Today is the College Football National Championship game, with the Oregon Ducks going up against my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes. While it isn’t THE Big Game for Buckeye Nation, it is a really big game, and I really can’t wait to watch it. I’m just hoping my professor at Baldwin Wallace University lets us out early this first night of class so I can see the whole thing.
But with the first day of classes, the National Championship, and the Buckeyes competing in the National Championship, it brings up a lot of emotions for me. I sit here in the library, a senior at Baldwin Wallace University, wishing I’d followed my upbringing to Columbus. I was born a Buckeye, and will forever be one in my heart, but alas, I am actually a Yellow Jacket.
Baldwin Wallace isn’t a bad school at all. I’ve enjoyed my time in Berea and met a lot of great people and learned from some fantastic professors. But college hasn’t been what I expected, or what I planned for, and I feel like I’ve let myself and so many others down. I was prepared for a huge campus, a stadium packed on Saturdays, the game broadcast on national television, being in one of the most famous marching bands in the world, and being able to find my school colors and name plastered almost anywhere. I was ready to be a few hours away from home, exploring a very new city, attending classes with a few hundred people while mingling with thousands more outside class, and trying new things or continuing my former hobbies. What I actual got was a lot more small scale.
I’ve had people tell me I wouldn’t be happy at OSU. They think it’s too big for me. But I feel like BWU is too small. And it’s too close to home. I love my family and friends dearly, but college was supposed to be a time to break away from all of that, to get out and explore the world and learn more about myself. I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished that at all. I’ve learned some pretty cool things and taken some great classes, but I still feel like the same old me– actually, more like I’ve regressed. I feel shy and unsure of myself, and as many of my teachers from grade school can tell you, that wasn’t me at all. I gave up on marching band– and music in general. I haven’t been on stage since senior year at Bedford High. And I haven’t been as dedicated to my school work or my other ambitions as I would like to be. I’ve mostly just been working to pay for school and make it through. They say college is what you make it. I guess I made it something else to check off the list. My heart just wasn’t in it. And that bothers me.
Tonight I’m going to watch as much of the football game as possible– I didn’t watch any of BW’s this season or last. I’m going to shout at the people on TV that the refs made an awful call and that I want to see The Best Damn Band in the Land instead of a bunch of washed up players over-analyzing the plays we all watched and analyzed. I’m going to wish I could be in that stadium to feel the excitement and the tension shift with every play. And I’m going to celebrate or mourn– but hopefully the former– as if I were going to be a real Buckeye with a degree from The Ohio State University come graduation.