14 things FYE Peer Leaders want you to know about the PL role

Tyler

TYLER | This job tests your character. It will show your true colors, and how deep your heart truly is, in the blink of an eye. This can be a marvelous opportunity for people, but only if you let it. It is a job that allows you take it as far as you want to take it.

garcia-joanie

JOANIE | I don’t think I can fully explain how much this position has meant to me; it has not only shaped my Ohio State experience, but the students I mentor as well. It’s being a new Buckeye’s friend in times of hardship, listening to their stories about the highs and the lows, or even seeing them find success in their curricular and co-curricular experiences where they find a sense of belonging. Being a Peer Leader is much more than a job; it really is a lifestyle.

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BECCA | Helping first-year students navigate the ups and downs of college has helped me put things into perspective. Sometimes people just need someone to talk to, or someone to tell them they are on the right track. That can give them the confidence that they need. Being a Peer Leader is being that extra layer of support for the students who need it most. Through the Peer Leader position, there are opportunities to make a big impact in helping students find their home here on campus.

williams-alan

ALAN Being a Peer Leader has been a great experience for me. It has allowed me to meet and make connections with a lot of great people. It has been really rewarding to help them adjust into college and watching them successfully adjust is absolutely the highlight of my job. I recommend any student applying for this role because it gives you the ability to have a positive impact on a very large number of people.

oconnor-shane

SHANE | At such a large university, there are many resources and people you may never need. However, there are many times that people need help but do not realize there is an office or person that can help them with exactly that situation. As a Peer Leader, you learn not only how to help others, but also where to go if you do not know yourself.

taylor-jenkins-tennea

TENNEA | As a Peer Leader, you have to be relatable. It’s important to remember that you are a student first, and that is what makes this role so valuable. Your own experiences will help you help others, but you have to be willing to share them.

edwards-kierra

KIERRA I am beyond proud to say that because I took a chance, I had a great summer, made many memories, made awesome friends who I would not have made otherwise, was introduced to many opportunities, meet awesome students, learned that I love to help others, and grew an even bigger love for The Ohio State University.

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COREY As a Peer Leader, I have found great reward in sharing my experiences with first-year students here at Ohio State. During my first year, there were a lot of ups and downs, but I found my way through the rough patches. I learned a lot through those experiences, and this job has allowed me to share that with new first year students. I truly enjoy helping students find success here at Ohio State on a personal level.

ellis-kourtney

KOURTNEY | Think of everything you have learned throughout your college experience! Use that information to help first-year students! What do you wish you knew starting at Ohio State? As a Peer Leader, I am able to inform students about the resources around them and help them to make connections on campus and make Ohio State feel more like a community and home.

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KEN | Being a Peer Leader is not something to take lightly. It’s no easy feat. It’s not something you do to build a resume. You do it for the love and care you have for your students.

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BERTHA | When I first applied to the position, I was excited for the opportunity; however, I didn’t know that I would gain leadership skills and so much support from First Year Experience. This last semester, I also learned the importance of accountability, responsibility, and servant leadership. This office has taught me to be the leader I always wanted to be.

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KAYLA | Several times a week, I get texts and emails from coworkers, supervisors, and even first-year students encouraging me to be healthy, happy, and successful in my own journey. I feel like I have 300 Peer Leaders of my own that want the best for me. This isn’t just a job- it’s a family.

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CYRAH | This position is a great role for students who want to be involved with incoming first-year students in a way far beyond simply helping them move in. This position is also a great way to challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. The most rewarding part of this position is seeing your students transition into college amazingly with the help of your love and guidance.

A.J Zanyk Photography 2015

SARAH | I am thankful for the opportunity the Peer Leader role has given me to support new students to the university. I am extremely thankful for the support I received during my first year at Ohio State and the Peer Leader role has allowed me to return the favor to other new students. It has been extremely rewarding to support new students and I have been able to grow and develop new skills in the process.


The application for the 2017-2018 FYE Peer Leader position is now available. Learn more and apply online at http://go.osu.edu/plapp. Applications are due by Tuesday, January 31, 2017. Happy holidays!

 

Why You Should Be A Peer Leader

Are you looking for a position where you can impact the lives of first year students? Check out this video where current Peer Leaders and a professional staff member discuss what it means to be a PL, outreach to specific populations, and our personal growth throughout the entire process. I would highly encourage you to apply for this amazing opportunity!

 

14 things FYE Peer Leaders want you to know about the PL position

The application for the 2016-2017 FYE Peer Leader position is now available! As we thought about how to describe this opportunity to work with new, first-year students, we quickly determined that the people who could best represent this role are the current PLs…so here they are, with incredible things to say!

Jono

My first year didn’t go as planned–I struggled BIG TIME and it wasn’t until recently (three years later) that I started to find my niche. Becoming a Peer Leader helped me to fall back in love with Ohio State. I always wondered what good could possibly come from struggling in my first year, but through the Peer Leader role I have had the honor of sharing those experiences in hopes of helping people find their own niche here at Ohio State.

Lauren

The Peer Leader role will impact your entire Ohio State experience. It is so much more than a job; to me, it has been a transformative and educational experience. The impact is largely due to the amazing people I have met through the position–both fellow Peer Leaders and the FYE professional staff–and the friendships I have built. This position has made this my best year at Ohio State so far!

Tinae

When I first applied to the Peer Leader position, I had no idea what I was getting myself into and how much the position will make me grow. It was a life-changing decision to apply, as I met and worked with the most caring, passionate people I have ever encountered. The most rewarding experience has been supporting underrepresented students as they transition to a large institution. With intensive training, this position will push you to be a better ally for those who cannot go through this first year experience alone.

