Appreciating the Journey

“Yeah, we’ve made it this far. And you know we’ve got your back, through the good and the bad.”

 

The lyrics come from one of my favorite songs. I’ve played and replayed it so many times this year, it probably deserves its own Spotify playlist. Hearing it always encouraged me and lifted my spirit during stressful times. This song reminded me to take a moment to appreciate the fact that (through the good and the bad) I’m no longer where I started. I’ve taken a journey, where I’ve grown, learned and changed along the way.

Now that we’re fast approaching the end of the school year, you might be scrambling to prepare for your finals, writing these last few papers and trying to finalize what’s next for you in terms of summer plans. It’s so easy to forget to enjoy this one big truth: You’ve made it this far!

You’re just a few weeks away from finishing your very first year at Ohio State! That is a significant and very special accomplishment and it’s okay to feel proud of yourself. I’m proud of you and I know that our entire Ohio State community is proud of you. You’ve faced all kinds of new difficulties, stresses and hardships this year, from financial, to emotional to physical, but you persevered. That is amazing and you are amazing!

It’s also okay if your first year wasn’t absolutely what you imagined it was going to be. All the steps you’ve taken and all the decisions you’ve made up until now have allowed you to get to this point! Whether your first year has been great or on the rough-side,  know that you matter. You’re more than your grades and achievements and the fact that you are here is something to be very proud of.

As we come to the end of the school year, and you start reflecting on how far you’ve come, here a few things to remember:

1. Keep an Open Mind about your Major/Career

If you weren’t certain about your major this year, or if you’re still considering changing majors for next year, this is completely normal. It took me until the beginning of my junior year to find the right major for me, and I couldn’t be happier with the way things have panned out. Keep searching, keep asking questions and keep an open mind! Everything does not have to be decided within your first year.

2. Consider What You’d Like to Improve on for Next Year

Would you like to become more efficient in managing your time?  Be a little less or more involved on campus? Improve your study habits? Consider how this year went as you reflect. Think about how that reflection can possibly turn into goals for next year, for example—making sure to go to the fall involvement fair, reaching out to professors early on and using a planner to keep all your classwork and notes organized.

3.  Give Thanks

Take a little time to say thank you to those who have helped you during your first year here. That could be a great group of friends, family, roommates, floormates, your RA, a professor, a commuter liaison and more. It’s never corny to write a thank-you note! Showing gratitude goes a long way and it will mean a lot to those who receive it!

4. Get Rest

Think of the summer ahead as an opportunity to rest, rejuvenate and take time for the things that are important to you. No matter where you’re going this summer, or what your plans are–be sure to take some time to relax and enjoy the season!

Remember, you made it this far! I hope that in the busyness of this season, you can take some time to really let that sink in and appreciate all that your first year has been. Congratulations and keep going! We believe in you, I believe in you and your fellow Buckeyes believe in you!

“And you know, we’ve got your back, through the good and the bad.”

It Is Never Too Late To Follow Your Passion

This time last year, I was a freshman in the Engineering Undeclared program at Ohio State.  I was struggling to keep up with my peers in my classes and not really enjoying the material.  By the end of my second semester here, my GPA was suffering, and so was I. I was exhausted from trying so hard to keep up on homework that I was not interested in for a major that was not making me happy, but I refused to quit because I told myself that I was going to be an engineer.  I was committed to getting my degree in engineering with a focus on humanitarian engineering. I was going to help provide appropriate technology to the developing world and to under-served parts of the United States. I repeated this every time I was asked that dreaded question, “what do you want to do with your life?”  I had it all planned out; it sounded great and my family was proud of me, yet it never really felt right.

Then, this past summer, I began to change my path.  I have always known that I have a passion for people – this was a huge part of why I had decided to go into humanitarian engineering – but I had always thought of this passion as something that I could pursue later in life rather than a career path.  It was not until summer orientation while I was working as a Peer Leader that I began to see that working with people was something that I needed to do. To me, being able to make an impact on someone else’s life was the most rewarding feeling I have ever experienced.  

By the time school started again in the fall, I had completely changed my schedule.  I was going to be a Public Affairs major with a focus on engineering because I was afraid to completely change my track.  I was scared to change my direction from something I was so confident in to something that I knew so little about. I knew that engineering was not right for me, but I did not know if Public Affairs was or what I would do with it.  I had one foot in the door and one foot out. My family did not help in this way. I was about to take a leap, and their lack of support made it even scarier.

