How to pass your college classes

As Bobcat Student Orientation draws near, many high school seniors, as well as their families, begin to think about what their next four years are going to entail: roommates, dorm life, dining halls, parties, interviews, career fairs, apartments… It’s funny how college course are normally not what students look forward to when it comes to the college experience. It’s funny how very few students actually look forward to going to class.

Failing a class is a huge fear among incoming freshmen and their worrisome parents, but taking the right steps and avoiding a few bad habits will ensure success in your college academics. Here’s your crash course on how to pass all your classes.

 

What’s Considered Failing?

In high school, failing was normally denoted with a D or F. College is a little different, though. Some majors have certain grade requirements. For instance, at Ohio University, medical students need a B or higher to receive credit for a class. Students under the Scripps College of Communication, as well as the College of Business, need a C or higher.

 

How Do I Know Which Classes to Pick?

Let’s face it: some professors are better than others. In every university, you’ll find professors experiencing burnout, or you’ll stumble upon professors who seem to have no mercy on their students. That’s why it’s important to do a little research on prospective profs. For instance, ratemyprofessor.com is a great resource to use when you’re trying to decide between class sections: you can tear through many reviews on a variety of professors on campus; after all, a professor can make or break your experience with a certain class.

 

Failing Classes: What’s the Common Denominator?

In a nutshell, not going to class can kill your chances of passing it, and having a set routine of when and what you study will help you to remember assignments and tests.

 

Other Tips for Passing a Challenging Course

1. Send out a group email suggesting a study group.

This may sound cheesy, but it can prove to be very helpful. In most instances, if you’re really confused by a concept you’re going over in class, someone else is not getting it. Talking it out with someone could help you and your classmate(s) figure the subject out.

2. Hire a tutor.

Spending money to pay for a tutor isn’t ideal, but it will save you money in the long run (tuition, fees, and textbooks really do add up). Sometimes people put up flyers on campus offering tutoring services.

3. Talk to the professor during his or her office hours.

When in doubt, ask your professor. That’s what they’re in their office for. If you happen to have a professor who is incredibly busy or unapproachable, hit up your course TA. He or she may have office hours, too.

4. Talk to a person who participates in the class often.

Because he or she speaks up in class quite often, he or she must have some idea of what is happening in the course. *Caveat* Don’t ask for help from the class heckler: it’ll frustrate you more than it will help you. You want to get help from someone who spouts answers to questions, not his or her opinion on every topic related to your course.

5. Look up additional resources online.

When the professor, your classmates, and your textbook fail you, you always have thousands of digital sources to turn to. Schmoop is a solid place for literary and math help, for instance.

6. Check out one of the many academic centers or resources on campus.

If you need help writing a paper, book a tutor at the Writing Center on the 2nd floor of Alden Library. Their staff consists of English and Journalism students and staff trained to critique your paper and help answer your questions. Other course offer Supplemental Instruction, or SI. These sessions are packed with slow-paced information to help you work out the kinks in your understanding of the course content.

 

Now, what happens if you do fail a class? Let’s hear from a music student who admits to struggling in one of her college courses.

If It Happens to You

You’ll need to sit down with your adviser to weigh your options and hash out a plan, ASAP.

You’ll more likely than not have to retake the course; keep in mind, though, that if it was a class that fulfilled a certain requirement for your major, you might be able to take a different course. You may have needed the class for a college requirement, meaning a class you take for the school with which your major is classified. It could also be a general education requirement, or gen-ed. Depending on what requirement the class was fulfilling, you may be able to take another class instead of re-taking the one you failed.

Have no fear, future Bobcats. Freshman year is going to be epic: inside and outside the classroom. Do your part, and you’ll go far.

 

Five reasons why you should care about OU Athletics

Most people that go to Ohio University think that the athletics are no good and should not be cared about. Yeah, Ohio University is not going to be like Ohio State or Michigan. Those schools have special athletic programs.

Does that mean that Ohio University Athletics suck? Not one bit. In fact, Ohio University Athletics should be cared about and here are five reasons why.

1) A ton of the programs have had recent success

Wait, schools in smaller conferences can be successful too? You don’t have to be in the BIG Ten or SEC to be successful? That is correct.

I will make it very simple for you: Ohio University Athletics have been very successful recently. Since football is usually the most popular sport on a college campus, I’ll start there.

Ohio University Football has been bowl eligible for seven straight years and has played a bowl game in six out of those seven years. That is some pretty good stability. Only good programs can sustain that.

