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6 Important Tips For Your Freshman Year

​If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you are a new student looking for some advice, so welcome to Winona State University! When you first arrive on campus you will be met by many smiling faces, willing to help your transition to college life go smoothly. These people will include orientation leaders, club members, advisors, professors, Resident Assistants and the rest of the housing staff.

Me surviving new student move-in day my second year as an RA.

Me after surviving new student move-in day my second year as an RA.

Three of my college years were spent heavily involved in Housing and Residence Life, and two of those years I was a Resident Assistant in WSU’s female hall, Sheehan. From being one of the first people incoming freshmen interact with and getting to guide and observe them through orientation week and their freshman year, I have learned a few pieces of advice and can provide guidance. So, here are some behind-the-scenes tips from a former Resident Assistant to help incoming freshman survive all that is part of transitioning to college:

1) Keep a positive attitude during this transition time! It will make a difference. Trust me, I know it can be a scary and overwhelming time. I know it is probably hot in your residence hall. I know moving in can be exhausting. But think of what a privilege it is to get to go to a university and the exciting changes and experiences that are ahead!

2) Don’t go into college with the expectation that your roommate is going to be your best friend. Although, I had a great experience with my roommate from my freshman year, as an RA I observed situations that weren’t similar to my own. So, all I’m saying is not to get your hopes up and accept whatever relationship you have with your roommate. As long as you can openly communicate and live with one another, that is all you need. You WILL meet other people outside of your room so don’t feel like your roommate is your only chance at making a lifelong friendship.

3) Speaking of making friendships, don’t limit yourself to where you may find them. During orientation week and the first few weeks on campus, it feels like you’re constantly meeting new people. I recall meeting new people in the bathroom while brushing my teeth, in line at the caf for food, and other random places. I met one of my closest friends during the first day of orientation; we bonded over our mutual love for the band The Script. So, always keep an open mind and be ready to meet new people and friends around every corner!

4) When meeting new people, share information about yourself that will make them remember you. This  tip piggybacks off of the last. During this time of meeting people, everyone is so quick to ask or share majors, hometowns and where they are living on campus. Amidst all of that basic information, stand out by sharing some more unique facts about yourself! For example, my best friend from freshman year and I bonded over our love for the book The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Who knows, maybe by sharing your favorite band or book or movie with someone you will spark a connection and make a friend for life.

5) Get involved in things right away! Whether it is a club or organization on or off campus, it is easier to get involved in something NOW when there are going to be other new people also joining rather than convincing yourself to go halfway through the year. For example, if you are interested in becoming an Resident Assistant or being involved in Housing and Residence Life, becoming a member of your hall’s Hall Council is a great place to start! In addition to getting involved in out-of-class activities, get involved IN your classes! By that I mean DO NOT SKIP (you’re paying good money for the classes you’re in so why would you skip?), participate in class by raising your hand and being attentive, and take advantage of your professor’s office hours.

6) Lastly, don’t forget that your Resident Assistant is a regular student just like you, who just wants to get to know and help you. They aren’t there to judge you and they don’t like getting people “in trouble.” So, when you see your Resident Assistant around your hall or around campus, be just as polite/nice to them as they are to you, ask them about their life and how they are doing. Trust me, it will mean a lot to them! During my two years as a Resident Assistant I had countless one-sided conversations, that at times, felt more like a tiring game of 20 questions.

My freshman roommate and I have remained great friends over the years! This picture was taken when she visited me in Sheehan, where I was an RA. Remember to be open to new relationships during your first month or so here at WSU!

My freshman roommate and I have remained great friends over the years! This picture was taken when she visited me in Sheehan, where I was an RA. Remember to be open to new relationships during your first month or so here at WSU and put yourself out there a little!

Dana Scott

Perfect Time For a #WSUPokeCrawl!

WSU has Pokestops located at the Winona Community Fountain, Flyway Sculpture and Rearing Stallion Statue as well as a Gym located at the End of the Trail Statue.

These are just the PokeStops and gyms on campus. There’s many more scattered around Winona.

