Friday, December 18, 2015

Bring on the Break!

IT’S HERE! The break we have all been waiting for!

As students, we all know how stressful finals can be and the lack of sleep that might stem from those late-night, caffeinated, study sessions. It’s like Winter Break is the light at the end of the tunnel. I can hardly focus by the time I get to my last final exam, because I start thinking about all of the things I’m going to be able to do after I leave that classroom and honestly, my first thought is usually a nap.

Don’t get me wrong, break is a great time to catch up on sleep, but don’t snooze your entire Winter Break away. From a senior’s perspective, I’d like to share with you some of the ways I took advantage of Winter Break in the past, somethings I wish I had done, and a few tips for the best ways to utilize our Winter Break as we look forward to the spring semester.

Winter Break allows you only five weeks to de-stress, catch up, and plan for the Spring semester. With being so close to graduating, I am taking advantage of this Winter Break a little differently than I normally do. For some, Winter Break means the start of Winter Session, which I am currently enrolled in.

It’s a good time for students to take harder courses at a pace that helps them to better understand the material and for others it’s catch up or get a head time! I’m using this Winter Break to fill the rest of my GEPs and to complete my minor so that in the Spring, my course load won’t be so heavy. Studying, writing papers, doing projects, and taking exams won’t be the only thing I plan to do this Winter Break, though.

I am also using Winter Break to gain new skills that could benefit me in my future career (Oh, Hey Marketing and Communications Winter Internship!) and to better organize myself for post-grad life.

Fortunately, I have already contracted with a company for after graduation. This Winter Break I plan to stop into the office to deliver some cookies and to catch up with everyone in the office that I haven’t seen since my internship ended.

Seniors —yesterday was the day to start looking for internships and job opportunities for after graduation. Maybe even finish up those grad school applications and take the GREs. If you get some free time or your Netflix account starts getting old, hop on that career search grind.
Juniors — internships are a great way to get your foot in the door. That’s actually how I received my job opportunity. Special thanks to the Center for Professional Development and Career Experience because it was through their webpage that I found that internship and if you impress the employer, you might just get a job offer.
Sophomores’ and First Years’ — use this time to be proactive and start thinking about careers that interest you and academic specializations/concentrations that will set you apart in your major and ultimately, in your future job search. Someone once told me that you should pick something “hard” and work until you are good at it. It will make you very valuable to any company, especially if you can do that one thing no one else wants to do.

Academics aside, there is still plenty of time to spend with family and friends, enjoy yourself, and to maybe even do a little traveling. In the past, I also used Winter Break to make some extra cash to use for books, gas, and other expenses during the coming semester.

My roommate since freshman year, Mere, and I started what seems to be an annual tradition. Every January, a few of our BU friends get together and go to the Farm Show in Harrisburg. The two of us always try to squeeze in a ski trip and time to build gingerbread houses, too. It’s always enjoyable to spend time together outside of college. Some of my best college memories are from Winter Break. Maybe this year you could start a tradition with your friends.

The only thing I wish I could have taken advantage of in the past during Winter Break would be to take at least one course over the five week period. I think it would have definitely lightened up my semester course loads and would have kept me in my “school work” state of mind. Sometimes going back to college after break it is hard to get back on track and focusing the way you need to be. I think maybe one course over break would have kept me focused a little better.

In the short time we are away from campus, try to keep your goals in eyesight and to make memories that you’ll never forget. Live, laugh, and love. Spend time those around you and enjoy being at home. Make new goals for yourself and be proud when you achieve them. Try something you’ve never done; dare to make a difference somewhere. Catch those extra ‘Zzzs. These might be the same old things you’ve heard time and time, again, but the more I think about graduation, the more these tips make sense.

Enjoy your Winter Break. Happy Holidays and Have a Happy New Year. Thanks for reading!

— Jessica Shiptoski, senior accounting major, professional writing minor, fraud examination concentration #HuskyLife #WinterBreak #memories

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Where did the time go?

Well, the fall semester is just about over, and I’m not sure if I’m ready to leave beautiful Bloomsburg.

That feeling of returning back to our hometowns can be relieving and scary all at once. I remember the feeling of missing my family, but it was going to be worse leaving all of my friends here at college. So what is there to expect when you go back home?

Having control of life and being free here at college is great. But going home means, “mom’s way or the highway.” So maybe going home is nice and all, but it won’t exactly be that easy. This new adult-self could soon be shut down and shut up real quick by mom’s rules.

Not looking forward to being away from best friends and boyfriend or girlfriends either? This idea can cause some serious separation anxiety. I found best friends in Bloomsburg who bring out the best in me, and we are used to spending every waking moment together. Being at home leaves me feeling a little lost and lonely ... no worries though, Snapchat will come in handy.

I am reminded of how much I can take away from college. A lot more than I could from just watching television all day and sneaking snacks before suppertime. So we all may go through the different struggles, ups or downs that winter break will bring to us. But this time can be used to catch up on sleep, start applying for internships or jobs, see old friends, and have quality time with family. It’s quality time to do some self-reflecting and get prepared for the next semester.

This time off could be used to spruce up my creativity. It could be a good time for some changes too. I usually try to find the changes in myself first. It may be a small break, but use the time wisely and remember that college is a stepping stone, second home, and even sometimes that change to get you up and going.

We all may leave it for break, and eventually for good, but we’ll always remember how life changing Bloomsburg can be.

Rep On

— Lydia Jenkins, senior mass communications major #HuskyLife #HuskyFit

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

5 things you need to do on campus in October

Fall is slowly fading away from us. The clocks will be turning back soon and then it will move into the dark winter months. But since we have a couple more days left of October, you should make sure you accomplish these 5 things that BU has to offer.

Number 1, take a picture of the quad with all its fall colors. 

We all know that those quad pics are hard to come by and when you finally get the right light and color for the picture you are bound to get a bunch of likes on it. So before the leaves start falling and the color in the sky becomes dreary make sure you get your quad pic.

Number 2, We all know pumpkin anything is where its at. 

So make sure you splurge on your flex with all the pumpkin that Starbucks has to offer, because we all get a little cranky when we find out there is no more pumpkin spice lattes or pumpkin scones left. So get your pumpkin on!

Number 3, Life as we know it is going to fade away soon so make sure you get your fair share of catches on the quad in before time runs out. 

Throw a frisbee, toss a football, for all I care play catch with an apple, but make sure you have some fun on the quad before it is all buried in snow.

Number 4, If you have not sat on upper campus to watch the sun go down, you have not lived. 

It is the most amazing sight that you can ever witness. Our campus overlooks such beautiful landscape, that when the sky turns that pink, orange, and purple it is a breath taking sight, not to mention an awesome picture.

Lastly number 5, you can’t skip out of the tradition of carving a pumpkin! 

