Snacks We Love (but Hate at the Same Time) During College

April 24, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Health

We all know that when a person goes to college their daily diet changes over time. As we are told the “Freshman 15” happens to almost all students who goes to college and who lives in the dorms. There are some students who can control their desire for junk food and late night snacks, but we do not all have such a self-résistance to eat whatever we want, at any time we want. Here are some snacks we desire when we are in college, especially at the end of the semester.

Snacks we love and hate

Snacks we love and hate!

Candy: We all know candy will get any person who is tired and sleepy with a lot of energy. I know we are not kids who always get sugar high, but it still does the same effect. Candies such as sneaker bars, Kit Kat, gummy bears, chocolate, white chocolate, and most importantly, sour patch. Not everyone likes candy and they are certainly bad for your teeth and for your health, but this is one snack we, as college students, do not reject especially when we are in need of energy at the end of a long and painful semester.

Energy Drinks: I know that drinks are not snacks but are often accompany with several of snacks that help with the level of energy. With energy drinks along candy and other snacks it provides the body with such an amount of sugar that helps the college student become awake and alert during exams and classes. Some of the energy drinks are Monster, Red Bull and sodas (soft drinks) such as Coca Cola and Pepsi. Using drinks a long with other unhealthy snacks can provide a college student with an unhealthy diet, but let’s be honest, when in a state of stress and of writing final papers, eating healthy is the last thought in mind.

Chips: Oh the lovely sound of eating chips and the crunchy feeling while we eat Doritos and Lays Chips! Eating chips while doing homework or attending class is so common that it is a difficult habit to break. As college students we sometimes do not have time to get a full meal between classes and eating chips is a fast and convincement way to get the stomach filled until you have a proper meal. Who does not love chips, I can guess some people do not because of the empty calories that it has, but eating chips has become the most effective way of getting energy for classes and when doing homework.

While eating a lot of snacks is definably not healthy for the body. It is also important to know that eating snacks is a way to survive long hours of classes and hours of doing homework/group work. While some stay away from snacks that are empty calories, I also believe that these snacks helps a person who is in need for a quick energy boost before going to class or while doing a long essay and should be considered life savers for college students.

“You are worth it simply because you exist.”

November 8, 2014 in Academics, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Health

I sneak a peak from the corners of my laptop and see two students sitting on the opposite end of the study room. To the right, I see a girl twirling her fingers through her hair, tugging at the ends in a nervous manner as she continues to read through an Organic Chemistry textbook. To the left, I see a boy chugging down a cup of coffee—I’m imagining a Red Eye to match his red, sleep-deprived eyes. I then look at my own laptop screen; my dock filled with minimized documents of Gender Studies texts and Word documents with unfinished midterm papers. I grab my quadruple shot espresso and finish the contents of my Venti-sized cup in a matter of seconds. I burp softly and continue to type as I think about the to-do list of tasks that I’ve yet to write up (maybe I should add “write to-do list” to my to-do list).

Cornell is, without a doubt, an academically rigorous institution. Add to that the stigma of being the Suicide Ivy, the university wide policy of grade deflation, and the Type-A peers in every classroom, and you have yourself an anxiety-ridden environment. As a student who has survived numerous suicide attempts and panic attacks, and now runs university wide “Happiness Projects,” I can attest that changing one’s mentality is the only sure-fire way of tackling the issue that is mental health at the university level.

Prelims season AKA stress stress stress!

Prelims season AKA stress stress stress!

“I am sitting next to Albert Einstein’s reincarnation.”

During my first week at Cornell, I couldn’t help but to notice the amount of students boasting about their high school achievements. “AP Scholar” and “National Champion” were casually inserted into conversations about the pasta being served. Most Frosh come to Cornell with the mentality that they will maintain their valedictorian status. In a school comprised of 99th percentile students, it becomes incredibly difficult to maintain said status. Rather than fighting for the spotlight in a small discussion seminar, or plotting to murder the students who score higher than you on a calculus midterm, think optimistically: “I am privileged enough to be sitting in a room with some of the brightest minds in the world. They are here, so they are valid. I am here, so I am valid, too. Maybe we can learn from each other!”

“My low GPA is my identity.”

In my circle of friends, the status of Valedictorian is synonymous to GPA-obsessed high school students. Cornell tends to attract—and accept—these types of students. While I’m not implying that GPAs in college are insignificant, I am asserting that there is more to a Cornell education than grades—in fact, considering grade deflation, grades become even less representative of one’s academic potential. Rather than crying over your first sub-par transcript, think to yourself, “Am I paying all of this tuition for an easy A+, or am I here for academic enrichment?”

“I don’t belong here”

Spreading positivity on Ho Plaza: Smile! You look beautiful today!

