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Get on the Scholarship Grind RIGHT NOW

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As the school year quickly approaches, so does the horrifying word “adulting.” This means busting out your planner, resurfacing the backpack you eagerly shoved in your closet at the end of May and crying as you apply for student loans and add to your debt. However, there is one thing you can do to make your bank account (and yourself) very happy – scholarships! Here’s how to go about it:

1) Start NOW

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There isn’t a better time to apply for scholarships than now, in the summer. The earlier you apply, the better of a chance you have to get scholarship money. Also, right now you’re free of a full class load and you typically have more down time now than during the start of the school year.

 2) Visit the WSU scholarship page

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Go to the university’s scholarship page to see all of the different options our university has to offer and look for answers to your questions!

3) Looking for something super easy?

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Click the “Apply Now” button on the scholarship page and check out the Foundation Scholarships that are available. Once you sign in, you can fill out your general application that will attach to scholarship applications you submit. You can also view all of your submitted applications, check their statuses and search for tons of financial opportunities.

4) Don’t limit yourself to just WSU-specific scholarships

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Browse other sources online for scholarships! A great place to start is the College Board, where you can look at scholarships through the most specific or broad window you’d like!

5) I’ve applied – what now?

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Make sure to keep a close eye on your WSU email, as that is how most scholarship winners are announced. You can also check your “award letter” under the financial aid tab within your e-services account. Any further questions? The Warrior Hub is a great place to get answers.

Now, get to it Warriors!

-Lauren Reuteler

Get on the Scholarship Grind RIGHT NOW

13884411_10210107490744264_1115250454_n

As the school year quickly approaches, so does the horrifying word “adulting.” This means busting out your planner, resurfacing the backpack you eagerly shoved in your closet at the end of May and crying as you apply for student loans and add to your debt. However, there is one thing you can do to make your bank account (and yourself) very happy – scholarships! Here’s how to go about it:

1) Start NOW

13618158_10210107491424281_75870022_n

There isn’t a better time to apply for scholarships than now, in the summer. The earlier you apply, the better of a chance you have to get scholarship money. Also, right now you’re free of a full class load and you typically have more down time now than during the start of the school year.

 2) Visit the WSU scholarship page

13672445_10210107492224301_1890872476_n

Go to the university’s scholarship page to see all of the different options our university has to offer and look for answers to your questions!

3) Looking for something super easy?

13672430_10210107492544309_61903233_n

Click the “Apply Now” button on the scholarship page and check out the Foundation Scholarships that are available. Once you sign in, you can fill out your general application that will attach to scholarship applications you submit. You can also view all of your submitted applications, check their statuses and search for tons of financial opportunities.

4) Don’t limit yourself to just WSU-specific scholarships

13672199_10210107492864317_280939867_n

Browse other sources online for scholarships! A great place to start is the College Board, where you can look at scholarships through the most specific or broad window you’d like!

5) I’ve applied – what now?

13884549_10210107494104348_1759331782_n

Make sure to keep a close eye on your WSU email, as that is how most scholarship winners are announced. You can also check your “award letter” under the financial aid tab within your e-services account. Any further questions? The Warrior Hub is a great place to get answers.

Now, get to it Warriors!

-Lauren Reuteler

Make Sure You Pokémon GO the Right Way!

If you play Pokémon GO and are moving to Winona in the fall, WSU is definitely the right school for you. You’re also in the right place if you stayed in Winona for the summer! Not only does the town offer a variety of PokéStops and gyms, including some on our campus, but the game can also get you out and about.

One of the most popular stops in town is Winona Veterans Memorial Park. The park offers PokéStops and gyms all in one area, not to mention a beautiful view. It is now common to see at least 20 people playing the game. However, it is important we remember that the park is not just for playing Pokémon GO and not everyone wants to “catch ‘em all.” The park is meant to honor veterans who have lost their lives and it is important that players respect that. The crowds gathering in this area to play has attracted the city’s attention, and the Winona Post even wrote an article bringing the situation to light.

I do play the game and I have been to the park. For the most part, people were respectful of each other and the monuments. However, some people were sitting on or against monuments. While I understand it is nice to be in the middle of three or so PokéStops, I think people can do this without using a monument as a chair.

If you do not want to play at the park, there are other options for you! As I said before, there are PokéStops and a gym located right on our campus. The picture below explains the exact places to find these stops.

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Having these stops on campus make it easier to play Pokémon GO. I work on campus, so I can just hit the stops before and after work. Plus, once classes start I will be able to do the same.

Also, if you go to the stops on campus, you will have Wi-Fi! This is super nice because if you are like me, you do not have unlimited data so if you play on campus you won’t get yelled at by your mom for going over. Cell phone companies probably won’t accept “I gotta catch ‘em all” as a reason to wave the overcharge fee. Sorry, mom.