 

For new students–and even some returning students who’ve been gone for the summer months– the city of Winona is an unfamiliar place just waiting to be explored. But most of the time, I find myself staying close to campus for the week as I run between classes, the gym, study sessions and working at my campus job.

So, before we all get settled into our weekly campus routines, let’s take the time to experience beautiful Winona and the great businesses and hangout spots the city has to offer! And what better way to do that than through Pokemon GO, and participating in the #WSUPokeCrawl? After all, you gotta catch ‘em all!

For all you Pokemon lovers out there, an awesome online map has been created that marks many of the PokeStops and gyms located throughout Winona! Specific routes are outlined so you can maximize the number of Pokestops and gyms you’ll find along the way and hatch eggs efficiently. At each marker on the map, you can learn a little bit about the locations and see if nearby businesses offer any special deals for Pokemon trainers.

While you are out hunting Pikachu and getting to know your new home, it’s important to be polite when visiting businesses and public spaces–especially at memorials or other venerated places. Behavior that seems like harmless fun to you can come across as disrespectful to other people who may not play or understand Pokemon GO. There have been recent confrontations at the Veterans Memorial Park in Winona, and though the game has not been banned from the park, everyone is asked to be respectful of the veterans and the memorials in this space.

Team up with fellow Pokemon trainers on the #WSUPokeCrawl this weekend! It’s a great way to make new friends, expand your Pokedex and share the love of Pokemon GO. Happy hunting!

 

-Allison Mueller

6 Tips to Staying Stress-Free This Semester

School is back in session, and nonstop homework is just around the corner. While these first few weeks will be easier than later in the semester, it’s imperative to get ahead of the game and keep up on your assignments. Staying stress-free and keeping everything in check is the name of the game, and here are 6 tips on how to do it:

1) Schedule out your work

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Once you figure out your workload for the semester, you should make sure to schedule out your studying for a given week. Figure out the times that work best for you, whether it’s early in the morning, in the afternoon after class, or 3 a.m. in the bathroom. Whatever works best for you is the way to go. From there, find how much time you’ll have to devote to a given class. Some classes need more work than others, so keep that in mind while you’re scheduling everything out. You don’t have to study every subject every day, of course, and I find it better to mix it up from day to day. That said, make sure you stay on top of things and lay out enough time to get things done.

2) Take frequent breaks

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Whatever you do, do NOT sit and study for six hours straight. We’re all human, and humans need breaks. Even in the workplace, breaks are mandatory. Study for an hour or two and then take some time to relax and give your mind a break. Netflix and other streaming sites are great for this, since you can easily queue up a TV show to watch (but don’t fall into binging – that’d only make things more stressful). If you’re not a fan of TV, you can always read a couple chapters in a book, go for a quick jog or take a short power nap.

3) Stay focused

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I know, I know, it can be tough to stay focused on homework at times. It just seems so inconsequential in the moment, and we’d all rather be doing something else. But if you stay in the zone, you will be able to get all your work done in a timely fashion and move onto the things you’d rather do. Once you start your study session, don’t stop until you’re finished. Obviously, take some breaks, but don’t get too sidetracked that you don’t get back to your work within a reasonable amount of time. Entertainment can wait, and anyways, having fun is always better when you don’t have obligations hanging over your head.

4) Don’t procrastinate unless entirely necessary

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Procrastination is the college student’s best friend and worst nightmare. For a while, it can be super nice to just chill and not think about your work. The you suddenly realize the paper is due in an hour and you’ve only written your name on the page. Procrastination is never worth it, and not only will you be more stressed as the deadline gets closer, but your work will suffer as well since you’ll be rushing through it. To stay stress-free, it’s better to get everything done in a timely fashion.

5) Stay social

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With all this homework, it’s easy to forget that you actually have friends on campus. Don’t be too antisocial, it is college after all! Find some time to meet up with friends and classmates daily to do some homework, talk, or just chill together and have some fun. Everybody here is in the same boat, so getting a group to study with you can make all the obligations much more manageable. Staying social helps not only your stress levels, but will keep you energized and happy, which is always a plus.

