Wreaking Havoc Freshman Year

April 6, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

Freshman year is the time to embrace the freedom of living away from home for the first time. Most of us will choose to stay in a dorm the first year, which results in so many crazy experiences that we would all love to someday relive- half of them of which we can’t remember from being too drunk on those extra wild nights. During my freshman year, I went out with my roommate and close friends almost every night of the week. Let’s say it eventually caught up to me, but I’ve assembled so many memories from that one year I would never want to take back.

Dorm Life

Dorm Life

There’s one night stands out to me in particular. My close friends and I decided to go to one of the local bars in Tallahassee, Potbelly’s, on a typical Thursday. We pregamed in my dorm room with disgusting Four Lokos and stumbled our way out the door, trying our best to act normal as we passed the workers at the front desk. Beware: the workers are usually out to snag the freshmen that are out of control. (That was us.) There’s something all too obvious about a freshman getting a soda out of the vending machine at 11PM all dressed up on a Saturday night. Only one thing comes to mind- the soda is to be used as a chaser, not a refreshing beverage. After successfully passing the workers, we decided to drunkenly run to the bar in our 5-inch heels and short skirts instead of taking a cab. It took us 20 minutes to get there, but we barely noticed with our free spirit attitudes. Cover charge was $10, so in the hopes of not having to pay, we hopped the fence when the bouncers weren’t looking and asked some random seniors leaving the bar for their 21 and over bands. We were only 18 at the time, so this was the only option if we wanted to drink without getting thrown out. The night started off perfect, as we got the bands and successfully hopped the fence. It quickly turned into pitchers on pitchers of rum and coke- so many pitchers that we demolished within seconds.

We danced, met a ton of new people, and eventually made our way home with our new group of friends, by again, running. No cab, just running. I thought it was a good idea to present my dorm room as the new hangout spot for “all my cool new friends.” Once we got to the dorm with our Jimmy John’s subs in hand, (food stops are always a necessity at 1AM) we kept the party going in the dorm and invited some of our other friends to hang out and keep drinking. The RA continuously told us to tone it down with loud knocks on my door, which resulted in quick shoves of vodka under my bed before responding, but we laughed it off and knew she wouldn’t actually taken any kind of action to get us in trouble. About 20 of us played every drinking game imaginable, from Kings to Flip Cup in a stuffy dorm room the size of a walk-in closet. My roommate’s trunk was used as a table for the games. As the games became more intense and everyone became drunker, we decided it was a good idea to run around the campus like baboons screaming. You know those obnoxious drunk people you can’t stand at 2 in the morning when you’re trying to get your beauty sleep? That was us. We were the ninth floor obnoxious students who consistently turned down ice cream dorm socials for vodka outings instead. There was no reasoning to any of our decisions at this point. Our running around the campus eventually led us to run along the sidewalk of the main street of Tallahassee, Tennessee Street, to Chickfila. We wanted to indulge in even more food. Without a car, we walked through the drive-thru and got multiple impatient beeps and stares from those who actually had a car and needed the 3Am pick-me-up after the library. But we successfully got our food from walking through the drive-thru, and again, ran back home to our dorm.

Beware of Resident Assistants

Beware of Resident Assistants

When we finally called it a night and went to sleep, I noticed one of my close friends didn’t walk into her room, but instead, walked into the dorm kitchen. I shrugged it off too drunk to care, and quickly fell asleep to find out the next morning that she slept on the kitchen floor all night. The thought of the disgusting, smelly kitchen floor was appealing to her drunken mind, which still baffles us to this day. Laughing uncontrollably, I woke her up. She confusedly glanced at me and quickly ran her way over to the bathroom to throw up the alcohol that was still in her body from the night before (or morning). This was an old box of Franzia red wine that we kept in our fridge for “emergencies.” The bathroom looked like a murder scene from the amount she threw up, and of course, decided not to clean it. The poor cleaning ladies would not be happy when they found it later that day. An hour later, I found one of my close guy friends asleep on the stairs leading up to the 10th floor, laying in the the most uncomfortable position imaginable. Why don’t my friends like to sleep in their own beds?

