I have 74 days until I graduate from Ohio State.
In a way, even though I feel like my time in Columbus is coming to a close, I don’t want it to end quite yet. Ohio State and Columbus have become a home for me–a place I’ve grown so much in the last four years.
Growing up, I often felt as if I didn’t have a home. Every few years, my family and I would pack up our bags and do another cross-country move. The summer before my senior year of high school I even had the lovely change of moving from Montana to Illinois. I enjoyed the moves, for the most part, yet I never felt settled and that was something I always wanted.
Ultimately, I made the decision to go to Ohio State on a whim. The decision boiled down to Ohio State or the University of Illinois and I guess I was just ready for another change. Whatever I was thinking at the time, I’m happy things worked out the way they did.
I joined the Biological Sciences Scholars group in my first year and I have no doubt my college experience would be so much different if I had not participated in that program. It gave me the chance to meet many wonderful and intelligent people. I have fond memories of my freshman year, but there were also rough times of feeling homesick and lonely, to the point where I even considered transferring back to a school in Illinois. During that time, my mom and I had some long phone calls where we talked about making the most of wherever you’re at. Oftentimes, with growing up and having to move around, I was quick to grow bored of a place. I was one of those people who always thought, “the grass looks greener on the other side.” But that’s not a useful mindset to have. Ultimately, at the end of my freshman year, I choose to stay at Ohio State. Once I decided to stay, I also decided to completely focus on making the most of where I’m at in Columbus and start getting outside of my comfort zone.
I became an OWL Coordinator in my second year, contributing to that decision to become totally engrossed in Ohio State. This opportunity introduced me to a whole new set of people. This position helped me start getting more involved. The friends I made through Owl are ones that have made such an impact on my life. I also became a University Ambassador (or campus tour guide, as it’s more commonly known), which I loved. Through that position, I came in contact with inspiring and involved individuals that I truly hope I’ll stay friends with long after graduation. I also joined a research lab in the psychology department where, six semesters later, I’m still working and planning on completing my senior thesis in April.
I’ve continued this kind of involvement and focus on the present throughout my last two years as well. I’ve held plenty of other positions, specifically my current job as a Peer Leader, which have given me such amazing experiences.
During these last four years, I’ve learned that things don’t really go your way. It’s all about adapting, staying flexible, and not forgetting to enjoy the little things. It’s realizing that the hard times are temporary. Trust me, I’ve had my share of rough periods here at Ohio State–rough weeks, months, and semesters. I’ve overextended myself, taken on too much work just in the hopes of building my resume, failed classes, lost significant relationships, and more. Life isn’t always smooth. But just because there’s been some struggles doesn’t mean I haven’t loved my experience as a whole. I learned how to handle disappointment, to keep moving on. So, I suggest you do the same. Don’t let one thing slow you down. Make the most of your time, because, as everyone says, it goes by so fast.
Maybe I’ll end up staying in Columbus next year or maybe I’ll move far away (I should know what’s next in a couple days!). Regardless, Columbus will always have a special place in my heart. College has been so much more than the classes I’ve taken. The experiences I’ve been able to have here have helped me figure out my own little life path. And the people I’ve met, they mean the world to me. I am surrounded by some of the most intelligent, empathetic, hard working friends.
Thank you Ohio State, but, more importantly, thank you to all those who have created a home for me here.