College at its Finest

This story is a coupe months old, but what happened last night really made me want to tell it. I really want to take a second here and brag about the school. I’m in an online math class. I’m not that swell at math. I have to have it. No, it is not offered seated.  See my dilemma? So, I’m taking it, because I have no choice. Anyway, I’m doing pretty well in it, thanks to the easy to understand book and the professor. However, there is one tiny glitch: all of the tests have to be proctored, which means I have to do it on campus in AACCESS, the testing center. I had it all planned out: I would take it on a Friday. Great plan, but this was when we were getting all the snow,  and the Friday I needed to take it the offices closed because of snow and no testing for Tori. So, I find a time it works with my schedule (the only time before the due date, also the night before the due date) and I head in there, determined to kick this test’s butt. I’m ready, and then I get the news: the test I need isn’t there. There was a mix-up, and what I needed wasn’t there. I was so crestfallen. I go to my room and e-mail my professor begging for the test. I’m getting ready to beg my boss to let me off work the next day to take the test so it isn’t late, and then I go to stuff my face in the pasta Putnam made. Lo and behold, I find out my professor saw my e-mail, and took the test over there so I could take it. It wasn’t even a 30 minute gap in time. Let me add here, I e-mailed him after 5 p.m. After normal business hours, my professor saw my e-mail, responded, and then took my test to AACCESS so I didn’t have to take off work or school the next day. I rushed over there, took my test, and I did it. I kicked that test’s butt.

Okay, last night it was test time again. The only time I could take this test without taking off work was last night. I go in and I’m ready. I’ve been stressed about this test for the last  week, and I’m ready to get it over with. I go to the testing center and they tell me the center is closed because of CAAP testing. I immediately start freaking out because it’s due the next day and I have too many obligations to take it then. Then, they call someone and tell me they will let me take it. Whew. Thanks, testing center ladies.

Here’s the thing: my professor didn’t have to do that. He could have went, “It’s after five. I’m off. I’ll deal with this student tomorrow.” But he didn’t. He saw my very stressed out e-mail, responded promptly, and remedied the situation. In my book, this guy is awesome. The only time I’ve met this guy is to ask for a Grizzly Gear Monday picture, yet he took that time to help me. That’s pretty awesome.

Same goes for the testing center. They could have said, “Too bad. You should have known.” But they didn’t. The faculty and staff here care about you and your problems and your dreams and everything in between. It’s incredible.  I know you’ve heard this over and over again, but our faculty and staff at MSU-WP are pretty special. I honestly would not have gotten through this semester without them.

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Oh by the Way, I’m Going to China

College life has been pretty eventful lately. My assignments are pouring in, activities on campus are keeping me busy, and I’m haphazardly preparing for upcoming trips and events. On top of all that, I was given a fantastic opportunity. Yes, I was accepted to study abroad in Dalian, China, for the fall 2015 semester.

While this acceptance is an honor, it doesn’t quite seem real. In fact, I have been so caught up in current events that I haven’t allowed myself proper time to reflect upon this achievement. Initially, the thought running through my mind when I think about studying abroad is as follows:

I’M GOING TO CHINA.

However, after the general excitement has passed, other worries and questions are unveiled. How in the world am I going to take care of myself? This is like moving away from home, only to the absolute extreme. I will be in a completely foreign country with entirely different cultures and customs. How am I going to talk to other people? What should I eat? How do I transfer and receive money? Why don’t they have Facebook?!

So many questions and so few answers, but there lies the beauty of it all. This entire trip will be about discovery. I will be spending all of my time in an entirely different environment, physically and mentally. This experience will allow me to live in a way completely different than the one I have known my whole life. That is why it’s important to travel, because the learning experiences are completely unique. I am so grateful that this campus has the ability to send students abroad every semester. This experience is going to greatly change my worldview, and quite possibly my life.

I highly recommend all students look into some form of foreign travel. It is incredibly important to be exposed to diverse ideas and cultures. This journal may seem redundant to my last post, but I just want to explain how hard work pays off. I did my very best to be accepted into the study abroad program, and now my dreams are being made a reality.