Kayla

Several times a week, I get texts and emails from coworkers, supervisors, and even first-year students encouraging me to be healthy, happy, and successful in my own journey. I feel like I have 300 Peer Leaders of my own that want the best for me.

Julia

This job will make you a better friend. When you interact with first-year students as a Peer Leader, the most important thing to do is to care about them. How do you show that you care? Listening empathetically, asking questions, and being their biggest fan. The Peer Leader role has required me anticipate what others need. This shift in your character, toward becoming a more selfless individual, will help you in your other relationships. The qualities that make me a better Peer Leader have also made me a more thoughtful daughter, sister, and friend.

Morgan

It is easy for me to look back on my experience as a PL with a smile, and I can confidently say that it has been the best decision I have made in my college career. The best part is that it never feels like work. I have met my best friends on this staff, developed meaningful relationships, and gained skills that I can carry with me for the rest of my life.

Sarah

This position is rewarding and allows you to develop more than you might expect. Many of the skills I have learned and practiced through this position, such as being a more empathetic listener, have easily been applied to all areas of my life. Personally, it has allowed me to deepen many of the other relationships in my life.

Becca

I have met so many amazing people through this position. The first-year students I have been working with are great, and to see them grow throughout the year is truly inspiring. Whether though a student organization or a campus job, I love seeing first-year students find their home away from home on campus and follow their passion.

Libby

This position has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have learned so much about myself and have been able to find my values and capitalize on my strengths. I have also been able to meet so many amazing people–my co-PLs are some of the greatest people and the students I have interacted with have taught me so much; I was so lucky to get to experience Ohio State along with them as they navigate their first year.

Austin

The PL position will test how you find your identity. It’s not about putting on a show, or impressing anybody; rather, it’s about being real with who you are, what you are about, and the hardships that you face in life. Dependence on others’ approval for your self-worth and identity doesn’t work with this job.

Joanie

As a leadership studies major, I have heard the term “servant leadership” come up in many of my core classes. I adopted the term quickly and identified myself as a servant leader; however, it wasn’t until this position that I truly and fully understood the meaning of giving yourself wholeheartedly to others. This position taught me the power of a single relationship, how to let go of positional leadership and power, and most importantly find pure happiness in paying forward my Ohio State experience to better the experiences of others.

Caitlin

The Peer Leader position has taught me how to truly listen to not only first-year students, but also my friends, peers, and mentors. I’ve learned that people usually have more to say before I share my advice and opinions. Sometimes, being a leader is simply being someone who can be trusted and truly wants to provide the support and care that students need.

Julie

An interesting thing about this position is the self awareness that comes with it. Through the work of helping others, you develop a better understanding of yourself and your strengths and weaknesses. It’s been rewarding to see how much the position has changed me (and will probably continue to change me) in that respect.

Inah

Anyone can be a Peer Leader–whether you are extroverted or introverted, this role will help you grow into the person you want to be. I wasn’t even going to apply in the first place; the role seemed too much for an introverted person like myself, but I’ve always wanted to make an impact on our campus. This role has given me more confidence in my ability to be a leader and advocate on campus and that has allowed me to promote confidence in first-year students to build a successful year.


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Applications are due Jan. 31, 2016–learn more at go.osu.edu/FYEpeerleader.

Ohio State Spotlight: The Application for Special Scholarships

Recently I had the chance to talk with Ellen S. who works in Student Financial Aid, specifically with Special Scholarships. She was able to provide me with answers to my questions as well as give me some advice on certain things that they like to see on the application.

What is it?

The Special Scholarships application enables Ohio State students to be considered for several thousands of special-eligibility scholarships that encompass a wide variety of eligibility criteria. The application is also free, just like the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

How many scholarships are offered?

Thousands upon hundreds of scholarships.

What do I need to do to apply?

First, access the application through the Student Financial Aid website. Students are encouraged to fill out both their FAFSA and the Application for Special Scholarships by the priority date of February 15.

The application asks basic questions regarding a student’s activities and affiliations, family information, and diversity. It also asks for a personal statement. [Cue dramatic music]

I’m only a freshman–How could I ever have enough to write a personal statement?

Don’t panic: the Financial Aid office understands that by the time this application is due, first-year students have been in college for less than a year. While it’s okay to highlight personal accomplishments from high school, take some time to reflect back on your first year and the things that make you proud. Maybe you can write about a professor that you’ve gotten a chance to know better, or about some affiliations–student organizations, religious groups, residence hall, etc.–that you have on campus.

The personal statement prompt has no structure or format but does require that you stick to the 900-word limit. The application gives students some prompts to get your started, but you are not required to stick to those. Make sure to talk about some things that you can bring to the Ohio State community, as well as some of the struggles that you’ve had to overcome. It is recommended that you complete your personal statement in a Word document or similar software that can be copied and pasted into the application text box; if the application timer (found at the bottom of the application page) runs out, your response will not be saved.

Common mistakes to avoid?

NOT CHECKING YOUR SPELLING AND GRAMMAR!

In a world where everyone is more text-savvy, it’s easy to forget how to properly use certain words and punctuation. Make sure to have someone proofread your work before submitting any of your essays. You can check the Writing Center’s walk-in hours in Thompson Library to get some quick feedback on your writing.

Having an “okay” personal statement

The personal statement is where you need to shine. When talking about how a scholarship can help you, an “alright” answer would be “College is expensive.” A better way to answer this question is to take some time to reflect on how a scholarship can help to alleviate some of the stresses in your life , or how it can help you accomplish some of your long-term goals.

I hope this has inspired you to get started on your Special Scholarships application! Financial Aid wants to award as many of its scholarships to as many students as possible, so take some time–winter break is a terrific option–to complete your application by February 15!