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.

What Christmas Is All About

What Christmas Is All About

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As the Christmas season rolls in and the countdown to the holiday’s final arrival is slimming, it’s important to take a step back and realize just what this holiday is about. Over the years, and especially now in today’s world, the holiday of Christmas has become more about material things … getting gifts, after gifts, after gifts and fulfilling almost every want on your Christmas list that has been building since August. It seems that this holiday is about buying and ultimately, spending money. The media has made Christmas into a holiday that revolves around materialistic wants and wishes. People spend hours shopping for the perfect gift for each individual on their list and spend way more money than is needed. People then receive gifts that are more of a want than a necessity and are things that will be worn every now and then or played with once or twice, never to be touched again. But in reality, this newly-made materialistic holiday is not what Christmas is about.

Christmas, yes is a holiday of giving, but not in the way that the media presents. The type of giving it entails is the giving of time and help to others, focusing more on helping others than you and spreading kindness. Christmas is about helping those less fortunate and less well off in order to provide them with a better holiday season. Many people in the Alliance community and even around the world cannot afford to have an extravagant Christmas, as some cannot even afford food or daily necessities needed to survive. Some cannot afford more than a few presents if any for Christmas. So during the holiday season, it’s important to give to these people rather than giving all to yourself, as they need things more than you do. It’s important to help make everyone have a wonderful Christmas. The true meaning of Christmas should never be forgotten and it definitely is not here at the University of Mount Union as many organizations on campus are doing their part this holiday season.

For example, my sorority, Delta Sigma Tau, supports the Alliance for Children and Families as one of its philanthropies. The Alliance for Children and Families is an organization that is committed to helping children, individuals and families lead lives of stability, self-sufficiency and enhancement. ACF provides a shelter for the homeless and assists in helping people obtain housing that may have trouble doing so. This Christmas season, we are conducting a toy drive and raising money in hopes of providing a better Christmas for the children and families that live at the shelter. Many children at the shelter do not know Christmas like you and I do. The children at this shelter receive items such as shampoo, conditioner and other daily necessities as their Christmas presents, and they are ecstatic! They are full of joy and happiness by just receiving these items as presents. They have no idea what it is like to actually receive a toy or some type of play item as a present. Our goal as a sorority is to give the children a much better Christmas and provide them with the feeling of what it’s like to receive a fun present. They deserve to experience a wonderful Christmas.

Additionally, the Mount Union Honors Program and Honors Council spent time making Christmas cards for geriatric patients. Many patients at local hospitals and nursing homes do not receive holiday cards or even visits from family members during the holiday season, so receiving a card wishing them a warm and wonderful holiday shows that someone cares. It shows that someone is thinking of them somewhere. These cards brighten the holiday season for the patients and bring a smile to their faces that may not have been present in a long time.

Both of these examples spread the true meaning of Christmas. So I challenge you to sacrifice a few hours of holiday gift shopping and involve yourself in some activity such as these, as these are the types of activities that everyone should try to take part in this holiday season. And you do not even have to do something this big. You can do something on a much smaller scale such as simply baking holiday cookies for an elderly neighbor or volunteering to wrap gifts at a local mall. You can even pick up a gift for someone who needs it most while out doing your holiday shopping or just wishing someone a “happy holidays.” If more people took part in activities such as these this holiday season, no matter how big or small, imagine how many people would experience a better Christmas, how many more smiles would exist and how much better of a place this world would be to live in.

The video that goes along with this blog is just another way to help someone out and it truly displays the true meaning of Christmas. I know you will enjoy it, so please watch it!

I hope you find some way that you can spread the true meaning of Christmas this holiday season.

“The Haunted House on the Hill”

“The Haunted House on the Hill”

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Halloween brings about the words scary, candy, trick or treating, costumes, ghosts, witches and pumpkins.  However, on Mount Union’s campus Halloween also brings about the words St. Jude, helping others, service, raising money, and giving. This year, the Delta Sigma Tau sorority and the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity joined together to spend their Halloween weekend in a much different way than most people do. Instead of dressing up in costumes and spending time with friends, they found a way to make a difference. The sisters of Delta Sigma Tau and the brothers of Alpha Tau Omega put together a haunted house to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital seeks to advance the treatment and prevention of cancer and catastrophic diseases in children.

The sisters and brothers put weeks of preparation into this event, which was known as “The Haunted House on the Hill.” The Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house, which is located on the Mount Union campus next to Bracy Hall and across from the Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center (the library), was transformed into a haunted house. Friday and most of Saturday, was spent decorating the house, setting up each haunted room and getting all aspects of the haunted house ready for business.

Following the set up, the house appeared as if it was a real haunted house that many people go to each year during the Halloween season. It took about five minutes to go through the whole house and in my opinion was scary! I know I screamed many times when I went through it! The haunted house was open to the community on both Saturday and Sunday night from 6-9 p.m. The admission fee was $3 and there was also a refreshment table featuring assorted cookies, cider and hot chocolate. Donations also were accepted, and over the course of the two nights $579.78 was raised for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

This truly was a remarkable event that raised a good amount of money for a great cause. The sisters of Delta Sigma Tau and the brothers of Alpha Tau Omega made a difference during their Halloween weekend!

Join A Cause

Join A Cause

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The University of Mount Union is a unique campus. It strives do all it can do to support other people and organizations. The University holds many on campus events as well as attends outside events, and over the years, the campus has raised a significant amount of money for different groups and organizations.

One event special to Mount Union is the annual Relay for Life event, which raises money for cancer awareness. Many students, faculty, staff and community members come out to relay for the cause. This event occurs over a two-day span as people stay up an entire night to walk and raise money. Mount Union also holds it’s annual Up ’til Dawn event, which raises money to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Each year, there is a letter writing competition in the fall where letters are written to friends, family members and neighbors in hopes of receiving donations. In the spring, there is a party where the total amount raised is announced. Additionally, annually Mount Union sponsors an event called Take Back the Night, which raises awareness about domestic violence. Each year a speaker comes to campus and presents a firsthand account of a domestic violence situation and educates people on this matter. After the speaker, there is a candle light walk around campus.

Those are just a few of the large events that occur on campus, but there are also many smaller ones. Mount Union participates in many local walks such as the walk for Breast Cancer, Autism, Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. The Breast Cancer walk actually occurred this past Sunday at McKinley High School in Canton, which I attended along with many other Purple Raiders. It was a wonderful feeling knowing that the 3.2 miles we walked were for a cause and for someone fighting Breast Cancer today. Different organizations also hold many events and fundraisers in support of projects and groups they are part of such as the group Raider Relief and the co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega.

No matter what, at Mount Union, there is always a cause to join, a way to make a difference and a way to help fight.

Stay tuned as there will be more blogs to come about each of these events as well as many more!

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!