Making the Most of Your Dining Plan

Oh The Ohio State Meal plan. Whether you have the Gray 10, Scarlet 14, or Unlimited, you need to know how to use it wisely. Here are my pro- tips for using your meal plan to its full potential!  

USE ALL YOUR SWIPES 

For the Gray 10 and Scarlet 14 folks, you should never let your swipes go to waste because they don’t roll over from week to week. (Dining Dollars and BuckId cash DO roll over from week to week) If you find yourself with multiple swipes left over on Sundays, you can spend them on campus. My favorite places to spend swipes are the Ohio Union Market, where swipes are worth $8, and the C-Stores, where swipes are worth $5. At the Union I love getting a panini or two because they hold up well in the refrigerator. Another great place to spend your swipes at the end of the week is Sloopy’s in the Union!

The three C-Stores, or convenience stores on campus are at Morrill, Scott, and Market Place. C-Stores sell frozen meals, snacks, essentials like bread and milk, and my personal favorite PINTS OF JENI’S ICE CREAM. Also, you can use your Swipes and Dining Dollars in combination at on campus locations other than Traditions. Again, swipes are worth $8 everywhere on campus except the C-Stores where they are worth $5.

Try something new! 

There are almost 30 places on campus to eat that offer a wide range of options. If you’re feelin’ pizza but also feelin’ lazy it’s okay because The PAD delivers! I’d also recommend Heirloom Café in the Wexner Center for the Arts. Don’t have time to sit and dine? No worries! At any Traditions location you can get a to-go box when you swipe in to grab food and go! It is still worth a swipe. For locations other than Traditions you can order your food ahead of time on the app Tapingo. The app alerts you when your food is ready; all you have to do is pick it up! If you have BuckId Cash, you can use it at restaurants in Columbus like Buffalo Wild Wings, Qdoba, Chop Shop, Bibibop, and more. BuckId cash can also be used on campus locations.  

The Unlimited Plan 

The beauty of the unlimited plan is that it’s just that, unlimited! You don’t have to eat a meal every time you swipe in; you can make it a grab and go! People may complain about having the unlimited plan because all they have to eat is Traditions. But, there are ways to get creative. My favorite dining hall creations are as follows:  

Milk Shakes= cup+ice cream+milk and stir 

Root beer floats= cup+ice cream+root beer and float 

Ice cream sandwich= cookie+ice cream+cookie and squish 

Hopefully now you’re feeling more like a pro at using you dining plan. Keep an eye out for a First Year Success Series (FYSS) session dedicated to nutrition on campus!

Go Bucks!

Study Effectively with the DLC

Hello friends!!

Today I’d like to talk to you about my favorite resource on campus, the DLC!!!

The Dennis Learning Center (DLC) is a resource located on the second floor of the Younkin Success Center that basically helps you get your life together. So why am I so excited about the DLC you may ask? As an engineering student, the DLC has helped me several times over the past four years with time management, studying efficiently, and taking tests more confidently. Here are some additional reasons why you should go:

  • Make a study plan to tackle your next exam/paper
  • Struggling to get motivated in this last month and a half? Overcome procrastination and get motivated by meeting with an academic coach. You can also take a motivation course offered by the DLC next semester!
  • Learn new study strategies to help you study most effectively
  • If you feel yourself getting really nervous/anxious for exams go to the DLC to find out how to beat test anxiety!!!
  • Learn time management skills!
  • It’s free CHA-CHING!

Interested in making an appointment?

Make an appointment online and choose to meet with an undergrad or grad student! During your session you will meet one-on-one with an academic coach for an hour.

These sessions are tailored to you and the coach will give you strategies to help with whatever you’re personally struggling with (time management, study skills, etc.). Now go make an appointment and ace your next exam!!

 

Five Facts: FAFSA and Financial Aid

Second semester is underway–you’ve figured out how tuition payments work (hopefully!) and you’re well on your way to a strong second semester! Now what?!

You NEED to fill out the FAFSA this year.

