Introspection: Who are you?

Every day we walk through life, we should be living our best lives. Not many people can say they are living their best life, but that is likely because we have become an increasingly pessimistic society. We complain, we hold grudges, we care more about the perception someone else has of us than our own opinion of ourselves. We have lost ourselves in time.

What type of life do you want to live? Do you want to live a life that is filled with adventure, fun, passion, and lots of love? Do you want to live a life with regret, anger, contempt, and confusion? Select your path and allow me to introduce both sides in my story so you can understand what each has to give (or take).

My Story

I believe we all have a choice: a choice to be phenomenal or a choice to listen to the demeaning thoughts in our heads. Throughout my first year in college, I allowed the negative thoughts to deafen my optimistic spirit and kill me, slowly. Drained on a daily basis, I tried to obtain some source of motivation to take me out of this slump, but my motivations were all external. I questioned my intelligence, my sense of purpose, my life. I was going through a very tough stint in my life; however, depression became the present that would open my eyes to a new world. I was receiving all of my validation from the feelings of being liked by others, I was going to social media for validation (keeping up with the amount of likes and how many followers I had), and I was taken astray causing stress in my sense of existence. I felt so alone even when I was in a crowd of people, I felt envious toward those who had everything I felt I didn’t, I felt uncertain because I didn’t know who I was.


I started to realize that all of the things I was pursuing were in fact driven by the external factors in my life, but not once did I ask myself what I wanted to become. As I began to come to this realization, I started to tend to myself and listen to that internal voice who has guided me in my journey of life. We all have our own answers, but many times we leave our own questions unanswered because we want to be able to correspond with the majority. We lose sight of the person who truly matters the most: ourselves. If we do not take care of ourselves, we cannot take care of someone else to the best of our ability. If we do not love ourselves, we will not be able to share a love that is full and wholehearted.


I learned that I must start appreciating myself and others would follow. When you understand who you are, you become authentic, you have genuine meaning in your voice, in your spirit. You are then not led by a false reality that you have shaped to fit in to society, but by something that lives within each of us, our heart. You discover that you are unique, that you are amazing, that you are one of a kind and nobody could ever replace you.

Usually we give out resources, but I do not want to throw resources at you because in the game of life, you are a resource to your self-actualization. You have the power to change your life and no one else has that leverage to do such a thing. To make the most of today, to live our best lives, we have to look deep within and start a new chapter in our book called self-appreciation, self-love, self-discovery. Everything else will follow, I promise!

So, I ask again what path will you choose, how do you want to live your life?

P.S. Watch this YouTube video.

Love is in the air

Some people hate it, and some people love it, but either way Valentine’s Day is 4 days away! So, let’s have a chat about relationships! It doesn’t matter if you’re currently seeing someone, actively looking, or happily, perpetually single. Valentine’s Day and relationships are things most people thinks about on Feb. 14. Maybe you’re just in it for the discount chocolate on Feb. 15, your idea of sweet nothings is whispering I want to be with you as much as–if not more–I don’t want to be with a Furby at night, or you spend weeks planning something special for your boo.

To be honest, I’m more excited for Deadpool to be released on Feb. 12 this year, but to each their own.


Source: Marvel

But on a more serious note, let’s take a closer at some relationship statistics for college students…

  • 43 percent of women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors
  • 1 in 3 people in relationships have given their partner their computer, email, or social network passwords and these students are more likely to experience digital dating abuse
  • 57 percent say dating abuse is difficult to identify and 58 percent don’t know how to help someone who is experiencing it

What defines a healthy relationship?

No matter your relationship status these are important questions to think about. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is able to help:

Healthy relationships allow both partners to feel supported and connected but still feel independent. COMMUNICATION and BOUNDARIES are the two major components of a healthy relationship. Ultimately, the two people in the relationship decide what is healthy for them and what is not. If something doesn’t feel right, you should have the freedom to voice your concerns to your partner.

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Where can you get help or just talk to someone?

*If you are in an unsafe relationship please use caution and access these links from a public computer.

I know it’s a heavy topic but it’s one that has the potential to impact everyone regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, age, or personality. So, please, if you or someone you know is in this position, speak up.

8 Ways Your First Year is Like Falling in Love

We have reached the 8th day of Ohio State orientation and in honor of this 8th day, I will share with you the 8 ways your first year is like falling in love.

1. The Butterflies

When first falling in love you may feel anxious, nervous and excited — what we commonly refer to as experiencing “the butterflies.” These butterflies are the similar to the feelings that students have before they enter their first year of college. Many students begin to feel anxious and excited as they think about their classes, their roommates or simply adjusting to a new lifestyle, unlike anything they have ever known before. Being nervous is normal. However, I encourage you to approach your first year with an open mind and to experience the new things available to you. This “leap of faith” toward your newfound love (Ohio State, of course!) can make your freshman year truly amazing.

2. Speed Dating

Falling in love requires finding the right person. When falling in love, you may search for “the one” or the person who is the right fit. This involves trying new things and learning about different people, similar to the Involvement Fair, which is held on the Oval on the first Sunday of Welcome Week. There are over 700 student organizations represented on the Oval with members eager to speak with new students about that club or organization. These groups gather there with the sole purpose of sharing their passions and interests with incoming students, hoping to create a connection. Like dating, it is a time for first-year students to learn about different student organizations and find the right path of involvement.

3. Your First Date

When going on your first date, one of the biggest decisions is deciding where to eat. Just like a date, your first year offers many dining options at the university. Some of my favorites include the Ohio Union, Kennedy Commons, Fresh Express and Mirror Lake Creamery (voted the best “cheap date” location on campus)!

4. The Honeymoon Phase

The honeymoon phase includes the early stages of a relationship when everything feels exciting and new. This can be compared to the first six weeks here at Ohio State, when first-year students start to make their connections and begin to adjust to their new lives and environments. My piece of advice for you is to stay on campus as much as possible during these first six weeks to take in the excitement and to develop these new relationships.

5. The First Kiss

In love stories, the “first kiss”  is a magical moment, symbolizing the love and connection between two people. It’s a moment full of beauty and understanding and one that is not easily forgotten.  This “magical first kiss moment” is similar to another magical moment during your first year at Ohio State. It’s the moment where you become a part of the Ohio State family and truly understand what it means to be a Buckeye. This could be the first time you sing “Carmen Ohio,” the first time you connect with your roommate, when you join a student organization, or even your first year orientation.

 6. The First Fight

Love can come with some bumps in the road. Problems arise and fighting happens but sometimes this is what makes relationships healthy. These disputes can offer opportunities to learn, grow and develop. Your first year may not be perfect, but challenges will serve as a way to grow as you begin to learn more about yourself and more about the world.

7. Sharing living space

A big step in a relationship is making the decision to spend more time with that person. Eventually some couples spend so much time together, they begin to learn the intricate details about a person (their cleanliness, daily habits, etc.) similar to moving in with your roommate during your first year. This could be one of the first times you learn how to cohabitate with someone and what it’s like to be away from your home and your family.

8. The Moment You Say “I Love You”

This is the special moment where two people express the feelings and emotions that have been developing for each other. Realizing how much you love a person can be similar to recognizing your attachment to your university. For me, I realized that I’ll always have a place for Ohio State in my heart because of my wonderful memories here and the simple fact that I am and always will be a Buckeye for life.

ohio state

Check out our blog on Friday to read our 10th day of orientation post from the amazing Alante’ Ward…he’ll discuss the 10 types of people you meet during your first year!

Your First Year Love Affair

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.