A Day in the Life at The Ohio State University

The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Danielle is a Denver tutor specializing in Algebra tutoring, ACT prep tutoring, all levels of German tutoring, and more. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. See what she had to say about her alma mater:

VT: Describe the campus setting and transportation options. How urban or safe is the campus? Are there buses or do you need a car/bike?

Danielle: I went to The Ohio State University and I was a commuter. I drove every day, but that meant leaving my car on a lot a few miles from campus. I used the campus buses a lot – they are pretty available. The campus is not car-friendly at all (meters are more expensive than downtown NYC or Chicago), but it is pretty walkable and bike-friendly.

VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Danielle: Most professors, academic advisors, and TAs really do their best to help – if you make it clear that you’re looking for it. I heard many TAs and professors remark that they make office hours and end up just sitting there because no one shows up. If office hours didn’t work with my schedule, professors/TAs often worked with me to find a time that would work. Additionally, getting to know a professor in office hours is a great way to find out about other opportunities, or start a relationship that can eventually result in a great letter of recommendation.

Academic advisors are a little busier, so if you know you’re going to need to talk to them, make sure you’re setting up an appointment as soon as possible. Also, not all academic advisors are equal – I had one who told me I wasn’t allowed to sign up for a course because it was an honors course, as she didn’t realize I was in honors – so, try to get appointments with other advisors if you don’t have the best experience at first.

VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Danielle: I didn’t live in the dorms, so I can’t answer that. I will say – campus dining at Ohio State was low quality and over-priced, so spend as little as possible on your dining plan and eat at the restaurants around town.

VT: Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? What did you study and why? Did the university do a good job supporting your particular area of study?

Danielle: STEM subjects are by far the best supported majors at Ohio State. They also have renowned schools of Nursing, Dentistry, and Business, as well as a great Political Science department. I majored in Philosophy; it was not well-supported.

VT: How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Danielle: Because I commuted, I knew I’d have to rely on making friends in classes instead of in dorm life. I made a goal to make a new friend in every course I took, and even though I’m pretty shy, I managed to meet that goal for every course in my freshman year (and many after). I also had a lot of friends from high school at Ohio State, which helped make sure I had something to do on the weekends. Between those two things, I had a lot of friends whom I had a lot of fun with and was really grateful for!

Greek life is significant at OSU, but the school is big enough that you can easily never engage with it.

VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus? 

Danielle: I did not use the Career Center, so I don’t know. I know from friends that the MBA program at Ohio State has great student services and very reputable companies.

VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?

Danielle: The libraries at Ohio State are very popular, but also very large. I never struggled to find a place to study (though sometimes I struggled to find a free computer in a computer lab).

VT: Describe the surrounding town. What kinds of outside establishments / things to do are there that make it fun, boring, or somewhere in between? To what extent do students go to the downtown area of the city versus staying near campus? 

Danielle: There is a lot going on in Columbus. A few miles down high street from campus is the Short North, which has a lot of events – like the monthly Gallery Hop – and lots of hip bars and restaurants. Just beyond it is the Arena District (basically downtown) which has quite a few bars and is a very popular destination for Ohio State students.

VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Danielle: Ohio State is huge – something like 60,000-70,000 students. I had some classes with a few hundred students, and it was really challenging to be engaged and learn in that setting. Luckily, because I was in the honors program, I took many higher-level courses that had between 15 and 25 students, and that was much more engaging.

VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Danielle: I tried to make a habit of writing thank-you notes to professors I really liked after the quarter ended, and about a third of the time, I would get thank-you notes for sending thank-you notes! Many of those professors are people I still keep in touch with, and they tend to be very supportive and encouraging.

Check out Danielle’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.