Dear Myself

Dear Myself

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Dear (12th grade) Tyler,

It’s me, yourself from the future. Currently it is the year 2012 and I have experienced a lot at the University of Mount Union. I know you’re nervous about college classes, but really there isn’t too much to worry about. The homework and studying isn’t hard, but you must study if you want to pass, excel and if you want to know what you’re doing once you get a job.

You will love athletic training. Isn’t it like 80% of college students change their major? Well you’re the 20% that doesn’t, so it seems like you made a nice pick. You’ll meet a lot of great people because of athletic training, and keep those connections strong because they will be professional connections in the future.

You’re going to miss playing soccer a lot, but there is a good thing there is intramural indoor soccer.  You’ll have a blast. Wrestling will definitely keep you busy as well.  Get in that weight room though, you need to lift because these are men you’re wrestling now, not those little boys in high school anymore. You’ll like Coach Hawald, you’ll love your teammates and you’ll think practice is fun (sometimes). Most of the time it’s hard, but you forget how hard it is because you have goals that are so high. The work to get there will be worth it.

I know nobody from good ol’ Charles F. Brush High School is going to be a Purple Raider with you your freshman year, but more will come and it will be people you like. I don’t want to tell you because I want it to be a surprise.  And, don’t worry about not making friends, you’ll make plenty. Get to know your professors because they are good references and good friends. You can make it through college alone, but it is a lot easier and less stressful with connections.

So what I’m telling you in this letter is to stop stressing, college is worth it. You’ll be busy, and you’ll find everything you need.

Sincerely,

Your college sophomore self, Tyler.

P.S.  Say hi to that girl in your Asian Civilization class, you won’t regret it.

Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions

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What am I supposed to do?

I’ve been told my whole life that I should go to school and after school I should get a job. So, I’m at school and I’m dedicated to athletic training, but where am I going to get a job? I want to move out of my parents’ house and have a home of my own, but where am I going to go? How fast am I going to get a job after college? I’m still not sure what my minor is going to be. When I choose classes, I’m never really sure what my best options are either.

I chose to come to Mount Union right before I graduated, which was a little late for some people. I wasn’t immediately sure like some people, but I know I made a good decision. What about a job though? I’m not sure where I want to work. I can stay here in Ohio or I can move just about anywhere and find an athletic training job, but where do I want to go? Will my resume be competitive enough to get me a job? I can work at a high school or I can choose to work in the NFL or with any other professional leagues, but I’m not sure what I want to do.

My grandpa once told me “Life is like an ocean, swim with the current and go with the flow.” I think of this every time I’m not sure what to do.

Some people know exactly what they are doing, they have all of their classes planned for each semester until they graduate and they even know what graduate schools they want to go to and so on. They are so prepared that they make me feel as if I’m not prepared at all. In reality, I’m doing just fine. I have a general idea of what I want to do and I am about to be in my spring semester of my sophomore year, so I still have plenty of time to make decisions.

If you don’t know what you want to do, you’re not alone. Being at school is a good start, but you must figure out what you want to do or else you’re going to waste four years and a lot of your own money.

I have trouble choosing what I want to eat some days, but that is a decision that will only affect me for a short period of time. When it comes down to choosing a place to live, the job I want, maybe even the woman I’ll marry, I’m going to take my time and think about it. It isn’t something I want to take lightly since I’m going to stick with all of those things for quite some time.

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.

Halloween Work Out

Halloween Work Out

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www.hawaldwrestling.com
The video is of our work out.  Enjoy =D

Halloween is a time for trick-or-treating, not for wrestling. There is no break in wrestling, but there is time to joke around.  Every year the wrestling team has a Halloween work out. After a long and difficult hell week, we still have time to dress up and have a good time. But in all seriousness, we still got a good work out in too.

The practice consisted of pictures and being judged by the indoor track team. The categories we were judged in were overall best costume and best group costumes.

We then ran around campus and in all the academic buildings to show ourselves to Mount Union’s faculty and staff members to brighten their day. They definitely appreciated seeing everyone in ridiculous costumes. This year’s costumes consisted of Sasquatch, Wayne’s World, White Chicks, The Village People, marching band leader and a sexy female nurse. I was Jacob Black from Twilight, and even our coaches were a bunny and a black cat.

