The Majority Perspective

I am a white Christian in the middle class, and that’s ok.

I grew up with little diversity around me. When there was diversity, it wasn’t much of a difference for me. Needless to say, coming to OSU was like going from 0 to 100 miles per hour in my tiny Toyota Camry. My first year was filled with frustration, eye opening experiences, and a whole lot of learning.

Why do I celebrate diversity? There are many reasons, but here are three that I can clearly identify: being in such a diverse culture has opened my eyes to struggles and realities I had never noticed, it has made me stronger in my beliefs, and I have developed respect for not only the cultures around me, but my own culture as well!

Right away my eyes were opened to the different struggles regarding race and socioeconomic status. My family is not insanely “rich” by any means, but we live comfortably. My parents were blessed and in return they are paying for my college and providing for my needs. In my head I knew that there were people struggling to pay for their own college, but I had not met anyone doing so until I got to OSU. It wasn’t until I truly met people going through financial crises that I realized I should not take my situation for granted. The time they have to spend apply for loans, figuring out grants, working, and even worrying about finances was outstanding to me. If you are from the majority, like me, upper or middle class – don’t take for granted what you have been blessed with. And don’t be greedy with what you have been blessed either.

My beliefs as a Christian have been strengthened. Strengthened because I have had the opportunity to talk to so many people of different religions and backgrounds. I have learned A LOT from people about other religions, or simply not having a religion at all. I had to truly question if what I believe is true, and I had to figure out what I believe by researching and reading for myself rather than base what I believe off of what I have been taught growing up. The amazing thing, and what has made me stronger in my faith today, is that I still choose everyday to believe in Jesus Christ despite the new opportunities and ideas presented to me. This has made my faith grow more in the time I have been at OSU than in my whole life.

As far as diversity – like I mentioned, I have never experienced true diversity until coming to OSU. I have learned so much from my friends who are different from me. People of a different skin color, culture, sexual orientation, religion, and political beliefs are now my friends. We all have different perspectives and backgrounds, but that is what makes us stronger. There is not one narrow minded way of thinking around OSU – there are multiple perspectives representing everyone, not just people like me. Although we have our differences and disagreements, we are able to work together for a greater cause. In regards to my peer leader role, that greater cause is helping the class of 2021 at OSU. I love my team, I love our differences, and I love that our differences don’t discourage us from what is ultimately important in our lives.

I want to end with a quote I heard:

“Through each other’s diversity, we become more aware of our own. Not only do we become more aware, we gain a sense of pride for the diversity of our own culture.”

Am I ashamed to be apart of the majority perspective? Not at all. There was no way for me to control what has been given to me. Have I learned to celebrate and learn from other cultures – certainly. By doing that, I have deepened my respect for every culture and gained a sense of pride for my own.

Trending Tuesday

What are the trending topics with the class of 2020?

1. Election Results

vote

2. Trying to get that perfect class schedule for next semester

flexible-schedule

 3. Balancing life and classes is hard…

best-i-could-gif

 4. Starting to think about roommates for next year

pokemon

 5. No school on Friday was much appreciated

no-school-gif

 6. Ready for Thanksgiving break!

thanksgiving-gif

Trending Tuesday

Here’s whats happening this week with the class of 2020

1)  Counting down the days to Thanksgiving (and all of the food)

new-girl-thanksgiving-1448574611

 2) Indian fans had a rough week, but the Cub’s Curse of the Billy Goat is over!

cle

 

cubs

 3) Earlier Easier FAFSA is now open

moneyfafsa

4) Hurrying to finish up First Year Success Series

hurrying

 5) Fireworks and football lit up the Shoe Saturday night

fireworks

Did Somebody Say Finals Week?

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the Oval is full of life. In the forefront of your mind, you are likely thinking about the summer plans taking place shortly. No matter what you will be doing, we all need some relaxation time! Amidst all of this happiness, you realize that the semester is almost over… meaning finals week is soon approaching us. Finals week this time of year can be a challenge for a few reasons:

  • The weather is beautiful and you want to spend every moment outside
  • This might be your last time on campus until the fall, so you want to take in every moment
  • You have to saying goodbye and see you later to the many friends you have made this year
  • You’re excited about summer plans and a long, much needed break

Keeping all of this in mind, here are some tips to tackle finals week and stay on top- even when you have spring fever.

Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize

The most precious thing that we have as college students is time. With only two weeks left and a lot to do, good time management is key. Make a list of things you have to get done each day. The key is to set small goals so you don’t get overwhelmed. For me, I make a to-do list for each day and set small, realistic tasks I know I can accomplish. Plus, it is so gratifying to finish a to-do list!

Use the outdoors to your advantage

The idea of being stuck inside the library for the next two weeks seems sad, but if you utilize the great spaces on campus you can enjoy the outdoors, too. Even if studying outside isn’t for you, try taking a a break by walking or tossing a Frisbee outside.

