Deactivating Facebook

Deactivating Facebook

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The video is obviously exaggerated but still gets the point across.

Did you know there are more than 800 million Facebook users and 50% log on every day?  Who thought this would get so big?  Why didn’t Myspace get this big?  Facebook was desgined by college students for college students, and it is something I once had, but not anymore.

I’ve been Facebook-less for over two years now and I love it.  Why didn’t I just limit myself to Facebook?  Well, I couldn’t!  It is so addicting and my only solution to the problem was deactivating my account.  There are obvious reasons to why everyone loves it, but there aren’t many reasons to why people would just completely deactivate their account.  Social networking takes out the fun of meeting people and interacting with people in person. It isn’t productive toward studying at all, and I need as much studying as I can get since I am the average guy that cannot just simply digest knowledge after I see it once!

Facebook, Myspace (if that is even used anymore), Google+ are all networking sites that are not meant for me.  When I did have one, I easily spent more than three hours a day on it just creeping on people I never knew about and then I would find out about their entire life.  It is something I found actually creepy and I didn’t like it since I judged people before I even truly knew them.

Let’s be serious, people might be friends on Facebook, but they are barely even acquaintances in real life.  I had more than 500 friends on Facebook and only talked to about 200 of them (if that).  I didn’t like barely knowing people and being friends with them on Facebook.  It seemed like a fake friendship to me and I want to truly be friends with everyone. I don’t want to have to fake it.

So how’s life been since I deactivated it?  Well, my grades have gone up. I have more time for friends, exercising, talking on the phone and discovering new hobbies, whoa!  I try to make every second count, and being on Facebook was just a waste for me.  Sure it was nice seeing and talking to people I haven’t talked to in years, but that was a very small portion of it to me.  I am a social person just like anyone else, and I’d rather be social in person than over the Internet.  I like hearing the sound of someone’s voice and seeing their face when it isn’t smiling in a frozen moment.

So here’s my challenge to you readers.  How long can you go without your Facebook account?  A few days, weeks, months?  It truly is hard to remember what life was like before it, but see how long you can go.

Making a Difference!

Making a Difference!

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You want to know what the best part of my day was today? I bet you can’t even guess. It’s not the typical way most college students spend part of their day, however, it should be whenever possible. The suspense is probably killing you, so I’m just going to tell you. The best part of my day today occurred in the two and a half hours I spent volunteering at a local church in Alliance for Feed My Sheep. (And, no I am not talking about REAL LIVE sheep).

Feed My Sheep is the Christian ministry of The New Beginnings House of God Church in Alliance. Through the ministry, meals are served to the community of Alliance every Thursday around dinner time. Approximately 30-40 people come to the church each week for dinner, and another 80 meals are delivered to the homes of people unable to travel to the church including the elderly and disabled individuals throughout the community. Anyone from the community is welcome to come each Thursday to receive food. The food for each meal varies from week to week and comes mostly from the Stark County Food Pantry. Today people were served hot dogs, macaroni salad, chips, drinks and dessert. (I served dessert today!) People also are welcome to take bread with them when they leave.

The co-ed service fraternity of Alpha Phi Omega (APO) at Mount Union has members that help each week prepare and serve the meals to the community members. The members of APO also interact with the community members and get to know some of them that come on a regular basis. APO is the organization with which I helped out through. I find this project rewarding in more ways than one. It allows me to interact with people of the community learning about their day and their experiences, gives me the chance to help others and allows me to make even the slightest difference in the lives of others. In my opinion, it is the best way you could spend part of your day!

The Feed My Sheep Ministry has been helping to feed the Alliance community for a little over six years now. It has impacted the lives of many individuals and will continue to do so on a day-to-day basis for many years to come. The ministry is helping to make a difference!

The “I” Word

The “I” Word

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Once you take your first class at Mount Union, you will start hearing the “I” word all the time. Professors will pound this word into your head so much that it may seem intimidating. You will hear upper classmen using this word on a normal basis, and it might add a lot of pressure to your mind at first…

What is this “I” word? INTERNSHIPS.

