Popping the MC Bubble/by Meredith Stratmann

Alumni, current MC students, faculty and visitors alike are all aware of a phenomenon specific to the main Mississippi College campus in Clinton, Miss. This occurrence is what is commonly referred to as the “MC Bubble.” This bubble encompasses a certain look and persona that many people at MC strive to achieve. This way of life is advertised to potential students in many forms, including brochures, online ads, and visits to campus. Everyone seems to be one big happy family.

But the truth of the matter is that the bubble can be toxic. If you’re not the Chaco-wearing, Hydro Flask-carrying, Cups-drinking type, you may be a little lost. Most people become friends with individuals who are exactly like them. They go to the same church. They’re in the same tribes. They have the same majors. There’s nothing wrong with that. I do that, and you probably do too. But the problem lies in that diversity is not championed and celebrated. People who don’t “fit the mold” end up feeling left out, simply because they’re different. 

The bubble is loved and held onto tightly by many. That’s one of the reasons it’s difficult to form more unconventional relationships. But in the real world after graduation, there will no longer be a protective bubble around you. Not everyone will have the same beliefs and love Chick-fil-A as much as you do, and that’s okay. It’s in these opportunities that we grow and learn more about the world around us.

In the workplace, we’ll be dealing with people who have different backgrounds and cultures. Rather than having everyone smile and say hey when they pass by, there may be people who are rude. We’ll have to deal with that. The bubble does not prepare students to deal with this adversity. 

Another problem with the bubble is that it encourages people to stay so close to campus. The university’s culture thrives on events, hangouts, and “campus life” right here on the main MC campus. The farthest people venture out is to the brick streets for a concert. People stay on campus rather than going somewhere more scenic. They study at the Clinton Cups. I understand that the reason for this is because of the convenience. At the same time, I challenge you to go out and explore. Try a new restaurant, explore Jackson, or find a new study spot. The world is so much bigger than just this campus. Junior Sarah Romines remarks, “Even just driving ten minutes off campus, you can find an explosion of culture and diversity that you wouldn’t find on MC’s campus. That’s something that’s valuable. Some of the best restaurants and museums that the South has to offer are so close, but people are so caught up in campus that they miss out during their four years here.”

My final suggestion is to meet new people–people of different ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, countries. I have friends that are homeless, friends in their 90s, friends in other countries, and friends with different political views. There’s so much that we can learn from people who are different from us. Not only can they add to our lives, but hopefully we can enrich their lives as well.

Do what you can to pop the MC bubble around you. I think you just might be surprised to see the benefits.

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