My hOUme away from home

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With being home now for three days and my first year of college over with, it’s hard to believe how quickly the year went by. In a blink of an eye, I went from moving into my dorm to saying goodbye to all the wonderful people I have met and grown to love throuhout these past nine months.Don’t get me wrong, I love being home, but I know deep in my heart, OU is my home now.

When I first came to Ohio University, I was beyond scared and nervous for the task I was about to take on. Being from a city 30 minutes out of Chicago, I was the only person from my school, the district, and the close area around me to attend this great university. That being said, I came here, 500 miles away from home with really knowing no one except my roommate Ben and even that was slight.

Easy to say, I had a lot of pressure on me to make new friends and find my way being in a different culture and being around different people for the first time in my life. When I moved in on Thursday, all I wanted to do was be with my parents and spend every last second with them that I could. However, after a nice dinner and my parents taking me back and heading to the hotel for the night, I got a good glimpse of what college and what it was like to be a Bobcat.

I’ll save the whole story, but my first night here after unpacking everything and getting my room set up in Gamertsfelder Hall, room 321, I went to a bar with my roommate and his friends. Can’t ask for a better start to your college career right? After being there for about an hour and being tired, I went out on my own and started to explore the city of Athens and try to make my way back to my dorm that night. After trying to remember directions and spots from orientation, I ended up right by Alden across from Gordy Hall at the sign trying to find my way back to what was my home for the next nine months.

After that, I went home and looked up airline tickets to try and find the cheapest way for me to come home in about a month so I could go home and see my favorite NASCAR driver race one last time. Yes, I wanted so bad to be home and this after I wanted to get out and go to college for so many years. However, the next day is what changed me and really started my journey into the person I have become and the friendships that I have made since I arrived at OU.

In my first night out with now everyone moved in, my roommate, along with his buddies and some new guys named Tyler, Danny, and Elliot, all went over to the new apartments to try and hang out and party. As we got there, Danny and Tyler left, but this was where I became great friends with my man Elliot and we hit it off the entire night. We talked about football, talked music, talked about life, and it was great meeting someone who was in my dorm and shared the same interests as I did.

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Ever since that night, we have always been friends and I am damn proud to have met him and share some of my first college experiences with him. Also, shout out to Erin for taking this nice photo of us when we went out on a Wednesday. With Elliot being my first friend since moving here, it was off to try and find others who I can fit in with.

Within the next few days, I started to hang with my neighbors, Tyler and Danny and started to get closer to them after meeting them that Friday after everyone moved in. From there, they introduced me to two great people, Patty and Sophie and before I knew it, I had a little group that I could go out with on the weekends, talk and hang within the dorms, and go to dinner with. Little by little, I started making my way and meeting new people.

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This photo was taken within the first month of school at a party we were lucky to get into, but ever since that night, I had a sense of being accepted by them and I am glad to call them both friends as we head into summertime. Thank you, Sophie, for sending me this picture of us and I am super excited to be going to your cottage in a month. Patty, thank you for being the most laid back girl I have ever met and for being someone who just wants to have a good time. To both, thank you for being my friend and for thinking of me as such. I don’t know if you two knew this or not, but I had a tough time with girls growing up and you two made it so easy to get to know you and be chill with. Don’t mean to sound petty or have it sound weird, I just can’t thank you two enough.

With that being said, I started off nicely with a solid group of people to know. However, I felt as though something was missing and that I should make a decision that would get me to meet even more people and make new friends in the process.

When I first came to school, I had no intentions whatsoever of joining a fraternity. I wasn’t about the hazing, I didn’t like the expectations and rumors that could go along with it, and I just never saw myself as a “frat boy.” With all that said and if you can follow where I might be going with this, I did end up joining a fraternity and am a proud member of Theta Chi for life. It was a decision that at the time was a no-brainer for me. It was a re-founding chapter, there were only about 20 guys in it, the money I thought was affordable, and with my dorm friends Tyler, Danny, Patrick, Tyler, and Jarred all deciding to join and getting bids, I knew that I had to be next. In result, I ended up being given the last bid for the semester and was able to join and call myself a re-founding father. This was easily the best decision I made since coming to OU.

As the semester went on, I got closer and closer to the guys. We went to football games together, met for lunch and dinner, saw each other at the house, went to chapter meetings, and grew as a brotherhood. After initiation, I was named PR Chairman for the chapter and later on as some of the brothers were not going to return next semester, I stepped in and am now the Recruitment Chairman as well. Since then we went from 21 guys to when I joined, to 16, and now we stand at 23 as I leave for the semester.

