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The College Bucket List

June 19, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Top 10 Lists

College Checklist

College Checklist

College is just a few short years, but there are a countless number of things every college student should do before they graduate. It’s never fun to be the college graduate that regrets “what they should have done” while they had the chance. To avoid this, make yourself a bucket list before you begin your freshman year, and check off as you go. Here are some ideas to get started.

1) Get an internship. This is important to do in order to gain connections and set yourself up for a potential entry level job post-graduation. It doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you will be hired, but it benefits you in so many ways in regards to both experience and finding out if what you’re studying throughout college is what you see yourself doing in the future.

2) Attend a school-related sporting event. There’s no greater feeling than being part of a crowd of fellow students cheering on their school team. At Florida State, the school spirit is bone-chilling and a once in a lifetime event that all graduates miss.

3) Take a spontaneous road trip with your friends. Depending on where you attend school, a lot of popular spots for college students are Orlando, Panama City Beach, and New Orleans. Last minute road trips are the best yet. College gives you the opportunity to make the decision the night before, pack up, and go, even if you only have $30 in your pocket.

4) Pull an all nighter in the library. It’s tradition to do at least once, especially during finals week. Bring all of your friends, find a table, and plant yourself there for the entire night with some snacks and coffee on standby.

5) Cut the negatives out of your life. We graduated and moved on from high school for a reason. Avoid anyone in your life that seems to bring upon negative vibes. Learn to make adult decisions in college by not caring what others think of you. There are various types of people that you will come across and be able to build relationships with, so never feel the need to hold onto the bad.

6) Study abroad. While I have personally never studied abroad, everyone always has nothing but positive experiences and stories from their time spent abroad. It gives you an accurate perspective into the lives of other cultures, in addition to the thrill of traveling before having any major responsibilities.

7) Learn how to handle your liquor. Let’s face it, we all drink in college, whether it’s five nights a week or just once throughout the semester. Live up the crazy nights and accumulate stories you can laugh about with your friends years down the road. Find your balance and know how to have fun while still being responsible. Those nights stumbling home at 4 AM and somehow making it out alive will eventually catch up, so do it while you can.

8) Attend a music festival with your friends. I’ve only attended one music festival, and I certainly hope to relive it. They’re the ideal atmosphere for relaxing and drinking in the great outdoors.

9) Find what you love to do. Its cliché, but in the end, that’s what college is all about. Find whatever motivates you to wake up every single morning to do what you’re passionate about.

10) Create a website. Whether it’s a WIX page or your own themed website, this is huge plus when searching for a job. It will certainly make you stand out from the typical graduate with just a resume and cover letter. Compile all of the work you’re proud of, fix it up, and download and organize it all onto one site. Companies will appreciate the extra efforts during the hiring process.

Check off this bucket list throughout college, and try your absolute best to take advantage of every single one. Add to the list as you go, and always remember, you only live once.

The Assumptionist To Do List

February 5, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Top 10 Lists

There are some things you just HAVE to do before graduating college – like joining a club, going to a rager, and pulling an all nighter with your friends. I’ve found that there are some awesome things at Assumption that you might want to checkout before you walk across that stage in May:

1. Leitrims: Even if you don’t go until senior year, you MUST make an appearance at Leits at least once. Leits is THE Assumption bar on Thursday nights, and even if it isn’t the most luxurious bar in Worcester you’re definitely guaranteed to see all your friends there. Leits is definitely a dive bar, but you’re always guaranteed to have a great time.

Leitrims Bar

Leitrims Bar

2. Midnight Madness: This event is to kick off the basketball season and to get the school excited about it. It’s just something you have to experience at least one time – they throw out free t-shirts, the dance team performs, and the men and women’s basketball teams are announced with their own song and introduction. Oh, and the school mascot makes an appearance which is always fun! Each class wears different colored shirts and is put into their own section so it’s always fun to go and show your spirit, especially if you’re a senior!

3. Pup Cup: This is THE best weekend of the entire semester. Pup Cup is the weekend before finals where the freshman and sophomore class compete against each other in activities during the whole weekend. What really goes down is that the entire school goes on a booze binge from Friday to Sunday. There is a huge cookout/carnival and if the weather permits it’s an awesome time. This is definitely the wrong weekend to pack a suitcase and head home.

4. Pic with the Greyhound: Assumption obviously has a statue of a greyhound because why not? It’s a common tradition for students to drunkenly stumble to the statue on a weekend night and take a few pictures. Campus police isn’t fond of this little tradition, but it’s just something you have to do before you graduate.

5. Rosie’s Omelettes: If you have a meal plan that allows you to eat at Taylor dining hall, it pays off to wake up extra early and get an omelette from Rosie. The breakfast at Taylor is mediocre unless they have bacon or french toast sticks, so the only way you can guarantee to have an awesome breakfast is if get an omelette from Rosie. If someone else is there making omelettes wait for Rosie – she’s the best!

6. Spring Ball: This is a can’t miss event that’s so fun especially if you’re 21! They usually pick an awesome venue that serves drinks and has a huge hall. Dinner is served and it’s kind of like a prom but so much better because it’s college and not high school. Everyone usually gets pretty dressed up so it’s fun to buy a dress and go all out for this event!

7. Duck Day: It may seem a bit odd, but Assumption takes its Duck Day VERY seriously. Basically, they literally roll out a red carpet sometime in April and bring the ducks back to the pond in front of the school. Yes, I said that right, a RED CARPET. It’s probably the cutest thing in the world because local elementary schools come with all of the kids to watch and the ducks actually walk down the carpet and into the pond. If you can, go to Duck Day.

