A Working Cadet

April 17, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

Cadets Marching

Cadets Marching

As a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute, your time is very limited, especially your first year. Going to a military school doesn’t leave you much time for yourself. Your schedule is very strict, everyone lives on post (campus), and there are not too many chances to get away.

Since we all live on post and our time is very limited, we are not allowed to have jobs off post. The school takes up too much of our time and having a job in town would not be realistic. However, if you do have a little extra time and want a few extra dollars in your pocket, there are opportunities for jobs on post. The jobs on post range from so many different things, so it just depends on what you want to do.

Here are some of the jobs you can choose from as a cadet, but you won’t be able to apply for them until after your freshman year.

  1. Cadet Waiter: As a cadet waiter, you work in the mess hall helping put out food in the hot food lines as well as putting it away when meals are over. As well as tray clean-up too.
  2. Career Services Assistant: This job is pretty much a secretary job for the people who work in Career Services. You help with anything they need.
  3. QMD (Quarter Master Department)/Military Store: This job is pretty much working with the uniforms and stocking them.
  4. Research: This job is working with professors and doing research. It could be for the biology department or the psychology department.
  5. Call Center: This job entails calling Alumni for donations to the school. If you want to do this job, just make sure you are a friendly person.
  6. Cadet Assistant for the Alumni Review: This is my job and I absolutely love it. I work for the Alumni Review Magazine which is a quarterly magazine. I catalogue photographs into a database and edit articles and anything else they might want me to do.
  7. Writing Center: If you are good at writing then this job is perfect for you. You can help cadets with their papers and any other writing assignments they might need help with.
  8. Center for Leadership and Ethics: There is a cadet that helps out at the Center for Leadership and Ethics. I think this cadet helps plan events and gets the word out for them.
  9. Admissions Officer/Human Resources: This job is a paper work job for either the Admissions of the Human Resources office.
  10. AliveCampus: You can also write for AliveCampus which I have been writing for the entire year! If you like to write and you like your college then you should definitely apply to be a writer for the website!

Overall, there are not too many choices when it comes to working as a cadet. The options are limited and it is pretty much first come first served when they send an e-mail out looking for cadets. You do still have to apply, but if you are a good cadet and reliable then they will most likely hirer you. So if you want to make a little extra money as a cadet and find the time to do so, make sure to keep an eye out for e-mails that are looking to hire for these positions.

Low/No Costs Activities at Longwood University

January 14, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

Bowling-  College night at Main Street Lanes is every Tuesday night.  It costs students 5 dollars to bowl for the whole night, and is usually full of students.  This is a great (and cheap!) activity to have a great night with friends and to do it for little to no cost.

El Patron-  El Patron is Longwood’s cool and young Mexican restaurant right on the edge of campus.  The food usually costs no more that 10 dollars and is very good.  Many students go here to hang out and enjoy time with friends and to socialize.  It is also a place where people can celebrate birthdays and other exciting occasions when on a tight budget.

High Bridge Trial- The High Bridge Trial is a state park that offers a long biking, walking, and running trail for students who like the outdoors.  It also stretches 12.4 miles.  Visitors can start at various parts of the trail if they are not in for the whole 12.4 mile walk, run, or bike ride.  At the end of the trail, there is a huge “high bridge” (literally!) that gives people amazing views of the country side.  This is a low budget activity at its finest, because it cost no money to go to the trial and walk or run.  If you do not have a bike and want to rent one, that would be basically the only cost for this type of activity.

Intramural Sports-  For students who like to play sports, but are not on a sports team, intramural sports are the way to go.  Usually, when you join a team the cost for the entire team is around 30-50 dollars, but that ranges per sport and per season.  This is a low cost, since team members are supposed to split the costs, which is never usually over 5 dollars.

Lancer Productions Events-  Lancer Productions is Longwood’s student programming board.  Every week, they put on free weekend events (and some during the week as well), to give students something to do free of costs.  These events range from comedians, laser tag, craft nights, and movie nights.

