college experience

Welcome to College: Here’s Your (Mini) Bucket List

September 7, 2014 in Academics, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Career, Events, Sports, Top 10 Lists, Travel

  1. Join a club

Joining a club not only allows you to meet people, but it also teaches you to work with others and to try new things. Stepping out of your comfort zone and participating in something that you may not be good at, or have much knowledge about can be difficult, but it’s worth it. You’ll learn so much about yourself, and you may even make some close friends there. Even trying something new and then quitting is better than not trying at all – most of the time, you’ll learn to love what you got yourself into.

2.    Go to a play or concert

Even if your school doesn’t have a good theatre/arts program, it’s still worth seeing your classmates perform. It takes a lot of practice and bravery to stand up in front of a crowd and perform, and those people deserve an attentive audience (that’s where you come in). If your school doesn’t have an arts program at all, find one in the city or town nearest you! If you’re as lucky as I am and have a thriving city like Boston nearby, take advantage of it. There are always tons of events going on in cities – find something you like, or want to try, and check it out!

Go to a theatre production

Go to a theatre production

3.    Attend an athletic event

Whether your school is successful or not at certain sports, it’s still nice to go support your fellow students, just as it is in artistic performances. Athletes train long and hard to perform at their best, and they play even better when they have a whole stadium full of supporters goading them on. Plus, it’s a fun way to meet other people – and you get to make up weird cheers!

Cheer on classmates at an athletic event

Cheer on classmates at an athletic event

4.    Party (at least once)… for most, that won’t be a problem at all

Most people go to a party and fall in love with the lifestyle. To them, it’s a great way to let off steam, unwind from a tough week, forget about classes, and make memories (if you actually remember anything from those Saturday nights….) with friends. However, some people don’t like that lifestyle at all – they’d rather do something at home, or go to dinner, or see a movie. No matter which type of night you prefer, try both. That way, you’ll appreciate being able to cuddle up and watch a movie in bed, but you’ll also get to experience the typical college experience of going out and drinking.

College Experience 101: Party

College Experience 101: Party

5.    Take a class unrelated to your major/a subject you’re interested in

We spend so much time learning what we “have” to know, so it’s good to change it up and take a class that isn’t part of your major but that you’re curious about. You learn better/more when you are actually passionate about learning something, rather than dreading it. Plus, taking a class outside your major can be a refreshing break – when you’re sick of doing bio homework, you can turn to the art project you need to complete, or write a short story.

6.    Live on campus

Though most people will live on campus for all four years of college, it’s still worth putting on this list. Being on campus allows you to experience the freedom you didn’t have at home. You get to control when you go to sleep, when/what you eat, what you do in free time.

Dorm Life

Dorm Life

7.    Live off campus (if you can)

Living off campus is also a useful experience. You may not have a meal plan and you will have a longer commute to campus. You’ll not only have to learn how to cook for yourself (or spend all your money eating out, which I don’t recommend), and you’ll really learn to plan ahead so that you get places on time. Living off campus will definitely make you a more responsible and productive person.

Live in a "real" apartment

Live in a “real” apartment

8.    Study abroad

Studying abroad, or any sort of international travel is an incredibly valuable experience. Going to a different country opens your eyes to new cultures, languages, people, and ideas; traveling teaches you equally important lessons about life and interacting with others.

Travel

Travel

9.    Find something you love doing

This goes back to the idea of taking a class that you’re interested in, but may not fall into your major. If you find a subject or discipline that you are drawn to and passionate about, don’t ignore that feeling. Even if you’ve wanted to be a doctor your entire life, or your parents push you to becoming a lawyer – follow your own head and heart (sorry, didn’t mean to be cheesy). College is the time to discover what you really love doing and what you’re good at. If you find something that doesn’t fit in to what you were doing before, don’t ignore it – take a long hard look at whatever it is, and ask yourself if this were something you’d like to pursue more seriously.

10. Internship

Internships are a great way to get experience in the field you’re looking to go into, and it also gives you a chance to see if it’s actually something you could do for life. The things we’re interested in can look nice and fine from the outside, but sometimes it’s a different story when you’re actually doing it. Internships also look great on the resume and allow you to build contacts when looking for future employers or opportunities.

