The Teen Appeal

Giving truth to Memphis youth

The impact my Summer Program had on my life

By Ivy Arnold (Central High School)

On June 25, 2014 I woke up, packed 70 percent of my life, placed it and myself, in the car, drove a few miles, parked the car, stepped out, dragged my bags up to place that I was slightly scared to be at and there it was: The University of Mississippi. Why was I scared you may ask? Well, when you reach certain goal points in life, where dreams seem to be way too grand, yet you still take baby or large steps towards it to make those dreams become reality, you just automatically hyperventilate with joy. From June 25-July 25 and forever, Ole Miss has impacted my life greatly through the lessons of time management, decision-making, and long-lasting experiences.

Those who know me well know that one of my worst flaws is my sleeping issues. At home on a typical school day, it’ll take everything plus the Lord’s will and power to wake me up so that I can get to school on time. Going to Ole Miss, without my parents to be my backup alarm when my alarms don’t do the job, I had heavy doubts that I’d make it to class every day. To be truthful, yes, I did indeed miss my 8:00 a.m. class once and was late twice; I truly hate that I did, because I loved my journalism class. After those incidents, I knew that I had to do better. Time management is one of the most important keys to succeeding in college and in your working life; it took me a week and a half to learn that, but at least I got the hang of it before I became a real deal college student.

Today or tomorrow, right now or tonight, making the right decisions that is best for your time, lifestyle, mental and physical strength and many other personal specifics is essential also. For four weeks, I had to determine when: I would complete my homework and projects, go to bed, to complete summer work for high school, to go out with my new friends or study more, trust people to do favors for me or make time for me to rush and do all that I needed to do, and more. Before I went off to Ole Miss, I remember my teacher Ms. Patterson giving me a quiz over the phone; the directions she gave me was to say “A”, “B”, or “C”, with “A” being most important and the rest being lower than important. When she asked me the random questions, asking if the wants or tasks could wait or not, they seemed so simple until I actually were in those scenarios dealing with money, time, and differences. I’m truly appreciative to have been in those scenarios, for I’ll know how to better those situations the next time, and so that I won’t have to be one of millions of anxiety-ridden teens who are pushed out of the doors of high school and thrown onto a ledge over a valley of serious life changing decisions.

Furthermore, the people I met during my time at Ole Miss gave me several personal “Dummies Guide to Being a College Student”, figuratively and literally. Keyonna, Terence, Hy, Brittany, LK, Jimmie, Chelsea, Brianna, and Armondo, just to name a few college students who taught me life lessons, dos and don’ts, and cons and pro’s to just about every topic. Chelsea taught me about horrible roommates, the reality check of becoming an adult, cons of changing your major during your senior year, owning your own place, and keeping up with paying bills. Hy and Terence taught me about the cons of partying too much which can result in you not taking school seriously. LK and Jimmie, both who love rugby (I play rugby), explained how they keep high GPAs while being an athlete.

Keyonna, taught me more about self-worth, and to know limits and standards when dating in college, as she would say, “Hey you have to take it serious, don’t be foolish and lustful, be wise, in college you’re old enough to get married and to go to jail for being stupid,” by that she meant to not lose it and go crazy over any guy. I could go on and on about all the staff and students who gave me tips, suggestions, and gasping stories of college life, yet this essay would be about 1,000 pages.

I have three church friends who attend Ole Miss, I always remember them talking about the Ole Miss bucket list that they seem to struggle with completing; the cool thing is, that I actually did three of them while on campus, and let’s say it was hilarious. As Oxford is a small town, that is only exciting during game time and Greek parties, you really have to make your own fun which the bucket list definitely helps with that tremendously. I never thought of attending a college in Mississippi, yet the University of Mississippi has seemed to appear on my admissions list for this fall due to the experiences there.

As I can’t thank REACH Memphis, Ole Miss, and my parents enough for sending me there for a trial run of college life, I’ll say it in several languages: Gracias, merci, thank ya, dank, salamat! During this time next year, my only struggle will be realizing that I’m actually a knock and doorbell ring away from the threshold of adulthood, but at least my feet will be a little damp with experience that’ll make me slide through freshmen year with few worries. With a new puzzle piece of maturity, I must say this in my most grown up voice possible; “ARE YOU READYYYY!?!? Hell yeah! Damn Right! Hotty Toddy, gosh almighty. Who the hell are we? Hey! Flim Flam, Bim Bam, Ole Miss, By Damn!” And that’s all folks, hats off to The University of Mississippi! HOTTY TODDY!”


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This entry was posted on March 3, 2015 by in Online Exclusives and tagged , , , , .


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