College Life

Till Death (or graduation) Do You Part – Selecting a Research Topic

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The topics you studied in the general ed classes of your undergraduate years were one night stands; fun for the semester, but rarely thought about after. Selecting a research topic in grad school is the equivalent of dating in your late twenties; you’re looking for something serious that through all the toils and trials, will stand the test of time.

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Picking a subject that already has a fair amount of existing research is usually a smart way to begin your academic marriage. This probably seems counterproductive as you are thinking “Why would I pick something that already has been researched to death? What could I possibly discover.”As any experienced student will tell you, the starting point of all research papers is the literature review: the portion of the paper where you cite the works of people much smarter and more accomplished than yourself. One day, some wet behind the ears first year may be citing one of your many published works but for now, your professor is going to expect a certain number of citations to earn a passing grade. So while the 14th century mating habits of the indigenous people of Utah may sound like a winning topic, if your EBSCOhost search returns only three results, you my want to venture in a different direction.

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When you reach a certain age, you’re going to want to expand your family from just you and your partner, to a few children and maybe a corgi. As with your relationship, you’ll find it wise to select a topic in which you can branch out on during your time in your program. Keeping in mind you are selecting a thesis that you’ll be with from your intro class to your capstone, you most certainly will want one that will give you the most milage. My topic area of Greek Life has spawned research projects on diversity, privilege, academic success and hazing ethics. You and your topic will be expected to reproduce numerous times during your program, so pick one that is fertile.

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The most important aspect in choosing your topic area, is selecting something you are actually interested in. As with your significant other, you’re going to spend much time with your research topic. All of those long evenings hunched over your laptop in a coffee house or late nights closing down the library will be much more enjoyable if you’re studying something that piques and holds your attention. Just as passion fuels the fires of your romances, may it incite your academic pursuits as well.

4 Healthy Breakfast Options

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1. Greek Yogurt, Granola, and Berries

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 Greek yogurt is low in sugar, fat, and calories and is high in protein.  Adding granola and berries keeps it healthy and fulfilling.  This breakfast will keep you satisfied until lunch and is really good for you!  You’ll feel more alert and healthy with this in your system.

 2. Egg whites, avocado slices, and tomatoes on multigrain toast

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 Using egg whites eliminates a lot of the cholesterol in eggs, but you still get some good protein.  Avocado has a lot of nutrients in it and it’s delicious!  Avocados go great with eggs and tomatoes and the multigrain toast is a healthy alternative to white bread.

 3. Whole Wheat French Toast topped with Fresh Fruit

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 Use whole wheat bread brushed with egg wash (just whisk an egg together with cinnamon and a splash of vanilla) to make this French toast on a stove.  Top with cinnamon and your fruit of choice and light syrup and you’re good to go!  Using cinnamon for taste instead of sugar cuts the calories and cinnamon is pretty healthy.

4. Fruit, Yogurt, and Coconut Water Smoothies

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 Put fresh or frozen fruit in a blender with low fat or nonfat yogurt, ice, and coconut water and blend together.  This is a delicious and healthy option and it can be very filling.  The best part is that you have an endless amount of flavor options, so get creative!

HOW TO: Do Laundry in College

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Prepare: Make sure to put all your dirty clothes in a hamper or basket (get one that’s easy to carry, its possible you will have to carry it up and down stairs). Also, buy detergent that works with all your clothes (and separate bleach if you want, but I don’t). Make sure you have either quarters or whatever you need to pay for the campus laundry machines, before you head down.

 Step 1: Separate out your white clothes from your dark clothes (if you want- I personally just put everything in on cold and it usually works fine). You should also make sure to take out anything that says “Dry Clean Only.”

 Step 2: Put whichever load you are doing into the washing machine.

 Step 3: Make sure to put the detergent in the right place (because sometimes you don’t and then it will come out feeling weird….).

 Step 4: Put the machine on the right settings. (I tend to always put on delicate cold, but that’s just me- if you took the time to separate your clothes, look at the tag and see what it says.)

 Step 5: Pay the laundry machine to do your bidding.

 Step 6: Turn on the machine. Stay until you can see (or hear) that the machine is on and laundering your clothes.

 Step 7: Set a reminder on your phone for however long the machine says it will take. If it doesn’t, set it for about 45 minutes. That way you can come down and check on your clothes and hopefully not find them left on top of a dryer with a couple wet socks having fallen off, gathering dust on the grimy laundry room floor.

Step 8: Transfer your clothing to the working dryer. (It may take a few tries to find out which machines work and which machines don’t dry your clothes no matter how much money you give them…) OR bring your wet clothes to your room and set up a drying rack, but I DON’T recommend this as it takes up a lot of room and for a long time.

