Why, I Have to Study?!?
Growing up, I never realized the differences in the education I received in Appalachia versus the education my counterparts were receiving in suburbia. That all changed when I moved to Columbus and started attending The Ohio State University. When I first got to Ohio State, I thought I was the creme of the crop and that school was going to be no problem at all, because that is how it had always been. Boy, was I wrong though.
My first semester at Ohio State was my most challenging semester of college. In high school, I never had to study or even really pay attention to get good grades, so I never learned the study skills that are necessary to be successful in college. As a result, I would go to my classes, not be able to focus at all, and then be completely unable to study in any environment I tried. In addition, all of the subjects I was learning about were so foreign that I had a hard time comparing them to anything personal. For example, I took an astronomy class because I thought it would be fun and it was one of the most challenging classes I ever took in college because I couldn’t relate to the material and I had to study to be successful. As the semester went on, I continued to get more and more stressed about it because I was not performing up to the standards I had set for myself during high school. Towards the end of the semester, I decided I needed to do something to take away this anxiety that was overtaking my life as a result of me not feeling prepared for life at Ohio State and in Columbus.
In addition to not knowing how to study or take notes, I also wasn’t aware of all the resources that were available to me to be as successful as possible. For example, my first papers at college were terrible because I was not a strong writer, didn’t know about the Writing Center, and didn’t know how to ask my professors for help. Now, as an educator in Appalachia, I have made it my goal to help students from Appalachia leave high school with the necessary knowledge and skills that are required to be successful in college, if they choose to pursue that path. For example, thus far this school year, I have created two different digital lessons (which can be found on my YouTube channel) that teach students how to effectively take notes and study. As I continue to reflect on my time as a student and learn more about Appalachia and the educational needs of the region, I am confident that this is an issue that can be overcome with strong educators and individuals that are compassionate about education and helping our students be successful. If anyone has any questions or needs help adjusting to life at college from Appalachia, feel free to reach out to me on any of the following platforms!
Malachi is a proud Appalachian, having graduated from Paint Valley High School in Bainbridge, OH in 2012. After high school, he attended The Ohio State University, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education (2016) and his Master’s Degree in School Counseling (2018). Since graduating, Malachi has returned to Bainbridge, where he is working as an Intervention Specialist, School Counselor, and Coach at his alma mater Paint Valley, spreading his love for Appalachia and his belief in the future of his community to the students at the place he loves the most.
Malachi Educational History:
2012 - HS Graduate, Paint Valley Local Schools
2016 - BS in special education, The Ohio State University
2018 - MA in school counseling, The Ohio State University
Connect with Malachi:
Malachi Pulliam (LinkedIn)
Mr. Pulliam (Youtube)