Choctaws Down, Not Out

-Andy O’Brien, Assistant Editor

The Choctaws have lost three consecutive games and have fallen to a 7-8 record on the year. In Gulf South Conference play, MC’s men are now 5-8 this season.

Prior to the recent skid, the Choctaws had won five of six and looked promising. That tune changed when Delta State (then 11-6, 8-3 GSC) came to Clinton over the long holiday weekend a few weeks ago. After falling to the in-state rival Fighting Okra, 77-66, the Choctaws hit the road to take on West Georgia and West Alabama, two teams that led the GSC with seven conference wins.

Ezejiofo (UWA)

MC led West Georgia 85-81, but let the Wolves rallied back for an 86-85 win. Tory Rice, who leads the Choctaws with an average of 16 points per game, lit up the scoreboard for 28 in the loss. Tristan Moore tallied 14 assists and pulled down 8 rebounds.

In their most recent contest, the Choctaws took on West Alabama and fell 74-58. Moore again led the Choctaws, this time with 19 points. Rice earned his ninth double-double of the year, notching 10 points and the same number of rebounds.

While the three losses, and the most recent 16-point defeat, paint a dreary picture, there are brighter days ahead for Mississippi College basketball. This time a year ago, against Division III talent, the Choctaws only had five wins, two less than their current 7-8 record boasts. The transition to becoming successful in Division II will take time. The fact that the Choctaws have proven that they can be competitive now is impressive.

Furthermore, head coach Don Lofton seems to have a knack for winning at the end of the year. In the past three seasons, the Choctaws are 10-5 in their last five games.

Next up for MC is Christian Brothers University (9-8, 6-7 GSC), who will travel to the Golden Dome on Thursday, Jan. 29. Then, on Saturday the 31, Union (14-5, 8-5) will make a visit. Each of these teams have beaten the Choctaws already this season.

The Lady Choctaws have now lost two straight, and dipped below .500 themselves. After defeating Delta State at home, they lost both road contests of the weekend to fall to 8-9 on the year (4-9 GSC).

MC has still produced four conference wins, with nine games still to be played. As a team transitioning from a lower division, every win is a feat.

Ashley Minor and Kristen Sampson, both juniors, have shared the spotlight averaging 12 points per game each. Zaneta Kubicka has proven to be a powerful force under the basket, leading the Lady Choctaws with 21 blocks while also adding 80 rebounds. AnnMarie Harris leads MC with 107 boards on the year.

The Lady Choctaws will play the same schedule as the men for the rest of the season, which means their next game will also be against Christian Brothers on Thursday. The women will tip off at 6 p.m., and the men will follow at 8 p.m. in the Coliseum.


Mississippi College Athletics: Project Rebuild?

-Jarvis Gatlin, Contributing Writer

The announcement that Mississippi College Athletics was moving to Division II was met with excitement around the campus. Every single sport would be affected by this move. For the first time since 1996, Mississippi College would begin Division II play for the 2014-2015 season. There was only one problem: The adjustment would be tough, and long.

Rebuilding is a term used in sports that refers to a team or a program starting all over from scratch in order to better position itself for the long run. For years prior, Mississippi College athletics excelled in Division III sports in almost every sport here on campus. Towards the end of the 2013-2014 athletic seasons, many student athletes and coaches knew that certain changes would be made.

While some athletes and coaches remained, some were let go. Norman Joseph, former head football coach here at Mississippi College, resigned and John Bland was brought in to begin the rebuild process. Needless to say, the football team had, what many expected, a rough season. “The goal for this season, is to improve,” said Coach Bland. “Obviously, the Gulf South Conference is the toughest division in DII in the nation. But I loved the way our coaches and our players continued to work hard and improve as the season progressed, despite losses.”

During the Christmas break, Coach Bland and his staff were busy recruiting and signing top community college players from the state of Mississippi. “The guys we brought in are top notch athletes, but most importantly, good young Christian men. They will mesh in well with the current crop of players we have. It will be healthy competition that this team needs.”