Sporting Events-  Attending sporting events is another free and fun thing to do at Longwood.  All Big South sporting events are free for students, some usually having free giveaways at the door.  Longwood is Division I and in the Big South Conference, so the games, specifically during basketball season, are really fun to attend.

Go to the Movies-  Sunchase Cinemas only costs 8 dollars per movie because it gives students a student discount on their movie tickets.  This is nice for students who want to see a movie when they have some free time.  It is great for a low budget date or hang out with friends.

Thrift Shopping- Farmville, Virginia (where Longwood is located) had a ton of thrift stores around.  The stores carry cheap, super cool, and sometime rare items for people who want to shop on a budget or want to turn something old into something new.  If you are ever in town, Motley’s Emporium is one of the best.

The High Bridge Trail

The High Bridge Trail

State School vs. Private School

December 11, 2014 in Alive Campus, Career, Colleges, Reviews

Life is full of tough decisions. Trust me, I went to McDonald’s today, so I should know. That dollar menu is something to talk about. One of the biggest and most difficult decisions you’ll make in your young life is which school to attend after high school. You’re going to have a lot of different people giving you opposing advice, and that’s not going to make your decision any easier. You’re going to have to decide between a city or a town school, going to a school with a friend or avoid that situation all together, and of course, the ever-relevant state of private school. So ignore all the advice you’ve heard, and listen to me: a complete stranger who threw up from my hangover today at 3pm, like any other responsible adult would.

Let me preface this advice by saying that I attend a state school. In my four years, I’ve never regretted my choice to do so. Of course, I see people I graduated with on Facebook uploading pictures from their private schools and it looks like the best time anyone’s ever had in their entire life. I think to myself “Wow, that would have been a really awesome school to go to,” but then I remember what my bill looks like every semester, and then I think of what their bill must look like at the end of every semester. You can go to the cheapest college around, and you’ll still be strapped for cash, taking out loans and stripping at the local biker bar just to get by. Can you imagine paying for a private college yourself? I sure can’t

“But Paul, money isn’t everything.” Shut up. Yes it is. You cannot succeed in life without money. And before you even get your career started, do you really want loan sharks coming to your parents’ house to break your legs with a tire iron? I sure as shit don’t. But that’s me. I’m an Anglo-Saxon, good Christian male and I was brought up in a manner that trained me to dislike when loan sharks break my legs with a tire iron. My family is so old-fashioned like that.


Clemson University

Not to mention that if you go to a private school, and then owe that large sum to the school along with some accompanying banks/loan sharks, you are probably not even done with school! Today, the bachelor’s degree has the same amount of credibility (in some fields) as the high school diploma had 40 years ago. To separate yourself from other applicants in the same job field, grad school is a very realistic option, and in some careers, is necessary. When you apply for these jobs, future employers will be looking where you earned your graduate degree, not where you earned your undergrad. So, in short, maybe spending $40k/year at an undergraduate program for an education you could have gotten at another school for $10k/year, when employers won’t even know you attended said school, is not such a smart idea.

In summation, I don’t know man. Life is tough. I’m still figuring it out, myself. You’re going to go wherever you want to go. We are forced to make a really tough decision when we are 18-years-old with no real concept of money. Sure, we have jobs in high school, and make enough money to buy some beer and a dime bag here and there, but you don’t actually know what it’s like to support yourself yet. You’re going to go to a school that you heard has wild parties, hot girls, and easy-to-match school colors. And that’s a shame. Because it’s probably a private school, and you’re going to be paying for that education until your grandchildren bury you. Wow that was dark. Go to a state school, and start your life of independence with as little debt as possible.

