Year in Review

I cannot believe my experience in ENR has come to an end. At the time of being accepted into the ENR scholars program, I did not understand the impact it would have on my life. Initially, I was disappointed when I learned I was placed in Environmental and Natural Resource Scholars. Going into Ohio State, I was ready to pursue a career in the medical field, and as such, I applied to the Health Science Scholars as my first choice of programs. However, I soon learned ENR scholars would provide me with more than I ever expected.

Overall, the highlight of my ENR experience is the community itself. Living in Morrill Tower on a floor with shared by most every other student in my program, a school of 60,000 students didn’t seem so large. I grew with my fellow scholars, as we learned about living on our own and shaping our college experiences. ENR scholars provided me with my best friends, people who I never would have met without this program.  I can actually trace the formation of my closest friends to the first-year ENR scholars camping trip. On this trip I was a part of my first O-H-I-O picture, which I have provided in this post. My life was filled with standard tree-hugging vegetarians that loved the outdoors. I knew I belonged.

I can honestly attribute my major and current life path to ENR scholars. This program provided insight about life after college, and that it’s okay to sway from the mainstream career choices. Going into Ohio State as a freshman, I believed I was destined to become a part of the medical field like my mother and sister, but I soon realized I did not share their passions. ENR was filled with such a diverse community of students, following their passions about serving the environment and pursuing career fields that may not always have a straight path. However, I learned that it’s okay to not quite know where you see yourself in 5 years, and that if you have a passion for something, you can pursue career in it. I now study linguistics and Spanish with a goal to continue researching the preservation of indigenous languages. Though this life path results in not knowing where I will be in 5 years, I’m excited to see where it takes me.
My Spring 17 project was volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. After returning home from the winter Buck-I-Serv trip, I immediately signed up for Habitat’s Columbus branch. I loved seeing the final products of my labor, and appreciating the service I was completing. Volunteering with Habitat has not only introduced me to another community, it has provided me with a new skill set I never thought I would learn. Plus I get to work with power tools, which is always fun. I plan to continue to volunteer with Habitat, as helps both the people I am serving, and myself as well.

My advice to ENR scholars is to embrace the diversity this program provides. Not only are there outdoor adventure activities, but ENR boasts creative, intellectual, and stress relieving opportunities. It is not limited to simply learning the correct way to recycle. ENR truly tailors its program to the interests and desires of every student, so take advantage of that. Also, though Esther and Amanda are your scholars coordinators, they are your friends too. I have never been so comfortable discussing problems and questions to individuals that are considered my instructors. They will truly help you.

Overall, I am very grateful for my experience in ENR. I owe this program my best friends, my major, and even some of my lifestyle choices. It has given me more than I ever expected, and I have learned about myself and the world around me.

My Buck-I-Serv group.

My first ever O-H-I-O picture.

Final Reflection


For my semester project, I attended the Buck-I-Serv trip to Birmingham, Alabama. This Buck-I-Serv trip was dedicated to Habitat for Humanity and involved repairing, furnishing, and construction of homes in the Birmingham region. The trip spanned from December 17th through the 23rd, with four eight-hour work days and one free day to explore the city of Birmingham. Each day involved different types of construction work and labor, with thirty-two hours of service in total. I had many different expectations that were met and not met throughout the trip. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the trip was the work itself. Since it was a Habitat for Humanity trip, I was prepared to swing a chainsaw around, hammer foundation, and break down structures with a sledge-hammer. However, the work I found myself doing the most was simply painting. This meant painting walls, ceilings, doors, and trims resulting in a new found wait for wielding a paint brush. What I didn’t realize is that a huge aspect of home construction isn’t exactly the construction itself, but the furnishing, cleaning, and maintenance. Though these jobs were initially less enticing then using a miter saw to build foundation for home, I learned an immense amount of skills. I never knew how to tile a floor, or even pondered the concept, but during four hours of tiling kitchen floors in thirty-five-degree weather, I learned a lot. However, I think that perhaps the greatest thing I took away for this trip is my newfound perspective on service itself. On one cold Alabama morning, we were sent to a completely finished house, and were given the task of raking leaves and painting a back deck. I remember initially being upset that my task was so insignificant, that my labor and workforce should be used for something more fulfilling. As I started raking leaves for the old woman who lived in the house, I realized that this was still service in its own way, and most importantly: Somebody has to do it. And that is what was most fulfilling about Alabama, I learned that everyone can help in their own way, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

