Your Week in First Year Success: September 15-19

Congratulations! You have made it through your first few days of classes!  Now that you are ready to explore what the First Year Success Series has to offer, here are some sessions to consider for the first week of sessions (which begin one week from today!):

Comfort Zone
September 16, 4-5 p.m.
Theme: Health and Wellness

Are you already feeling stressed about college? You’re not the only one! This interactive session will provide an overview of stress, how to prioritize things in your life, and manage your time wisely. Join your friends from the Student Wellness Center to identify ways to relax and overcome your stress.

Book Discussion: The Glass Castle
September 17, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Theme: Buckeye Book Community

You’ve read the book. Now let’s talk about it! Join fellow first-year students to discuss the themes of The Glass Castle.  A staff member from First Year Experience will help guide your discussion while exploring the themes of the book. Attend this session before you come to see Jeannette Walls on September 23!

A+ Research: How to Structure a Term Paper
September 18, 6-7 p.m.
Theme: Academic Engagement and Career Exploration

You’ve heard that college writing will challenge you to be a better writer, but what does that mean? Come to this session and hear from an experienced Ohio State senior student about what it takes to craft a great paper in college! You will leave with tools and resources to help you get your writing to “A+” status.

Study Abroad Expo
September 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Theme: Diversity and Global Awareness

Sure, you may be interested in studying abroad while at Ohio State. But have you thought about which of the over 100 countries you will travel to for your study abroad experience? Do you know what things you should be considering now to make your study abroad dreams become a reality? Stop by this expo facilitated by the Office of International Affairs to hear from experts about what options are available to you.

Extreme Couponing
September 19, 2-3 p.m.
Theme: Finances

College can be stressful enough without worrying about finances. Come hear from two-time star of TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” and Ohio State student Cole Ledford about how you can start couponing and save your money. Save your money now to save yourself from headaches later!

Of course, these are just five of the dozens of sessions offered in any given week! See all of the options online by visiting go.osu.edu/FYSS and make sure to register for your favorite sessions before they fill up! Let us know which sessions have you most excited!

6 Themes Not to Miss This Semester

If you’re like us in First Year Experience, you love a good theme. Themes can take an experience from basic to amazing, and that’s why the First Year Success Series has six themes to help you have the best first semester ever. Here’s some insight into each of these themes; hopefully you will see some experiences not to be missed!

Theme #1: Academic Engagement and Career Exploration

To stay at Ohio State, you will need to be successful inside the classroom. College requires you to study smarter, learn faster, and think more critically. Once you have gotten the hang of that, you may also want to think about requirements for graduate school, internships in your field of study, or research with a faculty member. Mastering the content in this theme area grants you the opportunity to continue to explore the rest of the collegiate experience–like Welcome Week.

2014 sessions to consider:

  • A+ Research: Where Do You Start?
  • Is Your Major ‘The One’
  • Where’s Woody? Find Woody Hayes in Thompson Library
  • Study Smarter! Memory Tools for Effective Studying

Theme #2: Diversity and Global Awareness

Ohio State is pretty big–over 7,000 new students started here this fall, contributing to a total population of more than 50,000 students. With a community this size, we have people representing many cultures, genders, races, languages, sexual orientations, religions, nationalities, and experiences. Appreciating diversity means more than trying different foods or taking O-H-I-O pictures on a study abroad trip (although those are cool things that you definitely should do). Being a a member of the Buckeye family means learning about different people so that we can all advocate for each other and celebrate our differences. Sessions in this theme will help you begin to explore new cultures and issues, think about studying abroad, and connecting with others who share your identity.

2014 sessions to consider:

  • Take a Stand: A Guide to Learning about Yourself & Peers
  • Study Abroad Expo
  • How to be an Ally
  • International Coffee Hour

Theme #3: Finances

Few things are worse than getting to the end of your college experience and realizing you made poor financial decisions which will follow you long after your time at Ohio State is over. What can you do to stretch your dollar and be smart about how you plan your budget for the next fours years? Go to sessions in this theme to make smart decisions about financing your time at Ohio State.