  • Study outside on a bench, picnic table, or grass
  • The courtyard in Hagerty Hall is a great place to study and relax
  • Try the nice grassy courtyard in between Park-Stradley and Siebert Halls

Take advantage of Reading Day

The Office of Student Life puts on an an entire day of free activities and events. Take a study break with some friends or even try a workout class to give your brain a rest. You can check out the schedule online for this year’s reading day, which is Tuesday, April 26.

Coordinate when you are moving out

With all of the assignments and studying, you might forget that you will need to make plans to move out of your residence hall if you live on campus. Talk to your RA or reach out to your Peer Leader if you need packing advice and travel tips, and review the information on the housing website to make sure you’re following move-out procedures correctly.

Make plans to stay in touch with your friends

All of your friends might be done with finals at different times, so it is important to stay on top of this. Plan ways to stay in touch with your friends over the summer, whether that be through Skype, texting, or even a trip! Having some trouble thinking of ways to stay in touch with your friends? Contact a Peer Leader!

Be thankful!

One of my most important values is gratitude, for a simple thank you goes a long way. I would not be at the place I am now without the professors, friends, and family who have guided me through my Ohio State journey. Make sure to thank those that made an impact on you before you leave for the summer. Here are a few ideas of people to thank:

  • The professor in the class you really enjoyed this semester, or the TA who helped you in your class
  • The cashier at the Ohio Union who always swiped your BuckID
  • The cleaning staff in your residence hall who made your building clean and safe
  • Your RA for building community and supporting you throughout your first year of college
  • The friends you have made at Ohio State
  • Your family for supporting you along this journey

With these tips, I hope you can tackle finals week. Take a deep breath and enter finals week organized, and of course thankful for a great first year.

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.

Why Getting a B was the Best Thing that Happened to Me

By now (for better or for worse) fall semester grades are posted. You may be less than thrilled with how your courses turned out. You may be panicked that you did not achieve that perfect 4.0. This may be the first time in your life you have ever had to study, struggled academically, or even gotten a grade lower than an A.

A "Perfect" 4.0

A “Perfect” 4.0

This was me. Entering my first year at Ohio State I had never gotten anything less than an A- and I was bound and determined to make sure it stayed that way. Yes, I knew that college courses were more rigorous, but I had always succeeded academically…so why should anything be different once I got to college?

What I didn’t know was that on top of all of my course work, I had to teach myself how to study. This was a skill I had never truly developed in high school and I was finding it a difficult skill to acquire. I thought that spending all of my time reading and “studying” was what it would take to be a successful student. It took me a while–actually, my entire first year–to learn what worked best for me when it came to studying and that what works best for other people doesn’t necessarily work for me.

I spent an excessive amount of time my first year studying and focused mostly on my studies. And while I did achieve a 4.0 my first year at Ohio State, I didn’t feel as accomplished as I thought I would. My mother actually told me that she wished I would get a B because she thought it would take a lot of pressure off of me. I thought she was crazy, I was doing fine at Ohio State; I had a 4.0 for goodness sake!

notfabulous

Fall semester of my second year I was enrolled in an Honors accounting class. It was the toughest class I had ever taken; the material was difficult and I was thoroughly confused. I spent many hours trying to decipher the information and went to office hours regularly. I had gotten a C on the first midterm and I was traumatized. I didn’t know how this had happened. I worked even harder, getting more and more stressed over this class. To this day, I remember taking the final exam and the joy I felt when I got my cash flow statement to balance.

How I felt the whole semester.

How I felt the whole semester.

I ended up with a B+ in that class and to be honest it is the grade I am most proud of. Yes, it may not have been the A I wanted, but I learned the most from that class and I worked the hardest for that grade. I not only learned the material for the exams, but I retained the information and still use the knowledge from that class in my accounting classes today.

As much as I hate to admit it, my mother was right: getting a B did take a lot of pressure off of me. I realized that the world didn’t end because I no longer had a 4.0 and that everything was okay. Looking back, I realize I had neglected a lot of relationships and missed a lot of opportunities because I was holed up in my room studying all of the time.  I now have a much more relaxed attitude toward my academics and spend more time on my relationships. I realize that ten years from now I am not going to remember those two extra hours I spent studying for my law exam, but I will remember that dinner I cooked with my friends and the conversations we had. This more relaxed attitude has actually helped me in my academics because it has reduced the stress and anxiety I often felt before exams.

Getting a B was the best thing that has ever happened to me. It made me realize there is more to my college experience than academics and that the relationships I build are just as important  as the grades I achieve.

dancing

How to Stay Healthy in College

We all know that our time in college could undoubtedly be the busiest time in our lives. Between getting involved in clubs and organizations, piling on school work and classes, and not missing a weekend to go out, we might find ourselves drifting toward an unhealthy lifestyle.

Whether it’s a late night pizza run, lack of sleep or simply having fast food for lunch every day, all of these things contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle.

