5 things to do around Columbus…Without Drinking 

For some college students there is a lot of pressure to go out drinking just to fit in. While alcohol can be consumed safely in moderation it can cause negative consequences such as poor academic performance, mental health problems, and legal trouble if underage. Instead of buckling under the pressure to go out drinking, try exploring Columbus instead! There are so many great opportunities in this city! Make sure to check to see if D-tix has any promotions available prior to going.

  1. The Columbus Zoo: The Columbus Zoo has everything from lions to penguins to see. You can even get the opportunity to feed a giraffe. The zoo is a great place to walk around with your friends and explore the wildlife that our world has to offer.  

  2. The Center of Science and Industry (COSI): COSI is a science center that provides hands-on-fun activities related to all things sciences, engineering, technology, etc. COSI has a plethora of exhibits related to things such as the ocean, space, and dinosaurs. This is a great place to visit for people of all backgrounds and ages!

  3. Otherworld: Otherworld is a 32,000-square foot art installation in Columbus. It has over 40 rooms where you can explore large-scale interactive art, mixed reality playgrounds, and secret passageways. It is a surreal world mixed with science fiction and fantasy that you can freely explore!
  4. Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is Central Ohio’s premier botanical garden. It consists of a variety of botanical biomes, lush gardens, special horticulture, and art exhibitions for you to explore. The even have many seasonal exhibitions such as Orchids and a crowd favorite, Blooms & Butterflies 

  5. North Market: North Market is ranked as one of the top public markets in the country. It is home to Ohio’s best independent merchants, farmers, and makers. You can eat, drink, shop and enjoy the best of what’s local, fresh, and authentic.

 If you’re interested in exploring your substance use the Student Wellness Center offers a variety of alcohol and other prevention and recovery support services. Learn more by visiting the website

-Rachel Brackman, Alcohol Education Wellness Ambassador 

Toxic Positivity: The Darker Side of the Rainbow 

Have you ever heard or used these catchy one-liners to cheer people up? 

Everything will be ok.”                                                              “Don’t worry, be happy!” 

“Everything will work itself out.”                                                “Stay positive.” 

“Everything happens for a reason.”                                           “It could be worse.” 

In the movie Inside Out, a kid named Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco. As a result of these life changes, Riley’s emotions – characterized as Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness – conflict on how best to help her navigate a new city, house, and school.  

One of the scenes entails Joy attempting to cheer up another character named Bing Bong who lost his rocket used for adventures with Riley. Joy attempts to cheer up Bing Bong and distract him with other opportunities, whereas Sadness sits with Bing Bong, empathizes with him, and lets him cryCan you guess which method worked? 

 Inside Out: Sadness Comforts Bing Bong:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT6FdhKriB8 

Joy, like many well-intended people, is doing her best to cheer someone up. While there’s value in practicing positivity and gratitude, toxic positivity minimizes or ignores painful feelings, which can invalidate people’s experiences and deny basic human emotions. Consider the following ways toxic positivity may show up: 

  • Hiding or masking your true feelings. 
  • Ignoring your emotions by trying to “get on with it. 
  • Minimizing the experience with feel good quotes like “Everything will be ok.” 
  • Invalidating the experience with statements like “It could be worse.” 
  • Brushing off the experience with statements like “It is what it is.” 
  • Feeling shame, blame, guilt or anxiety for what you feel. 
  • Shaming or chastising others for expressing emotions that aren’t positive. 

Toxic positivity can send a subtle yet stifling message that there’s no space for pain, and it can affect people’s health in the following ways: 

  1. Suppressed emotions. Hiding, denying or avoiding feelings can lead to physical and psychological distress whereas expressing how you feel helps to regulate your body’s stress response. 
  2. Shame. Keeping silent about your feelings may be used to avoid shame but doesn’t resolve the issue and may make things worse. To check if shame is being hidden or avoided, ask yourself the following: “If someone knew ____ about me, what would they think?” or “Something I wouldn’t want others to know about me is ____.” If you can fill in the blanks with anything (e.g. situation, feeling, experience), shame likely exists 
  3. Superficial relationships. Denying your truth leads to feeling more disconnected from yourself and others which leads to inauthentic relationships. 

One of the antidotes to shame and toxic positivity is empathy which is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Check out these other examples of non-toxic acceptance and validation statements that may better support you and your loved ones. 


