Video: Studying in College

July 2, 2015 in Campus Life

Erika Rumbold on Studying in College

Survival Guide to the Virginia Military Institute

October 24, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

Going to a military college is no easy feat. It takes mental toughness, perseverance, and all around stamina to get through this place. It is definitely different than a civilian college, but in the end it’s still a college and has some similarities with regards to surviving. Here are a few tips that might help you if you decide to go to VMI.

1.      Be physically fit before you come and continue to stay in shape while you are here.

 If you are not in top shape before you get here, you will not be able to make it through the ratline and they probably wouldn’t let you attend this school. The ratline is filled with demanding physical challenges every week. You are constantly running up stairs, doing pushups, circuit workouts, runs, etc. You are pushed to your limit physically almost every day.

Additionally, once you are out of the ratline you still have to work-out with your respective military branches and are expected to pass the school’s physical fitness test. Fitness is a major part of the military and if you aren’t prepared for that then you won’t survive and this school is not the place for you.

Physically Fit

Physically Fit

2.      Study, talk to your professors, and get good grades your first year

Studying is very important at any college and it is especially important here. Your first year at VMI as a rat is a very tough and demanding one. You often don’t have the energy to study or you think that shining your shoes and learning your rat bible knowledge is more important, but it really isn’t. You came to VMI to get a college education first and foremost and that is exactly what you need to dedicate your time to. And once you develop good study habits your first year, or hopefully you came here with good study habits, you will then carry them with you the next three years.

Also, talk to your professors. They are there to help you. It is their job. They want to see you succeed and do well in their class. If you are struggling with their class make sure you go and ask for help and they will be more than happy to help you and they will be glad you took the initiative to do so. I know it may be weird to get to know them and ask them for help, but they are dedicated to your success and they like to get to know more about you as well.

Lastly, you need to get good grades your first year. This goes along with studying. If you study and get good grades your first year, it will be easier the next three years. It can be difficult getting a good GPA your first year at VMI as a rat, but if you get a good GPA then you won’t be fighting to bring it up the next three years.



3.      Get involved

Getting involved is important no matter where you go, be it college or a new town you move to. By being involved, you make new friends, you get experience with things you are interested in or hope to pursue later in life, and it gives you something to do besides sit in your room and sleep (which is tempting I know). However, as a rat you really don’t get the opportunity to get involved since the ratline keeps you busy, but once the ratline is over you get to join any club you want!

Get invloved

Get invloved


Overall, these tips are ones to live by at VMI or any college for that matter. They instill good habits in you and are ones to live by. If you follow them, then there is no doubt you will succeed and make it through one of the toughest colleges in the nation. Ra Virginia Mil!

Easier Said than Done: The College Truth

October 24, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

College is a time to prove that you can live on your own, balance responsibilities, and essentially be a functioning adult. All of those things, however, are much easier said than done (hey, that phrase is in the article title). You know that old phrase about the right decision and the hard decision usually being the same? Yeah, well you’re going to have a lot of decisions to make in college, and you’re typically going to choose the easier one. So here are just a few of the many instances where you will most likely take the low road when you know you should be taking the high one.

1. Staying in to save money
What is money in college? I’ll take Things I Don’t Have for 400, Alex. In all honesty, buying a bar pizza is risky business because you never know if its going to overdraw your account. But the pitchers are only $4 down the street, and all your friends are going, so what are you supposed to do? Miss out? Fuck that, you’re going and you’re buying 4 pitchers. Goodbye to your last $20 that you were saving to buy Nana something nice for her 80th birthday.

2. Staying in to study for that exam
Don’t make me laugh, you little bitch. Your favorite house is throwing down and that girl you’ve been trying to hook up with is going to be there. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity (it’s not actually, since you’re there every other weekend), papers and exams happen way too often. Put it off! Throw caution to the wind! …along with your GPA. You definitely WON’T regret it in the morning. *insert troll face*

3. Eating healthy to stay in shape
Okay, let’s get one thing straight: you are never going to eat healthy all the time at college, so stop fooling yourself and annoying everyone around you who has already figured out this monumental truth. I’m going to play out a scenario that will only happen in college in a weird opposite alternate universe: 35 cent wings? Sorry can’t, I had a killer workout earlier today and am feeling confident and satisfied with my body *end scenario* Just buy some god damn wings.

4. Leaving time for schoolwork
You have three big assignments due at the end of the week and a paper due on Thursday. But you had a whole 2 hours of class today, and worked 2 hours at your work-study job, so you’re stretched pretty thin. Why don’t you just sit on the couch, have a beer, and watch some Breaking Bad on Netflix. You’re still two seasons behind!

5. Leave your old hookup in the past
You are really going to put a lot of stress on yourself if you call her right now. You guys started hooking up with other people for a reason, after all. But it’s late, your roommate is gone, and you’ve been on a dry spell. Call her, its not going to be the most regrettable thing you’ve done all week. I mean, you spent $20 at a bar you didn’t even want to go to and now you can’t buy Nana her birthday gift. You asshole.

College prepares you for life. And life is full of tough decisions. And you’re going to choose the easiest route in college. So by the transitive property, life is full of easy decisions? Yes, let’s go with that.

