Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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There Are More ImPoRtant Rankings Than Playboy…

October 8, 2015

By: Hayley Baldzicki, @hayleybaldzicki

Looking for a job or internship in the near future? Due to the recent party school rankings by Playboy Magazine, Ohio University students may struggle when asked by a professional about this #1 party school ranking.

We all know OHIO has so much more to offer than HallOUween, but how do we explain this to a professional?

Here are some tips and tricks to sell yourself!


Scripps should definitely be your first go-to when describing your college experience. If you’re like me, you came to Ohio University because of Scripps. Here is an example of what you could say: “Scripps College of Communication offers nationally recognized academic excellence. Through my experiences within Scripps I have gained real-world experience and world class practicality I can apply to this position.”

2. Ohio University ranked among nation’s best colleges for 2016.

This one speaks for itself. However, if the party school ranking is brought up say, “I did see that ranking, however did you see that U.S. News & World Report ranked Ohio University as a top college for 2016? This ranking is far more you can respond with, valuable to me than a Playboy Magazine ranking.”

3. You can brag about Athens’ beauty, too.

I mean, why wouldn’t you? You can say something like, “Ohio University was also just ranked #2 for most beautiful college campuses by collegerank.net. The beauty itself provides a great atmosphere to go to college.”

4. GPA & Personal Experiences.

Of course sell yourself on your academics and professional experiences. “Ohio University has offered me an excellent education where I have strived for greatness through my experiences inside and outside of the classroom.”

All in all, Bobcats know there is so much more to our beloved school besides the party school reputation. However, as PR people we know how things seen on the news, or read online can influence public opinion. Having the experience to sell ourselves to a professional will be especially beneficial going into the real-world potentially facing crisis communication. It’s important to get across to professionals that, besides this Playboy Magazine ranking, here is why my school is better than that. Here’s why my experiences through Ohio University have led me to be qualified for this position. Lastly, here’s why I’m proud to be a Bobcat, and will bring this sense of pride to this organization.

What You Should Know About Interning for a Nonprofit Organization

October 5, 2015

By: Rachel Hartwick, @rachel_hartwick

Rachel Hartwick Ohio University ImPRession Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition

I went into my summer internship at the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition knowing hardly anything about nonprofit work. I was still a news and information major and hadn’t explored many aspects of PR yet. At first, I was unsure of what I could bring to the organization. However, I came out of the internship with a greater understanding of nonprofit work as a whole. Here is just a slice of some things you can expect with a normal internship for a nonprofit:

Rachel Hartwick Ohio University ImPRessions Press Badge1. Nonprofit internships aren’t as glamorous as other internships. It’s a NONprofit for a reason, so don’t expect to be rolling in money. Many internships aren’t paid, and there’s a good chance your nonprofit internship—especially if it’s your first one—won’t pay, either. Additionally, your office may not be sparkling, clean and have automatic doors—my office was in the lobby, which is open to the public. Because of this, I had to make sure my belongings were always shut in the room or with me at all times. That’s something you don’t always have to worry about in a glamorous office with locks on every door.

2. You’re able to put your creativity to use (and it’s appreciated!). Nonprofit organizations thrive on getting the word about their mission out. Hence, they need PR people, that’s us! You may not have received an exact job description at your internship, but many nonprofits are more than willing to let young, tech-savvy interns come in with fresh ideas for campaigns. Essentially, you get hands-on experience and portfolio items doing exactly what you’d like to do.

3. You will do much more than just PR. Because many nonprofits are understaffed and underfunded, there’s probably not IT personnel, maintenance staff AND someone to handle all the donations—so you may be picking up all those jobs. You’ll also have your own personal tasks to complete, and you’ll be picking up some of the tasks the staffers can’t get to. You’ll have to wear many hats, even as a PR-specific intern.

