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Why Every College Student Should Blog

When you think “blog”, what do you think of? Some may think of Perez Hilton, some may think of angry computer nerds typing out their inner feelings from their parent’s basement, and some may even think of this RCC blog. Regardless of what comes to your mind, here are a few good reasons why college students ESPECIALLY should use the “art” of blogging.

1)The First Amendment

We all know we have a right to free speech, but how often do we use it to its full potential? Although we have the right to say whatever we want (in a public domain, of course), it’s not like all of us are parading through the streets proclaiming our beliefs and ideas for all to hear.

Consider your blog to be your virtual “street”- or open field, or mountain, or pedestal… or WHATEVER you want. Keeping a blog will give you the opportunity to express your ideas and opinions FULLY without worrying about what other people think.

For example, I’ve been keeping a blog for almost two and half years now, and it helped me to give my opinions about social, political, and other news-worthy issues. I enjoyed using the freedom of the internet and the informal atmosphere of a blog because I knew that, unlike a face-to-face conversation, no one could interrupt me or mock me while I spoke my mind. I felt like I had control over the virtual “floor,” and because of this, decided to name my blog “Shh! Heidi has the floor right now!”

2) Comments, Criticism, and Compliments

Wow, I didn’t even mean to do another “3 C’s,” but one major part of the blogging process is recieving feedback from people all over the world. For example, I’ve been able to connect with people in my town, people from BSC, and even people from as far away as Norway, Korea, and Israel. Getting feedback from such a wide variety of people will help you to see situations from another person’s point-of-view.

Just beware that not all feedback is nice, sensitive, constructive criticism. As a matter of fact, “nice” feedback is a very rare occasion. As we all know, the internet allows complete anonymity, meaning that ANYONE can pretend to be someone and write whatever they want while hiding behind a computer screen. Because of this, bloggers are often “flamed.” The act of “flaming” is when a person posts rude or vulgar feedback to a blog post and offers no constructive criticism.

Regardless of what you choose to write about in your blog, you will be subject to all these kinds of feedback which also gives you the right to go compliment or “flame” any one of the billions of internet blogs.

One of the best uses of feedback I’ve seen is actually right here on the RCC blog. Initially, this place is designed as a “discussion” board where students can share their ideas and try to relate to each other, so don’t forget to post a comment when you’re done reading!

3) You can get PAID for this stuff?

Why yes, yes you can. Sure, it’s not much (actually, it’s not anything unless you’re getting major traffic to your blog), but for a college student, anything helps.

Some blogging sites (such as Google’s Blogger) let users post sponsored ads on their blogs. Depending on how much traffic the site gets and how many times visitors click on the ad links, the owner of the blog will get paid. Unfortunately, unless you’re getting 20 million hits a day like Perez Hilton, your chances of making more than $1 every month are slim to none, but some bloggers (such as myself) independently sell advertising space on their blogs to local friends and businesses.

Starting a blog as a college student is a great idea. It gives you an opportunity to publish your thoughts in a free, public forum for anyone to read and give feedback on. And with possible financial gain (not to mention that internet fame is easier to achieve than it has ever been in history), what reason do people have NOT to blog?

Write about your home life, your job, your memories, your opinions, and even your experience here at Bridgewater State! Advertise it through Facebook and Twitter and encourage your friends to join in as well.

So how about you?  Do you have your own blog?  Why or why not?

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Stickin’ It to The Man, or At Least Trying To

I must have heard the phrases “get involved” and “network” three hundred times at my Orientation. I heard it so much that it totally shut me off to the idea of getting  “involved,” and I was worried that I would end up a slave to whatever group I was in like my Orientation leaders. I over-involved myself in high school, and I was so burnt out that  I was not about to jump head first into more meetings, committees and arguments over club funding.  Leaving my Orientation session, I made the decision that I wasn’t going to involve myself at all just to stick it to the “OSIL (Office of Student Involvement & Leadership) man.” However, my one-woman protest didn’t last very long….