-Janele Bayless, Wellness Coordinator | Nutrition Education

Everything You Need to Know About… Coffee! 

Just the smell of coffee, even as a senior in high school, was disgusting to me. I would not dare go near the repulsive liquid. Then I entered college. My life changed forever. More specifically, my feelings towards coffee changed forever. My body craves at least one cup of coffee every morning or it simply will not function. Maybe I am being dramatic, but you get the point.  

With coronavirus looming and stress at an all-time high, the need for coffee increases. When I had coronavirus, I was EXHAUSTED. I could barely get up to do anything, let alone my mounds of schoolwork that needed to be completed. Many other peers I have talked to that tested positive had the exact same symptom.  

Drowsiness is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19. Obviously, sleeping and resting in order to let your body heal is the best thing you can do for yourself, but you and I both know that OChem and Calculus wait for no one.  One of the many perks of THE Ohio State campus is the constant availability and close proximity of coffee.  

The menu and vast list of options can be confusing; hopefully you will understand exactly what you are putting in your body after reading this short explanation!  

Café Americano 

The difference between an Americano and regular brewed coffee has nothing to do with what is in the cup, but rather how the water and coffee are combined. In a regular cup of brewed coffee, the water is dripped through the coffee grounds, but for an Americano hot water is just poured directly into an espresso shot.  

Café Latte 

A latte is mainly coffee and milk. Obviously, it can vary with preference, but proportionally lattes usually consist of one-third espresso, two-thirds steamed milk and a top cap of foam. One thing to note about lattes and other drinks that contain milk is that there are options. Almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, skim or 2% milk are a few that can be tried. Each has their own unique nutritional values.  

Café Cappuccino 

There is usually a lot of confusion around the difference between a cappuccino and latte. They consist of the same ingredients (coffee and steamed milk) but the difference lies in the proportion. Cappuccinos are smaller than lattes and have more coffee than milk.  

Mocha, White Mocha, & Buckeye Mocha 

Mocha means that it is a chocolateflavored coffee. A white mocha is white chocolate flavored coffee and a Buckeye Mocha is chocolate peanut butter flavored coffee 

From changing your milk preference, to adding extra flavor or espresso shots, the possibilities are truly endless. I encourage you to experiment with different flavors so that you can find your goto order!  




-By Emily Grieco, Nutrition Wellness Ambassador

Should I see my doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Short answer: yes! 

For some people, the thought of visiting a clinic, doctors office, or hospital can be anxiety-provoking during these times. It is especially concerning to college students who often only have access to one health center. Most students think, “Why would you go to the doctor if you’re not sick, especially during the pandemic?”   

Here are a few reasons why you should continue to keep in contact with your healthcare providers during this time.  

  1. Delaying treatment can hurt your physical health in the long run. We want you to advocate for your health! Sometimes, this means taking charge and scheduling that appointment that you really don’t want to go to. You should continue to get your yearly physical exam and make sure to schedule any additional appointments you normally have. For example, if you are 21 and have a cervixyou should be getting a routine Pap smear at least every three years by your sexual healthcare provider. If you think you have been exposed to an STI or are having symptoms, it is also important to reach out to your provider as they can help get you and your partner(s) tested and treated ASAP!  
  2. If you are not inclined to go visit a provider in person, there are many options to see them virtually. Many offices have begun to offer telemedicine services where you can talk to a provider from your own home. The Wilce Student Health Center is currently scheduling telemedicine appointments for certain concerns or conditions. Here is a link to the Student Health Services website: https://shs.osu.edu 
  3. You should continue to update your provider on your success and struggles on medication. For example, if you need to switch your method of hormonal birth control, talking to your provider or scheduling an appointment would be a better option than coming off your birth control without direction from a healthcare professional, and leaving yourself unprotected against pregnancy (if you’re having sex!) You should also communicate with your doctor about medication for your mental health. This includes scheduling appointments as needed for refills and continuing to monitor your mental health while on the medication.  

Accessing healthcare that you need is important to keeping you well. College is a stressful time and we shouldn’t let our health fall to the wayside. We are learning how to be young adults, and part of that is the responsibility to take care of our health, so we can continue to build healthy habits for life! 


-By Grace Axelson, Safer Sex Wellness Ambassador

Making a Grocery List: How to Shop Quickly on a Budget 

Moving into our own apartments can be daunting because it means we need to cook for ourselves. Living on campus, we are on a meal plan that is pre-budgeted and prepared for us. However, when we move out on our own, we must create our own budget and decide what we are eating.