 Step 9: Set the dryer to the right settings.

Step 10: Give the machine your money for the hope of dry clothing.

 Step 11: Repeat step 7, but with only the possibility of dry clothing ending up on top of the dryers.

 Step 12: Make sure that your clothes are dry. Having to run it twice isn’t abnormal, more than that is- if you have to, move it to a different dryer and hope that one works.

 Step 13: Bring the hamper/basket upstairs and IMMEDIATELY fold and/or hang up your clothing. Or don’t. But then you’ll be living out of your hamper and not have a hamper to put your new dirty clothes in.

The End – Congrats you have done laundry in college!

And The Band Plays On… (In Defense of Our Marching Warriors)

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Last year my school acquired the services of a local DJ to perform at the all of the home football games; a sacrilegious move in my eyes. No disrespect to all of the spin masters out there, but when it comes to college football, the marching band goes hand in hand with the barbecue grills at the tailgate and the cheerleaders on the sidelines. There’s just something about the triumphant  blares of the brass, the precision of the drum line, the impossible agility of the majorettes (Will she drop it? WILL SHE DROP IT??? She’s totally going to drop it. SHE DIDN’T DROP IT!!!) and the pageantry of the color guard that signifies tradition.

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I had a cup of coffee with my high school band, but in that year and a half, I can attest that being a functional part of a marching band is no simple task. While many people struggle to play an instrument sitting down, these mobile minstrels not only play, but do so while performing elaborate choreography. While the film American Pie portrays band camp as two weeks of adolescent sexual exploration, those who have actually gone through it would probably describe those 14 summer days as being closer to musical boot camp.

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The movie Drumline only scratches the surface of what marching bands mean to historically black colleges and universities. At many HBCUs, the marching band’s halftime routine is more anticipated than the game itself. To see the level of talent, showmanship and excitement these bands bring to the table, do yourself a favor and check out any of the footage from the Honda Battle of the Bands competition that’s on Youtube; it is truly stunning.

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 Also, it would be a crime to pen an article on college marching bands without mentioning the self proclaimed “Best Damn Band in the Land”at Ohio State University.  Through their choreography, this 192 member collective have formed moving cars (complete with a smokey exhaust pipe), bucking bulls, flying spaceships and even a moonwalking Michael Jackson during their halftime exhibitions. Once again, if you truly want to be amazed, look them up on Youtube.

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Last season, our rich friends invited us to their good seats on the 50 yard line, five rows up. Late in the third, the team called a time out and the band rose to their feet. With the sun majestically reflecting off the horn section, the trumpets launched into a familiar cadence. It was the opening bars of Kanye’s “All of the Lights”. The hair on my arms stood straight up; my body covered in goosebumps. I thought to myself, “This is going to be so awesome when the beat drops and the drumline comes in!”Well that beat never dropped as the DJ started up the “Humpty Dance”and played right over the band.

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In the name of two a day practices while wearing full uniforms in 90 degree summer heat, I beg of you, LET THE BAND PLAY!

 

Fit and Flirty

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We all know the importance of staying in shape, but sometimes keeping up with your workout schedule can be difficult when classes are in full swing. What’s a busy college student to do when hitting the gym isn’t an option? Read on for dorm friendly workouts to keep you ahead of the game.

1. Burpees

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Burpees are the Monday of exercises: everyone hates them. Literally everyone. But this doesn’t negate the fact that they are extremely effective as well as convenient because they can be done in a very small space such as a dorm room. Try different variations to suit your fitness level. Add a pushup in the middle of the burpee and a jump at the end!

2. Pushups

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According to webmd.com, the push-up is considered by many fitness experts to be the “perfect exercise” because many muscles between your shoulders to your toes are engaged. Since the push-up is a resistance exercise, you are also building bone strength as well as muscle strength.

3. Squats and Lunges

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Squats and lunges are arguably the only two exercises you need to build lower body strength. As long as you’ve got the proper form, these two exercises will become your best friend.

4. Jumping Rope and Jumping Jacks

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Running is fantastic but when you don’t have the space, a more convenient cardio session can be completed with jumping rope. If you don’t have enough space for jumping rope, try jumping jacks. Mix up your jumping jacks a little by adding a squat to each one!

5. Crunches and Toe Crunches

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Crunches reign as the universal default ab exercise and for good reason: they’re easy, effective, and don’t require a gym membership! To target your lower abs, try adding in toe touches to your workout!

How do you stay in shape in a small living space? Let us know in the comments below!