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Jenny Simpson ′14

Major: Undeclared
Hometown: Joplin, Missouri
Fun Fact: Jenny is terrified of frogs

What were some of the highlights of your first year at Rhodes?
Should I be a nerd? Because academics, I guess, is what first comes to mind. My high school graduating class was 22 people. This feels like the college version of that. It’s really great. It feels like the teachers sincerely want us here, really want to get to know the students. I think that’s been the best thing for me. I go home and listen to my friends talk about school. And even if they have classes the same size as ours, they don’t feel like the teacher genuinely wants to be teaching. I feel that here. That was the best surprise.

How did you begin to determine what organizations and activities to participate in on campus?
I just took what I was always interested in, and Rhodes made it easy. Within welcome week, there’s meetings about student government, about Rhodes Singers, about sororities. So it wasn’t hard. Rhodes made it accessible. I mean, I never thought I would join a sorority, ever in my life, but I just went ahead and did rush. I thought it would be fun, and it was. And here, no one cares, one way or another. They’re like, “Hey, you’re in a sorority, great. Hey, you’re not, great.”

What is your favorite thing about Rhodes?
I like the community aspect. It’s not just an institution, it’s a community.

What advice would you give to the upcoming Class of 2015?
Every time I’ve gone away from home for programs or trips, I never ever got homesick. But I came here and I got homesick because I realized, “I’m never going to live at home again, this is it.” I think if I would have looked at it more as, “This is its own kind of community, you aren’t all alone,” I would have handled the homesickness better. College feels like it pulls you out of everything you know and plops you in a new place. But it’s not totally like that. Everyone’s in that spot, and so you’ve just got to relax. Breathe.

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