So other than typical drinking nights (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) one might wonder, what do students do after classes are over? Classes are finished around 4 p.m. (unless you have a night class). If you don’t play a sport during this season this leaves you with a lot of free time before bed, assuming that a college bed time is around 12 a.m.
So what are some things people do after classes?
1) Clubs! Club meetings usually take place in the early to late evening, and are usually about an hour long. I have clubs that start anywhere between 5-10 p.m. on weekdays. This is a good way to blow off steam and hang out with friends (and most importantly avoid homework)
2) Go out! There are plenty of places in Westminster to go out to eat. People also do evening activities, going bowling (or skiing in the winter). While this requires a lighter homework load, there are some nights it can be fun to get off campus for a while.
3) Volunteer! There are a lot of places to volunteer in the area. I know of people who work with children at the Boys and Girls Club, and others who work at the local animal shelter. Another popular option is volunteering with the elderly. This is a fun way to be involved in the community.
4) Camp out in the library! For those who have a lot of work to do, especially during finals week, this is a popular evening option. With breaks to get coffee from the coffee shop in between of course.
One fantastic thing about being a college student are the conferences. There are always opportunities to connect with other schools and bring together ideas about college student life and anything else under the sun. This weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a service learning conference, hoping to promote more service learning in college classrooms. Since I am passionate about volunteering this was a great conference for me to attend.
To be honest, sometimes conferences are a bust. There are a few I have gotten up early to attend and then felt like I wasted time. Not everyone is an eloquent speaker and not all groups that gather can be productive or have the same energy. This conference, however, was not a bust in any way shape or form. I made some good connections and found some great ideas to bring back to my own campus. So, what are some things that make a conference good?
1) Good student energy. This is probably the most important. When people are willing to merge together and excited to discuss the topics, you can tell. At this conference we met with students from two other schools for a twenty minute discussion, and everyone was excited to talk to one another.
2) A strong speaker. One of the top 100 teachers in the United States spoke at this conference, and also allowed for students to speak. When speakers make something powerful and relatable that is when they have achieved success. Not everyone has this skill, but this conference had a wonderful speaker.
3) Well constructed workshops. Usually there are several workshops during a conference, and there was only one here. Thank goodness it was a fantastic one! The presentation made its point direct and engaging, exactly what I was looking for. I also learned some fantastic ideas I hope to take back to McDaniel.
Overall I am so glad I attended this weekend. It was not a waste of a Saturday in any way.
It is amazing the feats that people accomplish here on campus. I am constantly surprised by what events people manage to pull off. This morning I came across one such surprise. I was walking to the library and stumbled upon a group of tables outside of the dining hall.
It is not rare to see tables outside of the dining hall. Usually on week days there are people selling things or promoting activities. This, however, was a Saturday. Because of that reason I did a double take. Especially because usually during the week there are a few tables, today there were ten crowded into a small space.
What was going on? A campus group had organized an anime convention. People were wandering around buying from different venders selling arts and crafts. Some were dressed in wild costumes, with rainbow colored hair and face paint. Overall it was a very startling sight to see while walking bleary eyed towards the library. It was also impressive. I was proud of my fellow students for being able to plan and put on such a large event, and I was able to stop and browse on my way to do homework.
There is nothing like spring for getting people out and about. Today I went on a beautiful walk around Westminster. It is easy to forget what a nice town it is when holed up for the winter. I also was able to see some parts of Westminster for the first time.
Not only did I see Westminster for the first time, I had another first. I talked to a stranger. Usually I don’t approach people, but while walking I came across a trunk. It was an average beat up trunk, but being a junk lover, I wanted to take it home immediately.
Instead of walking by and passing up the opportunity I actually walked to the door and knocked. Upon asking I discovered that:
1) Strangers can be friendly
2) I could, indeed, take possession of said trunk
Now I am a happy, tired, and expert Westminster walker. I am so glad that I took the opportunity to have an adventure, and a side adventure, and now I plan to decorate my trunk with bumper stickers and paint.
This week, surprisingly, there are many women events going on. As a women’s studies minor I have had many opportunities to participate in women themed events. I performed in two shows about female sexuality. Not only that but we have a women’s issues group on campus as well.
This week there are two events going on. The first was being nominated as a phenomenal woman. Here at McDaniel every year we honor phenomenal women of the campus. Anyone can be nominated, and this year a stranger nominated me! It probably is not a stranger but it is no one who I have asked about so far.
