It’s finals week:
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the Oval is full of life. In the forefront of your mind, you are likely thinking about the summer plans taking place shortly. No matter what you will be doing, we all need some relaxation time! Amidst all of this happiness, you realize that the semester is almost over… meaning finals week is soon approaching us. Finals week this time of year can be a challenge for a few reasons:
Keeping all of this in mind, here are some tips to tackle finals week and stay on top- even when you have spring fever.
The most precious thing that we have as college students is time. With only two weeks left and a lot to do, good time management is key. Make a list of things you have to get done each day. The key is to set small goals so you don’t get overwhelmed. For me, I make a to-do list for each day and set small, realistic tasks I know I can accomplish. Plus, it is so gratifying to finish a to-do list!
The idea of being stuck inside the library for the next two weeks seems sad, but if you utilize the great spaces on campus you can enjoy the outdoors, too. Even if studying outside isn’t for you, try taking a a break by walking or tossing a Frisbee outside.
The Office of Student Life puts on an an entire day of free activities and events. Take a study break with some friends or even try a workout class to give your brain a rest. You can check out the schedule online for this year’s reading day, which is Tuesday, April 26.
With all of the assignments and studying, you might forget that you will need to make plans to move out of your residence hall if you live on campus. Talk to your RA or reach out to your Peer Leader if you need packing advice and travel tips, and review the information on the housing website to make sure you’re following move-out procedures correctly.
All of your friends might be done with finals at different times, so it is important to stay on top of this. Plan ways to stay in touch with your friends over the summer, whether that be through Skype, texting, or even a trip! Having some trouble thinking of ways to stay in touch with your friends? Contact a Peer Leader!
One of my most important values is gratitude, for a simple thank you goes a long way. I would not be at the place I am now without the professors, friends, and family who have guided me through my Ohio State journey. Make sure to thank those that made an impact on you before you leave for the summer. Here are a few ideas of people to thank:
With these tips, I hope you can tackle finals week. Take a deep breath and enter finals week organized, and of course thankful for a great first year.
From being cooped up inside all of the time and practically living inside your parka, it is easy to feel the blues–especially when it comes to body image. Negative self-talk can be prominent in these winter months, especially as we approach spring break. I have heard all types of conversations in the dining halls, with the most popular tagline being,
I can’t eat this cookie because of my spring break bod.
I see people I know picking out parts of their bodies they do not like, exercising extreme amounts, and fantasizing over the sculpted and tan bodies of celebrities in magazines and on TV. With half of semester under your belt, I wanted to pose this question: How do you feel about yourself?
It is easy to feel like you are the only one suffering from poor body image, but it is more prevalent than you thought–especially on college campuses. Here are some statistics from a body image campaign through dosomething.org:
The National Eating Disorders Association website has many resources on how to develop a better self-body image. Here are a few steps that you can take today to feel better about yourself:
Be sure to know when it is important to work with a professional. Here are some campus resources if you would like to seek additional information and help.
By now (for better or for worse) fall semester grades are posted. You may be less than thrilled with how your courses turned out. You may be panicked that you did not achieve that perfect 4.0. This may be the first time in your life you have ever had to study, struggled academically, or even gotten a grade lower than an A.
This was me. Entering my first year at Ohio State I had never gotten anything less than an A- and I was bound and determined to make sure it stayed that way. Yes, I knew that college courses were more rigorous, but I had always succeeded academically…so why should anything be different once I got to college?
What I didn’t know was that on top of all of my course work, I had to teach myself how to study. This was a skill I had never truly developed in high school and I was finding it a difficult skill to acquire. I thought that spending all of my time reading and “studying” was what it would take to be a successful student. It took me a while–actually, my entire first year–to learn what worked best for me when it came to studying and that what works best for other people doesn’t necessarily work for me.
I spent an excessive amount of time my first year studying and focused mostly on my studies. And while I did achieve a 4.0 my first year at Ohio State, I didn’t feel as accomplished as I thought I would. My mother actually told me that she wished I would get a B because she thought it would take a lot of pressure off of me. I thought she was crazy, I was doing fine at Ohio State; I had a 4.0 for goodness sake!
Fall semester of my second year I was enrolled in an Honors accounting class. It was the toughest class I had ever taken; the material was difficult and I was thoroughly confused. I spent many hours trying to decipher the information and went to office hours regularly. I had gotten a C on the first midterm and I was traumatized. I didn’t know how this had happened. I worked even harder, getting more and more stressed over this class. To this day, I remember taking the final exam and the joy I felt when I got my cash flow statement to balance.
I ended up with a B+ in that class and to be honest it is the grade I am most proud of. Yes, it may not have been the A I wanted, but I learned the most from that class and I worked the hardest for that grade. I not only learned the material for the exams, but I retained the information and still use the knowledge from that class in my accounting classes today.
