Reasons Why Commuting is the Best!

Flashback to my senior year in high school, my family had just found out that my dad had been offered a job in Ohio. I didn’t know anything about Ohio State or what a Buckeye even was. Little did I know, I was about to be a part of something greater. Fast forward to a national championship in football and one amazing summer of orientation, and I began my junior year as a commuter! Commuting was definitely a challenge to adjust to and there are days that I still struggle to get to campus on time. However today, I want to focus on why commuting is actually so great!

You get to have your car on campus!

You are the ultimate expert of Columbus. You know the ins and outs and the secret places that everyone wished they knew. Take this as an opportunity to invite your friends to your favorite brunch place, the local park or one of the malls in and around Columbus! Some of the best memories of my freshman year were off-campus adventures! I can guarantee you that your friends will appreciate your effort! If you need some inspiration or ideas of some great Columbus events, check out Experience Columbus!

You get to have some more “Me” Time!

If you’re anything like me, I typically get up an hour before I have to leave, which doesn’t leave much time for me to mentally prepare for the day. During my commute, I typically find myself making a mental list of things I need to accomplish. Use this time to also check in with yourself to make sure you are ready to take on the week!

You get to have a daily mood boost!

For me, that looks like blasting some Beyoncé or some Coldplay. I can always count on music to really set my mood for the day. If you’re completely done with listening to music or morning radio shows and you want a more productive start to your day, listen to the news, NPR, or a new podcast! You can also try and learn a new a language! There are so many things that you can accomplish before your class even starts. Carpe diem!

Whether your commute is 15 minutes or over an hour, try and make the best out of your commuting time! Being positive about your commute will allow you to not only be productive but also more relaxed and ready to take on the day! Who knows, you might even start looking forward to your commutes!

Adopting an Attitude of Gratitude

This time last year, my semester in Spain was coming to an end. I was lucky enough to have been invited to spend the holidays in a suburb of Madrid. My friend’s father played guitar and led a chorus of 45 family members through song and prayer before a feast of traditional Spanish cuisine. I was truly overwhelmed, simultaneously feeling both extreme joy and sadness. Comparing my family to hers, and wishing that we were as strong a unit, diminished my ability to be fully present in the celebration.

A few days later on a plane back to Granada, I told the man sitting next to me about my recent holiday in Madrid and about my family in America. Since my parents’ divorce, the holidays have been a source of great sadness for me. My new conversation partner responded in a way that I didn’t anticipate. He said,

You have a choice. You can focus on what you don’t have or you can focus on all that you do.

I have thought about this statement every day since.

gratitude 2This interaction on the plane awakened me. Why could I only recall feeling grateful on good days, but on the days where I struggled, I hadn’t practiced any gratitude. When there are burdens, struggles, and drama, it’s hard to feel grateful. However, we are faced with a decision: do we wait until life gets better again or can we start where we are, in the midst of problems and challenges? Gratitude starts with each of us exactly where we are. Instead of waiting for a positive experience in order to feel grateful, we have the ability to bring gratitude to each and every day.

Before I knew the power of gratitude, I was stuck. Yes, my family is a bit fragmented. But how much greater would it have felt to tell that man on the plane that both of my parents are my biggest fans, who support my dreams to live and study abroad? In the year since this interaction, I can attest that practicing gratitude has brought a sense of peace to my life that I didn’t know possible. Why? Because gratitude is a reciprocal process. When you show someone you’re grateful for them, it boosts your own self-esteem and happiness.

level-of-gratitude

Let’s start now! As we head into the holiday break, make a mental list of the people in your life who you value. For first-year students: who has supported you through your transition to college? Who has worked to make you feel comfortable at Ohio State and who are you grateful to have met? Use your abilities to bring gratitude to each day. Start by letting those faculty members, advisors, Residence Life staff, peer leaders, family, and friends that you are thankful for their presence in your life. I challenge you to start with just one person. Gratitude catches on and spreads like wildfire. In no time, we will have cultivated a culture of gratitude in the Ohio State community.