Rachel Hartwick Ohio University ImPRessions GCHC4. It was extremely rewarding. When my friends and I compared stories of our internships, my experience was drastically different than theirs, but I wouldn’t trade my internship for anything. Working with a nonprofit organization gave me an opportunity to expand my culture far beyond my suburban hometown and little college bubble. I got to talk one-on-one to people who were experiencing poverty and dedicated to finding housing for themselves, and I was able to help them in their journey to a better life, too. When you work for a nonprofit, you know that little by little, you’re making a difference.

I’d encourage everyone involved in PR to intern, work with or at least volunteer at a nonprofit at some point in his or her life. If you’re not sure where to begin, pick an issue you’re passionate about; more likely than not, there’s an organization dedicated to spreading that message. Not only will it build your resume and experience, but you’ll help more people than you could imagine along the way.

The Best of Humor Based Marketing

September 28, 2015

By: McKennah Robinson, @kennmilli

We unknowingly encounter thousands of advertisements and marketing campaigns every singleday. We see them in product placement in movies, posters on bulletin boards, billboards or commercials. The world of marketing has become so mainstream and saturated that it has become almost impossible to grab the attention of potential consumers. So how do marketers work to increase interest and ultimately traffic to their companies? They seem to be ending on two ends of the mental spectrum. Some go for deeply emotional campaigns. While others go for humor. If an ad, tweet or video can make us cry or make us laugh, we are almost guaranteed to remember it.

I am a huge fan of campaigns that do humor and do it well instead of play on emotion, and these are some of my favorite local and not-so-local brands that do just that.


Dollar Shave Club

I’ve written about Dollar Shave Club before, and will continue to be amazed by them for as long as I can. This company started out so small that they had to film their own starter video, and has since grown into a phenomenon of a company. They used uncanny humor to attract attention, as seen in the video above, and have perfected the art of funny humor without being too over the top.


State Farm

Wait, insurance can be funny? State Farm has recently proved that, in fact it can be. We all know the “Jake from State Farm” commercial almost verbatim and have all quoted “Can I get a hot tub?!,” at least once. It’s completely unconventional for an insurance company to do more than just recite their stats and facts to potential customers, but working humor into their marketing efforts has really paid off.


Old Spice

Does anyone remember Old Spice before they started these hilarious commercials? Sure, they’ve been around forever, but we know and love Old Spice because they’ve cracked the code on how to be quirky and funny without pushing their product on us too much. These commercials might have started out as a way to draw in more consumers, but the commercials have continued because consumers are connected to the humor and, quite frankly, humor sells.


Avalanche Pizza

They’re local, they’re funny, and their pizza is AMAZING. It can be hard to penetrate the pizza market and actually stand out, but Avalanche Pizza combines both humor and deliciousness to put themselves at the top of the pack in Athens. (In my opinion, anyway.) I’ve never seen an ad for Avalanche that didn’t include some type of humor, and they always have signs out front claiming that “[X] person eats here” or “[X] person has NEVER eaten here.” Their humor hits home with us college students and we in turn are loyal customers… Because nothing is better than pizza and laughing.

The world of marketing can get heavy and can sometimes push consumers away with too much advertising and too much emotion. The brands that have mastered the art of light hearted conversation and humor are the one’s that have won the hearts of like-minded consumers, and tend to get the most out of their marketing efforts. As for me, I appreciate a good pun, a good laugh, and a good ad, so if a brand can do just that, they have my business.

3 Reasons Why Franchise PR Rocked My World (and Why It Will Rock Yours Too)

September 27, 2015 1 Comment

By: Maddy Plaster, @maddyrose1620 awkward animated GIF

All PR bobcats can agree that figuring out what you want to do after college can sometimes be a little overwhelming. The first step in calming those nerves is to explore and experience all of the different industry-specific specialty areas that the public relations world has to offer. Most PR firms offer services to companies in all different types of industries. However, some PR firms specialize in only one industry. Their industry focus could range anywhere from food and travel, to healthcare and education. An often overlooked (but quite remarkable) field is the franchise industry.

