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Project Sunshine: End of Freshman Year

As freshman year comes to an end, I am so thankful to have found Project Sunshine at the involvement fair in the fall. Project Sunshine gave me the chance to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio, and brighten the lives of children who are facing such hard times. I went hoping to improve their lives, and left changed myself. Along with direct service, I was able to help make packages of crafts and toys for children in hospitals around the country to enjoy.

It is so hard to put into words how large of an impact this organization has had on me. I have been so excited about it, that I decided to run for President, and got it! It is amazing to be able to lead this group of students who are as passionate as I am about the mission of Project Sunshine. This organization is something I am proud to represent and serve. I can’t wait to contune to brighten days and put a smile on each child’s face!

Freshman Year

As I look back at my freshman year, I am still shocked to say I am a student at The Ohio State University. I have been given the chance to study at an amazing school, with outstanding people and professors. While I have been challenged academically, I have overcome all of the struggles. At the beginning of the spring seamster, I decided I wasn’t content with my Molecular Genetics major. I knew I wanted to work with children and in a medical institution. I found occupational therapy, and it instantly clicked with me. I am now officially a Health Sciences major on a pre-Occupaitional Therapy track. I am beyond thankful for all of the support that is given to students to help find our passions.

I would not have been able to make it through this year without my newfound best friend (and roommate for freshman year and sophomore year), Shelby. She helped me and supported me when I was overwhelmed. I also wouldn’t have made it through the year without Project Sunshine, which I am now the President of for the upcoming year. I cannot wait to continue volunteering at the Ronald McDonald house and helping brighten childrens’ days. And finally, I am thankful to have volunteered at The James Cancer Hospital, which offered me experience and patient interaction that left my heart warmed with joy.

Freshman year was far from easy, but it was so much fun and very rewarding. I have learned so many new things and met so many new people. Coming from such a small town, I was nervous for the change, but am now more than prepared and ready to venture out and grow as a person. Freshman year gave me the tools to get started, and I am excited to see what the next 3 years have in store for me.

BioSci Mitochondria Volleyball

In the spring, I joined the scholars volleyball team, and was able make new friends and play a sport I love. It was fun to compete against other scholars teams and meet new people. Our team made it all the way the the championship game.. and even though we didn’t win, we still were a real powerhouse! I can’t wait for next season, so I can make even more friends and memories!

Study Abroad: Scientific Roots in Europe

When I first became an official student at OSU, one of my first interests was studying abroad. At a visit in the spring before my freshman year, I talked with a woman who was a teacher of a study abroad class that travelled over spring break. I looked up all of the information and knew that this was a great opportunity for a study abroad as a freshman. I applied as soon as the application became available and was lucky enough to get accepted. In the spring, the class was taught by two amazing professors and special guest speakers, to prepare us for our travels. I learned various scientific ideas and the history of biological roots in Europe has made an impact. We mainly focused on paradigm shifts, which is the fundamental changes in beliefs as new knowledge is discovered. When spring break came around, it was time to travel to London and Paris.

I had been to London before, but this time I got to travel to different places and even explore on my own some. My favorite place in London was the Old Operating Theatre Museum, which was once an operating room in the space above a church, where medical professionals would come to learn surgical procedures. Along with the operating “theatre” and all of the various medical tools, I became interested in the advancement of technology in healthcare, which I used for my final project in the class. One of the other standout things in London was watching Matilda: The Musical, which I have always wanted to see.

After a few days in London, we travel to Paris via the Eurostar fast train. Arriving in Paris was a magical, and overwhelming time. I knew a little French, but I was still nervous to be in a country where I wasn’t able to completely communicate. I quickly overcame this fear and enjoyed my time in Paris. I visited all of the historical and well known places, like the Louvre (which was so much larger than I expected, unlike the Mona Lisa), the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame. I did a lot of roaming on my own, where I did my best to communicate and learn more French. On the final day of the trip, I ventured a little farther to see a van Gough museum. It was located in an area that was not as touristy, which meant I needed to communicate in French. I got to the museum, to find that tickets were sold out. I was able to talk and explain where I was from and that I was visiting with a college. Since I was by myself, they let me in, and I am so lucky for this. I was able to see an exhibition of van Gough’s art that was painted across the walls in video form, as if I was watching him create his masterpieces. I sat there for a couple hours, completely mesmerized, and ventured back to my hotel while I enjoyed my last night in the city.