So drive to a local pumpkin patch or even buy one at Weis, Giant, or Walmart. Just get a pumpkin, carve it put it outside your dorm door, apartment door, or outside on your porch. I know I like to drive up to upper campus and see all the pumpkins sitting outside people doors. Its what brings fall together.

Fall in Bloomsburg is a special time, it has the most events, most class work, and most beautiful sights. So make sure you take advantage of what Bloom has to offer in the fall, because we will be missing it soon.

— Samantha Gross, mass communications major #HuskyLife

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It's the little things

Self-motivation shouldn’t be a choice of action, it should become a mental routine...

As I slowly reach the middle of the semester, there are different commitments that come my way. Midterms are attacking one by one. Group projects are in full force. My daily schedule has now been set in stone… Finally. And I start to question will this semester drag on or go by too quickly? (Either way my motivation is sluggish.)

Despite the tough notes I have to go over, and the feeling of missing home I still manage to be self-motivating. I try to kick my mental state into full gear just so I don’t lose my sense of purpose and determination during this confusing time. There are physical and mental actions I take in order to keep myself and my mind organized during mid-terms.

First off, I fall into uneasy moods when I have a cluttered home. My bedroom and working space are good places to start. It’s time to rearrange some furniture, dust off the art work and tidy up a bit. Giving the bedroom a little face lift doesn’t have to be a day-long event either. I usually move things around, rearrange my pictures of family and then look around to feel the new vibe. Cleaning out and off my desk usually helps too. I put my papers and notes in order, clean out my folders, and restock my backpack and drawer with notecards. It’s the little things that get me moving towards a productive path.

Secondly, when my mind is confused with due dates, topics for papers, research, club responsibilities, even plans with friends, then I usually take a moment for a walk. Something quick, like down the street and around the block helps. When the breath of fresh air has cleared my head, I sit down to map out my plan of attack. I line up my group meetings, club dates, volunteer hours, and study sessions. I clearly write down my goals for the following weeks, and keep my highest priorities at the top of the list.

These little tips and tricks are just a start to get myself back into the right mindset for midterms. I sometimes turn to my apps for some assistance as well. Pinterest always gives me motivational quotes, tips for stress, clutter free guidance, and even some relaxing new yoga poses to try out. I look to Instagram to see the beauty that’s around me in Bloomsburg, along with traveling pages from around the world. It keeps me happy to be here while I’m working hard, but also keeps me looking towards where the future will take me after graduation.

All of these little things start to help my mindset when I’m feeling a little hazy midway through the semester. I look to other resources for aid, and alone time so I can collect my thoughts to stay on track. Before I know it, I’m ready for the midterm, I have new ideas to bring to group meetings, and I’m excited to be involved with my next campus event. Just like that, I’m back to my healthy and motivated self who is going to take care of business this semester.

Rep On

— Lydia Jenkins, senior mass communications major #HuskyLife #HuskyFit

Monday, September 21, 2015

Roles of friendship

Routine is a big part of my life. It keeps me grounded, focused and in my comfort zone. When this is disrupted for any number of reasons, all I see is irritation.

So in order to keep peace with myself — maintain that healthy approach to college life — routine is life. This is also true when it comes to my friends. They each have a role and a responsibility to my routine. And I love them for it.

Being around my best friends, we all had something great to offer to the table. The knowledge, honesty and humor we all share is endless and always helping me grow. I would have to say the friends I have found have the ability to make you mad, cry, question our sanity and even howl laughing.

My groups consists of:
  • the best brains
  • a true diva
  • hippie lover
  • gypsy wonderer
  • and a guardian of the Earth
We have all angles of life covered. We could dominate the world. But when it really came down to it, we couldn’t decide what show to watch when we all came together. So the amount of diversity we have is overwhelming. What made us truly great, is what we could potentially pull us apart.

When it comes to what we all like to do in our free time, there is definitely times of controversy. It comes down to who can be the best partner for that situation. Taking a walk and pushing homework back an hour, doesn’t always fly over well with a friend who needs to make sure their schedule has adequate time allotted for it. It’s sometimes a little easier to call upon the one who can pick up and go.

No questions asked.

I would have to recommend there are certain types of relationships, especially between friends, that suit life differently. Sometimes it’s okay to have a gym buddy you only meet inside the rec center doors. It’s nice to have that friend who pushes you to get your head in the books, and won’t let you leave the library before dark. These people may be the same for you, but for me they were two complete opposites.

My best friends always fill in the missing spaces when another one can’t.

These types of relationships are easy and feel so healthy. There is no trying to make someone something they aren’t. It allows us all to flourish where we feel comfortable. And true friendship is about, just that. So I’m blessed to have come to this dynamic campus, only to find the crazy people who compliment me so well.

Rep On

— Lydia Jenkins, senior mass communications major #HuskyLife #HuskyFit

Monday, August 31, 2015

Back to the good ol' routine

It has been a quick summer. Summer full of work, travel, friends and family, but unfortunately not enough time spent working out. Time to kick this butt back into gear. Back to school; senior year full of homework, group projects, work, meetings, going out…

Oh, and did I mention the gym? Back to the good old stomping grounds. The place to relieve all anxiety and cleanse from the night out before.

Some people think relaxing is being at home, in bed watching Netflix. But instead, I find that the sound of crashing weights and moving treadmills, along with the sweet smell of sweaty success really makes me feel good.

It’s time to get back to the routine of working out and eating healthy. My routine has always wrapped around school, and now that I’m in college it’s easier to get back into the flow of things.

Because let’s be honest, last semester didn’t give me enough time to work on the “beach bod” and this summer didn’t help me keep it. So now it comes down to making sure I get to class, get homework done, and get to the gym.

My routine usually starts off a little gentle so I can ease into the semester. I like to start off from scratch when I haven’t been working out for a while. It makes it a little bit easier to track my progress. I start with lower weights but I do up to 20 to 30 reps. I also prefer to switch days with circuits of two to four workouts in each. I think circuits make a workout more fun because it’s always changing.

So, knowing that I have to walk to class each day, I think I’ll decide to do leg day in the latter part of the week. I love to use Pinterest ideas, and I usually ask fellow lifting buffs to give me advice on moves. Then I progress to heavier weight when I am comfortable.

I’ll start my first week of senior year with:
  • Monday - cardio and glutes
  • Tuesday - back and shoulders
  • Wednesday - cardio and abs
  • Thursday - arms and chest
  • Friday - squats and overall endurance
  • Saturday - fundamentals and lifting movements
  • Sunday - rest
Along with a good workout plan to go along with my class schedule, I usually try to plan out my meals as well. It’s about eating well, not eating a little. Especially when it's about toning instead of lose weight. So each morning must have breakfast to get the brain going. I usually add in a good “big man stretch” to wake up before that 8 a.m. I always try to remember a water bottle as well. Staying hydrated has helped with stress, headaches, the 2 o’clock sleepiness, and gets you ready for the gym.

