Monday, September 16, 2019

Working to find my next 'good life'

Honors mentors and mentees at Knoebels having a scream off on the Pirate Ship (Galleon)

Packing, moving and saying goodbye are three recurring themes in a college student’s life. Yet, what the world does not tell you is that some things, like packing an overnight bag, start to become second nature when traveling to friends’ houses or to and from home.

Settling in to the PA climate with some new gear
Along with, your “home away from home” becoming the place where you build your greatest memories, life, and friends. Even after years of the “good life” when college graduation rolls around, how could you possibly be ready to move on and start somewhere fresh when one still has more of the “good life” left to live? After all, college does not typically become boring or repetitive.

In the end, one must acknowledge that every journey does have a stopping point as another has a beginning. And this is mine. Hello Bloomsburg, I am Jen, a recent graduate of Radford University in Virginia, a native of Maryland, and now a new graduate student in the College Student Affairs program, working to find my next “good life.” Join me every month as I discover what it is like to be a Husky and engage in adventures of learning how to be a graduate student and graduate assistant to the newly formed Honors College.

Orientation and Welcome week flew by and I developed a plethora of fresh memories, extra friends, and memorable moments! In Honors, we participated in team building activities (with pasta and marshmallows of course), tours of campus and downtown, took a trip to Knoebels, and created a Goose Chase for our mentees to remember building locations.

This packed-full week opened my eyes to the numerous bonds, growth, and spirit that the Honors College is going to bring to the students through the staff, mentors, and me. I simply cannot wait to continue being a part of everyone’s miraculous journey here at BU.

— Jen Cole, #ProfessionalU #SAPro

Cole is pursuing her Master's in Educational Leadership through Bloomsburg University's College Student Affairs (M.Ed.) program.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Japchae with a touch of Chuseok

It's been almost two weeks since I’ve landed in South Korea, and it already feels like I’ve been here forever! After stepping outside at the airport, I was hit by high humidity which my straightened curly hair did not like. It did not hit me that I was across the other side of the globe until I saw signs everywhere in Korean, a foreign language I only know a little bit of.

I’m staying at Korea University-Sejong campus in the university dormitories and have two Korean roommates. The university is located in a rural setting, and so the locals don’t speak much English. I found this out when going to the market for the first time; this is a unique experience for me to dive in another language. This will surely be a challenge, but I’m ready to take on this language barrier.

Bloomsburg prepared me to be fearless.

My roommates are so welcoming and informative. I’ve not experienced culture shock, because I’ve made an effort to ask my Korean friends on how to be polite to others and not be disrespectful. Elders are extremely respected here, so much that there are two different ways of talking — formal and informally, all of the endings are completely different for both. It’s been a great learning experience so far. Academic wise, I’m taking a North Korean socio-culture and human rights class with other South Koreans and though classes just started, it’s been really interesting.

I have a short week this week, it’s Thanksgiving here and so we don’t have class Thursday Sept.12 and Friday, Sept. 13. Thanksgiving this year will be celebrated on Friday, Sept. 13. It’s called Chuseok, and it’s not celebrated like in the United States. In my South Korean culture class, we learned that in Chuseok (literally meaning Autumn Eve) South Koreans thank their ancestors and celebration for the bountiful harvest.

I’ve already learned so much about the customs here, and I’m pushed out of my comfort zone every day. I will be visiting a Korean folk village and the DMZ with my class and will be visiting temples and palaces on my own, which I’m super excited for. I love history, and I know the Asian continent is full of it along with hundreds of years’ worth of traditions.

I’ll also be cooking japchae, a Korean noodle dish! Something I’m not used to yet here is the spiciness of the food. The food is so delicious, but every meal has a spicy component (or is spicy itself), which I’ve not completely adjusted to yet. I hope to become accustomed to this and a pro at using chopsticks by the end of my stay here. I’ve never used chopsticks in America, weird right? Chopsticks are used for everything here, even to eat fried chicken.

