A family friend of mine has reached his Senior year. Since it's almost April, the heat is on to find the right college. This weekend, I asked, "Have you considered Murray State?" He looked at me with shock. The answer was "no" which lead me to write this blog.

When I was a Senior, I got all the literature in the mail, did the online quizzes and asked around. Everything seemed to point me in one direction - Murray State. When he asked me what I liked about it, I drew a blank but after thinking it over, I came up with a few things. If you are an MSU alum, you'll understand.

That MSU Feeling

Let me be frank. Murray, KY, is by no means a mecca or really even a "city." It's a university in a town that is constantly growing. The thing about it, though, is that it's small, and friendly, and happy. You get to know your neighbors, your classmates and even the guys on the football and basketball teams. I lived in the dorms my Freshman year and I have pictures of the "Richmond gang" with the hall's cleaning lady, Linda. The dorms are co-ed but we all bonded and were friends. Once, I fell asleep on the couch in the TV room and awoke to a blanket covering me. Many times, when I went to get my laundry from the laundry room, it was already folded. Those things are nice when you are out on your own for the first time.

The Local Food

It's been many years since I have been back to Murray but ten years ago, we didn't have  Denny's or an iHop (maybe now they do). Back then, we had The Hungry Bear Pancake & Bar-B-Q House and The Log Cabin. Breakfast at 2 a.m. never tasted so good. And, it was cheap enough for any college student to splurge on. According to YELP, the Log Cabin is closed. Another favorite was H.R.H Dumplins of Murray. Chicken and dumplins and cakes are their specialty. A-maz-ing!

Top Ranking Best Southern College & Forbes' Best Value

Referred to as "The Harvard of the South" MSU is often featured in the US News & World Report Best Colleges. In addition to being named to the 2013 America’s Top Colleges list, Forbes also designated Murray State as one of “America’s Top 100 Best Buy" colleges for the fourth year in a row. I transferred out of MSU my Junior year due to my father's terminal illness but my Murray classes were far more challenging and gratifying than most of the classes I took elsewhere and it won't take you the rest of your entire life to pay off your debt. Plus, the University awards over $100 MILLION a year in financial aid and scholarships.

Boredom is Not an Option

Intramural sports, volunteering, college sporting events, clubs, organizations, Greek life - between studying and college life, there was never a dull moment. If you did find yourself with nothing to do, I remember a quad full of people and a small room tucked into the student center filled with video game equipment.

The Lakes

Many weekends out of the school year, we'd head over to Lake Barkley for some fun in the sun. It's close enough that you don't even have to spend the money to stay overnight.

Some Dorms Have In-Room Bathrooms

Sounds silly, but when you are sharing a public bathroom you'll wish you had an in-room bathroom. It's considered a suite, so four people share a bathroom (one bathroom between two rooms). One semester, our suitemates, my roomie and I even moved our beds to one room and used the other room as a living room. It got kind of hairy. I will not be sharing photos from that era of my life.


When you turn 18, all you can think about is getting away from home. But, sometimes when you are out there things get a little lonely. It's nice that MSU is only a beautiful two hour drive from here and there's even a campus in Henderson if you want to stay home for good.

I had a lot of fun in Murray and I have to say the people made it the most memorable and I made friendships that will last a lifetime. If you are an MSU alumni, help the high school seniors by leaving your comments - positive or negative - about the university below!