2014 sessions to consider:

  • LANDLORDS, LEASING & LOTS MORE: Get the 43201 about Moving Off-Campus!
  • Personal Finance 101
  • Budgeting Workshop
  • Extreme Couponing

Theme #4: Health and Wellness

With all of the work you’ll do to succeed in the classroom and all of the energy you’ll put into making friends and getting involved, it’s important for you to find ways to take care of yourself; that may include eating healthy, making smart social choices, or hitting the gym. There are actually nine dimensions of wellness for you to think about as a student. Sessions in this theme will help you consider how you are taking care of yourself in each dimension to live a healthy lifestyle during your time at Ohio State.

2014 sessions to consider:

  • Party Smart
  • Counting Sheep: How Sleep Impacts Your Success
  • The Right Bite on a College Campus
  • Double Dare

Theme #5: Leadership and Civic Engagement

Were you overwhelmed by all of the opportunities you saw at the Involvement Fair or during Community Commitment? Everyone has told you to get involved, but what will that look like for you? You may want to go to sessions in this theme to think about what your leadership skills and styles look like. Then, you can think about what kinds of issues on campus or in the community matter to you, and commit yourself to those opportunities.

2014 sessions to consider:

  • Your Buckeye Leadership Plan
  • Service in Your First Year Experience
  • Becoming a Nut
  • How to Avoid Poverty Tourism

Theme #6: Buckeye Book Community

All members of the class of 2018 read The Glass Castle this summer…what a great conversation starter at a table in Kennedy Commons! Maybe you and your newfound friend will decide to attend one of the many Success Series sessions where you will have the chance to talk about the themes of the book. The book’s author, Jeannette Walls, comes to campus on September 23!

2014 sessions to consider:

  • An Evening with Jeannette Walls
  • A Different Look at The Glass Castle
  • Pastries and Perspective: The Glass Castle
  • What’s in a question? Research questions and The Glass Castle

Are you ready to check out these themes? Visit go.osu.edu/FYSS and register for your Peer Leader workshop before September 12 to learn more about the First Year Success Series from upperclass students!

29 Bits of Wisdom For Your First Year

Before you move onto campus in about a month, think about what you want out of your Ohio State experience and let these bits of wisdom help you create an amazing first year.

1. Never let Facebook be the ultimate judge of someone’s character | Do not believe everything you see. Just because someone lives (or posts) differently than you does not mean he or she will be a bad person.

2. Sleep is so, so good | It’s important to take care of yourself. All-nighters will not help you pass an exam because in reality, the majority of the time you will be too tired to think straight.

3. Focus on being a good roommate, not a best friend | Concern yourself with being a considerate roommate and don’t expect to be his or her best friend. You can still be good roommates and have a great living experience together if you’re simply respectful and courteous.

4. Communicate | With roommates this is especially important. Nothing will ever get resolved unless you have honest and open discussions.

5. Get to know your professors | They are here to help you learn and grow. Talk to them and ask for help.

6. Don’t do laundry on Sunday night | Try selecting a different day and time when more machines are available.

7. Bring an umbrella.

8. Ask for help | There are so many people at Ohio State that want to make your experience amazing. Help is available, just ask!

9. Be yourself! | Why be someone else when you can be you?

10. Surround yourself with great people that will push you to your best, celebrate you, and pick you up when you are down.

11. Call home.

12. Wash your bedding/sheets and blankets.

13. Meet new people | People want to make friends but are often too scared to make the effort.

14. Keep your Facebook appropriate | It’s the world wide web, y’all.

15. Don’t leave your belongings unattended | They may not be there when you return.

16. Let yourself be a first year student | Your first year of college will be amazing and full of fun programs, just for you.

