I returned to Columbus off the heels of traveling to Cape Town, South Africa and working in the Florida Keys as a Camp counselor.My adventures in Cape Town broadened my horizons and connected me with a world new and wonderful. Cape Town reassured my passion for ocean research. Working in the Florida Keys brought me great satisfaction as I continually had the opportunity to shape the lives of young people and to indulge in the treasures of the ocean. The summer brought me great solace in knowing that a future working with the ocean would bring me great satisfaction. As the summer came to a close, the upcoming school year loomed over me as I reflected on the jubilation summer had provided.
Upon returning to Columbus, my thoughts of summer faded as I began to immerse myself in my coursework. The coursework was of a new ilk as the fall semester marked the start of my new double major program of Earth System Sciences and Oceanographic and Marine Sciences. In my new classes I felt a rebounding joy at finding great intrigue in the subjects. I was especially keen on my climatology course where I felt like a child as I wanted to absorb all the information I could about how the climate and weather of Earth functions. Additionally, my ecology course had the great pleasure of bringing me across Columbus on field trips and group projects. I had great pleasure as I was studying when I felt the intersections of my learning. My earth sciences, physics, ecology and climatology all felt like they were connecting in subject matter and this brought me immense satisfaction.
In fall semester, I was also helping with harvests and planning for the OSU Student Farm and working at the Ecological Engineering Department as a research assistant as I had for a semester already. I enjoyed working with new people and people I knew, but there was a small voice in my head that thought there might be a lab that I could fit better. As the winter break approached, I had the luck of finding a research assistant position with the Aquatic Ecology Lab (AEL) at OSU. I applied for the position and left for a pleasant winter break. On returning for spring semester, I had the wonderful opportunity to tour the Aquatic Ecology Lab and interview. On the tour, I felt connected with the work immediately and soon after starting working at the AEL. In training for the new research assistant position, my engaging coursework, and helping with the Student Farm, I was busy with work I loved.
My semester was proceeding with wonder as I headed in to a spring break that would change the proceedings of my semester entirely. During spring break, the news trickled out that Ohio State would be providing their education online as the country began to shelter in place. I found myself making plans for how I could create a school space in my parents’ basement and rushing to pack up my second year apartment. I felt that in the scramble to change home base, I lost the ability to say goodbye to the people and experiences properly. As I adjusted to online classes, I felt the barriers between personal life and schoolwork to disappear and an air of stress to permeate through my existence. The adjustment to being home bound was difficult, but I made it through the spring semester unscathed. The experience of quarantining at home has given me great pause to appreciate the many things that I regularly give no attention. The quarantine has made me greatly appreciate the ability to attend classes in person, to be able to venture and congregate with others with no worries, and realizing the importance of these pleasures was profound