 

Thank you for reading.

 

 

15 alternatives to the Mirror Lake jump

As you likely know by now, the Mirror Lake jump–a recent tradition that precedes the football game against TTUN–is slated to take place on Tuesday night. While many students may be participating (and will do so responsibly, we hope!), there are likely just as many–or more–of you who have no plans to splash around in dirty water in near-freezing temperatures. For those of you undecided about your Tuesday night plans, here are 15 alternatives to the Mirror Lake jump:

1. Get a head start on the drive home…all of the freeway lanes, none of the traffic.

2. Try out that Short North restaurant you’ve been eyeing since the start of the semester.

3. Create your own Thanksgiving meal using only items from a campus C-Store, a la “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”:

4. Get a bird’s eye view of the jump (and your pick of the best rocking chair) from the 11th floor of Thompson library.

5. Listen to TBDBITL music on repeat…or at least until it starts to annoy your roommate(s).

6. Reread “The Hunger Games” in preparation for the final movie in the franchise…or just see the movie with your DTix discount at Gateway Film Center.

7. Watch the Ohio State Men’s basketball team take on Louisiana Tech on the Big Ten Network (8 p.m.).

8. Practice your response to holiday inquiries from family, questions like: 

What are you hoping to do with a major in [insert your major here]-

9. Try to get your own hashtag trending.

10. Wash your sheets…maybe for the first time all semester?

11. Watch all the Thanksgiving episodes of your favorite TV show(s).

12. Memorize random facts about Ohio State football players to show your true dedication to the game. For example:

Can you imagine how crowded the Jones family dinner table was when Cardale was a kid? I don’t know how he and his five siblings–Matthew, Javon, Devonte, Sheena and Naomi–all fit!

That Perry kid has got some moves…I guess that’s why he was in the top five in long jump at the Ohio high school state track and field championships. His parents, Jim and Georgette, must be so proud!

13. Create a playlist of the American Music Award winners for the drive/flight home (looking at you, 1D).

14. Stuff your face at PizzaPalooza (10 p.m.-midnight, Ohio Union west plaza).

15. Find at least eight of your closest friends to recreate this YouTube vid (admittedly more appropriate before our loss on Saturday):

Happy Beat M!ch!g@n Week, everyone!

Bus confusion? 5 tips and 5 routes!

It’s November and it’s about to get real cold, real quick. If you are anything like I was as a freshman, the only thing I knew about the buses was that the CABS was the Campus Area Bus System and the COTA had routes throughout Columbus…but I had no idea how to use them or the difference between routes.

CABS versus COTA

If you read nothing else, here are five tips for the bus system…

CLN versus CLS

For the CLN (Campus Loop North) and CLS (Campus Loop South), the North and South references the direction the bus travels on CANNON Drive. Since it’s a loop, it goes the opposite direction on College Road (the CLN travels SOUTH on College Road, whereas the CLS travels NORTH on College Road). They make the exact same loop–just opposite directions. Also, the CLN runs on weekends, but the CLS does not (be aware that the route is slightly different on the weekends–check the Bus app for details).

CABS bus

Requesting stops

CABS: The bus will stop at every stop (so no need to pull the yellow cord).

COTA: The bus will only stop if you pull the yellow cord around the perimeter of the bus to request a stop or if someone is waiting at that COTA stop to get on the bus.

Interior of COTA

Electronic bus tracking

CABS: You can get up to date bus information on the Ohio State mobile app or the OSU Bus app. The thing I really like about the OSU Bus app is it will utilize the location services on my phone to find stops “Near Me” and give me up to date information about how many minutes until the next bus will arrive!

