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 Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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I Learned Forensic Science In One Day For HOSA SLC 2019 And Still Placed Top Ten

We all have those days where we have to cram for an exam you know nothing about the night before, but have you tried to study for it the day of the exam? I never knew I would find myself in this situation until I went to HOSA SLC. With minimal study time, my partner, Kasey Park, and I were still able to place in the Top Ten in Georgia.

Joel Lee
Joel Lee
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As a member of my school's chapter of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), I went to SLC (State Leadership Conference), where members all over the state of Georgia come to Atlanta to compete in a variety of competitions in the field of Science and Healthcare. All members can pick only one competition to participate in, and the guidelines and rules for each event are posted on the HOSA website.

The event I chose was Forensic Medicine, which requires a team of two people to take a written exam about Forensic Science (Round 1) and write a death report for a case study (Round 2). You must pass Round 1 to move on to Round 2. I worked with a good friend of mine, Kasey Park, for this event. HOSA recommended two textbooks to study for the event: Forensic Science: Fundamentals & Investigations 2nd Edition and Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques, Fourth Edition.

Kasey and I both had the books, since Winter Break of our sophomore year (2018-2019), and we both agreed to start studying during winter break. Instead, we both completely forgot about it and when we returned to school after the break, we knew we still had time to study, since SLC was in March. We made a game plan of what chapters to read and when to read them, and we agreed to meet for reviewing the chapters we read. But, it didn't happen.

This procrastination continued about a day before we needed to leave for SLC, and we both realized we needed to study two thick textbooks in about 24 hours. We both knew at this point we just needed to cram as much information we could possibly fit into our brains.

The way we crammed was we both read the textbook as fast as possible and absorbing information as we go. Even though will not understand everything, we can still get a lot of information that can help us do well.

We studied on the way to SLC and before the Round 1 exam, so we can have the best chance possible when taking the test. My partner and I took the Round 1 exam during the afternoon, and we both we did alright, but not good, so we were worried about whether or not we made the second round. We got a notification in the evening that we made to Round 2. Kasey and I started to study all night and during the morning to cram as much information as we could. A little before noon, we took the Round 2 Case Study Test, and we thought it was a breeze.

Since we finished our event, we could finally hang out with friends from our school, as well as students from other schools. I meant so many new people at HOSA SLC. The next day, we went to the award ceremony, and my partner and I did not get in the Top 5, so we were not recognized. But later we were informed that we got 9th place, which we were happy with since we did not study very much for this exam.

From my experiences ar HOSA SLC, I have learned many things and met many new people. I would recommend that if you have a testing event, you should start to study prior to SLC to give yourself the most amount of time to study before the test. I feel that cramming last minute at SLC is ineffective and very stressful. I also think that you should try to meet new people since the conference is for members all over the state of Georgia.

If you are a middle or high schooler, I would recommend attending HOSA SLC, as it will be a memory you will never forget.

Joel Lee
Joel Lee

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