Four years ago, I had just come home for holiday break after my first quarter at Ohio State University. A lot has changed since then. For starters, the school has seen a new president, experienced a few football scandals, switched to semesters, and given me a degree and some of the best relationships a person could ask for… but what if it hadn’t happened?
I remember that first night of college like it was yesterday…
I was bright-eyed and ready to leave home. I thought my parents were the worst people and I was ready to be an adult. How little I knew then!
That first day had been a year, no, my whole life in the making! I had applied to a few schools: Miami of Ohio, Bowling Green State University and Ohio State University, my heart was always set on OSU though. You cannot beat the size of the alumni base and Buckeyes look out for Buckeyes – even as a senior in high school I understood the importance of a good Alumni network. I got into every school I applied to and I think I made 400 pro-con lists that year in order to help me make my decision, but in the end I went with my gut. I chose to be a Buckeye for life, and I have never looked back.
But that first night at OSU, after a long day of unpacking and moving in, after my parents (who I thought I wanted nothing to do with) left, I realized that this was it… I was officially a college student, and I wanted nothing to do with it. I remember calling up my mom and telling her I wanted to go home, I didn’t think OSU was the right fit and that I didn’t like it at all, and I remember her telling me that classes hadn’t started and I needed to give it more than 6 hours… and then she hung up on me. That was some tough love, but I needed it.
I hated campus those first 3 days because it was empty. I had decided to do a program OSU offers first-years called Ohio State Welcome Leader (OWL), you arrive on campus 3 days early, meet a bunch of other students from your resident hall and then on official OSU move-in day, you help your peers move-in. In hindsight, it was a great program to meet people before school even started and it got me to campus faster, and it was amazing. At the time, it was the worst thing for me. I had hyped up the size of the school in my mind and I was really looking forward to the hustle and bustle of a packed campus, but the first 3 days, with just me and one other girl on my floor that usually had 48+ college students, didn’t feel like Ohio State should’ve.
Of course my mom was right, like almost all mothers are! The second my roommate moved in and the rest of the 40 some men and women on the 10th floor of Stradley Hall (which has since been remodeled) moved in, everything felt right.
That first quarter was… different. School was hard, parties were crazy, living with strangers was weird and I still missed my parents, but I wouldn’t give up my time at OSU to leave and move home.
I remember my first Ohio State football game, it was raining and miserable, but we won… I think (I left early, homegirl does NOT do rain). I remember my first college boyfriend, John, we met in my Spanish class fall semester (it was over before I made it home for holiday break). I remember meeting Shannon (but we wouldn’t become friends until spring quarter – and I never would’ve guessed that she would be one of my best friends, even though 2,481 miles separate us now). And, I remember staying in touch with my high school friends (it had been so easy to do that freshman year; no one prepared me for how hard it is to do that as you get older). I remember knowing that I wanted to go to school for communication, despite debating changing my major every single year, I am glad that I stuck with it – I mean look where I am now!
Four years ago, I was getting ready to come back home to see my family and my friends. Today, I am living with my parents and still trying to find time to get together with the same wonderful friends. It’s funny how things can completely change and stay the same at the same time…