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First Year Student Experience

Discover Your Path to the Top

USM Students

When you engage with Southern Miss, your experience prepares you for a world beyond graduation, a world where you are confident, happy, and productively engaged with your personal and professional communities. These lofty aspirations involve a transformation that occurs throughout your college years, and with the right focus and use of available resources, this transformation is within your grasp. As you begin your journey with your first year student experience, focus on developing your ability to:

Be Courageously Curious


Be Courageously Curious

Ask big questions, try a new intramural or student org activity, attend plays, and engage guest speakers and professors. College is about personal and academic growth, and your curiosity fuels this transformation. The more you learn about the world from your experiences in and out of the classroom, the more you will learn about yourself. Simply put, be courageously curious!

Pursue Personal Wellbeing


Pursue Personal Wellbeing

Your successes are directly related to the quality of your mental, physical, social, and financial wellbeing. Take time and use Southern Miss's many resources to ensure your wellbeing flourishes during and beyond your college experience! When you have good social support, a workable budget, quality sleep and exercise habits, and time set aside for the learning process, you will stand atop the firm foundation you need to be successful.

Create Inclusive Environments


Create Inclusive Environments

Actively seek out and learn from new experiences and different perspectives. An inclusive community requires critical self-evaluation, reflection, and addressing systemic inequities. By valuing diverse identities and ideas, everyone benefits when all people feel welcomed, honored and validated. Together, we will build a more inclusive Southern Miss community.

Foster Meaningful Collaborations


Foster Meaningful Collaborations

Few things worthwhile are accomplished alone. Your Southern Miss experience provides countless opportunities to meet and learn about new people, communities, and cultures. Leverage these experiences to improve communication, teamwork, and leadership skills; regardless of your major, all professions value this same belief.

Engage in Purposeful Pursuits


Engage In Purposeful Pursuits

At Southern Miss, you’ll find a network of faculty and staff here to coach you along your journey toward a university degree and a transformation into your future adult life. Give yourself an edge by seeking out opportunities and engaging in purposeful pursuits that expand your communication and problem-solving skills. Embrace and perfect your learning process, and constantly look for ways to apply your new knowledge--your future employers will recognize and value these efforts!


FYSE Events Banner

There will be fun and informative events and experiences throughout your first-year. This short list of premiere events will help you get connected and be successful . Participate in a variety of these experiences to ensure you develop your own curiosity, inclusive environments, personal well-being, and much more! 

Golden Eagle Welcome Week | August 15 – 22

GEWW is part two of the Orientation process for new students. It is a week designed to help students transition to life as a college student at Southern Miss. During GEWW, students will have the chance to meet other new students, faculty and staff who will help make their first year a great one. Students will also have the chance to participate in a ton of events and official traditions, like the Painting of the Eagle Walk* and the Student Involvement Fair.

  Be Courageouly Curious Personal Wellbeing Create Inclusive Environments Meaningful Collaboration Engage In Purposeful Pursuits


Fitness Incentive Program Kickoff | August 23 

Every fall, Campus Recreation hosts a Fitness Incentive Program for first-year students to help instill healthy habits and facilitate connections to campus and peers. Participation in the program is free. Participating students will log their visits to the Payne Center, the University’s recreation and wellness center, throughout the fall semester and receive prizes after 10 and 15 visits. The program officially runs August 23-December 7. Students may enroll in the program at any time.

  Be Courageouly Curious Personal Wellbeing      


Student Success Week | September 13 – 16

Each semester, key success offices at the University of Southern Mississippi host Success Week, a weeklong event designed to help students succeed inside the classroom. This fall, Success Week (August 30 – September 2) will include events intended to help you with time management, studying for college, communicating with faculty, and an open house event introducing you to many of the important offices located in Cook Library.

  Be Courageouly Curious Personal Wellbeing Create Inclusive Environments Meaningful Collaboration  


Friday Night at Spirit Park | September 10  

Friday Night at Spirit Park is a celebration that serves as the official start of the thrill and excitement of tailgating and game-day activities during football weekends at Southern Miss. The festivities include performances by The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band, the Dixie Darlings, the Southern Miss Cheerleaders and the Southern Misses Dance Team. There are also appearances by Seymour, athletic coaches, and players. Be prepared for fun, food, drinks, and live music to keep the excitement going throughout the game-day weekend. This event is open to Southern Miss students, alumni, fans, and friends.  

