Mid-Action Plan Check In

In my position right now, two weeks into the Earth Month Action Plan, I can confidently say that things are not going exactly as planned. I had devised a strategy to devote the entirety of week one to focus on collecting and developing more in depth notes and research. I also hoped to use all of the second week to reach out to OSU faculty members who are involved in topics that are related to my issue in order to gain more insight into the problem overall. However, I spent my time so far working on collecting high quality data and research. An obstacle I faced was attempting to find time to progress in my endeavor to collect the research material because I had been spending all of my free time studying for a chemistry midterm. Although I did not prefer to spend the time studying for this midterm, I knew that I needed to in order to score well on the exam. I found myself weighing the consequences of choosing one action over the other and this resulted in my non-stop studying. The fact that I had to choose between studying for a class that I believe, in my opinion, to be one of the causes of my stress and trying to find a way to better the planet made me extremely upset. I consider the Earth Month Action Plan to be more relevant to my future than the chemistry exam and I know that I could have done more for the planet through this ENR project. Due to my decision to study, I find myself one week behind on my plan. However, I realize that this is a minor obstacle and that I can still find success in my project. One way around this obstacle is to merge the tasks of two weeks into one. My second week goal of reaching out to interested OSU faculty members can be completed simultaneously with using my social media to spread the word about my issue (week three task). This might be a little more work than I had initially expected, but I truly believe that if I complete my plan, I can make a difference.

I learned a lot about myself in these two weeks in relation to this project. One example is that I realized that I know how to prioritize without letting my wishes cloud my judgement. The fact that I was able to stop working on the project, something I do get engrossed in, and continue studying for chemistry is something that I consider to be extremely impressive. I knew that even though I wanted to learn more about my issue, I needed to put more energy on my exam (for the time being). I also learned that I have grown from my “everything is going wrong…PANIC” mindset and adopted a different mindset through which I work to resolve my issues in a calm manner. Even though I fell a little behind on my weekly goals, I realized that it was an easy – to – solve issue and that is something I am proud of and hope to apply more often in my life. The main challenge I foresee is the possibility of running into the same problem of not being able to devote time to my issue. With finals coming up, I know that there is a high chance this situation could repeat itself. However, I also know that I just need to remember that there will always be a solution for the problem and hope for the best.

Earth Month Action Plan

My Earth Month Action Plan utilizes many strategies stemming from the knowledge I gained through my research to address and resolve my selected issue. The focus of my issue is on increasing awareness for the preventable destruction of the oceans and decreasing human impact on the oceans and the life found in them. Through my plan, I have assigned a goal to each of the four weeks involved – both cumulative and short term goals. My first week will be focused on collecting thorough data on human impact on every aspect of the oceans. I will organize my research into groups (example: effects on animals, plants, the ecosystems, humans, and tourism). I will aim to collect as much information on each individualized group as possible during the first week, but if I discover more throughout the month, I will add my new discoveries to my organized data. For week two, I will be focused on reaching out to OSU faculty and experts in order to gain input from people passionate about these topics who live close to home. My third week will be spent spreading the word. I will transform my social media accounts into places where I can share information about the ocean’s current crisis. I am choosing social media because in the world today, that it the quickest way to spread ideas and knowledge. I will also make flyers and place them in strategic areas that would bring about the most impact and use this as another way to spread the news. The fourth week will be focused on reaching out to marine life based non-profits that I recently discovered in order to get their input on the issues, which is valuable because they work on the issues first hand. I will try to get involved with some of these organizations and hopefully make connections with involved members of the non-profits.

I cannot see any issues coming up during my mission to complete my week one tasks. They seem doable, especially since they involve me collecting information. Week two should also bring up zero issues because it just requires me to contact OSU affiliated people who share a passion for ocean protection. Week three should also be fairly simple since it involves spreading news through my own social media, which I control, and through flyers. The flyers can bring up an issue if certain places which I consider to be ideal do not support the sharing of my information.  If this becomes an issue, I can resolve it by first asking if my information can be shared before pinning it anywhere and by having multiple places lined up as options. The last week’s tasks do have the potential of becoming a challenge due to the distance between my location and the location of these organizations. One way I can tackle it is by contacting the groups in multiple ways and asking how I can get involved, even from where I am right now. Although some of these tasks seem difficult or like unnecessary work, I believe that every effort is essential to help save our seas and promote ocean-friendly mindsets. Despite the aspects of this issue that seem difficult, I have learned that with passion anything is possible. Therefore, I am going to eagerly dive into this project and am excited to witness the results.

