Year in Review

Coming in as a freshman at Ohio State can be a huge and exciting start yet also a very nerve racking thing. Going somewhere as big as Ohio State and meeting all new friends and tackling new and challenging classes can seem scary and at first it was. I’ve learned so much about myself, in every aspect of my life possible. I learned that college is not high school, and that you need to give yourself a break because achieving straight A’s in college isn’t realistic. I learned that meeting amazing people, something I think every freshman is nervous about, will happen and I met some of the most important and best friends during my freshman year. I learned about myself spiritually, and how good God is by involving myself in a community that shares in the save love, CRU. I learned about myself academically, you will have successes and failures, but you aren’t defined by those failures and you are more than any grade on an exam.

Although at times tough, my freshman year was probably one of the best years of my life this far. I’ve met so many amazing people through scholars, my future roommates, we’re headed back to Park-Stradley for another year. Through Cru, where I found community in people that share the same love for Jesus as I do. Attending my first Ohio State vs Michigan games was a big highlight of my freshman year and is always something that I’ll remember. One of my favorite memories was the late night ice-cream runs to UDF and movie nights in my friends dorm room. These are memories that will always remind me of my freshman year. There are many ups and downs but so many more ups.

College is hard. But appreciate the little things, and the friendships you will make and embrace the change because although it may seem hard, the change you are about to experience will make you into the person you are meant to be. So keep doing your very best, appreciate the little victories, and know that your hard work will place you exactly where you are meant to be in the end.


[ “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 guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email 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: Surgical Prep and Recovery Unit at The Wexner Medical Center                                   WHAT I DID: 
  • Prepared pre-op materials and beds for patients
  • Cleaned equipment for patients, stocked supplies, and ran errands 
  • Escorted families to various areas within the medical center, atrium, diagnostic labs, and lobby
  • Transported patients after surgery                                                                                                                  WHO I IMPACTED:
  • Patients in the hospital, there for surgery                                                                                                WHAT I LEARNED:
  • Volunteering at the Wexner Medical Center in the Surgical Prepand Recovery unit taught me what it was like to be in a patient/hospital setting and allowed me to                    understand the unforeseen job of preparing patients for surgery, and post-surgery as well.



[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 includes both a description of the artifact and a reflection on why it is important to you, what you learned, and what it means for your next steps.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

About Me


Hi! My name is Rachel Gursal and I’m from New Philadelphia, Ohio. In high school I was involved with many service organizations like Key Club and National Honors Society. I was also involved with sports, like basketball, and academic clubs, like Science Olympiad. Going into my freshman year my intended major is biology on a pre-medicine track. I’m academically interested in finding the specialization or the most exciting part of science for me; that will later lead me to my career. I am also apart of the Health Sciences Scholars program at Ohio State. Coming in as freshman some of my goals include being the best version of myself, while still staying true to who I am as a person. Academically my goals are to push myself to my highest potential, while accepting my failures and learning from them. Something that makes me unique as an individual is the joy I get from helping others, especially children. Service and giving back is something that I believe greatly in and I want to tie that in with my future career. As for the future, I am not completely certain on what I want to do but if it includes helping others and science, I know I’ll be happy. I am excited to see where these next four years at The Ohio State University takes me!