— Liz Hernandez, a health sciences and sociology dual major, is studying abroad this fall in South Korea at Korea University in Sejong, studying such topics as North Korean socio-culture and human rights, as well immersing herself in the Korean culture such as experiencing Chuseok and learning to cook japchae.

#HuskyAbroad #ProfessionalU #BloomOnward #HuskyUnleashed #BloomUpward

Thursday, June 27, 2019

When opportunity knocks, I answer!

Just one week after walking across the graduation stage, I found myself on a plane to Southern California with a group of 10 students and three professors from the Environmental, Geographical and Geological Sciences (EGGS) department.

My task was to follow them as a photographer and journalist for their 13-day field study through the coast, mountains and deserts of California. It turned out to be the opportunity of a lifetime for me, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Every college student seems to have this notion of wanting to travel the world — either to study abroad, for their career, or enjoyment after they retire. I believe it's become a part of our "fear of missing out." However, my career path of journalism has allowed me to truly be able to travel anywhere for my job and when opportunity knocks, I answer!

I learned quite a bit about geology while on the EGGS 330 trip, however I didn’t exactly have the background knowledge to put it into words until I spent some time with the professors and students. There were plenty of analogies made that had nothing to do with geology in order for me to understand the topics, but after a few days I started to pick up the geology jargon.
Other than the geology class part of the trip, camping was our largest challenge in EGGS 330. We stayed in a variety of campgrounds, and the weather was not exactly characteristic of Southern California. It rained the first five nights straight and it was cooler than usual, which turned out to be a challenge for all of us. After all, we packed for the desert.

Some people on the trip had never camped before, and most of us had never camped for more than a long weekend. Setting up tents and sleeping in sleeping bags with the bathrooms and showers more than a football field away at some campgrounds was very foreign to us. The amount of adaptation we had to undergo as a group was incredible.

We began on the coast at San Mateo campground, then made our way into the mountains at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park where we were supposed to stay for two nights. Then the storm hit. We only stayed for one night because of the plunging temperatures and horizontal rain (not kidding) and made our way into the Anza-Borrego desert, where it also rained.

However, most everyone on the trip can agree that Anza-Borrego was our favorite campground, and where we all got the best sleep. We also saw a rainbow in the desert, which isn’t something you see every day!

Joshua Tree National Park was next. With no cell reception or electricity, it made for great conversation and a beautiful view of the stars.

However, there were also no showers in Joshua Tree, or at Cottonwood Campground, which was our final campsite. For five days, none of us showered. Remember that adaptability I was talking about? This was one of those times. Baby wipes and spigot showers is all I have to say about that.

Overall, EGGS 330 is an incredible experience for anyone thinking of geology as a career path. Or in my case, photojournalism! It taught all 14 of us how to adapt to our situations and surroundings, it taught students how to work in the field and take good field notes, and it taught me how to document it all in a way that non-majors can understand what was going on.

I want to personally thank Dr. Cynthia Venn, Dr. Jennifer Whisner, and Dr. John Hintz for having me along on the trip, as well as all the students who put up with me taking their photos and asking them geology questions nonstop. It was an amazing trip, and I hope it will continue to be a class for years to come.

— Dallas Kriebel '19, mass communications graduate, shadowed ... #EGGS #HuskyUnleashed #HuskySummer

Time flies by when you're having fun

It certainly does! Working at Winthrop University as an intern through the National Orientation Directors Association has been an incredible experience so far. It's been an amazing time working in a different part of the country.

I would not have been able to explore South Carolina — and a very different type of university — if it wasn't for the NODA Internship Program. The undergraduate orientation leaders are different from students in the Northeast but remain inspirational and devoted to their work with students and families.

Working at such a different institution with a more diverse student population has demonstrated to me the true meaning of having an inclusive campus. My responsibility with New Student Orientation at Winthrop includes working with the families and guardians.

At first, I was nervous to take on this important role because, as my supervisor told me the first day, "This is your show!" This was a big responsibility and a little intimidating.

Having spoken to over 500 family members and guardians in a short period of time allowed me to learn about the different roles that families play in their students’ lives. I look forward to the next part of my internship which will be putting my assessment knowledge to use!

