Ohio University’s class of 2026 completed its first year of college and welcomes the class of 2027 into the Bobcat family. Bobcat Student Orientation, or BSO, is underway, and rising sophomores want to share their advice for incoming freshmen on what to expect, what to bring and how to make the most of orientation.
BSO takes place before each semester and welcomes first-year students and transfer students to OU. Although the majority of incoming students attend the in-person orientation on campus, many students also opt for the virtual version.
BSO is a great opportunity for incoming students to meet new friends and others in their major. The goal of BSO is for incoming students and parents to feel welcomed and at home at OU. Together, they learn about scheduling and many of the important assets the campus has to offer in preparation for the first semester at OU. With such an information-filled couple of days, meeting new friends is just part of the fun.
Sheridan Schauer, a sophomore studying psychology, was interested in going to OU after her mom graduated with her master’s in 2018. She was interested in OU’s psychology program and instantly fell in love with it.
“My first-year experience was overall very amazing,” she said. “I met a lot of new friends, I met my best friend and I enjoyed all of my classes, and I believe I picked the right major for me and I fell in love with psychology.”
BSO was a crucial part of her first taste of OU and being on her own. Although the day was long, packed to the brim with information and walking to every place OU’s campus has to offer, she said she met many people in her major and learned how to create the perfect schedule.
Schauer was impressed with all the activities and events Welcome Week had to offer, as there were several opportunities to meet other incoming Bobcats.
“The first week of school was actually really fun because they had a lot of events going on for freshmen so we could all get along and get to know each other and find new people,” she said. “Things like the outdoor barbeque that they did, and just having fun game nights and stuff. I think that was really fun and it helped me find out who lived in my building, who lived on South Green.”
Schauer also preached about communicating with roommates about bringing separate things to all save money and to definitely purchase a Brita. She advised to bring things that would make the dorm feel like home to make the transition to school just a bit easier.
During her first year, Schauer met her best friend, Sylvia Witt, a sophomore studying musical theater, through her sorority, Delta Zeta. Witt experienced her BSO virtually and explained how she thought it was very fun and still met friends despite not being on campus.
Witt believed her experience with BSO was also very informative but still easy to take in and understand.
“The academic side of things was super clear (and) super easy to go through; it made it so I didn’t have any questions, which I love,” she said.
Witt explained she thought college would be high school 2.0, but instead was met with a year full of fun memories. Being a huge advocate for mental health, she advised on what she wished someone would have told her before her first year began.
“I would say take care of yourself,” said Witt. “It’s okay if you need to miss a class to eat or take a shower. Your health, your mental and physical health, come first before your academics.”
With so much to come for the class of 2027, Bobcats are ready to welcome them all with open arms. The first year of the rest of their lives awaits beyond Alumni Gate, and although challenges are expected, lots of fun and new friends are on the horizon.
“College was as difficult as I expected, but also, I found a good balance where I could have fun and hang out with friends and join a sorority,” said Schauer. “It’s all about balance, and I think I’ve found a good balance.”