A Look Into The Life of a Buzzy Student

August 2, 2014 in Academics, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Career, Colleges, Sports, Travel

There are many interesting students that make up the buzz of Hornet Nation at Alabama State University; they come from far and wide with stories to tell and knowledge to gain. Not many of the stories come more compelling than that of 20-year-old student Shanon Spinuzzi. Here’s what Spinuzzi had to say as she prepares for her Junior college year.

Shanon Spinuzzi, Alabama State University

Shanon Spinuzzi, Alabama State University

Hello Shanon, firstly I’m intrigued to know what brought you to Montgomery, Ala.?

Well, perhaps the main reason I chose to make the move to Montgomery, and attend Alabama State, was because of my interest in golf. I had been playing for a number of years and desperately wanted to play collegiate golf. Getting an offer to play NCAA D-1 golf alongside a college education was one I just couldn’t refuse.

And what is your major at ASU? How did you come to decide which subject?

I am a part of the College of Business Administration at ASU, and so my major is in Marketing. I began to think more about a business career during my later high-school years, and have always liked the idea of progressing up the ladder until I eventually own my own business.

So you’ve finished your Sophomore year of college now, what are you most looking forward to heading into your Junior year?

I am really excited about the upcoming Fall golf season. As a member of the ASU golf program I get to travel the country competing for the women’s team. Its great fun and all of us on the golf teams are good friends, so I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again.

I’m also quite looking forward to getting deeper into my major field; I should start taking more Marketing specific classes as I head toward my 2016 graduation.

Travelling is a huge part of college. Where have you been fortunate enough to visit with the golf program and on your own throughout college?

Spinuzzi competes regularly with the ASU golf program

Spinuzzi competes regularly with the ASU golf program

The golf teams’ travel mostly in the South, as our conference is the South Western Athletic Conference. So far I have played in Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and many other places. It’s so cool I get to see all these places as I represent my school.

Individually in college I have travelled to Panama City Beach, Pensacola and Tampa in Florida. I have also had a short-break in Atlanta as well as travelling to England with my boyfriend for the 2013 summer.

With all your travelling, how hard is it managing a student-athlete lifestyle in college?

It is pretty tough. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to receive and education whilst continuing to play the sport I love, but it’s not always easy. We practice and workout in the mornings which limits your class, studying and social time immediately. Then we travel at least once a month for three to four days at a time which again puts the squeeze on your class, study and social time.

What do you tend to do in your social time in Montgomery?

There isn’t a lot going on in Montgomery, especially being an athlete that has early mornings. We do go out to eat, to the movies and to the bowling alley every so often. As a team we like to watch the big football, soccer and UFC matches together so we might order a few pizzas for the night. Other than that we don’t have much time for partying!

What advice would you give to an incoming Freshman in college here in the United States?

I would say three things: Have fun, don’t be afraid to travel away from home and to join any sports teams or organizations you can; they serve as a great way of meeting new people and always look good on the bottom of your resume!

Study Secrets at SU

May 30, 2014 in Academics, Campus Life

Finals season is one full of stress, caffeine and the occasional pimple. And you know what that means? It means having to sucker punch someone in the face to find a table in the library with an outlet. As an upperclassman I have finally learned all the great study getaways on campus—places where you can actually be productive and get your work done.

Depending on the type of work that I am doing determines the type of study location. If I’m writing a paper I can usually sit with some friends in the basement of the library (where you are allowed to talk), and plug in headphones and just bang it out. But if I’m studying for an important test, leave me alone! I can’t be around people; I need my space, as well as peace and quiet.

Bird Library is Syracuse’s main campus library, its huge with six floors. Floors three and up are considered quiet floors, aka you aren’t supposed to talk. Some students respect this rule, some don’t. It’s important to not be afraid to shush someone; sometimes it has to be done. I was once studying for a test when a kid a few tables down from me decided to start video chatting…believe me sometimes its okay to tell someone to shut up.  The first and second floor as well as the basement of the library you are allowed to talk, so this is usually a great place to have group meetings, but beware of the lack of outlets. To be honest I used to always go to bird as a freshman because it was the only library on campus that I really knew about, I sometimes get distracted because its so big and I end up seeing many people that I know so its easy to get sidetracked.

My favorite library on campus is Carnegie, which is a beautiful old building that was recently remodeled. It is a universal rule that there is no talking in this library, which I absolutely love. It is a great place to completely zone in on your work and concentrate, and there are also outlets at every table—something that is RARE. Some quizzes and tests that I have for classes this semester are taken via blackboard (online), so I always come to Carnegie because I can be ensured peace and quiet as well as a fully charged computer.

Carnegie Library

Depending on which school you are enrolled in at SU, each school usually have their own main building which often has great study spots within the building. I am also dually enrolled in the iSchool at SU, which is the school of information technology. On the third floor there is a space that they call the “ice box,” which consists of private study rooms. The entire space is covered with white boards where students can do practice problems. They also have a general kitchen area with tables, vending machines, and coffee machines.

The Whitman school of management also has private study rooms, but during finals week it is almost impossible to snag one unless you arrive super early or just get lucky. I occasionally do my work in the classrooms in Whitman, sometimes times get desperate and you have to get creative. The classrooms in Whitman are great because they are also filled with outlets; also it is extremely quiet because not many people think to go to a classroom in the basement.

It all depends on the type of student that you are, and what you are studying/what type of work you are doing. Some people can actually do their work in their room, which I envy. Every time I try to do any sort of work I end up cleaning instead—which is both a good and bad thing.