Football wasn’t the only sport busy during the transfer period. The baseball team made some huge adjustments and seems to be all in for a rebuild process. Only three players from last year’s roster returned. “Our goal was to beef up the roster,” said Coach Brian Owens. “The transition from Division III to Division II was an adjustment that required changes.” “We got a good mix of JUCO players, as well as incoming freshmen,” Owens added. “The roster of guys we have all depend on each other and lean on each other for leadership.”

The baseball team missed the playoffs last year, but Coach Owens sees a rise of the baseball program. “Our guys play hard. We have instilled in them to play efficient,” he said. “The overall goal is to improve our record from last year and make some noise in the playoffs.”

The basketball team sits at a respectable 7-7 record, 3-3 at home and 4-4 on the road. The basketball team brought in many transfers, but left the core of last year’s team intact, a strategy that is used in many different levels of athletics. The stiff competition in the Gulf South Conference figured to give the basketball team many difficulties, but to the surprise of many, they sit at a respectable .500 record after 14 games of play. Overall, the buzz around the campus is a breath of fresh air for the students, staff, and athletes alike. Despite the rebuilding of various sports on campus, one thing remains intact: The competitive drive of the Choctaws. Go Chocs!!

Jake Weddle

-James Osborne, News Editor

Jake Weddle is ready and confident for Division II football. This senior History Education major from Frisco, Texas, is No. 44 and linebacker for the Choctaw football team.

Weddle’s many accomplishments in the 2013 season included 125 tackles, breaking the record for most tackles in a single season in Mississippi College football history with 66 solo stops, First Team All-American Southwest Conference selection, USA College Football Player of the Week, and named a finalist for the inaugural Cliff Harris Award.

Despite all of these accomplishments, Weddle takes it in stride with a humble attitude. “With all of the single achievements I have made, it doesn’t taste as good unless we are winning and having a successful season,” said Weddle, “I could win the Heisman but if we have a 0-10 score it doesn’t matter. I would much rather go 10-0 than win any kind of award.”

Weddle gives credit to his team and says, “My proud moments are when we win and give people something to cheer about.”

Last year the Choctaws did not end where they wanted to. “We started off our first four conference games with wins,” said Weddle, “but then we had a problem where one game defense would play well and a next game offense would play well. We want a full game where offense and defense both play well.”

With the move to Division II, the Choctaws are excited and motivated and Weddle gives credit to the new coaching staff. “He keeps us motivated. He’s younger, more excited. He understands what we can do, and expects a lot of us too. He knows how to motivate and we’ve been lacking that the past couple years,” Weddle explains about head coach John Bland.

“We have a new strength coach who has helped us out tremendously already and that will make wonders of a difference,” said Weddle. “They [the coaching staff] are as excited as we are and excited to prove people wrong and to get back to where we used to be.” Weddle is referring to Michael Shumaker who has entered his first year at MC as the head strength and conditioning coach.

There will be some challenging teams to beat in Division II but Weddle said, “We’re excited and want a challenge. In order to be the best you have to beat the best.”

According to Weddle the Choctaws are ready in every way and he sees a large, positive difference from last year. “We have recruited a higher caliber of guys who are bigger, stronger, and faster in every way,” said Weddle. “Obviously, there is the huge change in the coaching staff, than the facilities and strength coordinator. Everything we need to be successful has been improved on.”

The Choctaws have been training hard since August 8. “We had about zero starters at the beginning of training,” said Weddle, “and every position you had to earn. It was fair, and I like that. It wasn’t just given to anyone and made people compete.”

Weddle looks forward to the opportunity to mentor the younger players and motivate them. “We have a lot of young guys who will be really good in a couple years and it is our job as juniors and seniors to start setting them up for that now,” said Weddle.

“I want to be successful. I want to win every game. You’re not going to find an athlete that wants to lose. The coaches will put us where we need to be to be successful. We just have to take it one game at a time.”

Choctaws fall to Belhaven Blazers, 32-14

-Andy O’Brien, Assistant Editor

After all the changes that the Mississippi College athletic department has made over the past year, the football team eased the transition by opening the season against a familiar foe.

The Choctaws crossed the metro area to take on the Belhaven Blazers of Jackson Saturday night. MC was down 14-20 entering the fourth quarter before the Blazers pulled away to win, 32-14.