After all the judging and running, we eventually would run our way to Gulling and do a circuit lift. The baseball team was ending their work out in there and they just had to put a smile on their faces. Usually people would say this is just crazy, but everyone gets a good laugh out of it.

If you would like to see more pictures, check out the Purple Raider Wrestling page on Facebook.

What’s the purpose of this?  Our coach likes to have a good time just like any other person, but he takes things seriously too. We are trying to be the best. How can you be the best if you can’t laugh at yourself once in awhile? It’s a perfect balance and it shows that we can still be the best and have a good time.

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.

Seeing “Old” Friends

Seeing “Old” Friends

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Friends come and go. It’s the way life is.  The connections you make can last for a moment, a school year or even a lifetime.  You can go years without seeing a friend from high school and the next time you see them, it’s like you didn’t miss a beat and left off right where you were all those years ago.  Seeing friends from college is a little different since you’ve only known these people for a few months or a few years. But since you live with them, have class with them and see them around every day, it feels as if you grew up with them and it was meant to be.  I mean, we all chose the same school, right?

I have a friend from elementary school that moved to Florida in the sixth grade.  We never talked again until we were in high school.  My sophomore year in high school he was able to talk me into visiting him in Florida for a week.  I went the summer before my senior year and the year after that.  When I visited him and his family, there were obviously the “I missed you” hugs, but after that, it was as if we’ve seen each other every day.  We were able to talk and act as if we’ve seen each other every day although we haven’t seen each other in years.  This summer he moved to Los Angeles and I visited him with two of my friends that he never met before, and all of them immediately became best friends.  In the picture to the right is Ethan, Tyler (Me), Charbel and Tony.  Ethan and Charbel had never met Tony before this vacation, and now they are great friends. Friendship is able to travel far whether it is in distance or through time.

Today I saw someone I truly missed.  Her name is Caroline and she transferred after the first semester of our freshmen year.  She was easily one of my best friends during that time last year and when she transferred, it was sad seeing someone I wanted to know so much better just leave.  When I saw her today, I immediately was able to smell her large dose of perfume, which is something I weirdly missed, but it seemed as if I just saw her the other day.  I forgot I hadn’t seen her in nearly a year and I had so much to say but I just didn’t know what to say.  I was just caught up in the moment of seeing her.  I only knew her for a semester of college and I’m better friends with her than I am with some of my friends from high school.

For me and probably for everyone, friendships can begin so quickly and yet they feel like you’ve known them forever.  The point of this blog is to let everyone know that friendships can come and go, and some will never die.  I prefer to not let them get distant, although it does happen.  If you miss someone from home or even someone who transferred, give him or her a call, don’t text.  A call will truly say on its own that you wanted to talk and you want to stay in contact for a lot longer than just a few days.

Next Stop: UMU

Next Stop: UMU

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Let’s talk about that huge purple elephant in the room; getting ready to leave for college. You should be excited. Moving into this next stage of your life is going to be something that you remember for a very long time and hopefully you have a great time while you do it. As I prepare for my sophomore year at Mount Union, I was asked to do a video on what I might suggest the class of 2015 bring with them as freshman to campus. I realize that some of the things I talk about might not be applicable, but I tried to make broad enough suggestions and share some of my own tips that you will find something unique and helpful here. Be sure to watch the video and contact me if you have any questions.

Google Calendar
This is one of my favorite tools to use. I love Google Calendar because of how easy it is to quickly add anything you need to set a date to. What makes it even better is how accessible it is to people who don’t like getting on the computer, or don’t have smartphone. I originally started using Google Calendar via text message (text to GVENT) to keep track of things I got assigned in high school. It was very easy to get assignments and then quickly text them to the service, but the real value of Calendar is the alert system is sets up for you. Right now, I have it send me a text message 15 minutes before any event I add while I’m on the go. It also sends a daily schedule of my day to my email inbox at 5 a.m. each morning, as if I had a personal assistant dedicated to keeping track of the things I love to do.

