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!

5 Tips for Navigating the Awkwardness of College

Dear Awkward College Students,

As a fellow awkward student now in my third year at Ohio State, I’ve had my share of awkward situations and look forward to many more in years to come. In the meantime, I hope to share a few pieces of wisdom on how to embrace your own awkwardness and make the most of the precariously awkward situations you may find yourself in throughout your time at Ohio State. Although you may not be able to change your awkward nature, you can still thrive in a world that hates awkwardness.

1. Improper and Destructive Ways of Dealing with Awkwardness

Let’s start off with a few things that feed the insatiable creature that is awkwardness.

Texting or tweeting at people in your life who deserve a real conversation. Technology allows us the ability to say things to people that maybe would be awkward or uncomfortable in person. Although it may be easier and feel safer to tweet a passive-aggressive comment about your roommate and the dishes that have been piling up for weeks, don’t expect anything to change by you offending the roommate in front of your Twitter followers. Other situations that deserve at least a phone call if not a face to face interaction include: roommate disputes, asking someone on a date, breaking up with someone, and apologizing if you have hurt someone.

Avoiding awkwardness by turning to alcohol in social situations. This is an extremely unhealthy way to treat alcohol and college is a time where you have ample opportunities to LEARN how to talk to people. Alcohol should not be necessary to “have a good time” or meet other human beings.

2. “Roomie, We Need to Talk”

Living with people is hard, no matter how long you have known them. Wherever you find yourself living during your time at Ohio State, if you have roommates/housemates, you will find awkward situations. However, to successfully live with someone–and in any healthy relationship in life–communication is key. Sometimes that means you must have awkward and uncomfortable conversations where you address the things that your roommate does that bothers you or makes you uncomfortable. Many times they do not realize what they do makes you uncomfortable because you never told them, so be direct but also patient and gracious.

3. Traveling Around Campus

You can easily find the students that are glued to their phones, earbuds in, and therefore closed to any social interaction on their way to class, maybe a head nod for the guy that lived on their floor freshman year or creepy wink for the girl in their Biology class as they pass them on the Oval. Rather than escaping into your music as you head to Chemistry lecture, LOOK UP, and enjoy the beautiful campus full of really awesome people! Also, it’s good practice to say “Hi” to the people you recognize (or even strangers, if you are feeling extra friendly), even if you don’t know their name; the alternative of looking down at your phone to avoid eye contact is far worse and far more awkward for everyone. The same goes for buses–you can talk to the people on the bus, it’s allowed!

4. Making Conversation

As you are meeting loads of people, this means you actually have to hold conversations…I know, scary, right? Luckily, everyone in college is in similar phases of life; we are all trying to figure out our own lives and endure similar struggles. This makes conversation easy, so introduce yourself, ask people about their lives, and don’t be afraid to take it deeper than the “Hi, how are you?” “Good, how are you?” interaction that plagues college campuses. The answer “good” really means anything from great to absolutely awful. Ask questions, get to know people, and listen to their stories, because the surface level conversations get pretty old after awhile.

5. Awkwardness in Class

College classrooms are also an awkward hot spot. Many college students use the time before class, or even during class, to scroll through social media, text their friends, or swipe left and right on the latest dating app. College is a unique experience in our lives where we are surrounded by tons of people with very diverse perspectives on life, so take advantage of it! Meeting people in class is an awesome way to form study groups, make new friends who are interested in similar things you are, and make those 8 a.m. classes even more enjoyable as you get to learn about neat things and see your friends, too!

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May this picture of me in a very awkward stage of my life (that arguably is still ongoing) encourage you in your pursuit of fully embracing the awkward to make your Ohio State experience a little more pleasant and free from avoidable awkwardness.

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!

Switching Majors? Don’t Fret

First-years: having qualms about your major? Uncertain about the future? Don’t fret — you’re not alone. Deciding what to major in is challenging. It can feel like one decision determines the trajectory of your life — which is overwhelming, to say the least.

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Choosing a major that’s right for you boils down to one little formula: find something you’re passionate about but is still sensible.

For instance, one of my friends loves civil liberties, women’s studies, and everything in between. Her major, political science, is both practical and applicable, and it’s something she’s overzealous about. There are hundreds of majors at Ohio State, and I can guarantee there is something for you; it just needs to be discovered.