COTA: If you are riding the COTA, I have found the easiest way to know when a bus is coming is to utilize the Google Maps app, and then click the icon for public transportation. It will give directions of exactly where to pick up the bus, what time it is scheduled to come, how many stops to take the bus, and where to walk once I get off the bus to reach my destination. However, this information is not updated if a bus is running behind schedule, it only gives a rough estimate based on when it is scheduled to come!Bus App Screenshot

What to bring when you ride

CABS: Nothing.

COTA: Swipe your BuckID at the front of the bus OR pay $2

Always thank the bus drivers!


…and here are five routes to know…

CABS: CLN (Campus Loop North)

Where it goes: North on Cannon (by Morrill and Lincoln Towers), left on Woodruff to the Carmack parking lots, back east on Woodruff (by Knowlton and Traditions at Scott), turns right down College Road (heading south), to the Union, and then turns right down 12th Avenue (by Baker East/West and then down past Kennedy Commons), turns left on Neil (goes by Marketplace), then turns right on 9th Avenue and travels around the perimeter of the Med Center and back up Cannon.

When it runs: All day everyday! (Less frequently during at night and on weekends)

CABS: CLS (Campus Loop South)

Where it goes: Same route but opposite direction as the CLN!

When it runs: Mon-Fri, 5:30 a.m.-midnight

CABS: NE (North Express)

Where it goes: East on 17th Avenue (the street just North of the Oval), turns left on College road (north), left on Woodruff (heading west) out to the Carmack parking lots, then comes back down Woody Hayes/Woodruff (the street name changes!), and then turns right on Tuttle Park Place down to the RPAC plaza and then back up 17th again!

When it runs: Mon-Fri, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

COTA: #2 (#21 at night)

Where it goes: This bus runs up and down High Street. The different letters after the number 2 distinguish how far north and south it will go. This bus comes about every 9 minutes. The 21 is the “Night Owl” version of the 2 and comes about every 30 minutes.

When it runs: #2–everyday! #21–Thu-Sat, 7 p.m.-3 a.m. (depending where you are on the route)

COTA: #52

Where it goes: This route is the OSU Airport Express and runs a special route on peak travel days from campus to the airport. It has 6 stops around campus and then goes to the airport. Be aware that it only runs certain days of the year!

When it runs: Check this schedule for dates and times.

CABS Routes

5 Tips for Navigating the Awkwardness of College

Dear Awkward College Students,

As a fellow awkward student now in my third year at Ohio State, I’ve had my share of awkward situations and look forward to many more in years to come. In the meantime, I hope to share a few pieces of wisdom on how to embrace your own awkwardness and make the most of the precariously awkward situations you may find yourself in throughout your time at Ohio State. Although you may not be able to change your awkward nature, you can still thrive in a world that hates awkwardness.

1. Improper and Destructive Ways of Dealing with Awkwardness

Let’s start off with a few things that feed the insatiable creature that is awkwardness.

Texting or tweeting at people in your life who deserve a real conversation. Technology allows us the ability to say things to people that maybe would be awkward or uncomfortable in person. Although it may be easier and feel safer to tweet a passive-aggressive comment about your roommate and the dishes that have been piling up for weeks, don’t expect anything to change by you offending the roommate in front of your Twitter followers. Other situations that deserve at least a phone call if not a face to face interaction include: roommate disputes, asking someone on a date, breaking up with someone, and apologizing if you have hurt someone.

Avoiding awkwardness by turning to alcohol in social situations. This is an extremely unhealthy way to treat alcohol and college is a time where you have ample opportunities to LEARN how to talk to people. Alcohol should not be necessary to “have a good time” or meet other human beings.

2. “Roomie, We Need to Talk”

Living with people is hard, no matter how long you have known them. Wherever you find yourself living during your time at Ohio State, if you have roommates/housemates, you will find awkward situations. However, to successfully live with someone–and in any healthy relationship in life–communication is key. Sometimes that means you must have awkward and uncomfortable conversations where you address the things that your roommate does that bothers you or makes you uncomfortable. Many times they do not realize what they do makes you uncomfortable because you never told them, so be direct but also patient and gracious.