Overall, the first week back to college is fun to reconnect with everyone before the workload grows. It’s so important to keep your head on straight, stick to your priorities and get moving. It's great to walk to class, take lunch breaks on the quad, and after homework take a stroll downtown. While returning to the routine remember to keep your emotions steady and thoughts in order, the rest of your health will follow for the weeks to come.

Rep On

— Lydia Jenkins, senior mass communications major #HuskyLife #HuskyFit

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dwarfed by the beauty of the natural world

After 10 days in the field, we had our first day off from digging and had an opportunity to venture to a different part of Ohio. We packed up some hiking gear, plenty of trail mix and piled into the vans to see Ash Cave and Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills State Park.

It was refreshing to see the forests and waterfalls, a stark contrast to the open fields and hot sun that we’d grown accustom to. At Ash Cave, there were audible gasps of amazement as we wandered into the immense rock shelter. It was shocking to see something so large and beautiful. For eons, water and wind carved the soft rock and left this 700-foot-long cave.

The human influence, little trails and names carved into the stone walls, were dwarfed by the beauty of the natural world. It was strangely freeing to feel so small in the shadow of that cave. I realized that if I’m so tiny in the grand scheme, my worries are even smaller and it felt like a burden was lifted.

That carefree feeling set the tone for the rest of the day as we explored more of the park land. We ventured to Old Man’s Cave, which proved to be an excellent hiking and climbing spot. We spent the day clambering over rocks and wading through streams.

As the entire field school group stood knee-deep in a plunge pool and skipped rocks into a waterfall, I forgot that we had just met each other a mere two weeks ago. Laughter and jokes rang out across the water, and we all agreed that the hiking trip was exactly what we needed to recharge. We snapped plenty of pictures and were pleasantly exhausted by the end of the afternoon.

I returned to camp ready to dig again the following day, hoping that some cool artifacts would surface from the new units we had opened.
    — Keelan McDonald, is a junior mass communications major and anthropology minor.
#CollaborativeLearning #HuskyUnleashed

DeeAnne Wymer, professor of anthropology, and a group of Bloomsburg University students hit the road each spring in mid-May to spend four weeks in southern Ohio digging at a Hopewell habitation site. The archeological field school experience enables student teams to rely on new imaging technologies to uncover another living site of the Mound Builders from 2,000 years ago.

Monday, June 1, 2015

What lies beneath!

When we first arrived at the Balthaser Home site in Ohio, it looked like any other farm field, the remains of soybean stubble covering the rolling hills. Now, the field is covered with tripods and sifters and tarps and shovels.

From the road, it’s nearly impossible to tell what is occurring in the southwest corner of Balthaser. What are we doing here? Spearheaded by Dr. DeeAnne Wymer and Dr. Paul Pacheco of SUNY-Geneseo, students from Bloomsburg and SUNY Geneseo are collaborating to dig up the remains of a domestic Hopewell site. The Hopewell are an indigenous American people known for their earthworks and ritual sites, but little is known about their daily lives.

Out in the hot sun, we dig and sift. Occasionally, someone will yell out “bladelet” when they find a small, thin flint blade, still sharp enough to cut your fingers 2,000 years later, and Doc Wymer does her famous bladelet dance.

The best part of field school is the shared enthusiasm among the students, professors and the occasional amateur archaeologist visitor. You’ve never seen a group of people so excited about different colors of dirt. Students are broken into different teams composed of Geneseo and Bloomsburg students to excavate specific unit. Because of the generosity of Dr. Jarrod Burks, we are able to have a sense of where to dig based on the magnetic readings at the site.

My team is in the process of excavating a pit feature, which is very exciting because we have no idea what we may find.

(DeeAnne Wymer) - I am pleased to note that Keelan's team recovered a large number of very large fragments of pottery from their fire pit/earth oven! All their hard work paid off and they have every right to be very excited.

Some groups are meticulously excavating post molds, which may indicate the location of a Hopewell house, while others find projectile points, ceramics and paper-thin sheets of glittering mica. Centimeter by centimeter, we begin to get a clearer picture of the ancient lifeways of the fascinating Hopewell.
    — Keelan McDonald, is a junior mass communications major and anthropology minor.
#CollaborativeLearning #HuskyUnleashed

DeeAnne Wymer, professor of anthropology, and a group of Bloomsburg University students hit the road each spring in mid-May to spend four weeks in southern Ohio digging at a Hopewell habitation site. The archeological field school experience enables student teams to rely on new imaging technologies to uncover another living site of the Mound Builders from 2,000 years ago.

Fear and Loathing ... over summer

In the realm of weird and wacky books, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson is definitely out there. The novel virtually has no real plot, bumbling back and forth between reality and surreal, drug-induced delusions, which sometimes makes things hard to follow.

However, that doesn’t make this any less than one of my favorite novels.

In a quest for the American Dream among other things, Raoul Duke and his attorney Dr. Gonzo, charge down to Las Vegas and spend several days causing mayhem and contemplating what all of it means, all the while taking enough drugs to make Woodstock look tame.

With such a loose plot and rambling prose writing style, one would think that Thompson’s tale would fall flat, but it keeps your attention, almost for that very reason. The lack of plot and zany antics of Duke and Gonzo keep you wanting more and Duke’s first-person descriptions of the madness going on around him never seems to get old.

More than 100 suggested books to read

The novel also has thought invoking points, commentary almost, on the counter-culture movement of the 1960’s and how the different ideologies and drugs used by the hippies left a generation of burnt-out drug addicts. Thompson uses Duke’s flashbacks and moments between acid trips, to show how ideas of the 1960’s American dream differ from what Duke is surrounded by in the novel.

The novel is also rather short, only around 250 pages, which makes it a perfect read to pick up on a hot summer day by a pool or on the beach.

— Anthony Ferrentino, senior communication studies major  #HuskySummer

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Best of luck Class of 2015 ... it’s been a wild ride!

It’s May, and that end of the year feeling is overtaking me as I walk by students sun-bathing on the Quad and try to find a cubby in the overpopulated construction site that is the library. As each day passes and I cross off another completed assignment on my agenda, the reality of graduating is still not sinking in.

Every day I wake up I go through the same routine: open my graduation countdown app on my phone. I feel a mixture of anxiety and excitement as the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until Saturday, May 9, continue to tick on by. And still, even with the countdown, picking up my cap and gown, and leaving my last college class…I cannot fathom the realization that this is all coming to an end.

It is so cliché to say four years have come and gone, but really, they have. I remember as if it were yesterday so nervously moving into Lycoming Hall freshman year. I remember actually getting lost trying to find my classes. And crying because I could not picture having to go through seven more semesters of exams, all of those dreaded group projects, and the hell week that is finals.