Ohio University Men’s Basketball has had some major national success recently. The Bobcats made the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and 2012. They advanced to the Round of 32 in 2010 and to the Sweet 16 in 2012. In 2012, they lost to number one seed University of North Carolina in overtime. Yeah, the school where Michael Jordan went. We almost beat them on the biggest stage. Not bad right?

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Ohio University Men’s Basketball upsetting Georgetown in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2010

Ohio University Baseball has made the NCAA Tournament 15 times including as recent as 2015. One of the best power hitters in baseball history in Mike Schmidt played baseball at Ohio University, too. He hit 548 home-runs in his career, which is good enough for 16th all-time.

The women have had some recent success as well. Ohio University Women’s Basketball made the NCAA Tournament in 2015 and won the MAC regular season title in 2016.

Last but not least, Ohio University Women’s Volleyball has been terrific. They have made the NCAA Tournament every year since 2003. In 2014, they were undefeated in MAC play.

2) MACtion is not that bad 

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Former Miami of Ohio quarterback and current Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger

The average fan thinks that the Mid American Conference, also known as MACtion, is garbage. Th average fan thinks that MACtion consists of bad teams with average players that will never be able to compete against the big schools.

That is completely wrong.

MACtion has produced some tremendous pro talent. Some former MACtion players include Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, Julian Edelman, Khalil Mack, Jimmie Ward and Joe Staley. Ohio has two current NFL players in Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell and Oakland Raiders corner back TJ Carrie.

MACtion teams also have shown the ability to compete with the big schools. The University of Toledo beat the University of Arkansas last season. Arkansas plays in the SEC. That conference that MACtion teams “can’t” compete with.

3) A good MACtion team is better to have than a bad BIG Ten team 

Most people think that you have to be in a big conference like the BIG Ten to have a team that you should care about. However, that is not the case.

I have buddies that go to the University of Illinois, and their sports programs stink. Their football team has made it to just three bowl games since 2010. Their basketball team hasn’t made it to the Sweet 16 since 2005.

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An University of Illinois student section during a 2013 football game vs Ohio State.

Do students at the University of Illinois care about these teams? NO because they suck.

Even though they get to play the really good schools like Ohio State and Michigan State, it does not matter. Most of the students do not care because they rarely win.

In fact, a few of my buddies from there have visited Ohio and were impressed by how many students seem to care about the sports teams. They thought it was pretty close and maybe better to what they see on their campus from students.

Also, they were jealous that our teams actually win a decent amount of games each year. Their not to happy with the four wins their football program gives them every year.

4) It can make your college experience better

The whole student body might not care about the sports programs, but there are plenty of students who do. The  student section at the games, called the O-Zone, is a very passionate group of students. 20020404-OZONE

The O-Zone is a great place to meet new people, too. Someone you meet in the O-Zone could end up being one of your closest friends in college.

Supporting the sports teams also gives you something to constantly do. You will quickly find out how much free time there is in college. It is nuts. I did not know what to do with all the free time. I still have trouble filling the time honestly.

You can only play so many hours of video games and watch so many hours of Netflix. Going to sporting events can spice up your day and make it much more fun and interesting .

5) Just give it a chance

Most of the games are free, so you cannot use the excuse that you don’t want to spend the money to get out of going to a game. There are usually tailgates that include free food for students. Yeah, free food. You will learn fast how crucial a free meal is. So, if you don’t like going to the game, you will get a free meal out of it anyhow. Win win situation no matter what.

See you at the first football game in the fall. Who cares, Go Bobcats.

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What to wear to feel your best during recruitment

Soon after arriving on campus the buzz of sorority recruitment will quickly catch your ear. If you’re anything like me, I had no idea what the recruitment process consisted of and had a million questions. So, to give you a little background, the recruitment process consists of four different rounds. The first round consists of the welcome days, the second is the sisterhood round, followed by philanthropy, and the final round of recruitment is preference night. All of these rounds consist of different activities and call for different outfits. What are these different outfits you may ask? Have no fear, that’s why i’m here. Picking out recruitment outfits can be a little stressful but hopefully after reading you’ll feel confident and ready to take on recruitment! Good luck!

Welcome Round:

These are the opening days of recruitment and probably the easiest to dress for. You will be given a t-shirt that everyone going through recruitment will wear and your only job is bottoms, shoes, and accessories. Below are some examples of what you can pair with the given t-shirt. Also, don’t forget that it’s okay to accessorize in your favorite jewelry!

