Category Archives: Opinion

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

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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5 Reasons Why Twitter is Perfect for the Busy College Student

I’ll admit it, like a lot of college students, I probably spend a lot more time than I should on the Internet.  Between Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogs, and e-mail, surfing the web takes up a lot of my time.  These things have revolutionized the way we communicate with each other, and I think that’s what the appeal is.  However, the service I love the most on the internet is Twitter.  A lot of people don’t give it the credit it deserves, but I think that it is the perfect way to send and receive information quickly and efficiently.  Some dismiss it as a glorified place to post Facebook-style status updates, but it’s a great way to stay connected to the rest of the world.

I also have my own blog, but I only update it sporadically or when I think of it.  Short updates like on Twitter are way easier for me to keep up with.  Now that I’m writing for the Campus Center Blog, I hope that it will help me in my own bad updating habits.  But for now, I think Twitter is the perfect social media agent for the lazy college student, like me. Here’s five reasons why:

1. It helps my family know what I’m up to. Especially now that I’ve gone away to college, my family likes to know what I’m up to.  I try to update my twitter at least once a day about something I’m doing or have been thinking about.  This way, it helps my mom know what I’m up to without having to call her every day.  The great thing is, people don’t have to create accounts to see my tweets; so, all my techno-phobe relatives have to do is google me, and they get my last few Twitter updates.

2. It’s a great news source! When I’m here at BSC, I feel like I live in a college “bubble”.  I never wake up early enough to watch the news in the morning, and when it’s on in the evening I’m always either doing homework, at a meeting, or hanging out with my friends.  This means that I have to put in serious effort if I want to keep up with what’s going on in the outside world.  Twitter makes following the news beyond easy.  Right in my stream of accounts I follow, I get updates from CNN, The Boston Globe, and Perez Hilton.  Because Twitter only allows you to post a maximum of 140 characters, all I have to do is read the headlines they post, and if I’m interested, I click on the links they provide and skim through the news articles.  It’s that easy.

3. Ever wonder what your favorite celebrities are up to? I do.  So, I follow people like John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Ashton Kutcher, and Ben Stiller.  It’s a more personal way to find out what your favorite celebs are up to than hearing it from the sleazy gossip magazines.  And sometimes if you’re lucky, they reply to fan’s tweets and answer questions!

4. Twitter is an easy way for you to voice your opinions! I know that I, like a lot of other students at Bridgewater, have a lot of strong opinions and ideas about a lot of things.  Maybe it’s just something you thought of on your walk to class, maybe it’s your reaction to the president’s State of the Union address.  Twitter is a great way to put your thoughts out there and get them heard!

5. It’s convenient. Like I said before, I prefer the short, to the point format of Twitter.  But another way it’s easy to use is that it can be updated from almost anywhere, not just a computer.  All I have to do is shoot a text with my tweet inside it to Twitter, and it updates it for me!  It’s the easiest way to share what you want, whenever you want!

How about you?  Do you use Twitter? Do you get it yet?  Or are you married to Facebook forever?

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