Lens Reflection: Non-Profits

Prior to this week’s class, I believed that I already understood the helpful role of volunteers at non-profit organizations. However, after observing the guest speakers, I now realize that the volunteers are not just helpful, but essential for any organization to run and achieve its goals. Both speakers aimed to convey the message that each of their respective non-profit organizations wouldn’t exist without their volunteers. They spoke about how they search for volunteers who are passionate, committed, and determined to the cause the organizations fight for. Hearing these passionate adults talk about how they are proud of their non-profit organizations and the work they have accomplished through them was captivating. Although both organizations differed greatly with their direct goals (one was farm focused, the other focused on helping immigrants), they had identical end goals: to make life easier and better for someone else. This is a commonality found in most, if not all, non-profit organizations. Listening to the presentations of both speakers increased my admiration for non-profits and made me feel more excited to explore my issue through this lens. When pursuing my issue through the non-profit organizations lens, I need to consider the challenges that come with trying to contact organizations located on the other side of the country. Although location has been a worry on my mind throughout my journey with this issue, those worries have subsided with the help of the speakers. After hearing them say that neither of them imagined they would end up successful in their respective organization, but the passion they had for the cause helped them achieve captured my attention and helped me remember that I am capable of dealing with this issue.

My biggest takeaway from the presentations is that the concept of a person following their dreams is not an outdated idea. This class session has helped me remember that no matter how challenging a task is or how hopeless finding a solution to an issue may seem, if I follow my passions and stay confident in my dreams, I will succeed. Through this class session, I also realized that volunteering is vital for the success of any non-profit organization. Personally, I think there are a few options I could follow to take action on my issue through this lens. The two top options are to contact the organizations focused on my issue and make connections and get there opinion on how I can make a difference from Ohio or to travel to the organizations and be a direct, hands-on volunteer. All in all, witnessing these presentations have provided me with the reassurance I needed in order to help me remember that with the help other equally passionate people, the issue I have selected can indeed be resolved.

Through the Lens: Non-Profits

Oceans make up about seventy-one percent of our planet. Although we live and spend most of our time on land, oceans play one of the most vital roles in our existence. All beings depend on the seas in order to go about living their day to day lives. Therefore, it is shocking to realize that in all our existence, despite the technological advances we have made, humans have only explored around five percent of the oceans (according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). To know that there is still so much to learn about and from the oceans is eye-opening and expands the minds to possibilities for the future. The people who orchestrate the research and expeditions which allow us to learn more about the oceans and the potential they hold are known as non-profit organizations. According to Wikipedia, non-profit organizations are those which dedicate themselves to thoroughly understanding a social issue and focus on promoting awareness for it, rather than aiming solely to make a profit. There are many non-profits revolving around the protection, preservation, and exploration of marine life.

Non-profit organizations such as the She Shepherd Conservation Society, the Oceanic Preservation Society, and Mission Blue are all involved in the issue of marine conservation. The She Shepherd Conservation Society focuses to end the killing of many marine animals (especially dolphins and sharks) and the habitat destruction that comes with it. The Oceanic Preservation Society are a team of artists passionate about marine life who wish to share knowledge about marine life and spread awareness for the crisis happening in our waters. Mission Blue is a non-profit founded by Sylvia Earle, an incredible Marine Biologist, with the goal to protect and explore the seas. These are just a few of the many non-profits oriented around marine life. Scientists, other marine biologists, and oceanographers involve themselves with these types of non-profit organizations for a variety of reasons. One reason is due to their curiosity to discover what is hidden in the remaining ninety-five percent of unexplored ocean. The oceans have been known to give us incredible things we have used in medicines, to advance technology, and improve our overall quality of life; and that is just with the five percent we have explored! It is unimaginable what the rest of the oceans possess to teach us, and it is with this curiosity that some scientists which to support non-profits interested in the same mystery. Another reason people support non-profits is because they want to help raise awareness that the oceans need help. Non-profit organizations focused on protecting the seas get a lot of support from people who realize that there is a crisis happening in the seas because the life in the oceans are dying and it need to be saved. Another reason people support marine based non-profit organizations is because they want to promote the education of marine life throughout the world. Organizations like The Oceanic Preservation Society takes mind-blowing photographs of ocean life and have documented changes in quality of life. With these, they wish to educate others of what exactly is taking place in the seas and come to conclusions as to what causes these changes. The spreading of knowledge is vital for any change to occur, which is why scientists support these organizations.

