One of my biggest regrets from college is not recording my experiences. I started keeping a daily journal my junior year, and it’s fascinating reading through it again. It feels like I’m reading back in time and allows me to reflect on my experiences. Since journaling, I have started my own blog on WordPress, called Bizarre Brunette. I also blog for WSU’s blog (duh) and for Twin Cities Geeks. Blogging is one of my favorite stress-relieving hobbies and I have discovered how much I love to write. So if you have ever thought about starting a blog, but don’t know where to start, this post is for you!
The first step in creating a blog is figuring out the website you want to use. Tumblr is a rather common website to start out with. It’s really easy to create an account and it’s also really user friendly. I had a Tumblr at one point, but I ended up deleting it within a couple months. For me, Tumblr feels a little too much like a social media site versus a personal blog. So I suggest starting with Tumblr, but then moving to another website. I absolutely love WordPress (FYI: The WSU blogs use WordPress). WordPress is a little more complicated to use, but there are tutorials everywhere on how to do certain things. It’s free to create a blog, but you’re limited on blog layout options. I don’t pay for WordPress because I don’t have that many followers to make it worth it, but with time I may consider it.
The second step is choosing a name. I feel like this is the hardest part about blogging can be coming up with something creative and catchy. Also, changing your blog title is normal. I had first started out with the Geeky Iceskater. It felt wrong to me, but I’m not creative at all. My friend came up with the Bizarre Brunette and that title was quirky and perfect. Asking friends for help can give you some creative aspect into what your blog title should be.
Finally, make sure to share your blog! Part of the fun of blogging is knowing that people are reading it. I share my blog posts on Facebook & Instagram. I also am apart of a variety of different Facebook groups where I can share all of my new posts. Networking is the best way to get followers for your blog and to gain more views.
Blogging is a fantastic stress release and a great way to improve the quality of your writing. I highly recommend creating a blog because going to college for your undergrad only happens once. Don’t let memories fly by!
We’re at that point in the semester, Warriors! Classes are coming to an end and finals week is in view, whether you like it or not. That means it’s time to start studying for exams and writing essays even though motivation to do so winds down with the remaining days in April.
There are many tips available online that can help you better prepare for finals week and stay focused, but you hardly see a list of things you shouldn’t be doing. Here are 10 signs you’re not doing finals right, including signs you failed come finals week. What better way to illustrate these signs than with a little comic relief from Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura?
1) Stress eating
Many of us have already developed this dangerous habit, and it tends to intensify during the last few weeks of the semester.
2) You distract yourself and avoid studying
It doesn’t matter what the BuzzFeed post, Facebook share or YouTube video is about, you’re going to watch it – anything to avoid studying.
3) Nervous habits
Whether it’s gum chewing, biting your nails or tapping a pencil – you may pick up some weird or annoying habits as you cram for final exams and crank out essays.
4) Drinking loads of caffeine
You’ll find yourself wired from caffeine during your long days of studying.
5) You’re in need of some serious pet therapy
If you’re looking too forward to reuniting with your pet back home after finals week or freak out a little extra when seeing a dog on campus, you may need to re-establish yourself.
6) You’re on the brink of a nervous breakdown
You may feel like you’re losing your mind with your long to-do list, all of the stress and lack of sleep.
7) Taking out your frustration and stress on others
Come finals week, a short temper and displaced aggression are sure signs you didn’t do finals right. This may result in being sassy towards friends and having negative thoughts towards your professors when they pass out your final exams. But it’s not their fault!
8) When you just accept your fate heading into finals week
You know you haven’t studied enough and just decide to wing it.
9) You don’t the answer to the first question on your final exam
The moment of terror when you look at the first question on the final exam.
10) Excessive celebration
If you notice you’re a little too excited after finishing finals, that may be an indicator you didn’t do your final weeks of the semester quite right.
Be on the lookout for these warning signs and try to avoid them! Now, focus these last few weeks and rock your finals. You can do it!
As many of us will be going back home or away for a job this summer, we may not miss having class every day, but there are still aspects of Winona that will be missed greatly.
For me, my friends will be what I miss the most this summer. The friendships I have formed this year have truly made my freshman year better than I ever could have imagined. My friends here at Winona State inspire me daily to be a better person and encourage me in my faith journey. The memories we have made this year will be ones I never forget, and I can not wait to make more next fall.