I got up early one morning in July to check my email. The first thing in my inbox was an email explaining the new “Portfolios of Excellence” mentoring program that was to be offered to first year freshman. What struck me was the name. The term ‘excellence’ connotated that some feeling of success was to come from being part of this group. I also figured that it would be a good idea to have a mentor since I was new to the whole college thing, and was a little nervous about starting the semester two months later. I applied online via BSC’s Involvement Network, and was accepted. Right there, I knew my one woman protest was over. I gave into the man before school even started. When September came around we had a POE Opening Get-Together where we would meet our mentors and the other students in our group. I was pleased with my faculty mentor, she was a professor in the Social Work department and was pretty helpful during my first couple of weeks of school. For the time being, I was pretty content being involved in just one club. I made a new promise to myself that it would be the only club I would join. At least that was the promise I made to myself until the Fall Honors Program dinner in September…

Organization PictureI was faring pretty well in my quest to only involve myself in one club. Later in September, I went to the Fall Honors Program dinner. At this point, I didn’t really know anyone, so I sat at a table of complete strangers. The six of us made small talk. In conversation, one girl mentioned that she was the secretary of the Social Justice League on campus. When I hear that I almost spit my mashed potatoes out on the table. I couldn’t believe that there was a group on campus that actually appealed to my interests. I have always been passionate about socially conscious issues, but coming from the Conservative heartland of Massachusetts, I was always alone in my quest to help the homeless or bring fair trade bananas to my High School. I could feel the promise I made to myself about not getting involved slipping away quickly. While we were in line at the ice cream bar, I asked the girl how I go about joining SJL. She was really excited at the prospect of a new member; as soon as we returned to the table she took my email and put me on the mailing. I attended my first meeting that following Friday, and haven’t looked back since. The kids in that group are some of the most passionate and hardworking kids on campus, and I’m glad to be involved in an organization that has such a presence on campus. Joining SJL made realize that getting involved isn’t so bad, in fact, it’s the easier way to meet new people, make friends and network. I was no longer angry at that thought of involvement, and I wanted to find new ways to further involve myself in the BSC campus community.

As you may recall in my last post, I talked about my involvement in the Leadership Institute. That program truly helped me hone my leadership skills, and connect with some great people. I am here writing these blogs for you because of the power of networking. I would’ve never met my boss, Ed if I hadn’t met Beth through the Leadership Institute first. My lousy attempt at “stickin’ it to the man” taught me that involvement is a good thing and reinforced the idea that college is what YOU put into it. With my experiences working with POE, SJL, and the Leadership Institute, I’m not about ready to turn my back on getting involved anytime soon. I actually can’t get enough of it, and I’m really excited to see where my work with SJL and POE take me.

Sometimes we enter new things with negative attitudes and fixed ideas, as I did with the views on getting involved. My poor attempt at trying to fight the “man” before I even met the “man” failed me miserably because I had the wrong idea about it. Getting involved really is a good thing, and your Orientation leaders ARE NOT lying to you or not being genuine when they say how much they love the groups they are associated with.

How about you? What organizations are you involved in, if any? What were your apprehensions about getting involved on campus?

Here is a great story about Tent City, in cased you missed it, from The Enterprise in Brockton:

http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/education/x1659502023/Bridgewater-State-students-kick-off-Tent-City-to-raise-awareness-of-homelessness

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Top Ten Guilty Pleasures for College Students

What is a Guilty Pleasure?

Well, I’m glad you asked…

Guilty Pleasure is:

  1. “Keeping a secret collection of ABBA or The Carpenters and listening to their albums when no one else is around.”
  2. “A Guilty Pleasure is defined as something that would ruin us if our friends knew about it.”
  3. “Something pleasurable that usually induces a minor feeling of guilt.”
  4. “Something that you like but don’t want others to know about.”

Everyone has their own guilty pleasures to help them make it through the day, whether it is checking Perezhilton.com constantly to see if Jon and Kate are getting back together (they’re not), or watching Jersey Shore just to know your life is more than a fist pump and lots of gel.

College students in particular have some interesting guilty pleasures, here are a few that I found to be some of the highest rated across college campuses.

10.You Tube: During those long sleepless nights, while searching for some new music (or jamming to Replay,) YouTube has entered most college students lives at some point or another. But among those videos that actually have music, are the ones that probably should not be that funny…ie. example 1 and example 2. On top of the guilt that you obviously feel after laughing at those videos, there is also the guilt that your 8 page paper due tomorrow still haven’t been touched.

9. Twilight (the sparkly vampire and over grown dog book): For most of the female population on campuses across…well the world…they are still waiting for their vampire in a shinny Volvo to come and rescue them from the normalcy of their lives. The reason this is a guilty pleasure– most won’t admit to being in love with Mr. Edward Cullen and instead pretend to hate it, even though they are crawling under their skin wanting to defend why Edward is the best boyfriend ever. Even though we all know Jacob is way hotter.

