Explore Columbus Round 2


On Pratik and my second round of exploring Columbus we decided to check out the well know Columbus smoothie shop, Berry Blendz. Pratik and I both have extremely busy schedules, so this close and convenient smoothie place was a great option for a quick study break that we could catch up on. Pratik had never had Berry Blendz before, and I hadn’t until coming to Columbus so we decided it was a good choice of exploration. Since there are so many drinks on the menu before hand we look up all the options on their website and picked which flavor we wanted. Berry Blendz is very close and extremely accessible on high street, Pratik and I met in the Smith-Steeb lobby and walked to the shop, it was not more than a 5 minute walk, so getting there was easy. I saw this as a hug plus because sometimes riding the bus can be time consuming and uber can get expensive. Since the shop is so easy to get to, it would be easy to go again in the future without much planning. Berry Blendz has a very relaxed atmosphere and friendly workers. The smoothie shop is small but has a few tables and chairs to sit at while enjoying a smoothie. One confusing thing was that the menu at the shop did not have all the flavors that were online; in fact, it had about half as many options. I was worried when ordering that they wouldn’t have the flavor I wanted but I tried to order it anyways. I ordered a peach berry smoothies and Pratik got a mocha freeze. As it turns out, even if the drink you order isn’t on the menu you can still order it because they have a list in the back with directions of how to make every smoothie on the website menu. Berry Blendz also offers acai bowls and local natural options unique to each shop. There is also a build your own smoothie that you can choose all the ingredients they put in. After ordering our drinks Pratik and I sat and talked for a little bit. The shop closes at 10 so we didn’t get to finish our smoothies there but took our conversation back to Smith-Steeb. After leaving the shop we realized we forgot to take a picture in the smoothie place so we took one back at Smith-Steeb before diving back into conversation. Pratik had a very successful first year as he figured out favorite study spots, how to succeed in classes and made some great friends. While Pratik is still figuring out his major, he is very excited for the year to come. Next year he is switching to North Campus and plans to continue the ACES program. Pratik is excited to live on North because it has a different atmosphere and is closer to his classes. I told Pratik he would have to explore North Campus food off campus for me and let me know what places are worth trying as I have mainly explored food off campus on South. Getting more involved is on Pratik’s agenda for next year, he feels it will be easier since he has figured out how to manage the academic side of college. Pratik wants to get involved in political clubs so he can be more informed and inform others and also wants to volunteer consistently with an organization. Whatever Pratik gets involved with I know he will do great things and be a great addition to any club!

Summing it up, I would definitely recommend exploring Berry Blendz to others as it is a fun atmosphere, easy to access and has amazing smoothies. The prices of the smoothies are a little high ranging from 6-8 dollars depending on the size and ingredients. While the prices are high I believe it is worth it because the ingredients are healthy and filling. The variety is also wonderful as there are berry flavors, tropical flavors, acai flavors, coffee flavors and more; giving an option to everyone. Pratik said he would be going back to Berry Blendz again before the end of the year and that he also would recommend it  to others. Hopefully in the future I will get to visit Berry Blendz again with Pratik, or maybe a different smoothie shop on North campus. It is always great catching up with Pratik and I am glad I got to mentor him this year. Pratik is always filled with enthusiasm and brings energy to every room he enters. I had a great time exploring Columbus with him!