The first game of the season for Mississippi College kicked off the second year of candidacy as the school continues down the path to return to Division II and Gulf South Conference membership. For the 2014-2015 year, the Choctaws will compete against Division II schools, but will remain ineligible for NCAA-affiliated playoffs until the 2016-2017 season.

In Saturday’s game, Mississippi College freshman Kyle Smith ran for 58 yards as he shared time at quarterback with the incumbent, senior Jonathon Redd. Through the air, the two signal-callers combined to go 6-17 for 31 yards. Choctaw newcomer Chris Ingram, a transfer from Itawamba Community College, led the team with a touchdown and 70 yards in 15 rushing attempts.

Head coach John Bland made his Mississippi College debut, implementing the run-oriented offense that brought him success as head coach at the University of the Cumberlands. The Choctaws amassed 146 yards in 39 rushes on the night.

Belhaven also went through numerous changes in the offseason, applying to take MC’s vacancy in the Division III American Southwest Conference. The Blazers also picked up a new head coach in Hal Mumme, former head coach of the University of Kentucky and one of the founders of the “air-raid” offense. Connor Preston of the Blazers went 30-45 for 294 yards and three touchdowns.

Reggie Bennett led MC defensively with 10 tackles. Seth McDonald and Jake Weddle each added nine tackles, and Jordan Jones had the team’s only unassisted sack.

The Blazers marched down the field to start the game. On first and 10 on the MC 11-yard line, C.J. O’Quinn and Jonotario Woodcox collaborated for a 15-yard sack that would lead to a turnover on downs for Belhaven.

The Choctaws were unable to move the ball far, and a fumble gave Belhaven a short field. Preston found Darien Thomas in the end zone for a 12-yard score. It was the first of three consecutive drives that ended in touchdowns for the Blazers.

On the third drive of the night for the Choctaws, Smith took the reins of the offense. The Petal, Miss. native started the drive with a nine yard rush, followed by a 15-yard carry by Adrian Cerrato. Ingram followed with a 54-yard sprint to score for MC, making the score 13-6.

The Blazers scored on the ensuing drive, but the Choctaws responded. Smith started the drive again, this time with a 21-yard scamper. He added another run of 14 yards, then connected with Jaime Harris for seven yards. After a few more plays from the ground, Smith finally found the goal line on a seven-yard score. The Choctaws trailed 14-20, and would not score again for the remainder of the game.

Both teams were held scoreless in the third quarter. Belhaven secured the win with a 12-point fourth quarter. The Blazers have now won the last two meetings between the two Jackson-area teams, but the Choctaws lead the all-time series 3-2.

Next weekend, Mississippi College will host the University of North Alabama. The Lions are ranked #6 in the poll, and will open their season in Clinton. UNA has won a record three national championships in Division II.

It will be the first home game of the season for the Choctaws and Head Coach John Bland. The game will be at 7 p.m. on September 13, and will be broadcast online by ESPN 3 and on the radio on STAR 93.5 in Clinton.

Choctaw Fall athletics preview

Leslie Fallon, Sports Editor

Fall is in the air, which undeniably means pumpkin spice lattes, flannels, and Choctaw game day! Fall sports are in full force and the Choctaws are better than ever. Our male and female athletes will be pushed to their fullest potential this year, competing in a higher level bracket now that we’re Division 2.

With MC’s athletic department expanding, Coaches Michael Shumaker, Randal Pharr, and Matt Frederick make up our newest strength and conditioning program. Each athletic team will be in the weight room weekly to enhance their performance, targeting muscles and techniques geared specifically to their sport in preparation for the upcoming season.

“I WILL” is the Choctaw football team’s motto, signifying each individual player’s commitment and dedication to the team and themselves. Head coach John Bland put up a poster in the football locker room and field house reminding the team what “I WILL” stands for.

“1. I will – give great effort in the classroom. 2. I will – promote a positive image. 3. I will – prepare to win.”

Bland will be entering into his first year coaching at MC this season, with high praises and expectations for his team. “We have a good group of hard workers with positive attitude,” said Bland, “It makes it enjoyable as a coach.”

