Focus First, School Second

December 12, 2014 in Alive Campus, Colleges

Feelings of nervousness and homesickness during college are normal for all students, though when those feelings turn to uncertainty and doubt towards the college, your major, or your future, it becomes important to re-evaluate your place in college. With the semester coming to an end, students have made the decision to either stay or leave. Whatever decision made, it’s important to acknowledge the repercussions, have a confident plan in mind, and a support system.

Over the past three months of attending Emerson, I learned a lot not only about Boston and journalism, but about my strengths and weaknesses as an individual. The first month or two of college was a breeze. I enjoyed wandering the city with my friends, sipping lattes at quirky coffee shops, and riding the train around MA. I was excited for my writing classes, and aimed at forming relationships with my peers and professors.

Despite how my life had become, something was missing. Focus. I had stopped focusing on myself: my mind, my body, my wants, and my needs. This focus was neglected throughout the months of college, which led to physical and mental unhealthiness and unhappiness. In order to fully thrive, grow, or succeed in life, YOU (the individual) need to be at least 99% comfortable with your physical and mental surroundings. Although I tried to resurface the focus I had in high school and bring myself comfortability, I couldn’t.

Always put your health and happiness first!

The Big Decision

I made the final decision to leave Emerson about one month ago. I had been discussing this option with my childhood friends and family members weeks prior, all whom provided unconditional support and advice. I also spoke with my Emerson professors and friends. What I most love about Emerson is how most people welcome you with open arms. I felt supported to discuss my feelings and possible ideas, and I felt comfortable with my decision to leave.

High school students, college students, parents… It’s OK to leave college, transfer, and start fresh! 1 in every 3 college students will transfer, according The New York Times study on transfer students, and about 40% will enroll in community college, according to Business Insider. It’s highly more rewarding to explore your options and get back on track (find balance again) then to waste away money, time, and ambiguity at a 4-year college.

There’s nothing wrong with leaving your current college and exploring more options!

I enrolled myself in community college, in my hometown of San Diego, CA, and couldn’t be happier. I can’t wait to take a wide range of courses, explore my interests, return to a healthier state, and be with my family. Leaving school to be near your family ISN’T a crime! Family should be a top priority, especially in an adolescent/adult’s life.

If you are or were like me, unsure about your college, your major, or yourself, then recognize those feelings and don’t ignore them. When you ignore your feelings and emotions, they build up over time. This can lead to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, or self-destruction. Acknowledge your feelings and address them. We only live one life, so make it stress-free and beautiful!

by Amanda

First Year Tips and Tricks: SFASU Edition

August 23, 2014 in Academics, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Reviews

So you’ve chosen Stephen F Austin State University, you’ve packed your bags and said goodbye to your family and friends, and now you’re ready for life on campus! But, you’re not quite sure of how to go about actually surviving on campus.

  • Get Involved

You’re sure to have heard this a lot from your Orientation Leaders and Jack Camp Counselors, and you’ll hear it even more from your friends and Community Assistants (CAs). The reason everyone says it so much is because it really is important to fully enjoying your years here at SFA. Nacogdoches is a really small town so getting involved will be that source of fun and entertainment when you’re bored.


  • Know the Dining Hall Hours

There’s nothing worse than coming back from class and finding out that the cafeteria’s closed. There are two different cafeterias on campus, and only one is open on Saturdays, and it’s best to figure out your plan of action early on. There are few things that will come above your eating habits, so keeping the dining hall hours near and dear, is definitely going to help you feel more at home.


  • Learn the Traditions

Here at SFA, we’ve got just as many, and probably more, traditions as any university twice our size. It’s always a good idea to try to learn at least a little bit about each one of our awesome traditions. From Ol’ Cotton to Chief Caddo and Jacks Charge all the way to the SFA Ring, we’re loud and proud about our lumberjack traditions and you should be too!


  • Get to Know Your Professors

Though this is good advice for any college or university, but at SFA it is particularly crucial. Since we are small, the professors you have during your underclassmen (100 and 200) level courses are the same you’ll have during your upperclassmen (300 and 400) level courses, so it’s a great idea to get on their good side early on.


  • Use the AARC

One of the many things that makes SFASU one in a million is our amazing tutoring center and all of the options that they offer. The AARC, also known as the Academic Assistance Resource Center, offers one-on-one tutoring, walk-in tables, a tutor specified for classes you’re taking (keep in mind that these are assigned as people are accepted and assigned, so not every class will have one), and a writing lab (they’ll review your essays and tell you what could be done better to help you get the best grade possible). Studies that have been done on campus show that students who attend the AARC regularly for supplemental help make up to a letter grade better than their classmates who did not.


  • Bring Rain Gear

The East Texas area is notorious for random down pours of rain, even if it’s the most beautiful day you’ve ever seen. Make sure that when you’re out shopping for new clothes and shoes, make sure to grab up some comfy and cute rain boots, a rain coat (for those cold drizzly days), and two or three umbrellas. To put in a friend’s words “… Always have three umbrellas. One for your backpack, one for your room, and one for your car. You never know when it’s going to rain.”


