End of Semester Check-In

This semester has taught me a lot about myself, and not as much as I had hoped about my saplings. I think that my saplings tried to figure things out on their own for the most part, and were reluctant to reach out for help because they wanted to feel independent. I hoped that I would feel more like I helped them avoid the struggles I encountered last year, but I do not know if that really happened. The best lesson I have learned over the course of this project is that it is really hard to watch people make mistakes that you could help them avoid. I think that I have learned the most from how I have been resilient after tough situations, such as getting grades I am not proud of, or finding out that I cannot learn well from a specific professor, and I hope that even if my saplings did not have the start they had hoped for they can pick themselves back up and figure out what they should change for next semester and the years to come.


Second Year Project Mid-Semester Check-In

Yes, it is obvious that I have missed the middle of the semester by several weeks, I have had a terrible, and stressful semester. I have enjoyed getting to know my saplings over the course of this semester through our discussions in class, and their post on their e-portfolios. I have found it difficult to connect with my saplings at times, because they have found the support they needed through other extra-curricular activities. I felt that I was supporting them through their transition to college when they interviewed me for the peer mentor interview. I got the chance to share with three of my saplings, Alyssa, Matt, and Sam, some the advice I wish that I had received when I was in their shoes. My overall advice was fairly simple, I told them to stop caring about what other people thought, not be afraid to ask for help when they need it, and be true to themselves and their passions. I think that if I would have heard this advice last year I would not have had such a difficult semester this fall, because I would have changed my major earlier, and thus I would not be taking the classes that I am struggling with, because they are not required for my new major, molecular genetics.

Second Year Project Proposal

I will be using my role as a sapling mentor to complete my second year project. Over the course of this year I hope to grow as a leader, and mentor, and further my knowledge of how to live sustainably. As a mentor I want to inspire my saplings to care about the things they are learning about in the classroom, and I want to help them become engaged in the Environment and Natural Resources Scholars program outside of their assignments and required activities.

I plan on achieving these goals by checking in with my saplings once a week with reminder emails, in these emails I will encourage them to reach out to me with any questions or concerns they may have, including those related to the eportfolio and their classes. Two of my saplings are Chemistry or Biochemistry majors and they have the same professor as I did for Chemistry 1610, so I plan on giving them suggestions on how to do well in the course and on the labs. I hope that through mentoring I can gain more interpersonal skills and become better at forming new relationships. I hope that by the end of this year my saplings feel that I have helped them become the best version of themselves that they could be.


Year in Review


This photo was taken during our camping trip, which was an experience full of firsts for me.  I had never been camping before, I had never slept outside before, and I had never grown to be better friends with people over such a short amount of time. The girls that are pictured with me helped me tremendously throughout this entire year, from difficult tests, to missing home these girls had my back. As this picture was taken I realized that the girls standing next to me were quickly becoming some of my best friends. Mallory Wiles and I in particular keep in touch touch constantly, and miss each other when we are apart for more than a day. This photo was taken during our first day of the Hocking Hills trip, and I was so excited to have a chance to get out of the city and reconnect with nature.


Being in scholars has connected me to one of my favorite places in Columbus, Goodale park. I have visited Goodale with my mother and my aunt, and I have found comfort there when I visit on my own. I find the elephants comforting when so many things feel like they are changing the elephants remain the same. I realize that this sounds childish, but I am a person who finds consistency comforting. I am glad that I have discovered that I really enjoy biking and biking to Goodale was one of my favorite ways to pass a Friday afternoon after a stressful week. I am glad that scholars has connected me to parks all across the Columbus area, and that scholars has given me a list of places to explore over the course of the next four years. Scholars has allowed me to explore a wide variety of recreation and I am thankful for the opportunities to stay active.


Picking apples was one of my first experiences volunteering with ENR scholars. I really felt that I was making a difference that day, because I was harvesting food that would help to feed hungry people in the central Ohio area. I really enjoyed volunteering through scholars because it connected me to a wide variety of causes and allowed me to find the service that I am most passionate about. I found that I enjoy service that positively impacts the environment, and service that helps to feed the hungry. ENR Scholars has taught me to value serving others, and over the summer I plan on serving because ENR has shown me that serving gives my life purpose. I will be doing service with a food pantry that is sponsored by my church, and I plan on also volunteering at the free clinic that is about a mile away from my house.