 

 

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Identity Crisis

The single best thing about college is probably people can be themselves, no holds barred. They are who they are and they are unapologetic about it. People are so uniquely themselves with no shame. You can be who you are and not worry about what others will think. I love seeing people making this kind of transformation to timid and shy to who they are unabashedly. There is nothing better than that. Someone embracing themselves and accepting themselves.

There’s this song and it talks about how “they” want to break him and wash away his colors, and I think that imagery (Sorry, inner English teacher coming out) is beautiful. It really makes me think about how we all have these colors that define us. Over and over again colors are compared to feelings: blue for sad, red for angry, yellow for happy, etc. I just picture people painted and these other people trying to erase them. That’s awful. That is no way to be. I may not agree with you, but that gives me NO RIGHT to dictate what you do. It’s like in The Maze Runner when the head guy Gilly or something squashes anything that that is even kind of new. That’s no way to live. Trying new things and thinking new ways are vital. No one wants to be stuck in a rut like that.

College is the way to find those new things and think new ways. I am a different person now than I was in high school, which will be true for many of you. I was in a small town that was small minded. They didn’t agree with a lot of my choices because they weren’t the “norm.” I let these people sort of dictate SOME of my decisions. In college, I can be who I want and do what I want and even though some don’t respect that, I’ve learned that they can only cloudy my skies if I let them. I have the power to choose how it affects me. I really want to emphasize my point by capitalizing the i, but it’s already capitalized, so know what I’m trying to do. I am in control of my life. I can’t blame anyone but myself. What I do affects me, and others, but I know what I’m doing and getting into. I am taking responsibility for MY actions. And that’s a great feeling. Scary, but great.

Moral of the story: be yourself. Love yourself. Know that you are an amazing person and your differences are what makes you special. If we were all the same, there would be no new ideas or a different opinion, and that is not somewhere I want to live. We are forever moving forward because of people thinking differently. Be yourself; I promise it’s an amazing feeling.

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DON’T BLINK

Don’t blink. Blink and you’re dead. They are fast. Faster than you can believe. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t blink. Good luck.

I’m going to give all of the Doctor Who fans  second so they can catch their breath.

Okay. So, what could I possibly be talking about?

DEADLINES. Deadlines. Deadlines. We need to talk about these things for a moment. Here’s a little background.

The term came from a time a student forgot about the research paper he/she had, and immediately went into cardiac arrest, making the heart rate monitor go flat, as the student was insisting, “I am dead! SO, so DEAD!” Thus, the deadline was born. There’s your history lesson for today.

All joking aside, I want to remind you that this is NOT a time to relax. We have a little over a month and a half of school left. That. Is. It.

Again, I will give you all a moment to catch your breath. I especially apologize to the Doctor Who fans, who have really been put through the ringer in this post.

Personally, this means that in less than a month I have two research assignments due as well as several scholarship essays due within this time frame. I have to start thinking about packing up and where I would like to work when I move.

Now it’s my turn to take a minute to regulate my breathing…

Please don’t give up people. We are almost done with this semester. Good luck!

Posted in Journalists, Myriah Mestas | Comments Off

Moooooooom… Daaaaaaad….

You know, college is your first opportunity to be truly independent. You become your own person. A lot of your finances are your own. You do your own laundry. You do your homework by yourself. Your schedule is truly yours… being independent is nice. But I’ve found that sometimes being independent isn’t all that fun and you just need to cry out to your momma like a kid.

When I was a kid, I loved riding bikes. I had a nice 6-speed bike and I thought I was hot stuff. I lived in a suburb with a bunch of other kids, and we all liked to ride our bikes. But all these other kids were girls… Surely as a muscular, handsome, athletic and amazing dude (Ha, yeah right) I should be able to beat these girls in a race, right?

Well, we all got together on a summer day and decided to race down our hill. We all line up, shiny spokes, spinning pedals. We were ready to go. I look over and it’s four other girls. They have their bikes all lined up and they’re giggling like girls do. As I look down the line, I see her. The girl of my dreams. My 3rd grade crush. “I have to win. I’ll impress her and win her over. I. Am. The. Man.” I am ready to go. But one of the girls decided not to race, so she goes to the bottom of the hill and gets ready to yell to us to start the race.