All in all, SFA is a great place to be, and you’ll find your own survival skills and be able to help other new students along the way. Just remember to take every mistake as a learning experience, and nothing can get in your way!

To Prospects of Life and an Alive Campus Farewell

February 5, 2014 in Academics, Admissions, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Career, Colleges, Events, Health, Infographics, Love, Reviews, Sports, Style, Tech, Travel

Hello Camper,

Aim and shoot for beyond the stars…

Alive Campus provides an awesome experience for individuals receiving and sharing information about their colleges. It provides an avenue for incoming freshmen, transfers and overall prospects to view an institution in light of the person-student. It is better than a commercial about an institution that attempts to sell the environment to the student. Still- the able, productive and willing student will learn to use an institution as a useful platform: Students excelling in academics and sports will be able to promote their selves through the institution or their merits for their personal reasons. College may be an expensive or inexpensive experience but SallieMae is always willing to assist the educational process toward their profitable return.

Every collegiate institution will vary by academia, cultures, privatization, religions, regulations and traditions. My attendance from Lock Haven University to Centenary College has been a fulfilling and tremendous rollercoaster of experience. El Torro and Kingda Ka in a blizzard cannot compare with my college tumbling experience. After completing then paying for one class and test I will have the opportunity to graduate from Centenary College in May, elated.

It has been a great experience writing for Alive Campus. It will no longer be my place to discuss Centenary College’s environment as I improve away from it. I do have bits of advice for individuals seeking to attend an institution or transfer from an institution. The future is changing dramatically with the variety of institutions available; chiropractic, culinary, dog training, masseuse, music and etc. type of schools exist for individuals seeking a particular career path of growth.

Do not rush any decision about the future. If you feel an inclination toward a different direction for your life then find the avenues prospering in the direction of your inclination. If you are unsure about attending a large university then attend a community college to save money and receive half (or more) of the credits at a four year college. You will have enough time to think and prepare financially for the future ahead of you without risking valuable time especially since community colleges are very affordable avenues. The one class I am taking at Centenary is more than my co-worker’s semester tuition at a community college.

Don’t let others make decisions about your life either: If they’re not offering financial backing and a place in their home with their advice about your future then take their advice like an open wound with a grain of salt; take careful thought thinking about the next steps in your future. Don’t rush your life. Advice is another option to think about especially when various walks of life will have advice readily available for a variety of purposes. Be patient thinking about decisions, and even more patient making those decisions, to enhance your life in the long run.

I hope the future progresses well for every individual!

It will progress well if you take your time for its true value.

Time is not money: It is your life.

Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Thank you Radek Janowski and Alive Campers for being amazing and useful!

To Transfer – or Not- a Lesson in Adaptation

August 2, 2013 in Campus Life, Colleges


Boston is a city with many schools to consider transferring to.

Boston is a city with many schools to consider transferring to.

After my first few months at Emmanuel, I began to question whether the school was the right match for me. This was more or less due to my own pride than anything else.

When I began attending classes at Emmanuel, the small class size struck me. I knew, going in, that class sizes were purposely limited, but I didn’t necessarily anticipate such a “high school” feel to every course. Furthermore, by some unlucky chance, I seemed to have signed up for two English literature courses populated by silent, blank faces. These two things, primarily, triggered a rather haughty attitude in me. Who were these kids? They have nothing to say in response to Isabel Allende, Ignazio Silone, or even Virginia Woolf? And these are English majors? I became certain I was at the wrong school.

I didn’t quit out immediately. I started joining clubs. The thing was, there was a severe lack of enthusiasm in virtually every group that piqued my interest. The newspaper, undergoing a name-change, only printed twice that entire year – I think. The Model United Nations team, which I was exceptionally excited to join, left most conferences without any awards. No one had ever even seemed to know Emmanuel has a yearbook! None of this helped to abet my lackluster freshman experience. Swiftly, I was discouraged, disheartened, and all other sorts of “dis” adjectives.


So, I started looking at colleges nearby, becoming more and more certain that I needed to transfer. Emmanuel did not fit what I wanted. I wasn’t happy. I was having a difficult time making friends. Why would I bother staying at a school that I was so miserable at?


I wish I could pinpoint the time and place where I realized that my attitude was virtually the only problem I was having on campus. Perhaps it was when I started taking journalism classes, realizing I could channel my dissatisfaction into a 500 word article in the school paper. Perhaps it was when I made the Dean’s list, or was voted Managing Editor of the school paper. What I am sure of is that there was a turning point during my sophomore year, where I realized that, despite what I had been telling myself, there definitely was a place for me at Emmanuel. Somewhere along the line, I had adapted.


