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11 Things They Don’t Tell You About College

  1. You don’t have to ask to go to the bathroom.


Professors know that you’re an adult. When you have to go, just go!


  1. Build relationships with your professors.


Go to them during their office hours if you need help and ask questions. Professors are here to help you succeed in college. It’s not only good to feel comfortable in the classroom, but you never know what kind of connections you can make that may help you in the real world.


  1. The freshman 15 is real.


As much as you want to avoid it, those pesky late night study snacks will catch up to you.


  1. When you get the opportunity to get free food, take it!


Since the freshman 15 is inevitable, we might as well take every opportunity we can to attend events that provide free food. You can’t pass that up!


  1. Professors love when you speak up in class.


Rather than talking at you, professors often provide discussions that allow you to voice yourself and learn from the people around you. Don’t be afraid to chime in!

  1. Don’t freak out if you bomb your first test.


No matter what kind of student you may be, there will always be a test or two that gets the best of you. Don’t sweat it. One test won’t define your future.


  1. You and your roommate will drive each other crazy sometimes.


Naturally, living in a shoebox with another person can be frustrating at times. But, at the end of the day, your roommate is the one you can count on most.


  1. All-nighters aren’t the answer to an A.


Although staying up until sunrise seems like a great way to memorize all 283 notecards for your exam the next day, it often times doesn’t end well and creates havoc to your sleep schedule.


  1. Talk to anyone and everyone – they may become some of your closest friends.


Whether you’re standing in line or knocking on doors in the dorms, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and strike up a convo! You never know whom you could meet.


  1. Learning things the hard way, is the best way.


Lots of times, in college, things wont go your way. You’ve just got to pick yourself up, brush yourself off and remember that everything that happens is a learning experience.


  1. Your homesickness will go away as WSU becomes your new home.


You wish you could be back home sometimes… but after you build yourself here, your friends become your family and this becomes your home.


-Lauren  Reuteler

Move-in Day Contest: #WSUhome

It’s finally here, the beginning of your college career. As you share your Move-in Day experiences on Twitter and Instagram, don’t forget to tag your pics with #WSUhome, you could win prizes! Snapchatters: Be sure to use WSU’s Move-in Day geofilters, and then save and share your snaps.
Contest Rules
1. Capture your favorite Move-in Day moments (e.g. meeting your new roomie, posing with your can’t-live-without-it item, hugging your family goodbye, etc.)
2. Post your photos to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter using #WSUhome
3. WSU will collect all the #WSUhome pics and create an album on WSU’s Facebook, where people can then vote for their favorite pics by Liking them.
4. The three pictures with the most Likes by noon on Friday, Aug. 21 will receive prizes!
If you have questions, email
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@winonastateu), Instagram (@winonastateu),and Snapchat (winonastateu) to stay up-to-date with Move-In Day!
Welcome to our WSU family! Have a fantastic Move-in Day!

12 Things to do in Winona Over the Summer

At some point during your college experience here at WSU you are going to stay the summer. This may be for work, summer classes, or solely because you are already paying rent so why not live in that house. This summer, I ended up being one of those people. There was really no reason for me to drive all the way back home to Connecticut when I was paying for a house here. So, I got a second job, adopted a kitten and moved into my new home. To be honest, summer here is actually pretty great! Here’s a list of different ways to have fun during your summer in Winona:

  1.  Festivals

With lots of music festivals happening close by and even in Winona, there is always an opportunity to listen to some tunes. The Great River Shakespeare Festival’s Concerts on the Green and the Beethoven Festival are two that take place right here in town. The Great River Shakespeare Festival also hosts Concerts on the Green which is free to everyone—great for when family visits.

  1. Farmers Market

This weekly event that takes place every Saturday is a great place to get some local grown fresh produce. Meet up with some friends that are also staying and make an afternoon out of it.

  1. Lake Lodge and the Lakes


At the Lake Lodge, you can pay an annual membership fee of $10 to use their facility all year long. Paddle boarding, canoeing and kayaking are available all summer. Grab some friends, or have them come down for the weekend, and have some fun on the lakes. Wifi is available to all WSU students on East Lake (the bigger lake where Lake Lodge is located) around the side closest to campus. It even reaches out on the lake! You can also go fishing off the docks around the lake.