Even though you likely filled it out last year, you must fill it out again this year in order to keep (or receive) your financial aid for the 2017-2018 academic year.

The FAFSA deadline has CHANGED!

The priority deadline is now February 1, 2017! This deadline is fast approaching, so be sure to start working on your FAFSA application so you don’t miss the deadline!

Earlier, easier, huh?

Yes, you’ve probably been hearing that this year the FAFSA is “Earlier, Easier, and More Accurate.” This year you will use your 2015 tax information to file your FAFSA. For more information on changes for this year, check out the Student Financial Aid website!

Scholarships!

There are SOO many great opportunities for scholarships. Personally, I have always found it beneficial to check my college’s website for major specific scholarships (or asking my academic advisor). Other scholarships you might want to look into:

  • Ohio State Special Scholarships Application
  • Edward S. “Beanie” Drake Student Leadership Endowment Fund
    • DUE: February 5, 2017
    • WHAT: The purpose of this scholarship is to provide funds that enable deserving students to participate in campus activities when need might otherwise make it impossible for them to do so. There will be multiple scholarships awards at a minimum of $2,500 divided over 2 semesters.
    • APPLICATION: Edward S. Beanie Scholarship Application
  • Student Alumni Council Scholarship
    • DUE: January 31, 2017
    • WHAT: 5 scholarships (3 for current first years and 2 for upperclassmen) for students who have expressed excellence and leadership both inside and outside of the classroom
    • APPLICATION: Student Alumni Council Scholarship Application

Still confused?

You’re not alone–we totally understand that this can be a confusing and sometimes stressful process. If you have specific questions about financial aid or the FAFSA, Student Financial Aid has lots of helpful resources on their website!

  • More questions? Contact Buckeye Link
    • In Person: First floor lobby of the Student Academic Services Building (281 W. Lane Ave)
      • 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday
    • Call: 614-292-0300
    • Email: buckeyelink@osu.edu

No Car? No Problem!

Spring is finally here and the weather is starting to get warmer–yay! I don’t know about you, but I want to spend as much time as possible outside, enjoying the nice weather. There are some fun things to do here on campus, but there are even more ways to enjoy the weather out and about in Columbus. You could explore German Village, attend a Columbus Clippers baseball game, or take a walk through Goodale Park. Now, you may be thinking, “I don’t have a car, how am I supposed to get there?”  You have lots of options!

COTA Bus

The one option you are probably most familiar with is the COTA. This is the public bus system in Columbus, and you get to ride for free with your BuckID. The bus I use the most is the #2; it goes straight up and down High Street, making it easy to get downtown.

Car2go

If you plan on spending a lot of time out and about in the city, you might want to look into car2go. You have probably seen the blue and white Smart cars around campus. You can sign up for car2go with a onetime fee, and then pay $0.41 per minute of driving. When you are ready to go somewhere, just find a car, use your member card as a key, and drop it off in a designated space when you are done. This is an easy way to get where you want to be on your own time.

Bike Share

My favorite option is the University-affiliated bike share program! It is just $35 per year, or $6 a day, but there are additional fees for longer rides. You can download their app on your phone, and then when you want to ride you just tell the app the bike number you want, and you will get the code to unlock the bike. You can take these bikes to class or to a fun off-campus location. This is a great way to get some exercise, enjoy the weather, and explore Columbus! There are so many cool places you can ride including the Olentangy Trail and Scioto Mile. I also recommend checking out the Scioto Audubon Metro Park–they have a pretty awesome climbing wall.

Build a Better Body Image

Winter Blues

From being cooped up inside all of the time and practically living inside your parka, it is easy to feel the blues–especially when it comes to body image. Negative self-talk can be prominent in these winter months, especially as we approach spring break. I have heard all types of conversations in the dining halls, with the most popular tagline being,

I can’t eat this cookie because of my spring break bod.

