Confessions of a Stunned Sophomore

What is your major? 
What do you want to do with that?
What summer internships do you have this year? 

No matter who asked me these questions, the answers did not change:
I'm not sure yet. I like a lot of things. 
It's hard to pick. 
I'm still looking. 

Some people say sophomores are supposed to have it all figured out... We are supposed to have our majors declared, our internships in line, and know exactly what courses we are taking for our next two years. There are also more realistic people who say sophomores don't need to figure it all out yet.
I agree with the latter.

Every day I am so thankful for going to a liberal arts school where I can have as diverse courses in my schedule as I want. I can take a New Media class and also a Physics class if I so choose. UNC Asheville makes connections between the departments. I may have a lecture about light and its impact on color in Physics, and then implement that in a project for New Media.
What I'm trying to say is that it is okay and normal to have various passions, in fact, here it is encouraged.

But I didn't realize this and other facts the day I was panicking that I didn't have everything figured out like all of my friends seem to have.

I had made an appointment with the career center to discuss summer internships, and figured that was also a great time to sort through the plans for my major.

The career center is a free resource on-campus for students and alumni. Employees there help you fine tune your resume, edit the perfect cover letter, find jobs on and off-campus, look for internships, or any other work related information you could think of needing. If you prefer not to go into the office that is in the Highsmith Student Union, you can go directly online and read through their resources there. Making an appointment is as easy as logging on to their website and finding what you need:

I have been to the career center before to go over resumes for jobs and have always had wonderful experiences. My most recent trip was no exception.

By the time I left my appointment, I had papers in hand about the process of finding the right major for me, what my personality type meant, where I could work to best suit my interests, and application information for summer internships that are near my hometown. Every thing that I had wanted to get, I had left with.

An interesting part of the appointment was when the career counselor and I were reading over qualifications for an internship.
One of the bullets read:
"Earning a Bachelor’s degree, preferably in journalism, public relations or communications or liberal arts equivalent."
Liberal arts! One of UNC Asheville's most proud distinguishers about campus, and here it was in an internship description. 
Being part of a liberal arts education is something everyone is beginning to notice and takes seriously. It is a recognition to be proud of. 

Also in the appointment, we used resources that are available to people on-campus such as personality tests, strong inventory tests to see your interests in the workplace, along with search engines for jobs and internships.
Best of all, they told me that I was exactly where I needed to be for a sophomore. I was doing the right thing by taking various classes to see what I like, being aware of my interests, and being open to change.
Above all, I think that is what I needed to hear, that I was on the right track.

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Sunday Snow Tubing Trip!

Although the snow may have melted away from campus, that did not stop some students and I from finding some more snow elsewhere to continue our snow-time adventures.
As you can tell from some of my other blog posts, I am a huge fan of our campus recreation resources on-campus. They have great facilities, group exercise classes, intramural sport teams, club sport teams, weekend trips, day trips, and information lessons. 
This past weekend my friend and I took advantage of a morning snow tubing trip with campus recreation. The trip was only $25, it covered transportation, instruction, and equipment. 

We drove out to Mars Hill and were astounded by the amount of snow still on the ground! The sun hadn't touched parts of it, and there was way more than 7 inches. But it was no longer freezing cold. In fact, it was nice in the sun, and you didn't need to bundle up like an eskimo. Perfect snow tubing weather. 

The location was a local business where it seemed everyone knew everyone. The employees were super friendly, and that added to the experience because they showed my friends and I tricks on the tubes, how to go faster, the best way to ride over a ramp to get air, and other fun things. 

I think my friends and I did every possible move there was to do on a snow tube... we tucked our feet in, laid on our belly, shared a tube by both sitting in it, and we even went off ramps! 
College students are just little kids that try looking cooler... sometimes. We will never turn down ice cream, the chance to sing, or the opportunity to run around snow tubing for 2 hours.
UNC Asheville gives us the chance to let our inner kid run wild while our adult mind grows in intelligence. 

Perfect Form

Wild Jump

By the time we drove back to campus early that afternoon, we were worn out. Despite finally going back to class the next day, after days of cancelled classes, the smiles and laughs from snow tubing still remained. 

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The End of the Snow-pocalypse

It seems all traces of snow have finally melted away.

3 inches, 4 inches, 6 inches, 8 inches... some even said 12 inches.
The estimates of how much snow we would have on-campus last week was the talk of the school, and the area. We had almost 7 inches in some areas!

