Sophomore year of college has been difficult. My classes are more challenging, and I am taking on more responsibilities. Though this has been stressful, it has helped me to grow as a person.
Though taking Cultural Anthropology and Spanish have helped me to increase my global awareness, I do not have any first-person experience or knowledge of the world outside the United States. In an effort to increase global awareness and become a global citizen, I applied for a research abroad program in Australia and was accepted. However, I am not sure if I will be able to afford it even with financial aid. Hopefully I will be able to go so that I can better understand what the world is like outside of the United States and what my place in it is. Even if I cannot study abroad this summer, I will to work this summer and save up for another study abroad opportunity in the winter, as my next two summers will be spent doing research.
I am currently doing undergraduate research with the Wood Group. My mentor received his PhD this spring and I was able to experience the research process by working with him and watching him earn his degree. He was able to publish two papers, and my name is on one of them, which was so exciting. I plan to continue doing research with the Wood group, and hopefully I will get my own project. If I cannot study abroad, I will stay with family in Columbus and work in the lab all summer to give me more exposure to the research process. In much of my coursework this semester, my professors do their own research, and have shared their experiences with us throughout the semester. Through this, I have gained insight into the research process in different disciplines.
My Honors Contract demonstrates a commitment to the goal of Academic Enrichment by challenging myself with honors courses and difficult classes, as well as picking up a minor in Physical Anthropology. Though Physical Anthropology may not seem related to Biochemistry, they are very complimentary subjects. While Biochemistry studies the micro causes of why humans are the way they are, Physical Anthropology examines the macro causes of human behavior and function. Life is beautiful and fascinating, and I want to understand how it works. I believe this question can be most thoroughly answered at the tiniest level, but my minor gives me another perspective that broadens my understanding and application of my major. My GE courses allow me to explore other interests at an academic level and challenge me with different areas of study than my major or minor.
This year, I have gotten much more involved on campus. I was the captain of a coed intramural soccer team, I joined Pen Pals at OSU, and I joined Scientific Thinkers. Next year, I will be on the Executive Committee for Scientific Thinkers. I also recently got a job at the RPAC, where I hope to meet more OSU students and build my leadership skills. These activities reflect my interests and hobbies and gave me opportunities to step up as a leader. They have helped me to improve my planning, leadership, and interpersonal skills, which will be invaluable in any career I choose. They have also helped me to get more involved with the OSU community and with the Columbus community. Through these activities, I have had fun, helped others, and learned more about my community.
Both Pen Pals at OSU and Scientific Thinkers are service-oriented activities. For Pen Pals at OSU, we are pen pals with underprivileged students from Columbus city public schools. Scientific Thinkers brings science to schools, particularly underprivileged and underrepresented schools, to foster a love of science and STEM fields. We also partner with College Mentors for Kids sometimes and do experiments with the mentors and their kids. I plan to do both activities next year as well. Outside of school, I am also involved with One Girl, an organization that raises money to send girls in Uganda and Sierra Leone to school. So far, I have sent one girl to school, and I am considering starting a One Girl team at OSU next year. All of these groups focus on using education to improve the lives of underprivileged people. I believe that education can solve many problems and change lives, and so I try to dedicate as much of my time as I can to helping others gain the same educational opportunities that I have been lucky enough to have.
Though sophomore year was difficult, I feel I have figured out more about what I want to do and what my passions are. I hope to continue working towards my goals next year.