4. Swimming


The Bob Welch Aquatic Center, the beaches (La Cane Beach, Latsch Beach) and the hidden rope swing are some of the many spots available to swim at. Hang by the pool or the beach and get your tan on or go exploring to find the rope swing. Where ever you choose to go will surely be fun filled.

5. The Climbing Center


Wabasha Hall now holds our brand new rock wall! And guess what? It’s FREE to WSU students! While you do have to rent the shoes and belay tools, it only costs a total of $5 for students. They have all the equipment so all you need to do is go.

  1. Hiking

Winona is known for its hiking and walking trails. Sugar Loaf, Jon Latsch State Park and Garvin Heights are only a few of the multiple free trails in Winona. Be in nature and get a work out while you enjoy it.

  1. Volunteering

Its hard to get some volunteering in during the school year, so why not get that in during the summer to make that resume look fantastic! Besides, it’ll make you feel good helping others. The Winona Area Humane Society is always looking for volunteers and you would get to hang out with some great cats and dogs. There is also an option to volunteer outdoors with Winona Park and Rec. Along with that, there are various other places in town that are searching for volunteers.

  1. Take a stroll downtown

Downtown is a pretty awesome place. There are tons of little shops and cute cafes to shop at and have fun in. The shops range from country décor to a knitter’s dream store, you can find everything you are looking for and even find some treasures in downtown Winona. If you don’t feel like possibly getting lost, there are walking tours available where you can learn all about downtown.

  1. Bloedow’s Doughnuts

Have a sweet tooth? Bloedow’s has plenty of doughnuts and cookies to satisfy your cravings. In addition to that, they sell bread and other doughy goods. They were even voted best doughnuts in the state! Make sure to get there early though; they go fast and only sell what they make. You will not be disappointed!

  1. $5 Movie Night

Every Tuesday, the Winona 7 Movie Theatre has $5 movies all day! They also have a deal on popcorn: buy any size drink and get free small popcorn. It’s a college student’s dream! If you only get the ticket and a small drink, your total will be around $8. Who wouldn’t take advantage of that deal!

  1. Museums

The Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Country History Center, Watkins Heritage Museum, Polish Museum, Elmers Auto and Toy, and the Pickwick Mill are all great and local or close by places to go to and have fun at. If you are able to drive, why not unleash your inner child at Lark Toys! Ride a carousel, eat some candy and buy some toys! As a bonus, you might actually learn something while at these places too. Gotta keep that mind sharp!

  1. Winona State Sponsored events:

Winona State has some great events that take place all the time. Take a tree tour and learn all about the trees on campus. The Cal Fremling Boat also has riding tours up and down the Mississippi. It’s a great opportunity to get on the river and learn about the ecosystem you live with. WSU also hosts a family picnic at the end of summer. Bring your family and enjoy the food!


As you can see, there’s a lot to do in Winona over the summer. You can always find something to do to have fun in your down time. Adventure is out there!

-Rachel Adam


A Short History of the E-Warrior Nation

a gif of several laptop and tablets

Just look at how far technology has come in the last two decades!


Oh beloved laptop, what would I do without you?

We are all very lucky to go to a university that takes into account the ever-changing technology world. Often referred to as a “Laptop University,” WSU gives each incoming student– freshmen and transfer students– their choice of the most recent Apple or PC computer upon admittance into the university. Two years later, they are able to get the new laptop model and when they graduate they have the ability to purchase a laptop as well. Recently, Winona State University became the first public university in the Midwest to distribute both laptops and tablets to their students.

Because the laptop program has had such an impact on our university, I thought a few info-graphics would be a great way to display some fun facts regarding it. After talking with a WSU alumna, faculty members and digging around the Internet, I found some interesting information to share with you guys.

It probably doesn’t come as surprise that most of you, approximately 65%, chose an Apple laptop over a PC. The growing popularity of Apple computers and Apple in general is a relatively new trend. An alumna told me that seeing a Mac computer on campus back in 2000 when she enrolled was very rare, and the only students who used them were the art students. Weird, right? It seems just the opposite these days. In recent years Apple has taken over the technology world and I’m sure we will see that 65% rise as younger generations begin attending WSU.

