Dear Leah…football Saturdays

Dear Leah

Q: What are some of the fun things to do, or traditions to take part in, on Buckeye Football game days?

A: As Buckeyes, we take game day very seriously. It’s good to have your closet stocked full with enough scarlet and grey attire to clothe an army. You can never have too much scarlet and grey.


Spellilng out “O-H-I-O”-another Buckeye tradition!

Once you’re dressed in the most spirited outfit you can assemble, then it’s time to start with the festivities. Usually on the Thursday before a game, the setup starts on campus with tents and trailers popping up everywhere. By Friday, parking lots are roped off in preparation for all of the dedicated tailgaters who will start arriving to campus in the early morning hours on Saturday. Tailgating for Ohio State football games is taken seriously by many, and the parking lots surrounding the Shoe are always packed full with tents, trailers, tv’s, lawnchairs, couches, food, cornhole…you name it, it’s probably at the tailgate.

Before every game, there is a Skull Session held in St. John’s arena. Skull Session, originally just a “warm-up” for the marching band, has turned into a pep-rally and pump-up session for players, band members, and fans alike as the football team stops by on their way to the stadium. St. John’s arena is chock full with the excited energy of fans, and Urban Meyer and usually a senior football player will address the crowd. Following the Skull Session, the football team walks together into the Shoe as they begin final preparations before taking the field.

Just minutes before kickoff, another infamous Ohio State tradition transpires: Script Ohio. The band’s members wind and weave their way through each other to spell out in cursive, “Ohio.” To dot the “i,” a senior sousaphone player gets the honor as they spin, bow down, and flip back up to the roar of the crowd. Script Ohio is an impressive tradition to witness, so my advice is don’t wait until kickoff to get to your seat!


The marching band performing 4 Script Ohio’s with the addition of alumni members.



Summer McCracken and Leah Schwinn ready for some Ohio State football.

Undoubtedly my favorite football tradition is the singing of Carmen Ohio after every game, win or lose. After the final seconds of the game tick off the clock, the football team all gathers down at the South end of the stadium in front of the band and Block O South, which is the main student section. Everyone stands and wraps their arms around each other as the band plays and the whole stadium sings the words to Carmen Ohio.

Game day makes you so proud and honored to call yourself a Buckeye. The best part is simply the atmosphere and constant vibe of excitement among everyone. OH-IO is shouted out more times than you can count, and campus is alive and buzzing with people covered head to toe in scarlet and grey. Luckily for us students, the first home game of the year is only 18 days away! Go Bucks!



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

Dear Leah…hindsight 20/20

Dear Leah

Q: What are some things you wished you would have known before coming to college?

A: The first thing that came to mind when I heard that question, was- “CHEMISTRY!” Let me explain- at freshman orientation, I was still undecided on what undergrad major I wanted to pursue. While scheduling for fall classes, an advisor told me that most majors require chemistry, so most likely I would end up needing it, and that it was best to take it early and get it over with. So although I was already enrolled in a calculus course, I signed up for chemistry as well. I took them both in high school so how bad could it be, right? Wrong. After about the first week of chemistry, everything I thought I knew about the subject flew out the window. The same went for calculus. My days and nights consisted of flip flopping between calculus and chemistry homework, going to office hours to try and make sense of whatever I was supposed to be doing, and trying to convince myself that I wasn’t a failure and was not going to drop out of college. Three years later as I look back at my first semester course load, I’m thankful. Having college thrown at me with two very difficult classes, and an 18-hour credit load, I learned from the get-go that it’s a personal decision whether you are going to sink or swim in college. It all depends on how much work you are willing to put it. As it turns out, my major doesn’t require me taking chemistry. However that class taught me early on in college how to study correctly, how to take college tests, and how to efficiently time manage. Those lessons I learned while stressing out my first semester have been crucial to my success in every semester since then.

My second thought after reading your question was: CABS buses. CABS is the transportation system for students on campus. There are 6 different bus routes that wind their way through campus, and to me, the system seemed very intimidating as I arrived to Columbus as a freshman. The bus names-CLN, CLS, NE, ER, BV, and MC- meant nothing to me as I tried to figure out which one to take to get to my final destination across campus. I just kept thinking how much easier and simpler life would be if I would have already known how the bus system worked before moving in to college. As it turns out however, not knowing was a blessing in disguise. One of my roommates and I decided one night at the beginning of the semester that we were going to just hop on the buses and see where they took us so then we would know for future reference. That night of sitting in the back of six different buses as we just rode around campus was filled with laughter and bonding that resulted in her being one of the best friends I’ve made at college. We still look back on that night and laugh-yet had we already known the bus system, that night would have never happened.