Although I am only a freshman college student, there are still many things I can do to get involved with these non-profits. One thing is spread word about them through the use of social media. The impact social media has on spreading knowledge is evident and using that to make others aware of groups of people who wish to better the world is a great way to get others involved. Another way I can involve myself is to get into contact with these groups and see what they believe is the best way for others to help them achieve their goals. I can also volunteer at some of these organizations to gain a hands-on experience with the issue and gain a deeper understanding for it and how it directly impacts me. These are all acts that qualify for upper level citizens on the Justice-Oriented citizen model. There are some challenges in the pursuit of involving myself in these organizations. The main one would be distance and location. This is hard because the issue involves oceans and I do not live near an ocean. A way around this is travel. Going to the group involved in the issue will have a greater, more intimate impact on volunteers. The most important thing to realize when looking through this lens is the fact that there is so much more in life to gain than a monetary profit. Helping better the world and forming a community of others with the same goal is more valuable than any monetary gain. Knowledge will always be worth more than money. This concept is what makes non-profits more real than other organizations.

I chose the Ted Talk with speaker David Gallo titled, “Deep Ocean Mysteries and Wonders”. In this talk, Gallo begins by explaining that we have only explored five percent of our oceans. He builds on that fact by going into detail and describing many of the discoveries we have made with that five percent of explored oceans. He talks about how initially, scientists believed that life didn’t exist in the deepest parts of the oceans. This was because there were poisonous volcanic eruptions taking place regularly in the deep ocean and because there was no light. They were surprised to learn that they were wrong. Life exists in every part of the ocean. This idea of having beliefs proven wrong is fascinating to me because the more we learn the more room we have to question what we have been taught. Since we still have ninety-five percent of our oceans to explore, that is a lot of potential to learn new things.  He then talks about the equipment scientists have used to explore the oceans and the amount they have been able to teach others about the oceans. Although I could not find a video directly connecting ocean life to non-profits, I chose this one because without non-profits, scientists like Gallo would not have been able to explore the seas. This made me realize that without non-profits, we would not have made the advancements we have achieved and life would not be the same. Thankfully, passionate people like Gallo have organizations made of other passionate people to allow us to learn about our world and continue exploring. And as long as they are relevant, non-profits are the key to allowing us to explore the remaining ninety-five percent of the oceans.

Lens Reflection: Social Enterprise

Being able to realize and comprehend the vital role of social enterprises through the perspective of this week’s speaker helped me strengthen my future goals by understanding that my goals are realistic and essential for a safe world. The speaker’s main point had to do with passion and pursuing passions no matter what. He talked about how even if following your passions lead you to not have a “normal” job, careers inspired by passions will impact the world in a positive way. This was a very comforting statement for me to hear because my career goal to be a Marine Biologist is not understood very well or supported by my family. However, hearing a successful adult say that I will be okay by following my passions helped me get back on track and focus on ways in which I can get to my goal. He made it clear that the journey to obtain my goal would be filled with obstacles, but as long as I remained patient, I would succeed. Another factor that concerned me about achieving my goal was my lack of experience. Other than volunteering at an aquarium, I had no direct experience with marine life. The speaker alleviated my concerns by stating that even if we had no experience, things would work out to our benefit as long as we remained self-driven. This reinstated my motivation to achieve my goals and resolve the issue at hand.