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These dark skinny jeans from American Eagle would be a perfect pair for any color t-shirt and they are super affordable!  Pair the jeans with a casual pair of comfortable sandals, like shown above and you will be on a fast track to a successful welcome round!

 

Sisterhood Round: This round goes a little different then welcome. During these rounds, you will go to fewer houses and also have the opportunity to showcase your style. Dress for this is categorized as cute and casual. There are many ways to go with this, make sure you dress as yourself and whatever you’re comfortable in!

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Above is a outfit combo that would be perfect for the sisterhood round!. The top and jeans can both be found online at the juniors department at Nordstrom, and the shoes are from Target. If this isn’t exactly your style, below i’ll feature another outfit!

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Here is another cute yet casual outfit that will be extremely comfortable to go from house to house in. The green shift dress can be found in multiple colors online at Charlotte Russe as well as the gold pendant necklace. The gladiator Steve Madden sandal available at DSW completes the look.

 

Philanthropy Night: This is a special night for the sororities, it’s a night for them to showcase the philanthropy they work hard to support. During the philanthropy round, you will go to fewer houses and are expected to dress in a cute, business casual fashion. The most popular option for this day is a dress.

 

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This is a easy outfit to throw together yet still looks super cute! This long sleeve shift dress which can be found at Charlotte Russe goes perfectly with this classic black wedge found at Target. Pair this outfit with your favorite combo of ALEX AND ANI bracelets and you’re dressed for a successful philanthropy round.

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If you’re not much into heels, these flats from Charlotte Russe will easily dress up an outfit. Paired with a classic wrap dress from Tobi and silver chain from Nordstrom, this stylish combo will be a success.

Preference Night: Congratulations, you have reached the final round! During this round, you will be down to only a few sororities left. It’s a powerful evening and the last round before the ever so anticipated bid day!!! For this night you are expected to dress your best and wear a semi-formal dress.

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This semi-formal outfit is everything you need for preference night. The wine colored shift dress from Tobi is stylish and the simple necklace from Charlotte Russe adds a pop. The outfit is finished with these strap sandals from target.

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This dress from Tobi adds pattern and a pop of navy. Paired with this is a simple black flat from Target and some silver rings to add some accessories. This look comes together to look very chic and would be the perfect outfit to finish out recruitment.

 

That about sums up the outfits necessary to get through sorority recruitment. I hope you found this to be helpful and it took away some of the outfit stress. Recruitment is a fun and unforgettable time that you will always remember. Keep calm and happy recruitment!

 

 

 

Have Your Coffee and Eat It Too

You’ve heard the rumors. Everyone in college is totally hooked. They can’t live without it. They drink and drink just to keep going. Drink coffee that is. If the stuff hasn’t found a permanent home in your routine right now, there’s a good chance long class days and late nights of studying and recreation alike will drive you to the warm embrace of the all powerful bean sooner or later.

Unfortunately for most, the act of caffeination is distressingly utilitarian. Whether it’s lousy dark roast that’s been sitting in the same canister for 4 hours or an espresso drink that’s been cream and sugared beyond recognition, there’s a whole beautiful world of coffee most are missing.

It’s long been my philosophy that if you’re looking for a good time in Athens, you’re either eating or drinking. When it comes to coffee options, you can kind of do both! That’s right; Athens is full of eateries that have wonderful coffee confections that can give you that much needed buzz in style.

For the less intrepid, The Affogato from Whit’s Frozen Custard is the perfect toe tester into the waters of caffeinated confections. The treat features a shot of espresso poured over a scoop of Whit’s smooth vanilla custard. The temperature difference highlights the best parts of both. The warm richness of dark espresso marries wonderfully with the lightness of the custard. It’s simple enough to be scarfed down in a pinch or savored as an after lunch pick-me-up and the best part is, if it melts before you’re finished, it basically just becomes a mocha milkshake.

For the coffee committed, there are few power-packed snacks better than Java Drops at Donkey Coffee. At the center of each of these rich dark chocolate beads is a whole roasted espresso bean. Each candy is a textured morsel. The chocolate coating is dense and soft before the satisfying crunch of the crisp beans. A bag of them is a good snack for incremental energy throughout the day, though there is a danger in devouring the whole bag in one sitting which will probably leave you with the jitters for the rest of the day.