Second Year Project Proposal

For my second year project, I plan to attend the Buck-I-Serve Habitat for Humanity trip in Birmingham Alabama.  This trip consists of helping to establish housing for the poverty stricken families of Birmingham. Though many people are not aware America is ridden with poverty, with some areas having comparable conditions to third world countries. Whether it is a case of people refusing to acknowledge this situation or a reflection of ignorance, poverty continues to cripple millions of Americans.  This Buck-I-Serve trip aims to help those suffering from poverty by providing houses and infrastructure. This experience will be extremely fulfilling and a way to donate my time to those in need. While I have volunteered before, I have never embarked upon a service mission of this length. The idea of serving for six days is extremely exciting, and only slightly daunting. I really enjoy the idea of donating my time to the people of my own country. I am not refuting the idea of other countries having issues, nor am I trying to discourage service in these countries. However, I do believe many people carry the notion that in order to help with poverty they have to travel to the slums of India or to an exotic yet underprivileged nation in Africa. America has problems that need attended to as well. Voluntourism is a real issue; and I believe that by being cognizant of the fact that the nation in which we reside has its own struggles can help tackle problem. I would like to serve the poor of my nation alongside my fellow buckeyes. I believe this will be an extremely beneficial opportunity by working among some of the poorest conditions of the nation. I have never seen true poverty, and I think it will not only be a humbling experience, but one I can use to spread awareness to others.  Poverty exists inevitably throughout the planet, and it is our choice to fight against it. This Buck-I-Serve trip is my opportunity to fight.

Year In Review

osu pic 2      This first image feature the iconic and necessary O-H-I-O picture. It was my first time ever making one, and I did so on the ENR camping trip. This image is significant to me since it was my first time ever making the O-H-I-O as a true buckeye. I had never gone camping regularly, but this trip only reinvigorated my love for the outdoors. I watched as some of my peers showcased expert-level camping skills, while others were just down to pee in the woods. I loved it. I decided that whenever I had the opportunity, I would take part in a camping trip, and I did so for the Lake Hope Camping trip in the spring semester.

osu pic 1 This is perhaps my favorite picture on this list. It was the first picture I took with the four best friends I met in college. It was before the first football game we went to together, Ohio State vs. Western Michigan. Though I will always cheer for my buckeyes, the significance of this picture isn’t the win, but the friends behind it. Our little group formed on the camping trip, and stayed together ever since. In high school, I was rather quiet and stayed within my comfort zone.  When I first arrived, I learned college was a place to start over, and simply be yourself. It’s personalities, not clicks, that form friendships. I loved it. I became best friends with people who I may have never encountered in high school, and I am so grateful for it. This is possibly the greatest aspect about college, people seek out those who are kind and respectful. Keeping this in mind, I want to continue my college career without fears of judgment or insecurity.

osu pic 8

osu pic 6








I love this picture because it is a perfect representation of making the best out of a bad situation.  It is widely known that the class of 2019 is the first Ohio State class required to live on campus for their sophomore year.  I would not necessarily call living in Morrill Tower a bad situation, though I was initially disappointed when I learned it was the dorm for ENR scholars. However, not only did I fall in love with Morrill, we created one of the coolest dorms on campus. Maureen and I moved both of our bunk beds to one side of the room to create space for a hangout are and a card table. Instead of sulking about our living situation, we did something to change it. I am proudly returning to Morrill tower, and participating in STEP. I want to continue with this attitude, making the best of a bad situation, and responding to adversity with positivity.

