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.
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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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22 Girl Names Your Random College Roommate Will Have, And The Type Of Roommate They Are

Will she be your BFF?
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Every roommate situation in college is going to be different.

All you can do is hope and pray that they'll just leave you alone for the most part. A lot of the time, you can get a hint about what kind of roommate they'll be just knowing their first name.

1. Hailey

Her dad pays her rent. She can't cook. Litters the kitchen with take out boxes from the local vegan joint.

2. Beth

Totally wants you to go to SoulCycle with her at 6 a.m. on a Saturday. Room is littered with leggings and sneakers.

3. Michelle

Comes home at 3 a.m. after a night of heavy drinking. Loudly makes some sort of frozen meal. Sleeps through her noon alarm.

4. Victoria

Probably has dark hair and an acoustic guitar. Keeps pretty much to herself. Does homework in the living room at obscure hours.

5. Madison

Was on the dance team in high school and has not stopped telling you about how great it was. Does work out videos on the TV in the living room.

6. Kim

Brings her boyfriend over every night of the week. Brings different boys home on the weekends.

7. Megan

Actively avoids cleaning the bathroom. Leaves her dishes in the sink. You haven't seen her shower in four days.

8. Erica

Normal. Quiet. Wants to be a high school English teacher.

9. Erika

Wild. Emotionally distraught always. Is always hosting the pre-game. Never comes home with all of the clothes she left wearing.

10. Sarah

"Definitely should have got into Harvard, but I ended up here instead." Too into trying to get a 4.0 to pay attention to you.

11. Julia

Studies music performance. Screams expletives at her keyboard. Cannot play the trumpet, but still tries really hard.

12. Hannah

So tall she almost hits her head on the doorways. Plays basketball. Raps to old Kanye in the shower.

13. Jenny

Should not be allowed to go out. Goes out every weekend anyway. Throws up in your bathtub and doesn't always address it in the morning.

14. Heather

Stressing about her internship. Is currently failing all of her classes. Will somehow still get a 3.5 GPA this semester.

15. Grace

You never see her, only the hairballs she leaves all around your place.

16. Emma

Only has guy friends because "it's easier." Guy friends who leave empty beer cans out after every sporting event on TV.

17. Caitlyn

Has a 4.0 as a biology major. Is going to med school. Sterilizes her room, the bathroom and the kitchen sink every four hours.

18. Sam

Always has a paper about feminism to write. Rosie the Riveter poster in her room.

19. Alex

Is probably dating her boss. Has straight Ds in all her classes.

20. Taylor

Is somehow always home when you're home. You know nothing about her other than where she's from.

21. Alyssa

Trying to become the next big YouTuber. Has lighting equipment all over the place. You constantly hear the phrase, "Hey guys, welcome to my channel!" She squealed because yesterday she hit 25 subscribers.

22. Jesse

Is probably plotting your murder. Lurks around like a cat.

Cover Image Credit: Morgan Yates//YouTube

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Prom? No, I'll Pass

It's really not all it's cracked up to be.
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So, full disclosure: I never went to prom.

Now, as people's jaws drop because they think that I was some loser who had no one to go with, you're right, but that isn't the point.

I was never one for school dances, considered my memories of them are full of cringey moments and an understanding of why I had low self-esteem. So, for me, prom was just another one of those dances where I would end up wanting to leave an hour in.

Except, this time, I had spent $90 instead of just bringing in a non-perishable.

I had a prom dress, and my parents were more than willing to buy me a ticket. I think the problem was that I created a stigma around needing a party of friends to take pictures with in order for it to be enjoyable. I wasn't content with just rolling up to the Constitution Center in my gown by myself.

It's not like I had a horrible night. Instead of going to prom, I went to see "Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2", AND I got Pancheros with my parents. That night, I had a blast, and it never really occurred to me that I was missing out on anything.

If you're someone who really hates dances but have a group of friends willing to go, still consider prom. It quite honestly could be a lot of fun, and I know countless people who enjoyed dancing the night away with their friends.

But there is nothing in any type of contract from high school that requires you to go to your prom. It's something that yeah, you may feel a twinge of regret about, but really in the grand scheme of things, you aren't going to think about it.

I'm not going to have any fun prom stories to tell my kids about an overpriced weekend down the shore or about the attempt to smuggle alcohol in. But I am going to be able to sleep at night knowing the price of my prom ticket equaled a night watching Star-Lord and Gamora battling some freaking aliens.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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