3. Traveling Around Campus

You can easily find the students that are glued to their phones, earbuds in, and therefore closed to any social interaction on their way to class, maybe a head nod for the guy that lived on their floor freshman year or creepy wink for the girl in their Biology class as they pass them on the Oval. Rather than escaping into your music as you head to Chemistry lecture, LOOK UP, and enjoy the beautiful campus full of really awesome people! Also, it’s good practice to say “Hi” to the people you recognize (or even strangers, if you are feeling extra friendly), even if you don’t know their name; the alternative of looking down at your phone to avoid eye contact is far worse and far more awkward for everyone. The same goes for buses–you can talk to the people on the bus, it’s allowed!

4. Making Conversation

As you are meeting loads of people, this means you actually have to hold conversations…I know, scary, right? Luckily, everyone in college is in similar phases of life; we are all trying to figure out our own lives and endure similar struggles. This makes conversation easy, so introduce yourself, ask people about their lives, and don’t be afraid to take it deeper than the “Hi, how are you?” “Good, how are you?” interaction that plagues college campuses. The answer “good” really means anything from great to absolutely awful. Ask questions, get to know people, and listen to their stories, because the surface level conversations get pretty old after awhile.

5. Awkwardness in Class

College classrooms are also an awkward hot spot. Many college students use the time before class, or even during class, to scroll through social media, text their friends, or swipe left and right on the latest dating app. College is a unique experience in our lives where we are surrounded by tons of people with very diverse perspectives on life, so take advantage of it! Meeting people in class is an awesome way to form study groups, make new friends who are interested in similar things you are, and make those 8 a.m. classes even more enjoyable as you get to learn about neat things and see your friends, too!

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May this picture of me in a very awkward stage of my life (that arguably is still ongoing) encourage you in your pursuit of fully embracing the awkward to make your Ohio State experience a little more pleasant and free from avoidable awkwardness.

A Southern Buck-I-SERV Spring Break

Your first spring break in college… we’ve all been there at one point or another. Was it as fun as you expected? Did you meet any new people? Is reality hitting you hard in the face because of how awesome it was?

If you would have asked me what I was doing for spring break in December, I probably would have said something along the lines of “I’m going to the Bahamas with my friends,” however, I did something else and it was an AMAZING experience. First year or not, listen up when I say that Buck-I-SERV at Ohio State is such a rewarding organization and I encourage everyone to participate in at least one before you graduate.

Wondering why?

I was asked to be a trip leader for a trip to Mullens, West Virginia, during spring break. When first asked I was kind of skeptical; I mean, why Mullens? Of course I learned more information about the destination.

Mullens is a town in southern West Virginia that is experiencing many hardships at the moment. You see, Mullens used to be a town where things happened. Downtown was booming and there were many residents. In recent years, residents  are finding a lack of jobs, which leads to the younger generations leaving the town.

Mullens is a great little town, it reminds me of my own little hometown. Everyone knows one another and everyone is SO FRIENDLY. It was so nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of schoolwork and the city for a while. I didn’t know how much I was missing nature (or the woods) until I stayed in Twin Falls State Park. The scenery, the hills, the trees, the waterfalls — everything about it was gorgeous.

There were six of us, including our advisor. It was a tiny group, but we had SO MUCH FUN. We were able to volunteer at the Mullens Opportunity Center (otherwise known as the MOC). They actually had a pretty horrible flood the week before we got there, so a lot of our work was to help with the outdoor cleanup.

We worked with students from the University of Baltimore (they were awesome, by the way) the entire week. We shoveled up the fallen dirt to rebuild the hillside by a river behind the MOC, we filled in holes in the concrete with gravel, but our biggest project was the High Tunnel.

