Columbus To-Do List, Part 2

From completing my list, I have learned that the COTA buses aren’t as confusing as I remembered, but it is still a much better experience taking a long walk through the neighborhoods surrounding campus. Geographically, I learned that roads that are called “Street” run North/South and those called “Avenue” run East/West. Is that universal? I’m not sure. But at least I now know that 4th Street and 4th Avenue are not the same place.

I think my favorite experience from this project was the morning when it started snowing. It wasn’t much snow, and it didn’t last more than half an hour, but it was still a nice reminder that more snow is on the horizon. I really miss heavy snow. Because of this project, I definitely want to explore more coffee shops around town, and I want to find more tea houses. A lot (all?) of the shops I visited were super hipster-y and I didn’t really like that, so I’m eager to find some that are more normal.

If someone else was endeavoring to complete the same project as me, I would recommend to have a lot of spending money. Fancy coffee drinks are so expensive and I wasn’t really anticipating that. I got used to having everything covered by swipes and dining dollars, so having to use my debit card for this put a small dent in my savings. Is spending $9 for a drink and a muffin normal nowadays? It shouldn’t be.

 First stop on my journey was ZenCha Tea House. This was a very weird place. Half the store was brightly lit, the other was very dim. I suppose it was for different ambiences, but I thought it was strange. You can order tea to go or you can have a full sit-down experience, which is what I did. There’s also a food menu, but I never got the food I ordered, so I’m not sure if it’s the best place to go if you’re hungry. I drank a tea called Russian Caravan, and my waiter got into the history of it and how the smokey flavor in it was caused by accident. That was pretty interesting. It was a really great, flavorful tea, and as evidenced by my jittery antics after drinking a pot of it, loaded with caffeine. I may return to it, but I would definitely just get a cup of tea to go next time.

 Another day, I went to One Line Coffee House. When I walked in, the stereo was playing a song that had been stuck in my head all week, so that was sort of surreal. It was a very Hip™ shop. This place was PACKED with college kids, and literally all of them were working on the same biology project. I guess I missed the memo, because I just brought a book. I purchased a vanilla latte here, and this was the first fancy drink I’ve purchased with latte art! The atmosphere of the shop was very laid back, and I even noticed the baristas knew some of the patrons. Any place with regular visitors is obviously a nice place to spend time. I would definitely come back to One Line, as long as it was a little less crowded than the day I went. It would be a really great place to study and do homework.

 This was the day it snowed! I originally walked to the Fox in the Snow Cafe this morning, but it was Sunday and brunch time, and it was overwhelmingly crowded. So, I walked a bit further to Mission Coffee Co. This was definitely the most normal coffee shop I went to, as it wasn’t so in-your-face about being Trendy. It had gay pride flags on the walls, baristas with amazing tattoos, and all the pastries were nonchalantly vegan. From all of this, it was obvious that the store was trying to be a Cool place, but it worked. The barista who took my order also brought my drink to me, instead of calling my name, so that was a pleasant surprise. The mocha I ordered tasted so delicious and chocolately, plus it had more latte art! I’m very easy to please when it comes to drinks, I think. As long as it’s pretty, I’ll like it. I also got a blueberry muffin, and it was hands down the BEST muffin I’ve ever had. No joke. With a lot of vegan treats, you can almost taste the excessive amounts of olive oil. But with this muffin, all I could taste was fluffy dough, fresh blueberries, and sweetness. I may have just been very hungry after all the walking, but I still want to have these muffins all the time now. I would definitely go back to this shop (and I have already). Despite the drinks being very expensive, they are super yummy and I enjoy treating myself to decadent drinks every so often.