“Ready. Set. GO!” We take off and it starts off great. I’m in the lead. Wind in my hair. Wheels turning so fast! I leave everyone in the dust. They can’t keep up with my 6-speed bike. I’m a champion.

I get towards the bottom of the hill and I start to speed up. The hill flattens out so I wanted to be going super-fast at the end. I’m speeding up and just zipping past all the houses, when the girl at the bottom decides to start moving out in front of me. I start adjusting my path to avoid her but she seems to be following me. I start to panic. I’m going to die if she doesn’t stop being stupid. But of course… she continues on her course. I veer off the side… Just in time to catch a mailbox to my face.

I fall off and skid to a stop in gravel. My face hurts. My body hurts. I’m bleeding. I wanna cry. The girls finish the race and ride over to me. The expected chorus of “Oh Trevor! I’m sorry! Are you ok?” ensues… And as any man would do in front of his 3rd grade crush… I cried for my mom! MOMMM!!

I’m convinced moms can fix anything. They can make you feel better when you’re stressed. They can relax you when life makes you tense. As a college student, don’t ever be afraid to ask mom or dad for help. Sometimes you just have to revert back to being a kid and ask for love and support.

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Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful.

I spent my spring break in Alabama. Though it should have been an eleven hour drive, we spent about an hour and a half longer in the car than needed. The entire time the weather was so overcast that we dared not go to the beach, so we spent most of the time in the house. My bank account is hurting pretty bad, but you know what?

I wouldn’t trade that trip for the world.

It began with a spontaneous suggestion, and a surprising “yes.”  From that first moment of excitement and elation, all of those feelings kept growing as the days went by. I had my bag packed a week and a half early, and I had a checklist ready long before that. My loving boyfriend, though he only recently has been able to start driving, took charge of the wheel for most of our 676 mile trek.

He finally got to meet the cousins I love so much, and you know what? They all got along. Everyone enjoyed each other’s company. We spent a wonderful day sitting on a park bench feeding squirrels and exploring bookstores. We didn’t really do much else that week, because of the threat of rain, but we did spend a lot of time together. It was all just so beautiful. We spent a lot of time just laying down and talking. We found a few new shows on Netflix. We tore through a candy store and ate much more than we should have. My favorite part, however, was the laughter.

It’s wonderful to be able to be involved in my family’s life, especially since they are so far away. I relish each chance I get to see my grandmother’s sister, and I love to hear what’s going on in my aunt’s life.

So, my vacation may not have been what most would think of as “perfect,” but I spent my time surrounded by people that I love. I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world.

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A Whole New World

I apologize to those of you who, upon reading my title, thought I would be typing a journal entry over a popular Disney movie. There are no genies and magic flying carpets here. However, if I got a certain song stuck in your head, feel free to hum while you read.

The real topic at hand is much more exciting, at least, for me. I’m talking about adventure. I’m talking about foreign lands, and the romance of the strange and unusual. I’m talking about travel!

Now that I’ve been overly dramatic, let me expand on that.

The concept of travel has always appealed to me, as long as I can remember. I’m not exactly sure what makes it so captivating. It could be because I have never explored too far beyond my own front door. Just as easily, it could be the concept of a daring adventure, or meeting new people and experiencing diverse cultures. Perhaps it’s a combination of all of those things. Whatever the reason for its intrigue, travel is a beautiful experience that has evaded me for far too long.

Of course I have had my fair share of inner-state tourism; however, I’m not sure I can count that as an actual travel experience. I have yet to get completely consumed in a foreign land, and become educated in areas far surpassing that of the average tourist. In order to experience this, I know I must get out of this country and find my own adventure.

Recently, I have been exposed to so many opportunities for travel out of the country. Of course, it helps that I attend a university that is incredibly supportive of travel overseas. The opportunities for travel on this campus include China, Ireland, Costa Rica, India, and many other areas. The possibilities really are endless, and I am happy to be attending a university that is just as excited about travel as its students.

