I had very mixed feelings about moving into Ohio State in the late summer of 2019. I didn’t want to leave the comfort of Western Pennsylvania, where I’d lived all my life. I was worried about my major, and whether or not I’d actually enjoy the work. I didn’t want to live with another person, and was worried about finding a group of friends in a school of 50,000 students. In hindsight, it’s funny how these fears were dispelled over the course of a semester.
While I was very used to living just outside of Pittsburgh, the three hour drive to Columbus didn’t change too much of what I loved most about home. Over the course of the semester, I got used to Columbus, and even though I didn’t think it would happen, it became like a second home for me. As far as my major goes, I have changed my mind about what I want to do so many times I lost count. However, this has taught me that I can’t know everything in the present, and sometimes I just need to go with the flow. I have landed on double majoring in English and Economics, and thus far I’ve found a lot of joy in pursuing those two fields. As far as my roommate situation is concerned, I don’t think the Ohio State roommate algorithm could have done a better job. Despite our vastly different appearances, my roommate and I share many similar interests, and I’m extremely glad that I get to live with him, and call him my friend. Aside from my roommate, however, making friends didn’t pose as daunting of a challenge as I initially believed. After trying to join multiple clubs across campus, I was fortunate enough to receive a bid from the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. Since then, the members of this organization have become my second family, and I’m truly blessed to call them my friends. They made my transition to college significantly easier, and have made my first semester far more fun and bearable. All in all, I am really enjoying my first semester at Ohio State, and am lucky enough to have had all of my initial fears dispelled.
When I think of home, I think of Pennsylvania. I think of the city of Pittsburgh, with its illuminated skyline and its golden bridges. I think of Oakland, with students hurrying to classes and the spires of Central Catholic rising above the surrounding buildings. I think of Squirrel Hill, where my parents were born, and where my friends and I would spend our time. I think of Frick Park, and all the late nights spent there. I think of Shadyside, and the various errands I’ve had to run. I think of the Strip District, and going shopping with my Mum at the various street vendors. I think of Downtown, and cheering the Penguins to victory in the Stanley Cup. I think of Point Breeze, and all of the CYO Basketball Games I played at Saint Bede. I think of Highland Park, and going to my friend’s house to play Mariokart and work on homework. I think of Carrick, and the hours spent at my girlfriend’s house watching football with her dad or playing with her little brother. I think of Allentown, and spending time with my girlfriend’s family. I think of Kennedy, and swimming in my Uncle’s pool listening to Johnny Cash. Finally, I think of Wexford, where I was raised. I think of a big front yard with a dog lounging in it. I think of the hours spent doing yard work and admiring the leaves changing on the trees. I think of the smell of a fresh cut lawn on a hot summer day. I think of bonfires, and the crisp smell of the autumn air. I think of rainy spring mornings, waking up early, and driving to school. I think of church on Sunday mornings followed by family lunch. I think of St. Alphonsus, and the days when recess football was the most important activity of the day. I think of my cousins and family, and hanging out on the deck barbecuing. I think of her, and the hours spent doing so much, yet so little. I think of Mum, Dad, Sam, Emily, Rusty, Storm. I think of Ryan, Will, Matt, Ryan, and Vince. I think of Simon, Nolan, Liam, Gavin, and Anna. I think of Pittsburgh. I think of Pennsylvania. I think of Home.
My first week at Ohio State has been filled with many ups and downs. Before I arrived, I’d say I was most nervous to meet my roommate and his family, because if we didn’t get along, I knew it was going to be a long year. However, after meeting him and hitting it off, my fear of that subsided, and I got myself into the proper mindset to tack Ohio State socially and academically. It was very comforting that I didn’t struggle as much socially as I thought I would. I reached out to people I knew from home, made new friends, and tried to talk to everyone I sat around in classes. I wouldn’t say I have a very tight knit group of friends yet, but hey, it has only been one week. Hopefully over time, some of the relationships I have begun forming now grow into much deeper friendships. Academically, I can tell that I’m going to have to put a lot of work in, but I’m excited for the opportunities these tough classes will present me with. Even though it has only been a week, I can feel myself beginning to fall in love with Ohio State both as a school and as a community. Despite these overwhelmingly positive initial feelings, there have still been a fair share of downs in my first week as well.
A few days before coming to campus, I was starting to second guess my intended major, and think more about different paths I could pursue. As I got to campus and begun taking my classes, these feelings have only grown. I feel as though I’m just wandering when it comes to what my major should be, because in all honesty I have no clue. My mind changes everyday, and with that comes a great feeling of uneasiness, which has really begun taking its tole on me. This nagging feeling is really what is detracting from my initial experience at Ohio State. I love English, and that’s why I enjoy Humanities Scholars so much, I just feel as though I would be better suited to do something in a STEM field. Hopefully, with time, this will remedy itself and I can truly devote myself to honing in on one specific area of interest.
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