Livin on a prayer, baby

Livin on a prayer, baby

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So, it’s senior year, half end of the first semester and it’s finals time… can you say stressed out? It is just that time of year where the work piles up and the weather gets gloomy. Everyone goes through it no matter how old you are or where you are.

I always say that Mount Union is in such a perfect location because it is so easy for me to just escape for a while. I was able to take a couple of nice trips home lately to just relax and take my mind off everything before I had to crack down and get my work done. Everyone needs to get away once in a while. My home is only an hour away from school … not too far, not too close.

Finals are right around the corner and the end of the semester is near. Can you believe the year is half way over?! Unbelievable. Cue: Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a Prayer.

It is starting to get very surreal. My last Thanksgiving break, my last Christmas break… Crazy.

Luckily, a lot of the projects I have been working on lately have been super fun. I’ll be sure to post a blog letting you know what I’ve been up to. See, being a communication major does have its perks!

Stop Texting and Driving!

Stop Texting and Driving!

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The video is a study that shows that texting and driving slows your reaction time more than being legally drunk, which is scary.

Driving is a privilege and a convenience that doesn’t seem hard to master. When you first learn to drive, you have to put all of your focus into it, but as you drive more and more. You begin to slack off from 10 and 3, use one hand maybe or you may think you are good enough to even text and drive. Well guess what, you aren’t that good of a driver and nobody you know is.

I have been guilty of texting and driving but every time I did it, I had the worst feeling in my gut and usually your gut feeling is right. Driving is way faster than walking, so I can definitely wait if I need to text or call someone back. I have also been a passenger of an accident before, so that definitely haunts me. It brought me to realize that a human is just a fleshy animal inside of a metal box going very fast right next to other metal boxes going very fast.

If you think you have the right to text and drive, I disagree. The road is for everyone, not just you. Is that text message really that important that you have to distract yourself from the road? I realized that the text messages I was sending were not important enough to risk my life for.

Not everyone is texting and driving, but the people that are need to stop. They are not only putting themselves at danger but everyone else on the road and pedestrians walking. If your friends are texting and driving while you’re in the car, tell them to stop. There is nothing wrong with telling your friends to stop if you feel uncomfortable.

Remember that text messages and driving are meant for your convenience. You shouldn’t have to use both of those conveniences at the same time. You are making it inconvenient when you crash.

Remember to Always Give Thanks

Remember to Always Give Thanks

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The Thanksgiving holiday is one that many people look forward to as it is a day in which you are able to see family members that you may not have seen in a while, watch some exciting displays of football and, of course, a day where you can eat as much as you want and not be judged by others. What many people don’t realize or tend to forget is that the Thanksgiving holiday is about much more than just that. I mean think of the word Thanksgiving itself … it contains two meaningful words – thanks and giving. And, that’s exactly what Thanksgiving is about. It’s about giving thanks and simply appreciating what you have.

Often enough, people get so caught up in their everyday lives that they take things for granted, forgetting to acknowledge and appreciate what they do have. People ask for more and more, especially as the Christmas season rolls in, instead of being grateful for what they do have. Many people in today’s world are less fortunate and well off. Many cannot even afford three meals a day or daily necessities such as clothes or toothpaste. Therefore, it’s important to stop and give thanks for what you do have not only on this wonderful holiday but everyday. So what are you thankful for?

Well, I’m thankful for many things. First off, I am thankful for my family as I would not be where I am or who I am today without them. They are my entire world and support system. Secondly, I am thankful for my amazing friends. They truly are the best that anyone could ever ask for. They are there for me no matter what and make my life meaningful, and they are the true meaning of friendship! Thirdly, I am thankful for the wonderful relationships I have made here at Mount Union and for the unique opportunities I have been given. Mount Union has opened many doors for me and presented me with many experiences that I know have and will change my life. Lastly, I am thankful to be alive and be where I am today.

So what did you give thanks for this Thanksgivng?

Thankful for your “Family”

Thankful for your “Family”

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This is a response to Families Don’t Always Share The Same Genes and Thankful November.