Interview with Pratik Spring 2018

Meeting up with Pratik Banala is always a great time! Pratik is undecided on his major but is starting to lean towards a Data and Analytics major. I asked Pratik if he was enjoying his major and  why or why no. He said he likes that he went in undecided so that he could figure out what he wants to do with his life. He knows he wants to do something with business and loves it because it has a lot of opportunity and a variety of degrees that align with the business school. I asked if Pratik if his career plans have changed since first semester and he said yes and no. Pratik came in knowing he wanted to do something with business and that has not changed; however, he thought he wanted to major in economics but now is leaning towards a data and statistics degree. This change happened because he really enjoyed his stats class and feels that it is the route he wants to pursue. Next I asked about Pratik’s involvement on campus. This has been a little bit of a struggle for him since he is really working hard to get good grades. Pratik participates in events like Clean Up Columbus and other Buckeye Serve events. Pratik also recently participated in Buckeyethon, a 24-hour dance marathon, and raised money to help fight pediatric cancer. Next year he hopes to get involved with an intermural team for basketball or volleyball. Pratik also wants to join the Democrats club as OSU as he is very passionate about political issues and loves to talk about these subjects. Next I asked what Pratik thinks about the ACES living-learning community. This year Pratik has really enjoyed living in Smith-Steeb with other ACES. This living-learning community has provided him with a group of people to get involved with. Some of the best friends he has made this year were people living on his floor from ACES. Lastly, when I asked about what Pratik loved most about last semester, he said it was definitely the football games. Pratik made it to all of the Big 10 games and his favorite was the Penn State game with that last second win for OSU. Go bucks. Pratik said, “game day atmosphere is like no other” and he is very excited for another football season next semester. After catching up with Pratik I was very happy to hear he seemed very well adjusted to OSU. I can help mentor Pratik but making suggestions of ways he can get involved with volunteering on a regular basis. This seems to be an area for growth for him as he said he typically struggles to get all of his volunteer hours in. The only thing keeping him from getting super involved are his grades. As a mentor I can help Pratik find a study plan to make the best use of his time so that he can have time for both school work and other involvement with clubs or volunteering. Pratik and I have very different majors but I have a lot of friends studying areas in the Business school so I can also help him by giving him people he can contact if he has questions about their majors or classes he should be taking. To touch on fun subjects, Pratik mentioned to me that he has been to some cool restaurants and shopping areas of Columbus such as Condado and Easton. We talked about different places in Columbus he has yet to try, such as Jenni’s and Brassica. It is cool to hear that Pratik has a group of friends to do fun things with around Columbus and also good to hear he has adjusted well to college classes, as they can be very challenging. I look forward to doing our explore Columbus event and can’t wait to see the awesome things he has in store for the rest of the semester!

Explore Columbus Fall Semester



For Pratik and my “Explore Columbus Event” we chose to go to Cat Fish Biff’s because it is a small but extremely well known restaurant of Columbus. Pratik had never gotten a full pizza from Biff’s and I felt that he really needed to be exposed to this icon of pizza of the area. Pratik really wanted to know what all the hype was about so he was very excited to experience this pizza first hand. Additionally Pratik and I also ventured to Graeter’s Ice-cream after getting pizza. Graeter’s is a personal favorite of mine and I frequently adventure to this location to fill my ice-cream cravings.

Starting with Biff’s, Pratik and I ordered a cheese pizza and sat out on the wooden benches in the front while we waited for it to be ready. The menu was super easy to read and what we wanted to order was simple so that was not confusing at all. The Menu had a lot of additional things other than pizza which surprised both of us a lot but we were not brave enough to try them as our mission was to experience the pizza served at Biff’s. Our wait was about 10 minutes max and the service was great. Getting to Biff’s is an easy walk as it is right outside of Smith-Steeb and has cheap prices. I would definitely recommend going to Biff’s to a friend because it is a well known gem of columbus that is very easy to walk to and very great prices. Pratik told me that he would definitely be spending more money at Biff’s as he really enjoyed his cheese pizza. I felt this was a good place to explore because it is a place he can easily go back to again, can bring friends and can afford to experience more than once and at any time of the day!


After our pizza my friend picked us up in his car to take us to Graeter’s so that we could avoid the long bus ride. Graeter’s is about 15 minutes away but it is most convenient to get there by car. This is inconvenient if you do not have a car so my friend had to come so that he could take us. The atmosphere of Graeter’s is amazing. It smells like ice-cream, there is many flavors and the environment is just happy.After sampling many flavors I ordered a strawberry cheesecake flavor while Pratik ordered the famous black raspberry chip flavor, my personal favorite. I think the best part of the visit was obviously how amazing the ice-cream was but also how friendly the workers were. All of the workers were so happy and when we told them why we were there they gave us a ton of other suggestions of places we should visit in Columbus, some being Condado and Blaze. I would recommend coming to Graeter’s to a friend because the ice-cream was amazing and workers were super friendly but only if they have a car to get there. I looked it up and there was a bus that went there as well but it would have been a 45 minute bus ride which is not nearly as convenient as a 15 minute car ride for people with a busy schedule (and Uber is too expensive).