One thing that helps me with this is writing a grocery list throughout the week when I think of something I need. As students, we have limited time to grocery shop, and it can be a burden during busy weeks. One way to speed up the process is to always have a list. I love to plan my grocery lists based on the meals I will eat in a week. I typically plan to meal prep at least four meals for the week and buy easy items for quick breakfasts and lunches.

There are so many resources online to start planning your grocery lists. My favorite now is the ChooseMyPlate list that can be edited straight from the link found below. MyPlate has a great “grocery game plan” list that maps out items by food group: fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein, and other. This is helpful because it then, also, organizes the list based on item location in the grocery store.

Before I leave for the store, I always reorganize my fridge and pantry section to know what I currently have. The MyPlate list is easy to edit so I can then cross off the items I already have and write in the ones that I may need. I always aim to buy at least two fruits and two vegetables for the week.

A great money-saving hack is to buy frozen or canned fruits and vegetables because they last forever and are very affordable. Buying grains in bulk is an easy way to save money as well. Many grocery stores now have zero-waste bulk sections where you can bring your own jar or fill a reusable bag. This is an easy and affordable way to save money and help the planet. When it comes to shopping for protein, a great tip is to freeze raw meat or tofu if you are not going to consume it in a week.

Making a grocery list can be fun! I love to plan mine out by looking at social media accounts for recipe inspiration. There are great accounts on Instagram geared towards eating on a college budget. If you bullet journal, you can include your list on a beautifully made journal page each week. Just don’t forgot to add in a few treats and pick foods that will make you happy!



-Hannah Blumenfeld, Nutrition Wellness Ambassador


Sharing (your STI diagnosis) is Caring

So, you or someone you know just found out you have a sexually transmitted infection… what is a safe way to tell previous sexual partners about it?  

First off, what is a sexually transmitted infection (STI)? 

You may have also heard them called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). They are what they sound like – an infection that can pass between people during sexual contact. Some STIs can be cured, meaning you will no longer have it or be able to give it to someone else unless you get infected again. Others are treatable, meaning the symptoms can be managed, but the infection does not go away, so you can still give it to someone else without precautions. More information on STIs can be found by visiting the Mayo Clinic websitehttps://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/symptoms-causes/syc-20351240 

STIs can also be asymptomatic. This means that you might have the STI and can give it others, but you might not have symptoms at the moment. This is why it is important to not only get tested, but to tell your sexual partner(s) if you think you have been exposed or test positive for STI(s) because they could end up having serious symptoms, such as fevers, rashes, bleeding, pain during sex, and even death if left untreated.  

Why don’t people tell their partner(s) they have an STI? There could be many reasons. There is a stigma about STIs, so the person might feel embarrassed. Maybe they don’t know their recent partner(s) very well and don’t know how to talk about it. But the bottom line is that it is important that exposed partners know because STIs can cause harmful symptoms, especially if not treated! 

There are ways to anonymously tell your partner(s) that they’ve been exposed to an STI. Depending on the situation, someone might not be comfortable or able to talk with their partner(s) in person that they’ve been exposed to STI(s). This is okay! Free, online resources like https://tellyourpartner.org/ will send an anonymous text or email to them letting them know they’ve been exposed and should get tested. The website does not ask for names or other information; just provide a partner(s) email or phone number and which STIs they might be exposed to. There is a space to either write a custom message or pick the pre-written message that will include necessary information.  

Overall, it is important to get tested for yourself and for your partner(s) to know if you are positive, even if it means telling them anonymously. 

Katie Kuhlwein, Safer Sex Wellness Ambassador 

The Job/Internship Search During COVID-19

COVID-19 has brought major interruptions to life, including the search for jobs and internships. Many inperson recruiting events have been canceled and this may have you wondering how do I meet employers?! Take a deep breath and fear not! There are still many ways to get in touch with employers this spring semester and land that dream position. 

Tip 1: Set UYour Handshake 

Handshake is Ohio State’s new university-wide position posting system where students have access to search and apply for part-time and full-time jobs, internships, and co-ops! Companies will post jobs that are available, and you will either apply directly on the Handshake site or it may direct you to the company’s website in an external link. You can even set up alerts on companies or position titles, so you don’t have to stress about missing out on your dream position! 

