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.

A Southern Buck-I-SERV Spring Break

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Your first spring break in college… we’ve all been there at one point or another. Was it as fun as you expected? Did you meet any new people? Is reality hitting you hard in the face because of how awesome it was?

If you would have asked me what I was doing for spring break in December, I probably would have said something along the lines of “I’m going to the Bahamas with my friends,” however, I did something else and it was an AMAZING experience. First year or not, listen up when I say that Buck-I-SERV at Ohio State is such a rewarding organization and I encourage everyone to participate in at least one before you graduate.

Wondering why?

I was asked to be a trip leader for a trip to Mullens, West Virginia, during spring break. When first asked I was kind of skeptical; I mean, why Mullens? Of course I learned more information about the destination.

Mullens is a town in southern West Virginia that is experiencing many hardships at the moment. You see, Mullens used to be a town where things happened. Downtown was booming and there were many residents. In recent years, residents  are finding a lack of jobs, which leads to the younger generations leaving the town.

Mullens is a great little town, it reminds me of my own little hometown. Everyone knows one another and everyone is SO FRIENDLY. It was so nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of schoolwork and the city for a while. I didn’t know how much I was missing nature (or the woods) until I stayed in Twin Falls State Park. The scenery, the hills, the trees, the waterfalls — everything about it was gorgeous.

There were six of us, including our advisor. It was a tiny group, but we had SO MUCH FUN. We were able to volunteer at the Mullens Opportunity Center (otherwise known as the MOC). They actually had a pretty horrible flood the week before we got there, so a lot of our work was to help with the outdoor cleanup.

We worked with students from the University of Baltimore (they were awesome, by the way) the entire week. We shoveled up the fallen dirt to rebuild the hillside by a river behind the MOC, we filled in holes in the concrete with gravel, but our biggest project was the High Tunnel.

You see, the MOC is an awesome place. This opportunity center holds workshops for the residents of Mullens that can help them in nearly all aspects of life. They have a workout room, a lawyer’s office, line dancing, a computer lab where individuals can earn their GED and SO many other programs. They also have fitness programs going on, where individuals can keep track of how many laps they took around the gym and the activity they’re involved in. If that wasn’t awesome enough, they hand out prizes to the person who completed the most that week. LIKE COME ON THAT’S CRAZY COOL.

One of the MOC’s coolest projects, in my opinion, is their Farm to School campaign. Basically, this campaign is to try and get local farmers to grow fruits and vegetables for the schools in the county. Eventually, they would like each school to have their own High Tunnel to grow produce for the community. (A high tunnel is a fancy word for a greenhouse, in case you’re wandering, as I was.) We worked on constructing this and getting top soil and compost for the beds. By the time we were leaving they were working on the roof.

Hands down, this trip was such a blast. The workers at the MOC were so thankful we had decided to come and showed us so much love. It was an amazing experience.

One of the last nights we were there, we had a campfire with the University of Baltimore where a local orator told us stories about the town’s history and scary stories. We roasted marshmallows and listened to a delightful woman sing. It is so nice knowing that we helped make a difference.

I love the little town of Mullens, and I want them to thrive. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to spend the week with some new friends, make some memories, and help make a difference. If you ever have the chance to go on a Buck-I-SERV trip, GO. I promise you will love it.

The Denman Undergraduate Research Forum: What It Is and Why You Should Participate

For those of you who don’t know, Ohio State is a research university! This means your professors, in addition to giving lectures, conduct research in their respective fields. More than 20 years ago, an Ohio State alumnus named Richard Denman wanted to shed more light on the undergraduate students who were conducting research alongside these professors, and give them an opportunity to present their work.

Thus, the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum was born! Here’s what you should know about the forum as a first-year student:

1. What is it?

The Denman is an event held over the course of a single day in the RPAC, where more than 500 students present posters summarizing their research projects and their results. Each project is judged by at least three people (faculty, graduate students, or corporate judges). Multiple winners are selected from different fields of study, receiving cash prizes. About 80 percent of students who apply to present are accepted.

 2. How much time would I need to dedicate to the process?

Students will spend anywhere from 10-15 hours a week on their research, whether it be during fall or spring semester, or over the summer. Students spend at least one semester, if not an entire year, completing their work. Dr. Allison Snow, director of the Undergraduate Research Office, recommends tailoring a semester schedule to suit your expected research schedule.

