Second Year

My second year was one of immense personal growth. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, I spent a lot of time focused on schoolwork, most of which was on my own. I was very grateful for my roommates and all the ways we were able to support each other, and I felt especially lucky being able to live on campus during a semester when not all college students could. I began courses in both my major and my minor, excited to finally delve into civil engineering. I developed a better understanding of my professional interests: not purely engineering but a mix with urban studies, transportation, sustainability, and social justice. I am currently frustrated with the lack of interdisciplinary coursework and hope that progressing farther into the program will present more opportunities for combining my interests.

I also gained a deeper understanding of who I am as a person, socially and emotionally. During my first year, I felt a lot of pressure to be socially engaged all the time. I had to make new friends and invest as much time as I could in those relationships. I struggle with talking to people I don’t know very well, so it was easy to become disappointed in myself. This year, I really focused on doing the things I wanted to, caring less about expectations and what others thought. When I needed to take a night for myself to catch up on schoolwork or rest, I would. I became a lot better at managing school-related stress; I prioritized sleep and well-being over perfecting assignments, and I created a divide between how I valued myself and how I valued my academic success. They are not one in the same; I am breaking the habit of relying on my academic achievements for self-worth.

I received an offer for an internship position within civil engineering for summer 2021, which boosted my confidence. I look forward to the professional experience and the opportunity to continue to narrow my job preferences for when I begin working full-time.

First Year

My first year of college was eye-opening in many different ways. My courses challenged me like no schoolwork ever had before, and I was required to adjust the expectations I had of myself. Learning to stop putting so much pressure on myself was a constant battle. I was very fortunate to have roommates that I liked and got along with well who were also studying within the science and engineering fields. Having them as a support system at a time when my familial relationships were very strained helped me focus and stay on track. Living in Lincoln Tower also provided me with the opportunity to meet other honors students, many of whom I ended up sharing classes with. I also found friendships through Undergraduate Student Government, where my interest in sustainability grew rapidly. As far as my degree, I had enrolled at Ohio State engineering, undecided, but I applied to and was accepted by the civil engineering department, picking up a city and regional planning minor as well.

My first year brought unexpected endings and beginnings, a major one being the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the school year. This required improvisation and getting creative with how and where I learned. I did my best to practice healthy coping mechanisms and stress-relieving activities.

I look forward to my second year and hope to develop a better idea of what kind of jobs I am interested in upon graduation. I also want to learn more about myself so I can continue taking care of myself to the best of my ability.