Archive for August, 2012

Catacombs and Cross Walks

Phew.

The first day of my junior year is officially over.

The funny/weird thing is, I spent more of my day at work (Student Medical Services) instead of actually in class!

So on my first day, I had some “first time experiences” on campus:

1. For the first time, I got to push the cross walk button at the stop light near the ANS. Yay! 🙂 Living out in the country, we don’t have cross walks to cross the dirt roads or turn rows!

2. I am taking my first night class, New Media with Butler Cain. While I’ve always tried to steer clear of night classes, I’m thinking that this one might not be so bad! (I think it’s just the thought of missing supper seems daunting!)

3. I am taking my first 7:30 am class, Soils with Dr. Parker. While most people dread 7:30 am classes, one of the nice things about early classes is having a better chance at getting a parking spot!

4. I went to the Buffs For Christ event “Catacombs” on Monday night at 9:00 pm. This was probably one of my favorite things about the first day of class. Not having been to the BFC before, I didn’t know much about what Catacombs was much less what the word even meant. However, I learned that the early, first century Christians would try to escape persecution by going out into the catacombs and worshiping by candlelight.

So, BFC’s version of Catacombs is as such: the religious/historical meaning of catacombs was introduced to those who didn’t know what the event was (like me!) followed by scripture reading and a prayer. Then we all headed into this large room that was dark minus a few lit candles. Sitting “criss cross apple sauce bottoms on the carpet” style, we all began to sing songs with a few scriptures read in between followed by prayer.

Overall, I would have to say that my first day back at school went pretty well. If only the rest of the semester will go as amazing!

At Agriculture Ambassador training last weekend, one of the ag professors said something that really struck my attention:

“You can choose to either have a good day or a bad day. It all depends on how you react to what life throws at you.”

Hope y’all have a great fall semester!

Abigail Grace

🙂

 

Advice for Your First Day of College

  1. Look for and find out where your classes are before the first day of school. If you are new to the campus and don’t know your way around just yet, it is a good idea to just to figure out what rooms and buildings all of your classes are in before the first day. It can be hectic and a little crazy on the first day and you don’t want to spend 30 minutes looking for a class that started five minutes ago. WT is really great about having faculty out on the first couple days of school to help lost students so if you are unsure of where to go, just ask!
  2. Get there early on the first day. I say this from a commuters point of view, but normally on the first day, or the first week of classes you are going to want to head out a little earlier than normal to get a good parking spot because everyone else will be there early for the exact same thing. WT now has an open parking policy so you will be able to park anywhere, but beware because parking can fill up fast.
  3. Be sure to bring a notebook and pencil on the first day. Your first day of classes will be where the instructor introduces themselves and what the class is about. Chances are they will be going over the syllabus and giving you handouts. You’ll need somewhere to store these handouts and something to write down extra information with since you will be getting a lot of information on the first day. Some professors just like to go over class while some will jump in and begin that first day with a lecture so you should be prepared to take some notes as well.
  4. Get Online and go to WT Class.  Some teachers will heavily use WT Class while others hardly touch it. It is a good idea to get online and look around before your classes start. Some teachers will post the syllabus online for you to look over before class starts. They may post different handouts that they will go over in class. It is especially important for online classes that you don’t waste time since they start the same day as other classes, and you may have an assignment due.
  5. Relax and Enjoy.  It is your first day of college and that is a huge stepping stone in life! Don’t get overwhelmed with everything and remember that you are there to have in life as well. To make friends in your classes or dorms and meet knew people. Your first day and whole college experience should be enjoyable and fulfilling so get ready and I’ll see you fellow buffs on Aug. 27th!

How to Deal: Textbooks Written by WTAMU Professors

How Many Students Feel About TextbooksBeing a student can be expensive, and one of the most expensive things for a student are the books.  However, as I said in my last blog their are ways to get around the expenses.  Many books can be found on websites such as Chegg and CampusBooks.  They are WAY cheaper than your school’s bookstore and are usually just as helpful.  Now, there is the small chance that you will receive your book in horrible condition, but that hardly ever happens. So it’s inconvenient when you are required to buy a book that a professor at WTAMU has written.  I have to say, I can’t imagine the dedication a professor must have to research and write a textbook.  I respect every professor that has done that.  But students usually can only buy these books at the WT bookstore.  Which means they almost have to buy it brand new.  Which means its usually gonna cost a pretty penny. Another inconvenience, is that many tutors whether in person or online can more easily relate to your questions if they have access to the textbook you are using.  When a professor uses a widely known textbook such as Pearson, it is easier to find help when you are struggling. How to Deal: Although these books are more expensive, usually not all your books are going to be written by a WT professor.  So try to look on the bright side, at least you can save money on the rest of your books by using another website. Also, if your book is written by the professor teaching your class, you don’t have to worry about reading material that isn’t necessary for your tests! And, the tutors at WT will be able to help you even if online tutors cannot.  Take advantage of the tutors or labs at WT; they can help! You’re not alone if you’ve felt frustration in this situation, but take advantage of the perks of the situation and you may find you like it better!

Finding the Money for College

It’s that time of year again… School’s starting.  Which means your tuition is due next week, your books look like they are going to cost about $500, and you can’t find the money to pay for everything.  Don’t worry, you will get by.

I just recently got married.  I was told not to fill out my FAFSA until after the wedding.  Soooo, I filled mine out last week.  I have no scholarships, and I’m waiting on my loan from a separate company to come through.  How am I going to get by?

