Everyone warns students on the struggle of adjusting to college life. From the brand new environment and hefty class load, to having a social life and getting involved in extracurricular activities, it can sometimes feel greatly overwhelming.
However, Ohio University has a plethora of resources for students to utilize when adjusting to life on campus.
Whether it be emotional, career-based or academic support, OU’s campus is bursting at the seams with supportive programs and a faculty to weave together a suitable routine, lifestyle and future, specifically catered toward each student.
Kimberly Castor, director of the Survivor Advocacy Program, knows just how important it is to have available emotional resources on campus.
“I hope that the clients that we serve take away a feeling that there are people here that are supportive of them and believe them, and that we will do what we can to help,” Castor said.
The Survivor Advocacy Program acts as a safe space for people who have experienced sexual assault or harassment, dating or domestic violence or stalking. The program is a confidential resource for students to be heard about their situations.
While counseling typically happens in sessions once a week, the program is a 24-hour service in Lindley Hall where students can make appointments, find resources for help or simply talk on the phone. The program advocates for its clients by going out to meetings with detectives and investigators if reported, or can just listen while a client talks about what they’ve been through.
“We simply practice a concept that we call “holding space,” which means we’re not trying to necessarily fix anything, but simply provide a place where people can be believed and heard and supported, and talk about their options moving forward,” Castor said.
There are many campus programs that help with career support, but one of the biggest is the Career and Leadership Development Center (CLDC). The CLDC, located in Baker Center 533, is a supportive program for students to find careers. Whether helping with preparation for an interview, getting in touch with connections or finding the perfect outfit, the CLDC provides many services to further students careers.
Erin Bechler, a senior studying integrated language arts, received help from the CLDC by utilizing their “Career Closet” before an interview.
The “Career Closet” provides students with business professional and business casual clothes for interviews, career fairs, formal events or any other career related function. Students can go to the closet, borrow any piece of clothing, free of charge, and are not required to return anything.
“I think that it’s [CLDC] a really invaluable resource that more students should know about and utilize,” Bechler said. “The CLDC really helps students develop actual life skills that can be extended beyond college and applied to the rest of their lives.”
Academically and lifestyle wise, it can be a difficult adjustment coming to college. Angela Lash, director of the Ohio First Scholars, believes the Allen Center is the perfect place for students to come with questions or if they need any advice.
“There really is good help and support here, but figuring out how to navigate that and what resources to utilize can be kind of overwhelming,” Lash said. “So having a place to go where you can get guidance that’s broad can be really helpful, and having a place that’s welcoming I think is also really important.”
The Allen Center, located on the fourth floor of Baker, is a place that advises various groups of students while they acclimate to campus and learn to navigate classes and the lifestyle. For example, the Allen Center works with first generation college students and helps create easy strategies for students with their campus life.
Though the Allen Center does help students connect with other resources and nail their academics, its main goal is to be a welcoming presence for students in need of assistance.
“I hope that students would take away an understanding that there are people here who have had similar experiences to them or who want to help them figure out the right path for them at Ohio University, without judgement of whatever kind of difficulty they may be navigating,” Lash said.
Though these three programs are extremely relevant and important on OU’s campus, they’re only scratching the surface of all the supportive resources OU has to offer.