Spreading positivity on Ho Plaza: Smile! You look beautiful today!

Being a person of color, a gay identifying male, and having graduated from a sub-par public high school, I knew that I would feel slightly out of place. However, I never imagined that my isolation would extend further than my sexuality, skin color, and socio economic background. During my first semester, a negative thought constantly ran through my mind: “I am not intelligent like my roommate. That girl from my Feminist class is what a real Cornell student looks like. Even that annoying Frat bro can think outside of the box! I’m just an imposter.” It’s a strange feeling when you realize that you are no longer the big fish in the small pond; it’s unsettling to think that you may never achieve as much as others, that your best might never be good enough, that the endless nights of coffee and hours slaving over that one chapter in the textbook will amount to absolutely nothing. There are nights when you think you’ve studied hard enough to achieve a perfect grade on an exam and end up with a grade lower than the class’s mean. At some point during the end of my first semester, I received validation in the form of a coffee chat with a professor. She told me, “You’re here because someone knew—not thought, KNEW—that you belonged.” If you attend Cornell—or any university—just keep in mind, you got an acceptance letter for a reason. And that reason is because YOU BELONG.

Whether you go to Cornell or you attend online classes, you will feel certain emotions in reference to your academic potential. It’s incredibly important to remember that you are not your grades, that you are attending college for purposes other than being the best, and that you are wonderful simply because you exist. Think optimistically and never forget that you are worth it.

Emerson Health and Happiness

November 7, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Health

Although it’s easier to avoid the subject than to address it, the freshman 15 is real. Losing touch with daily exercise routines and mental health rituals are problematic when entering college, and external factors like extracurricular activities, time management, cultural and academic shocks, and new social settings only add to the stress. With a few Emerson tips in mind, living physically and mentally healthy and maintaining happiness shouldn’t be problems anymore.

Fight the Urge 

The first few weeks living in Boston are anything but underwhelming. Since Emerson is located in the midst of coffee shops, french cafes, pizza joints, and an abundance of Donkin Donuts, saying “no” to sweets is easier said than done, and fighting temptation can be challenging. If you’re going to splurge every once in a while (which you definitely will) by buying that pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks or frosted donut, remember that a fitness center is available and offers daily workout and yoga classes. Why waste the convenient exercise that’s free of charge?

Deserts are delicious and addicting, and by all means, don’t refuse frozen yogurt or chocolate cookies on every given occasion. It’s just important to remember that what you put into your body is what you get out of it, and most Emerson students become aware of this after spending night-after-night in the dining hall.

Take Advantage

The Emerson fitness center is over 10,000 square feet of state-of-the-art equipment, featuring group excersise programs, personal training, and health workshops. If students feel ashamed or physically unhealthy after sneaking that chocolate brownie or apple pie, they head straight to the gym. And the best part about going to the gym is knowing that other like-minded students are their burning calories as well.

Students enjoy Emerson’s fitness center and take advantage of the equipment.

Living in a city like Boston presents many opportunities to wander, to explore, and to live an active lifestyle. Since Emerson is positioned directly in front of The Commons, students can be seen running alongside the pond, speed-walking through the gardens, playing frisbee on the lawn, or practicing yoga in the grass. Even if you derive from a health-conscious suburban town, like myself, don’t let the preconceived notions of the East Coast and city life fool you. Individualize Boston and create your own life around it.

Like mentioned in the article Experience Boston and the Dating Scene, The Esplanade, a pathway stretching miles along the Charles River, is an excellent workout source to take use of. Not only will your workout be scenically beautiful and overlook Cambridge, but you’ll be surrounded by other runners and joggers… and who knows, you may make a new friend or have an unexpected conversation with a Bostonian.

Students can be seen running through The Esplanade.

Fact, Emerson holds a reputation of not being the most sports-centric college compared to its surrounding competitors like BU, Northeastern, and Harvard, though the Quidditch program excels in combining creativity with athletics. The competitive wizardly sport is an amusing way to pump blood and stay healthy and happy. Emersonian’s take advantage of this sport, among the few, and make fit look fun. For more information, visit:

Happiness and Health

You know the feeling you get after listening to an incredible song for the first time? That feeling that sensationalizes all things and guides extra contentment into your life? That’s the effect of sound. Music is therapy and it holds the power to increase serotonin and reduce stress levels. Emerson students are suckers for good music, whether the genres be electronic, classic rock, reggae pop, or rap, and because Boston is the haven for emerging artists and new waves of sound, there’s always something happening just outside the doors. The House of Blues, The Paradise Rock Club, and The Middle East are all eccentric venues that students flock to.

The House of Blues in Boston is a great music venue to enjoy great bands, dance, meet new people, and feel happy.