Although, while going through college I have come across many things I “wish I would have known,” the truth is that most of those things have turned into better stories and learning experiences because I hadn’t known them.

Long story short, there’s a lot of advice out there on how best to be prepared for college. Everyone can tell you their best tips and tricks for navigating the crazy and hectic world of college, but the truth is that the best way to survive and thrive in college is by just jumping in and tackling everything college throws at you head-on. I guess what I’m saying is that sometimes the best way you can prepare for something is to not be prepared. (Now don’t tell your professor I told you this after you get a failing grade on an exam that you “prepared for” by not preparing.) However, I believe that personal experience is the best way to learn anything, so take a deep breath, put a smile on your face, and don’t freak out. Know that thousands of other incoming freshmen are feeling the exact same way as you, so there is no need to worry. Best of luck-now go enjoy college!


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

Dear Leah…CFAES Organizations

Dear Leah

Q: What different groups or organizations should I get involved in through the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences?

A:  Luckily for you, the answer to your question is a long list! No matter what your interest, there is a club or organization that I’m sure will provide the perfect fit!

Within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, there are various ways to get involved with a group of people who have the same kind of passion you do.

To start off with, there are academic teams to join that allow you to learn while also practicing skills you might already know. While there over 15 different teams to choose from, a few include the food product development team, weeds team, or even judging teams such as livestock, meat, horse, dairy, and soil.

Men of Alpha Gamma Rho

CFAES also has six different Greek organizations. There are four agricultural fraternities for the men to choose from, including Alpha Gamma Rho, Alpha Gamma Sigma, FarmHouse, and Delta Theta Sigma. As for the ladies, there are two agricultural sororities- Alpha Sigma Upsilon and Sigma Alpha. Greek life allows students an in-depth way to connect with their peers in organizations that are committed to brotherhood/sisterhood.

A few honoraries are offered as well, a couple of which are Alpha Zeta Partners and Towers Agricultural Honorary. These honoraries are committed to service to the College and the surrounding community.


Class ’17 Members of AZP doing Saturday community service at a Columbus homeless shelter.

The majority of the organizations on the CFAES campus are under the big umbrella category of “academic organizations.” With nearly 50 different groups to choose from, chances are you’ll find at least one that will be a fit for you! Some groups, such as Agribusiness Club, Agricultural Systems Management Club, or the Pre-Vet Club are geared towards students within those majors, although anyone is welcome to join, no matter your major! There are also clubs focused on different animals, such as the Buckeye Dairy Club, Collegiate Cattlewomen, or Saddle and Sirloin Club.



Saddle and Sirloin teaching the public about sheep.

As you can see, while I only listed a few of the groups or organizations within CFAES that you could join, there are many more! The full list of which can be viewed at Campus Life: Clubs and Organizations. My best advice is to join as many as you can juggle while still focusing on classes, personal life, work, or whatever else your schedule might hold! Your best college friends and best college memories are waiting for you among these organizations!

Dear Leah…good eats?

Dear Leah

Q: Any suggestions on good places to eat either on or off campus?

A: As a twenty-two year old self-proclaimed food connoisseur, I place food as a very high priority. My mom says that for as long as she can remember, I have been the kid that when bribed with food, will do pretty much anything.

Excited about something? I celebrate by eating. Stressed about something? I eat the stress away. Procrastinating working on something? I cook an elaborate meal….and then eat it. Apologizing to someone? I’ll bake them something…and invariably eat some of it. As you can see, eating is something I hold near and dear to my heart, and I make it a point to know where the best food around is.

As for good on-campus eats, I can recommend a few things. According to my taste buds, the best French fries can be found at the Mirror Lake Creamery. Golden brown, crunchy on the outside and squishy potatoey on the inside, these French fries are to die for. A hiddenIMG_5065 gem on Ag Campus is the Subway nestled near the Veterinary Buildings, and just across from the Olentangy River Bridge. It’s the perfect go-to spot if you’re on campus and realize you forgot to pack your lunch for the day, and you’re not feeling like eating campus food. If breakfast is what you’re looking for, then Hang-Over Easy on South Campus is the spot to be. Open pretty much all day everyday, this breakfast spot is a favorite among students.


