7:30 a.m., say what?!

7:30 a.m., say what?!

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This was my exact response when I first saw my draft schedule at Preview. I was excited to get away from the routine of getting up early, like my high school years. It wasn’t an easy class either… It’s chemistry! Unfortunately, I need the class for my major and there were no other classes available. I could have waited until spring semester, but my senior year I took AP chemistry so the material is still fresh in my mind. I’m not going to lie, it definitely does suck getting up at 6:45 a.m. and going to class with my hair up and in sweats because that’s all I can manage that early. I got lucky though. On Monday’s and Friday’s my 7:30 a.m. class is my ONLY class, so I go back to my room and take two hour naps until about 11 a.m. on those days and the rest I can spend catching up on homework. On Wednesday’s I have my lab at 12:30 p.m., but I can still go back to my room and sleep until about 11 a.m. So… I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily sleep deprived from my 7:30 a.m. classes, but some mornings it is almost impossible to get out of bed. On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s I get up at 8 a.m. so I can shower and make myself look more presentable for my classes, the first of which starts at 9:20 a.m. Even though I get to sleep in later on these days (about an hour), sometimes I feel just as tired. Plus the classes on Tuesday/Thursday are much longer and I don’t get finished until 4 p.m. I almost favor M/W/F more because I get to take naps, which usually leave me feeling better and more rested. Plus, I like getting class out of the way early and being able to spend the rest of the day taking care of laundry, working, studying or anything else I need to do.

If you’re a prospective student reading this, you might think that taking naps in the morning is something you would never be able to do because you’re used to making it through a whole day and getting up at six in the morning. Believe me, I thought the same thing when I was here for my overnight stay and the girl I was shadowing came back to take an hour nap before her next class. I just sat there, awake, because I wasn’t used to getting breaks or having time to just relax. I quickly learned that nap time is definitely a staple in college. You make sure to schedule naps into your day and when you schedule classes.

Next semester, I got a little bit luckier with the times for the classes I need. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I don’t have class until 8:45 a.m., then an hour break, then another class, then an hour break and then my final class. I’ll be finished by 2 p.m. or so. On Tuesday, I don’t have class until 2:20 p.m. and am finished at 4! On Thursday, I have class from 12:30-4 p.m. That is, if I get into all of the classes I want to!! Since I am in the Honors Program I get to schedule with the seniors, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I’m pretty happy with it. The only bad class I’m going to have next semester is a night lab. I figured that at night I would be a little more awake, and I did not really want to have to wake up for a 7:30 a.m. lab on Thursday. My goal this semester was to start classes later so I didn’t have to take naps. Although they are nice, uninterrupted sleep is definitely better at making you feel more rested. Who knows, after spring semester is over I might realize I don’t like that set up and try to get all morning classes! The best schedules are the ones where you have Tuesday and Thursday off. Unfortunately, my major offers certain classes only once a semester and usually on Tuesday/Thursday’s so the likelihood of that happening to me is slim. I know people though who have those days completely off though so it can be done! Your freshman year is pretty much a luck of the draw. At Preview (depending which you go to), you don’t usually have a lot you can move around in your schedule, but play around with your schedule the following semesters. Make sure to send it in as soon as you’re eligible too! (I’ll explain this later.)

Moral of the story is, if you end up being put in a 7:30 a.m. class, don’t panic too much, but try to leave a little time after it to catch a quick nap!

FOOD FOOD FOOD

Let me tell you what food I’ve learned is good to keep around so you don’t end up buying a ton of food halfway through semester when you find your stash lacking. First, I definitely suggest having some sort of dinner-type food in your dorm, like cup o noodles, ramen noodles or easy mac. Personally, … Read more

Let me tell you what food I’ve learned is good to keep around so you don’t end up buying a ton of food halfway through semester when you find your stash lacking. First, I definitely suggest having some sort of dinner-type food in your dorm, like cup o noodles, ramen noodles or easy mac. Personally, I choose ramen because I can get five packs from Family Dollar down the road for $1. My roommate has easy mac. This is helpful if you have an exam right after lunch and you want to study. This way, you can just eat in your room instead of going down to the café, which could be time spent studying. It’s also helpful if you miss the times that the cafe is open due to meetings, sports or other obligations. You don’t have to go out if you have stuff in your room to make. My friend down the hall actually keeps frozen dinners in her freezer for times like that. Besides that, just try to keep snack foods you enjoy! Personally, I love pretzels so I have those, popcorn, a bag of spice cookies and fiber one bars in the room at this moment in time.

