Year in Review

Second Year

My sophomore year of college was by far a lot better than my first year. I feel as if I finally found my place at Ohio State. This year, I established a solid group of best friends who were there for me through the ups and downs and I know they will always continue to be there for me. Another reason my sophomore year was better was because I finally started to enjoy some of the classes I was taking. Instead of having to take chemistry and a lot of general education classes, I was able to classes such as anatomy and physiology which directly apply to my major and future career goal of becoming a physical therapist. One thing I was really nervous about coming into my sophomore year was having to take physics because I absolutely hated it in high school. However, I am really proud to say that I ended up doing really well in that class. I feel as if I finally established good studying habits in order to survive the rest of my college career.

One hardship I went through this year was the passing of my grandmother. She was very close to me and her passing was very unexpected. It kind of put me in a stump my second semester but luckily I have a great support system of friends and family that helped me to get through it and finish out the school year on a strong note.

Overall, my sophomore year was terrific. I still stand by my decision to come to Ohio State. This place has truly become my home away from home. While I am very happy with how my second year here went, I am also very excited and can’t wait to see what next year will being me.

First Year

The first few weeks of college were hard for me. I was very homesick and stressed out from the sudden change of pace that I was used to in highschool. I missed my friends tremendously and found myself always wanting to go back home. However, as the semester went on things turned around for me. By being in the Health Sciences Scholars program I was in a lot of similar classes with the people who live on the same floor as me. Overtime, this bond really brought a lot of us together. I remember the late night study sessions where we would all be working on chemistry and then run to Cane’s at two in the morning to reward ourselves.

Being a part of the Health Sciences Scholars program was such a great experience and I am so glad I decided to join. Because of HSS, I have made friends that I will keep for the rest of my life. Additionally, I gained multiple peer mentors who helped me along the way for my freshman year and I know they will always be willing to help if I need them in the future.

This year I was part of the Pre-Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy Club. Joining this club was one of the best decisions I made. This club helped me to become more informed on what it takes to get into graduate school, while also allowing me to participate in several service and social opportunities throughout the year. My favorite event that I attended was the graduate school forum. I got to talk to current graduate students and professors here at Ohio State. I gained so much knowledge from this event and was able to make great connections with the people there.

Overall, I could not have asked for a better freshman year. I have discovered so much about myself just in my first year of college. I came up with new study habits that were more effective for the challenging science courses that I enrolled in. Additionally, I learned what it means to be socially, mentally, and physically well. I am very happy with my decision to come to Ohio State. I feel at home here and I cannot wait for the next three years.


Academic Enrichment:

My TA for the scholars class that I took just recently got accepted in the physical therapy doctorate program at Ohio State. Since I also want to pursue a career in physical therapy I decided to ask her a few questions about this career path. One of the biggest pieces of advice I took away from her was that your GPA is not the only factor that plays a role in whether you get accepted into graduate school or not. While grades are important, they also look at your experiences such as leadership roles and research positions. She said that it is important to be a well rounded individual rather than just having really good grades.

The most difficult part of her undergraduate career was taking the prerequisite science course such as chemistry and physics. Se told me that she did not do very well in chemistry her first semester of college and had to retake the class. This gave me hope that even if I do mess up, the world is not going to come to an end. She gave me advice on how to study and what to do if I am every struggling with a class. Overall, I found this interview to be very helpful. It gave me insight on what I need to do to succeed here at Ohio State and to reach my career goal of becoming a physical therapist.

Leadership Development: 

This year I served as a Teacher’s Assistant for the Health Science Scholars Seminar Course. The class would meet every week for one hour and I would assist in teaching first year students about current health topics and overall well-being. I was in charge of a group of five students and basically served as a peer mentor for them. I gave them advice on how to survive their freshmen year, answered any questions they had about classes I had previously taken, and overall helped them adapt to college life at Ohio State. As a TA, some of my duties included grading assignments, leading discussions during class about current health topics in the world, and teaching them how to write a proper resume. I absolutely loved being a TA this year. My TA my freshmen year was always s helpful to me and I always used her as a resource which is why I wanted to become a TA and do the same for other first year students. I truly hope to continue to be a TA throughout my next few years in college.

Service Engagement:

I served as a University Hospital Ambassador for Wexner Medical Center. My job was to help lead people to their correct destinations while also creating a positive atmosphere for patients and their families. I found this volunteer experience to be extremely rewarding. The people I assisted were always so thankful, and I really enjoyed this position because I got to meet so many new people everyday. Even though my overall role in the hospital was small, I still felt like I made a difference each day I volunteered there.


For my second year service project I volunteered at Dodd Hall Rehabilitation Center which is part of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. I volunteered once a week for two hours which spanned over my entire sophomore year. Some of my duties included restocking supplies, changing linens, and keeping the facility clean. Additionally, I assisted in transporting patients around to their appointments and kept patients company by simply talking and playing games with them. Volunteering at Dodd was one of my favorite parts of the week because it felt so good to give back and patients were always so thankful for my help. I loved being able to sit and listen to patient’s life stories because they were so inspiring which is one of the reasons I always looked forward to volunteering every week.

About Me

My name is Rachel Brackman and I am a second year undergraduate student at The Ohio State University. I am majoring in Health Sciences on a pre-physical therapy track as well as minoring in Communication. In the future I want to become a neurological physical therapist in order to work with patients who have had strokes to help them walk again and regain their balance.

This semester I am volunteering at Dodd Hall Rehabilitation Center. My duties include cleaning rooms, restocking supplies, and keeping patients company. Volunteering is one of my favorite times of the week because I get to hear these amazing stories from patients and I find the position extremely rewarding. Additionally, I am a TA for a Health Sciences Scholars class. I love being able to serve as a mentor for first year students and help give them advice on how to survive college. Lastly, I am an active member of the Pre-Physical Therapy Club here on campus. I participate in educational meetings, social events, and volunteer events throughout the semester to help support the club.

In my free time I love to read all different  genres of books but may favorite series would have to be Harry Potter. Also, I really enjoy hiking and enjoying what nature has to offer. I absolutely love it here at Ohio State and can’t wait to see what this year has to offer. It has truly become my home away from home.