Safe and Social 

Feeling isolated during the pandemic is completely normal, but just because we must stay six feet apart doesn’t mean we can’t still connect with our friends in person. There are many ways to hang out with friends while still being safe and mindful of others. Here are some ideas to help you get started!  

First up are picnics. It’s incredibly easy to grab a towel or blanket and find a nice place to sit outside with some friends. The Oval is a great place to go, along with any of the green spaces throughout campus. If you want to do a unique activity while enjoying the outdoors, try writing letters to senior citizens! You may have seen these posts on Instagram, but with the pandemic causing people to isolate, many assisted living communities are looking for pen pals for their residents. See the resources section below for more information!  

Next up, you can bike or ride scooters around campus. Ohio State’s campus is huge and, especially if you’re new to Columbus, it can be helpful to learn more about where everything is located. Stop by Raising Canes on High Street and grab a rentable scooter or bike to begin your day. There are plenty of trails you can use as well if you want to ride by the river or visit some nice parks located nearby.  

If you have a car, then going to drive-in movies are a great option. Located about 25 minutes from campus, the South Drive-In movie theatre is a great place to go if you want to get away with some friends for a few hours. Some artists are even doing drive-in concerts, so be sure to check if any of your favorite artists are hosting one nearby.  

If you think cars are overrated, try a kayak instead. Not only is this a safe social activity because you can physically distance from other kayakers, but this can also be a relaxing activity to get you outside for a few hours while the weather is good. Pick a short course for a two- or three-hour long ride or a long course that could keep you out all day.   

If you’re feeling creative and not afraid to show off your work, then sidewalk chalk drawing may be for you. Grab a friend and create a masterpiece of art or write positive messages around campus to help lift other people’s spirits.  

Last but not least, you can start hammocking. Hammocks are also a great way to meet with people. A Wise Owl hammock costs around $30 for a single and is incredibly durable. With plenty of areas to hammock on campus, including the Oval or by Mirror Lake, you can relax with friends and do homework or just play some music and hang out.  

Even with social distancing, there are still many things you can do if you get creative.  

These are just a few easy ways to get out and meet with people while still being safe! 


-Ava Dong, Stress Wellness Ambassador 

How Your Drug Use Habits Might Affect Your Susceptibility to COVID-19 

Some view college as an acceptable time to learn about yourself and experiment with your environment (yes, I’m talking about drugs). However, it might be important to consider how your personal experiments or habits effect your health during the COVID-19 pandemic. We all know washing your hands, wearing a mask, and social distancing can help to reduce your chance of contracting COVID-19, but with potential asymptomatic carriers on a campus of nearly 50,000 people, COVID-19 is tough to evade.  

If you have done your research and have made the personal decision to try certain substances or if you suffer from addiction, we need to discuss the adverse health effects drug use may induce and how that relates to the current pandemic. Some of these adverse health effects may result in predisposing conditions, which make people more susceptible to things like COVID-19 and is therefore typically associated with severe cases. Predisposing conditions are things like cancer, COPD, heart conditions, type I and II diabetes, asthma, hypertension, liver disease, and immunocompromised individuals (Certain Medical Conditions and Risk for Severe COVID-19 Illness 2020). Please note, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that it is inconclusive if drug use is associated with higher occurrence of COVID-19, but I believe this information may be a beneficial perspective to students on our campus when making individualized and informed decisions on drug use (People Who Use Drugs or Have Substance Use Disorder 2020). Opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, heroin, and fentanyl are known to interfere with our breathing mechanism. Even without COVID-19, this can result in slow and ineffective breathing leading to decreased oxygen in the blood, which can result in brain damage. Stimulants like cocaine, methamphetamine, and ketamine are associated with stroke, heart attacks, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and can cause long term heart and lung damage. Smoking raises your risk of infection, can cause COPD, hypertension, asthma, and other lung conditions. With smoking, it is also important to be aware that sharing inhaled products like vapes, glassware, cigarettes, and joints/blunts can result in transmission of COVID-19. Furthermore, diseases like HIV and hepatitis are common among intravenous drug users and prevent the immune system from fighting off infection to its fullest potential (People Who Use Drugs or Have Substance Use Disorder 2020).  

For each example above, it is clear that side effects from these substances might not allow your body to defend itself to its fullest potential. A definitive relationship between drug use and severe COVID-19 cases is unclear at the moment, but studies have already begun and as the pandemic continues to unravel, more evidence will be uncovered. As a fellow OSU student, I hope this information helps you to better navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and empowers you to be well! 

