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This past school year has offered me many things; new friends, a new lifestyle, the beginning of my higher education career, and so much more. From the unreal football atmosphere to the borderline panic attacks from midterms, the first year is full of events that I know I will never forget. It should be easy to talk about all of the individual people and events that are new and exciting, but as I sit here typing this I can’t finalize on one phenomenal story that altered me. Instead, I can only see my first year as a giant culmination. My first year is a miscellaneous assortment of events that I did not and could not have seen entering college; but now I know I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
This hodgepodge of strange and obscure people and unfamiliar events made me extremely uncomfortable, yet as time passed I began to gain something I didn’t expect; insight. I was surrounded by all of these new people, in a new place, where I was doing new things. Needless to say I was terrified. As time passed though these things became routine and normal. No matter how different or strange they seemed at first, it was becoming comfortable. That miscellaneous, obscure blob of memory that is my first year at Ohio State has enabled me a wider world view. The culmination of all of these memories of The Ohio State as a community has broadened my view of people and even allowed me to be more comfortable with myself.
To learn more from experience Health Science Scholars, I interviewed my RA’s Ren and Aaron. Ren is a biology major and Spanish minor intending to go to medical school. Her m-cat test date in June 16th in Chicago and is researching farm life this summer. Likewise, Aaron is a biology major who intends to go to medical school. Their greatest advice was how to get involved in research. To get their research positions they worked through the undergraduate research office and emailed many professors, some they knew and some they did not. They also harped the message to never become too prideful in your studies. If you ever need help, whether it is in Ren’s hardest class of Calculus three or classes such as general chemistry, which Aaron claims was simple, it is easy to let your grade slip and in the race for medical school there aren’t too many second chances. Overall, Ren and Aaron are models of exemplary health science scholars and it would be foolish to ignore the steps they followed for success.
As sophomore year progressed, I decided that I needed to force myself to experience something new. I had become well adjusted to Ohio State, which is great, but I had a feeling that I was not getting the most out of my experience here as I could. Eventually, with enough browsing through Ohio State’s innumerable programs, I discovered one that grabbed my interest while searching through OIA study abroad; an upper level molecular level genetics lab in Trondheim Norway. The prospect of going to Norway, or even out of the country, or even farther than a two hour flight away from my home thrilled me. I knew this program would help me decide what I wanted to do with my career, but aid in getting out of my routine. In addition to being thrilled, I should also mention I was terrified. Nevertheless, I made my application and made it to the interview cut of the applicants. This is the first time I would meet professor Patrice Hammel. He is an upper level genetics professor at Ohio State, a native Norwegian, and a man who destroy every expectation I had for an interview.
Going into the interview, I had an idea of the questions he would ask, my safe answers, and the topic points I would try to focus the conversation on. As we started the interview; however, he had no interest in my safe answers. Instead of talking about my experiences and classes in college and why I wanted to go to Norway, he wanted to know about a time where I was extremely uncomfortable when I was in middle or high school and how I failed. This had nothing to do with genetics. This had nothing to do with Norway. This had nothing to do with the current me. I was frozen. Fortunately, after being taken aback for only a second, I began to tell him about a time when I was volunteering at a homeless shelter with my brother in high school and the immature tendencies that became prevalent when surrounded with different people then me. After I gave a litany of embarrassing details of how one I was uncomfortable although we were all just people and nothing negative occurred to me, he asked me if I have had a similar experience where I was able to fix my mistake. This series of questioning repeated for the first 15 minutes of the interview. Some mistakes I fixed, some I had not. After feeling addressing my flaws and anxieties, I felt like I had just admitted to Professor Hammel that I was not deserving to be a part of any program and that I should have just left. When I was feeling like there was no hope left, he said something remarkable. He leaned across the table and said four little words with a smile, “You’re an honest one.” From that point one he started to talk to me about my career and what I wanted to gain out of genetics. When I told him I simply found genetics interesting and even somewhat fun, but I had no idea what career I wanted to do, he assured me that I am the kind of person who will end up just fine. As long as I maintain my interests, continue to mess up and try my best to fix my mistakes while always remaining honest I will be just fine. When the interview was coming to a conclusion he gave me a slight smile, shook my hand, and gave me one last comment reminding me that I will do fine in genetics or any other endeavor I choose. One week later, I found out I will be accompanying professor Hammel to Norway.
