My need to lead

Hi all. It’s been a while. I have had roughly zero time to write recently. Between being gravely ill not once but twice, 7 classes which all include an obnoxious amount of work, my job, CHAARG, 4 Paws, and trying not to have more than one mental breakdown a week. Remember how last semester I told myself I wasn’t going to be pouring from an empty cup? It’s happening. So, today I wanted to come on here and figure my shit out [take a shot every time I’ve said that].

The concept of leadership is frustrating to me. I crave being a leader. I think I’m a natural born leader with a lot of self-doubt issues paired with crippling anxiety which makes me a rather awkward leader. When I’m confident about something I find leading easy. I’m able to make decisions on the fly and have the confidence in every decision I make. When I’m not so confident I tend to overthink my decisions, become indecisive, look to every possible source for advice [my whole college career], and may come off as a poor leader. I’m not sure if that’s true or if it’s my brain telling me it’s true, but it’s what I think.

Despite what my brain thinks, I always apply for leadership roles. Ever since elementary school I was involved with clubs where I looked to lead, I was on student government in leadership roles all throughout my middle school and high school careers, I was an editor for the yearbook every year I was on the staff, I was golf team captain, I was the president of AST [another club in high school] I’m a manager at work, I applied to be an RA, I’m going to be a Learning Community Leader, I’m on the exec teams of both of the organizations I’m in… I could go on. Almost every single thing I’ve ever been involved in, I’ve been a leader in it. It’s natural for me, to want more. I like to keep working up the ladder as far as I can go. This is one of the reasons I thought I’d excel in Business. I’d be CEO of a company in no time ;).

Why do I do this? Why is it that I feel the need to take on any position that comes my way? Why can’t I sit on the sidelines and let others be in charge? I think it comes from my need to have control. I didn’t really know I had control issues but it’s something I’ve come to notice as of late. I have never sat on the sidelines on anything I’ve been involved in [except for when I first join] because I crave being a leader. I don’t know if it’s because I love sharing my love for whatever I’m involved in with other people, I need to be in control, the whole “You NEED leadership experience on your resume” that’s been shoved down my throat my whole life or a mix of all three, but here I am, having just applied for my newest leadership position, CHAARG Ambassador [the equivalent of the president].

I’ll be the first to say that I’ve been conflicted on doing so. I’ve wanted to apply for Ambassador since last year when I applied for the same role. [I’m glad I didn’t get it but I didn’t know that other exec applications would go out again so I applied for what I could]. After my last semester in CHAARG, I almost didn’t return to the organization let alone exec because I was so frustrated. If I was so frustrated why would I keep moving up the ladder? Why do I still want to apply for Ambassador, intern, CLC, etc. in my future CHAARG endeavors? Obviously, I love CHAARG + all it’s done for me, so naturally, I want to keep at it. But when it’s one of my greatest stressors, is it worth it? I want to keep spreading my love for CHAARG to anyone and everyone I can despite the stress I’m under. I think If I didn’t reapply I’d regret it more than if I kept doing it and was stressed as much as I normally am.

I’ve submitted my application for Ambassador and obviously, I hope that I get the position. I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that I may not receive it and that it’s going to be okay. I might apply for another exec position [definitely not treasurer though] or I might spend my last semesters at OU as a  regular CHAARG member, once again anticipating newsletters hitting my inbox every Sunday night at 10pm and wondering what exec has planned at all the events.

If I don’t get an exec position it will be weird.  Not having control of something for one of the first times ever will be weird. It will be good too. It will be good for me. To not be in control. Either way, I think I will be okay. I’ll need to adjust but I’ll still love CHAARG. I’ll still share my love for CHAARG. Which is what it’s all about anyway.

In my future, I’m going to need to realize that I can share my love for what I love without being in control. This may be the start of that journey and it may not. But only time will tell.

“The burdens of leadership are often heavy, but the world is a better place because we have borne them” – Barack Obama

Much Love ❤

Alicia

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A new routine

Hi all. I’m back at school and already go go go and it’s only the start of week 2. Between working double what I did last semester, 19 credit hours (7 classes), and being on the exec board of 2 orgs, I’m being hit hard with life. I’m sick already (are we surprised?) and I’m TIRED (I have been taking melatonin to help me sleep and while it doesn’t help me sleep through the night it does help me get to bed much earlier than before so I’m thankful for that). But here I am, still making time to do what I love: sitting in a coffee shop after my class got cancelled to drink a latte, eat a vegan cookie, and write while wearing very cute clothes (all of which I got for Christmas or bought with Christmas $$). Already I’ve become so thankful for the feeling of laying in my bed after not being home for 12 hours and my breaks between class when I can sit and rest for a bit. It’s the little things this semester.