8. American Idol Auditions: Although this is only a short part in the regular scheduled T.V. part of our lives, it is a very important one. American idol has been on for about eight years now, and although most wines get better with age…with this one maybe the saying isn’t so true, except for the auditions. Yes, we all sit there for the first 3-4 weeks watching all the horrible hopefuls be shot down. The guilt that comes from this is more from the fact that you are laughing at these hopefuls while they are singing their hearts out, remember that next time.

7. ABC family original TV series or movies: You know you watch the Secret Life of The American Teenager, but refuse to admit it or mention last Monday’s amazing episode (when Ricky and Amy made out!) that is until it is brought up by someone else, so you know it’s safe. And you know you watch the bring it on all weekend long a-thon every time it’s on. Total guilty pleasure.

6. Sweatpants: In college it is a students right to wear sweat pants to every class in order to achieve that just out of bed look. But the problem guilt starts hitting you when you realize you haven’t washed said pants in a week and have worn them for four days straight. But no one else needs to know that your comfy sweat pants are also your dirtiest…that’s just our little secret.

5. 80’s/ 90’s bubble gum pop music: Don’t tell me you have never rocked out to “love is a battlefield”, or any thing circa Paula Abdul (80’s)…we’ve all been there. But it’s just not the music genre that comes up when we meet new friends or are listing our favorite musicians on Facebook. Don’t feel like you need to hide  your old Brittney Spears song in a private play list on your iPod, everyone else has her music on their computers too.

4. “Creeping” on Facebook: Also known as stalking in the real world. This usually occurs when there is some sort of homework you have due in  about 7 plus hours and can’t seem to focus. So you start to click away on friends of friends profiles going through their pictures, and after an hour of that you realize you are on your cousins best friend’s sister’s roommate’s page and just learned that she get’s a little crazy after 7 jello shots. Then instead of clicking out of the page you see what her boyfriend looks like.

3. Trashy Reality T.V: These are shows like the bachelor, Real World (clearly), biggest loser, american idol,rock of love, rock of love 2 …well basically any VH1 show. Anyway, Trashy reality t.v. is the perfect way for any college student to unwind. It not only takes you away from your current situation but allows you to see how other people your age live, and why you should be happy that your life is nothing like theirs.

2. Sleeping until noon: In college one of the greatest guilty pleasures of all students is the ability to sleep in late. Because of the flexibility within one’s schedule it is possible to start classes at 1:30pm…which ensures a later wake up time. It doesn’t help that most college aged students are staying up late (working on essay’s, and math home work of course,) making it  likely they won’t be able to fully speak until, at the earliest, noon.

1. Ice Coffee: At least at BSC, ice coffee is a total guilty pleasure. Even though you only have 20 dollars on your flex card (which is to buy that book for that one class) you know it’s going toward your weekly coffee intake. Whether that be Marylous or Dunkin, you know by that first class it will be in your hand.

One of the common factors that makes most, if not all, of these a guilty pleasure for college students is the hours not spent on the home work that will now take us until 3am to finish. And the obvious money spending factor.

[insert gossip girl voice] so, what’s your guilty pleasure?

Definition Credits:
1.http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=guilty+pleasure 2.http://themuddymoose.blogspot.com/2009/05/guilty-pleasureshmmm.html 3.http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/guilty+pleasure 4.http://www.definition-of.com/guilty+pleasure
photo credits:
1. http://lifeinthenhs.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/facebook.jpg 2.http://stevekokx.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/alg_jersey_shore_mtv.jpg                                                           3.http://patriciastamps.typepad.com/.a/6a010534b60c52970c01156f3ad259970c-800wi

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How to Find the Best Roommate Ever!

Punxsutawney Phil may have seen his shadow recently giving us six more weeks of winter, but like it or not, spring is in the air.  That’s right folks, it’s that time of year when everyone is pairing off and trying to find “the one”.  And I don’t mean for Valentine’s Day.  I’m talking about finding a roommate for next year.

There are many ways a Bridgewater student may go about choosing a potential roomie.  Naturally, it has to be someone you get along with and someone you wouldn’t mind spending the next seven months of your life in the same small room with.  Maybe you choose your best friend from back home, a classmate you really hit it off with, or your closest teammate.  Of course, if you can’t find anyone or feel like everyone’s paired off without you, there’s always the option of having the college match you up with a random stranger.  Each scenario has its share of ups, downs, good, and bad.

