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April 19, 2021 at 4:28 pm

Class of 2021 | Abigail Gentry Finds Herself at Home at OHIO, and With Her Future

Abigail Gentry, portrait

Abigail Gentry

Abigail Gentry’s journey at Ohio University wasn’t a lightning bolt of enlightenment; it was a gradual dawning that she was ready for whatever the future brings.

“I think the hardest ‘hill’ I had to climb here at OU was figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. I ended up changing my major three times and often went back and forth on whether I was making the right decision and planning appropriately for my future,” says Gentry, who graduates this spring with a B.S. in Geological Science, a minor in paleontology and a certificate in environmental science.

“As much as I’d like to say I had a moment of truth and found my true calling, that wouldn’t be entirely truthful. However, I think I found something much more important, and that’s being OK with not knowing exactly what the future holds. I’ve grown tremendously in my past four years and finally realized that the most important thing in life is to just to find happiness and love, and to follow that wherever it may lead you.

Q: What stands out in your mind as you think about graduating despite COVID?

A: It’s sad to think that my last year here at OU was so different because of COVID, but I am still thankful for my time here. And I know I will miss being a part of this community. However, I’m excited that the university found a way to have graduation in person, as that was something I have always really looked forward to, especially being a first-generation student.

Q: What are your next steps/future plans?

A: I’m going to be remaining in Athens for another year working as a bar manager while my partner finishes up her last year at OU. I then hope to go to graduate school or find a full-time position wherever we decide to move.

Q: Who were your favorite professors and how did they make an impact on your life?

A: Two of my favorite professors in the Geology Department were Dr. Alycia Stigall and Dr. Keith Milam. Dr. Stigall brought such enthusiasm to the classroom and really motivated me to find passion in my work the way she has. Dr. Milam also challenged me academically in a way that I had never been before and helped me grow as a student and a person. It’s clear how much both professors care about their students and their field of study; they both enriched my academic experience greatly here at OU.

Q: What was your ah-ha moment at OHIO—that point where you said to yourself, “I’ve got this!”?

A: I can’t say that I really had one specific “ah-ha” moment at OHIO. I’ve had ups and downs and it’s been a gradual period of growth and learning. Although, I always felt like I had the resources and help I needed to be successful here. OU has an extremely welcoming community and has always felt like home.

Q: What are your favorite OHIO memories?

A: As mundane as it seems, some of my favorite OHIO memories are just from walking around campus and working on homework on College Green, the library, or Baker Center. We have such a gorgeous campus, and I loved seeing deer on my way to my early morning labs, picnicking or hammocking outside, and even just watching the sunset from the window of the top floor in Alden. I really believe the campus is the perfect setting and atmosphere to work on your academic and personal growth.

Q: What’s the one thing you would tell a new OHIO student not to miss? 

A: Everyone says it, but it is truly crazy how fast the time flies. I would tell new students to take advantage of every opportunity within your reach and try to squeeze as much out of your four years here as possible. Never save things for later, all we have is the present.

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