On the corner of East College Street and Monroe stand two archways at the entrance of MC’s campus. As a student walks through one, ideally a green freshman, they can glance above and read the weighty challenge inscribed on the arch that states “Enter here to increase in stature, knowledge, and wisdom.”
This edict, which sounds suspiciously close to Luke 2:52, sets a high standard for personal, educational, and spiritual growth for the students of this university. When a student comes to Mississippi College, the school is providing them an education and countless opportunities for development; the process is about the growth of the student.
Conversely, when a student walks off of campus, symbolically as a graduated senior, the edict this time is different. It states “Depart to share your culture with all mankind.”
This command expresses the importance of going forth and actively seeking to use the educations we have been given here and not hoarding or wasting them.
Mississippi College’s 13 study abroad programs afford students the opportunity to be ambassadors for the school while having copious amounts of fun along the way.
Now is the time to go. There will never be a more perfect equilibrium, as experienced by college students, of limited responsibility and independence.
Ten years from now, there will be children to feed and car notes to pay, which is not the ideal situation to pack up and go to South Korea for the summer. However, those responsibilities do not exist for most during these four unique years of undergraduates study.
Choosing to live in another country for a time is not an easy route to take; sometimes, it is just plain hard. Yet, the good adventures mingled with the less desirable ones were what grew me emotionally and spiritually during my semester in London.
For example, my first few trips on a train in the underground system were exhilarating. People of every ethnicity and socio-economic background flooded this entire city under the earth and zoomed from one destination to the next.
The glamour quickly faded once I had to commute on the underground into the city every day during our home stay experience.
People are not their best at seven in the morning on public transit. But then again, simply using public transportation was an invaluable and empowering experience in itself.
I learned how to maneuver on the tube, and I learned that I was not built for an urban environment, such as London, to do every day life in. I will stick to my gas-guzzling SUV.
Despite the plethora of reasons to spend time abroad, such as the many facets of experiencing a foreign culture, students could find the trip rewarding simply in the pursuit of beholding beautiful things.
Not to belittle the hospitality state with all its charm and pizzazz, but Norman architecture and cathedrals were never quite in vogue in Mississippi.
My soul was not shaken to the core when I stood below the Eiffel Tower, but it was still worth the effort and time to view the iconic structure. It was worth the personal and financial sacrifices required to see the majestic Loch Ness and the statuesque Big Ben.
A picture does not suffice. There is a lot of beauty out there, so get going and see it. Take the responsibility to share your culture with all mankind seriously. It will be good for MC, and it will be good for you.
– Molly Halpin, Contributing Writer