Duck Day

Duck Day

8. Senior Week: Well, this only applies to seniors but if you are a senior you cannot miss out on this. They plan an entire week for the seniors after their classes are done but before they graduate. There is something fun planned everyday like Foxwoods, or Six Flags. It’s just an awesome time to bond with all of your fellow seniors before you all head out into the real world!

9. Wings over Worcester: This place serves the best wings in Worcester hands down. It’s open until 2 am so it’s a great late night food place. They have tons of different flavors of wings and the best waffle fries. Don’t hesitate to order from here when you come home from a night of drinking!

10. Get a Free T-Shirt: Your time at Assumption will offer MANY opportunities for you to receive a free t-shirt, so there is no excuse not to get one! You may have to sacrifice an email or be one of the first 100 in a line for something, but it’s a free t-shirt!

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.

Top 10 Things to do During Your College Years

November 7, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Top 10 Lists

what to do while in college

what to do while in college

1. Go to a campus program-Whether you know it or not, student programming happens at every college or university almost every week.  These programs range from comedians, game nights, magicians, all the way to late night events.  They are fun and exciting, and they often get over looked by students who would rather go party or do something else on the weekends.  But, these programs are productive and safe, and are a great option for students to have some fun!

2. Join an AWESOME club/organization- Joining an awesome club and organization is really important while you are in college.  They help you meet new people, expand your knowledge, and building your resume.  Find one you like and enjoy, but especially, find one that will benefit you in way far more than you ever expected.

3. Find your best friend- Find your best friend forever in college!  Go out and meet people.  In college it is not about having the most friends, but about having quality friends.  Find a best friend or multiple, which will encourage you, motivate you, and set a good example for you.

4. Take a road trip- Once you find that best friend; take a road trip somewhere you never have been before with them!

5. Publish your work- If you want to leave college with a portfolio that will help you get the job of your dreams, you are going to need published work.  It does not matter what your major is, there is always an opportunity to publish articles, conduct research, or do other things to get your  name out to the public that will make you stand apart from others.

6. Get an internship- Get an internship so that you can have some experience under your belt once you leave college.  Go out and fight hard for your dream internship and pave the way for yourself.

7. Go to a themed party- Parties are super fun!  Attend a different style of party, like a themed one.  This will give you the opportunity to dress up and express yourself, while also having loads of fun!

8. Make Dean’s List- Making Dean’s List takes a lot of work from students.  Set the goal for yourself every semester to make Dean’s List.  Making Dean’s List means that you have 3.5 to a 3.9 for the semester (specifically at Longwood University).  This is quite the achievement and something to be proud of.

9. Mark something off your personal bucket list- Do something crazy!  Do something in college that you have always wanted to do.  You are young and wild at this time in your life, and it is a perfect moment to get something checked off your bucket list.

10. Study Abroad- Studying abroad expands your knowledge of the world and makes you a more diverse and well-rounded person.  Not only does it look good on job applications, but it also is a great way to make an amazing memory and go to a place that you never thought you ever would.  Studying abroad also helps you learn about yourself, and sometimes helps you learn another language!

Top 10 Tech Gadgets for College Students

October 23, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Tech, Top 10 Lists

Cool technology gadgets.

Cool technology gadgets.

1. Laptops- Some student decided to have MacBook’s or PC’s, but one thing is for sure, a laptop is very essential to success in college.  When the library closes (if yours does) your resources including computers are instantly limited.  So, having something portable to do you work on is very important.  You can take your laptop almost everywhere you go and I recommend getting one that you plan on having for a while.

2. IPhone- The iPhone is probably the most popular smartphone seen and used on college campuses.  The iPhone allows you to do group texts, have exclusive applications, and also be stylish.

3. Tablets- Tablets are the new thing.  This is because they are small, lightweight, and more portable than laptops.  They are also bigger than phones, so they still allow work to be done on them.  These are great for club and organization meetings, as well as for taking notes in class.  They also double as a planner to keep you organized.  Not to mention, they are fun to play games on when you are bored.

4. Kindles- Kindles or any type of e-reader, is very popular for college students.  Now, textbooks are available for purchase on these devices (as well as tablets), and it puts  those books all in one place, reduces the cost, and are also more portable when walking around campus.

5. Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones- Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones are the best headphones in the college game right now.  Although they are expensive, these are the best headphones to listen to music while studying, working out, or do projects with.  If you are a college student who is big into music, these are perfect for you.  Yes, they are a little bigger than typical headphones, but the audio quality is well worth the money and the little extra size.

6. Portable Phone Chargers- In college you are always on the go.  Seen all over campus, portable phone chargers have almost become a necessity for most college students.  These are great, because they avoid having to go home or beg to borrow a phone charger from a random person in the library or student center.

7. Bluetooth Speakers- Bluetooth speakers are great for studying outside or hanging out.  These are wireless, so all you have to do is sync your iPod or phone and the music just plays without needing wire hookups or Wi-Fi.  They are also great if you like to throw parties and need something portable.  These speakers can be small or big, depending on your preference and budget.

8. Digital Camera- This is for those students who LOVE to capture those important moments.  Phones can crash, but a digital camera is a great way to take and store college memories.

9. USB/Flash Drives- Flash drives are amazing to have and always come in handy. They are perfect to have on you at all times in order to be able to save projects, get notes from other students, and work in groups with. They are also great for pictures and for portfolios.

10.Cordless Computer Mouse- A cordless mouse is a great way to bring a desktop feel to your laptop. A computer mouse like this is small and relatively cheap. They make it easier to navigate on your computer and get projects and homework done.