I learned a lot during my first year at The Ohio State University. I came into college expecting the classes to be super hard and to not miss home at all, expect for my dog who I missed the second I backed out of my driveway. I adjusted to my schedule very quickly and I spent most of my time hanging out with the friends I knew from high school. By the end of first semester, I found that the exams were the hardest part of all my classes. I learned that I needed to start studying a lot sooner than I had during first semester. Around fall break I really started to miss home because I am an out of state student and I couldn’t go home until winter break. It was hard seeing all of my friends get to go home and sleep in their own beds and see their pets, but it was also nice to have some alone time on campus. The end of the semester came very quickly and I my first college finals out of the way.
Second semester was a whirlwind for me. A lot of personal things happened that made the semester a bit more hectic and I was taking harder classes. My friendships strengthened and I had the best time imagining what sophomore year will be like with my new roommate plans. When we went home for spring break I missed all my college friends and I was excited to go back to campus. Little did I know that soon I would be told I couldn’t go back to school at all. The news that campus was shutting down for the rest of the semester was really disappointing for me. My hard classes became even harder and some of my plans with friends were immediately canceled. The transition to online school was kind of messy and stayed that way all through the rest of the semester. Overall, I think this school year was a great experience where I made great friends and learned a lot of life lessons. I am ready to come back next fall and have an even better year!
Scholars Spring Wellness Project
Here is a link to my spring project presentation
I am planning on focusing my Spring Semester Project on personal growth, specifically becoming healthier, which aligns with the original inquiry portion of the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S. One of my ideas so far are is to change my diet and try being vegetarian or testing different diets throughout the semester, like going a week non-dairy, and a week vegetarian, to just explore different food options, find the diet that works best for me, and discover what places around campus offer diet-specific menu items. Another idea I have is to create a workout plan and learn how to create a schedule and stick to it in order to be healthier.
Over winter break I can start planing out a schedule for what diet I will try for each week and meal plan. I could also start creating a workout plan and find a friend with a similar schedule and have them be a gym partner. My first step would be to analyze my current diet or my current physical strength and come up with a goal timeline. For example, if I could currently bench 50 pounds, my goal could be to increase by 10 pounds every 2 weeks. I can also plan to increase my endurance through running or biking.
For the last round of the Columbus To-Do List Project I decided to stray away from the given list of coffee and tea shops and go explore Columbus and stop wherever I found a unique shop. My first adventure took me down High Street in the Short North to Pointdexter Coffee which is part of the Graduate Hotels. This place is has a unique wall that is made entirely of pencils in order to keep with the theme of the Graduate Hotels. Other than this wall the shop is Ohio-themed and has pictures of landmarks and cities on the ceiling. Here I ordered a hot mocha coffee and had a nice conversation with the barista while I waited.
Next, I found myself at Sweet Waters Cafe off of High Street. They have an Asian dragon theme for all of their drinks. Here I ordered a Passion Fruit Iced Tea, which was in my opinion better than the one I got at the Z Cafe.
My final stop on the Coffee and Tea tour was to Coffee Underground off of Indianola Avenue. I thought this coffee shop was pretty cool because it does not open until 4pm and closes at midnight, so it is meant to be a place where students can come to have a late night study session or for people who like to have coffee with their dessert, which they also serve there. The only problem I found with this place was its location, as it is on a street I would not want to go alone at night, which is really the only time it is open.
My favorite experience from this project was going to Sweet Waters Cafe. I liked their drinks the best and the menu offers a lot of unique flavor options for teas, lemonades, and coffees. I am very excited to return to this place, and they even have a rewards system to earn points with every visit. For those who are also trying to complete this list I would recommend just going on High Street and walking until you find a coffee shop because that is how I ended up finding my favorite ones. I think some of the places on the list are a little far away and visiting them needs to be planned, but I prefer to stumble upon my coffee shops, so while I still plan to visit the shops that I have not made it to on the list yet, I am very happy with the shops I chose to go to and would not have found unless I were assigned this project. Through this project I learned that Columbus has a lot of small, family owned shops in the city that people do not notice, including myself, because they are distracted by the big signs with name-brand logos. I found that taking a day to stroll along up and down high street without any set plan allowed me to discover some unique places and support local businesses that are hoping to not be driven out by larger companies like Starbucks. This project has been a great experience and I am very excited to return to the shops I visited and visit new shops to continue my Columbus Coffee Passport tour.
Follow this link to see our FOTO Project Presentation
I chose to do the Coffee and Tea list theme for our Exploring Columbus project. I am a fan of coffee because I like the taste, not just the caffeine, and at home I only ever have coffee and milk so it is nice to go out to cafes and have some specialty coffees. Also, Columbus has a passport program for some coffee shops and if you visit four of the participating locations you can get a free t-shirt and if you visit all seventeen, you will get a free travel mug and I thought this would be a good way to get started on earning all my stamps on the coffee passport.
So far I have visited two locations from the pre-made list. First, I went to Kafe Kerouac on High Street. This was a cute cafe filled with books, records, and board games. All of their specialty coffees are named after authors, which I thought was pretty cool. I ordered a chocolate and almond latte called the Ernest Hemingway. It was good but there wasn’t as much flavor as I was expecting. It was a really nice place to discover and I am looking forward to going back, especially on the nights where they have live music.
Next, I went over to the Short North and stopped at Zen Cha Tea Saloon. It was a lot fancier than I was expecting and surprisingly it had a very busy and chaotic atmosphere. The customers looked relaxed but all the employees were very frantic. I don’t usually drink tea but I ordered a Passion Fruit Bubble Tea, without the bubbles because I didn’t want something that I have to chew in my drink. Due to the saloon being busy they ended up still putting the bubbles in my tea so I did my best to not get them in my straw and thankfully succeeded. The tea was actually really good and now I’m not as scared to start trying new tea flavors.
I recently met with one of my mentors, Joy Griffin, at Knowlton on a Thursday after all of my classes. Since I am not an architecture major it took me a little while to navigate the building, but I got to learn where the freshman and senior studios are. Before this, I have only spent time with my mentors during the downtown Columbus tour and the first Scholars lunch meeting. We talked for around half an hour about how classes have been and plans for the breaks coming up soon. It was very nice to be able to rant about the long night I had prior because of a lab report for engineering that took a lot longer than expected so I stayed up late and had to wake up for an 8am physics lab the next day. We also talked about potential activities we could do with our mentor family, like go to the mall since Joy and Sofia have cars, which I am excited for. My mentors are so nice and I have no problem with reaching out to them if I have an issue.
Welcome week at OSU was full of new friends, free stuff, and good vibes for the new school year. The involvement fair was a great way to learn about all the clubs the school has to offer that I had never heard about before, and I also picked up some cool things each club was giving out for free, like 5 new t-shirts.
So far my classes have been going well and a few of them are not as hard I was expecting, but it is also very early in the semester so they could become harder within the next few weeks. My classes give out a lot of homework, but the professors give you multiple days to complete each assignment, so that really helps balance the workload.
I love my schedule since I start later in the day and get to sleep in, but I still end early enough in the day where I have plenty of time to complete assignments and socialize. I expected it to be harder to adjust to sharing a small room and having restrooms out in the hallway, but so far I have not experienced any problems, and my dorm room feels super comfortable to be in.
The Scholars program I am in has granted me lots of opportunities to meet the people who live on the same floor as me and become closer friends with them. I am also in the same classes as a few of them so it helps when we have homework questions. I never expected to go out into the city of Columbus because I assumed there would not be anything there that would interest me, but my program has taken me out into the city and I have found places that I am excited to go back to like the North Market and the Ohio Theatre.
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