In terms of relationships, I got to meet many people and make friendships that will undoubtedly last a lifetime. We were there to support each other in rough times, and to celebrate each other’s successes. The people around me are what kept me going throughout my first year and will continue to play a pivotal role in the rest of my three years here.
In terms of extracurricular activities, I was able to join two new clubs and stay active within them, even gaining leadership positions. I was able to gain a volunteer position at the James Cancer Center and started volunteering with the American Red Cross. I got into a research lab and did a substantial amount of work that is on the path to a publication. Scholars really helped with this, because it made me more aware about what kind of opportunities existed. My first year taught me how many extracurricular time I can fit into my schedule and how to manage it. This is something I will definitely carry and learn from throughout my college career. I am also looking to join a few stress-relieving clubs next semester like the chess club, cricket club, or a dance team.
In terms of academics, my first year went really well. Both semesters were hard with 18 credit hours each and I had a lot of workload because of that. It was definitely a great learning experience for me, because I learned how to study for multiple things at once, how to set priorities for my assignments. I ended up getting all As, except one A-. I definitely could have made better decisions to make it an easier time on myself and I will carry the lessons I have learned forward. Second semester was also the first time I reached out to a TA or professor outside of normal class hours and realized how much of a great help it is. I am definitely looking forward to going to more office hours next year, and getting to know my professors better than this year.
My first year had its ups and downs, but I think its important not to consider the downs as failures, but as an opportunity to improve myself, and that is exactly what I will be doing.
This watch is more than just a timekeeper for me. Every time I look at it, it reminds me to stay disciplined and focused at the work at hand. It tells me that I dont have much time, and that I have to do everything that I could before it runs out. This watch runs on no batteries, but instead it is run by a pendulum in a low friction chamber. This symbolizes that one does not need any external motivation like the battery to work. It symbolizes the fact that no job can be done without the proper will and attitude.
By completing my FAST responder training in January, I became a member of the Red Cross First Aid Services Team. As a part of the team, I get to go to events around Columbus and help the event goers with first aid or any emergencies they have had. This is a very unique opportunity, because most volunteering opportunities in the health care field don’t provide patient contact. However, through FAST, I can interact with and help patients. I have been to about 4 events so far, and have had 3 patients I have got to work with. I am hoping to go to a lot more bigger events, so I can learn even more and become a better first responder!
College is unlike any other experience I have had, so there were many things I learned from it in only one semester. Fortunately, I have taken classes at OSU before through the academy program, so coming in, I was already comfortable with locating places around campus and with the academic rigor. It is also nice to live only about 25 minutes from campus, because it makes me feel a bit more safe. Although I was close to home, I wanted to dorm on campus in order to be exposed to more resources and to make more friends. I was quite worried about the fact that I would have to room with people I have never met in my life. However, I was relieved when I met them on move-in day. I’ve heard many stories about bad room-mates and I’m glad that my room-mates were the best I could possibly have. Being a part of Biological Sciences Scholars helped with this, because it allowed me to live with people that have similar interests. Everyone on my floor are in similar classes, so all of us know what the others are dealing with. Living out of home with people I dont know has been a big part of this transition from being dependent to independent. It forced me to take full responsibility of all my problems and it made me less lazy and more motivated. I became more organized and expressed management skills that I have never noticed. One great thing about being at OSU is that everyone is very friendly and open, which allowed me to meet new people and develop friendships. In high school, I was an introvert and was not very open about making new friends. but now I am quite outgoing and love meeting new people; it made me more outspoken and confident
In terms of academics, I took 18 credit hours this semester, which was quite intimidating at first, but I had pretty good expectations about how rigorous it would be. Studying on campus is very different than studying at home; however, I still don’t know if it is better or worse. The best part of being on campus is that I have access to so many resources that can help me with my classes such as office hours, tutoring centers, and even other students. The hardest part was staying motivated throughout the semester. I believe that in college, motivation naturally dies off as the semester progresses, so I had to find ways to keep myself motivated and passionate, so that I don’t give up and start failing. I found that the easiest way to do this was just to be positive and to know that things are going to get better if I want them to. Now that the end of the semester is approaching, I feel pretty accomplished; I just have to focus on finals and be well prepared. One ideology that I found that is helpful with academics in college is to over prepare for everything and to do every assignment with meticulous perfection.
