A.J. Fryman has known from a young age that The Ohio State University was where he would attend college. Once this health promotion, nutrition, and exercise science major was on campus, Fryman found friends, passions and a community in the Dunn Sport and Wellness Scholars Program (DSWS). Fryman's community helped him discover what he will do with his time and talents, which has changed his life forever.
Why did you choose The Ohio State University?
I don't have an exact reason why I wanted to go to Ohio State. Something inside of me just knew. Ohio State has a very strong presence all over the state of Ohio, even where other colleges reside, such as Cincinnati, where I am from. The football games are always on television and there are alumni everywhere, so I think Ohio State was ingrained in my mind. When I was applying for college, it was Ohio State or bust for me. I couldn't see myself going anywhere else. It just felt right. Multiple application letters from schools across Ohio came in the mail, but I knew deep down Ohio State was the place for me.
How has The Ohio State Scholars Program contributed to your college experience?
Honors and Scholars has, without a doubt, had the most profound impact on my college experience. I made my best friends in DSWS and had such amazing experiences. We have support from professional staff, are forced to leave our comfort zones and get further involved on campus. I am forever thankful for being in DSWS. I'm not sure what my time at Ohio State would be like if I did not join. DSWS changed my life and has had a profound impact on me.
What is your why for wearing a mask?
Wearing my mask is not about me, but out of respect for other people. This time period has shown that life really isn't about you, but those around you and how you help them. I wear my mask because right now, it is what I need to do to serve others. It may be a simple act, but the smallest act can go the longest way. Additionally, I wear my mask because I want others to be able to enjoy their life experiences to the fullest and be with the people they love. To me, there is nothing more important in life than the people and experiences you have. I have been so fortunate to have extraordinary people in my life and unique experiences, and it saddens me that those essential aspects of life are being taken away from people.
What does #TogetherAsBuckeyes mean to you?
#TogetherAsBuckeyes means doing your part for the greater good. So much of what is going on in the world is not about us individually but how we can work together to create a better world and get through the challenges we face. Right now, we must work together as Buckeyes if we wish to have campus open and enjoy what makes Ohio State so special, the people, traditions, and excellence.
Are there any professors or staff who have helped you?
My mentor, Abigail Noble had the biggest impact on me of any staff member. She was the coordinator of DSWS my first year. We developed a bond over our many conversations. She helped me navigate through my first year and always encouraged me to keep going. She is such a positive light in my life, and I have been fortunate enough to stay in contact with her since she moved on from Ohio State.
What are your goals and plans for the future?
My life goal is to help our community be a healthier place. I've had a burning desire inside of me to teach, but it has taken me years to figure out what to teach. I realized that I could combine my passion for health with my desire to teach. I believe in the power of education, especially for change. My dream is to return to my high school and teach health while coaching volleyball, the sport I grew up playing. I have a strong connection to my hometown and I want to give back to the community that gave me so much. Above all, I aspire to live a full and meaningful life.