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!

So What’s The Deal With Housing Reselection?

At this point, you have hopefully received an email with your housing re-selection information. Here are 5 things you should know to set yourself up for success in your second year!

1. Housing contracts are due by 11:59 p.m. on March 3, 2017. Make sure yours is in on time!

 

2. Housing is being done by a lottery system this year! This means once the portal closes on March 3rd, you will be assigned a random number to determine the order you will select your room. No need to stress about this–everyone has an equal chance to select their room!

 

3. Roommates: Whether you absolutely loved your roommate(s) this year or not, with the housing re-selection process comes the time to figure out who you want to live with next year.

  • I have my perfect roommate! What do I do? In the housing re-selection portal you can request one roommate. The roommate request must be mutual–which means they will accept and approve the roommate request.
  • I want to live with 7 of my friends! What do I do? If you want to live with a group, during the re-selection process you will form a “group” and select one person to be the group leader who will assign you into rooms once your lottery number is reached.
  • I have no idea who I want to live with! That’s ok! The best piece of advice I was given regarding roommates was that, “you don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, you just have to be roommates.” Sometimes best friends won’t actually make the best roommates (sometimes they do though!). Also, if you decide you don’t want to have a roommate next year you will also be able to request a single room in the housing re-selection portal.

 

4. STEP: The Second-Year Transformational Experience Program (STEP) was definitely one of the highlights of my second year. Personally, my favorite parts about STEP were getting to know a really awesome professor on an individual basis, getting to know the other 2nd years in my cohort (and hear about all the amazing things they were doing), and completing my Signature Project (through which I actually got to go to Costa Rica!). Had I not participated in STEP, I wouldn’t have that great connection with my STEP faculty mentor nor would I have had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica (which definitely was a life-changing experience for me!). When you fill out your second year housing re-selection contract, there will be a checkbox for you to opt out of STEP. More questions? Check out the STEP website or talk to your Peer Leader!

 

 

5. Food! Did you know that as a second year you will have an additional option for a dining plan? Check out the dining website or the chart below to decide which meal plan is right for you for your second year! If your current meal plan is working for you, you can just go ahead and select it again for your second year (makes life easy, right?). Lucky for you, if you change your mind, you can change your meal plan until the 2nd Friday of next semester.

Component

Unlimited Scarlet 14 Gray 10

Declining Balance

Weekly Traditional Visit Unlimited 14 10 Not Included
Traditional Visit Exchange Not Included Included Included Not Included
Dining Dollars $100 $200 $200 $1,310
BuckID Cash Option to add $150 $150 Option to add
Available to all residential students? Yes Yes Yes Only available to second years or higher

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

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!

14 things FYE Peer Leaders want you to know about the PL role

Tyler

TYLER | This job tests your character. It will show your true colors, and how deep your heart truly is, in the blink of an eye. This can be a marvelous opportunity for people, but only if you let it. It is a job that allows you take it as far as you want to take it.

garcia-joanie

JOANIE | I don’t think I can fully explain how much this position has meant to me; it has not only shaped my Ohio State experience, but the students I mentor as well. It’s being a new Buckeye’s friend in times of hardship, listening to their stories about the highs and the lows, or even seeing them find success in their curricular and co-curricular experiences where they find a sense of belonging. Being a Peer Leader is much more than a job; it really is a lifestyle.

bradley-becca

BECCA | Helping first-year students navigate the ups and downs of college has helped me put things into perspective. Sometimes people just need someone to talk to, or someone to tell them they are on the right track. That can give them the confidence that they need. Being a Peer Leader is being that extra layer of support for the students who need it most. Through the Peer Leader position, there are opportunities to make a big impact in helping students find their home here on campus.

williams-alan

ALAN Being a Peer Leader has been a great experience for me. It has allowed me to meet and make connections with a lot of great people. It has been really rewarding to help them adjust into college and watching them successfully adjust is absolutely the highlight of my job. I recommend any student applying for this role because it gives you the ability to have a positive impact on a very large number of people.

oconnor-shane

SHANE | At such a large university, there are many resources and people you may never need. However, there are many times that people need help but do not realize there is an office or person that can help them with exactly that situation. As a Peer Leader, you learn not only how to help others, but also where to go if you do not know yourself.

taylor-jenkins-tennea

TENNEA | As a Peer Leader, you have to be relatable. It’s important to remember that you are a student first, and that is what makes this role so valuable. Your own experiences will help you help others, but you have to be willing to share them.

edwards-kierra

KIERRA I am beyond proud to say that because I took a chance, I had a great summer, made many memories, made awesome friends who I would not have made otherwise, was introduced to many opportunities, meet awesome students, learned that I love to help others, and grew an even bigger love for The Ohio State University.

cox-corey

COREY As a Peer Leader, I have found great reward in sharing my experiences with first-year students here at Ohio State. During my first year, there were a lot of ups and downs, but I found my way through the rough patches. I learned a lot through those experiences, and this job has allowed me to share that with new first year students. I truly enjoy helping students find success here at Ohio State on a personal level.

ellis-kourtney

KOURTNEY | Think of everything you have learned throughout your college experience! Use that information to help first-year students! What do you wish you knew starting at Ohio State? As a Peer Leader, I am able to inform students about the resources around them and help them to make connections on campus and make Ohio State feel more like a community and home.

braggs-ken

KEN | Being a Peer Leader is not something to take lightly. It’s no easy feat. It’s not something you do to build a resume. You do it for the love and care you have for your students.

kim-bertha

BERTHA | When I first applied to the position, I was excited for the opportunity; however, I didn’t know that I would gain leadership skills and so much support from First Year Experience. This last semester, I also learned the importance of accountability, responsibility, and servant leadership. This office has taught me to be the leader I always wanted to be.

tomak-kayla

KAYLA | Several times a week, I get texts and emails from coworkers, supervisors, and even first-year students encouraging me to be healthy, happy, and successful in my own journey. I feel like I have 300 Peer Leaders of my own that want the best for me. This isn’t just a job- it’s a family.

ward-cyrah

CYRAH | This position is a great role for students who want to be involved with incoming first-year students in a way far beyond simply helping them move in. This position is also a great way to challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. The most rewarding part of this position is seeing your students transition into college amazingly with the help of your love and guidance.

A.J Zanyk Photography 2015

SARAH | I am thankful for the opportunity the Peer Leader role has given me to support new students to the university. I am extremely thankful for the support I received during my first year at Ohio State and the Peer Leader role has allowed me to return the favor to other new students. It has been extremely rewarding to support new students and I have been able to grow and develop new skills in the process.


The application for the 2017-2018 FYE Peer Leader position is now available. Learn more and apply online at http://go.osu.edu/plapp. Applications are due by Tuesday, January 31, 2017. Happy holidays!

 

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…

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 4. Starting to think about roommates for next year

pokemon

 5. No school on Friday was much appreciated

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 6. Ready for Thanksgiving break!

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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

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4) Hurrying to finish up First Year Success Series

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 5) Fireworks and football lit up the Shoe Saturday night

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Trending Tuesday

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

 

1.Voting Time!

vote-gif

2.  Waiting for spring semester scheduling windows to open!

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

decisions

 

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

frozen-gif

 

5. Starting to think about whether to go Greek

sistas

6. Halloween events across campus!

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

autumn-gif

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!!)

food

 

2. Fall Break was much needed

relaxing

 

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

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4. Classes are becoming increasingly difficult

cant-wait-to-learn

 

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

major-unknown

 

 

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

autumn-leaves

7. About that football game though…

osu-football