It was not until just last week that I found my way.  As a Peer Leader, one of the things that I have been the most adamant about has been mental health.  It is one of the things that I care the most about both personally and professionally. I decided to stop ignoring the pull that I have been feel from the topic.  I decided to pick up a minor in Clinical Psychology & Individual Differences and focus my career on policy relating to mental health. This change was scary for me, but since making the decision, I could not be more happy.  

 

If this has hit home for you, I would say one thing: be honest with yourself.  Only you know what makes you happy. Change can be scary and uncertainty can be even worse, but I believe that challenging ourselves in this way is how we grow as people.  I encourage you to reach out to your academic advisor, your Peer Leader, your RA, a friend, a family member, or anyone else that you trust, and talk about it. Sometimes it takes time to understand where your passion is pulling you, but it is is never too late to follow it.

A New Perspective

For those of you who do not know, The Ohio State University has a mission, vision, set of values and core goals. At Ohio State, we value excellence, diversity in people and of ideas, inclusion, access and affordability, innovation, collaboration and multidisciplinary endeavor, and integrity. Undoubtedly, these values are important. However, I never had a first-hand experience to allow me to see why these values were important to me personally. I am happy to now say after going on my first Buck-I-SERV trip, I feel more connected than ever to these university values.

This past spring break, I went to Appalachia Ohio in a place called Vinton County with five fellow Buckeyes to serve. Although we were there to teach about college access, I think I was the one who ended up learning the most. Growing up in a suburb of Columbus, I did not know what to expect going to one of the most rural parts of Columbus. However, I know that I never expected to be enlightened so much by the people that I met and by the beauty of Appalachia Ohio. In my week in Vinton county, we worked with elementary, middle, and high school kids. Through various activities, we were there to promote the idea of pursuing something after high school, whether it be a 4-year college or a technical school.

In my time there, I saw many hardships. I talked to the teachers who told me about the lack of support in many of the households the kids were raised in. I heard some disappointing and tragic stories. It is easy to focus on the bad, but I want to focus on the good, and in my time in Vinton County, I saw so much good. I saw the investment of individuals at the Ohio State Extension Office working to make sure children could participate in engaging programs after school. I met students who had such a strong commitment and pride associated with their family, which was admirable to see. I met a high school English teacher, who is also a retired lawyer. She realized the legal system could not help the community, so she became a teacher. It was inspirational to see how she would could motivate any and all students. She valued each student’s uniqueness and believed that they could be great, even when they did not believe this themselves.

Coming from a fairly privileged background, it is easy for me to think that places like the inner-city and rural Ohio are in need of “fixing” and do not have much to offer. Yet, the reality is, there is a lot that I have learned and can learn by exposing myself to such communities. I have learned to better value the diversity of experience. I have learned the importance of having a strengths-based perspective, which is focusing on others’ abilities, talents, and resources, rather than others’ problems and deficits. I have learned and seen the impact of genuine dedication and investment towards a community. I am thankful to Ohio State and Buck-I-SERV for allowing me the opportunity to widen my perspective and feel better connected to the values that we hold dear as Buckeyes.

 

Perfectionism as a First-Year Student

Reflecting on my first year at Ohio State, I have very little negative things to say about my experience. As a theatre major I added three credits to my resume, and I made it into my second major, journalism. I even finished the year with a 4.0 GPA. I was selected to be in a black male leadership round-table, and I became an FYE Peer Leader. While all of these things appear to be wonderful accomplishments, which they are, they came at a price. These accomplishments were in part fueled by my perfectionism, and eventual fed my perfectionism.

Many people when deeming themselves perfectionist the term usually has more of a positive connotation. Perfectionism often breeds hard workers, good work, and often to an extent, good leaders. However, perfectionism can be dangerous to one’s wellbeing. I know personally, I was willing to sacrifice my mental, emotional, and especially my physical health to accomplish my goals. If a job needed to be done it would get done, regardless of what I ate or how much sleep I got. My first semester, I did not care to reach out and meet new friends or even develop close relationships with my roommates. I wanted to be excellent in my work, that is what was important.