3. So I can get a cash prize… what else?

Winning an award at the Denman is much more than receiving a cash prize. This becomes a valuable part of your resume, and can lead to future research down the road, even after graduation. Presenting in and of itself is impressive, though, whether you win an award or not. It shows future employers or graduate schools that you are serious and passionate about your field!

4. How do I get started?

The best place to start is the Undergraduate Research Office website. There you can find out about their information sessions and workshops, contact a peer researcher in your field, sign up to receive emails about funding opportunities, and find their advising hours. You should also start reaching out to graduate students and professors about research opportunities they may have. Most students begin by volunteering in other research projects before starting their own.

5. This is the first time I have heard about the Denman, am I behind??

No, not at all! In fact, Dr. Snow advises that a student’s first year is the time to learn, observe, and talk to others who have already conducted research. Go to the forum (Wednesday, March 25 from 12 p.m.-3 p.m.) and ask presenters about their experiences! If you find after some investigation that you are interested in participating, your second or third year is the time to contact faculty, and start to form an idea of what kind of research you want to conduct. By senior year (at the latest), you should be ready to present your work!

Participating in research and the Denman is extremely rewarding, but it’s not for everyone. THAT’S OK. If it is for you, don’t let it overwhelm you! Take it step-by-step, use the Undergraduate Research Office as your guide, and before you know it, you’ll be presenting!

The Sweet 16: Facts about March Madness schools

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament season is upon us and my FYE colleague, Julie Richardson, and I are ready to get caught up in the madness that is college hoops; we also love the history, traditions, and fun facts that relate to American colleges and universities. Here, we share what we think are interesting tidbits for 16 schools participating in this year’s tournament.

(1) Villanova University (Villanova, PA)

Villanova boasts the largest student-run Special Olympics event in the world and is the official host of the Special Olympics Pennsylvania fall state games.

(2) Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA)

Gonzaga’s Crosby Student Center is named for crooner Bing Crosby who sang the holiday favorite, “White Christmas.” Crosby attended Gonzaga beginning in 1920 but left before graduating to pursue his singing career.

(3) Baylor University (Waco, TX)

For more than 60 years, Baylor University students have celebrated Dr. Pepper Hour with free Dr. Pepper every Tuesday afternoon from 3 to 4 p.m.

(4) Georgetown University (Washington, DC)

Established in 1789, Georgetown is the nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university.

(5) University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA)

The mascots for Northern Iowa are TC (The Cat) Panther and TK (The Kitten) Panther.

(6) Butler University (Indianapolis, IN)

Bestselling author Kurt Vonnegut dropped out of Butler University in 1942 after failing to earn no higher than a C in his English classes.

(7) Wichita State University (Wichita, KS)

The Shocker bowling team has captured 19 national championships and attracts student bowlers from all over the world.

(8) San Diego State University (San Diego, CA)

President John F. Kennedy gave the commencement address at San Diego State in 1963 (just months before he was assassinated). The President received the university’s first honorary doctorate–also the first in the California State University system.

(9) Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)

Amelia Earhart was a faculty member at Purdue from 1935 until her disappearance in July 1937. She served in the Department for the Study of Careers for Women and in the Department of Aeronautics.

(10) Davidson College (Davidson, NC)

Over Family Weekend during presidential election years, the Young Democrats and College Republicans debate about relevant issues across balconies of two campus buildings named for the first two student societies founded at the college, the Eumenean Society and the Philanthropic Society.

(11) The University of Texas (Austin, TX)

The University of Texas at Austin reports 4.7 million on-campus dining transaction per year, which includes serving 496,572 locally-made tortilla.

(12) Wofford College (Spartanburg, SC)

According to Sports Illustrated, Wofford (6) outranked Ohio State (7) in 2007 for best uniforms in college football.

(13) Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)

John Harvard’s statue famously presides over Harvard Yard–except it isn’t actually John Harvard. A stand-in, namely Sherman Hoar, sat in as the model.

(14) University at Albany, State University of New York (Albany, NY)

Albany has 1,248 columns on its Uptown Campus, one of three architecturally distinct campuses that comprise the university.

(15) Belmont University (Nashville, TN)

Belmont is home to the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, which offers four areas of study in Music Business, Audio Engineering Technology, Entertainment Industry Studies, and Songwriting.

(16) Coastal Carolina University (Conway, SC)

In 2014 Costal Carolina University was one of three college campuses in the country selected to receive a mobile Starbucks Coffee truck.

