6 Themes Not to Miss This Semester

If you’re like us in First Year Experience, you love a good theme. Themes can take an experience from basic to amazing, and that’s why the First Year Success Series has six themes to help you have the best first semester ever. Here’s some insight into each of these themes; hopefully you will see some experiences not to be missed!

Theme #1: Academic Engagement and Career Exploration

To stay at Ohio State, you will need to be successful inside the classroom. College requires you to study smarter, learn faster, and think more critically. Once you have gotten the hang of that, you may also want to think about requirements for graduate school, internships in your field of study, or research with a faculty member. Mastering the content in this theme area grants you the opportunity to continue to explore the rest of the collegiate experience–like Welcome Week.

2014 sessions to consider:

  • A+ Research: Where Do You Start?
  • Is Your Major ‘The One’
  • Where’s Woody? Find Woody Hayes in Thompson Library
  • Study Smarter! Memory Tools for Effective Studying

Theme #2: Diversity and Global Awareness

Ohio State is pretty big–over 7,000 new students started here this fall, contributing to a total population of more than 50,000 students. With a community this size, we have people representing many cultures, genders, races, languages, sexual orientations, religions, nationalities, and experiences. Appreciating diversity means more than trying different foods or taking O-H-I-O pictures on a study abroad trip (although those are cool things that you definitely should do). Being a a member of the Buckeye family means learning about different people so that we can all advocate for each other and celebrate our differences. Sessions in this theme will help you begin to explore new cultures and issues, think about studying abroad, and connecting with others who share your identity.

2014 sessions to consider:

  • Take a Stand: A Guide to Learning about Yourself & Peers
  • Study Abroad Expo
  • How to be an Ally
  • International Coffee Hour

Theme #3: Finances

Few things are worse than getting to the end of your college experience and realizing you made poor financial decisions which will follow you long after your time at Ohio State is over. What can you do to stretch your dollar and be smart about how you plan your budget for the next fours years? Go to sessions in this theme to make smart decisions about financing your time at Ohio State.

2014 sessions to consider:

  • LANDLORDS, LEASING & LOTS MORE: Get the 43201 about Moving Off-Campus!
  • Personal Finance 101
  • Budgeting Workshop
  • Extreme Couponing

Theme #4: Health and Wellness

With all of the work you’ll do to succeed in the classroom and all of the energy you’ll put into making friends and getting involved, it’s important for you to find ways to take care of yourself; that may include eating healthy, making smart social choices, or hitting the gym. There are actually nine dimensions of wellness for you to think about as a student. Sessions in this theme will help you consider how you are taking care of yourself in each dimension to live a healthy lifestyle during your time at Ohio State.

2014 sessions to consider:

  • Party Smart
  • Counting Sheep: How Sleep Impacts Your Success
  • The Right Bite on a College Campus
  • Double Dare

Theme #5: Leadership and Civic Engagement

Were you overwhelmed by all of the opportunities you saw at the Involvement Fair or during Community Commitment? Everyone has told you to get involved, but what will that look like for you? You may want to go to sessions in this theme to think about what your leadership skills and styles look like. Then, you can think about what kinds of issues on campus or in the community matter to you, and commit yourself to those opportunities.

2014 sessions to consider:

  • Your Buckeye Leadership Plan
  • Service in Your First Year Experience
  • Becoming a Nut
  • How to Avoid Poverty Tourism

Theme #6: Buckeye Book Community

All members of the class of 2018 read The Glass Castle this summer…what a great conversation starter at a table in Kennedy Commons! Maybe you and your newfound friend will decide to attend one of the many Success Series sessions where you will have the chance to talk about the themes of the book. The book’s author, Jeannette Walls, comes to campus on September 23!

2014 sessions to consider:

  • An Evening with Jeannette Walls
  • A Different Look at The Glass Castle
  • Pastries and Perspective: The Glass Castle
  • What’s in a question? Research questions and The Glass Castle

Are you ready to check out these themes? Visit go.osu.edu/FYSS and register for your Peer Leader workshop before September 12 to learn more about the First Year Success Series from upperclass students!

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:

Traffic lights: A guide for First Year success

Two days of orientation have passed and now we’re here at day three. With that comes three tidbits of information for students to utilize during their first year at Ohio State, using a traffic light analogy.

RED: It’s true that through all of the opportunities and resources available to first-year students, there are some boundaries and things that students should avoid. One thing that I would discourage a student from doing in their first year is skipping class! Although you may accidentally sleep through an alarm, just like unintentionally running through a red light, keep in mind one thing: classes in college are fast-paced and rigorous. Attending class can make a huge difference in your success in college and your final grade. That being said, professors know the difficulty of the material and offer additional resources to students outside of class such as:

  1. Office hours: hours set aside for students to meet with their professor in his or her office and ask questions about class content
  2. Review sessions: meetings held before large tests or exams in order to review content that may be included on the test
  3. Teaching Assistants: people pursuing a professional degree in the content related to your class who assist the professors, offer their own office hours and teach students during recitations (smaller classes affiliated with a lecture)

Each resource works to ensure students are able to understand the material completely and thoroughly. But if you are forced to miss a class, the last thing you should do is PANIC! Many professors have policies in place regarding class absences and acceptable excuses. They will be as accommodating as they can to make sure you succeed, so make sure you do everything possible to be present, and communicate if for some reason you are unable to attend class.