On this two part adventure I enjoyed learning about the small and big businesses in Columbus. I liked Biff’s because it is somewhere we could easily go to again and it doesn’t require the planning of transportation, just our walking feet. I also enjoyed Graeter’s though because it got us off campus (but close by) and we could see what the “big businesses” of Columbus were like. I learned that Ice-cream can be pretty pricey when sold in the City (Graeter’s) but that it is high quality and a fun experience and fun environment just like the rest of Columbus. I think it is hard to take the time to get off campus as school is very time consuming and hard but it is worth it to take the time to explore. Exploring can be easy if you go with the right people that provide vehicles or if you don’t mind walking/ riding the bus. There is always a way to get places. I would recommend to others to plan when doing these adventures because I didn’t realize how long a bus ride would have been or how expensive an uber was until I looked it up and luckily I had a friend that was willing to tag along so that we could avoid these obstacles. If we had to ride the bus or take an Uber it would have been fine though.  Learning about the Ice-cream and food of Columbus was something I think both Pratik and I very much enjoyed. I feel like Columbus has a lot of variety of Pizza places and high-end ice creameries. Next semester Pratik and I might adventure to Jenni’s to try another expensive but delicious ice-cream of Columbus, or we might take the Graeter’s worker employee’s suggestion of going to Blaze so we can compare it to Biff’s.


Overall I had a wonderful time on this two part adventure with Pratik and I look forward to adventuring around Columbus with him next semester!



Mentee First Semester Interview

Recently I conducted an interview with my mentee Pratik Banala about how his experience at OSU is going. I asked Pratik the following questions: “How do you like to study? Have you found a good place to study on campus?”, “What kind of involvement are you interested in on campus?”, “Why did you choose ACES?”, “What do you plan to do after graduation, join a workforce or grad school?”, and “What has surprised you about Ohio State?”. After answering these questions, I learned a lot about Pratik. Pratik loves to study while listening to music and has found some solid study spots around OSU. Pratik is often at Thompson Library studying or in his room. He also reaches out to classmates and studies in groups at 18th Avenue library. I was very proud of Pratik for already having set up various places and people to study at and with. As a freshman I struggled with finding a place to effectively study but Pratik is handling this aspect of college very well. Pratik has not found the time to fit in involvement at OSU quite yet but really wants to once he gets the hang of his schedule. As a mentor I want to help him find places and encourage him to make the time to go to meetings for different clubs he mentioned being interested in. Some of these clubs include the College Democrats and Boo Radley Society. I encouraged Pratik to find time to go to at least one meeting to check out the clubs and see if they are something he thinks he would enjoy. Pratik finds involvement very important which is why he chose ACES as his scholar’s program. At home Pratik did a lot of volunteer work at hospitals and with children with disabilities. Pratik was also very involved at school with different organizations and leadership roles. ACES to him seemed like a good fit because it is a scholars group that is very active with its’ community service and engagement. Pratik had mentioned he also looked at the political science scholars group, as it is something he is highly interested in, but liked the emphasis on community in ACES. Knowing this, I really encouraged him to look into clubs that would allow him to have an outlet for discussing politics and meeting others who also enjoy this topic. As of now Pratik is still undecided in his major, which I assured him is totally okay. He wants to takes classes to truly figure out what he likes best before committing to anything. As of right now Pratik is leaning to do something with econ as he really enjoys that class and the business world. Pratik knows that he definitely wants to go to Graduate School and receive at least his master’s degree. Even though Pratik is not completely sure what he wants to do after graduation he at least knows he wants to be in school for a while and that he really enjoys business and economy. I encouraged Pratik to find people who are currently in this major and to ask them more about it so that he can gain a better understanding for what it is like to major in these areas. Lastly when I asked Pratik about what surprised him about OSU he said it was definitely the community that Ohio State has. Pratik is from New jersey, and coming to a big school out of state was exciting but intimidating, he wasn’t sure if it would be easy to find his “place” in the university. Quickly Pratik saw how important community and togetherness is to the buckeye family and that together our school really does come together as one. Pratik loves the energy of Game days and how united the whole school feels and he was not expecting it to be such a positive and exciting environment. I think this just really goes to show how people can make such a big school really feel small as networks are built and communities are formed. Pratik is a very proud member of ACES and is loving his first year at OSU. As a mentor I hope to continue to help him with finding ways to keep getting involved as well as help be a source of information about different opportunities on campus as he loves to try new things.