But I would honestly do it all over again if I could. Seniors… we will never again have the chance to live with all of our best friends and experience our crazy times side by side. None of my roommates are moving out or graduating, just me. So it’s been extra emotional as I start to see my room slowly emptying and theirs staying the same.

I don’t think I appreciated the small town atmosphere of Bloomsburg as much as I will when I move. Being able to go out on a run by myself late at night is a luxury we should be thankful for. And not having to worry about walking home alone after night class is something we all take for granted. This is such a great area with so much to offer.

But what I will miss the most about BU is the people. From my professors, my advisor, my internship supervisor, my friends, my classmates…. I’m truly in denial that we won’t be together anymore. As graduation approaches, I’ve really discovered whom I have been able to impact and those who have impacted me over the years. I’ve received so many small gestures of thanks and goodbyes from those who care about me, which of course, immediately turned me into a puddle of tears.

We remember kindness. And never forget meanness. I can definitely say that I have come across more people on the “kind” spectrum here. Being a good person will serve us all in the long run, both on a professional and personal level.

Reflecting back to high school graduation, this feels so different. I was so carefree and excited to leave high school and get away to college, meet new people, and have a fresh start. But now, this period of my life is so overwhelming. Every five seconds I feel like someone asks me, “So what are your plans after graduation?” as I try not to roll my eyes and scream I DON’T KNOW.

I’m trying my best to stay calm and have fun in this awkward stage by slowing down and enjoying these last few weeks of not knowing what’s to come.

Seniors - we really need to stop trying to put it all together, or we will never feel truly satisfied. After sitting down with my advisor one last time, I expressed to her my panic about not having a job lined up. She simply told me, “Take your time."

We shouldn’t settle for any kind of position that doesn’t make us happy or isn’t suited for us.

Because of the amazing internship I experienced during this final semester, I realized one thing about the job hunt: I should not EVER settle for anything that doesn’t make me as excited and happy as I was going to my internship.

Seniors, we need to search for a position and company we truly love to work for, because if you love what you do, you’ll be thinking about it all the time and constantly striving to be your best.

— Rachael Scicchitano, senior communication studies major #HuskyLife #ProfessionalU

Monday, April 27, 2015

Don’t stress the test

Classes can be stressful, especially at the end of a semester. Great timing for finals, huh?

As a sophomore now I feel better knowing more through experience how to conquer the stress of tests … well that’s what I think. When it comes down to it I do the same thing every time. I procrastinate.

Procrastination is the worst enemy to any student. We all do it, because we know that once we start studying there are two options … we understand the concept and pass the test or we FREAK OUT because we have NO CLUE what is going on and have a MENTAL BREAK DOWN and nothing good comes out of it.

Let me be the first to say don’t freak out!

We all have to go through the same thing. So first step, get a buddy to study with and things will run a lot smoother, they will be able to explain to you what you don’t understand and you could do the same for them.

The second step is finding a place to study… either the library, Monty’s, JKA, or your bed. But sometimes you need a different place, a new atmosphere to get the ball rolling.

Some spots that you would never think of is going to:
  • Dunkin Donuts on Route 11
  • Flog and Flame on Main Street
  • Panera Bread by Wal-Mart
This will give you new scenery to look at and maybe get more work done.

The last thing to do is to actually study. You need to make sure no distractions are around. So if you are easily distracted don’t go out side, because you might see a butterfly and go… “Oh look there’s a butterfly.”

Turn off your phone or put it on silent and make sure all social media is disconnected from its notifications. Make sure you are comfortable in your environment and get going.

Now, go out and conquer the stress of the test!

— Samantha Gross, sophomore telecommunications major #HuskyUnleashed

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

One idea can go a long way

LADIES - Are you aware that there is an entire month dedicated solely to us?

Over the past three decades, the month of March has been devoted to empowering women of all ages through a month long celebration of recognizing the most dominant and influential women in history. Since 1980, National Women’s History Month has been committed to highlighting their contributions and how they continue to affect our present-day society.

It’s hard not to feel a huge wave of compassion and respect for these historical female figures who have opened up doors and possibilities for all young women today. Their stories and successes continue to motivate females to be individualistic in a leading male culture.

There’s Nancy Reagan, former first lady, who taught us that, “A woman is like a teabag - only in hot water do you realize how strong she is”. And Helen Keller, prominent educator and internationally respected humanitarian, who proclaimed that, “No effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost”. And then there’s Oprah Winfrey, the first black female host of a nationally syndicated daily talk show, who showed women that, “There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born/"

By challenging humanities assumptions that women are not socially, politically, or economically equal to males, these legendary figures in history have been able to overcome adversity and achieve their dreams while continuing to empower females of all ages beyond their years.

Every March, Women’s History Month recognizes the brilliant women who continue to influence present day females in their own personal and distinctive ways. For me, my leading role model is a woman who was able to overcome the hardship and adversity she faced as a single mother who dreamed of pursuing a career as a writer.

In 1990 on a crowded train to London’s Kings Cross Station with her young daughter at her side, an exciting idea for a story fell into Joanne “Jo” Rowling’s mind. There was a young boy with messy black hair and round shaped glasses, who had unknowing knowledge that he was a wizard. By continuing to pursue this story idea, Rowling went from living a simple life as an eager writer living on state benefits to creating the multi-million dollar bestselling franchise that is known as Harry Potter.

Rowling, formerly known as Joanne, wanted to use initials instead of her full name on the cover of the Harry Potter books in order to target both genders. Her publisher agreed on her theory that a group of young boys would be reluctant to buy a story written by an obvious female name like Joanne. Since Rowling did not have a middle name, she decided to adopt her paternal grandmother’s name, Kathleen, for the middle initial. The creation of her famous pen name, J.K. Rowling, makes me appreciate her as an artist all the more. For a previously unknown writer who worked her way to the top, she did not care about the glitz and glory of fame. What she cared about was attracting readers to her stories.

My admiration for Rowling as an artist has never stemmed from her fortune and fame. What I adore about her as a person is my knowledge of her journey through failure and rejection.

Rowling has proved that one idea can go a long way if you have the knack and determination. Since the release of the beloved Harry Potter series, her stories have been translated into 73 languages, selling millions of copies and accumulating over 20 billion dollars through movie adaptations.

But despite her achievements, Rowling stated that at one point in time, “By every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew”. Back in 1995 when Rowling finished her manuscript for the first Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, she submitted the final copy to over twelve publishing houses, all of which rejected the manuscript (I’m sure this has become the biggest regret of their lives). A year later, she was finally given the go by an editor from a publishing house in London.

For a young and aspiring professional about to graduate with an unsure future ahead of me, it is so symbolic to know that someone as lucrative and well known as Rowling was once a college graduate in my questionable shoes. At this point in my life, I’m not sure where I will be a year from now. But I hope to be journeying down a career path that makes me as happy as storytelling does for Rowling.

