5 Tips for Navigating the Awkwardness of College

Dear Awkward College Students,

As a fellow awkward student now in my third year at Ohio State, I’ve had my share of awkward situations and look forward to many more in years to come. In the meantime, I hope to share a few pieces of wisdom on how to embrace your own awkwardness and make the most of the precariously awkward situations you may find yourself in throughout your time at Ohio State. Although you may not be able to change your awkward nature, you can still thrive in a world that hates awkwardness.

1. Improper and Destructive Ways of Dealing with Awkwardness

Let’s start off with a few things that feed the insatiable creature that is awkwardness.

Texting or tweeting at people in your life who deserve a real conversation. Technology allows us the ability to say things to people that maybe would be awkward or uncomfortable in person. Although it may be easier and feel safer to tweet a passive-aggressive comment about your roommate and the dishes that have been piling up for weeks, don’t expect anything to change by you offending the roommate in front of your Twitter followers. Other situations that deserve at least a phone call if not a face to face interaction include: roommate disputes, asking someone on a date, breaking up with someone, and apologizing if you have hurt someone.

Avoiding awkwardness by turning to alcohol in social situations. This is an extremely unhealthy way to treat alcohol and college is a time where you have ample opportunities to LEARN how to talk to people. Alcohol should not be necessary to “have a good time” or meet other human beings.

2. “Roomie, We Need to Talk”

Living with people is hard, no matter how long you have known them. Wherever you find yourself living during your time at Ohio State, if you have roommates/housemates, you will find awkward situations. However, to successfully live with someone–and in any healthy relationship in life–communication is key. Sometimes that means you must have awkward and uncomfortable conversations where you address the things that your roommate does that bothers you or makes you uncomfortable. Many times they do not realize what they do makes you uncomfortable because you never told them, so be direct but also patient and gracious.

3. Traveling Around Campus

You can easily find the students that are glued to their phones, earbuds in, and therefore closed to any social interaction on their way to class, maybe a head nod for the guy that lived on their floor freshman year or creepy wink for the girl in their Biology class as they pass them on the Oval. Rather than escaping into your music as you head to Chemistry lecture, LOOK UP, and enjoy the beautiful campus full of really awesome people! Also, it’s good practice to say “Hi” to the people you recognize (or even strangers, if you are feeling extra friendly), even if you don’t know their name; the alternative of looking down at your phone to avoid eye contact is far worse and far more awkward for everyone. The same goes for buses–you can talk to the people on the bus, it’s allowed!

4. Making Conversation

As you are meeting loads of people, this means you actually have to hold conversations…I know, scary, right? Luckily, everyone in college is in similar phases of life; we are all trying to figure out our own lives and endure similar struggles. This makes conversation easy, so introduce yourself, ask people about their lives, and don’t be afraid to take it deeper than the “Hi, how are you?” “Good, how are you?” interaction that plagues college campuses. The answer “good” really means anything from great to absolutely awful. Ask questions, get to know people, and listen to their stories, because the surface level conversations get pretty old after awhile.

5. Awkwardness in Class

College classrooms are also an awkward hot spot. Many college students use the time before class, or even during class, to scroll through social media, text their friends, or swipe left and right on the latest dating app. College is a unique experience in our lives where we are surrounded by tons of people with very diverse perspectives on life, so take advantage of it! Meeting people in class is an awesome way to form study groups, make new friends who are interested in similar things you are, and make those 8 a.m. classes even more enjoyable as you get to learn about neat things and see your friends, too!


May this picture of me in a very awkward stage of my life (that arguably is still ongoing) encourage you in your pursuit of fully embracing the awkward to make your Ohio State experience a little more pleasant and free from avoidable awkwardness.

25 Tweets You May See Your Freshman Year

As an Ohio State student, I’ve found that social media is a great way to connect to the Buckeye community. Through sites such as Twitter, you can find out what is going on around campus, keep in touch with friends, take some awesome selfies, and share everything about your college experience. For the 25th day of orientation, I have shared with you 25 of my own tweets from 2012, my freshman year. I hope you enjoy!

8/20/12: Move-in Day! First stop: football tickets 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 12.47.40 AM

8/21/12: Having a great time at Community Commitment today! Thanks @PayItForwardOSU for introducing me to awesome new Buckeyes and community service in Columbus!

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 12.56.04 AM

8/22/12: First day of classes! Placing bets on the amount of time I’ll be scrambling around like a lost puppy today. Need to get that OSU Mobile app

8/27/12: After this semester I’m pretty positive I’ll be qualified to teach my new favorite class “the art of speed walking”

9/3/12: Freshman 15 here we come:

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 12.58.36 AM

10/19/12- Attention poor and/or hungry Ohio State upperclassmen: Please let me block you for any meal any day this semester #ExtraBlocks #FreshmanProbz

10/24/12: Flashback to 4:30 a.m. when I locked myself out of my room and had to go to the front desk complete with toothbrush in mouth wearing my SpongeBob pajama set

11/24/12: It truly doesn’t get better than being a Buckeye #BEATMICHIGAN

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 1.13.49 AM

11/25/12: If you are an Ohio State student with an Instagram there is a 94% chance you have uploaded a picture of football tickets, Mirror Lake, or The Shoe

12/3/12: Love our late night talks in room 4028, random roommate was one of the best decisions I ever made

12/5/12: Just waved to one of my math tutors at JO South, so now I’ll automatically ace my midterm today…Right..?