This coming May, I will be boarding my FIRST flight, and leaving the country for the FIRST time. While my excitement may or may not be evident thus far, let me just explain.

I AM ECSTATIC.

I will be taking a trip with the Honors program to Ireland. We will be traveling through southern Ireland, stopping in areas like Dublin, Killarney, and Cork. Just thinking about the adventures I will be having in a few short months has me wishing the semester would hurry along. Not only have I been daydreaming about this upcoming trip, but I have been pinning Ireland info like crazy on Pinterest. (I know I’m on Pinterest too much; I’m seeking help.)

I know this trip to Ireland will be only one of the many adventures I plan on taking in my lifetime. I am a firm believer that experiences are worth far more than material things ever could be. If you are like me, and you have always wanted to get out and see what the world has to offer, go do it. I’m serious. DO IT. Don’t let fear stop you. Don’t let what others may think stop you. Don’t let the price of a decent trip stop you. It is all well worth the sacrifices. If you spend all of your time waiting for the perfect moment to travel, you just might be waiting for the rest of your life.

 

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Snow Days

Snow days are the best! I mean, who doesn’t love a snow day? You can go out and do every day snow activities like sledding, snowball fights, etc. What if you don’t like the cold? Then stay inside and watch TV or Netflix all day. It’s kind of funny when you think about how you can watch TV all day and be a lazy bum on a snow day and it’s completely justified. Snow days are all around good. It’s a day off so you can relax or catch up on sleep. The biggest advantage in my opinion is the extra time you have to catch up on homework. I use snow days for homework, and after it’s done, I sleep the rest of the day. It may sound lame to do homework on a snow day, but it always pays off in the end.

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What to do on Snow Days….

Oh, oops. This isn’t a list of things to do on snow days. I don’t really know what to do on snow days. I mean, I can play video games, watch YouTube videos, or read a book, but I can do all of that any day.

I’m not really a fan of the cold, so snow days don’t usually end up being something special for me. When I lived out in the woods those days were a treat, because I would pull a chair up to the window and drink my tea as I watched the pristine white snow blanket my surroundings as little birds flew by.

Buuut now I live in a dorm, and if I open my window now, I see a brick wall and loud people staring back at me. So that isn’t something I’m really partial to.

Basically, what I’m saying is that I am very thankful that our college canceled school a couple weeks ago to make sure that we could all stay nice and warm in our homes. Buuuut Mother Nature, pretty please stop this mess because the roads get scary, I need to get food from Walmart, and I would like to attend the classes I am paying for. Ok, thanks, bye!

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Is It Spring Break Yet?

I don’t know if you guys noticed, but the weather a couple weekends ago was pretty lovely. I spent every possible moment outside, attempting to soak up some precious sun. I even went hiking at Elephant Rock, one of my very favorite natural parks! I really loved being able to be out and about, even though I got a few bumps and bruises. . . I’m not the most coordinated. Unfortunately, when I walked out my front door the next morning in a pair of capris—expecting more warm weather—I was met with an overcast sky and a brisk wind. Of course, I am grateful for the time I had, but I wish the warm front could have lingered a little longer. I guess what I’m saying is, I caught spring fever.

I am beyond ready for this cold weather to be gone. Especially now that I have had a taste of warmth, it’s almost painful to shrug into my coat again. I know we are a good part into the spring semester, and spring break will be right around the corner; however, I can’t help but to stare forlornly out classroom windows, willing the sun to beat down a little harder.

There is just something about the promise of warmer weather that makes me want to drop every responsibility and frolic through a field of flowers. While I know I can’t exactly neglect my schoolwork, it’s still hard not to procrastinate just a bit when spring fever hits.

It’s important to get outside and get some fresh air, but it’s also important to stay caught up on schoolwork. The closer spring break gets, the stronger the urge to procrastinate becomes. So don’t get behind! Stay on top of schoolwork, hey, take it outside if you have to! Stick with it, and before long, summer will be upon us.

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