The Don’ts of College

October 31, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

College is a new experience for many. For a lot, it is the first time being on your own and having the freedom of being able to do what you want without your parents telling you that you can’t do something. However, this new found freedom comes with responsibilities. As a college student, there are a few things that you should NEVER do.

The Don'ts of College

The Don’ts of College

1.      Never be afraid to try something new: When you first get to college, you may be very shy and scared about making new friends and about the new environment in general. It’s okay to feel this way because it is scary, but it is important to remember to try new things, go outside of your comfort zone and get involved. You will make new friends, meet new people, get to know the school, and the area. Do not be the person who sits in their room and doesn’t get involved. It will be miserable and you won’t have any fun in college.

2.     Don’t study all the time: I know this may sound really weird, but it is important to have fun along with studying. However, I’m not saying party all the time either. You need to find a balance between the two. Don’t be a workaholic, but don’t be a partier either. You need to make sure you get your work done, but to also enjoy the party experience of college.

3.     Never get addicted to something: It is easy to get addicted to something in college. College students are constantly stressed and this may lead to trying something that isn’t healthy for you. There are a lot of people who get addicted to dipping, smoking, drinking, and the most common one which is caffeine. I understand that college students need caffeine but it shouldn’t be an unhealthy addiction.

4.     Never stop working out: Once you get into your daily routine it is hard to make sure you are working out. It is extremely important to keep up with this because it releases stress and keeps you in shape. It is also a way to avoid the freshman 15.

5.     Never be afraid to ask someone a question or to hang out: You never know the answer to a question until you ask, and the worst they can say is no. This regards both teachers and possible dates and friends. You should never be afraid to ask your teacher a question, especially if you don’t understand something. Additionally, you should not be afraid to ask that guy or girl sitting in your class to grab coffee or see a movie. You never know if that person may be the one or not. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge.

Overall, college is a time to experience life. It’s a time to meet new friends, try new things, and create or maintain good habits. College is a stepping stone to bigger and better things in your life, but it is still a chapter of your book that needs to be written and I hope it will have some of the best memories of your life.

10 Signs You’ve Partied A Little Too Hard This Semester

October 29, 2014 in Academics, Campus Life, Health

Last Night Was Probably A Little Too Wild

Last Night Was Probably A Little Too Wild

You’re supposed to have fun and let loose at parties; that’s the goal. I can appreciate a good party as much as the next person, but some people really go overboard. Here are the Top Ten Signs You’ve Partied A Little Too Hard (hopefully you’ll keep some of these in mind while party-hopping during Halloweekend!):

1. You don’t remember what happened last night, or the night before, or the night before. This is a huge red flag! If you black out this often, you’re putting yourself in incredible danger. Not only are you making it easier for someone to take advantage of you (and this applies to guys AND girls), but it’s also harder for you to run away if something happens when you’re intoxicated.

2. You’re falling behind on your homework. You came to school to learn. No one likes homework. I feel your pain. But homework comes first. If drinking gets in the way of you fulfilling this responsibility, or any other responsibilities for that matter, you need to re-evaluate.

3. You’ve gone home with random strangers on multiple occasions. Words can’t even describe how dangerous this is. If your drinking causes you to trust strangers who could quite possibly take advantage of you, you have a serious problem.

4. You’re friends are genuinely worried about you. It says a lot if the first thing that your friends say when they talk about you is how worried they are about your habits. They know something that you don’t seem to understand and you might want to head the concern. They only say it because they care.

5. You find that, every time something bad happens to you, you turn to partying. This is a really bad idea. Drunkenness is not the answer to all of your problems. Here’s my advice: If ever you feel the need to turn to alcohol to numb the pain, don’t. My recommendation: Talk to someone and see how you feel afterward. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much better you feel.

6. Your friends have to carry you home after every party. This isn’t fair to you because you’re putting yourself in danger of being taken advantage of. This isn’t fair to your friends because they have to carry you night after night. And guess what: They’re fed up with it whether they tell you that or not.

7. It’s Monday night, and somehow you’ve found a party. First of all, what? Who does this? No one has time to party on Monday night! Second, stop. Just stop.

8. Every Monday, you skip your early classes because you’re too hungover to get to class. This is incredibly irresponsible and how do you expect to learn if you don’t go to class. Also, if you’re a few decimal points away from the next letter grade up, your professor might not be as apt to help you out if they haven’t seen your face in class since the first day, assuming you went to that.

9. Or, you’ve schedule only late classes on Monday to give your hangover some time to go away. This is a little more responsible than the last point, but still not good. If you’ve done this, you’ve subconsciously admitted that you have a problem and this is your answer to it. Please find another solution.