Surprise, surprise! The same trend can be said for the tablets. The Samsung Galaxy Tablet and the iPad Mini. Tablets at WSU were just introduced the spring of 2014, and only 50% of students received one. I don’t have one ( :( ), as I only had one year left before graduating when they were introduced. For those of you who do have them, consider yourself very lucky! I really think our society is going to start pulling away from the laptop and using only tablets. My roommate is student teaching for her degree in special education and she says she uses her iPad mini with students daily! They really are becoming a part of the lives of individuals.

When the laptop program was first implemented 18 years ago, most of us were at home watching Disney movies. Most individuals were limited to large desktop computers and those in business programs were the only ones to use laptops. Three short years later, the program was in full effect, and Winona State students had the choice between an IBM ThinkPad and an iBook. If you’ve ever seen an IBM ThinkPad you would probably wonder how students ever carried something like that around campus. They are massive laptops around 1” thick, and only carried around 6GB of storage! Now days, most iPhones and Droids have more storage than that.

The University went on further to see what it’s students wanted and they responded, “Bigger and better.” Since then WSU has brought in brands such as Gateway Toshiba and HP, and most recently tablets. Of the roughly 10,000 students enrolled in WSU,  100% now have laptops.

Soon IT will announce it’s newest additions to the Winona state laptop family. New versions will be available for students this upcoming year. In February, there was showcase event where students could preview the devices being considered for the next hardware update.  Although the final decision about new devices is a mystery, we know that WSU will be sure to impress like it has done for the past 18 years.

This is just a short history of how we became the e-Warrior nation and you can find more information about the history of the Laptop Program on the Information Technology Services webpage.

I also want to issue a special thank you to Maureen Dolezal Anderson (’05) and Ken Janz, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Information Officer, for their help with this post.

–Katlyn Plourde

Updated by: Rachel Adam

A Final Farewell

three college girls as freshmen and seniors

It’s been a long, fun journey from freshmen to seniors.

As the days continue to tick down and boxes are checked on my graduation checklist, it’s beginning to seem daunting that I’m really going to be thrust out into the real world after switching my tassel at commencement. It’s not that I’m afraid of where I’m going….rather, I think it’s that I’m afraid of what I’m leaving behind.

Winona has been such a loving and exciting home to me for the past four years, a place where I’ve made the best of friends, met the best of professors, and expanded my horizons beyond what I ever thought possible. I’m afraid to leave that behind, to lose ties, to say goodbye to a home that treated me well.

At the same time, that fear is comforting, because fear of leaving means that I chose a really amazing school for me. Apprehension about leaving my academic career behind means that I’ve learned so much, and anxiety about missing people means that I’ve made true friendships that have grown to be a part of my heart.

I don’t think I can thank any one person for that.

I thank the town, the teachers along the way, the people who supported me, the beauty of the bluffs, and the experiences that have made my time at Winona truly the time of my life. Thanks for following me through my journey at Winona State University, and cheers to the years to come.

–Leah Dobihal

Thnks fr th Mmrs, WSU!

Howarts students through hats in air

We did it–hats off to us, Class of 2015!

For the last 5 years of my life, Winona has been my home, and to be honest, I have no idea how I’m supposed to address moving on from here, but here goes nothing! Graduation is more than just getting a degree; it’s ending a huge, important chunk of your life. Yes, I’ve taken over 150 credits of classes and I finally will get to walk across the stage and call myself a college grad, but it’s so much more than that, and that’s already so incredible!

When I first came to college, I had no idea that I would be where I am today, or that I would have made the friends I have, or experienced what I have. The last 5 years have molded me into a person I could not be more proud of.

Winona is where I found myself and where I was able to authentically be me for the first time. It’s where I first came out of the closet thanks to the family I made with Full Spectrum – something I will cherish for the rest of my life. It’s where I first fell in love with an amazing guy and eventually had my first heartbreak. It’s where I learned that I have a voice and discovered it’s ability to change the world.

Winona is where I found my RunnerUp crew with whom I got to laugh every week. It’s where I had my first drink (and of course got drunk for the first time). It’s where I learned what stress really is and it’s where I discovered my passion. It’s where I met friends who I can’t imagine calling anything but family. It’s where my love for music grew more than I ever thought it could. It’s where I made mistakes both small and large and realized that I can learn from all of them.