Attire
As I mentioned in the video, you will want to bring a formal outfit of sorts for the various events you attend on campus. You don’t need to have a full wardrobe of ties and dress clothes, but a nice suit with jacket, for the guys, really goes a long way when making a first impression with the many faces you’ll be meeting this fall.

Lifestyle
Along with my recommendation of bringing foam earbuds to help you get a good night sleep, I would also encourage you to get shower supplies that either can hang on a bathroom hook, where you can place your towel, or have a suction back so you can stick them to the wall of the shower. The showers at Mount Union are nice, but they aren’t the most spacious ones you’ll ever use. Being able to not worry about your things falling off of the shallow ledges is something you will appreciate as the semester goes on. Leaving for college is definitely going to be something that many of you will have a hard time adjusting to for the first couple of weeks on campus. It’s a big lifestyle change, but if you give it time, it does get easier. If you have any specific questions that you would like to ask me, or just want to know a familiar face when you come in the fall, feel free to send me an email at dregerkq@mountunion.edu. I check my email quite frequently, so I’ll most definitely get your message well before we move in later this month.

Welcome to the Family

Welcome to the Family

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Hello everyone!

Preview sessions one and two went great last week! This was my first time being a preview guide and I had the best time! It was great to meet so many new smiling faces of excited freshmen and their parents! I have to say that my fellow preview guides and coordinators, did a great job of making all of the freshmen feel welcomed into the Mount Union community. With the help of Kate Carnell and Jesse Douglas, preview went smoothly without any problems.

While at preview, we took some short interviews of parents and students as they were awaiting the start of their preview experience and also during preview itself. In the video attached to my blog, Mrs. Bondra, wife of alumnus James Bondra, mother of alumnus Christopher Bondra and current senior and preview guide, Carolyn Bondra, states that what she loves the most about Mount Union is the great family atmosphere. This is exactly what we strive to show the incoming students and their families at preview! Mount Union is truly one of the best universities out there and the preview and orientation staff could not be more excited to welcome all of the new freshmen and their families to the Mount Union family!

Go Raiders!

-Alexa

A Year After

A Year After

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Remember your preview for freshman orientation? So do I. It only happened a year ago, but it was very much a turning point from a high school mentality to one of college. We set up our first schedule, took tests in both foreign language and math and got a chance to socialize with our classmates. Good times. Times which I got to revisit recently, even though I’m not a preview guide.

My brother just got back from his preview yesterday and was filling me in on all the details of the two days. Once again, the preview guides were stellar. They really do a great job of creating an environment that allows time for both structured activities and relax time to get accustomed to the campus.

As my brother was telling me about how preview had gone, I was thinking about how much I’m looking forward to returning to Mount this fall. It feels, and I’m sure many from my class can attest to this, that we have it all “figured” out. We know the campus, we know the professors in our departments and we know the daily lifestyle. I’m excited. It means more time enjoying the experience and less time trying to remember where classes are and settling in to a routine. These were all fun things to go through as a freshman, but it’s nice that each year spent at Mount will offer up something new.

Any incoming freshman read this blog? Feel free to ping me in the comments or on Twitter (@kyledreger) and we can get together. You’ll be making lots of friends over these next few weeks so keep an open mind and be outgoing. You’re going to love it here.

 

Family Ties

Family Ties

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Although it seems just like yesterday that I was receiving bags of massively-produced mail for various colleges, I am quickly closing in on the end of my freshman year. Like some students, however, I have a younger sibling who is currently a senior in high school; giving me the opportunity to experience that first year all over again. My younger brother, Nathan, has already ranked Mount Union as the top place he would like to attend, but I have to give credit to Mount for the latest piece of mail he received.

mount union t-shirt

Now while this will undoubtedly be a contested piece of apparel, and will “accidentally” find its way into my bag come the end of spring break, I can’t help but reminisce to my first piece of official Raider gear and how happy I was to be sporting the new colors. It is a great feeling to be identifying yourself with your future school. I look forward to meeting many of the purple-clad incoming 2015 class. But until that happens this coming fall, I would like to extend a personal “thank you” to the Office of Admission for my new shirt – I love it.