In addition, I have been so blessed to have such an amazing roommate this year. This summer I am really going to miss the little notes we leave each other everyday, sharing a bag of popcorn in the middle of the night, and our long rants about how much we hate Peeps.
Along with friendships, I am going to really miss my campus ministry, Chi Alpha. Chi Alpha has provided a sense of community for me this semester and a place for me to call home. The leaders of Chi Alpha truly have a heart for the people on this campus, and have inspired me to continually show love to those around me.
One way that I have gotten to know people better this year was by sitting down for a nice cup of coffee with them. For those that know me, I am a coffee fanatic and I love hearing other people’s stories. That being said, I am really going to miss all of the coffee shops in Winona this summer. Although my bank account might appreciate the break, I am going to miss walking across the street multiple times a week for a refreshing cup of Joe at Mugby Junction.
Not only does Winona have a fantastic collection of coffee shops, but also restaurants – at least in my opinion. Many people say that Winona does not have many choices when it comes to eating out, but coming from a small town with only McDonalds and Subway as options, Winona has a fantastic selection. I would have to say the restaurant I am going to miss the most this summer is Winona Family Restaurant. I go there every Thursday night, and let me tell you, nothing beats a late night cup of coffee and a nice cranberry lemon muffin. Although that seems like something you could order anywhere, the rest of their menu is absolutely amazing. I love going to Winona Family Restaurant because it feels like I am sitting down at my mom’s kitchen table for a nice home-cooked meal whenever I go there.
Overall, I am going to miss the beautiful city of Winona this summer. Growing up in a flat, farming community does not compare to the recreational activities Winona has to offer. It has been so fun to spend this school year hiking the bluffs, biking around the lakes, and canoeing down the river. Nothing beats the beauty and awe of looking out over this wonderful city from the top of Garvin Heights.
You will be missed, Winona.
It’s a battle that we have all faced. You’re working on some homework that you’ve put off doing, and you just sit and stare at the screen or paper.
Is this even English?
These directions make no sense.
How do I even start this problem?
HOW AM I EVER GOING TO GET THIS DONE?
Or maybe you’re working extremely hard; never missing a class, but it just isn’t clicking. I know that I’ve faced this problem before. One tool I utilize, but not many students do, is our on campus tutoring.
I recently got in touch with Jillian Quandt, the Associate Director of Warrior Success Center for Tutoring and Testing Services. She said in a typical year only about 1 out of 5 students use Tutoring Services. Tutoring Services employs about 50-70 undergraduate students every year, making it one of the largest providers of academically related work experience at WSU.
If you take a class at WSU then you are able to use any options the Tutoring Services offers! There are 3 types of tutoring: 1-on-1, drop-in, or group. If you want a 1-on-1 appointment, you need to make it 24 hours in advance to give the tutor adequate time to prepare. Tutoring Services can be found on the second floor of the library in room 220, in Lourdes Hall 158 on west campus, as well as the SLC third floor terrace. There is no limit to how many times one may use drop-in tutoring, but 1-on-1 tutoring is limited to about one hour a week. To find out what classes have tutoring available you will need to log into TutorTrac.
Another thing many students may not know is that in addition to drop-in tutoring and arranged appointments, students can access professional online tutors for free through Winona State’s contract with Smarthinking Online Tutoring. The link is available right after you login to D2L right below your list of courses on the left.
If you would like to become a tutor, you will need to have a GPA of at least a 3.0, 32 credits completed, an A or B in the course you would like to tutor in, a letter of recommendation form from a faculty member in the area of subject as well as good communication skills.
Never feel scared or nervous to utilize this advantage WSU gives us. The tutors are there because they want to help students. I have found it very useful and would even like to become a tutor!
For those of you concerned about the future of Winona State’s beloved gazebo, have no fear! The announcement of the university’s plans to convert the gazebo to a yurt was just a well thought out and totally believable April Fools joke. What made this news so believable is Winona State’s very real commitment to sustainability. Even though the transformation of the gazebo to a yurt will not take place to support sustainability efforts, something else will be implemented beginning next year. And this is no joke!
