Caroline Rutledge
Chattanooga, TN

I'm Caroline Rutledge and I'm one. I'm one of Tennessee's Best. I'm a senior from Chattanooga majoring in Human Resources Management with a minor in Business Administration. I chose to come to Middle Tennessee State University because it fit my personality-and because my sister told me to.

My sister was working at the Target here in Murfreesboro and called and told me I should come check out the campus because it really fit my personality. My parents and I came here during my junior year at Boyd-Buchanan High School and I fell in love with MTSU. The more I learned about Middle Tennessee, the more I liked and the more it all fit. If my sister had never showed it to me, I would probably still be at home.

In the past, not many people from my high school came here. But once I started looking into MTSU, 14 of my classmates came here. We play the state football championships here, and since we had been to state for two years, a lot of people knew MTSU from that. And, we were just far enough from home to be away from home but close enough to go home.

My roommate from freshman year is my roommate again this year, as is my other best friend. They roomed together for the middle two years. All three of us came here with an open mind to meet other people but to always remember what was truly important and that was our friendship. So we wanted to live together this last year.

When I first got to campus, sorority recruitment opened a few doors for me. I thought I would get my business degree and go on with my life. But then I got involved in the Greek system. Through that, I was exposed to higher education as a career-and now I want to pursue both an M.B.A. and a master's in higher ed. I have loved working in that area. Everything has just fallen into place on its own without me forcing anything. If I had gone to a bigger school, I feel like maybe I would have just gotten lost in a crowd.

People talk about MTSU as if it is really huge. But it isn't. It isn't so big that you get lost. For example, there are RIM majors and they all know each other. And the business majors all know each other. I know everyone in the business school. I just had a class of 90 people and I knew 10 people very well. We all sat together. You know people by whatever you are into. Everyone has his or her own niche.

And being in the Greek system really helps. We all know each other. If Greek life is not for you, then please get involved some other way. Your college life will be so much better if you get involved on campus. You'll find your niche here. People are starting to realize that they can find themselves here. You can find a home away from here. And while you are finding your place here, come out and support the football team. Take a few hours out of your schedule - I think if you really came out and gave the new football team a chance, you'd really love it! Find yourself and find your Raider pride!

I have one professor I can go to and talk about anything. He is not my advisor, but I can go to him and ask him for help on a class and he gives it. There are plenty of staff in Student Life who will sit and talk to me about any kind of problem I have. There has never been anyone who was unwilling to talk to me.

So come discover yourself at Middle Tennessee State University and be one! You'll be glad you did! Go blue!