Author Archives: heidifaith0

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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Filed under Advice, Opinion

Commuter Life: The 3 C’s

Commuters. They’re the people who drive slowly behind you while you walk through the Great Hill lot on your way to Moakely, hoping you’re walking back to your car so that they can take your parking space. They’re the people who walk around campus carrying multiple bags and an extra large Dunkin’ Donuts cup. They’re the people that get all the names of the residential buildings mixed up. They’re the people that make up most of this school’s population.

I happen to be one of these people and after commuting to Bridgewater for a little over the semester now, I have learned what I like to call the 3 C’s of commuter life: car, coffee, and career.

CAR

Transportation is essential to a BSC commuter. Whether it be by car, train, your friend’s car, or simply your own two feet, getting too and from Bridgewater is easily one of the biggest issues on campus. This section is mainly for the majority of students who drive their own cars to school. I don’t know if I’m the only person that’s realized this, but why are all the commuter lots in the most inconvenient and hard-go-get-to places?

First off, we have the Lower Great Hill lot (East campus) across the street from Crimson. This is a purely pedestrian-run parking lot, so unless you want to wait for 45 minutes while students non-chalantly walk to class not recognizing how much gas you’re wasting just sitting there, you should try to arrive/leave this lot about 20 minutes prior to a class block ending.

Then there’s the Spring Street lot: the closest commuters can get to West campus without paying for the Boyden lot parking pass (an extra $120 per semester). There’s a bus that runs through this lot pretty frequently, but don’t count on it stopping to let you on. I lost track of how many times it drove away while I was 20 feet from the door walking towards it. As you walk towards West campus from this lot, you have to cross a pretty awkward crosswalk that’s complete with rope fences and multiple signs telling you that you better use the crosswalk… or ELSE. Regardless, most people like to work some fun risks into their day and J-walk this busy road.

And of course, there’s my personal favorite lot: the Burnell (not the staff-only, but the student one). Since it’s the smallest commuter lot on campus, but located in the only spot that doesn’t require you to hike up a mountain for 10 minutes before making it to a class, getting a spot is competitive serious business. Beware of the blind spots and remember to keep a hand on your blinker. If you see an open spot and you’re within 20 feet of it, flash your blinker to ward off the other student drivers. Heck, I’ve even see carpoolers send one of their passengers out to stand in a spot in order to save it.

COFFEE

Call me crazy, but I don’t have a mealplan and I have never once eaten in a BSC cafeteria. I have nothing against the cafeterias and I’ve heard that the food is quite good, but as a commuter, it’s hard to find time between classes, homework, and my part-time job to enjoy a meal on campus. Plus, trying to meet up with both resident and commuter friends for lunch is nearly impossible since everyone is on a different schedule. This “coffee” not only refers to the bold, blended bean drink, but all forms of refreshment for commuters on the go.

So where/when do I eat? Unfortunately, whatever is on the way… which is usually a mixture of stuff packed from home, drive-thrus, and convenience stores. If you happen to take a ride down Spring Street and onto Route 18, you’ll notice that you are bombarded with every fast food chain known to man. This is not a good thing, and if you don’t gain your “freshman 15” in the school cafe, you’ll do it here. I’m not innocent, unfortunately. Apart from the unhealthy side of this, it also tends to burn a hole in your wallet.

CAREER

Even though the economy is a little shabby right now, a good percentage of commuters and residents alike have part time jobs. The only difference is that commuters jobs are often longer hours in harder-to-get-to places. For example, my commute is about 45-minutes to an hour one-way. My job is in my hometown, so in order to take classes, participate in campus life AND work 20 hours per week, I have to make a really busy, complicated schedule.

Commuters are forced to pick up 8am classes and night classes (which randomly cost $800 more, by the way) just so they can fit in a few hours of work. It’s hard, but we manage.

It’s kind of funny how there’s always that ONE commuter in one of your classes who hands in everything late simply because he/she “had to work last night.” Come on, you know who I’m talking about.

SO, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

The truth is, none of these “issues” are life-threatening, and being given the option to commute is privilege, but since BSC IS mainly a commuter school, it only makes sense that steps could be made to help eliminate these issues. For example, in terms of parking, perhaps it’s time to switch around some of the signs- open up some normally-almost-empty faculty lots to commuters, maybe tell the buses to slow down a bit, and how about hiring some crossing guards to put at crosswalks during passing times? Food issue? Well, the “fast food circuit” is just something commuters will have to overcome on their own. Job scheduling problems? I suggest commuters should have first dibs on picking a few class slots- especially commuters who work 20+ hours per week. Also, I understand that night classes cost more because less professors and faculty are here after dark, but… $800? Seriously?

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Filed under Prospective