National Mental Health Awareness Week: Dealing with Stress

Are you stressed?

A recent American College Health Survey found stress, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, interpersonal concerns, death of a significant other and alcohol use among the top ten health impediments to academic performance.

Being a pharmacy student can be exhausting!  There’s a lot of pressure to be exceptional academically, personally, and professionally.  Taking some time for yourself each week is incredibly important so that you don’t burn out.

What can you do?  Set aside time to relax and recuperate! Create a positive state of mind to foster creativity, stress relief, and connectedness with your support groups.

Try these stress management tips:

  • Recognize the warning signs of stress, such as anxiety, irritability and muscle tension so that you can step back if you have too much on your plate
  • Learn problem-solving skills so that you can anticipate challenges and cope with setbacks
  • Practice relaxation skills, such as yoga, stretching, massage, deep breathing or meditation
  • Engage in regular physical activity or exercise
  • Eat well and limit alcohol and caffeine
  • Get adequate sleep – make it a priority!
  • Get encouragement from supportive friends, family, and mentors
  • Don’t be afraid to take a break and breathe
  • If you ever feel like you need help – please reach out!

If you are experiencing personal problems or situational crises, please contact:

  • The College of Pharmacy Office of Student Services: Room 150 Parks Hall (614-292-5001)
  • OSU Counseling and Consultation Services (614-292-5766) for assistance, support and advocacy (this service is free and confidential)
    • Visit for additional information on their services, including group counseling and workshops
    • Open 9a-4p M-F
    • CCS services are free up to 10 sessions per academic year, and those with student insurance are eligible to be seen with a co-pay thereafter

Each student has a student mentor that is specifically trained to help you cope with all the stress that being a pharmacy student might bring.  Also, all the faculty at the College of Pharmacy are caring and understanding.  They really want students to be healthy and happy so that they can perform at their maximum potential.  In the Office of Student Affairs, Joe Orozco ( and Kelly Crum ( are available resources.  We also have an on-site counselor at the Student Affairs office, Shawn Levstek, Psy.D.  Shawn presents programs geared toward improving stress management, improving coping mechanisms, and overall wellness, and is at our college on Tuesdays and Friday, located in 138B Parks Hall. If you are interested in counseling or have any questions for him, contact Dr. Levstek by email anytime at

The Ohio State University College of Medicine has a list of Columbus Community Mental Health Resources on their website.

If you need immediate assistance:

  • Life threatening emergencies
    • Go to nearest ER or call 911
  • Suicidal Ideation
    • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
    • 24/7 suicide hotline at 1-800-784-2433
    • Columbus hotline 614-221-5445
    • OSU Emergency Dept. 614-293-8333
  • Netcare Access Crisis Hotline: 24 hour mental health and substance abuse intervention 614-276-2273

Special thanks to Kiersten Pasternak for the mental health resource information.

And as always, I’m here and happy to help.  Email me at!


Start of the School Year!

It’s that time again! This week begins a new academic year here at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, and there’s certainly a lot of excitement. I personally love this time– there’s that promise for the new year! I can begin marking up my planner, creating a new routine, catching up with my classmates, and meeting new students. I really enjoy thinking about what this new year will offer.

So what’s going on at the college? We’ve officially wrapped up orientations for the first-year PharmD students (P1s), and it was a week chock-full of information and punctuated with icebreakers, campus tours, and an etiquette luncheon. Orientation culminated at the White Coat Ceremony where P1s received their coats, signifying the beginning of their professional education. It was truly an exciting event.


This week brings it all together.


    9:30am begins the college’s Student Organization Fair. The many different professional student organizations will set up booths in the Biological Sciences/Pharmacy Libary (BPL). Everyone will have the opportunity to check out the different organizations, learn more about them, and find out what they think best suits their interests. There is so much to take in, and this is really a great way to see what is offered.

    After the organization fair, this is the perfect time to swing by the annual Welcome Back Picnic at the Women’s Field House, 11:30am. There will be plenty of delicious cook-out food, and it’s the perfect opportunity to reconnect and to make new connections with others at the college.

    I also recommend checking out Buck-i-Frenzy afterwards, just nearby at the RPAC. It’s a massive event with some cool giveaways, but it is definitely not for the claustrophobic since any students from The Ohio State University may make their way through.


    Classes start today!


    APhA-ASP (American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists) is kicking off the year with their first meeting during professional hour (11:30-12:30), and then later that evening as well. APhA’s Welcome Back social takes place at the Pint House at 8:00pm. Socials like this are a very casual and friendly way to learn more about the organization and where you might find your niche in pharmacy.

    If you’ve a little time, it may also be worth checking out the movie on the Oval on Wednesday night at 8:00pm. There will be a giant projector screen showing the most recent Avengers movie, and students are welcome to bring a blanket and plop down on the grass to watch the show.


    The OUAB (Ohio Union Activity Board) Grad/Prof Welcome Picnic is at the Faculty Club beginning at 4:00pm– just in case you’re craving more cook-out.

    AMCP’s Welcome Back Social is 4:30-6:30 at Miller’s Ale House.

