Fall Quarter starts soon at OSU. In the weeks leading up to the start of classes, students slowly start trickling back onto campus. Since most freshmen start during Fall, we'll soon see a large influx of first-year students.
A lot of them are walking around campus even now, usually with their parents. Not infrequently people will approach me asking for directions. When I see someone studying a campus map, I'll ask them if I can help. Most of them are looking for the same couple of buildings. I like to think that maybe I've made someone feel more comfortable on campus, or more at ease as they face the uncertainty of college.
What I find most interesting is that it is invariably the parents holding the map, trying to reconnoiter the campus. Their children usually stand near them, slackjawed. I would think that the students would be interested in learning the campus for themselves.
The week before I started classes at OSU, I wandered all throughout the campus. I got a feel for the various sections on campus (hard sciences to the north, medical center at the south, humanities in the middle, arts to the east), and learned the major landmarks. I figured out where many of the coffee shops, sandwich shops, and hot dog carts were located, as well as a variety of vending machines. I felt well prepared for life on campus, and confident that I could navigate what is, essentially, a small city within the city of Columbus on my own.