To me, Rowling’s real life story is more incredible than any work of fiction. By following her rocky journey, I have learned that you must push through the difficult times in life. Within every challenge there are great doses of life to be lived.

When I look back at my childhood, reading the Harry Potter series and watching the films was a huge bonding experience for my siblings and me who have always shared a love for Rowling’s storytelling. By doing what she loves, Rowling has been able to touch the lives of millions, inspiring boys and girls across the world to follow their wildest dreams no matter the defeat or failure they may face along the way.

Some of my favorite and most profound quotes by Rowling I have grown to feel a connection to over the lifespan of the fantasy world that is Harry Potter include but are not limited to:
  • “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”
  • “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
  • “It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
  • “In dreams, we enter a world that’s entirely our own.”
With a chance to give recognition to a brilliant female in history who has impacted my life, Women’s History Month lives on to continue telling the tales of symbolic women like Rowling.

This year’s Women’s History month theme, “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives”, really relates to how Rowling has inspired me to continue in her legacy of overcoming challenges and journeying on to reach happiness and one’s full potential.

This coming June, Bloomsburg University will be sponsoring the 25th Annual International Conference on female author Virginia Woolf, one of the leading modernists of the twentieth century. This year’s theme, “Virginia Woolf and Her Female Contemporaries”, seeks to recognize Woolf’s writing along with the work of her contemporaries and how today’s society of young artists compare to that of Woolf and her colleagues.

With the 2015 Women’s History Month under wraps, it is vital for our small population of unique undergraduates and graduates here at Bloomsburg University to recognize inspiring females who have contributed to the gender equality that exists in our university community today.

— Rachael Scicchitano, senior communication studies major #HuskyLife #ProfessionalU

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Carpe College ... don't get stuck in a 4-year routine

We all get those emails from our professors, advisers and department heads about "upcoming opportunities" and "volunteer position availabilities." But let's be honest, how many of these messages go unread and/or unopened?

Most of them.

We students have far too much going on, right? Between waking up on time for class, making time for meals, studying and sometimes even working, where could we POSSIBLY find time to add anything to our schedules?

Yes, I realize that it would look good on my resume, but what is the concrete value of any of these experiences? What am I getting out of it? Is it worth getting out of bed on a Saturday morning to volunteer at a campus program or community event?

Probably not.

This is the way I thought throughout most of my undergraduate career. Don't get me wrong, during those four years, I maintained an above-average GPA, became captain of the women's basketball team, tutored for the disability center and held a part-time job (about 10 hours per week). It may seem like a lot, but now that I've begun to actually read the emails being sent by my mentors, I am realizing how much more I could have done with that time and how many connections I probably missed.

When I graduated with my undergraduate degree, I knew nothing about what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I enjoyed writing. I knew that I enjoyed working with people. That's about it. I did my senior internship and didn't completely despise it, so that's where I ended up after graduation. It wasn't until I finally began embracing and seeking out new opportunities that I found my real passions and could start pursuing the life that I wanted rather than the one I fell into.

Regardless of the specific opportunity we choose to pass up, we are potentially denying ourselves personal and professional connections. College is a time to discover strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes and passions. By getting stuck in a 4-year routine consisting of the same types of jobs, classes and social networks, we are being exposed to a very limited set of experiences and therefore, simultaneously prolonging the process of discovering what type of career, lifestyle and education is worth pursuing.

Here are a few of the advantages I've found to seizing opportunities, even if you aren't sure if they're "for you" or if you think you can handle the addition to your schedule:
  • Connections: Meeting people is everything! I cannot place any monetary value on the friendships and mentors i've gained through my volunteer experiences. I have connections across the country with people who can, not only help me professionally, but who have been wonderful personal supports and networks.
  • Compensation: While volunteer opportunities never offer big bucks for your participation, they do often provide things like travel costs, meal expenses and hotel accommodations. Don't be afraid to ask if any out-of-pocket costs are covered by the organization or institution before you travel too far and break your bank.
  • Experience different types of jobs: If you have an idea of what field you want to work in, use this as a chance to observe it on different levels and on various levels. You might find that you're more into the production side of things rather than being the front-(wo)man or vice versa. See what other people do in order to get a better idea of where you can see yourself.
  • Sorting through the garbage: the more you know and understand, the more you can discard what's NOT for you.
  • New places: Even if the position or job title isn't something you see yourself doing long-term, take advantage of opportunities that will allow you to travel. You might find that you really enjoy (or really don't want to end up in) certain places that you had never thought of before! Volunteer programs are great chances to experience different countries, states, cities and venues.
  • Respect: Professors, advisers and peers usually admire the fact that you're willing to take chances, which makes them more likely to throw more opportunities your way in the future! You may miss some classes or need to ask for extensions, but I've found that 95% of the time, faculty values the experience you're gaining and are more than willing to work with you as long as you communicate your plans appropriately.
  • Set yourself apart: While steady positions, degrees and long-term experience are definitely important, I am finding more and more that potential employers like to hear about my "unique" experiences and excursions even more than my schooling or day-to-day routines in my full-time positions. Those stories could be what helps them remember your interview after a day full of qualified candidates!
  • Open up future opportunities: There is real value in relationships. Others can offer support, advice and direction based on their own unique experiences. The more you volunteer for, the more people you meet. The more people you meet, the more opportunities they can present you with as you move forward!
  • Even if you hate the actual "job" you end up doing, most of these positions are part-time and temporary. Really, there's not much to lose. You never know what you'll discover when you stop ignoring those emails! Maybe even your future... Just go for it!
Social media: @_alyssameyers

— Alyssa Meyers is obtaining a graduate degree in Counseling and College Student Affairs (CSA) at Bloomsburg University, where she holds a graduate assistantship in the Student Activities Office. There, she assists in overseeing Bloomsburg's Program Board, Concert Committee and other groups and committees related to campus-wide event and activity planning.

Alyssa also holds a part-time position at Penn State University's Hazleton campus, where she is the Assistant Coordinator in the Office of Residence Life. In this position, she oversees a 10-person student Resident Assistant staff, works with the full-time residence life staff and participates in on-call or "Duty" responsibilities.

Prior to starting her career in student affairs, worked as a caseworked at Columbia County Children and Youth Services. She gained experience in crisis management, community health, and strength-based intervention strategies. Last summer, Alyssa moved to the Los Angeles area and worked with the Student Life and Engagement staff at Marymount California University. The focal point of her summer was designing an LGBT Safe Zone training manual and additional programming for the upcoming academic year.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Empowering your Inner Husky

To me, attending the 8th annual Husky Student Leadership Summit was one of the most valuable ways I have spent a Saturday during my career at Bloomsburg University. Notice I said the 8th annual summit? Yes, this summit has been going on for the past eight years, and as a senior I could slap myself for not becoming a part of this incredible experience sooner.