Tip 2: Attend Online Career Fairs and Info Sessions 

Just because employers can’t hold on-campus events doesn’t mean they aren’t hosting events at all. Similar to many other things this year, employer events have gone virtual. On your Handshake account, you can search for events such as career fairs, company meet and greets, and even one-on-one sessions. Keep an eye out on clubs that match your interests as well. Many clubs that typically invite companies to come and give talks are still hosting events  they’ve just moved into the CarmenZoom world! 

Tip 3: Don’t Read Too Much into the Title 

Does the job description sound perfect for you? Yes, you’re creative, enthusiastic, and a great team player! But maybe the actual job title is a little off from your major. Enterprisersproject.com suggests not reading too much into the job title. Employers will look at the skills that you possess, not just your major when filling the position. 

Tip 4: Become Comfortable with Online Interviewing 

You landed an interview with your dream company – congrats! Interviews can be stressful, and that’s perfectly OK; everyone gets nervous for interviews. However, it could be even more stressful if you’re not comfortable with online interviewing. A great tip is just to practice in front of the camera you’ll be using. Ohio State has sample interview questions on the Career Counseling and Support Services website  (https://ccss.osu.edu/undergrads/job-internship-search-strategies/interviewing-skills/). Even sites like LinkedIn have videos you can watch to practice as well. The great thing about it is, you’ll know exactly what it’s like because you’ll being doing it virtually too!

Tip 5: Practice Destressing Before Any Big Events 

Remember: you got this! But if you need some tips to destress before any big events you can find resources through the Ohio State Wellness app! Some easy tips, such as breathing exercises, can help you relax a little more on the big day! 


Taylor Sienerth, Stress Wellness Ambassador  

Think Twice Before Pouring Yourself a “Quarantini” 

Virtual classes, mandatory student COVID testing, masks, and hand sanitizing are strong efforts in the fight against COVID-19, but students must also consider their individual drinking habits at home and among peers. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) have published information to the public suggesting the avoidance of excessive drinking as it may be associated with higher severity and contraction rates of COVID-19.  

According to the NIAAA, “alcohol in the body at the time of exposure to a pathogen tends to impair the body’s immediate immune response to the pathogen making it easier for an infection to develop.” Furthermore, long-term alcohol misuse leads to impairment of immune cells that line the respiratory tract allowing SARS-CoV-2 virus particles easier admittance into the lungs as well as increased probability of developing Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), where fluid collects in the lungs. COVID-19 contraction occurring for those diagnosed with ARDS is associated with a need for mechanical ventilation, extended stays in the ICU and higher risks of death. Research from Yale Medicine also suggests that heavy social drinking and binge drinking causes changes within cytokines (proteins that carry out the immune response) and function suppression of bone marrow, which produces disease fighting white blood cells.  

Students must watch their drinking habits as it not only affects the body’s immune response if COVID-19 contraction occurs, but also increases affects student ability to follow COVID-19 state and public health protocols. Alcohol reduces the functioning of information processing within the brain by decreasing activity in the prefrontal cortex (responsible for executive decision making) and increasing norepinephrine levels (stimulating neurotransmitter). These effects lead to decreased inhibition and increased impulsivity, which may prevent the strict and necessary following of COVID-19 public health protocols. Students are thus, more at risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 if they are unable to follow prevention protocols of not gathering in large groups of more than 10 people, maintaining social distance of 6 feet, and wearing masks.  

Please visit https://safeandhealthy.osu.edu/dashboard for more information on Ohio State’s response to COVID-19.

Looking to explore your alcohol use more? Learn more about the free resources provided by the Student Wellness Center. Group services, 1on1 coaching, and digital platforms to fit your needs: https://swc.osu.edu/services/alcohol-tobacco-and-other-drug-prevention/




 The People Ignoring Social Distancing. Digital Image. Dondesigns Shutterstock. The Atlantic. Web. 18 September 2020. 


-Alcohol Education Wellness Ambassador

Benefits of Breakfast

Do you ever skip breakfast in hopes of losing weight or simply because you don’t have time to eat in the morning? Research shows that skipping breakfast can actually lead you to overeat later in the day as you may snack more and eat more at night. Studies also show that those who skip breakfast tend to gain more weight, have higher BMIs (Body Mass Index), and have an increased risk for obesity. There’s even a link between skipping breakfast and a decrease in cognitive performance and problem solving.

