Sweet Home Alabama?

Students+at+WHHS+see+going+to+the+South%2C+especially+to+the+Deep+South%2C+for+college+as+unappealing.+WHHS+class+of+2018+had+7+students+go+to+Alabama+for+college.
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Sweet Home Alabama?

Students at WHHS see going to the South, especially to the Deep South, for college as unappealing. WHHS class of 2018 had 7 students go to Alabama for college.

Students at WHHS see going to the South, especially to the Deep South, for college as unappealing. WHHS class of 2018 had 7 students go to Alabama for college.

Caroline Horvath

Students at WHHS see going to the South, especially to the Deep South, for college as unappealing. WHHS class of 2018 had 7 students go to Alabama for college.

Caroline Horvath

Caroline Horvath

Students at WHHS see going to the South, especially to the Deep South, for college as unappealing. WHHS class of 2018 had 7 students go to Alabama for college.

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I remember my college visits in Alabama with fond memories. At least I remember being fond of the Roll Tide and War Eagle state, and that everyone there was kind and helpful, and the sun was shining in February, and that the school pride ran deep. The things that I could not find in Ohio, but yearned for, I was able to find down south.

But telling my friends and my family was a different story. When they asked where I visited I saw the looks of disgust and disbelief on their faces.

They could not believe I had even considered Alabama or Auburn as a choice for my future education. They were even more distraught when I told them Alabama was one of my top choices. I won’t lie; some people gave me a small Roll Tide when I told them, but the negative views of these colleges stuck with me longer and they outnumbered the cheers.

It was after these visits that I realized WHHS, maybe even many northern cities, have negative perceptions of the South. While there are good reasons for viewing the South in a bad light, I was not able to understand why everyone wanted to convince me to ditch the South and look somewhere else; anywhere else.

So what made these schools so treacherous to WHHS students? While many disliked or even despised Southern schools, they were perfectly fine with Vanderbilt or University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. These schools were located south of Cincinnati, but they were acceptable institutions for me to consider? What made Alabama, Mississippi or Georgia different?

Deep southern schools have reputations for racism and their lack of tolerance that date back to long before George Wallace or the Civil Rights Movement. Some students stated problems with deep south schools as being intolerant to immigrants or having a history of racism.
Others pointed out that schools such as WHHS, since they are more liberal, tend to have more of a stigma toward the deep south, and therefore do not see it as a viable choice for a college education.

However, many students have never visited schools in the deep south, so I’m here to tell all of y’all to give Alabama a chance. The demographic of southern colleges is changing, students are being pulled from a wider range of political, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds than ever before.

If you’ve never visited, take one of those excused college visit days and road trip down through Nashville and visit some Honky Tonks and then tour the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa (and while you are there I recommend Buffalo Phil’s Pub and Cafe).

All views shared in the Opinions section of The Chatterbox belong to their respective authors, and may not represent the views of the publication as a whole.