I see people I know picking out parts of their bodies they do not like, exercising extreme amounts, and fantasizing over the sculpted and tan bodies of celebrities in magazines and on TV. With half of semester under your belt, I wanted to pose this question: How do you feel about yourself?

The real truth

It is easy to feel like you are the only one suffering from poor body image, but it is more prevalent than you thought–especially on college campuses. Here are some statistics from a body image campaign through dosomething.org:

  • About 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to measures to achieve the body size they desire
  • Only 5% of women are naturally born with the body type portrayed in media
  • Men feel just as pressured by media and can feel inadequate about their bodies

Steps you can take today to have a better body image

The National Eating Disorders Association website has many resources on how to develop a better self-body image. Here are a few steps that you can take today to feel better about yourself:

  1. View yourself as a whole person. You are one complete individual, not just separate parts. Refrain from picking out certain parts of your body and realize that you are one cohesive unit.
  2. Find joy in all that you can do, from having the best laugh, scoring an A on your last chemistry midterm, or being a good friend. Think about the areas where you shine and make others and yourself happy.
  3. Surround yourself with people who make you happy. Being around people who are negative can really bring you down. Take action and be with people who boost your mood and lift you up.
  4. Be critical of social media. Just by scrolling through Instagram, you might think that some of your followers have perfect lives based on their social media photos. Realize that people don’t typically post about their bad days, and that photos can often be distorted. Magazines and TV shows can also display perfection and distortion of real life. Interested in learning more about the feelings behind social media? Read a great blog post.
  5. Write down things you love about yourself on Post-it notes and stick them on your mirror or computer for a daily reminder that you have so much to offer.
  6. Wear clothes that you feel comfortable and happy in. Wear your favorite color, or those shoes you feel amazing in.
  7. Always remember that there is something to be thankful for–whether that is being a Buckeye, having supportive friends, and the opportunity to attend such a great university!

Resources for you

Be sure to know when it is important to work with a professional. Here are some campus resources if you would like to seek additional information and help.

Summer Sixteen

Drake loves the change of pace “Summer Sixteen” brings!

I know that we are all getting excited for spring break (2 more days, we can do it!); trust me, the sunshine and sand are calling my name right now. In addition to lounging on the beach, I also want to finalize my summer plans over break. I know summer may seem so far away, but it’s really not–it’s less than two months away. It’s time to start planning now, whether you are heading back to your hometown to spend some quality time with your family or to work a summer job, or studying abroad or traveling, or if you are staying in the great town of Columbus to take some summer classes, do research, or work.

If you are looking for summer employment, make sure you start searching early and send those job applications in. You can search for opportunities through Ohio State’s student employment site.

If you want to spend your summer engaged in research, reach out to a professor who is performing research in an area that interests you. Or, you can start your own research project! Information about funding for the summer and getting started in research is available through the Undergraduate Research Office.

If you want to have a Buck-I-SERV experience there are some summer trips happening, and the deadline to apply is Sunday, March 20 (the tail end of spring break).

Many people will be taking classes during the summer (I will be taking a few classes too!) and those classes make occur through another institution. I wanted to spend some time talking about how to make sure that you are taking classes that will transfer and steps to take to have a successful experience.

First things first, decide if you will be taking classes at Ohio State (either at the Columbus campus, a regional campus, or online) or at another institution.

If you are taking classes at Ohio State:

  • Check out the new Summer term 2016 structure. Things are changing and knowing the structure is crucial! The Registrar’s website also has some helpful information.
  • Go to Buckeye Link to schedule your classes; I’d recommend using the Schedule Planner feature to organize your classes.
  • Once you are registered for classes, the expectations are similar to what you’ve experienced in any other term, but be sure to pay attention to specific dates and deadlines that may apply just to summer term.

