First Semester in Review

If I was asked to describe my first semester in one word it would be: lonely. I’m going to start this off by saying that I am a commuter. Every day at seven in the morning I leave my house and drive to campus and then drive back home around the same time twelve hours later. Of course this is a great way to save money but I was unaware at the time how socially excluded from campus I would feel.

Being a commuter I spend about twelve hours per day on campus and the rest at home. I make the best of my time on campus. I study, do my homework and to feel socially included I go to clubs like Le Cercle Français and Personality Club. But what I was missing was those moments after I would leave campus. While everyone would hang out with friends, meet new people or… partying. I would be home watching Netflix and relaxing by myself. Granted, I do cherish the moments by myself as I need a moment to recharge, I didn’t have someone on campus to whom I could talk to. I did have great friends from high school but when you each choose a different major it is hard to find the time to meet up.

In Neuroscience there are social events. Though they were required for attendance I went to try to talk to people. But it never went well. Here let me show you an example…

”Hey, I’m Jarod how are you?”

”Hi I’m _____ I’m doing well. I’d ask you what your major is but we are all in Neuroscience. But uh where do you live?”

”Oh I commute.”

[awkwardly looks for a way out of the conversation so they walked away]

It is a sad true story.

That really hurt. I felt so out of place afterwards, more lost then before and I felt like that weird person that no one wanted to talk to.  Every time I went to one of these neuroscience events afterward I would walk in and walk out because I thought that staying would be a waste of my time. I felt that the only people who I could really talk to were my two best friends who both went to colleges several hours away when I need someone, whom I could talk to in person.

What made my feelings worse was my jealousy of my best friends. They were partying, meeting new people, becoming best friends with their roommates and telling me about it on our weekly phone calls. I loved to hear about the crazy stories but after a while I felt irritated. Every crazy story soon felt like they were bragging about the fun that they were having. I would sit and only listen, barely focusing on their voice while I tried to do something else. They were having the time of their life and I was having the worst. It was the moment of ‘I am the wrong friend to talk about this with.’

I also felt lost with my life. Society and adults in general always ask the same two questions: what is your major? And what are you going to do with it? I felt unsure of the first and never knew the second. I always felt that once you pick a major that was what the rest of your life was going to be… and that scared me. Most neuroscience majors go on to graduate  or med school and when we did our four year plans I remember staring at it. It was so overwhelming. All of these boxes with each of these categories for every semester. And of course there was always someone who knew exactly what they wanted, which made me feel less then.

It was until mid October when something clicked. I attended a meeting about majoring in another language held by the department of French and Italian. When they brought up the word Romance Studies I was intrigued. I could learn four languages in the span of four years?! It was a dream come true! And I could double major?! Yes! I realized at this moment that this was what I wanted. I decided to double major in Neuroscience and Romance Studies. I was never a person to be a master one thing but to be a jack of all trades. I could learn about the science of the brain and learn how to talk to someone in multiple languages. I eventually decided that worrying about what I was going to be was less important than who I was going to be. This brought me to think that college will be what I make of it. I wanted to travel, learn about the brain and languages, and I wanted to make friends while doing it. I realized that good things take time and that you need to put in a little effort to make them happen.



Global Awareness

Our world is full of people. Each and every individual is unique with their own story to tell. As part of Honors & Scholars it is important to know the stories we each carry and understand what makes them different. Being from a high school where the students attending reflected the outside world is very humbling. Every person came from a different background each bringing their values, knowledge and stories with them. This contributed to the general understanding that their will be people with differing view points as well as why someone acts differently based on their culture.

Original Inquiry

There is so many ideas and information to learn that sometimes, one must do their own research. By participating in research and other independent projects I can learn can understand the research process and the inner workings of our world.

Academic Enrichment

The pursuit for knowledge is never ending. And in rigorous courses attaining academic excellence beyond the norm in and out of the classroom is a necessity. With a major in neuroscience this pursuit is never ending. The brain is a complex organ with many intricate parts and functions. By reading articles and participating heavily in class one can succeed at knowing how it works.

Leadership Development

Being a leader is something that changes you forever. It pushes you outside of your comfort zone and makes you selfless. When I was field commander of my marching band I felt both of these. It made me more confident, strong, approachable and gave me a drive to succeed. Using the skills that I have acquired I am better suited for many challenges that I will face in my life.