The final picture that I have included in this post is a photo of the ENR Scholars Buckeyethon Team, that I was happy to lead this year. I felt that giving back through fundraising with Buckeyethon was a way that I could give hope to families that are struggling with having a sick child. I cannot cure cancer or conduct research to find a cure but, I can give money to the people and organizations that are working to find a cure. Buckeyethon has taught me that giving money to worthy cause is another to do service. I have learned the value of donating to worthwhile causes by fundraising and encouraging others to raise money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. I plan to be the ENR Scholars Buckeyethon Team Captain this year, because I would like to teach  a new class of Buckeyes the value of dancing For The Kids!


Earth Month Challenge Week 4 Reflection

Over the course of earth month, I have learned that I am not as eco-friendly as I thought I was at the beginning of this month. The small changes that I made each week showed me that, although I cannot take all of the steps to reduce my carbon footprint that I would like to, I can take many small steps together to reduce my impact. I learned that choosing food and water options that are better for the planet over those that are the most convenient does not take a lot of effort. For example, during my final week I chose to give up red meat, and I thought that I would end up eating the same foods in the dining halls all of the time.  However, over the course of the week I did not end up eating the same foods everyday, instead I still ate a variety of things, while cutting out red meat. I will continue to eat less red meat, even though the challenge is over, because it is a simple step that I can take that improves my health, as well as the health of the earth. I also will continue to carry a reusable mug with me all of the time, and use as few disposable cups as possible. This was the easiest challenge that I gave myself, and I am surprised that I did not think of doing this before the challenge began. I will also continue to turn off the water when I brush my teeth and wash my face, because leaving the water on as I complete these tasks serves no purpose. I will work on taking shorter showers over the coming months, however, as the weather gets warmer I will be taking more showers, so I may not end up making much of an impact as I had hoped. If I were to try another challenge it would probably be the waste and toxicity challenge, because when I am at home I often drive, even when my destination is within walking or biking distance of my house. Over the summer, I am going to challenge myself to drive less, and walk more. This will be a challenge for me because I am often running late and in a hurry, but hopefully it will teach me how to do a better job of managing my time, and it will help me be more active.

Columbus To-Do List part 2

My favorite park in Columbus has come to be Goodale, I love going there on warm days to walk around the park, play on the swings and people watch by the pond. On the day this photo was taken, April 15th, I was at the park alone enjoying some much needed me time away from campus. There were many ducks in the pond, and many children nearby, who would squeal happily every time a duck would enter or exit the water. I chose to bike to Goodale, and I realized that the trip down there was a lovely ride, and I plan on venturing to Goodale by bike often next year. The best part of the afternoon was seeing a turtle on one of the rocks in the pond. I had never seen a turtle in the pond before, and it looked like it was enjoying the sun just as much as I was. IMG_6161


I frequently use the Olentangy Trail when I go bike riding, and I love how the trail lets me experience Columbus safely, by keeping me off of the roads, and away from cars. I usually take the trail north when I am biking alone, because I enjoy how the trial goes through several of the metroparks, as well as parts of Clintonville. I especially enjoy the wide variety of neighborhoods that the trail passes through, from the condos just north of campus to the forested area farther north, it is great to see how people interact with nature. This photo was taken on my way back from a bike ride, the sun setting behind the Lane Avenue bridge made for a lovely photo.


I also decided to visit the Scioto Mile shortly after winter break, because I love looking at Christmas lights, and had seen the illuminated mile before winter break. I wanted to see the Scioto Mile again without the lights, so I could fully appreciate the space . I enjoyed the mile, because it offered a variety of spaces, and combines natural beauty with the cityscape. One of my favorite things about the Scioto Mile is that the river is the focal point of the area, instead of just a part of it. The Scioto mile was my favorite spot, because it is right downtown, and the city is being blended with nature.

