Major Decisions and More by afederoff

After twenty-four full hours of totems, charisma (as in “deep truth revealed by cosmic order, recognized by social adherence”), and modernity, I thought I would officially commence the summer with one last blog as a freshman at Duquesne University. Finals sucked, I’m not going to lie. Luckily, I only had four finals (instead of the dreaded five) and I think I did well on all of them. My classes were awesome, my professors helpful, and my experience wonderful!

Let me tie up some odds and ends:

I think I’ve finally decided on a major… sort of. I entered Duquesne as a journalism major, enrolled in the Narratio learning community. Although I have decided to not pursue a career in the journalism field, I could not be happier with the path I took. Besides the obvious elements (such as making great friends, having awesome professors, and fun opportunities…like blogging!), I have found many of the classes I have taken this past year will be helpful in building my future curriculum. For example, Media and Society has been a great stepping-stone to future classes I will be taking. So, without further ado, I have decided to make my own major. The liberal arts college offers this incredible program in which a student literally makes a major of their own. With the help of my adviser, I decided this was the best path for me because of my future goals (to go to NYU and get a MSW/JD). If you have your heart set on Duquesne, but the liberal arts college does not have the exact major you are looking for, I would suggest looking into the program. In order to do this, I must compose my curriculum plan to our dean along with my reasoning for this course of study (major summer project). What do I plan on studying exactly? I like to call it a degree in feminism… it will be a unique combination of media studies, sociology, women studies, and conflict resolution.

That brings me to my next point: you’re never too new to get involved. Though countless advisors, interviewers, and peers have told me I am way ahead of the game, I think I am just trying to stay on the right path, following my passions. So, as my summer plans shape up, I will be working for an OB/GYN Monday through Thursday, and Fridays and Saturdays will be devoted to my internship, the first exciting leap into my career path. I briefly mentioned it before, but since it began in January, I have hardly had the time to blog about it. Anyway, I will be an intern for Ms. Courtney Martin, feminist activist and author. The Women’s Center Therapy Institute, in NYC, has asked to be the frontrunner for their international campaign against distorters of body image. The campaign, entitled Endangered Species: Preserving the Female Body, is scheduled to occur in March of 2011 and I am ecstatic to announce that I have currently been working on the guest list!

In terms of getting involved on campus and in Pittsburgh, I would encourage new freshmen to step out of the comfort zone and just try everything. Organizations I have become heavily involved with are CONTACT Pittsburgh, Strong Women Strong Girls, the Liberal Art blog, and Residence Life, as well as Phi Eta Sigma (the freshmen honors fraternity) and Lambda Sigma (the sophomore honors fraternity). Becoming involved was one of the best decisions I have made all year. Sure, it took guts to attend all those initial meetings, but luckily I have them. J If you don’t, please, please take me up on this offer: email me, comment me, ask me questions etc. Being involved is key, especially as a Duquesne student!

Thinking back to high school, I still don’t enjoy being a freshman a.k.a. “fresh meat” and the like. But at Duquesne, faculty and peer leaders somehow manage to make it less scary then James Caldwell High School did. In fact, it’s not the kind of scary where you want to go home or eat lunch in the bathroom; it’s more like scary before a performance, a date, or a speech. Oh wait… I think the word for that is excitement.

Happy summer, see you all in August!



A few final freshman farewells by x3erica1037

Is anyone else unable to believe this school year is over already?!  It feels like I just got my acceptance letter, began writing for the blog, and experienced orientation, but its already time to move allllll of my stuff back home! This has probably been the best freshman year I could have asked for so I really am sad to see it end.

As I tried to hold back tears when my family drove away last August and left me standing alone in front of St. Anns, I could never even have imagined all the amazing people I now consider my best friends, the crazy memories we will always share, and the endless opportunities I have been able to take advantage of over these past months.

If Duquesne weren’t the perfect home for me, I wouldn’t be this sad to leave.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to be mostly stress-free and spend hours in the sun, but it has been hard to see everyone go these past few days.  As my lack of recent blogging proves, I have been very busy with final exams and papers lately, just as everyone has, so we didn’t quite have enough free time to spend together at the end.  I’m not too worried about it though, because even though my new friends are headed back to various homes all over the country, good old facebook and texting will allow us to keep in touch until August when we’re onto our new home in Towers.

To incoming freshman, my advice would be to keep an open mind.  Attend whatever school gives you that gut feeling because you will really be spending all your time there.  It may be a little nerve wracking at first but once you settle in, give every new person and organization a chance, and you’ll sure to find a few lifelong friends, ways to get involved, and the chance to live out your dreams.  At this point in your life, really anything is possible, its just a matter of going after it.

As for classes and majors, you don’t have to be get locked into any direction right away; choose classes that seem interesting and fun.  With all the choices out there, there’s no reason for you to study something you don’t enjoy.  There are professors and organizations everywhere waiting to inspire you, so you’ll figure out the longterm goals eventually.

For now, everyone just have a warm, wonderful, relaxing summer. Work on the tan, earn a little cash, and get ready for next semester because I have a feeling Fall 2010 will be one we’ll never forget. 😉

Au revoir for now bloggers!