I recently interned with the leading franchise PR firm – Fishman Public Relations in Chicago. Fishman focuses on providing brand awareness and positive media exposure for franchise companies across the United States. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “franchise,” here is the lowdown:

A franchise is an agreement that is made between two companies. Within that agreement, one company (the franchisee) buys the rights to sell the goods/services of the other company (the franchisor). The franchisor is in charge of then providing a successful business model for the franchisee to model its company after. Some of our very own Athens businesses are owned by franchise companies, e.g., Wendy’s, Jimmy John’s, and Pita Pit.

Here are just a few reasons why franchise PR might be the right industry for you:

  1. Best of Both Worlds. The greatest part about this type of PR is that you get both corporate and small company experience, unlike most firms that focus on only one. Often times the franchisor is a large corporate company, like McDonald’s or Corner Bakery Cafe. The franchisee might be a small “mom and pop” business that owns one store. Learning how to work with both the franchisor and the franchisee is a very beneficial skill to have when entering the PR industry after college.
  2. Pitch, Pitch and Pitch Some More. You will be writing pitches in your sleep after working at a franchise firm. Your writing skills will improve drastically, and making media lists will become second nature. You will also develop long-lasting relationships in the media, both at news stations and major publications all across the country.
  3. Not Just a 9-5 Job. While this may seem a bit intimidating, that’s what makes PR and specifically franchise PR so exciting. Sometimes product placements on network or local TV shows call for working nights, weekends or even holidays. For instance, last Fourth of July weekend, I coordinated a “food drop” for my restaurant franchise client at an NBC affiliate news show in South Carolina. Making your client happy is always the number one priority, and occasionally that means working off the clock.

While Franchise PR may not be for everyone, it is definitely worth checking out. The knowledge I gained, the people I met and the memories I made at my internship this past summer, have changed my PR journey forever. For those of you “Strat Com” kids still unsure of where your path will take you, I highly recommend you give Franchise PR a shot. I hope it rocks your world, like it rocked mine.

Fashion Forward: The Changing Retail Market

September 24, 2015

By: Mikaela Linden, @mikaelamlinden

Mikaela Linden Ohio University ImPRessions Fashion Zara

With New York Fashion Week coming to a close, designers are stressing on staying relevant to consumers through multiple marketing efforts throughout the upcoming seasons (social media content, campaigns, events, advertisements, etc.).

However, is that enough to really drive sales? I beg to differ; with rise of the millennial generation, brands that have the capability to turn out fresh styles quickly (even within as short as a week) are rising the fastest. For example, ZARA: an upcoming clothing line has clothing on the racks only a few weeks after it’s featured on the runway.

ZARA has moved away from the Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter collections and instead consistently produces new styles, so shoppers are always buying the latest trends. Additionally, this creates a sense of scarcity in all of ZARA’s pieces, allowing them to rarely mark prices down, compared to brands like J. Crew, which have trained their shoppers to wait to buy pieces on clearance because they create new styles such few times a year.

Because of this structure, ZARA is dominating the retail world. According to Business Insider, ZARA’s net income has grown 28% in their first quarter from their same period last year.

This same model isn’t only successful in the fashion industry. Target has found their key demographic using this technique as well. How many times have you walked into Target and seen the same home décor more than once? Never. Furthermore, this said home decor is constantly being updated with the newest trends, and even has links to Pinterest content on its price tags.

So, what does this mean for millennials and rising PR pros? Building a connection with consumers on social media and even on a personal level is as important as ever; take J. Crew’s personal stylists service for example. But, having a quality product on the racks at the speeds and prices that millennials want has to be the foundation of your marketing efforts.

After all, why would a consumer strive to stay up to date with a particular clothing brand if only the marketing efforts, but not the products itself, are staying relevant?

Senior Bucket List Series: Kelsey Miller

September 21, 2015

By: Kelsey Miller, @KelseyMiller300Spicy Seniors Marisa Fiore JESS Carnprobst MEGAN Newton Dan Farkas MIRA Kuhar Sarah Rachul Kelsey Miller Ohio University ImPRessions Scripps PRSSA

The time is finally here… It’s the beginning of the end for the Class of 2016.