 

Good luck to all teams participating in this year’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, and especially to our 5-seed Buckeye women’s team and our 10-seed Buckeye men’s team!

Spring Break is Finally Here

Spring Break is finally here! This is the week we’ve all been anxiously awaiting. While some of us will just go back to our hometowns and enjoy the good company of family and friends, others will be going to Sun City, so expect to see a lot of tanned people when coming back from spring break.

Some advice: if you’re going away for spring break, put on sun tan lotion so you don’t come back looking like this when you come back to school:

will

If you’re enjoying the week off from school and are not going anywhere, this is the perfect time to sit around at home and binge watch all those Netflix shows. A whole week of nothing but laying on the couch enjoying good company, food and shows!

For those who will not get to go home and would love to see their siblings, invite them to come visit campus for a weekend! There will be several campus events for them to participate in and get engaged with.

March 27-29 is the perfect weekend for your siblings to experience the campus excitement and what it is like to be a Buckeye — including a chance to meet our favorite mascot, Brutus!

Registration is only $5 and you can register online, where you will also find the schedule of activities that are planned as well as waivers for those who are under the age of 18.

Whatever you decide to do with your break, enjoy the time off, and appreciate the fact that we are officially more than halfway to the end of the semester!

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!

10 Reasons You Should Make International Friends

My name is Muyao Shen and I’m a senior studying Journalism at Ohio State. Although I joined school a semester behind most first-years and came straight China, I am grateful to have made many cross-cultural friendships during my time at the university. As a result of my own experiences, I thought I would share with you ten reasons why I think everyone should be friends with international students at The Ohio State University!

 

  1. Well, because they are kinda smart and cool.

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Seriously, dude. As international students, most of us are speaking our second language on a daily basis. Like right now, I am writing this post in English, my second language.

  1. Because Ohio State has one of the biggest international students population.

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Image how awkward it would be when you get out of college and someone ask you “so you went to Ohio State? But why were you not friends with any international students there?”

outlander29Seriously, there are so many of them at OSU!

  1. Because when you travel abroad, you find you have a house to stay everywhere. :)

    And your friends’ parents treat you as their second son/ daughter

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  1. Because when you try to find a job in a multinational corporation (MNC) after graduate…

…your potential employer starts to like you better when you say “One of my best friends is from China and she shares everything about China to me I went there one time with her.”

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“She must have a good understanding in different cultures.” – from your future employer.

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  1. Because when you go to an ethnic restaurant, you feel 100% confident about what to order.

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Your waiter enters and you say “I would like some Aloo Sang” without reading the menu.

  1. Because you realize you can easily swear in 5 different languages

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- *swear in French – “What did you just say?” – “Nothing. :)”

  1. Because Ohio State offers some of the best activities for you to get to know more about international students

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Taste of OSU is coming soon!! Mark your calendar!

 

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check out programs at Global Engagement from Office of International Affairs: http://oia.osu.edu/workshops-and-events/global-engagement.html

  1. Because stereotypes break down after you hang out with international students more!

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- No and No

 

  1. Because you can eat food actually taste like the way it tastes in its original country

Your international student friend: “This is not authentic Thai food, I will make some real Thai food and bring it to you tomorrow.”

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  1. Because you feel absolutely unprecedentedly proud of your country when you introduce every good thing about America to your international friends.

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- “Welcome to the country of freedom!”

Scarlet Scramble is Back

TBT to Scar Scram 2014

Did you know University Hall is the real building used as Hollis College in Pretty Little Liars? Or that the first Wendy’s restaurant ever opened was in Columbus? Do you think you can eat a stack of Sloopy’s pancakes faster than anyone else? Then boy do I have an event for you — Scarlet Scramble 2015 is here!

So what is Scarlet Scramble?

It’s a 24-hour campus and city adventure that includes challenges, trivia questions, and clues to decode. Teams compete from 6 p.m. on March 27 to 6 p.m. on March 28 to earn points and win prizes (like Amazon and HOMAGE gift cards). The Scramble is brought to you by First Year Experience, and each team should have at least five first year students, but can have up to five other students (non first-years) too.

You know you want a new HOMAGE shirt.

You know you want a new HOMAGE shirt.

I participated in my first Scarlet Scramble my freshman year and have helped plan it the last two years. It is one of my favorite events on campus because not only do you get a sweet T-shirt just for signing up, you also get to run around campus with your friends, learn something new while you’re doing it, and compete for prizes! Plus you end up with some pretty cool pictures like these.

