When Your First Year Doesn’t Go as Planned

You had high hopes for your first year at Ohio State, but it’s probable some facet of your experience has fallen short of or been different from your original expectations. As second semester is wrapping up, you may be facing a few questions and concerns.

I was used to getting good grades in high school. What happened?

College is much different from high school in terms of academic expectations, the ways you are tested, and professor-student relationships. It is important not only to recognize these differences, but to take actions that will help you succeed in this new and more challenging learning environment.

The emphasis in college is more on the application of the material you are learning rather on the material itself. While taking an exam, you may find yourself thinking, “We didn’t go over how to do this problem in class!” Panic mode usually ensues and you get upset at the professor for doing such a thing. In reality, not much changes throughout college and even into the working world. This style of testing forces you to leverage what you do know and apply it to something you may have never seen before; it is a tough transition at first, but gets easier the more you learn how you study best (and how you “studied” in high school is likely not how you should be studying in college).

You also may have been used to having immediate and easy access to your teachers in high school; now, if you want help, you need to seek it out yourself. Gone are the days of exams that are just like the study guide. I can’t emphasize enough how valuable office hours can be if you do not understand material you have been going over in class or want to gain insight into what topics your professor finds most important in terms of testing. It may be difficult to believe, but your professors want you to succeed.

If you have not recieved the grades you were expecting, I know it can be discouraging, but believe me when I say, “It is okay!” The issue is not your intelligence or maybe even your effort; it is likely that you have not made the transition from the high school mentality towards education to the college mentality. What can you do about it?

  • Use a planner or electronic calendar (I use Google Calendar) to plan out when you will study/work on homework for each week
  • Take study breaks and be conscious of your engagement level.
  • Don’t cram. Try to keep up with material as you are going through it in class.

 

I tried to get involved but I haven’t found the meaningful involvement I thought I would.

There is often a period of feeling like the “new guy” when you begin coming around to different organizations, but the more you go, the more people you begin to recognize and get to know, and the more friends you begin to make in that organization. Eventually, you will start to feel like it is a place you belong if you are patient and make it through that initial adjustment period.

It certainly helps to try and find organizations that align with your values, goals, or views on life as it becomes a place in which you feel refreshed and encouraged. I did not begin feeling like I truly found opportunities that helped me grow as an individual and feel as if I was integrated into the community until my second year.

During my first year, I went through huge changes in terms of what role my faith played in my life. It became my everything and so naturally, I got involved with a church on campus called H2O where I could continue to grow, learn, and be a part of an extremely caring community that can be fully empathetic toward my struggles and frustrations with life, with full understanding of my world view. This is not me saying that diversity of opinions in your life is to be avoided; rather, I’m emphasizing the importance of having support from a community that understand where you are coming from.

  • BE PATIENT. We all need to get over our culturally-imposed need for immediate gratification and be patient.
  • Figure out what you really care about in life, then sort through what types of organizations you may be interested in.
  • Deeply invest yourself in people and community. You probably won’t get much out of organizations if you view them as if they exist to serve you.
  • You are a Buckeye and you have a home at Ohio State. Finding that is the challenge, but it’s worth investing the time and energy to find it.

I still have no idea what I want to major in.

You are not alone! I changed my major in my second year. It happens. Focus on what you want your life to be about and how you want to use it, then work backwards and seek out opportunities in which you can contribute toward that purpose through your career. This summer is a good time to do some soul searching.

  • Reflect but know there’s no right answer. You will gain better direction as you get exposed to what is really out there through out your college career. Don’t be afraid to take opportunites to learn about new things.
  • A. W. Tozer’s Rules for Self-Discovery:
    • What we want most
    • What we think about most
    • How we use our money
    • What we do with our leisure time
    • The company we enjoy
    • Who and what we admire
    • What we laugh at

College is a huge time for personal growth but that doesn’t  happen if you do everything perfectly. Know that most people–including me–still struggle with these very same issues. I’ve found it helps to view college as a time to learn and develop your values, beliefs, and what truly interests you in life; the rest has a way of falling into place.

A Southern Buck-I-SERV Spring Break

Your first spring break in college… we’ve all been there at one point or another. Was it as fun as you expected? Did you meet any new people? Is reality hitting you hard in the face because of how awesome it was?

If you would have asked me what I was doing for spring break in December, I probably would have said something along the lines of “I’m going to the Bahamas with my friends,” however, I did something else and it was an AMAZING experience. First year or not, listen up when I say that Buck-I-SERV at Ohio State is such a rewarding organization and I encourage everyone to participate in at least one before you graduate.