Indeed, one does come to college to get an education first, but that is not all that matters. I truly believe people cannot be their best selves without considering their overall well being. Eventually this would take a toll on how I felt, and by the time a break approached it would often become very difficult to follow through with my work. However, maintaining greater attention toward my health, rather than my desire for excellence, could have made my first year a much more enjoyable experience. I found this out my second-year. When I began to loosen my obsession on perfection and payed closer attention to my health, I saw things change. I don’t just operate throughout my life. I enjoy my life.

I write this to make people aware of the students who work really hard and seem fine but may be on an unhealthy path. If you are reading this or know someone like this, I hope you have the courage to do one of the following actions: reflect on your practices and make changes where you see fit or talk with your friend or student just to make sure they are maintaining a healthy well being. Wellness is just as important, if not more important than excellence.

How to Climb Your Staircase

“Time and Change will surely show.”

A line from our amazing school song, Carmen Ohio. I have recently been reflecting on my time here at Ohio State. I’m nearing a full two-years & time sure has shown a lot of change. At 18 I came in wanting to be a doctor because I liked the medical field. I would be able to provide for myself and because, c’mon, it sounds great saying that you’re a doctor. However, time showed that despite what I thought, I didn’t have my life figured out quite yet.

Full disclosure: I’m a goal-oriented person that loves to have a plan, yet my master plan wasn’t planning out (see what I did there). It was very hard and kind of scary to be in a place where you’re not 100% sure what you want to do with your life. Everyone says “it’s college! It’s the time to make mistakes and not have it all figured out.” Yet I was terrified because I didn’t want to take classes that wouldn’t help me graduate because my financial aid only covers four years. I thought I needed to figure it all out. However, in my reflection upon my almost two full years as a Buckeye, I’m starting to realize it’s okay to not know.

A professor of mine recently said, “if you don’t know ask, otherwise it’ll always be confusion.” Yet, sometimes when you ask you still can’t find the answer.

In reflecting on what you’ve done so far, you might realize you have the answers to questions from the past. Sometimes the answer is something only your future self can answer because it hasn’t fully panned out yet (and yes, I know I’m sounding a bit like the ending to a classic teen/young adult movie).

But in all seriousness, I don’t know what my future holds. And it’s scary to not know when everyone tells you how important this time in your life is. Quoting a great scholar (Lauren A. Nelson, myself lol) everyone’s staircases are different. Some people have fewer steps and some people have 1,000. Some people take years to climb theirs and others are done in a week. My point is to take time to enjoy your ascent up your staircase. You don’t have to know exactly what’s at the next floor, it’s okay to go back down a few steps in order to continue moving up, and it’s okay to be scared. Yet be sure to take a look back because the staircase will definitely show how it’s changed over time. You’d be surprised — steps I thought I’d never climb, I’ve blown past. Sometimes I hop back down a couple steps and have to get back up. But when I graduate, the person I am at the top of my staircase will be because I was brave enough to take the next step, even when I didn’t know what it held.

Keep Climbing Y’all,

PL Lauren Nelson

Are you really having conversations right?

We live in a world of controversy.  It’s all around us and it is inevitable. Too many times, people have “conversations” that are entirely unproductive. After years of social media and avoiding important topics, genuine dialogue can be a rare find in our world. Odds are, your job after graduation will require you to have difficult dialogue with other people. In order to get the most out of difficult conversations, you have to think critically about your approach to such interactions. Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself:

 

  1. Were you on your phone?

That’s right. If you want to have a meaningful conversation with someone, it will require putting down your smartphone. Social media can wait, and if you’re on your phone, you’re automatically not fully engaged in the conversation.

  1. Did you ask questions?

Were you actively trying to understand the other person’s point of view? Too many times, we have interactions in which we’re too focused on what we’re going to say next, and we miss important parts of what the other person is saying.

  1. Did you question yourself at all?

At any point in the conversation did you ask yourself: Could I be wrong about this? Is there a chance that the person I’m engaging with might have more relevant experience than me? I’m not saying you have to change your opinion, but if no one is ever willing to question their own viewpoints, a conversation will never be productive.

  1. Did you learn something?

“Everyone you ever meet knows something that you don’t.” ~Bill Nye

If you leave a conversation thinking that the other person has absolutely no knowledge or perspective to offer, you’re probably not listening. You don’t have to agree with everything they say, but you should be able to leave a conversation having gained some piece of perspective.