TBT to Scarlet Scramble 2013

TBT to Scarlet Scramble 2013

TBT to Scar Scram 2014

TBT to Scarlet Scramble 2014

To learn more about #ScarScram2015, check out the video below!

Registration is open until March 9. To sign up for the best time of your life visit fye.osu.edu/scarletscramble.

See you March 27!

Switching Majors? Don’t Fret

First-years: having qualms about your major? Uncertain about the future? Don’t fret — you’re not alone. Deciding what to major in is challenging. It can feel like one decision determines the trajectory of your life — which is overwhelming, to say the least.

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Choosing a major that’s right for you boils down to one little formula: find something you’re passionate about but is still sensible.

For instance, one of my friends loves civil liberties, women’s studies, and everything in between. Her major, political science, is both practical and applicable, and it’s something she’s overzealous about. There are hundreds of majors at Ohio State, and I can guarantee there is something for you; it just needs to be discovered.

If you’re unsure where to begin, start by talking to an expert. The Younkin Success Center offers career counseling and consultations.

Although it’s a bit cheesy, also consider consulting a career quiz.

It’s OK to not have everything figured out. There are resources and people to help! Switching majors can seem stressful, specifically when changing from department to department.

When I switched from the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences to the College of Engineering, I was a bit dazed with an entirely new schedule and even different class settings and locations. However, there are counselors for that. If you’re thinking about switching, talk to an advisor. They will help you transition smoothly and alleviate a lot of stress.

Finding the best fit isn’t always cut and dry. Remember to focus on finding something that gets you excited. Whether it be science, psychology, business, or anything in between, an awesome major awaits you.

Don’t Let Rejection Define You

College isn’t supposed to be easy.

You aren’t supposed to get everything you want. Rejection is natural and necessary in college, because it helps you develop a thick skin that is crucial to your success in the rest of your life.

I have been fortunate in so many opportunities in college. I was accepted to the school I’d fallen in love with. When I was a first-year student, I got an amazing job at the Ohio State student newspaper that I was dying to work for. I was able to move up through other positions there, too. When I went through formal recruitment in my second year of college, I got into the sorority that immediately felt like my home. Over the years I’ve had several internships that shaped my career and meant a great deal to me.

But those successes did not come without failures, and I’m a better person for it.

At the end of my third year at Ohio State, the plan was to apply for editor-in-chief of The Lantern, and hopefully claim the job I’d had my eye on for years. I was hopeful, I was prepared, I was convinced I had a shot. And I did have a shot. But I missed. The job went to a better candidate, and I was devastated.

At first, I didn’t want to believe the news. How could I possibly fail? Was I really hearing correctly, had they really chosen someone else? When I calmed down and accepted the news I was given, my boss presented me with a choice: I could quit the job I had because I was bitter about the job I’d never have, or I could go back out in the newsroom with my head held high and work.

With some anger and resentment in my heart, I chose the latter.

Working that day was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do professionally. But eventually, the pain settled and I made the choice not to return to the paper for my final year in college. Instead, I opted to seek out other opportunities and give myself more free time than I’d been able to enjoy during my other years in college, since I was working an average of 40-45 hours a week at The Lantern.

The excruciating rejection I felt that day last spring turned out to be such a blessing.

I took a fellowship over the summer in Phoenix, Arizona, that showed me maybe newspapers weren’t my calling. Had I been named editor-in-chief, I think I would’ve loved it, but with the thought in the back of my mind that my passion might be elsewhere, I think I would’ve been stifling my opportunity to explore other options.

Instead, I returned to campus and accepted a communications and marketing research internship at Battelle, the world’s largest nonprofit research firm. In the past five months at Battelle, I have learned so much about the corporate marketing and communications world that I wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to — and it’s doing everything to help my future career.

Rejection is hard — it feels like the end of the world. But it’s not. There is nothing wrong with mourning the loss of an opportunity you had your eye on, but the important part is to compartmentalize your pain and not let it ruin your life.

I could’ve spent my senior year bitter over lost opportunity. But instead I chose to seek out a new opportunity, and that has been endlessly rewarding.

If you go through college and don’t face any rejection, I don’t envy you. Rejection builds you into a stronger person who is more open to new experiences and opportunities they would’ve otherwise missed.

Don’t let rejection define you. Keep an open mind, and take advantage of all Ohio State and Columbus have to offer you. You never know what else you’ll find.