Wondering why?

I was asked to be a trip leader for a trip to Mullens, West Virginia, during spring break. When first asked I was kind of skeptical; I mean, why Mullens? Of course I learned more information about the destination.

Mullens is a town in southern West Virginia that is experiencing many hardships at the moment. You see, Mullens used to be a town where things happened. Downtown was booming and there were many residents. In recent years, residents  are finding a lack of jobs, which leads to the younger generations leaving the town.

Mullens is a great little town, it reminds me of my own little hometown. Everyone knows one another and everyone is SO FRIENDLY. It was so nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of schoolwork and the city for a while. I didn’t know how much I was missing nature (or the woods) until I stayed in Twin Falls State Park. The scenery, the hills, the trees, the waterfalls — everything about it was gorgeous.

There were six of us, including our advisor. It was a tiny group, but we had SO MUCH FUN. We were able to volunteer at the Mullens Opportunity Center (otherwise known as the MOC). They actually had a pretty horrible flood the week before we got there, so a lot of our work was to help with the outdoor cleanup.

We worked with students from the University of Baltimore (they were awesome, by the way) the entire week. We shoveled up the fallen dirt to rebuild the hillside by a river behind the MOC, we filled in holes in the concrete with gravel, but our biggest project was the High Tunnel.

You see, the MOC is an awesome place. This opportunity center holds workshops for the residents of Mullens that can help them in nearly all aspects of life. They have a workout room, a lawyer’s office, line dancing, a computer lab where individuals can earn their GED and SO many other programs. They also have fitness programs going on, where individuals can keep track of how many laps they took around the gym and the activity they’re involved in. If that wasn’t awesome enough, they hand out prizes to the person who completed the most that week. LIKE COME ON THAT’S CRAZY COOL.

One of the MOC’s coolest projects, in my opinion, is their Farm to School campaign. Basically, this campaign is to try and get local farmers to grow fruits and vegetables for the schools in the county. Eventually, they would like each school to have their own High Tunnel to grow produce for the community. (A high tunnel is a fancy word for a greenhouse, in case you’re wandering, as I was.) We worked on constructing this and getting top soil and compost for the beds. By the time we were leaving they were working on the roof.

Hands down, this trip was such a blast. The workers at the MOC were so thankful we had decided to come and showed us so much love. It was an amazing experience.

One of the last nights we were there, we had a campfire with the University of Baltimore where a local orator told us stories about the town’s history and scary stories. We roasted marshmallows and listened to a delightful woman sing. It is so nice knowing that we helped make a difference.

I love the little town of Mullens, and I want them to thrive. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to spend the week with some new friends, make some memories, and help make a difference. If you ever have the chance to go on a Buck-I-SERV trip, GO. I promise you will love it.

Scarlet Scramble is Back

Did you know University Hall is the real building used as Hollis College in Pretty Little Liars? Or that the first Wendy’s restaurant ever opened was in Columbus? Do you think you can eat a stack of Sloopy’s pancakes faster than anyone else? Then boy do I have an event for you — Scarlet Scramble 2015 is here!

So what is Scarlet Scramble?

It’s a 24-hour campus and city adventure that includes challenges, trivia questions, and clues to decode. Teams compete from 6 p.m. on March 27 to 6 p.m. on March 28 to earn points and win prizes (like Amazon and HOMAGE gift cards). The Scramble is brought to you by First Year Experience, and each team should have at least five first year students, but can have up to five other students (non first-years) too.

You know you want a new HOMAGE shirt.

You know you want a new HOMAGE shirt.

I participated in my first Scarlet Scramble my freshman year and have helped plan it the last two years. It is one of my favorite events on campus because not only do you get a sweet T-shirt just for signing up, you also get to run around campus with your friends, learn something new while you’re doing it, and compete for prizes! Plus you end up with some pretty cool pictures like these.

TBT to Scarlet Scramble 2013

TBT to Scarlet Scramble 2013

TBT to Scar Scram 2014

TBT to Scarlet Scramble 2014

To learn more about #ScarScram2015, check out the video below!

Registration is open until March 9. To sign up for the best time of your life visit fye.osu.edu/scarletscramble.

See you March 27!

What It Means To Be A Buckeye

Being a Buckeye means to be the light that conquers the darkness and brightens the way.

