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 All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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22 Things The Baylor Class of 2022 Should Do Before They Throw Their Last 'Sic'Em'

There's so much to do before we graduate!

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I start classes soon, really soon. And although I want to focus on my grades, I also want to fully take part in all the Baylor traditions, non-official traditions, and fun things to do on campus and around Waco! I have lots of friends that are already at Baylor, so they have all told me what I have to do my freshman year.

1. Participate fully in Welcome Week.

That means eating with my small group, Late Night, Spirit Rally, The Big Event, Candlelight, and going to many other events that happen during the week before classes.

2. Get a Dr. Pepper float at Dr. Pepper hour.

Every Tuesday from 3-4, you'll know where I'll be ;).

3. Become friends with my CL.

It'll be great to have a mentor that has great advice and to have a shoulder to cry on when I miss my family.

4. See Pigskin Revue, After Dark, Stompfest, and All-University Sing.

I can't wait to watch performances and cheer on fellow classmates!

5. Kayak in the Brazos River.

I've never gone kayaking, but there's always firsts in college! Might as well make kayaking one of them.

6. Take a picture on Judge Baylor.

I want to recreate it when I graduate!

7. Show my parents around for Parent's Weekend.

They have seen Baylor's campus a few times when we toured, but never had tour of everything.

8. Go to Diadeloso events.

A day off from classes filled with fun activities? Sign. Me. Up.

9. Run the Baylor Line.

Bonus points if I don't trip and make a fool of myself in front of thousands of people.

10. Find a church home.

My roommates and I are going church hopping until we all find the right fit. Can't wait for this!!

11. Do ALL the Homecoming Festivities.

Freshman Mass Meeting, Extravaganza & Bonfire, the Homecoming Parade, and of course the Homecoming football game!!

12. Lay in a hammock somewhere around campus.

Seriously SO FUN.

13. Befriend a professor (or a few).

From what I've heard, the professors can be super cool.

14. Study at Common Grounds.

I just love coffee shops, and Common Grounds is a student favorite.

15. Find my favorite restaurant in Waco.

With so many food options, this might take me a while.

Participate in Christmas on 5th.

I can't wait to take pictures with my friends once the Christmas tree is lit!

17. Take a picture with Joy and Lady.

aka the cutest bears EVER.

18. Go to a Church Under the Bridge service.

Although I don't plan on making this my home church, I would love to visit it!

19. Take a picture with Bruiser.

The school's mascot would make for a great Instagram pic.

20. Have a picnic on campus.

Picnics are a hassle to plan for, but they are so fun, and being on the beautiful Baylor campus makes it so much better.

21. Climb the Rock at the SLC.

I'm fairly certain it is STILL the tallest rock climbing wall in the state of Texas.

22. Make lifelong friends.

My college experience wouldn't be complete if I didn't make friends that would stay in my life forever.

I'm really looking forward to my first year at Baylor and can't wait to do all these things alongside my friends. Sic 'em!

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