Socials continue into the following week even with SNPhA’s Welcome Back Carnival at Fred Beekman Park 3:30-6:30 on August 31. Afterwards at 7:00, SSHP is going to a Clippers baseball game at Huntington Park.

There is so much going on at this time of year and so many ways to get to meet new people. You can learn more about the college and different organizations, make new friends, and begin to find where you want to make your mark at the university.

Take care, and I wish you another great year!

Summer in Columbus

It’s Summer and You’re in Columbus! Now What?

Columbus is the place to be!  I moved to Columbus, Ohio in the fall of 2010, and though I’ve only been here for less than 5 years, I call Columbus “Home.”  Columbus in the summer is alive with a vibrant array of activities to do, places to eat and shop, and festivals to attend.  Here is my top list for the best of Columbus!


Columbus is beautiful!

For the Foodie:

North Market is simply one of my favorite places to walk around and try new things, including some of the best of Columbus.  Don’t miss out on Pistacia Vera, Jeni’s, and Hot Chicken Takeover!


North Market in the Short North

Tensuke Express is a gem if you love Japanese food and are on a budget!

Northstar Cafe is my go-to restaurant.  They have three Columbus locations – Easton, Beechwold, and Short North.  Meeting a friend from out-of-town and need a place to eat?  Northstar is always my first choice.


Northstar Cafe at Easton Town Center

 Katalina’s Corner Cafe is one of my favorite breakfast places.  They are famous for their Nutella-filled Pancake Balls and their Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Bacon.  Their Mazatlan Slow-Roasted Pork and Egg sandwich is worth every penny.  Oh and don’t forget their tacos!  Mmm so good.


Pulled Pork Tacos from Katalina’s

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing is my favorite place to brunch in Columbus.  Everything on the menu is mouthwatering and their beermosas and bloody mary’s are on point.


Wolf’s Ridge Brewing


Bloody Mary from Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is the most famous place for dessert in Columbus!  They have the most unique flavors of ice cream – my personal favorites are Goat Cheese with Red Cherries and Yazoo Sue with Rosemary Bar Nuts.


Jeni’s Ice Creams at Easton Town Center

 Pistacia Vera in German Village has the best macarons.


Pistacia Vera in German Village


Macarons at Pistacia Vera


For the Coffee Lover:

Fox in the Snow Cafe is the trendy new place to get coffee.  The cafe is a renovated garage decorated with lots of green living things.  They have the best egg sandwich and pastries.


Fox in the Snow Cafe


Inside Fox in the Snow Cafe


Latte at Fox in the Snow Cafe

One Line Coffee is a beautiful cafe in the Short North.  The owner is truly passionate about coffee.

The Roosevelt Coffeehouse is great place for coffee downtown that is dedicated to fighting global injustices, such as lack of clean water, hunger, and human trafficking.  Try their iced coffee!

Stauf’s Coffee Roasters is a hotspot for coffee in Columbus.  The Grandview location can get quite crowded, and they recently opened a new shop in German Village near Pistacia Vera.


For the Nature Lover:

Goodale Park is a grassy, relaxing park near downtown.

The Olentangy River Trail is the most popular running and biking trail in Columbus.

Columbus Park of Roses is a beautiful park with over 12,000 roses.  The roses are typically in full bloom from mid-June through mid-September.

The Franklin Park Conservatory boasts breath-taking botanical gardens, glasshouses, plant collections, and art collections.


Franklin Park Conservatory


Franklin Park Conservatory


For the Festival Lover:

Columbus Arts Festival – June 12-14, 2015

Columbus Pride Festival – June 19-21, 2015

Comfest – June 26-28, 2015

Red White and Boom – July 3, 2015

Jazz and Rib Fest – July 17-19, 2015

The Ohio State Fair – July 29- August 9, 2015

Columbus Food Truck Fest – August 14-16, 2015


For the Explorer:

 Easton Town Center is my favorite mall in Columbus (there’s also Polaris and Tuttle).  It’s a beautiful outdoor mall, perfect for both casual window shoppers and serious spenders.


Easton Town Center

Short North Gallery Hop is a celebration of the downtown Short North shops the first Saturday of every month from 4pm-10pm, although the festivities often run much later!  Shops are open late and there are special events, food, drinks, performers, and art gallery exhibitions.


Short North at night in Columbus

The Columbus Museum of Art has free admission on Sundays and features a variety of exhibitions.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a nationally acclaimed zoo and a great way to spend a summer day!  Recently, a tiger just had triplets.  On a hot day you can also head over to the water park Zoombezi Bay right next door and cool down!

COSI is a fun, hands-on science museum for children and adults alike!


COSI – Columbus


Scioto Mile – Columbus


Columbus at Night


One of my fellow Student Ambassador Coordinators, Megan Johnson says for the sports and music fans: In the summer we have the Columbus Crew games (professional soccer) and Clippers games (minor league baseball), and Columbus hosts a number of concerts at Nationwide Arena, The Schottenstein Center, the Newport, and the outdoor LC pavilion.

I would love to chat and give more suggestions on how to get to know Columbus!  Email us at!