I got back to Athens 2 weeks ago today to start work. As a manager, I had to be back early to set up the store, get trained, and make more money! Then class started last Monday as did all things CHAARG and 4 Paws. I’ve talked extensively about how much I put on my plate and how that needs to change yet this semester is no different. In what I dropped in exec board duties I picked up in classes and work. It has sucked quite a bit but the fact that my next paycheck is going to be over double what it was last semester is definitely a big perk.

I’m doing well coexisting with my roommates. As well as I can when we disagree over the temperature of the apartment. I’m content with 65 degrees. They prefer to have the apartment as hot as Satan’s armpit which I don’t care for but what I really don’t care for is paying for it. After our electric bill was $200 for the month of December and no one was home for half of the month, I’d had it. So, after I blatantly heard them talking about me in my own kitchen while I was doing homework in bed, I walked out, told them they could keep it as high as they wanted, but I was not paying for it. We finally agreed that I would pay no more than $30 per month (which is still excessive, but I really don’t care as long as I don’t have to argue about this anymore) and then I returned back to my room to keep on living my life. We love a good roomie compromise I suppose.

I’ve been eating pretty well + working out when I find the time. I definitely need to make a workout schedule but since CHAARG will be in full swing next week I will have Tuesdays and Wednesdays covered + then a good workout after work on Mondays + before work on Fridays and after class Thursdays ++ I’m all set.

Finally, this new routine of mine allows minimal time to do things I enjoy doing that I haven’t already scheduled ie. Working out. I have to do all of my homework for the week the weekend prior because Tuesdays and Wednesday I have about an hour of free time after I eat, shower, sleep, etc. and that’s not enough time to do the homework for 7 classes. My procrastination habit will really be tested this semester but as long as I can make it through this week alive, I’m going to keep all the classes I currently have and then will only be enrolled in 4 classes next fall. Making my possibly last semester in Athens (more on that later) a feasible course load allowing more time for CHAARG, 4 paws, my friends, and of course, work.

Finally, with my routine, I have a hell of a lot of applications that I’m completing. I applied to study abroad in Spain this summer, and will be applying soon to complete my student teaching in another country (not sure where yet) next Spring. I’m also trying to make these next 3 semesters a little more financially easy on my family so I’m applying to every single scholarship OU offers that I’m eligible for so hopefully I get some $$ and can do all of the things abroad that I want.


A little tidbit I wanted to add here is that  I’m also planning my next tattoo. Whenever I start a new job, I spend my first paycheck in any way that I want. I’m not sure who told me to do this but they should have kept their mouth shut. Anywho, since this manager position is technically new for me, I’m going to spend that money on a tattoo. I’m conflicted about which one I want as my list of potential tattoos is exponentially growing day to day. Currently, I’m between 3 tattoos.

  • a bolt for CHAARG – the entire exec team wants to get them together. I would get this on my inner wrist.
  • Atrevéte a … (soñar, vivir, or sentir) – This means “Dare to.. (dream, live, or feel)” I saw this graffiti on my first day in Peru + it’s meant a lot to me ever since. Therefore, I want to get it tattooed. I’d either get it done on my foot or ribs. I’m also not sure if I want dream, live, or feel. I’m leaning more towards live or feel but who knows?
  • The last option is my personal favorite and the one that means the most. It would also be the most expensive but that’s a conversation for my tattoo artist and I. I want it on my right forearm (sorry dad).  I want a person (torso up) wearing a black and white striped shirt holding a bouquet of flowers with the flowers covering the face. The flowers  I would like are a red rose, a red poppy, a yellow lily, a yellow sunflower, and a pink cantuta. All of these flowers mean something to me + I think this would be so beautiful so once I figure out how much this would be, that will determine which one I get.

If you’re still in school, I hope your back to school is going smoothly and that nothing is too stressful yet. If you’re not still in school, you lucky duck.

Hablaremos pronto,

Alicia

Back to school series: apartment packing list

Hi everyone + Happy Tuesday! If you’ve been a follower for the last year or so, you may remember that I made a Back to School series last August. I got really positive feedback from it so I’ve decided to do it again this year!!! Let’s get started with it!

