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.
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