My first year at The Ohio State University was certainly not what I expected, however, it was also more than I imagined. Beginning college during a fatal pandemic made me nervous to meet people, learn through online classes, and adjust to my new surroundings. Despite this, I was determined to take advantage of new opportunities and succeed even in face of constant obstacles.
My freshman year classes, a neuroscience class, biology, and general chemistry 1, in the fall semester went rather smoothly and this semester consisted of forming strong and effective study methods and developing my time management strategies. The second semester was a little more challenging for me; my classes included physics 2, general chemistry 2, a neuroscience course, and a cancer prevention class. Physics 2 was far more difficult than anticipated and I certainly struggled at the beginning and this course soon became my main source of stress. However, attending office hours of both my TA and professor, attempting more practice problems, and familiarizing myself with the content more often proved very effective; with hard work, I was able to end up with a grade I was proud of and happy with. Though the class was difficult, it taught me many things about myself such as how to actually study and how much time and effort was really needed.
Joining clubs in an online zoom format also did not completely appeal to me, however there was some student organizations that really peaked my interest and so I was determined to learn more about them. I ended up joining BuckeyeThon as a team member very early on in the fall semester, and this club has been really exciting for me. By reaching out to many contacts, I was able to raise over $1425 for Nationwide Hospital. Raising money for pediatric cancer is an extremely important cause and I hope to continue raising awareness about it. Next year, I am taking on a bigger role as a team captain and family ambassador and will be constantly looking for more exciting opportunities in BuckeyeThon to be involved in. Additionally, I took on a leadership role in the Student COVID Alliance. I was in charge of organizing the entire meetings and assembly and delivery of the care packages for students in isolation and quarantine housing. I really enjoyed taking on a larger role in this club and looking forward to more leadership opportunities next semester. Thirdly I took part in UHAC and was able to volunteer at the free health screening. It was amazing to see the impact that access to free healthcare can have and its importance; I am really excited for everything to come next semester in this organization. I am also looking forward to continue my role as a Big Buckeye Little Buckeye mentor, AKidAgain pen pal and organization member, an active member in the Health Sciences Scholars Program, and volunteer at the Columbus Free Clinic.
During the spring semester, I sought out research opportunities and became involved in the Godbout/Sheridan Lab focusing on neuroimmunology, aging, and neurotrauma. Currently my role consists of researching and compiling information about genes from DNA/RNA sequencing and organizing them in an accessible manner for all the lab members. I present my findings every week to my PI and grad students with updates and questions. I am looking forward to going to lab in person next semester and helping out where I am needed.
I am really excited for my second year at The Ohio State University and am ready to take on classes and extracurriculars. It is important to find a balance so I will also try to find time to meet new people and make time for social activities. Overall, taking part in new opportunities and learning new things related to my major and my minor will be great and I am thrilled to continue!