Attending concerts is a spontaneous way to enjoy yourself, enjoy Boston, and enjoy the enthusiastic music scene. If music isn’t a strongpoint of yours, other creative endeavors like writing, filming, singing, or dancing can increase mental happiness. Emerson students enjoy participate in many clubs and activities because it keeps them busy, builds their arts portfolio, and gives them inspiration and purpose in life.

Additionally, Emerson’s downtown and theatre central location should not go to waste, for ArtsEmerson produces incredible plays and comedy shows throughout the week at The Cutler Majestic, The Paramount, and other surrounding theaters. The Polish Film Festival is occurring right now, and the play “The Old Man and The Old Moon” will begin Nov. 19. These shows will boost your happiness and make you laugh.

Emerson’s theatre, The Cutler Majestic, is scenically aesthetic and houses outstanding performances.

Do what makes you happy. This quote is cliche, but truthful. Take a walk through the garden, people watch at a coffee shop, experience the cuisine of fried dumplings and stir-fry dishes in Chinatown, browse through a record shop in Cambridge, or go to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park! Don’t let the cloudy weather and dropping winter temperatures build your stress and lower your happiness. All the beautiful things in this world are right in front of you, you just need to embrace them. 

Emerson is an accepting community of open-minded students, staff, faculty, and services. Counselors, psychologists, and nutritionists are available to promote physical and mental healthiness and security. Students aren’t alone, they have Boston and excellent resources!

(P.S.: the song “Find Your Cloud” by Papadosio will make your mind smile).

Virginia Military Institute: One of the Top 10 Fittest American Universities

August 29, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Health, Sports

Freshman doing flutter kicks

Freshman doing flutter kicks

If you plan to attend V.M.I you better make sure you are in the best shape of your life. I know I was. Because if you aren’t you will not last a single day of your first year. V.M.I is not for the weak because it is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding.  That’s why we are listed as one of the top ten fittest universities in America.

Before you even attend V.M.I, they make sure you are able to handle the physical tasks that you will encounter your first year. V.M.I does not have the time to get you in shape, so you need to come prepared. For me, I was in the best shape of my life right before I started. I had just lost a total of 20 pounds and was ready for the challenge. But to my surprise, it still was a struggle. Your entire first year is pretty much dedicated to making your life miserable through vigorous work-outs. The first week you are there is called hell week and you wake-up every morning at 5 to do P.T. (physical training). This consists of going on long runs and doing a variety of exercises like flutter kicks and overhead arm claps. Now this may sound easy, but after so many overhead arm claps it is difficult to keep your arms up. It’s no picnic in the park, that’s for sure. This continues for the majority of your first year with intense work-outs on Saturdays and an occasional sweat party (an intense 15 minute work-out where you are drenched in sweat afterwards) every few weeks and the culminating event at the end of six months.

Once you are through the first six months of your first year, it is pretty much up to you to stay in shape. However, since V.M.I is a military school you also P.T. with your respective military branch. This includes all the classes, from freshman to senior. This is twice a week on Mondays and Fridays and consists of whatever the military staff of your branch feel like doing, which usually involves a long run for the Army department.  Additionally, every semester you must pass the V.F.T. (V.M.I Fitness Test). The test is comprised of pull-ups, sit-ups, and a mile and a half run. If you do not pass the test then you are put on remedial P.T. which is an organized work-out session that meets twice a week in order to work on passing the V.F.T. You must stay on remedial P.T. until you are able to pass the V.F.T. Therefore, you must take the initiative and make sure you work-out after your first year. Even during your first year it is highly recommended that you work out on your own on top of the mandatory physical activity.

It is easy to let yourself go after that first year and I know a majority of us have done it. I myself have gained weight because I don’t stay on top of working-out because I get so overwhelmed with everything going on to where I’m exhausted and would rather take a nap instead. Sadly the choices I have for working-out at V.M.I are not the most appealing either, which makes me not want to work-out also. Your choices include either going on a run, going to the weight room, swimming at the pool when it’s open, or using the cardio room. Now the reason these choices aren’t that great is because the weight room is outdated and doesn’t have that many options for lifting in my opinion, the open swim for the pool isn’t that often or convenient, running gets boring after a while if that’s all you’re doing, and the cardio rooms have outdated machines that don’t work very well and the variety of machines is disappointing. However, everyone makes do with what we have. I personally like to go on a run every other day because the scenery is gorgeous around the school since we are located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but it does make it more difficult too if you get my drift. I also use the up-right bikes and an elliptical machine too and do my own exercises in the mat room on the days I’m not running. That is how I stay fit and would recommend if that’s something you like to do. Otherwise, I know that guys like to go to the weight room or play basketball. It is important to find a work-out that you enjoy otherwise it gives you another reason not to work-out.

