Bad Grade? Bounce Back in 5 Steps!

Now that the first round of midterms is almost over, you’ve probably started to get your first midterm grades back. If you didn’t do as well as you expected on an exam, don’t be discouraged! Taking college exams is not an easy task, especially if you’ve never taken one before. Now that you are more familiar of how an actual college exam works, let’s take some time to reflect on how you can improve the next time around!

Here are some tips that I have found helpful after getting a disappointing grade on a midterm.

Talk to your instructor

Stop by office hours and go over your exam with the instructor. This is really helpful because you’ll be able to go over your mistakes and find out why your answers were incorrect. Make sure to ask questions and always ask to clarify a topic that you do not completely understand. Your professors are always willing to give you guidance on how to approach their class, so don’t be afraid to reach out to them!

Develop new study habits

In high school, you may not have studied much for midterms. In college, studying may require hours at Thompson Library, memorizing pages of notes and study guides. This is not always the most effective way to study the material. In my time as a college student, I’ve learned that it’s not about how long you study, but rather how well you study. The Dennis Learning Center in the Younkin Success Center has several student resources for effective study skills. You can also attend Use Your Brain! Memory Tools for Effective Studying (register through the First Year Success Series) if you want to learn a new way to study!

Make use of the resources on campus

Ohio State has so many resources on campus. The university wants its students to succeed above and beyond and it is only fitting that we use these resources to our advantage. Check out these campus tutoring centers (if you haven’t already) for help with subjects that many students study in their first year.

Campus Tutoring

Hold yourself accountable

Too often we place the blame on the professor with a different accent, or on our friends for distracting us, but we need to be the one to take responsibility for the disappointing grade. Placing the blame on someone or something else is counterproductive because then you will never be able to recognize how you can do better in the future! If you do get a bad grade, it’s okay to be upset about it, but then try to find ways to improve yourself. The best way to deal with a bad grade is to put in the effort to do things differently and to strive even harder the next time for the grade you feel like you deserve.

Stay motivated

Getting your first bad grade on an exam can make you rethink a lot of things in life: your major, your career choice, and maybe even your time here at Ohio State. Don’t fret! Everyone struggles with staying motivated at one time or another…I know I still do! Just know that we can get through this together! I found this article about staying motivated in college to be helpful.

The most successful students are the ones who ask for help when they need it! Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support, whether it’s from your professor, your TA, your RA or even your Peer Leader. Just know that together, we are all here to help you pave your path to success! Stay positive, work hard and make it happen!

5 Ways to Meet New People on Campus

Welcome Week was fun and busy with hundreds of events all over campus, making it easy to meet new people through opportunities that were already planned for you–all you had to do was show up! Still, some new students do not make great connections during Welcome Week, and if you’re one of those students, you’re not alone…and you don’t have to worry. Here are five great ways to meet new people (now that Welcome Week is over):

Leave your door open in your residence hall (when you’re inside your room)

If you are living in a residence hall, you’ve learned by now that you are surrounded by many other students living on your floor, many of whom are new just like you. If you are just hanging out in your room, leave your door open. As people walk by, invite them to join you. Who knows, your new best friend could be living down the hall!

Introduce yourself to someone in class

If you get to class a few minutes early, introduce yourself to the person next to you. Maybe you will make a new friend, or–at the very least–a new study buddy. The First Year Success Series is also a great place to introduce yourself. Everyone in attendance at your session will be a first-year student, too, and since you all selected the same session, you already have something in common! Ask a student why they choose the particular session–it could be a great conversation starter!

Ask someone new to get lunch

Everybody has to eat, so next time you are heading out for a meal, ask someone new to join you. Maybe this is someone in your residence hall, or someone in class. Maybe you choose to venture out and try a new dining location.

Attend a fitness class at the RPAC

Group fitness classes at the RPAC are a fun way to get exercise. There are a bunch of different types of classes, and you can find one you are interested in through the Recreational Sports website. Just like class, get there a couple minutes early to introduce yourself to someone new.