I am officially moved into my apartment at school + I’m very excited! Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I am living with 3 girls I do not know, all from other countries. One of them has brought her dad to stay for about 2 weeks + removed the furniture last night (unsure why) so I’m just trying to stick to my own schedule and live my own life until school starts.

So, from the title of this post you know I’m not sharing a tour of my apartment today (if I do one it will probably just be of my room) because it’s not fully finished, but it is a packing list for apartments! I definitely forgot some things and I brought things I for sure don’t need. Also, a ton of girls (freshmen) have no clue what to pack but with 22938 different packing lists available for freshmen, I figured I would make one for people in apartments because there are far fewer lists to get inspiration from but a lot more things to get! So, here is this artsy list of what to pack for an apartment (or at least what’s working for me).


Is there anything I’m forgetting or anything on this list that doesn’t need to be?

❤ Alicia ❤

High school ruined me

Hi all and long time no write.

I took a nice weekend trip to Ohio at the start of the month, and that paired with some family issues I’ve been pretty lackluster when it came to writing.

Something I’ve been doing quite a bit more recently is reading. I just finished The Happiness Project last night (more on that to come) and I started wondering why I don’t read more often. I love reading, I love writing, yet I don’t do it nearly as often as I’d like.

When I was part of my high school’s yearbook, I did almost exclusively design. I edited captions and stories, etc. but only because I was an editor and therefore it was my job (despite the thrill I got from turning a paragraph of spelling and grammatical mistakes into a perfect package complete with sparkly bow).

But, you all may be thinking… Alicia… you run a blog, you must like writing. And I do, I adore writing, immensely, it gives me a way to be creative without wanting to rip my hair out over my inability to draw anything better than a stick figure. So, then why did I refuse to write copy for my yearbook unless absolutely pressed to by my writing editor? Well, in my opinion, it’s because I was conditioned to believe I hated it.

School, high school, in particular, forced you to read and write things that you have little to no interest (or at least think you don’t) in and it is downright dreadful. Having to read books that you have no interest in, then having to write a 3-5 page essay in 45 minutes on a book you hated and therefore skimmed is almost worse.

I can remember being in elementary school after visiting the library that week, cozying up in my bed on a Friday night with Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty and staying up until the early hours of the morning to finish it because I WANTED to. No one told me to read the book, no one even recommended the book. I read that book because I wanted to. I read that book so many times and for a while, it was my favorite book… maybe it was because it was one of the only books with large font in my library… I’m a slut for large font. Whether I liked the book or merely the font size, there were many more books after that in which I read and loved doing so, but one day it stopped.

In 4th grade, I won a short story contest (and even got it turned into a claymation movie by my advanced class) with a 2-page short story called “Where’s Coco?” My sweet little white dog (based off of the American Girl Doll mascot Coco might I add) who went missing on Friday the 13th… in October nonetheless. While I can’t remember how it ended, I do remember that the title was written in a yellow polka dot angled Word Art font and that it was riveting to my entire class, which is why it won… obviously.

We were given a prompt to write a mystery story. Nothing more nothing less. I poured my heart and soul into that story because I am such a sucker for mysteries that I got that all done in one day (I do that with essays today but more so due to procrastination rather than passion). If I could muster up the idea of an American Girl Doll dog going missing and also find the dedication AND motivation to finish this story, why did I not write anymore? Why do I struggle to blog, when I adore writing? Why?

The answer to this is that high school ruined me. Plain and simple.

Something I always wanted to do was to be a teacher. I didn’t know I wanted to be a teacher because I hated learning, or at least I thought I hated learning.

Something I love is learning. So, why did I hate learning if I love learning? Pretty contradictory don’t you think? I think something that myself and so many others my age have come to realize is that high school is not about learning anymore, it’s about getting grades satisfactory enough to get accepted into the university of your choice.

I cannot tell you a single thing I learned from my junior year of high school other than the fact that I can read The Awakening in 90 minutes. The 90 minutes before I had to write my final exam on that book I may add. I can’t tell you so many things I ‘learned’ in high school because I did not learn them.

I memorized them hours before I needed to know them, regurgitated them onto a scantron or scratch paper, and then one by one, they were discarded into my brain garbage can (told you I didn’t learn much in high school).

High school was never about learning, yet I didn’t realize that until much later. I thought I hated learning because high school made learning the last thing I wanted to do.

