A LIST OF DON’TS FOR YOUR FIRST YEAR
It’s your first year at college and you’re excited for a year full of long nights at Thompson, Saturday morning blocks bouncing between Beta and SAE, and trips to Scott with new friends from your dorm floor. The last thing you want is to accidentally say the wrong thing and come across as a total rookie. Here are some things to avoid screwing up your #New2OSU year.
1. DON’T bring up your high-school GPA or standardized test scores.
Although this may seem like a no-brainer, you may not be able to resist the temptation of stunting on your new friends with your high school achievements. But there are certain things you need to leave in the past – and your old academic accomplishments are the first to go. No one is going to care whether you got a 23 or a 3 on your ACT; college is a fresh start for everyone. So maybe rethink bragging about how you were your high school’s salutatorian, because while you might think you’re impressing your peers, in reality, it just makes you look like a douche and will make everyone think you’re stuck in high school. Move on and make new memories.
2. DON’T sleep with someone from your floor.
Yes, there is a chance that you’ll end up dating and you can tell everyone at your wedding about how you met the love of your life in Lincoln Tower after a sweaty drunken hookup. But let’s be realistic: most floorcest situations just end in extremely awkward bump-ins at the water fountain and crying sessions when you see that they brought someone else home from Bulls after you break up. Save yourself the pain and embarrassment and look for your next hook-up in a different dorm building; you’ll thank yourself in the long run.
3. DON’T get stuck in the same routine.
It’s easy to find yourself in a rut when all you do is wake up, go to class, come home, then do it all over again. Doing the same thing over and over can negatively impact your mental health, so try your best to mix things up every once in a while. So many freshmen find themselves spending every night in the library, or every night closing down Midway; it’s okay to do either, but make sure you’re finding a healthy balance. Make sure you’re having fun while focusing on your school work, and maybe even throw in a new hobby every once in a while. The Ohio Union often has fun multicultural nights, resident advisors set up fun programs like painting and making cupcakes, and the Short North and downtown Columbus are only a quick COTA ride away. Just give your brain and liver a break once in a while and break out of your monotony by trying something new.
4. DON’T sit alone in your dorm room all the time.
Don’t get me wrong, taking a time-out to sit with your thoughts is always necessary. But if you find yourself spending most of your free time in your dorm room and consistently turning down offers to hang out with your peers, realize that you might need a change of mindset. Getting involved in an organization is a great way to meet new people if you’re having trouble finding a new group of friends. The craze of the Involvement Fair can make finding a new interest overwhelming as hell, so if you’re feeling swamped by all the choices, try checking out organizations online, or looking at flyers hung up around your dorm. Even your resident advisors or floormates may be involved in activities that sound interesting and can get you out of your room and into the crazy world of college.
5. DON’T get discouraged.
College classes are hard as hell. There will be classes that break you down, that ruin your GPA, that make you want to drop out and become a stripper (my personal hell was Calculus 1). The important thing to remember is that you were accepted to Ohio State for a reason, and that even though school will kick your ass, there are people and resources you can use to your advantage. Teaching assistants (TAs) are usually helpful if you need an extra hand, and they are a great person to ask if you need to get extra tutoring, which most departments provide. The Younkin Success Center also has tutoring assistance. Also, websites like Khan Academy are pretty helpful for a broad range of topics. No matter what, remember that there are people in your corner, whether it be your peers or your professors. Don’t lose hope if you get a bad grade or flunk an exam, because trust me, we’ve all been there.
Photo by Jamie Benjamin