As much as I hate to admit it, my mother was right: getting a B did take a lot of pressure off of me. I realized that the world didn’t end because I no longer had a 4.0 and that everything was okay. Looking back, I realize I had neglected a lot of relationships and missed a lot of opportunities because I was holed up in my room studying all of the time. I now have a much more relaxed attitude toward my academics and spend more time on my relationships. I realize that ten years from now I am not going to remember those two extra hours I spent studying for my law exam, but I will remember that dinner I cooked with my friends and the conversations we had. This more relaxed attitude has actually helped me in my academics because it has reduced the stress and anxiety I often felt before exams.
Getting a B was the best thing that has ever happened to me. It made me realize there is more to my college experience than academics and that the relationships I build are just as important as the grades I achieve.
We all know that our time in college could undoubtedly be the busiest time in our lives. Between getting involved in clubs and organizations, piling on school work and classes, and not missing a weekend to go out, we might find ourselves drifting toward an unhealthy lifestyle.
Whether it’s a late night pizza run, lack of sleep or simply having fast food for lunch every day, all of these things contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle.
After two years at Ohio State, I have gathered some tips and tricks that I think are helpful for keeping your life on track:
1. Keep a routine
A big part of staying healthy is having a schedule and sticking to it. Allocate slots in your schedule to work out. If you can’t find a workout partner or get bored working out alone. Try the group fitness classes available to all Ohio State students (the classes are part of the recreation fee you pay each term). Review all the classes offered and see which ones fit your schedule. Working out with others will keep you motivated.
2. Re-think your drink!
Although you might have more than enough blocks on your BuckID, buying daily lattes might not be the best thing for you. Coffee, although it is a liquid, dehydrates you more than it hydrates you. It might be a good cognitive stimulate, nonetheless it robs your body of water. Furthermore, Coca-Cola might be a Buckeye drink, as the soda company sponsors our school, but remember all the needless calories it throws into your body. One can of Coca-Cola is almost equivalent to a glass of water with 9 spoons of sugar.
3. Go to sleep!
Now, I understand that it may be hard to get that good night sleep on weekends. We have lots of energy and what’s college if we wasted weekends on sleep? However, you could at least make it a habit to sleep well during the week. Having a schedule can’t be emphasized enough. It will help you stay on top of your school work and avoid staying up all night for homework.
4. Don’t get TOO involved
As I walked through the involvement fair as a new student, I was overwhelmed by all the student organizations at Ohio State. That being said, you should strive to join two or three clubs that really excite you and enhance your college experience. Getting too involved in your fist year could leave you over-scheduled and stressed, exactly the opposite of what you expected before you joined. In my first year, I made sure that one of the clubs I joined was a sports club. That way I was able to stay active and didn’t have to alter my schedule too much in order to work out.
I hope some of those tips were informative and helpful. Make it a priority to stay healthy and it will reflect positively on your social and academic life.
Fun Fact: Ohio State is among the 25 healthiest colleges in America.
Let’s keep it that way!
If I spoke with your mom over the summer, chances are good that if she asked what advice I had for her to help you prepare for college life, my answer made me seem like a crazy person.
Make her call and order the pizza.
It didn’t have to be pizza–call and schedule your own cleaning with the dentist, schedule a doctor’s appointment, ask the folks at the gym how to use a piece of equipment you’ve not used before, whatever. The idea is that students need to get practice in asking someone for help and parents need practice in letting that happen without stepping in to do it themselves.
So now that you’re here–and since I don’t know how often you’re ordering pizza–let’s work together to visualize how this might look in a few different settings.
Okay…so it’s worse than just the sniffles…you know you’re running a fever because your mom packed a thermometer in your bathroom kit before you moved in. In addition to the self-diagnosis tools on its website, the Wilce Student Health Center also provides an advice nurse and has great directions for how to schedule an appointment (you can do that over the phone, online or in person). If you do need to head over to their location on Millikin, be sure to bring a copy of your insurance card and an ID, along with a way to pay your co-pay!
You don’t have to rely on your neighbor down the hall, but he may want to walk with you over to the evening tutor room at the 18th Avenue Library. While faculty office hours are wonderful, we know that sometimes the first step is going to get help from the peer tutors at the Math/Stats Learning Center. The Center does a great job about posting online tutorials, workshops and exam reviews on their website, but there are real live people who can offer assistance as you work on your homework in the daytime and evening tutor rooms.
Go with questions that you have partially figured out to see where you went wrong.
Go with questions that you have already figured out to make certain that you got them right.
You may find that it’s just a great habit to get into to use that hour between classes to head straight over to Cockins Hall and sit down in the tutor room while you work on your homework instead of waiting until after the Tonight Show monologue to get started. Use those daytime hours for school work and those nighttime hours for sleep!