Finally, for the bravest of brave, without any fear in their hearts, there is the coffee bar from the Petru Chocolate Truck. The food truck that often occupies sidewalk space between Schoonover Center and College Green specializes in all things decadent. The coffee bar at first looks like any unassuming chocolate bar, although it is actually a blend of pure Ridge Runner ground coffee pressed with cocoa butter. The result is a potent treat with a hint of smoothness that compliments the intense granola-like grit of the grounds.

This one is potent. I ate half of one bar and was afraid I would vibrate out of my body. To cut down on the intensity, I also paired it with a lemon white chocolate bar also sold by Petru. The mix felt a lot more balanced, the light softness of the white chocolate reigning in the darkness of the coffee bar.

These are by no means the only unique treats Athens has to offer but they are a good start for anyone trying to get out of the sterile routine of mud from the dining halls or cafes. Athens is a place that rewards exploration. There’s always a new spot to find and a new treat to eat, you just have to go looking for it.

The ultimate guide to eating at Ohio University’s dining halls

I will level with you, dining halls just aren’t fun. After not eating dining hall food for a while they don’t seem so bad, but try eating at a dining hall every day and you will grow sick and tired of the same food every day.

Eating pizza, burgers, and more pizza gets pretty annoying, so this article will help you find variety and get to know the dining halls at Ohio University.

Boyd Dining Hall/The District on West Green:

The District on West Green at Ohio University.
Image from ohio.edu

A lot has changed since my freshman year, when Boyd was the ugliest dining hall paired with the worst food within a 100-mile radius. Today, Boyd is newly renovated and offers much healthier food compared to the other dining halls. On the flip side, Boyd is not where you go for pizza or burgers.

Boyd offers a sandwich station, a grill section with fairly lean meats, a pasta section, and a salad bar. You will learn really quickly as a freshman that eating healthy is difficult, especially considering the vegetable to fried chicken ratio in the dining halls. That’s why I would take advantage of Boyd, especially if you live on West Green since it will be close to your dorm. If you are looking for a healthy option in a much more modern and clean setting, Boyd is the dining hall for you.

 

Nelson Dining Hall:

The biggest dining hall on campus, Nelson offers all-day breakfast, a grilled food section, pasta, thin-crust pizza, Asian food, and an ice cream bar. Nelson is my personal favorite, and probably has the widest selection of any dining hall that OU has to offer.

Nelson Court at Ohio University
Image from ohio.edu

This means that you can go to Nelson a lot and, as long as you mix things up, not get too tired of the food. It should also be noted that Nelson Court is the only dining hall to offer all-day breakfast, which means waffles for dinner is now a reality for you. Also, there is a made-to-order omelette station, which is actually pretty cool relative to the somewhat bland offerings of Ohio University’s dining halls. Nelson is on the edge of South Green, and within very close walking distance to East Green as well.

 

 

 

Shively Dining Hall:

Shively Court is your standard college dining hall. It is okay, but nothing too special. There is a grill station, thick-crust pizza, pasta, salad bar, and a section dedicated to home-cooked style meals. Personally, I find Shively underwhelming, but you can decide for yourself which dining hall fits you best.

Shively Dining Hall at Ohio University
Image from ohio.edu

Shively, like Nelson, has an ice cream/dessert section that is pretty solid. One thing that Shively does hold as a strength is that it has a sandwich bar, as well as an extended building specifically for Shively Grab ‘N Go. Shively Grab ‘N Go offers sandwiches, soups, fruits, and chips. Placed right next to Morton Hall, Shively is the dining hall on East Green. So, if you live on that side of campus you will probably be making a lot of trips to Shively.

Other resources:

I think you will find the locations and hours of each dining hall helpful, as well as the menus on any given day. Hopefully you found this article helpful, and if you visit OU or end up coming here, let me know in the comments which dining hall is your favorite and why.

Potential grad students should understand the challenges and opportunities of their programs and community

Being a graduate student is a life changing experience, and students often take on a dual role as both a student and teacher.

Students considering Ohio University have a lot to consider before they enroll. First, there is the classroom where students are going to be asked to do much more than they did as undergraduates. There will also be the addition of research expectations, and finally many will have to get used to living in a new community.

There is certainly an adjustment that must be made in the classroom. Amber Damiani, a graduate student in sociology, stated the expectations increase and students have to change how they take on assignments.

Graduate students need to start planning their project immediately, there is no room for procrastination, she said. In the following video Damiani talks about developing good habits for classroom work.

The additional reading and writing isn’t the only adjustment. Students at the graduate level also have more freedom to choose what classes they will take to help them meet their professional goals.