12/12/12: How long is it going to take for the boy across the table to realize that he’s actually playing footsie with me and not his gf to my right #libraryprobz

12/21/12: Can’t put into words how incredible my first Buck-I-Serv trip was. Missing everyone already. Thanks for the most amazing experience I could have asked for @BuckISERV #OperationBreakthrough

1/6/13: Couldn’t be happier being back home. I love my friends. I love Ohio State

1/18/13: It’s 18 degrees right now and I just considered that warm. Ohio weather what have you done to me?

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 1.32.53 AM


2/8/13: SO happy to have participated in Buckeyethon! Proud of everyone who danced tonight and raised a total of $608,623.29!! #BTFTK

2/14/13: MAROON 5 IS SO AMAZING OMG FREAKING OUT IN LOVE OBSESSED. Shout out to D-Tix for the free tickets 🙂 @ohiounion

3/25/13: Officially declared a professional writing minor!!


4/3/13: Exactly one year ago I decided I was going to attend Ohio State. Honestly can’t imagine going anywhere else, way too sentimental but I LOVE MY SCHOOL

4/15/13: There are few things more frustrating than Bob Gribben informing you “your password is not unique enough”

4/25/13: Please raise your hand if you have ever felt personally victimized by a statistics exam

4/27/13: I know life rocks when I intensely click through all 56 of someone’s prof pics only to discover they were sitting at the table behind me the entire time. Never Facebook stalking at the library again…

4/29/13: Officially completed my freshman year of college! So blessed to have met so many incredible people, OSU I LOVE YOU

Stay tuned for July 9, when Dan will write about The 27 Items You Will Want to Bring Freshman Year!

Orientation in 140 Characters or Fewer

No matter where you are traveling from this summer, orientation is a great place to connect with other first-year students and to learn about campus resources.

However, how can you stay connected at orientation and beyond?

The options are limitless.

Facebook, email, good ole’ phone number? All are great options, but what we use most with orientation is Twitter. As an Orientation Leader entering my second summer working with new students, I find that Twitter is a great platform for quick connections and can be used in so many ways at Ohio State. So why not get a head start at orientation?

You might not have a clue what goes on at orientation…and that’s okay! Below are 24 ways to experience your Ohio State orientation (in 140 characters or fewer).

6:30AM: Currently headed to Ohio State for orientation. Hoping Mom was kidding when she said we did not have time to stop for coffee. #TooEarly

 7:45AM: WE MADE IT! *Drake voice*

7:53AM: Wait…how are these people so excited to give Mom and me parking passes? How much coffee have they had?

8:01AM: As if the parking people were not excited, I was just greeted by the most energetic guy. Is he a student or nahh? #WhereAmI

9:45AM: This man just had the out-of-state students stand up. He should ask if anyone needs more coffee and I would be like hi, pick me.

10:47AM: Just learned that these peppy people in red polos are actual students. They also talk loudly and walk backwards….prerequisite?

11:32AM: Was not crazy about the idea of “icebreakers” but it turned out to be fab. My small group is the best! #TeamBigBucks

12:27PM: YAS pizza. Love me some ‘za.

12:45PM: How many humans can fit in this place? #IndependenceHall #new2osu

1:37PM: Shout out to all the parents asking all these questions. May or may not have been wondering similar things.. #DBBS

2:32PM: The people in this academic session are so nice! #SpecialEdMajor #EHE #new2osu

4:05PM: Officially have my BuckID! Does this make this whole college thing real? Loving it!

4:25PM: Excited to be living in @SmithSteebHallOSU next year! Who’s with me?! #OSU18

5:27PM: Pasta and burgers and salads oh my! Options for days. Not mad about it.

6:45PM: Looking forward to the Involvement Fair in the fall. Over 1000 student orgs. HOW!?

8:47PM: #TeamBigBucks coming in hot to the RPAC to win these games. #new2osu

10:20PM: Was not expecting to laugh this hard at Orientation. #ONL #OSU18

11:17PM: The OL giving this tour is cracking jokes about some “long walk.” #OSUTraditions

12:32AM: Crazy to think I am in an actual res hall for the night. Soo college.

9:17AM: Mom, where are you? Session is starting soon! #LOTC

10:32AM: Meeting people from @OhioStResLife this morning makes me want to move into @SmithSteebHallOSU right now!

12:47PM: Classes are officially scheduled for Fall ‘14. Only one 8AM class two days a week. WAHHOOO!

1:23PM: Just picked up #TheGlassCastle for the #BBCBook at @OhioStBookstore.

2:45PM: What a great two days at Ohio State! Looking forward to the fall and seeing all of #TeamBigBucks on campus. #OSU18

Looking for more than 140 characters? Download the Ohio State Orientation guide on the Guidebook app or visit our Guidebook website.