Global Awareness – Here at Ohio State, we live daily with a rich and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. I feel, that especially as an honor student, it is my responsibility to take advantage of this community and open myself up to conversations and experiences that will enhance my understanding of different cultures and global communities. Just this spring, I attended the Chinese Spring Festival held at the Ohio Union and learned so much about a holiday I had previously known nothing about, even though it is celebrated by a vast amount of my fellow students and people around the world. I plan to continue learning and discovering about new cultures through my work at the Ohio State Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing. Through my enrollment of the English 3467s course, I have learned how to interact and read the writings of people who may come from many different backgrounds and who may be writing about many different experiences that I have not had. Through our class discussions about writing in other cultures, breaking language barriers, and mindfulness I have learned so much about the experiences of ESL writers and international students and I look forward to learning more.
Original Inquiry – Through taking my first honors course last semester, Psych 3331H Abnormal Psychology, I learned what is expected of us honors students here at OSU. At the end of this course with Dr. Strunk, my classmates and I were expected to produces our own original research paper, discussing some topic within the realm of abnormal psychology. This assignment pushed me to go through may different studies done about my topic, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and look at all the quantitative data that was collected as well as the questions that the researches posed and still need answers for. It was enlightening to see all the different designs and approaches researchers took to discover more about the pathology, genetics and course of the disorder. It was also encouraging to read about all the research that is either being conducted or needs to be conducted in order to understand more fully about a disorder that affects so many people. From that course I learned that while we have many answers, we don’t have them all which paves the way for future researchers to learn and contribute to their field. This semester I have also started to work in the Cognitive Development lab, running REPs for several different studies. Working in this lab has allowed me to have hands on experience with research and make connections with people who will be able to help me develop my own research question and study in the future.
Academic Enrichment – The honors contract has allowed me to fully plan and look at my future academic career and what is expected of me for the next two years of my undergraduate experience. The courses I plan on taking will fulfill my desire to learn more about my field of study, Psychology, from all different aspects of the field and while pushing me to make connections and work harder with the people in my major through the smaller and more rigorous honors courses. I also look forward to broadening my knowledge through the different GE courses I will take, like Women’s Gender and Sexuality studies and Philosophy. I believe that while seemingly different, these courses will help develop my ways of thinking that will help to influence my perspective in my major and minor courses, as well as my perspective in life in general. I believe that each course we take leaves an imprint on us for the future and therefore I am excited to take a variety of enrichening and challenging courses in these following semesters.
Leadership Development – While attending such a large university, it could be easy to feel overwhelmed and fall through the cracks if you let this happen. I think that with each course I take and with each club I join here at OSU, I am expanding my leadership skills as I am opening myself up to new experiences and relationships. Every time I engage with my professors, whether in class or in office hours, I feel like I am leading myself into a new relationship that will be beneficial for me as a student, but also as a person, as now I have someone with a lot of knowledge and personal experience I can turn to when needed. I think that outside of the classroom I am a leader in the groups I have joined such as the Theater Arts Group (TAG), Omega Gamma Fraternity, and Peers Reaching Out (PROs). While it is hard to juggle many different groups with my academic responsibilities I think that all of these activities provide the opportunity for me to be a leader. In TAG we go to CNIS, a local high-school, and help the kids put on a play and develop their acting and improvisational skills, as the school itself does not have a performing arts program. We are leaders for these kids because we fight for their right to express themselves artistically. We show them that if you have a passion and skills for something you should share it with other people, even if you yourself have struggles going on in your life. We also provide them with a safe space to share and release pent up anxieties, frustrations, or worries. It truly is a great feeling to see the kids going up on stage, letting go, and just having fun. As for Omega Gamma and PROs, we make it our mission to make sure that the OSU community has the resources and important information about mental health, so that no one has to struggle alone. We hold different events, such as mental health trivia nights and a 2k race to get the word out there about mental health and make sure that everyone in the OSU community has the knowledge that there are people out there that care and can help them with any emotional/mental struggles they may be facing.
Service Engagement – I also do service through my fraternity, Omega Gamma. Along with supporting the local suicide hotline through fundraisers and mental health trivia nights, we also take part in Clean-Up Columbus days, in which we go out and pick up litter and trash around campus and the city of Columbus. It is easy to not think about our waste once it is out of our sight but it is important to clean up our community, not just for aesthetic reasons, but for the good of our world overall. We can turn off the TV or the Facebook videos that show just how badly polluted our oceans and lands are and just go about our day but it doesn’t change the fact that we only have one Earth and so far we have not done a great job of taking care of it. Especially at a time when environmental protection is at risk, we must take it upon ourselves to make the little differences that we can in order to protect our planet. When I return home for the summer, I will continue to do the service I started in high-school. Ever since 10th grade I have volunteered at ARISE at the Farm, an organization that helps people of all abilities and mental capacities to ride horses and experience occupational therapy with animals. I truly love the farm and the work I do there and plan on volunteering there for as long as I can. It is important in service to realize that even if you don’t make a huge, global difference or if you can only do your part for a couple months over the summer, you do make a difference for the little while that you were there and put your passion and care into it. It is when we give up, thinking that our part doesn’t really matter, that no differences are made and we get stuck at square one.