As I sit in my Athens apartment, I can’t help but think I’m not making the most of my time here in this college fairytale, so here are a few things I MUST do before I leave Athens in April. I ask that all of you hold me accountable to meet these goals, as I get lazy and don’t like to do anything after a long week of PRSSAing and ImPRessionsing.

  • Go camping in Hocking Hills
  • Go kayaking at Strouds
  • Go to JBar: It’s just never happened for me
  • Go to every Homecoming event possible
  • Get really close to at least one person in each class (so I have a place to stay for homecoming, amirite?? Ok, jk)
  • Take advantage of the CLDC
  • Explore the CountyOhio University Campus South Green ImPRessions Scripps PRSSA Kelsey Miller Senior Bucket List
  • Go on a spontaneous trip with friends
  • Buy a Passion Works piece
  • Eat at every restaurant on campus
  • Talk to people that already graduated and let them know how much they’ve done for others without knowing it
  • Get to know the senior class better
  • Reconnect with my blogKesley Miller Ohio University Senior Bucket List Let Loose
  • Make new friends in another major
  • Invite more hometown friends to come visit: Mostly to brag
  • Let loose. Just one time (I took my college career way too seriously)
  • Buy A LOT of Bobcat gear
  • Care less about grades and more about the experience
  • Take pictures with peopleOhio University Ping Rock Climbing Wall ImPRessions Scripps PRSSA Senior Bucket List Kelsey Miller
  • Climb that damn rock-climbing wall at Ping…
  • Accept all invitations to get out of the apartment
  • Act 22 and not 52
  • Buy a wild outfit that makes heads turn… (Break out of the norm, Kels!)
  • Be heard on social media
  • Take a selfie once and awhile, for real
  • Tell people how you really feel
  • Inspire others
  • Make this year about you and what you want

I regret a lot of the things I haven’t done in my college career. I care too much about what others think, I play it safe and I concentrate way too much on homework and watching others have fun on social media. I want to break out of that comfort zone this year. I want this year to be the year I remember!

I challenge Marisa Fiore, Sarah Rachul, Jess Carnprobst, Mira Kuhar and Megan Newton to make their own senior bucket lists. Let’s make this one really count!

Was George Washington the First “CrossFitter?”

September 15, 2015

By: Riley Carlton, @Riley_Carlton

Riley Carlton Ohio University ImPRession CrossFit.jpg

Pinterest users see an abandoned tractor tire, and think, “ I could turn this in to a koi pond.” A “CrossFitter” sees this same abandoned tire and thinks, “ I could flip this up and down my driveway until I pass out.”

CrossFit is a fitness sensation that has swarmed the world within the past few years. It presents the idea that the combination of Olympic lifting, gymnastics, along with forms of cardio performed at a constantly varied, high intensity makes people as fit as they can possibly be.

Riley Carlton Ohio University ImPRessions CrossFit Chart.jpgWhat started out in garage gyms across the country has exploded into more than 10,000 CrossFit affiliates throughout the world. CrossFit laughs at the traditional style of bodybuilding or running on the elliptical at your local Planet Fitness gym. Sure, any exercise is better than doing nothing, but walk into a CrossFit gym and you’ll see nothing but barbells, bumper plates and a few boxes to jump on. It’s all based on the idea of functional fitness. Swinging sledge hammers, climbing ropes, chopping down trees or even carrying a wheelbarrow. Who would’ve thought that one day, these things would be a part of a huge fitness trend? It’s functional fitness.

Riley Carlton Ohio University ImPRessions Lumber JackEveryone has a stereotypical image in his or her head a lumberjack. Well if you don’t, let me tell you. They have a beard, they’re jacked and they’re wearing a flannel.

Will squatting your body weight benefit you more in your everyday life than doing a few 20 pound curls? The answer is yes. However, don’t get me wrong, I’m always down to chase a good arm pump for the weekend. I’m all about filling out that tight t-shirt.

