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:


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!

Scarlet Scramble is Back

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!

BuckeyeThon: One Team, One Dream, One Million

This is a special year for BuckeyeThon. This year, BuckeyeThon is trying to raise $1,000,000 For The Kids.

That’s right — 6 zeros.

The dancers are giving it their all to accomplish this incredible goal, with the hope of forever changing the lives of kids fighting cancer.

As a former participant, I am here to answer some questions I know I definitely had before doing the dance marathon. Some commonly asked questions:

What exactly is BuckeyeThon? 

BuckeyeThon is Ohio State’s largest student-run philanthropy, which raises funds year-round for the fight against pediatric cancer. All of the donations go toward supporting the kids who are treated on the Hematology/Oncology/BMT Department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Some events sponsored by BuckeyeThon include CarnOval, Extra Life, High School Dance Marathon, Miracle Miles 5K and, biggest of all, BuckeyeThon: The Dance Marathon.

On February 6-7th, more than 4,000 Ohio State students will participate in the dance marathon! This is the largest number of participants to date Students are required to raise a minimum of $100 to participate, but they are encouraged to raise more. All efforts are made in order to bring the year’s goal one step closer!

I’ve never done a Dance Marathon (DM) before, what is it? And do I need to know how to dance? 

A dance marathon is basically a 24-hour long event, which is broken up into two, 12-hour shifts. The Scarlet Half happens from Friday night to Saturday morning, and the Gray Half happens from Saturday morning to Saturday night. Participants choose their shift during registration.

You definitely do not need to know how to dance! No one cares what you look like dancing or what kind of crazy, wacky dance moves you have because everyone is their to support the Miracle Kids. Also, a dance marathon is a LOT more than just dancing!

Throughout the event, you will not only dance, but you can do other fun and hands-on activities as well. For example, students can meet the Miracle Kids for whom they are dancing, donate their hair, do yoga and maybe even meet Miss Ohio!

Not only are activities provided, but so is food. Dancers are given two full meals and a snack during the event. So don’t worry about packing a meal, but definitely pack a snack, just in case.


Why should I do it? 

If you’re still asking yourself that after I just described all these awesome events, just remember:

Buckeyethon 1

What should I wear?

Everyone is put on a color team, so you basically wear the colors of your team. I would suggest having fun with your outfits because people go all out for this event! And, this might be only time in your life that you can wear a tutu for almost 12 hours.

Dress (comfortably) to impress! I suggest you wear comfortable shoes. You will be required to stand for the whole shift, and thus sensible footwear is a must.

Also: if you own a fanny pack, this is the time to blow the dust off of it and put it to good use! Fanny packs are so handy because they don’t interfere with your ability to dance and have fun and they also can hold important items such as your phone and some money.

What should I bring? 

  • BuckID
  • Phone and Charger: You need that phone to be fully charged so that you can document all the fun you’re having! (Pictures or it didn’t happen, right?)
  • Cash or Credit: So you can wear some of BuckeyeThon’s apparel, and look super fly after the DM
  • Snacks: Cannot emphasize this enough, you’ll need to keep your energy up for 12 hours, it’s good to be prepared
  • Deoderant: I’ll just leave it at that

Any other tips? 

Make sure you get plenty of sleep before your shift! Remember this is a marathon and no one starts a marathon running on a couple hours of sleep.

Meet someone new at the DM. Being in the Union for 12 hours, you’re bound to meet someone new and who knows, maybe by the end of your shift, you could leave with a new friend.

Most importantly, HAVE FUN! The Dance Marathon only happens once every year and what better way to kick off spring semester than by supporting BuckeyeThon and taking a stand against pediatric cancer.


Final thoughts…

Last year, I participated in the Dance Marathon and it was definitely the highlight of my freshman year. I remember the opening ceremony where we got to meet all the Miracle Kids, and they were so adorable and looked so happy to be there! I knew at that moment that I was not only doing it for them but I was also doing it to for their families.

I danced and laughed the night away. During the event, I got the chance to meet so many inspirational dancers whose families have been affected by pediatric cancer. Listening to their stories made me realize how important this dance marathon is  to the Ohio State community and I was truly glad to be a part of it all.

