Top 10 Lists

The Assumptionist To Do List

February 5, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Top 10 Lists

There are some things you just HAVE to do before graduating college – like joining a club, going to a rager, and pulling an all nighter with your friends. I’ve found that there are some awesome things at Assumption that you might want to checkout before you walk across that stage in May:

1. Leitrims: Even if you don’t go until senior year, you MUST make an appearance at Leits at least once. Leits is THE Assumption bar on Thursday nights, and even if it isn’t the most luxurious bar in Worcester you’re definitely guaranteed to see all your friends there. Leits is definitely a dive bar, but you’re always guaranteed to have a great time.

Leitrims Bar

Leitrims Bar

2. Midnight Madness: This event is to kick off the basketball season and to get the school excited about it. It’s just something you have to experience at least one time – they throw out free t-shirts, the dance team performs, and the men and women’s basketball teams are announced with their own song and introduction. Oh, and the school mascot makes an appearance which is always fun! Each class wears different colored shirts and is put into their own section so it’s always fun to go and show your spirit, especially if you’re a senior!

3. Pup Cup: This is THE best weekend of the entire semester. Pup Cup is the weekend before finals where the freshman and sophomore class compete against each other in activities during the whole weekend. What really goes down is that the entire school goes on a booze binge from Friday to Sunday. There is a huge cookout/carnival and if the weather permits it’s an awesome time. This is definitely the wrong weekend to pack a suitcase and head home.

4. Pic with the Greyhound: Assumption obviously has a statue of a greyhound because why not? It’s a common tradition for students to drunkenly stumble to the statue on a weekend night and take a few pictures. Campus police isn’t fond of this little tradition, but it’s just something you have to do before you graduate.

5. Rosie’s Omelettes: If you have a meal plan that allows you to eat at Taylor dining hall, it pays off to wake up extra early and get an omelette from Rosie. The breakfast at Taylor is mediocre unless they have bacon or french toast sticks, so the only way you can guarantee to have an awesome breakfast is if get an omelette from Rosie. If someone else is there making omelettes wait for Rosie – she’s the best!

6. Spring Ball: This is a can’t miss event that’s so fun especially if you’re 21! They usually pick an awesome venue that serves drinks and has a huge hall. Dinner is served and it’s kind of like a prom but so much better because it’s college and not high school. Everyone usually gets pretty dressed up so it’s fun to buy a dress and go all out for this event!

7. Duck Day: It may seem a bit odd, but Assumption takes its Duck Day VERY seriously. Basically, they literally roll out a red carpet sometime in April and bring the ducks back to the pond in front of the school. Yes, I said that right, a RED CARPET. It’s probably the cutest thing in the world because local elementary schools come with all of the kids to watch and the ducks actually walk down the carpet and into the pond. If you can, go to Duck Day.

Duck Day

Duck Day

8. Senior Week: Well, this only applies to seniors but if you are a senior you cannot miss out on this. They plan an entire week for the seniors after their classes are done but before they graduate. There is something fun planned everyday like Foxwoods, or Six Flags. It’s just an awesome time to bond with all of your fellow seniors before you all head out into the real world!

9. Wings over Worcester: This place serves the best wings in Worcester hands down. It’s open until 2 am so it’s a great late night food place. They have tons of different flavors of wings and the best waffle fries. Don’t hesitate to order from here when you come home from a night of drinking!

10. Get a Free T-Shirt: Your time at Assumption will offer MANY opportunities for you to receive a free t-shirt, so there is no excuse not to get one! You may have to sacrifice an email or be one of the first 100 in a line for something, but it’s a free t-shirt!

Top 10 Activities For Florida State University Freshmen

January 28, 2015 in Campus Life, Top 10 Lists

Florida State University is home to over 40,000 students. As you can imagine, the campus is enormous and slightly overwhelming at first glance. However, once you adjust to it, you realize all of the many opportunities it provides to students to stay entertained throughout the semester and break free from the stress of school. Here are a few of the best activities that all freshmen should take advantage of their first year at FSU.