Check out a student organization

There over 1,200 student organizations on campus. Find one you are interested in and plan to attend a meeting. Many student organization accept new members any time throughout the year. This is a great way to find people with similar interest as you.

Still not feeling connected? Reach out to me or to any Peer Leader in First Year Experience–we want to help you find your fit at Ohio State!

Don’t Fear Finals: 5 Study Tips From an Upperclassman

Finals are one of those things you think you’ll never get use to while you’re in college. But after five semesters of college, I can honestly tell you that they get more manageable as time goes on. The first set may seem overwhelming now, but when you get a few under your belt you will realize that they aren’t as terrible as they might seem. For now, here are a few ways to make your life a little easier.

1. Ask questions and take advantage of office hours.

I never realized the benefit of going to office hours and asking questions until I actually went and tried it for myself. Most people don’t like to ask questions in front of a huge lecture hall (I know I don’t) and may leave a little unsure of the material. Professors love when students come to office hours and make an effort to understand their material. It shows that you are putting in the time to understand the course, and it really makes you stand out. Professors are great to work with one on one and are great resources if you are ever confused. It also helps to go straight to the source because nobody can understand a professor’s lecture better than the professor.


2. Study a little bit each day.

Don’t procrastinate. If you start a few days in advance and study a little bit each day, it makes going through all of the material a little less overwhelming. I find it helpful to write in my planner specific things and times that I want to study each day. This helps me balance studying with all of the other things I have going on during the day. Also, I find it helpful to take short breaks while I am studying for extended periods of time. It gives my brain a chance to relax and regroup and helps me study more effectively for longer.


3. Find a study spot that works best for you.

Everybody studies better in different places. Some prefer complete quiet, and others don’t mind studying around a lot of people, so find a place that suits you best and stick to it. I really enjoy sitting in front of the big fireplaces in the Union or finding a table in Thompson and camping out for a few hours. Finding a place where you are comfortable and can focus will be crucial to studying well.

Some popular study spots include:

  • 18th Ave Library
  • The Wexner Center for the Arts
  • Billy Ireland Cartoon Library
  • Geology Library in Orton Hall
  • Prior Health Sciences Library
  • RPAC
  • Residence Hall basements
  • Academic classrooms

4. Find a way to study that works for you.

Not all the same study habits work for the same people. Find what works best for you and run with it! You may find that what you have been doing all along can be better by adding in different study habits. Sometimes I color coordinate my notes with pens or highlighters to make the information clear and separate. Other times I will use Quizlet to create an online practice test switch it up (they also have an app that you can use on the go). Finding study methods that work for you will help you to understand the material faster and more thoroughly.

5. Take care of yourself.

I understand firsthand the effects that finals have on our schedules. It is easy to sacrifice sleep for a few extra hours of studying or to eat out all week for the sake of time. It is important to take care of your body during finals week so that you can stay healthy and on top of your game. Get good amounts of sleep and drink a lot of water! If you are going to order out, try to aim for a healthier alternative rather than the greasy foods that are high in fats and sugars. Maintaining a healthy body will help your brain be able to work more effectively while you study. After all, if you aren’t mentally present because you’re exhausted, then your ‘studying’ isn’t doing you much good anyway!


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 Send us any questions at

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

Questions? Email

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! 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…


Your Week in First Year Success: October 20-24

This week marks the halfway point of your first semester of college, and one way to approach the second half of your semester is to think about it the same way a football or basketball coach approaches halftime adjustments during a game. Effective coaches will use this limited amount of time to consider what their players are doing well, what parts of the game their players are struggling with, and what they should continue to do or change to finish strong.

Similarly, you have likely done some things well up to this point, but may have struggled in other areas. Now is the time for you to make your own halftime adjustments so that you will finish the semester with great results! These First Year Success Series sessions will help you do just that!

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

This workshop is facilitated by members of the First Year Experience staff specifically to help you make the halftime adjustments I referenced earlier. We are the experts, or coaches, who can help you reflect on how this semester has gone and what you can do to finish strong. This session is interactive and engaging in order to get you thinking critically about your success.