But I won’t allow myself to complain; one days’ worth of speaking with prominent alumni, hearing networking tips, and attending speaker’s panels was enough to make me feel super inspired to become the professional I seek to be.

Leading up to the summit, I was provided with a list of session options to attend throughout the day. I decided to go with sessions covering topics on networking, professional development, and leadership, which I believed would help me in my quest to improve my overall professional skills. Each session offered students with a chance to hear real world career advice from BU alumni through their personal stories and experiences.

Each session, I made sure to scribble down some quotes I felt were great tips from the alumni staff. In the second session of the day, ’87 Husky alumni Alana Gallo talked about her positive and negative experiences reviewing student resumes throughout her career. “Everyone looks the same on paper…so what makes you stand out?” This quote could not be more spot on to my life right now. Over the last month or two I have been in the process of sending out my info to several companies and organizations and have only heard back from a few places. I’ve been thinking - is there something wrong with my resume? Am I too standard among my competition?

So I’m sitting there in Gallo’s session, contemplating what my next step should be to become a more unique electronic applicant. And that’s when it hit me – I was doing it right there and then! By attending the Husky Leadership Summit, I was able to gain ample experience and opportunity that my competition may be lacking. Networking with alumni is such a crucial factor in the job search process and is something I need to continue to take advantage of as I journey through life as a pre and post-grad.

Gallo also talked about employers who would rather have more resumes in the NO pile than the YES pile. Upon hearing this, I looked around to find the student audience with awestruck faces. But she’s absolutely right - if employers have any immediate doubt in your potential, you have some major work to do on your resume, your cover letter, and your overall digital presence.

I can’t imagine how many resumes and cover letters employers have to look at each year. Imagine if that was your job and everyone’s resumes were extremely similar. Pretty boring, I would think?

And I’m sure it is difficult to narrow down the applicants when no one is really standing out. Employers don’t have the time to sit there and slowly dissect what you’ve sent them. So it is important to leave a memorable impression that will immediately catch their attention, whether that be through your outstanding GPA, your involvement in clubs and organizations, your digital portfolio, leadership positions, or relevant internship experience. Make sure to highlight what makes you YOU! With a fantastic digital impression, employers will be curious and excited to meet the real deal in an interview.

Midway through the day, the alumni already had me feeling so enthused to make a name for myself. Because of the useful tips I received while attending the summit, it has become my mission to have no red flags and no questions asked. My goal is to work towards being placed, without a doubt, in an employer’s YES pile based on their overall first impression of me.

Other advice I took to heart came from Kristin Austin, ’02 Husky alumni who spoke with us about her experiences networking and developing her personal brand over the years. Austin, who is currently coordinator for new students at BU, brought to the session her excitement and enthusiasm for student triumph by telling her humorous yet successful networking stories. Austin’s advice - you have to be courageous and open to stepping out of your comfort zone if you want to make potential networking connections.

Networking is not fast and it is certainly not easy. But it is an action that is entirely up to you. It is your choice whether or not to start a conversation with a potential contact. It is your choice to ask for help from a family member with prior experience in a company of interest. Austin preached that without physically taking action, no one will be there to help you. And most likely these networks who were once in our shoes would be pleased to help.

By keeping an open mind and a positive attitude, networking can become a prime factor in any student’s progression towards landing a job post-graduation. Although my attendance at the summit was mostly for my personal benefit, it also allowed me to participate in the Student Involvement Resource Fair luncheon with Communication club NCASC aka the National Communication Association Student Chapter.

There, I met with our student president Kate Armstrong, and together we spread the word to the hungry crowd of leaders about the benefits of joining the club. I was also able to snap some photos for the BloomsburgU Instagram account, capturing lively and interactive moments throughout the summit.

Overall, my participation in the summit provided me with a chance to really reflect on what I have been building for myself at BU. A memorable moment from one of the alumni speakers was when she compared the student audience to products and that each of us were products in the process of development.

By the time graduation arrives, I hope to have created the best possible self-product imaginable based on the classes, professors, employers, and experiences I have utilized while at BU. By attending professional events such as the Husky Student Leadership Summit, I have been able to continue working towards preparing for the world outside of Bloomsburg.

A huge shout out is in order for all of the Husky alumni who took the time to support the students at this event, along with the hardworking staff of BU leaders who made this unique experience possible.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams.

— Rachael Scicchitano, senior communication studies major #HuskyLife #ProfessionalU

Friday, March 13, 2015

China Today: An immersing and exciting experience

Today was another beautiful day in the city of Kunming. After class and lunch we hopped on the bus and headed for Guandu Old Town. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from here, like most things, but was pleasantly surprised when we arrived.

Getting off the bus we walked towards what looked like another outside market with beautiful rea lanterns leading us to more rows of shops, restaurants, and historical buildings that all told a story. We first stopped at this beautifully designed building that was surrounded by little Chinese ponds with lilly pads, lanterns, and Chinese checker boards. We explored the shops which were the best I have seen yet, I couldn’t resist buying something.

These shops seemed the most organized and had more of a selection then the ones I’ve visited so far. I could’ve spent my whole day there if I had the chance. After the Old Town we headed for the YNNU cheggong campus which is a more modern version of where we're studying at now.

This campus was so huge it seemed like it could be a city by itself. After touring the extravagant campus and hearing how much tuition is compared to what we are already paying at Bloomsburg, my heart broke a little bit. The students at YNNU cheggong campus really got it good.

Today was the day we’ve all been waiting for … the Stone Forrest! I have been excited about seeing this infamous site since I found out I was officially going to China. The Stone Forrest is located right outside Kunming and is basically a Forrest full of both tall and short limestone, all once below sea level. Our tour guide, dressed in yet another stunning traditional outfit, made everything that more entertaining.

Every now and then I’d feel someone’s hand on my shoulder and it would be her making comments like, “Hello!, here take picture!,” or referring to our group as , “many English people let's go.” She was so energized leading us through the tunnels, valleys and mountains of stone while everyone is trying their best to be cautious on the slippery stone stairs. Soon enough she lead us into another shopping center, which actually turned out be tea testing.

If I have learned anything by now it’s this Country loves their tea, which I have no problem with. I’m so used to coffee but since I’ve been here my taste buds have learned to love tea; which tastes so natural and feels healthier. Seeing the Stone Forrest and the people, like our tour guide, who inherit it for their day to day lives make me wish it wasn’t such a tourist attraction. Although it should be shared with the world and it’s great to know some history when walking through, I felt more rushed. In my opinion if we could just receive a map and explore it for ourselves, it’d be a greater adventure (not to sound picky.) If everyone has to make a living somehow, and that’s how the villages surrounding the Stone Forrest do so, I accept that.

Ever played real life frogger?