6) Don’t overwork yourself

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Homework is unavoidable, but not everything is as concrete. Don’t take on more than you can chew with side projects and other obligations. A few clubs and activities are fine, but once you get to the point that sleep is your only break, you’re probably doing too much. Take it down a notch, and focus on the things that really matter to you.

Let’s have a great and productive fall semester, Warriors!

Nathaniel Nelson

#PurpleGoesGold Photo Contest

 

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Welcome back to campus, students! In one short week you will begin classes and slowly see your planners fill with club activities, work schedules and exam dates. Before things start getting too busy, take the time during Welcome Week to get outside and do something fun! In spirit of the Rio Olympics this month, WSU is holding the #PurpleGoesGold Photo Contest, where students can submit photos of themselves exploring campus and Winona for a chance to win awesome prizes.

Not sure of what to do for a photo op? There are plenty of fun activities to do around Winona! Here are a few:

1) Go for a bike ride

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If you don’t have a bike of your own, you can rent a bike for five hours at a time for free at the Student Resource Center in the lower level of Kryzsko.

2) Rent outdoor equipment

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You can rent outdoor equipment and enjoy a full day canoeing, kayaking or disc golfing. Winona’s Lake Lodge Recreation Center is another great option for renting equipment for some outdoor fun.

3) Rock climb

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The university’s Climbing Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 5-10pm, Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 12-6pm if you want to take on one of the largest university climbing walls in the Midwest. There are also spots around Winona to climb outdoors!

4) Go to the gym

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Take advantage of the IWC track and workout equipment! The gym hours are Monday – Friday 6am-10pm, Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 12-10pm.

5) Play volleyball

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Sand courts are located near residence halls and you are able to rent a volleyball from the hall’s front desk or use your own ball! Playing a volleyball game is a great way to make new friends and get to know your floormates.

6) Play frisbee golf and soccer

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There are soccer fields located by the Bandshell near the Lake Lodge and two frisbee golf courses wrap around the lakes. You can rent frisbee golf equipment through WSU or the Lake Lodge, as mentioned in #2.

Photo submissions will be accepted until Sunday, Aug. 21 through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram by using the hashtag #PurpleGoesGold when you post your photo. If your privacy setting is not set to public, you can message your photo to WSU’s Facebook. Voting will take place on WSU’s Facebook Aug. 23 and 24. The gold, silver and bronze winners will be announced Thursday, Aug. 25.

Have fun, Warriors, and go for gold!

-Allison Mueller

8 Tips to Relieving Stress on Move-in Day & Orientation Week

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Moving is a stressful time for everyone, especially when you are going to be on your own for the first time. You cannot control everything, and if you are like me that makes it even worse. However, there are many things you can do to help reduce the stress of moving into the residence halls this Tuesday and adjusting to college life during Welcome Week. Here are a few ideas:

1) Create your space

The first thing you can do is make your dorm room feel like home. Well, as much you can in a small area! The more at home you feel, the more comfortable it will be. I love to hang up photos of friends, family and pets all around my room as well as inspirational canvases.

2) Find emotional support

Whether it is from family, friends or another place, it is so important to have someone to talk to. Homesickness, social anxiety and overall stress is a normal thing to experience during your first week in college and during move-in day. WSU also offers counseling services on campus for additional support.

3) Be sure to eat and sleep

It sounds cliché, but getting enough sleep and eating healthy is key. It may be difficult transitioning, but I promise eventually you will get used to the dorm environment; especially if you decorated it to feel like home. As far as move-in day goes, it is crucial to stay hydrated and fuel your body with food as you sweat carrying your things to your new room!

4) Work out

Working out relieves stress as well, so good thing you’ll be busy lifting and stair-stepping on move-in day! Remember to also work out during orientation week before, after or in between scheduled activities. Not only does it get you out of the residence halls, but it also takes your mind off everything. Getting up and moving as little as a half hour a day reduces your stress levels more than many people realize.

