2016/2017 Retrospective

Four awesome things and four sucky things from my junior year

Math minor

I officially declared and officially finished my math minor! My math class was hard, and at the beginning of the semester I thought about dropping it, but I pushed through and I made it out with a B, which is a grade that I am extremely proud of!

This was probably one of the biggest highlights of my year just because of the struggles I went through in my math classes previously. I started out as a math major, and after getting a couple Cs in my courses and really struggling to stay motivated, I realized math wasn’t for me. This was hard to come to terms with because I felt that by not completing my math degree, I was failing myself. I had always based my self-worth on my intelligence and math skills, and to suddenly feel like I wasn’t good enough took a toll on my self-esteem. By completing my math minor, I was able to reassure myself that I am intelligent and that I can succeed.

Volunteering

I completed 50 hours of training and started volunteering for the Suicide Hotline in Columbus! This is something I have been trying to do for over a year, but it never worked with my schedule. Finally, I felt comfortable enough in my own mental health and had the ability to fit it into my schedule.

Several years ago I needed a suicide hotline, and now to give back, it feels as if I am helping my 15-year-old self get through those tough times. I see myself in every caller, and it just makes the experience of volunteering that much more meaningful to me.

Involvement

I was re-elected onto the executive board of Pride OSU and will now serve as the Vice President of this student organization. This student org. has given me so many great friends and a better confidence in who I am.

Freshman me was so nervous about coming out of the closet, and Pride OSU gave me a place to really figure out myself and feel comfortable that it is okay to be gay. Having a space that I didn’t have to pretend made all the difference when I decided to come out to my other friends and my family.

Summer plans

I decided to go to Europe for a month this summer. Bought a plane ticket to Paris for May 4! Having summer plans made getting through this semester just that much easier since I always have something to look forward to.

Relationship issues

I had been in a relationship for over 5 ½ years until just last month. Overall, it was a difference in values that ended our relationship. We had just each changed too much in different directions to make it work anymore. But I think that the timing of it was perfect. I had so many people that were supportive and I have so many things to look forward to. I have always been a very independent person, so I have a lot of things that I did on my own that gave me a sense of self-worth. Break-ups are almost a universal reality, but they don’t have to be all that bad. In some ways, this was a sucky thing, but it also was an awesome thing, too.

Money issues

Okay I will totally own up to the fact that I am bringing my own money issues onto myself. I mean, I am taking a month-long vacation to Europe. Mainly, this has been a challenge for me because it is the first big purchase that I have had to budget for. Budgeting is hard. I also have to think about what my finances are going to look like for my senior year of college and then what that means for my post-grad education and career. It feels like the rest of my life is right in front of me. And that’s scary.

Self care

With depression, suddenly even the littlest things like showering and doing laundry become arduous tasks. One missed class becomes two, which becomes three, and suddenly the grades are dropping. Self-care is hard to keep up on, but it is so important. I’ve learned that the best self-care is preventative: setting up things in advance to make sure any breakdown is a minor one.

Just school in general

We can all agree that school is difficult. And sometimes life gets in the way, whether it’s a family emergency, a really bad case of the sniffles, or several professors conspiring to make all your assignments due the same exact day (ya feel?). From my experience, junior year has the most difficult classes and is the last year that grad schools will see grades from, so the pressure to do your best is the highest.

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.

Build a Better Body Image

Winter Blues

From being cooped up inside all of the time and practically living inside your parka, it is easy to feel the blues–especially when it comes to body image. Negative self-talk can be prominent in these winter months, especially as we approach spring break. I have heard all types of conversations in the dining halls, with the most popular tagline being,

I can’t eat this cookie because of my spring break bod.

I see people I know picking out parts of their bodies they do not like, exercising extreme amounts, and fantasizing over the sculpted and tan bodies of celebrities in magazines and on TV. With half of semester under your belt, I wanted to pose this question: How do you feel about yourself?

