DSC00534This last year has gone by way too fast. I found myself embracing the beauty of campus and opportunities that come with being a student when the days got near the end.

In the 20 days prior to my graduation, I decided to focus on the top things I’ll miss about being a student at Ohio State. I’d imagine years from now this post will be different as I’m looking back. But here are the 20 things I’ll miss about Ohio State as a graduate of the class of 2013.

20.  As a commuter student, every good day starts with a good parking spot.IMG_4362

Every morning it was the question, where will I park? My first two years was spent parking on west campus and riding a bus to main campus. I had to leave at least an hour to drive, park, ride the bus and walk to class. As a junior, buying a C pass meant that my commute went from an hour to a half hour.

On the day that I decided to make this list I took a shot and went for a spot in the lot that is almost always full. To my surprise there was an empty spot. I reflected to myself that my mood depended on my parking spot most days.

19. The CABS bus 

IMG_4373I’ve had my fair share of CABS experiences. The CABS is a miracles in the freezing, snowy, Ohio winter weather. I’ve been that girl running in the rain to catch a bus. I’ve also been the girl that is standing at the door when the driver refuses to open because it’s so full. Sometimes I’m even the girl the driver let on so that everyone is squeezed together to fit.

You think you’ll be safe once you hop on the bus but don’t forget to hang on. The drivers of CABS busses are brave soles who navigate the busy streets, avoiding pedestrians who don’t look for crosswalks, and still manage to stick to schedules.

We’d all be lost without these helpful tools to navigate the enormous Ohio State campus. Even if it’s just on a day you want to be lazy.

18. Learning

IMG_4381As a student, you are given the gift of an army of individuals attempting to teach you. You have an expansive network of professors and mentors that you can reach out to. They’ll happily share their knowledge with you because someone helped them when they were in your place.

Of all the things I gained as a Buckeye, the love of learning is my favorite! I know that I’ll never stop reading and following trends but waking up every day with an excuse to learn and amazing people willing to teach me is something I’ll miss.

Ohio State can keep the exams, but I’ll take my passion to learn with me!

17. The Oval

Only Ohio State students understand that beaches can be anywhere, even in the Midwest. I’ll never forget that you always have time to just enjoy the sunshine.

IMG_4394They call it Oval Beach because when the sun comes out everyone on campus flocks to the space to lay out, read a book, toss a ball,  or chat with friends. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, everyone is there to just embrace the beauty of life.

No matter how busy you are, the Oval helps you realize that there is always time to take a moment and be thankful for everything you have. Time seems to stop as you sit there with other students just like yourself. It’s a beautiful feeling and a gorgeous landmark that I’ll never forget.

As an Ohio State student, I’ve learned that there’s always time to enjoy a beautiful day.

16. Forever 21

At 21, I had the energy, freedom, and ability to take a night and dance it away with my best friends. Even just one year later, my life has changed.

IMG_4397As I continue to move forward different things bring me happiness. Pouring my passion into my career is fun. Bowling and running helps me escape my stress. Writing brings me joy. The people who are important to me are always invited to be part of my life.

I’m a different person because I’ve been 21. It was a special age and special year to me. I learned a lot about myself and my values. I know what I want. I know what’s important to me.

I’ll never be able to go back but I’ll never forget those nights.

15. Flexible Schedules

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By Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Lmbuga Commons)(Lmbuga Galipedia) Publicada por/Publish by: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5-es (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/es/deed.en)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Part of my ability to do so many things and volunteer so much of my time is because I’m a college student.

My life has always been busy. That won’t change but I can think of a thousand things that I never would have been able to do if I wasn’t a college student. I was able to work part time and bowl. I was able to coach the most amazing kids in the entire world. I was able to write tons of papers. I was able to have four internships. I was truly blessed.

I absolutely love all the experience that I have gained in my life because of my schedules.

14. Bow-ties

Yeah, they’re pretty awesome!

geeMore than just the bow-ties, the man who wears bow-ties is pretty great too. Gordon Gee is the best President a university can have. He realizes that students are merely students and like to have fun. If you see him when you are walking to class, he’ll ask you how your day is going. He comes to parties and is always available for pictures.

