ole Miss is truly a classic. This place takes passion and school spirit to a whole new level. Countless successful alumni who graduated from Ole Miss continue to come back, and take time out of their busy schedules to talk with students.
Greek life means more to these students than a status. It’s a tradition that has been passed down through generations of family members to uphold a legacy.

I can’t say I have been to a place with such high spirits and devotion to one single place. As the quote goes, “One never graduates from Ole Miss.” This beautiful place is cherished by so many, and one could only be so proud to have come to such an amazingly long established university.

Ole Miss: University of Mississippi