My biggest takeaway from this class was that despite the lack of belief others have shown me when discussing my future goals, if my passions remain strong, I will find ways to make things work and better the world. In order to begin my journey of resolving the issue and attaining my dream career, I need to continue my extensive research on the topic at hand, form connections with others who are as passionate about it, and spend time volunteering with organizations to gain hands-on experience with the issue. Overall, this speaker truly opened my eyes on what it is to follow your dreams and what it takes to achieve them.

Through the Lens: Social Enterprise

Our home, the planet Earth, is currently overwhelmed by several global issues. It seems as though more and more pile on with the passing of each day. However, there are large groups of people trying to bring attention to these problems in an effort to bring about positive change. These people form groups known as “social enterprises”. According to an article from Social Enterprises UK, social enterprises are “businesses that are changing the world for the better”. In an article by Forbes magazine, according to a famous fundraiser named Atul Tandon, social enterprises include “every non-profit”. In the view of an organization known as “NESsT”, “Social enterprises are business created to further a social purpose in a financially sustainable way.” This group does not only believe that social enterprises aim to do good, they also believe that social enterprises “reinvest their financial returns into the community to further their social purpose, to create employment and/or other economic and social benefits for marginalized communities.” Although all these viewpoints on what it means to be a social enterprise vary, the main commonality is that social enterprises are businesses which try to change the world for the better and use the money they earn to promote the cause they are fighting for.

There are many groups working towards the common goal of saving our oceans. Groups like the Save Our Seas Foundation, the Marine Conservation Institute, and Blue Ventures have all devoted time, energy, and ideas to help promote awareness to the fact that the oceans are dying. These groups address the issues that ocean life is dealing with by funding research projects that provide facts and evidence which can be used educate others of the crisis occurring in the depths of the planet. They also promote awareness for and fund conservation efforts; not only for the animals that call the ocean their home, but also for the plants and the ecosystem as a whole. Although my current location here in Ohio is limiting in a way, since my focus is on the oceans, there are still a lot of things I can do in order to stay involved in my issue. Supporting social enterprises by keeping up to date on research studies and new found knowledge will help me stay on track with the direction the issue is going. Trying to promote awareness and instill a sense of responsibility to others is another way I can stay involved. By telling others about the aforementioned groups, I can raise awareness and support. I can also reach out to people like Sylvia Earle, the founder of the Save Our Seas foundation to get more information about the issue and get a first-hand report of what students can do to help. As Sylvia Earle once said, “…with knowing comes caring. And with caring, there’s hope that we can find an enduring place for ourselves within the natural systems that support us. But first we have to know.” This means that the first step to bringing about positive change is to gain knowledge.

In my opinion, the most important factor to consider when viewing this issue is time. Since resources provided from the oceans are being used up, we as a planet are racing the clock trying to save the oceans. When examined using the “justice – oriented citizen model, individual efforts such as recycling, paying taxes, and obeying laws can all be considered first level actions. Creating, leading, and volunteering for the different organizations goals for the bigger picture and understanding the government’s role in the process are all actions that can be considered second level actions. Actually doing hands-on work to convince the people in the government that this issue matters and demonstrating ways to resolve it are considered third level actions.

I chose the Ted Talk with speaker Sylvia Earle titled, “My Wish: Protect Our Seas”. In this talk, Sylvia Earle begins by emphasizing the extent to which the ocean impacts the humans in the audience. She relates everything back to the audience to give them a sense of understanding that if the oceans die, humans won’t last long. Eventually, she makes it clear that there are ways to prevent things from getting worse and reminds viewers that there is still a good chunk of “ocean” left. However, she doesn’t let the importance of quick action slip away, since this is a very time-oriented issue. Throughout the talk, she repeats the phrase “No water, no life; no blue, no green”. This is to clearly explain the importance of ocean to our existence as a species on Earth. Sylvia Earle has participated in all three levels of the justice-oriented citizen model because she has created her own organization and is involved in government level decisions. Sylvia Earle ends her speech by successfully emphasizing the importance of the issue and reminding the audience that they can help save the seas. With people who involve themselves in social enterprises, like Sylvia Earle with the Save Our Seas Foundation, there is still hope that the problems which our planet is faced with will be resolved.