 

Overall, it’s always important to ask yourself if you’re really listening. Stephen Covey said “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. Most people listen with the intent to reply.” He further challenges people to “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”. This is an incredibly difficult skill to master. Challenge yourself to do so. It will make your interactions and relationships so much more valuable, and you will become a better person for it.

Imposter Syndrome: Am I a Fraud?

As a college student at a prestigious university, it is common for people to automatically think of you as a naturally smart, brilliant student. You hear things like, “Well you got into The Ohio State University, so you must be smart!” These phrases are especially common among students in majors that are infamously difficult, like engineering, any type of science, and so many more. When I tell people that I’m a math major, they often respond with, “Wow, you must be so smart!” or “I could never do that!” People assume that I am some sort of genius. What they don’t know is that I don’t feel like a genius at all. Hell, I don’t even feel smart. And neither do a lot of the people who receive these types of comments. People assume that if you are in hard major, it’s easy for you and you get As in all of your classes and don’t struggle at all. Truth is, I got a C- in my first math course that I took at OSU. Often times, this leaves me feeling like a fraud. Everyone thinks that I’m so smart, but I don’t feel smart. Am I lying to them? Letting them believe something that isn’t true? Do I even deserve to be here? If you relate to any of these feelings of inadequacy, you may be experiencing something called Imposter Syndrome.

What is imposter syndrome? Imposter syndrome is characterized by an inability to internalize accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud.” It is extremely common among college students, and is often not talked about. But constantly second guessing all of your accomplishments and questioning your worthiness can have a severe impact on your mental health, and can lead to anxiety and/or depression. This is why imposter syndrome is important to be addressed, and it is important to realize that you are most definitely not the only one feeling this way. Imposter syndrome is something that can be overcome, and below I will list some tips and techniques I found from an article (https://startupbros.com/21-ways-overcome-impostor-syndrome/) to overcome imposter syndrome and embrace everything that you deserve.

  1. Accept that you’ve had some role in your successes. You feel like a fraud because you believe that everything you did to get you where you are today was just pure luck, or chance. But it’s important to realize that you did do something to get you where you are. You wrote all the application essays, you passed all the necessary classes (even if barely), and you said yes to things when you could have said no. You got to where you are today based on your own decisions, not just chance. And that’s pretty freakin awesome.
  2. Remember: being wrong doesn’t make you a fake. The best basketball players miss most of the shots they take. Making mistakes and messing up sometimes doesn’t mean that all of your achievements have been fraudulent, or that you don’t deserve to be where you are. It just means that you’re human. Nobody is perfect, and it’s important that you don’t expect yourself to be either.
  3. Take action. Being actively aware of the negative thoughts that you are having and the impact that they are having on you can go a long way in not letting them have such a strong impact. Facing those thoughts and saying, “you know what, screw you, I’ve worked damn hard to get where I am today,” can be a powerful tool in overcoming imposter syndrome. Recognizing those self-doubting thoughts and stopping them in their tracks is a great way to take your confidence back.
  4. Find one person you can say, “I feel like a fraud” to. This can actually be really helpful, especially when the thoughts that are leading you to believe you are a fraud tend to be a bit irrational. Expressing this thought to another person and receiving their input, probably on how you are absolutely not a fraud, can be a huge help.
  5. Sometimes faking things actually does work. Ever heard of the phrase “fake it till you make it”? Everyone does it! No one knows everything about everything, so sometimes you just gotta fake it till you know enough. This does not at all make you a fraud. It makes you normal. It makes you eager to learn more and gives you a place to sit while you get there.

These tips may not be a cure-all for imposter syndrome, but I think they can be useful in leading to healthier thinking. Nobody knows what they are doing, and everyone doubts themselves sometimes. But it’s important to take credit for the accomplishments that you do make, and to learn to believe in yourself through times of strife. You will be ok. You are not a fraud, and you deserve to be here.