1. Go to the “Flying High” Circus. FSU is one of two colleges in the nation with an on-campus circus, so you will definitely want to mark your calendars and attend a show on a Friday or Saturday night. Students perform a variety of acrobatics that’ll make you cringe in your seat, praying they don’t fall off a beam. Make sure you don’t miss it; they only perform a few times throughout the semester!

2. Watch a movie at the Student Life Cinema. For those of you who love catching up on the latest movies, you’re in luck. Having a movie theater on campus is extremely convenient and calls for an inexpensive date night. This isn’t a miniature theater either; it’s as large as a Regal theater! Not only do you get to experience the whole movie scene seconds away from your dorm, but it’s also free of charge. Movies are played 5 to 6 times a week and are always selected by student committees to suit that of a young, college audience.

3. Eat a burger at Monks. There is no better restaurant that defines Tallahassee as a whole. It’s only about a five-minute drive from campus and provides for a great, laid-back atmosphere on a Friday night. With a variety of food and burgers all priced under 10 dollars, this is definitely a place you should make your go-to when on a budget.

4. Take a Sunday trip to the Rez. This is the perfect pastime on a sunny, Florida day. For just one dollar, students can rent kayaks or paddleboards for up to one hour with a valid student ID. You also have the option of playing some beach volleyball or relaxing on the sand and reading a good book.

5. Bowl a game at Crenshaw Lanes. Not many campuses have a bowling alley located right in the center of their student union. If you have a long break in between classes, why not bowl a game with some friends. It only costs 3 dollars, and that’s including shoes. If you work up an appetite, don’t forget that Chili’s is right next-door.

6. Do homework on Landis Green. This is the heart and center of FSU’s campus. On a sunny day, you will always find students on Landis either walking their dogs, sunbathing on a hammock, doing homework, playing frisbee, sitting on a bench drinking Starbucks- basically anything and everything. It is an open field to simply unwind from the stress of school.

7. Take advantage of the Leach Center. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in college is somewhat difficult, but definitely not impossible. Unfortunately, the freshman 15 is all too common. The Leach center, FSU’s main gym, has three floors, including an indoor track, basketball court, volleyball court, and swimming pool. It also offers free workout classes, such as spin, zumba, cardio party, etc., in addition to 4 free personal training sessions per student. Trainers are always available for helping students adjust to their own personal fitness programs.

8. Join an intramural sport. FSU offers a variety of intramural sports for students who want to participate in a non-competitive activity, ranging from soccer, basketball, bowling, flag football, volleyball, etc. If you enjoy staying active but don’t have the time to commit to a travel team sport, then this is the activity for you.

9. Take a day trip to Wakulla Springs. It’s about a 30-minute drive from campus but well worth the trip to make for a fun Saturday afternoon. Relax for a few hours by enjoying a picturesque setting in the beautiful springs. You can also take a boat tour and sightsee for alligators, manatees, and all of the other green surroundings.

10. Attend a football game at Doak Campbell Stadium. I saved the best for last. This is the number one activity that every freshman must partake in. The energy in Doak, home of the FSU Seminoles, is probably like nothing you’ve ever witnessed. Watching Chief Osceola and Renegade plant the spear and singing along to the Marching Chiefs’ war chant is nothing short of a bone-chilling experience. The game will be blazing hot, but the sunburn will be worth it. You certainly won’t want to miss out on this school spirit. But first, make sure to practice your Tomahawk chop and invest in some garnet and gold attire!

Doak Campbell Stadium

Doak Campbell Stadium

Relationship (and Sex?) Advice for a Queer Ivy Leaguer

December 27, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Love, Top 10 Lists

My parents, married for 35 years, met at a high school pep rally. My sister and her husband first encountered one another while being squished together during a chance encounter on a crowded New York City subway. Several of my close friends and their significant others have romantic “this is how we met” stories that involve a shared English class, a wild night at a fraternity party, or an accidental beverage mix-up at a cafe. The queer* dating world, on the other hand, is more complicated.

"Gay bars, gay parties, gay college organizations, gay anything are really the most viable real world options for finding a partner, besides digital applications."

“Gay bars, gay parties, gay college organizations, gay anything are really the most viable real world options for finding a partner, besides digital applications.”

“We met through an app” is the new “We met at a coffee shop.”