The real truth

It is easy to feel like you are the only one suffering from poor body image, but it is more prevalent than you thought–especially on college campuses. Here are some statistics from a body image campaign through dosomething.org:

  • About 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to measures to achieve the body size they desire
  • Only 5% of women are naturally born with the body type portrayed in media
  • Men feel just as pressured by media and can feel inadequate about their bodies

Steps you can take today to have a better body image

The National Eating Disorders Association website has many resources on how to develop a better self-body image. Here are a few steps that you can take today to feel better about yourself:

  1. View yourself as a whole person. You are one complete individual, not just separate parts. Refrain from picking out certain parts of your body and realize that you are one cohesive unit.
  2. Find joy in all that you can do, from having the best laugh, scoring an A on your last chemistry midterm, or being a good friend. Think about the areas where you shine and make others and yourself happy.
  3. Surround yourself with people who make you happy. Being around people who are negative can really bring you down. Take action and be with people who boost your mood and lift you up.
  4. Be critical of social media. Just by scrolling through Instagram, you might think that some of your followers have perfect lives based on their social media photos. Realize that people don’t typically post about their bad days, and that photos can often be distorted. Magazines and TV shows can also display perfection and distortion of real life. Interested in learning more about the feelings behind social media? Read a great blog post.
  5. Write down things you love about yourself on Post-it notes and stick them on your mirror or computer for a daily reminder that you have so much to offer.
  6. Wear clothes that you feel comfortable and happy in. Wear your favorite color, or those shoes you feel amazing in.
  7. Always remember that there is something to be thankful for–whether that is being a Buckeye, having supportive friends, and the opportunity to attend such a great university!

Resources for you

Be sure to know when it is important to work with a professional. Here are some campus resources if you would like to seek additional information and help.

When Stress is Too Much

School is stressful. And having a little bit of stress in your life is good—it keeps you motivated and makes life interesting. But too much stress can be unhealthy. And other times, stress is a symptom, not the problem. So, when is stress too much to handle and when is it time to figure things out? Well, let’s take a look at a couple indicators of when you might need to take your stress to a doctor.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and what I say should not be used as a reason to NOT go to a doctor. If you have any question about it at all, it is better to get it sorted out as soon as possible!

Symptoms

Here’s the real deal: typical stress has a lot of the same symptoms as many other underlying causes. Take clinical depression, for example (I am EXTREMELY passionate about depression). Both stress and depression share the symptoms of feeling bad about yourself, avoiding others, feeling overwhelmed and a lack of control, and becoming easily agitated or moody. A lot of other physical health issues have similar symptoms, as well. So, how do you know whether stress is the problem or if stress is just a symptom? My general rule of thumb for this is if you experience five differences between your normal self and your “stressed out” self, you should see a doctor. For me, if I am experiencing a difficult time sleeping, a lack of motivation, an agitated mood, and two other symptoms, I know that I need to go to my doctor! Once again, this is not all-encompassing. Even if you have just one symptom, you still have reason to go see a doctor. Always check with your doctor if you have any concerns.

Time period

Stress is usually dependent on the stressors of your life. These stressors may include family or social pressures, upcoming midterms or assignments, a lack of sleep, etc. But when the stress lasts even after the stressor is gone, you might want to take a closer look at it. My general rule of thumb is two weeks, but this is just a recommendation. If you notice any of the symptoms talked about previously that last more than two weeks, check with your doctor!

How it affects your daily life

Especially regarding mental health, a big factor in treatment is how your life is affected by the illness. But for anything in life–if you notice a decline in your grades, a decline in enjoyment in fun activities, or a decline in your social life–it may be a reason to check with your doctor. Stress should only impact your life in minor ways. In my experience, the agitated mood I used to get would negatively impact my relationships with everyone I interacted with on a daily basis. And when I realized that I was losing my friends because of my mood, I realized I needed to make a change!

And finally…

Whether the issue is stress or something more, there is help available! Check out the many resources the Counseling and Consultation Services has to offer by going to their website or by going to Let’s Talk, which offers free and confidential drop-in consultations in the Lower Level Meeting Room at the Union on Thursdays from 2:30-4:30. Or go to the Wilce Student Health Center for a check-up and overall health care. You can make an appointment online, by phone, or in person. Maybe you just need some time to relax and destress or learn about stress and time management. If this is the case, you can check out the First Year Success Series to register for a session, and get credit for your survey class!

