Getting off the struggle bus

For the past few months, much of what you’ve heard from Peer Leaders is GET INVOLVED. TIME MANAGEMENT. CAMPUS RESOURCES. To be honest, even Peer Leaders need to take the time to get our lives on campus right, because trust me when I tell you that we’re nowhere NEAR perfect. I’ve had the pleasure of studying architecture during my time here at Ohio State. When you hear about architecture you probably think about 1 of 2 things:

  1. How time intensive it is. Don’t you, like, live in Knowlton? It’s literally the number one question I get when I mention what I’m majoring in, and with good reason. Having a 4.5 hour studio class three times a week will do that to you. I LOVE what I do though, and I couldn’t be happier with it.
  2. Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother. Enough said.

ted


Like many of you, classes take up a good chunk of my time. Bring in work at First Year Experience and my involvement with my church on campus and I’ve got little to no time to really do anything else! When things are going right, having such a busy schedule works out great for me as I’m at my best when I’m really productive. It’s when tough times outside of school and work come up like they have in recent weeks that it feels like the wheels could easily fly off of the proverbial wagon that is my life. There’s a fine line between being busy and chaotic, so when things aren’t going my way, life definitely moves closer to that side of the spectrum, especially without people who can share in your experiences. I’m really fortunate to have such a strong support system, but even if that isn’t there for you I’m here to share a few things that have really helped me to keep on keeping on when times get rough.

Self reflection

I tend to find it much easier to put off problems until they disappear. Recently though, I’ve gained such an appreciation for self-reflection when it comes to dealing with things going on in my life. I found it super helpful just listening to my favorite songs whenever I could, mostly to get my mind off of things, but also to put me in a frame of mind to be able to figure out what was going on in my life. Whether it’s journaling or just getting some alone time, self-reflection is a really great way to be able to not only face these matters head on, but also to begin thinking about ways to resolve or move on from them.

Talk about it!

After taking the time to sort my thoughts, getting the opportunity to talk with someone about what’s going on in my life was the most therapeutic thing that I ended up doing to help me move forward. One of the other Peer Leaders, Caitlin, was kind enough to lend a listening ear for me. Lots of us talk with our friends about things going on in life to hopefully gain some encouragement or insight of what to do, but in all honesty, the most helpful part was just the fact that she was there for me. Find that listening ear; whether it’s your roommate, RA, classmate, or whomever, speaking your mind to someone is so important.

(Some of you may not have anyone that you’re quite comfortable doing that with here on campus, so I’d encourage you to reach out to a Peer Leader, yours or otherwise. We’re all about helping you, and we’d be more than happy to be that listening ear for you! My email is included below, and I’d be more than happy to either be that person for you or connect you with another Peer Leader on staff if you’d like!)

Push through

The most important part about the process of getting through a rough patch is just that, getting through the rough patch. For me, if it wasn’t for the courage to face those issues head on, and the support of those around me, there’s a good possibility that I’d be stuck in the negative frame of mind that I was in, and I would’ve fallen so far behind in school and at work that it would’ve been an uphill battle from there on out. Of course, all of my life’s problems aren’t resolved as of today, but knowing that I’m more than capable of getting through some of the most difficult few weeks that I’ve been through (so far) is something that I’ll be able to take with me for the rest of my life.

Contact Jon at decipeda.1s@osu.edu.

Bad Grade? Bounce Back in 5 Steps!

Now that the first round of midterms is almost over, you’ve probably started to get your first midterm grades back. If you didn’t do as well as you expected on an exam, don’t be discouraged! Taking college exams is not an easy task, especially if you’ve never taken one before. Now that you are more familiar of how an actual college exam works, let’s take some time to reflect on how you can improve the next time around!

Here are some tips that I have found helpful after getting a disappointing grade on a midterm.

Talk to your instructor

Stop by office hours and go over your exam with the instructor. This is really helpful because you’ll be able to go over your mistakes and find out why your answers were incorrect. Make sure to ask questions and always ask to clarify a topic that you do not completely understand. Your professors are always willing to give you guidance on how to approach their class, so don’t be afraid to reach out to them!

Develop new study habits

In high school, you may not have studied much for midterms. In college, studying may require hours at Thompson Library, memorizing pages of notes and study guides. This is not always the most effective way to study the material. In my time as a college student, I’ve learned that it’s not about how long you study, but rather how well you study. The Dennis Learning Center in the Younkin Success Center has several student resources for effective study skills. You can also attend Use Your Brain! Memory Tools for Effective Studying (register through the First Year Success Series) if you want to learn a new way to study!

Make use of the resources on campus

Ohio State has so many resources on campus. The university wants its students to succeed above and beyond and it is only fitting that we use these resources to our advantage. Check out these campus tutoring centers (if you haven’t already) for help with subjects that many students study in their first year.

Campus Tutoring

Hold yourself accountable

Too often we place the blame on the professor with a different accent, or on our friends for distracting us, but we need to be the one to take responsibility for the disappointing grade. Placing the blame on someone or something else is counterproductive because then you will never be able to recognize how you can do better in the future! If you do get a bad grade, it’s okay to be upset about it, but then try to find ways to improve yourself. The best way to deal with a bad grade is to put in the effort to do things differently and to strive even harder the next time for the grade you feel like you deserve.

Stay motivated

Getting your first bad grade on an exam can make you rethink a lot of things in life: your major, your career choice, and maybe even your time here at Ohio State. Don’t fret! Everyone struggles with staying motivated at one time or another…I know I still do! Just know that we can get through this together! I found this article about staying motivated in college to be helpful.

The most successful students are the ones who ask for help when they need it! Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support, whether it’s from your professor, your TA, your RA or even your Peer Leader. Just know that together, we are all here to help you pave your path to success! Stay positive, work hard and make it happen!