It wasn’t until my year off that I realized that learning was fun. I learned more from the 6 and 8-year-olds I nannied than in my entire AP US history class. I learned more in my time in Peru than I did Honors Physics.

Learning doesn’t always take place in a classroom. But learning should always be fun.

How fortunate are we to learn that the moon’s orbit affects the seas’ tides? How fortunate are we to learn that you really can start a sentence with And or Because?

I wish high school hadn’t ruined me. I wish I knew my passions 4 years ago. I wish I never thought I hated the things that set my soul on fire. But here I am, still undecided on my life choices with the same fire and passion I had for reading, writing, and learning but this time.. I know I have it.

Alicia

My favorite places in Athens

Hi again everyone!! After reminiscing about my first year at OU, I really began to miss some of my favorite places in Athens! Because of this, I wanted to share my favorite places in Athens (in case for some reason any of you end up in Athens, Ohio or I have some fellow bobcat readers). So, here are my top 5 favorite places in Athens. Enjoy!


  1. Donkey Coffee- This super cute, eclectic coffee shop has the best vegan muffins, cookies and more +++ the best red tea (I’d never had it until I went there)! It’s super cute and has a great atmosphere and I absolutely love studying there!
  2. Brenen’s Coffee- The best-iced coffee I’ve ever gotten in my life! It’s my go-to spot for coffee and they even offer a meal plan (might have to get that in the fall).
  3. Bagel Street Deli- My favorite place to eat off campus! Bagel Street Deli is a sandwich shop (on bagels of course) that have breakfast and regular sandwich bagels which has tons of vegan options! It is one of the best places to eat no matter the time of day and I love bringing my family here when they visit!
  4. Union Street Diner- There are 2 diners near campus, and while the other diner has that typical diner look and feel, Union Street’s Diner wins in my opinion because of the variety of options (especially vegan ones). It’s open 24 hours and I love going there with friends for some late night snacks!
  5. The Athena Theatre- I’ve never actually seen a movie in this Theatre, however, the history and architecture of the building are so cool. The theatre also features a lecture hall on the second floor (I attended an extra credit seminar there) which was beautiful all in its own. But, what’s great about this theater is that they have new (and old) movies for very very cheap which is great for all college students on budgets!

There are so many other places that I could talk about, but I think these take the cake as some of my absolute favorites!!!

❤ Alicia ❤

Reflecting on my first year at OU

Hi everyone, I am back home from school and slowly getting back into my home routine. I always forget how weird it is being home… with virtually no responsibilities, being able to sleep in, and not having to worry about school work and studying. It’s nice… but I also feel empty having nothing to do.

Throughout my first year at OU, I’ve done a number of reflections on my time here. I figured that I should now reflect on my whole year at OU, as I am home and 100% done with my first year. While I do want to reflect on my time, I don’t want to get all sappy, so I’m going to share a few highlights from each month was at school!


I won’t lie, August started off pretty rough. I spent the first week of school (and more if I’m being honest) so the only highlight of the month for me was starting class and work and really starting a routine.

While September was still sort of shitty, my routine kept me busy and made me feel like I had a purpose. I joined CHAARG which was and is still one of my best decisions I’ve made this year and through CHAARG I’ve had so many great opportunities, met amazing people, and have really started working on myself.

With midterm season in full swing, October was just a lot of reading, studying and anticipating THanksgiviing Break. The ONLY good thing that happened in October was Halloween. Halloween is a BIG tradition at OU and it was really cool (albeit overwhelming) to be able to experience this tradition for myself with all the people I’d met.

During November is when (in my opinion) I started becoming really good friends with my roommate and started bonding with everyone I’d met at OU. This month, Olivia (my roommate) and I both applied to be on the 4 Paws for ABility executive board and I ended up becoming the Treasurer of the group. This didn’t start until Spring Semester but I accepted the position and started learning about what I had to do I November.

Studying and studying and studying some more. The entire month of December was just filled with studying and reading and making notecards and trying not to die. BUT it all paid off because (even though it wasn’t what I wanted) I ended up with a 3.75 GPA.

Returning to school at San Diego was weird. When I got back for Spring semester I didn’t have many reunions or really get excited to see my friends when I got back to school. However, my favorite part of January was reuniting with all of my friends from last semester. I had lunch and dinner and coffee dates with friends the whole first few weeks back and it was just great to see that I’d made connections and people actually enjoyed my presence.

