During my second year at Ohio University, I lived in two very different residence halls. Unlike my previous "If walls could talk" blog where I go in-depth with every area of the building, I don't have as many photos saved of each living situation, but I will be sharing my experience and explaining each dorm.
To start, I first moved into Bryan Hall. Bryan sits close to uptown (technically considered to be on East Green) and is at the top of "Bryan Steps".
Bryan Hall was a traditional style dorm built in 1948 and named after Elmer Burnitt Bryan, Ohio University's 11th President. The previous summer (2018), the bathrooms had been renovated so I never took/saved photos since they are the standard new bathrooms similar to those in Jefferson Hall. The rooms were still clearly older, as was the rest of the building. The only photos I have are of my roommates half of the room that I took when I moved in. I was in room 301, a corner room that made our layout much different than the rest of the standard doubles.
What makes Bryan Hall stand out is the built in closets that I personally have not seen in the other residence halls. Something that's also unique is the large "basement" lounge area that provides room to do homework or hangout with friends. Lastly, since the bathrooms are recently renovated, they were probably the nicest community bathrooms that you could find on campus.
Within a couple of months, I had received an offer to move and be a Resident Assistant. It was a dream come true. I was hired for Wray Complex on South Green (Back South/"Dirty" South/previously "New" South), which during the 2018-19 school year included Hoover House, Ewing House, Wray House and Dougan House. I was specifically hired in Ewing House on the fourth floor in room 402.
The residence halls within the complex were unique in that they were mod style. This meant that for my particular floor, my room was in the middle connected to a hallway that led to a central community living space on either side. Each mod had a study room and two hallways with six residents in each who shared a bathroom.
Ewing House was built in 1969 and named in honor of Thomas Ewing, one of the first two students to graduate from Ohio University. Ewing, along with the other residence halls built in Back South, were built quickly due to the projected increase in residents, which unfortunately never reached the max estimation. Many of the buildings have been closed due to their poor conditions, already torn down, or are scheduled to be torn down this summer (2019). Housing & Residence Life also has a long term plan to eventually build new residence halls. While buildings in bad condition shouldn't house students, I hope that if/when new residence halls are built, the university considers a style similar to the mods.
Having never lived in a mod style building before, I wish I had lived there my freshman year. As a resident, you have to walk through the community area to leave and it's easier to make friends with the people you live with. You also have the privacy of the community area to just your floor, and the option to still hangout in just your room.
Another uniqueness about these buildings is that they are all connected by the "catwalk" via the first floor of each building. The ground floors are left empty of residential rooms due to the potential flood risk that the Hocking River grants. While the Hocking hasn't flooded the green in many years, during major previous flooding the catwalk was a necessity for students to leave their residence halls. It will be very interesting to see what the university decides to do with new buildings, the space, style and catwalk.
Next year for the 2019-20 school year, Ewing House will be closed due to the lack of freshmen students enrolling. With numbers down, it would cost more money to keep the building open for a few residents instead of housing students in other vacancies across campus. Considering the economy and the large expense that college is, less and less students are enrolling each year. With the buildings located on Back South already in a rough condition and set to be torn down within the next few years, it is likely that I may have been the last Resident Assistant to live in this room.
The photos I have of Ewing House are of my room alone (please excuse the stuff still in the room and the open drawers, I was in the process of moving out). While I loved living in this building, I did not capture photos of inside the mods. My reasoning behind this was that I will be a Resident Assistant again next year in a different building with a similar mod set up and didn't deem it to be necessary. I have also included the floor layout to the fourth floor to better understand the mod style, two views (one from the fourth floor and one from the first floor) that show the catwalk, and a photo of Wray House featuring the clock tower.
If you ever lived in Bryan Hall or Ewing House please leave a comment or contact me, and tell me about your experience and what it was like when you lived there.
This was hands down the hardest semester of my life. While I was in difficult classes, it wasn't so much school that made this semester so hard for me. It was my personal life and the battle within me that made it the absolute hardest thing I've gone through in a long time.
I've been through countless challenges, stressful situations and life changes, but I've never experienced something so heartbreaking and hard as I did this January. The second day of the semester (my personal first day of classes), my boyfriend broke up with me. I then had to work two hours later from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. as an RA doing rounds throughout the buildings, holding office hours and responding to any calls we may have had throughout the night. I was devastated. I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that someone would say, "I love you" one day and end it all the next. It only hurt me more when I discovered he lied about every reason he gave for breaking it off. He had actually been pursing someone new before he broke it off with me. Saying you didn't have time for a relationship really meant you didn't have time for two relationships.
