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Chase on the Case: How to have a good first year

I just survived my first year away at college, which is crazy to think about, because it feels like just yesterday I was moving in. 

To all the new freshmen in the class of 2028, I know it can be scary, but if you follow some key advice it will make it just a little less intimidating. 

The most nerve-racking thing for any new college student is meeting new people and making friends. It was easier in high school because you saw the same faces, and for the most part, everyone knew everyone. However, in college, it is much different. 

Most classes — especially your first semester — are going to be in big lecture halls, which can make it difficult to get to know and make friends with your classmates. Outside of the classroom, there are only a few opportunities to meet people: roommates, people in your residence hall and student organizations just about sum it up. 

I was lucky enough to meet some great people on my floor and make fantastic friends who were my roommates, but not everyone is as blessed. Meeting people through clubs, involvement and extracurriculars is the best way. 

Personally, I joined two organizations this past year — The Post and Kappa Alpha Zeta. Those clubs were instrumental in my meeting more OU students, resume building and networking. 

The Post is an independent, student-run newspaper on campus, which covers all things news and culture in and around Athens. I joined at the beginning of the year and instantly knew I’d click with the people I met and the sections I joined. There are a variety of things to do at The Post, with the options of writing for sections including news, culture, entertainment, opinion and sports. There’s also the multimedia section that specializes in video journalism, design and photography and the audience engagement section, which runs the social media. The skills I’ve learned at The Post will carry me for an entire career and for that, I’m forever in debt to my mentors. 

Kappa Alpha Zeta is one of the many business professional fraternities on campus. KAZ focuses on key areas like marketing, communications and public relations. It brings in guest speakers, has weekly chapter meetings, volunteers for various philanthropic organizations around Athens and has projects. It’s the perfect balance of professional and social outside of the classroom.  

I, of course, highly recommend those two organizations, but finding your own interests and clubs is vital for first-year students. It will allow you to meet like-minded people, whether they’re in the same major as you or share the same hobbies. 

Ohio University offers •hundreds of clubs, so finding one — or a few — that fit your interests won’t be hard. From media publications, political interest clubs, religious organizations and Greek life, both social and professional, you’ll definitely be able to fit in here at OU. 

Your first year away from the family and the friends you grew up with can be frightening, but the clubs here are very open and always looking for more members. The best advice I can give you for this next year is this: join at least one club. 

Chase Borland is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Let Chase know by emailing him at

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