This next one isn’t much of a highlight; it’s much more of a lowlight. The month of February (and before and after) had a lot of rejection in them. Internships executive positions, jobs, etc. just had a lot of rejection. I was very very disheartened by all of this but I learned one thing about myself it’s that I am great at persevering. I’ve enjoyed where I ended up this semester, rejections and all, and I think it’s taught me a lot about learning to accept more rejection that will inevitably come in my future.

In spite of all the rejection that this year had brought me (even within this organization) the best part of March was being elected to be the CHAARG Executive Board Treasurer. The love I have for this organization is unreal and to be given (to have earned) the opportunity to be on its executive team and to have the chance to improve it and see it grow is such a gift and I can’t wait to see where it takes me this upcoming year.

The one thing that sucks about OU, is that I’m 5-7 hours away from ALL of my friends. The entire month of April I spent appreciating my friends. Getting dinner every night, hanging out even if we were just visiting each other at work, getting coffee, etc. Whatever we could do to see each other would do because not being able to see my buds until August… I’m not a fan but I was grateful for the amount I saw them in April and how much I was able to appreciate them and their presence while I was there.

I came home May 1st, cried a lot, and then sat at my computer anxiously anticipating my grades to be posted. Finally, 8 days later, I finally got to see my grades for Spring Semester. I ended up with 5 As and ONE A-. I ended up with a 3.93 GPA for the semester all because I was .01% away from a solid A in the other class. I’m fine with that grade but come on! .01%.


All in all, I’m forever grateful that I transferred to OU. This past year was beyond anything I could have expected and my year was infinitely better than my time in San Diego (not the weather or the location). I guess location of the school really doesn’t matter, it’s really all about who you surround yourself with and what you make of your time while you’re there.

❤ Alicia ❤

5 tips for staying organized

Hi all and sorry for my long absence. I accidentally set up that double authentication and then couldn’t get access to the code so I couldn’t log on. However, I’m here now and have so much to share! Until I give a bit of a life update (which I also promised that month I think) here are some tips I have for staying organized in this hustle and bustle of finals.


  1. Get and use a planner! I love my planner and I keep it with me everywhere I go. I have a Plum Paper one and it has honestly changed my life. I write down every assignment, meeting, work shift, and workout I have so I know exactly when I can sleep, do homework, and have fun
  2. Make lists!!  (and then utilize them) Every single day I make a to-do list of items. Whether it be returning a t-shirt I bought, buying envelopes, printing something etc. I write everything down the night before and whatever I don’t get done becomes the first item on the list for the next day.
  3. Set aside time in your schedule to plan! Every single Sunday I give myself an hour or so to plan out my week. Do I have a group project meeting? Am I working out with someone at a certain time? Did I pick up someone’s shift at work? etc. I then plan when I can do homework, what homework I have to do, etc. so that I am ready for the week ahead and can have minimal stress in my life.
  4. Use the 8/8/8 method! 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of work, 8 hours of play. This is soooo hard in college, however, I try my hardest. Some days there’s more play, some days there’s more work, and on the rare occasion (Sundays) there is more sleep. However, try to stick with this and it’ll help keep a solid routine.
  5. Give each class a color! I know this sounds very circa 2010 but it helps so much!!!! I use one notebook for all of my classes because I typically have 5 classes and use a 5 subject notebook so that works out but having a separate folder for everything (I also have one for important documents + homework) so that NOTHING ever gets lost.

 

What tips do you have for staying organized?

❤ Alicia ❤

The final countdown

Hi, all and happy Wednesday. Yesterday marked the one month left of school mark. I finish classes April 27th and then will be heading home around May 1st. It is so crazy to see how quickly this year has gone by and how soon I will be heading home for the summer.

This year I started out so unsure. So unsure of myself, so unsure of my university choice, so unsure of my major (still a little unsure), so unsure that Ohio was the right place for me, and so unsure of my decision-making abilities.

Here I am, almost 8 months later. I’m still not sure about a lot of things, but one thing is for sure- I can make good, even great decisions. When I trust my gut and not let the opinions of others change my mind, I can move mountains.

I get terrible anxiety about most things that are uncertain. However, the best decisions of my life I have made have been uncertain. Taking a year off, going to Peru, and going to Ohio have been the 3 biggest uncertainties of my life. They have also been 3 of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Whether I decide to go to school for 2 more years, or just one, go to grad school now or later, leave the country or stay, I know that as long as I make the decision of myself, it will all work out in the end.

