Category Archives: Prospective

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

5 Comments

Filed under Prospective

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?

3 Comments

Filed under Prospective

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?

Photo credit

5 Comments

Filed under Advice, Opinion, Prospective