Midterm Essay for Comparative Studies

In my Comparative Studies class about the American Identity I wrote and essay comparing the work ethic described by Kathi Weeks to the movie The Pursuit of Happiness. Throughout this essay I described how motives for working hard are not always for money and that humans do not live to work, they work to live.

The movie I wrote about described the life of a man and his 5 year old son as they tried to survive with little to no money. The man worked relentlessly in order to provide for his son. While he tried to earn a job through his internship, the man had small efforts of help from his community to keep him and his on his feet. This relates to the community pillar. In my essay I described how having a community to rely on can help make these tough times easier.

The main point of the essay was to show that peoples’ motives for work usually come from trying to support a family, or personal community. When people have a supportive community they have the extra help and support needed to succeed in life, especially when working through tough situations.

This essay helped me step back and look at motives and reason why people behave the way that they do when it comes to work. To further this thought, in the future I plan to continue trying to understand why people behave the way that they do. This will hopefully avoid judgements and create a more understanding environment in my life and others.

Read midterm essay here

Leadership Development

As a member of the cross country and track team in high school I was a captain of both teams my Junior and Senior year. Being a captain as a Junior was a huge honor and responsibility, I had to show that I deserved the spot appointed to me. Throughout both seasons I made it my goal to make sure each girl on the team felt encouraged and motivated. I did this through sending motivational messages via text messages as well as by cheering them on throughout practice. I also led by example with my dedication to the sport, making it a priority. In the background I helped organize events for the team, helped plan workouts and led workouts each practice. This act of leadership instilled confidence in myself that showed I can have an impact on others.

I won the captains award 4 seasons in a row, Ray Hyser award for Athletic Leadership and the Female Athlete of the year my Senior year which reflected the appreciation for my leadership in athletics at my high school. One of the most memorable experiences being a leader of the track team was leading my 4×8 team to the State Championships by motivating each member of the relay to be positive and work hard throughout the whole season.The most rewarding part of this experience was helping form a successful and bonded team. At Ohio State I hope to fill a leadership role similar to this role. I firmly believe that when people involve themselves in things that they love, they thrive. My passion for running and health and wellness is something that I will have forever. At OSU I am a ember of the Club Running team and hope to hold an officer position as an upperclassman. I also plan to apply to be a wellness ambassador for the university so I can continue to help others with their health and mental well-being.




Pillars Film Project



During this past semester I worked with my ACES group to complete the Pillars Film Project. Together we watched the movie American Promise, which showed the journey of two male African Americans  journey through the school system in America. This documentary highlighted the white privilege and racial issues still relevant today in America. As a group we created a powerpoint to share with the class about the movie and what we learned from the movie.

This experience showed me the injustice that is still present in today’s society. This film as well as my presentation showed me the importance of advocacy. The speaking out of this video informed me, and my group and I were able to advocate for the topic by presenting to my class. I learned that personally I tend to overlook some of the injustices in our society because I was not totally aware that racial injustices are still very relevant today.

In the future I will be more aware of others and their situations. I will advocate for justice of others by making sure people are aware of inequalities. I will also be sensitive to the differences between the way people feel and are treated in social situations so I can do my best to make sure people are treated equally.


Link to Trailer


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