CrossFit gives it’s members a sense of community, which makes doing the grueling workouts much more enjoyable. Being in a CrossFit class lets people push themselves harder and embrace the pain they feel when they finish a workout. It helps people get past the “intimidation phase” they have when first entering a typical gym.

Walk into a CrossFit class, and you’ll see coaches and people of all levels of fitness. Nevertheless, everyone shares a common goal. The goal is to get fitter, support one another and have fun.

CrossFit SEOCrossFit also introduces people to different aspects of exercise, which may eventually lead people focusing on a specific area of fitness. For me, I discovered a deep interest in powerlifting. I suck at cardio and gymnastics, but I was always decently strong. CrossFit showed my weaknesses, but revealed my strengths. This fitness trend may not be a trend after all. I think it’s here to stay.

For more information about CrossFit in Athens, visit CrossFit SEO‘s website.

Meet Our Accounts!

September 8, 2015

By: Marisa Fiore, @marisafiore1

With a new year, come new directors, supervisors, account executives and of course, the heart and soul of ImPRessions, the account associates. To help make choosing an account easier for you, we have made a list of accounts and what they will be working on this year! Each account executive pair wrote their descriptions so that you could hear it personally from them:

Athens Conservancy LogoAthens Conservancy

AE: Libby Bradford, AAE: Morgan Brenner

Athens Conservancy is a non-profit organization that puts on fundraising events and community hikes. The largest fundraising event that was started last year is the Zombie Run, a 5K race around Halloween that we hope to have at the Ridges this year. We will also be starting an Instagram and an Ohio University student chapter of the Conservancy.

Athens County Humane SocietyAthens County Humane Society

AE: CJ Riggs, AAE: Sammie Fisher

This semester the Athens County Humane Society account will be planning events, improving our social media presence and gaining awareness on campus. Our main objective will be gearing up for our annual fundraiser, Woof & Wine, which will be a wine tasting event on Mom’s Weekend. We also will be focusing on creating and implementing fun and furry “Cat of the Week” posts in hopes of increasing cat adoption in Athens.

AVWAVW Productions

AE: Zach Berry, AAE: Taylor Dilley

AVW Productions is a student-run video production organization. AVW is able to produce eight different shows, each with their own unique voice and atmosphere. Our goal for the year is to build a cohesive bond between each AVW-operated program that allows them to maintain their own individuality while also reflecting the mission of the production group as a whole. In order to accomplish this, we will continue to promote some of the organization’s most popular shows while shedding light on lesser-known programs in order to bring the AVW family to all new audiences in Athens, Ohio.

Black Sheep ImprovBlack Sheep Improv

AE: Alessa Rosa, AAE: Ayla Apitsch

In this account we will be working with the student-run improvisation group, Black Sheep Improv. This account is great because we are working with other college students, and so we can be extremely hands on when promoting their events, which there are a lot. They perform every Thursday at Baker, but also will host five special events throughout the year. This account is great for those looking to work with event planning and promotions, social media, and design. We are looking for creative people who are willing to have fun and think outside the box (these improv members are crazy and fun, and so this is the account for that).

Burr Oak GetawaysBurr Oaks Getaways

AE: Riley Carlton, AAE: Delaney Banda

Burr Oak Getaways is a first year account. This means we have an advantage with some Public Relations experimentation! There are countless ideas we are planning to do with this camping, hiking travel destination. This account will be creating a few major events throughout the year, such as a nature “adventure” race and establishing an annual signature event. We also will be working to spread awareness of Burr Oak Getaways to the Athens Community.