If you are taking classes at another institution:

  • I recommend starting at Transferology, which is a website that allows you to see how your credit will transfer to Ohio State. This way you will be sure that the class you are taking at your guest institution is an equivalent of an Ohio State course and will transfer.
  • If your course at your guest institution isn’t an exact match of an Ohio State course, you may still earn credit for it by having the course evaluated.
  • Make sure you are talking to your academic advisor; they are extremely knowledgeable on the entire process. The advising website also offers many helpful hints!
  • On the Buckeye Link home page under the “Enrollment and Academic History” heading is a link called “Transfer Credit Report” that will allow you run your report.

Drake knows it’s a bad idea to not think about your summer plans.

Regardless of how you are spending your summer, take some time to reflect on your first year of college and your Ohio State experience thus far. During my summer after my first year I made a list of things that I wanted to accomplish or experience during my time at Ohio State, kind of like my own Ohio State bucket list! Make sure you are planning ahead because summer will be here before you know it!

Love is in the air

Some people hate it, and some people love it, but either way Valentine’s Day is 4 days away! So, let’s have a chat about relationships! It doesn’t matter if you’re currently seeing someone, actively looking, or happily, perpetually single. Valentine’s Day and relationships are things most people thinks about on Feb. 14. Maybe you’re just in it for the discount chocolate on Feb. 15, your idea of sweet nothings is whispering I want to be with you as much as–if not more–I don’t want to be with a Furby at night, or you spend weeks planning something special for your boo.

To be honest, I’m more excited for Deadpool to be released on Feb. 12 this year, but to each their own.

Deadpool

Source: Marvel

But on a more serious note, let’s take a closer at some relationship statistics for college students…

  • 43 percent of women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors
  • 1 in 3 people in relationships have given their partner their computer, email, or social network passwords and these students are more likely to experience digital dating abuse
  • 57 percent say dating abuse is difficult to identify and 58 percent don’t know how to help someone who is experiencing it

What defines a healthy relationship?

No matter your relationship status these are important questions to think about. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is able to help:

Healthy relationships allow both partners to feel supported and connected but still feel independent. COMMUNICATION and BOUNDARIES are the two major components of a healthy relationship. Ultimately, the two people in the relationship decide what is healthy for them and what is not. If something doesn’t feel right, you should have the freedom to voice your concerns to your partner.

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 1.19.46 PM

Where can you get help or just talk to someone?

*If you are in an unsafe relationship please use caution and access these links from a public computer.

I know it’s a heavy topic but it’s one that has the potential to impact everyone regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, age, or personality. So, please, if you or someone you know is in this position, speak up.

5 Interviewing Tips

interview1

It’s about that time in the school year when you start to think ahead to your summer plans and financial assistance. A lot of applications have been posted, and you are hearing back from people left and right to interview you. You’re thinking to yourself, “I made it through the application process and got to the interview portion. Woohoo! ” Well, congratulations to you! This is the true test, though. The closer it gets to the interview, the more nervous you feel. That’s okay! Being nervous is not always a bad thing; it just means that you care. Don’t let the nerves get the best of you, though. Whatever it may be—an internship, job or scholarship—you have to be confident in yourself that you will nail that interview. I will share a few tips you should think about prior to waiting for that interview date in order to prepare and be as ready as you’ll ever be.

Know your facts.

Make sure you do your research on the organization or position you are interviewing with. One time, I went in the interview, and the first question was “Tell me what you know about us?” That’s going to be extremely awkward if you don’t have an answer to this question. It will only take 10 minutes or so to read or polish up on the people you are interviewing with and the job or qualification requirements. Not only does it show you know your stuff, conducting research helps you answer questions along the lines of what the interviewer is looking for. Google is your best friend!

Review common interview questions.

The weirdest question I have ever gotten in an interview was, “If you could be any fruit, what would you be?” (I answered a guava, and I don’t know why. It was the first thing that came to mind, LOL!) I think it’s safe to say that you probably won’t get a question like that 99 percent of the time. Some common questions to review would be tell me a little bit about yourself, or what are your strengths and weaknesses? They may even come right out and ask, why should I hire you/give you this scholarship? In any case, you should be prepared to give your answer confidently and to the best of your ability. When you are in the interview, it is okay to take a pause to think and take a breath before answering the question that is being asked. Career Counseling and Support Services has a ton of interviewing tips and cover letter/résumé writing assistance.