I know how you feel–there was the rush of all things “new” during welcome week and you thought it would never end, so you didn’t really pay attention to all of those emails about student org meetings or to the names of the women down the hall. Now you feel like that opportunity is lost forever. It isn’t.
Check out the student organization directory, grab your Google calendar and plan on attending a meeting for a student organization. When you go, don’t just sit by the door and look for an opportunity to leave at the first hint that someone might talk to you. Walk in, find someone at the front of the room, introduce yourself and tell them what first interested you in the Electronic Music Club or the Game Creation Club. If you have 3-4 questions that you feel comfortable asking someone and that you would be happy to answer, too, you have the start of a great conversation!
Extra bonus points if you invite the girls down the hall to go with you–maybe you’ll overhear their introductions and remember their names this time!
By now, you’ve probably thought of 101 questions to ask and are ready to take the plunge. Not sure where to direct your inquiries? You can start with your RA, the staff at Commuter Student Engagement, or even FYE at 614.292.3324 or askFYE@osu.edu. Want to know how to start a conversation with your academic advisor about course selection for spring semester? Curious about what you need to think about before walking into the Undergraduate Research Office? Let us know–we’ll be happy to help!
Now that this is posted, I may need to get my 6th grader to read this. It’s time to schedule the next round of appointments at the orthodontist…
Looking ahead on your calendar to this weekend might’ve sparked in you a sense of dread. Don’t worry, that’s common for Buckeyes on bye weekends.
With no game and no reason to don your most spirited Scarlet and Gray, perhaps you feel a hole in your heart or a pit in your stomach. You might wonder, “What is there to do without Buckeye football?”
Or maybe you don’t care about football. At all.
Either way, there are plenty of fun ways to beat the boredom during a free weekend in Columbus, and I’ve compiled a few of them for you.
Retail therapy is not only a good way to forget about the lack of Ohio State football in your weekend, but also a way to break up the monotony of your daily on-campus routines. Both Polaris and Easton are not far, and if you have a friend with a car, they’re easy day trips.
Don’t have access to wheels? You can also get to both by bus. It takes a little longer, but as someone who used her BuckID for COTA rides all over Columbus during her freshman year, I can say it’s definitely doable.
Columbus has a great scene for music and other performance arts. It’s obviously a hot spot for big-name tours that roll through the state, but beyond the box-office breakers, there are plenty of shows you can see on a college student’s budget—or even for free.
Right downtown, accessible by the No. 2 COTA bus route, is Columbus Commons, which hosts plenty of free events throughout the year, including concerts and plays. This Saturday, check out a high-energy performance by Columbus Dance Theatre. If music is more your scene, go see a smaller-venue show at The Basement, Kobo, or Kafe Kerouac, just to name a few. Tickets to these shows are often pretty cheap, and even if you don’t know a ton—or any—of the artist’s music, that’s half the fun. You might even discover your new favorite band.
While Ohio is in this limbo between summer and fall, the weather is about as perfect as it gets to enjoy one of Columbus’ many parks. Whether you pack a picnic (grab sandwiches and chips from Subway), get chai lattes for you and a friend, or just bring some music and headphones, a day in the park is something most college students forget to enjoy.
Some of my favorite places to spend the afternoon are Goodale Park in Victorian Village and Glen Echo Park on the border of Clintonville and the University District. Both are within walking or jogging distance of campus, adding to the time you can spend enjoying the great outdoors.
That’s it. You don’t have to enter with a plan. Just walk through it.
The Short North Arts District is filled with endlessly fascinating shops, restaurants, and galleries. There’s vintage shop A Gal Named Cinda Lou, T-shirt trove Homage, stationery shop On Paper and indescribable Big Fun Columbus — named one of the 20 Coolest Stores in America. Whether you crave the dynamic ice cream flavors of Jeni’s or the simplicity of Whit’s Frozen Custard, the Short North can satisfy your sweet tooth.
One of my fondest memories from my first year at Ohio State is a night my roommates and I dressed up and went to dinner at Hubbard Grille in the Short North. It was simple, but nontraditional, and we had a great time. The Short North does not disappoint.
The Book Loft in German Village will forever be my pick for a “must-see” place in Columbus. It’s located in the heart of German Village—which is also worth exploring—and is accessible from campus with the No. 8 COTA bus. With 32 seemingly endless rooms of books, The Book Loft is one of the nation’s few remaining independent book stores, and it is absolutely wonderful.
I’ve spent so many days getting lost in the maze of this place, and learning its twists and turns has been both fun and relaxing. The Book Loft is just one of those places you have to see to completely understand its glory, and it is without a doubt one of the coolest places in Columbus. Plus, books tend to be a little cheaper there, so shop away.
However you decide to spend your days of freedom from class, don’t be afraid to branch out beyond playing video games in your dorm room with your roommates and ordering PAD. While it’s easy to fall into that routine, Columbus has so much more to offer, and this is the best time to take advantage of it.