Developing a Mindset for Success
Theme: Health and Wellness
October 22, 1-2 p.m.

Sure, you have the ability to do well at Ohio State, but do you have the mindset to be successful? Do you want to learn how to adapt your mindset to persevere for the rest of this semester and beyond? This session can help you think about how your brain functions in a way that can help you thrive!

Creating your own Path: Living and Leading with your Values
Theme: Leadership and Civic Engagement
October 23, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Everyone has values which they hold dear. What are the values which are most important to you? More importantly, how do you make decisions which are in alignment with your values? This session will challenge you to think about your values and how they play a role in your daily life.

FYSS Guide for First Generation College Students
Theme: Health and Wellness
October 23, 7-8 p.m.

Students who are the first in their families to attend college can face unique challenges during their time in college. Don’t let these roadblocks stop you from having a terrific first semester. This session will help first-generation college students navigate some of the structural complexities of university life.

Creating Quality Relationships: Practical Guides for Cross-Cultural Communication and Relationship Building
Theme: Health and Wellness
October 24, 3-4 p.m.

In your time at Ohio State, you are going to meet people from many cultural backgrounds. To be successful, you will need to be able to build relationships across cultural barriers. Doing so will allow you to make more friends, learn about new experiences, and see the world from different perspectives. Attend this session to learn skills for creating these great relationships.

With these and other FYSS sessions, you will be able to develop the right game plan for success! Sign up now for your First Year Success Series sessions at before they fill up!

Your Week in First Year Success: October 6-10

While each Ohio State student has his or her own unique experience, there are aspects of that experience which are very common for many students at this point in the semester. This week, I will highlight some First Year Success Series sessions which may be applicable to many first-year students at this point in the semester.

Situation #1: “Oh no! I forgot to sign up to go to the Jeannette Walls talk for the Buckeye Book Community!”

No worries! There are several Buckeye Book Community sessions still available. A fun option is the “Buckeye Book Club Express at CCS Recess!” Counseling and Consultation Service is hosting Recess to help you reconnect with your childhood and explore the positive impact play can have on your life. Part of this event will include a chance for you to creatively reflect on the themes of The Glass Castle.

Buckeye Book Club Express at CCS Recess!
Theme: Buckeye Book Community
October 9, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Situation #2: “I’m really missing home and the friends and family I left behind.”

You are not the only one. Homesickness is an extremely common issue for college students which many people have written about. To successfully handle the stress of homesickness, you should address it so that you can stay connected to your home while enjoying your new surroundings at Ohio State. There is a First Year Success Series session for you to do just that!

Theme: Health and Wellness
October 10, 3-4 p.m.

Situation #3: “I took my first test and it was horrible! I couldn’t focus/breathe/remember what I studied.”

You may have test anxiety. Many students who are incredibly intelligent struggle when put in a testing situation. The “Test Anxiety” session can help you identify what stresses you out about test-taking and help you create strategies to help you succeed on exam day!

Test Anxiety
Theme: Academic Engagement and Career Exploration
October 8, 3-3:50 p.m.

Situation #4: “I want to learn about the technologies that will make me stand out and be a digital learner.”

In college, learning is not confined to the classroom. More often, learning is happening online through multiple platforms. By teaching yourself to be a digital learner, you will gain an additional advantage in the classroom.

Being a Digital First Buckeye
Theme: Academic Engagement and Career Exploration
October 7, 8-9 a.m.

Scenario #5: “I am an international student and I’m trying to become more aware of U.S. laws and policies.”

Coming to study in the U.S. contains additional challenges for many first-year international students. In addition to adjusting to life in college, you must adjust to a whole new culture with its own laws and rules. Come learn what laws and policies that international students should know to be successful.

International Students & U.S. Laws
Theme: Finances
October 7, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

It is common for first-year students to continue to experience new issues throughout the first semester of college. Don’t be afraid to seek help whenever you realize you need it. Sign up now for your First Year Success Series sessions at before they fill up!