The second exciting event is sponsored by the white house. They are hosting a women’s history event that I will be attending. I am mostly excited for this because it is being held in a historic building. I am looking forward to seeing the movie and meeting the panel of people involved in the event.
Overall it is a great end to women’s history month!
There are two routes one can take when deciding what to do with a snow day. This is the second snow day given this year, but the first one with enough snow to have all the snow day options. In past years snow has cancelled an entire week of class. Snow days are one thing that does not have to end in college. So what are the two options? Indoor day or outdoor day.
I am a fan of indoor day. One can catch up on sleep, homework, reading, really anything. It is also the perfect time to make a cup of hot chocolate and look out the window. Usually outside I see the types of people who are having what I would call an outdoor snow day.
At McDaniel a snow day outdoors can be fun. Not only is there plenty of space for building snowmen and snow forts, but we have a golf course that has great hills for sledding. It is not unusual to see people trudging past, wet from sledding and running about in the storm. From my window I enjoy watching people having a good time with my steaming mugs of cocoa and tea.
If it sounds pretty much like a snow day at home, that’s because it is. Only instead of being snowed in with your family, it’s with all of your friends! Definitely not a bad way to come back from spring break.
So, as I mentioned in my last post, I am traveling in Montreal! Although it is not as radically different as my trips to Ghana and Botswana, it is still exciting. I am staying in a luxurious hotel room with its own kitchen, a rooftop pool, and gym facing out over the city. Traveling with parents who have money is certainly a plus.
Montreal is a great place for a college student to go, especially one who takes French. This is my first time to a city with so many bilingual signs (although unfortunately I don’t speak much French). It is also great because there are plenty of universities, so there are a lot of other college aged students to meet.
I am so glad that I have four days to spend in this fantastic city. It is cold and snowy (a down side, I am certainly nowhere warm for spring break) but it looks like there is plenty to explore. The hotel is in the heart of the city and I will be out all day tomorrow taking in the sights and smells of a new (my ninth) country.
I’m sure you are wondering, as I wondered oh so long ago, what does a college student do for spring break? Here are several examples:
1) Stay at school. The campus is quiet, so it is easy to get work done. Not only that, but if you have an on campus job you can usually get hours during break. Both lifeguards and people who work for campus safety can work during break, and it doesn’t hurt to make some extra cash.
2) Travel! Like myself, I am off in Montreal. I have always wanted to be in Canada! Or the more traditional traveling is of large groups to the beach. Most of my friends are in Florida.
3) Go home. Spring break is a great time to see family and have some home cooked food. Not only that, but many other colleges have the same break, so it is also the ideal time to catch up with friends.
I know people who are doing all of these things for break, or a combination, but everyone is relieved to be off from school and having a blast!
Saturday morning I was up at 7:30 a.m. in a school van. Why? I had a conference. McDaniel teachers often encourage students to apply to local conferences. A few friends and I were accepted as presenters at a nearby conference in Baltimore. It was a conference about Intersectionalities and several McDaniel students were asked to present.
This conference was informative because it included many disciplines. There were majors in Sociology, Psychology, Math, and more. This gave us the opportunity to hear from many different disciplines. Furthermore there were projects ranging from movies and speakers to posters.
McDaniel students had a fantastic time presenting. Our projects won both third and first place, not bad! During the poster presentation I was nervous at first, but everyone was very polite and welcoming while I presented my poster. This was my first time presenting but I found that there was nothing to be nervous about. I am grateful the teacher encouraged me to participate as I can not only put it on my resume but take what I learned from presenting and use those skills in the future as well.
Sometimes it’s good to just get off campus and have fun. After sitting around waiting for spring break and worrying over midterms people can get stressed. Luckily this weekend I got to unwind with a good bowling experience. Even though I am not a pro bowler, I still had a great time.
Friday night a few friends and I piled into a car and headed towards the bowling alley. It is only a ten minute drive from campus! Having friends with cars is really convenient, but sometimes the school also organizes trips to the bowling alley. Either way, it’s a great place to go on a Friday night.
The bowling alley was packed, and I even got to see some pro players. My friends and I were not pros but we had a great time. I even managed to bowl over 100 points for the first time. It was fun to kick back and relax before my study session, and we played two fantastic games. It did wear me out but it took away a lot of stress and I had a great night of sleep. Now I will be able to study for my exams well rested.