What is the Bachelor of Specialized Studies?
The Bachelor of Specialized Studies is basically a program where you design your own major. You pick a couple of areas that you want to concentrate in and you take classes in those areas. It's an interdisciplinary program. You still have to take the prerequisite classes, but it's very flexible. You make your own curriculum.
How did you find organizations to get involved with?
I researched everything about Ohio University before I came. I researched every student organization to see what I wanted to do. I saw the InterActivist in the student organizations directory. I just went to the first meeting and I've been on the staff ever since. The InterActivist is a progressive, student-run magazine. Thursday Supper is actually a registered student organization. We provide a free meal for the Athens community every Thursday and every Saturday. As the president of the organization, my job is basically to coordinate the meals – most of the menu planning, picking up the donations, making sure things work smoothly. ONE is a poverty awareness organization. It's a national organization with campus chapters. OHIO didn't have a campus chapter. I started a chapter in winter 2011.
How do you like being a resident assistant (RA)?
We're just a strong community; it's like we're family. Most of us hang out. I just try to do all kinds of activities and team building. It's almost like I'm their big sister or something. I really have a connection with my residents.
What’s the benefit of OHIO’s roommate agreement?
It's about just talking to your roommate on that first day, establishing your standards for cleanliness and your standards for who can come over when, what time are you going to bed, when you should not play loud music, that kind of stuff. I think that's what's important to communicate with your roommate about before you even move in.
Most students stay on campus on weekends. What do you do?
We do have a lot of open mic nights, poetry slams, arts-related events. I'm into arts so I can speak for that, but there are also games—football games, basketball games and stuff like that. So there are always a lot of different options for the weekend.
How are you paying for your education?
As a resident assistant, Residence Life pays like 90 percent of room and board, so I pay basically nothing to live. It's helped a ton because room and board is about half of what you pay when you go to college. My main scholarship is the Ohio University Incentive Award, through the Office of Multicultural Student Access and Retention. I had some scholarships from my high school. I got like five; a lot of those were one-time awards. Since I've been here I've had the Deans Scholarship every term and the Pepsi Scholarship is what I have now. I might have one student loan from the first year and one from studying abroad in Spain.
Was it worth taking out a loan to go to Spain?
Yes, I would definitely recommend education abroad. It's an opportunity that every college student should have. I think that it's so important to just travel in general, but not only to travel and seek tourism, but to travel and get to know people from other cultures and see how they live. I think once you see alternative ways of living, it kind of opens up your mind in a way that it can't be opened if you just stay here. So I think that education abroad is really important especially when it comes to building cultural understanding and community and global community.
I can't believe I ever considered anything that's not Ohio University at this point. There's just something for everyone here. When I came here, I kind of knew what I would be interested in, but I didn't know there would be so many communities. I don't know if I could have seen so much of that at a school with 5,000 students. I have a ton of interests and I found that I could literally satisfy all of them here.
“I have a ton of interests and I found that I could literally satisfy all of them here. There is something for everyone at OHIO. Regardless of what you're interested in, there's something to match that interest at OHIO.”