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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If South Carolina Colleges Were Characters From 'The Office'

Who's Jim and who's Meredith?
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"The Office" is one of the best shows on the face of the planet. Don't believe me, you obviously haven't watched it. It has a character for everything, including all of the South Carolina colleges.

The Citadel

This one is probably the easiest. Creed Bratton. Hands down. Military all day every day. No one knows what really goes on behind closed doors, except the people there. Just like Creed's mind.

Coastal Carolina University

Consistently voted one of the top party schools in the nation. #It'snotcollegeit'sCoastal.

Winthrop University

Winthrop is the place for future teachers. We all know that Meredith is the mother/teacher figure in the office, which is kind of scary in and of itself.

Columbia College

Erin just seems like the type of person who would go to an all-female college.

Bob Jones University

At what other school do you see people wearing things that could be from the American Girl large colonial dolls Spring line?

Wofford College

The pearls, Greek Life, and Southern fashion are so real.

Furman University

Let's be real. Pam is a bit of a nerd. But at the end of the day, she does know how to get down. I mean she WAS on the party planning committee. And who doesn't want that Ring By Spring?

College of Charleston

Nard Dog is definitely in an a capella group in Charleston, taking in the city and the history while dressing like a frat star.

Medical University of South Carolina

Andy isn't alone in Charleston. Dwight is down there becoming a doctor. Yes, someone who can save lives and is able to do surgery. Although, who else would you expect to be a doctor?

University of South Carolina

There would be no South Carolina without the University of South Carolina. There would be no office without Michael Scott. The later seasons prove it. They're large and in charge.

Clemson University

While Michael thinks that he runs the office, it's no secret that Jim is the mastermind behind the operation. The office would fall apart without him. I'll just let that sit.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Your Brain Is More Than A Bag of Chemicals

In David Anderson's 2013 Ted Talk, the Caltech professor discusses the downfalls of mental healthcare in our society, opening a discussion to wider societal issues.

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David Anderson, in his Ted Talk "Your Brain is Not a Bag of Chemicals" dives into the world of treatment for psychiatric illnesses, of scientific research, and of fruit flies. His goal, to explain the flaws in current treatments of mental illnesses and present how this downfalls could be resolved is clear throughout the talk. Through presenting his research, and speaking of novel contributions such as the actual discovery of emotion in fruit flies, Anderson displays the flaws in mental healthcare and demands more of the scientific world to resolve these downfalls.

As Anderson explains, the traditional view of mental illnesses is that they are a chemical imbalance in the brain. He states, "As if the brain were some kind of bag of chemical soup filled with dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine." He explains the difference for typical treatments of physical ailments versus psychological ailments. As he describes it, physical ailments presented to a physician will lead to blood tests, biological assays, and various other factors to gather information about what is going on in the body so that a treatment plan can be well-suited to that issue. However, for psychological problems, the patient is often handed a questionnaire to assess the issues. These questionnaires, as he suggests, are insufficient in understanding the complexities that surround mental illnesses.

Of medication prescribed for mental illnesses, Anderson states, "These drugs have so many side effects because using them to treat a complex psychiatric disorder is a bit like trying to change your engine oil by opening a can and pouring it all over the engine block. Some of it will dribble into the right place, but a lot of it will do more harm than good." Anderson uses the example of dopamine and the model organism of fruit flies to explain this concept. He explains how in certain illnesses, such as ADHD, there is not a complete understanding of why there are features of learning disabilities and hyperactivity. Without this understanding, the treatment of just increasing the amount of dopamine in one's system is lacking.

Anderson suggests that pharmaceutical companies and scientists should do more research to not only discover the disturbances of neural pathways, which tend to be the real cause of mental illnesses, but to also develop new medications that attempt to resolve these specific pathways and specific receptors, rather than simply increasing the amount of a certain neurochemical. These new medications could and do revolutionize the way that mental illnesses are treated, and the efficacy in their treatment.

As a society, there is a general view of mental illnesses that varies greatly from the view of physical illnesses. Anderson, without directly discussing it, acknowledges this exact problem. He discusses the differences in treatments, but also the lack of resources that are put in to truly understand how to better treat mental illnesses as disturbances in neurophysiological components. Without, as a society, acknowledging and respecting mental illnesses for what they are, we are short-changing the 25% of the world who is directly impacted by these illnesses, and the countless loved ones who stand by those impacted. A shift needs to occur, and the research and ideas that Anderson presents are a wonderful scientific starting point for these shifts. However, if we as a society do not support the principles behind this science, do not support the concept that mental illness is much more than just being a little emotionally reactive, we are doing a disservice to the majority of the population.

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