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Jay Jordan ′07

Going to college in my hometown could have been a dull experience, but mine at Rhodes has been just the opposite. Being here has opened up a whole new world where I have discovered amazing interests and talents.

I did a lot of singing in high school, so I auditioned for the Rhodes Singers as a freshman. Who knew that would lead to two performances at Carnegie Hall and a tour of England over Spring Break? Those experiences were really unfathomable to me before Rhodes, yet they’ve helped me develop such an interest in both traveling and singing, they will always be part of my life.

Who knew I would run for the Social Regulations Council my sophomore year, get elected, and have it become such an important part of my life? It’s stressful at times because the SRC’s decisions can impact other students’ lives. But at the same time it’s a good feeling knowing that I’m involved and doing something worthwhile for the Rhodes community.

I came here just knowing I would major in political science and then head to law school.  But something strange happened to me my sophomore year when I started to fall in love with studying about the past, which eventually led to majoring in history. Since then I’ve had research published in the Rhodes Historical Review and gained admittance into Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society. These honors, as well as getting accepted to the Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies, have validated my decision. Spending the Summer researching the economic recovery of Ames Plantation was so fascinating, I may head for graduate school and stick with the academic life.

But college is more than academics. In fact, one of my favorite parts has been having friends all around me. Rhodes is such a small place that everyone knows just about everyone else. And we genuinely trust and respect one another. We work hard in class, and we also have fun.

On my first visit to the campus I discovered something special at Rhodes. Everyone here—professors and other students alike—really care about what you have to say and what you want to do. Whether it’s meeting a professor for coffee to discuss assignments or going next door to ask a friend for aspirin during exams, they’re always willing to help you out. When it’s time to leave, that strong feeling of community is probably what I’ll miss most.

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