Even if this year I didn’t learn how to get marinara sauce out of a white shirt or how to accommodate my teaching for every single disability, I learned how to believe in myself, and in my opinion, that’s an even greater accomplishment.

❤ Alicia ❤

Rejection

Happy Friday everyone, I made it safely back home and am loving relaxing and taking a much-needed break. In my last post, I talked about how this semester has been pretty tough for me, in more ways than one. One of those ways is rejection.


Rejection is not something I am used to, by any means and until college, I really hadn’t been rejected (other than by boys but I don’t care about them). However, upon entering college rejection is around every corner it seems like.

In high school, when I applied for a leadership position, I got it. When I applied to college, I got accepted to 14 of the 16 schools I applied for. When I wanted good grades, I got them. When I applied for local scholarships, I got every one that I was eligible for. Easy as that.

However, recently, when I want something, really really really want something, bust my ass for it, I sometimes still don’t get it. It’s really humbling really, being rejected. However, it’s also soooo discouraging. Should I not apply for more leadership roles, is studying my butt off for something really worth it if I still don’t succeed? Should I apply for jobs if I most likely won’t get them??

I’ve been at war with myself for some time about this. I keep trying to do things and get experience, however, I keep coming up on the bottom. I’ve been rejected from 4 of the 5 positions I’ve applied for in the last 5 months and I’m almost certain I was one of the only people who applied for the position I actually got. I’m also in the running for 2 things right now so it may be 6/7 but we will have to wait and see.

Seeing that email from the group or place you applied to and having the first word not be “Congratulations!” is always soooo disheartening. You know you were rejected, you still open it and dissect every word from the email like “apply again next year” or “you were such a strong candidate” wondering if they mean that or they’re trying to make you feel better about not giving you the position.

I think the worst part about rejection is you start to hate them. You hate the people that decided your fate, who held your interview, even the person who got your position! You don’t mean to, obviously, but you do. I think it’s more jealousy than hatred, but it appears the same way. You don;t actually hate them and you want them to succeed in the position they’ve taken but you’ve already pictured yourself in that position, created made up scenarios discussing your position, helping others with problems while in that position and so much more that you start to think it’s yours already, until it’s pulled out from underneath you when you thought it was in the palm of your hand.

I’ve decided to do something though. I’ve decided to never stop trying. Fall down 7 times. Stand up 8 kind of thing.

It’s hard to not be envious of those people when you’re in that coulda been position but you have to try. You have to fake it till you make it when it comes to this. Become friends with these people and then you’ll realize that you should have never been envious in the first place.

It’s shitty, rejection is, but in all honesty, there is a reason when you don’t get something and someone else does. Whether they are more qualified, are better at interviewing, or whatever the case may be, but never give up and keep trying because the worst thing you can be told is no.

❤ Alicia ❤

8 down. 8 to go

Hi all, today marks the end of my eighth week in Ohio. I moved in literally 9 weeks ago today. Isn’t that crazy. It feels like I’ve just started yet we’re halfway done. Yet here I am, 9 weeks since that fateful night I was rethinking every aspect of me coming here, how I could transfer again, how I would make my dad drive 7 hours back to Ohio to pick me and all of my things up and head back home.

I had a really deep conversation about this with my roommate Wednesday night. Her friend is transferring to OU next semester so we were discussing our experiences and what we wish we knew, etc. She reassured me that she has also cried since being here. She cried about feeling alone, about credits not transferring, about not knowing what to do, etc. It made me feel so much better about my situation and wanting to go home and not thinking Ohio was the right place for me.

Olivia and I both agree that we haven’t made too many friends. CHAARG has helped immensely as have class and work and I’m making baby steps towards those ‘life-long college friends.’ But it’s hard.  It’s hard being singled out as transfer students. We aren’t surrounded by freshmen (people who also need/want friends) but we are surrounded by other transfer students (I can assure you that Olivia and I got the short end of the stick when it comes to the pick on our floor) and 2nd year students who have already found their niches on campus. Like I said, baby steps.

So, is school still weird? Yes, but a whole lot less weird. Ohio is beautiful and I love all of the people (minus those in Make America Great Again shirts). I truly believe that Ohio is the place I belong. Sometimes, though, I just wish I’d thought of Athens Ohio 3 years earlier.

Alicia