osu pic 5This picture is a view from inside the Ohio State steam tunnels. We scavenged through them one night with a grand pursuit of adventure. I like this picture because it represents my adventurous side. I like to explore and and do some wild things, something I fear I did not do enough of in college. That’s why I like this picture, since it shows something crazy and adventurous. I feel that I spent a lot of my time on weekends just hanging out with friends, when I could have sought exploration of abandoned buildings or found some interesting hole-in-the-wall places of Columbus. I want to begin next semester with this attitude in mind, and make the most of my time spent in the amazing city of Columbus.

osu pic 3This picture was our last weekend at Ohio State before finals week. Maureen, Matt, and I decided to go to the spring concert. There, we ran into some friends from south campus, Katie and Clay. Not only was this concert amazing, and the memories I shared with friends, I knew I wanted to spend more time with friends throughout campus. Living so far away in Morrill, you can become stuck inside your own little shell. Next semester I want to make sure I make the effort to explore things beyond this shell, such as intramural sports, and simply hang out on the oval for a bit.


All in all, I absolutely loved my first year at Ohio State. There is a reason why I cried when I locked the door to room 1012 one last time. College has been an amazing experience so far, and I learned many things about myself as well as the world around me. In regards to the Earth Month Challenge, the weeks I spent actively reusing and composting forced me to embrace the amount of waste myself and my school produces. I learned a lot about recycling, what is accepted and what is not. As I go forward, I want to keep in mind this knowledge of recyclable items, and reuse as much as possible. The service I have done with ENR scholars has been a great experience as well, but I do wish to serve the world in a greater manner. I plan to either work as an STNA for the Wexner Center next semester, or simply volunteer at the hospital as a plan to do this summer.  If I hadn’t participated in Environmental Scholars, I never would have formed the amazing relationships with my best friends, or made memories that will last a lifetime.

Columbus To Do List Part 2

For my Columbus To List, I chose to the Nature and Outdoor Recreation.  The first park we went to was the Battelle Darby State Park. For the remainder of our destinations, however, I went to the Olentangy Trail (of course), the Franklin Conservatory, the Topiary Park, and Goodale Park.olentangyThe Olentangy Trail is a blessing to have behind Morrill Tower. When the weather is permitting, I will always choose to run on the trail rather than a treadmill at the RPAC. This particular day pictured was a beautiful, sunshiny Saturday, one of the first of the semester. Maureen, Mady, and I brought food and blankets and made our way down the path.  We found a nice spot along the trail and set up for the day. We painted faces by the river and enjoyed the warm weather. It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday, and I’m looking forward to many more living in Morrill next year.  This was by far the easiest destination to reach on the list.conservatoryThe Franklin Conservatory is a beautiful park filled with flowers, trees, and happy people. Maureen, Jake, Matt, and I decided to venture here first, since it seems gorgeous in the pictures. This proved to be true. We walked along the paths enjoying the scenery and open green space. The conservatory keeps bees, something I was not expecting but very excited to see. The only issue at the conservatory was the price to enter the Conservatory itself. Though it was only 10$, we opted out of paying and decided to enjoy the outside instead. I will whole-heartedly return to the Conservatory, and perhaps suck it up and pay the 10$ to go inside.topiaryWhen we decided to go to the Topiary Park, I was unsure of what it entailed. The answer is shrubs. The Topiary Park had shrubs. However, these shrubs were cut into beautiful works of art, featuring bush couples dancing, a happy bush dog, and even bush kids on a canoe. It definitely seemed to be a place for couples, but the four of us enjoyed the scenery nonetheless. The only difficult aspect of the Topiary Park was figuring out that it was also known as the Park for the Deaf. We were quite confused that google maps took us to a park for the deaf, until we saw the artistic shrubbery. If I’m in the area, I would definitely take a stroll through the park again.


