Why I Chose The Ohio State University, 800 Miles Away From Home

Why I Chose The Ohio State University, 800 Miles Away From Home

The most important decision I made at 18 was being brave enough to leave home.
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I grew up in the small town of Grafton, Massachusetts. For those who don’t know their Haverhills from their Gloucesters, that’s about 40 minutes west of Boston. And the most important thing about growing up in New England is the two cardinal rules: Boston sports above all else, and you don’t leave New England.

I, naturally, broke both those cardinal rules. I am an avid Red Sox fan and a casual Bruins fan, but I’ll sooner set myself on fire than root for the Patriots or the Celtics. Even admitting that in the city of Boston would probably get me set on fire, especially since the Patriots just won their fifth Super Bowl on Sunday (but luckily they’re still one behind the Steelers, who have six Super Bowl wins). But I think leaving the beautiful state of Massachusetts was probably my more heinous crime of the two.

I chose to attend the Ohio State University for a million reasons—it was my dream school, I grew up worshipping the Ohio State Buckeyes, it was one of the few schools which had my major, my whole family lives in Ohio—I could go on for days. Of the 160 kids from my graduating class, there were three of us who applied here, and I was the only one to go. I was actually the only one to even go to school in Ohio at all, and all my friends teased me mercilessly about going to school in a cornfield (which isn’t true...obviously).

The fact that I’m from Massachusetts usually earns me the shocked face and the “Why are you in Ohio?” when I tell people. But, going 800 miles from home was the greatest decision I could have made for myself at 18.

In high school, I was quiet and almost painfully shy with those who didn’t know me. I could never talk about myself, and any interaction with me was awkward and uncomfortable because I was awkward and uncomfortable. I was insecure, modest to a fault, and would never do anything new without one of my best friends to do it with me. But when you’re the only person you know from home in a new place, that’s not really an option. I forced myself to be outgoing, forced myself to be uncomfortable and own it, and moreover, forced myself to ask the people on my floor to lunch and dinner, even though I never texted people first.

In the year and a half that I’ve been a Buckeye, I don’t even recognize myself from high school. I am confident, outgoing, and I do things on my own all the time and actually enjoy it. And, those girls I asked to lunch and dinner from my floor? They’re my best friends now. I even had enough confidence to go through recruitment, after spending YEARS claiming I would never be a "sorority girl.” I’ve been a Gamma Phi Beta for a year now, and I have grown so much as a student, a woman, and a human being through this organization.

But going so far from home isn’t without its challenges. I only get to see my parents once a semester, my best friends are so far away and I rarely get to talk to them, let alone visit. Being homesick is a real struggle, but I've learned to cope, making me a stronger person. Even though it's hard and sometimes I wish I had never done it, I would never have become the best woman I could be. All I had to do was chase my dream, and go so far away from home.

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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To The Educators Who Are Discouraging Their Students' Learning, It Needs To Stop

To the educator who is telling their students how they will fail, why don't you try telling them how they well succeed?

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No matter your education level, career path, opportunities given and so on you have experienced an educator who has been less than pleasant. We have all encountered that teacher or professor who talks down to you or makes you feel like a lesser person. Well once in for all it needs to stop, this is not okay.

To the educator who is telling their students how they will fail, why don't you try telling them how they will succeed?

It is all about communication and not always being negative. If you walk into a class on day one and tell students how they will do well they are more prone to actually follow through with it. But when you walk in guns a blazing and telling your students all the ways they will not pass, your instilling a stigma that they will struggle.

To the educator who is clouded with doom and gloom, don't spread that to us. We pay the university to get knowledge and insight into the careers we hope to go into. We are looking to you for guidance on how we can be the best we can be. When we walk into a class we do not want you to tell us everything negative that could possibly happen.

We are in a vulnerable state and need to hear some positivity amongst all the stress in obtaining a diploma. We do not need to hear all the bad things that happened to you, we need to hear about the days that made you keep going.

To the educator who tells you, you should change your major. It is not their place. They have no right to tell you how you should spend your life. Professors should give you advice and tools on how you can do better. They should not jump to conclusions and assume you will fail in life.

Just because I am struggling in your ONE class does not mean I will fail in my career. You are a teacher and are suppose to be a role model, there is no reason you should be telling me that I am not good enough. People in our society wonder why certain professions are dwindling and this is why. Because of negative, pessimistic teachers.

To the educator who is not putting in effort into their course, please try. Not only do we pay a lot of money to be heard but I want to learn. I want to succeed. And I do not want to look at your class as a joke.

When you are not creating assignments, giving constructive feedback or even caring if people show up it is only going to hurt me in the future. I need the handouts, the lectures and for you to go that extra mile so I feel prepared in the coming years. I should not have to come to class and feel like you threw it together five minutes before.

I need to see your passion, I need to know how you got through what I am dealing with right now. If you do not have a passion for your own class why should I?

To the educator who treats me as if I am disposable, it is not your place. When I walk into a class and you talk down to me it is completely uncalled for. You demand respect but do not give out any yourself.

You have no right to treat me as if I don't matter because I should. I should be a priority to you during the semester of your class, it is your job. You have no right to try and scare me out of your class or make me feel like if I do not get an 'A' I am incompetent.

I am trying. I am putting in all my effort and If I am not reaching your standards then you should coach me so that I am. Instead of talking to me like I am a child who will go nowhere in life.

To the educator who sets up their course with unreasonable expectations, remember we are only human. We are taking several classes along with yours and are just trying to balance life. If I miss one day there is no reason to treat me like a pariah I promise I just needed a minute.

If I ask for one extension I am not taking advantage of you I am just struggling and need a helping hand. Remember we are here because we want to learn so please set up your class that way. There is no need to act like your class is better than anyone else's of that we should put it over others. You should want us to respect all our professors just as you want us to respect you.

But most importantly if you are an educator who hates their job, please get out of it. It shows when you hate your job and that creates a bad stigma for our class. You will not give me everything I need if you have no interest in the class yourself.

Teaching is hard and teaching multiple classes isn't meant to be easy, but it is what you chose to do. No one is making you do this. I should not have to sit through several hours a week of a bitter professor who doesn't want to be there. If you do not have the heart for it anymore then go do something else.

I know college is supposed to be hard, I am not denying that. But I cannot condone the fact that some professors treat students as if they do not matter. I pay a lot to be here and do not deserve to be in a class where a teacher makes light of that.

A college degree is an investment and I feel like I am loosing out on that due to the lack of quality professors. It would be nice if they put more effort into the structure of their class, but at the very least just caring and showing heart for what they are doing.

To all the people who wonder why some students drop out or change degrees a million times, this is why. When you are constantly dealing with educators who seem like they want you to fail it is hard to want to keep going. If you have had experiences like this you are not alone.

Try not to let it get to you and discourage your learning. Do not change your degree and push through it. It might be terrible now but that professor in the years to come will not matter. I know its hard but they are not worth your tears or stress.

You got this and I promise, you have plenty of people in your corner who do want to see YOU succeed!

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