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Needless to say, joining Theta Chi was by far the best decision I have made this year and one of the best in my lifetime. The joy I have being with these guys day in and day out, working to make our name big across campus and doing things the way we want to just really makes me feel at home and I’m glad to have surrounded myself with a great group of guys. With that said, shoutout to all of my brothers: Dylan, Danny, Tyler, Tyler, Austin, Alex, Schrock, Adam, Noah, Justin, Josh, Jake, Jake, Joe, Kyle, Cyle, Nick, Jarred, P.J., Liam, Cameron, and Dallas. I love you guys to death and I can’t wait for what we have planned for next semester and beyond. Happy to call you guys not just friends, but brothers for life and I will cherish every second with you as if it’s my last.

With me now being a brother and getting to know all the guys well, it was time to expand even more for myself and meet new people. With that, I was able to meet two new people Loren & Leah. It was a blast getting to know them more and more as the year went on and I’m glad to have gotten so close to you girls especially during the spring semester. For Loren, I will always cherish the times listening to Chance and hanging out in room six and just vibing as well as the times we all went to Strouds. It’ll be hard not being around you every day and being real with someone as real as you. As for Leah, thank you for basically being our mom of the fraternity (sorry Danny). You are such a great person to talk to and tell stories about each other and I’m going to miss those times when you would come to the house to do homework and want someone to talk to during breaks and such. Also, thank you for wanting to get to know me so well when we first met. That honestly meant the world to me when you would ask me questions about me and we would have a conversation off of that or whatever it is we were talking about at the time.

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Sorry, Loren for not having a picture with you. We’ll change that either during the summer at Sophie’s or at my house on the fourth.

Overall, Theta Chi has introduced to me to some amazing people and I’m glad to have met them and call them friends as I move onto my second year of school. However, as I said, I did live in a dorm… For basically the first semester. I have my reasons that I don’t want to share on here, but if you’re close to me, you know why I never slept in my dorm second semester. That being said, in my one semester in Gam, I had the luxury of meeting some incredible people and have been friends of mine ever since the first few months of school.

When I first had classes, I met one of the first-floor Gam girls, Maddie. We had the same nutrition class together and would walk to class at 8:00 in the morning to go and learn about what to eat and what not to eat. Ever since then though, we have been great friends and am happy to have someone who is so understanding and so cool to be around. I’ll never forget our walks to and from class and the numerous times working on econ quizzes and nutrition projects. In addition to Maddie, I met Erin, another first-floor Gam girl. Erin, you are the craziest person to be around and I love being with you at parties or whenever we go out elsewhere. I’ll never forget your dance moves, our trips to West 82 after history class or public speaking, or our deep talks about drama or issues that either one of us would be having at the time. Just want both you and Maddie to know, I’m always here for you two and I can’t wait for what next year holds in store for all of us.

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In addition to Maddie and Erin, I was introduced to Kenzie. You guessed it, another first-floor Gam girl. Kenzie, I will always remember the late night ping pong sessions, the late night Jimmy John’s runs with you, me, and Wilson and our great times either going out or hanging at the house. I love that you were someone to watch the Academy Awards with and I’ll cherish the fact that we were watching the whole debacle at the end with picture of the year when it was given to La La Land, but was soon then taken away. Yes, I agree, La La Land should have won it. You won’t hear a debate from me on that, despite me never seeing it. But I appreciate how much you love Disney and the fact that we were able to go see Beauty and the Beast together and occasionally meet up for food or coffee to talk and catch up on things. I know it’ll be rough not having all of us back in Athens for four months, but it’ll go by quickly! Thank you for always thinking of me as a friend and good luck with preparing for Hairspray. I can’t wait to come and see it.

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Overall, as I finish up this post, I am so grateful for meeting the people I have during my first year at college and I know going forward we will make so much more and better memories as we did this past year. For those who I forgot to mention throughout this post, I want to say thanks to Joe, Rachel, Kaitie, and Tommy P for being great people and I hope to see you all next year and have a better year then we had this year.

As I start my summer off, it’s a bit weird not waking up in Athens every day. Within time, it’l’ be weird not going through Court St. day in and day out. It will be weird not going to the Skull on Wednesday for karaoke night, not going to West 82 and getting a decent meal, meeting up at the fraternity house to either watch a game or hang with the guys, taking late night car rides with the bros, being a designated driver for those who go to the bars, and just not being around the same people I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting so close to.

Athens and Ohio University is a part of me now. I can confidently say that as I am writing this post. I know what it means to be a Bobcat and more importantly, know what it means to me a college student. I can see now why everyone who I talk to always says they wish they could go back to college and not high school or middle school. It’s because of college I have the blueprint for the person I want to become and have the goals to what I want to do after school. I know I am in a great situation and know that there is no better place for me than Ohio University. These four months away will be hard, but when I go back, all I have to say is, it’s on.

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Also, can’t forget to shout out my boys Wilson and Austin. Thank you guys for being my closest friends and brothers at school and it was a great ride this past semester. The Big 3 will always be together forever or 4 if we want to count Nick, aka cuatro to the group. But you guys are some of the best people I have met in my lifetime and thank you for introducing me to your culture and way of living and for doing so much for me like rides and food this past year. I promise when you guys come up for the fourth I got yall.

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