Being stressed out in college is normal–but not a reason to deny yourself help if you become over-stressed or if you need some time to de-stress. Being proactive and listening to your body will benefit you in the long run, especially if something else is contributing to your feelings of stress. Put your wellness in a professionals hands. Your future self will thank your present self.

Check Your Wellness

Whenever we run into someone we know, often the first question is, how are you doing? The standard reply is usually along the lines of good, fine, well, etc. Do you ever stop to think about it and answer honestly? I know I normally don’t.

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Ohio State’s Student Wellness Center splits wellness into 9 dimensions and there are many resources at Ohio State and in Columbus you can use to improve your wellness:

Emotional Wellness–Do you express your emotions in a healthy way? Can you identify your feelings?

Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS)–Free to students! CCS helps with stress management, anxiety, depression, relationship problems, life transitions, identity exploration, substance use, eating concerns, feeling overwhelmed, and academic adjustments.

Career Wellness–This can be about your job, your major, or your involvement. Do you enjoy the work you put into everything?

Career Counseling and Support Services (CCSS)–CCSS can assist with “personal concerns related to career decision making, clarification of career goals, exploration of career/major options, and guidance in development of necessary tools (resumes, cover letters, interviewing, personal statements).”

Dennis Learning Center–Can help with academic motivation, time management, and strategies for self-regulation, test-prep, test-taking, note-taking, and reading through academic classes they offer, one-on-one appointments, and workshops.

Tutoring Resources – Math, Physics, and Chemistry tutoring happens in both Younkin and the residence halls. The Math and Statistics Learning Center has tutoring for math and statistics classes. The General Chemistry Learning Resource Center has tutoring hours for general chemistry courses. The Department of Physics has tutoring hours for physics courses. The Economics Learning Center has peer tutoring. If you need help with a writing assignment The Writing Center and MARS (Mobile Assistance with Research Students) is available! When in doubt, talk to your professor or TA!

Social Wellness–Do you have a support system built on trust and respect? Are you sensitive and aware towards the feelings of others?

Have fun with friends, new and old–Dtix has a lot of discounts for cool places in Columbus. Ask people if they want to go to a Blue Jackets game, grab some Jeni’s, or go to Skyzone! Try to get people from your floor to go see one of the OUAB Flicks for Free on Wednesday nights or sing like nobody’s listening at karaoke night in Woody’s (the remaining karaoke night themes are Boy Bands, Taylor Swift, and Buckeye Spirit)!

Get Involved–Try going to different student organization meetings. All of the organizations are listed online where you can sort through by type and it has their contact information in case you have any questions!

Spiritual Wellness–This doesn’t have to relate directly to your religious (or non-religious) beliefs. Do you seek harmony and balance by  exploring the depth of human purpose, meaning, and connection? Maybe service is how you seek that balance.

Pay It Forward–Volunteer around Columbus with other Ohio State students!

Physical Wellness–Do you get an adequate amount of sleep, eat well, engage in exercise for 150 minutes per week, attend regular medical check-ups, and practice safe and healthy sexual relations?

The Student Wellness Center–Online resources can be found at link. You can sign up for a free nutrition counseling session on their site as well.

Group Fitness–Check out the group fitness classes offered by Ohio State.

Student Health Services–Schedule an appointment to get a flu shot or a check up. Complete your vaccination paperwork!

Financial Wellness–Are you aware of your finances? Can you manage them?

Scarlet and Gray Financial–Have a one-on-one meeting with a peer financial coach to learn more about banking, budgeting, and goal setting.

Intellectual Wellness–Do you try to learn new things and expand your worldview?

Ohio State and Columbus events–Dtix has tickets for different performances. The Wexner Center for the Arts has documentaries, artist talks, and performances. Ohio State’s Multicultural Center hosts events throughout the semester. Embrace your interests and your curiosity!

Creative Wellness–Do you value and seek out a range of arts and cultural experiences?

Off the Lake Productions–This is a student-run musical theater group at The Ohio State University who have multiple performances throughout the year. Get involved or just enjoy the show!

Search out events in Columbus and Ohio State–Dtix has tickets to concerts and performances throughout the semester. Explore the exhibits at the Wexner. Venture out to see local bands! Create something yourself. Whatever interests you, expand on that.