The Goodale Park is located a bit off the Short North, and was the last stop for our list. This park was beautiful and open, with people playing music, children playing, and a plethora of happy dogs. Needless to say, this park was my favorite. I enjoyed the sense of community, as well as the huge green space for playing with dogs or tossing a frisbee. It featured a beautiful lake with a fountain and some overall good vibes. Since it’s only a short bike ride away, I will definitely be returning to this park with a book, some food, and good friends. (We tried taking the most awkward picture possible here)/

I enjoyed this Columbus To Do List theme. I was able to spend my time outdoors with friends, enjoying sunshine and happy times. One thing that surprised me was how accessible these parks are by car. We experienced little to no difficulty reaching each destination. It is definitely something I will take into account in the future. While driving to each park, I enjoyed seeing the houses and neighborhoods. This led me to want to explore the various neighborhoods of Columbus. This is feasible by bus and extremely easy to do with a car. For anyone who wishes to complete this list, I recommend using a car to arrive at each destination, and choosing days with great weather in order to truly enjoy the outdoors. Bring some good friends along too.

Earth Month Challenge

The Earth Month Challenge was a very interesting experience. While I understand this assignment is primarily intended to help the environment, the month became a reflection upon myself as well. My challenges were continuous, so after I started one each week, I continued it for the month. My first and second week challenges included using a reusable water bottle and tupperware. While these challenges were not particularly difficult, they proved a true test to my memory skills. My third week’s challenge was using a thermos for coffee. This challenge was not as difficult, since I could knowingly go without water or leftovers, but for some mornings coffee is necessary. Thus, remembering to bring my thermos was not a difficult task. For my last challenge, I composted my organic material. This was by far the most difficult challenge. While initially conceiving it, I was not worried about not throwing away my banana and orange peels. However, as I continued through the week, I became very aware about my organic waste production. Any unfinished food in dining halls was most definitely organic waste, yet I had neither the ability to take it home nor the stomach to finish it. It helped me become aware of the amount of food I put on my plate. However, perhaps the most important thing I learned is composting in a dorm, on a meal plan, is hard. Once I have my own house, as well as back home, it will not be a difficult process, but carrying around banana peels and my dining hall food is rather annoying.  So of these challenges, I plan to continue the first three, especially using the thermos for coffee. For the composting challenge, I plan to do it once I have my own house, as well as back home. I learned that these challenges are very easy to do, and therefore, helping the environment is not a difficult process by any means. Sure I’m not following a 100% eco-friendly lifestyle, but I’m doing my part to help the environment. If something drives me, such as my love for coffee, I can do most challenges. This is where I think going green can translate itself unto almost anyone; someone simply has to find their drive. Whether it’s a love for saving money or enjoying trying something new, the reason behind helping the environment doesn’t concern me. In the end, if energy and resources are being saved, I don’t mind the intentions behind people’s actions (as long as they aren’t hurting anyone). Thus, almost any person can help the environment in any little way they can, and I think Earth Month is a wonderful way to highlight that fact.

Earth Month Reflection Week 4

For my third Earth Month Challenge week, I started using a thermos to carry coffee instead of buying coffee at cafes. This was an attempt to reduce my waste impact from coffee cups. In addition to this, I continued to use tupperware as well as a reusable water bottle.  This week has probably been the best week thus far, in regards to being aware of my challenge. For both the water bottle and tupperware, the only issues I faced were remembering to bring my water bottle and tupperware. When I forgot, I simply went without the disposable item, such as a bottle of water, and used a water fountain instead. For this week however, I remembered my thermos every single day.  This became a reflection upon myself: I really have a drive to drink coffee. I knew if I did not bring my thermos, I would not be able to drink coffee. Unlike simply walking to a water fountain or refusing to take home leftovers, forgetting my thermos did not possess a simple solution. I knew I needed my thermos in order to get coffee, and therefore my thermos came everywhere. I think this discovery is very important as I continue my Earth Month challenges, and my personal life as well. I need to find what drives me. I can then use that drive to better myself, or the world around me. Though this impact is small, my drive to drink coffee ensures I will not use disposable coffee cups. Imagining this on a larger scale holds infinite opportunities. So far, the thermos led to an additional 99 lbs. of annual carbon emission decrease, and though it isn’t stated on oreoeco, a mug refill costs less than a medium sized cup of coffee! My last challenge this week is using compost, and I look forward to completing it.