It hasn’t been long since I transferred to Ohio State — or perhaps I just haven’t realized that it has. It doesn’t feel like it’s been long since last fall because I found a big, happy family away from my home soon after I came to OSU from Manipal University in India. As a student, I had a jar full of worries and concerns when I first came to OSU. Ignorant of the new culture and new environment, I wasn’t sure what was I getting into, but one thing I knew was that I was enthusiastic and optimistic about things that were in store for me.

Now, you might be wondering what this has to do with the meaning of being a Buckeye. Believe me when I tell you, this was the first step I took toward realizing what it meant for me to be a Buckeye: the crucial step which brought me closer to understanding that being a Buckeye was a responsibility for me that I took pride in.

A feeling that we all share.

A feeling that we all share.

The essence of the word “Buckeye” is deeply rooted in OSU’s rich culture and traditions which unite all of us under the spirit of a shared sense of belonging and an unparalleled appreciation for our alma mater. If you know Carmen Ohio in its entirety, then following lines will put you in the mood of Buckeye spirit.

“These jolly days of priceless worth,
By far the gladdest days on earth,
soon will pass and we not know
how dearly we love Ohio.”

These four lines from Carmen Ohio are more than just lyrics of the song. These lines reflect upon one of the true meanings of being a Buckeye, and that is to acknowledge the fact that the time you will spend here at The Ohio State University will surely be one hell of a ride full of laughter, tears (of joy, obviously), new relationships and cherished memories. And this is not something that anyone will impose on you to acknowledge, instead you will realize it yourself with the passage of time.

Maybe one day it will just hit you when you see the diversity, excellence and positive energy around you on campus, or when you graduate along with thousands of other students and you’ll realize that you had the glorious opportunity to be an integral part of something much bigger than you. Sooner or later you will realize what it means for you to be a Buckeye, and that is when you will fall short of words to describe it to others (including your fellow Buckeyes) like I am right now.

Being a Buckeye is not about you or me, instead it’s about all of us and how we come together to show our support and love for one another. It’s about how we constantly and selflessly strive towards creating a positive impact on the society and the world. Being a Buckeye is all about paying it forward — may it be happiness, knowledge, experience, or an affectionate gesture.

For me, being a Buckeye is an inseparable part of my identity. Being a Buckeye is what gives me a purpose for my actions. It is what defines my college culture and traditions through my actions. “Buckeye” in itself is a powerful word which cheers me up when I start losing hope, puts a smile on my face when I run out of reasons to stay positive, and reminds me of the immense warmth, affection, support and encouragement that I am getting from my family, friends and professors each and every day here at OSU.

“Though age may dim our memory’s store
we’ll think of happy days of yore,
True to friend and frank to foe,
as sturdy sons of Ohio”

As mentioned in Carmen Ohio, Buckeye spirit is something that will stay with you forever, till the end of eternity, no matter where you are. It will remind you of the best of the times and will become a reason for you to keep your head held high.

 

I Wrote This With My Tears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello readers, just an emotional senior over here writing a blog post for first-year students with my tears. Casual.

When I think back on the summer before my freshman year, I had a lot of emotions going on. I was beyond excited to finally go to college at The Ohio State University, nervous about leaving my friends and family at home and absolutely terrified because I didn’t know what to expect as a student at Ohio State. My life was going to completely change and I had no idea how I would handle the transition. For you first-year students who are moving to campus in, oh, approximately SIXTEEN DAYS, I imagine you’re feeling similar emotions, experiencing similar fears, and fluctuating between this…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…or this…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…or maybe this…

 

 

 

 

 

 

…all while attempting to prepare yourself to start at The Ohio State University.

My situation now isn’t too different. I’m approaching my last semester at The Ohio State University (I’m graduating early in December. Totally not freaking out or anything. Like, it’s fine. BRB, CRYING IN THE FETAL POSITION).

 

 

 

 

 