CBSCollege Book Store

AE: Rosie Haren, AAE: Kylie Souder

The College Book Store is an independent bookstore proudly serving Ohio University exclusively since 1952. They are proud to be a local company, run from the ground up right here in Athens, Ohio. This account will promote the major weekends that College Book Store holds. Examples include Homecoming (for the homeless), Sibs Weekend (big bro big sis) and Mom’s Weekend (My Sisters Place) and a percent of the proceeds always go to these same organizations. We also help Andrew just think of ideas that will get students in the store more and we hold a big role in tweeting for the CBS Twitter account, too!

copperheadsSouthern Ohio Copperheads Baseball

AE: Becca Zook, AAE: Allison Zullo

This year the Southern Ohio Copperheads plan to build off of the success of the last few years – including continuing popular community events. New for this year however is a goal of reaching a wider, potentially national audience and working closely with the media staff to build up social media presence and update the website.

fangleFangle Magazine

AE: Grace Driscoll, AAE: Zulfa Rizqiya

The 2015-16 FANGLE Magazine ImPRessions account is geared toward people of all PR skill sets who wish to learn the tricks of the trade and how to be successful in the ever-changing PR world.  We will divide our work into a variety of categories, as any real-world PR firm would do. If you want to create new content, be in charge of heading a variety of projects, work with other student organizations and uptown businesses, learn how to communicate with clients, and build content for an impressive personal portfolio and resume- this is the account for you! We will be working in marketing and promotion, fundraising and event planning and we are in charge of the magazine’s social media accounts.


AE: Mikaela Linden, AAE: Meredith Broadwater

The ImPRessions GoBus account will be assisting GoBus’s expansion by reaching out to student publications at multiple Ohio college campuses in addition to OU. The GoBus account will engage with the OU student body on social media through the #HideAndGoBus campaign on Twitter and the #OhThePlacesYoullGo campaign on our new Instagram page. Also, the account will hold a safe driving seminar on behalf of GoBus with informational speakers and free food to create a more positive perception of GoBus.

Ohio-State-Bar-AssociationOhio State Bar Association

AE: Emily Barber, AAE: Hallie Ruth

The Ohio State Bar Association is a professional organization for anyone admitted into the practice of law. The OSBA ImPRessions account will be responsible for reviewing ohiolawstudents.com, a website created by OSBA as a resource for future, current and post-grad law students. Our account will work on gathering feedback and suggestions on the design, structuring and content of the website, as well as identifying competition. ImPRessions will work alongside the OSBA team to make ohiolawstudents.com a go-to resource for law students across the state. 

Prescribe ChangePrescribe Change

AE: Annie Robinson, AAE: Patrick Nemeth

This year Prescribe Change hopes to implement the projects that have been planned in the previous two years including a billboard message and message on Lancaster public transit buses. Prescribe Change also hopes to continue to build social media presence. Each of these goals will help Prescribe Change in its mission to inform the public on the facts of prescription drug abuse.

scripsgE.W. Scripps School of Journalism

AE: Rachel Hartwick, AAE: Allison Arnold

The Scripps account’s goal is to promote the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism in every way possible. As an associate, you will gain hands-on social media experience designing campaigns and creating new platforms. You’ll also get experience with video editing, design software, and will spend time learning branding techniques and planning exciting events. As an account, we want to get students excited about being in one of the best journalism programs in the country.  

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 6.00.31 PMWest Side Wingery

AE: Raquel Richards, AAE: Liz Papas

West Side Wingery is a brand new client and a new business that is looking to grow! Working with them will involve social media, branding and drawing awareness to this new restaurant. They want to get the word out that they offer unique foods at a student-friendly price!

Now that you’ve heard from all of our accounts, it’s time for you to make your choice! Good luck! ImPRessions can’t wait for you to join!

What’s Keeping Forever 21 Growing in the Hearts of Consumers?

September 7, 2015

By: Kylie Souder, @kyliesouder

Kylie Souder Ohio University ImPRessions Fashion #F21xMe

For fashion brands these days, it can be difficult to compete with each other for the most customers and bringing in sales, while also keeping customers engaged. Forever 21 has a solid public relations strategy that allows them to stay relevant and keep customers wanting more. The most important tactic in the age of millennials is social media. We consume it, we create it and we devour companies’ content. However, we also change our minds in an instant. This is where rebranding will come into play.