My College Planning Experience: Ending Up at the University of Redlands

May 21, 2014 in Academics, Admissions, Colleges

My college planning experience was quite a doozy. In the very beginning I was told by my father to do something I was good at and if I continued to do that, my career will be successful. I love to write, creating was another whole part of my brain that I haven’t even explored yet at the time and studying it seemed like fun. I also love technology and computers are always something I am passionate about. So I initially figured I wanted to go into the computer science field, considering that it would be something I liked doing and the economy was in-demand for computer experts. However, I didn’t take into account the math I would have to do.

Ever since I started high school, math became a difficult subject. I no longer could calculate equations as quickly and easily, and attaining high marks on my tests was a challenge. Math became the bane of my existence. After heavily taking time into filling out the applications, looking up the schools and what required classes I would have to take, as well as locations of the schools, the application essay questions came up. If you take anything out of this article, please, for the love of all that is holy, take a lot of time on your essays. These are the most important things for a college to look at. Colleges look for your drive/passion, which comes out in your essay. They can read into how you’re thinking in these essays. These essay readers are paid to see how you’ll react in the college environment. They’re smart people. I took maybe 30 minutes on each essay and the results were that initially I was accepted to 3 out of the 10 schools I applied to. Not a single college in the University of California public system, One college in the Cal State system, and two schools in Arizona. At the time, this scared the crap out of me. All the schools that were close to home were now out of the picture. I was on the waitlist for a couple schools nearby my house, but that was a risk in itself if I didn’t go somewhere that first accepted me.

Then my mother took out her catalog on private universities. I don’t know why I hadn’t considered a private school before. I figured I wanted to go to a school with a name everyone knew. I turned to the page University of Redlands and liked the black “R” logo with the black and white background. It was nearby and may be an opportunity to go somewhere closer to home. When I had my meeting with an admissions counselor on campus, I was enthralled. I didn’t know I could study so much in one place and get so much out of the campus. I could do creative writing as well and make something of it! The tour was even better. The campus was extremely gorgeous, it was a big campus with a small amount of students, and I wasn’t restricted. I only felt like this was my place at home. So as I was finishing applying and I got that acceptance letter, I knew that I was more comfortable being at a school I wanted to study at, taking a subject that I wanted to study, as well as being close to home. Looking back now, being close to home was something I needed in my process of developing.

What I took from my college planning process was a few things. One, I should have prepared more on my essays heavily. They’re extremely important and say so much more about a person than what activites they were in/participated in high school. Two, I needed to find something that I would be passionate about studying in. Sure, having a business degree is nice, but having good writing skills could potentially lead me to a lot more jobs than I initially thought. Just because it’s not the go-to degree doesn’t make it less than another major. It just means you’re doing something you’re good at. Three, it’s okay to not go to a big name school. Go somewhere that you’re the most comfortable being in as well as the opportunities you can gain from that college. It’s about what you learn doing your college years that will define you as a person, not where you came from.

Seth Wells: The New Butler Bulldog

April 5, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

 

Not many people in the world have gone to 15 Major League Baseball playoffs games, five MLB spring trainings, have had ex-Detroit Tigers player Brandon Inge in his house and be a batboy for the Tigers minor league affiliate. But for Seth Wells, it is all routine.

Wells is a freshman student at Butler University from Rockford, Michigan. He has lived anything from an ordinary life. While most of his enjoyments to mainly center around baseball, he has many interests as well.

Wells enjoys playing basketball, playing videogames and participating in card games. Wells has taken his love for card games to a whole new level, because now that he is 18, he is able to gamble at a local casino. His favorite game to play is blackjack.

His reasoning for his love of black jack is “the thrill of never knowing what your hand will be each turn. It always keeps me on the edge of your seat.” While he hasn’t always come out victorious, Wells says it is always in good fun.

For his Spring Break trip this year, Wells will once again be going to Lakeland, Florida to watch the Tigers participate in Spring Training. He will be going with a couple of his closest friends and they will be staying with Wells’ grandfather. Wells feels this trip will both be the best option financially wise and in regards to enjoyment.