That’s why this week, I’m here to help BSC students pick the perfect roommate for next year.  I’m going to share real BSC roommate horror and success stories that I’ve heard around the dorms to help you guys know what to expect.  The tips here are for everyone from incoming freshmen to returning upperclassmen, to help you find your residence hall soulmate.

  • tip #1:  Communication is key! Nothing is worse than a long, stressful day of classes, when all you want to is get back to your room, curl up in a ball, and take a nap. But then when you walk in the door, your roommate is in the middle of a workout.  Or blasting music.  Or has all their friends over to watch a movie.  Obviously, you want to let your roomie do their thing (it is their space too, afterall!), but it interferes with the stuff you want to do.  If this is the case, shoot them a text telling them you’d like a little R&R when you get back, rather than throwing a fit and kicking all of their friends out, and they should be fine with it.
  • tip #2:  Sexile…don’t let it happen to you! Another annoying situation that seems to be pretty common in the BSC residence halls is the college phenomenon know as “sexiling”.  For thoes of you not in the know, to be sexiled is when your roommate has a person they’re hooking up with in the room, so you can’t go in.  If you’re going to sexile your roommate, or vice-versa, here’s the proper protocol:  Lock the door: I know way to many people who have been scarred for life by walking in on their roomies getting it on.  Devise a signal: Anything from the old standby of a sock on the door, to leaving a message on your whiteboard will do, so long as your roommate knows not to come in.  Have a place to go: This part is very important.  You need somewhere you can chill out while you wait like the library or a good friend’s room.
  • tip #3:  Know their sleeping habits!! This may just be the most important piece of advice I can give you.  If you and your roomie like to sleep in completely different conditions, no one–and I mean no one– in that room is going to be happy.  Because sleep is so important, you’re either going to have to decide on a happy medium or find someone you know that shares the same habits as you.  This means bed times, whether or not you like to sleep in, temperature in the room, whether you need music or a fan to get to sleep, keeping the TV on etc…
  • tip #4:  Synchronize schedules! Say your roommate has an 8AM class on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, but you don’t have class until 11.  This could cause major problems.  If your roommate has to get up way before you, it’s inevitable that you’re going to be woken up by the sound of them getting ready, even if they’re trying their hardest to be quiet.  For example, two days a week my roommate and I both have 11AM classes, so we wake up at the same time to get ready.
  • tip #5:  Divide the chores! No one wants to live in a messy room.  But at the same time, no one person wants to be doing all the work to keep the room clean, either.  Make sure you and your roomie talk so you know who likes to do what chores.  For example, one can Swiffer while the other vacuums.  Or one can dust the TV and windowsills while the other takes out the trash.  This also goes for smelly stuff like food and socks.  Chances are if you find the smell unpleasant, so does everyone else!  So, say you have a half eaten pizza with garlic and onions, put it in the fridge!  On that same note, in a small space like a dorm room, Febreze is your best friend!!!

In short, you want a good roommate, because so much of your college experience depends on them.  I, for one, lucked out this year and have an awesome roomie that I love!  But yes, even I am on the hunt for a new roomie because mine is moving in with other people next fall.  Looks like I’ll have to take some of my own advice while on my search.

What about you?  Do you have any tips on how to be an awesome roommate? Do you have any funny or horrific roommate stories? Any cool ways you found yours?  I met mine on a campus tour!  Share your experience in a comment below!

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Campus Center Contest

We are so excited about the launch of our new blog!  To help us spread the word that our blog is up and live, we are running a week long contest to see how many times our posts on Twitter and Facebook can be shared.

There will be four $50 gift cards (Papa Ginos, Chatta Box, The 99 Restaurant, and Visa Gift Card) given away on Tuesday, February 16th.

Here is how to play:

Time Frame: Monday, February 8th through Friday, February 12th

Guidelines:
Every time you do any of the following:

– “LIKE” a Facebook Status Update from the BSC Campus Center Fan Page
– “Comment” on a Facebook Status Update from the BSC Campus Center Fan Page (One time, per Status, per day)
– “Mention” the BSC Campus Center Fan Page in your Facebook Status Update (One time, per day)
– “Comment” on any of the current blog posts on the Campus Center Blog (One time, per blog post)
– “Retweet” any of the Tweets from the BSC Campus Center Twitter account (One time, per tweet, per day)
– “Mention” the BSC Campus Center in a Tweet (One time, per tweet, per day)
– Use the Hashtags “#BSClife” and “#RCCBlog” in a Tweet (One time, per tweet, per day)
– Register your email on the Blog to receive email updates
– Follow the BSC Campus Center Twitter account (if you already are, you’re good to go!)