You see, the MOC is an awesome place. This opportunity center holds workshops for the residents of Mullens that can help them in nearly all aspects of life. They have a workout room, a lawyer’s office, line dancing, a computer lab where individuals can earn their GED and SO many other programs. They also have fitness programs going on, where individuals can keep track of how many laps they took around the gym and the activity they’re involved in. If that wasn’t awesome enough, they hand out prizes to the person who completed the most that week. LIKE COME ON THAT’S CRAZY COOL.

One of the MOC’s coolest projects, in my opinion, is their Farm to School campaign. Basically, this campaign is to try and get local farmers to grow fruits and vegetables for the schools in the county. Eventually, they would like each school to have their own High Tunnel to grow produce for the community. (A high tunnel is a fancy word for a greenhouse, in case you’re wandering, as I was.) We worked on constructing this and getting top soil and compost for the beds. By the time we were leaving they were working on the roof.

Hands down, this trip was such a blast. The workers at the MOC were so thankful we had decided to come and showed us so much love. It was an amazing experience.

One of the last nights we were there, we had a campfire with the University of Baltimore where a local orator told us stories about the town’s history and scary stories. We roasted marshmallows and listened to a delightful woman sing. It is so nice knowing that we helped make a difference.

I love the little town of Mullens, and I want them to thrive. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to spend the week with some new friends, make some memories, and help make a difference. If you ever have the chance to go on a Buck-I-SERV trip, GO. I promise you will love it.

Scarlet Scramble is Back

Did you know University Hall is the real building used as Hollis College in Pretty Little Liars? Or that the first Wendy’s restaurant ever opened was in Columbus? Do you think you can eat a stack of Sloopy’s pancakes faster than anyone else? Then boy do I have an event for you — Scarlet Scramble 2015 is here!

So what is Scarlet Scramble?

It’s a 24-hour campus and city adventure that includes challenges, trivia questions, and clues to decode. Teams compete from 6 p.m. on March 27 to 6 p.m. on March 28 to earn points and win prizes (like Amazon and HOMAGE gift cards). The Scramble is brought to you by First Year Experience, and each team should have at least five first year students, but can have up to five other students (non first-years) too.

You know you want a new HOMAGE shirt.

You know you want a new HOMAGE shirt.

I participated in my first Scarlet Scramble my freshman year and have helped plan it the last two years. It is one of my favorite events on campus because not only do you get a sweet T-shirt just for signing up, you also get to run around campus with your friends, learn something new while you’re doing it, and compete for prizes! Plus you end up with some pretty cool pictures like these.

TBT to Scarlet Scramble 2013

TBT to Scarlet Scramble 2013

TBT to Scar Scram 2014

TBT to Scarlet Scramble 2014

To learn more about #ScarScram2015, check out the video below!

Registration is open until March 9. To sign up for the best time of your life visit fye.osu.edu/scarletscramble.

See you March 27!

Headed Home For The Holidays? 5 Ways to Get Back

No car on campus? Mom and Dad don’t want to make the round trip drive to swing by Ohio State and get you, then drive all the way home? Don’t fret! There are tons of other ways to get home for the holiday break.

1. OSU Facebook Rideshare Page

While the idea of getting into a car with a stranger might not appeal to everyone, I can say from experience the OSU rideshare page really is a great resource to use! People on the page are going everywhere from Cleveland to New York and anywhere else you could imagine. It’s a great way to make some new friends, and usually all you need to have a good time is pitch in for gas money, bring some snacks, and don’t forget all of your favorite road trip games.

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2. Greyhound Bus

The bus has kind of a bad reputation, but in reality (from experience, again), it’s actually a nice way to get places. Greyhound buses aren’t too expensive, you can go to the bathroom whenever you want, and there’s free Wi-Fi! Also, you can get a student advantage card and score some deals.