Graduate School

December 5, 2014 in Academics, Alive Campus, Career, Colleges

Graduate school is not for everyone. Some decide to continue their education and go straight to graduate school after finishing undergraduate. To some students, the decision to go to graduate school is already made, but to others like myself, who are not sure or have not made a decision, it can be very stressful. While continuing your education is worthwhile, it is up to each person to decide if they are financially prepare or are prepare to take out more loans to help pay for graduate school.

Grad School

Grad School!

While I do believe that going to graduate school or continuing an education is worthwhile this path is not for everybody. At one hand, I want to continue my career and pursue a degree in counseling psychology, but I am still not sure if I am prepare to make a commitment in investing my time and effort into that path. I am not even sure if I really want to focus on psychology or counseling psychology as a career or want to get a job right after college. Yes, a higher degree will get a person a better paying job, but there are a lot of other factors that should be taken into consideration before making the decision of continuing a masters or PHD program.

Money: Let’s be honest, without money a person cannot attend graduate school, unless they are rich or are getting help from their parents. While there might be some lucky ones who still get help from their parents or have the money saved up, the majority of the people who are considering applying to graduate school cannot afford it. I know I cannot afford it, so my first step when considering graduate school is how am I going to get the money to pay for tuition. There are some ways of getting money, the first one is through scholarships. Yet, those type of scholarships can be very competitive which can discourage some, but it is worth a try. The other option is to apply for loans. Some students say that even though they will be in debt for the rest of their lives and will also be paying those loans back for a while, they feel secure that when they get their masters and PHD degree they will get a high paying job and they will have a way to pay the loans back.

Masters Programs: It is easy to say that I want to go to graduate school, but the difficult part is to decide which graduate programs I want to apply to. There are many programs to chose from, so there is a lot of research involved. If a person is not sure to what programs to apply to or what school to go to, like I am, then it is best to wait. It is never a good idea to rush on such an important decision. It is always a possibility to go back to school to get a masters after a year or two even though to some it might be difficult to get into the mode of studying.

Companies at College

October 31, 2014 in Campus Life

Because you’re exploring so many new opportunities and meeting new people in college, you might have the chance to make something of yourself and start your own company! I know, the idea may seem a little far-fetched, but it’s something that I’ve seen happening around campus and it seems like anyone who has a great idea and the drive to show it to other people could really make themselves and their potential company stand out. All you need is a lot of optimism, perseverance, and of course an idea that others will completely love.

While on campus, there are plenty of people who need things but don’t have cars to run out to a grocery store or drug store. For your small business, you could always post up flyers advertising essentials that people will want and need but might need to wait to get. You’ll save them from begging a ride from friends or waiting until their parents come up for a visit. Something like this definitely helps during midterms and finals, too, when most students don’t want to leave their dorms because they need as much time as possible to study. This means they may not want to waste time driving somewhere or even walking ten minutes across campus to eat (typically disappointing) food in a dining hall. If you’re willing to go around campus providing snacks and meals for a fee, then you could begin to make a name for yourself while also making money while away at school!

Of course, something like this should only be done if you aren’t going to be neglecting your own studies in order to make a little money. You’re at college to learn, but if you’re planning to go into business or marketing a small startup might help you a lot in the long run. It’s something to speak about with potential employers and adds to your resume. But that resume isn’t going to look so great it you didn’t do well in school because you spent all of your time catering to other students so that they could do better in school!

It’s awesome to see the different ideas that people will have when they come to college. It’s probably better to come here, see what people need and experience the college lifestyle, instead of coming up with ideas before you’re immersed in the college experience. Then your business might end up being irrelevant because it won’t be exactly what the people need! For example, if you want to do something other than food and experiment with, say, t-shirt design, you’ll need to know what’s happening around campus and what people are interested in, if you want to keep the slogans and logos designated to your school. That way you’ll sell more and others will be interested in what you have to offer. Everyone will be happy.

If you think that you have what it takes to start up something like this while you’re at school, give it a try! It could be a great experience and you could help out fellow students.

Offer to bring food to people on campus and earn money!

Offer to bring food to people on campus and earn money!