If you’re unsure where to begin, start by talking to an expert. The Younkin Success Center offers career counseling and consultations.

Although it’s a bit cheesy, also consider consulting a career quiz.

It’s OK to not have everything figured out. There are resources and people to help! Switching majors can seem stressful, specifically when changing from department to department.

When I switched from the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences to the College of Engineering, I was a bit dazed with an entirely new schedule and even different class settings and locations. However, there are counselors for that. If you’re thinking about switching, talk to an advisor. They will help you transition smoothly and alleviate a lot of stress.

Finding the best fit isn’t always cut and dry. Remember to focus on finding something that gets you excited. Whether it be science, psychology, business, or anything in between, an awesome major awaits you.

Don’t Let Rejection Define You

College isn’t supposed to be easy.

You aren’t supposed to get everything you want. Rejection is natural and necessary in college, because it helps you develop a thick skin that is crucial to your success in the rest of your life.

I have been fortunate in so many opportunities in college. I was accepted to the school I’d fallen in love with. When I was a first-year student, I got an amazing job at the Ohio State student newspaper that I was dying to work for. I was able to move up through other positions there, too. When I went through formal recruitment in my second year of college, I got into the sorority that immediately felt like my home. Over the years I’ve had several internships that shaped my career and meant a great deal to me.

But those successes did not come without failures, and I’m a better person for it.

At the end of my third year at Ohio State, the plan was to apply for editor-in-chief of The Lantern, and hopefully claim the job I’d had my eye on for years. I was hopeful, I was prepared, I was convinced I had a shot. And I did have a shot. But I missed. The job went to a better candidate, and I was devastated.

At first, I didn’t want to believe the news. How could I possibly fail? Was I really hearing correctly, had they really chosen someone else? When I calmed down and accepted the news I was given, my boss presented me with a choice: I could quit the job I had because I was bitter about the job I’d never have, or I could go back out in the newsroom with my head held high and work.

With some anger and resentment in my heart, I chose the latter.

Working that day was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do professionally. But eventually, the pain settled and I made the choice not to return to the paper for my final year in college. Instead, I opted to seek out other opportunities and give myself more free time than I’d been able to enjoy during my other years in college, since I was working an average of 40-45 hours a week at The Lantern.

The excruciating rejection I felt that day last spring turned out to be such a blessing.

I took a fellowship over the summer in Phoenix, Arizona, that showed me maybe newspapers weren’t my calling. Had I been named editor-in-chief, I think I would’ve loved it, but with the thought in the back of my mind that my passion might be elsewhere, I think I would’ve been stifling my opportunity to explore other options.

Instead, I returned to campus and accepted a communications and marketing research internship at Battelle, the world’s largest nonprofit research firm. In the past five months at Battelle, I have learned so much about the corporate marketing and communications world that I wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to — and it’s doing everything to help my future career.

Rejection is hard — it feels like the end of the world. But it’s not. There is nothing wrong with mourning the loss of an opportunity you had your eye on, but the important part is to compartmentalize your pain and not let it ruin your life.

I could’ve spent my senior year bitter over lost opportunity. But instead I chose to seek out a new opportunity, and that has been endlessly rewarding.

If you go through college and don’t face any rejection, I don’t envy you. Rejection builds you into a stronger person who is more open to new experiences and opportunities they would’ve otherwise missed.

Don’t let rejection define you. Keep an open mind, and take advantage of all Ohio State and Columbus have to offer you. You never know what else you’ll find.

It’s Not Too Late to Join a Student Org!

After already completing your first semester at Ohio State, some of you may feel it is too late to get involved on campus.

While some students get involved right away, many students choose to focus on their classwork when they first come to school, and choose not to have outside distractions. With all of the changes and adjustments, your first semester is often more overwhelming than many would assume.

While some dive in with full force, many choose to test the water first!

After the rush of Welcome Week, and the fall and spring involvement fairs, you may fear it is pointless or too late to join an organization partway through the year. However, it is not too late take that jump!

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As a matter of fact, many organizations are still seeking or recruiting members! We’ve talked to a few organization leaders from across campus who can provide a bit more information about some of these available and awesome opportunities.

 

I. American Association of University Women

Name: Cassidy Horency

Status: Currently seeking new members

We are a new organization on campus and this is only our second semester, so we are looking for more people! It’s part of a national organization and members can apply for scholarships and grants through it. We usually have pizza. It’s better late than never to join an organization.