"What was wrong with me that he needed someone else? Where did I go wrong? Is it something I said? Something I did? Is she better than me?" continued to run through my head every single day. I asked every "why?" question but no one could give an answer that resolved the internal conflict in my head.
Those first few weeks of the semester was full of awful thoughts, image issues and tears. I hated waking up in the morning to go to class. I hated waking up in the morning to do anything. I became focused on all the bad things. I couldn't sleep at night anymore, and I rarely ate a full meal. If it wasn't for my amazing coworkers (now my closest friends), I don't know how I would have healed.
Just a simple, "come over" message from a coworker brought me out of my room and into an environment where I was surrounded by people who soon became a major part of my support team. Throughout the entire semester, this amazing staff, whether they knew it or not, helped me gain strength again. My boss talked me through ever bad thought or question I had stuck in my head. I slowly began to heal, something I never thought I'd be able to do.
For those who continue to bring up my ex, the break up, or the other girl, PLEASE stop trying to talk to me or bring it up. Talking about it at this point just puts me right back to that night, and I'd rather forget. And yes, I realize I'm talking about it right now, but this is the last stage of healing for me.
Side note: For those who made fun of me or made comments this semester when I would sleep all day when I didn't have classes, or it was the weekend, I was sleeping because that was easier than dealing with my thoughts and emotions during that time. Please think about what someone might be going through before making a comment about it.
If you've reached this point, you're probably curious where the "comeback" part of the title comes in. Well, we've officially reached the fun part of this blog where I'm going to recap the amazing things that happened to me this semester!
To start, on February 16th, I was honored by the Women’s Center and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program as a leader during their annual event, “Celebrating Women: Leaders On and Off the Court”. This semester I also added the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Certificate to my coursework.
On March 7th, I was inducted into the Dr. Joseph A. Burke National Residence Hall Honorary chapter at Ohio University. NRHH is the premiere honorary supported by the leading international organization advocating for the interests and welfare of residence hall students, while also providing opportunities for their personal growth and development.
The comeback didn't just stop there. I was offered and accepted a PR and Content internship with the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. I am beyond excited for this amazing experience and opportunity to grow outside of classes this summer.
Yep, The comeback continued on April 2nd when I was awarded the generous Kay Murphy Price Scholarship at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism awards banquet. Kay Murphy Price was a Scripps alum who had a 33-year career as a feature writer with the Columbus Dispatch and Miami Herald. She was also an artist, winning awards for her poetry, and gourmet cooking, and dabbling with a paint brush. She established this scholarship for students with an interest in newspaper or magazine journalism.
Lastly, on April 13th, I was recognized by Housing & Residence Life for my Outstanding Contributions for Community as a Resident Assistant at the annual Student Staff Appreciation Banquet.
Among many other things that happened this semester, like gaining new friends, growing as an individual, making the Dean's list for the 6th time, or being asked to be the maid of honor in my sister's wedding, I came out as a stronger, whole person.
As for right now, I'm currently waiting for awards and chapter levels for Her Campus to be announced. I am also waiting and looking forward for my summer classes and internship to begin in a few weeks.
The following photos show the beauty of Ohio University and Athens, along with many other amazing moments from this past semester.
And just like that *snap* 2018 is over. This year has been a time of growth and change. I have learned from new experiences and have gone farther than I could have ever imagined. I am so excited to see what 2019 has in store for me.
This is the (2nd annual 🎉) collection of photos and videos from my year. This not only allows me to go back and see myself grow throughout the years, but everyone gets to see my year too and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! You also get to see that I do in fact own more than 3 outfits!
Thank you to everyone who has supported me this year and made it so amazing!
Happy New Year!
Check out these 2018 blog posts to see highlights from my year:
I just finished one Hell of a semester at Ohio University. After finishing summer classes, I immediately went straight into fall semester of my second year (technically junior credit wise class standing). I was also going in with a new leadership role as president and campus correspondent for Her Campus, an online magazine. I had plans and ideas and was ready to attack the semester. Little did I know this would be a semester full of growth, learning, odd interactions, and the cutting out of major negativity and toxicity in my life. I faced moments of stress and defeat, but saw joy and strength come in return. I have been extremely absent on my own blog with the amount of work I went through this semester, so as promised, here is a recap of my entire past semester:
I came into fall semester as an RA alternate meaning that I could be hired at any point or time up until around April of 2019. I was lucky enough to be picked to attend RA summer training that took place 2 weeks before the school year began. Going through training put me at the top of the list of other alternates when it came to hiring an RA mid semester. After training, it was ultimately a waiting game to see who and when the alternates who received training would be offered a position. In the meantime, I lived in Bryan Hall with a random roommate (who deserves her own blog post, but we'll save that for another day...).