Thanksgiving is a time for a dinner with your family. For most of us, we don’t have dinner with the same family every year. My family travels to have dinner with different parts of the family, so it is never the same Thanksgiving dinner. For some students, they don’t even go home for Thanksgiving because of a sport. Who are they going to have Thanksgiving with?

There is a turkey feast that is held every Sunday before Thanksgiving. It is basically a Thanksgiving dinner, but for brunch. I completely forgot about it this year. I had walked to Kresge Dining Commons alone and sat with two friends I just happened to walk in with. If you wanted to carve your own turkey, you had to reserve a table ahead of time with a few other people. I didn’t realize it until I sat down about just how thankful I was that I had friends to sit with. Usually I am able to sit alone while eating, but for this particular meal, I was so grateful I sat with people. It was a quick meal but it was one that was more memorable than most.

I will be going home for Thanksgiving, but some people aren’t. It is a lonely time when you aren’t with your family on a holiday. Holidays are known for being with your family and when you aren’t, it is definitely a downer. Some people will have practice and a variety of other things going on during Thanksgiving break. This campus will seem empty and there won’t be much to do.

Thanksgiving also is a time to be thankful, be thankful for those that surround you every day. They are your friends and your family, and they are people you would do almost anything for. Family doesn’t always share the same genes, but be thankful for the ones that don’t have the same genes. Those people surround you every single day. You have to realize that you see your friends at school more often than your family at home.

I could go on forever about things I am thankful for, but I won’t for the sake of your attention span. November is known as No-Shave November and Thankful November. I care more about Thankful November simply because if I didn’t shave, my facial hair would look gross. I’m thankful I don’t have to shave every day.

Seriously though … think of everything you are thankful and grateful for.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

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Christmas, that’s the holiday coming up this week, right? I mean, I’ve only been hearing Christmas music since November 1, so it must be pretty soon, right? Or is there another holiday coming up… ummm… I think I remember turkey being involved and maybe some pumpkin pie. I don’t remember what it’s called though because it’s being so overshadowed! Panksgiving? Sanksgiving? Ganksgiving? … uhhhh Hanksgiving? … Thanksgiving? That’s it!! But really, what’s with forgetting completely about this holiday and jumping straight to Christmas?

I remember when I was little, decorating for Christmas didn’t come until December 1. As the years progressed, my family moved it to the day after Thanksgiving because we could ensure everyone would be home then, and that’s still where we’re at I think. I’ve seen Christmas decorations going up for the past couple weeks and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! And Christmas music, man, that has been on as long as I can remember. Now, I’m not trying to be hypocritical because I am currently listening to my holiday station on Pandora, BUT I just started listening to it this week. I think we’re all forgetting to appreciate Thanksgiving because Christmas is overshadowing it. We do need to remember this important holiday!

I’m not completely against Christmas music starting early, though. As I said before, I’m listening to it and it’s putting me in such a cheery mood! On top of that, I think Christmas music puts people in the mood to Christmas shop early, which eliminates scrambling on Christmas Eve to remember everyone’s presents (like I always do!). I haven’t always been able to see the good in early playing of Christmas music, though. I was a complete disbeliever of it happening in November until I was forced to see the upside of it last year when my grandmother passed away in early November. Christmas had always been her favorite holiday. She would sing along to the tunes without a care in the world (like what she sounded like to everyone around her!). My mom (like myself) thought Christmas music the first week of November was just preposterous, but my grandma convinced her to play it and just for that day, my Grandma had her own Christmas. It meant the world to me when my mom told me she got to live in her favorite season again, even if it was for just a few days.

Not trying to be a downer! But I wanted to investigate the pros along with the cons of Christmas music extremely early. In case you all aren’t already in the mood, here is a little Bieber for your fever.

That Special Hoody

That Special Hoody

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Sharing clothes is something that everyone has done; whether it is with your siblings or with the person you’re in a relationship with. Here’s the dilemma though, sometimes you never get those clothes back.

I’ve noticed lately that my sister has sticky hands. She has a lot of clothing (hooded sweaters and t-shirts mainly) that is definitely not hers. She has a good mixture of my brothers, her boyfriends and even her friends’ sisters’ clothing. She’s not a thief, but is it the fact that she likes free things or does each piece of clothing have sentimental value to it also?

