Every time my mom drove me home freshman year, she asked me, “Do you think Ohio State was the right place for you to go?”
My reply was always something along the lines of, “I like it at Ohio State, but I don’t know if it means that I wouldn’t be happy anywhere else.”
Four years, two majors, two theses, one Buckeye (:
I graduated from Ohio State this May. After graduation, my mom asked me again if I wished I’d gone somewhere else—somewhere smaller, maybe.
Looking back on all four years of my college career, my answer has changed slightly.
Maybe going to a slightly smaller school that didn’t have graduate students would have gotten me more research publications. Maybe going to a private school would been more prestigious. Maybe going to an “easier” school would have given me the time to sit out on the quad and play Frisbee like all the kids on the brochures.
I don’t know what’s going on in this picture, but I’ve never had time to do this either.
But I know that at Ohio State, I got the optimal experience: I did
research, I went abroad, I got internships, I got scholarships for all sorts of things, I had professors I loved and professors I hated, I made friends who did more than just get me through the long nights of homework, I got into a top-tier chemistry PhD program, and I was above-and-beyond blessed to get the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for grad school.
From an academic perspective, I did everything you could possibly want to do at any undergrad institution. If you’re worried about somehow not getting the full experience here, I can vouch that Ohio State definitely has the resources—offices, departments, scholarships, people, expertise, connections, programs—to help you get wherever you want to go.
Just a few of the programs that helped me do everything I did at Ohio State!
And from a social perspective, I got everything I never expected. I’m not sure that any other school would have had the traditions, the spirit, or the power to turn me into a football fan, but that happened—I now like collegiate football ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Toughed it out in the cold and the rain just to see the only loss all season (and one of only two home losses during my time at Ohio State) -_-
At Ohio State, I found
H2O Church, the community that has impacted my college career more than anything else. I also made unexpected memories and unexpected friends—memories that I forgot to capture on camera and friends that make me wish I had written this quote before my friend Robbie did:
“I may not remember every last detail of what happened in college, but the little moments I will always hold onto. I will always have those movie nights…the deep conversations, the tears and the joy, and always being more excited than the day before to see you guys again. Thank you. For making these challenging four years a little easier, and for making this massive university a little more like home.”
In the end, I can’t tell you whether THE Ohio State University was the “right” place for me to go or if it’s the “right” place for you to go.
All I know is that God has worked powerfully through the people I met at Ohio State. He blessed the experiences, opportunities, and hard (and sometimes not-so-hard) work I’ve put in over the last four years. I love being a Buckeye and it’s changed my life.
Maybe it could change yours, too.
Undergrad Fellowship Office
Office of Undergrad Research and Creative Inquiry