kenzie-jones-accentsThe urgent, unfamiliar perfume that thickens the air at the end of one’s high school career can easily infiltrate the mind and cloud one’s judgment with an obstructed path of indecision. To determine which college to attend is to practically seal one’s fate with either a blessed or cursed stamp—or so it seems.

My name is MaKenzie Jones, a freshman at Missouri Southern, and I’ve discovered that one’s fate isn’t defined by the high-ranking pedigree or overwhelming population of his or her university—it is instead valued by the benefit the university imparts on the student’s life.

In a sea of college applications, scholarship deadlines, and high school work, discerning where to attend university hastily becomes a burdensome mission. For me personally, the decision caused so much anxiety and unsettledness, I actually went to the doctor to find out if I had contracted some sort of disease.

Knowing I would not be completely at ease until I had made the decision, I launched into a self-examination process in which I evaluated what specifically I desired from my college experience.

As a creative writer and English major, I understood that forking over thousands of dollars each year just to attend a “well-known” college would be a feckless idea. I didn’t require a university with a fancy name—I craved an established English department that could offer me challenges and push me to excel in my field.

Having only heard positive words about Missouri Southern’s English department, I did some research of my own and quickly determined that the programs offered at MSSU fully met my expectations.

Aside from being able to offer an extensive English degree with an emphasis in creative writing, Missouri Southern has always bolstered its International Studies program—something I, as a Japanese minor, was immediately drawn to.

But it was more than just the educational spectrum that wholly persuaded me. MSSU prides itself for its highly affordable tuition—and affordable is a term that is always appealing for “starving” artists like me whose sole income of the future will be derived from the sales of my books.

Since I was raised in Joplin, I have developed a thick network of acquaintances and connections over the years. With my family nearby, I could continue to receive their support and guidance while slowly edging into the realm of independence. Attending MSSU allows me to do just that. With their help, I can effectively focus on marketing my book and writing the sequels while attending a good college that won’t drain my parents’ pockets but still manages to offer a thorough program.

Deciding to attend Missouri Southern has been nothing but advantageous for me. I have fallen in love with not only my English and Japanese courses, but the rest of my classes, as well. I have obtained a fun and stable job that capitalizes on my writing abilities and urges me to flourish.

Not every student can honestly say they love the college experiences they’ve encountered, but I haven’t found a single thing to complain about while attending MSSU.