The final location that I visited was the Whetstone Park of Roses, this was another park that I chose to visit on my bike. I took the Olentangy Trail up to the park, and had the pleasure of seeing that spring was coming through the small buds, and new leaves on the trees at the park. I hope to visit the park in the summer, or early fall, so that I can experience all of the lovely roses the park has to offer. I will probably visit the park with my mother, because she loves rose bushes, and has cultivated her own small rose garden in our backyard.

For students who plan to complete this to-do list in the future I would recommend traveling by bike, because it allows you to see which green spaces you could visit regularly. Form this to-do list I learned that Columbus does an excellent job of incorporating green space into a growing city. I will be visiting the five locations from my to-do list often over the coming years.

Reflection Week 3

My third week of the earth month challenge went fairly well, it was eyeopening because I did not realize h0w much water I had been wasting. This week I learned that I leave the faucet on when brushing my teeth and washing my face almost every time I do so. Over the course of this week I have completely stopped letting the water run when I complete these tasks. I also pledged to take shorter showers this week, and I think this went fairly well because by the end of the week I was taking far shorter showers. I decided that I was going to stack my challenges, and I have kept up with all three weeks challenges for the most part. I have pretty much eliminated paper cups from my daily life, however, I have not done a great job with cutting out prepackaged foods. I think that over the summer I will try again to cut out prepackaged foods, because I will have more time, and greater access to fresh foods. My fourth week challenge is to not eat red meat, I think this will be the most difficult challenge by far, because there are a very limited amount of protein options in the dining halls. I hope that over the course of this week I will learn how to eat healthier in the dining halls without eating the same foods all of the time. I think that if I keep an open mind I will find a variety of healthy options.

Week Two Reflection

My second week of the challenge went better than my first. I only used one paper cup over the course of the entire week, and I ate fresh fruits and vegetables instead of grab and go snacks as often as possible. At the end of the week I had more energy than I usually do after a week in which I have a midterm exam. I think this was because of the healthier foods that I was eating, and because I had consumed fewer preservatives. I learned over the course of this week that providing my body with better foods does not take a lot of time. I am going to continue eating fresh foods instead of prepackaged snacks as often as possible, even after the challenge has ended. During this week I learned that I had not be eating as healthily as I had thought. This was a good challenge for me because it opened my eyes to facts that I had been attempting to avoid, I was not eating the foods that help me stay energized.  I am changing my challenge for week three, I have not had time to make snacks for this week, because I have been studying for midterms. For week three I will instead be reducing the amount of water that I use, by taking shorter showers and making sure I turn off the water when I brush my teeth or wash my face. I think taking shorter showers will be challenging, due to the fact that I have long hair that loves to tie itself in knots.

1st Week Reflection

My first week of the challenge went fairly well, over the course of the entire week I only drank a beverage out of a paper cup one time. It was the day the challenge started, and I did not think about what I was doing until I had placed my order. I have decided that I cannot completely eliminate plastic bottles from my day to day life on campus, because I often use meal exchanges and get milk as my beverage, and that comes in a plastic bottle. Instead, I am going to try to reduce the number of beverages I drink from plastic bottles. I learned that carrying a water bottle and a coffee mug with me all the time is not difficult. I think this next week will be slightly harder, because as a college student I often eat foods that are convenient, and fresh foods take slightly more prep time.

Earth Month Challenge Proposal

I chose to do the Food and Water Earth Month Challenge, because I want to learn how to eat in a sustainable way. I feel that I will challenged over the course of this month, because convenient food and drink options are usually not sustainable, or packaged sustainably. I am looking forward to making changes that I can incorporate into my everyday life, and I am looking forward to seeing which aspect of the challenge will remain a part of my life for the longest amount of time. For the first week I will use only reusable containers for my drinks. I am a frequent coffee drinker, so I will always have a coffee mug in my bag. I also drink a fair amount of drinks from paper cups, but during this week I will avoid the paper cup, and drink out of a reusable water bottle instead. For the second week I will buy fresh food, because it comes in less packaging. The third week I will make my own snacks, and carry them in reusable containers, because I often eat prepackaged snacks. For the final week I will not eat red meat. I will be doing these challenges cumulatively, to reduce my impact as much as possible.