YELLOW: Everyone has his or her own comfort zone but I’ve been told that nothing ever grows in a comfort zone. In your first year at Ohio State (as well as the years to follow), stepping out of your comfort zone is crucial to developing as an independent and unique individual. For those who may feel more comfortable surrounded by groups of people, I challenge you to step outside this protective layer of friends. Do not be afraid to take on a meeting, project, or initiative solo. Many new students are nervous to participate in activities by themselves, but taking it upon yourself to be proactive can pay off in your personal independence, belief in yourself and expansion of your knowledge. When coming to Ohio State we are all heavily concerned about our social life, but don’t be afraid to be comfortable with yourself and take that time necessary to recoup, learn your personal strengths and make some quality “me-time.”

GREEN: Now that we got the hard part out the way we can delve into being proactive and outlining what a student should definitely take on and do in their first year. Although every first-year student is going to hear this a billion times, I cannot stress enough the importance of GETTING INVOLVED on campus. Even making it all capital letters doesn’t do it justice. Every student has heard how getting involved can benefit your social network, allow you to gain leadership experience and be a part of something with a purpose and goal. Although all of these points are true, in addition, when you get involved on campus you can benefit from everything Ohio State has to offer, especially real world experience. Each student organization is almost like a small business and every one has responsibilities to ensure prosperity and success with their goals. These experiences are prevalent throughout Ohio State but each student club on campus offers a variety of lessons and experiences for students to apply after graduation and that is an invaluable opportunity that no one can pass up.

Hopefully the information above helps if you’re an incoming first-year student, especially if you are anxious, nervous, or scared about your transition from these summer months to your first semester as a Buckeye. Granted, these tips are not finite! There is so much Ohio State has to offer and a multitude of decisions that students will have to make during their time as a college student.

I hope you get started in the right direction on your path of success during your time here at Ohio State. Go Bucks!

Friday’s post is going to come from Mackenzie Hogan; she will describe five ways to meet other first-year students at orientation as your college journey begins to unfold!

One Orientation | One University

Seven thousand new, first-year students. Nearly 10,000 family members. Over 400 buildings spread across more than 1,700 acres. Thirty-six days of orientation. Twenty-eight orientation programs. Twenty-four Orientation Leaders.

One summer.

One Ohio State Class of 2018.

One university.

Today begins my tenth summer of working with new student orientation at Ohio State. I could (and would) go on and on about the history of our orientation program (it used to be called Freshman Week and it started in 1927..but I digress), but instead I will take this opportunity to highlight the myriad ways in which orientation is the embodiment of one university on this day one of orientation 2014.

The numbers above don’t lie: orientation brings together a bunch of people and they travel all over campus in a relatively short period of time. Daunting? Perhaps. Overwhelming? At times. I say this not to deter you from ever coming to campus (or to second guess your commitment to Ohio State — you are ready to be a Buckeye!), but to prepare you for what awaits you upon your arrival. Ohio State is a large, complex institution; its resources and opportunities are vast and multifaceted. Successful students are those who learn to navigate those resources and opportunities early on, and that learning begins at orientation.

Orientation is your first exposure to all that Ohio State has to offer. Throughout your two days of orientation, you will:

  • meet and mingle with other incoming students, upperclass students, faculty and staff
  • register for autumn semester classes and learn more about what is expected of you in a college classroom
  • hear about opportunities for co-curricular involvement on campus and in the surrounding Columbus community
  • become familiar with policies and procedures surrounding the business of being an Ohio State student
  • begin to navigate the physical (and conceptual) layout of campus

It sounds like a lot…and that’s because there is a lot that goes into a university like Ohio State. But it’s nothing you can’t handle, and we’re prepared to support you along the way. All across campus, individuals who care about the successful transition of new students (YOU!) collaborate to make sure orientation runs smoothly all summer (disclaimer: we can’t do anything about the humidity…sorry). When I say that orientation embodies the one university mantra, I truly mean it.

Although you’ll interact with different personnel from different offices and departments — academic advisors, hall directors, FYE staff members, Campus Dining employees, specialists in the Student Service Center, staff in Recreational Sports and the Ohio Union, etc. — believe and take comfort in the fact that we are all contributing to something bigger than ourselves, to one university, to your university, to your Ohio State experience. 

This summer’s blog contributors — our incredible team of Orientation Leaders — will be challenging one another to post content about orientation, the first year of college, and Ohio State (all for your benefit, written from the perspective of someone who has been in your shoes). The terms of this challenge are that, a) each post must correspond to whichever day of orientation we’re on in the summer and, b) the current blogger issues the challenge for the next blogger.

For day three of orientation on Wednesday, the talented Jay Seetharaman will blog about the three ways in which the first year of college is like a traffic light. It has the potential to be a CAUTIONARY tale that will STOP you in your tracks, so be ready to GO.