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!

Life Unexpected

I decided I was going to attend The Ohio State University when I was in the third grade. I was nine years old, standing in my kitchen, clutching the USA Synchro magazine in my hand, and told my parents that is where I was going to college. Ohio State’s synchronized swimming team had come in second at collegiate nationals that year, and that was my sole reason for wanting to go to Ohio State. I worked for the rest of my elementary, middle, and high school career and synchro career gearing up to swim at Ohio State. I would dream about swimming in the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, my mom coming down for all my meets, becoming friends with all the girls on the team, and swimming amazing routines with beautiful suits.

In my senior year of high school, I just missed the deadline for recruiting and I sent in my video late, but the coaches said I could try out in the fall. On a Saturday in September, I woke up nervous and excited about my try out. As I swam for the coaches, the entire team watched me, wondering who I was. They clapped after I finished my routine and it made me feel like I was on top of the world. They said they would email me later that week letting me know if I made it. I was anxious that entire week. On Thursday, I opened my email and saw the first few lines of the message that said:

Sorry Libby. You were really close, but you didn’t make the team.

My entire life had been about swimming for Ohio State. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t want to transfer, because I had already made friends and connections to the campus. It would be too sad to leave, so I made the best of my situation. I decided to get involved in other activities.

I kept in touch with the synchro team and for the rest of my freshman year I was the team’s manager. They welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like part of the group. I stayed in Columbus over winter break and helped with winter training and traveled with them. After winter break I went through formal recruitment through Sorority and Fraternity Life and joined my home away from home, Delta Delta Delta. They quickly became my best friends and truly my sisters. I joined University Choir where we performed in two concerts on campus.

In my second year, I went on my first Buck-I-Serv trip to Biloxi, MS, where we helped those who had been affected by Hurricane Katrina. In May Term at the end of my second year, I studied the History, Culture, and Politics of Great Britain in London, England with an amazing group of Ohio State students.

In my third year, I went on my second Buck-I-Serv trip to Costa Rica, where we helped build a road and cleaned up a beach. During both my sophomore and junior years, I participated in BuckeyeThon to help raise money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. I have also served as a recruitment guide for formal recruitment and helped 75 first- and second-year students find their homes. I also started working at the RPAC teaching swim lessons, which brought me back to the pool I thought I was going to spend many hours in.

My college career has been nothing like nine-year-old Libby imagined it to be, but I have loved every second of what it has become. I want everyone out there who worries that college is not going to be how they imagine to know that will not be; it’s going to be even better. No matter what experience comes your way, go with it and see where it takes you–it might become the most amazing adventure of your life.

Spring Break: A Week ON, not a Week OFF

Last week I had the opportunity to advise a Buck-I-SERV spring break trip to New York City. Along with 16 students, two trip leaders, and one other advisor, we spent the week doing community service at soup kitchens, food pantries, and daycare centers throughout NYC. One reason this trip was unique was that it was directly connected to the Buckeye Book Community (BBC). This means the location, activities, and service were directly related to the themes and plot of this year’s BBC book: The Submission by Amy Waldman.

Anyway…I can’t wait to tell you all about this trip…but since I’m quite removed from my first year at Ohio State (circa 2007), I thought I’d bring you a more relevant perspective– from a first-year student who attended the trip with me. I interviewed Sally Raudabaugh, a Chemical Engineering major from Dublin, OH, who I met on the trip. I spoke with Sally after we returned from NYC, and here is what she had to say:

Why did you apply to attend a Buck-I-SERV trip?

College has helped me realize how fortunate I’ve been, and I really want to give back. Religion is also a big part of my life, and by going to churches around campus, I’ve discovered community service as a way to help others. This trip was amazing, and I definitely want to attend more alternative break trips in the future.

Tell us three things you learned on the trip.

You can’t guess who a homeless person is just by looking at him/her. We served so many people who were hungry and homeless in NYC, and none of them looked like the stereotype of what we think a homeless person is supposed to look like.

Homelessness and hunger are a HUGE problem in NYC. People really need help escaping unemployment and getting on their feet. They can’t do it alone.

One thing that surprised me is all the help that’s available for people…all the soup kitchens and food pantries available… at least there is some help available if you look for it.

What else surprised you on the trip?

I always thought NYC was one big melting pot, but so many people there spoke other languages and expressed their own cultures.

I also went into this trip having preconceived notions about 9/11. September 11 was always something so distant that you’d read about in history books. But being there at the sight of the World Trade Center and hearing first-hand stories of survivors helped me realize how it impacted thousands of individuals and the city. I never knew the rubble from the towers was stories and stories high and was on fire for days. Or how they couldn’t simply replace the towers with new office buildings right away (it took years to do so, and they’re still working on it). The entire impact of 9/11 was not real to me before.  I used to see it on the news and think it’s terrible. But it doesn’t feel real or hit your heart until you’re there. It was very moving.

Now that you’ve nearly finished your first year of college, how have your reactions and thoughts about The Submission changed?

Just reading the book was not enough to understand it. But now that I’ve been to NYC and attended the lectures in the fall by Amy Waldman and Reza Aslan, I understand the bigger picture of what the book was about. Everything is suddenly more tangible… talking about sensitive issues, seeing how 9/11 impacted people of different cultures, hearing the author’s perspective while writing the book… this made the book an experience.  Reading the book alone is not enough to truly grasp it.

How would you sum up the trip in 5 words?

Inspiring. Exciting. Making a difference.

 

9/11 Memorial