This trip was by far the best part of my freshman year at Ohio State. I was lucky enough to be able to travel, make new friends (mainly upperclassman), and learn more about scientific roots in Europe. I hope to travel again, and enjoy more study abroad opportunities that my school offers.

Hamilton: The Musical

I woke up one morning and checked my emails before I did anything else. I noticed a special email about the chance to see Hamilton with other scholars. Before I knew it, I was running to the office to reserve my ticket. I have always been a musical fan, and the history of Hamilton makes a great musical. The chance to go see this musical reminds me of amazing being a scholars student truly is. My roommates and I got ready while we listened to the Hamilton soundtrack and then had an spectacular time watching the show live. This is an experience I will never forget!

COSI with Scholars

As a kid, I though COSI was the most amazing place. When I was given the chance go to COSI for OSU night, I was beyond excited. A group of my fellow BioSci Scholars and I took a COTA bus to COSI. Once we got there, I felt like a kid again. I wanted to play with all of the small, interesting gadgets and have fun with my friends. I got to walk through all of the old time set ups, which is my favorite exhibit at COSI. Finally, my group watched one of the science shows that was all about chemistry. This was fun because sitting in chemistry lectures isn’t always my favorite part of the week, but the show made chemistry more interactive. I enjoy getting out with fellow scholars and COSI was a fun place to do that!

James Cancer Hospital Volunteering

During the spring semester of my freshman year, I was lucky enough to be a volunteer at The James Cancer Hospital on OSU’s medical campus. My position was registration/patient access. When patients came into the hospital and got registered, I guided them to the locations of their appointments/surgeries. I was able to ask the patients how they were doing and try to keep their spirits up. Along with the patient interaction, I was able to make connections with the registration employees at the hospital. This experience was such an amazing opportunity, and I cannot wait to volunteer at The James in the fall. I volunteered for a total of 28 hours, and am so lucky to have got involved with the wonderful work that makes The James so special.

Project Sunshine Club

As a first year, it is difficult to go to the involvement fair and find the clubs that truly are what you want to be spending your time doing. However, I found Project Sunshine, sticking out with their bright yellow shirts, and I was instantly drawn to their table. As soon as I talked to the club president, I knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of as soon as possible. The next week, we had our first meeting and I became a member of the club, which is a smaller part of the national organization.

Project Sunshine is a national organization that focuses on bringing programs to pediatric patients, to help distract them from their hospital stay and bring them some sunshine when they feel gloomy. The programs include things like crafts, healthy cooking lessons, and sending sunshine. So far in this semester, we have completed two projects that deal with sending sunshine. The first being the production of knot-tie blankets that were sent to a center where pediatric patients reside. The second sending sunshine program that I have been involved in was the making of Christmas cards to send to the patients to brighten up their holiday.

This club is relatively new to OSU, so we are completing out first in-person program in mid-November. I am looking forward to interacting with the children and their families and bringing some sunshine to their days when they may be feeling down. Being apart of this club is very rewarding and makes me excited to work with children in my future.

Volunteering Log

Below are the volunteering experiences I have been able to have while at Ohio State. Some may also be features under artifacts with a more in-depth review of the experience.

Wesley Glen Game Night – 4 hours

Star House – 2 hours

Steps for Sarcoma- 3.5 hours

Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio (with Project Sunshine)- 8 hours

James Cancer Hospital (Registration/Patient Access)- 28 hours

These volunteering opportunities have given me a chance to meet many people and further develop communication skills. I will be able to use what is learned throughout volunteering to become a stronger individual with a more well-rounded scope of knowledge and experiences.

Wesley Glen Game Night

I had the opportunity to travel to the Wesley Glen Retirement Community so that we could help run their bingo night. When we got in the elevator at the retirement community, there was a sing hanging that read “Bingo Night with OSU Biological Sciences Scholars.” It made me excited to meet the residents because they seemed excited to meet us! Before bingo began, the residents talked with other scholars and me about our hometowns and what our majors were. Along with the residents learning about us, I was able to learn about them, also. There was a man that told us about his time in WWII and how his life lead him to Columbus. Of course, this lead into our intense games of bingo! This experience was nice because I was able to meet individuals that had such enriching life experiences and now were excited to hear about the journey that myself, along with my fellow scholars, were just embarking on.