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, 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.


Bacon, cheese, and Chinese food: the non-kosher loves of Julie Goldman

Looking back at when Julie Goldman’s brother burnt down her family’s house after throwing a cigarette butt beneath the porch, she claimed it was the best thing that ever happened to her.

“I could dyke around all I wanted after that!” she said, kicking out her leg as the audience laughed.

Julie Goldman, a comedian  who has performed on Comedy Central, Bravo and E!, brought bold and snappy humor to Ohio University’s Baker Center Theatre Tuesday night (February 9th). Although her act, sponsored by the LGBT Center, Campus Involvement, Performing Arts Series and Hillel at OU, was filled laughter and prancing around the stage, Goldman tackled bolder topics– lesbian stereotypes, what it means to be feminine or masculine (or, as she put it, “mascu-lean”), and breaking through the glass ceiling of the comedy world– with a serious tone.

Julie Goldman, who is described by ____ as "Part Jewish, Part Lesbian, All Parts Funny," posed with audience members after the show.
Julie Goldman, who is described as “One Part Jewish, One Part Lesbian, All Parts Funny,” posed with audience members after the show.


But not too serious.

Goldman told of the dilemmas and joys that came with growing up in a Jewish family. She described her mother, Phyllis, as being “four feet tall and full of disappointment,” as well as high-strung, intense, and commanding. Phyllis was a key figure in the comedy act, and Goldman impersonated her loud, fast-talking voice throughout her routine.

“She’s not angry,” Goldman said. “She’s just Jewish.”

Goldman also described the troubles of kosher living. She admitted that, like many other Jews, she loves Chinese food and looked forward to every Christmas when her family would “break the rules,” and get take-out.

“It’s literally made from pork and Christians!”

After that statement, one member of the audience whispered, “She’s like a Jewish Ellen.”

Goldman highlighted her loves for cheese, bacon, cheese and bacon, and cheese and bacon in croissants, as well, and she discussed the other taboos of the Jewish home: nudity and privacy.

Although much of her comedy act centered on her Jewish heritage, Goldman also discussed sexism and how it plays into her career.

“I’ve learned a lot about women by watching TV,” she said. After all, women love to go shopping, talk about lunch, clean the house for their husbands, get proposed to, attend pole dancing classes, unwind in their favorite lingerie set, and erotically eat by themselves. “I think sexism is the root of all evil.”

She ended her comedy bit with “the power of lesbian folk rock music,” singing a song she created herself: “Pro-Choice.”

delfin bautista of the LGBT center, whose laughter could be heard above everyone else’s during portions of the show, said they identified with Goldman because their “Cuban mother was very much like her mom.” They were worried the show’s attendance would be affected by the snowy weather, but the theater was nearly full.

“There’s so much power in her story, ” bautista said. “She tackled issues that matter, but no one wants to discuss.”






Reducing food waste with a piece of fabric

Going underground: the not-so-secret secret of Athens

Those who are bold enough to travel to the very end of Court Street will stumble upon one of the crown jewels of Athens shops: Athens Underground.

There aren’t many places I can go that make me more giddy than Athens Underground. The vintage fashion, the aged posters and magazines, the antique furniture, the oh-so-tempting typewriter… I’m salivating just thinking about it.

Here it is: the famed typewriter. I mean, look at it. It's begging me to type a novella.
I mean, look at it. It’s begging me to type a novella.

It’s a place filled with clothes hangers and memories: the time I hid behind the bookshelves and read from an old copy of Gulliver’s Travels (haven’t finished it yet), the time my roommate and I found an Audrey Hepburn-esque gown for her photo shoot, the time I promised myself I would start a pipe collection, the time I took frowned-upon photos of typewriters and displays. This little shop at the end of the stairs helps me to be whimsical for a few hours.

Athens Underground ignited my love of throw-backs. Although we live in a world that follows the latest trends, it’s incredibly refreshing to indulge in the used-to-have-been of the fashion world. And where else can I get flannels and billowy sweaters? Or worn books that make me feel like a hipster?

At Athens Underground, I feel like I’m far away enough from campus to regenerate. It’s not only my favorite place in Athens, but it’s also my escape.