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.

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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6 Quirks Only Kreischer Quad Residents Will Understand

The Kreischer quad at Bowling Green is one interesting place.

Bowling Green State University is home to two mascots (Freddie & Frieda), the Great Black Swamp, and Pollyeyes pizza. We are also home to fourteen residence halls, one of which is Kreischer Quadrangle. Around campus, Kreischer is seen in a bit of a negative light. It's not the fanciest or the newest, but that is what makes it special.

There are a few quirks about Kreischer that all of the residents are aware of, and now others will be lucky enough to share this knowledge.

1. The Sundial: Where We Eat Dinner Most Days

We may be ten minutes (at least) away from the rest of the dining on campus, but at least we have late-night dining options in our building. They're open from 5 to midnight and have a whole four options.

2. Heating Units: They Only Work Sometimes

Every room contains a heating unit (but no A/C), and they break at least once a semester. Some people just accept it and never get them fixed.

3. Fire Alarms: They Might As Well Be Our Anthem

We're lucky enough to have a kitchen on one of the four floors contained within the building. This kitchen may be the reason why the fire alarm goes off at least once a week, sometimes three times in the same day. It's even better when it's 10 pm and the dead of winter.

4. The Arts Village: The Only Reason I Live Here

You heard it here, folks. I'm pretty sure they put the AV in the building to gain more residents. It's almost a metaphor for how the world treats artists as a whole.

5. Taiko: To Remind Me That I Still Have A Heart

This may only make sense if you've ever heard a taiko drum. All you need to know is that they're super loud, and you can feel it in your chest. It's a nice soundtrack for when you're waiting for your food in the Sundial.

6. Tunnels: Preparing For The End Of The World (Or A Tornado)

Kreischer is split into two sides. There are Ashley and Batchelder on one side, and Compton and Darrow on the other. These two sides of the quadrangle are connected by a tunnel that goes slightly below ground level. It's convenient, and a little creepy.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Your Degree Isn't Just Something To Hang On The Wall, It's Something To Be Proud Of

Your degree is not just a piece of paper.

I have dreamed of being in the medical field since I was a little girl. I remember watching medical dramas on television with my mom and wanting to be a doctor or a nurse someday. Now that I am 20 years old and at a university, I am on a stepping stone to achieve my dreams.

I have taken 18+ credit hour semesters for almost three years straight, preparing myself for nursing school and not taking any breaks while finishing my Bachelor's degree at East Carolina University.

Tonight, while sitting in my Anatomy class I heard a girl behind me say. "I don't know why people waste their time going to universities, they end up with crap jobs and in debt anyway." This broke my heart. She then goes to say "All you are paying for is a piece of paper."

It inspired my article because to me, I don't think anything can top the feeling of learning something new and being able to share it with the world through your profession. A degree is a symbol of learning and hard work whether it's a 2 year or 4-year degree.

I don't spend hours upon hours learning about the human mind or a new language just to hang a piece of paper in a pretty frame on my wall. Learning to me is a gateway to helping others. That is the drive behind me crawling out of bed at 6 a.m. to be prepared for my 8 a.m.

The same drive that pushes me when I take six classes at a time or get so overwhelmed that sometimes I question why it's even worth it. I go to school to make myself a better person. Then, in turn, the better version of me can turn around and help better someone else.

So what if I end up with student loans? So what if I take 5 years instead of 4? So what if I don't start until I've started a family? None of these things matter, not for that "piece of paper." What matters is that you want something out of yourself and your life, there is nothing wrong with that.

If you are struggling getting through your semester, or unsure of whether or not your degree, certificate or diploma is worth it, keep going. Don't doubt yourself. Learning about the world is such a beautiful capability that us humans have and we should take every single advantage of it.

Whether you're at a community college or a university, an online student or in an apartment, whether you're in debt or on a scholarship you should be so proud of yourself for getting something out of your life. Be proud of your ambition. Be proud of your drive and dedication.

Push through the hard nights and if you ever feel like giving up? Think back to the little girl or boy who dreamed of what you wanted to be when you grew up. Go out and make that version of you proud.

I am proud of you. Because you are doing the damn thing.

Cover Image Credit: @juanmramosjr

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