While sitting at a cafe, my gay friend once said, “I wish I could ask any cute guy in here out on a date.” Granted, it’s not as if a straight person could just waltz into a busy café and expect a date with anyone, but the option to ask around is present. The same cannot be said for members of the queer community—whether the option is absent due to safety, health, or privacy concerns. As such, smartphone apps—specifically Grindr and Tinder—play tremendously important roles in one’s dating life. I used to mock the “desperate women” in romcoms who would devour a tub of ice cream while browsing through eHarmony for a worthy man. Now, I am that desperate romcom character (though my life has far fewer slapstick moments). It’s a difficult truth to handle, but the queer sphere makes dating a more arduous task. Queer bars, queer parties, queer college clubs, queer anything are really the most viable real world options for finding a partner, besides smartphone apps (so get a smartphone!)

Grindr tribes & queer lingo (gay men-specific)

If you’re going to use applications similar in theme and function to Grindr, grow accustomed to terms such as: Bear, otter, twink, discreet, cleancut, and poz. The gay world has its own language. Unfortunately, we don’t have Rosetta Stone to help us with the finer details. Instead, we have Google.

Don’t be an “Outer.”

Visibility is a major dilemma in the queer dating world, more so in the college queer dating world. There are plenty of people who are “out of the closet,” but there are even more who are stuck in hiding—something with which to not mock, but rather, to sympathize. If you are “out of the closet” and are dating someone who isn’t, please—I beg of you—do not jeopardize their safety or emotional stability by forcing them out of it. Do not be selfish. Everyone should have the ability to come to terms with their sexuality if and when they choose to do so.

Don’t date the “Outer.”

On a similar note, if you are on the other side of the situation and are not yet “out of the closet,” do not date someone who is forcing you out (major emphasis on FORCING). Break free of their disgustingly heavy clutch and find someone who understands your situation and respects your personal decisions. As with all healthy relationships, we should always strive to be with someone who makes us happy, and who enjoys our company–our genuine selves.

IvyQ: The Pan-Ivy Queer Conference

Cornell's IvyQ Planning Committee (2014-2015)

Cornell’s IvyQ Planning Committee (2014-2015)

As a Cornellian, you have the privilege of calling yourself an Ivy Leaguer, and as such, have the privilege of the numerous queer-specific resources of the Ivy League. One such resource is the annual IvyQ conference—a Pan-Ivy League queer conference hosted by one of the eight educational institutions. Mornings and afternoons are littered with panels, workshops, and presentations by world-renowned queer activists and scholars, while nights are full of…”fun.” While some may argue that IvyQ is “one big orgy full of elitist scum,” I will argue that it’s a conference that’s designed for whatever it is that the individual wants it to be. I, for one, see it as the conference that introduced me to notion of social superstructures, that helped me to network with queers from other Ivies, and that changed my perspective on my body–body positivity.

“You’re gay, he’s gay. Let me introduce you two.”

Whenever I’m single, I often run into the common situation in which my straight friends introduce me to another one of their gay acquaintances. The logic: You’re gay, he’s gay, and so you two MUST click. If only it were that simple. Gay people, like everyone else, are people. Sexual orientation—for most, at least—is not a queer individual’s defining feature. Please remember this when you’re going out to find a hook up, a date, or a partner. (Also, quick side note for masculine gay men: Do not laugh at effeminate gay men for portraying their sexual and gender identities in a certain way. Sure, you may be incredibly buff and love outdoor activities, whereas they love dieting and show tunes. However, at the end of the day, you both like penis, so end the internalized hatred!)

Queers come in all shapes and sizes #BodyPositivity

As I mentioned earlier, IvyQ was a conference that changed my perception of my body. I have a layer of fat covering my abdomen; I have a terribly slow metabolism; when I was ten years old, I weighed over 200 pounds. After nine years of dieting, struggling through a period of eating disorders, and surviving a brief stint in which I exercised to the point of excess, I am now down to 130 pounds and couldn’t care less about the remaining body fat sitting atop my abdomen. It’s because I was introduced to a notion called body positivity, something that the gay porn industry seems to disregard. In a fabricated universe where all gay men are tall, white, maintain luscious hair, have pearly white teeth, and rock a solid six-pack, a gay man like myself would represent all that is wrong in society (or be nonexistent). However, the real world hosts people of all different shapes and sizes. Please respect that notion when you’re looking for a date or a partner.