Now, as a journalism student, I am the first to argue in favor of making waves and changes where waves and changes need be made. This is where progress comes from. But part of enabling progress and change is understanding your environment – in this case, my campus and how it works. If you want to change a machine or influence a group of people, you have to understand that machine, those people, and the purposes that each individual piece or person serves. Adaptation is imperative.

I think that, perhaps, I became caught up in things I loved. I was actually writing again, a passion that had clearly gone on hiatus despite it being one of my majors. I began socializing more often, attending school events, and even participating in school traditions and ceremonies. I was sending more e-mails, meeting more people, and slowly, but surely, becoming a contributing memeber of the Emmanuel College community.

I turned my complaints into proactive actions. I moved up into leadership positions in organizations I cared about, I began to develop relationships with professors and administrators (thanks to those small class sizes!), and above all, I tried to stop being so incessantly critical of absolutely everything. In life, most of us will not have the privilege of leaving a job after just one month of unhappiness, or of skipping town when the mailman delivers your birthday card to your neighbor. You have to do what you can to make your environment suit your needs, and this often calls for a give and take.

Now, a rising junior, I am incredibly glad that I chose to finish what I started and stay at the school I chose. That’s not to say that no students should transfer, but that students should take a closer look before they jump ship. If any of us remember correctly, we all complained about and bemoaned our high schools. But, a lot of us, myself included, are glad that we had the experiences we did. It just takes a little hindsight. Schools, like people, can sometimes deserve a second chance before they are dismissed. I’m just glad I took the time.

The Path to Sainthood

June 21, 2013 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

This fall I’ll be starting my Junior Year at Emmanuel College, home of the Saints. Emmanuel is a small Catholic college in the heart of Boston, not more than a five minute walk from Fenway Park. A charming school with Hogwarts-esque architecture and a beautiful green quad tucked away in the middle of the city. I feel I really found my place there, but my journey to Emmanuel College came in a somewhat roundabout way.

The summer before my senior year of high school was when I really began the whole college search process; researching schools, planning tours, starting applications. I had checked out Emmanuel’s website a bit here and there, but it ultimately was not a school I decided to apply to once I had solidified my criteria. I wanted a large university setting, ideally with a strong Advertising program.

After checking out its Ad program, a campus tour, and attending Accepted Students Day, I fell in love with Temple University in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. So I paid my housing deposit and boom-I was officially a Temple University Owl.  Orientation went well, my roommate and I had contacted each other, all the preparation was running smoothly. Temple seemed like the perfect fit for me and I could not wait to get out of my small Connecticut hometown and start this exciting new chapter.

As my first semester progressed, I began to wonder if Temple wasn’t the right choice for me after all. I felt sort of lost in the crowd of 38,000 students, despite having wanted a school with a large population. I had also started to question whether or not Advertising was what I wanted to study exclusively. I was only a four hour train ride away from home, but it felt like much farther when I missed many family get-togethers and other functions. After allowing myself to accept the fact that my dream school was no longer my perfect fit, I started to compile a new set of criteria for where I wanted to be.

This time around, I wanted a smaller student population. I still wanted to be in a city, but a city I was more comfortable in and a bit closer to home. Oh, I don’t know, maybe somewhere like Boston? It’s not really a big college town but… (if you got that Spinal Tap reference, we should be friends!) Boston has a unique cultural flavor that I love. I had grown up cheering for the Sox, watching the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and Boston was always like a second home. I also realized that like many college students before me, I actually had no clue what I wanted to do! I wanted to find a school with broader, more general majors. More Liberal Artsy? Then I remembered Emmanuel!

I transferred to Emmanuel College as an English major for the Spring 2012 semester. It was scary at first, being on campus before all the returning students came back from Winter Break. Once everyone was back, though, I could feel the sense of community that Emmanuel is so well known for. It just has a friendly, unified atmosphere. Also, the dining hall food is delicious. The stir-fry alone would make anyone want to attend.

If you are considering becoming a Saint, here are a couple tips! Emmanuel College prides itself on its community service and volunteer work. If you’re applying to Emmanuel, it would definitely be great to highlight any community and volunteer work on your application. Any leadership roles or positions would be great to include as well. If you’re more like me and not exactly the “born leader” type, just include any club or hobby or activity you’ve been dedicated to for a while. Loyalty to anything for many years will show you’re passionate about something. For me, that would be dance. I danced on a competitive hip-hop team for six years, and now I participate in the Colleges of the Fenway Dance Project.

Emmanuel College, Mass Art, Mass College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Simmons College, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Wheelock College are the six schools that make up the Colleges of the Fenway consortium. There are tons of opportunities that all COF students can enjoy. Students can cross-register and take certain courses at any of the six schools. COF activities bring together students from all backgrounds. By participating in the COF Dance Project, I have the pleasure of working with future dentists, teachers, doctors, artists, social workers, etc, all united by a common love for dance. As an Emmanuel College Saint, your college experience extends not only beyond the classroom, but even beyond your school.

EC Sign

EC Sign