10. Your GPA is on a strong downward trend. As mentioned above, you are in school to learn. If your grade is dropping sharply, you’re putting yourself at risk for academic probation, loss of a merit scholarship, and possibly getting kicked out of school. If you are at risk for any of these, it’s time to seek help.

Whatever the case, drinking is serious. If any of these resonate with you, it’s definitely time to seek help. Don’t let this get more out of control than it already is.

Some (Unconventional) Opinions About College

July 10, 2014 in Alive Campus, Career, Colleges

Is College Really the Best Four Years of your Life?

Is College Really the Best Four Years of your Life?

Most people reminisce longingly about their time spent in college, hailing it as the “best four years of their lives.” Everyone I talk to seems to have had the same, incredible, unforgettable experience at college; a time filled with friends, partying, watching athletic events, taking risks, and basically, just having a blast. I hear these stories from recent grads and even older adults, all of who paint college as this holy, blissful time. Then I think to myself, well, if everyone seems to be having such a grand time, am I some sort of freak?

I’m not a loud, partying sort of girl (I did my share of partying at FPU because there was nothing else to do, and now I’m just not interested in playing beer pong or sitting in a dark, gross basement every weekend).  I’d much rather go get dinner and see a movie with friends, go explore the city, or even just read after a long week of school. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a loner (though there’s nothing wrong with that), but I don’t mind being alone sometimes. This may be a broad generalization, but I find that most people are not this way – most people thrive in big social settings, they want (dare I say, need) people around them to keep them entertained. And partying definitely forms bonds and friendships; I would just rather not be surrounded by those kinds of people. Since I don’t indulge in that type of culture, I have often wondered if there was something wrong with me, why I didn’t have more friends, why I felt like I wasn’t really connecting with anyone. I haven’t found an answer yet, but I have realized that college isn’t so peachy as everyone makes it out to be.

College Partying

College Partying

Though I may not have the wisdom or perspective of a post graduate, I do believe that most people automatically jump to gushing about how amazing their time in college was, because that’s what they are expected to do! I find myself praising Boston College whenever someone asks, just because I feel like everyone says that it’s great, so it must be, right? No.

People will tell you the big impression they got from college, which, I agree, is pretty great (I mean, you get to live away from your parents, you’re more independent, you meet tons of interesting people, etc). But what they don’t tell you is that you will feel cripplingly lonely at times, you will question yourself, your friends, and your future. You may not enjoy the same things as other people do, and therefore will feel like an outcast, you will struggle with classes and make tons and tons of mistakes, which could result in something as small as a “0” on a homework assignment or as big as a friendship lost. But all of that is okay. It’s important to feel lost, to feel friendless, hopeless, out of the loop, and unwanted.

Each of you should ask yourself: why am I really here? Are you there to make friends and party? Or are you there to experience something new, to educate yourself, to ask questions, to develop the person you want to be? College is the time to improve and learn (and not only for your career/future job) – it doesn’t all have to be academic, but I, personally, don’t see what chugging beer and flipping a cup teaches you.

And I know that this can be difficult, even impossible, for certain families, but do not, do not, just pursue a career just because of the money or because your parents push you to follow a certain discipline. Find something you’re passionate about, and grab hold of it. When you love to do something, then you will be infinitely more successful and satisfied with what you do – instead of burning out at 40, you may find yourself avoiding retirement! It can be difficult, but definitely do what you are passionate about doing; it’s your life, after all!

Be Different

Be Different

I may be the only one who feels this way, but I hope that college – though it’s been a great experience so far – will not be the best time of my life. After all, we all have years and years ahead of us, and who knows what those hold?

An Onlookers Guide to Fraternities

May 30, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Style

You’ve heard about them on movies, the Internet and from older friends, but what should you expect from fraternities when entering college? Partying, fashion style and popularity are what spring to mind when mulling over the prospect of frat life; It can’t live up to the image painted so vividly in teen movies, can it? Here’s all you need to know about fraternities from an onlookers perspective.

The first thing you need to know about fraternities is that there are more than one, and they are all very different. Starting in 1831 with Sigma Phi the fraternity world is very tradition-orientated, from hazing styles to colors and gestures things never really change within a fraternity. Because of this you often find many students follow in their parents footsteps in terms of which honor society to pledge for and become a member of; there is a huge sense of pride within each fraternity, rivaling that of college sport teams.