Environmental Wellness–Do you want to improve the environment? Do you appreciate the connection between nature and individuals?

Adventure Trips and Clinics – Go enjoy the outdoors with other Ohio State students! Or just chill on the Oval or visit a local park if that’s what you like.

Everyone’s wellness is different. The Student Wellness Center has an online assessment for you to assess your own. They also provide Wellness Coaching, a free service helps you become aware regarding your capacity to create the life you want to live, both now and in the future.

Six Snacking Tips for the Hungry College Student

It is certainly that time of the semester where my planner is chock-full of assignments, exams, and student organization meetings. In the midst of a busy semester, it is easy to take short cuts when it comes to your health and nutritional needs. If you are anything like me, I am constantly hungry. Three o’clock rolls around and I am ready for a boost of energy to get me through the day. Here are some tips and tools to arm you with the knowledge you need when hunger strikes.

Morgan blog

Be Proactive

My best piece of advice would be to be proactive. It is easy to grab unhealthy snacks such as chips, cookies, and other processed foods because they are convenient and prepackaged. However, there are alternatives that are more health conscious and will keep you fuller.

When I lived on campus, I would go to one of the campus market locations (Union Market, Curl Market, and Marketplace) and stock my Microfridge with containers of fresh cut berries, yogurt parfaits, and small salads. When a craving would strike, I would already be prepared with healthy options in my own room.

Watch Your Portion Size

Always remember, a snack is NOT a meal. A snack should be something to keep you focused throughout the day–not a meal replacement.

Keep portions small and pay attention to serving sizes. Check out the nutrition label on the back and estimate what a serving would be. It is so easy to mindlessly eat and all of the sudden the whole bag is gone. Oops!

Pack with Care

You might be on-the-go like me or a commuter student who brings your lunch and snacks to school. It is important to pack your snacks safely to avoid food spoilage.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, perishable items such as cheese, meats, and yogurts should not be left out for more than two hours. Make sure you pack snacks with a cold pack and in an insulated container to ensure safe snacking on the go.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is so important, especially since we’re hiking around campus all day. It is a great idea to carry a water bottle in your backpack–there are many convenient water bottle filling stations all around campus and in residence halls.

Stick to water instead of surgery sweetened beverages. If you crave fizz, try flavored sparkling water.

Look Out for Sugar Bombs

You might be surprised to learn that your favorite granola and protein bars might have as much sugar as a candy bar. The food industry is really sneaky at adding extra sugar to foods and advertising them as “healthy.”

A great alternative would be to snack on fresh fruit with natural sugar and nut butters to give you the boost you need. For example, apples and peanut butter is a delicious snack.

When in Doubt, Consult an Expert

If you are unsure of your specific caloric needs or need help navigating campus dining, it is always best to consult an expert. A Registered Dietitian (RD) is a nutrition expert that can help you with your specific dietary needs.

Fortunately at Ohio State, there are many resources here to help you. Check out the Student Wellness Center located inside the RPAC for nutrition coaching.

From one food lover to another, happy snacking!

Behind the Organization: The Student Wellness Center

One of the most easily confused and under-utilized resources on campus is the Student Wellness Center, on the main floor of the RPAC. This center may seem small from the outside, but it houses many offices, countless resources and is supported by over 200 peer volunteers.

I sat down with Blake Marble, one of the assistant directors, and Todd Gibbs, the Wellness Coaching program coordinator, to learn more about what the Student Wellness Center has to offer and why students should access its many resources.

Part I: The Wellness Center

For those who are unfamiliar with the Student Wellness Center, can you explain what exactly this center is and does for students?

Blake: “The Student Wellness Center works to educate students about wellness topics and wellness issues. We focus on education, prevention and raising awareness. We are oftentimes confused with Student Health Services. We don’t provide any clinical, medical care or anything like that; we focus on the education piece.

“One of the main things to know about our office is that we are very student-driven. A lot of our one-on-one services are facilitated by students, so it’s students helping students, and that’s one of the main pieces we focus on here because we want to give our students the opportunity to develop those skills to help each other.”

What are the most common reasons students visit the Student Wellness Center?

