I am Eryka La-Shae Wallace, a senior public relations major from the grand city of Biloxi, Mississippi. I came to Southern Miss because I did not want to be too far away from my family, but far enough away so that I could have my own, new college experiences.
One of the first things I got involved in at Southern Miss was GEWW or Golden Eagle Welcome Week. It is a week of activities for first year students, where we are encouraged to learn Southern Miss traditions, get involved, and make new connections and friendships.
I was so nervous about coming to Southern Miss and I had a hard time adjusting, but my GEWW and Orientation leaders told me that I would find my fit here if I would just try to get involved and be more engaged in the campus community.
After I got over my fear of acceptance, I was able to find organizations and people that shared my beliefs, values, and goals. I had the opportunity to be a part of numerous student organizations. Some of them include, The Southerner Yearbook, Afro-American Student Organization, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, and Southern Miss Campus Civitan Club. I know that each organization shaped me into being a stronger and smarter Golden Eagle.
If I could lend any advice to an incoming student, I would say three things:
1. Get Involved
2. Get Connected
Coming to Southern Miss was a great choice that you have made, and I feel that one of the best ways to have a successful college career is through student activities.
Joining student groups is very important to me, but I had to learn how manage my time effectively. When you are involved you have lots of people that are going to want and need your help to make events, programs, and meetings successful. I invested in a great planner and set reminders on my phone and tablet. I make sure I always put my academics first and schedule study times. Time management can be hard but it is definitely not impossible. It’s all about balance and not overly committing yourself.
Getting involved on campus was a huge part of my personal and professional growth and development, and I encourage all of my Golden Eagles to do the same. SMTTT!