 

Counseling and Consultation Services: https://ccs.osu.edu/
Dennis Learning Center: http://dennislearningcenter.osu.edu/
Career Counseling and Support Services: http://ccss.osu.edu/

 

 

Identity struggles (A little inspiration from watching Super Bowl 52)

At the time I started writing this blog post, I was also getting ready to watch Super Bowl 52 (only the third Super Bowl I have ever watched) and that brings back memories for me. Watching the Super Bowl prompted me to think about how I spent the past 2 and a half years – what I’ve accomplished and whether I am proud of who I am after all this.

I’ve done a lot of things in my life. Some good, some bad, and some just straight up stupid. I decided to come to Ohio State (which turned out to be the best decision I have ever made). I decided to tell people that I’m from Cincinnati instead of Taiwan (which now I really regret). I decided to offer to buy this person behind me ice cream at Jeni’s. And I’ve decided to spend 10 hours watching 3 previous Ohio State football games on YouTube during finals week. I think you know which category those decisions go into.

To me, football isn’t just some sport that people watch. To me, football is what connected me with American culture. Before I came to Ohio State, all of my knowledge about football came from the movie, The Blind Side, and I had no idea that Ohio State even had a football team. During the first game of the 2015 season against Virginia Tech, some upperclassmen in my learning community hosted a watch party in their room. I went because I thought I wouldn’t have anything to talk about the next day if I didn’t go (I mean, I still had nothing to talk about even after I went because I couldn’t understand anything). My friend Alex Steitz was sitting next to me during that game and I told him that I knew nothing about football. He started explaining every single thing to me despite me understanding only about 2% of what he said. Little did he know, that was one of the first times I really felt welcomed here. We started to watch every OSU away game together and he would teach me more and more about football. I fell in love with the sport. I’ve been thinking about my identities and why I do certain things. It makes me think that the reason I love football so much is partly that it is where I found a friendship early on and partly that I think that it makes me more “American.”

Through my two and a half years at Ohio State, a lot has changed in my life and that caused me to constantly think about how my identity is changing. Yet, I was never able to really step back and say “Yeah, that is an accurate representation of me!” Even now I still don’t know what defines me and what I really identify with. In all the thinking I did, one thing really stood out to me: I’ve always been reluctant to tell people that I am an international student. Being an international student can have come negative connotations and it can mean certain restrictions for me legally and culturally. Every time when I have a conversation with someone and then they ask me where I am from, I have two choices: I can either be honest and say that I am from Taiwan, or I can “lie” and say I’m from Cincinnati because I’ve stayed with my Cousin in Cincinnati for a summer.

I’m proud of being a Taiwanese individual but all the “standard” follow-ups really exhaust me. The common response is usually “Wow, you speak English really well! I would’ve never guessed you’re not from the states.” And sometimes when the individual is interested in world politics, I would get asked “What do you think of the political struggle between China and Taiwan?” For the former, I understand that they are trying to give a genuine compliment but hearing it over and over again really frustrates me and made me not want to proactively say that I’m from Taiwan. For the latter, I’m a very non-confrontational and yet patriotic person, I will state my view and then try to steer the conversion away from that topic. But if I say that I’m from Cincinnati, the response I get is “Oh! This Ohio weather, right?” In this case, telling the alternative actually made my conversation a lot easier and a lot more “American”.

Most students at Ohio State don’t know that International students have a very different orientation than they did. Most students don’t know that international students are usually the last ones that schedule for classes for their first semester. Most students don’t know that international students are treated very differently than domestic students because of all the regulations and “initiatives.” I’d love to speak up for international students but there’s really not many ways of doing so. I’d love to help international students integrate with domestic students but there are not a whole lot of resources to make this possible. I’d love to see more international students represented in Ohio State community but I’ve only heard from domestic students that international students are part of the population that makes Ohio State more diverse. These constant downsides have made me not want to proactively identify myself as an international student. But now, I want to use this identity as an advantage.

Most of the time when we hear someone’s motivational story, when we hear how someone overcame their struggle, we think “Wow, that really inspires me” or “Wow, if they can overcome that, I think I can overcome my challenges, too!” It’s just like thinking “If the Eagles can win a Super Bowl with a backup QB, I can conquer this upcoming thing.” It’s not a bad thing to be inspired by a story, but we have to recognize that these stories are only being told because the struggle was overcome. How about those who are still struggling? How about those who are still having a tug-of-war with their destiny? I’ve met a lot of people and I’ve told a lot of story with an ending. But now, I want to start telling a story without an ending. I still struggle with acknowledging my identities, but I’m working on being proud of being an international student. I don’t want my identity to define me, but I don’t want to throw them in trash and ship it to landfill. Because even though I don’t think these things define me, they are a part of me. And it’s not about how these things make me who I am, it’s about how I want to use these things to empower me. I don’t know where this will take me or what this will bring me. But I know…

 

I am Willy.