Remember me? That Bernie guy…

Oh hey! I remember you; you’re that funny guy from Orientation!

That’s how most you of know me. At least that’s what you say when you see me on campus. Yes, I was the guy who welcomed you to Orientation. It’s a great job, it really is. But sadly, that’s probably the last time most of you saw me or my colleagues in First Year Experience. And why should we expect any different. We work on the third floor of the Student Academic Services building on the far edge of campus. You have no reason to wander up here.

Many of you are probably still connected to your Orientation Leader, right? I’m sure they may help you from time to time. “Yes, but Bernie, they don’t actually work for you anymore,” you might say. That’s right. The summer is over. The red polo shirts have been retired.

[End scene]

My colleagues and I started a conversation just like this a little over a year ago. It wasn’t hard to figure out that we’ve been doing this all wrong. The people you might actually listen to, connect with and reach out to when you have a question (your peers, that is)…we let those people go. Every August. And now, during the school year, we’re hoping you’ll listen to us. A bunch of staff members who haven’t been college students for 10 or even 20 years. Heck, my son is closer to your age and he’s nine.

So, I hope you’re not offended, but starting this fall, when it comes time to actually connect with you, it won’t be me or my colleagues leading the charge anymore. Instead, we’re going to let you connect with and talk to a fellow student. And not some random upper-class student you haven’t met before (because honestly, that’s always awkward) but those same students you’ve come to know and trust because they helped you feel at home, get some answers and have a great time at Orientation.

Now, there will be a slight change. We won’t call them Orientation Leaders anymore. They’ll be so much more than that. They’ll meet and help new students like you over the summer at Orientation, just like they always did, but now they’ll stay in touch, answer your questions and help you explore Ohio State all throughout the year. And the new name: FYE Peer Leaders. Simple, right?

I have a hunch that some of you (if you’ve read this far), might be thinking, “Bernie, how can I apply for this new Peer Leader job?” Well, I have good news for you. The application is available now (through January 30). All you have to do is go to our webpage to find out more about applying. I hope you’ll watch the short video and maybe even join us this month at an info session.

The one catch is that this job isn’t for everyone, and you may not be ready…just yet. I say that because I remember applying for a pretty amazing job on campus my first year, one that had the potential to impact other students. I started the process, filled out the application and even successfully made it through the group interview. But then, just before getting the final word, I removed myself from the process. Why? Well, I knew I wasn’t ready yet. I barely knew myself, how was I going to help others. I still had some growing up to do. The next year, my sophomore year, I applied again. And this time I stayed with the process. The very next fall I became an RA in Taylor Tower and had the time of my life helping other students.

I hope, when the time is right, you’ll apply to be an FYE Peer Leader. First-year students need people like you in their lives. We understand that now.

Preparing for winter: 10 things you’ll want to bring back to campus

Within the next few days you may be making the trek back to your beloved hometown. While enjoying break and the convenience of a warm car to get you places, you may forget that you actually have to walk around campus when you return. And not only is this campus large, but it’s in Ohio. That means we have all four seasons. One of which is winter. Ah, yes. Some of you may love the winter wonderland that we call Ohio. And others of you you may be counting down the days until you can tan on Oval Beach. But whether you love this time of the year or passionately hate it, you will need to prepare for it. So to help you determine what you need to bring back from break to make you the warmest you can be, listen up. You’ll need the ten following things:

  • Gloves/mittens 
  • Well-insulated coat 
  • Winter boots 
  • Hat
  • Sweaters 
  • Hand and feet warmers
  • Thick socks
  • Blankets
  • Hot cocoa/coffee
  • Soup

If you gather up all of these items and bring them back to school, the winter months should become more bearable. If you don’t have these items, really try to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, or Macklemore-it-up and go thrift shopping.

If you bundle up as much as Ron Swanson, you should be prepared.Final tip: Don’t forget that when it’s cold, people tend to stay inside more! Remember to bring back movies, video games, books, crafts, knitting supplies, and/or whatever else keeps you busy!