Classes began August 27th. I would be taking 18 credit hours this semester with my last two core journalism classes in the workload. Starting the semester, I felt like I could handle the added stress and pressure of the difficult course-load and figured I knew enough college "tips" to get me through. Wow I was wrong, classes were difficult and took a lot of time. I also felt this was a hard semester because there wasn't a class that really stuck out to me as one that I enjoyed and loved going to.
With RA training and my first week of classes over, my boyfriend Vinny (EX) came down to OU to visit. We had an amazing time spending the long Labor Day weekend together eating, meeting friends and I took Vinny (EX) hammocking for his first time, but also we mainly just took a lot of naps.
As the semester continued, I kept grinding on with my school work. At this point of the semester, I was working hard to improve the Ohio University chapter of Her Campus. With many bumps along the way, a completely new team of writers, weekly meetings, emails and events, the work paid off. This semester I edited and published 106 articles and wrote 19 of those articles.
At the beginning of October, Vinny (EX) came down for another visit (this time with less naps). After an amazing weekend, I was saddened to go back to the reality of classes, my roommate and the waiting game of becoming an RA.
On October 25th, I was walking to my car (I honestly don't remember why) talking on the phone with my mom about the RA winter training that I was offered to do as an alternate earlier in the morning. I noticed that my Apple watch started vibrating out of control. When I finally looked down I saw the email offering me a position as an RA. My watch was going out of control because housing called me to offer me a position instead of RA alternate winter training, along with an email telling me the complex I was hired in. This job honestly saved me. I personally hated being in my room, did not enjoy who I had been living with and was unable to sleep at night with the stress of what I would do for housing in the future year if I was not hired.
Due to being hired the Thursday before HallOUween weekend, I was still able to go to the Court Street Block Party and enjoy the weekend with my friends. I went as Post Malone (and yes it was very scary how accurate the costume was). The Sunday and Monday following the weekend I spent packing my entire room and on Tuesday I got the keys to my new dorm (WHICH HAS ITS OWN BATHROOM!) and moved everything I owned in one day.
The week following was insane! The day of Halloween I had my first staff meeting with a meeting following that went over all of the information I would need, the site with our paperwork and the requirements I would need to meet by the end of the semester. I quickly put up my "about me" board and then went home for my birthday (which was planned and my supervisor allowed me to go!) I spent my first night back feasting on Chick-fil-A and going shopping at Target and the local craft store. The day of my birthday my family spent time exploring Stone Garden Farm & Village in Richfield, OH and the Everett Covered Bridge in Peninsula, OH and then got a late lunch/early dinner before heading home for cake and gifts. After a fun weekend home I held my first floor meeting with my new residents so that we all had a chance to meet each other!
Only a short two weeks later, I went home again for Thanksgiving break. Here are some photos from my time spent at home:
Another two short weeks later and I was home once again for an incredibly busy weekend home right before finals week. It was a stressful week leading up to coming home with closing floor meetings, the last Her Campus meeting of the semester, the last staff meeting of the semester and making sure that I worked on the FOUR final papers that were due the Tuesday of finals week, but it was all worth it to have a weekend off. Saturday was a full day spent celebrating Vinny's (EX) graduation!!! And then off to a holiday party for his new job.
Finals week was stressful and tiring as per usual, but rewarding since my official grades for the semester were four A's and two A-'s putting me on the Dean's list for the 3rd semester in a row!
Closing the dorm down as an RA was actually fast with only minor problems! My staff spent the next morning eating brunch and giving our secret Santa gifts away before we were released to go home. I have absolutely loved the time I have spent as an RA and cannot wait to continue next semester and the following year.
As of December 20th, it was announced that Her Campus Ohio U has returned to Pink Level chapter status and I couldn't be more proud of all the hard work everyone did to make it possible.
As for this first week home, I've spent my time relaxing before I begin scholarship and internship applications. I'm looking forward to returning to Athens early for more RA training and for my classes to begin. I'm excited to be moving onto a better semester with better, exciting classes, amazing friends who have my back and support me endlessly and a better, improved me ❤️
Long time, no blog. I haven't been too active on my own blog and I apologize. I have been quite busy this summer. To kick off my blog for this coming fall semester, I decided to give a recap of what I've been up to this summer.
This summer, I had a remote internship as a social media intern at a law recruiting company. I worked with Her Campus Nationals in becoming the new president and campus correspondent for Ohio University's Her Campus. I also took 9 credit hours online through Ohio University. These three things combined kept me quite occupied.
