Today's Update: Wednesday, February 3

February 3, 2021

Dear Student Life Team, In a normal year, at this point I would be saying something like, “Our first-year students are beginning to feel more settled into their college experience and building community and connections – inside and outside the classroom…”  

Unfortunately, this is not a normal year. Our first-year students don’t fully understand what “normal” may mean on a college campus, and they are certainly eager to move on to that next normal – whatever that may bring for us.  

Now, as in-person classes started for some students this semester, we are welcoming Buckeyes to campus, including those who are new to Ohio State as well as our Buckeyes who are celebrating their “last first days” of their college career. I would encourage us to all exercise the old adage “pack our patience.” And remember a smile – even a virtual one or in an email – goes a long way. 

Last week I had the chance to meet with a group of parents. A takeaway was the family members’ concern that the personal connections students would otherwise make at Ohio State are so much harder, including with staff members who may serve as advisors, mentors or a source of support. It was a good reminder that in a virtual world, we may need to go about showing we care in a different way. 

I’m grateful for each of you and the many ways you support our students and each other during this challenging time. Ohio State is a place of possibilities and, for many, a dream come true.  

Our Student Life team is Scarlet and Great. Let’s continue providing extraordinary support for our students and each other.