5) Write out your schedule

This may be overwhelming to some, but after you’re moved in and your parents have left, sit down and write out your Welcome Week schedule. This can help you feel more organized and less stressed. It’s always helpful to be prepared and know where you’re going and when! Also write out your class schedule and take time to walk around campus and familiarize yourself with the buildings you’re going to.

6) Meditate

After move-in day you might find yourself uneasy or out of sorts. Take that week to find your center again and meditate. There is a meditation room on campus located in the Student Activity Center in Kryzsko Commons that is open to students.

7) Socialize

On move-in day and the following week, talk as much as you can to other students! A great stress reliever is to talk with others about what’s stressing you out. Other freshmen will be able to relate to what you’re going through and offer tips and comfort while they’re enduring the same experiences.

8) Get a massage

Finally, if all else fails get a massage. It’s relaxing and allows you to have time to yourself. Plus, you can get one for a half hour for around $10 on campus!

As crazy as your first week on campus will be, I promise you college is not as scary as it may seem. Just be sure to manage your stress on move-in day Tuesday, Aug. 16, during Welcome Week, and throughout the school year. You got this!

Allison Mueller and Kayla Severson

Find Your Home During Welcome Week

“What’s your name again?”

 “Where are you from?”

 “What’s your major?”

“Where am I going?!”

And the list continues. Throughout Welcome Week (beginning August 16), I guarantee you will ask and be asked these questions many, many, many times. It is my advice to new students to mentally prepare yourself now to answer these and other questions over and over and over again next week.

You see, Welcome Week is a jam-packed week that is designed to educate and create an inviting atmosphere for incoming freshman and new students. With that being said, one of the best ways to make someone feel welcomed is to get them CONNECTED. Forming connections is also known as networking or meeting new people. Therefore, you will meet tons of new people. And when I say tons, I mean tons. For those of us that sometimes refer to ourselves as introverts, we would agree that does not sound appealing whatsoever. I can say that although I consider myself both an extrovert and an introvert, and as challenging and overwhelming as Welcome Week was at times, it was all worth it.

I made some of my greatest friends freshmen year by trying new things and getting active!

I made some of my greatest friends freshman year by trying new things and getting active!

Had I not participated in all of the activities and events WSU had scheduled during Welcome Week, I would not have had the amazing freshman year as I did. In addition, I would not have met the amazing friends I have today had I chosen to stay confined within my little introvert bubble during Welcome Week. I know it may sound a bit scary to take that step outside of your own little personal bubble, but it’s actually really quite simple, and not as bad as you think it might be. All it took to take a step outside of my bubble was working up the boldness to simply introduce myself to the person sitting beside me during orientation class, or randomly sparking up a conversation with someone in the middle of campus. That is literally all I did each day, and at the end of the week, I had met so many amazing people; I learned about many different things going on around campus that I never would have discovered on my own, and the best part, I found HOME.

This is my story of finding home: It was the second day on campus when I found myself by the gazebo, attempting to find my orientation class, yet completely and hopelessly lost. This is when a group of girls approached me and asked if I was in need of a finger to point me in the right direction. How could I say no? (As embarrassed as I was to admit that I was lost on such a small campus…) As it turns out, the girls I met on campus that day didn’t just become familiar faces on campus, they became my family. Those girls ended up belonging to a campus ministry called Chi Alpha, and throughout our little conversation by the gazebo, they began to tell me about a pig roast they were hosting at the end of the week, and they encouraged me to come. Not only was I not about to turn down free directions, but I also wasn’t about to turn down free food! So, I went to the pig roast, met many other amazing and awe-inspiring people, joined their media ministry team as a videographer, and the rest is history.

Put yourself out there and meet your future best friends this upcoming Welcome Week!

Put yourself out there and meet your future best friends this upcoming Welcome Week!

