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“The 3 Ps to Your Success” by Shrinidhi Dandibhotla

Before I get started, I want to clarify something: I am no expert and I am not perfect. But what I’m about to tell you has truly changed my life in the last 8 months, and I hope you will find my experiences and advice useful for your own life.

We all have goals and ambitions in life, but we often find ourselves complaining that we don’t have enough time to achieve all of them. Well, who actually ever has enough time? According to a national survey conducted by Gallup, about 48% of Americans say that they don’t have enough time to do the things they want to do. Between Honors classes, homework, work life, and other extracurricular activities, students often find the days just slipping right past them, not giving them time to socialize, hang out with friends, or even just sit back and relax. 

If you’re feeling that way right now, trust me, you’re not alone. With finals just around the corner and wrapping up coursework for the semester, it’s common to feel that “mid-semester slump” and get caught up in the spiral of wondering if you should just quit. But remind yourself that you can do it. Continue reading

“Extracurricular Hobbies and Healthy Habits” by Clara Kinken

As the semester comes to a close and we approach finals season, it’s more important than ever to remind ourselves that it’s important to take a step back and find something to occupy our time during much needed study breaks. Recently, I’ve been having conversations with friends about what it is outside of our classes that we do purely for enjoyment, completely separate from our studies and professional development. Finding an extracurricular passion is a great way to find a release or temporary escape from a hectic schedule of Honors classes, club obligations, and Zoom meetings. For me, this has manifested itself in the form of my semi-regular trips to the Little Bob throughout the week to swim. 

Swimming used to be an integral part of my weekly schedule before coming to college and was not something I planned to incorporate regularly into my college experience. But after pandemic circumstances left me without access to a pool for a year and a half, I suddenly found myself nostalgic for 6 a.m. practices and three-hour meets. When I got back to campus this spring, I decided to ease myself back into swimming, uncertain as to whether I would enjoy being back in the pool or not. I cannot quite describe the sense of relief I felt during that first lap, two years after my last swim season had come to a close. I immediately felt myself relax into a familiar pattern, remembering just how much I had enjoyed swimming, even when it was too early to see the sun and I hadn’t gotten a chance to drink my morning coffee.  Continue reading

“Gotta Have a Wawa” by Rachel Gray

Everyone should work a job in customer service at least once in their life. I am a firm believer that the people of this world would be much nicer as a result of an experience like this.  I have worked at Wawa just a little bit over the past year, starting when the pandemic began. My previous job was at a retirement home, and of course, the employees were brutally hit by COVID-19. At first, I wasn’t tempted to take up the new job, but I soon realized that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Among a variety of lessons, working at Wawa has opened my eyes to the reality of how people treat others and work together. Continue reading

“Essays for Essays” by Chris Hope

I am a fan of anything that goes into great depth to analyze media or the humanities, whether that be Wikipedia articles on niche linguistic concepts, articles analyzing album themes, or what I’ll be talking about in this article: YouTube video essays. There are a wide variety: ones analyzing movies or TV shows, ones discussing political concepts, and more. I also believe that there’s much to learn from these videos aside from the ideas that they posit, such as topics to use in one’s own writing and ways of structuring one’s own writing, and they can even be something to watch in one’s free time or as background noise.

Looking online, you can find videos on almost any topic; to me, this is an interesting way to brainstorm ideas for your own writing, as well as a way to find sources. Similarly to how you wouldn’t cite Wikipedia and would rather go and find the sources from which the authors get their information, oftentimes creators will include their sources throughout the video or in the description. This way, you can look more into primary sources for the topic and then gather your own. The intersection of the topics of these video essays also allows for you to find resources on deeper, more academic topics while hearing about how they intersect with media. There are channels dedicated to music and its use in films, and one video I’ve watched talks about how animated movies use imagery relating to immigration and police and the implications such imagery has on the films’ messages as a whole. There are also ones that just talk about a specific topic on its own, one in particular I think of being about how languages die out because of colonial powers. The structure of these videos can also be of benefit when looking at your own writing. Continue reading

“this is me trying” by Alex Stone

This past year has been very isolating, physically as well as emotionally. I remember how much in disbelief I was when we got the email last spring saying that we had to go home and take classes online for the rest of the semester. I honestly believed that by the summer, life would be back to normal. I believed that I would be returning to campus in the fall and seeing my friends very soon. I did not picture spending many long months in quarantine, isolated from everyone. I did not imagine the toll this would take on my mental health. I did not expect to feel so anxious, lonely, and fearful of the future. But something else I didn’t expect was to be listening to three new albums by Taylor Swift. This past year, Taylor Swift released the albums folklore and evermore, and just recently, her 2008 album, Fearless, but rebranded to Fearless (Taylor’s Version). I do not know if it was fate or some higher power that knew I needed these albums when I did, but every single one was released right when I needed her music the most. Continue reading

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