With the start of the 2019-2020 academic year at Ohio State, recent graduate Megan Choinacky is embarking on a new journey while staying close to her Buckeye roots.
Last October, Choinacky was accepted into the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy to pursue her doctorate in pharmacology, a dream that planted its roots while she attended Roncalli High School in Indiana.
“I thought about being a nurse but the more I thought about it, I realized I didn’t want to deal with blood and stuff like that but I still wanted to be in the healthcare field and help people. After taking my classes here, doing shadowing experiences and just talking to other pharmacists, I saw that this was the place for me and the best way I can help other people.”
Knowing she wanted to stay at Ohio State, Choinacky chose to apply for an early decision into the PharmD program.
“The interview was on the Friday of Fall Break so I stayed and had my interview, which was an all-day event. On Monday, I got a call while I was walking to class saying I got in so I was really excited. I called my mom, no one answered. Called my dad, no one answers. I called him like 15 times. I called my sister, told her I got into pharmacy school, and she goes, ‘Okay, cool. I’m going back to bed.’ But it was funny because she called back and was like, ‘Oh my gosh, you got into pharmacy school. I’m so sorry, I just woke up. I had no idea.’”
She had fewer hiccups when she decided to tell her teammates and coaches the good news.
“I told coach [Kelly Kovach-Schoenly] that morning and then the rest of the coaches. I asked them if I could do a ‘tell me something good’ and told the team that way. They were so excited, jumping up and down. They all gave me a big hug and it was just so awesome to have that experience with my team.”
The OSU Scholar-Athlete and three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree knew she couldn’t have achieved her dreams without taking advantage of the many resources the athletics department provides, including the Younkin Success Center and Student Athlete Support Services Office (SASSO).
“I spent a lot of time in Younkin my first year. I don’t know how I would’ve survived without it, just having a place to go and study is awesome. The tutoring options, being able to sit down and talk to someone or freak out about every class I had to take. Then SASSO was a huge help with my résumé and cover letter. The athletics department also works with the student-athletes to pay for test prep for the GRE, PCAT and LSAT. There are so many resources at SASSO and my advisors are amazing.”
For Choinacky, there’s nothing quite like being a student-athlete at Ohio State and getting the opportunity to pursue her passions on and off the field.
“I love it. It’s just so much fun being able to come to practice every day but being able to enjoy what I do in the classroom. I think it would be different if I didn’t like one or the other but I love them both. It’s definitely challenging on some days and sometimes it feels like a grind but without my teammates, coaches and the support of my family, I wouldn’t have been able to get through it. Knowing that I’m able to represent my school as well as get an amazing education here makes everything so much better. I’m here in the right place at the right time and I get the chance to help someone else.”