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Things I wish I had known as a freshman

Cody Cousino / Photo editor

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Going into my senior year of college, there are a certain number of things I have learned that I wish I knew on this day three years ago.

1. Walk

When I came to college, I had a plan to ride my bike everywhere, or if it was a longer trip, ride the CABS buses. Bottom line: Walking is better. When going to class from the dorm rooms to class I can’t think of any walk that is longer than around 15 minutes (sans the Ag. Campus.)

With the amount of foot traffic on the sidewalks, roads and paths, there simply is no room to ride your bike comfortably. Also, with a bike there is the guarantee that it will be stolen. WARNING: If you have a bike, buy a U-lock. No matter how tough those chain locks advertise to be, they can be broken in seconds.

My bike was stolen almost five weeks into my freshman year because one day I got lazy. I thought the U-lock was a hassle and I had a chain lock on there anyway, and the next morning the bike was gone.

Buses are OK, but with the amount of time it takes to wait for a bus and the demand for the buses – especially on central campus – walking is faster.

2. Learn the bus routes

There are times where busing is a better option. Late at night, class far away, weather are all legitimate reasons for riding the bus, so make sure you know the bus routes.

Not all bus routes run 24/7. Some run only during the day, others only at night. Some run north, some south, some east, some west. Know where you are going before you blindly hop on a bus. The “it will get me there eventually” mentality can cost you more than an hour of lost time.

3. Go to class

This one might seem obvious for incoming freshman, but skipping a Communication 101 lecture at 9:30 in the morning is soon going to become a very real temptation.

“Oh, there are 500 people in that class, he posts the notes online, I’ll just show up for the exams.”

Wrong. This habit can and will lead to bad grades. I don’t care if you show up hungover, wearing pajamas and smelling like tequila, go to class. Take a couple notes, and read the notes online. Learning the material will be a lot easier when you’ve already listened to someone teaching it.

Trust me, when it hits about the third week of the quarter you will start to see the lectures get smaller and smaller. Don’t be one of them.

4. Utilize the RPAC

The RPAC – the giant recreation center in the middle of campus – is one of the greatest resources for nearly anything. You can play basketball, volleyball or badminton. You can run on the treadmill, run laps or ride an elliptical. You can play ping-pong, take a yoga class and learn to dance.

The amount of things you can do there is virtually limitless. It is one of the best – if not the best – rec center on any college campus, and to let it go to waste is a shame. You already paid your $82 a quarter to use it.

Oh, and a side note for everyone on the meal plan, the Courtside Cafe in the RPAC has the best food on campus. Hands down.

5. Get out of the bubble

I don’t know what it is, but there is almost an unwritten rule that you are not allowed to leave the campus area. Ohio State is located in an awesome city with so much to do outside the barrier of Lane and High. There are non-OSU sporting events: the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Columbus Crew and the Columbus Clippers. There is an arts district in the Short North. Go to COSI, go to the Scioto Mile, go to the Lifestyles Community Pavilion for a concert. I really don’t care where you go, just get off of campus every once in a while.

For students: Your BuckID is also a bus pas for all COTA buses in the Columbus area. Again, you already paid for it through your fees, so when you want to leave campus, check the bus schedule.

… and finally.

6. Be social

For the freshman reading this, the people you met yesterday when you moved in will be your best friends. Go around your floor today and meet as many people as you can. Go to the Involvement Fair with them and get as much free stuff as you can as a group.

These people will be your friends for a long time. You will make mistakes together and create memories. While four years seems like a really long time, looking back on my first week at Ohio State, it almost went too fast. Cherish moments with your friends, and if you know a lot of people from high school here, make more friends. Don’t stay in your high school clique. There are literally 100 more things I could put on this list, and if you ask me, I’ll be happy to tell you more.

But there are some things you need to learn for yourself. Good luck, and have a great year.

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