It seems the sun is finally setting on my time here at The Ohio State University. During my final semester as a student, I have been taking more time than usual to reflect on my college journey.
It all started on an airplane. I was trying to decide between Ohio State and another university. I wrote down all the pros and cons for each school on a cocktail napkin. Looking out into the clouds, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of certainty that I was destined to be a Buckeye.
I kept my decision a secret for a few weeks. I ordered Ohio State shirts for all of my family members to open on Christmas morning. I wanted it to be a big surprise. Everyone opened their shirts simultaneously, and while my mom cheered, my dad, a devout Iowa fan, turned to me and said “Do I have to wear this?”
Then came move in day. I moved around a lot as a child. I went to high school in California, but come from a very Midwestern family. After moving 2,000 miles away, I felt confident, not afraid. I felt like I was finally coming home.
Ohio State became my home upon my first steps into Smith-Steeb Hall. I was blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people each and every day. I spent every minute of every Sunday watching NFL games with dear friends. I spent countless hours giggling with buddies in Kennedy Commons between classes. I probably played a million games of euchre. I finally felt like I belonged somewhere and could identify with the people around me.
Then, I joined Tri Delta. This is something I share with my amazing mom, who was a member of Tri Delta at the University of Iowa. Through this organization, I met dozens of incredible women with bright futures and big hearts. Every day, I think about the decision I made to join and the wonderful life-long friends I have made through Tri Delta.
And, the football. I dove right into Buckeye fandom. Through my four football seasons, I have traveled to stadiums all over the country to root for the Buckeyes. I’ve seen a College Football Playoff game, a Big Ten Championship, an overtime victory in Madison, and a thrilling comeback in State College. I was able to stand on the turf after the priceless double overtime victory against That Team Up North in 2016. I’ve sang Carmen Ohio in the arms of strangers following both victory and defeat. I am so grateful for these experiences that Buckeye football has brought me. Frankly, football is awesome.
I also played some school. I was challenged in the classroom every day, diving into my course work and bonding with my classmates. I am graduating a semester early after completing the Sport Industry major with a Business minor.
And now, I wonder, how did I get here? How did the days fly by so quickly? I am now 21 years old. I’ve found a full time job. I’m looking for apartments in a new city. It feels like just yesterday I was sitting on a dorm bed surrounded by dozens of strangers on move in day, struggling to learn everyone’s names. I truly wish I could pause time and just soak it up a little bit longer. I wish I could go back to that first day and do it all over again, but not change a thing.
Buckeyes, live it up. Live in the moment. This is a major cliché, but it’s so important to make the most of your college years. When people tell you that college is the best time of your life, they aren’t kidding!
Future Buckeyes, if you are considering coming to Ohio State, do it. I’ve met people from all types of backgrounds with all types of interests. Ohio State will be your home no matter what. There is a place for everyone here. Going to Ohio State will always be the greatest decision I have ever made. I never felt like I had a home until I came to Ohio State. I truly can’t believe I will be walking through the Schottenstein Center in a cap and gown on December 16. Thank you to this incredible university for giving me everything, and then some.