Earth Month Challenge Reflection 2

For my second week challenge, I used tupperware.  I attend vegetarian workshop classes where the teacher allows us to take home left over food in Styrofoam containers. This week, I provided my own tupperware to take food home with me. This challenge was not initially difficult in any manner, since it only required me to carry around tupperware.  Once again, I see the issues I run into is based on my ability to remember my challenges.  Using Tupperware is easy; constantly remembering to bring tupperware with me is not. I know remembering to do such a simple task is not difficult, I just have to learn to maintain the habit.  This, I believe, is another reflection on performing simple tasks for a greener lifestyle. These task are not difficult, it is only the in process involved with instilling good habits where people struggle. I will strive to maintain this process of remembering to bring tupperware, as well as my reusable water bottle from the first week, in order to establish a habit of living an environmentally friendly lifestyle.  This directly ties in to my third Earth month challenge week, using a thermos at cafes instead of coffee cups. The only issues I foresee in this challenge is remembering to bring my thermos, otherwise I will not be drinking any coffee! Once again, these challenges are about learning to develop good habits.  This mentality of creating a better lifestyle by striving to remember to do simple tasks each day can help me in various other aspects of my life, such as studying, working out, and taking up new hobbies. Overall, my use of tupperware as well as the reusable water bottle saves 178 pounds of carbon each year. Though oroeco doesn’t state I have any financial savings, I’m fully aware using a reusable water bottle rather than buying water bottles would save the average person at least 5$ a week. I will continue my earth month challenges, and look forward to maintaining and establishing good, environmentally friendly, habits.

Earth Month Challenge: Reflection 1

For my first Earth Month Challenge, I used a reusable water bottle.  This meant that if I forgot to bring my water bottle, I either found a water fountain, or refrained from drinking from any type of plastic bottle.  This is where I found my biggest difficulty, I forgot my water bottle a few times throughout the week.  Though I did not mind getting up to go to a water fountain (it helped me wake up if I was tired), a made a mental note of my memory skills.  Many of my challenges a memory based: I have to remember to bring my Tupperware, I have to remember to bring my thermos, I have to remember to save my compost.  The challenges themselves are not difficult, merely the process behind the challenges. Overall, I was successful this week. I refrained from using a plastic bottle of any sort, and only drank water from my reusable bottle or a water fountain. For this week’s challenge, I need to be extremely aware of remembering to bring Tupperware.  I will not use Styrofoam if I forget to bring Tupperware.  This leads into what I have learned about myself; I am a rather forgetful person.  Therefore, I find that this challenge will not only help with the environment, but with my personal responsibility skills.  Overall, neither this challenge nor waste and toxicity in general are difficult areas to cover.  With that knowledge in mind, I know that I can continue these challenges after the conclusion of Earth Month.  For my CO2 emissions, I am 57% below average.

Earth Month Challenge Proposal

For my Earth Month Challenge, I have chosen to work in the area of waste and toxicity. I plan to complete my four challenges cumulatively. For my first week (therefore the entire month) I plan on using a reusable water.  I don’t find this challenge to be too difficult, unless I forget to bring my water bottle.  As I sit here typing this at RPAC I have to keep going to the water fountain and refrain from buying a bottle of water (first world problems am I right?).  For my second challenge, I plan on using Tupperware rather than disposable products. I attend a vegetarian cooking workshop where we’re allowed to bring home food once the meal is complete. Instead of using the styrofoam containers they provide, I will bring my own Tupperware.  The only issue with this is carrying around the Tupperware, another first world problem. For the third week, I will start using a thermos for coffee.  I buy coffee at the cafes almost every day, and the cups are very wasteful.  I will start to use a reusable thermos instead.  The only issue I may face is remembering to bring the thermos, otherwise, no coffee for me! For my fourth challenge, I will save my organic waste to compost. Kandace told me she has access to compost so she will be helpful in this area. The challenges I may face here is simply carrying around banana or orange peels all day to put in my dorm compost bin.