Returning quarterback Jonathan Redd is expected to have a good senior year, coming back stronger than before and holding great leadership skills. With lots of new players on the offensive line, MC football faces the lack of depth that they need if injuries occur. But Bland believes the team will “continue to grow all season and be the best we can be.”

The Choctaw’s first home football game will be held this Saturday, September 13 at 7 pm against North Alabama.

Though uncertain how his team’s season will play out, head coach Kevin Johns of the men’s soccer team is confident that he has solid players.

“We knew what to expect in previous years, but now it’s a whole new year with whole new opponents,” admits Johns, “The season is a question mark for the staff, players, and program.”

Bringing in more than 40 new players with the change to Division II, the men’s soccer team’s goal is to be competitive in the Gulf South Conference and make it to the NCAA nationals just as they did last season. In previous seasons, the Choctaws were regular season champions and conference champions last year.

With such a new team, Kevin Johns, Carl Sheard, Allen Hannon, and Emerson Negrete, the men’s soccer coaching staff, look forward to the challenge. Their next home game will be September 16, following the Lady Choctaw women’s soccer game, starting at 2 p.m.

Coach Daryl Longabaugh is entering into his 18th year coaching the Lady Choctaws but his first year as a Division 2 coach. Simply put, when asked about the goal of this team’s season, Longabaugh said, “to win.” The Lady Choctaws will be working toward making it to post season in NCAA, and hopefully to nationals.

There is a majority of upperclassmen on the team, and new records could be set this season by senior outside forward, Macey Lee and senior midfielder, Melanie Benner. Lee is nine goals away from breaking Jennifer Benson’s school record for most goals in a career, while Benner is just five assists away from the all-time record.

This season the Lady Choctaws have acquired three international soccer players which Longabaugh has high hopes for, “These girls can play good soccer,” said Longabaugh regarding Sayit Mejia Bello, Eri Unai, and Caitlin Hayes.

The biggest addition to the soccer program, in Longabaugh’s opinion, is the strength and conditioning. “Weight training is making the girls stronger,” said Longabaugh, “and the stronger we are the better we’ll be.”

The men’s and women’s track and cross country coach, Butch Ard, unlike the other sports, knows what to expect this season. “Every meet the Choctaws and Lady Choctaws run against Division 1, Division 2, or NAIA so our schedule and the runners we run against won’t change,” explained Ard, “The only difference is now we’ll be more talented and have five or six that will be able to score well.”

With 11 freshmen on the team of 13 female runners, the expectations for this season are unknown. Despite the newness of the Lady Choctaw team, senior runners Meredith Johnson and Mallory Montgomery show great leadership and example, and both went to nationals last year. “Meredith is running very, very well right now,” said Ard, “She’s a great leader on the team.” Complimentary of Mallory, Ard said, “She is running better this year than ever since she’s been here. She’s also helping a lot with the freshmen.”

Coach Ard is not the least bit concerned about the male Choctaw runners. They finished twentieth in the nation last year with mostly freshmen, and this year five runners return from that nationally ranked team. They’ve also added three “really good freshmen guys,” said Ard, “So our guys’ team is really good.” The cross-country team’s next home meet is October 3, at 4:30 pm at the Choctaw Trails.

“The make-up of this team will be better than previous years. Bringing in a scholar athlete will be fun to watch,” excitedly said Lady Choctaw volleyball head coach Peter Cosmiano. With an equal number of returning players and new comers, Cosmiano is also excited to have some height on the team, as well as experience. The Lady Choctaws volleyball team will be setting their team’s objective this week, but Cosmiano has personal goals that each member works with the team and is competitive. The Lady Choctaws will be hosting West Alabama this Tuesday in the Coliseum at 7 p.m.

Don’t forget to come out and support your school and show ‘em how to “DO IT LIKE A CHOCTAW!”