It began Tuesday night.
What seemed like little harmless snow flurries began to drift down out of the sky...
Then before you knew it, you looked up and those flurries became globbed masses of snow.
Working the Highsmith information desk, people think you know something that everyone else doesn't. People would whisper like it was a secret of the highest security clearance, " are classes for tomorrow cancelled yet?" Whether this question was asked on the phone or in person, I answered it all in the same half-laugh way, "I wish I knew. But I'll find out when you do through the website or email. You can call the snow-line though." Then I would read them the number and direct them to that portion of the site.
Here is the snow-line information in case you're curious:

Luckily the snow did not disappoint, and the beautiful white flakes covered everything in reach.
Although classes were cancelled and campus was gorgeous in the snow, people were still moving around just as much as always.
With this said, campus was not shut down completely. Students in residence halls, such as me, were still able to get hot food in the cafeteria and other places on campus.
The workers on campus did a phenomenal job of keeping all the pathways clear and ice-free to prevent slipping and falling. It seemed like the workers were outside around the clock, plowing, spreading sand, melting ice; I applaud and thank them, just as all of campus does.

Everything looks more beautiful in the snow, even though the spring will be fast approaching.

Mills Residence Hall

Founders Residence Hall 

West Ridge Residence Hall
Soccer field view of Governor's Hall and Overlook Residence Halls

Snowy Quad
Spring Quad

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How To Keep Resolutions On-Campus

It's a new semester and a new year, and with these notions come new goals. Although some people have the same goals, such as exercise more, eat better, and so on; everyone differs in their approach.
When you live on-campus your resources can seem limited, but you just need to know where to go.
Although February is around the corner, and some of you may have stalled on your resolutions, it is never too late for change!
Here are some great tips to either get started or keep going.

1. Drink more water.
Seems simple enough, right? Your body is composed mostly of water and you need to keep it healthy and hydrated, so drink water. But here are some tips on how to get the most out of the water resources on-campus.
At UNC Asheville we have these awesome machines that are water bottle friendly! They fill your bottle from the top using a motion sensor so you don't have to hold your bottle sideways like traditional fountains. Each time you use these new fountains, it adds a tally point to the counter on its screen of how many bottles are being saved.
What a great way to be green and healthy!

2. Work out. 
Working out is so commonly thought of as going to the gym and "pumping iron" with heavy weights. Sure that's great for some people, but there are alternatives! The gym is a great place, with various resources such as treadmills, machines, and weights. In addition, the hours are open from 6am to 11pm most days! So you can definitely find time to work out.
But what about a more fun and energetic alternative? Campus recreation provides free group exercise classes for students too. Here is a schedule of all of them, they include classes ranging from spin and Zumba to abs classes. Click for class descriptions.
Or maybe you are just curious about working out, and you want to learn more? Campus recreation is great for that too because they hold informational sessions, such as nutritional information, "how to" classes, and much more. Click here for campus recreation site.

3. Walk more.
As students it is easy to fall into a rut of sitting and doing work all-day long without getting up to get our blood flowing. If the previous work out options don't strike your fancy, what about a walk?
A walk could be to the nearby CVS or Urban Burrito area, or it could simply be around campus.
We have some great sites on our campus, from the outdoor art displays in the back of campus to the botanical gardens towards the front - discovering new places is always an option.

4. Stress less.
It's been a couple weeks into school now... feel your blood pressure rising? Not enough sleep due to worry? How about a yoga class? As I mentioned earlier, campus recreation has free exercise classes, but they are not all sweat-inducing. In fact, some of them lull you to sleep. There is even a yoga class called "Yoga Yourself To Sleep"! UNC Asheville has countless options for yoga classes to find the right fit for you, and when you go, you never feel alone because it is a very popular hobby on-campus. So grab a few friends and get your shavasana on.

5. Eat better.
We all understand the woe of hearing the siren song of pizza, fries, and ice cream... Thankfully the food on-campus is delicious enough that we aren't tempted to pig out on unhealthy options. You can get vegetarian chili and cornbread at Rosetta's, pasta with a salad and a breadstick at 2Mato, fresh fruit in the cafeteria, and so much more. One of my favorite things about the cafeteria's food is that they post all the nutritional information on individual cards behind the food. These cards tell you the serving size, calories, sodium content, protein, if they are vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free, along with other information. Have a food allergy and not sure if you can eat a certain dish? Feel free to ask! The staff is really friendly and will gladly answer questions.

6. Get involved. 
Lastly, but not least... Do something fun! It's college, it is meant to be the best time of your life and it's time to make some memories. You can join an infinite amount of clubs, get a job, hang out in the residence halls, or do some off-campus volunteer work. This is a picture of my best friend and I when we helped out at Brother Wolf, which is an animal shelter near campus. Getting out of your room and doing something is easy!

So now that I have given you some tips and tricks for on-campus resolutions, go make 2014 amazing!

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