Dear Leah…free student benefits?

Dear Leah

Q: What are some additional benefits that OSU offers students for free?

A: As college students, most of us are well aware of what The Ohio State University offers us in terms of classes to take, sports teams to cheer on, and clubs to join. Beyond these things, however, is a vast array of services and opportunities that the University offers to students free of charge that are often unbeknownst to students.

Are you a tech wizard that likes to be at the forefront of technological advances? Or just have a passion for computers? The Digital Union offers free 3-D printing, and resources to help you do it. Free video tutorials are also offered for those who want to learn more about coding, InDesign, or other complIMG_2511ex programs. Software that is otherwise quite expensive to buy to put on your own computer is also offered in the Digital Unions to complete any project you can think up.

If you’re like me, instead of technology mesmerizing you and piquing your interest, it seems to be it’s own foreign entity that, if touched, it will probably break. For anyone out there like me, then I have good news: Ohio State can offer you free help for that too. BuckeyeBar is one way that techHub helps give support for student’s technological devices. Students can feel free to get expert advice on their devices free of charge.

Technology not your thing, but adding world traveler to your resume is? Then look no further than the Office of International IMG_2509Affairs. No matter where you want to travel around the world, Ohio State has got the connections to get you there. Between “Global Gateways” (the OSU Gateway in Brazil is pictured here with me holding both the OSU and Brazilian flag) and various partnerships around the world, Ohio State can help students travel abroad to research, study, or serve- whichever your passion and interests may lie in.

Unless you are athletically blessed enough to be an OSU athlete, or just have way more self-motivation than I do, then college is a rude awakening in the exercise department. For me, high school was filled with sports and physical activities that became almost nonexistent as I moved into the concrete city my freshman year. Sure there are four gyms on campus that give students full access to workout equipment, swimming pools, indoor courts, and even a sauna, but where is the fun in all of that if you are just aimlessly wandering around the gym by yourself wondering which machine you should try to tackle next?

One facet of Rec Sports is group fitness classes that get you active and working out while also connecting you with others who want to do the same. Yoga, cycling, aquatics, kickboxing, cross training, zumba, hip-hop fitness….the list goes on and on.

While working out is important to student wellbeing, so is safety. The Department of Public Safety is on campus for the sole purpose of providing a safe environment for students, including a safe ride across campus. Much to the disappointment and scorn of my mother, in my three years at Ohio State I have yet to use this service for a variety of reasons, none of which are valid. My excuses for not calling campus safety to give me a lift at night include: “I feel bad for bothering them when I’m sure I’ll be safe walking home by myself,” and “Well I would call them, but I don’t know what the number is and by the time I call them and they pick me up I could have walked home.” In all reality, it would be much smarter of me to utilize this free service and put my mother’s mind at ease by simply saving the number (614) 292-3322 in my phone to call for a ride when I need it.

Although there are many more opportunities and services that OSU provides free of charge, it would take way too long to explain them all, so I’ll finish off with one final service: the Younkin Success Center. The Younkin Success Center offers students basically any service related to student success. This ranges from tutoring, to career counseling, to test-taking strategies, to assistance while writing research papers, to stress management. All of these are offered out of one “hub” of the Younkin Success Center, where they offer flexible hours to work with any student’s schedule.

College is short and your time at Ohio State will fly by before your eyes. So make the time you have here mean the most and utilize ways that Ohio State can help!


The “Dear Leah” column is written by agricultural communication senior Leah Schwinn. You can submit a student life related question at 

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