The People of MC – April 15, 2014

Molly Halpin "I think my quality of life would be greatly enhanced if I owned a pug."
Molly Halpin
“I think my quality of life would be greatly enhanced if I owned a pug.”
Drae Bordelon "I wish I had taken the opportunity to red shirt at a D1 college." "What do you play?" "Soccer."
Drae Bordelon
“I wish I had taken the opportunity to red shirt at a D1 college.”
“What do you play?”
(From left to right) Danel Nordwall, Jacob Pilgrim, Nicole Nordwall "What's your favorite part of this class?" "Dr. Potts."
(From left to right)
Danel Nordwall, Jacob Pilgrim, Nicole Nordwall
“What’s your favorite part of this class?”
“Dr. Potts.”
Drake Terry & Bo Melton "Why are you carrying a couch?" "Never fail a brother."
Drake Terry & Bo Melton
“Why are you carrying a couch?”
“Never fail a brother.”
Connor Blackwell "What's the hardest thing in your life today?" "The fact that I'm drinking three cokes and I'm going to be FAT!"
Connor Blackwell
“What’s the hardest thing in your life today?”
“The fact that I’m drinking three cokes and I’m going to be FAT!”
Danny Ruth "What is the most craziest thing you would ever consider doing?" "Wing suiting in the Grand Canyon.  I ski dived, and that was pretty sick, and I feel like wing suiting is the next level.  I mean, come on, you're a person and you get to fly.  And see the Grand Canyon at the same time!"
Danny Ruth
“What is the most craziest thing you would ever consider doing?”
“Wing suiting in the Grand Canyon. I ski dived, and that was pretty sick, and I feel like wing suiting is the next level. I mean, come on, you’re a person and you get to fly. And see the Grand Canyon at the same time!”
Jonathan Berryman "What is your biggest regret in life?" "I should've missed football practice when we ran the other morning."
Jonathan Berryman
“What is your biggest regret in life?”
“I should’ve missed football practice when we ran the other morning.”
J.B. Long "What was your best memory when you were five years old?" "The night my mom sat me down and told me I was going to be a big brother."
J.B. Long
“What was your best memory when you were five years old?”
“The night my mom sat me down and told me I was going to be a big brother.”
Bryan Hendricks & Camille Tyner "I text her pick up lines all the time." "He texted me today, 'You're so hot I could bake cookies on you.'" "Can I quote that?"
Bryan Hendricks & Camille Tyner
“I text her pick up lines all the time.”
“He texted me today, ‘You’re so hot I could bake cookies on you.'”
“Can I quote that?”
"If you tried to quote me, you'd have to edit, edit, edit, edit till all you'd have left is 'T'."
“If you tried to quote me, you’d have to edit, edit, edit, edit till all you’d have left is ‘T’.”
Jordan Cidmore & Duvy Salvant “Once we hydroplaned on the way back from Nashville. We were out of control and landed in a ditch. And the first thing out of my mouth was like ‘Hey, get out of the car and get a snapchat for me.'”
Logan McCleod "What is the most manliest thing you have ever done?" "I held my hand on a hot plate at a Mexican restaurant longer than this other guy.  And he still brings it up."
Logan McCleod
“What is the most manliest thing you have ever done?”
“I held my hand on a hot plate at a Mexican restaurant longer than this other guy. And he still brings it up.”

A new taste for Old Towne Clinton

Students who have walked through downtown Clinton lately may have encountered the aroma of freshly-baked cookies and cupcakes. Walking along downtown Clinton, it is easy to spot a small and quaint blue and white house across the street from the police station.

Owner of Meme’s Brick Street Bakery Theresa Smith and her husband stand on the porch of the new bake shop. Meme’s bakery opened in Olde Towne on March 8th and serves a variety of cupcakes, cookies, cakes, and coffee.

This bright blue house was originally built in 1872 but above the front porch is a brand new sign that reads “Meme’s Bakery.”

Meme’s Bakery is the newest addition to Olde Towne Clinton. The front porch and home-like atmosphere invites customers in, and the smell of cookies and the laughter of a small line at the counter encourages them to step inside.

“The fun homey environment reminds me of what a small town cute bakery should be. Everyone is always so nice and welcoming that I believe they are going to build up a strong clientele,” said Ashley Dillard, a senior Public Relations student.

The owner of Meme’s Bakery is Theresa Smith—a “meme” to six grandchildren. The biggest sellers at Meme’s bakery are the brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and petit fours. They also have cupcakes, cake cups, cake pops, sugar cookies, iced sugar cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, peanut butter cookies, and more.

