Student on the street: Beavers define the meaning of “spirituality”

Pavel Sengupta stands in front of the Memorial Union
Pavel Sengupta stands in front of the Memorial Union
Hayden Lohr

For many Beavers, December is the time to get into the holiday spirit, but with so many different beliefs and cultures around the world, “the spirit” can be hard to define. For this issue, we asked students to define spirituality for themselves with the question: “What does spirituality mean to you?”


Name: Devin Ziemelis

Major: Geology

Year at OSU: First year

What does spirituality mean to you?: “Spirituality means believing that there’s a higher power and not having any concrete proof but just believing in it just because you have to or need to or want to. I don’t believe that there is a single god, but I believe there’s a higher power that is up there … you could say, flipping on the switches.”


Name: Jackson Schel

Major: Bioengineering

Year at OSU: First year

What does spirituality mean to you?: “It’s a way to connect with oneself, and improve … It’s a big question.”


Name: Pavel Sengupta

Major: Chemistry Ph.D.

Year at OSU:  Third year graduate student

What does spirituality mean to you?: “(Spirituality) to me, is having a very strong belief in, not only God, but yourself, and through all the different religions, whatever they want or wish to believe, is up to them to define … in that sense it can differ. But, the beauty about it is that, even though all those differences I found, because I am from India so (I’m) Hindu (and then) I found Christianity … I would say that there are many commonalities of spirituality that stand out no matter which religion or faith you take … People think that spirituality has to do with your emotions or your beliefs and that’s partly right, but spirituality also has to do with your actions.”


Name: Nora Macarewich

Major: Architectural engineering

Year at OSU: First year

What does spirituality mean to you?: “To me it means … a connectedness to my environment. So I think it means connecting with people and things and activities around you. It’s also a sense of well-being.”


Name: Brody Clark

Major: Computer science

Year at OSU: First year

What does spirituality mean to you?: “I don’t have a really serious relationship with any kind of spirituality, I think. My relationship with spirituality is mostly stemming from my relationship with my grandparents and my mother’s side of my family because they are Catholic. So, I have that kind of symbolism for that side of my family … I just try to stay reflective. I think that’s a very spiritual experience, just being conscious of yourself from an outside perspective is something that’s really difficult to do and almost a spiritual experience to attempt.”


Name: Cheyenne Crawley

Major: Postbaccalaurette in biology

Year at OSU: First year transfer student

What does spirituality mean to you?: “So for me spirituality is less about organized religion and more about your personal connection to whatever your belief system is about life and death. Essentially, it can span more than that based on your personal ethics, how you like to treat other people, the way you think about nature and the environment. But for me, it really is what your concept of your life’s meaning is outside of the scope of organized religion … Where most of my spirituality comes out is on hikes. So I go hiking and I just take so many moments to be incredibly mindful of how mind boggling it is that we’re even here in the first place and that all of this is here at the same time. So that’s how I practice my own spirituality is just being so damn grateful.”


Name: Jayshaun Talbert

Major: Zoology

Year at OSU: First year

What does spirituality mean to you?: “Hm … Anything on the level that is not inherently physical.”


Name: Jihan Ziada

Major: Marketing

Year at OSU: Fourth year

What does spirituality mean to you?: “I guess the concept of spirituality, like what I’ve experienced with it, is, I guess, my dad being a shaman. He’s done soul retrievals and stuff on me, which I thought was really cool. So I think it’s more like connecting with yourself and also maybe a spiritual world if you believe in that, which can be connecting with nature, animals (and) all the surrounding stuff.”

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