Monday, December 3, 2007

Foreign Affairs

Students should be made aware that they have the opportunity to study abroad for usually up to two full semesters, depending on the university. It is the chance of a lifetime to study in a different country. Students are able to learn about different cultures firsthand. This can help students who are studying a foreign language a great deal. It will allow them to hear the proper accent and pronunciation of the words. Students will also be able to meet new friends from across the world. When I studied in London, I meet people from several different countries such as Greece, Italy, Romania, Peru, South Africa, Russia and France. I still remain in contact with several of them which is pretty neat. I went through the John Carroll University program that is located in Cleveland, Ohio. The trip could not have been any better or more organized. They offer a wide variety of different countries that students can go to. They are also very accommodating with the whole program. I would strongly suggest any student to consider studying abroad, they will not regret it at all.

Sports: The Smiles, Sights, Sounds, and Smells

For those who would just like to kick it with their friends a few nights a week and shoot some hoops and those who dream of being a national champion wrestler and everyone in between. Athletics goes with today's college experience like text messages and facebook. College is a great place to participate in the sport(s) that you have been playing all your life or to pick up a new sport that you have always wanted to try. If you get to school and you previously participated in a sport that isn't offered as a varsity sport, but you still want to practice and play the sport, you can introduce it as a club sport if there is enough interest. Usually there are others that share a common interest or are willing to give a new sport a try, unless the sport is awful (men's pairs skating). An intramural sports is a great place to meet new friends and hang out with friends you have already made. It is also an effective way to measure which freshman or sophomore dorm is the coolest on campus.
Remember this past weekend when you went out after the bar and ate a White Castle Crave Case? Me neither, but the point is that you need a little bit of exercise. An important benefit of participating in intramural athletics is that it is an easy way to get a little bit of exercise or to relieve some stress caused by the rigorous course work or an overbearing significant other.
Whatever your skill level is or how seriously you would like to compete, there are many positive aspects to participating in sports at some level while in college.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Sister for Life

Choosing which sorority to be a part of can be a difficult decision that many college students face. After first deciding that joining a sorority is something you want to be a part of the next step is recruitment. Recruitment usually lasts about one week and during that week you get to meet each sorority that the university has to offer. It is a mutual elimination process and by the end of the week you find out who your new sisters are. John Carroll University has 5 national sororities that include Gamma Phi Beta, Chi Omega, Kappa Delta, Kappa Alpha Theta, and Kappa Kappa Gamma. Each sorority has a unique quality and being a part of any of one is a great opportunity for young women. They participate in many activities and also raise money for local and national philanthropies. Sororities are more about the sisterhood bond and creating a good name in the community. John Carroll University are working hard at getting housing for sororities and starting in Fall 2007 a select few will have the opportunity for greek housing in the dorms. This is an excellent way to stay in close contact with all of your sisters and also help the organization grow. Formal recruitment takes place in the fall but many of the sororities have informal recruitment in the spring. Sorority socials are another great aspect of sororities. On average most sororities have about 4 socials a year and it is a great way to let loose and have some great laughs with great sisters.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Extracurricular Activities - A Vital Part of Your College Education

When students join some extracurricular activity, the obvious reason why they do it is for entertainment and social reasons. But in college, these activities become increasingly important. They are established with the purpose of complementing the university’s curriculum as well as enhancing the student’s overall educational experience. That is why a school such as John Carroll University provides so many opportunities for student involvement.

Developing a Well-Rounded Individual
The main goal of extracurricular activities is to develop a well-rounded individual, which usually also encompasses one of the overall objectives of the university. Therefore these activities provide students with an environment in which they can improve their intellectual, emotional, social, and inter-personal development. Because students will be working with others, it also provides opportunities to develop negotiation and communication skills, learn how to better handle conflicts, and also how to step up as a leader. This interaction with other students also provides a peer group that students can identify with and helps them to better fit in. Also important is the fact that students can learn better time management, and can gain an appreciation for the diversity found within these groups.

Academic and Future Success
Students who are involved are kept busy and happy, which has positive effects on their educational success. Studies have shown that students are more likely to persist in college if they feel like they have had rewarding encounters with the school’s social and academic systems. Along the same lines is the fact there are higher retention rates for those who view college as a positive experience and feel like they are a vital part of the university. In addition, future employers tend to seek students with increased involvement and skill levels, and consequently, students who are actively involved are more likely to have higher educational ambitions and career goals.

The Benefits of the Performing Arts

The performing arts offer a vast array of benefits many may not even be aware of. They range from health, emotional, to even social aspects. Whether the activity is singing, dancing, playing an instrument, or acting; each provides its own unique advantages, and John Carroll University offers all of these performing arts opportunities.

Playing Music
There are five benefits of playing music which include making you smarter, teaching discipline, relieving stress, providing a sense of achievement, and of course it’s fun. In addition, there are actually studies that back some of these benefits. Dr. Barry Bittman of the Mind-Body Wellness Center in Meadvill, PA led a team of researches in discovering that playing a musical instrument can reduce stress responses on genetic levels.

When it comes to singing, there are also several benefits linked to it. An obvious thing that most can attest to is that it’s natural for us to enjoy singing whether we can actually sing “well” or not, and furthermore we find it relaxing. There are also less evident health benefits. Some of these are the exercising of the lungs, sleep improvement, and the release of pain relieving endorphins. Singing also increases our self-esteem and confidence, reduces stress, and encourages creativity. Several other health benefits of vocal exercises have been sited.

Participating in drama may not have apparent health benefits, but it can help you become a well-rounded person. Some major benefits include helping to build self-confidence, improving public speaking abilities, and developing stronger interpersonal skills.

Being a dancer increases many aspects of your health. The top four health benefits include becoming more flexible, building strength, increasing endurance, and building a sense of well-being since socializing contributes to a more positive outlook while physical activity reduces stress and tension. Other common benefits of dance include being able to strengthen your self-confidence and increase your creative potential, as well as offering opportunities to build friendships and have fun.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

With So Many Choices....How do I get Involved?

Since most schools offer a wide variety of activities to choose from, deciding what you should get involved in may seem a bit overwhelming. But don’t let this steer you away from ever getting involved because it really is the one thing that will make you feel connected and allow you to build friendships. Plus, research has shown that students who get involved are more likely to succeed academically and earn a degree.

Here are some tips on how to get involved:
-Visit the student involvement section on the school's website.
-Attend the New-Student Orientation/Student Involvement Fair where different student groups provide information at their booth.
-Take a look at the bulletin boards around campus where clubs and associations may advertise.
-Read the e-mails sent out by different student groups.
-Visit the Student Life Office/Center to get more information.
-Attend one of the meetings of an activity you think is interesting to see if it’s something for you.
-Ask other students who are already involved about their experiences.
-And if you find that your university doesn’t offer what you’re interested in, most schools let you start your own group or organization. So you can find out from the Student Life Office how to do this.

Extracurricular Activities - Something to Think About

When embarking on the college search, many factors are taken into account. Aside from the obvious criteria such as areas of study, academic thoroughness, costs, and location; you want to be sure your university offers opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities. Why? Because the college experience is much more than just going to classes and taking tests. You want to be able to discover different things, meet new people, and of course have fun. And schools such as John Carroll University do in fact offer these opportunities. And this isn't just what your parents and academia deem as important, many college students themselves feel that it has a considerable positive impact. So don’t overlook this as something less significant when evaluating your options. It can really make a difference in your overall college experience.