Sex is NOT everything!

Don’t get me wrong, sex is great. I’m all about sex positivity. In fact, I was known as Haven Whore during my first year at Cornell (Haven being the name of the queer organization on campus, and whore being…well…). However, as with all healthy relationships, sex is not the only component. Be romantic (sorry, I’m a hopeless romantic); buy that bouquet of tulips (because roses are SO last century), go to a hole-in-the-wall café and order the most pretentious sounding beverage and share the overpriced concoction, go ice skating at Central Park during winter wonderland, fall asleep in each other’s arms after a long night of discussing your childhoods. Sensual is just as important as sexual, regardless of the media’s portrayal of queer hyper sexuality.

Haven: Cornell's LGBTQ+ Umbrella Organization

Haven: Cornell’s LGBTQ+ Umbrella Organization

“Relationships either end in marriage or a break up” (FALSE)

I’ll preface by stating that I’ve dated my fair share of “radical queers” (i.e. the nonconformists). My pessimistic straight friends constantly say, “Relationships only have two paths: Together or not together.” This sentiment doesn’t necessarily ring true for all queer relationships. I once dated an individual who was so against the hetero-patriarchy that he rebuked the very notion of marriage as it is a “hetero-privileged institution and [he] refuse[s] to become complicit in a process that was designed for, and privileges, the elitist hetero-community.” Point here being that not everyone you date will want to either break up or get married. Maybe figure out their priorities and political views before purchasing that promise ring?

Sometimes, Netflix is just as good as a wild night out.

I once dated a newly-out male. His perception of the gay community was completely fabricated by shows like Queer as Folk and 90210. Granted, the gay community is full of hyper sexualized individuals, but it’s also full of people who’d much rather spend their Friday night cuddling on the couch while binge-watching a full season of New Girl than taking six shots of tequila and dry humping on top of the bar’s countertop.

*It may seem as if I use the words “queer” and “gay” interchangeably. However, when I say “queer,” I am making a statement about the general LGBTQ+ community. When I say “gay,” I am referring to the cis-gendered gay male community, of which I am a member.

Top Ten Things You Should Take Advantage of in College

December 26, 2014 in Top 10 Lists

Assumption College

Assumption College

1. Free time: I know that it may seem like free time is nonexistent, but it’s there. Learn to love those couple of hours that you have to just hangout or watch your favorite TV show, because once you hit the real world they disappear. Even those couple of hours that you have to kill time in between classes are something that you will probably miss after you graduate. Take advantage of your free time and do the things that you love to do.

2. Making mistakes: We all hate to make mistakes, but college is probably the best time to make them. Being in college is all about discovery and change, and the only way to do this is by making mistakes and learning from them. So instead of being careful – take a risk and go through some mistakes along the way. In the real world, they might not be so easy to recover from.

3. 12AM – 3AM: Drunkenly ordering pizza in the middle of the night is something you should totally take advantage of in college. Not only because you’re a poor college kid and that’s all you can afford, but also because this is probably the best time in your life to binge on bad food. Once you get older 2AM Dominos calls will probably be a thing of the past.

4. Your friends: After you graduate college you will probably keep in touch with a few of your friends, but eventually everyone goes their separate ways. College is the best time to meet awesome people and create a bond, even if those bonds dwindle away after you graduate. The memories you create with your friends in college are probably the most unforgettable and amazing ones that you will have.

5. Traveling: Go on that spring break trip to Cancun, travel abroad to Spain – you may never get these chances again! Once you get a 9 to 5 job, you probably won’t have more than a week or two to travel a year, so take advantage of being a student and just GO! See everything before you get tied down for life.

6. Getting ridiculously drunk: After you graduate, sure you can still get drunk – but as you get older it becomes less socially acceptable to pound back beers at 11 am and to funnel. I’m not saying go crazy and be the drunkest person at the party, but just drink, relax, and have fun! As you get older your Funday Sundays will turn into “relax before the long work week Sundays.”

