Over spring break, I spent some time with a cousin of mine who lives here in the Columbus area. She is in her 30’s and we are related by marriage so to be honest, we are not super familiar with each other. In fact, we normally only see each other about twice a year! But over break I contacted her asking if she would like to sit down and have some coffee with me — to my delight she agreed. The reason I wanted to speak with her was actually to interview her. She is a registered nurse (RN) with a Bachelor’s in Nursing from Mount Carmel College of Nursing and currently is working at the OSU Medical Center. As a student in the college of nursing here at OSU, speaking with my cousin about her school experiences and current job was a major relief; her repeated assurance that “it gets better!” decreased a decent amount of the stress and feelings of self-doubt I have experienced during this difficult semester. Her kindhearted and sincere attitude demonstrated to me that she really was previously in my shoes and that if I keep working hard I have the ability to end up in hers. Speaking with my cousin gave me the swift kick in the rear that I needed to hear in order to persevere through this semester and keep working hard to pursue my dreams. After such a positive experience, I am looking forward to numerous future coffee dates I am sure to have with my cousin (and new friend)!
Throughout this past year, I have been involved in a project I set up that was aimed towards offering service to those who suffer from dementia/Alzheimer’s disease. For this project, I spent most of my time constructing blankets, called “busy blankets”, which I am donating to the dementia unit at the nursing home where I work. These blankets are sort of like quilts that have activities built into them — zippers, buttons, different fabrics/textures, picture holders, beads, and so on. The purpose of these blankets is to provide tactile relief to patients who constantly fidget and have a need to keep busy or moving. In addition to constructing these blankets basically from scratch with the help of my mother, I have also volunteered on weekends in the dementia unit at a nursing home here in Columbus with the student organization Buckeyes Against Alzheimer’s. While patients who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s do not remember like they used to, it is important that we as a community remember and appreciate them, their experiences, and what they have to offer us.
Pictured above are coffee beans. The coffee bean is representative not only of my appreciation and frequent consumption of coffee, but also of an assignment I received in high school requiring me to write a ten-page research paper that would account for a very large portion of our final grade in the class. With a lot already on my plate at the time, the assignment seemed very daunting and stressful. Luckily, my teacher allowed us students to choose the topic of our papers; I chose to write about the health benefits of coffee.
I am including the coffee bean and the experience of writing the paper that accompanies it because the assignment taught me much more than just how coffee can be beneficial. The thing I learned from the assignment that proved most significant is that I must try to pursue my true interests. Because I enjoy coffee and found my research on the subject very interesting, my paper turned out to actually be sixteen pages and is the piece of work of which I am most proud.
While it is true that I spent many long hours working on that piece and put in a huge amount of work, I know that I would not have executed half as well if I had been working on a piece centered around something I did not enjoy. The paper is also a reminder that hard work and dedication pay off as well. Researching and writing my piece required sacrifices but the end result proved to me that I need to take my work seriously and try to be the best I can so that when I continue on with school and enter the work force later in life I will be able to apply those skills and achieve my dreams.
The artifact pictured above is a wooden duck. Though it may seem somewhat odd, wooden ducks hold a strong significance towards my life and values. Although I am not sure why, my dad’s favorite animal is the duck. For this reason, my mother allowed him to decorate our family room, the room we spend the most time together in, with a duck theme which features a variety of wooden ducks such as the one pictured above. Additionally, my father also has his work offices adorned with ducks. For this reason, to me wooden ducks represent love, family, and dedication.
Despite the contrasting views of decor between my parents, the dedication of my mother to my father’s appreciation of ducks taught me to take the little things in life easy and focus on what really matters, in this case spending time together and appreciating each other’s company. Additionally, the ducks have always reminded me of the importance to embrace the things I care about.
Since I now spend the majority of my time away from home, having my own wooden duck is a constant reminder that my family is always near, just as my father’s ducks in his work office denote that we are always with him when he is busy at the office. I am very proud of the family I come from and keep my duck on my desk as a reminder to work hard and make my family proud.
I have been raised and attended school in a very conservative, Catholic environment. When I came to Columbus for college, I was emerged in a completely different atmosphere. Since I am going to enter the health field as a profession, I think it is necessary that I attempt to understand others and do what I can to be culturally competent. For this reason, one Saturday a friend and I decided to go out to a gay bar, Axis, despite my own heterosexual orientation. At first I felt out of my league, but very quickly into our arrival I started to have a blast and talked to all sorts of fun people. We even got free glow sticks and neon face paintings from drag queens! In the end I had a great night and got to experience something I never would have had the chance to see back home. Since my time here in Columbus at Ohio State, I have grown to understand on a much deeper and sincere level that some people just live a very different lifestyle than me and what I am used to seeing. I would definitely go back to Axis and would take even more friends with me next time!