Mount really encourages its students to take part in at least one internship during their four years here. Students can take one for credit or just for experience for their resume, and they can be paid or on a volunteer basis. Internships are easy to find – nowadays almost every business out there will hire an intern. To find the perfect internship, students can talk to their professors, other faculty members, look online and ask family members.

Let me be the first to tell you: internships aren’t intimidating. Sure, you should really have one (or more) by the time you graduate from Mount, but the opportunities are unbelievable. Even if you get an unpaid internship, who cares? You are getting experience that most people will never get!

I’ll tell you a few places where some of my peers landed awesome internships (feel free to look them up!):

  • Akron Aeros
  • Alliance Community Hospital
  • American Eagle
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Fahlgren Mortine
  • Hermes
  • Mahoning Valley Scrappers
  • NBA
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Q104
  • Q92
  • Sports Time Ohio (STO)

Does this list appeal to you at all? Let me just remind you that this is only one small list of examples of where Mount students have interned.

Internships are the resume builders that are going to help you land the perfect job when you graduate. Another great thing, if you start the search early in your college career, you get your foot in the door and the chances of you being hired at that business are high.

So don’t ever be intimidated when you hear the “I” word; just know that it can be the one of the best experiences of your college career.

Fall break!

Fall break!

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I think that in every one of my posts, I make some sort of comment about how fast time is flying by. Well, guess what … I am going to make another comment right now. Can you believe it is already the end of October?! Hello, where does time go?

Fall break has already came and went in the blink of an eye. It feels like just yesterday that I was counting down the days until I went home and visited my family, and here I am, back in action at school.

Fall break was absolutely perfect. Here at Mount we get off classes Friday and Monday, and it usually falls smack dab in the middle of October. It really is the perfect amount of time off. I was able to take the short trip home to Cleveland, visit with most of my family members, relax and get some errands done.

I can’t stress enough how perfectly located Mount Union is. Like I just said, I live up in Cleveland and it is such a perfect distance. It takes me a little bit more than an hour to get there — not too long of a drive, not too short (Goldilocks style). It is just right. I was out and about in Cleveland this past weekend and I ran into numerous Mount friends at the mall and out at night, therefore backing up my statement that it is the perfect distance away.

Also, my boyfriend and I took the short trip to Pittsburgh over fall break as well. See, if you get bored with Cleveland (like that is possible!), it is a little bit longer of a drive to get to Pittsburgh. We had a great time there and it was nice to get away for the little break.

If you’re not one that likes to leave campus on breaks such as these, I know quite a few people who stayed here over fall break and just enjoyed having time off from class. There are so many fun activities to do around the Alliance area and its surrounding communities such as shopping, fall farms with pumpkin patches and hayrides, movies and so much more.

Meet the Organization: Alpha Phi Omega

Meet the Organization: Alpha Phi Omega

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Alpha Phi Omega (APO) is a national co-ed service fraternity. The term fraternity can be a little confusing at first because “fraternity” is associated with only males. This is not only co-ed, so both males and females can join, but it’s a service organization, not a social organization like other fraternities (or sororities for that matter). It is based around three main principles: leadership, friendship and service. This values shine through everything APO does – from countless service projects each week and social activities to members holding leadership positions not only within the organization, but within others as well. There are more than 350 chapters of APO in the United States, 250 chapters in the Philippines and one chapter in Australia … this fraternity is taking the whole world by storm!

Here at Mount, APO is one of the largest organizations on campus with more than 100 members. We have weekly chapter meetings (Tuesday nights at 8:15 in the Mount Union Theatre) as well as weekly executive board meetings (Monday nights at 6:45 in the Hoover-Price Campus Center), but this is not the only time contributed by members of the organization. The meetings themselves usually only last about an hour, and each member must complete 20 hours of service and attend two socials each semester.