Issues Exploration and Choice

The society and our world today are replete with overwhelming, yet resolvable issues. After immersing myself in research involving many of these issues, I narrowed my interests down to three: mental health, water, and the effect of tourism on marine life. After individually researching these issues, I feel like I have gained an understanding on their origins, why they are still pertinent, and exactly how they relate to the three P’s of sustainability.

Mental health and society’s outlook on it have always been topics of interest to me. As I grew older, I grew increasingly aware of the power mental health problems and disorders had on people, including myself. Everyone I knew suffered from a mental health issue in some form. However, I noticed that even with its evident commonality, society’s perception of people dealing with these obstacles was overwhelmingly derogatory. The heavy presence of mental health problems is the reason I chose this topic over others.

Mental health and society’s view on it is related to the three P’s of sustainability because it affects all aspects of it. The people dealing with the disorders are negatively affected because they have to deal with both their illness and society’s condescending point of view regarding it. The planet is also facing a negative outlook. Many of the problems on the planet can be resolved if people would learn to listen and respect eachother and the world they live in. The environment is suffering and today’s current political leaders seem to believe that nothing is wrong. This ties in with the profit aspect of this issue. Mental health problems add a huge profit to the government through the expensive and hard to attain doctors, medicines, and support systems that people who face these problems desperately need.

Water is another issue that needs to be talked about today. I have always been fortunate enough to grow up without having to worry about obtaining safe water because I was taught that water was a basic human right that everyone deserves. However, when I visited my family in India, I witnessed an intimidating amount of people who had to fight for it. When I talked to people about it, they told me that Indians were suffering because India was a developing nation. However, today, a similar problem is occurring here at home. The people who live in Flint, Michigan do not have safe water. The fact that this crisis was happening here in a country that is far from being considered a “developing nation”, was the reason I chose this issue.

Water and the inability to attain safe water is negatively impacting the three P’s of sustainability. The human body, on average, can only survive three days without water. With its decreasing availability, the people who don’t have it won’t be able to survive. The planet is suffering because people are wasting water and it’s clear that our ability to attain it is eventually going to come to an end. The profit is suffering because the government, which is already in debt, now has to put in money to support places like Flint because of something they did. The current situation the world is in where people cannot get to clean water is unbelievable.

Traveling the world is an amazing experience that all people should do. However, when tourists take advantage of their visit, those places will eventually disappear. The effect of tourism on marine life is a very important issue to me. The currently deteriorating status of marine life in places like Australia is why I chose this topic.

Life in the ocean is in grave danger. The coral reefs are dying and the animals are endangered. Tourism impacts all aspects of the three P’s of sustainability. The inhabitants of the ocean are not safe because the people who explore the ocean don’t want to protect it. Unfortunately, there won’t be much to enjoy if they keep destroying the habitats. This impacts the planet. When the habitats die, the animals die with them until the ecosystem itself disappears. This is bad for profit because the government and tourist companies will not be able to make any money if they don’t have oceans for the travelers to see. There are ways to help restore the planet, which is why I will be choosing this as my issue to explore for the semester. I intend to explore the topic by furthering my research to first discover where exactly society went wrong. There will be many challenges due to my location, but I can get around that by contacting the scientists who do and attaining their opinions. I am a believer that there are always solutions and I am determined to get closer to finding that this semester.

Year in Review

This first picture represents how I felt the days leading up to transitioning into college. I was all packed and ready to go, but internally I was freaking out. My mom took this picture of me silently panicking in our car and although I initially used the image as comedic relief, I can now look at it with pride. This picture depicts where I started from. It shows the pure fear behind my eyes and the anxiety bubbling in my head. Looking back at it now, I can feel accomplished at how far I have come. I can also use it to remind myself that no matter what I am going through in the moment, I will reach a time where I can look back at it and laugh. This illustration of my progress holds more value than I ever could have imagined.