I also started seeing someone new! Among many dates, including an Indian's game, going to the drive-in and the Beyoncé and Jay-Z concert, I spent many summer nights busy with my new boyfriend (EX).
I was privileged enough to be invited to work as a member of JCrew for the E.W. Scripps High School Journalism Workshop at Ohio University this past July. I have attended this workshop as a student the past two years, which helped me determine that I wanted to go to OU. Being able to interact with young journalists and seeing the hard work they put into the couple days we were together was so rewarding.
My sister, mom and I took a trip to Niagara Falls, Canada in August before I returned to school. We had an absolute blast and hope to make a girls trip an annual trip.
Currently, I am at Resident Assistant (RA) training as an alternate RA. This means I can be hired from now until April (expect updates!). The days are long, but the training we have received will help exponentially once hired.
I am excited to be back on campus and I am looking forward to classes starting. I cannot wait to see what this year will hold for me!
My freshman year of college at Ohio University, I lived in Washington Hall. As summer begins, the hall will be closed for renovations and is set to re-open fall semester 2019. The hall was opened in the fall of 1955 and named in honor of the United States of America's first president, George Washington.
I wanted to be able to take pictures and post them to preserve the pre-renovated dorm since it will never look the same. These photos are from my corner room, 224.
These are from the building itself. Halls, lobby and bathroom. While not the best, this is where memories with new friends were made. Playing games in the lobby late at night, conversations in passing in the halls and the dreaded community showers.
Lastly, these are the writings from the inside of the closets and drawers. While these closets will be removed and thrown away, my roommate and I added our names to the growing list. I hope that future students start a list of names in their closets too.
It was important to me to post these pictures because it shows the history and changes in the building. The names in our closet show when the room was a boys vs. girls room or when it was a double vs. triple sized room. While the future students living in Washington Hall will have new things and new memories in the building, I would not change any of my memories, new friends or ghost experiences. Now if only these walls could talk.
(All photos are mine)
Goodnight freshman year
Goodnight College Green
Goodnight Morton and Jeff hill
And goodnight Scripps
Goodnight friends and goodnight roommate
And goodnight bricks
Goodnight Shively, Boyd and Nelson
Goodnight East Green
And goodnight to the squirrels on every Green
Goodnight Emeriti Park
Goodnight Ohio University
Good morning year 2!
Had an absolutely crazy first year of college at Ohio University, but I am so happy for the experiences, friends and memories I have made. Until fall 💚
(Inspired by the children's book "Goodnight Moon")
(All photos original unless stated)
While eating dinner on a casual Friday night, I received a text message from Ohio University notifying students that classes for Monday were cancelled, "in anticipation of severe weather and potential flooding." Emails from housing soon came in telling students to expect power and water outages and to try and go home if possible. Within moments, in classic Ohio University fashion, Flood Fest was created.
While the weather was poor for most of the weekend, Sunday and Monday turned out to be beautiful, sunny days that were perfect to spend time outside working on homework, hangout with friends and the option to go to a "fest" party was available.
After getting food Sunday afternoon, my friends and I decided to take a walk to see the Hocking River. This was the supposed culprit of potential flooding. The river runs along a bike path (Hockhocking Adena Bikeway) that follows the outer edge of campus. After seeing the height and speed of the river, we started walking on the path. Before we knew it, we were practically on the other side of campus where you are able to see the Ridges (former Athens Lunatic Asylum) in the distance and I noted how I had never been there. My one friend said how cool it was and that she would take me so we decided to make an impromptu climb up and explore the property.
The Ridges is currently owned and used by Ohio University for some classes, offices and storage. The main building is currently the home to the Kennedy Museum of Art. But most importantly, the Ridges is known for the hauntings that happen to go on due to its history as a lunatic asylum (stories can be found with an easy Google search).
I am not going to lie when I say the Ridges are spooky. The black crows, often a symbol of bad luck and death, circling above along with vultures sitting atop buildings gave a very unsettling vibe. The architecture of the buildings gave a "horror movie opening scene" image in my head, and the open windows that should not be open in buildings that are closed off to the public just did not feel right.
We further investigated the property, finding one of the multiple cemeteries with most graves just marked with a patient's number. It was heartbreaking knowing the mistreatment that went on within the walls of the asylum, and the lost souls of those who did not belong in a place like that at all such as veterans suffering PTSD, teens who were considered rebellious and the elderly when family could no longer take care of them. It was an important lesson in how far as a society we have come with mental illness, but is a reminder that there is still plenty of work to be done to improve mental health treatment.