  Be Courageouly Curious Meaningful Collaboration      


Fall Involvement Fair | September 21

Leadership and Student Involvement hosts a student organization involvement fair at the start of each semester! Join us this year in M.M. Roberts Stadium, The Rock, to browse student organizations and campus departments to find your fit. Involvement in college is critical to your success as a student and we can’t wait to see where you’ll soar as our newest Golden Eagles! Additional opportunities to connect and get involved on campus can be found by setting up an appointment with a Student Involvement Ambassador.

  Be Courageouly Curious Meaningful Collaboration Engage In Purposeful Pursuits    


Pre-Advising Workshop: What You Need to Know September 23

Academic advising is required for every new student, every semester before they can register for their classes the next semester. This workshop will prepare students for how to make the most out of their advisement session each semester. 

  Be Courageouly Curious Meaningful Collaboration Engage In Purposeful Pursuits    


Homecoming | October 4 - 9 

Southern Miss Homecoming brings alumni, community members and students together to celebrate what makes Southern Miss special. There are student and community events all week. Almost every part of campus gets involved. From the Student Government Association sponsored events, team competitions to the many events hosted by campus partners, there is an exciting event for every student to participate in during this exciting week. 

  Be Courageouly Curious Create Inclusive Environments Meaningful Collaboration    


Fall Wellness Festival | October 19

Wellness is an essential part of success in college. Each fall, Moffitt Health Center and Student Counseling Services host a fall wellness event that this year has been revamped as a fun-filled festival. We encourage students and the University community to join us for an evening full of music, games, food, a mental health guest speaker, and of course, an opportunity to connect with campus and community health resources. Door prizes will also be up for grabs by those in attendance. Don’t miss out on this fall festival!

  Be Courageouly Curious Personal Wellbeing Create Inclusive Environments    


Student Internship Panel | October 26 

Employers are looking for students with experience, and internships are a valuable way to gain professional experience, learn about your field, and network. Come hear from a panel of current Southern Miss students who recently completed a wide array of internship experiences.  Learn about the search and application process, tips for arranging logistics, and funding opportunities to support unpaid internships or those in higher cost of living areas. It’s never too early to start working toward your dream internship!

  Be Courageouly Curious Purposeful Pursuits      


Parent & Family Weekend | November 5 – 7 

Whether you are a local from the Hub City area, or from outside of south Mississippi, Parent and Family Weekend is a wonderful time for families to connect with their student in their new home, visit campus, explore the Hattiesburg community and experience life as a Golden Eagle. Families are invited to join their student for Parent and Family Weekend for a variety of family-friendly campus activities. The Parent and Family Tailgate is when students and families will take part in Southern Miss traditions, meet other Golden Eagle families and mingle with university administrators, faculty and staff before cheering on the Golden Eagles at The Rock!

  Be Courageouly Curious Personal Wellbeing Meaningful Collaboration    


SMAC Late Night Meal | December 1 

Southern Miss Activities Council (SMAC) presents Late Night Meal: a signature semesterly event where students can relax, unwind, and take a mental break to prepare for finals week while listening to music, eating snacks and hanging out with friends. Enjoy an opportunity to interact with faculty and staff on campus who attend to show their appreciation and support of students' efforts in the classroom all semester.

  Be Courageouly Curious Create Inclusive Environments Meaningful Collaboration    


Lighting the Way for the Holidays | December 1 

Holiday cheer overflows during the annual Lighting the Way for the Holidays celebration. Hosted at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus, this event is the University’s youngest tradition. The event brings together the Hattiesburg community to celebrate the season and celebrate each other for the ways we can leave our community “better than we found it.” This campus celebration includes holiday music, hot chocolate, and photos with Southern Miss mascot Seymour and the jolliest man himself, Santa Claus. 

  Create Inclusive Environments Engage In Purposeful Pursuits      


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