On May 8, 2015, I will walk across that stage and enter the real world; the actual real world (you know, the one you thought you were entering after high school?), and I could not be more excited to see what comes next. All my hard work has paid off and I finally get to celebrate that. The best part about graduation, besides getting a degree, is that now I have 5 years of laughs, smiles, tears, excitement, and love that I get to look back on and remember forever.

I wouldn’t change a single day of the experience I had at WSU and I am so thrilled for the next chapter in the extraordinary novel that is my life.

Congratulations WSU class of 2015 and good luck! WE DID IT!

–Garrett Bowling

Traits of a World Traveler

wing of a plane while flying

Soon enough I will begin my new life in Sydney!

141. That’s how many days I have left in the U.S. before I move abroad to Sydney, Australia. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but now that I have my visa and bought my plane ticket, the reality of moving abroad is beginning to set in.

The process of my decision to move abroad really got me thinking…what is it about me that makes me want to move abroad? Or, better yet, what is it that makes me the RIGHT person to move abroad?

Well, I had participated in the semester-long study abroad in Granada, Spain. To say that the experience was the best of my life would be an understatement. After studying abroad, I knew that moving abroad after graduation was on my bucket list.

Winona State offers all kinds of travel opportunities for students, but how do you know if you’re the right fit for studying abroad? There are a few personality traits that I think are crucial to determining if studying abroad (or moving abroad) is right for you.

1. Open-minded

You need to be open-minded if you’re going to enjoy traveling abroad, especially for a longer period of time. While studying abroad, you experience new cultures, new people, new food, well…just about new everything. If you’re someone who can open your mind to new things, and even be excited about trying new and different things, then studying abroad might be a good match for you.

2. Flexible and adaptable

Moving abroad is a whirlwind of change in a small amount of time. I remember stepping off my plane into Spain and thinking, “Wow, these mountains are officially my neighbors, the language I’m hearing is what I’ll be hearing, these streets are where I’ll be walking.” It’s important to be adaptable, because if you don’t adapt, you’ll always feel like an outsider, and that can be lonely. Having a willingness to immerse yourself in a new place is key to being a successful traveler.

3. Independent

Independent is one personality trait of world travelers, and it’s an important one. Leaving family, friends, pets and acquaintances behind is inevitable when studying abroad, and as much as I wished I could pack everyone in my suitcase, that simply wasn’t going to happen. When you’re away from home for five months (or more), it’s important that you can feel content by yourself whether it’s on the subway to and from class, grabbing lunch alone or venturing out to make new friends.

If you read through this list thinking, “That’s so me!” then studying abroad just might be an awesome experience to explore. If you were thinking “kind of” or “possibly,” then a travel study might be a better option. A travel study give you the amazing gift of travel and experience without keeping you away from home for months at a time. Either way, I encourage everyone to travel the world because the learning is endless and the experience is life changing!

–Leah Dobihal

7 Things We Need to Stop Doing to Our Professors

There’s nothing that bothers me more than watching a student strut into class late (with no apology) and proceed to ignore the professor, text, chat with their friend before packing up early and leave. Professors work hard, and there are some things we just really need to stop doing to them.

1. Walking in Late

cartoon rabbit running with clock

It’s one thing to be late because you got stuck behind a train but using that excuse every day is another. Plan ahead. Be on time.

2. Talking During Their Lecture

girl talking to friend in class

Not only is it disrespectful, but it’s also really distracting for the students trying to listen

3. Expecting Them to Email Back Within the Hour

Bellatrix LeStrange waiting in hall

They’re busy people. Give them 24…not 1.

4. Packing Up Our Bags 5 Minutes Early

Genie packing a suitcase

Professors are trying to teach you from the start of class to the end. It’s just rude to start shoving books in your bag, unzipping and zipping your backpack, and rustling papers all while the professor is still talking.

5. Asking for Too Much Help

man yelling "help me"

Don’t misinterpret this one. Professors want to help in all circumstances, but it’s not fair to ask them to do all of your work for you. Ask for their suggestions and expertise, but don’t make them write your essay for you.

6. Texting During Class

Justin Bieber texting

Don’t kid yourself–you’re not being sneaky. Your professor knows you’re texting, and it’ll only hurt you in the long run.

7. Not Taking Their Class Seriously

smiling man says "don't even care"

If you didn’t want to learn, you shouldn’t have taken the class. Be respectful and take your education seriously or reassess why you enrolled in the first place.