 

3. AMTRAK

Trains are pretty awesome — they are like buses but even better. Especially if you are taking it a really long distance, a train is a great option, and a lot cheaper than flying. While a train isn’t always the quickest mode of transportation, you can get food, your own car, and pretty much do whatever you could do in your dorm or any other building. The downside to taking a train — there isn’t a station in Columbus. There are a lot of train stations that are close, but you’ll probably need to take a bus to get there.

 

4. Fly: Port Columbus International Airport

Now if you live really far away, a plane is probably your best option. Although plane tickets can be pretty expensive, it’s also the fastest way to get around. Flying by yourself for the first time can be an intimidating experience, but it’s not as bad as you may think. The Columbus airport is relatively small, and very easy to navigate. Have a friend drive you to the airport or take a taxi. Just make sure you check all of the baggage guidelines and have all of your flight information ready before you leave.

 

5.  Floo Powder

Well hey- if all else fails you could give it a try.

Floo Powder. Diagonally. by roobarbcrumble

Buck-I-SERV: The trip of your life

Picture this: you’re hammering nails for a house you’re helping to build while under the sun in 70 degree weather in Florida; then at night, you’re sitting on the beach, sipping your iced tea, watching the sunset with fellow Buckeyes who have become your best friends.

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Building homes isn’t your thing? How about entering a urban middle school, building relationships with at-risk youth through one-on-one interactions, tutoring, playing a game of ball, etc., and getting rewarded by enjoying some southern soul food in the heart of Atlanta?

800px-Soul_Food_at_Powell's_Place

You say you are more of an outdoors type? Let’s take a trip to Minnesota where you can serve as a camp counselor to youth who have been affected by HIV/AIDS, live in transitional housing, identify as LGBTQ, or have diabetes.

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Do you want to get far away from Ohio? Then head to Colorado to help prepare shoes that will be shipped out of the country to countries where shoes are a luxury.

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Now you’re doubting me and saying that there isn’t anything out there that can accommodate this, especially for college students. We go to The Ohio State University where there is something for everyone. To silence the doubters, YES, there something called Buck-I-SERV, where you can do exactly what I mentioned above and more! Now, I know you have some questions and concerns, so let me start addressing them.

What exactly is Buck-I-SERV? 

According to Buck-I-SERV’s website, “Buck-I-SERV is a weeklong, substance-free program centered on community service and civic engagement.” My interpretation: you get to travel to new places, see and experience new things with other Buckeyes all while helping the local community. These trips are offered during winter, spring and summer breaks and are typically 10-person trips, however, there are some that are 20- and even 50-person trips!

Wait, can I explore the city where I’m serving?

YES!!! This isn’t just a work trip (although, I wouldn’t call what you do there as “work”), it’s also a social trip! Go ahead and visit the local restaurants and attractions. Actually, you are required to explore the city and have fun! When I went to Atlanta, I tried my first ever chicken and waffles, a southern staple.  So before you say “well, I really want to go to the beach and I don’t think I can do that on a Buck-I-SERV trip”, think again.

800px-Chicken_and_Waffles_201_-_Evan_Swigart

Where will I stay?

You aren’t living in the presidential suite at a Ritz-Carlton, but depending on where you go to, you will be living in anything from a hostel to log cabins, and even alumni homes! On my Buck-I-SERV trip, we lived in a church with three other universities!

This sounds expensive!

$200-$400 for a week long trip. No, I did not forget to add an extra zero on the end. Yes, they are that cheap. These prices include the ride to and from the service city, housing, site fees and also a small donation. Although you have to pay for food, you were already planning to pay for it when you were booking your $300 flight.

I’ve already visited all 50 states, so I don’t think there is anything for me.

Hahaha. Good one. For those of you who have been lucky enough to visit all 50 states, good for you, I’m still trying to get there. But I highly doubt you’ve been to Marysville, TN or Pocahontas County, WV. Even if you’ve been to places like Dallas, Boston, New York or Chicago, I’m sure the last time you went, you didn’t serve their community and see things you would have never seen by simply being a tourist. And if you want to be more adventurous, you can go serve abroad. In fact, for the 2013-2014 school year, there have been Buck-I-SERV trips to five different countries!