Blake: “I think there are three main reasons students come to the Student Wellness Center:

1. One is for the excellent one-on-one services we provide students, the personal one-on-one conversation.

2. (Another reason) is for our workshops and presentations; we give over 150 educational workshops each semester.

3. Lastly, to get involved. We have over 200 students who are trained to volunteer in a variety of different ways at the Wellness Center — in all of our one-on-one services (Scarlet And Grey Financial, Nutrition Coaching, alcohol and other drug one-on-one educational sessions, HIV/STI testing, and Wellness Coaching).”

What kinds of programs do student volunteers help with?

Blake: “Every single one of (these programs) has a peer education component to them. We have students who are trained to facilitate all of those one-on-one conversations with students. Students are also involved in giving those presentations to a variety of groups and organizations across campus.

“All volunteers go through extensive training about other resources outside of the Student Wellness Center, to help refer students to outside resources if needed.”

What are your numbers of students and staff?

Blake: “We have around 10-11 full-time staff members, with program coordinators all specializing in different areas and a tad over 200 student volunteers (some graduate level, majority undergraduate level).”

*Interested students who have a passion for helping others can become trained volunteers at the Wellness Center. Often, students in Fisher who desire to one day become financial advisors get involved in Scarlet And Grey Financial Services, and many Public Health students look to become Wellness Coaches. However, the Wellness Center eagerly accepts students from any background or major! If you have a passion for helping others, consider the incredible opportunity! Interested in getting involved? Get started here!

What resources does the Student Wellness Center offer that more students should utilize?

Blake: “Every single one of them. There’s so many here, and I’ll say the one thing that I tell students in every workshop and conversation that I have with them: ‘You’re at a point in your life as an Ohio State student that you have more resources available to you free of charge than you probably will again in your life, and odds are you can walk to just about all of them within about 10 minutes. So no matter what it is that you want to work on within your own personal life – there’s someone here to help you, so use those resources.”

“We see thousands of students every year for one-on-one sessions but we always want more students to come.”

Are there any new programs students should know about?

“I would say one of the newest programs that we have that has really taken off over the past year or so is our Wellness Coaching program. But it’s basically a strengths-based approach to wellness. So it’s a one-on-one coaching session where students can come in wellness coaching regarding anything, any types of issues that they’re having, any obstacles they have in their life… (Wellness Coaching) has a strength-based component to it; you take a strengths finder before you come in, and then use those strengths to then meet your goals in life — to really maximize your potential.”

*The Wellness Center partners with all student life programs including CCS, Student Health Services, refer back and forth based on how to best meet the needs of the students coming in.

What are some common challenges students face in their first year? 

Blake: “I immediately think about the transition from high school to college. But with that come many challenges relating to personal wellbeing or personal wellness. Some of the things that I automatically think of are stress and time management, and these things affect your emotional wellness and stuff like that. There are so many changes and decisions your first year that it comes down to prioritizing the things in your life and not letting it overwhelm you at times.

“A lot of it too is finding that social support system around you. I think a lot of students come from high school and are challenged with coming to such a big place and finding that support group within Ohio State and it can be kind of overwhelming at times. So a lot of it is that social-emotional aspect of it and finding where you fit in and understanding that college is a place to explore different things, get involved in different areas, but also being strategic about that.”

What would you say to a student who’s going through some of those transitional issues and is perhaps hesitant about addressing those problems?

Blake: “We all face challenges on a daily basis, it matter of how we approach those challenges and the way that we view things in our lives and put things in perspective. But one of the things I tell students on a daily basis, no matter what it is or what they’re working on or what they’re challenged with, just utilize the resources that are available to you. Whether that’s the Student Health Center, FYE, counseling (CCS), anything on campus, just utilize the resources that are available to you. All of our students and staff are trained in resources outside of our office so if maybe we can’t answer all the questions or maybe we’re not the people that are trained to help you in one specific area but we can connect you to the people and resources that are.”

What would you say is the program area that students access the most?

Blake: “Honestly, the most foot traffic we probably get on a weekly basis is Condom Club. It’s quick, easy, accessible, and one of our resources that student utilize the most.”

