College | Incoming Student Advice

If there’s one thing I can do, it’s that I can reflect on my own college experience and wish I had done certain things differently. It’s something I take with me whenever I talk about school and answer questions. At the moment, my eighteen year old sister is about to endure the college world and I’m here to offer all the support she can get. I push her to do everything I didn’t and I give her information to tell her friends that will be attending my alma mater. Being a big sister is pretty easy in this field. I’m not too old where everything has changed and I just recently graduated so my experience is something she can grow from.

If I were to do college all over again, what would I change?

One | I would take the initiative to go to all the fairs at the beginning of the semester and gather as much club information that I can. Of course, make sure those clubs are something that you are interested in. There’s nothing worse than signing over your email and getting updates on something that was just there to write on. Clubs are the best way to make friends outside of class and residence halls. There’s so many choices at Ohio State and so many opportunities to network for your future. Don’t pass up on it. 

Two | Join the sorority – now this is only if you’re interested in that style of life. I wish every day that I had went through with my rushing plans. I sat back because my friend at the time didn’t want to do it and that left me as a lone wolf to explore them all. I gave up. I wish I hadn’t because that’s another opportunity to network and make friends. This group becomes your backbone and sisters – or brothers if you join a fraternity.

Three | Take advantage of the resident hall events. I know the one year I was in the dorms, I would be too tied up with some friends and miss out on bonding moments. Those could be so important. My younger brother went to his and found out ways to become a RA – they’re surprisingly helpful and you make friends with your RA and floor mates. 

Four  | Study a week or two in advance, not two days or the day before the midterm. This was my biggest fault. I would put off studying because I could do it tomorrow or the next day. Soaking up information the day before was my go-to in high school and I soared high from it but college is different. There’s so much information and one can only retain so much at a time. Definitely study in a good amount of time – make flashcards, go to study groups, do Google Doc study guides with classmates, there’s so much that can help you stay on task so take advantage of it.

Five | Sporting Events. I didn’t go to Ohio State’s football games until my last two years there and I went to maybe four Kent State Games before I transferred. Check out all the sports that your school has to offer – most games are free for the students and it’s a great way to have school spirit and cheer your classmates on.I would have definitely went to more sporting events had I given it a thought but I was too consumed with whatever.

Six | Go to office hours. Reach out to your professors and build relationships – they might be a person of reference you need, depending on what field you go into. Use the sources that are given to you. You pay to learn and you can receive extra help on your own time. Ask for help from TA’s as well, they’re graduate students that might have a better take on a problem. Always use your resources. If there’s free tutoring, take advantage of it!

Those are just a few things I would have invested in if I could redo it all or even have another year! There’s so many resources out there, take advantage of whatever you can get your hands on and apply to your future. College is what you make it, just remember that!


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