The reason I chose to share my personal Welcome Week experience with all of you is because I want to encourage you to step outside of your comfort zones and put your introvert titles behind you for just this ONE week. I want to encourage you to do this because it is SO worth it and believe me when I say this week could set the course for the rest of your college career. But, the choice is yours. What you get out of it is what you choose to make it. If you choose to sit in your dorm room all week, well, don’t expect to do much more than that the rest of the semester. However, if you choose to attend the extra events WSU has scheduled for you, you could meet someone, join a club, or maybe even discover something that you may not have discovered otherwise.

Here are some afternoon activity options WSU is offering next week:

Wednesday, Aug. 17 – Comedy show in the Harriet-Johnson Auditorium of Somsen at 7:30pm and 9:30pm.

Thursday, Aug. 18 – IWC Scavenger Hunt at 3:30pm

Friday, Aug. 19 – “Downtown Winona Walking Tours & Treats” beginning at the Gazebo at 1pm, bonfire and outdoor games at 6pm on main campus, and Bingo Bash in East Hall at 8pm.

Saturday, Aug. 20 – Outdoor activities and club fair on main campus (Gazebo area) from 1-3pm, and hypnotist Jim Wand at 7:30pm and 9:30pm in the Harriet-Johnson Auditorium of Somsen.

Sunday, Aug. 21 – Bluff Hike and treat at Lakeview Drive Inn at 1pm, and a root beer keg and lawn games at 8pm at the Cathedral Church, 360 Main Street.

This is my challenge to you: attend as many Welcome Week activities as possible, simply introduce yourself to at least one person everyday, and choose to be BOLD each day. If you follow through with at least one of those three challenges, I guarantee you will have a much better chance at finding your place here at WSU than if you don’t. Don’t miss this opportunity to find your place! I found my WSU family and home during Welcome Week. Where will you find your place? What will be the person, place, or thing you call home? How will you ever know if you never step out of your bubble? Step out, be bold and discover your home away from home.

I can call Winona my home now, and you can too!

I can call Winona my home now, and you can too.

Erin Kloepping

7 Ways to Simplify Your Life

In college, it can be easy to take on way more than we are capable of. And that’s not only in terms of commitments and responsibilities; people can easily get caught up in the acquisition of everything from clothes, to movies, to books. In a cluttered life, time management goes out the window entirely. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to simplify everything and get back to the basics. In honor of National Simplify Your Life Week, here’s some tips on how to do that:

 1) Clear your closet

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Closets have a tendency to get stuffed long before we realize they are. You’ve got space one day, and the next you’re buying hangers to hold the shirts you just bought at a Pac Sun sale. Thankfully, clearing things out is never difficult. For me, the easiest way to figure out what to get rid of is to find what you actually use. Take all the hangers and turn them around. When you wear something, turn the hanger back around. After a few weeks or so, you’ll begin to see what you consistently wear and what you don’t. All that’s left then is to get rid of the stuff you don’t, either by selling or donating. I prefer to donate, but if you’re strapped for cash, selling can be a welcomed little boost. Erin’s recent blog explains great ways to resell your clothes!

2) Check those shelves

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Everybody’s got some kind of hobby, whether it’s movies, books, video games, comic books, sports, or collecting tiny toy elephants. Now, some people might have a bit more crowded shelves than others, but the fact remains the same: do you use everything you have? If you do, then good for you! That’s better than most of us can do. If not, it’s time to do some spring cleaning. Go through those shelves and grab things you’re sure you will never use again, and then check a second time to get rid of anything that’s on the fence. The closer you get to having only what you need and use, the better. Don’t stop at the shelves, either. Go through everything you own and do the same, and before you know it, you’ll be de-cluttered in no time.

3) Organize

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Sometimes it’s not the volume of the clutter that’s the problem, but the organization. Organization can go many different ways, depending on what’s being organized and who’s the one doing the organizing. Maybe you sort things alphabetically, or by color, or maybe by year. Whatever works best for how your mind operates is what you should use, and that’s going to be different for everyone. The important thing is to make sure that whenever you need to find something, you know exactly where to look. That goes for schoolwork, too. An accordion folder or some other type of file sorting system works wonders. However you choose to sort your things is perfectly fine, as long as you like how it’s all arranged and can find what you need.

