Go Buckeye Day/ Personal Refelction
Thanks to the International Affairs Scholars program at Ohio State, I feel like my transition into college was much smoother than many other freshman’s experiences. Firstly, knowing I was going to be living in such a nice dorm eliminated the stress of preparing myself for bad housing. Second, being an IA Scholar made it so much easier to make friends with people who have similar interests as myself and enjoy talking about the same worldly topics of discussion. During my Freshman orientation in June, I met some students who were also IA Scholars, and little did I know but these people would end up being some of my best friends. We immediately hit it off and I became excited for my transition to Ohio State rather than anxious and apprehensive.
I also believe being in a Scholars program has made me a much more extroverted and social person. In high school, I was introverted and enjoyed my alone time. But, because there are so many Scholars that I have become friends with, I am constantly gravitated towards them and always want to be around these people. My conversations with everyone are always easy and uplifting and I feel like they can always cheer me up when I am down.
Since leaving home, I have learned so much inside and outside the classroom. I think living independently has tested my intrinsic motivation and I have become more confident and independent. At the start of the year, I had difficulty balancing and managing my physical and mental health. I would go to the gym 5-6 times a week and lost weight without even realizing it. After going home for fall break and realizing I was putting my mental health to the side, I started to slow things down and I found a good balance of maintaining my physical health but also keeping my mental health at the forefront.
One thing I wish IA was more involved in is promoting and destigmatizing mental health and mental health care. The Career and Counseling Services here are not the best; it takes weeks to set up an appointment with a therapist. For someone who has dealt with bad anxiety for years, a few weeks can be too long. By creating a support system in IA, I think it would bring the Scholars closer together and also welcome other students who are dealing with similar issues. Many freshmen, including myself, often put their mental health to the side when they get to college. Having experience with this, stress and anxiety can creep up on individuals in harmful and serious ways. I believe it is crucial to put your mental health to the forefront, this is an important aspect of life that is a foundation for success.
For next year, I am planning to join a few more clubs on campus. I am excited to be part of the LC for next year and become more involved with IA. I’m looking into clubs that relate to my major and future career plans, like CCWA and College Democrats.
Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better year. I have learned to deal and cope with negative situations, but also I have experienced a level of satisfaction and gratitude that I have never felt before. I am SO glad to be a part of the IA community, it has transformed my college experience into something exciting and unique! And to you Steven, thank you for being so open and willing to help with anything! I look forward to working with you more, and I hope you have an amazing summer!