My final destination was the Fox in the Snow Cafe. This was definitely the MOST Hip™ place I’ve ever been. I cheated a bit with this stop, because instead of going with another ENR Scholar, I went with my dad. But he is an environmentalist at heart, so he should definitely count, right? So this shop is in a really ugly building, and from the outside, it looks like it may or may not be abandoned. Once you go inside, it’s very obviously a hipster coffee joint. I was greeted by at least three vintage bicycles and a plethora of Edgy haircuts. The baristas dress in black from head to toe, wearing newsboy caps or beanies, and two of them were wearing fake glasses. One barista had real glasses, but he had those fake vintage-looking frames. The ceilings were exposed, there were succulents and plants everywhere, and mysterious bottles of water on every table. There weren’t flowers in them, they weren’t for drinking, so I’m not sure what purpose they served. They served a pretty average Chai Latte. Honestly, it tasted exactly like the chai lattes I make at home, except it costed much more. My dad got a mocha, complete with fancy latte art, and he reported that it tasted really good. I’m not planning on returning here, because the vibe was so phony. Plus, too expensive for the quality of drinks.

Career Exploration

I’m not sure why, but at some point this semester I had already taken the RIASEC test. I might have discovered it during my increasingly common insomnia-fueled personality quiz binges, but I honestly don’t remember. I got A-I-R the first time around, and after discussing it in class yesterday, that code seems to fit me nearly perfectly.

The workshop in class solidified the understanding I have of myself and my values for a career. I know I would never be happy in a career if I couldn’t physically work on something, or if I couldn’t have a creative outlook, or if I had no way of continuing to learn and question things.

The discussion about my career goal at 10 years old versus my career goals now actually had a bit of a profound impact on me. When I was 10, I really wanted to be a novelist or a writer of some kind. I liked that I could have a creative way to express myself and I could set my own hours. Plus, at that point in my life, I was already writing down short stories all the time, so I concluded that being paid for my hobby was an ideal way to spend my life. Now, I still definitely want to have a creative outlet within my career, but talking about it made me realize I never actually write for fun anymore. It just made me sad that I don’t have much of a productive hobby anymore.

O*Net recommends a handful of strictly creating careers, like musical instrument repairer, pattern maker, or architect. It also recommends more science and learning oriented careers, like astronomer, biochemist, geographer, and medical scientist. Although I’m not exactly sure what kind of job I’d like in the future, I know it has to be involved with helping the environment. I’m on the Environmental Science track for a reason. This doesn’t really come up in the list of careers, but if I modify my code to only include Artistic and Investigative, sustainability specialist comes up in the list. This aligns more closely to my future career goals.

In terms of career process, I’m really no further than career exploration. I’m still trying to determine what a degree in Environmental Science can actually do for me. My educational plans for a while now have just been to finish my BS, but occasionally I ponder getting a degree in law, too. The only actual career I’ve thought about was being an environmental lawyer, but I’m not sure if I can focus on one case for very long. It was hard enough just focusing on a single case in high school mock trial, so the real deal would probably be far too monotonous for my liking.

My next steps are simply to continue with my education and continue to learn new things within my field. By doing this, I will develop a better understanding of my interests and strengths within the environmental field. If I figure out what I’m actually good at, hopefully I will also discover what kind of career I would enjoy.

Columbus To-Do List, Part 1

This semester, I chose to complete the Coffee + Tea List. I’m most excited to find the best warm drink in the Columbus area, especially since we are on the cusp of cold weather! While completing this assignment, I hope to find more interesting places to get homework done and study. After my sister attended OSU, she always told me about her daily coffee shop escapades to study and enjoy a fresh atmosphere. As nice as the campus libraries can be, it’s always good to change up your surroundings every once in a while.

This past weekend, I went to Kafe Kerouac. As Kelley and I approached the shop, we could immediately tell this was going to be a very hip place. There were hipsters with cigarettes and skateboards sitting at the outdoor tables, analogous to the overwhelming “cool” vibe the shop had inside. As we entered, we were greeted with rows of books, records, and comics on the shelves. As vegetarians, we were immediately drawn to the couple cases of pastries labeled “Vegan”, and we knew this would be a good place. Plus, all the coffee drinks were named after famous authors. I ordered a Jane Austen (white chocolate and hazelnut), and Kelley ordered an Ayn Rand (hazelnut and strawberry).

We sat in the second room of the cafe, where there was a small stage and even more bookshelves. The atmosphere was very quiet and chill. It was the perfect place to relax, sip some warm sugary coffee, and destress after a long week. At night, apparently, the cafe converts to a bar/open mic space. They even have workshops for songwriting and poetry.