One goal of mine for this semester was to find extracurricular activities that are enjoyable and rewarding. At the beginning it was pretty confusing because there seemed to be many different options, but after I talked to other people about what they were doing I got involved in some clubs. I started volunteering at The James, I’m involved in a volunteer and cultural club called Hindu Yuva, and I’m involved with two other volunteering clubs called NEURO (Neuroscience Education for Urban and Rural Outreach) and Global Brigades. The hardest part about extracurricular activities was keeping a track of all the meetings and different events going on. This forced me to be organized and to use a calendar, which I have never before used. It also allowed me to develop essential time management skills that will become even more important in the future.
Overall, I think my first semester of college has been quite successful so far and I feel pretty accomplished. There are definitely things I can learn from it in terms of time management, organization, and studying, which will help me do even better in the upcoming semesters.
On Friday October 6, Biological Sciences Scholars along with STEM scholars and Humanitarian Engineering scholars went to The Maize at Little Darby creek, which was a corn maze that included other attractions such as a corn shooting range, a pumpkin shooting range, and a petting zoo. The main purpose of this event was to meet and get to know other scholars students. During the hour long bus ride, we got to talk about various different topics from word games to hometowns. We also had to work together to get through the corn maze, which was actually quite difficult. The entire trip was about 4 hours and was a good way to end a stressful week. Overall, we had a lot of fun and got to know each other a lot better, which helps make the scholars community more personal and welcoming.
My e-porfolio will allow you to get to know me better with information about my background and my future goals. I will be posting on this site throughout my college career about experiences that I gather in the coming 4 years. For now, you could go to the About Me section to learn about my passions and interests and to the Artifacts page to learn about an object that is valuable to me. Thank you and stay tuned!
The G.O.A.L.S. of the Honors & Scholars program are 5 different categories where its students strive to showcase and excel in.
G stands for Global Awareness which is an appreciation for diversity and respect for each individual’s unique differences. Students work on this category by taking classes with an international focus or by going abroad to study, volunteer, or research. I have been showcasing global awareness in high school by being an officer for the model united nations club and teaching the novices about how to debate international issues. I plan to continue working on my global awareness by studying abroad and volunteering abroad at some point in college. I will also actively try to learn about different cultures by interacting and meeting people that have unique differences.
O stands for Original Inquiry which is the result of a student’s curiosity and has the students engaging in the research process by doing anywhere from in-class projects to independent endeavors in research labs across campus. To work on this category, I am currently a part of Dr. Randy Nelson’s circadian rhythms and sleep lab working on pancreatic cancer and how light exposure affects it. I plan to continue researching in the same lab for the next 4 years and to make the most out of it by making and presenting posters, going conferences, and publishing papers.
A stands for Academic Enrichment which is shown through the student’s academic excellence with a rigorous in class and outside class curriculum. I have already shown this by taking the most challenging classes during my four years of high school and maintaining a 4.0+ GPA. Furthermore, I engaged myself in clubs and competitions outside the coursework assigned to me. I am currently taking 18 credit hours and continue to do extracurricular outside of the classroom such as clubs, research, and volunteering. I will also be taking 18 credit hours next semester to continue to challenge myself.
L stands for Leadership Development which is the student’s ability to develop leadership skills and to showcase them both in the classroom and outside of the classroom. I have shown this by being at the top of all my classes and by actively helping my peers do better. Furthermore, I was the officer of the Model United Nations club in my high school. Currently, I am the outreach and communication lead for a volunteer and cultural organization on campus called Hindu Yuva and I recently got accepted as a Honors & Scholars ambassador. I will continue to apply for executive board positions in clubs, so that I could gain more leadership experience that will allow me to be more successful in the future.
