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Dating 101: URI Edition

July 24, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Love

For students at the University of Rhode Island, dating, hooking up, and relationships are pretty common. With 15,000 undergrads on one campus it’s no wonder one-night-stands, long-term relationships, and hook ups are happening. What makes our college campus different from others is how approachable students are. More often than not people are friendly making it easier to meet new people.

What is dating like at URI? I couldn’t really give you a general yet accurate explanation of how it works. From what I’ve seen, we’ve got an even split between relationships and hooks-up. More often than not, single Rhody Rams will take advantage of just about any situation to meet those of the opposite sex. From casual encounters in your classrooms to overly intoxicated nights at the bars, there’s always an end goal: to find someone of the opposite sex to share a medium McDonald’s fries with by the end of the night. No really….I don’t think there’s a way to sum up dating at URI because it all depends on who you ask.

Study Buddy

Study Buddy

I’m single and I like to ‘study’ I have been a witness to a few relationships and hooks up that have sparked from the sharing of interests between two students. It could be their involvement in a club or sport, a course their taking, or a favorite place to just relax. A lot of students at URI will meet during the course of a semester in their classes according to their major. Once you’ve seen someone in one of your classes, the odds are they’ll probably be in another one later on in your college career. Might as well make friends with them, right? After the initial encounter has been overcome, it’s a lot easier for students to transition out of that stage. Ever heard of study buddies and project partners? Well, you’ve just found yourself one that could last a little longer than the actual course does (wink).

Where should I go on my first date? Luckily for you, the University of Rhode Island is located fifteen minutes away from the beach and local restaurants. A walk on the Narragansett Seawall might be a nice start for your date and could transition to dinner at George’s of Galilee. You can never go wrong with seafood, especially the fresh seafood you’ll find in Rhode Island. There’s other possibilities like take a trip to Providence (WARNING: the ride is about 30-minutes so if you’re on a date with someone who isn’t talkative, be prepared for a long and awkward car ride). In Providence you’ll find more to do like arcade games and dinner at Dave and Busters or a walk around the Providence Place Mall. There’s always a lot to do in the heart Rhode Island so you’ll never get bored if you go out on a date there.

Next time you find yourself at the library or in the crowded room of a frat party, look around and introduce yourself to someone. You never know who you may meet; it could be your future Rhody Ram bride or groom or even one-night-stand.

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.

The CC Scene Told Through Disney Movies

April 17, 2015 in Academics, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Health, Love, Sports

I absolutely love watching movies about the college experience. So what better way than to tell you the ABSOLUTE truth about the CC social scene than through DISNEY MOVIES? Yes, you read right. #enjoy

Monsters University

1. STUDY, STUDY, STUDY. AND MORE STUDY. Monsters University is probably one of the best sequels in all of Disney movie history! (Sorry Disney, we only speak the truth.) What makes this movie even more fantastic? IT CANNOT BE MORE TRUE! Part of a community college social scene are people studying. If you have goals to reach, the library might just be your BFF! One-eyed Mike Wazowski has the dream of being a full-fledged scarer, and he knows that studying is one way to get there! So what are you all doing? Let’s get to studying! #hopontoit

The Rescuers

2. THE CLUB LIFE. We crown Bernard and Miss Bianca King and Queen of The Club Life! Community College is all about networking, and what better way to do that than to join clubs? Join clubs that you take interest in! Are you a woman with a voice? Feminist Club may be your calling. Do you have a knack for acting? The Theatre Club would love to have you! Of course if saving little children from villainous people if your thing, the Rescue Aid Society may be hiring in your area. #rescuersreference

Hercules

3. ZERO TO HERO. The social scene is more than just joining clubs and studying. It’s also about staying fit and staying healthy! Many college students take part in after- school activities such as sports. Taking part in a sport gives you discipline and allows you to meet people with the same passion you do. In my opinion, if it worked for Hercules, it could work for you, too! Who doesn’t want killer abs and toned legs for beach season? #notme!

Lady and the Tramp

4. THE OCCASIONAL DATE. Yes, once in while you will get asked out and hopefully, he or she will sweep you off your feet! This is one of the most looked-forwarded to things when it comes to embracing the social scene in college. Have fun and enjoy the time you have meeting new girls or guys. BUT, don’t let your emotions cloud your head! This is still school, which means you need to keep your grades in check and at all times! So with that said; Stop day- dreaming and get back to studying!

Tangled

5. LEAVE THE TOWER. Rapunzel knows what she’s doing; It’s time to leave the tower. Yes, of course you may take a break from studying so hard in the library! Explore the community surrounding your college! I go to school in Pasadena, California which is great because just five minutes away is an outdoor mall! Tons of college kids hang around the surrounding community after school to relax and enjoy the college life. You did more than just apply to go to school, you also applied to become part of the community. Take advantage of it. It could just end up being your #bestdayever.