4) Get connected

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Now, I’m not saying this from a social media perspective, but from a tech standpoint. With a smartphone, iPad, laptop, and maybe even a desktop PC at home, things can get a little cluttered. The first step into making things a little more manageable is to connect everything together. Using cloud services (even something as simple as Google Drive), you can have all of your files for classes, work, or freelance projects on any device at any time. Plus, this lets you edit pieces on one before working on it more on a different device later on. When speed is the name of the game, you can’t get better than this.

5) Rework your schedule

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Many of us (me included) tend to bite off a bit more than we can chew. It starts slow, but suddenly you’ve got two full-time jobs, an internship, a mentorship, four collaborative projects with other students, and you’re trying to finish a screenplay in whatever spare time you have left. When this happens, you need to cut down. Whether it’s through cancellation or postponement, get that huge list of responsibilities down to something manageable. And don’t forget to leave a little space for relaxation to clear your mind.

6) Learn to love your Calendar

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Calendars are the lifeblood of simplification, and you should learn to use them religiously. By keeping all of your events, classes, due dates and bills on a single format, it makes the stresses of life much easier to maneuver. The only thing is you have to use the calendar for everything, or else there’s not really a point. But once you get into the habit of writing everything down right when you learn about it, life slows to a much simpler place.

7) Combine your work and your passion

This last one is a little on the vague side, but it’s important nonetheless. By combining the things you are passionate about with your work, either in or out of school, it makes the work easier and you get some learning out of it. For example, I might be a journalist, but I’m also incredibly passionate about film (trust me on that, it’s a bit of a problem). Now, these two don’t always overlap, but I try to mesh them in whatever way I can, like doing film reviews for the school paper or doing freelance videography on the side. The important thing is to never let go of your interests, but instead of trying to balance multiple interests at once, find a way to bring them together! The less you spread yourself out, the better.

Nathaniel Nelson

Move-in Day: A Step-by-Step Guide

We’re closing in on the last weeks of Summer, and that means one thing: move-in day is just around the corner; August 16 to be exact.

Students are getting their things packed up and ready to go, and it’s about time to get situated for another fantastic semester. But before you get excited, here are 10 important tips to get ahead of the move-in game and guide you through your first week:

1) Move in early

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When move-in day finally arrives Tuesday, Aug. 16, the best thing to do is get started early. Students tend to move in the afternoon, so the earlier you can get moved in, the easier it will be. Housing & Residence Life states that the busiest moving times are between 9 am and 1 pm. After all, the dorms only have so many carts, and if you have a lot of stuff to move in, you’ll probably need one. Aim for the 9 am slot for an easier move. Also, there will be Welcome Crew volunteers in purple T-shirts to help with parking, checking into your room and moving your stuff. Don’t be shy, and ask for help if you need it!

2) Find your room first

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When you arrive to your assigned dorm, the first thing to do is get your keys and go check out your new room. This way, you can figure out how to maneuver everything to the room, and where the best place to put things will be. Also, there’s a chance your roommate may also have already moved in, which means there’s someone who can help you with your things. Housing & Residence Life suggests allowing at least two hours to check in your room and get settled.

3) As tiring as it sounds, carry the larger things to your room first

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Always bring the big things up first. Fridges, futons, furniture, TVs, and other large items should go up before any of the small stuff, like clothes or posters. This lets you lay out the room how you want it from the get go, and then, as you move the small things in, you can get everything organized at a steady rate. Speaking of large things, before you start packing your room full of your belongings, you and your roommate should assemble your lofts/organize your beds first! That always helps to get that done and out of the way.

4) Decorate

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After you’ve organized and put away the bulk of your things, decorate your room a bit and make it feel like yours! You’re going to be living there for the next two semesters, so you’ll want to feel comfortable. What better way to get your comfy on than making the room feel like your own? Movie posters are great, as are pictures of friends and small trinkets. Anything that gives the room some personality is a good thing to add.

5) Socialize!