Wishing you a winter free of polar vortexes,


So maybe you’re not going home for Thanksgiving…

So maybe you’re not going home for Thanksgiving… and you’re probably worried that you’ll be stuck on campus with nothing to do while everyone else is at home with families and friends. Last year I stayed on campus for Thanksgiving weekend and instead of just sitting alone in my residence hall the entire time, I made the effort to stay busy on campus by attending different events. As a result, I used the time to meet new people and support my fellow Buckeyes! So from personal experience, I strongly recommend that you check out some of these exciting opportunities.

Here are my top events to attend over Thanksgiving weekend this year:

1. PizzaPalooza, 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25 at the Ohio Union West Plaza

Do you love being a Buckeye? Do you love pizza? Why not combine the two and enjoy free pizza at the Ohio Union West Plaza with many of your fellow Buckeyes. This event is free for students!


2. Ohio State Men’s Basketball Game vs. Campbell, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26 at the Schottenstein Center

Maybe volleyball isn’t really your thing. Consider checking out our men’s basketball team take on Campbell University at the Schottenstein Center. This event is not free for students, but you can buy tickets at the Schottenstein leading up to the game. Here’s a tip: the ticket office has a limited number of $10 tickets available starting an hour before tipoff.

photo 1

3. Ohio State Women’s Volleyball Game vs. Minnesota, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26 at St. John Arena

Don’t have anything to do on Wednesday night? Consider checking out the Women’s Volleyball game at St. John Arena. The games are free for students, all you need is your BuckID. Support the Buckeyes in their last home game of the season and their senior night. Do not worry if you don’t know anything about volleyball, the games are fun for everyone!

4. 23rd Annual Thanksgiving Dinner, 11:45 and 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 28 in the Ohio Union

Perhaps you were worried that you weren’t going to get your fill of turkey if you’re not going home. Have no fear, you can enjoy a free Thanksgiving dinner at the Ohio Union. Seating for the dinner will take place at 11:45 a.m. and 2 p.m. and all guests must have a ticket to enter. Tickets are free and are available in 100 Oxley Hall, the Hale Black Cultural Center (Tuesday until 10 p.m. and Wednesday until 5 p.m.) and the Ohio Union Information Center (Tuesday until 10 p.m. and Wednesday until 8 p.m.). There will be about 1600 other Buckeyes, so make sure if you’re around to join in on this wonderful free event!!


5. Ohio State Men’s Basketball Game vs. James Madison, 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28 at the Schottenstein Center

After you get your fill of Black Friday shopping in Friday morning, consider attending the Men’s Basketball game at 4 p.m. Again this is not a free event for students, but you can buy tickets at the door and there are a limited number of $10 day of game tickets available an hour before the game. What better way to prepare for the game on Saturday against That Team Up North than supporting the rest of your fellow Buckeyes!

Your (Last) Week in First Year Success: November 17-21

Don’t let the title confuse you. This isn’t the last week you will be a successful first-year student, but it is the last week you can attend a First Year Success Series session this fall! Whether you still need to attend a program for your survey class or you just want to go to one last awesome Success Series session this fall, there are still some great options for you available during this final week!

Your first semester: What will you remember?
November 17, 12:45-2 p.m.

Has this first semester of college been one to remember? This fun session will help you record all of your favorite memories in creative ways. You will leave with your great memories and some tips for getting your second semester off to a great start!

Stress Less: Tips for Building Academic Confidence and Resilience
November 17, 1-1:50 p.m.
November 20, 3-3:50 p.m.

The end of the semester can be filled with stress. While many first-year students are concerned about missing new friends when they go home for break or trying to decide between staying home Thanksgiving weekend or coming back to campus for the football game against TSUN, almost all students feel some stress leading up to finals. Don’t let your first round of finals or your spring course schedule get the best of you! This session will help you manage those academic stress points.

“Returning Home for the Holidays”
November 19, 3-4 p.m.

Speaking of stress, many students find the thought of going home for breaks stressful. It is common to find that you have changed a lot in college or have a hard time explaining college life to your family. Attend this session to learn how to handle your trip home.