It’s good to stock up but there are many places around Mount Union where you can buy snacks if you run out. I again recommend Family Dollar because it’s close and within walking distance, but it might not have exactly what you want. If you do decide to bring the dinner/lunch foods like I suggested, don’t forget silverware of some kind (can be plastic) and microwavable bowls/plates to heat the food up in. The cafeteria does serve fruit, but you have to remember to grab it when you are there. Depending how many times you go you might not have much of a stash because you eat it all in one day. I try to do this, but usually end up forgetting to grab it when I leave or I do, but eat it a few hours later. It’s definitely better to eat fruit as a snack but if I forget it when I’m there I won’t make a trip down to the cafe just for fruit. So depending how much you enjoy/want to eat fruit you may want to buy your own. Keeping some sort of caffeine in your room is also good for those late night study sessions you will find yourself doing quite often. If you live in Cunningham or McCready, Sheetz is a quick walk away, but again it’s the convenience factor of having it right there in your room. So those are my tips on how to prepare for the big food transition, hope you found it helpful! :) Comment with any questions you may have!

A Nice Break

So this past weekend I got the opportunity to go home since I first started school in the third week in August! Since we don’t have Labor Day off, we get a break from classes on Friday and Monday. It’s quite an adventure for me to even make it back home (as you can imagine). … Read more

So this past weekend I got the opportunity to go home since I first started school in the third week in August! Since we don’t have Labor Day off, we get a break from classes on Friday and Monday. It’s quite an adventure for me to even make it back home (as you can imagine). My roommate lives in Pittsburgh, PA so her parents took me there with her. Then I caught a bus at 10 p.m. that arrived in Philadelphia at 3:45 a.m., and then had an hour drive back to my actual house. My dad decided to stop for breakfast though, so I actually didn’t get to bed until around six in the morning. Needless to say, I slept most of Friday. My bed welcomed me back very nicely. I fell asleep faster than I have in a long time. At school, I have this tendency to stay up planning out my days and just letting thoughts run through my mind for a while before actually falling asleep. Hopefully tonight will not be one of those nights because this weekend has left me absolutely drained!

On Friday, I picked up my little sister from the bus and she gave me a great welcome home hug (she’s 8). I also got to see my best friend who goes to a community college, so she’s still in the area. I couldn’t wait for dinner. It was delicious. My parents are the best cooks in the world. They spoil us with the creations they make us for dinner, and I have been in such a withdrawal. I think the order of importance for things most missed at home would go:

  • People
  • Food
  • Bed
  • Shower
  • Driving my car
  • Just being in my house
  • Work

You may ask why in the world would I miss work, but it has to do more with the good memories that always seem to come about at work. Plus, working in a movie theater is not hard work and I miss getting into movies for free. One of my good friends/co workers took me to see Pitch Perfect Friday night and it was just like old times. Nothing like a big screen, a good movie, great friends and delicious movie theatre popcorn!

On Saturday, I spent time with my mom and sisters shopping after our haircut in the morning. Then my older sister (she’s 13) and I went out to eat at my favorite fast food restaurant- Chick Fil A! I have yet to come across one near Mount. It was good bonding time. Then, our family did our annual pumpkin carving together. For dinner, my mom made one of my favorites – chicken in a biscuit! The rest of my night was spent with another of my friends just catching up and enjoying each other’s company.

On Sunday, our family went to church and afterwards my dad and I went to look at new phones. I can’t wait until we upgrade! It will be my first smartphone… I’m that far behind. My best friend, who I’ve known since birth, came down from where she lives (half hour away) to spend the rest of the day with me. My grandparents also came over to have a big family meal together. My family is very Italian and we know how to make a lot of homemade pasta, so I requested that my grandparents make me cavatels. It is dough and ricotta cheese mixed together and then made into these fat u shapes and cooked. We also have these at Thanksgiving so next time I go home I’ll get to have them again!

I really enjoyed finally being able to go home and catch up with my friends and family. I didn’t think I missed it, but being home I recognized that there are things I surely do miss. I’m happy to be getting back to school though. I like being on my own, missed my friends, and have a ton of schoolwork I need to start focusing on now that the fun has ended. I hope your first fall break is as good as mine was! Time to get back to the grind of homework and studying. Amazing how time flies when you’re having fun, but I bet this week will drag on forever.

