“To The Top” Student Involvement

By: Gavin Snyder, Student Activities Ambassador

“Southern Miss to the Top!” is the motto of our university. When you hear this unique phrase, what do you think of? Southern Miss flying? Southern Miss rising from the ashes or Southern Miss succeeding above the rest?

My name is Gavin Snyder. I am a junior Communication Studies major with a minor in Marketing and I am from Mobile, Alabama. When I hear our motto, I do not only think of all the things above, but I especially have a thought of what I can do to make our university rise to the top. Being from South Alabama, I had a lot of opportunities and potential advantages of attending my state’s universities. When deciding on a college, I wanted a place that would not only help me develop academically, but socially, emotionally, and spiritually. Southern Miss stuck out above the rest. I noticed that Southern Miss had not only a great academic reputation, but also an evolving student life like no other. That is what drew me to Southern Miss and that is what keeps my heart pumping as I continue my years as a student.

I had decided to attend Southern Miss without a tour and without any further knowledge of what I discovered online. My first day on campus, and in Hattiesburg, was on Orientation day. Orientation was a great experience. I was able to see the beautiful campus for the first time, and I also met friends that have lasted a life-time. Along with Orientation, Golden Eagle Welcome Week also known as GEWW, was an awesome experience. Both encouraged me to get involved. At Orientation, I had a chance to hear of the involvement opportunities and at GEWW, I was able to take action to get involved. I attended interest meetings, and got more information on how to get involved, and by the end of the week, I was well-informed and excited to jump into the world of student organizations!

Being involved has been a very key component of my success here at Southern Miss. I encourage each and every student to get involved whether it be with Greek Life, a religious organization, an academic organization, or a special interest one, all can help to develop you into a better scholar, a better leader, and a better you! When joining organizations, there is no need to be nervous or apprehensive. As a first year student, it seems intimidating at first, but just remember to be confident and be yourself! Do not think about what the organization can do for you, but instead what you can do for the organization!

Take advice from me. Do not overwhelm yourself by getting involved in too much. It’s better to be apart of few organizations and be active, then be in many organizations and take a back seat. Time management is the key to being involved. Do not forget that you came here for the education first and that should remain your priority. After struggling with this aspect of student life for two years, I have reached a good balance, and I am here to tell you guys to find the same. Academics first, involvement second! When you achieve a good balance, nothing can hold you back.

Southern Miss Activities Council (SMAC), Student Government Association (SGA), Southern Style, and Communication Studies Association (CMSA) are just a few of the organizations I invest my time in. Being the 2012 Homecoming Director is something not many people can claim doing, and I had this opportunity through SGA. Campus organizations give you the opportunity to do awesome things. Southern Style has allowed me to meet and invest my time with incoming students to insure they have the best Southern Miss experience, being SMAC president allows me to plan events on campus and gain experience in my future career, and CMSA allows me to network with my peers and make connections with individuals that will be in my same job market. Being involved has been an amazing experience and I look forward to the many unique opportunities that lie ahead.

Take your student involvement here at Southern Miss, To The Top and get involved!


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