Provost’s Discovery Themes Lecturer Program Sherry Turkle: The Flight from Conversation
November 20, 6-7:15 p.m.

Would you rather text someone or talk to them on the phone? The answer to this question has tilted in favor of texting for many college students. Come here about the positives and negatives of this shift away from personal conversation.

Book Discussion: The Glass Castle
Various Times

This is your last chance to have a conversation about The Glass Castle! That’s not true, but it is your last chance to have that conversation during the Success Series, so join First Year Experience staff to talk about Jeannette Walls’ amazing journey.

It has been a great semester and I hope you are wrapping it up feeling successful! Remember that there are several other terrific sessions for you to consider for your last week of the Success Series. Be sure to register at go.osu.edu/FYSS. Send us any questions at FYSS@osu.edu.

Your Week in First Year Success: November 10-15

With just two weeks left in the First Year Success Series, now is the time for you to explore sessions which will challenge you. You have been here for almost an entire semester, and one of the most rewarding parts of the Ohio State experience is the opportunity to have deep conversations. This week, we feature sessions which will encourage you to have challenging conversations. These conversations will expand your horizons, provide you with new perspectives, and give you skills to succeed in our diverse college environment.

“March:” An Evening with Congressman John Lewis, Nate Powell, and Andrew Aydin
Theme: Diversity and Global Awareness
November 15, 7-8 p.m.

It isn’t every day that Ohio State students get the chance to hear from a congressperson or an historic figure in the civil rights movement. You will get the chance to hear from a man who is both of those things at this event, featuring artists who helped to tell Congressman Lewis’ story in a graphic novel. The event will also include a special appearance by African-American female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock.

Stand with Each Other: Using Your Skills to Intervene
Theme: Health and Wellness
November 10, 2-3 p.m.

Many of us have witnessed or experienced some form of injustice. It may have been an act of bullying, shouting something offensive, or other forms of violence. Often, people are shocked in the face of these acts and don’t know how to react. This session will provide you with tools to effectively intervene in a way which will make our campus more inclusive and welcoming.

“What Are You?” Exploring Biracial and Multiracial Identity
Theme: Diversity and Global Awareness
November 10, 4-5 p.m.

Biracial and multiracial people are a growing group in the United States. Come learn about issues faced by this population and discuss how being biracial or multiracial can impact the student experience.

Tabloids vs. Tough Truths: Stories of Addiction and Recovery
Theme: Buckeye Book Community
November 11, 6-8 p.m.

This session will look at how coverage of celebrity stories of addiction compare to the reality of this issue. Using examples from The Glass Castle, you will explore what addiction and recovery really look like for those struggling with these problems.

That’s so retarded! A conversation about disability portrayal in media
Theme: Diversity and Global Awareness
November 12, 3-4 p.m.

Examine biases, misconceptions, and myths surrounding what you think you know about disabilities in this session. What is often shown on TV and in movies is misleading about the reality of people with disabilities. This session will give you the chance to explore these portrayals and discuss how to interact with real people.

Are You Man Enough? A Dialogue on Manhood in College
Theme: Diversity and Global Awareness
November 12, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

What does masculinity mean to you? How does that compare with your own identity? Many men in college carry unhealthy concepts of what it means to be a man, which cause them to struggle to fit in during college. Come learn about how your perception of manhood can impact you during your first year at Ohio State.

If you haven’t taken advantage of asking tough questions which challenge you, then now is the time to do so. We are all Buckeyes and have the amazing opportunity to learn about new things from each other every day!

Remember, the last day of the First Year Success Series is November 21! Make sure to attend any sessions you want to go to before then! Register today before seats fill up by going to www.go.osu.edu/FYSS.

Questions? Email FYSS@osu.edu.

3 Things to Do Off-Campus This Fall

Columbus is a city filled with so many activities and opportunities that there’s always something to do — especially this fall! To celebrate Ohio’s finest season, here is a list of my favorite fall activities to do off-campus.

