My first year was an absolute blast.
In terms of relationships, I got to meet many people and make friendships that will undoubtedly last a lifetime. We were there to support each other in rough times, and to celebrate each other’s successes. The people around me are what kept me going throughout my first year and will continue to play a pivotal role in the rest of my three years here.
In terms of extracurricular activities, I was able to join two new clubs and stay active within them, even gaining leadership positions. I was able to gain a volunteer position at the James Cancer Center and started volunteering with the American Red Cross. I got into a research lab and did a substantial amount of work that is on the path to a publication. Scholars really helped with this, because it made me more aware about what kind of opportunities existed. My first year taught me how many extracurricular time I can fit into my schedule and how to manage it. This is something I will definitely carry and learn from throughout my college career. I am also looking to join a few stress-relieving clubs next semester like the chess club, cricket club, or a dance team.
In terms of academics, my first year went really well. Both semesters were hard with 18 credit hours each and I had a lot of workload because of that. It was definitely a great learning experience for me, because I learned how to study for multiple things at once, how to set priorities for my assignments. I ended up getting all As, except one A-. I definitely could have made better decisions to make it an easier time on myself and I will carry the lessons I have learned forward. Second semester was also the first time I reached out to a TA or professor outside of normal class hours and realized how much of a great help it is. I am definitely looking forward to going to more office hours next year, and getting to know my professors better than this year.
My first year had its ups and downs, but I think its important not to consider the downs as failures, but as an opportunity to improve myself, and that is exactly what I will be doing.
College is unlike any other experience I have had, so there were many things I learned from it in only one semester. Fortunately, I have taken classes at OSU before through the academy program, so coming in, I was already comfortable with locating places around campus and with the academic rigor. It is also nice to live only about 25 minutes from campus, because it makes me feel a bit more safe. Although I was close to home, I wanted to dorm on campus in order to be exposed to more resources and to make more friends. I was quite worried about the fact that I would have to room with people I have never met in my life. However, I was relieved when I met them on move-in day. I’ve heard many stories about bad room-mates and I’m glad that my room-mates were the best I could possibly have. Being a part of Biological Sciences Scholars helped with this, because it allowed me to live with people that have similar interests. Everyone on my floor are in similar classes, so all of us know what the others are dealing with. Living out of home with people I dont know has been a big part of this transition from being dependent to independent. It forced me to take full responsibility of all my problems and it made me less lazy and more motivated. I became more organized and expressed management skills that I have never noticed. One great thing about being at OSU is that everyone is very friendly and open, which allowed me to meet new people and develop friendships. In high school, I was an introvert and was not very open about making new friends. but now I am quite outgoing and love meeting new people; it made me more outspoken and confident
In terms of academics, I took 18 credit hours this semester, which was quite intimidating at first, but I had pretty good expectations about how rigorous it would be. Studying on campus is very different than studying at home; however, I still don’t know if it is better or worse. The best part of being on campus is that I have access to so many resources that can help me with my classes such as office hours, tutoring centers, and even other students. The hardest part was staying motivated throughout the semester. I believe that in college, motivation naturally dies off as the semester progresses, so I had to find ways to keep myself motivated and passionate, so that I don’t give up and start failing. I found that the easiest way to do this was just to be positive and to know that things are going to get better if I want them to. Now that the end of the semester is approaching, I feel pretty accomplished; I just have to focus on finals and be well prepared. One ideology that I found that is helpful with academics in college is to over prepare for everything and to do every assignment with meticulous perfection.
One goal of mine for this semester was to find extracurricular activities that are enjoyable and rewarding. At the beginning it was pretty confusing because there seemed to be many different options, but after I talked to other people about what they were doing I got involved in some clubs. I started volunteering at The James, I’m involved in a volunteer and cultural club called Hindu Yuva, and I’m involved with two other volunteering clubs called NEURO (Neuroscience Education for Urban and Rural Outreach) and Global Brigades. The hardest part about extracurricular activities was keeping a track of all the meetings and different events going on. This forced me to be organized and to use a calendar, which I have never before used. It also allowed me to develop essential time management skills that will become even more important in the future.
Overall, I think my first semester of college has been quite successful so far and I feel pretty accomplished. There are definitely things I can learn from it in terms of time management, organization, and studying, which will help me do even better in the upcoming semesters.