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Information overload!

I know, I’m sorry. I probably told you more in this one blog than you learned in your survey class. But fear not, if you need more information, go ahead and check out Buck-I-SERV’s website.

As I start to wind down this blog, I hope you give Buck-I-SERV a look when you are planning your future breaks. Be on the look out for the applications, and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Not to be cliché, but the memories, the people that you meet, and the experiences that you gain on these trips will truly last forever.

10 Reasons You Should Study Abroad Before You Graduate

Okay, so we all know Ohio State is the best school on Earth. Obvi. We have amazing school spirit, a beautiful campus and a huge, fun, talented student body (maybe I’m a little biased but whateves). Being in such a fantastic place, why in the world would anyone in their right mind want to leave?! Well, I’ll tell you why. TO STUDY ABROAD.  There are so many reasons you should study abroad, but here are ten of them:

1. Experience a place that’s not, well, Ohio  (It’s out there people, I promise.)

There’s a whole big world out there waiting for you, where maybe they eat weird, but delicious things, or have cool sayings that you can use to impress your friends back home. Who knows. Listen…Do you hear it? The world’s calling.

2. Push yourself (I can totally figure out the subway system and how to speak German at the same time. Piece of cake.)

Making your way in a new country can be scary and uncomfortable, but there’s no better feeling than finally figuring out what that phrase everyone has been saying means or getting on the right bus for the first time because you KNOW where it’s going. You’re capable of way more than you think.

3. When else in your life will you have time to do this?!(I mean, why not now?)

College is a time of exploration, experimentation and independence. We are just starting to figure out who we are, who we want to be and how we fit in the world. If there’s ever a time to observe other worldviews, opinions and ways of living, it’s now.

4. Meet new people  (Heck, odds are they probably won’t even be from Ohio.)

Not only can you meet friends from the U.S. who are participating with you, but you can also befriend the locals! How fun! You can literally casually throw into conversation when you get home, “Well, my friend from Paris said…”.

5. See how others view the world  (You mean to tell me football isn’t a way of life here?)

It may surprise you that not everyone in the world wears Uggs or has seen the latest episode of Scandal. But so many different ways of thinking, doing and feeling exist in the world. Go explore; ya never know: maybe you’ll adopt some new habits (meditation? eating beondegi? The possibilities are endless.)

6. Adventure  (Wait…you eat what?!)

Why not let your adventurous spirit run wild for a while? Taste new foods, meet new people, venture outside your comfort zone. See the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall, or the Pyramids. There is no time like the present and at the very least you’ll make some great memories to take home with you.

7. Be Independent  (For real this time, since we all know how you go home solely so your Mom can do your laundry)

No matter where you go, studying abroad will force you to figure things out on your own and be independent.  You might even have to cook your own food, omg.

8. Gain valuable experience  (looks great on a resume!)

Studying abroad will help you gain problem-solving skills, appreciate other cultures and grow in confidence. These are great transferrable skills for any future job, or just to be better at life.

9. Learn about yourself  (Who knew I was capable of  miming what flavor of gelato I wanted to that waiter?)

You probably already have a fairly good idea of what you’re good at, but did you know how good you were at navigating that incredibly confusing city? Or how well you could pick up Spanish in three weeks? You may just surprise yourself.

10. Appreciate what you have (Depending on where you go, you will never again take for granted not having to pay to enter a public restroom.)

Studying abroad in a foreign country, no matter where it is, or the standard of living there, will make you appreciate what you have.  Whether that be your family, friends, hometown, or college campus, you will come home more grateful for the blessings you have.

So basically what I’m trying to say is, GO STUDY ABROAD. Take one semester, or summer away from your normal comfortable routine and explore the world. You never know who you’ll meet, what you’ll see, or most importantly, what you’ll learn about yourself along the way.