II. Buck-I-Serv

Name: Allie Loughry

Status: Currently seeking new members

First-year students should apply for a summer Buck I Serv trip because it’s a great way to give back to the community, spread the Buckeye spirit and meet new people!

III. DanceSport

Name: Jessica Gregory

Status: Currently seeking new members

It’s a great way to meet new people and meet people with similar interests. Members can benefit from this organization because you learn how to dance tons of different ballroom dances and can take your new skills to places around Columbus like La Fogata, which has salsa dancing nights. We are constantly growing and looking for new members.

IV. Delta Sigma Phi fraternity

Name: Alec Wuorinen

Status: Currently seeking new members

Great way to meet new people (lots!) and learn great things about yourself. With more friendships comes greater diverse connections!

V. Institute of Industrial Engineers

Name: Gunnar Smyth

Status: Currently seeking new members

All Industrial Engineering students should join because we go to both the regional and national conference to meet other IEs, learn about the major, and connect you to job opportunities. Leadership positions are available.

VI. John Glenn Civic Leadership Council

Name: Andy Krupin

Status: Currently seeking new members

We host a wide range of meeting activities! There’s something for everyone. Between current events jeopardy and different service projects, the CLC is a great way to learn about your community and make a difference in it, too. The more people we have, the bigger potential impact we can make.

VII. Muslim Students Association

Name: Yousef Yacoub

Status: Currently seeking new members

If you’re a Muslim or interested in Islam, I definitely recommend coming to our weekly general body meetings on Fridays at 6 p.m. in the Interfaith Room on the 3rd floor of the Union, where we host world-renowned Islamic scholars to learn more about the Islamic faith.

VIII. Ohio Staters, Inc.

Name: Joanie Garcia

Status: Currently seeking and recruiting new members

Ohio Staters, Inc. is the oldest student service organization on campus that promotes the welfare and traditions of the university. This org. helps connect students with the deep roots of the university and network with faculty while creating a close community of thinkers, believers, and doers.

IX. Phi Alpha Delta

Name: Leila Khamees

Status: Currently seeking new members

It’s specifically for people interested in law (it’s a pre-law fraternity). We learn if law school is for us, how to apply, what to expect on the LSAT and in law school. Also, we all become super close and have tons in common!

X. Phi Delta Epsilon: Pre-med fraternity

Name: Jenna Murray

Status: Currently recruiting new members (in the fall)

Phi Delta Epsilon is always looking for new members who want community and support through the pre-med process. Meet people who have taken similar classes, form study groups, and be friends!

XI. Psychology Student Ambassadors

Name: Myra Saeed

Status: Currently recruiting new members (for fall)

They should apply to Psych Ambassadors early this semester if they’re psych majors because we do a lot of working with incoming freshmen and program a lot of social and educational events. Also, we’re super tight with the department and that’s awesome!

XII. UNICEF-OSU (United Nations Children’s Fund)

Name: Caroline Tritt

Status: Currently seeking new members

This is a fantastic organization if you’re interested in children’s rights. We educate, advocate, and fundraise on behalf of the U.S. fund for UNICEF to help children in over 190 countries receive an education, get clean drinking water and nutritious foods, immunizations, help with HIV/AIDS, and provide relief in emergency situations. UNICEF is the most efficient humanitarian organization in the world and all the money we raise is doubled through an outside fund! We also talk about current issues affecting children!

 

Just remember:

It’s not too late to find your niche on campus. It’s sometimes less intimidating to join an organization in the winter because fewer events are going on than in the fall! You’ll be able to hit the ground running after summer break!” ~Stephanie Demos

 

Beat the Cold: 5 Things to Do in Columbus’ Great Indoors

No matter how long you’ve lived in Ohio — born and raised or truly new to OSU — you probably do not love the cold. We’ve all seen our newsfeeds become filled with negative comments the minute the first frost hits and first flakes of snow fall.

The freezing temperatures make it hard to muster the effort to leave your residence hall, especially if you live on the outskirts of campus. As a former Lincoln Tower resident, I understand this well.

But fear not, because Columbus offers plenty to do beyond your residence hall (but still within the warmth of the great indoors). All of these places are accessible by Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) buses; check Google Maps or a COTA schedule for details.

