The Reality of Residence Life

Ready or not, it’s time to start packing (if you haven’t already)! Move-in day is just around the corner, and as the collection of soon-to-be-transported items turns into a mountain in the corner of your house, you may begin to wonder just what it will be like.

Will I like my roommate? I hope my RA isn’t super weird. How do the laundry machines work again?

As a third-year Resident Advisor (RA) I understand your apprehension, but have no fear! Stay calm and read on as I reveal the real story behind the Residence Life rumors you may have heard.

My roommate and I were BEST friends.

While your older sibling or friend may tell you this, that doesn’t guarantee that your experience will be the same. You might hit it off with your roomies, but in most cases they may not become your new BFF. That is more than okay! You don’t have to hang out every minute and share all of your thoughts and feelings in order to be good roommates. At the end of the day, having a successful relationship with your roommate(s) is all about communication and compromise.

Sharing bathrooms is a nightmare.

I’ll admit, sharing a bathroom is not an ideal situation, but you would be surprised how it helps you to build community and feel connected to others on your floor! Community bathrooms are cleaned every weekday by the housekeeping staff, and nothing bonds you with another like brushing your teeth together in the morning!

It was so loud whenever I tried to nap or study.

Every residence hall on campus has standard quiet hours from 9 p.m .to 7 a.m. on weekdays and 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. on weekends. That means that during this time, you must be quiet and respect others in your community or the RAs may document you for a noise violation. In addition, there are 24-hour courtesy hours, which means at any point in time you can ask a fellow resident to quiet down and they should be respectful of your request.

quiet hours

The RAs love to get residents in trouble.

While documentation is an important part of every RAs job, I can say from experience that very few of us enjoy finding our residents in violation of the residence hall policies. It is a common misconception that RAs are the police of the building. The real story is quite the opposite. Most RAs take their job very seriously because they care about students and their success. Your RA is likely a wonderful resource who can connect you to faculty, events and organizations on campus that will you help you grow academically and as an individual.

As you can tell, residence life is full of opportunities that will help you to enhance your Ohio State experience! While the list above highlights some of the myths you may have heard, it doesn’t scratch the surface on all of the amazing aspects of living on campus! I encourage you to take advantage of the people, programming, support and free food (yes!) offered to you throughout this year, and to approach move-in day with excitement as you begin your journey at Ohio State.

free food

5 #new2osu FAQs (and answers!)

New students and families email First Year Experience ( on a daily basis with various questions and concerns, and we are happy to help people navigate the resources available to them on this campus.

Here are our five most frequently asked questions (and our answers) we have received in the last month, in no particular order:

I’m moving into my room in XYZ Hall on August 23rd (and I’m very excited!). What can I expect with the move-in process?

University Housing sent move-in instructions in late July to all students living in the residence halls this fall–the email was sent to your university email account. Contact University Housing at or (614) 292-8266 if you did not receive this email.

Also helpful in preparing you for the move-in process: this move-in brochure and this informative video:

What immunizations are required for incoming new students?

Although Ohio State does not require any specific immunizations, Student Health Services has several recommendations for incoming new students. Check out these recommendations online, where you can also view the cost list for immunizations that are administered at our Wilce Student Health Center on campus.


Help! There’s a non-resident fee on my Statement of Account and I’ve lived in Ohio my entire life! How can I make this fee go away?

If you are a male student (at least 18 years old) and an Ohio resident, you need to provide your Selective Service number to Ohio State to avoid the non-resident fee charge on your Statement of Account.

Visit the Selective Service website to register for your number.

SSS registration

Provide your number to the university through the Personal Information section of your Student Center homepage, accessible via Buckeye Link.

Residency Student Center

Contact the Student Service Center if the non-resident fee does not disappear in 1-2 business days.

Male plus Ohio

So, I know I need textbooks for my classes–how do I get them?

You have a variety of options when it comes to textbooks, and we don’t necessarily endorse one option over the other; however, a good place to start when you are determining which textbooks you’ll need for the semester is by visiting University Bookstore website. You can enter in the courses for which you are registered and you’ll be able to see the textbooks that are required (or suggested) for each course.

BandN textbooks

If you prefer to rent your textbooks, check the Campus Book Rental website for information about vendors and best practices. Also, discounted books may be available through used book sources such as or All of these options include textbooks in hard copy and electronic format (when available).