And guess what? I’m still scared of the unknown. For the first time, my path isn’t directly laid out at my feet. After high school, I had to make the choice of where to go to college, but there wasn’t a question of going. Now, I could look for a job, apply to graduate schools or enroll in a service program. I could also move back home (hi, Mom and Dad!) but we’ll say that’s not an option right now. Three years ago as I was coming to The Ohio State University, I also didn’t know where my path would lead me over the next four years. I could switch my major (and I did); I could join any student organization (or none at all); I could decide who I wanted to be at this huge university where nobody knew me. Though this idea is terrifying, it’s one that first-year students should appreciate because of the opportunities that await you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really! One of my favorite things about Ohio State is the limitless choices that students here have. No Buckeye will follow the exact same path as anyone before or after them; the combination of academics, involvement, interests and activities that mark their time as an Ohio State student is completely unique. To my incoming Buckeye friends – take advantage of this. Pursue what interests you, whether that is your passion for history that results in a Folklore minor or your love of The Best Damn Band In The Land that sees you at the Lincoln Tower fields on Friday nights to watch their final pre-show practice. It is these things that make Buckeyes love Ohio State in their own unique ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can do what you want to do and be who you want to be here at the greatest university, and I am so jealous and so excited that you have the next four whole years to do just that. You may ask yourself this question like little David after the dentist,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But the sad news is, your time at Ohio State will eventually end. As Carmen Ohio states,

The seasons pass, the years will roll…

It’s incredibly true that all of a sudden you’ll be scheduling your last semester of classes and wondering where the years went. Cherish your time on campus, find the friends who will become your family and treasure your memories. I’m taking inspiration from Bilbo Baggins in how I’m looking at the next phase of my life:

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re doing just the same by coming to The Ohio State University. And hey, if you need to write a reminder to yourself on move-in day or President’s Convocation or the first day of classes, I’ll have the same thing on my hand during Commencement on December 21st:

21 Events to Experience on Campus

For Ohio State students, there is always something to do around campus. Here are some highly anticipated events that I recommend you experience during your first year:

1) Buck-i-FrenzyThis is my favorite fall event which takes place before the first day of class. Buck-i-Frenzy is a “lifestyle festival” that features local and national companies, each giving out many, many samples (basically lots of FREE STUFF).

2) Community Commitment: A day of service for all Ohio State students to volunteer around Columbus.

3) BuckeyeThon: Like to have fun while supporting a good cause? Take part in BuckeyeThon, a 24-hour dance marathon that raises money to support children treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

4) Hockey Game: Want a fun and FREE night with friends? Check out the Ohio State Men’s Hockey team as they compete against other schools. Just bring your BuckID!

5) Movie on the Oval: Grab your blanket and friends and come watch a movie on the Oval! Free food and snacks provided 🙂

6) Homecoming Parade: Watch the Buckeye community parade down High Street— music, cheering, and all!

7) Study Abroad ExpoPlanning on studying abroad? The study abroad expo is a great first step to take. Make sure to come with questions to ask the experts!

8) Welcome Week Concert: Come out and enjoy some music with your fellow Buckeyes! Past performances include 2 Chainz and The Band Perry.

9) Taste of OSUA great evening filled with cultural performances, exhibits and food from all around the world.

10) Football Games: Need I say more? Even if you don’t buy season tickets, Ohio State football games are something to definitely experience at least once during your college career.

11) Group Fitness classes: As a student with a BuckID, you can take advantage of all the great programs Ohio State Recreational Sports has to offer, especially all of the group fitness classes! You can find the group fitness schedule on recsports.osu.edu.

12) Skull Sessions: Held two hours before every home game, skull sessions are concerts/pep rallies with over 10,000 fans in attendance.

13) Involvement Fair: Your greatest opportunity to get involved by finding an organization or club that fits your interests. This is one of the most exciting events of the year!

14) Columbus Welcome event: A large-scale event where all first years are transported from campus to Nationwide Arena and given a taste of all that Columbus and Ohio State has to offer!

15) Basketball games: Ohio State Men’s basketball games are a great display of school spirit and camaraderie. Come to the Schottenstein Center and cheer on the Buckeyes!

16) Big Free Concert: Hosted by the Ohio Union Activities Board (OUAB), this free concert is an annual springtime event. Past performances have included Childish Gambino and Skrillex!

17) MLK Day of Service: Hosted by Pay It Forward (an organization that sponsors several service events throughout the year), this particular service project takes place on Martin Luther King day.

…He who is greatest among you shall be a servant. That’s the new definition of greatness…Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.

18) Convocation:  Your first official welcome to the Ohio State community! At convocation, you will hear from several university leaders, faculty, and special guests, as well as experience the several different time-honored university traditions.

19) Light Up the Lake: Hosted by the Ohio Staters, Inc., this event takes place after Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday season! Students hang up seasonal lights around Mirror Lake and Browning Amphitheatre for this lovely lighting ceremony.

20) Synchronized Swimming meets: What better team to watch than the multi-U.S. National champions, AKA the Ohio State Synchronized Swim Team? Add this to your Ohio State bucket list!

