by Sam Trunkett
As a senior, I can definitively say that fall term is by far my favorite term of the year. Fall term is the term where the air is finally crisp, football season is back, and all of my friends come home from a long summer break. However, I can also definitively say that with age comes nostalgia. Since I am starting my fourth and final year, (yikes), I have recently taken time out from stressing about the future to reflect back on my first fall term at OSU.
My freshman year fall term was one for the books. Even though the winter and spring terms were great, this was the term where I met and was positively influenced by so many amazing people. One of my favorite experiences was taking Sports Media Through the Lens of Twitter, a UEngage course taught by Louie Bottaro. Louie didn’t just teach us to understand how media shapes the world of sports but also how to make the most of OSU. He made himself available to all of us and if there was anything we needed he would always try to help. By the end of the term, I found myself to be a not only a more confident student but a more confident individual.
Through this experience, I realized I wanted to help new OSU students adapt to this university too. I became a UEngage teaching assistant during my junior year and loved it. Not only did I get to work with Louie again, but my group of students were amazing individuals. I learned from their perspectives on sports, media, and also from hearing them share their experience as new OSU students.
In the interest of helping other students have UEngage experiences as rich as those I have been lucky enough to have, I have created a short list of tips to help current and future students get the most out of their UEngage course.
1. Ask Questions: Even though this tip may seem simple, most students do not feel comfortable during the first couple of weeks to raise their hand and ask a question. If you are this type of student, I recommend that you write down the questions you have in class and talk to your professor or teacher’s assistant after class. This way you can get to know your instructor and teachers assistant while building up confidence to ask questions in class.
2. Get To Know Your Instructor: What most students don’t know is that your instructor wants to get to know you. Most will take the time to keep in touch with you during the term and will help you adjust to college life. Your UEngage instructor will also be the most connected person you meet during your first term at school because he or she has been around OSU for at least a few terms and have built relationships with many instructors, offices, and advisors. They can refer you to different on-campus resources or they have the know how to figure out an issue if you have one. The biggest mistake a first year student at OSU could make is not getting to know their UEngage instructor.
3. Get To Know Your Peer Leader: The second biggest mistake is not getting to know your UEngage teacher’s assistant, or peer leader. UEngage peer leaders go through a course to learn about the different on-campus resources so that they are equally as knowledgeable as the instructors. Unlike instructors, peer leaders are also undergraduate students. Even though I learned a lot from Louie, sometimes I was able to get even better advice from my UEngage teacher’s assistant, Caitie. She was able to relate to the class in a way that Louie could not (if you’re reading this, Louie, I am sorry to point out the age difference). Your peer leader understands how hard it is to be a student in today’s changing world and just as eager to help you resolve your issues.