First things first, Tuition is due the 13th. But don’t freak out, only 25% HAS to be paid by then.  If you think you have any financial aid coming in, go to MyBuffPortal and click on buff adviser.  Click on Log In, then on Students at the bottom.  Now find the button that says “Accept/Reject My Awards.” Accept anything you have.  If you don’t have anything, keep checking.  If you were able to accept a grant or loan.  You will probably be fine for this first payment.  If you didn’t have any rewards to accept (that’s okay, I didn’t get any financial aid my first 2 years) you need to look into getting a loan.  Either through WT or an independent company.  Canyon has a company called OPI which is great for giving loans to students. Their website is http://www.opportunityplan.com.  If your loan isn’t going to be processed in time.  WT has emergency loans which are great for this first payment.  Go to BuffAdvisor and click the Emergency Loan button and then hit submit.  This will get your 25% paid and when aid or a loan comes in, you can pay back your emergency loan and whatever is left on your bill.

DON’T use lack of money as an excuse to drop out.  I have had to take out loans every semester. It’s life.  Once you have your degree, you can work on paying back that loan, and someday you will be making the big bucks. It’s worth it.

Now to see what books you need and how much they will cost, go to buff adviser and click “Schedule and Reserve/Buy Books.” This will give you a list of all the books you need for your classes.  Most books will have a New price and a Used price.  Some you can rent through WT for even cheaper.  Most of the time you DON’T need a brand new book.  As long as its not falling apart, its FINE.  Now, if it’s a workbook, it probably needs to be new.

My advice on buying books is to use CampusBooks.com. Some people will tell you to use Chegg.com.  And I’ve used them before, they are GREAT! But CampusBooks takes prices from Chegg, Amazon, Ebay, etc. and compares them for you so you can see the honest lowest price.  It’s saved me thousands of dollars already.  My books last semester were supposed to cost aroun $700, I paid about $200.  This IS the way to go (:

I hoped this has helped you.  Don’t stress out too much about finances.  If there’s a will, there’s a way.

Now, AFTER you have everything paid for, work on your grades! Good grades means more scholarships, which means less worry for money!!!

Dallas Part 2 – Always be Open

Chance encounters happen anywhere at anytime. Sometimes these encounters are for the better, and sometimes they are for the worst, but you must always be open and ready to embrace them.

On my trip to Dallas my best friend and I spent three days enjoying A-KON (an anime convention held every year at Dallas for anime fans from all over). It was during this amazing convention that the chance encounter happened for my friend and set her up for her next few years at college.

After enjoying lunch we struck up a conversation with a woman sitting next to us about the amazing picture of Captain America and Tony Stark she had. During our conversation we discovered that the woman was actually an advisor at the college my friend is transferring to for the coming fall semester. Completely by chance she was able to meet her college advisor at an anime convention.

You never know when the person your sitting next to may be the key to having a step up in college or your career in Dallas or Canyon, TX. Always be open, start conversations, and put yourself out there. It’s a lesson I am still learning and one that could help everyone.

Sister Buff

So my younger sister has finally graduated high school…how did time fly by so fast?! :O

Anyways she has decided to become a Buff and move to Canyon. So far she’s enjoying her Summer class, though her professor is driving her nuts just as she did me last semester 😛 and she’s looking forward to moving into my old room in Conner Hall 🙂

It’s so strange to see my sister going through her start as a Buff just as I did 2 years ago. Feels like it’s been a life time since I first moved into Conner Hall, met my current roommate, and started finding my way in college. I can only imagine what her first semester will be like…

Meeting her Coordinator and RAs, living with the returning Conner residents (who are crazy and all get out), getting to know the other new move-ins, learning how to cope with the freedom of college classes, and struggling with time management. She’ll have a blast for sure 🙂 but it’ll also be tough to keep everything in order. Especially knowing how unorganized she can be hahaha 😛

I also can’t wait to share some of these experiences with her. Like her first Homecoming with the Bonfire, the parade, and all the activities they put on 🙂 Going to a play or an opera with the Honors Program. Playing Humans vs Zombies with her in the Spring hahaha 🙂 Theres so much to look forward to!

If her Buff years are anything like mine have been thus far, then theres a hell of a good time ahead! 😀

Where did summer go?!

My friends, it appears as though our summer has gone missing. In light of this occurrence, my roommate and I are organizing a search party to go out and reclaim it. There is no way that August should be here already! Anybody else agree???

Sadly it’s true. Summer is just about over and soon the Fall semester will start. This is the time for all the crazy last minute road trips, camp outs, parties, and adventures you didn’t make time for earlier in the last 3 months. For soon we will be buying textbooks, breaking out the Fall and Winter clothes, and  spending all of our time in class, studying, or working 😛

Some few words of advice to those of you who will be new to WT this Fall:

1) The upper classmen don’t bite, for the most part. Don’t be scared to be yourself!

2) Be smart! Keep your schedule, go to class, and get your stuff done.

3) Branch out. Meet as many new people as you can. You never know when that connection will come in handy later, or where it may lead 🙂

4) Everything in moderation. Yes you’re finally free to live your own life, but don’t go crazy. Have fun and keep the grades up 🙂

Best of luck to y’all!

P.S. I was serious about that Summer Search Party. If you’re interested, let me know 🙂