The bakery also has gluten-free coconut macaroon cookies and will possibly include more gluten-free options soon.

Meme’s Bakery also does cakes, and Smith looks forward to making birthday cakes and cakes for parties for the community and for MC’s clubs, tribes, and other groups. The bakery aslo has free Wi-Fi and a deck behind the house where students can study.

Business has been greater than Smith expected for Meme’s ever since opening day on Mar. 8.

“It’s been unbelievable. Just more than I’ve expected,” said Smith. “The response from the college and the community has been unbelievable.”

Smith runs the store with help from her husband and some part time help. Smith said that her main goal for the business right now is being able to keep enough in stock because the bakery has been sold out of its treats on most days during her first couple weeks of being open.

Tara Lytle, director of the Main Street Economic Development, said, “When people started telling us what they wanted added to downtown that was the number one thing—a bakery. We had requests for a bakery even before restaurants.

“We are beyond thrilled to have a bakery downtown. And then to have a good one, and what they have done inside, it’s precious inside. I think she is going to do great.”

Theresa Smith is living her dream. She has worked as a financial and pastoral secretary at Parkway Baptist church for almost 11 years and often decorated cakes for friends and family for over 30 years. She quit her secretary work in December to be able to bake full time and get everything ready for the store to open.

“I always dreamed of having my own shop. I wanted a place where mothers could come and buy a cake with matching plates. All those years it just wasn’t feasible,” said Smith. Then recently the plans for Smith’s bakery started falling in place.

Her dream started coming together last year when a friend had suggested she start selling her cupcakes in downtown Clinton. She did not think it was possible, but the more she thought about it and the more she looked around the area, the more excited she became about the possibilities.

“It seemed like the timing was better. God opened some doors and He closed some doors. I’m glad he closed the doors He did. I was looking at this location for a long time, and I thought this would be so neat as a bake shop, but I didn’t think it was possible,” Smith said.

“There are not many places to choose from in the area, but I knew I wanted it in Olde Towne.” Smith and her husband eventually met with the owner and discussed plans. They saw there was a lot of work to do with renovations since it had been vacant for many years.

“It was a long process,” said Smith. “It was a lot of work. It took a lot to make the place look the way it does. The walls had to be repaired and everything painted. It was a lot of work, and we did it all ourselves. We finally said that we are opening Mar. 8no matter what. And we did. I could have prepared more probably but I wasn’t sure what to expect.”

Smith’s daughter-in-law is an interior designer and an MC graduate who designed the interior of the bakery.

“It looks great. Just the way I wanted,” said Smith.

Smith said that her favorite thing so far about the bakery is the response from the community.

“The people. The response. I still get teary eyed thinking about it, but the response has been great. The first day I had to stay in the back, and I didn’t like being away from everyone.

“But seeing everyone coming inside and enjoying themselves, kids sitting at the little table, and students sitting with their laptops studying, that has been my biggest joy out of all of it.”

Meme’s Bakery is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

– James Osborne, Contributing Writer

College is awkward

photo-12Less than a year ago, I was told, “You’re in college; act like it,” and since, I have entered into the most confusing stage of my life. And I will tell you why: because college is awkward.

There are so many reasons I could list to you why I believe this, reasons like how we never see babies or old people and therefore get stuck in a summer camp mentality of entitlement, also called “the bubble;” dusty coffee shops become so elevated in our “studious” world that they are, indeed, glorified without reason and rarely utilized for studying, only socializing; oh, and Netflix. But these are not the main reasons I bring to you today. Today, I want to address transition and independence.

College is transitional. We are moving at a fast pace through drastically different “phases,” or semesters. As a freshman, I was a new kid and had just gotten my bearings in the spring when I jumped into sophomore year. Sophomore year, I was “it.”

I knew the school, knew the people, and my friends and I owned our table in the caf. I was somebody. Now I am a junior, and I just feel really awkward all the time. My 12-count friend group has fizzled, so sometimes I sit alone in the caf.

I walk to Cups for, of course, socializing, and do not recognize a single person. Walking to class, I furrow my eyebrows and feel somewhat homeless. Of course, I am being slightly dramatic; I have friends and a boyfriend and am involved in activities, but I want to communicate that there has been drastic change.

