Whether you saw us at Orientation or at the library studying for an exam, FYE Peer Leaders are everywhere. As the wise Hannah Montana once said, “I’m a lucky [student] whose dreams came true, but underneath it all I’m just like you.” The best part of our role is that we are YOUR peers! We take classes, participate in student organizations, and eat in the dining halls–and, believe it or not, we were all first-year students at one point, too! We know what it’s like to complete your first big college exam and get chills, or question what to get involved with on campus. Let’s face it: college is hard, but we’re here to help you figure those hard things out because we all wish that we had a Peer Leader there for us during the low points of our first year as well. In order to continue building relationships and connecting with Peer Leaders, it is important to bust some myths about Peer Leaders.
MYTH: Peer Leaders are scary upperclass students
Peer Leaders are in fact anything but scary upperclass students. Whether you want to talk about dogs to relieve stress or have a serious conversation about missing your home, every single Peer Leader is here to lend an ear. We care about the well-being of every student and want to help each and every person have a successful first-year and beyond. Do not be afraid to say hi when you see us on the Oval or reach out to us if you want to chat! Peer Leaders are friends, not food (:
MYTH: I should strive to be just like the Peer Leaders
The only thing you should strive to be just like is yourself! Although the Peer Leaders are wonderful people, you should utilize their knowledge and resources to help you grow closer to the person you have always wanted to become. Discover the people and things that make you light up the same way each one of us lights up about the things we are passionate about.
MYTH: If I make a mistake, a Peer Leader will be disappointed in me
We have all made mistakes, trust me. I have made plenty of mistakes during my collegiate career and so has every other Peer Leader. The best feeling in the world when you make a mistake, however, is having someone tell you, “it’s okay”. That is exactly what we are here to do. We are not here to get you in trouble or instill our own values upon you, but rather love and support you through the best four–yet toughest–years of your life. Some of the greatest mistakes I have made here at Ohio State have in fact not been asking for help when I needed it most. No matter if you find support through your Peer Leader, family, friends, or other campus resources, make sure to have the courage to ask for help, because we all need somebody to lean on!
MYTH: Peer Leaders have it all together
This just might be the biggest myth of them all. I can 120 percent guarantee that each one of us is still trying to figure life out one day at a time, just like each of you. None of the Peer Leaders are perfect, and neither are you, but that’s okay! It makes us normal and unifies us as one Buckeye family! It is important to remember that even Ohio State’s greatest leaders do not have it all together, but together we have it all.
When these barriers come down and myths are broken, you can finally start to see us for who we truly are: not the cool students in a red polo, but rather a genuine friend and resource who wants nothing more than see you find happiness and success here at Ohio State!