Pictured above is Water Lilies by Mark Tansey. I include this picture because it reminds me of my recent trip to the Columbus Museum of Art, a place I had previously never been. On a Friday night this past semester, I went to the museum with some friends to see what art it had to offer. The only art museum I had been to before was the Dayton Art Museum but it was set for a specific exhibit rather than a variety of works so I was unsure of what to expect. Additionally, I am not well-trained in art at all so I felt a little out of my comfort zone. During our time at the museum, I felt like I was walking through a different time and place each time I entered a new room. The museum had art that could please all types of people and even offered stations that allowed viewers to write out their own interpretations of certain works. I had a great time viewing all the pieces the museum had on display and even felt a closer connection to Columbus after I left. I encourage others to visit the museum and would not mind going again, especially just to see my favorite piece which I mentioned above.
The most memorable experience I have from my first year at Ohio State is volunteering at the Wexner Medical Center. This experience is memorable because it reinforced my plan of applying for the nursing program. I previously knew I enjoy helping others but by working hands-on with patients and the medical team, I gained a greater understanding of why nursing is a great fit— I enjoy the trust others place in me and the teamwork required for the field. Additionally, because I knew of the nursing program’s competitiveness before applying, I had a preconceived notion that I would be on my own in regard to classes. Though this was true fall semester, I am happy to say that this spring semester I found a group of other pre-nursing students with whom I worked and studied with, helping to promote and encourage each other and our chances of getting into the program.
The most memorable service experience I participated in this year occurred the weekend before classes even started: community commitment. I was assigned to a group who landscaped, cleaned, and cooked at a home belonging to a group of adults whom have some form of physical or mental disability. This experience was meaningful for me because it opened my eyes to the value of a home. Rather than living in a long-term care facility, these people simply wanted a home and friends to live with, which is something I realize I take for granted. Walking away from the resident’s house that day can be described in one word: satisfying. Knowing that those people get to continue living comfortably in a place of their choosing rather than thrown into a care facility was empowering not only for the residents but also for those of us who helped.
Although I have only been at Ohio State for just under a semester, I have developed a much clearer understanding of what the rest of my time here will entail. I am much surer about my intended major as well as my future plans for later in life. After receiving greater insight of what it means to be a nurse, I feel like pursing an APRN degree will be a great fit for me and I now know multiple methods to reach that career if my first plan does not work out. Additionally, I am much more informed about the resources Ohio State provides for its students to achieve their goals as well as more comfortable in utilizing these resources. After taking part in the assignments of my survey classes, I now have greater confidence to take a more proactive route of working towards doing well not only in regard to my education but also my health by interacting with professors, classmates, and other Ohio State faculty by receiving guidance when necessary instead of trying to juggle issues on my own.
For my upcoming time at Ohio State, I will spend more time on leading a healthy lifestyle. I plan on doing this by attending university-offered health sessions, utilizing health-promoting facilities, and continuing to work on handling stress in a constructive manner so that I may continually try to be the best I can be. Additionally, I also plan on growing within my upcoming time at Ohio State by taking part in clubs and volunteering that I will enjoy and find meaningful. Something I wish to do within my time here is to either study abroad or go on a service trip; I believe taking part in an opportunity such as those would allow me to fulfill my passion for helping others while also providing me another great opportunity to learn even more about myself and who I want to become.
Growing up in a German/Irish/French household, meat has always been a large part of my diet. There are no vegetarians or vegans whatsoever on either side of my family and I never met any until a year or two ago. Now I am friends with three and spending time with them has taught me that protein really does not need to come from meat. In an effort to embrace their lifestyle for a meal one night, I decided to have a chipotle black bean burger at King Avenue 5. Surprisingly, the patty was much tastier than I expected and filled my craving for a burger. I would recommend this restaurant and dish to my friends!
My name is McKenna Guillozet. I am a 2015 graduate of Lehman Catholic High School, Sidney, Ohio and am proud to be a new member of the Buckeye Community. Measuring just under five feet tall, in high school I was not a person people, per se, looked up to, yet I was someone people sought for guidance and direction. A big reason for this had to do with the positive character and integrity which I strived to exhibit. I undertook leadership positions in two of the school’s clubs, was co-captain of the women’s varsity soccer team, and was also active in other school clubs and activities. Despite a busy schedule I was able to do well academically as well and graduated as the class Salutatorian.
While at Ohio State I have made it my goal to continue to maintain academic excellence. I am a Health Sciences Scholar in the pre-nursing program and next year I hope to be accepted into Ohio State University’s Nursing program working toward the objective of obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree. I have always possessed a passion for helping others along with an interest in medicine. While my plans upon graduation are still in the exploratory stage I am giving strong consideration to furthering my studies in the medical field, possibly studying to become a nurse practitioner, midwife, or nurse anesthetist.
I am excited to learn and experience all that Ohio State University has to offer. Even though I come from a small town and high school, I feel right at home in Columbus due to the welcoming nature of the OSU community. I am confident that as long as I continue to work hard and utilize the opportunities provided by the university I will find the right path so that I may succeed in accomplishing my goals and dreams.