Campus Life

20 Things The Incoming Ohio State Class Needs To Know

When you’re about to experience college for the first time, it can be overwhelming. Since Ohio State is a huge school, it’s easy to lose your way and get confused about many things. With that in mind, here are a list of things incoming OSU students absolutely need to know.

1. The OH-IO cheer

During orientation, they’ll usually tell you about the OSU cheer, but why not learn it here. The cheer starts with a person saying O-H and then you’ll have to reply with I-O. It’s literally as simple as that and you have to say it back because you wouldn’t want to leave the other person hanging.

2. Go Up To The 11th Floor Of Thompson Library

Thompson library is the main library at Ohio State and it’s located on The Oval. It’s honestly the nicest library I’ve ever seen and the interior is stunning. It also includes a café, Berry Café, that offers delicious drinks and some light snacks as well as packaged food. Going up to the 11thfloor of Thompson is a MUST. Why? Because you’ll be able to enjoy the breathtaking sunsets and get a good shot of them. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to miss it.

3. Download The Ohio State App

Downloading the OSU app will seriously change your life. It’s extremely useful once you get the hang of it and provides convenience when getting around campus. The app consists of a ton of campus information, for example, the location of different buildings (which can be very useful for your first week of class), the parking garages and whether or not there are spaces available, libraries, dining locations, etc. You will also need the app to check how much of swipes or dining dollars you have left on your meal plan.

4. Get Familiar With The Bus Schedule

When I first started at Ohio State, I pretty much walked to all my classes because I was lucky enough to have them close to my dorm location. However, when I wanted to get from the north to the south of campus, I realized that walking all the time would be exhausting. Even though you think you wouldn’t need to use the bus, you will, especially when it starts to get colder. Getting familiar with the bus schedules will help you a ton and it’ll make your life much easier!

5. Figure Out Where Your Classes Are

As I mentioned before, Ohio State is HUGE. So, when you get settled in your dorms, make sure to explore campus and find out where your classes are located. I was lucky enough to have my roommates take me on a tour and show me the different buildings located around campus. It made walking to class easier and you wouldn’t want to be late on your first day!

6. Bring Cleaning Supplies

Before moving in, I didn’t know what I needed to bring or what I should leave behind. I took a trip to Target and got everything I needed, for example, a mug, utensils, bed sheets, etc, at least I thought I did. One major thing I forgot were cleaning supplies! Honestly, I didn’t even think about bringing cleaning supplies because the thought about cleaning my dorm room never crossed my mind. With that in mind, make sure to bring a bunch of supplies because your mom won’t be cleaning your dorm for you!

7. Rohr Café Is Starbucks

When I got to Ohio State I was surprised that there aren’t any chained restaurants or cafés on campus. I was kind of disappointed but then again, there are wide variety of restaurants off campus on High Street. However, there is a café, Rohr Café, in Mason Hall, that’s basically a Starbucks. You might not be getting those limited edition or newer drinks, but the basics would do you just fine!

8. D-Tix

As we all know, Ohio State offers many events around campus and the best part, they’re all free. Given that, they also offer many discounts to various restaurants, museums, comedy clubs and attractions in Columbus. So, don’t miss out on any of these discounts for a chance to explore Columbus. All discounted tickets and gift cards should be purchased at the Ohio Union Information Center.

9. Attend The Student Involvement Fairs

If you’re new to Ohio State, you obviously would want to make some new friends. So, what’s the best way to do that? Clubs! The Student Involvement Fair is the best place to find a club that meets your needs and interests. With over 1,300 organizations at Ohio State, you’re bound to find something that you enjoy!

10. Eat In The Traditions Dining

In my opinion, the traditions dining is the best place to eat. With a wide variety of cuisines, you would have an amazing time there! There are a total of three traditions at Ohio State, which are Morrill, Kennedy and Scott. If you have a meal plan, perfect! If not, it can be slightly pricey but you still HAVE to go at least once!

11. Have Your Buck-ID Glued To You

If you want to be able to get into your dorms or eat a meal on campus, then you NEED your Buck-ID. Make sure to always have it with you or know where you kept it. If you lose it, then you’ll have to get a new one and let me tell you, it isn’t cheap!

12. Familiarize Yourself With The Meal Plan

The meal plan was definitely confusing when I first read about it. But, once I got to use it a couple of times, it was a piece of cake! Either way, you wouldn’t necessarily know how it works when you’re deciding which one to get, but that’s okay! When you get to campus and you feel like you want to change it, you totally can. Just call dining services and tell them which plan you’d like to change to and they’ll have it done!

13. Do Not Overpack

Being an international student, packing was so stressful for me because I had to really think about what I would need and what I could leave behind. So, I ended up overpacking and bring a lot of unnecessary items because it would be hard to leave them behind for a long period of time. When I got to my dorm, I was in a pickle as I did not have much space to put my stuff, thus, I had to make my parents take some of the items back for me. Moral of the story: If you know you’re not going to use it, don’t bring it!

14. Work Out At The RPAC

The RPAC is definitely a cool place to work out. They offer many different equipments and there are enough so you won’t have to wait! After you’re done with the workout, you can either grab a smoothie or an acai bowl at Juice 2 or food at Courtside Café. It’s convenient and free, just bring along your Buck-ID and you’ll be good!

See Also

15. Go Rock-Climbing At The Outdoor Adventure Center (ARC)

If you find yourself bored during the weekends and aren’t afraid of heights, I suggest you go rock-climbing at the ARC. Bring your friends along and your Buck-ID and have a jolly good time!

16. COTA Bus

So, there are two kinds of buses around Ohio State: CABS and COTA. CABS are the ones you see on campus that’ll take you from one class to another and COTA are the ones for off-campus. If you feel like heading to Short North for brunch or dinner, get familiar with the COTA buses and it’ll get you there. It’s free, so don’t forget your Buck-ID and this way, you won’t have to pay for an overpriced Uber ride.

17. Save Your Dining Dollars

When  you’re in your Junior year, you’ll probably get kicked out of campus, meaning that you won’t be able to live on campus anymore. Since Ohio State is such a large school, the acceptance rate is huge so there’ll be a lot of students coming in each year. Once you’re living off campus, most students usually don’t pay for a meal plan and will eat something off campus. However, a tip would be to save as much dining dollars as you can when you’re on your meal plan and then use it during your Junior and Senior year.

18. Going To A Football Game

Can you call yourself a buckeye if you haven’t attended a football game? Ohio State is famous for football so I suggest you support your school and attend at least one game. However, if you don’t know anything about football, I recommend doing your research first. Personally, I’m not a sports fan, and when I went to my first game I was extremely lost, luckily my friend knew how it worked. But yeah, if you don’t want to feel lost, search up the rules or maybe talk to a friend to understand how it works!

19. Running On The Olentangy Trail

If you’re tired of going to the gym and doing the same routine, go for a run on the Olentangy Trail and do it at night. It’s a great view and there’s just something exciting about going on a run outside. Important note: Don’t do it when it’s cold because your ear WILL hurt.

20. Find Out Which Restaurants Accept Buck-ID


The final tip is to take advantage of your Buck-ID. How? Find out which restaurants off campus accepts Buck-ID so you won’t have to bring along much cash or use your debit card. By doing so, it’ll make your life much easier and you wouldn’t need to have many cards with you.

What are your tips for being an Ohio State student? How were these tips helpful? Let us know below!
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