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Illustrated by: Lauren Adams.

Looking Back and Ahead

August 15, 2022

Q&A: Rising freshman, seniors talk opinions on OU, campus life.

By Hannah Campbell | Projects Editor

Starting college can be a life-changing experience for incoming freshmen. With new classes, new friends and a whole new campus awaiting them, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.

Seniors Kady Cushing, studying sociology and criminology, and Haley Janoski, studying communication studies, are reflecting back on their time at Ohio University before their last year begins. Meanwhile, rising freshmen Cass Cser, studying environmental science and sustainability, and Ali Addington, studying marketing, sat down to discuss their predictions of college life.

Q. Why did you dercide to Come to OU?

Addington: “I’m a fourth generation Bobcat, and it meant a lot to me to grow up having a family that really enjoyed going there and seeing the traditions. And then when you get to the campus… it’s just really beautiful and you can get a really good vibe from campus.”

Cser: “I went down for a college tour just because my aunt’s best friend went there. So I went there with her with an alumni, and I kind of fell in love with it… I fell in love with the campus but at the same time, I loved how inclusive it was. I felt like I was actually able to be myself.”

Cushing: “I am a transfer student. My first experience at my previous university did not work out the way I had hoped for, and my mom is an OU alum. She graduated in the class of 1995. So I have been taking college visits every year to OU since I was maybe 10-years-old… [One day], I looked to her and said ‘I’m going to end up here whether I like it or not.’”

Janoski: “I am in the Honors Tutorial College, and I was looking for a very individualized education that also had very kind and welcoming people. So I found that in HTC, but at OU at-large, every person I have ever met that’s gone to OU who was in any college or any way of life has loved their experience and will help anyone out.”

Q. What are/were you looking forward to most about starting college.

Addington: “I am super excited to get to meet a bunch of people, and then I’m also excited to take classes that are specific to what I am interested in.”

Cser: “I think what I’m most excited about, [which] is going to sound really nerdy, but probably my classes. Other than that, I think it would have to be getting away from everything I have ever known. My entire life, I have kind of just been like ‘I cannot wait to get out of this town.’”

Cushing: “When I came to OU, really what I was excited for most was a fresh start. I was looking forward to not only being at a school with a bigger campus and a larger student body, but I was also excited for the fact that I had a blank slate. I could just become whoever I wanted to be.”

Janoski: “I was really looking forward to living on my own and being able to have my own schedule, my own life. Ultimately, I was really excited just to get started and meet people in my classes and meet my professors.”

Q. What is/was the scariest thing about coming to College?

Addington: “We have never left home before, so leaving home and figuring out how to do certain things on your own. Certain things my parents would do for me [for] my whole life. Having to figure that out on my own here in exactly two weeks, it’s just so intimidating.”

Cser: “I think, as of right now, it is not knowing what is going to happen. The fear of the unknown is probably my biggest fear in all of this.”

Cushing: “Definitely the fact that I was transferring in as a sophomore. And by that time, everybody had already made their own friend groups… so, I just threw myself into the lion’s den essentially. I was most nervous about finding a crack to squeeze into.”

Janoski: “The scariest thing about coming to college was starting over again. I was very active in high school… and I loved having a schedule, having a routine… so, that made me very anxious at the start, but I threw myself into new opportunities and situations and felt comfortable very quickly.”

Q. What is the best piece of advice you've recieved so far for college?

Addington: “I feel like the best piece of advice… is to get involved. Everyone says that going to the involvement fair and involving yourself in different things is the best way to meet people with similar interests who are also different.”

Cser: “My aunt’s best friend, I told her that I got accepted, she told me one thing. It was that no matter what happens, do not lose yourself, because you can focus on school and focus on the popularity… and you can really easily lose yourself and who you actually are during this time.”

Cushing: “My entire life, I have been a perfectionist. As someone who is constantly striving to be my best, it was very, incredibly stressful. So my mom sat me down one day, and she told me that instead of trying to do my best, just to do what I can that day. Because your best is constantly fluctuating and your best is constantly changing.”

Janoski:•“Ask questions. Everybody I have met has been willing to answer questions if I am confused. So people have all had their difficult ways in getting through college and they are happy to share their knowledge with you.”

Q. What aspect of yourself do you think will change/has changed the most during college?

Addington: “Definitely just gaining independence. I guess I don’t know where that will take me, but I feel like you kind of come into your own.”

Cser: “So, right now I am fairly introverted. When I was at orientation, I met so many new people and added so many new people on [Snapchat] and just got to know a lot of people, and that normally is not me. I really think [college] is going to bring me out of my shell. Feeling comfortable and actually finding [my] people.”

Cushing: “Definitely my mentality about myself as a person… In the back of my mind when I was younger, I was always worrying about if people liked me and how I could make people like me. The minute that you stop trying to please everybody and start focusing on your happiness, the better off you will be.”

Janoski: “I’d say it’s my comfort with myself. I’m queer, and I knew that in high school and I wasn’t out. But when I came to college, I found so many people like me and also people who it makes you no different to them. So finding people and a wider community in general is just accepting of a large variety of people, that is something that has changed me and made me more Haley.”

AUTHOR: Hannah Campell
EDITOR: Alyssa Cruz
COPY EDITOR: Lydia Colvin