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Senior Jessie Morris is a sociology and anthropology major and history minor. She grew up in Bellevue, just a few miles from Olivet College, and loves the tight-knit community on campus. As Jessie prepares for graduation, she is grateful for the diverse worldview her education helped her develop.

Read more about Jessie’s college experience firsthand.

I chose to attend Olivet College because I wanted to attend a small liberal arts college. I wanted to have smaller class sizes with the possibility to establish close relationships with other students and my professors. I have always valued the relationships that a smaller community can provide. When I stepped onto the campus of Olivet, it felt like the closest thing to home for me. I felt that Olivet could provide me with the support network and student community that I wanted. My sister also attended Olivet and, from her experience as a Comet, I knew I would love it as well

I also felt Olivet was the best option for me financially, specifically with all the scholarship opportunities they provided. One scholarship opportunity was through the Global Citizen Honors Program on campus, which allows students to learn leadership and social responsibility. It has been a great opportunity to further expand my opportunities and education.

When choosing Olivet, I was very interested in the Intensive Learning Term (ILT), which is a three-week term following the spring semester that offers many unique courses. Since beginning my education at Olivet College, I have been able to go on two traveling ILTs. The first one I took was the Civil Rights Tour. Human rights and activism have always been passions of mine, and I felt this was a great opportunity to broaden my knowledge on the subject. Taking this ILT taught me how to recognize injustice, and the importance of using your voice and speaking out against it. It showed me the personal stories of many individuals who suffered trying to attain basic human rights. The class also taught the importance of organization for collective change.

The other ILT I took part in was called Myth, Symbol and Meaning. While on this trip, we were able to study the Oglala Lakota people of the Pine Ridge Reservation and surrounding area. We learned about their history and culture. This allowed me to speak one-on-one with members of the reservation and surrounding area and learn about their heritage and personal lives. It helped me broaden my education and knowledge. Both of these ILT classes taught me the importance of learning about other cultures and removing my own ethnocentric lens.

I chose to major in sociology and anthropology because it allowed me to study the diverse social lives and cultures of our world. I am passionate about this because it allows me to understand the causes and consequences of our human actions. Studying sociology and anthropology has provided me valuable skills for living and working in a globalized and interconnected world. I am grateful that it has exposed me to the different systems of beliefs, values and practices of the various cultures of the world. It has also allowed me to understand the importance of the world’s social, political and economic systems. I am now capable of investigating philosophical problems about the nature of human life in society. I am still unsure of what specific career path I would like to follow, but Olivet has been able to help me narrow down which direction I would like to go.

My professors have been a lifeline while attending Olivet. They are there for me not only in my education, but they support me in functioning overall as a student as well. I feel that I have strong lines of communication and relationships with my professors and mentors at Olivet. Since beginning at Olivet, they have taught me to take control of my education and my learning.

I am grateful that Olivet has provided me the ability to take classes I feel enriched my education, rather than just core requirements. Even with Olivet’s smaller campus size, it has provided me the ability to grow within a diverse environment and learn about other cultures, which is especially important to me.

The most important piece of advice I would give to high school students is to really value their education. Olivet has provided me with so many opportunities and helped me vastly expand my knowledge. Learn as much as you can and value the relationships you have with your professors and other students. Olivet provides you with an environment where you can thrive and expand your knowledge. Take control of your education and all of your resources. Be engaged in your education and use it for all it’s worth.

As a Comet, I have experienced new things and diversity in a way that I don’t think I would have if I had not pursued my education at Olivet. My time here has enriched my life in many ways and broadened my outlook. Olivet has also taught me to have an open mind in and outside of the classroom. Being a Comet taught me how to utilize my life experiences and to not only grow as an individual, but learn how I can to others as well. I’m so thankful for Olivet College and the ability that I’ve had to grow.

Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admission at 269-749-7635 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

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