“Some people think that’s all we do (laughing). It’s a struggle at times but it gets them through the door and they then learn about all the other things that we do.”

For students who may be apprehensive about asking for help, how can they take that first step?

  • Email
  • Schedule appointment online
  • Connect through peers

Blake: “Research has shown that students feel more comfortable talking to other students about different things that they’re dealing with in their lives and that’s been one of the reasons that we have so many students that go through extensive training on this, but we also do have experts in each of these areas that help reach out to those students if needed.”

“There’s a lot of stigmas associated with wellness issues, and we’re trying to break down those walls on a daily basis and we’re trying to approach things from a different perspective that might help reduce those stigmas a little bit.”

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

Blake: “We’re here to help, I just want students to know that. And everything we do is free too, everything is free of charge. You pay for it in your student fees, but nothing that we do cost money, so we want students to really utilize these resources.”

Appointments: After you reach out to make an appointment, most appointments are 45 minutes to an hour long.

Blake: “We usually can see students within a week or so (of their initial call) for their session — so it’s a pretty quick turn around.”

Some services do have some pre-appointment components for students to fill out prior to an appointment:

Part II. Wellness Coaching

Nutrition Coaching, Financial Coaching… but what really is Wellness Coaching?

Wellness Coaching is one of many services available through the Wellness Center. However, Wellness Coaching specifically focuses on the nine different dimensions of wellness using a strengths-based model. 

Todd: “We think that challenges are just part of being human. So if people can identify their strengths and start to use them to move toward the goals they have for their wellness, then lots of good things can happen. That’s what we do.”

Coaching vs. Counseling

Todd: “Our coaches are largely peers rather than medical professionals.”

Counseling: Uses medical model: diagnose the problem then treat it.

Coaching: Uses strengths and positive psychology to look at what’s going right with people, not what’s going wrong

What are the top wellness areas (out of the nine dimensions of wellness) that students seek help through wellness coaching?

Blake: “Two of the top areas that students want to focus on more are social wellness and emotional wellness.”

 Q: Why do students typically face emotional wellness concerns? 

A: Stresses of finding a major or making life decisions.

Todd: “I think that you can feel (stressed, overwhelmed, anxious) if you don’t know that you’re capable of navigating through those transitions. It can pose a real threat.”

“I think that’s what’s at the core of the coaching, helping people see that ‘Oh I am someone that can make the decisions for my life and who knows what I really care about and value so I can find my way through that, so now I don’t get quite as stressed or as anxious when I run into those things in the future.’”

Attempting to be well in all nine dimensions can be overwhelming:

Todd: “When you improve your wellness in any area, it improves your wellness overall … If it matters to you and you invest in your wellness in that area, it is going to have nothing but benefits for you in that area, whether it’s something you are already strong in, or an area where you think you need more improvement.”

More information:

Student Wellness Center Hours:

Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Four Meals I Should Have Done Differently

Now that March has arrived, I’m beginning to feel the excitement for spring and summer months ahead. This is also the time of year when I realize how my poor winter habits have caught up with me. Specifically, how my love of comfort foods tends to spike during the cold winter months. If you’re like me, you might have put on a layer—or two—of “insulation” after giving into cravings for pasta, cheese, and warm chocolate chip cookies. It is difficult to choose to eat a salad for dinner on a freezing, snowy day when you could choose a warm, creamy bowl of pasta instead. Am I right?

When I was an Ohio State student using the meal plan, I found it difficult to make healthy eating choices when there were other seemingly more delicious–and often unhealthy–options right in front of me. After surrendering to my lack of willpower for most of my freshman year (circa 2007), I wish I could go back in time and knock some sense into my 18-year-old self.

Below I listed some of my favorite campus meals that made up my typical diet as a first-year student at Ohio State…yes, some of the same menu items have been around this long! Then I listed some alternatives that I wish I would have eaten instead. Shout out to this nutrition calculator for showing the nutrition facts for all of these campus meals! For the sake of this post, I included calorie counts for the meals below.