Honors Program

Honors Program

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As I mention in my bio, I am apart of the honors program. Before coming to Mount I wasn’t really sure exactly what the honors program was or what it entailed but my parents urged me to do accept the invitation. Now that I have learned more, I’m actually really happy with all of the benefits I get now! So if you’re a prospective student confused about what exactly you get out of it, I’m going to tell you the most important parts! First, you get to schedule your classes earlier than all of the other freshman. I didn’t think this was too big of a deal, but after going through scheduling for my fall semester I am excited I most likely will get into every class I want for spring without any trouble. You create your schedule for your freshman fall semester when you come for preview in the summer. I didn’t really pay too much attention to this detail when picking which weekend I came and ended up coming the very last weekend. Since I was in the last group of freshman to schedule, I actually couldn’t get into some of the classes I was hoping to and had to rearrange my schedule. Thankfully, it all worked out fine and I got into the major classes I needed but my electives had to be rearranged. I have a friend who wasn’t so lucky and didn’t get into a needed class for her major. So if you can go to an early preview session- DO IT! Second benefit of being in the honors program, you do not have to take gen eds! Instead of having to take humanities and an English and a social science you get to just take classes for your major/minor and electives you can fit in! I love this so much because my major/minor are very demanding class wise and if I had to take gen eds I would have a very heavy course load each semester. You have to take an honors seminar every semester but they aren’t that bad. My fall freshman one is Heroes of Social Justice and it’s probably my favorite class. The third benefit of being in the honors program is the status you gain. Honors students are invited to more social events with faculty which in turn leads to stronger connections to the faculty on campus. It also looks very good on your resume to graduate in the honors program. People on campus won’t technically even know you are in it though because you have the same classes as them, just have a different graduation requirement. So don’t worry about being judged or anything!! Everyone here is very accepting. All in all its just a great decision and you’ll have no problem handling it- so don’t worry it’s so much extra work. It’s an honor to be recognized for what you have achieved in high school and you should seize the opportunity to be rewarded for it!

Have a great week :)

Getting Involved

Getting Involved

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You might be wondering what students on campus do when they aren’t doing homework and studying. A lot of it has to do with what clubs that student is involved in. You might not think so, but being in a club can take up a lot of your time. I am in yearbook club, where I try to go to every event during the week to take pictures. I am also in Tom’s club and we have been planning a music festival to collect non-perishable food items for a month now. The festival is actually happening tonight! For my honors seminar I chose to do community service as my major project so I attend the events that the Regula Center puts on- usually during the weekends. Lastly, I am in a sorority- AXO. Some weeks there is a lot going on, others it’s not too busy. I definitely think most of what I do through the sorority is fun activities that I enjoy doing! Sometimes there is just too much going on though for me to attend. A few weekends ago I played in a volleyball tournament for five hours, but I loved it! I got to spend time with some girls in my sorority I didn’t really know before and it was a great afternoon. Those type of opportunities are what I love about being in Greek life. In a few weeks we have something called Greek Week, this past weekend we put on a Mr. UMU pageant, and we’ve taken several group trips to this country club called The Dusty. I’ve gotten to experience so much in my short two months here. My roommate is not a part of Greek Life and still has had fun here though- so don’t think it’s all about joining a sorority or fraternity! Getting involved in campus through clubs is mostly a great way to meet people who have similar interests to you. There are clubs for pretty much every major. Just make sure you manage your time well. I tried to be in two other clubs at the beginning of the year but with my school schedule I felt overwhelmed trying to attend all of them so I decided to only be in two this semester plus Greek life. Next semester I may try joining the psychology/neuroscience club if I can fit it into my schedule. Another way to get involved, if you are into athletics, is intramurals! For all of those high school athletes out there who aren’t continuing sports in college, this is your chance to play again! I’m on a sand volleyball team right now, and I know from experience there are some good legit teams that register every semester. It’s not a joke game like in gym class, you can create a great team and usually find some sort of competition. This is a great way to meet people on your floor/in your building with the same interests as you. I inspired someone on my floor to create a team and now there’s about five of us from my floor on a team together. If you like athletics, but aren’t looking for a specific sport to play, there’s raider robics. Raider robics is a group of classes that students/faculty from Mount run. This semester we have turbo kick, zumba (my favorite) and insanity. As you can see, there’s plenty going on here to keep you busy and having a great time! Your second day of orientation you will go to something called ‘Raiderfest’ where all the different clubs have tables set up and you can give your email to those you are interested in! Then you choose what works for you (: It’s simple to get involved here at Mount and definitely worth it! You’ll create even more memorable experiences.

