Major: Health Communication and Public Advocacy
Graduated: May 2017
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Involvement while on Campus: POWER/GAMMA – Certified Peer Health Educator, Communication Resource Center Mentor, Eco Reps, Schey-talks contestant, Live Healthy Appalachia intern, professional and 21st Century Leadership Certificates

How has the transition been from school to the “real world”?bobcat2

I’ll be the first to say my choice to delay an entering of “the real world” for the first few months after graduation shaped my path quite differently in comparison to most of my bobcat buddies. Traveling alone with a backpack for four months, couch-surfing, and NGO-volunteering overseas thirteen days post-college graduation may not exactly be the expectation for young professionals in the states. I think this experience guided me toward my “real world” internship with refugee resettlement and employment in integrative mental health.

My fear of a no-syllabi-lifestyle was not exactly negated from traveling, but delayed until the following autumn when my close friends felt a bit settled in their new positions with jobs and higher education and I was over here like “aw man! I bet everyone is having a BLAST together in Athens on this snow day!”

Fast-forward to now, feeling a bit more grounded in nourishing my personal and professional goals, without parents or classmates as roommates, I’d say I’m embracing this hilariously inconsistent phase of my young adult life quite well!

What campus resources or roles helped you most for the position you have now?

Holding a position as The Director of Community Outreach for an integrative mental health and wellness center and I’d totally give a good amount of credit to my experience with POWER/GAMMA. I mean just take a gander at the acronym! POWER: Promoting Ohio University Wellness, Education and Responsibility. I think it speaks for itself on behalf of my aspired career endeavors. The CLDC was also an incredible resource, along with the majority of my COMS courses.  I am a firm believer in getting out what you put in, so I’d say most of my campus involvement allowed me the necessary growth to interact, create, and question in leading this non-student lifestyle.

What was the most important thing you learned about yourself during your time at Ohio University?

Professors are people just like you and me – humans filled with dreams, stubborn tendencies, maybe even hoarding a dirty mug or two in their room. They are people who are willing to hear me state my cause. Putting them in a box as misunderstanding sticklers would have made my undergrad experience less meaningful with a lower GPA. Asking for help while being willing to go the extra mile for my personal well-being was imperative to my undergrad survival.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?

Let’s send out intentions toward a phase of financial stability, a full bookshelf and a lot of plants. Opening an inclusive holistic wellness center for Refugees/Migrants? That’s a goal of mine. Oh. No pets. definitely no pets. (Watch me have a pet.)

What advice would you give to current Bobcats?

Whether you feel completely set in your adult career endeavors or you’re still struggling with turning off a light in a room when exiting, embrace vulnerability. No one is focused on your post-grad decisions as much as you are, which in my opinion, is extremely motivating. This understanding acts as a reminder to take calculated risks. To authentically act upon your truth, over and over and over. Also, try and take as many naps as you can at the Scripps amphitheater between classes when the sun is out. You won’t regret it.

What is/was your favorite thing about being a Bobcat?

I found OU on a whim during my journalism class senior year of high-school, with 3 minutes until all submissions for prospective college visits were due. I was completely set on attending a school in Chicago, until I had a realization in the middle of Chicago, that I’m not into a subway commute to an intro to COMS class. An Appalachian town with cheap pizza, an incredible farmer’s market and a state park just a bike ride away would suit my needs. But with all joking aside, Ohio University provides an undeniable sense of community, on and off campus, and for this, I am eternally grateful.

Interview conducted by CLDC Social Media Intern Kate Ansel

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