After two years at Ohio State, I have gathered some tips and tricks that I think are helpful for keeping your life on track:

1. Keep a routine 

A big part of staying healthy is having a schedule and sticking to it. Allocate slots in your schedule to work out. If you can’t find a workout partner or get bored working out alone. Try the group fitness classes available to all Ohio State students (the classes are part of the recreation fee you pay each term). Review all the classes offered and see which ones fit your schedule. Working out with others will keep you motivated.

STEP_Strutz_Victoria_1_640-360x185

2. Re-think your drink!

Although you might have more than enough blocks on your BuckID, buying daily lattes might not be the best thing for you. Coffee, although it is a liquid, dehydrates you more than it hydrates you. It might be a good cognitive stimulate, nonetheless it robs your body of water. Furthermore, Coca-Cola might be a Buckeye drink, as the soda company sponsors our school, but remember all the needless calories it throws into your body. One can of Coca-Cola is almost equivalent to a glass of water with 9 spoons of sugar.

3. Go to sleep!   

Now, I understand that it may be hard to get that good night sleep on weekends. We have lots of energy and what’s college if we wasted weekends on sleep? However, you could at least make it a habit to sleep well during the week. Having a schedule can’t be emphasized enough. It will help you stay on top of your school work and avoid staying up all night for homework.

4. Don’t get TOO involved

As I walked through the involvement fair as a new student, I was overwhelmed by all the student organizations at Ohio State. That being said, you should strive to join two or three clubs that really excite you and enhance your college experience. Getting too involved in your fist year could leave you over-scheduled and stressed, exactly the opposite of what you expected before you joined. In my first year, I made sure that one of the clubs I joined was a sports club. That way I was able to stay active and didn’t have to alter my schedule too much in order to work out.

I hope some of those tips were informative and helpful. Make it a priority to stay healthy and it will reflect positively on your social and academic life.

Fun Fact: Ohio State is among the 25 healthiest colleges in America.

Let’s keep it that way!

How asking for help is like ordering a pizza

If I spoke with your mom over the summer, chances are good that if she asked what advice I had for her to help you prepare for college life, my answer made me seem like a crazy person.

Make her call and order the pizza.

It didn’t have to be pizza–call and schedule your own cleaning with the dentist, schedule a doctor’s appointment, ask the folks at the gym how to use a piece of equipment you’ve not used before, whatever. The idea is that students need to get practice in asking someone for help and parents need practice in letting that happen without stepping in to do it themselves.

So now that you’re here–and since I don’t know how often you’re ordering pizza–let’s work together to visualize how this might look in a few different settings.

You have the sniffles

Okay…so it’s worse than just the sniffles…you know you’re running a fever because your mom packed a thermometer in your bathroom kit before you moved in. In addition to the self-diagnosis tools on its website, the Wilce Student Health Center also provides an advice nurse and has great directions for how to schedule an appointment (you can do that over the phone, online or in person). If you do need to head over to their location on Millikin, be sure to bring a copy of your insurance card and an ID, along with a way to pay your co-pay!

 

You are struggling with your calculus homework

You don’t have to rely on your neighbor down the hall, but he may want to walk with you over to the evening tutor room at the 18th Avenue Library. While faculty office hours are wonderful, we know that sometimes the first step is going to get help from the peer tutors at the Math/Stats Learning Center. The Center does a great job about posting online tutorials, workshops and exam reviews on their website, but there are real live people who can offer assistance as you work on your homework in the daytime and evening tutor rooms.

Go with questions that you have partially figured out to see where you went wrong.

Go with questions that you have already figured out to make certain that you got them right.

You may find that it’s just a great habit to get into to use that hour between classes to head straight over to Cockins Hall and sit down in the tutor room while you work on your homework instead of waiting until after the Tonight Show monologue to get started. Use those daytime hours for school work and those nighttime hours for sleep!

 

It’s the end of week four and you feel like you’ve not met anyone since classes started

I know how you feel–there was the rush of all things “new” during welcome week and you thought it would never end, so you didn’t really pay attention to all of those emails about student org meetings or to the names of the women down the hall. Now you feel like that opportunity is lost forever. It isn’t.

Check out the student organization directory, grab your Google calendar and plan on attending a meeting for a student organization. When you go, don’t just sit by the door and look for an opportunity to leave at the first hint that someone might talk to you. Walk in, find someone at the front of the room, introduce yourself and tell them what first interested you in the Electronic Music Club or the Game Creation Club. If you have 3-4 questions that you feel comfortable asking someone and that you would be happy to answer, too, you have the start of a great conversation!

Extra bonus points if you invite the girls down the hall to go with you–maybe you’ll overhear their introductions and remember their names this time!

By now, you’ve probably thought of 101 questions to ask and are ready to take the plunge. Not sure where to direct your inquiries? You can start with your RA, the staff at Commuter Student Engagement, or even FYE at 614.292.3324 or askFYE@osu.edu. Want to know how to start a conversation with your academic advisor about course selection for spring semester? Curious about what you need to think about before walking into the Undergraduate Research Office?  Let us know–we’ll be happy to help!

Now that this is posted, I may need to get my 6th grader to read this. It’s time to schedule the next round of appointments at the orthodontist…