One of my personal favorites is the Circleville Pumpkin Show. Just as the name suggests, this festival is all about the pumpkin! Try one of the many different ways that pumpkin can be used: from pumpkin brownies, to pumpkin funnel cake, to pumpkin donuts, and even pumpkin pizza!

There are so many different ways to enjoy pumpkins and the Circleville Pumpkin Show is definitely a must-see. Last year, my residence hall had free busing to the event, so definitely check explore whether any residence halls  or campus organizations are planning to make a trip out to the event.

My second favorite thing to do during the fall is to go apple picking. Lynd Fruit Farm in Pataskala, Ohio, is a wonderful place to visit! Many residence halls organize bus rides to the Lynd Fruit Farm from campus, so again, ask your residence hall or your RA if there are any planned trips to the farm.

Lynd Fruit Farm also has an 8-acre corn maze where you can step out of our world and begin an amazing adventure into a maze of mystery and intrigue! Apple picking is great way to celebrate the beginning of fall by hanging out with friends, taking some great pictures, and tasting some crisp, yummy apples.

Finally, another great event in Columbus is the HighBall Halloween Masquerade in the Short North. The one-night event is centered around a Costume Couture Fashion Show, followed by a street party, live art, electrifying stage performances, and a public costume contest. All the proceeds go to support the initiatives of the Short North Arts District.

Autumn is finally here, so let’s sit back, relax, and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate as we watch the leaves turn to pretty shades of fall.​ Happy autumn everyone!


Your Week in First Year Success: October 27-31

For many kids, Halloween means one thing: Trick or Treat! In honor of this tradition, let’s take a look at some First Year Success Series sessions that will provide you some “tricks” and “treats” to be successful during your first year.

Party Smart
Theme: Health and Wellness
October 30, 11 a.m.-12 noon

You may be thinking about dressing up and going to a great Halloween party, but are you also thinking about making good decisions when you party? This session will help you create a strategy to have a great time at a party while also keeping yourself safe.

This isn’t the only way to look smart this Halloween.

Remembering the Act: Archival Reflections on Civil Rights Exhibit Gallery Talk
Theme: Diversity and Global Awareness
October 27, 10-11 a.m.

It has been 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. To celebrate, the Ohio State Libraries is featuring an exhibit to reflect on the political, historical, and cultural aspects of the struggle that led to the passing of this significant law. Join the exhibit curator for a talk on the exhibit.

There are many ways to celebrate the 60’s this Halloween!

Academic Success 101: Practical Guides for International Students
Theme: Health and Wellness
October 27, 3-4 p.m.

Making OSU your home away from home: Practical Guides for International Students
Theme: Health and Wellness
October 28, 1-2 p.m.

International Students and U.S. Laws
Theme: Finances
October 30, 3-4 p.m.

There are many things for international students to think about as they transition not just to Ohio State, but to a new culture, new laws, and new academic settings. These sessions in the First Year Success Series will assist international students in all of these transitions so that students from all over the world will know the tricks to being successful Buckeyes!

You don’t need to dress like this to be a great Buckeye.

Find Your Career Path: Career and Major Exploration and Decision Making
Theme: Academic Engagement and Career Exploration
October 30, 9-10 a.m.

Are you still not sure what you want your career to be? Are you reconsidering the major you originally chose? These are very common concerns for the first year of college. Come to this session to learn about myths surrounding making decisions about your career and do an activity to see what kinds of careers may be best for you.

Find the career that looks best for you!

Getting over the hump: Navigating the rest of your first semester
Theme: Academic Engagement and Career Exploration
Various dates and times

Of course, there are many common issues first-year students are facing at this point in the semester (and we are not talking about figuring out what you are going to dress up as for Halloween). What are some tips and tricks to help you be successful? How can you help your friends who are struggling? This session will help you learn where you can go when you find yourself not feeling at your best.

Of course, you can always get over the hump by being a camel for Halloween!

Be sure to register for your First Year Success Series sessions now at www.go.osu.edu/FYSS! As any experienced trick-or-treater knows, waiting may leave you with fewer treats to choose from. If you continue to be successful, you may get to wear the best costume ever in a few years…