The second picture was taken a few weeks into my first semester of college. After stressing about classes, a few of my high school friends and I decided to take a break and explore the city. It was through the adventures we went on that day that I realized that there was so much more to life than just the classes we were taking. Although they are extremely relevant, my friends were able to remind me that spontaneous adventures did not need to expire at the end of high school. In fact, as the day went on, the memories we made just got better. Realizing that I had to choose activities that kept me fulfilled was truly life-changing.

The third picture was taken sometime around Halloween. The girl pictured next to me is one of my best friends, Emma. Earlier that week during our weekly facetime calls, I told her about the rough time I was in due to some family issues. This girl did everything she could to come over to OSU from UK that weekend just so that I wouldn’t be alone. This picture is worth so much to me because it is a constant reminder that no matter how far we end up from eachother, our friendship is so strong that we will always have eachother’s backs. Having a community is so important, especially at a school as big as OSU. Having Emma come hang with me that weekend helped me see that no matter what, I would never be alone.

This fourth picture is a screenshot of a snapchat that my roommate took after Halloween. We had found someone’s shark costume in our room and so we all tried it on. As silly as it sounds, seeing this on snapchat made me feel proud. Although the picture was intended for humor, the fact that my roommate, someone I did not think I would get super close to, remembered my dream goal of becoming a Marine Biologist was something that seemed really cool to me. That night, we had a really deep talk about life and our dreams and now this girl is one of my best friends. This picture embodies not only the vibes of that night, but also the beginning of my new friendship. The value of this to me is truly indescribable.

This fifth picture was taken on probably my favorite day of all of first semester. At this moment of the ENR camping trip, I felt so connected to the universe and I felt like my existence had a purpose. Staring into the sky at night in the same spot also provided me with a (completely different) experience. At night, when we went star gazing, I actually teared up because of how beautiful the world was. I had never seen the stars like that and thankfully, Ris was able to capture a picture of it. This location is probably one of my most favorite places ever and being able to feel that connected with nature was the greatest gift that scholars could have given me.

This sixth picture is of my wonderful roommates and I. We had just concluded an adventure and were riding the bus back. In this moment, the amount of joy we all felt was immense. I never thought I would get this close to my roommates, but I am so glad I was proven wrong. These girls are two of my best friends and my first year would have been so completely different without them.

The seventh picture is of me and my best friend, Morgan. This girl has been my best friend for years now and it describes our friendship perfectly. It is very rare to see us together when we are not dying of laughter about something that only we would find funny. This picture reminds me of how fortunate I am to be able to go to through the journey of college with my best friend. She is the Spongebob to my Patrick and going to OSU together is only strengthening that bond.

This final picture includes me and three of my new friends: Olivia, Riley, and Brisa. This was during finals week under the statue of Thompson. Although we have only known each other for this one year, the picture is a clear representation of how quickly we have gotten close. Without ENR scholars, I would have never met them and I cannot begin to imagine my college experience without them.


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The Columbus To-Do assignment is a really cool way to help first year students, especially those of us who are not from Columbus, figure our way around this beautiful city which we are lucky enough to be able to call home. The theme I chose for this semester is “Ice Cream and Desserts”. As a person who is addicted to any type of ice cream and all kinds of desserts, I thought this theme would be the perfect choice for me. I am extremely excited to be able to try out different ice cream stores and experience the top dessert destinations in Columbus. I hope to be able to adventure to everything; from the stores known all around the world to the stops that have earned the distinction as the city’s best kept secret. Through this assignment, I hope to be able to gain a better understanding of the city as a whole. I want to discover what the smaller, local stores add and mean to this big, fast-paced city. Coming from a smaller town, I also hope to gain skills to maneuver around Columbus. Along with this, I aim to form friendships with more people in ENR scholars. So far, I went to RocketFizz on High Street. RocketFizz is an amazingly mystical store that mainly sells soda pop and candy. Although at first glance, it may give off the vibe that it’s a local store, the RocketFizz franchise has made its way across America! Stepping into the building, I felt as though I stepped through a time machine. It looked like something out of a dream! The best part of the trip was talking to the friendly staff. They were as passionate about tasty treats as I am and being able to bond with people about something as great as candy really made my day! I would definitely recommend RocketFizz to my friends and family and I hope to go back soon!