The game where you try to cross the street but have to make sure you don’t get hit by cars that do not plan on stopping for you ? That’s kind of like Kunming. It's funny because the amount of mopeds driven here you would think they would have their own lane but that is not the case. Cars, Buses, and Mopeds all drive in the same lanes and are not very courteous of one another.

In America, I feel like in the cities the traffic is more controlled by either signs or stop lights but here it seems a little bit more unorganized with much more people. They do not really believe in “Yield to pedestrians,” you just got to go when it’s the right timing in hopes of not getting hit since it looks like they are not going to stop.

Cars and busses go at a regular speed of about 50, which doesn’t seem so fast. When they are driving, they don’t plan on stopping; and if they reach that point where they almost hit you they just swerve around you.

Also they love to use the horn. When we started off in the villages all I could hear when I went to sleep was dogs barking, now I here constant horns (not just like “honk honk” it’s more like hoooonnnnkkkk hooooonnnnnnkkkkk.) Everyone is very selfish when driving, just yesterday my two friends and I, witnessed a minor accident where a middle-aged women on a mo-ped was hit by another mo-ped. The moped drove away as the women stood in the middle of the intersection with here broken parts until a kind citizen helped her. Cars and busses just drove past here not offering any help.

Today we learned a little bit more about Yunnan and all it’s different minorities. First we visited the Yunnan Minority Museum which was filled with ancient artifacts, scrolls, books, clothing and all that good stuff from years and years of the Yunnan Minorities. We have been to museums before but this one was the most interesting since they were courteous enough to include English. The people of Yunnan are way more into their culture and ancient ancestors then anything I have ever seen in America. They value their minorities enough to create a two floor multi-room exhibit filled with relics and works of art.

Although we do have museums such as the Smithsonian, MOMA, Museum of Natural History and so on, the Minority Museum is strictly showcasing the Yunnan Province. After lunch we headed for the Yunnan Minority village, which I thought would be just another row of shops but then we received tickets. After we got our tickets we entered the gates to what seemed to be an amusement park of all the different minorities located in Yunnan. Each minority had their own exhibit so we were able to see tons of different ethnic backgrounds and what they value most.

The most exciting part of all this would have to be the Elephant performance which was a total surprise. These elephants were so talented I was amazed watching them. You could tell they were very well-trained which was kind of upsetting when they would mess up and get yanked by a chain; I guess since they are large wild animals that is the only way to tame them. The best part was the show was very interactive with the audience and we were able to feed them and be a part of the show. Towards the end after all their majestic tricks, we could pay 20 yuan to have our picture taken with them. They set it up so two elephants were holding trunks so whoever wanted a picture could sit and hold onto them for a quick snap shot. I was very amazed by this whole experience.

I have been immersed in so many new and exciting things so far during my time spent in China. Last night we left the city of Kunming where we’ve been living and learning this past week and a half and headed North towards Lijiang and Dali. Instead of road tripping via bus we took an overnight train. I have seen plenty of trains in my day but never one with bunk-beds! It was almost like a Hogwarts experience minus the wizards.

Each cart had a set of miniature dorms with bunk beds making sleeping an interesting experience. After about 7 hours we arrived in Lijiang early morning and were greeted by our new tour guides. We wasted no time eating breakfast and checking in so we could start touring the old town of Lijiang. Being here only a day it already feels nice to get out of the city and into a place where fresh air is no problem. Lijiang is populated by the Naxi people who have all been very kind and welcoming so far. They take very good care of the village and aside from the Chinese symbols, you’d think you were in Colorado or something with the snow-topped covered mountains and log-cabined boutiques.

One of the main reasons for visiting Lijiang was to tour the Jade Dragon Mountain located here. Although it was the coldest part of this trip it also was my favorite place we visited. I’m usually used to going to large mountains for snowboarding purposes but getting the chance to walk and admire how beautiful the scenery was made everything that more surreal. There was not one cloud in sight and the mountain and trees were snow covered making it a great day for photography. Towards the bottom of the mountain were crystal blue meadows that were so clear you could see right to the bottom. Along the meadow laid the reflection of the mountain making for an overall breathtaking experience (literally cause of the altitude.) If Jade Dragon Mountain wasn’t on my bucket list before, it is now and I am thankful I had the chance of experiencing it.

China is very admirable for their unique designs of both architecture and fabrics. It’s interesting to see how they get their inspiration from surrounding elements such as nature and animals especially. I’ve always been interested in clothing and different types of fashion fads and trends.

Coming to China allowed me to explore a variety of different fabrics, textiles, and patterns among the people here. In America we are so used to shopping at our favorite chain stores and having all our clothes already made for us. It is rare to look at a tag on a new shirt you bought and see, “Made in America,” when shopping at big name department stores.

Among the places we have visited I’ve been exposed to so many different types of fabrics and styles, mostly all hand-thread and manufactured. Sheets of fabric are showcased everywhere from store windows to car door windows. Here, keeping to traditional clothing and embroideries isn’t uncommon.

In Yunnan I’ve seen a lot of the same patterns repeated in different cities that include similar embroidery of flowers and naturistic designs. One pattern I haven’t seen a lot of is cotton. In America we love our cotton tees sweatshirts and sweatpants. We go to class and aren’t surprised to see half the students still in their pajamas, which seems unlikely in China.

Speaking on behalf of my age group, I feel a lot of the Chinese young adults and youth like to express themselves culturally through how they dress more than what I am used to seeing. Everyone has their own type of style whether its high fashion or sticking to the traditional embroidery. I have seen more of high fashion in the city of Kunming where more of the villages like to stick to traditional embroidery, especially with age.

— Annie Sapio, art studio major #HuskyAbroad

Led by Vera Viditz-Ward, professor of art and art history, and Jing Luo, Ph.D., professor of languages and cultures, a group of Bloomsburg University students spent three weeks in China studying language, culture and photography. The group, hosted by Yunnan Normal University, traveled to Kunming, Hekou, Yuanyuang, Mengzi, Dali, and Lijiang, where they had close contact with a variety of ethnic groups and learned about their lives and cultures.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Warming up to Husky Life

The winter season could put a real chill on some outdoor plans. You never know what to expect and if it’s warm enough to do some activities outside. But there is always one thing you can count on, and its Netflix.

Netflix is one of the most addicting websites a college student can go on.

Let's be honest we all have gone through a Netflix binge at least once a semester. Watching eight hours of Netflix in a row is something I know I look forward to.

The hard part is that once you get connected to a TV show you are bound to finish it in a week.
Six seasons. More like four days.

It’s a real sickness we get from watching Netflix.

Winding down and relaxing?

College life can be very stressful but coming to a stop in the on going day to take a breather and catch up on Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Lost, or Gossip Girl, can give the college student exactly what they need to break away from life for a little.

For me, my ultimate favorite show is Gossip Girl. As a Jersey girl who lives right by New York City I was able to really connect and envy the characters within the show.