1. Columbus Museum of Art

Columbus-Museum-of-Art-Medium

I visited the Columbus Museum of Art just a few weekends ago, and while it’s small, it is definitely worth a trip. There is currently an exhibit called “In __ We Trust: Art and Money,” which includes a really cool mural created by thousands of pieces of dollar bills, rearranged to make new pictures. This particular exhibit is on display until March 1.

This is a great spot to take a date, to bring a friend or to visit alone. Admission is only $8 for students and the museum’s downtown location makes it a fun day trip away from campus, accessible on a budget.

2. Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

ohio-columbus-franklin-park-conservatory

Just down the street from the art museum is the ultimate place to be inside in the winter. The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens allows you to escape reality for a day and surround yourself with long-out-of-season blooming flowers and plants.

The indoor gardens and art displays are the perfect distraction from the bitter chill outside. Bring a friend for a day trip or a book to get lost in among the flowers; either way you’ll be able to transport yourself back to sunnier times. Admission is $10 for students.

3. North Market

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Already sick of the same five campus dining locations you frequent? Head downtown for the ultimate variety of food from all over the world including Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, fresh produce and other fun shops.

In addition to the fantastic food offered there, the North Market is a great place to spend the afternoon people watching, catching up with friends, or studying for class in the expansive seating area on the second floor. Head back when the weather is warm, and you can even get your meal to go and enjoy eating it in nearby Goodale Park.

4. Center of Science and Industry (COSI)

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COSI is perhaps one of the coolest places that students take the least advantage of in Columbus. For some of us, COSI is a place our Girl or Boy Scout troops visited when we were younger, while for others it’s a foreign land. But for any college student, COSI is a really cool place to learn more about science and the universe.

In addition to its exhibits on topics such as energy, space, the ocean and life, COSI recently opened its planetarium — which, though it costs $5 more to visit, includes some really interesting shows about the universe. Admission to COSI is $19 for adults and students.

5. Columbus Blue Jackets game

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If you’ve never given hockey a chance, being a student in Columbus gives you the perfect opportunity. There are two ways for students to get cheap tickets to a Blue Jackets game: with D-Tix, through the Ohio Union, and through CBJ student rush tickets.

Hockey is sometimes swept aside and is perhaps less dominant in a country (and city) obsessed with football. But now that the Buckeyes are officially done (and undisputed champions), why not check out another Columbus team? Hockey is really easy to get into, and supporting your city makes it a win-win. Games are held at Nationwide Arena downtown.

 

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.

 

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Renting Off Campus

November, like every other month, is an exciting time at Ohio State. Between the semester starting to wrap up, Beat Michigan Week, and Thanksgiving, there’s plenty to do this month on and off campus. Something else that’s exciting, but can also be incredibly stressful, is figuring out where you want to live next year.

“But Andy!” you say, “I remember move-in day like it was yesterday.  And now you expect me to already think about where I want to live next year?!”

Well anonymous voice, the good news is that if you’re choosing to return to campus and live in a residence hall again, your housing contract isn’t even issued until second semester, so you have plenty of time to decide on specifics. However, if you want to live off campus, now is the time to start looking for housing. Most rental companies are already giving tours and signing leases, so it’s in your best interest to get started now. After all, you want plenty of options when looking for your dream apartment!

Here are five essentials to keep in mind as you begin your off-campus search.

1. Establish a Price Range (and Keep Utilities and Furnishings in Mind)

To many, price is the most important criterion when looking for an apartment or house. After all, college isn’t cheap, and housing is one of the most expensive things you’ll spend your money on besides tuition. Most leasing companies allow you to search properties by cost on their website, so determine the amount you’re willing to spend every month and begin your search from there. Remember, most landlords are going to ask you to sign a lease for a full year going through the summer, so take into account an extra three months rent if you’re going to move back home. Also, don’t forget about the less obvious fees such as monthly utilities and furnishing your apartment.

2. Figure Out Your Ideal Location

There are plenty of options in terms of location depending on what is most convenient for you. If you’re a business major, consider staying north so you don’t have to walk too far to get to your classes. If being close to the Chipotle on High Street is a deal-breaker, think about staying closer to south campus.  There are even rental locations far away from campus that are available if you don’t mind driving in or taking the bus every day! If you decide to go that route, factor in the cost of a parking pass if you plan to drive to campus.