Service projects at Mount Union vary greatly. One week you can volunteer at a soup kitchen; play with puppies at the Humane Society; work on your bingo skills at a nursing home; and walk in an awareness walk for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Autism or one of many other walks in the area. Twenty hours might seem like a lot of work, but when you look at it in terms of what is offered each week, you can potentially get all 20 hours in within a month or two, but members have the whole semester! On top of that, there are different levels of service in APO: national, community, campus and fraternity. National and community are probably what you think of most when you think “service project,” but members of APO receive service hours for other things as well. For example, writing an article for the Ant Hill, which is our monthly newsletter, counts as one half hour of service to the fraternity.

Don’t think that APO is all work and no play, though! We have a social chair who puts together at least one to two socials every week. The socials are ALWAYS fun and vary greatly, so if you aren’t interested in attending one, you’ll be sure to find one that meets your interests. We often go see movies at the movie theatre near campus, go out to eat at Applebees and take trips to seasonal attractions such as a hay ride in the fall or Christmas light viewing in the winter. We usually have one or two larger socials every semester as well. Last semester we drove three hours to go to Kalahari in Sandusky for a whole day! We got a group discounted price and got to live it up in the balmy 75 degree waterpark for a day when it was the dead of winter outside.

Another aspect of APO is conferences. Since it is a national (international!) organization, there are events that bring chapters together to interact with one another. Every year there is a sectional conference that is fairly small (about eight or nine chapters are in each section). Every other year there is a regional conference, which is a bit larger, and consists of about five sections. The year’s that are opposite of regional conferences, there are national conferences. National conferences encompass every single chapter in the United States and usually a few chapters from the Philippines.

Last year, Mount Union hosted the section conference for our section! It involved more than 200 brothers from around Northeast Ohio coming to campus to participate in workshops, social events and service projects. We did a lot of work to entice other chapters to attend our conference that we knew was going to be the bomb.com; the picture shown is one of our tactics! It was so stressful to plan, but the rewards definitely outweighed costs! Coming up in a few weeks, APO will be traveling to Louisville, Kentucky for a regional conference. We have a whopping 30 brothers attending and we will be down at the University of Kentucky for a weekend to serve and socialize with brothers from our region. In December of 2012, the national conference is being held in Anaheim, California! This is a LONG trek for brothers from our chapter and will require a lot of fundraising on our part to be able to attend, but it is sure that at least a fairly sizable handful of brothers will be in attendance in sunny California!

There is SO much more I could tell you about APO because it is such a large organization with such intricate parts, but for now, I’ll leave it at that. If you’d like to find out more, come to one of our chapter meetings! We always welcome visitors and we have pledge classes go through every semester, so there’s always going to be an opportunity to take part in this great organization!

Mixing Up Some Fun

Mixing Up Some Fun

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All the movies portray college as one big beer fest; frat parties, sorority parties and just plain old parties are the objects of the media most times. Aside from this being a completely inaccurate portrayal of college life, especially here at Mount Union, we as a campus work harder towards the mature management of alcohol instead of hosting the best parties in the United States (like some other schools in Ohio).

GAMMA is a major organization on campus that works toward this common goal. Their acronym stands for Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol, which means that members are from the sororities and fraternities on campus, but their influence extends beyond the Greek community. This organization puts on a variety of events throughout the year that do just what their name implies, advocate mature management of alcohol.

One of these events, and arguably one of the largest, is a mocktail competition. This competition took place this past Wednesday and drew quite a crowd. Any organization on campus is encouraged to create a mocktail and compete. The goal is, in the end, to show that alcohol isn’t needed to have a good time and enjoy beverages that are varied and pretty tasty. This year there were a large number of mocktails created, tasted, judged and voted upon. There were trophies awarded for most members in attendance and people’s choice and prizes were awarded for first, second and third place. The group that won most members in attendance was Delta Sigma Tau. The picture to the right is just a few of sisters of DST with their mocktail.

I, along with a friend, headed up the mocktail concoction for Alpha Phi Omega, the co-ed service fraternity that I spoke about in my last blog. Our drink was based around Breast Cancer Awareness since it’s October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month). APO decided to make a drink to advocate for this cause because of the sheer amount of cases of breast cancer being diagnosed each day, each month and each year. Did you know that a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes? That means, in the time since you began this blog, a woman has been given a diagnosis that will change her life forever. Wow. That’s crazy to think about. THAT’S why there is a whole month dedicated to education about this cancer and THAT’S why APO chose this cause.

