I occasionally find it hard to remember who I was before I started my life at Ohio State. It seems like it was so far away and I feel like I haven’t changed at all while still being a completely different person. As a high-strung high schooler, I was nervous about my transition to the adult world that is college. When I entered the STEM EE Scholars Program, I was trying to impress everyone around me and act like I was a pro at college. I had strong beliefs and I was not planning on trying new things or leaving my comfort zone. I was a very independent person and I strongly believed that I should be able to do everything by myself. Not far into my first year, I realized that I had a lot to learn and I would need to rely on the people around me more than I anticipated. I was fortunate enough to be placed on a floor with other STEM EE Scholars in my dorm, these people quickly became some of my closest friends. Within my first week of college, I was introduced to some of my roommate’s friends from high school and they are now two of my closest friends at Ohio State. Through all of the lab reports, football games, hall sports, and singing in the study room, I became a more dependent person.
As a young college student, I was very mature and I showed that in taking responsibility for my actions, making difficult decisions that would affect my future, and overcoming adversity in my life. There are a few major events that took place in my first year of college that affected me greatly and I saw myself change in a matter of weeks from these incidents; however, I think the more relevant change is the one that occurred gradually over two semesters. I cannot attribute who I am today to just my parents, friends, professors, or employers. They have all made me who I am today, which sounds slightly cliché, but I genuinely believe this. I have matured in a way that allows me to appreciate the diversity on campus and off campus. I have the STEM EE Scholars program to thank for this. With each event I attended, I was exposed to new people, new places, new fields of study, and new opportunities. I am more willing to accept the ideas and thoughts of my peers, and I am more eager to try new things.
Throughout my first year at Ohio State, I have done many things I never thought of doing and I am proud of myself for trying new things, such as: running a 5K, applying to study abroad, learning how to ice skate, trying to horseback ride, going snow skiing with friends, eating sushi, going caving and camping, going hiking, and attempting to rock wall climb. Going into almost all of these experiences, I was horrified. There were times where I wanted to sit on the sidelines and watch but I made myself try new things and I have not had a single regret. If there is one thing I have learned from my first year at Ohio State, it is this: the best way to learn is by doing. Specifically, gain experience by trying new things.
My growth as a person and a student are similar in many ways. They both revolve around my willingness to try new things and appreciate the diversity that I am surrounded by. I have learned to ask for help from my peers and professors, and I have recognized that I am not going to make it through college alone. I am very pleased with who I am at this point in my life and I am excited for the next year of college so I can see how I grow from here. Ohio State offers so much for all types of students and people, from organizations/clubs to events and activities. There are opportunities everywhere and the scholars program, as well as the university, does a great job of advertising them, making it easy to get involved. Joining the STEM EE Scholars Program at The Ohio State University has allowed me to get involved and expose myself to the diversity that runs through every part of the school. In my next year at school, I plan to focus more on getting involved in activities that will benefit me in my future career.