Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Best chapter of our lives


And just like that, junior year of college comes to an end. In the past month, I’ve said, “where has the time gone, I don’t want to be old,” at least once a day. Looking back to the start of junior year, I barely recognize who I was. My priorities were different, the people in my life were different, and I’m not sure where my head was at.

To sum it up, junior year has been a year of growth. A long year of growing out of unhealthy friendships and investing all my time in the positive aspects of my life. As corny and cliché as this sounds, junior year has taught me that the root of happiness comes from self-love.

Like my mom said in a long, much needed motivational text message to me, “Life is about balance. The good and the bad. The thing everyone should realize is the key to happiness is being by yourself, for yourself. It’s so much better to be sad, yet complete, rather than being happy and feel like something missing. Don’t wish away your days waiting for better ones ahead.”

And with that, I focused on making every day count, because soon enough, I’ll be a senior and the greatest experience of my life will be coming to a close. My roommate often says, “Isn’t it unfair this is the best chapter of our life but also the shortest.”

That mentality right there is what goes through every junior and senior college student as they approach the month of May. We begin to reflect on our past three years, but also look forward to what will come next. We are all itching for summer, but none of us are ready to leave our home. It’s crazy to think that only three years ago, I came into this unknown town and have created some of the best memories, met some of the best people, found my dream hobby, and learned what I am looking for in a future career.

College has changed me in the best ways possible, and I’m just not ready to let that go. I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready to say goodbye to this place, but the best I can do now is be thankful for every day, even the bad ones, because at least I’m in Bloomsburg.

— Megan Hawbecker, junior mass communications major #AGreatPlaceToBeYou #HuskyLife

Friday, April 14, 2017

Spring Break ... our saving grace


This semester I’ve been balancing four ongoing group projects, an internship, and having all of my exams “strategically” placed on the same Monday or Wednesday. On top of that, the spring time is very busy for the organizations I am involved in, so every weekend calls for an event.

Saying my weekdays are “busy” is definitely an understatement, but that just makes a moment of relaxation much more exciting. We all have tunnel vision for the one week of freedom we receive in the midst of all of this chaos.

Some students decide to go home and lay down on the couch for a week straight. Some students book flights with friends and fly south to warmer weather for seven days of endless excitement. Then there’s me and my best friend, who decided to pack up and drive north right into the snow.

We knew this was going to be one of our last adventures together while both being college students. We also knew we wanted to save some money but still get away for a few days. Therefore, the only logical option seemed to be Niagara Falls.

We booked a cheap hotel for two nights, Kevin’s mom packed us an endless amount of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and we were off. A six-hour drive seems like nothing when you are in no hurry and just enjoying the moment you’re in. Luckily, Kevin has a good taste in music, which made the drive that much more tolerable.

We had an ironic “go with the flow” mentality the entire time. We didn’t make any plans ahead of time, so we just decided what we wanted to do in that second and did it. The first night we spent in Niagara was a night where you remember how lucky you are to be alive. There wasn’t any reason to use the word “no,” which resulted in trying a handful of new things.

I went to my first Hard Rock Cafe and somehow received my first bill at a restaurant that was over $100. I experienced a game of blackjack at a casino, where Kevin made back all of the money he lost with an additional $15. We somehow gained ourselves a free casino buffet the next day, which is apparently rare.

I faced my fears of singing karaoke and learned that I need to add more passion into my performance. Then to finish off all of these firsts, we made it to the falls. We spent our second day exploring everything Niagara Falls had to offer and did not let the snow stop us.

The trip was affordable, fun, and everything I could have asked for out of an experience. I am thankful every day for the friends and family who not only support my dream to travel, but join the adventure as well.

— Megan Hawbecker, junior mass communications major #HuskyLife

Monday, March 20, 2017

Like a good pedestrian ...


Soon after I arrived in China, I got to see many interesting sights while observing many differences between American and Chinese culture.

For starters, pedestrians do not have the right away when crossing the street, so it is necessary to pay attention to your surroundings while walking around with vehicles passing by.

Instead of having a separate sheet from a quilt, they have what is called a 被子 beizi (quilt) inside of a 被罩 beizhao (bag shaped quilt cover zipper sheet).