— Molly Payne, #ProfessionalU #SAPro

Payne is pursuing her Master's in Educational Leadership through Bloomsburg University's College Student Affairs (M.Ed.) program.

Monday, May 6, 2019

And just like that it’s over

Maybe for many college is just college. To them it’s simple. You attend classes, make friends, identify a career path and graduate. Then you move on to your adult life. That’s the plan, simple and sweet.

But to me, college ended up being so much more. Bloomsburg University was a gift.

I can honestly say this place has shaped me into a person I’m very proud of. I have direction. I have confidence. I have appreciation, and I now have perspective. I owe Bloomsburg a huge thank you for that. Thank you Bloomsburg for giving me my people. People who became friends. Friends who became my family.

I learned that when surrounding yourself with the right people you will only end up with positive, contagious energy. That’s how I know found the right group.

Not just any people, but the best people. No one can say they are leaving with a group of people like I am. Not only did you give me these people, but I’m lucky enough to be leaving with them. They’re my people.

Thank you Bloomsburg for helping me to grow and clearly see what matters. You revealed so much to me, shedding light on who the real people are in my life.

This four-year journey, a road traveled with many ups and downs has led me to this end where I see those who’ve kept pace. These are the people you want in your life. I’ve finally learned to let go, and thank you Bloomsburg for that lesson. It suits me well.

Here I am in my last days in Bloomsburg, and I can’t help but think if I didn’t go this school, without these people would I be the same person?

It’s easy to miss people, miss a place, but I am going to miss this time in my life. I never realized when people say this is the best four years of your life... but dang they were right.

It's the end of an era, and it feels like the worst break up in my life. I had so many firsts here. I vividly remember my first drive here, and now I must face my last drive home.

I don’t want to say the word home, because this is my home... or was my home. I'm so lucky I have a place in my life to be so difficult to leave.

And just like that it’s over. I wish I would've told myself freshman year, don’t blink.

— Annie Pitts, senior communication studies major #AGreatPlaceToBeYou #HuskyLife

Monday, April 29, 2019

I say the Bloom Us, because it's a different us

Well, here we are. I waited until the end to write my goodbye to you, because I knew it would be the hardest.

It wasn’t the dorms that brought us together, or a class, or a club; it was solely because we were meant to be best friends. I've never met someone so much like me, yet so different.

I love the way I can smirk at you, and you know exactly what I’m thinking. Sometimes our telepathy scares me. We basically have our own language, because no one understands us when we talk. I never am not laughing with you. Usually laugh at ourselves and the unfortunate events in our lives but at least I know I have someone to laugh with me.

Though we have spent every waking minute together, you would think we would get sick of each other, but we never have. Guess that’s when you know when you’ve become best friends.

I’m going to miss you the most. Not like missing you because I'll never see you or talk to you again, but I'm going to miss this. Here ... us, the Bloom Us.

I say the Bloom Us, because it's a different us. The Bloom Us is by each other's side everyday. We’re together so much. We know our schedules. After graduation we won’t be able to walk four houses down to each other. Clearly, leaving this place our relationship won’t change, but the Bloomsburg relationship is coming to an end. That’s what I'm sad to say goodbye to.

Closing this chapter has made me realize the special place this place has in my heart. I know this is the place where we had the most cherished memories together. It's where we grew together and became best friends.

We grew in so many ways. We matured. We shared hardships. I’m glad we did. Through it all we now can recognize what's real.

Though throughout these four years we had different paths, we still had the same intersection. I promise that wont change. Not only did we grow together, but we found our people together. Our crew. Thank you to my Bloomsburg Crew, for the best four years I could have asked for.

Haley, Jul, Amy, Taylor Brooke, and Rachel: People like you guys have changed my outlook on life when I found you all as my people. I never had such good vibes. Not many can say we had an entire group of people who stuck with each other for the whole four years.

These laughs will forever stay the same. Just now, there will be a little more distance in between them.

— Annie Pitts, senior communication studies major #AGreatPlaceToBeYou #HuskyLife