21) Homecoming Pep Rally: A large-scale event held in the Ohio Union featuring several guest speakers in order to rally support for the football team against their opponents in the Homecoming game.

Make sure to tune in on Wednesday (orientation day 23) – Alex will share 23 Things to Do on the Weekends!

Your Summer Playlist: 6 Songs to Describe Orientation

Hello again, everyone! I’m so excited to be back on First Things First, but I’m especially excited because I get to talk about a few things that I just love: summer, music and Ohio State Orientation.

Every summer there’s a slew of new music released (I’m loving “Problem” by Ariana Grande right now FYI). So whether you’re dancing around your bedroom or driving with the windows down on a summer night, there’s nothing like some good music to make everything right.

Today I’m super pumped to share 6 songs with you that describe the orientation experience. So pull up Spotify or grab your iPod and let’s make a playlist for your summer orientation.

 

1. “Wide Awake” – Katy Perry

When you show up to orientation on that first morning, it is EARLY. Whether you’re traveling five miles or 5,000 miles, it is rarely fun to get up early. However, I encourage you to arise and soak in the experience. This is your first introduction to Ohio State as an official Buckeye. Wipe the sleep from your eyes and enjoy those icebreakers, pay attention to the sessions and ask questions. Make sure that you’re wide awake and ready to make the most of your orientation experience.

2. “Ain’t It Fun” –  Paramore

Like I said before, orientation is probably your first time at Ohio State with your future classmates and peers. HAVE FUN! Why not? To quote the song, “don’t go crying to your mama.” This isn’t a sad time, it’s happy! Talk to as many people as you can, enjoy yourself at the evening activities at the RPAC and laugh as hard as you can during Orientation Night Live (the comedy show put on by the Orientation Leaders). Ain’t it fun? It should be!

3. “Carmen Ohio” – Ohio State’s Alma Mater

Of course I had to sneak “Carmen Ohio” onto this list. Perhaps unlike many other schools across the country, I can honestly testify that Ohio State students truly treasure their alma mater. This song is sung at the end of every football game, after club and organization meetings and at both Convocation and Commencement. The song is all about tradition, friendship and loving your Ohio State home. What better time to learn it than at orientation? (Yes, you will sing “Carmen Ohio” at orientation). This little song is a crown jewel of Ohio State and it continues to give me chills whenever I hear it.

url

4. “Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen

You’re going to meet so many new people at orientation. It may be at the opening session, in your small group, at dinner, or a multitude of other places. These people could be the first of your classmates that you befriend. Don’t hesitate to call them (but who am I kidding: nobody calls anybody anymore), text them, or add them on social media. There is nothing wrong with staying connected on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram before school begins in the fall. Who knows, maybe someone you meet could end up being your friend, roommate, or significant other. Call them maybe?

5. “Clarity” – Zedd ft. Foxes

After your orientation, you’re going to have accomplished many things. You will have your classes scheduled, you will have tons of information about different resources and services available on campus and hopefully you will have made some new friends. This is what I call clarity, one of the best feelings in the world. I remember feeling so relieved after my orientation. Although I was initially nervous about my transition to college, after I attended my freshman orientation, this nervousness was replaced by readiness and excitement. I hope you will also achieve a sense of clarity, confidence and excitement for your first year once you’ve gone through your own orientation.

6. “Home” – Phillip Phillips

For so many people, orientation can be scary. You may be nervous about scheduling classes, meeting new people and potentially going out of your comfort zone. But there is no need to worry. This is your home now. Soak in the beauty of the Oval and campus both during the day and at night on your moonlight tour. Ask as many questions as you can. And relax, because this is a place where you will be able to grow and learn over the next several years.

il_340x270.435819118_rnv3

Welcome home and please enjoy your orientation, this playlist, and all that Ohio State has to offer. To me it’s like a good song that I just play on repeat. I hope the same can be said for you very soon.

Up next, the lovely and wonderful Lisa Combs will be sharing with you something that she knows quite a lot about: love. Her challenge is to list 8 ways that your first year is like falling in love. I’m already stoked to see what she has to say.

Charging my iPod,

Connor

5 Tips for Success at Orientation

Welcome to the FYE blog, future Buckeyes! As you’re finishing up your last days in high school and getting ready for a great summer, I wanted to share with you some tips for success at summer orientation. These are a few things I learned throughout my own orientation experience and my time as an Orientation Leader (upperclass students who help you transition to Ohio State).

DRESS for SUCCESS.

