First Year Experience

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First Year Experience Peer Leaders

Meet the Peer Leaders   |   About the Peer Leader position   |   Apply to be a Peer Leader   |    FAQs   |    Contact your Peer Leader

First Year Experience Peer Leaders support all new students beginning with orientation through the end of the first year at Ohio State. Peer leaders focus year-round on outreach and relationship development, expanding the mission of First Year Experience to holistically impact all new students as they progress through their first year. Students in this role use their knowledge and perspective as experienced peers to connect new students to the people, resources and information essential for success in the first year. Peer leaders are significant in shaping first-year students’ transition, motivation and satisfaction, which contributes to students’ persistence to the second year and beyond.

Meet the Peer Leaders

Isis Abreu
Cleveland, OH
A quick study tip: Organization and discipline are the most important things. Organization is something that you have to define for yourself specifically because how you keep up with schoolwork will look different for you than it may look for others. Discipline is the key to success and will carry you through anything.

Janina Anokye
Gahanna, OH
Recommended campus resource: I was thankful to be able to utilize the committed and capable staff at BuckeyeLink. They were able to assist and advise me through many financial dilemmas that I felt were too overwhelming to take on alone. If you ever have a concern or a question, don't be afraid to ask!

Angel Bautista
Joliet, IL
Mechanical Engineering
A transformational Ohio State experience: Getting my first bad grade on a midterm. This made me realize that what I did in high school will no longer work for college. I then had to switch up my study habits and start a new routine.

Tommy Bodnar
Bay Village, OH
Advice for new students: Keep an open mind. Do your best to try new things and get a bit outside of your comfort zone. While college is indeed about getting an education, many people fail to realize that a lot of that education takes place outside of the classroom.

Tori Branch
Shelby Township, MI
Sport Industry
Why Ohio State?: I came to Ohio State because it was the only university that seemed to place diversity and inclusion at the forefront of its principles and initiatives. As someone with minority identities, being at a university that acknowledges and supports those identities was very important to me.

Tanesha Desamours
Reynoldsburg, OH
Integrated Language Arts Education
Recommended campus resource: The campus resource I basically NEED is the Ohio State app. You can get estimates on bus wait-times and directions to campus destinations, see your BuckID balance, check your class schedule and grades, and more.

Moustafa El-Mahdy
Strongsville, OH
Operations Management
Advice for new students: Try new things. Ohio State is a place with so many opportunities available to you that you never know what you could take part in that could become your new passion. Step out of your comfort zone and explore all that there is to do.

Sophia Fearon
Pembroke Pines, FL
Advice for new students: Don't be afraid to put yourself out there; try new things and meet new people. Even if you don't like something that you try, that experience lets you know what to avoid in the future. On the other hand, you could meet your new best friend or even future employer.

Bella Garcia
Chesterland, OH
A quick study tip: Make time to study. It sounds really simple, but it gets way too easy to get caught up in things and not give yourself enough time to study or do assignments. Plan out and set aside time throughout the week to study before an exam or final. Don't wait until the last minute!

Nathan Hensley
Elyria, OH
History, Philosophy (Pre-law)
Recommended campus resource: Office hours are one of the simplest campus resources, yet one of the most underutilized. Students won't need to attend office hours for every course, but the one-on-one interaction with a professor or TA to sift through challenging course material is one of the best ways to fill the gaps in your knowledge and succeed in a course.

AJ Herzog
Defiance, OH
Exercise Science
How to make friends: I met many of my closest friends in college in my residence hall. You have to break out of your comfort zone at times, but striking up a few conversations in those first weeks can really go a long way.

Roaya Higazi
Pickerington, OH
City and Regional Planning
How to make friends: I've made all of my closest and most supportive friends through the student organizations I've joined. When you make friends through an organization, you have a common passion or goal bringing you together, and I can promise that leads to a bond like no other.

Jakiniauset Ingram
St. Louis, MO
African American and African Studies, Political Science
A quick study tip: Don't procrastinate. The semester may go slow, but assignments come fast. You're always doing yourself a favor when you get assignments out of the way early.

Chandrika Janumpalli
Dublin, OH
A quick study tip: It sounds really cliche, but you really do have to spread studying out over a week or two before midterms and final exams instead of cramming the night before. The more you see and practice the material, the more likely you are to remember it for the exam!