img_4159This past weekend, I spent a lot of time exploring Columbus with some really fun people. What started as an expedition to complete an assignment quickly transformed into an unforgettable adventure. The first stop of the day was to a very unique custard store called Whit’s Frozen Custard. What made this shop unique was its ability to thrive on selling just three flavors of custard. This is unique because as a store known for its custard, one would imagine that it sold many different and fun flavors of custard. However, Whit’s only sells vanilla, chocolate, and one weekly flavor of custard. Even with this surprising sales routine, the store was very busy and all the customers looked satisfied with their custard. The high level of quality of the custard was undeniable and it was clear that the owners made the dessert fresh every day, as promised on the menu! Even though I only tried the chocolate custard, I can safely say that I give this restaurant a ten out of ten and that I am definitely recommending it to my friends and family.

img_4130 img_4133Our next stop was to a frozen yogurt store called 39 Below. This store provided me with one of my least favorite experiences. Although the store looked very cute and welcoming on the outside, my friends and I were met with a different vibe once we entered. The first confusing event that took place was when the employee tried to sell us an object that definitely was not frozen yogurt. When we finally purchased our frozen yogurt, we realized that there wasn’t any where to sit inside the building, therefore we claimed seats outside. Ironically, and not in our favor, the weather also seemed to be “39 Below” and so we could not fully enjoy the cold dessert we were eating. In fact, we got so cold from the combination of the icy dessert and the chilly weather that no one was able to fully finish their frozen yogurt. I don’t know if my undesirable experience was a one-time event or a commonality, but I probably will not be recommending it to my friends or family. One good thing that came out of the visit, however, was the chance to take some cool pictures while waiting for our Uber driver to rescue us from the cold.

img_4137The third stop on our tour was to a nice little diner called Johnson’s Real Ice Cream. This destination provided us with a very fun and relaxed place to hang out for some time. The diner had a variety of food and drink options from burgers to ice cream to milkshakes to lemonade. We sat in some booths and enjoyed our food. The staff members were all very friendly and definitely contributed to the positive atmosphere. One of my favorite experiences from this store was probably seeing a group of little kids walk in together and just hang out. It illustrated the idea that this was a very family friendly, safe space for kids to just be kids and have fun and I enjoyed that idea a lot! It was cool to see young children embrace the city that I was only beginning to love. For all these reasons and more, I would definitely recommend this shop to my family and friends.

img_4144 Our final stop was to a little chic pastry kitchen called Pistacia Vera. The building was aesthetically pleasing, both in terms of appearance and items sold. It had a very modern and relaxed vibe, but the food truly blew my mind. For the first time in my life, I tried a macaroon and it is safe to say that I found it to be my new favorite dessert! After trying the Buckeye macaroon, I felt as though I was experiencing a new level of pride for being a Buckeye. Not only was the food amazing, the music being played was very interesting and fitting for the store. Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Pistacia Vera and am planning to bring my friends and family there soon!img_4146

Out of all the experiences I have been able to take part in through this project, the overall experience of spending time with my incredible roommate and some cool new friends was definitely my favorite experience of all. Building relationships with people can be scary for all introverts and extroverts alike. This project helped me overcome some obstacles by forcing me to talk to people I didn’t know very well and by putting me in situations I would have never imagined getting into (like getting on the wrong bus twice in one day). Through this assignment, I gained a lot of information about Columbus and all the people who impact the way in which the city works. I learned that Columbus never stops changing and improving itself, and if you just take some time to explore, you will be able to find some really beautiful places like German Village. After finishing this project, I have a desire to explore the music scene in Columbus. Since music is a huge part of my life, I am very curious as to how it impacts the life of our city. A recommendation I have for someone else completing the same list would be to take the time to take it all in. Absorb every single beautiful detail the city has to offer and don’t be afraid to let it change you. Also, if you are doing the ice cream and desserts list, make sure to check that the weather outside supports your decision to eat lots of ice cream and other various cold desserts in the unpredictable November weather that controls our new home in Ohio.