Life Hacks: Ohio State Version

By this time of the school year we’ve figured out the basics of surviving college–but what about all those tips and tricks that make your life just a little easier? Peer Leaders provide their insights on the hacks they’ve discovered during their time at Ohio State. Feel free to comment with your own personal Ohio State hacks!

Academics

  • Canvas has an app that makes it significantly easier to access your grades and class information from your phone? The app is just called “Canvas” and can be downloaded for free from the App Store.
  • On a Canvas grade page, you can click on the check+ and see where your grade compares to the average, high and low scores for your class.
  • Lots of times you can get cheaper textbooks by buying them directly from older students–ask around or check social media pages to buy used textbooks from older students.
  • Tired of not finding a seat at Thompson? Check out another hidden gem on campus such as the Fine Arts Library or the Geology Library! Check out this link for the full list of library hours and locations.
  • You can reserve a study room at the library–check out this link!

Entertainment

  • Follow OUAB on Twitter or other social media to find out about events before all of the tickets are gone!
  • Take advantage of D-Tix! (Did you know you can get Gateway Movie d-Tix at the Union for $3?)!
  • Take advantage of FREE group fitness classes at the university recreation facilities (check out the full schedule here).
    • Be sure to get there a few minutes early to make sure you get a spot!
  • Venmo makes life easier for paying back friends/splitting costs.

 Transportation

  • When it comes to bikes: “cheap bike, expensive lock”
  • Don’t bike on the Oval.
  • Lots of off campus parking meters are free on the weekends—check the meters if you have friends or family coming into town!
  • Don’t jaywalk (especially on Woodruff) by Scott.
  • The COTA bus now provides real time updates of when they’re coming on Google Maps and the COTA transit app.
    • Sometimes it is quicker to ride the COTA around campus than a CABS bus (and it’s free with your BuckID)
  • Always carry an umbrella…at Ohio State you should be prepared for all 4 seasons in one day!

 Dining/Food

  • Get creative with the food in the dining halls to change things up. For example, you can build your own buffalo chicken wrap at Traditions at Scott (chicken from the breakfast station, buffalo sauce and lettuce from the grill station, and a tortilla from the Mexican station).
  • Having a Brita pitcher for water in your residence hall room will save you lots of walks to the water fountain on your floor!
  • Food apps (such as Hooked, Tapingo, PostMates, and UberEats) make getting food super easy and convenient!
    • You can even use your meal plan with Tapingo!

Trending Tuesday

What’s trending on campus this week?

1. Officially survived your first semester of college!

2. One week down of spring semester!

3. We can finally walk across campus without fear of slipping on ice!

4. Still looking to get involved with a student org? The Spring Involvement Fair is this Thursday (1/19) from 4-7 at the Union.

5. Students made their day off a day on by serving Columbus at the MLK Day of Service!

6. It’s time to register for spring intramural sports!

Trending Tuesday

What topics are trending with the class of 2020 this week?

 

1.Voting Time!

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2.  Waiting for spring semester scheduling windows to open!

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3. Thinking about changing majors (or have already done so!)

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4. Trying to avoid the cold (and other sickness) that is plaguing campus

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5. Starting to think about whether to go Greek

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6. Halloween events across campus!

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7. Can’t complain about the beautiful weather on campus!

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Trending Tuesday

What’s trending with the Class of 2020 this week?

 

  1. Tapingo App is saving time with campus dining (check it out here!!)

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2. Fall Break was much needed

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3. Time to start thinking about next semester’s schedule

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4. Classes are becoming increasingly difficult

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5. Major changes are scary…but you’ll figure it out!

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6. Look outside and you’ll beLEAF fall is here

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7. About that football game though…

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Trending Tuesday

What’s trending with the first year class this week?

1. Fall Break is almost here!

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2.But really…plans for fall break:

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3. Author Wes Moore inspired the first year class

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4. Homesickness is becoming a reality

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5. Time to bounce back after a rough midterm

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6. Working hard to finish midterms out strong!

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Trending Tuesday

1. Ohio State football has got us like

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2. Learning how to study is tough

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3. Hogwarts is Harry’s home and Ohio State is beginning to feel like our home

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4. Living with roommates can be challenging, but it can also be fun

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5. Tutoring services on campus are extremely helpful

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6. Midterms, will they ever end?

