The Ohio State University
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Written by Kate January 2, 2018
The nice thing about the high school I went to is that many of us end up being Bucks. This meant that I had quite the list of people to text when I was stressing about random things like which chemistry professor I should try to get and if I really needed certain textbooks. Despite my rather large support network of Buckeye alums, the one thing that I couldn’t figure out was whether I wanted to apply for the Honors or Scholars Program. Everyone that I talked to had very personal opinions on the matter, making it rather hard to get a feel for what I would like. A bit confused and unsure, I decided to choose Honors way back last November, not really knowing what I was signing up for. Choosing Honors was one of the best decisions I made.
I was always the student who tried to push the limits. I liked to be busy and feel like I was really learning something new. I actively sought to challenge myself and try new things. At the same time, I really valued knowing and having strong relationships with my teachers and advisors. Having felt so connected to the school I came from, I was a bit nervous about finding a way to establish and connect myself with as big a school as Ohio State. For me, Honors was so integral to my ability to find a seamless transitions for many reasons, but here are the top reasons I found the Honors Program to be so worthwhile:
1. Small Class Sizes
I think that one of the biggest shocks the first week of school was walking into a gigantic lecture hall of a few hundred students for my chemistry class. This past semester, the only non-Honors class that I took was that chemistry class. I think that if all my classes were that large I would have really freaked out that first week. In sharp contrast to that huge non-honors class were my honors classes. My biology class was only about thirty students, anthropology was about fifteen and psychology was about thirty. These small classes allowed for a more intimate classroom environment. It was extraordinarily easy to get to know my professors and talk to them about their research.
2. Priority Scheduling
There are a few ways that you can get priority scheduling as a freshman: you’re an athlete, you come in with a high rank (from passing many AP tests or taking a lot of CCP classes), or you are an Honors student. I was so lucky to have this priority scheduling because it allowed me to schedule my classes weeks ahead of my peers. Thus, I was able to carefully select the professors that I most desired and I was able to create a really nice schedule. I was capable of choosing the sections of certain classes that were offered near my dorm and I was able to keep certain time slots open for my volunteering and research positions.
A lot of the honors classes afford more opportunities than non-honors versions of the same class. For example, my biology class this semester had a lab component that was entirely dedicated to undergraduate solo research. We were given the tools to create our very own research experiment and then present it to the biology faculty at the end of the semester. In contrast, my friend that took the non-honors version did not get this opportunity and rather did a series of smaller labs that only lasted a class period.
Not everything about college is about building your resume, but a nice little perk about the Honors Program is that it can actually help when you are looking to apply for certain positions. I was able to add it onto my application for a volunteering position at the James Cancer Research Center as well as for the lab that I am in. While this was just a small addition to my resume, I feel as though it was an easy way to vouch for my commitment to my education and my drive to learn more.
While I can’t necessarily speak much for the Scholars Program (as I do not know many who are in it), I do feel as though I have no regrets about choosing Honors. While both offer certain perks, Honors felt like the right choice for a student like myself.
Academics, Advice, Classes
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