More than 170 seniors graduated from Jackson High School in May, but only two students decided to continue their academic journey at Miami University: longtime friends Miah King and Kylan Bowman.
Both from Wellston, Ohio — about two and a half hours from Oxford — the two met in elementary school. When Bowman was in the fourth grade, she transferred 20 minutes away to Jackson City Schools.
“Jackson has more AP classes and better athletics, so it gave me more opportunities,” Bowman said.
Four years later, after eighth grade, King also transferred, and the two were classmates again. They attended Jackson High School and took multiple classes together, including AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP Literature and Composition, and AP Language and Composition.
Both Bowman and King knew they wanted to continue their studies after high school but kept an open mind when it came time to pick a college.
For Bowman, a first-generation student, it was between the University of South Carolina and Miami. For King, it was Miami or The Ohio State University, but both picked Miami for the same reason: the campus.
“I visited the campus when I was a junior in high school, and I fell in love with it,” King said.
Bowman visited the campus the summer before her senior year to attend a cheer camp the university was hosting. In addition to being in the minority of students in their class to attend Miami, the duo will also be majoring in the same subject: psychology.
“Generally, I wasn’t ever really interested in engineering or really any social science,” King said. “Psychology always seemed really interesting to me because I always wanted to study our behavior and emotions.”
For Bowman, the decision to major in psychology came from her personal experience.
“My mother and sister grew up with mental health issues, and it’s kind of like a saying in my community that you just go about your day, you don’t talk about your mental health or your feelings, and I just want to be able to come back and actually show that it’s OK,” Bowman said.
She will also double major in social work, which was inspired by her concern about the poverty problem in Wellston.
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“Social work interests me because I want to be able to foster kids that lose their families to drug overdoses and stuff,” she said.
As the two prepare for move-in day, they both said they are eager to meet new people and expand their horizons.
“I’m excited to explore myself and actually figure out more who I am,” Bowman said. “I come from a small town where everyone knows everyone, and your friend groups are already decided for you.”
But no matter who they meet or where Miami takes them, the duo knows they will always have each other.