When we all finally gathered ourselves, we made our way down to the dining hall to recover our bodies with greasy breakfast and talk about the events of the night we could and couldn’t remember. We usually worked together to put the pieces together. The conversations usually went along the lines of, “Oh my gosh, you hooked up with this ugly guy at the bar,” and “Oh, I wish we didn’t eat all that food after drinking that much alcohol. The freshman 15 is all too real.” Despite our pounding headaches, obnoxious complaints, and complete lack of sleep, we would do it all again that next night, starting with four lokos once again in our one and only pregame spot- my dorm.

The dorm will become your official pre-game spot

The dorm will become your official pre-game spot

Let’s say that several of these nights occurred throughout my first semester of college. And I love that I can look back and laugh over them for simply surviving, as I now dedicate most of my Saturday nights to papers and studying. I’ve learned it’s important to have loads of fun your first year, because the real deal with classes and work will hit hard for the subsequent three years. Freshman year is for wild nights and immense amounts of fun. Is there something you’ve always wanted to crazily experience, but never got the chance to while living at home? Do it your first year, especially when you live in a dorm. You will most likely be located close to the bars and meet all different types of people that’ll become your random drinking buddies when in need. Take advantage while you can!

Perfection is Overrated

September 27, 2014 in Academics, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

"I am, without a doubt, a proud Cornellian."

“I am, without a doubt, a proud Cornellian.”

I am, without a doubt, a proud Cornellian. My cabinets are half-filled with Cornell apparel, my laptop’s front exterior rocks Cornell and CTB stickers (to the point where the apple logo becomes nearly nonexistent), and my hometown bedroom appears as if it were hit by a Cornell décor tornado. When I think of my university, I think of the gorgeous gorges, the winter wonderland, the thought provoking class discussions, and the great dining options for a foodie like myself. When I think of my university, I rarely think of its flaws. However, as with everything in life, Cornell is far from perfect…

“Whoa, why is your double dorm room larger than mine?”

Cornell boasts its racial, cultural, and socio-economic diversity on almost all of its brochures, online mediums, and informational workshops. I can attest to such diversity in that I have friends from myriad backgrounds—in every respect. One such diversity that becomes apparent when the phrase “financial aid” or the idea of “getting an on-campus job” pops up in a conversation is that of socio-economic diversity. Ivy League universities—and really, most universities—have students that come from affluent upbringings as well as those that come from more humble backgrounds. This division of wealth, if you will, leads to both embarrassment and uneasiness when discussions of money arise.

I can personally attest to embarrassment leading to silence when it comes to wealth-related issues, one being that of the room size dilemma. When choosing a dorm room for the semester, students are given the options: Single, double, triple, and quad/suite. Surprisingly, not all singles (even in the same hall) are the same size, nor are doubles, triples, and quads. Even more surprisingly, all rooms of a specific occupancy number are the exact same price. Imagine paying the same amount as your neighbor for a smaller room. Imagine paying the same amount as your neighbor, who comes from a vastly different socio-economic background.

We strive for equality. Where is the equality in my housing bill?

“No worries, I can still add that class during the third week.”

Add/drop period is God’s gift for most students (excuse the religious insert). Cornell allows students to “course shop” for approximately three weeks at the beginning of each semester, giving students the opportunity to decide on the classes that best fit their interests, time slots that best fit their sleeping schedules, and professors that don’t cause sleepiness. Theoretically, the procedure of allowing students to get a sneak peak preview of the class is a phenomenal way of ensuring that students are truly interested in and are able to best engage with the material. Realistically, this system creates a heavy burden on indecisive students who add new classes towards the end of the add/drop period.

The struggles of a Cornellian (Add/drop catching-up problems)

The struggles of a Cornellian (Add/drop catching-up problems)

Professors pass out syllabi on the first day of classes. Readings, problem sets, and papers start almost immediately. By the third week, most large lectures have just completed the sixth chapter of the textbook and most small seminars have already finished discussing the second novel. Insert the new, three-week-late, ambitious student and you have the perfect formula for failure.