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Now that you’ve got your room feeling like yours, and not like an unfamiliar dorm room, it’s time to meet the people you’ll be seeing every day for the next 8 months. Walk around your floor and see who’s moved in, strike up some conversation, hang out in each other’s newly-decorated rooms. If anyone needs help moving in or organizing stuff, offer some assistance. Starting some friendships early will only make the semester that much easier.

6) Sort out your schedule

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When you get a break from all the socializing, it’s time to sort out your schedule. Make sure you write down the Orientation Week schedule so you don’t miss anything. Then, check out your class schedule. Figure out when you’ll have to be, where you’ll have to be and how long you’ll have to get to your classes. Don’t forget to pencil in some down time, because the first few weeks are a doozy.

7) Explore!

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This is my favorite part. Get out of that room of yours and go outside! Take this chance to walk around campus and find where all your classes will be the following week, and figure out how long it takes you to go from your dorm to each building. This way, you can easily get from place to place with no worries about being late to anything. Also, floating around the campus lets you get a lay of the land and opens up possibilities for meeting some new people. All of the activities planned during Welcome Week will also help you get out and about!

8) EAT

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Don’t forget to find some time to eat while you’re moving in. The cafeteria is open for dinner on move-in day, so if you have a meal plan, feel free to use it! There are also plenty of really good restaurants around town, especially if you like burritos. Also, don’t be afraid to invite people you meet during move-in day to eat with you! Nothing is better than bonding over food.

9) Head back to your room for relaxation

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End the day back at your room for some nice end-of-day chilling. See what everyone on your floor is up to, and maybe take some time to hang out with new friends. Movies and videos games are always good choices for relaxation. Just don’t forget to leave your door open while you’re there. An open door policy is a great way to start some conversation with people walking by, and trying to be social is always the best idea.

10) Sleep

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Get some rest! Your room is comfortable, all your things have been moved in, you’ve met some new peeps…all that’s left is to break in the new bed. So get some sleep, and get ready for a week full of activities and a great fall semester!

Nathaniel Nelson

A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way

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Over the last year, I have noticed a false belief that many college students have. You see, many students think they are not capable of helping others in college because they are lacking financially. However, the truth is that whether you are broke or not, you possess the ability to make someone’s day. No, you may not be able to give large sums of money to someone in need, but at the end of the day, money is not what brings joy to people who are hurting. Rather, a perfect stranger, who went out of their way to make their day, just might bring a genuine smile to their face. Moreover, your financial status cannot stop you from performing random acts of kindness. Besides, as Aesop once said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

As the beginning of a new school year is quickly approaching, it can be a stressful and scary time for incoming freshmen and new students at WSU. It is my challenge to you to consider doing some of the random acts I have listed below as you move back to Winona and begin classes. Or, you can even come up with your own ideas to brighten someone’s day! There are endless ideas when it comes to random acts of kindness. My goal in presenting this challenge to you is to ultimately create a more positive and welcoming atmosphere for each person who walks onto the Winona State campus. WSU should feel like home to all of the students and staff who walk its sidewalks each day. By simply performing random acts of kindness around our campus, I believe we can take a huge step forward in becoming a campus that is a shining example of a united and positive community.

Are you up for the challenge? If so, try doing a few of the 10 random acts of kindness I have listed below to get you started, and remember to have fun while doing them.

Acts of Kindness at NO COST

  1. Leave encouraging sticky notes on the mirrors in the bathrooms of your dorm
  2. Pick wildflowers and give them to a stranger (Only pick in appropriate areas of course – NO trespassing, people!)
  3. Say thank you to a faculty member for their hard work on campus
  4. Simply give a compliment to someone
  5. Hold the door open for someone trailing behind you

Acts of Kindness For Less Than $5

  1. Tape change to a pop machine for the next person who comes along
  2. Put change in the washing machines at the laundry mat
  3. Tape $5.00 to the gas pump for the next person
  4. Take cold water or Gatorade to city, county, or campus facility workers on a hot day
  5. Pay for the food of the person behind you in line at a drive thru restaurant

-Erin Kloepping