Tips Every Ohio University Freshman Should Know


Dear Little Bobcat, So I hear you’re going to be one of the Ohio University freshmen next year. I’m a little biased, sure, but I must say that was a mighty-fine choice. Maybe not for the reasons you have in mind right now, though. Let’s face it: Ohio University has its own stereotypes. Playboy thinks we’re the # 1 party school in the states, after all. I guess I’m here to set the record straight. Keep reading for some helpful tips that every Ohio University freshman should know!

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People do not, I repeat, DO NOT care if you don’t want to drink.

Think back to your anti-alcohol high school programs. The educational videos depicted a naive freshman walking into a party filled with senior jocks shouting at one another with solo cups raised high in the air like the Olympic Torch. One senior walks over to a freshman, who’s now cowering in a corner, and pushes a cup in his face.

“Shhhavve uh draaank,” (Translation: Have a drink) in his drunken slurs.

“Nnn-nno thank you,” the freshman stammers.

Yada yada yada, the freshman succumbs to peer pressure, then goes back to the corner to puke…Guess what? That doesn’t actually happen (well, the puking part might). Don’t feel like you have to do certain things to fit in. This is college: no one actually cares… Which leads into my next point.

Athens is a place of growing acceptance.

Don’t get me wrong; we are by no means perfect. We have our fair share of prejudice on campus, but many students and their student organizations are banding together to push towards better, safer, and more equal lives for all.

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Baker Center is constantly holding programs to immerse students in another culture. And have you heard about our Women’s Center? Let me tell you, it’s a big deal. Another cool tidbit: our campus is home to the only LGBT center in Southeast Ohio. Nifty, am I right?

You’ll get an education alright, but you have to do the right things to get it.

As in…go to class! You won’t believe how many people think they can just get notes off their classmates. Don’t be that person.

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Other classes offer something called Supplemental Instruction (SI). Go to these sessions; instructors will give you study guides your professors will not.

Consent is mandatory.

What you really need to know is this: you may find yourself romantically tied to someone in the near future, and it’s crucial to know that we don’t exactly go by the “no means no” model. Rather, it’s “yes means yes”.

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Before coming to campus, Ohio University freshmen should complete the required internet program Haven, AlcoholEdu, and Not Anymore. We’re one of the few schools to require these programs, which cover topics such as alcohol consumption, law, sexual assault, harassment, and so much more. It will also give you resources and tactics to use if you have any concerns, worries, or questions.

You’ll go to football games solely for the Marching 110.

Not to hate on the Bobcats, but you haven’t fully experienced OU until you have seen the half-time show at a home football game. Ohio University freshmen should make it a priority to see one of these! Fans cheer on as the 110 performs the songs you hear on the radio, (and greatly improving them, if you ask me.) They’ll become your idols, I promise. I still feel myself get giddy whenever I see a 110 member.

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You’ll fall in love with your new HOUme, just as I have.

This place is close to sacred to me. The best memories you ever made, the greatest stories you will never tell your parents, and the majority of your lifelong friends will all start here. It’s amazing how so many of my happy OU memories have come from dining halls, Donkey Coffee (which you need to visit, btw. They have to-die-for hot chocolate, if you’re not a coffee drinker), Peden stadium, or even just Alden library (nerdy, right?).

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I’m so jealous of the four years of discovery, friendship, and learning Ohio University freshmen experience! I know this is cliché, but it will go by so quickly. So cherish it. Take chances, go where you’ve never gone before; find yourself!

Your Friend,

A Bobcat Who’s Been There

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