Sleeping Beauty

6. FOR THE MOST PART. Aurora has the right idea. Sleeping is the one thing you will be doing for most of your college experience. Because let’s face it, after studying hard, joining clubs, working out, going on romantic dates, and exploring the surrounding community, we just become DEAD TIRED. Right, Aurora? #imakemyselflaughsometimes Luckily for us college kids, we don’t need a kiss from a prince or princess to wake us up. So after you get your beauty sleep, you better wake up and do it again. Like now. #onrepeat

Until Next Time!

 

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.

Experience Boston and the Dating Scene

October 30, 2014 in Colleges, Events, Love

Remember those moments in middle school when holding hands and instant messaging every few days equated to being in a “relationship?” Or in high school when eating lunch together and kissing during sports games meant that you were committed? Here comes college with all its randomness and casual hookups, and we begin to wonder, how serious can dating possibly be during school?

With lively times at parties and unexpected encounters at social events, high expectations of finding love and a “soulmate” shouldn’t be set, at least not freshman year. Instead, living in the moment with friends and having rememberable, no-strings-attached flings will be widely seen.

Speaking for myself and the first-year Emerson community, serious relationships are rarely seen on-campus, especially two months into the school year. Although I have seen my Emerson friends “tie the knot” and commit to each other, the level and the maturity of the relationship depends entirely on the person. Some students are individualistic and simply want to experience Boston while focusing on themselves, while other students are ready for dedication, romance, and emotional attachment.

To accommodate both parties, below is a list of serious and not so serious date-like settings or hangout spots where it’s easy to meet new faces and form countless memories.

The Esplanade

This is the essential meet-up spot on Friday and Saturday nights. The Esplanade, a park and “Adult Playground” located on the Charles River and just a few blocks from Emerson College, is where Emerson, Northeastern, BU, and other surrounding college students meet and greet. They gather together by the dock, which overlooks the river and the city of Cambridge, make a few mistakes, and create memories.

Students and locals soak up the sun and enjoy Boston’s quaint charm on the dock, overlooking the Charles River.

Although this spot doesn’t have to be for informal, laid-back nights. It’s perfect for a first date or romantic encounter: playing Disclosure beats or The Beatles tunes, having a picnic at the park, taking advantage of the playground, or watching boats sail along the sparkling water make for a lovely evening.

The Common and Public Garden

Being positioned directly across from Emerson, these two parks are perfect for not only first dates but group hangouts, social events, guitar jams, or homework/study spots. Some students get takeout from a cafe and have picnics overlooking the duck pond. This can also be a romantic midnight setting of wandering aimlessly through the parks and listening to spooky music (especially during Halloween time).

Late night strolls can be perfect in the garden for spending date nights or time with friends.

Emerson students aren’t the only ones who take advantage of the parks. They’re public and home to all Bostonians, foreigners, and visitors. You never know what’s bound to happen in Boston. The city is a haven for unexpected possibilities, opportunities, and meetings with genuine strangers. Sometimes I sit in the park on warm days, write poetry while eating a burrito from Bolocco, and am approached randomly by people who were admiring my aesthetic or simply asking for directions. Fate is real, and it’s possible in a city like Boston.

Concerts

Speaking of fate, meeting complete strangers at concerts cannot be prevented. Being a music writer for Emertainment Monthly, I attend shows around Boston at least once a week, constantly meeting people from all over New England, and even outside of the country. Students at Emerson take pride in the expressive arts and communications, thus they’re bound to be part of mosh pits at punk shows, dancing wildly to electronic beats, or peacefully absorbing the sounds of jazz and folk bands at cafes. Either way, meeting new faces and having various conversations are expected.

Students, locals, and music enthusiasts having fun during a Chrome Sparks concert.

From listening to my friend’s experiences, they’ve met 20-something-year-olds at venues like Paradise Rock Club, The Middle East, and The House of Blues. Although most of those encounters ended up being “one night stands” or hookups, great memories were formed, adding to the overall college experience and urban lifestyle. I suppose Carrie Bradshaw was right. “People come into your life and people go. But it’s comforting to know that some are in your heart.”

Experience ALL of Boston

That’s the best advice I can give to incoming college students or visitors. Experience, experience, experience! Walk around outside, talk to strangers (obviously not creepy people lingering in dark alleyways), go to concerts, relax at the park, go for a run at The Esplanade, get a mocha at Thinking Cup Cafe or discover your own eccentric coffee shop, ride the train to Cambridge and other surrounding towns. Personalize the city and make it yours to cherish; four years will zoom by before you know it.

Stepping outside and exploring the city are great ways to meet people and spend beautiful days.

Love won’t always be knocking at your door, but patience is virtue and dating shouldn’t always be taken seriously, especially at a young age. In a city like [Boston], with its infinite possibilities, monogamy has become too much to expect. Well said Bradshaw, well said.

A popular quote from “Sex and the City’s” Carrie Bradshaw — one that most college students live by.