Overall, V.M.I is a very physical school and has earned its placement as one of the top ten fittest universities in America. Your first year is your most physically demanding but after that you are on your own to make sure you stay fit. This is difficult, especially with everything else we are forced to do, but the reward of staying in shape is one that can be appreciated for the rest of your life.

Healthy Life-style

Healthy Life-style

10 Ways to Stay Mentally and Physically Healthy in College

August 5, 2014 in Alive Campus, Colleges, Health, Top 10 Lists

  1. Eat Healthy

    Eat Healthy

    Eat Nutritious Food

That means cutting back on the candy, ice cream, chips, soda, fried food and other junk that pervades the dining halls and convenience stores. Although it’s good to treat yourself once in a while with sweets or some pizza, focus on eating foods high in protein, like fish, meat, beans, and dairy, filling your plate with whole grains like whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and having plenty of fruits and vegetables! Though the media has created several “diet myths” about the evils of carbs and fat, both of these macronutrients are essential to our wellbeing. Carbs are our primary source of energy (though overconsumption often leads to weight gain), and fats are vital for brain development – and for curbing cravings (who knew?!). Again, try to choose healthy sources of fat, such as nuts, peanut butter, olive oil, as well as salmon and beef.

Be Active

Be Active

2.    Be Active!

It can be hard to get yourself to the gym, especially if you haven’t been involved in sports through middle school/high school. But it’s good to get out of your comfort zone, so the easiest way to start exercising is to grab a friend or a roommate and try a class! Most schools offer a wide variety of classes, including Zumba, Spinning, Yoga, and more.



3. Walk. Walk. Walk.

Walking is the easiest, and most basic form of exercise. Unless you are injured, are confined to a wheelchair, or have other physical ailments, you can walk. I’ve been guilty of taking the shuttle from upper to lower campus myself, but I often do try to simply walk wherever I go. Oftentimes, walking takes just as long (or faster) than taking public transportation (if you include walking to the stop, waiting for the bus or train, walking from the final stop).

Walking in the wintertime is another story…. but plodding through snow in 5 pound winter boots is a great workout!

Drink Water

Drink Water

4.    Drink Up

We often focus so much on what we eat, that we completely forget our most basic human need: hydration. We can survive much longer without food than we can without water, so drink up! It’s best to drink at least 6-8 cups of water a day (that includes tea!), so buy yourself a nice water bottle, and take sips during class. Before you know it, you’ll have to fill it up again. Warning: more drinking = more bathroom breaks.



5.    Limit Soda and Juice Consumption

Though hydration is important, don’t just reach for soda or juice when you’re thirsty. These are meant to be occasional treats, not every day purchases. A 12-oz serving of Coke has nearly 40g of sugar, which comes out to roughly 10 teaspoons! The recommended daily intake of sugar is about 90g; that means that a single serving of soda can tally up half of that in a couple of swigs. That doesn’t even take into consideration that most sodas have more than one serving, so if you drink a whole bottle, you tack on empty calories, as well as a heaping amount of sugar. Unfortunately, many juices are the same way – they have unhealthy, and unnecessary amounts of sugar added to them to satisfy our taste buds. Stick to water, milk, coffee, tea, and occasionally treat yourself to juice or soda.

Limit Excess Alcohol

Limit Excess Alcohol

6.    Cut the Drinking Habit

This time, I don’t mean water – I mean alcohol. Drugs and alcohol are normal parts of college life, but excess drinking will take a toll on both your mind and body. It’s fine to get wildly drunk a few times a semester if that’s what you like, but try to keep it together the rest of the time… You’ll thank me on Sunday morning.

Get Some Shut Eye

Get Some Shut Eye

7.    Sleep

We have all sacrificed sleep for something “more fun” before, and have woken up bleary eyed, foggy, and feeling exhausted the rest of the day. Sometimes pulling all-nighters is inevitable, but it’s absolutely crucial to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Getting enough sleep will help you focus, perform better academically, give you more energy, and make you less prone to germs/sickness.

Laundry Time

Laundry Time

8.    Wash Your Sheets

This may seem random and obvious, but it’s worth saying again: do laundry regularly and wash your sheets at least once a month. There are tons of germs floating around and sticking to your bed/pillow, especially if you and your friends regularly sit on it.

Get some sunshine

Get some sunshine

9.    Soak up some Vitamin-D

Don’t forget to go outside, even to study or eat! The sun’s UVB rays have a multitude of health benefits, and can also improve mood.



10. Don’t Forget Your Friends

Though we always focus on physical health, it’s important to keep your mental and emotional health strong as well. Your friends are there to reassure, comfort, and cheer you up if need be. Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on and a partner in crime – health is all about balancing work, play, physical and mental health.