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Trending Tuesday

What’s going on with Ohio State’s Class of 2020? These are the top trending topics from the past week with Ohio State’s first year class!

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1. First time being sick away from home

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2. Have you registered to vote?

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3. First Chemistry midterm

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4. Calculus midterm scores came back

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5. Even more midterms are coming

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6. OUAB events are the place to be (and for free!)

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7. North Rec Center (NRC) is the place to work out

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8. Laundry! It’s expensive and time consuming

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Comment below with your own thoughts about how you are feeling at this point in the semester!

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.

Why You Should Be A Peer Leader

Are you looking for a position where you can impact the lives of first year students? Check out this video where current Peer Leaders and a professional staff member discuss what it means to be a PL, outreach to specific populations, and our personal growth throughout the entire process. I would highly encourage you to apply for this amazing opportunity!

 

Fall Break in Columbus

Fall break will be here in less than a week, and we can unwind and relax from the hectic semester this has been so far–it is much needed! While many students are going home for the first time to reconnect with family and friends, some of you might be staying on campus for break. This is a perfect time to explore the amazing city that surrounds us. Whether you are from out-of-state or outside of the U.S., here are some fun things to do during fall break in Columbus.

Explore the city

From the time you first visited Ohio State (or maybe at orientation), you have heard incredible things about the city of Columbus. Get out the campus bubble and dive into the fun activities, amazing restaurants, and sights that are conveniently right down the street from us. With just a short ride on the COTA bus, you can discover some cool parts of Columbus. Not only will you have fun, but you’ll feel even more connected to the city, making Ohio State feel more like home.

As a first-year student, I was pretty intimidated to take a bus downtown, but I can assure you that it is a really simple process and well worth your time. The easiest way for me to explore downtown Columbus and the Short North is to take COTA route #2, which runs up and down High Street–I promise you won’t get lost. A convenient place to hop on the bus is the stop outside of the Ohio Union. All you need is your BuckID and you are on your way! The COTA website includes routes frequently used by Ohio State students.

For the outdoor lover…

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Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden. Special fall exhibit, “Scary Plants“, where you can explore creepy pumpkin carvings and strange plants like you’ve never seen before!

  • Oct. 5- Nov. 15 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost is only $10 with a student ID.

Goodale Park. A beautiful park located in the Short North district, decorated with fountains, park benches, and paths.

Olentangy Trails. Head outside to take a walk with a friend, a fitness run, or even a bike ride on this 13.75 mile stretch of paved trails.

For the shopaholic…

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Explore the shops of the Short North District: Take the COTA bus #2 right down High Street until you get to the arches that say “Short North”. Here you will find many shops that specialize in clothing, stationery, Columbus gear, antiques, and even chocolate!

For the foodie…

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North Market. A classic favorite! If you love food (who doesn’t?) then you will love North Market. Explore different vendors and flavors from around the world such as Asian, Indian, and Polish cuisine. They also have this awesome vendor where you can get fresh homemade donuts…seriously the best donut I have ever had.

  • Open Sun-Mon, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tue-Sat 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Explore their fall Farmer’s market in the parking lot of the venue. Stock up on some fresh vegetables and fruits and you could cook a meal or create a fresh salad in your residence hall kitchen.

One Line Coffee. Are you a coffee fanatic? Cozy up to a cup of your favorite coffee and dessert on a cool fall day, located in the Short North district. Check out their website for more information!

Jeni’s Ice Cream. We all scream for ice cream! Jeni’s ice cream made its founding roots in Columbus, and is now a huge sensation! A quick bus ride down High Street and you can try a delicious treat such as the crowd-favorite, Salty Caramel.

Final thoughts…

Just have fun! The more time you put into getting to know Columbus, the more you will get out of it. If you have further questions or need more suggestions, contact a Peer Leader and we would love to share some of our favorite places. In addition you can check out Experience Columbus for an extensive list of places to go. I hope you have a wonderful fall break–be sure to take the time to refresh in order to finish the second part of the semester strong.

Happy exploring!