This year I have the opportunity to mentor a freshman in the ACES program. Her name is Hanna Lipic and she is an Early Childhood Education major just like me. When I asked her how she decided on this major, we bonded over the fact that we have similar stories. Hanna said that when she was young she loved playing with and working with kids. One of her neighbors used to bring over math problems and Hanna would teach her how to do them on a white board she had in her room. She said she loves when she is able to see students get that “click” in their understanding of a concept. In relation to becoming a teacher, education is very important to her. She said she prefers to study in the afternoon so that her night is free for other activities. She also likes to work ahead and start studying a few days before because it helps her to be able to balance academics and involvement. To study, she likes to review her quizzes and old notes and her dorm is her favorite place to study currently. So far, her most challenging class has been her food science class. It is for a general education requirement and is difficult because it does not relate to her major at all. They talk about what happens to food when it goes in your body and about carbs and proteins.
Related to her major, one of the organizations Hanna plans to get involved with on campus is an education club called OSEA. This club has academic events that involved professional development through speakers in the education field. It also has many social events to allow members of the club to get to know each other. Additionally, Hanna is excited to join the ski team and compete in races during the winter and spring. Furthermore, getting involved with service on campus is important to her because of her background with it. In high school, she led Lions CARE which is an informative club about animals and endangered species. Additionally, she participated in relay for life, took part in a club that makes toys for animals and shelters, and attended many days of service. She does not know what type of service she will get involved with on campus but is excited for the opportunities available.
Service is one of the reasons Hanna joined ACES. She looks forward to the encouragement to get more involved in community service at Ohio State, but does think it may be hard to meet the hours. ACES most directly relates to her major and brings lots of opportunities she would not otherwise receive though academic, service, and social events. Being able to be a part of the honors and scholars’ program also brings many benefits.
Similarly, ACES will help her in her career. Hanna plans to enter the workforce right after graduation and become a teacher. She said she would love to go back to Cincinnati and teach in Lakota Local Schools, which is the school district she grew up in. When I asked her what grade she likes the most, she said that she has always loved second grade. After she gains experience as a teacher, she would love to become a principal at an elementary school but thinks it is important to be a teacher first. In case her plan does not work, she said she might like to be the director of a fitness center or daycare. She worked as a swim instructor over the summer and really enjoyed that, so this could be a type of extension off of that.
So far at Ohio State she has learned how important it is to find a close group of friends. Her older sister goes here too and one of the pieces of advice she gave Hanna to make the university feel smaller was to have a close group of friends. Hanna has found that to be true in the first few weeks of school. Additionally, she was surprised by how easy it is to get around campus. She noted that at first Ohio State felt huge, but it no longer does.
I am excited about all I learned about Hanna in the interview and for what is to come as I get to know her even better over the year. It is helpful to know the class she is struggling in and what she is worried about with ACES. This will be able to help me check to see if she needs any assistance in those areas. I know that at first it was hard for me to be able to get all of my service hours, so I will be able to provide her advice. We also take many of the same classes, so I can suggest GEs and be a reference in many of her education classes. Furthermore, I think learning about the areas we relate in including study habits and clubs can me to be there for Hanna whenever needed.