The most important thing you'll do at college is attend classes and study. But you can't study all the time, and your studying will be more fun and productive if you take a break every once awhile and get involved with events and activities on campus or in Hattiesburg. Here are just a few of the ways you can make the most of your experience at Southern Miss.
Join a Student Organization
Southern Miss has hundreds of student groups to choose from including academic groups (like the Anthropology Club) religious groups (like the Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry), special interest groups (like Stage Monkeys, a student improv group), social justice groups (like the Gay-Straight Alliance and Amnesty International), service groups (like Campus Civitan), and Greek organizations. See a complete list of official student organizations on the LSI website. If you are not sure which group or groups to join, The Office of Leadership and Student Involvement has ambassadors who will be happy to meet with you and suggest organizations that you might be interested in joining based on your interests. You can also just attend a meeting and see what you think—students do it all the time!
Gulf Coast students should contact the Office of Student Life in Hardy Hall 240.
Attend Events on Campus
Southern Miss has something going on almost every night of the week, and most events are free for students. The years you spend on a university are campus are a wonderful time to expose yourself to music, theatre, sports, dance, art, lectures by experts in their field, workshops, social events, and more. Here are some links for more information on what's going on around campus:
- University Events Calendar—the official calendar for all university-sponsored events
- Arts & Letters Calendar—your source for everything Arts & Letters: theatre, music performances, dance concerts, art exhibitions and workshops, and lectures in the humanities and social sciences
- Sports—Support your Southern Miss Golden Eagles!
- Recreational Sports Events—hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding and more!
Give Back to the Community: Volunteer
Whether you want to help build homes with Habitat for Humanity, participate in a relay for life, be a big brother or sister to a local child, or help teach kids at a local elementary school, the award-winning Center for Community and Civic Engagement has an opportunity for you! View the CCCE newsletter or follow CCCE on Facebook to learn about current volunteer opportunities. Not only will you be giving back to your community and making Mississippi and the world a better place, but you'll have some great things to put on your resume to show future employers that you care about your community.
Get Some Exercise
Exercise gives you energy, and energy makes you a better student. To help students stay fit, all Southern Miss students have free memberships at the Payne Center, named one of the nation’s finest facilities by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Administration. The Payne Center complex has an indoor swimming pool and a range of classes, such as weight-training, resistance and aerobic/cardio training, step, yoga aerobics, Pilates, and boot camp. The Center also features racquetball and squash courts, a gym with six badminton, four volleyball and four basketball courts, and an 1/8-mile indoor track
Imagine using your financial aid for Southern Miss to learn about another culture first-hand and travel the world! Students often report that the time they spent studying abroad was the best time of their lives. Studying abroad not only exposes you to a different culture, but helps you learn to appreciate your own culture in different ways. No matter what your major is, there's a study abroad program that will work for you, and as long as you are eligible for federal financial aid, you can apply your financial aid to study abroad. You will need to have a 2.0 GPA to apply.
- List of Study Abroad Programs
- Steps to Applying to Study Abroad
- Financial Aid for Study Abroad
- Study Abroad Video Gallery
Try Some Local Restaurants
Hattiesburg has a wealth of restaurants, and now is an excellent time to expose yourself to new and exciting cuisines. Here is just a small selection of interesting local restaurants in Hattiesburg.
- Japanese—Hattiesburg has an abundance of Japanese restaurants. Try Wasabi Sushi for beautiful, fresh sushi, Oishi Japanese Steakhouse for a fun hibachi experience, or Yamato for a quiet lunch or dinner with a friend
- Thai—Hattiesburg has two Thai restaurants, both equally good: Suvin (don't miss the Thai Beef Salad or Massaman Curry with Avocado) and Jutamas for delicious soups and stir-frys. Both are vegetarian friendly.
- Middle Eastern—Petra, right across from the Hattiesburg Campus, serves very good Lebanese and Mediterranean food (try the falafal and hummus) and is very vegetarian friendly. If you're looking for pizza-flavored or barbecue gyros, Glory Bound is your stop.
- Mexican—For some tasty Tex-Mex cuisine, try Del Sol, and if you're in the mood for tacos, Compadres Taqueria and Grill is the place to go.
- Indian—There's only one Indian restaurant in town. Lucky for us it's a good one. Indian Delight has a vegetarian-friendly lunch buffet and a full dinner menu.
- Local favorites—T-Bones is an independent record shop and cafe that serves delicious sandwiches and fancy coffee drinks and is a big favorite with USM Students. Javawerks is right across the street from the Hattiesburg campus and serves coffee and pastries. Southbound Bagel is downtown and serves homemade bagels with cream cheese, omelettes, and sandwiches. Vegetarians, don't miss the Mediterranean Veggie sandwich—it's fabulous.
- If the parents are in town and they're paying, try Cotton Blues, a locally-sourced restaurant that offers upscale Southern food with a twist, or Purple Parrot, owned by our national celebrity chef Robert St. John.
Have fun in Hattiesburg
What can you do in Hattiesburg on the weekend? Lots of things! Here's a few:
- Bowl or play pool at Hub City Lanes
- Play laser tag at Laser Mania
- Visit the Hattiesburg Zoo—it's small, but beautiful and well maintained, and has a hand-painted carousel and a train ride! Admission is only $5.00 for adults.
- Learn to cook—you won't always be on a meal plan! The Kitchen Table, next to Corner Market on Hardy Street, offers occasional evening cooking classes, and they're fun and appropriate for beginners and seasoned cooks alike.
- Get back to nature with Paul B. Johnson State Park. They offer swimming, fishing and canoeing, and there are cabins to rent if you have family or friends come to visit.
- Learn to paint—or at least give it a shot at Painting with a Twist, where local artists will guide you through step-by-step. No experience necessary!
Visit the Beautiful Gulf Coast
Hattiesburg's sister campus on the Gulf Coast is less than an hour and a half away by car, and there are tons of things to do in Gulfport, Biloxi, Long Beach, and Ocean Springs. The beach is beautiful, the restaurants are great (particularly seafood restaurants that serve fresh from the boat Gulf shrimp!) and the casinos bring in acts from all over the United States, from the Beach Boys to Aaron Tippen to Motley Cru. It makes a great day or weekend trip. Hattiesburg students are also welcome to take a class or two on the Coast; many classes are offered just once a week, so it's an easy commute and gives you an opportunity to take weekly walks on the beach. Check out the Gulf Coast class schedule.