Guest column

Catherine Black

Journey to Kent State

Kent State was not my first choice school. My dream journalism school was Ohio University – I still have my cherished acceptance letter. If you know anything about journalism schools in Ohio, then you know that Kent State and OU are fighting for the top-ranked spot. I almost attended OU in the spring, but I chickened out. I didn’t have the courage to leave my friends, family, dog and the house I had lived in for 20 years.

Flash forward to Aug. 19, the day I moved in to Kent. My mom made me a nice breakfast: fluffy blueberry pancakes and scrambled eggs. As I rested in my backyard from packing, I felt a huge lump in my throat. Then the tears came, and I thought they would never stop. It finally hit me: I am finally leaving for college, and although I am scared shitless, I am really going to do it.

On the drive to Kent I wiped away tears and tried to hide my puffy eyes from my parents.

“Are you all right?” my dad asked.

“I don’t know,” I replied, my voice quivering. I took a few deep breaths to keep my mind off leaving home and focused on the music playing. When Colbie Caillat’s “The Little Things” came on, I sang along full force and felt more at ease.

When I arrived, I took a long look at my new home, Centennial Court B. My parents took me to Wendy’s for dinner, dropped me off, and it was then that I was officially on my own. I met my roommate, Sarah, the next day. We had e-mailed a few times over the summer, and I felt like we would have no trouble getting along.

I took time to observe the campus before classes started, to get a feel for how life at Kent State would be. I smiled as I watched furry, black squirrels scurry across campus and climb up trees. I began to feel a sense of freedom and independence I had never felt so distinctly before. I reflected on what I might want to accomplish at the university. I knew I wanted to join a few clubs and get involved with community service activities – new experiences that could open my eyes to endless possibilities of college life and help me grow as a person.

“College is what you make out of it,” my parents told me. Of course, they are right, as parents always are. I know I want to enjoy my time at Kent State and not treat my education as something to just “get through.” Maybe the required math class for a journalism major doesn’t sound like fun, but being educated on subjects outside your major is part of a well-rounded education. Not everyone has the opportunity to attend college, whether it’s due to family or financial circumstances. Why not make the most of it?

When you think of a gift, what comes to mind? A box with colorful wrapping paper and a pretty bow given to you on holidays or birthdays? Each student at Kent has been given something that can last a lifetime: A college education, which has the power to impact and change a student’s life for the better. Kent State is the best gift I will ever receive in my life, and I will definitely take advantage of the many opportunities that await me.

Catherine Black is a junior magazine journalism major and a guest columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].