Providing our body with fuel in the morning can make it easier for us to eat well later in the day with research showing people who eat breakfast getting more vitamins and minerals. Eating breakfast has also proven to boost metabolism, improve mood, concentration, and energy, and help keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. Additionally, research shows that students who eat breakfast have higher academic achievement!

A healthy breakfast consists of a mix of macros (protein, carbohydrate, fat) with three or more food groups, including one protein or dairy source and one fruit or vegetable. This mix of foods can help meet our nutrient needs and keep us full longer.

Grab-and-Go Ideas

  • Protein shake or bar, fruit with nuts or nut butter
  • Nut-based bar (i.e. KIND), hard-boiled egg, fruit
  • Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, fruit, nuts

Easy Breakfast Ideas

  • English muffin with egg and cheese, fruit
  • Smoothie with fruit, milk, protein powder, nut butter
  • ½ bagel with nut butter and banana slices, greek yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Omelet with cheese and veggies (i.e. bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, onion, spinach/kale), whole grain toast
  • Whole grain toast with avocado and egg
  • Oatmeal (or overnight oats) made with milk, protein powder, nuts or nut butter, fruit
  • Egg muffins with cheese and veggies (i.e. spinach, onion, bell pepper), fruit or whole grain toast

Additional Resources


– Kera Cashman, Medical Dietetics Intern

Let’s Celebrate

So, Governor. Mike DeWine lifted the statewide curfew, and your friends want to get together for drinks to celebrate that grueling assignment you struggled for weeks to research, write and submit? Maybe you’re not entirely comfortable with dining out during a pandemic, or perhaps you want an alternate way of celebrating that doesn’t require drinking. “Let’s grab drinks” is a phrase used too often that it sometimes becomes synonymous with, “I miss you; I want to spend time with you, let’s hang out!” but these two statements are not the same thing, and they don’t have to be. Sometimes, suggesting a night of drinking is the easiest thing to do. Many are even conditioned to look to a night out as a rite of passage in celebrating an achievement, meeting a deadline, letting loose from built-up stress, or seeing friends you may not have seen for a while. The truth is, there are plenty of ways to meet these needs without having to indulge in an overpriced cocktail. 

Virtual Options:  

  • Have a virtual game nightGather a team of fellow students and friends and sign up for OUAB’s Grad/Prof bi-weekly trivia night!  
  • Gather your friends for a movie night. Do you have a favorite comfort film that always helps get you centered after a crazy week? Pick your favorites with your friends and watch them together virtually 
  • Hop on to an online cooking class with friends through OUAB in the Kitchen. After you’ve created your meal, sit down on zoom and enjoy a meal, and the company.  
  • Throw on your favorite songs and have a dance party or share your screen and host a karaoke moment with friends.  

Does the idea of sitting in front of your screen tire you? Are you struggling with Zoom burnout? If your comfortable, here are some in-person suggestions that you could try following COVID guidelines: 

  • Potluck at the park – bring your favorite dish in individual, COVIDfriendly containers and have an outdoor, socially distant meal with friends (when the weather allows!)  
  • Host a private showing at a local theatre. You and three others can rent an entire theatre for about $25 apiece. There is plenty of room for social distancing, and no one to kick your seat, or yell at you for dancing or running through the aisles! 
  • Find a low-risk activity as suggested by the Mayo Clinic. There are still ways to have fun, get out of the house and give yourself a break in these trying times.  

There are many ways to celebrate or catch up with a friend that doesn’t have to involve drinking. In some situations, maybe you’re comfortable with them drinking in their own space virtually and don’t feel the need to participate yourself, or perhaps you’re uncomfortable with the presence of alcohol altogether and want fun options to reflect that. 

If you’re thinking about reassessing your relationship with alcohol, consider joining Beyond Your Buzz, a moderation management program offered by Ohio State’s Alcohol and Other Drug Education through the Student Wellness Center. This drop-in group is built to meet students’ needs who want to explore and make positive changes in their substance use.  

Of course, there are additional resources through the Student Wellness Center if you feel you want to make substance use changes. You can sign up for a BASICS session to explore your alcohol and drug use to reduce harmful consequences of alcohol abuse, or look into the option of the Collegiate Recovery Community if you are committed to an abstinence-based, long-term recovery community.