S stands for Service Engagement which is the student’s willingness to help his own community without seeking anything back in return. I have been volunteering at the Riverside Methodist Hospital and the Martha Morehouse, helping guests and nurses around the hospital. I am also training to be a part of the American Red Cross First Aid Services Team, which is another great clinical volunteering opportunity. I also actively look for non-clinical volunteer activities and try to vary what I do. I will continue doing these activities for the remainder of the college, and I will also look for volunteer abroad opportunities that can combine both the Global Awareness and Service Engagement goals.
It is not so much the pen itself that is the artifact, but the person who gave it and the act of giving it.
I am part of an organization for Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), a volunteer non-profit, non-governmental organization that is one of the biggest in the world. We deal with problems ranging from all over the social sphere from poverty, natural disasters, environmental problems and minority rights. Because it is such a big organization involved in many things, we require a lot of volunteers, not only part-time, but full time as well. Therefore, we have full-time volunteers that have left their families and their personal goals and desires to work for the greater good. One such volunteer, who I cannot name, is an international supervisor, so he travels the world, helping conduct activities for the different social issues we work for. I have known him ever since I have been 7-8 years old and he has seen me grow up. Throughout my life, he stood as inspiration for me, as the epitome of discipline, leadership, and sacrifice. He has dedicated his life to make the world a better place and is compete fine with not receiving any recognition or credit for his work. For many people, he doesn’t have much, but for him, he has more than what he needs. The members of HSS are family to him and doing what he does makes him happy, and he insists that he needs nothing more. I can still not forget the day he gave me that pen. For many, including him, it was just a pen, but for me, it is much more than just that, simply because he is the one that gave it to me. Whenever I write with I am constantly reminded of him and his character. It serves me as a reminder to constantly fight for what I believe in and to continuously strive to be a better version of my self for the sake of societal help. Its presence suggests that I am working for a cause much greater than myself and that I have to seek a greater cause in everything that I do. It reminds to stay motivated and passionate about the things I love. It might not be the best pen out there, but it has far exceeded its job of being just a pen, and it will continue to do so throughout my entire life.
Praneethkumar (Praneeth) Madhu is a freshmen at the Ohio State University, majoring in neuroscience, and is a part of the Biological Sciences Scholars program. Praneeth loves to try out new things and meet new people.
In High School, he participated in many clubs and extracurricular activities such as Speech and Debate, Key Club, Science Olympiad, Chess Club, and was an officer for the Model United Nations club. As an officer, his duties included the training of the underclassmen and the organization of travel to conferences in Ohio and in other states. He was also very involved in social work, volunteering at Riverside Methodist Hospital, and the Center of Science and Industry. With a few of his friends, he also started a cancer fundraiser called Campaign for Colon Cancer Research (3CR) to help the research efforts at the James Cancer Center. Furthermore, he is an active member of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, one of the largest non-profit, non-governmental organizations in the world that contributes to all aspects of society through awareness and volunteerism. Through these different endeavors, Praneeth has gained a lot of leadership experience and confidence that he hopes to carry throughout his college career. Understanding how important such experiences are, he will continue to search for learning opportunities in college. Joining the Biological Sciences Scholars Program was a way for him to find new doors to different organizations and challenges that he can join and take up. He joined the program to connect with people, find new opportunities, and develop essential skills such as leadership, communication, and time management.
Praneeth is also an avid thinker and enjoys philosophical and theoretical topics all the way from consciousness in plants to the existence of a universal force. He is also currently writing a book called “7” that discusses his opinions through such topics in an interesting story line.
After his undergraduate studies, Praneeth is hoping to go onto medical school to become a neurosurgeon and create a lasting impact on the world.