Though I’m not an expert in policy reformations, nor am I a scientist who has conducted enough (or any) research on the ramifications of my proposed policy change, I do have a proposal: Instead of enforcing the 18-22 credit hour limit at the beginning of the semester, allow students free reign to choose as many courses as they’d like. Students would then have the ability to attend the seminars and lectures for the first few days and to decide which ones they intend to keep and which ones they would like to drop.

“WTF?” Crazy Dorm Life Stories

August 28, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

college dorm room

college dorm room

For my first two years of college, I lived in the same residence hall on campus at Longwood University.  Four semesters later, and four roommates later, I now live in an apartment with my best friends.  Although I love living in a nice, spacious, apartment, that gives me my own room and other amenities I could not get living in a dorm, I can honestly say, I miss dorm life because of the awesome experiences and memories I made.

“Caution: Wet Bed”                       

Last semester, my three best friends decided it would be a good idea to steal a nasty wet floor sign from the hallway.  Instead of keeping it as a memento, they decided to be sick and gross, and put the dirty wet floor sign on my bed, then proceed to post pictures of it saying “Caution: Wet Bed” and “Natalie wet her bed.”  Love those girls.

“The Great Flood”

Last semester during finals week, my roommate and I never expected what was going to happen.  After a long night of studying (my roommate still in the library), I walk into my dorm room ready to take a shower and go to bed.  It had already been raining outside, so I went into my room, L.L. Bean Boots soaking wet, and walk across my room to put down my back pack.  After I put my things down I headed to the bathroom.  All I heard coming from my feet was, “squish, squish,” but not paying attention to what it could be.  Finally after feeling my socks soaking wet, I look down at the floor and realize that our entire room in flooded with 2 inches of water.  I then followed where the water and coming from, to also find that our toilet had been leaking all day.  So, after 4 ruined carpets, 2 ruined trash cans, wet clothes, shoes, furniture, and then 3 hours of waiting for an emergency work order for it to be fixed…it still wasn’t fixed.  Thanks.

“Poop in the Elevator”

Yes.  Poop in the elevator.  Enough said.

“Roommate Elevator Prank Story”

One time my roommate walked into the dorm to go back to her room.  When she approached the elevator, she realized that she could not use it and did not know why.  When she went back down to investigate, she realized that the elevator door was completely open and was covered with red solo cups filled with water, goldfish all over the place, and a black thong.

“Boobies and Booty’s on the Wall”

My freshman year of college, I had the best hall ever.  We were fun, wild, and tight knit.  One day, someone from within the residence hall, decided to put a GIANT poster of half-naked Sports Illustrated models up on the wall outside of everyone’s doors.  It was hilarious.  But, Longwood has a strict policy that we cannot have obscene things inside our residence halls, especially not out for the whole dorm to see.  Needless to say, the men on our hall got yelled at, and it happened again down the hall later in the semester.

Free Time and How I Spend it

August 16, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

My friend Ryan and I knitting during our first year at Stonehill

My friend Ryan and I knitting during our first year at Stonehill

I consider free time to be a time in the day where I don’t have any obligations. No class, no work shift, no club meetings. It may be when I could probably be doing my homework, but where I have enough time to do something fun before I get down to business. Although sometimes it seems like I have no time at all, there’s always some, even if it’s on the weekend.

When I was a first year student, I didn’t have much going on, but I got a work study job and joined a club or two to do something with all of my spare time. I would suggest doing the something similar or join a sport. You want to keep a little busy so that you’re getting out of your room, and you’re not constantly sitting around being bored. It will take up some of your “free time,” but you’ll more likely cherish your extra time, because believe me, it can be hard to get.

Free time during my day could start with a break in between classes or a walk to the library. I’ll usually call my mom or text one of my friends just to see what’s going on or vent about how busy I feel. It’s great to have a sense of support even when they’re not physically with me. They help me see things differently and they usually know what to say. It definitely helps wash away worries and I leave the conversation feeling level-headed.

