Friday, November 30, 2012

My Unofficial Second Major: Time Management!

by Cari A., Panther Blogger

Something people always say about college is that it's all a struggle to manage your time effectively. Managing the limited amount of time that we have -- to figure out what to do with it and how to spend it -- is basically a major in itself.  My biggest struggle with being in college here at Ferrum is this very thing. I can't seem to say "no" to things like hanging out with friends, picking up an extra shift for someone, or taking the "classic Wal-Mart expedition."  I have felt the pressure on myself in consequence to this difficult lesson as I try to scramble to finish school work the night before, or oftentimes, just hours before it is due.

Over the past few days, I have really felt the weight on my shoulders. I was putting things I had committed to on the back burner of my life -- things that during my time here have made me happy and that give me an outlet to take my mind off of school. One of those things is writing these blogs; writing them just seems to melt away the stress of a busy week. It is a stress reliever that isn't graded, and I am my own judge and teacher.  I would like to thank those who made it possible for me to have this opportunity.  Thanks!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Value of Friendships at Ferrum

by Brett W., Panther Blogger

Being a first-semester freshman at a considerably smaller school, I hear a lot of talk about how people don't like the school for many different reasons. The classic one I always hear is that people are "bored." To counter that, I always hear that Ferrum's unofficial slogan is "Boredom is an option."  Then there are the people who say the school is too small and everyone knows everything that happens, or that there is just no variety in activities to do, and that they want to leave. For those students, I am sorry your experience at Ferrum did not live up to what you thought it would be, but for me, it has surpassed anything that I had expected.

First, I literally do not understand how you can be bored and go to this school!  There are so many clubs, intramurals, sports, and just overall campus-wide activities that I have a huge white-board calendar in my room so I can keep track of when everything is happening.  Almost all the time, I have to choose between multiple items because a lot of the activities overlap. When school started getting into full-swing, I even had to cut out some of the clubs and activities I was in so I could make room for school work.

Secondly, I know this does not fit everyone's personality types, but the fact that this is a smaller school lets me know more of the student population, and lets me be known by others; for me, that is amazing. I love walking to class and having people yell "Hey!" at me or just waving frantically across campus at someone I met once.  I love the idea that by senior year, once all of these freshman naysayers leave, the size of our graduating class will allow me to know every single person. To me, that turns us from a class into a family that has struggled through all four years together, through the thick and thin of everything.  Before coming to Ferrum, I thought about going to Virginia Tech, but now that I have been here and have been back to Tech to visit friends, the idea of my class being over 10,000 people and it taking half an hour to walk across campus turns me off completely.

Finally, I cannot possibly fathom the idea of being bored when you have friends here at Ferrum. Immediately after being accepted to Ferrum, I was placed into the Facebook group for the graduating class of 2016.  Long before I even graduated high school, I began to chat with other people who had been accepted and were also coming to Ferrum.  I met a couple of people through that group who I talked to and even Skyped with over the summer.

I became really good friends with one girl, and we hung out a couple of times over the summer and made some amazing stories ("Alright, enough sharing!  I'm the princess!").  I talked with another girl and we ended up doing the Freshman Scholars Program together over the summer at Ferrum, and we are still amazing friends now ("What are you gonna throw at me? STUPID?!").  Over the summer, I talked with one of my great friends now, and we have made some crazy days here on campus that I would never change for anything ("I just knocked over an eggplant! ...That's not an eggplant!").  My roommate, of course, has been awesome considering he listens to all my rambling and laughs at my ridiculous jokes ("The drawer has been open this whole time! ...No, it hasn't!").  And, finally, while being on campus, I have made the best friends in the world as well. You know who you are -- just read the quotes.  ("Go big orangeee!" "I like falling backwards." "Do you even have legs?" "Well, speaking of Amish.")

These friends are my life, and when I'm not super-busy with school work or club activities, I am always with them.  I have learned that even if it has only been a couple months of knowing them, I can count on and trust them with anything I could possibly ever need. So, to incoming freshman or anyone who is thinking about leaving, all I can say is you just need to make awesome friends and your time at Ferrum will be the time of your life.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

How to Save Money at College

by Victoria B., Panther Blogger

Spending money is something you will have to do at college, but there are many ways for you to limit the amount of money that you spend.  For example, fast food is very expensive, so instead of going out to McDonald's or Wendy's with friends, eat more meals in the dining hall. You also have $325 to spend at Papa Johns, Subway, and Starbucks throughout the semester. So, if you are hungry, you can get food from these places with just a swipe of your student ID.  If you're absolutely determined to go out to eat with friends somewhere off-campus, I suggest going to Bowling’s Hotdogs. They have some of thebest hotdogs I have ever eaten and they only cost 1.25. You can get a whole meal at Bowling’s for less than you spend on a sandwich at a fast food restaurant.

