Drago Cvijetinovic

Drago Cvijetinovic,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 18 April 2016

With the end of the year approaching, and graduation only about two weeks away, I can’t help but think about how all of this is coming to an end. About five years ago, I was studying day in and day out for college admission tests, thinking about which college I wanted to go to, and writing down pros and cons for a number of different universities.

It would be fair to say I may have shed a few years off my life from the levels of stress I had thinking about all this. It’s not easy to make these large financial decisions that impact the rest of your life, especially at the age of 18.

There was always a little part of me that wanted to come to Ohio University, maybe because I had an older sibling that went here too. The idea of college was intimidating at first, but coming down for Sibs Weekend as a high school senior, spending time with my sister and her “college friends” was a huge encouragement.

OU Sibs Weekend 2011
Sibs Weekend 2011

Despite that, I didn’t want to make a decision that was purely based on one good weekend. But when I added that weekend to the great Aviation program, to the comfort I felt on campus, to the Athens student community, my decision was simple.

From start to finish, I never stopped meeting people. I wasn’t aware until I was on my own how many different types of people there were, the way they thought, and how they perceived life. The people that had the biggest impact on me were the ones who thought differently, and I loved that.

Despite not thinking alike, I find myself to this day with the same group of friends that I made day one in Ewing Hall. We all came from different backgrounds but we shared similar core values: a belief that we’re good people, a want to strive for greatness, and a need to help each other along the way.

It’s almost like having another family. It’s one of those things that’s difficult to describe, possibly because it’s a not tangible, but it’s definitely one of those unique traits that a university like OU holds.

Now that the year is coming to an end, it’s time to grow up and think about the future. Just this past week, I’ve successfully completed my commercial pilot certificate—I’m officially employable! Therefore, starting immediately, I’m starting my Flight Instructor training. This fall, I’ve committed to staying in Athens for a year to be a Flight Instructor for the university.

After the Checkride
After my commercial checkride

Overall, coming to Ohio University was a remarkable experience. I was able to get the degree that I dreamed about as a young boy but I also took away a lot more than what I initially paid for. I was able to become the person I wanted to be: confident, assertive, and an advocate for others in need.

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