Look AND dress the part.

It’s true! You only get one chance to make a first impression. This is why you want to make that first impression a good one. This tip is pretty simple. Make sure you adhere to the dress code that was given to you by the interviewer or employer. Body language is also an important part as well. You want to exude confidence and maintain proper posture the entire interview. Basically, you want to look like you want to be there AND dress to impress.

Sell yourself, not sell yourself short.

Now, you don’t have to go over the top with selling yourself. Keep in mind that to get to that point you must have shown them you are worth their time. Therefore, make sure you use that time effectively to show them who you really are and that you ARE, indeed, worth their time. Be elaborate with your skill set and accomplishments. Interviewers are truly interested in getting to know in such a short amount of time, so they need you to shine right away. C’mon! Name another time when you get to talk about yourself in detail for 20-30 minutes.

Ask questions, thank them, and follow up.

The last and final tip I deem to be important is asking questions. The worst thing is when they finish the interview, ask you if you have any questions, and you don’t say anything. Always inquire about something afterwards. It can be as simple as, “What can I expect the timeline to be following this interview?” This just lets the person know that you are really interested in hearing back from them, and you are serious about getting that internship, job, or scholarship. Then, you should thank them when you are done as a common courtesy practice. Now, following up can be done a few different ways. For instance, I have a friend who always sends thank-you notes to his interviewers no matter what. That’s just his method. You can send an email or call if it is necessary to even follow up. Be sure to give the interviewers time to make a decision, though, before doing this step. In some cases, it won’t be needed.

I really hope I’ve helped. Good luck! I am sure you will be great. (:

 

Ohio State Spotlight: The Application for Special Scholarships

Recently I had the chance to talk with Ellen S. who works in Student Financial Aid, specifically with Special Scholarships. She was able to provide me with answers to my questions as well as give me some advice on certain things that they like to see on the application.

What is it?

The Special Scholarships application enables Ohio State students to be considered for several thousands of special-eligibility scholarships that encompass a wide variety of eligibility criteria. The application is also free, just like the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

How many scholarships are offered?

Thousands upon hundreds of scholarships.

What do I need to do to apply?

First, access the application through the Student Financial Aid website. Students are encouraged to fill out both their FAFSA and the Application for Special Scholarships by the priority date of February 15.

The application asks basic questions regarding a student’s activities and affiliations, family information, and diversity. It also asks for a personal statement. [Cue dramatic music]

I’m only a freshman–How could I ever have enough to write a personal statement?

Don’t panic: the Financial Aid office understands that by the time this application is due, first-year students have been in college for less than a year. While it’s okay to highlight personal accomplishments from high school, take some time to reflect back on your first year and the things that make you proud. Maybe you can write about a professor that you’ve gotten a chance to know better, or about some affiliations–student organizations, religious groups, residence hall, etc.–that you have on campus.

The personal statement prompt has no structure or format but does require that you stick to the 900-word limit. The application gives students some prompts to get your started, but you are not required to stick to those. Make sure to talk about some things that you can bring to the Ohio State community, as well as some of the struggles that you’ve had to overcome. It is recommended that you complete your personal statement in a Word document or similar software that can be copied and pasted into the application text box; if the application timer (found at the bottom of the application page) runs out, your response will not be saved.

Common mistakes to avoid?

NOT CHECKING YOUR SPELLING AND GRAMMAR!

In a world where everyone is more text-savvy, it’s easy to forget how to properly use certain words and punctuation. Make sure to have someone proofread your work before submitting any of your essays. You can check the Writing Center’s walk-in hours in Thompson Library to get some quick feedback on your writing.

Having an “okay” personal statement

The personal statement is where you need to shine. When talking about how a scholarship can help you, an “alright” answer would be “College is expensive.” A better way to answer this question is to take some time to reflect on how a scholarship can help to alleviate some of the stresses in your life , or how it can help you accomplish some of your long-term goals.