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, please refer to resources below for help: 

-Rachel Ernst 

10 Reasons to Wear a Mask

With the weather heating up you may be tempted to ditch the mask (or even the double mask) but we are not in the clear from Covid-19 just yet. Read below for the Together as Buckeyes Ambassadors top 10 reasons to wear a mask:  

  1. Hides Acne 
  2. Can match your outfit to elevate your style. 
  3. You can lip sync songs without anyone knowing. 
  4. Keeps you warm on cold days. 
  5. Allows you to express your personality.  
  6. Can mask bad breath if you forgot to brush your teeth. 
  7. We can work on our “smize”, thanks Tyra Banks. 
  8. Mouth breathers can walk around without scrutiny. 
  9. No one will see your RBF. 
  10. And of course, it protects us and others from contracting COVID-19 
  11. Bonus: We will be able to see our grandparents soon! 

Jillian Tishko, Together As Buckeye Ambassador 

Prevention though Nutrition: Keeping COVID Away with Food 

Food is our fuel. It gives us energy, fuels our minds, and keeps us alive. In this pandemic, we all live with uncertainty. Going to the grocery store can be stressful enough, let alone sitting with fear that you may become infected with the virus. On campus, it can feel even more daunting knowing that we may not be able to see parents or loved ones if we catch COVID. While we all know that the best way to prevent illness is to practice safe physical distancing and wear a maskcertain foods can also make our bodies strong and boost our immunity! 

Foods all have different nutrients for different functions in our body. Certain nutrients help to strengthen our immune system and keep us happy and healthy. Although no food is a guaranteed cure to an infection, there are certain nutrients that we need to ensure we are strong enough to fight one.  

Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health helped explain what aspects of our diet to focus on to maintain a healthy immune system. Researchers expressed the importance of a healthy gut for a healthy body. To maintain our gut health, we need to eat foods with probiotics and prebiotics. Examples of probiotic foods include yogurt and fermented vegetables. Yogurt is widely available at every dining location on campus and is an easy grab-and-go snack for those of us in a rush. Prebiotic foods include whole grains, bananas, other fruits and vegetables. The dining halls have many options that include whole grain breadpasta and endless vegetable and fruit options to help our immunity 

Harvard’s biggest tip was to eat a well-balanced diet. To keep our bodies healthy, we must consume a range of vitamins and nutrients. We should be keeping our body fueled and ready to fight off any virus that comes our way. It can be hard to plan our meals and find time to focus on our health on campus, but the dining halls have many options to keep us healthy.  

 If you are struggling to maintain a well-balanced diet, the Student Wellness Center has free nutrition coaching for students as well as online resources to help students understand the foods they choose to eat. Check out the resources section below for more informationAs always, maintaining healthy behaviors like getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising are great ways to keep ourselves healthy and strong during this time! 


-Hannah Blumenfeld, Nutrition Wellness Ambassador

More than a Hashtag: Together as Buckeyes Ambassadors

We’ve all heard #TogetherAsBuckeyes, #MaskUp, #InThisTogether and countless other hashtags over the past year. While you may be tuning some of these messages out, it’s important to know that there is more behind the hashtag. 

Over the past year the Together as Buckeyes (TAB) Ambassador Program was created and implemented to promote safe and healthy behaviors to the Ohio State Community, with a focus on peer-to-peer communication and relatability. 

The Together as Buckeyes Ambassadors have two primary goals: 

  • Promote mask wearing and provide PPE supplies (masks, hand sanitizer, etc) 
  • Educate the Ohio State community on wellness resources and Safe and Healthy Buckeyes information  

Not only do they educate on safe and healthy information, but they have also been known to provide prizes to those who are actively following all safety guidelines! You may have even chatted with the ambassadors on your way to class 

We want to share more about who the Ambassadors are so you have a better understanding when you see them on campus. You can spot a TAB Ambassador wearing a nametag, Be Kind t-shirt and potentially sporting a fannypack full of prizes and PPE.  

  • TAB Ambassadors range from 1st years to 4th years, showing that all students are committed to staying safe from COVID-19 and hoping to return to a more normal college experience 
  • Some majors include molecular genetics, speech and hearing sciences, and international studies – showing that promoting health and wellness isn’t limited to those in the health sciences 
  • When asked why they became a TAB Ambassador, ambassadors said: 
    • “ To help and serve students on campus during this difficult time of adjustment and online learning” 
    • “The only way to get through this pandemic is to follow the guidelines, I joined to promote mask wearing and encouraging everyone to follow Ohio State’s guidelines” 
    • “College students can make a huge impact. Being personally affected by Covid-19, it is important to me to educate others. I transferred to Ohio State this year and would love to experience campus in its true nature”  
  • TAB Ambassadors are looking forward to fun warm weather activities including: 
    • Hammock laying near mirror lake  
    • Putting away the winter layers  
    • Walking on local trails  
    • Playing tennis 
    • Working out on Lincoln Tower fields 
    • Studying on the Oval  

Ultimately, TAB Ambassadors want you to know they are not the “COVID-19 police”. Ambassadors are students just like you, hoping for a more normal Ohio State experience.  

Now you know more about the Together As Buckeyes Ambassadors, keep an eye out for them around campus and say hey. They may even prizes!  

