August 2014
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Early Move-In

First Year Orientation always begins the Wednesday before classes start, making this year’s Orientation just over a week away! Next Wednesday morning, a few hundred students will arrive at McDaniel College with parents, family members, and other loved ones in tow. By early afternoon, the new first year students will have settled into their new dorm rooms in Whiteford, Rouzer, and Daniel McLea Halls, and after Convocation, a ceremony to welcome the arrival of the new class of students, their families will depart and the real fun–that of their new-found freedom–will begin.

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It’s all hands on deck for first year move-in day! Even McDaniel College President Dr. Roger Casey helps students move into their new digs. I nabbed this shot of him at last year’s move-in day, which I got to take pictures of for McDaniel’s student newspaper, the McDaniel Free Press.

But first year students aren’t the first students to arrive on campus. While it’s true that most sophomores, juniors, and seniors will move back in on the Saturday and Sunday before classes start, lots of lucky students get to move in earlier.

Students on several of McDaniel’s Green Terror sports teams are among the first students to move back to McDaniel before fall semester starts, allowing them ample time for practice. RA’s (resident assistants) also move in a few weeks early so they can receive training and be on hand for when the first year students move in. Peer Mentors, who are older students who serve as peer resources for first year students as part of the First Year Seminar program, also move in early so they too can receive training and be ready to welcome to campus their new “mentees.”

Students in various other organizations can also get permission to move back to the Hill before everyone else. I found out on Thursday that for the second year in a row, I get to be one of them! I’ll be moving back to campus next Monday (one week from today!) so I can reunite with about half of the Free Press editorial staff so we too can welcome the new first year students, taking lots of pictures and providing coverage of Orientation throughout the week.

Having covered Orientation for the Free Press last year, I know this year is going to be a blast. I had such a wonderful time meeting new faces and sharing with them what I love about the Hill.

Awaiting Welcome Week

Another sign that fall semester is just around the corner appeared today when McDaniel’s Office of Student Engagement posted this year’s Welcome Week schedule on Twitter.

Welcome Week always takes place during the first week of classes. It’s kind of like a continuation of First Year Orientation week, which takes place the week before class starts, but it’s for students of all graduation years.

A lot of Welcome Week activities take place annually. One of my favorite yearly events is Bingo for Books, and one time, I won a $100 gift card. I also really love attending the poster sale. It typically takes place on the Monday and Tuesday of Welcome Week, and even though I don’t think I need any new posters, I’ll still probably go at some point as a way to unwind between classes and socialize with others.

The Involvement Fair, which is on Wednesday evening, is probably the best and most important Welcome Week event to attend. Glar workers serve up hamburgers and hotdogs outside in Red Square and student organizations line the quad in between residence halls DMC and ANW with free stuff and lots of information about the many clubs you can join during your time at McDaniel. It’s a great opportunity to meet lots of people too!

Throughout Welcome Week, you’ll also have the chance to score more free stuff and get to know what resources are available to you on campus by attending various open houses, sponsored by offices like Residence Life, the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, and Campus Safety.

And at the end of the week, you’ll be able to celebrate a successful end to the first week of classes by gathering your friends and some picnic blankets and going to Red Square for pizza and an outdoor movie. In the past, they’ve shown Bridesmaids and The Avengers and this year’s movie is The Amazing Spider-Man II.

Welcome Week is a lot of fun, but the fun doesn’t stop at Welcome Week, which gives you a big taste of what sorts of other events you’ll find at McDaniel throughout the semester.

Welcome Week 14


Three weeks ’til Hogwarts!

I’ve been having a fun and relaxing summer, but now that August is finally here, I can hardly contain myself!–Three weeks from today, I’ll be back in the classroom at McDaniel College, my magical little Hogwarts in Maryland. This also means in less than three weeks, I’ll have moved back in.

There’s still lot I need to accomplish with less than three weeks to go in my summer. Weeks ago, I accepted the fact that I won’t finish reading all the books I had wanted to read this summer, I still have some must-reads to get through. Of course, today, the books haven’t been able to compete; since I want to hit the ground running when I return to campus, I’ve spent some time today sending emails, scheduling last-minute doctor’s appointments at home, and even packing some things that I want to have with me at school that I’m not currently using every day. I also registered for my campus parking pass and reminded my McDaniel Facebook friends to do the same.

The next few weeks will be filled with multiple trips to Target, actually going to the doctor, reading what I can, packing like a maniac, and yes, even more emails. At least registering for parking only needs to happen once a year (though once I get to campus, I’ll need to go to Campus Safety to pick up my parking sticker).

Time is going to fly by this month, and while I just want to be back at my Hogwarts, I’m going to need all the time I still have in between now and then!

McDaniel: #MyTopCollege

Howdy, McDaniel students in the making! I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer!

Recently, Forbes asked college students and alumni across the country to show their school pride online by using the hashtag #MyTopCollege. McDaniel students, faculty, staff, and alumi have gotten in on the #MyTopCollege action by tweeting, Facebooking, and Instagramming reasons why they love McDaniel.

So why is McDaniel #MyTopCollege? Well, 140 characters isn’t quite enough to express what I love about McDaniel. So here’s a list!