I’ll miss the man behind the bow-tie.

13. Walking EVERYWHERE

IMG_4414Ohio State is huge! As a student, you learn that distance is judged in miles not feet. Tired just isn’t in your vocabulary and if you’re going to make that class, you need to walk faster. I love walking, maybe not in the winter, but escaping the inside of a building to walk from class to class gave me a breath of fresh air throughout the day. Everything is available and you can get there without relying on a car.

I was given the gift of an active lifestyle that I’ll never take for granted.

12. Free Stuff

IMG_2917Whether it’s food, inflatables, t-shirts, free Old Navy flip flops, free movies, free concerts, free activities. FREE FREE FREE. I love free! Ohio State has plenty of free stuff for students.

I loved when there was a surprise giveaway on campus. It would take an ordinary day and make it extraordinary! Those were the days that I lived for.

This photo is from the free OAR concert that was on campus in October!  It was probably one of my favorite nights on campus.

11. Internships

IMG_2673An internship is the best possible situation. It’s a chance to learn from someone who has more experience than you in the field that you want to go into. Your responsibilities are important and there is pressure to make good choices but with every internship comes a box of life lessons to take away.

I completed four internships while I was a student at Ohio State. Each one taught me something different and helped me think like a professional. My supervisors have all been amazing and helped me explore the world. I was never bored and because I was open to anything, I learned a lot. I can never thank these individuals enough for my experiences.

10. My favorite saying…

money“Broke College Student.”

Now I’m just broke.

That’s depressing.

Moving right along…

9. Daily Charms

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I love the little miracles that appear in my life. Hidden messages. Lucky pennies. Beautiful flowers. Smiles from a stranger. Those are what make my life extraordinary.

Sometimes, the best part of being at Ohio State is the crowd. Yes there are lines all over and you might not be able to find a good seat at the library but there’s a chance for a perfect stranger to make your day. You never feel alone.

I found this note when I was studying for my last final of undergrad in the library today. It was one of those take your breath away moments. I had been sitting in the same chair for over an hour, focused completely on the book that I was reading. There was no one around. When I looked up again, a small post-it on the table next to me caught my eye.

I’m going to miss the crowd.

8. Living the brand

IMG_2942Wherever I went, I represented Ohio State. Whether I was wearing a shirt with the logo on it or not, I felt that my actions reflected on more than just me. It was a huge responsibility but amazing feeling. I protected the brand because I love it.

It’s true that the days when I wore scarlet and gray to represent my school were some of the best of my life. The school was and will always be mine.

As I join the largest alumni association in the nation, I’ll never forget to represent it in the best ways possible.

7. O-H-I-O Pictures

st. louisWherever we went, we wanted to do an O-H-I-O picture! I have some favorites over the years but I think this might be the best one.

Who am I kidding, I’ll still do these pictures! Stay tuned for the alumni adventures.

6. Mirror Lake

Piper and I make the plunge!
Piper and I make the plunge!

Oh Mirror Lake. The night where crazy students jump into a freezing cold lake to show how much we hate Michigan. The University hates this tradition. Our inbox is flooded with warnings and emails telling us not to jump. I jumped twice. The first time I came out with a chunk of glass in my foot. The conversations at Thanksgiving were great that year. As a senior, I wore actual shoes and jumped in one last time. You aren’t an Ohio State student until you jump in Mirror Lake.

5. The RPAC

IMG_4531This place was like my second home. It’s gorgeous inside and out. The RPAC is full of adventure, opportunity and discovery. I explored the building and learned a lot within it’s walls. I met some great friends and helped create communication about the programs. I learned everything I could about the building and Rec Sports as an employee. I gave tours of the facility to others and promoted the programs. Besides exercising my mind in the office suites, I used the equipment to train my body, rappelled from the elevator shaft, explored fitness classes, studied in the best kept secret study spot on campus, did inflatable obstacle courses and even more!

Everyday at the RPAC was different and I already miss it.