Forever 21 stays on top of the social media engagement by creating content on all major social media sites including: Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Youtube and Twitter. The most important strategy for major retailers is customer engagement, and this is where Instagram comes in.

Kylie Souder Ohio University ImPRessions Fashion #F21xMe InstagramIf consumers don’t feel involved in the brand, they are more likely to shop elsewhere where they feel represented and less like fans. Allowing for engagement, Forever21.com has a section called “#F21xME” with the caption, “wear it, share it.” The hashtag (so simple your mom could figure it out) allows customers to Instagram their purchases, styling of looks and outfits of the day in return for being featured on the Forever21.com website.

For young bloggers and fashionistas alike, being featured by a major retailer could spark a career; understanding the logic behind consumer’s need to post pictures of their looks, they can capitalize on spreading brand awareness. Even if a post is not featured on the site, the look is viewed by as many followers as the poster has, generating a larger viewing base for the company. Honestly, it’s a win-win for F21.

Following their social media and presence on the Internet, Forever 21 then understood their consumer and is currently rebranding the entire company to fit the lifestyle of the people who shop their brand most. Transitioning from the trendy teen company with average quality garments, the new Forever 21 will be a beacon of hope for “twenty somethings” who want style on a budget.

This information was released via press release and features on various Internet fashion sites. Creating a buzz for a not yet released product will allow for more Instagrams to pop up in the future further increasing brand awareness.

Kylie Souder Ohio University ImPRessions Fashion Blog

Forever 21 is definitely going to be a brand to watch in the coming seasons, with their new styles surfacing and a generation who lives and breathes to be praised for their fashion choices. Instagram and a rebrand may just be all Forever 21 needs to surpass other fast fashion chains.

4 Lessons Gen Eds Teach Us

September 3, 2015

By: Grace Driscoll, @gracedriscoll_

Grace Driscoll Ohio University ImPRessions Gen Eds

Regardless of your program of study, gen eds, or general education requirements, will stand between you and graduating with a degree. Instead of looking at this required list of classes as a burden on your schedule, take them as an opportunity to learn new things. Not only will they enhance your college career, but you also get the most out of your tuition and time spent attending college. Here are a few things gen eds teach us:

  1. Your gen eds might help you find your future minor or specialization. You may find yourself spending the majority of your freshman and sophomore years trying to fulfill cross-cultural perspective and history gen eds. But in the midst of it all, they may help you determine what major best suits you. Although this can seem a bit overwhelming, it is actually the perfect opportunity to experience new and entirely foreign courses of study that you otherwise would have never taken. Taking a course in something you know nothing about could spark an interest in a subject that could turn into the very thing you decide to pursue and declare as your minor or area of concentration.
  1. They will make you push yourself to the next level. If you’re lucky enough to be a part of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, you will know that our required classes touch on almost every program of study at Ohio University, and could take a couple of years to fulfill. As a journalism major, chances are math and science courses are not exactly your strong suits- and that’s OK. Maybe your Anthropology 1000 class far exceeds the difficulty of your Strategic Communications 4000 level course. Taking difficult classes will not only challenge you to learn how to absorb information in a new way, but will also make you a more globally aware citizen. Who knows, being able to have a scholarly conversation on a wide range of topics could be what makes or breaks your future dream job interview.
  1. You might find your life-long mentor. As previously stated, though most of these gen eds are entry-level courses, they can still be a challenge if it’s in a course that doesn’t come easily to you. Although this may call for later than usual nights spent at the library, it can also provide the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the professor and teaching assistant’s office hours. Having a close relationship with your professor is not only vital for a successful college career, but can also lead to gaining a life-long mentor.
  1. Broaden your friend group. The further into taking classes for your specific major, it is likely you will find yourself in class with familiar faces. Gen eds provide the opportunity to be in classes with students from all different majors and areas of study. Take this as a chance to meet the person who sits next to you and befriend people you may have never otherwise crossed paths with.

Moral of the story: no matter how daunting the amount of required gen ed credit hours may seem, you may learn a new thing or two and find your passion along the way!


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