*Disclaimer* We were not trespassing, the Ridges and the surrounding land are open to the public
Police Magnum OC-17 Pepper Spray in a pink carrying case with a matching pink cat self defense keychain were gifted to me in my Easter basket the spring before my first fall semester at Ohio University. When arriving at school, I had both keychains attached to my lanyard.
Let me set the scene:
It is opening weekend and I had just moved in on Friday. The university plans multiple events for students to meet each other and bond with their roommates. These activities include a comedy show at the Convocation Center, Party at Ping (food, animals, photo booth, caricatures, etc.), academic college welcomes and the president's convocation amongst other activities.
I was going to go to the comedy show with my roommate at the time and planned to head back to the dorm after. She decided to go to a news viewing and was nervous about walking home alone, so I let her borrow my pepper spray and gave it to her before the comedy show.
Before we were let in, security checked our bags and found the pepper spray, saying it could not be taken into the Convocation Center. I took one for the team and took my pepper spray and did not go to the show.
Every since this "event", I left my pepper spray on my desk. I figured that I rarely walked alone when it was dark out and I still had my other defense keychain. I felt safe.
Second semester starts and I feel confident in my classes, dorm situation and overall wellbeing. This all changed when I was getting out of the shower and heard a guy in the bathroom (he was not someone who lived in my dorm and apparently did not understand that it was a women's bathroom). Of course when he heard me he left, but it brought that fear that is always in the back of your mind right into the open. All I would have to defend myself was a plastic defense keychain and frankly I do not think I would have been very successful in defending myself in that situation.
I do not want to become a statistic. I now carry my pepper spray everywhere I go.
It truly is a sad society in which we live in where I need to carry self defense keychains in order to be safe. I noticed when complimenting a girl who had a decorative glitter can of pepper spray that girls should not have to be taught to carry pepper spray in order to protect themselves. Instead, society should be teaching others to not attack each other.
After my first semester at Ohio University, I am able to look back to see the memories and success that came with it. Going to college is not only an important time of education and a road to a career, but it is a time to learn about yourself and who you really are as a person.
Making the transition from high school to college was hard but ultimately beneficial. I know things now that I would have never learned without furthering my education at OU. Here are 6 things that I discovered about myself:
1. I can live alone
After a week of classes, my roommate decided to move out due to differing viewpoints that had been assumed to be different before picking each other to room. While I have a new, awesome roommate who moved in the weekend before Thanksgiving, this left me living alone in a double sized dorm for multiple weeks. I learned that I can live completely alone. Yes, everyone is technically living alone and away from their parents when they go to school, but it is different being alone in a room when you had imagined to be living with someone for almost 6 months prior. I didn't have a roommate to depend on if I was locked out or for cleaning the room.
2. I can do my own laundry (barely)
The first time doing laundry completely alone was at OU. While I survived, I try to avoid the situation as much as possible. I went almost all semester without ruining clothes until finals week hit. The university gave everyone 4 free loads of laundry for the week so I decided to do my laundry before coming home for break and wash my blankets. While in the dryer a blanket melted leaving a purple plastic material and many of my clothes.
3. I don't eat as much as I thought
I am on a meal plan that gives 14 meals a week (2 meals a day). I originally thought that this would be just enough when in reality there has been weeks where I have 5-8 meals left over to use in the market because I didn't get a meal in the dining hall.
4. I live in the same couple of outfits
While I brought multiple cute outfit options to school, I find myself gravitating towards the same couple shirts and sweatshirts (a lot of OU apparel). I realized that I live in a clothing cycle and will rotate my clothes and where a lot of the same stuff. Let's be honest, why would I ever think I would wear a sundress running to class? Wearing comfortable clothes is much more manageable and can often double as pajamas if it is a late night.
5. I'm a bed creature
I not only sleep in my bed, I eat, study, watch Netflix, talk to friends, talk on the phone, etc. I personally do not like to study or do homework at a desk. I do my best work while sitting in my bed. I even have a comfy butterfly chair that I rarely sit in. Mostly my friends sit in it while I sit in bed. I just love being in my bed no matter the occasion.
6. I'm a late night shower-er
While living at home, I showered early so that laundry could be done, and so that I could go to bed early or that's what my mom thinks (sorry mom). This first semester, I learned that I love taking a shower late at night. The fact that nobody else rarely showered at that time was also a bonus. Showering marked the end to my evening. I had finished homework and studying for the evening and it was time to get ready for bed.
I hope that everyone has a successful second semester and that even more things are discovered about our own selves.
Check out my 2017 slideshow where my first semester is showcased!