Regan Tyler, PY1
The first memory I have of move-in day my freshman year was having tear-filled eyes and looking at my house in the rearview mirror of my black Jeep as I exited my driveway for the final time. My high school years had set me in a routine. I woke up, went to school, went to pom practice and then went to work. Summer rolled around and my routine slowed down, but I was still in that comfort zone. Then, comfort left me in a flash as I left my Memphis home and traveled an hour down the road to Oxford.
I was worried about so many things. How would I deal with missing my family? How was I supposed to make new friends when my best friends would be thousands of miles away? What was I going to do when I got sick with no one to turn to? These thoughts raced through my mind as I drove on in that packed Jeep. However, one concern stood out over the rest—what was my college experience going to be when I had the pharmacy label on top of everything?
I was accepted into the pharmacy school’s Early Entry Program my senior year of high school. From what I knew, I had to keep my grades up and get a certain PCAT score and I would be set up for an automatic seat in the School of Pharmacy my senior year of college. The one thing that stood out to me, however, was the idea that my college experience would be far different from the normal college student’s, and I really did not know how I felt about that. I was worried about getting into a sorority and going to the Grove on fall Saturdays, but could I do that? Would early entry and pharmacy classes keep me from having everything that I looked for in Ole Miss?
To say the least, I quickly learned I was not going to be the typical Ole Miss student. I had to study a lot. I had to tell my friends several times that Bio 160 was much more important than going out to dinner, and that was hard. I did not always like calling home and telling my parents that I was in over my head just to have them tell me to keep pushing through.
Then, sophomore year hit. I had gotten involved with a couple of organizations on campus, both pharmacy and campus-wide. However, I was your typical “just a face” member. I wanted to be involved to say I had the involvement factor in my resume. Then, I was given the opportunity to serve as a School of Pharmacy Ambassador. Quickly following that, I joined the Early Entry Advising Committee and had hands-on interaction with other early entry students and served as a voice for my class’s academic and social activities. My college experience started to turn from being different to being better than average.
As I look back over the last three and a half years, I cannot help but be happy with the memories I have made. I was able to join a sorority, as my high school self planned. You will find me every fall Saturday in the Grove tailgating with pharmacy and non-pharmacy students alike. But it is the unexpected that makes my experience so rewarding. The School of Pharmacy has helped me find myself as a leader, student and future pharmacist. While I will never be able to say I was your typical Ole Miss student, I am ok with that—because I know that my college experience reaches above and beyond anything I could have ever hoped for.