And it is not necessarily external change, like friend shifts, class workload, etc. I want you to understand the drastic internal changes of a college student. My perception of the world around me during my freshmen year was a grain of sand compared to the brick it is now.

Petty things held high value in my mind as I scurried eagerly, like the squirrels that dart across our paths every day. Sophomore year, I was prideful. Like the sewage cat that bravely emerges in broad daylight, I strutted around this campus and waved to everyone whose names I had heard of.

But then junior year hit me. Actually, remember the brick I mentioned earlier? I think that is what hit me. What I thought was real life was not real life anymore. What I had thought independence was (the ability to make my own decisions to like, go to Wafflehouse or not,) was not really independence.

And I was forced to look at the menacing reality that success in life is not easy and involves hard work. It is like a garden. Without kneeling on the ground and getting dirt in your nails, not much beauty is going to appear. (I tried to come up with a campus animal to use as an analogy but it is not happening.)

Our generation is being convinced that it is okay not to have things figured out, so that we are blindsided into a sandbox mentality that keeps us busy with fun things while the weeds of the real world are growing up around us. I advise you to use your short time here wisely. Have fun, but grow up and learn what real independence is. Get your hands dirty. Step out of the sandbox dream every once in a while and do some gardening.

– Bethani Thomas, Contributing Writer

The tales of ‘Tinder,’ MC’s matchmaking app

The idea is simple. You make a profile, which includes a picture of yourself and a 500 word bio. After that, users simply scroll through picture after picture of men or women, clicking an ‘X’ to ignore or a heart for “I’m interested.” When two people are both interested in each other, they are notified by a ‘match.’

Tinder is an easy-to-use dating app that matches you based on your location and lets you scroll through profile pictures hitting “like” or “nope” till you find your dream guy; then message him to go from there.

The Tinder app has become widely used on campus, creating a sort of secret world where Mississippi College users can interact with those they may not necessarily talk to in person.

Basically, Tinder focuses on looks. With compatibility based on nothing more than someone’s appearance, the app may seem shallow. Many students use it as a quick ego boost, seeing how many matches they can get.

“All Tinder does is feed that caveman part of a male brain,” said David Wygant in an article for the Huffington Post. “I felt like I was looking through some kind of weird catalogue. I didn’t have to say or do anything, except hit X or heart to say whether I was interested.”

Because the app is based on how attractive users find each other, Tinder is often known for being used primarily for “hook-ups.” However, many students say it is possible to have a real relationship come out of the matchmaking app.

“It saves you from having to wonder whether someone is interested in you,” said one MC student who chose to remain anonymous. “You can message someone that you know for sure is attracted to you, and that saves you from unnecessary rejection.”

The app was apparently widely used during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, allowing athletes, coaches, and spectators to meet up between competitions.

One aspect of Tinder that makes it more useful, or more dangerous, depending on the individual, is that it can display the usernames of individuals within a certain proximity, making it easier for couples to take the match to the next level.

However, Tinder is also known to have negative effects on those using it. Being judged based on looks or not receiving enough matches can leave some people feeling unattractive or rejected.

“I think it’s stupid that it only deals with how hot you think someone is,” said another MC student. “Some people may find a boyfriend or girlfriend from it, but it is ultimately a hook-up site. Not to mention that it degrades those who use it.”

“After 48 hours I felt a little uglier as a person,” said Wygant after using the app. “In fact, if I wasn’t as secure as a person, or I had any issues with looks or social anxiety, 48 hours on Tinder would send me over the edge.

“You put a picture of yourself up, and after 48 hours, nobody finds you attractive. You’ve lost all your looks. You no longer have it. The world decided you’re ugly.”

Some students are choosing to go beyond just chatting and are meeting up with their matches in person, a decision that can lead to serious consequences. Some female students at nearby universities have been drugged and raped from meeting their matches alone.

Despite the possible dangers and the negative connotation associated with Tinder, students at MC continue to make profiles and thumb through the list of possible “soul mates.”

Most users know what they are getting themselves into when making a profile, treating Tinder as a game. However, when using any matchmaking site or app, students are advised to keep their guards up and their expectations low.

– Abbie Walker, News Editor

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