The cuisine is naturally different of course along with many different types of vegetables!

For example, some vegetables I have seen are 藕 ou (Lotus root), 莴笋 wosun (asparagus lettuce), 鱼腥草 yuxingcao (houttuynia cordata), 冬瓜 donggua (white gourd), 萝卜 luobo (a type of raddish), and 豆芽 douya (bean sprout).

Morning markets are also an occurrence in China as well! 火锅 huoguo (hot pot) Other dishes and meals!



Morning markets! A place to find fresh ingredients!



I went to some awesome places in Beijing like the Bird’s Nest (鸟巢niaochao) [Beijing’s National Stadium] and the Water Cube ( 水立方 Shui Lifang) [National Aquatic Center]. A very famous place to go, especially if you are a fan of the Olympics!



More places!


未名湖 weiminghu (Famous lake located around Beijing University).



Other places around and within Beijing University (北京大学)




Beijing Normal University



Another famous place in Beijing! 颐和园 Yiheyuan (Summer Palace)



Rachel Ann Cimera is a senior Chinese major with a minor in political science who is spending her final semester as a undergraduate this spring studying abroad at the renowned Beijing Normal University, a public research university located in China with strong emphasis on basic disciplines of humanities and sciences.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Netflix has a secret …


Have you ever been in a show hole on Netflix?

If you don’t know what a show hole is it’s when you have just finished a series and now you have no idea what to watch. Yes, we have all been there! We click on the browse button to see what type of genre we want next, but they are just too broad. We can never hone into the exact thing we are looking for.

What if I told you here is another world to Netflix? No, I am not crazy. You might be thinking to yourself there is no way, I know the ins and outs of everything Netflix. Well, you are so wrong. Netflix has some secret code that is put into the address bar that will take you so subgenres.

I know crazy right! Be amazed because your life is about to change! Ever in the mood for a tearjerker, some Nicolas Sparks movies, or anything with Robert Pattinson in it. Look no further they have a subgenre for Tearjerkers. All you have to do it type in the Netflix.com/browse/genre/6384. The number code is what triggers the subgenres in the website.

So, let’s say you are in the mood for Zombie Horror Movies, just add the code 75405 into the address bar and you have a slew of zombie movies. Let’s go to the other end of the spectrum Slapstick Comedy, add the code 10256 and you got The Little Rascals, Scooby-Doo, White Chicks and so much more.

We even have comedies for specific majors.

Criminal Justice

  • Crime Documentaries: 9875
  • Crime Dramas: 6889
  • Crime Thrillers: 10499 
  • Crime TV Shows: 26146

Foreign Language

  • Foreign Comedies: 4426 
  • Foreign Documentaries: 5161 
  • Foreign Dramas: 2150 
  • Indian Movies: 10463 
  • Irish Movies: 58750 
  • Italian Movies: 8221 
  • Japanese Movies: 10398 
  • German Movies: 58886 
  • Greek Movies: 61115 
  • French Movies: 58807

Political Science

  • Political Comedies: 2700 
  • Political Documentaries: 7018 
  • Political Dramas: 6616 
  • Political Thrillers: 10504

Environmental, Geographical and Geological Sciences

  • Science & Nature Documentaries: 2595 
  • Science & Nature TV: 52780

Theatre

  • Showbiz Dramas: 5012
  • Showbiz Musicals: 13573

There are so many different categories to choose from. This will definitely help us stay out of a show hole and maybe even learn more about our majors and some avenues we can discover once we graduate.

Here is the list of codes so you can find your one subgenre!

— Samantha Gross, senior telecommunications major #HuskyUnleashed

Friday, March 10, 2017

Longing for the past, restless for the future


I find myself at a standstill as I finish my junior year of college. I’m constantly reflecting on the past, letting nostalgia overwhelm me with the way things used to be. I see myself maturing on social media and investing myself in work rather than going on personal adventures. I blame email for my transition into adulthood. My email is always open on my desktop and the worst part is that I get excited to see who’s reaching out or responding to my messages.

Just for the record fellow students, that’s when you know you’ve completed your transition into the real world.