17. Take pictures.

18. Be smart with money | Create a plan and stick to it! The Wellness Center in the RPAC can help you!

19. Stay healthy | Watch what you eat and go to the gym (great stress relief, too!).

20. Reflect daily | Make sure you are making an effort to stay on track with physical, mental and emotional health. Do not let a breakdown be your first indicator.

21. Do not let stereotypes decide your feelings about people | People will surprise you in both good ways and bad.

22. Take time to be alone | You will need the time to decompress and chill.

23. It is okay to go to a dining hall and eat alone.

24. Cheer for the Buckeyes | Whether in athletics, residence halls, or our classes – be there to support your team and your entire community. We are all in this together.

25. Check your syllabi | Keep track of your assignments because your professors will not always remind you about them.

26. Get an agenda/planner/calendar | It will help you keep track of your life and help you manage your time.

27. Be silly | Get out there and be awesome! Order pancakes, chicken fingers, and a milkshake at Sloopy’s every so often, talk to the people in your class, and dance like there is no tomorrow!

28. “Don’t be scared to walk alone, don’t be scared to like it” | This lovely lyric from John Mayer speaks volumes. You are more independent at college and have the opportunity to do what makes you happy and study what interests you. Be your own person and don’t be afraid of the changes you will make in your life (for the better of course).

29. You decide your experience | Make wise choices and be all that you want to be. Don’t wait for something amazing to happen to you, go make it happen yourself.

Stay tuned for July 14 when Brandon will write about 31 Ways Your First Year is Like Your Favorite Flavor of Ice Cream!

Coming Out When Coming To Ohio State

So it’s your first year. There are probably so many things going on that you barely have time to think. If you are like I was, your views on the world are probably changing and you are beginning to find out who you really are. And I am sure that for many of you, that means discovering your true sexual orientation. If you happen to be in this situation, here are four things to keep in mind when accepting yourself and coming out:

1)   Come out when you are ready

I have heard so many people tell others to come out before it’s “too late”. Well, it’s actually never too late. Whether you come out at 20 or 40, it doesn’t matter, as long at you think it’s the right time for you. Personally, I came out when I was 15 years old and although it was young, it was the right time for me. Just keep in mind – you are never going to be completely comfortable telling somebody for the first time. You just have to take that risk, no matter what age you are.

2)   Don’t let other people tell you how to act

Being gay does not define you, nor anyone else, as a person. The concept that you have to act a certain way if you are gay is completely a myth and based on misguided stereotypes. It was a concept that I unfortunately believed in when I first came out and it really held me back from truly accepting who I was. Most importantly, remember that being gay is only a single part of you; it does not reflect who you are or what you are able to do/accomplish in life.

3)   People are more accepting that you think

One of the most memorable parts of my high school career was during government class, where we were having a discussion about gay marriage. The class was full with people who ran track with me, and I didn’t exactly think they were the most accepting people. I walked in thinking “Oh here we go.” As I was expecting, I spoke openly about gay marriage and debated with a girl sitting across from me. Class ended and my track friends started should “You go Big B (my track nickname)!” and “You totally rocked that.” The moral of this story: don’t judge people just because you think they will judge you. The people who you think are least likely to be accepting are sometimes the most accepting.

4)   People are here to help you

When I first came out, I really didn’t have anyone to turn to and it really inhibited me from advancing in my life. Once I had a support system, it was easy to be who I wanted to be. Don’t be afraid to get involved with the gay community and take advantage of the Ohio State resources for LGBT students. I went to first-year LGBT cohort for my first year and it helped me to meet some of my best friends. There are amazing support systems available to you, and using these systems will really help in the coming out process. If you don’t want to use university resources, there are so many people around you who can help as well!

College is a time of so much change, and sometimes that change can be difficult. But with the amazing resources at Ohio State and the level of acceptance at the university, there will always be someone by your side to support you in your decisions. Above all, remember that life is a gift and there is no need to waste the gift living somebody else’s life. Just be the best you that you can be!

