College Connections: Kent State and Ohio U

 

 

Ohio schools may have more in common than you think. Take a look at a senior experience at Ohio University versus a freshman experience at Kent State through two of Her Campus’ writers, Brooklynn K. and Natalie E.!

 

(Editors’ note: Brooklynn asked Natalie questions and Natalie asked Brooklynn questions)

 

Natalie E., a freshman at Kent State University

As a first-year student at Kent State, what is the biggest struggle you have had adjusting to the campus?

“I honestly love the campus so much! I spend a lot of time on Front Campus and I find it so charming. As far as struggles go, I would say that the amount of people was very overwhelming at first. I was so accustomed to my small high school where I knew everybody, so coming here and seeing hundreds of new faces all of the time was really discomforting! I felt completely swallowed up at first.”

 

What is your favorite experience so far?

“PRSSA had a meeting where Trina Morris, who does PR in the fashion industry in New York City. She also teaches Kent State fashion students when they study in The Big Apple. She was so open and honest, while being inspiring and engaged. She spoke about how she started her career with internships, and how it isn’t always easy. Overall, her Skype session helped me to believe in myself and consider doing something brave to get the career I want someday (like moving to New York, maybe?).”

(Kent Halloween is legendary! Here I am dressed as a bandit before heading to a costume party with my friends)

What is your favorite study spot on campus and why?

“I would have to say the lab we have in our dorm. I live in a Communications Commons so everyone in my building is some sort of comms major! When I study in our lab, there is always someone who can answer my questions.”

(Natalie and friends participating in Kent State Homecoming)

Besides HCKSU, have you gotten involved in other organizations?

“I am a Public Relations major so I joined our campus’ chapter of PRSSA. The officers are all incredibly helpful and really inspiring students. We get to hear from different speakers about work in the PR field, and it’s a great way to meet other people in my major!”

 

I know you looked into attending OU, what made you make the switch to KSU?

“It ultimately came down to location! I still think OU has one of the most beautiful campuses, and I have so much respect for the Scripps school there. I just had a change of heart and decided that I wanted to be closer to my friends and family. Kent’s Journalism and Mass Communication school is really amazing and the faculty are willing to help you anytime you need it. I think either way I would have been happy, but the opportunity to get home more has been comforting.”

 

 

(Pictured above is my best friend from high school visiting me in my dorm)

Who has influenced you the most at KSU and why?

“Stephanie Smith, my Principles of Public Relations professor. She is my favorite professor and she teaches my favorite class this semester! She is incredibly experienced in the PR field and she has really helped me to understand the career options ahead of me. Her class makes me confident in my decision to be a PR major, and she encourages all her students to find meaningful jobs.”

What do you like about Kent State?

"I like that the upperclassmen are really nice and always willing to help you, the Starbucks that allows you to use your meal plan , the beautiful new architecture building, the awesome professors, the fashion students that are always dressed really cute, Peace, Love, and Little Donuts downtown is the best place to satisfy your sweet tooth and the concerts at The MAC (Ke$ha and The 1975 so far!)”

What don't you like at Kent State?

"I don't like the long wait at Einstein Bros. Bagels, Rosie’s pizza and that there is no AC in my dorm”

Any last thoughts?

“Overall, I think the transition to college life is a lot harder than people say! I’ve had plenty of fun and I have met a lot of really awesome people, but the complete and total change has been a huge adjustment! Every week I am getting more comfortable and having better luck finding my niche. I can not believe how fast it has all gone! Some Christmas decorations have started to pop up and I’m baffled that finals are creeping up! Go Flashes!

One thing I am discovering about college is that no matter where you go to school, countless opportunities will come to your campus! The 1975 came to perform a concert on October 30th, so that was amazing to see one of my favorite bands perform only a two-minute walk from my dorm! I also love the scholarly activity always going on. On Halloween, Hillary Clinton came to KSU and spoke in our Recreational center! I cannot put into words how truly empowering it was to see the Democratic nominee in person! She wore one of her signature red paint suits and gave an incredibly honest speech about the upcoming election. Both of these events were very different, yes, but they were both things that I am so thankful to have been a part of. I wouldn’t have had these opportunities if i wasn’t studying here at Kent!

Xo,

Natalie

 

 

Brooklynn K., a senior at Ohio University

What was the biggest struggle you faced your freshman year, and how did you overcome it?

“Honestly, I was really homesick because I went through the typical college breakup within the first half of the semester. It made me come home a lot and that caused me to not make many friends because I never wanted to leave my room *sad face.* My second semester, I got involved in my sorority and Her Campus, so that really kick started my love for the organizations on campus and staying at OU for the weekends. I wish I would have found an organization I loved the first semester that would have helped me keep my mind off homesickness, but I am glad I found the ones I did.”