It’s the normal thing these days to give a hooded sweater or t-shirt to someone you’re dating. It shows that you want to make them warm even when you’re not there or it could mean any other cheesy line they may make up to make you feel good. What if you break up or what if you just really want those clothes back because you like them so much? Well, for some people, they still haven’t given back their clothes because they avoid the awkward conversation.

I guess I am here to give advice, so here’s my advice. When you want your clothes back, you just have to go through with it and ask for them back. Chances are he or she is going to say OK and give them to you (hopefully in a mature way). What if you still don’t get your clothes back? Chances are, he or she wears it when you’re not around, gave it away to someone else or the Goodwill or burned it.

Clothes are essential for warmth, style, embarrassment and they have sentimental value to them. I have given numerous things to my sister, but I gave my favorite hooded sweater to an ex-girlfriend, and I haven’t seen it since. Keep this rule of thumb; if clothing leaves your possession for more than a week, don’t expect to get it back.

A day of public relations

A day of public relations

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Every year, the Cleveland chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) hosts Student Day.

This is usually a conference of sort where students from all over Northeast Ohio get to listen to panels of speakers, get resume tips and advice from professionals, etc…

I have attended Student Day the past two years and both times have been great experiences.

A group of public relations students and I got up super early on a Friday to make a trip up to Cleveland State University to attend the event. We were served a nice breakfast and then took a few hours to listen to different panels of professionals from the field.

These people had nothing but great advice for us. Whether it was concerning our resumes and the importance of networking or how to handle interviews, we learned it all.

It is really great receiving advice from all these different people, especially because it is in our preferred field. You know, at school, we go to class, listen to speakers and read articles. Everywhere we look there is different advice, and hearing from these people was so beneficial because they are the people I want to work for someday. I was able to get a close look as to what they are looking for in a potential hire.

In college, we’re presented with SO many opportunities like Student Day. I know that other departments, not just communication, have opportunities like this. If you read my previous posts, you would have learned about my trip to New York City where professionals from that industry told me what they think we should do to be professional. Students absolutely need to take advantage of these events because they can learn so much and get a lot of good advice.

I talked earlier about the importance of networking … think of all the professionals that students are able to meet during these events. Like I said, I hope to work for these people someday, so what better way to get my foot in the door than to meet them in this kind of atmosphere?

A Simple Way to Save 3 Lives

A Simple Way to Save 3 Lives

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Have you ever wanted to save a life? Help someone? Make a difference? Well, all three of these ambitions can be accomplished in one quick, easy action. Can you guess what this action may be? You probably have no idea, as people do not realize the effects of this common action. Well, it just so happens that this action is the simple act of donating blood.

Every minute of every day, someone needs blood. To be exact, according to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone has a need for blood. The only source of that blood is from a volunteer donor, a person like you and I who makes the choice to donate. Currently, in the United States only three out of every 100 people donate blood. Did you know though that one pint of blood, which is the amount given during most blood donations, can save up to three lives? I can guarantee that many people did not know that.

The process to donate blood is not a difficult one by any means and is not a long process, as it takes about an hour and 15 minutes to donate overall. When you arrive to the blood drive, you are given paperwork and a bit of information to read. You then proceed to have your vitals checked (pulse rate, temperature and blood pressure) and answer a series of questions. The questions are simple yes/no questions, which help to determine if you are able to donate blood because there are certain requirements to donate and certain aspects that prohibit donations. The iron level in your blood also is tested. Next, you move to the actual donation portion. After the donation is complete, you move to the refreshment table to refuel your body. As you can see, the process is pretty simple.

So have you ever donated blood? Hopefully, the answer to that question is yes. I have been donating blood ever since I reached the minimum age requirement of 16 years old. I couldn’t wait to donate blood because I knew that my blood was making a difference. The first time I gave blood was a little nerve-racking, however now the process is like a simple 1-2-3 to me. This past Tuesday, the American Red Cross held a blood drive on the University of Mount Union’s campus in the Mount Union Theatre. I, of course, donated my pint of blood and saved three lives. Might I add, I even received a Chipotle gift card!

