Traffic lights: A guide for First Year success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Apriversary Fools Day, Mom and Dad!

Ahh, April Fool’s Day. A day during the year where offices, classrooms, and locker rooms become the playing field for some of us to play humorous, embarrassing, and well intentioned pranks on each other. A day among the ranks of Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and New Year’s as well as other capitalized holidays. But, this also happens to be the day that my parents happened to get married.

I know what you’re thinking: What self-respecting couple would defame the sanctity of marriage by having it take place on a holiday of tomfoolery and shenanigans? My thoughts exactly at age 3 when I learned of this debauchery. But I also learned that they didn’t choose this day. In fact, they didn’t even choose each other! My parents has an arranged marriage. Just as Fa Mulan was supposed to have in the family favorite, “Mulan”…didn’t work out so well for the matchmaker.


Being born and raised in the motherland they call India, my parents were chosen to marry each other by their respective families solely on the basis of tradition. It was kind of a situation as my dad put it, “A friend told a friend, who told another friend, who told my dad that they know of a girl that I should marry”. They were introduced in December (years shall remain anonymous for protection of my college fund) and three months later the marriage took place. Dr. Shauna Springer writes in Psychology Today that, “Some marital experts would argue that two years is a good amount of time to wait…In some cases, it may be wise to wait three or more years before making a decision”. My parents had three months.  

Though, here is the craziest part; I’ve never seen a happier couple in my entire life and I’m confident in saying I never will.

Weird anecdote, right? Chances are this is not the first, or weirdest, story you’ve heard and you can bet top dollar that it’s not the last. Ohio State is home to over 50,000 individuals and I’m almost positive they’re all not White, public school, young adults from medium-sized town Ohio. Our university prides itself not only on the shear extent of diversity present on campus but the fact that inclusion is just as important. This issue is a matter of cultural differences, ethnicities, academic backgrounds, extra-curricular backgrounds and so much more!

So what’s all the fuss about being so diverse anyway? Why does that make Ohio State so great? Well I can tell you that not all my friends are from the same place, do the same thing, or have the same interests. I’m actually fairly certain that not two of my friends are parallel in any of these respects. But what they all have in common is that their unique backgrounds provide me with a variety perspectives on any number of personal, communal, or societal matters. Also, I’m sure I’m not the only one who wholeheartedly believes that not only are these diverse perspectives enjoyable to have around, but they better us as individuals in ways we could never achieve on our own.


I hope I cleared up any confusion about my crazy parents and their crazy parents because to our generation, living where we do, that is far from normal. Our university holds many assets to make you as a student prosper and find your passion so that you may continue to pursue it beyond your education. With a student body this large and a professional staff this dedicated, diversity at Ohio State is not just inevitable, it’s necessary. But there’s one thing that will always be the same when we leave to lead our successful lives as engineers, stock brokers, wedding planners, and astronauts; we’re Buckeyes now and we’ll be Buckeyes for life.