The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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A Positive Change

In 2008, when deciding what college to attend, I’ll admit, I was completely overwhelmed. No one in my family had ever gone to college, so I had absolutely no idea what was important and no one to steer me in the right direction. All I had to go on was what my high school counselors said I should look for in a university.

When I finally did select a school, it was exactly what all of those counselors said it should be. Their student body had the highest average SAT score in the state, the campus wasn’t too big, the faculty seemed to have credentials that went on for pages, and there were a lot of scholarship opportunities. But I knew almost immediately that I had made the wrong choice.

I stepped onto campus for freshman orientation with a semi-positive attitude, and looked forward to making the best of a potentially awful decision. But this outlook immediately collapsed when I went to the pep rally. No one was cheering, no one was clapping, and very few people were even smiling. As the day went on I quickly realized that this lack of spirit effected not only pep rallies, but also the opportunities to get involved, the student contribution to campus decisions, and just about every action the university took. The students didn’t care, so why bother?

After I got home that day, I immediately started looking for other schools, and this time, I knew what I wanted. So while that freshman orientation was an awful experience, it did show me exactly what I did not want in a university, and in turn, showed me exactly what to look for.

On my requirements list for potential schools were the following: school spirit, a sense of community, vast opportunities for student involvement, an academic setting, and internship opportunities. SMU seemed to be the only school that easily allowed me to check off the entire list.

SMU’s school spirit beats my previous university’s “spirit” ten-fold. While students here aren’t as in-your-face as Longhorns or Aggies, there is still a sense of prevailing spirit and a joy to be here. And that spirit creates a fantastic sense of community that extends to all of the students on campus.

I knew going into SMU that there would be more opportunities than I was used to, but the sheer amount of opportunities actually took me by surprise. The Daily Campus, for instance, hired me as an associate editor before I was even registered for classes.

Even more telling of SMU’s willingness to let students become involved is the Student Senate. At my old school, senate was a just a courtesy. The biggest decision they made while I was there was to give students free scantrons and pencils before final exams. But at SMU, it’s a totally different ball-game. Student senate decides what organizations get chartered, what events and groups to fund, how student parking is delegated, and the list goes on and on. In addition to an involved senate, SMU allows a student to sit as a voting member on the Board of trustees. I think this says a lot about how SMU feels about the caliber of its students.

SMU also makes sure that you are absolutely prepared for life after school. The internship availability here is outstanding. SMU students can find internships everywhere from The American Diabetes Association, to MTV, to the Environmental Protection Agency, and everywhere in between. SMU’s internship page of their website is a alphabetical list of over 75 local and national organizations waiting to take on willing students. At SMU, if you want an internship, you can find one. And this isn’t something that can be said for many other universities.

Selecting SMU as my new university was one of the easiest decisions I have ever made. And while I am baring the high costs of tuition by myself, I am certain that the opportunities available to me here will make up for the potential destruction of my credit score.

Jessica Huseman is a sophomore journalism and political science double major. She can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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