I hope this has inspired you to get started on your Special Scholarships application! Financial Aid wants to award as many of its scholarships to as many students as possible, so take some time–winter break is a terrific option–to complete your application by February 15!

Bus confusion? 5 tips and 5 routes!

It’s November and it’s about to get real cold, real quick. If you are anything like I was as a freshman, the only thing I knew about the buses was that the CABS was the Campus Area Bus System and the COTA had routes throughout Columbus…but I had no idea how to use them or the difference between routes.

CABS versus COTA

If you read nothing else, here are five tips for the bus system…

CLN versus CLS

For the CLN (Campus Loop North) and CLS (Campus Loop South), the North and South references the direction the bus travels on CANNON Drive. Since it’s a loop, it goes the opposite direction on College Road (the CLN travels SOUTH on College Road, whereas the CLS travels NORTH on College Road). They make the exact same loop–just opposite directions. Also, the CLN runs on weekends, but the CLS does not (be aware that the route is slightly different on the weekends–check the Bus app for details).

CABS bus

Requesting stops

CABS: The bus will stop at every stop (so no need to pull the yellow cord).

COTA: The bus will only stop if you pull the yellow cord around the perimeter of the bus to request a stop or if someone is waiting at that COTA stop to get on the bus.

Interior of COTA

Electronic bus tracking

CABS: You can get up to date bus information on the Ohio State mobile app or the OSU Bus app. The thing I really like about the OSU Bus app is it will utilize the location services on my phone to find stops “Near Me” and give me up to date information about how many minutes until the next bus will arrive!

COTA: If you are riding the COTA, I have found the easiest way to know when a bus is coming is to utilize the Google Maps app, and then click the icon for public transportation. It will give directions of exactly where to pick up the bus, what time it is scheduled to come, how many stops to take the bus, and where to walk once I get off the bus to reach my destination. However, this information is not updated if a bus is running behind schedule, it only gives a rough estimate based on when it is scheduled to come!Bus App Screenshot

What to bring when you ride

CABS: Nothing.

COTA: Swipe your BuckID at the front of the bus OR pay $2

Always thank the bus drivers!


…and here are five routes to know…

CABS: CLN (Campus Loop North)

Where it goes: North on Cannon (by Morrill and Lincoln Towers), left on Woodruff to the Carmack parking lots, back east on Woodruff (by Knowlton and Traditions at Scott), turns right down College Road (heading south), to the Union, and then turns right down 12th Avenue (by Baker East/West and then down past Kennedy Commons), turns left on Neil (goes by Marketplace), then turns right on 9th Avenue and travels around the perimeter of the Med Center and back up Cannon.

When it runs: All day everyday! (Less frequently during at night and on weekends)

CABS: CLS (Campus Loop South)

Where it goes: Same route but opposite direction as the CLN!

When it runs: Mon-Fri, 5:30 a.m.-midnight

CABS: NE (North Express)

Where it goes: East on 17th Avenue (the street just North of the Oval), turns left on College road (north), left on Woodruff (heading west) out to the Carmack parking lots, then comes back down Woody Hayes/Woodruff (the street name changes!), and then turns right on Tuttle Park Place down to the RPAC plaza and then back up 17th again!

When it runs: Mon-Fri, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

COTA: #2 (#21 at night)

Where it goes: This bus runs up and down High Street. The different letters after the number 2 distinguish how far north and south it will go. This bus comes about every 9 minutes. The 21 is the “Night Owl” version of the 2 and comes about every 30 minutes.

When it runs: #2–everyday! #21–Thu-Sat, 7 p.m.-3 a.m. (depending where you are on the route)

COTA: #52

Where it goes: This route is the OSU Airport Express and runs a special route on peak travel days from campus to the airport. It has 6 stops around campus and then goes to the airport. Be aware that it only runs certain days of the year!

When it runs: Check this schedule for dates and times.

CABS Routes