When I was younger, I dreamed of becoming a doctor, a lawyer, the president; I knew I would be in school for a long time. I never imagined I would one day grow up to say “Mom, I don’t want to go to college.”
My name is Lucy Sheppard and I am currently a freshman studying Industrial and Systems Engineering at The Ohio State University. My path in arriving here, however, was unlike that of many of my peers. I graduated from Worthington Kilbourne High School in May 2017, having attended Worthington City Schools since kindergarten. Following an internship with an OB/GYN at the end of senior year, I realized I was not setting myself up on the path towards a career that was right for me. This caused me to reevaluate my academic pursuits, and I decided to take a year off before beginning my college career.
During my year off I was able to experience and see many things that I never could from behind a desk in a classroom. I spent the fall working and volunteering around Columbus, and in January I left for a long-term mission trip in Honduras where I lived until mid-May. At the orphanage where I stayed, Montaña de Luz, my primary focus was education. As a volunteer in the classroom I assisted with daily lessons and planning, homework, and supporting Profe, the teacher, in whatever way I could. The language barrier forced me to be creative in my communication and problem solving while practicing and improving my Spanish.
When I decided to take a gap year, I had no idea how I was going to spend my time. I only knew for a variety of reasons I wasn’t ready to start college. I ended up on a journey of self-discovery, self-discipline, and self-awareness: a journey I know will only continue throughout my time at OSU and beyond.