The drink we chose to make is called the “Pink Boobie Saver.” It may be a funny name, but people did come over to look and raised awareness on our campus.

Here’s the recipe in case you want to join in on the wholesome, non-alcoholic fun!
2 parts white grape juice
2 parts cranberry juice
1 part frozen pink lemonade
1 part sparkling water
Ice

College Eating

College Eating

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My cheat codes in life include winning the lottery and marrying someone rich who will cook wonderful healthy food for me.  Chances are those both won’t happen, so I guess I’ve got to learn to cook and choose the right food.  I took cooking classes in high school and that taught me how to read recipes and something about a pyramid.  But we are in college and there are so many options of where and when to eat.  Here are some easy tips on how to eat healthy.

1.  Ask yourself four questions.  Am I really that hungry? Will I regret eating that?  Do I need to eat that? Would a caveman eat that? Some of you might be confused by the caveman question.  Well, would a caveman eat deep fried food or would it just be cooked over a fire?  I think you know the answer to that and you can apply all of these questions to everything that you might eat.

2.  Taste the rainbow. Not Skittles, but a colorful plate means you are getting all different kinds of energy, vitamins, minerals and all that jazz.

3.  Eat balanced meals throughout the day. Breakfast should be the largest meal of the day.  After that, you can have anywhere from five small meals to two big meals at lunch and dinner.  For a faster metabolism, it is recommended you get six smaller meals throughout the day, but make sure they are balanced and it isn’t the same thing at every meal. Change it up.

4.  Limit your caffeine. Caffeine is a drug and you might be dependent on it if you drink it over and over.  Aim for a caffeinated drink once a week, not every day.  Too much caffeine dehydrates you and when you’re dehydrated, you’re tired.  Just drink some juice or water and if you get enough sleep, you won’t need caffeine.

5.  Avoid deep fried food. Fat may taste good, but it doesn’t look good … if you know what I’m saying.

6.  Eat fresh. If you are buying and cooking your own food, don’t buy microwaveable food just because it is easy.  Chances are it doesn’t taste as good as the real thing and it is full of preservatives.  We are in a time where we look to do things as fast as possible, but when it comes to cooking, slow down and take your time.  It is definitely worth it in the end.

7.  Pill popping. If you are lacking vitamins because you don’t like certain food or you are a vegetarian, then make sure you take the right vitamin pills.  A multi-vitamin can generally cover for the lack of vitamins you aren’t getting.

These are generalizations that I try to follow for cooking and eating (when I am not in season). When I’m in wrestling season, I have to be able to diet in a healthy manner to lose weight and still have energy to perform.

You must know your body and how it reacts to different types of food.  Everybody is different and eats different types of food and different amounts.  I didn’t even mention carbohydrates or protein or any of that, so obviously if you do a little research, you can find what is best for you.

Get Involved!

Get Involved!

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College may seem a bit scary as it forces you to adjust to a new place (which is basically your home for the next four years), make new relationships with new people and once again find where you fit in.  You are no longer a big senior, at the top of the pyramid.  Once again, you are a freshman at the bottom of the food chain, which is a place many people do not like to be.

College is very different, however, in that aspect.  Other than the amount of credits you have and where you live, the status of your grade level does not mean all that much.  Unlike high school, seniors do not pick on the “little freshmen” or put them in lockers.  In college, everyone (for the most part) gets along.  Everyone has friends from each grade level, and the campus, especially Mount Union’s, is basically one big family.  Take me for example… I am a sophomore, yet I have many friends in each grade level whom I frequently spend time with.

But coming to a new campus and making friends all over again may seem nerve-racking and scary…I know it did for me.

