Rebel Yell – 48 Hours at Ole Miss

shutterstock_130004912

Two days, 13 talks and 2,000+ sorority women – Ole Miss, you knocked my socks off!

A couple of weeks ago, I had the incredible opportunity to speak at the University of Mississippi, but the trip got off to a little bit of a rocky start (or so I thought!).

With thousands of students moving in for fall semester, hotel rooms were in short supply. I had three of our Student Maid team members with me, so that made things a little more complicated! After searching for a place for almost five hours on the drive to Oxford, we ended up finding a place to stay and settled for a house on Airbnb.

It ended up being a blessing in disguise. Waking up in Oxford, less than a mile from the football stadium, I felt like I was right back in college. Maybe it’s because the town reminded me of Gainesville: brick walls, green grass, thick trees and a heavy dose of Southern hospitality (and sweet tea!). I had a blast at Ole Miss and left feeling a little sentimental.

College lasts 1,460 days (unless you take a victory lap…nothing wrong with that!). While that can seem like a long time, it goes by in a flash, and you have to make the most of it while you can. This trip got me thinking about a few things that I believe are vital to getting the most out of your college experience.

Step outside your comfort zone and take a class that pushes you to learn a new skill. If I could go back in time, I would have taken an improv class, which would have helped me grow as a public speaker. These days, I don’t know where I would find the time for it.

Stay after class and get to know one of your professors. You probably think I sound old-fashioned, but for real: You will never know the benefits of getting to know your professors until you take the initiative to have a meaningful conversation with them. One of my professors is now a client of mine, and another was instrumental in growing my business. Both of these things would have never happened if I hadn’t taken the time to get to know them.

Study abroad. This is one thing that I never did, and I regret it to this day. College is the perfect time to take a trip abroad with teachers that will lead you to the best places in town. Plus, you will probably never have opportunity to travel so cheaply again.

Get a real internship. Get an internship that will push you and give you a real experience that you can learn from. When you are interviewing for jobs later down the road, you want to be able to talk about your work experience in college and how you spent your time.

Make a list of all the local restaurants and try them all. Don’t just live in a bubble and only go to the same 4 or 5 spots near campus. There are so many great hole-in-the-wall places in every city that only locals know about. So make a list, explore and try to go to as many local restaurants as you can. It makes for the perfect weekend adventure with friends or your significant other!

Be single. Don’t be in a four-year relationship while in college. Yes, sometimes it works out, but most of the time, it doesn’t. You need to use the four years of college to take time and learn about yourself. College is the perfect time to grow as an individual. Don’t let being in a relationship inhibit you from discovering who you are.

Stay in touch with high school friends. Make trips to visit them at their schools, keep up with them in group texts, and make an effort to be intentional with those relationships. That’s something I wish I still did.

Ask for help and take advantage of being a student. Sometimes people are scared to ask for help or advice. Honestly, you would be surprised how willing people are to help you, especially because you are a student. So take advantage of that and take advantage of the resources you have that you can learn from.

Go on a blind date. Because why not?

Make a bucket list. Research the area you go to school in and find the best restaurants, local spots, parks, and things to do. By making your own bucket list, you will find that it will make college fun, spontaneous, and memorable.

What about you? What tips do you have for making the most out of your college experience?