While at home, Wells enjoys spending time watching television. His favorite show to watch is “Law & Order: SVU” particularly to watch his favorite character, Detective Elliot Stabler.

Seth has loved his time at Butler and he thanks the small size for the reason of his love. “I really like the community feeling here. It seems like there is always someone to talk to and I am always around my friends.”

Wells is a Journalism major as is a member of ButlerSports.com, which is the sports broadcasting group on campus. He has broadcasted both soccer and basketball games for Butler. Following graduation, he hopes to work for a television or radio station in his home state of Michigan.

Wells’ reasoning for staying in Michigan is because, “it is the best state in the US, except maybe Florida. I absolutely love it there. I’ll always be proud to be from the Mitten.”

Baseball is Wells’ number one passion. His favorite current player is Tigers’ first baseman, Miguel Cabrera. While his favorite player all time is Ken Griffey Jr. Wells chose Griffey because in his opinion, “Griffey has the smoothest swing in the history of the MLB. Nobody could hit it with such ease like Griffey. He’s the man.”

Wells is a newly initiated brother of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. While it has made him very busy and exhausted he explains his experience as both rewarding and exhilarating.” Wells says he is eager to continue his journey as a brother and calls it “the best decision of my life.”

Wells hopes that one day he can use his journalism talents in the game of baseball in some way. But until then, he is completely satisfied with where is right now, in Indianapolis as a Butler Bulldog.

by Monicia

Getting the most from your college experience

July 30, 2013 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

Making the most of your college experience

Making the most of your college experience

Many freshmen and transfer students come to a four-year university not knowing what to expect. Is is a strict learning environment? Will there be partiers everywhere I go? Are the teachers and faculty willing to help if I fall behind? Those questions, along with a few others, are typically swirling around in the heads of new students. The best ways to answer these are to speak up, ask questions and get involved. Here are a few ways to get the most from your college experience:

1. Find out who your student leaders are – This can be anyone from student government to the resident assistant in your dorm. These are the people that have been put to the test by their superiors and should be able to answer all your questions about campus, activities, etc. If they are unable to answer your questions specifically, ask them to direct you to someone who can and I’m sure they’ll be happy to do it.

2. Develop a rapport with your teachers – Now I’m not saying that you have to become besties with your professor, but you should develop some type of friendly rapport with them. You can maybe participate in class discussions often or just drop by their office to talk about a recent grade; just make sure that when all is said and done, they remember your name. This especially includes the professors in your major; those are the ones that can surely vouch for your dependability and work ethic whenever you’re looking to score a post graduate job.

Professor and students

Professor and students

3. Get involved on campus – There’s probably no better way (beside doing something illegal) to get your name and face recognized than to get involved with campus organizations. This can include student government, volunteering or maybe writing for the campus newspaper. Along with joining Greek organizations, it’s one of the fastest ways to make lasting friendships in college.

4. Attend athletic events (and tailgates, too!) – Even if athletics aren’t a super big draw at your respective school, make it a priority to attend at least one to two athletic events per year. More than likely you’ll end up meeting someone from a class or your dorm that you didn’t know before. It’s also a very fun way to unwind after a long week of studying and writing papers.

5. Go to parties – Yep, I said it. What’s a college experience without attending at least one or two parties? Not all college parties are Greek affiliated or huge Keystone sponsored blowouts. If you ask around, you’ll more than likely find one that’s suited to your taste. A few of the theatre majors at my school occasionally get together for themed costumed parties. Very low-key.

Not all campuses and students are like the ones you see on TV and in the movies. It really just comes down to knowing where to go and who to befriend. It’s ultimately up to you to decide what you want to do with the last two to four years of your college life. Start with these tips and you’ll be on your way.

