06.16 Jessica Mitchell 4

Corral Guides preparing for Corral Kickoff Festivities

College is a magical time. Pretty much anyone you meet who has been will say that for a number of different reasons: the classes, the personal development, the freedom, etc. For me, what’s made SMU most magical is the people. When I put down my deposit in April, I knew that I would be attending a world-class institution with caring faculty and beautiful campus facilities. What I did not know was that I was about to join a community of the most amazing people I had ever met. From a Junior Olympic gold medalist in my Wellness class to a girl who had started her own non-profit that raised over $20,000 during her senior year of high school living next door in McElvaney, everywhere I looked there was another inspirational person to meet.

06.16 Jessica Mitchell 2

Just a normal day in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center

But even beyond the accomplishments of our student body, there’s a certain quality to SMU students that makes them so enjoyable to be around, even doing the most mundane activities. My friends and I have spent countless nights chilling in someone’s room, playing cards and laughing ourselves to tears. We’ve started a brunch club (@thedallasbrunchclub on Instagram) and explored the Dallas food scene, one Sunday morning meal at a time. We’ve gone with residential commons on excursions to movie theaters and Mavericks games (even made it on to the Jumbotron during halftime). We’ve taken the DART into downtown for arts festivals and pretended to know the meaning of abstract art installations (some things aren’t meant to be understood). We’ve dressed up in crazy SMU spirit swag to greet new students at Mustang Corral and basically spend three days being as silly and spirited as possible (appreciate your Corral Guides; they work really hard to make the experience awesome). Some days we just sit around Hughes-Trigg and have intellectual discussions about politics, pop culture, and any other topic under the sun.

Through all these random adventures, I’ve laughed, cried, and made memories that will last a lifetime. But it wasn’t always the activities themselves that were so impactful, but the people I was doing them with. Every single person at SMU has something they bring to the table that brings an experience to life, makes it worthwhile. Once you get to the Hilltop, I encourage you to find the people that can help you take the ordinary to the extraordinary.

-Jessica Mitchell