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. 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  ( 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 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:


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


-Alcohol Education Wellness Ambassador

Lessons Learned in 2020 for a Better 2021

There is no doubt that this past year has challenged many people across the globe in many different ways.  One of the biggest struggles people faced in the past year was financial instability.  Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and do not have an emergency fund set aside for when unexpected events happen, like unemployment.  We can take some of these hard lessons that many have lived through and change our habits to create a better future. 

In Spring of 2020, COVID19 hit United States and the employment rate reached 14.8%. To add to this sudden financial stress, CNBC reported that only 39% of Americans have at least $1,000 set aside for unexpected expenses.  The pandemic escalated a lot of the financial issues that many Americans face. The good thing is we can learn from the past and change our actions in the future. 

There is no doubt that 2020 was a hard year for the world, but I believe there are many lessons that can be learned that we will take into the coming years.  Here are some simple practices that everyone can engage in to ensure financial security for the future. 

  • Create an emergency fund with six months of living expenses for unexpected events
  • Use split direct deposit to save money from every paycheck in a savings or retirement account
  • If possible, spend less than you make. Use a monthly budget to track your spending and income.

The Student Wellness Center’s free Financial Coaching service can provide education and assistance in planning for the future. Schedule a 1on1 appointment today!

Emotions, Relationships, and Covid-19.

 As of our lives have been uprooted and sent online, and we all are coping with this craziness in our own ways. It is often easy to overlook mental health, and I think many young adults do. With this pandemic sweeping the world, I think it has made many of us stop for a second and hopefully take care of ourselves, but now with the school year back in swing and being back on a college campus there are many things we need to remind ourselves, especially in keeping healthy relationships. 

From the fear of contracting Covid-19, to the isolation it has brought upon us, it is not uncommon that we may be feeling completely overwhelmed. It’s also not uncommon for these emotions to play into our relationships. Here is a guide to help you navigate through these feelings, while still maintaining healthy meaningful relationships.  

You have to let yourself be vulnerable. Open up about the emotions you’re experiencing and be honest about them. Let your friends, partners, or family know that you are struggling right now and could use some extra support or patience. That is much easier said than done, trust me I know.

If you aren’t comfortable opening up to a close friend or family member, contact a coach or counseling service. While having a virtual mental health coaching or counseling session is a different experience, it is still an objective source that can help you work through your emotions and why you may be feeling the way you are. You don’t have to go through this alone, and there are resources to help you.

During these confusing and changing times, we may not fully understand how we are feeling. These emotions can often interfere with our relationships because they impact how we relate to others. It is easy to try and push away or cover up these feelings, but this can negatively impact your mindset and may make things worse long term. It takes courage to open up about what you are dealing with, but most often you will find it is a relief to share and acknowledge your feelings. I know it is scary and challenging but please reach out and support each other during this unprecedented time. 


Wellness Coaching:

Buckeye Peer Access Line:

-Sarah Frederick, Wellness Ambassador 

Staying Active While Being Cautious

Although gyms have reopened since their closings this spring, many people (myself included) are tentative to return to a building where everyone can share sweat and germs. While the gyms on campus and in surrounding areas are taking extra measures to keep everyone safe and healthy, there so many alternative options to staying active this semester! Whether you’re looking to do cardio, stretching, or even strength training, finding an outdoor space or staying home to exercise are good alternatives to going to the gym. 

With almost all classes being virtual this semesterwith the exception of small classes, labs, research labs, and clinical practicesmany of us are at home in front of our screens for most of the day. With the nice weather we have been graciously granted as of late, it is a great idea to take advantage of the outdoor spaces on campus and around Columbus. Whether it is doing socially distanced yoga or Pilates with a friend outside the RPAC, running on the available fields on campus, taking a walk through the Oval, or a bike ride at a local Metro Park, there are a multitude of opportunities to get active outside this fall. Many of the courts and fields on campus are not being used for their usual activities this semester, so there are many free spaces to stretch, workout, or relax. 

When the weather turns colder, there are still many options to stay moving. As much time as we’re spending at our computers and desks, it’s important to get up and movingeven if it’s in your dorm room, apartment, or house! When I have a lot of energy and feel the need to move while I’m watching a lecture video (that doesn’t require me to take notes), I’ll do some standing stretches or lunges while I listen. It can also be helpful to stand instead of sitting while working (try to stand at least once an hour) and correct posture while sitting as this is better for our necks and backs. Some simple neck and back stretches can also be helpful to relieve tension from sitting all day. If you’re looking for an at-home workout, Ohio State Recreational Sports offers live and recorded fitness classes on their website. There are also a plethora of YouTube channels offering free, apartment-friendly workouts.  

Physical activity is vital to overall wellbeing, and the immuneboosting properties of staying active can help us stay healthy this fall and winter. With the resources and options we have on and surrounding campus, we are sure to stay active and well! 




Sarah Haskins, Nutrition Wellness Ambassador