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Tips for success

As the first day of class draws near, it’s normal for incoming students to arrive on campus with anticipation and nervousness. While you’re buying school supplies and wondering what to bring for your room in the residence halls, take a few minutes to read these pieces of advice from faculty, staff and students who will no doubt become familiar faces over the next year.


Find a balance. Work hard, but have fun too. Make friends. Get involved on campus. Just don't get so involved that you neglect your work.

It is to your advantage to know your professors and for them to know you. Go to class and make sure to see each of your professors during their office hours no later than the fifth class meeting. Come with two or three questions to start the conversation. You might want to discuss a course assignment or topic, find out what interests your professor has, or explore ways to improve your résumé for job placement or graduate school.

Inform the professor prior to your class absence, especially if you are not in class due to a University-sponsored activity (sports, music, etc.). Get the notes from a fellow student. After you have seen the notes, confirm with the professor any assignments or deadlines so that you are best informed of what you missed.

Have questions about ONU’s transition to semesters? Read President Dr. Kendall L. Baker’s letter and talk to your academic advisor.

Paul LogsdonPaul Logsdon
Director of Heterick Memorial Library

Heterick Memorial Library offers excellent academic resources: the Wintzer Music Media Lab, OhioLINK access to more than 45.3 million library items from 85 state institutions, Inter Library Loans, audiovisual equipment, reference databases, periodicals, individual and group study carrels with power and network connections, and two computer classrooms. For more information, contact the library at 2181 or visit

Don’t forget to bring your ID card – you’ll need it for a variety of transactions.

Other helpful hints:

  • Choose a study spot: A quiet, well-lit place where you can concentrate is essential. Try academic buildings and the library.
  • Utilize your advisor: More than a good resource for classes, your advisor can help you decide on a career path and keep you on track academically.
  • Find a mentor: Upper-class students in your major are excellent sources of advice on classes and job options in your field.
  • Get organized early: A 10-week quarter can become hectic unless you stay organized from the start. Make an academic game plan and stick to it. Wasted time is the downfall of many students.

Residence Life

Justin Courtney
Director of residence life

Living on campus is a wonderful part of life at ONU and will assist you in growing as a person. Take time to meet new people and experience new things. The greatest moments of college are the times spent laughing, eating, studying and hanging with your new neighbors. Resident assistants (RAs) are peers on your floor that can help with your transition and often times serve as professional, personal and spiritual mentors. Make sure you get involved on campus! Talk to your RAs, your professors and your peers. Be sure to look for opportunities to participate in organizations and student events. Most importantly, go to class! You are at ONU for your education and future, so invest in your journey!

Social Life

Adriane Thompson-BradshawAdriane Thompson-Bradshaw
Dean of students
Acting vice president for student affairs

Be sure to participate in the orientation activities planned for your first few days on campus. Although some may seem silly, or you may be tempted to use that time to settle into your room, these activities are designed to help you meet new people and connect to ONU. Any experience that makes you feel more at home will prove valuable as you adjust to college life. The same is true of getting involved with campus organizations and events. Avoid the temptation to go home every weekend. Choose to stay on campus and participate in social activities. You will enjoy your college experience all the more if you allow yourself to connect to the campus and the other members of your new community.

Marsha McMunnMarsha McMunn
Junior communication arts major
Student Senate vice president

Welcome to your college career at Ohio Northern University! A plethora of opportunities to get involved in this great community sit before you. An easy way to discover the dynamic activities that Northern has to offer is by attending Welcome Fest. This event displays all of the campus organizations and gives the students a chance to speak with those involved and figure out where their interests lie.

Because there are so many activities available, it is easy to get excited and sign up for more than you can handle. It can be very overwhelming when you put too much on your plate, so be cautious. I suggest that you only sign up for a few organizations that you feel passionate about and participate in them wholeheartedly.

If you have questions concerning your department, financial aid, or organizations on campus, returning students are wonderful resources. From them, you can learn how to be successful in college and develop great friendships.

Sometimes students fall into a habit of spending all of their time with the same group of friends. Try and take advantage of the opportunities to meet new people. You will develop some of the greatest friendships with people you never anticipated.

Be sure you check out all of the offices and buildings on campus. Don’t be shy to stop in at your college dean’s office or your department chair’s office to become familiar with your new world here at ONU. It would benefit you to check out Career Services and the Writing Center too.

Finally, one VERY important piece of advice is to invest in boots. Rain boots and snow boots will be your best friends during the wet & cold seasons.
Best of luck!

Sarah Bachwitz
Senior international business and economics major
Student Planning Committee (SPC) president


  • Be yourself:  Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.  – Judy Garland
  • Trust your gut instinct: Follow your instincts.That's where true wisdom manifests itself. – Oprah Winfrey
  • Join clubs and organizations that you are passionate about: I want to do it because I want to do it. – Amelia Earhart
  • Learn as much as you possibly can inside the classroom and out…learn from your friends, from your professors, from your RA’s but most of all, learn from yourself: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. – Dr. Seuss
  • Do come to all SPC events! They are a fun way to take a study break and meet new people!