1. Our professors are phenomenal

One thing that immediately drew me to McDaniel when I was a prospective student was McDaniel’s faculty. On visit days, they participate in panels and open up their classrooms to prospective students to share what they can about the academic side of McDaniel. They’re very friendly and willing to talk to prospective students individually too, so when you visit, it’s worth stopping by the department of a major of your interest to see if any professors are around to chat.

As a student, my professors have helped me grow both as a student and as a human being. They respect me as a scholar and are vested in my well-being. McDaniel professors are also fun, quirky, and interesting people. We have math professors who crochet and professors who raise sheep and goats. Our professors are not shy when it comes to showing off their interests!

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Here I am with Dr. Kachur of the English department at the spring 2013 literary masquerade. Dr. Kachur is a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe and can sometimes be seen dressed up as the 19th century author and poet, as he is here.

2. Jan Term is a blast!

Jan Term is a three-week-long mini-term in January that allows students to learn about cool topics that their studies might not normally cover. Students can also complete internships during this time or go on a travel Jan Term, many of which take place abroad.

All students are required to complete at least one Jan Term during their time at McDaniel, but for many students, one is not enough. When I was a sophomore, I look an on-campus Jan Term called Coping With Stress, which taught me lots of relaxation techniques. On campus Jan Term classes aren’t very time-consuming, so I had lots of time during that Jan Term to work on other projects of mine, including personal research and starting up my popular English Major Humor blog on Tumblr.

This past year, I went on a travel Jan Term called Travel Writing Across Europe. Thirteen other students and I traveled to Normandy, Paris, Vienna, and Budapest to get a feel for different European cultures and write about our experiences. You can check out some of our writing here.

While in Europe, my classmates and I got to visit the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria.

While in Europe, my classmates and I got to visit the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria.

3. The rest of our academics are wonderful too :)

There were three major things that attracted me to McDaniel’s curriculum. Firstly, I really like our McDaniel Plan, McDaniel’s flexible liberal arts curriculum. The McDaniel plan requires students to take classes in a variety of areas, but students have a lot of freedom to choose which classes they take to fulfill those requirements.

Secondly, I am wildly in love with McDaniel’s English department. I’d known since high school that I really wanted to be an English major our English department at McDaniel has suited a lot of my needs–I didn’t want my English degree to consist mostly of literature classes, and McDaniel’s writing minor has allowed me to take, in addition to literature classes, classes in creative and professional writing and rhetoric, making me a well-rounded English major and giving me lots of practical skills that I will use throughout my life and career. And even before I submitted my deposit to attend McDaniel College, I knew that the English department’s faculty are among the very best professors on campus!

Lastly, I’m a fan of McDaniel’s Honors Program. The Honors Program is for exceptionally talented students at McDaniel who want to enrich their academic and social experience on the Hill. Honors students have the opportunity to take electives designed especially for them and they also can choose to live together in suite-style living situations. Honors Program students are fun people, and the classes I’ve taken through the Honors Program are some of the best I’ve taken in college.

Some fabulous Honors ladies at the 2012 Honors Picnic

Some fabulous Honors ladies at the 2012 Honors Picnic

4. Student life is fun-filled and fulfilling

Life outside of classes and homework keeps me busy. McDaniel has dozens of student-run organizations to offer, and I’m a part of our newspaper, The McDaniel Free Press, and our literary magazine, Contrast. I also try to volunteer, attend lectures and speaking engagements, and check out other cultural events a few times a semester. All of these things make life hectic, but I’ve learned a lot during my time outside of the classroom, so they’re worth it. And when I need some downtime, I can always rely on the good company and good humor the wonderful friends I’ve made at McDaniel.

Through classes, activities, dining, and living situations, I've made friends for life at McDaniel.

Through classes, activities, dining, and living situations, I’ve made friends for life at McDaniel.

Oh the places 2014 will go!

When I logged onto Facebook this afternoon, I was delighted to see the faces of two of my senior friends, Amber and Lauren, accompanying an article posted to McDaniel College’s Facebook page. The photo was a fun reminder of the time I spent with them in Europe over Jan Term and the article was full of snippets of what so many McDaniel seniors are going to be doing after they graduate on Saturday.

My friends Amber and Lauren, in front of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna during our Jan Term.

I already knew that Amber is going to grad school at DePaul University to study rhetoric and composition and that Lauren is moving to Oklahoma to work for the AmeriCorps affiliate Reading Partners–I wrote about their plans and the plans of the Free Press’s other two graduating editors in this McDaniel Free Press article.

These editors are by no means that only two graduating seniors with big plans. As I read through the McDaniel article, the list of seniors recognized and cool things they want to do with their lives kept growing and growing! Lots of students already have full-time jobs and grad school lined up. My friend Andrea, for example, will be pursuing a Master’s in Library Science at Pitt this fall, where she’ll specialize in Archives. A couple of my other fellow English majors are going to go work at Disney World.

Students graduating from McDaniel’s Honors Program have plans that include attending law school, working as a campaign staffer, working as teachers, and going to optometry school.

Some seniors also finished up their degrees in December and have already gone out into the “real world,” doing things like working and even hiking the Appalachian Trail before returning to McDaniel this weekend for commencement.

You’ve got to read this article about McDaniel’s class of 2014. You’ll learn so much about what students did during their time at McDaniel and how they’ll continue to lead amazing lives.