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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How To Not Be A Terrible Roomie, An 18-Step Guide

Freshmen, take notes.
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Incoming Freshmen, this one is for you,

1. If your roomie is asleep – be quiet.

Don't play music out loud (use headphones), don't make phone calls and if you have to go out into the hallway or common area to make it!

2. Be polite about working late at night.

Make sure the light isn't shining near their bed so it won't be in their faces while they are trying to sleep.

3. Ask before you turn off the light.

There's a reason you have your own personal lamp.

4. Make sure you clean your side of the room.

Don't leave your clothes everywhere, empty your garbage, make your bed, and clean up your desk sometimes

5. If your roomie is studying for a hard test, don't bring friends into your room.

It's just ten times more distracting.

6. Turn your phone on Do Not Disturb at night.

This will help with the vibration noises/ringers from your phones. (I attached an example just in case you don't know how to do it).

7. Throw food out in the trash room.

You don't want the odor of old food in your room!

8. Do your laundry.

Don't let your basket overflow onto the floor.

9. If your roomie's parents are coming to visit, CLEAN YOUR SIDE.

Make a good impression!

10. Tell your roomie if you are having someone stay over - don't make it a surprise.

(I made this mistake... it's really awkward).

11. Don't take things without asking.

Even if it is as simple as food.. don't take without asking! IT'S NOT YOURS!

12. Don't talk about your roomie's personal life to other people.

You will hear things when they are talking to their parents, don't repeat it, it's rude.

13. Don't tell people who came over the night before.

This applies ties into rule number 12.

14. Share the room.

If your roomie wants to have a night with someone special, let them. They'll return the favor in the future (don't forget that).

15. Don't bring people they don't like into the room.

It's awkward.

16. If you're pre-gaming with friends, you're responsible for YOU and YOUR FRIENDS mess.

Don't leave bottles laying around - clean up!

17. Talk before changing the room around.

Don't move anything before you talk to the other person.

18. Set some rules when you first move in.

It will make everything a lot easier.

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The Secret To Changing The World

What's small to you may be huge to someone else.

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There are 7.6 billion people on our planet. 7.6 billion. Let that sink in.

It is estimated that a human has an average number of 50,000 thoughts per day.

Do the math. Carry lots of zeros.

Approximately three hundred eighty trillion thoughts are made each day. One of those thoughts can change the world. And that thought could be yours.


It's intimidating to think that we are a mere speck on this Earth. It's hard to fill the shoes of famous minds such as Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg who single handedly changed the way we live our lives. However, just as anything else in life, it's all about perspective.


You can sit back feeling apathetic about the fact that it is nearly impossible to affect the lives of all 7.6 billion beings on this planet. Or you can strive to change the world for one person. At the end of the day, influencing one person is better than influencing none, and it all adds up.


The second you take a risk and change someone's life for the better, you inspire them to do the same thing for someone else. Changing the world for someone is easy, even though it sounds absolutely terrifying. Again, it's all about perspective.


Let's say you see someone out in public in a coffee shop. They seem down and like their day isn't going as planned. They are nervously searching through their wallet searching for loose change to pay for their order. You generously decide to pay.



Just like that, you just potentially changed the world.



What if that person has been struggling to find work for a few months now and they are down to their last dollars? They have a job interview that day and they really need coffee to be awake for their meeting. You were the pivotal factor that allowed them to succeed that day. To you, your kind thought and action seemed small. To them, you influenced their life for the rest of their days.



I know what you're thinking.



Sophie, you just completely made up that scenario. it's so unlikely to happen.



Alas! You are correct. However, there are 7.6 billion people on this planet. Therefore, there is a pretty high chance that someone out there in the world is living that exact situation. You just don't know it.



That's the secret to changing the world. You won't know when you did it.



It might be upsetting to think that we won't be famous like Zuckerberg or Jobs. It is difficult to grasp the thought that our altruistic thoughts and actions won't make us live a life of luxury. But at the end of the day, if you keep the idea of how influential your thoughts can be to one person salient in your mind, you will always be motivated to be kind to others.



If you don't know the meaning of "paying it forward," it's the idea that you should respond to a kind act by being kind towards someone else. I believe that nothing in life is truly altruistic, because it always feels good to help someone else. That being said, use that as encouragement to strive to change the world for someone.



As one person, it's hard to feel influential in this world. Every day we are reminded about how small we really are on this planet and it can be discouraging. I encourage you to look at the world from a new perspective. Realize that small things can make big changes.



You can make big changes. You can change the world.
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Artem Bali from Pexels

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