3. Don’t Forget About Laundry!

As a student in a residence hall, all it takes to do laundry is loading up your BuckID and walking down to the laundry room. However, it’s not always that simple when it comes to off-campus housing. When you look at a house, don’t forget to check whether or not there’s a laundry hookup, a common laundry area, or no laundry at all. Chances are you won’t want to have to walk or drive to a laundromat where you’re going to have to pay a higher rate than campus laundry for every load.

4. Take Full Advantage of the USG’s Renter’s Guide

Every year, OSU’s Undergraduate Student Government publishes a Renter’s Guide that provides extensive data and reviews on most rental companies with properties near campus. The guide is based on student responses to questions on topics such as rental cost and how satisfied the student was with the property and landlord. This is undoubtedly the most reliable way to learn about different landlords in the area, and with it you can see a list to compare different realty companies.

5. Don’t Hesitate to Ask OSU Student Legal Services to Look Over Your Lease

A lease is a legal contract, so once you sign it you’re obligated to follow it and are bound to its terms for the stated length. This is probably one of the first, if not the first, legal contract you’ve ever had to sign — so you want to be absolutely sure you understand and agree with everything listed, such as whether or not the landlord can increase your rent during the year you’re leasing and whether or not you have to buy something like renter’s insurance. OSU Student Legal Services staffs trained legal professionals who are here to help you, and chances are you already paid for their services in your yearly tuition.

Don’t end up with a landlord like this!

Behind the Title: Academic Advisor

One of the first people first-year students have in their corner is their academic advisor. I sat down with Shannon Peltier, an academic advisor with Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, to learn more about what advisors have to offer and why students should visit them.

What are the most common reasons students visit their advisors?

Most students see us for adding and dropping classes, and for scheduling concerns. Not enough students see us for referrals to other resources.

What resources do advisors offer that more students should utilize?

Really, students can see us for any problem, even if you’re sick for a week and miss class, we can refer you to student advocacy or elsewhere. You can come to us if you’re feeling lost, not feeling right about your major.

Really, it’s anything. If you don’t know who to ask, ask your academic advisor. We can refer you to student legal services, landlord services. We are trained to know Ohio State’s resources—emotionally and academically related—from scheduling, finding your major, interview prep, or any smaller details of your life at Ohio State.

What are some common mistake students make in their first year?

Not dropping classes they should have. As Ohio State becomes more competitive, a lot of students were in the top of their class in high school: they never had to study, never had to ask for help. Some students are too stubborn or don’t realize that dropping is an option. Editor’s note: be aware of your credit hours; dropping below full-time–12 credit hours–could impact your financial aid.

Another mistake, going along with that, is not seeking tutoring resources we have here. Some students see it as a challenge to their sense of self, to ask for help when they might benefit from it.

What would you say to a student considering changing their major?

I’d say, “Why do you want to change? What drew you to the major you have in the first place?” and then we’d look for something similar that might suit your skill sets. I’d have them talk about their long-term goals, where they see themselves in the next five years after graduation, and figure out how to help them get there.

I might also refer them to other advising offices, or to university exploration to help narrow down their choices. Another great resource is the Counseling and Consultation Service, to help with any emotional side to changing a major.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I’d have to say seeing the moment when the student “gets it”—whatever “it” is. Whether it’s a major or realizing they can start their own student organization, it’s just such a growing moment, an empowering moment for them.

What are some resources on campus that students should utilize more?

Oh, Ohio State has so many resources. I think a mistake some students make is not getting familiar enough with everything Ohio State offers. You’re not just here getting a degree, you’re crafting who you want to be. You have to think about, “where are you going?” and then find what at Ohio State can get you there.

More specifically, the Writing Center is a great tool students should take more advantage of. The Wellness Center is always doing supportive and innovative things. And we’re a research university, and more students could always be involved in undergraduate research. I don’t think some students realize how easy that is.

What is your favorite Ohio State tradition?

It might sound really corny, but the singing of Carmen Ohio on senior day at the football stadium. It’s just really beautiful—the words take on an extra depth.

What else would you like first-year students to know?

I’d like them to know that advisors want you to come see us! The days I hate are the ones with no appointments and no one to talk to. We’re here to help you gain life skills.