7. Sleeping in: Have you ever had a semester where your classes didn’t start until 12pm?! Yeah, it’s awesome. But in the real world, your job will most likely start between 7 and 9 am. Cherish those mornings that you get to sleep until 2pm, because they won’t be around for long…

8. Internships and connections: College is THE time to make connections and to get internships so that you are ahead of the game come graduation time. People who are already in the working world love to talk about themselves and give advice to students because they realize that you are in college and trying to create a future for yourself and they want to help. Take advantage of your status as a student and set up interviews with successful people to make useful connections.

9. Casual wear: Once you graduate you will probably have to ditch the sweatpants and say hello to the business casual world. There’s a certain joy in rolling out of bed, throwing on sweatpants and a sweatshirt and slumming into class at the last minute. This NEVER happens in the professional world so take advantage while you can.

10. No Bills: This depends on who you are, but most of the time people get more bills when they graduate from college because they move into an apartment, buy a house, or even start a family. Most people in college pay for a car, cell phone, or food at the most, and when they graduate they are introduced to a whole world of rent, mortgages, heating bills, taxes and tons of other expenses. Take advantage of this less “responsible” time of your life and either save your money or think of a plan for when you graduate.

10 Things You Need to do Before You Graduate College

November 21, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Top 10 Lists

Before graduating

Before graduating

Being a college student is another chapter in your life and you should make the best of it. College is four years long (give or take) and you should experience several different things before you move on to the next part of your life. These are a few things you should do before graduating and moving on to bigger and better things.

  1. Meet new people

This can be scary at times…I know. However, your freshman year you don’t know anyone, but you can make the best of it. Meeting new people is a good thing because it opens friendships you never thought you would have. And the friends you make in college will probably be with you for the rest of your life.

2. Try something you’ve never done before

Everyone needs to experience something they are uncomfortable doing because it gets you out of your shell and breaks the monotony of everyday life. This could be anything from trying a new sport to taking a random class that you aren’t sure you will like. It doesn’t matter what it is, just as long as you’ve never done it before.

3. Get a job

Being in college is the start of living on your own. You don’t want to solely rely on your parents anymore so getting a job allows that. It could be a job on campus or in the town your college is in. Maybe you’ll even be lucky and get a job in the career field you want to go in.

4. Tour the town your college is in

It’s important to explore the area where your college is located. You never know what you might find and it allows you to find the fun places to hang out. Also, the town may have some historical significance that may be interesting to learn about.

5. Study abroad

I’m sad to say I did not get to do this one even though I really wanted to. However, I still think it is important to at least try to study abroad. Studying abroad allows you to see the world and experience different cultures. It opens your eyes to realizing there is so much more than the small world it feels like you’re living in at your college.

6. Pull an all-nighter

Again, I have never done this one either, but I have stayed up really late writing papers. I feel like pulling an all-nighter is common for a lot of college students and it is one thing they feel like they have to do because it is the thing to do. Procrastination is common and then an all-nighter is necessary. Or sometimes you just have so much work and you just need to pull an all-nighter.

7. Change your look

College is the experimental years. Try a new hair color, get a piercing, get bangs, and figure out what your style is and then realize later that it isn’t for you. Either way, change things up a bit. For me, I had to change my look when I was a freshman because when you are a freshman at VMI (Virginia Military Institute) you have to get your hair cut really short. Now I know I never want short hair again.

8. Attend a sporting event

Even if you aren’t in to sports, show some school spirit and attend a sporting event. This can be going to a football game, basketball game, or any other sport your school has that you may be interested in attending. It allows you to socialize with your friends while still supporting your school.

9. Get a college ring

This may seem weird for a lot of people but I think college is more important than high school. I know it is for me and getting a college ring symbolizes the obstacles I have conquered and shows the accomplishments that I have made as well. At VMI, the ring represents so much more than just the school, but it represents the bond that we have with one another and the brotherhood we have joined.

10. Attend at least one party

College is about having fun along with figuring out what you want to do with your life. Going to a party is part of the process of experiencing what it is like to be a college student. Let loose and make mistakes but remember to learn from your mistakes as well.