P.S. If you are straight and reading this, make sure to always be supportive to friends coming out and questioning their sexual orientation – it makes all the difference to them.

 

 

Go for Gold!

So we’re about a week into the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and the USA team is working to bring home the gold.

Typically, we assume a gold medal for Olympic athletes is the highest achievable mark.
But what about us regular folk?

Are we running?!

We can strive for goals too!
Our goals may not be able to win gold for the USA at the next Olympics, but we can always strive to live a healthy lifestyle much like our Olympic team! Maybe you can even make “gold medals” in your life, like ultimate goals of choosing a healthy lifestyle. In your pursuit for a “gold medal” in your life, here are some handy tips you can do:

Set Small Goals For Yourself
It’s easy to get caught up in the ultimate goal, but having short and small goals are great too! Small and short goals are easier to achieve. They also make you feel better about yourself as you progress to the ultimate goal.

It may seem silly, but you can keep a journal of your goals, small and large. Refer to this journal whenever you need a little extra “push” or even to mark off a goal that you’ve achieved! The biggest part of starting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is constant commitment to yourself.

Utilize your Recreation Fee
Your recreation fee goes a long way, and there are many different opportunities you can take advantage of with it.

We all know about our RPAC and all its glory, but there are more fitness opportunities beyond just the equipment in the RPAC! There are two gyms on north and south campus: Jesse Owens North and Jesse Owens South. Both gyms provide cardio-based equipment, as well as weight training equipment.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can check out the Adventure Recreation Center (ARC)! Here you can climb on their indoor rock climbing facilities, or you can check out the outdoor opportunities that the Outdoor Adventure Center.

Connected to the RPAC is the Aquatic Center. Here you can take a dip in the leisure pool, swim some laps in the lap pool, or even chill out in the sauna (see what I did there?!).

Another great opportunity that your recreation fee accounts for are FREE Group Fitness classes. Not only is a Group Fitness class a great way to improve your health, it can also lead to building connections with others that have the same interests!

Your recreation fee is used for many different facilities and programs around Ohio State. With a little research, you can find something that fits your desires and goals!

Make Healthy Nutritional Choices
A proper diet is a great step in the right direction for a healthy lifestyle! Ohio State provide plenty of opportunities to research and discover nutritional value of their dining services. The Student Wellness Center, located in the RPAC, offers free nutritional counseling as well. At a larger level, you can choose to utilize MyPlate.Gov to make healthy eating choices outside of Ohio State’s dining services.

Find a Friend to Workout With You
In a crazy, fast-paced lifestyle that we live in college, it’s hard to keep up with a fitness program. In the same sense, it can also be hard to keep up with your relationships with friends. Why not kill two birds with one stone? Ask one or two of your close friends to be your “work out partner.” Friends are always a great way to keep you on track and motivated to keep up with your fitness goals. You both can hang out and spend time together while improving your health!

Let’s hope you don’t have any friends like Terry Crews though…

Find Fun Alternatives

Not every fitness work out has to be in a gym! There are plenty of fitness opportunities that are off the treadmill and out of the weight room. When the weather improves, running outside may be an option. You  might say, “But Levi, it’s far too cold, and there is too much snow on the ground to go outside.” Ah yes, you can even work out from the comfort of your room! There are programs, like P90X and Insanity, that are focused on fitness from your own room! Apps for your smart phone have been created for health & wellness (7 Minute Workout).

But don’t limit yourself to just working out or running. Find a group of friends, and go out and play some sort of sport! In the winter, you can play basketball, racquetball, or even take a swim in the Aquatic Center. When the weather warms up, head out to the Oval to throw a Frisbee around. You could even head over to the Lincoln Turf Fields and play soccer or football!

So what do you say? Are you ready to “Go for Gold” in your life? Take these tips and head out on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. And hey, you may even start feeling like an Olympian in your life!