Finding Your Future Home Isn't Easy, But It's Worth It

Finding Your Future Home Isn't Easy, But It's Worth It

I found my home away from home at Ohio University.

The college search process is always the most stressful part of high school. It’s time to decide where you want to go, what you want to study, who you want to be and where you want to live for the next four years.

I was confined to a single school my whole life based off of my location. I lived in small town PA for 12 years, grew up with the same people, lived in the same area and never knew anything different. Then all of a sudden, endless opportunities presented themselves.

There are thousands of colleges to explore and no boundaries on where I could go. It’s an exciting but nervewracking period in our lives. We’ve all been there, trying to write the most convincing essays of why we deserve to be accepted, sending out exam scores and hitting the submit button for every potential school. From that point on, it was out of my hands as I waited agonizingly for an answer in several months.

The answer might be a nice shiny envelope with the words “Congratulations and welcome to the family!” on the front or a short, crushing rejection letter. I went in a little too confident, underestimating the rigor that certain colleges wanted. I had my heart set on two big city schools, thinking that those were the places I wanted to be for the next four years.

So when I opened the long-awaited emails from my top two choices, it was an unpleasant surprise. “We regret to inform you that we could not grant you admission to our school…” The smile I had on my face slowly sank as I read further. It didn’t seem possible.

I kept asking myself, did they make a mistake? Did I forget to send something important? But nothing changed the next day. It wasn’t a dream, it was a heartbreaking reality. I was not going to my top choice schools and it was time to rethink my options. Our family had to sit down and discuss what to do next, what schools to apply to and what would be more realistic. Those rejections were a rude awakening to the reality of my previous mistakes, but it was needed.

One day, my dad brought up Ohio and I shot it down. “That’s great but we’re six hours from the Ohio border itself. I can’t go that far, what are you thinking?”

“Just give it a try, you might like it.”

The following day, I took a leap of faith and applied to a school called Ohio University in this little town of Athens. The more I looked at it, the more I liked it. Something caught my eye from the minute I saw it and I just knew. As soon as I got my acceptance letter, I had decided this was my home. However, my parents not impressed at all.

“I’m going to Ohio!!”

“That’s a nice joke, Anna. You’re not going there.”

Little did they know, I was dead serious. They realized there was no turning back once I committed and decided I was crazy.

I still can’t believe this insane decision to move eight hours away from home, but I’m glad I did. I took a leap of faith, I trusted my gut, and said, “Heck why not? You can’t keep me in PA.” It’s been one rollercoaster of a semester, to say the least. Moving far away to pursue my dreams taught me to be independent, take care of myself and be responsible. I learned to be brave and do the things that terrify me and overcome those fears. I’m here for the long haul so I’m going to make the most out of it.

This was incredibly difficult, but what matters is that Ohio tries twice as hard to help us succeed. I hate when people constantly remind me that I go to “one of the biggest party schools out there.” Have we forgotten why we came here? The incredible staff we have? The countless opportunities given to us daily? There are professors who singlehandedly take over an entire department without question for their colleagues and others who take time out of their busy days to stay after class with students to give them advice and extra help.

OU doesn’t make it easy, they push us to our limits to make us better, to show us we can do it, no matter how hard it may be. My school believes in me and shows me the path to success. It’s up to me to follow it.

To any current senior struggling to find the right school, don’t worry so much. Failures and rejections are a part of life; they teach you to be better than you were yesterday. If I wasn’t rejected from those schools, I would have never found Ohio, which is the perfect place for me.

Those disappointments only made me work ten times harder to achieve my goals, and to make myself happy. Thanks to them, I fell in love with the bricks. Things happen in strange ways, but God knows what’s best, even if you can’t see that right now. After all, “Nobody said it would be easy, they said it would be worth it.”

Cover Image Credit: My own photo

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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.


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!


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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