  • Don’t procrastinate; the 10 week quarter goes by very fast: Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.  – Don Marquis
  • Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone: Progress always involves risk; you can't progress to second base and also keep your foot on first.– Christie Mason
  • Don’t forget to call mom and dad, they are going to miss you and want to hear about all of your new adventures! Home is where the heart is – Gaius Plinius Secundas
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions: Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength.  – Barack Obama
  • Don’t eat dessert at Mac every day, save it for a rainy (or snowy) day


College will be the toughest, most exciting and worthwhile experience of your life.  Embrace each moment!  When the going gets tough, remember that everyone else is going through the same adjustments that you are.   Also, utilize the upperclassmen, they have been through it all before and can help you with anything from classes to choosing organizations to join on camps.  It’s a small campus community, take advantage of it!  

And lastly, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!

Health and Well-being

Michael SchaferDr. Michael Schafer
Director of counseling

Coming to college for the first time is an exciting experience, but it can also be a time of difficult adjustments. Missing friends and family is normal, but if these feelings become overwhelming, you might be experiencing homesickness. Becoming involved in campus activities and talking with others about your feelings are two of the best ways to get back on track. If you are still having trouble, it might be time to talk to a professional from the Counseling Center. “Stressed out” is a term we often hear, but what does it really mean? Everyone experiences stress in varying degrees. When educational or environmental demands begin to exceed our coping resources, we end up feeling stressed out. Danger signs of being over-stressed include things like getting sick more often, not sleeping well at night, using drugs and alcohol, procrastination or a loss of interest in activities. The best defense is to be aware of your stress level and take charge before you become totally overwhelmed. You can do this by striving for a sense of balance in your life, eating healthy and exercising regularly. Many people benefit from relaxation techniques like stretching or deep breathing. Contact the Counseling Center at 2190 for more ideas on how you can deal with stress effectively.

Other helpful hints:

  • Be wary of late-night eating. Midnight snacks are a nice diversion from studying, but they’re also a nice way to pack on the pounds. Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day and avoid eating greasy food late at night.
  • Drink plenty of water, take power naps and wash your hands often. These basic health tasks can make all the difference when cold and flu season hits.
  • With so many people living together, dorms can be germ hotbeds. Staying well rested will help you combat stress and illness. Twenty-minute power naps are excellent ways to rejuvenate yourself.
  • Sick at school and your mom is at home? Visit the Health Center and take the time to feel better. Sometimes it’s hard to slow down for a cold, but chances are you’ll be sick much longer if you don’t.
  • Take time for yourself. Even if it’s just a few minutes, taking a pause every day will ensure you don’t get burnt out. 

Information Technology

Jeffery RiemanJeffrey Rieman 
Information technology project manager

Your personal computer and its connection to the Internet are integral parts of your academic studies here at ONU. It is important to maintain a system that runs efficiently in order to maximize your use of these resources. The Office of Information Technology recommends the following practices:

  • Keep your computer operating system up-to-date
  • Install Symantec Antivirus
  • Keep your virus definitions up-to-date
  • Set a strong administrator password
  • Never give out your username and password
  • Be careful following links in e-mail and instant messenger programs
  • Back up your work regularly

Bob BeerRobert Beer
Director of academic computer users services

Be aware of social engineering in the form of e-mail scams and phishing. E-mails and links that look legitimate can be used as a means to get your personal information. These are things to look for in e-mails that indicate social engineering:

  • The sender does not know you. For example, the e-mail starts with “Dear Customer.” Any legitimate business that has a relationship with you will know you by name.
  • There is a claim of some action either good or bad, like a notice that you have won a $1,000,000 prize or your account will be deactivated in 7 days.
  • The sender appears to be legitimate but is really rather anonymous, such as IT staff or EduWebmail. Any legitimate IT communication will come from a staff member whose name the department will recognize.
  • Requests for personal information, username and password, birth date, or social security number.
  • The “sender” and “reply to” addresses aren’t the same.

Other helpful hints:

  • Watch what you post. ONU has a variety of security precautions, but ultimately you’re responsible for the information you post or share online.
  • Check your campus e-mail frequently. The campus communicates largely by e-mail. Weather delays, closings and other campus highlights (student-l’s) will be sent directly to your account. This is also where you register for classes and check your grades. Be sure to delete unwanted messages to help the system run more efficiently.
  • Print responsibly. Every student is granted a University printing limit of 750 pages. You will be charged for any materials over this number. Make sure you need something before you print it, and recycle scrap pages.

Most importantly, remember that you are in charge of your experiences at ONU. If you start out with a positive attitude, you will have positive experiences. Remember that the next 4 (or 6, depending on your major) years are going to be some of the most valuable in your life. Someday you may discover a forgotten box filled with old mementos from ONU in your attic or garage, and you will look back on these days fondly, so treasure them now and make these the best years of your life!