College students moving in

College students moving in

10 Things I Wish I Could Have Told My Freshman Self

July 12, 2013 in Campus Life, Top 10 Lists

 

  1. Join Student Organizations – There’s some sort of stigma associated with kids who are involved. “Join clubs?” high schoolers smirk at each other. The thing is, you’re probably going to be joining clubs for the rest of your life, whether you go to church or just belong to a clique at work. Humans love to mingle with other humans, and clubs are an easy outlet for that. Unless you go to a school with less than 50 students, there have got to be student organizations on your campus, you just have to find them. Chances are that they’re working their hardest to find you already. Check out flyers and your student life office.
  2. Develop Relationships with Professors – This can’t be said enough. Go. To. Office. Hours. You will hear it over and over again, and for good reason. Most professors are eager to hear your thoughts or to answer your questions. They tend to be enthusiastic and passionate about their areas of expertise… that’s why so many of them hold high-level degrees. You can never have enough professional contacts, either. These are the professors that will help you get internships and who will write you letters of recommendation. Also, everyone benefits from a good mentor.

    Your college experience should exceed the classroom.

    Your college experience should exceed the classroom.

  3. Learn Time Management – College students have a lot of free time, or so it seems. You may only be in class for 12-20 hours a week, but that’s because you’re generally going to have so much work to do outside of class. This is hard to get used to. Typically homework is going to consist of more than the K-12 worksheets and fill-in-the-blank pages with word banks. You’re going to have to do a lot of reading. A lot. And papers are twice as long as they were in high school. Getting a planner is a great idea, as is setting alarms in your phone for when you’re supposed to be working certain tasks.
  4. Taste Success – and Failure - Sometimes the greatest reality check is a big fat bad grade, or bad review from a professor. Always get A’s your entire life? Those babies become a lot more scarce, or at least a lot harder to get in college. They have to be earned. And like me, you might have to learn this the hard way, but that’s okay. Once you do get a perfect or near-perfect score on a paper or exam, it’s going to be one of the sweetest fruits you’ve ever tasted – success. So, get ready to experience both. Like tough love, it can be good for you.
  5. Peruse Internships -  This is something that guidance counselors don’t tell you in high school. They’re so focused on just getting you in to a university, that they forget to spend any time preparing you for things like career goals and resumes. This is where internships come in, and they are available everywhere, you just have to look for them. Check out websites like LinkedIn and even Craig’s List. Almost every company is looking to hire internships. This is how you get real work experience aside from those summer and part time jobs at restaurants and retail stores. This is where you dip a toe in your potential career path, and this is another great way to make professional connections.
  6. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone -  Do something you don’t want to do. Go to a pep rally-esque event, or go to that giant party everyone is talking about, regardless of how blase` it may seem. Even if you end up having as little fun as you anticipated, you get to walk away with the experience. You can say, “No, I’ve done that, and it was boring.” Or, in the best-case scenario, you realize you were shutting yourself off to something you actually really enjoy. Carpe diem! (Or noctem!)
  7. Listen to Yeezus - Just kidding, kind of. But actually do, especially if it’s not usually your thing. Listen to anything that isn’t  typically you. The same goes with movies, books, and virtually anything related to the arts. Now is the time to widen your tastes. You’re experiencing all other types of growth, and the arts are vital to cultural existence. You won’t regret it.
  8. Take Leadership Positions - Like clubs, this is something often painfully underestimated. Ever have dreams of being self-managing or of holding some sort of executive position? This is what you should be doing. Join executive board positions for student organizations, apply for student positions on campus like Orientation Leaders or tour guides. You are put in a position where you must both complete and delegate tasks in order for a group to exercise its purpose. You’d be amazed just how difficult it can be to get people to make and hang up flyers, let alone to show up to meetings! But like the other challenges in this list, its value runs deeply. 
  9. Attend School Events/Lectures – Most institutions will go at length to enrich your college experience, both socially and academically. You’ll gain access to guest speakers in all types of areas, from sociology to health science to current events. These lectures can prove invaluable. Not to mention that a lot of professors will offer extra credit for attending these events, though that should obviously not be your motive. Go to learn something new and to hear a different perspective.
  10. Connect With Your Peers – For some people, this comes naturally. There are always certain social butterflies who seem to attract all the attention and get along with everyone. That might not be you, or most of us. Just don’t isolate yourself; you’ll regret it. College is both an intrinsically social and academic experience. To lose one half of that would be to certainly miss out.