Why Should I Care?

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

Although this poem was written over a century ago, the message translates through time.  Niemoller wrote this about the complicity of Germans and their silence towards the Nazi persecution of millions of people.  Take a moment to reflect on how the meaning of this poem might change if you replaced ‘socialist’, ‘trade unionist’ or ‘Jew’ with any marginalized identity in America.

Complicity can be just as bad as active action.  Recall those anti-bullying campaigns we all went through in elementary school.  There is the bully-the one taking action, the victim-the one negatively affected, and the bystander-the one who sees injustice, but stays silent.  We all know the consequences of the bystander affect: everyone thinks that someone else will do or say something, and in the end, nothing is done at all.  The bystander is complicit in the injustice by staying silent.  That affect goes much further than a high school bully, however.

Consider the ways in which not only people, but institutions, policies, and media bully and neglect people of marginalized identities. Just focusing on one identity isn’t enough though. All identities intersect. There’s race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, ability, language, citizenship, religion, and more. If you don’t recognize the affects of any of these, you may be complicit in your privilege.

Awareness of your own privileges are the first step in taking action.  For me, this means using my whiteness to advocate for people of color, using my economic status to advocate for low income populations, and my citizenship status to advocate for immigrants and refugees.  I recommend choosing to give up an easy, complicit life style for one of advocacy and speaking up for those who can’t.

Don’t know where to start? Start with a google search ‘inequality in America’, ‘problems facing diverse populations’, and ‘the affects of privilege’ are some good starting points.  Explore the Multicultural Center in the Ohio Union or Hale Hall on south campus.  Go to a Pride meeting and just listen. In a few days, Black History Month will begin and there are more than enough options for presentations, Ted Talks, and events focused on Black history and pride. Educate yo’self.

Eventually, if you don’t start to care and speak up, there will be no one left to speak for you.

 

How to find your Purpose at OSU

Before we can talk about how to find your purpose at OSU, we have to think about how to find your overall purpose.

Image result for passion venn diagramHere is a chart with questions to consider when trying to find your purpose. It is really the balance between all of the above items that can tell you where your purpose lies.

Lets talk about how these work together

Ask yourself what you love doing. This could be a hobby or something you love to think about. A passion can be something that you have to work on, something you have to learn. For me it is social justice. Social justice is more than treating people fairly, it is about understanding social structures and how they oppress people. That is not something that I was born knowing, I had to spend time learning and still have learning to do.Figuring this out is very hard but it is very important and it is worth the struggle. By following your passion and letting that be the main thing that influences your decisions, everything else will fall into place. If you use your passion as your foundation, you will be able to find a profession that you love, a vocation that will never seem too big, and a mission that you will always want to work on. The reason that your passion can impact so much is because it is based in your happiness. When you are doing what makes you happy, everything else falls into place because happiness is the biggest motivator.

It is important to keep in mind that, in my opinion, there is no ONE thing that we are meant to do. There are many jobs that I could do that could fulfill my purpose. Finding what you love —  the thing that fuels your passion, the thing that you have to incorporate into every part of your life — that is your purpose and can manifest in your life in many different ways. It effects the people you hold close, the activities you do, and it can put you in a career that you love. Basing your actions on your purpose and passions will lead you down a path that introduces you to the best people you will ever meet, the best job you’ve ever had, and the best life that you could think of.

What to do at OSU to figure out what your passions are

  • The most important thing is to figure out what you love and how to incorporate that into your life. Keeping your major and passion separate could stop you from pursuing something that makes you happy. Figure out how your major fits into it or if there is a major that fits with your passion.
  • Take Action. Once you figure out your passion, get involved in organizations where you can do work in something you love and gain some experience, knowledge, and understanding of what it takes to do work in that field.
  • Always keep what you love in mind.

These are some things I have done that led me to find my purpose, and my life is a lot better for it. It will help you understand what you need to work towards and give you the motivation to go far at OSU and in life.