Post from last year: Don’t let finals get you down! by katzb
04.28.10, 8:37 am
Filed under: Bloggers, BrittanyK, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Here is a blog post I wrote last year during finals week:

During finals week, it would be tough to find a single student who would not describe his or her mood as stressed. Whether it is the final papers, all-nighters in the library, packing to move home for the summer, or the final exams stacked up one after the other, finals week has a way of getting under every student’s skin.
During a week jam-packed with stressful events, avoiding excessive pressure may be hard to do. It’s hard to believe, but there is a reason for stress in our lives. Stress is something that evolved over time to help up cope with difficult situations.
Students get stressed about the amount of work they have during finals week, the fact that it is all crammed into one week, and because of the important of the work on their final grades. What stresses me out the most about finals week is that the studying seems never ending! As soon as I have conquered one final, it seems there are always more looming.
Many universities plan events for students to get their minds off of work during finals week. The University of Wisconsin hosts “Stress Free Zone” which offers snacks, games, and stress free activities for students to participate in. Other colleges, like New York University and St. Leo University in Florida, host midnight breakfasts for students who plan on spending the night awake and studying.
The Gumberg Library at Duquesne is hosting a study break for students on Wednesday, April 28, at 3 p.m., sponsored by the Student Government Association. Refreshments will be served in the Popular Reading Area on the 4th floor of the Gumberg Library. This gives students a break from their studies on the Reading Day, a day off before finals for students to have time to study.
Maybe Duquesne should try something new on this year’s Reading Day. Each year before finals, Northwestern University students participate in a longstanding tradition. According to the Associated Press, “They stand outside in the cold the night before exams, wearing jeans and sweats or just PJs. They scrEAAAAAMMMMMMMM!!!” This activity is often called the “primal scream,” and gives students a chance to vent their frustrations during a stressful time in school. After sharing the in the tradition, Andrew Walker, a junior and resident adviser at a Northwestern University dorm said, “It hurt my vocal cords a little bit,” while holding his throat and smiling widely. “But I liked it!”
So if the stress of finals has got you down, stop by the Gumberg Library on Wednesday for a well deserved break. Or, take a lesson from students at Northwestern, and just SCREAM!


Places to study by katzb

Here are a few places to set up camp in the next weeks when your trying to cram or write a final paper:

Library– This is the obvious study spot, but it can resemble a war-zone during finals. If you plan to brave the library crowd, find some friends to share a table with, get there early to claim your spot, and please KEEP QUIET!

Study rooms in the dorms– Most of the dorms on campus having study rooms, at least my freshman floor in St. Martin did. These rooms are a good alternative to the library, and have enough plugs, tables and study carols.

Empty classrooms– If a class isn’t using it, take advantage of the desks and the quiet!

 Union Ballroom on April 29 and 30: Tau Kappa Epsilon is opening the 4th Floor Union Ballroom for more study area on April 29th and 30th. The Ballroom is open from 6 PM until 2AM, and coffee and cookies will be provided, thanks to Aramark. 

Your room/apartment/house– If you have enough willpower to avoid napping in your bed, wasting time on Facebook, or just plopping on the couch and watching tv, your own room/apartment/house is a good, private place to study. Just make the extra effort to stay focused.

Off campus Panera or Starbucks– When trying to manage the stress of school and finals, sometimes getting off campus is a welcome break. Find a local coffee shop and use the WiFi and tables to get some studying done. Sometimes a change of venue is all you need to get refocused!


Finals! by liberalartsduq
04.20.10, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Class of 2013, Mike | Tags: , , , ,

The closer we get to the summer the less work I want to do. With summer right around the corner it’s hard to stay focused. The problem is a big portion of grading comes from the final week of school. My brain usually tries telling me it needs a break because finals can be a strenuous time. The last couple weeks don’t have to be stressful as long as you don’t push all the work off till the final week. Teachers give you a long heads up before final tests and papers, so stress can be avoided. Procrastinating like myself can make the last week a little more stressful. If you get in summer mode too quick then grades can take a major hit. It’s really just a matter of pushing yourself for the final week of school and finish strong. Then right after finals it’s time to sit in the sun drinking lemonade or whatever you enjoy doing in the summer. Summer is not far off, but finish strong. Good luck to everyone!

“Break” from what? by katzb
04.06.10, 9:44 pm
Filed under: Bloggers, BrittanyK | Tags: , ,

Now that we are back at school, I’m left wondering where my Easter break went, and if it was really a “break” from anything! Sure, I watched basketball, went to the Grove City outlets with my mom and sister and spent Easter with family, but I balanced that fun with just as much school work.

With only a few weeks of school left, and a few more weeks after that before I move, I am trying not to let my work pile up until the end of April. I spend the weekend researching the book “Hiroshima,” preparing a Linguistics presentation, trying to understand Statistics (thanks Dad and Dave!) and reading a book about texting. (Yes, texting. It’s called “Txting: the gr8 db8. I recommend it.)

Now that I am back in the swing of things, it feels like I never stopped doing school work! Hopefully this weekend of work will pay off in a few weeks when we are all holed up in the library.


Dukes defeat Robert Morris by katzb
12.15.09, 12:43 am
Filed under: Bloggers, BrittanyK | Tags: , , ,

I hope everyone is getting through their finals while still keeping sane! I took a break from studying this weekend to attend the Dukes basketball game as they took on Robert Morris. Not only was it an awesome game, but the halftime show was quite memorable! Here are some pictures from the close game, where Duquesne came out on top 59-54. Also, I took some shots of the halftime show with really talented dogs catching frisbees and doing tricks!

The Dukes gearing up for the game.

The awesome halftime show with dogs catching frisbees and doing tricks!