It’s also important to point out the need to be safe when playing Pokémon GO. There are many reports of people tripping and falling and even crashing cars while playing the game, leading to injuries. Also, robbers have used the game to target and lure people to various locations through Pokémon GO.

Overall, the game is very fun to play and is a good way to get outside of your dorm or apartment. It helps you explore the town and also fulfills many of our childhood dreams when it comes to Pokémon – but you have to make sure you’re playing the right way, the safe way.

So, go have fun, but be aware of your surroundings and remember to be mindful of those around you as well as your own safety.

Kayla Severson

5 Reasons to Thank Your Aunt and Uncle Today

Last week my blog post was about maintaining a healthy relationship with your parents while away at college and becoming an adult. However, you aren’t always going to have a healthy relationship with your parents, or anyone for that matter.

Despite what you and your parents may be disagreeing about at a given time, there is always someone you can turn to who understands how difficult your parents can be. For me, that person is my Aunt Kim, or as I called her growing up, Auntie Kimmy.

My Aunt Kim and me at Christmas in 2011.

My Aunt Kim and me at Christmas in 2011.

My aunt is the typical wine-drinking, life-loving, advice-giving, fun aunt you see in movies or read about in books. She is the most self-less and positive person I know and is dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle and she has inspired me to embody these qualities.

She is my mother’s half sister and they may not have grown up in the same household, but they grew up as best friends and went to the same school. The relationship my mother and my aunt have has inspired me to strengthen the relationship I have with my own sister.

Today is National Aunt and Uncle Day, so here are some reasons I love having a close relationship with my aunt and encourage you all to develop a close relationship with your aunt or uncle:

1) They are the perfect people to vent to

The siblings of your parents have known your parents much longer than you have. Not only do they have a lot of embarrassing stories of your parents your parents would never tell you themselves, they also understand them. So, when you think your parents are being difficult or unreasonable, give your aunt or uncle and call and vent to them. I know I have always been able to do that with my aunt and it has kept me sane.

2) Sometimes they’re the few people who can get through to your parents

Similar to the first reason, your aunt/uncle may be the only people who can put your parents in their place and tell them they are being ridiculous about something. Your parents may not always listen to you because you are the child and they are the parent and think because of this they are always right and might pull the classic “because I said so” line. Your parents are probably more likely to listen to another adult who they trust, especially their sibling. So, have your aunt or uncle call your parents if you need someone on your side to stick up for you.

3) They give the best (and most real) advice!

When you have a close relationship with your aunt or uncle you can trust them to tell them anything without the fear of getting in trouble. You can tell them every stupid thing you have done and ask for help putting the pieces of your life back together.

4) They spoil you and also encourage your every move

Recently, I’ve been trying to live a healthier lifestyle and eat healthier. When my aunt heard about this she sent me a book in the mail about having a healthy body and mind titled “The solution to the Dangers of Modern Nutrition” by Dr. B.J Hardrick. It was such a simple gesture but meant a lot to me, and I cannot wait to read this book! Then, for my birthday, she got me Maximized Living Protein powder that doesn’t have any gluten, soy, GMO’s or artificial flavors.

5) Your aunt/uncle can be a role model in your life in addition to your parents

As I stated earlier, my aunt has inspired me to be more selfless, positive and healthy. My aunt puts a lot on her plate, drops everything to help her loved ones, and handles this all with such grace.

Whether you have an aunt or an uncle (or both) you’re close with, give them a call this week and tell them how much you appreciate them being in your life.

Dana Scott

Improving Through Art: Becoming Cultured

Photo taken from pitchforkmusicfestival.com

Photo taken from pitchforkmusicfestival.com

We’re in the middle of one of the biggest booms in independent art and music in modern history. Small labels are taking back comic shops, hundreds of new musicians premiere their work every day, and film is seeing a new renaissance, especially in the independent scene. High-brow is now low-brow, and vice versa. It’s now becoming slowly becoming normal to be “cultured.” But what does that really mean? And why does that matter for a college student?

Last weekend I took a short road trip down to Chicago for this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival. The lineup was a crazy mixture of Jazz, Synth Pop, Rap, and a little Indie Rock to round things out. Here’s the catch, though: these bands were all playing on the same stages. Fans of an artist like Miguel or Jeremih would still be hanging around during Kamasi Washington’s Sax solos, or Neon Indian’s modern funk.

That’s what’s so cool about festivals: Everybody has a reason to be there, but it may not be the same. Even then, everyone shares a love of music and performance, regardless of genre.

And here’s where we get back to where we started. Being “cultured.” One of the failures of the education today is it’s focus on facts, diagrams and rules above all else. Even in English classes, they’ll begin by teaching you how to format a paper or how to craft a solid sentence. The thing that it’s missing is education of the arts, and not just any art: ALL art. One of the things about art and music that make them so interesting is that every person has their own unique, individual taste. The problem is many people have yet to find it. And that’s what being “cultured” is really about.