We all want to stay young forever. I would stay 21 years old for the rest of my life if it were possible. I remember reading a quote on the internet that said, “A year of hurting so bad, but living so good.”

I find these words constantly floating around in my head as I live out my last few years as a young adult. I truly find my early twenties as the years we are living so good. We are free of most major responsibilities, we develop our passions, we meet our forever friends and most importantly, we build the foundation for our future. As much as this is the time of living so good, I also see it as the time of hurting so bad. We face several heartbreaks, we leave friends behind, fail tests and seem to face more rejections than anything else. Every day I remind myself that this is all part of the process.

Sophomore year will always be my favorite year out of the four. During that period of time, my friends and I were carefree, balancing on the fine line between freedom and responsibility. We didn’t know what the next year would have in store for us, nor did we care. We finally lived in our own apartments and had our cars with us, which gave us every reason to explore whenever we could.

Yes, we had schoolwork that needed to done, but it did not seem as important as the life lessons we chose to face instead. Staying up all night, broken down vehicles, driving hours to get diner food, flying across the country, and doing it all with the friends who continue to make my heart full will forever be the memories of my sophomore year.

The moments we share together as we grow up are equally as memorable, but reflect a new stage of life. Getting the call that we received the internships we have strived for, seeing our stories being published, and planning our last year together as college students is this stage.

If I have any advice for an underclassman, it’s to make the most of your first two years of college. If you’re questioning going out with friends, do it. If you’re not sure you want to spend those extra dollars, do it. Those are the moments that turn into the memories we will always carry with us.

— Megan Hawbecker, junior mass communications major #HuskyLife

Where the gypsies live


I still can’t believe my final week in Spain is over! I will miss all the friends I have made, the family I have been staying with, and Granada in general! I feel as if I have only just got here.

On Monday I went out for paella with my friends. Paella is a customary dish in Spain. It is usually shared with people and comes out in a large pan. Paella can be many different flavors from black rice (octopus) to a seafood or vegetarian paella. They always contain rice and different seasonings, seafood, or vegetables depending on the type. Eating here is a very social activity and when going out to dinner you can almost guarantee that it will take you at least two hours.

Tuesday we went horseback riding outside the city. A fifteen minute bus ride will take you out of the city and close to the mountains and the river. A group of students and I rode horses along a walking trail by the river. It was very beautiful and relaxing. The houses are all built along the mountains here and the views are amazing from up above in the country side.

I saw a movie at the theatres in Spanish on Wednesday. My friend and I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It was a little hard to follow in Spanish because they speak quickly, but overall I could understand the story and learn a few new words in Spanish. In movie theatres here there are assigned seats and they are fairly cheap in Granada (only 4 Euros).

Thursday we went to Flamenco in a cave in an area called Sacromonte. This area is where many gypsies live inside caves built into the mountain. The caves are amazingly beautiful and surprisingly warm in the winter here. The flamenco show lasted almost two hours and was incredible to watch. I was extremely close to all the dancers and they moved so quickly and elegantly. Before seeing the show the group I was with had an hour dance class in Flamenco. It was extremely hard to do and learning the rhythm in the songs is not easy!

On Friday I had my final day of classes and had to say goodbye to my professors, friends, and host family here in Granada. It was hard to say goodbye, but we ensured each other that we would talk and whenever I visit Texas, Italy, Spain, or Korea I have people to visit.

My experience abroad has been eye opening! Living among another culture and language other than my own has been very fun. The people here have been so friendly and patient with someone who cannot speak perfectly. I have met so many amazing friends and this experience has propelled me to continue learning Spanish.

When I had wanted to say something to my family and I didn't know how, I would make it a goal that day to learn so the next day I could perfectly tell them what I had wanted to say. I can honestly say my experience here has been life changing!

I now know what it feels like to be lost in a country and have no idea how to ask for help. It has given me much more compassion for others and helped me to slow down and enjoy life a little more. I would recommend studying abroad to anyone no matter what level of language you know. My Spanish has improved vastly, and going to Spain has given me more knowledge and experience than any one class could have provided me.

Some fun facts about Granada ...