Students at the graduate level need to change their mindset from one of simply taking classes to fill requirements to one where they consider how classes will impact their future career, said Jamie Beth Boster, a doctoral student in communication sciences and disorders.

“You can really expand and build on things that you are interested in,” Boster said.

While students can still explore in classes, they also can really dig deep into certain areas, she said. Graduate school is much more about the individual and developing as a professional.

This leads Boster to provide advice in the following video about thinking deeply about the program you choose.

Entering Grad School

When considering what school to attend there are a lot of things that should be considered.

First among them should be a true interest in the area a person is considered studying.

Students getting into graduate school shouldn’t be afraid to take a year off and truly consider what they want to do. In psychology taking a year off is not uncommon, said Allix Beauchamp, a doctoral student in OU’s psychology department.

“They should organize their thoughts, think about what they want to do, where they want to go, and what field of research is most intriguing to them,” she said. “There’s a lot going on in your senior year, people start feeling burnt out they’re wrapping up this major part of their life.”

Such a big change in life can be overwhelming. Once a student has made it to the interviewing process the school has acknowledged the student is a good candidate, Beauchamp said.

The goal for the student should be to determine if they are “a good fit for the type of program that (the school) likes to foster,” she said.

Some programs are more involved with mentoring while are less so, Beauchamp said.

“These are questions you really need to know because this sets the foundation for the rest of your life,” she said.

The student can’t be afraid to ask questions about the type of program during the interview process, Beauchamp said. This is because as Beauchamp talks about below graduate school has an significant impact on the rest of your career.

Potential graduate students get a lot of bad advice from people about what they should do, according to Elizabeth Keenan in an article on Vitae.

Furthermore, potential students need to be aware of the challenges they will face while seeking an advanced degree. For example an article from Inside Higher Ed warns that students must be prepared to take charge of their own program, understand why their work is important, and finally comprehend that most of the problems that face graduate students are psychological.

Research and Teaching Expectations

 There are research expectations that come with being a graduate student. Students are expected to contribute to the body of research in their field.

Students should understand that once they turn in a paper they shouldn’t just forget about it. Most graduate students want to do something with their work, said Ryan Dunham, a doctoral student in media arts and studies.

“In graduate school your goal should be to turn term papers into conference papers,” he said. “Use the feedback from the professor to improve your piece.”

Then if the paper is accepted by a conference take the feedback received at the conference and edit the paper again so it can be submitted to journals, Dunham said. The final goal is to get the paper published in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

As a second year doctoral student in Journalism, I believe that graduate students need to take the role of researcher seriously.

 

It’s hard to understand when you first arrive, but having confidence in your work and understanding not just what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how it ties into existing research will be what leads to a job when you finish your program.

In addition to research, graduate students often teach classes. This places students in the position of being both a student and teacher. Students also should understand they have to take the teaching responsibility seriously, make it a priority and not simply focus on their own work even if you might feel overwhelmed.

You have to remember the teaching is often your job as a graduate student and why you don’t have to pay for school. The reviews from students will also influence your ability to get a job.

Around Athens

Not every student focused on the academic side of being a graduate student, some sought to inform incoming students about interesting things to do in and around Athens. The town of Athens and the surrounding area has a number of things for students to do outside of class.

Damiani recommends outside of class enjoying the bike paths. The library allows you to check out a bike and check it back in.

“It’s a good way to see the area. It’s a way you can see the outdoors and not always be cooped up and studying,”

It would be helpful if the university offered tours, or some other type of resources, to new graduate students to learn about the history of the area and see some of the more interesting sites like Bong Hill or The Ridges, which does have tours. It would be a way for students to understand some of the rich culture within the area.

“It’s a small town so there’s the movie theater, a bowling alley, and of course the bar scene,” she said.

Steve Richardson, a master’s student in geography, focused on the number of hiking trails in the area.

 

In addition, he talked about the number of breweries in the area as something grad students like to visit.

“Most people don’t know there are actually four breweries within the Athens area you have Jackie O’s, you have Little Fish (Brewing Company), you have Devil’s Kettle (Brewing), and there’s another one that’s being built,” Richardson said. “It’s great to have local breweries creating fresh local beer for you whenever you want.”

I also believe that graduate students shouldn’t be afraid to venture away from Athens and explore the surrounding communities. Those who simply stay within the city will not understand all the area has to offer or really comprehend the culture of Southeast Ohio.

While graduate school is demanding Dunham has some advice for keeping your sanity.

Finally this slideshow shows a few of the offices where graduate students at Ohio University engage in research and meet with students.

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