4. The Public Relations Student Society of America at Ohio StateIMG_4547

When I entered college, I was an English major. I knew it wasn’t the right major but I didn’t know where I belonged. Within the first quarter I joined PRSSA, won a free membership and changed my major to Strategic Communication. The Public Relations Student Society of America at Ohio State is a student professional organization and it was an escape for me. It was a time when I could be challenged by discussions from guest speakers about social media, branding, marketing, writing, resumes, portfolios, dressing for the work place, blogging, crisis communication and so much more. I met people who had similar professional goals. I got connected to internships and professionals in the Central Ohio area. PRSSA even introduced me to my PR mentor.

When I was at PRSSA, I didn’t have to explain what strategic communication was. We could laugh about poor AP style. We could dissect a PR plan from start to finish or talk about the celebrity PR crisis of the day. We all were there because we love PR and we connected because of it. I even got to spend the hours waiting in line for security at graduation with some members. It made time pass much faster.

I’ll never forget what I learned at #OSUPR and I can’t wait to start my professional career as a member of PRSA.

3. Bowling

401112_3135310670363_1492721750_3183110_2030041870_nOh bowling. My experiences on the team will stay with me forever.

I started bowling when I was five years old with a bright pink Minnie Mouse ball and bumpers in the gutter at Sequoia Pro Bowl in Columbus, Ohio. My parents believed in creating well-rounded kids so I was enrolled in every sport and was always busy. They didn’t know which sport I would decide to stick with so they let me try everything.

Choosing The Ohio State University and deciding to continue bowling collegiately was the best decision I have ever made. Bowling has pushed me athletically and academically. I started bowling competitively as a freshman and was elected president of the club as a sophomore. Collegiate bowling has allowed me to improve as a bowler.

IMG_3920Though my pink Minnie Mouse ball no longer has a place in my arsenal, it will always be remembered as the start of it all. Bowling has opened so many doors for me. I’ve been able to travel, meet new people, and explore places I never would have imagined. I used bowling to gain experience professionally that has helped me earn an internship and prepare for my life after graduation. Everything that I have done in bowling can be translated into things to bring with me to future employers. Whatever I do in the future, bowling will always be part of my life. The friends that I’ve made through bowling will be part of my life forever. Though my future is still up in the air, bowling has given me experiences and confidence to take me wherever I go in the rest of my life.

I can’t wait to come back and watch the lady Buckeyes continue to reach for success next season.

2. Football Games

IMG_3244I went to my first game before I was one year old and I know I haven’t seen my last but never again will I be a student at a game. Those games were different when it was your school. Especially when you were in class with some of the players. It was normal to talk about the weekly match up before diving into the daily lessons of algebra, earth science, statistics or communication. Wearing jerseys to class was common.

I truly believe that you haven’t lived until you’ve experienced a Buckeye Saturday. Campus shuts down. Tailgates are everywhere. Everyone is at the ‘shoe or a bar to watch the game.

I’ll miss campus game days as a student.

1. What We Leave Behind

leave
via http://paint-the-stars.tumblr.com/post/12021099719/azar-nafisi-lolita-in-tehran

I really struggled trying to narrow down the number one thing that I would miss about Ohio State. Words can’t describe how thankful I am for the experiences that Ohio State has given to me. I wouldn’t be the person that I am today without each and every person, activity, experience and lesson as a student. I’m going to miss everything about the way my life is right now. I’m going to miss everything about the way that I am right now. I know I will continue to live my life to the fullest and I’ll never change the way that I am but my life will never be the way that is right now again. That’s what I’ll miss.

164295_10152763893180276_866545482_nI think that each and every one of us that walked across that field to accept our diplomas leaves a piece of us behind. We have the largest alumni network and that’s what makes being an Ohio State student the best. As we learn we share our dreams, goals, hopes, desires, friendships and laughter with the school. We bring the school to life. Together we grow but eventually it’s time to move on. There are new students waiting for their turn.

I know I’ll always be a Buckeye but I’ll miss the moments I’ve already had.

Thanks to everyone who made this post and my degree possible. Now I’m ready to take on my next adventure! Any alumni out there? What are your thoughts?

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Photo credit: Jayne Crystal
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