I got an email about the pre-Convocation survey class on Monday, August 25th. How do I know where to go?

All incoming new students (and some transfer students) who are enrolled in a University Survey course for autumn are required to attend the pre-Convocation survey class on Monday, August 25th. The day, time, and location for this particular class is different from what is listed on your autumn semester schedule. To determine your Survey class time/location for August 25:

Log into your Student Center, accessible via Buckeye Link. Click on “My Class Schedule” to view the full listing of all your courses for autumn semester.

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Find your Survey course and the name of your course instructor–most Survey courses are listed with the name of your college of enrollment (e.g. ARTSSCI is Arts & Sciences) followed by 1100 (the course number).

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Find the time and location of your pre-Convocation survey class through the FYE website.

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Do you have a question that we didn’t answer? Let us know:

27 Things to Bring to College!

One month and 14 days until move-in day! Are you excited? Are you worried about what to bring with you to Ohio State? Here are some things I suggest:

I. Seasonal Attire

1. Umbrella

2. Rain jacket

3. Rain boots

You might have heard the rumor…and the rumor is true. It rains a lot here in Ohio. So make sure you have proper rain gear with you to stay dry and stylish in the rain!


4. Coat

5. Snow boots

6. Scarf

7. Gloves

8. Hat

Ohio weather can be brutal in winter and it lasts for a couple of months. It’s essential to bring clothes and accessories that will keep you warm and comfortable.


II. Special Event Clothing

9. Professional attire

If you are looking for a job or internship, you’ll probably want to go to a career fair to check out all the companies and available positions. Make sure you dress to impress!

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10. Buckeye attire (football jersey)

Even if you’re not a football fan, you may want to join the rest of campus and wear scarlet and gray while cheering for the Buckeyes. It’s a great opportunity to feel the Ohio State spirit!


III. Study/School Supplies

11. Planner

College students are often busy and have many responsibilities. A planner may help you keep track of your schedule.

12. Folders

You may accumulate papers from your classes once school starts. Consider bringing a couple folders to help keep your things organized.

13. Desk lamp

One challenge new Buckeyes face is learning to share living space with a roommate. A desk lamp can help, especially if you and your roommates have different sleep or study schedules.

14. Laptop

Although there are computers available in libraries, you may want to do some work or watch a movie while you are in your room. A laptop or a tablet allows for more mobility and freedom.

IV. Residence Hall Living

15. Alarm clock

Bring an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning and make sure you go to class on time.

16. Laundry basket

Each residence hall will have a laundry room (typically found in the basement). Here’s a tip: try to avoid doing laundry on Sunday nights because it gets really crowded!


17. Bedding

Don’t wait until the last minute to get bedding! (And don’t forget those extra-long sheets!)


18. Flip-flops

19. Robe

Some of you may live in a residence hall with a bathroom shared by the residents of your floor. Here, flip-flops and robes can come in handy!

20. Power strip

In our modern world, technology surrounds us. A power strip makes sure that you always have a place in your room to charge all of your electronics and mobile devices.

21. Space savers

Most of the residence hall rooms are fairly small and don’t have a luxurious amount of storage space. Consider bringing some space savers with you to make the most of your closet space!


V. Emergency:

22. First aid kit

Headaches, cuts and bruises happen. Be proactive and make yourself a first aid kit to be ready for those minor ailments or accidents!


VI. Everyday:

23. Workout gear

You may hear the phrase “Life in Motion” from the RPAC challenges during orientation. There are a lot of amazing recreational facilities on campus, so get ready to put on your workout gear and stay fit!


24. Water bottle

Ohio State is scarlet, gray & green! Bring a water bottle with you to refill at a water fountain and help eliminate waste!

25. Campus map

Ohio State’s campus is huge. It’s totally normal to get lost during your first week! There will be volunteers in red booths across campus to help give directions. You can also keep a copy of campus map with you or access a map from any of your mobile devices.

f_img_blank_120130725094928Campus Locator 2

26. Travel coffee mug

Campus cafés encourage students to bring their own coffee mugs. They even offer a discounted price if you choose to fill your reusable mug!

27. An open heart

Welcome to Ohio State! You might feel a little bit nervous, excited or awkward; it’s totally normal. Come with an open heart, you will make a lot of friends and some incredible memories.



Be sure to check in on Friday, July 11 when Michelle shares 29 Bits of Wisdom to Get You Through Your First Year.