Service Engagement

As social beings we must be apart of our community. This shows that we have compassion and empathy to people, animals, our planet. Personally I plan to better the lives of the people in Columbus but also across the world. We share this world and together we must lend a helping hand to everyone that we can.

A Day at The Columbus Zoo

I love animals! And going to see exotic animals that aren’t native to Ohio or even North America is quite the treat. However, what made this trip memorable is going behind the scenes of the manatee exhibit and the zoo hospital.

At the zoo hospital I got to see the several surgery rooms, a lab, and other projects that the zoo veterinarians are taking part of. These surgery varied in size as some animals can fit in the palm of our hand, while others need to be hauled in a truck. Along the walls of the hallway in the zoo hospital, pictures of animals hang on the walls. Our guide told us that each picture represents a project that the veterinarians are involved in. Some of the vets were studying health of the animals in the wild while others study migration patterns of birds.

The other part of this trip was going behind the scenes of the manatee exhibit. Here we saw the MASSIVE amount of Romane lettuce needed to feed the manatees just for one day. We then walked to a small platform that sat on top of the water inside the exhibit. We were two feet away from touching the manatees and a step from jumping right into the water. As much as I wanted to swim with the manatees I knew that there were also some dangerous sting rays in the water too.

The zoo is an amazing place. At one point I thought that it was wrong that these animals are removed from their natural home. But I see that the zoo helps raise, and rehabilitate animals. The zoo puts an enormous amount of money, time and love into these animals so that they have the best chances of living out in wild. However some come to the zoo in critical condition and can’t be released they are still well cared for.

Becoming a Leader

For the past four years it would be difficult to look back on my high school career without talking about marching band. Marching band was and partially still is an important part of my life. I worked my way up the leadership up to the highest position in the band, I played in as many honor bands as I could and I took part in the many fundraising opportunities. Marching band made me who I am today and helped me become a better person.

In the beginning of my freshmen year I remember how terrified I was. Media had portrayed high school as an awful place, full of bullies, essays, and gross cafeteria food. However, only the latter two actually existed. Walking into that band room for the first time, I felt anxious about meeting new people. I was afraid of being accepted by others and still struggling to accept myself. I was greeted by a warm smile and a note on my chair that said “Welcome to band! I’m so happy that you are here and I can’t wait to have a great season! -your secret senior.” From that moment, I knew that this was going to be an enjoyable experience. With my freshmen year I gained a sense of confidence and the ability to love who I was that continuously grew.

Becoming the field commander of the marching band was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. After having poor leadership the previous year, I wanted to boost my band up and provide a sense of stability and optimism that was missing for the past several years. I remember the first practice as field commander and how strange it felt. That my only job was to only help out rather than to be taught marching. This was new to me as I had become accustomed to being one with the band rather than above it. But something that I wanted to change was that the field commander was still one with the band and not given special treatment. So I worked to create a relationship with all of the freshmen and strengthen those with upperclassmen.

Being field commander allowed me to further accept myself. I have always struggled with self acceptance whether that be the way I looked, who I liked, or how I acted. This position pushed me out of my comfort zone to where I had to become more outgoing,
more willing to help and understand how my emotions affected those around me. This event of being a leader allowed me to become a better version of myself and without it… I would not be the same person I am today.

Looking back on these great memories I see how vital this position was. Not only to increase self-confidence but to also use life lessons that I learned that will stick with me forever. Like how to talk to new and different people, what it means to be an effective leader and that no one exactly knows what they’re doing.


About Me

Hey there! My name is Jarod Griffith. I was born in Jamestown, New York but I have lived in Grove City, Ohio since I was nine. I attended Franklin Heights High School where I graduated with honors. During my time in high school I was involved in marching band, French club, National Honor Society and Gay-Straight Alliance. Now I am starting my first semester at The Ohio State University with a double major in Neuroscience and Romance Studies .

Music, French and my dogs are a big part of my life. I love to create music and the rush of energy I feel when I perform is exhilarating! Learning a foreign language has opened new doors for me in the terms of travel, new friends, and awesome opportunities! Not many people know that I train dogs. I train them to compete in a sport called Dog Agility. My dog Luna and I have competed at the national level and gave the border collies a run for their money!

Something not many people know about is that I love winter! I love the snow, the festive spirit, and the hot chocolate. Some of my favorite memories are from my childhood where I would build snowmen and sled down massive hills!

Thanks for coming to my page! Check back soon for more updates on my life at OSU!money!