USM students start spring semester: How they impact the Hattiesburg economy

USM students return to campus for spring semester
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 5:34 AM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Class is officially in session at the University of Southern Mississippi.

USM students started their spring semester on Wednesday January 18 and are 1 day closer to finishing out the school year. They say they hope to have a semester full of success.

“I’m hoping to get more involved on campus and I’m hoping to end the semester with at least a 3.5 GPA,” freshman Karlton Love said. Karlton is involved in the Usm theatre department and frequently is cast in musicals.

Students flooded the walkways of Usm’s Hattiesburg campus as they headed to and from class. They could be seen mingling at Shoemaker Square, talking about their past holiday break plans. Students were also given the change to watch an impromptu step show by the Usm Sigma fraternity.

“I just hope I study hard. I did good last semester. I just hope I stick with the same program as I had going last semester,” freshman Mary Wert said. Wert is a communications major and previously planned on working in pharmaceutical sales.

Landon Chaldin, a junior, says that he is excited to grow his social media following and build relationships with his professors.

“Just to make more connections, get cool with my teachers and also grow my social media influences and grow my brand as well,”he said.

Businesses around the Pine Belt will benefit from the return of students to the area. Papitos on 49 is one of them.

“Here at the 49, we actually opened to cater to the college students here,” bartender Jorge Huaynca said. “When they are back at school our business does really well.

“Obviously when they go back home on vacation our business slows considerably.”

Papitos is a popular spot for many college students on Thursday and weekend nights, which the business says is its busiest time of the week.

“Definitely the weekends when everyone is available to choose where they can go,” Huaynca said.

The semester is set to end on May 12.

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