The answer to this situation is simply the most important thing to do when going to college (especially as a freshmen) – get involved!  Getting involved is the best thing to do when starting out at a new school as it proves to be very beneficial to you.  Getting involved allows you to quickly meet many different types of people and make friends.  It presents you with the opportunity to better learn the campus and community and also allows you to better connect with faculty and staff members.  Getting involved keeps you busy and helps to erase boredom.  Additionally, joining different organizations and clubs can open many doors for you in the future.

Mount Union has many different organizations and clubs that you can get involved in on campus.  This ranges from joining a sorority or fraternity to participating in intramurals to joining academic clubs or service organizations.  I can guarantee you that there is at least one organization or club that exists on campus, but most likely more, that will draw your interest and you will find you fit into.  (Trust me, I have found many that I enjoy and fit into!) If there isn’t, believe it or not, you can start your own club!  Check out the list of the different organizations and clubs that currently exist at Mount Union.  See what you like and what you may be interested in joining.  Leave me a comment with any questions regarding the different organizations or clubs that spark your interest.

Just remember, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you GET INVOLVED!

High School Senioritis

High School Senioritis

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My Facebook news feed has begun to show me what time of year it is for those who I’m friends with who are seniors in high school… it’s the beginnings of senioritis. A lot of seniors are already receiving their acceptance letters from their desired future schools, and those who haven’t are probably done with taking the ACT or SAT. They know where they want to go, have probably sent some applications out and the rest are over caring about school. Now they just want to send out their college applications, so they too can join the crowd of their peers who JUST.DON’T.CARE. … it’s a bad decision to take this route. I repeat… this is a bade decision! Senioritis is the enemy of every senior, everywhere, every year. Remember: colleges CAN and DO occasionally revoke acceptance to students who’s GPAs plummet their senior year of high school.

Let me just tell you about my senior year of high school. I was always a pretty good student. I worked hard in classes and slacked off occasionally (like almost all high school students do), but the moment I received my acceptance letter from not only Mount Union, but 3 other schools I applied to, I hit a wall. I had been taking AP classes and was in AP English when the acceptance letters arrived. I dropped that class faster than I could even open all the envelopes of acceptance. Bad choice. I ended up picking up another class that gave some college credit, but if I would’ve kept with AP, I could’ve had 18 college credit hours going into college. How cool would that have been?! Instead I came in with only six and ended up having to take an English class here.

Here’s my suggestion: fight it! Fight that senioritis as hard as you can because your last year of high school DOES matter. Even if you can’t wait to get out of your small town, take on the big world, live on your own… the things that happen before you make it really do matter a lot. Never forget that while college will become the best years of your life, high school is a precursor to that.

Lose The Stress, Find Your Escape

Lose The Stress, Find Your Escape

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This photograph was taken in Hawaii.

Stress is something that hits every student. Knowing how to deal with it or just how to avoid it all together is a big thing. Finding something that gets your mind off of your school work and grades is important when trying to live a balanced life. Nobody likes to just live in stress, so knowing that you are able to turn to something to turn off that stress is important. Find something you enjoy doing.

I turn to wrestling because it’s a great way to exert all of my physical energy and all of my emotions that might have been running through me throughout the day. It’s just seven minutes my opponent and I trying to figure out who truly is smarter, stronger and faster.

When I started writing poetry my junior year of high school, I didn’t think I was good. I still don’t think I am good at it but that’s not the point. Writing down a poem about how I may have felt that day was something I had never done before. It was a way for me to literally see what was going through my mind. It’s as if I collected all the junk from throughout the day and sneezed it on a piece of paper. I finally saw what was going on. Everyone feels better after they sneeze, and I felt better after writing a poem.

Sometimes talking to friends or listening to music just wasn’t enough for me. If what you might turn to usually isn’t there, try to have alternatives. For some people, simply screaming at the top of their lungs makes them feel better. Breaking things is always fun too, just make sure it’s not something you might have to pay back. Sleeping and dreaming is another great way to get away from reality, but that never lasts long enough.

Hopefully you have found something that helps you relieve stress. If you are stressed out about it, just talk about it with someone. Chances are he or she is freaking out about something and needs to let it all out too. Even if it is a five-minute conversation, at least you got it out.