I always wanted to live on the Upper East Side and this show took me right into that life style. Living in big fancy apartments, and going shopping everyday is only a girls dream.

But this show has so much more than material aspects. Every episode dives deeper and deeper into the character lives and with large amounts of money comes dirty secrets and betrayal. As the audience, we know the secrets and just want to scream at the characters to tell them what’s going on, but in the end we are seeing out of the eyes of the Gossip Girl. And we can’t wait to hear, “XOXO Gossip Girl."

As for the guys or girls who aren’t into the high society life style, another great option is Prison Break. My boyfriend and all of his roommates are obsessed with this show. This show has just enough action, drama and romance in it to make both sexes happy.

I occasionally watch it with him, because it’s a great show for us both to enjoy. Michael and Lincoln are thrown into prison for a crime they were framed for, but by trying to escape they are causing more kayos, and with kayos causes drama and suspense. We just hope that one day they will live a free life.

The winter weather gives us that perfect excuse to lie in bed all day Saturday and watch our favorite shows or movies. Its endless fun and excitement in the warm humble abode of your room.

Its nothing to be ashamed of, we all partake in this satisfying binge. As for me, my next series will be Friends. I have seen almost all of the episodes from reruns, but finally I will be able to watch it in order.

Surviving the Semester Freeze

— Samantha Gross, sophomore telecommunications major #HuskyUnleashed

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Words of wisdom

Hello Huskies! Now that we’re starting to stray away from the first week gotta look nice stage of the semester and are slowly moving towards the rolling out of bed wearing yoga’s and/or sweats to campus every day look, the reality of being back to the grind of things is starting to sink in (for some slower than others).

As a graduating senior I feel it is my duty to grant the youngsters of BU with my best advice to help you survive the greatest, most exciting four years of your life. And although it gives me great pain to claim the role of a soon to be graduating senior, I hope to shape my grief into pure reminiscent bliss by telling some of my stories in hopes that present and future huskies can avoid my mistakes and follow in my happiest footsteps.

After completing seven out of eight semesters at BU I can confidently say I have experienced just as many (or more) awkward and embarrassing moments you are probably experiencing. I was just as uninvolved and unconcerned as most of you, always reassuring myself with, “I still have time to pick a major, I still have time to get a job, I still have time to find an internship.

#RachaelTip - Never allow waiting to become a habit. Looking back, four years was NOT that much time.

*Flashback to 2011*

High school senior me made the impulsive decision to commit to Bloomsburg University. Back then, as if this was that long ago, my future was extremely unclear. I had no idea what I wanted to major in, no idea what I was good at, and no idea if I could survive living away from home.

So I decided to migrate a total of 20 whopping miles from my hometown to Bloomsburg University. Such a huge transition. I sometimes detest my choice and wish that I would have at least attempted to relocate to a university farther away from home. But after all of this reminiscing I came to realize I could go on for hours about what I would change. But that’s not why I’m here. What I want to share is what has changed all of my doubts about BU, a university I chose solely due to its convenient distance from home.

I can now truly say that I am completely content with my decision to come to Bloomsburg University. Not only did BU help me discover my strengths, it has allowed me to meet and connect with inspiring students, professors, and coworkers. Unfortunately, it took me until the very end of my sophomore year to grasp the fact that I had nada to put on my resume. I was not involved in any clubs or organizations, I didn’t have a job, and I had not made any influential connections.

ATTENTION READERS - if this sounds like the present you - listen up!

One of the first steps I decided to take was job searching on campus. While talking with my peers, one of my friends suggested applying to the Student Activities Office in Kehr Union. Fortunately they were seeking students like me who lived locally and would be available to work during the summer, so I was lucky enough to get a job as an office and main desk assistant.

However, my #RachaelTip to you would be to apply to several places on campus, not just one.

This way, you can get your application out there and have options while also not feeling bad about yourself for not getting a call back. Having an on campus job has been a wonderful opportunity and has allowed me to become much more involved within the campus community. For me, working on campus has given me the chance to meet other students while opening up doors I never knew existed. With this job came firsthand access to exciting information on campus events, activities, trips, and discounts the university offers.

For all of you undeclared majors, I was once in your rocky boat. My sophomore year I finally made the decision to join the communication studies major.

#RachaelTip - I highly recommend looking into this major!

The communication studies department has an amazing group of faculty and a variety of concentrations you can choose from than fit your interests.

But anyways….(not trying to be the poster child for Comm Studies, but really, it is the best ☺), after declaring a major I slowly started to make my way into the crowd. I decided to join the NCASC (National Communication Association Student Club).

NCASC is a national organization welcoming students of all majors meeting bi-weekly and providing important information and workshops on topics such as interview etiquette, how to perfect your resume, landing internships, studying abroad, and more. Oh, did I forget to mention the free pizza??? NCASC is run by a group of BU students ranging from sophomores to seniors, so don’t worry, you won’t feel intimidated by a bunch of big seniors running the show.

After being involved in the club for nearly two years, my junior year I decided to run for a leadership position on the exec board which would be in charge of Public Relations and the clubs social media sites. When I first joined NCASC sophomore year, I never thought that I would be one of the students helping to organize events and run the meetings.

#RachaelTip - if you want to strengthen your resume, exec board positions show diversity and your ability to handle leadership roles.

Usually at the end of the spring semester clubs will vote for new exec board members to replace any graduating seniors. Whether you are a leader in a club or general member, joining a campus organization is a significant way to get your foot in the door and boost your resume.

Although I can’t speak for all departments, if you are unsure if your major has a club or organization my advice would be to check with your department secretary. They are there to help you and are very friendly! You may also want to look into finding out whether or not there is an honor society for your major.

Lambda Pi Eta, BU's communication honor society, reached out to me my junior year inviting me to join the other honor students in the major. A month or two after getting inducted, I decided to run for the open Public Relations position and I somehow landed the role. While running up against my fellow students I thought to myself, “What am I doing? I look like a fool. No one will vote for me!” Please, don’t have these thoughts!

#RachaelTip – Remember, you can do anything you put your mind to. As long as you stay true to yourself I assure you, all of your hard work will be recognized.

So freshman and sophomores, maybe even some juniors and seniors….get up and get moving! With the large variety of student life opportunities on campus, there really are no excuses. BU has more than 250 student clubs and organizations ranging from the arts, business, entertainment, athletics, community service, and faith. I have built friendships, gained leadership positions, and created amazing opportunities for myself because of being active in all that the university has to offer.

Nowadays, students with scholarly grades are not as notable as those who are deeply involved with a wide range of roles and engagements. After all, college is more than just going to class. It’s about taking advantage of the rewarding opportunities sitting in front of you. One final #RachaelTip - Enjoy every moment. Make mistakes, try new things, learn, and push yourself to greatness!

— Rachael Scicchitano, senior communication studies major #HuskyLife #ProfessionalU