My Strengths

After taking the test to determine my top personality traits, I was amazed at how accurate such a test could be. It seemed unlikely that a handful of questions could determine the five most endearing characteristics that make me, well, me. Out of the twenty-four traits, my top five were shown on the bright colored page:

  • Humor
    • Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes.
  • Humility
    • Letting one’s accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding oneself as more special than one is.
  • Social Awareness
    • Being aware of the motives/feelings of others and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick.
  • Love of Learning
    • Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, whether on one’s own or formally; related to the strength of curiosity but goes beyond it to describe the tendency to add systematically to what one knows.
  • Bravery
    • Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; speaking up for what’s right even if there’s opposition; acting on convictions even if unpopular; includes physical bravery but is not limited to it.

Is copy and pasting the quotes from the website academic misconduct? Just to be safe, I will note the URL at the bottom of the screen. All of this information has come from the VIA Institute on Character. (Better safe than sorry, calculus is taking up too much time to be fighting a legal battle.)

After looking at the entire list and understanding the different traits I was rated on, I realized that these five best described me. Not only that, but I enjoyed the placement of each trait. In fact, I was so excited to have humor in first place I shared it with all of my roommates (who said I would in fact get humor as my number one.) I also enjoy all of the other traits. I do not like to be boastful, I try to minimize my presence and make everyone feel comfortable around me, and I can be awfully brave if my morals are being threatened. However, that does not mean I am very confrontational. I am not. That just isn’t in me.

I think out of all of the traits, I enjoy using humor the most in my life. Humor is one of my favorite things in the world. Seeing my friends smile and hearing them laugh always brightens up my day.  While I also love to learn, I feel that it is not as applicable when understanding others. Humor is what makes the world go round and it keeps me from stressing over the little things. I think that is one of the biggest strengths I have learned throughout my years. Sometimes, it is better to laugh at a situation and move on.

I have never given much thought into organizing my personality traits. I would not know how. But now that I have such a list, I am content with the answers. To be honest, I feel as if moving a trait is dishonest to myself. No, this test does not describe me entirely as a person. Saying such a thing would be crazy. In fact, it has barely scratched the surface of who I am. However, to move around the order of the list generated after answering the questions honestly feels futile and I feel that this test is fairly accurate. Despite its limitations, the test did fairly well at understanding a few key traits about me.

Me laughing at my little angel. She was fed up because I dressed her in an, “I Love My Mommy” shirt.


Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more information, go to: Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


[ “G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where students write about how their planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. For more information, go to: Delete these instructions and add your own post.

Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc .
Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]


[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.   For more information, go to: Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


[Artifacts are the items you consider to be representative of your academic interests and achievements. For each entry, include both an artifact and a detailed annotation.  An annotation is a reflective description of the artifact that attempts to communicate its significance.  For more information, go to: Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

About Me

As I sit in my dorm, listening to my music, I have realized that I have been staring at this page for over an hour. I’m terrible at these about me sections, but I have decided to use this space to reflect on who I am and who I want to become.

My name is Sarah Gartland and I am currently living in the Morrill Tower at the Ohio State University. It still feels so crazy to say. I never expected to feel at home on such a large campus, but no other school has made me feel as safe and confident as here. I am from Strongsville, a good two hours north of campus. I lived with my mom, dad, two brothers, a cat, and of course two dogs. The beagle, Brittney, who decorates the majority of my dorm currently is my little baby who I miss more than anything.

You could say I am a big momma’s girl, as everything I have achieved has been due to her support and her moral standings. I have become independent, thirsty for knowledge, and impatient to be the change that I want to see in the world. Just like her. This could be seen in my past academic achievements, in my volunteer work on an organic farm in Cleveland, and in my full time position I acquired at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in the Horticulture department (I was the youngest on the team at the time.)

I had been lucky enough to complete my freshman year of college in high school due to college credit plus. As a result, I am now able to focus intently on my major of chemistry and begin pursuing my minor in agriculture. I have so many plans academically that I wish to accomplish at OSU that I am worried that 3 years will not be enough for me to finish it all. However, I think that is simply my nerves getting to me.

My main goal is to begin research on campus with the aid of my professors. I have never had the opportunity to perform my own experiments, nor have I written a scientific paper from scratch. In the long run, I would like to work for a company that deals with agricultural and botanical chemicals. I plan to produce more environmentally friendly herbicides and pesticides. I am excited to work with professors who can begin steering me and encouraging me to achieve these large dreams. All of these things make me itch with excitement and I cannot wait to dive head first into the process.

I am also excited to become a more well rounded individual due to all of the worldly classes OSU has to offer. I cannot wait to expand my horizons, expand my network of friends, and use my newfound knowledge in my everyday life to create a better future.

I am balancing my time as an Environmental and Natural Resources Scholar as well. I love the environment, and I have a deep connection to protecting it. Throughout my years, I have found myself being drawn back outside and wondering how I could save its beauty for future generations. I believe ENR is my first step in creating the sense of leadership that I can use in the future to promote environmental activism. I am so excited to volunteer cleaning up the campus, to speak with others with the same thoughts, and to create a lasting impact that promotes the wellbeing of nature.

There are so many different things that I wish to accomplish, all of which takes time and persistence. It makes the world seem so large. But when I look over my shoulder I see my bunk mate typing away on her portfolio as well, with just as big of dreams and hopes. It makes me realize the world is just the right size after all.