This is my final week in Columbus- my last week as a graduate student and as a resident of this city that I truly love. I am amazed at the difference that two years have made- I finally feel ready to enter the workforce! But graduating means leaving behind the life that I have built here, which is not easy.
Here’s where the story starts: I applied to OSU because of a boyfriend. He was moving to another city in Ohio and I wanted to be close by- so I added OSU to the long list of schools that I applied to. But when I took a tour of campus a few weeks later, I knew that I belonged here and that this was my choice. Receiving a graduate assistantship (which meant that I would have no student debt) sealed the deal, and I moved to Columbus about a month and a half before classes started.
It felt like the longest month and a half of my life. I had very little money, nothing to do all day, and knew no one. I spent those agonizingly long days going to the local public library (for the free internet and glorious air conditioning), exploring the business school, trolling the Fisher Connect site to apply to internship positions that had already been posted, and wondering what I had gotten myself into.
And then the day of the MLHR bootcamp arrived- I finally got to meet my classmates and some of the faculty and staff. I realized that the class work would be difficult, finding an internship would be even harder, and feeling like I was smart enough to deserve to be here would take time.
Over the past two years I have written countless papers, delivered individual and group presentations on topics ranging from work/life balance programs to HR information systems, and debated in class with professors. I have read and re-read what feels like every HR-related Harvard Business Review article and case study; gotten frank feedback about my leadership strengths and weaknesses; and with a wavering voice and tears in my eyes, shared my struggles and vulnerabilities with the rest of the Leadership Legacy class. It has been the developmental experience of a lifetime.
While your class work is important and you are in the MLHR program to further your education, don’t forget that this can be so much more than two years of schooling. It is with a heavy heart that I leave the comfort of graduate school and move on to the next stage of my life. I plan to walk through campus each day this week, drinking everything in so that I won’t forget- but I have a feeling that remembering this place won’t be hard at all.
Before I sign off with my last blog post, I leave you with a few photos I took this afternoon of my favorite spot on campus: Mirror Lake.