Fraternity members are a close-knit bunch of friends

Fraternity members are a close-knit group of friends

Although there are many different fraternities with differing views and traditions the members dress sense seems to be one ideal. You can spot a fraternity member instantly on campus and here are some telltale signs:

  1. Is he wearing canvas Ralph Lauren shoes? If so, he is likely a frat member.
  2. Does he have a lanyard holding his Oakley’s around his neck? If so, he is likely a frat member.
  3. Is he wearing a visor and yet is not a member of a sport’s team? If so, he is likely a frat member.
  4. Is he driving an off-road Jeep that still glistens as if factory fresh? If so, he is likely a frat member.
  5. Is he wearing a polo shirt with the collar turned up? If so… you get the idea.

Those are some of the very generic telltale signs of fraternity members in terms of their dress, it’s almost as if each new member receives a clothing handbook, with only four or five options listed.

Next on the topic of fraternities are the parties. Many fraternities own their personal off-campus housing arrangements, meaning perfect locations for some of the best parties of the year. The rather aptly named ‘frat houses‘ are set to host numerous parties each semester with copious amounts of alcohol and loud music. These parties often see the arrival of the female sororities and can turn into raves very quickly. Attending these parties are a sure way to meet new people, and experience the day-to-day perks of being a frat member.

So, are fraternities what they seem? In short, yes. The parties are epic, the bond between ‘brothers’ is like that of a closely knit football team and joining one can propel you to the top of the popularity tree. Although the movies may go a little overboard on the hazing aspect of modern fraternities, there is an element of truth in the hazing fraternities and they get everything else spot-on.

Leaving high-school and wanting to join a fraternity when you enter college? Best get yourself down to the mall and buy a sunglasses lanyard then.


A Guide to College: What NOT To Do

May 22, 2014 in Campus Life

collegeIt seems like everyone’s got plenty of advice on what to do in order to successfully navigate through college–but they don’t always tell you what NOT to do! Here are 5 things, in no particular order, that a college student should avoid.

You should never…

1. Party before an exam

I, unfortunately, know how bad an idea this is from experience. It was the night before a psychology final exam this year that I decided to ignore my instincts and go to a party with my friend. I didn’t go too hard, but I did lose valuable study time, and I was pretty tired the next morning. College is full of temptations like these–without parents around, the freedom can easily go to your head–but it’s important to be responsible and try your best to refrain from indulgences that could backfire. Luckily, I got a B on my exam, but things could have been much worse!

2. Be afraid to get involved

Joining clubs full of members who may already be close or familiar with each other can be extremely intimidating, but it’s important to overcome those fears and put yourself out there! First off, the members of any student club or organization are going to be thrilled to see new faces, and will welcome anyone with an interest in joining the group. Remember that they were once new members, too–you have to start somewhere. Secondly, there are sure to be plenty of other newbies joining at the same time as you, so you’re not alone! Whether you’re joining an activity that you have experience in, or you’re going out on a limb and trying a completely new one, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to everyone and find out how to get involved as much as possible. Student clubs are a prime place to network, hone skills that can eventually be marketed on a resume, and find a niche on campus that you can call home!

3. Ignore nice gestures from classmates, floormates, etc

This is mostly a tip for brand new freshmen–especially the shy ones! I know how intimidating moving into college can be, what with the foreign environment and the new people, but don’t isolate yourself. I am a pretty introverted person when it comes to meeting new people, so I struggled with getting to know the people in my classes and on my floor. Luckily, throughout those first tough weeks, I got to know people who would invite me out to lunch at the dining hall, or to a study session with other people from class. I’m a totally awkward person, but I forced myself to put myself out there and take people up on their kind offers–it made it so much easier to make friends and feel comfortable being away from home.

4. Half-ass your classes

Whenever you feel like slacking off, do yourself a favor and remind yourself that you are PAYING to be at school. You are paying copious amounts of money for every class you are enrolled in, so don’t shrug off academics like they’re no big deal. Everyone needs a sick day sometimes, and no one’s going to complete every assignment perfectly throughout the semester, but slacking any more than this is wasteful. College is an amazing place to meet new friends and enjoy new experiences, but realistically, your studies should be your first priority. Cutting class, refusing to participate in class, and choosing not to use professors’ office hours are all bad ideas–is that really what you want your or your parents’ hard-earned money to go to?

5. Confine yourself to campus

Some college campuses are pretty isolated, but if your school is surrounded by anything–be it a big, bustling city or a quiet, quaint town–make sure you explore! Staying in your dorm every weekend will get boring, and it won’t expose you to anything new or exciting. Don’t miss out on all that your college’s town has to offer–try the local restaurants, shop at local boutiques, explore the parks in the area. Grab a friend or two and head out!