… your name is entered one time into the drawing, which will be held on Tuesday morning, February 16th at 10:00am.

This contest is for BSC Students ONLY! Good luck and thanks, in advance, for playing!

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How to Succeed in College: A College Students How to Guide for Your Freshman Year and Then Some

So you just got accepted into college…now what?

After all of the goodbye hugs, congratulations, and prom festivities die down, you then turn your attention to a letter that promises you a world of possibilities.

This one letter has helped you choose a path that has begun your map of the next four years.  Within a couple of months you will be on your way to college with your car packed up and ready to move in.

There are two scary parts of this next step, making new friends…and the dreaded first day of school. Don’t worry about making new friends; everyone else is in the same boat, as long as your nice you are sure to make friends. Now the first day of school…your first class will of course be the most nerve wracking…this is your very first impression of college academics after all.

Now not to scare you off but there are some major differences between high school academics and college…here are a few:

  • In high school one of the things that is usually seen in classrooms is disruptive behavior, and then teachers obviously correcting it…in college you really don’t see any of that, you’re expected to take responsibility for your actions. If you don’t want to be there…then you don’t have to go
  • In high school, teachers give you detail steps of reading assignments and then go over every detail you should have noted…in college, professors hope that you’ve already gained the experience of knowing how to pick out the important facts while reading. They may go over it…but they won’t tell you directly what to write, you have to figure it out for yourself.
  • High school lessons are usually parroted back to the teacher in the way they were taught, while in college the skills you are taught are applied to new situations or to solve different problems.
  • Although in high school you do get grades based on your work, a good percentage of it is based on the effort and/or improvement you have made within the class, in college (for most professors) it is merely based on results.
  • In high school you have the limited ability to pick classes, they are lined out for you and the times you have to take them are pretty much set. In college you can take anything you want from pottery to psychology of personality. The sky is the limit.  And within college you can take a class at what ever time you want to…if you want your days to end at 11:30 they can, or if you are a late riser have them start at 12:00. Whatever time you thrive at, that’s when your classes can be.

Here is a complete chart of some more differences.

https://i0.wp.com/www.studentloaninfo.org/blog/wp-content/themes/SLB_new/images/graduating_students.jpg

Another thing a lot of freshmen have to deal with is adjusting to the difference in academics as well as the life style of college. I really didn’t have a problem adjusting to the difference between high school and college; I took a lot of honors courses and never relied on teachers to give me every bit of detail. I think the toughest part for me was knowing how to manage my time between classes.My first semester I ended up with a lot of breaks before and after classes, and I wasn’t really sure what to do with them; I slowly learned the advantage bigger breaks give you, such as having more time to get that essay that is due by 4 finished before your second class.

Here are some tips to get you out the door:

I was fortunate enough to have befriended upperclassmen my first year, they taught me which professors to avoid, how I should be spending my critical down time and helped me wipe that newbie look right off my face. Hopefully I will be able to do the same for you:

  • Never buy your books before your first class, unless your professor insists on it.
  • Be the one to always raise your hand, sit in the front, and ask questions…you will get the A’s
  • Don’t go too fast, you may burn out before the year is done
  • Don’t be afraid to withdraw from a class…it may help you in the end
  • Take two weeks before you dive into other activities, it’s important you can handle your classes before you start saving the world
  • Take fun classes ex. Piano, Ballroom, Aerobics, Bad mitten. Etc They will help you to wind down after a stressful day.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to your professor, it will benefit you.
  • Be friendly with the people in your dorm, these will be your peers for the next four years
  • There are many places to study, make sure to find a nice quiet one, disconnect from the Internet (Facebook will distract you more than you think), and start to study. All of the hours you put in will pay off when you have a nice 4.0 at the end of the semester.
  • A planner, or online event calendar will help you schedule all your essays, test and quizzes…and of course social life activities too!
  • Don’t forget to enjoy college, live it up…the next four years will be some of the best years of your life.

Every college experience is different; I just hope I’ve provided you with some information to help make your first day less scary.

photo credit 1, photo credit 2, photo credit 3

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