All in all, this is definitely a location I would come back to. Despite the hipstery vibe, it was a genuinely nice place to spend time in. There was just so much to explore on those bookshelves that I didn’t get a chance to see. Plus, I really want to drink a Franz Kafka (vanilla and peppermint) as winter approaches. Since it was so quiet, it seemed like the perfect place to study for exams, read, or do art. I will definitely be coming back when I need a relaxing afternoon.


Mentor Meeting

On Friday, I met with Kelley to talk about things she’s learned so far from being at Ohio State and what she aspires to do after she graduates. I plan on taking her advice to heart and using it to form new habits for the next few years.

Kelley came in to OSU as a biology major. She loved biological research, but she found that the biology major is more suited for those interested in medicine. After discussing her situation with Esther, environmental science proved to be a better fit for her, since environmental science is basically applied biology. Kelley is also majoring in history, because it’s something she loves. She wanted to maintain something she was passionate about and good at. In high school, science wasn’t exactly Kelley’s strong suit, but she was interested in it and it had better job opportunities than history.

When getting involved, Kelley chose to get involved with groups like the Vegetarian and Vegan Society and TerrAqua, which aren’t always expecting her to be there. That way, she can balance her academic work and her involvement. Kelley has also gotten involved with an internship through her history class where she transcribes old French newspapers. Her other internship experience came through a family friend last summer, where she worked within the environmental health and safety department for an engineering company back home in Buffalo. By getting involved outside of class, she has met people who share interests with her, learned more about her potential careers, and has vastly improved her French skills.

Since joining ENR Scholars, Kelley has become a more outdoorsy person. Before, she had never been camping or hiking, but now she loves doing outdoor adventures. Her advice for making the most of ENR was to make sure to dedicate time to events and activities. Instead of just going to the required events, she suggested going to the optional events, too. They are extremely fun and an opportunity for personal growth. She mentioned a workshop last year where she sat with upperclassmen, drank hot cocoa, and listened to their advice for life. These events are only available to me while I’m here, and I should definitely take advantage of them.

After graduation, Kelley is planning on joining the workforce in ecosystem restoration, and may eventually go back to school for her Master’s degree. She hopes to get her Master’s in Canada, because they have really great Environmental programs and she has always wanted to live in another country. Her dream job is being some sort of project manager in her concentration of ecosystem restoration. She would get to choose what she works on and take initiative. Her career goals include more hands-on and active jobs, but if that doesn’t work out she would work at a desk job, similar to her summer internship.

Some important things Kelley’s learned so far at Ohio State is to keep the big picture in mind. It is important to figure out where you want to be in 10 or 30 years, because the foundation for your future is beginning now. She mentioned that everyone struggles with school and transitions in some way. It is important to not feel alone and know there is a support system in place here.

VIA Strengths Results

  1. Judgement: Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; not jumping to conclusions; being able to change one’s mind in light of evidence; weighing all evidence fairly.
  2. Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence: Noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.
  3. Humor: Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes.
  4. Honesty: Speaking the truth but more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way and acting in a sincere way; being without pretense; taking responsibility for one’s feelings and actions.
  5. Perspective: Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that make sense to oneself/others.

I believe that these results are pretty much accurate. I would change the order of Honesty and Perspective, simply because I can definitely act dishonestly at times.

I use the Perspective strength all the time. My friends often come to me for guidance with their problems or just for opinions about things going on. I do my best to relate to them my opinions and ideas in a way that makes sense to both me and them.

Ideally, the Creativity strength would be higher on my list. It came up as #11. This was really surprising to me, since I’m very involved with music and art in everyday life. However, most of the questions on the survey relating to creativity were focused more on figuring out if I think creatively, rather than if I create things. I would still like to believe that I think outside the box, though!

My favorite top strength is the Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence strength. I have always found beauty in almost all things, but I never realized it could be considered a character strength.

 And finally, here is a photo to represent my third strength, Humor. My marching band show last year was about a package and its journey to get delivered to the right place. Because of the weird subject, the band unofficially dubbed it “The FedEx Show”. Since I was the drum major and sort of the “driver” of the show so to speak, for the Halloween game that year, I dressed up as a FedEx truck.


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.]