Donating blood presents an easy way to help others and provides a good feeling after. So the next time a blood drives comes your way and you are presented with the opportunity to give, DO IT! If not for the purpose of saving three lives, then at least for the purpose of receiving a Chipotle gift card!

Click here to read more facts about blood from the American Red Cross.

Lose an activity, Gain another

Lose an activity, Gain another

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High school to some people seemed easy. You could be dedicated to so many groups and organizations and it wouldn’t be too much of a burden. If anything, it really kept you motivated and it was usually fun. I was in the band and I played multiple sports, so I was always busy with something. I even auditioned for the musical my senior year and got a back up part … but then I realized that High School Musical is only a movie, and I couldn’t play a sport and be in a musical at the same time.

What I am getting at is that sometimes you are unable to do something you once loved. Athletic training is my major, which means that is my first priority. This alone takes up a great deal of time, which means I have to let go of a few things I love. Playing trombone in the band was tons of fun, but it is something I can’t commit to right now. I’ve played soccer since I was able to run and now I can’t do it anymore simply because I don’t have the time.

I’m not the only one in this position. I have friends from other schools that are unable to play a sport because their bodies are just unable to take the demands of the sport, they didn’t make the team, or their majors just take up all of their free time. Some others aren’t able to be in Student Senate like they once were or they might just not have the heart for that activity they once had.

If you can’t do an activity you once loved, get involved in another. I don’t play multiple sports like I once did and I don’t play for a few hundred people at a halftime show, but I am doing things I never thought I’d even think I would once do. I have two jobs, one as a student ambassador and the other as a student blogger. This is something I never thought I would do, but I am so glad I am doing it.

You need to occupy all the free time you have because the more free time you tend to have, the more time you slack off (usually). The more activities or events you may have going on, the more organized your time will become, and this will help you from feeling useless and sorry for yourself, since you can’t do what you once did.

I still do miss playing trombone with a whole band and I miss playing soccer with friends I have grown up with, but college is the time to open up to new experiences. You have to let go of what you once had and find a new niche that is hidden inside of you somewhere. Everyone is different, so find whatever you know will suit you best.

Pen Pals

Pen Pals

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Dear Readers,

Technology is getting better and better when it comes to communicating with people. Sometimes I get bored with technology though. Everything is so convenient that if you don’t get a call, text or Facebook notification all day, you feel unloved or unpopular. Lately I have been writing to a friend, with paper and pen. I am going back to a time without Internet and telephones, but I am not going as far back as to delivering the mail on a horse.

I used to check my mailbox every day hoping for any pointless random mail. I like the feeling of expecting something being in my mailbox like it is Christmas morning, but usually there is nothing there. I have recently started writing letters to my friend, Anna, and I have finally begun to get mail. I still check my mail every day although I know that I mailed her a letter the day before and I really doubt she even got it and wrote one back within a day.

I easily have the convenience of calling, e-mailing, texting and even video chatting her, but I don’t. I like the anticipation of getting a letter. Sometimes I am just having a rough day. Getting a letter takes me away for a moment and I feel as if I am in my own world while reading it. When you read a letter, it is more than just paper and ink. You have to imagine that the person that wrote it, is right there in front of you and he or she is reading the letter for you. It’s nice to just zone out of the real world for a moment and just focus on something so simple.

Letters are much more personal. You are able to say whatever you feel like saying and you know that the other person is going to take the time to read it. It means a lot when someone takes the time to read something you’ve written for them and then write back another two or three pages just for you. Writing is a lot different from having a conversation every day, simply because you have time to think about what you want to say. When you read a letter, you have more time to just think about everything that was written.

So how long will I keep this going? I am not sure, but I do know that I am not even slowing down. I’ve started getting more and more of my friends school mailbox addresses. Most of my friends go to colleges that are simply too far to visit on a weekend, so writing a letter is an alternative to keeping in touch. Letters are a great way to stay in contact with your close friends and it is an excuse to buy awesome postage stamps.

Sincerely,

Tyler J.

P.S. I don’t know what P.S. stands for, but I use it anyways.