Mackenzie Leatherman
Honolulu, HI
Social Work
Why Ohio State?: I am a first-generation college student, and deciding where I wanted to go to school was a very difficult choice. What ultimately led me to choose Ohio State was the amount of exploration I could do here. I was undecided on my major going in to college, and I knew that wherever I ended up I wanted to have plenty of major options.

Lauren Nelson
Monroe, OH
Human Development and Family Science
Favorite first-year class: My Introduction to Humanities course. My professor and my TA were so intensely passionate about making us aware of what was going on beyond the United States. That wanted us to become well-informed, critical thinkers. The passion they had was contagious and I never missed a class!

Malina Ransom
Gahanna, OH
Advice for new students: Don't be afraid to talk to new people. You might make a great friend. Even if you're not in the market for a BFF, you never know who you might meet and what advice they might be able to give you based on their experiences at Ohio State.

Tanner Reeling
Wadsworth, OH
Computer Science and Engineering
Recommended campus resource: The libraries! The quiet atmosphere helps me focus and get work done. It's much better than staying in your room working all day, and there's usually a cafe nearby to get your caffeine fix. I'd definitely recommend finding a few favorite study areas you like and using those frequently.

Monica Samboa
Brook Park, OH
Health Sciences
Favorite first-year class: Learning and Motivation Strategies for Success in College. This class really helped me to transition into college. It teaches you how to be more organized, how to take and review notes, and other methods that help you to succeed. It understands how transitioning is difficult for first years and will provide them with steps on how to overcome those problems.

Aja Simms
Ridley, PA
Pharmaceutical Sciences
Most surprising thing about Ohio State: How easily I found my place. I don't mean that I found my place immediately; I mean that when I connected with the right people, it felt like I was always meant to be at Ohio State. I can't imagine my life without the friends that I've made here.

Grant Smith
Chillicothe, OH
Logistics Management
Why Ohio State?: I decided to come to The Ohio State University because of the grand opportunities that come along with being a student here. I fell in love with campus and all of the traditions of being a Buckeye.

Lindsay Smith
Parkersburg, WV
How to make friends: Let go of rejection! I talked to a lot of people during Welcome Week my freshman year that I didn't end up being good friends with, but there are also people who I went to orientation with who I see daily. The best way to make friends is to find what you care about -- a club, a class or just a hobby -- and to reach out and talk to someone new.

Elisabeth Stevens
Libertyville, IL
Public Affairs
How to make friends: I knew very few people going to Ohio State from my high school, so I was very eager to make friends when I started in August. During the first few weeks of school, everyone is excited to meet new people, so I took advantage of that. I made a point of introducing myself to people in classes, getting the contact information of the people I enjoyed talking to and following through with plans to go to Welcome Week events or to grab food.

Amber Strickland
Canton, OH
Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies
Why Ohio State?: I came here because Ohio State does so much for students after they complete their degree. Ohio State gives students the opportunities to conduct research, study abroad and network with companies from all over the world.

Grace Stuart
Mason, OH
Health Sciences
Most surprising thing about Ohio State: How many organizations we have on campus. The Involvement Fair blew my mind -- there are so many things to do on campus, whether it be academic organizations, Greek life, sports teams, or special interest clubs.

Joshua Szymanski
Perrysburg, OH
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advice for new students: Make a fool of yourself; try new things; put yourself out there. Be open to joining clubs that your high school didn't have or maybe some that it did. Everyone on campus is human and more than capable of making mistakes. Mistakes and embarrassment are two of the best teachers on campus. If you allow yourself opportunities that may merit a lesson from these teachers, you may find a new interest or passion here on campus.

KJ Williams
Beavercreek, OH
A transformational Ohio State experience: My entire first semester of college was a transformational experience. Coming to college was my first time living on my own. I loved the independence, but it also came with a lot of responsibility that I took time getting used to. I had to change my study habits, become more social, and keep track of my health by eating healthy and exercising.


Logan Woodyard
Jackson, OH
Agribusiness and Applied Economics
Most surprising thing about Ohio State: In a big place like Ohio State, I was concerned about forming a supportive community. Despite its size, I was able to connect with others by sharing and doing things that I'm passionate about -- whether it be student leadership, community service, or practicing my faith -- and this made Ohio State feel much more like home.