Feeling adventurous and want to move a bit off-campus? Dirty Franks Hot Dog Palace is located about a 5-10 minute drive off-campus and offers customers ginormous finger-licking, belly-sticking, and pant-unbuttoning good hot dogs. Just down high street, East of campus, is another breakfast joint that willIMG_5062 make you glad breakfast can be enjoyed any time of the day. Jack and Benny’s is famous for their fresh squeezed orange juice, and their affordable yet delicious breakfast spread.

As food is clearly one of my passions, I could go on and on about what food I recommend eating. The North Market provides you with tantalizing and exotic eats, German Village gives you authentic German cuisine, The Melt and Thurman’s will both put some meat on your bones…the list is endless. However, while I enjoy eating at all of these places, my best advice is to just go explore yourself!! Columbus is a food city, with great places to eat on every street. Who knows, the best meal of your life could be just around the corner.



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

Dear Leah…study abroad?

Dear Leah
Q: As an incoming student to CFAES this fall, I have been looking forward to college and was curious about the study abroad opportunities. I was wondering what all study abroad trips would be available for me to do, and if it’s worth it to spend that much money? I’m also concerned that studying abroad would make me graduate late because I would be taking time away from school to travel. Any advice?

A: As a senior this fall, I have studied at Ohio State for three years. Cheered on three winning seasons of Buckeye football. Taken three different psychology courses. Eaten three times my weight in Raising Cane’s chicken tenders. Had three different jobs. Had three different roommates. And traveled abroad to three countries.

The dream of studying abroad was one of the major reasons that I was so excited to move away to college and experience the world. I came from a small farm town in Ohio where I was fairly sheltered about what the world and global community had to offer. Ohio State was the perfect avenue for me to get out and culture myself.

For me, studying abroad has been one of the most beneficial and influential things I have done since moving to Columbus. The summer after my sophomore year I went on a two-week study abroad trip to England and Scotland that was primarily focused on agricultural communication. We spent time learning about the culture of the United Kingdom, eating their foods, talking with locals, admiring architecture, visiting various agricultural newspaper and magazine companies, and comparing their agricultural practices to our own.

This past spring I traveled to Brazil with fourteen of my peers where we spent six weeks immersed in Brazilian culture. Alpha Zeta Partners, a professional agricultural honorary fraternity in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, takes students to Brazil every January to learn about their fast growing agricultural sector. What I learned and experienced while in Brazil taught me more than I could have ever imagined.

Although I can’t speak for everyone, my best advice to incoming and current students is that if you have the opportunity to study abroad and see the world- DO IT! Take the leap. The programs are designed to fit with your class schedule so that you still receive course credit and can stay on track to graduate. There are also programs that you can do where you study abroad during summer break, winter break, and even spring break if you would rather not travel during the school year. Financially, I can almost guarantee that you won’t find a better price point to travel and do everything that is included in the programs. Although they can be somewhat expensive, they are relatively cheap in comparison to doing the exact same trip on your own. There are also scholarships available to students who wish to study abroad, and the College works very hard to financially help out every student that wants to travel. Throughout CFAES there are many trips abroad that focus on agriculture and environmental sciences, but there are also countless programs within the University as a whole that can take you anywhere around the world.

College is the place where you go to learn, and what better way to do that than by traveling and immersing yourself in other cultures? Diversity and cultural awareness are highly sought after in any workplace, and the skills and lessons you learn while abroad way exceed what you can learn in a classroom in Columbus. So my final advice is: get your passport, pack your bags, and go explore all that the world has to offer!


A Brazilian bull at a breeding facility.



The agricultural school we studied at in Brazil.



“I love Brazil”



One of the best parts of Brazil: a steakhouse.



Our Ohio State group and Brazilian student Alan at the National Cathedral.



Posing with a bagpipe statue in Scotland.



O-H-I-O at Stonehenge.

To learn more about study abroad opportunities within CFAES, visit Agricultural Administration Room 100, or email Kelly Newlon at For study abroad opportunities for all of Ohio State, visit the Office of International Affairs.



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


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