Finding Strength, Support After Loss
Chloe Lawton-Chadwick is a sophomore in Ohio State’s online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences program. She shares her experience in her own words in hopes it helps other students who are struggling.
You don’t know your own strength until it’s all you have left to push through a difficult time. As students, life’s events don’t wait for homework and exams.
My father passed away at the beginning of the semester right as I was settling into my classes on campus. It was incredibly tough, but through the resources at Ohio State and my own determination, I realized that I’m the only one who can build my future and make the decision to better myself.
After everything happened, I had trouble sleeping at night and would occasionally sleep through my 8 a.m class. My integrative medicine professor, Dr. Jennifer Olejownik, was very understanding. It wasn’t like me to miss class, and she explained it wouldn’t be fair for her not to understand my struggle—acceptance is what she teaches us in class. I’m so grateful to her. She made such a powerful impact on me, and it’s something I really cherish.
I had to regroup, so I called my Health Sciences advisor, and I talked to my professors to get some recommendations. My advisor told me about the online version of my program, and it ended up being the best choice for me.
Now, I can do my courses whenever it’s best for me. Because I dealt with a lot of complex things this semester, sometimes I would be too upset to focus on classwork. The fact I have the tools when I am ready to maximize my learning is great. I’m able to sit down and absorb everything, and even revisit things later.
The online program feels very comparable to what I experienced in-person. We have groups where we can all participate and collaborate, and take turns being group leaders. It’s super interactive and I feel involved in the aspect of communicating with other students and getting to hear other people’s opinions.
"For anyone going through a hard time, it’s okay to fall. It’s only human. No matter what happens or how many times you fall, as long as you push forward, and seek help if you need it, you can channel that strength inside of you."
In integrative medicine class we discuss mind and body therapies like massage, yoga, and meditation. We are encouraged to experience these alternative therapies and try them ourselves. We practice mindfulness, which has really helped me in my specific situation. It’s important to just be in the present moment, nonjudgmental, checking in with yourself, asking what’s going on, how do you feel, and focusing on that stillness that is so often pushed aside with all the distractions we have. There are so many positive aspects that come from these different practices. I have been able to connect with these techniques, and under my circumstances, these therapies have spoken to me personally.
For anyone going through a hard time, it’s okay to fall. It’s only human. No matter what happens or how many times you fall, as long as you push forward, and seek help if you need it, you can channel that strength inside of you. My father always told me I had a strength in me that could “cease fire,” and I would laugh, but I know he was serious. He was my biggest supporter and would have confidence in me whenever I questioned myself. It’s been a big area of growth, me having to become my own biggest believer.
My journey to the online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences program was not through a traditional path, but it’s helping me reach a bright future. I have an interest in pursuing a career in medicine, so I plan on attending medical school when I graduate in 2020. Taking integrative medicine gave me the opportunity to find different aspects of myself in my coursework that I didn’t even know existed. So, further on, I’m interested in a medical career that involves complementary and alternative medicine. I’ve gone through so many obstacles, and have grown a lot as a person, so I’m excited to see where that takes me.