Professor Joan Francioni, chair of the Sustainability Committee on campus, and student Alison Bettin explained the Green Fund Program to come. Students will pay a Green Fee of less than $5 per semester (which will be part of the Student Life fee) to go towards projects that will increase WSU’s sustainability and decrease the university’s energy footprint. This initiative came from students last year, and Student Senate passed it unanimously last month. The funds will go towards supplies and infrastructure for projects, support for a new sustainability coordinator, student travel to workshops and training, and will support student and staff positions (this includes 10-12 Student Help positions for student interns and work-study jobs). The Green Fund Program will increase WSU’s effectiveness in the following areas:
1) Integrating sustainability broadly across the curriculum and student life so that all students are able to advance their knowledge, skills and awareness of environmental stewardship and sustainability
2) Using the campus as a living laboratory by enhancing opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to work together to develop and implement solutions to campus sustainability challenges.
Now, since this will be the students’ money going towards the Green Fund Program, there will be ways for anyone to submit ideas on how to specifically put these funds to use! The Sustainability Committee has been expanded to include five student members and that committee will oversee review of proposals and make recommendations to the administration. Student participation and input will be essential in putting these funds to use, and the process for submitting a proposal will be released soon. Submit your green campus project ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
#ConvertToTheYurt is not a real thing, but sustainability on campus is! Keep a lookout for more information to come about the Green Fund Program.
Winona State President Scott Olson announced plans to convert the campus gazebo into a yurt, an eco-friendly structure that fits with WSU’s commitment to sustainability.
The idea came out of a conversation with Sustainability Committee faculty members James Armstrong and Joan Francioni who see opportunities to utilize the structure as a learning space to teach students and those in the community about sustainable living.
The yurt is the latest in a series of initiatives by the university to utilize outdoor classrooms, such as WSU’s “floating classroom”, the Cal Fremling boat, and the Outdoor Education Recreation Center, and the newly established Arboretum.
The project is currently in the bidding phase. Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2017. Once a contractor is selected a more detailed timeline will be released.
The estimated cost of the gazebo reconfiguration is between $2,000 – $4,000 depending on which building materials are selected. Students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to weigh in on the proposed concepts April 4 at 7pm in East Hall, Kryzsko Commons.
For more information, contact Sustainability Committee faculty member Joan Francioni at email@example.com.
As you probably already know, we receive laptops and iPads at WSU. If you are like me then you use your laptop everyday, but barely use your iPad. My iPad has been sitting in the “tablet” pouch of my backpack ever since the beginning of the semester. But, I realized I should try to find different ways to use it. I mean, we all are paying for them after all. So you should take advantage of some of these ideas, too!
I work at the bookstore on campus, so the first thing I thought of were eBooks. Not only are they cheaper than a paperback, but you also save your back from lugging around multiple three-pound books.
There is also a Kindle app for the iPad if you don’t enjoy reading your textbooks for fun (not many of us do). This will come in handy if you like reading a lot of books and want to save space in your room or backpack. Kindle books tend to be cheaper than paperbacks, too.
Another thing to do with your iPad is bring it to the gym instead of dragging your laptop there, if you enjoy using it while you work out on a machine (it’s a great way to watch Netflix and Hulu while you get your sweat on). Your iPad is a lot smaller and lighter to carry around, and will fit much nicer on the holder on the elliptical.
Then there is Quizlet. Have you ever Googled an answer to a study guide or homework and then found the whole thing on Quizlet? Or wanted to study using flashcards, but do not have time to write out all of the stuff you need to know? Well, there is a Quizlet app that is FREE for your iPad. You can browse through other people’s study guides or create your own with this app.
Do you know a lot people with iPhones and ever want to FaceTime them, but you have an Android? With your iPad you can. You can do the same with your laptop, but again, your iPad is easier to hold onto and carry around.
Finally, there are TED Talks. In my 3 years of attending WSU, I have yet to go one full semester without a professor assigning the class a TED Talk or referencing a TED Talk, and I have no idea what he or she is talking about. So, after class I will look up the talk to see what they were talking about. There is an iPad app for that, too!
Overall, I realized there a lot of different things I can use my iPad for, and you can too! Instead of paying hundreds of dollars just for them to sit on our desks or in our backpacks, let’s put them to use.