Breakfast at The Ohio Union 

(Although the Union did not open until my third year at Ohio State, this is what I likely would have eaten as a first-year student…)

My typical meal choice at Sloopy’s:

  • Two chocolate pancakes: 1,018
  • Orange juice: 110
  • TOTAL: 1,128 calories

What I could eat at Espress-OH instead:

  • Regular coffee with cream and Splenda: 80
  • Banana: 105
  • 1 cup of dry Cheerios: 110
  • TOTAL: 295 calories

Snack at the 18th Avenue Library

Typical snack choice:

  • Large frozen mocha: 738 calories

What I could eat instead:

  • Sliced apples & peanut butter: 209 calories

Lunch on North Campus

My typical meal choice at North Commons (based on today’s menu):

  • Parmesan crusted chicken: 420
  • Italian vegetable mix: 42
  • Chicken tortilla soup: 97
  • Chocolate milk: 232
  • Two chocolate chip cookies: 281
  • TOTAL: 1,070 calories

What I could eat instead at Oxley’s By the Numbers:

  • Pretzel club sub: 592
  • Water: 0
  • TOTAL: 592 calories

Dinner at MarketPlace on Neil

My typical meal choice:

  • Chicken pesto alfredo rotini, large (#8): 962
  • Sprite: 253
  • TOTAL: 1,215 calories

What I could eat instead:

  • Chicken Caesar Wrap: 680
  • Berry cup: 102
  • Water: 0
  • TOTAL: 782 calories

After a full day of making these “typical” meal choices, I would have consumed 4,151 calories, but an entire day of choosing the alternate meal options would have brought me to 1,879 calories total.  

I should also note another valuable resource here: this calorie calculator can estimate the suggested amount of calories a person should ideally consume per day based on his/her age, size, and lifestyle.  Maybe a 6’5″ athlete could survive on a 4,000 calorie diet…but I, standing at 5′ 0″, would not fare so well on this diet. After using that calorie calculator for myself, it’s no wonder why my 18-year-old eating habits impacted my body in the ways they did.

Disclaimer: Remember that calories are just one of many ways to measure the nutrition value of food. If you’re unsure about the meaning of the other items on a nutrition label, I suggest enrolling in Human Nutrition 2310 or doing some research on your own. This book is great, too.

Be healthy, Buckeyes!

Your Week in First Year Success: September 15-19

Congratulations! You have made it through your first few days of classes!  Now that you are ready to explore what the First Year Success Series has to offer, here are some sessions to consider for the first week of sessions (which begin one week from today!):

Comfort Zone
September 16, 4-5 p.m.
Theme: Health and Wellness

Are you already feeling stressed about college? You’re not the only one! This interactive session will provide an overview of stress, how to prioritize things in your life, and manage your time wisely. Join your friends from the Student Wellness Center to identify ways to relax and overcome your stress.

Book Discussion: The Glass Castle
September 17, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Theme: Buckeye Book Community

You’ve read the book. Now let’s talk about it! Join fellow first-year students to discuss the themes of The Glass Castle.  A staff member from First Year Experience will help guide your discussion while exploring the themes of the book. Attend this session before you come to see Jeannette Walls on September 23!

A+ Research: How to Structure a Term Paper
September 18, 6-7 p.m.
Theme: Academic Engagement and Career Exploration

You’ve heard that college writing will challenge you to be a better writer, but what does that mean? Come to this session and hear from an experienced Ohio State senior student about what it takes to craft a great paper in college! You will leave with tools and resources to help you get your writing to “A+” status.

Study Abroad Expo
September 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Theme: Diversity and Global Awareness

Sure, you may be interested in studying abroad while at Ohio State. But have you thought about which of the over 100 countries you will travel to for your study abroad experience? Do you know what things you should be considering now to make your study abroad dreams become a reality? Stop by this expo facilitated by the Office of International Affairs to hear from experts about what options are available to you.

Extreme Couponing
September 19, 2-3 p.m.
Theme: Finances

College can be stressful enough without worrying about finances. Come hear from two-time star of TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” and Ohio State student Cole Ledford about how you can start couponing and save your money. Save your money now to save yourself from headaches later!

Of course, these are just five of the dozens of sessions offered in any given week! See all of the options online by visiting go.osu.edu/FYSS and make sure to register for your favorite sessions before they fill up! Let us know which sessions have you most excited!

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!