With the tools and skills acquired through the Health Science Scholar community, I hope and plan on being able to broaden my academic agenda, prepare myself for my future career, and enrich everyone’s life around me. I am starting my academic career with the intention of going into medical laboratory science. Hopefully my strong course grades in the hard sciences and my potential laboratory science temp job this summer will enable me to not only get into the program, but excel. In addition to standard course curriculum for my intended major, medical laboratory science, I am finding room in my schedule to take Physician’s Assistant classes. These classes will give me a greater understanding of more medical and biological knowledge and prepare me for graduate school. Although I am not entirely sure what I want to specialize in, whether it be intensive care, orthopedics, pediatrics, or just staying in medical laboratory work, I am confident that my education and future career will help me serve all people that come to me for help.
My academic career aside, I also intend to help all people outside of the future work environment. Over the past several years, and years to come, I have partnered with the organization Giving Back, Linda’s Legacy. Through neighborhood and school wide organized events, I have helped collect coats, toiletries, and other essential items for the homeless population throughout the Baltimore, Maryland area. Although at college, I have still kept in touch with my hometown, writing emails and making phone calls for people to make donations. Hopefully I will be able to broaden my service beyond my hometown. I want to broaden my community. Whether my homeless relief efforts are focused in Columbus, or maybe even outside of the country through study abroad, I want to be able to help people. To serve is simple; give what you have extra and expect nothing in return.
Ohio State has every tool I need to succeed. While navigating its extensive campus, there is everything I could ever need to prepare myself for not only my future career, but also my livelihood. As I make my way past the Wexner Medical Center I see what I want to be; lab technicians working alongside doctors, or physical therapists conjoining to discuss how to help their patients in new and innovative ways. This is what I will strive for. I want to help people, and best of all I know just past the hospital in Atwell Hall there are the advisors of the Health and Rehabilitative Science college that will work with me to achieve my dreams. As I make my way through north campus I see the professors constantly at work with students. I see not only the professors in lecture halls teaching the foundations of chemistry or the dogma of biology, but also the process of learning and relationships being made; connections that drive passion and inspiration which will inevitably lead to progress. I want to utilize the professor-student relationship to be involved and research and help make a difference. This is where I will grow. Finally, as I head to my dorm, I take notice of the people around me. These people will, the health science scholars, will be the other members of my journey, the people who will understand and share the hardships of college with. They will be my friends that I can depend upon and they will help shape my social life to where I can just be happy with myself. This is where I will become me.
My Service project was through the club Health Points: Volunteering and Pre-Health Connections. We would meet once a week for general meetings where we would volunteer, organize for professionals in an array of health occupations to give lectures, and plan for weekend volunteer trips. These trips often occurred at Habitat for Humanity, Starhouse, Furniture for a Heart, My Family Pantry, and Clean-Up Columbus.
Michael Reynolds is a first year from Annapolis, Maryland, beginning his secondary education as an undeclared health science major. He plans to graduate from Ohio State with a certified occupation in the health field, such as medical laboratory analysist, and then return to school to pursue an orthopedic medical profession, such as physical therapy or orthopedic physician’s assistant. Michael has spent much time in his home town initiating community service projects and hopes to continue and extend his service to the Ohio State and Columbus area. His past experience varies from volunteering at special needs and Special Olympics events, volunteering in the physical therapy department at a local hospital, and starting his own coat and toiletry within his school and neighborhood. With a background of high school football and basketball in addition to unified bocce and basketball, Michael hopes to continue his athletic career by engaging and volunteering with Special Olympics in Columbus. While volunteering in the physical therapy department, Michael has been able to see the depths and detail of the occupation and its ability to rejuvenate those physically and mentally; with that he has decided to pursue profession for his vocation. The coat and toiletry drive that Michael has carried out over the last three years has been in partnership with the organization Giving Back, Linda’s Legacy, a non-profit organization that strives to improve the livelihood of those in Anne Arundel County in penury. He hopes to continue this service as well by joining in part with similar organizations and charities. In Michael’s free time he enjoys anything that includes basketball, collecting and listening to records, and talking or writing that includes nothing but aimless rambling.