 

Now that you are a senior (woohoo go you!) what can you look back on and wish you would have done differently?

“I wish I could redo my freshman year and not be so sad. I really have found my leadership skills and passion for learning since then, but I wish it would have started sooner. I definitely wish I would have rushed Greek Life in the fall for the full experience, because I did/do feel left out of that experience. I also think I would have double-majored in a business field had I known how much I enjoy those classes.”

(Morgan, left, Brooklynn, middle, and Casey, right, during Homecoming 2016 festivities)

How did you know OU was the school for you?

“I give this spiel as a Tour Guide all of the time, but I didn’t know it was for me until I hit the button on College Decision Day and said, ‘I guess I am going to OU.’ Once I attended orientation, I became much more excited to join the Bobcat community and live on such a beautiful campus in a perfect college town. Looking back, I would have never thought that click of a button was the best decision I would ever make.”

 

What are your top three best memories in Athens?

“Shoot, this is a really hard question because I have so many amazing memories. One that tops most is my first time on a Court Street roof. I looked out over the street to see people stumbling home (it was approximately 2AM) and looked up to see the clear night sky. I really took in the experience because being on a Court Street roof had been on my bucket list for a while, but I never knew how to get to one. I’ve been back once, and I will probably do it more times because the moments seem so special. Another collection of memories is the times I have visited Bong Hill. Being able to climb to the top of an Appalachian Hillside and look out over the place I have called hOUme gives me chills. It’s calm and serene and really makes me appreciate how well I have it here. Celebrating my 21st birthday in Athens was extremely fun as well but any time I go out I feel like I get to celebrate something just because I am in Athens.”

(Brooklynn, left, Mallory, middle, and Allie are all Her Campus members in Delta Zeta)  

What are your future plans after graduation?

“Shhhhh. We don’t say the ‘g’ word. In the spring, I am applying for the Disney College Program to hopefully head to Orlando in the fall to pursue my dreams of working for Disney. I hope to climb the ladder while I am there to get to corporate event planning or social media. I am also hoping for another trip across the sea next summer or at least a celebratory vacation to somewhere new!”

(Brooklynn and her sorority sisters, including her alum best friend, on HallOUween 2016)

What will you miss most about Athens, OU, or just college in general? What are you most excited to leave behind?

“Here come the tears. No, seriously, my eyes are welling up as I type this. Athens and OU has treated me so well with all of the opportunities I have been given, experiences I have had, and the people I have met. Being involved in such a great school and a wonderful community just to leave to start over again scares the hell out of me. I never want to leave (or so I say now). For college in general, it’s going to be so hard not being in walking distance of my best friends. I am already 4.5 hours from my best friend this year and being without the rest makes me feel like crying even more. College is so great. You get the chance to explore, make mistakes, grow, and discover what you really love. I don’t feel like there will be another time like it, though people try to say, ‘The best is yet to come,’ I don’t believe it. I don’t even think I am excited to leave anything behind. I really do love college and OU.”

 

In what ways (besides Her Campus) have you been involved during your time at OU?

“I joined Delta Zeta my second semester freshman year and have been very involved in it by being the Internal Social Chair and Sisterhood Chair, and actively participating in Greek Week and other events. I am also Co-President of the Communication Studies honors society, Lambda Pi Eta, and I was in a social media marketing group but it faded so I keep up with the old accounts I used to work with for special events. I also have three jobs, so I am busy. I love staying active in whatever I can do. I think I can make a progressive difference and I strive to do my best.”

 

I creeped your Insta (no apologies there, your feed is too much fun) and noticed that you spent time abroad! What did you gain from that experience? And what advice would you give to girls who want to travel sometime during their college careers?

“Awh, thanks! I visited my friend from high school that was an exchange student from Germany, so I didn’t actually study abroad but I completely recommend it! Taking a trip on my own was powerful because it taught me to be more independent-- even if it was just for the airplane ride. I really enjoyed traveling alone, but I definitely needed my friend as a guide when I got there. My advice is to do it. Work your butt off, save money and book a trip. It doesn’t matter where as long as you have a plan and a passion to travel. I can’t wait for my next trip!”

 

How has Greek life impacted your college career and what advice would you give to someone on the edge about joining a sorority?

“Greek Life helped when I didn’t know many people and I wanted to get involved. You meet so many people within the first few weeks and that’s nothing compared to the amount you’ll meet over your time in school. Greek Life also helped my resume (see above) because of all the opportunities I have taken in it. My advice for this one is to try it. Go through rush and see if you like it. It will be different, but it may be a good different for anyone who is looking for closer bonds, great experiences, and a network of women empowering each other. Go Greek!”

 

Xo,

Brooklynn