When I have more time, and I’m not doing homework, I’ll hang out in a friend’s room and talk or watch a movie. We tend to see each other more during the week than the weekend, ironically. We always procrastinate together, but I find that time with friends is never really wasted.

I’m not usually able to fit this into my day to day schedule, but I like to knit or crochet. Yes, it’s grandma, but it’s so relaxing, and the end result is a perfect gift for a birthday or Christmas. One of my best friends at school knits, so we spent a lot of time doing that during our first year. It’s a hobby that doesn’t take a lot of focus, especially if it’s a project you’ve done before, and that’s what taking a break is all about.

When they’re not watching movies or tv in their free time, my friends like to go to the gym or volunteer. A friend of mine is big on lifting weights. She has her leg day, arms, abs, etc. Hopefully she can train me this semester, but we’ll see how long that lasts (I don’t work out). Working out is awesome for relieving stress. It can boost your mood and make you feel good (supposedly).

Last year another friend was required to volunteer within a course, but she liked it so much that she continued it when the course was over. Volunteering is a productive way to serve others and do something good. Plus, getting off campus for a while can be refreshing. In my first year, I volunteered at an animal shelter. Unfortunately, I couldn’t continue with it because it conflicted with my schedule, but since then I’ve wanted to volunteer again. Hopefully I can fit something in this semester.

Free time doesn’t come often, so make it worthwhile. If you have time in between class or before work, use it. Because when you have to do hours of homework, you’re going to wish you had used that time to do something fun.

More Than Just An Old Dorm

August 1, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

The Sem

The Sem

I could tell you about the weird or messy moments from my first year, but it wouldn’t be much different from other people’s crazy stories. Typical college. This week I want to tell you about an unforgettable experience from sophomore year, which is much more than any drunken night could amount to. It’s about living in Stonehill’s dorm, The Sem.

I’ll do my best to describe it to you, but many don’t fully understand the building until they’ve lived in it. The Sem is in the boonies of Stonehill, past the Sports Complex, near the fields and by the road. No one goes there unless they live there, they’re going to Sem mass, or they’re going to brunch on the weekend. Either way, I’m confident in saying that it’s the hidden gem of Stonehill.

It’s a first year student dorm, but I had the opportunity to live there sophomore year because my roommate is an RA. Before The Sem, her and I were friendly, but didn’t really hangout much besides getting breakfast between classes. When she asked me to live with her, I was hesitant especially because of the Sem’s location on campus. I had to give her an answer fairly quickly, so I just decided to go for it. I didn’t have a roommate for the following year at the time, and I figured I would make some new friends. It wouldn’t be so bad.

Little did I know, it was a great fit for me. The special thing about the Sem is that it’s more than a dorm, it’s a community of people, of friends. Because we’re far away from the center of campus, we’re lazy and are just stuck together a lot of the time. From RA programs, to floor meetings, to hanging out in the common room, there is so much pride and involvement. Everyone is proud to be a sem kid, old and new. There are always familiar faces whether it’s hanging out with an RA on duty or hanging out in your room. No one is afraid to talk or say “hello.” Yeah, I was a sophomore, but it’s just the kind of place you want to be as a first year, despite the distance.

I made friends just like I thought I would, and my new roommate became a best friend. Coincidentally a few girls on my floor knit and liked to craft. We’d hangout and watch tv or a movie. There were a lot of opportunities to bond, especially in little ways. People usually had their door opened, and it was common for someone to pop in and chat or just say “hey” while walking by. Since we had a small cafeteria in the building, a lot of us would eat there instead of walking all the way across campus if we were already in our rooms and didn’t have to go out again. Sem brunch every weekend was a tradition. A very delicious weekly tradition. During my first year I didn’t get out enough and wasn’t that involved. Living in The Sem, making new friends, and having to make more of an effort to see my other friends and attend meetings, truly pushed me to put myself out there. When I first agreed to The Sem, I didn’t realize what it would do for me or how much of an impact it would have. Although that chapter is passed and it’s summer now, I still text my roommate and keep in contact with a few girls from my floor. I’m grateful that I was given the opportunity to be a Sem kid and anyone who is chosen to live there is lucky.