Each year, Winona State’s UPAC hosts a spring concert to bring awesome artists, students and community members together on campus for a night filled with music. This year, we are excited to welcome SoMo and Dev to perform this Saturday, March 19 at 7pm. Tickets are still on sale at the UPAC office in the lower hyphen of Kryzsko Commons for $15 each with your student ID ($25 without), so be sure to get yours before they’re gone! Here’s 10 reasons why everyone should go to the concert:
SoMo is definitely easy on the eyes. So, getting to watch him sing for a few hours will be a treat.
We all remember Dev as a huge hit from our pre-college years so it’ll be a fun throwback opener!
As college students, we’re always ballin on a budget, so why not take advantage of this opportunity to attend an awesome concert at a low price?
The concert takes place right in the IWC on campus so, for most of us, the transportation is easy – just walk!
Don’t forget all the awesome photo opportunities. Bring on the snapchats!
Even if you don’t regularly listen to SoMo, you’ll hear familiar tunes as he sings a lot of cover songs!
Dev rocks the pop genre while SoMo has a country-influenced R&B genre, so no matter what you’re into there’s bound to be something you can groove to!
SoMo is becoming increasingly popular, so snatch this chance to get to see him in a smaller venue!
Realistically, if you’re standing in just the right spot, you may have a solid chance of getting to touch the artists.
You’ll get to see how the gym we’re all used to will transform into a sweet concert venue with a stage, lights, bleachers and all.
So don’t miss out on this great time and come and enjoy a night filled with good vibes and great people!
From palm trees and sandy beaches to towering skyscrapers and sparkling lights of the big city…bring WSU with you on spring break! Whether you will be traveling to exciting locations or staying near the beautiful bluffs of Winona, tag your spring break photos #WSUSB16 on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook by March 15. You can also Snapchat your photos to winonastateu with #WSUSB16 to enter the contest.
Prizes will be awarded for the best photo and the best/most creative way to represent WSU on break, so show fellow Warriors how you spent your spring break and how you brought WSU with you! Voting begins March 16 on WSU’s Facebook.
Have a safe spring break, and happy photographing!
This past weekend was the eleventh annual Frozen River Film Festival here in Winona. The festival’s mission statement reads, “The Frozen River Film Festival offers documentary films and programming that engage, educate and activate our community to become involved in the world.” This festival allows filmmakers from Minnesota and all over the world to come together and show off their productions to the community.
I remember visiting Winona State at this time last year and seeing a large banner on campus advertising this event. Little did I know I would be attending this festival one year later and afterwards writing a blog about how I was blown away by the film I saw.
Unfortunately, I was only able to see one film this weekend; however, I could not have picked a better one to attend. The film I watched was titled Landfill Harmonic. The Paraguayan musical group called the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura has found a unique way to bring hope to the people of their country. They started by making instruments out of garbage, and soon became recognized all across the world after their story went viral.
Landfill Harmonic was a beautiful film of innovation and restoration. I admire the people of Paraguay for their creativity and ability to take something that the rest of the world views as trash and turn it into an intricate work of art. The sound that came from the Recycled Orchestra was breathtaking. However, the impact music has made on the families in Paraguay and the hope it has brought them was even greater. The Frozen River Film Festival website describes the film as “a testament to the transformative power of music and the resilience of the human spirit.”
Sometimes it is crazy to look back on life and reflect on where we used to be. As I attended the Frozen River Film Festival this weekend, I remembered being a high school senior that had just been admitted to Winona State and filled with fear as to what the future may hold. Likewise, the people of Paraguay never knew what the next day, month, or year would hold. Thankfully, both of our stories turned out to be way better than anything we could have hoped or dreamed of.
I never thought I would ever use the skills I learned in a simple videography class my senior year of high school after I graduated. Today I am so happy to say that I have met my closest friends here at Winona State through serving on the videography team for my campus ministry, Chi Alpha. In the same way, the Recycled Orchestra never would have thought that playing instruments made of trash would one day take them on tours all over the world and turn into a story that has inspired thousands.
It is incredible how even trash can become a treasure with creativity and imagination. Likewise, the Frozen River Film Festival is a great display of ingenuity and has rightfully become a WSU treasure.