Another way to save money is to find other things to do that do not cost money. If you really want to watch a movie, rent a movie out of the library that you haven’t seen and watch it with a group of friends instead of going to the movie theater. Ferrum also offers free bowling nights and free movie nights periodically throughout the year. No matter what, you can always find something fun to do at Ferrum that will not be too expensive. There are free concerts, illusionists, comedians, and all sorts of other acts that come to the campus every year. So, don’t concern yourself with going out and buying tickets to things and spending money that you can save for later. Take advantage of the events on campus and you will save a lot of money and have fun while doing it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Semester at Ferrum!

by Grant W., Panther Blogger

A semester here at Ferrum is a four-month roller coaster that many ride. The semester starts with a great deal of anticipated excitement as friends get back together and tell stories of their summer adventures, along with preparing for the first of the firsts. The first Monday/Wednesday/Friday class, the first Tuesday/Thursday class, the first tests, the first quizzes, the first papers, and of course, the first meetings of extracurricular activities. After the firsts are over, we all have our routines pretty much set, and we begin the long haul to the bittersweet end.

Each semester poses its challenges and excitements, and this semester was no exception. From juggling 18 credit hours of courses including calculus and organic chemistry, independent research, the presidency of Mu Sigma Chi, and a social life, I've had my hands full like many other students. Through the gauntlet of hosted events and the never-ending task of achieving the grades you desire to move on to the next step, we all still find time to have fun no matter how buys we get. Here on campus, we have an unspoken policy that fun doesn't find you; instead, you have to get out of your room and find fun.

From attending concerts to hiking and hanging out with friends on the weekends, Ferrum College students find a way to etch out some pretty amazing memories through their four years in this "out in the middle of nowhere" land. I think the so-called "lack of things to do" here actually pushes people's imaginations to create things to do here on campus; it's from this pressure that most of my memories have been made.

The best part about the fall semesters here is the changing of the leaves, cooler weather to have Friday and Saturday night campfires, football, and some great holidays. Many students have early Thanksgiving dinners together and, of course, Secret Santa gift exchanges.

Along with the semester, all of this hard work, stress, and fun comes to an end though -- as all good things must. Many times this end is very bittersweet. Great friends graduate, final grades come in, and we all get to go home and try to relax. Ferrum College is forever changing and evolving as students come and go -- each one of them leaving their mark on this campus for all who follow. Semesters get challenging no matter where you go to school, but Ferrum has a way of offering a sense of comfort and a break from the rigors of this precious time of life.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

End of a Soccer Season

by Maryann C., Panther Blogger 

The women’s soccer season here at Ferrum College came to a close last week. I had such a great experience that I want to share it. So many wonderful things happened during the season; goals were scored, friendships were made and fun was had. Overall, it was one of the greatest soccer seasons with one of the greatest teams I have ever been a part of.

I did not play soccer for two of my four years here at Ferrum. Coming back to play has been a major blessing to me and I really enjoyed it. I feel like I had a great season as an individual player. Having an assist at our senior game and scoring two goals against Mary Baldwin College are my biggest season accomplishments. I missed playing the game, and I appreciate the team for welcoming me back for one last go at the game.

Working with this group of girls has been an experience that I won’t ever forget. I have grown closer with many of the girls I already knew and I met new players who I plan to stay close to. Working with Coach Narrow was fabulous. She is easy to work with and has an obvious love for the game. The girls on the team are a bunch of goofballs! Long bus rides were never dull, and trips to public places were always interesting. I love each of these girls so much, and I will miss them once I graduate!

 As a team, we had so much fun. Team trips to Applebee’s and Wal-mart, movie nights, and team bonding activities were just some of the ways we spent our time together. For our senior game, the younger classmen had even more fun decorating the seniors’ cars and the locker room. Practices were a lot of hard work but once in a while, we would get some fun in during practices by scrimmaging, playing games and kicking balls at each other before practice.

We accomplished so much this season! At the beginning of the season, we set team goals and reached most of them by the end of the season. We finished in 5th place at the end of the season when we had been expected to finish 9th. We accomplished what no one else thought we could, and for that, I am proud of this hard-working group of girls. I anticipate many more great things to come from the returners, and I wish the seniors the best of luck in their future. This was an experience I won’t forget!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

In the Life of a Resident Assistant

by Keenan L., Panther Blogger

This past week has been very busy but productive. I have been preparing for VAUCHO, which is the annual Virginia RA conference. I am really excited because I did not get to go to the conference last year, so it is my first time ever! This year, the conference will be held at Virginia Tech, and it will be my first time on that campus.

At VAUCHO, all schools from around Virginia send people from Residence Life and Housing to the conference to represent their school, and we will compete in numerous spirit competitions. I bet this will be one of the best experiences I have been able to take since being in Residence Life.

This month as a Resident Assistant in Bassett Hall, we had a program about health awareness. One of the main health topics that we covered was breast cancer. To the residents who stopped at our tables in the lobby, we passed out cupcakes and bags filled with information about health; residents wrote notes of encouragement to patients or survivors. We had a great turnout. As RA staff in Bassett, we took the time to decorate bras for Breast Cancer Awareness. We took the bras and decorated the tables with them. We will donate the bras to Roanoke Oncology for office decorations.

Hope everyone is having a GREAT week and staying safe during Hurricane Sandy!