When I was preparing for orientation three summers ago (I’m so old) I read that we were supposed to keep it casual and comfortable. Naturally, I understood this as wearing my favorite summery skirt and sandals (pretty sure I just wanted to make a good first impression). After two hours into orientation, I regretted the sandals/skirt combo as my Orientation Leader had us playing interactive, action-oriented games on the Oval, which was not skirt friendly. Be prepared to have fun playing games like this and getting to know your fellow Buckeyes, but make sure you wear what’s most comfortable for you. There’s also quite a bit of walking throughout the two-day program and infamous temperamental Ohio weather. Try to wear sensible shoes and pack an umbrella if you don’t like the rain.

KEEP it POSITIVE.

Bring a great attitude and be open to new experiences. Orientation is a chance for you to meet fellow Buckeyes and learn about many opportunities to make your time as a Buckeye the best it can be. Be open to striking up conversation with someone in your small group or on your walk to your foreign language placement test. I actually met one of my best friends waiting to talk to my academic advisor; we bonded over a love for musicals and our biology majors. Three years later, I’m no longer a biology major, but I’m still best friends with that boy.

GET ENOUGH SLEEP.

Sleep on the plane flight or during the car ride, because these two days are packed with fun activities, course registration, plenty of walking and icebreakers. Make sure you are refreshed for your orientation!

LOVE YOUR PARENTS, GUARDIANS, FAMILY, FRIENDS and MENTORS who HELPED YOU BECOME a BUCKEYE.

Be thankful for all that others have done to help you get here…and thank yourself for all your hard work! Get ready to be part of a loving, supportive community that will provide you with countless amazing memories and life experiences.

YOU do YOU.

Be yourself during your time at Ohio State. Being a Buckeye means being part of a larger community that is comprised of amazing individuals. This is your time to let your true colors shine! We cannot wait to get to know the real you.

Alright, Class of 2018, we look forward to meeting you in a few short weeks! Get ready for you next big adventure.

The Moment I Knew: #BuckeyeForLife

As a part of the Buckeye community, I share the great passion and love that all members of the Ohio State community have in common. But there is one epxerience that is unique for each and every one of us. This unique experience is what I like to call the #BuckeyeForLife moment.

What is this #BuckeyeForLife moment?

Let me elaborate: The #BuckeyeForLife isn’t the moment that you seal the envelope with your Ohio State housing deposit during spring of your senior year in high school; it isn’t on move-in day when you meet your roommate who looks nothing like their Facebook picture (making you realize you added the wrong person…awkward); and, it surely isn’t your first echoing sneeze in the Grand Reading Room at Thompson. #BuckeyeForLife is that one single moment where you stop everything you’re doing, look at all that is going on around you, and say to yourself, “I am a part of something amazing, something much bigger than myself, and I absolutely love it.”

It goes a little something like this:

Now let me tell you about my #BuckeyeForLife moment.

You might be surprised, but my #BuckeyeForLife didn’t even happen during my first year at Ohio State; however, my #BuckeyeForLife moment did occur during an event that is specifically for first-year students before each autumn semester: the President’s Convocation. I was fortunate to attend this event again through my involvement with the First Year Connections Team. My Connections Team peers and I attended Convocation to mingle with new first-year students as St. John Arena filled, so they were entertained while waiting for the ceremony to begin. Many of the first years looked half asleep, as it was pretty early in the morning, but we tried to wake them up a little bit with our enthusiasm.

One of the great traditions of Ohio State is singing Carmen Ohio after large events, such as football games and in this case, Convocation. My #BuckeyeForLife moment happened as I watched the incoming first years put their arms around each others’ shoulders, and start to slowly sway side to side. Seeing the new members of the Ohio State family come together in unison and sing the famed lyrics that each Buckeye keeps in their heart, I couldn’t help but get chills down my spine.

That was the moment I knew. I looked around and knew in my heart that Ohio State is where I belong. I knew that all the work I was putting toward my education and the nearly 1,000 miles to my hometown were all worth the toil. I knew that I had a family, a home, and a future, all because of Ohio State. And last, but not least, I knew that I truly am a #BuckeyeForLife.

I can’t tell you what your #BuckeyeForLife moment will be, because it is different for every person. You have to go out there and find it for yourself. You’ll know when you experience your #BuckeyeForLife moment, and that moment will be a part of you forever.

So here is my task for you: explore, dream, build relationships, stay up a little too late, or do whatever it takes for you to experience your own #BuckeyeForLife moment.

How firm thy friendship,

Josh