So there you have it, Warriors. Stop the texting, stop the talking, stop the distracting, and make some real learning possible. Let’s all be more conscious of how we treat the people who make our education possible.

–Leah Dobihal

Late Work and the Race Against Time

a cat under a notebook

It might look grim, but it is possible to catch up!

I’m going to be straight with you: everyone skips class. Even the best of students — and professors — take a day off, but as the school year dwindles down, those who skipped more than a few days may find themselves drowning in the slew of homework they missed. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at a time like this, but I am here to assure you that you can catch up with enough hard work.

I am no stranger to missing class. Due to health complications this semester, I missed over 6 days of classes and came back to a veritable mountain of homework. Tackling this monstrosity seemed impossible. No matter how hard I worked, no matter how fast I wrote, I was suffocating in dense political science readings and English papers.

Luckily, with a little help from my professors and a lot of help from my planner, I’ve caught up and am finishing this semester with great grades despite my high amount of absences. Catching up is surprisingly easier than it appears. That pile of homework can look daunting, but once you come up with a plan of attack, the homework flies by and before you know it you’re back to watching Netflix and eating Doritos.

First and foremost, grab your syllabus. I cannot stress this enough — your syllabus is your ticket to freedom. You cannot start making up homework until you have a complete list of everything you missed. I know that compiling a list of everything you missed can make the task appear even more stressful, but at the end of the day  is going to help you out in the long run. Be sure to also check out your professors late work policy. If your professor doesn’t accept late work, there is no reason to stress over it. If they won’t accept it, they won’t accept it. Dedicate that time to the assignments your professors will accept.

This brings me to my second point: prioritize your list. If you’ve got homework due today, do it. It’s better to get your assignments done on time than add another assignment to your pile of late work. Once you’ve got all of today’s homework out of the way, prioritize in terms of importance. If an assignment is worth 100 points, do it before moving onto a 20 point assignment. Once you’ve determined which are most important, write it all down from the most important to least important assignment.

Finally, get to work. Easier said than done, I know, but the sooner you get to work, the sooner you’re back on top of all your classes. Keep at your homework. Close out those Facebook and Pineterst tabs, and keep your internet limited to school-related purposes. I know it’s hard, but if you want to catch up as fast as possible a homework binge is how ya do it. Of course, it’s important to schedule 15 minute sanity breaks, but for the most part, stick to getting your homework done. It is that easy and it is that hard.

Once your homework is done and submitted,  double check with your professors that they received the homework and make things are still good between you and the professor. It’s always nice to just check in with them, especially if you’re turning in late assignments. Odds are, they’ll understand. Your professors are human too, and they were in your position at one point in time.When that is all said and done, you’re free to return to your Netflix subscription and sail through the rest of the semester at ease. Just be sure to not fall behind again!

–Hannah Carmack

10 Stages of Enjoying Spring in Winona

In Winona, the winters are long—very long. And though many of us are in denial that warmth will ever come again, gradually, we pass through the stages of acceptance and enjoy a Winona spring once again.

1. Absolute denial

girl says no

Because we know better than to think warmth is ever coming back.

2. Being skeptical

man looks skeptical

We’re not really sure how to feel when the temp reaches above 30 degrees.

3. Shedding layers

woman takes off coat

And it feels so good.

4. Putting the layers back on to endure the inevitable last-minute snow storm

man talking

We can’t even.

5. Taking your winter coat out of storage, because you actually still need it

woman asks"are you kidding me?"

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

6. Wearing a T-shirt in 40 degrees and not feeling cold at all
woman skipping and singing

Even when spring hasn’t really arrived, we just pretend it has.

7. Refusing to acknowledge any temperature below 50

man shakes finger

No, we will NEVER go back there.

8. Actually smiling when you’re outside

little girl smiles

It’s not really our fault; our faces were frozen the entirety of winter.

9. Hitting the Drive-Inn, the lakes, the bluffs, the baseball fields and everything else you associate with Winona in the Spring

man yells "yes to all"

Yes. Yes to all.

10. Forgetting that winter ever even happened

man says "it's over" on cellphone

Were the past four months even real?

Put away the boots and coats because the winter amnesia is coming, and so is the warm weather!

–Leah Dobihal