 

My Journey To Mount

My Journey To Mount

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As I mention in my bio, I live about six hours away from home. So naturally, people always ask me about how I ended up at Mount and how I even found this small school in Alliance, OH. It was actually quite a long process…

I started looking at colleges, with a possible intended major of Neuroscience, in June of the end of my junior year. Collegeboard was my best friend during this time. They have a college matchmaker where you answer questions about where, how much, how big, etc, to narrow down your choices to only the colleges that fit all of those criterion. My problem was I didn’t know what I wanted in a school. I knew I didn’t want a big school like Penn State because I had visited there the previous March and didn’t enjoy the vibe of that massive school. So all I knew for sure that I wanted was a small school (not sure how small though), I wanted to stay on the East Coast, and I thought I wanted the school to have Neuroscience. Luckily for me, only about 50 schools total on the East Coast even offer Neuroscience as a major for a bachelor degree. It’s usually found at the graduate level. I was happy I had narrowed it down so much though, it seemed like good progress. I then looked at the general information for the ones in PA or Virginia that I thought I might like- I didn’t think I wanted to travel out of state besides VA because I have family down there. I picked out six schools, five in PA and one in Virginia near D.C. The first two weeks of June, my dad and I took road trips to travel all across the country to tour my selected schools. I was lucky my parents were aware of the importance of visiting a campus. I immediately fell in love with a school about two hours from my house called Lafayette College and later in the summer became passionate about the school near D.C. called George Mason University. My parents were wary about all the schools I had visited up to that point though, because most were private liberal art schools and very expensive. So my dad went on to college board and found me another 20 schools they told me to look at and pick a few more to potentially visit. By this point I was starting my senior year of highsSchool and felt like I was getting down to the wire on picking which schools to apply for. I picked two schools in Ohio (BW and Mount) and two more in Virginia to visit from my dad’s list. I took the tours of BW and Mount in the same day, with BW first. Coming to Mount couldn’t even compare to BW though. I almost immediately fell in love with the campus. It was exactly what I had been searching for. It’s not in the middle of nowhere but the campus itself is excluded from the outside and doesn’t have much outside traffic running through it. The fact that the school’s main color is purple literally almost made me fall out of my chair in my meeting with one of the advisers. Walking through the buildings and seeing how new everything was impressed me a lot. I probably had my mouth open for half of the tour because I was in awe of everything. I told my dad in the car ride back home that if this college was as close to home as Lafayette it would be number one no doubt. The distance was a major pull back. I didn’t know if I could bring myself to leave all of my friends and family and only be able to come back during breaks. I still applied though and got accepted early! I also was up for a full ride scholarship, which was unbelievable. Unfortunately, I did not receive it but I still received a very generous scholarship. By January of my senior year, after applying and getting accepted to five schools, I had it narrowed it down to three: Mount, Lafayette and George Mason. In February I took another visit to Mount and stayed overnight, which pushed it up to first place on my list. In March I went to the accepted students day at George Mason and suddenly realized that was where I wanted to be the most. It wasn’t too far and I had a blast when I was there. There was a big discrepancy in the amount of financial aid each school was giving me though. This ended up being the deciding factor for me. I did not want to burden my parents with something they couldn’t handle, especially with my two sisters still living at home. So I agreed two days before May 1 to go to Mount Union. The rest of the year and summer though I wasn’t so happy about it. I had made so many more friends my senior year and I couldn’t imagine being so far and barely seeing them after that summer. Once I got here I was reminded why I fell in love with it in the first place and was more than excited to be here. I am happy to say that 98% of the time I’m actually not homesick. With only two weeks until fall break I am a little antsy to go back but that’s mostly because I have set up plans I’m super excited for and my mom keeps telling me all she is going to make for me! I do not regret my decision though, and am very happy where I ended up. It was the best decision I ever made to come here. I love Mount with all of my heart. Even though I had to leave all my friends and family, I know now that it’s wrong to base such an important decision on just that. I am a family person, but to be the best I can be I have to be here. They will still be there for me when I get back, and I realize that now-same with my friends. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

So if you’re a senior reading this and are in between schools, just trust your gut instinct. I had a feeling about this place since the day I got here, I was just being stubborn and didn’t want to admit it to myself. I was scared. But I turned out completely fine, better than I thought I would be. Part of one of my favorite poem goes as follows: “Trust your heart if the seas catch fire…” If you feel like you’re torn and your whole world is in this chaos just take a step back from it all, make some lists of positives and negatives for each school, and don’t silence your heart because it knows you best.