  • Unlike America where our street trees are mainly oak, maple, and ash, Granada has its streets lined with orange, pomegranate, and palm trees
  • Granada was under Muslim rule for almost 800 years, which is the longest Muslim rule in Spain
  • The whole time I was in Granada it did not rain or snow once
  • Spain has a president, but also has a king and queen
  • The area of Granada has been inhabited since approximately 5500 B.C.
  • Granada actually means pomegranate in Spanish

— Racquel Kreischer #HuskyUnleashed #HuskyAbroad

Racquel Kreischer is a senior engineering major spending this winter break studying abroad in Granada, Spain. Through the Instituto Mediterráneo Sol Granada she is studying Spanish while living with a Spanish family learning up-close about Spainards lives, language and culture.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

California dreamin'


“Why did you come here?”

It’s always the first question I get when I tell people I’m from California. If I was paid a dollar for every time I was asked that, I could pay for the new student union building.

I’m from the City of Trees in Northern California, so before you even start to wonder here are some answers. No, I don’t surf; the closest beach is actually two hours away. No, unfortunately I don’t know see celebrities on a regular basis.

And for all you future Donald Trumps and Hilary Clintons out there, we’re not all democrats. You don’t cross the border into California and get handed a Prius to be environmentally friendly. Ironically enough, I do drive a Prius and I am a Democrat, but my Prius is from Pennsylvania and my town is mainly republican.

Sometimes, I like to have fun when people ask why I came to BU. I tell people things like, “I took a wrong turn on the way to Hollywood,” or “I threw a dart at a map and it hit Bloomsburg.” But, as you can imagine, I have no interest in sitting in three hours of LA traffic and I’m awful at darts, so neither are true.

It’s funny though because even though California is on the other side of the county, I’m not the only student to get that question on a regular basis. International and other out-of-state students are just as familiar with the big “why” question too. Whether you’re from Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Brazil, or Spain you’ve had at least one person look at you and go, “but, why?”

But on a real note, every student who comes to Bloomsburg from “far away” has his or her own fears. I’m not saying that people who come from nearby don’t have any worries at all; I’m not that ignorant or oblivious. But it’s a whole new ballgame when you decide to go to school where going home for the day really isn’t an option, and if it is, it’s a hike.

I’m sure my fears coming into my first year at Bloomsburg are the same as many other college students. Whether it was about making friends, getting along with my roommate, trying to figure where the hell my classroom in McCormick was, or just figuring out what to eat at Husky, I was stressed.

And to make matters even more stressful for a lonely, lanyard wearing, little freshman, driving home on the weekends or even during the week to see my family wasn’t an option.

But after two weeks of wandering McCormick, resident hall meetings, and late night buffalo chicken pizza, I was happy as a clam. I even felt bad for the students that went home every weekend because they were missing out on the personality BU students have to offer once classes finish on Friday. I could no longer run and hide to my parents when life got tough, instead I put on some gangster rap music, told myself I was strong independent woman, and pushed through it.

Now I’m not saying there weren’t any crying phone calls to my mom begging her to put my dogs on Facetime. I’m saying as scary as it is to say that I live three thousand miles away, it made me into a person that I only dreamt of being before. I branched out, kept my door open when I lived in the resident halls, yelled hi to people as they walked past, and I made an effort.

One opportunity that really helped me become more of an extrovert was applying to be an Orientation Workshop Leader. As an incoming first year or transfer, you’ll meet these people that don’t stop smiling, occasionally scream chants in your ears, and know every answer about BU that you really didn’t care to know. I met my first friend and an OWL and by applying to be one, I’ll have lasting friendships for the rest of my life.

I’ve been involved on campus in other areas too, but OWLs are students basically universal to all and when you come to visit BU for and Open House or Welcome Weekend, take advantage of these lunatics screaming and waving Pompoms. All in all, being an out-of-state student isn’t as scary as it sounds and you’re not as crazy as people think you are for leaving your state or country behind. It’s an opportunity to experience college without any strings attached and learn for yourself, who you want to be.

— Hannah Miller, junior history major and defender on the Huskies women's soccer team #HuskyLife