In true Valentine’s Day fashion, it is necessary to talk about that one word with four letters. LOVE. I’ve always been deemed the “hopeless romantic” among my friend groups. It may have started in the second grade when I fell in love with Leonardo DiCaprio in his role as Jack in Titanic…and definitely continued through my awkward tween years with an obsession with the Backstreet Boys.
While I was (am?) very much infatuated with these heart throbs, I was also in love with the passion Leo and my favorite boy band exuded in doing what they love. I love love. Nothing makes me more passionate than seeing people do the thing which sets them on fire. This is why I enjoy working with college students, specifically with first-years. There are few things that get me more excited than seeing individuals start a four (or five!) year love affair with an interest they encounter in their first year at college.
In your first year, it’s all about “playing the field”. Don’t be afraid to “flirt” with different ways to make your experience at Ohio State a transformational one.
Whether it’s going on a Buck-I-Serv trip, learning about undergraduate research opportunities, or attending BuckeyeThon (which we suggest you do this weekend), you are bound to find something that sparks an interest. Don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone – join something quirky like the Ukulele Club or an improv group.
However, my hope is that after some serious time scoping out your options, you will come across something during your time at Ohio State which engages, inspires, and transforms you from the inside out. First Year Experience strives to support you all in your first year so you are able to make a lasting impact on our university and the greater world in which we live during your time at the university and beyond.
Love is about being inspired, taking risks, and committing once you’ve stumbled across something meaningful. If you’re still looking for something that tugs at your heartstrings here, that’s great. One way you can learn more about yourself, reflect on your purpose and passion, and connect with other students about their “love affairs” which inspire them to lead is by attending The Annual Conference on Leadership and Civic Engagement. The conference will be held on March 1 and is free to all Ohio State students. At the conference, students will have the opportunity to learn about topics such as organizational development, non-profit management, innovation and entrepreneurship, reflection, peer leadership, service learning, team building, and communication. You may just run into me there!
Your first year is one to spread your love as far as it goes, and I hope you have done just that. There are so many people to meet, so many traditions to take part in, and so many ways to find that love that sets you on fire by engaging in the Ohio State community. Who knows? Maybe the passion you lead with at Ohio State will be the spark for another Buckeye to leave their mark.