Art and culture isn’t as one-laned as we’re often led to believe. Many of us have our niches. Maybe it’s hip-hop, or superhero movies, or top 40 radio. The cool thing about today’s tech-driven society is that you don’t have to be limited by what’s on the air, or what’s popular. It’s easier than ever to explore and discover new things. When you take the time to look, you can really begin to change how you see things, and even change up your own creative works.

Photo taken from pitchforkmusicfestival.com

Photo taken from pitchforkmusicfestival.com

Now, I’m finally getting to my main point. Being “cultured” in college doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is. Being well-versed in different areas helps in more than just one way. First of all, nothing brings people together like shared interests. If you limit yourself to just what’s popular, however, you’ll limit the experiences you’ll have and the people you’ll meet. Nothing is more fun than meeting someone who likes the same weird folk band that you do, or the same artists. The more things you can find to enjoy, the more you can connect to the people around you.

Next, It opens up the door for new understandings of people and cultures around the world. I, for one, am a huge Jazz fan. While I know the classics pretty well, my personal favorite jazz artists are modern groups working out of Japan and the West Coast, like Jizue and Kamasi Washington. In both art and music, people bring their culture and their experiences to what they create in a unique way, and examining it allows you to get a better understanding of who they are as an individual.

Finally, art can be reused. Everything you see, everything you read, everything you listen to: Take something from it. Maybe a melody, or a color palette, or maybe a style of linework. Remember it for later. When the time comes, you can use that in your own pieces to create something wholly unique. For me, as a filmmaker and a writer, inspiration is one of the most important things for me to have before I begin a piece. When I’m writing a new script, I’ll sit on the floor in the middle of my house and surround myself with short stories, comic books, visual art, and even a playlist of sounds that remind me of how I want the film to feel.

So why is being “cultured” in college so important?

College is the beginning of your adult life, and as such, it’s where you begin to really fine tune who you are as a person. Art and music, and just culture in general, are a gateway to this self-discovery. When you read a book, or watch a film, or listen to an album, you’re gaining knowledge and experience that can’t be taught in a class. Art is unique in that it’s not a concrete fact, but something that conforms to the artist’s own perception. Through the arts, we can begin to connect with the people around us in new ways and truly understand who they are and what makes them tick. But more than anything, art can give you a new look into who you are as an individual, and nothing improves the world more than improving yourself.

-Nathaniel Nelson

7 Simple Steps to Better Communication With Your Parents

My parents separated and divorced within the last year, so not only during college has my relationship changed with my parents because I am becoming an adult, but now it is changing because I have to build a relationship with them both individually; that has just made our relationships stronger.

My parents separated and divorced within the last year, so not only during college has my relationship changed with my parents because I am becoming an adult, but now it is changing because I have to build a relationship with them both individually; that has just made our relationships stronger.

​A lot changes during the transition from high school to college: surroundings, friends, interests, lifestyle, etc. However, there is one key element in life that also changes during this transition time and is often overlooked. That element is the relationship one has with their parents.

Why the change? The first reason is pretty obvious, and that’s the physical distance between you and your parents that probably did not exist before. Most teenagers do not have to put much effort into maintaining their relationship with their parents while growing up because they see them on a daily basis. Now, because of the distance, both you and your parents must be willing to put in more effort than before to stay in touch.

Your relationship with your parents will also change as you change and grow. Going to college will mark the beginning of your adult relationship with your parents. As you become more independent and less dependent on your parents, the basis of your relationship will change. Some parents may have a difficult time with you not needing them as much as you once did, so be gentle and don’t flaunt your independence too much!

Because of these two reasons it is important to maintain a healthy relationship with your parents while away at college. It is also important to understand and embrace the fact that your relationship with your parents is going to change.

So, here are a few tips to keep in mind while trying to stay connected to your parents after moving to college:

1) Find a form of communication that works for everyone

Everyday there are more communication platforms to choose from: phone calls, letters/mail, text messages, FaceTime, Skype and Facebook are just a few. You may have to help your parents learn how to use some of these applications. My dad recently got a smartphone for the first time and I’m teaching him to use it. Showing him applications such as Facebook has been such a fun, and at times frustrating, experience.

2) Find a convenient time to touch base

Whether you choose to touch base daily with a few quick text messages are block out an hour each week to Skype, scheduling this time will make it more likely to happen. This can be made easier by exchanging schedules so your parents aren’t calling you in the middle of class.

3) Be honest and communicate your feelings

Whether you feel like you need some space or need a little extra help with something, communicate it. Some parents may have eyes in the back of their heads, but they aren’t mind readers. Also, not all parents went to college, and if they did a lot has changed. So, make sure you explain the reality of college to them because at times it can be stressful and you may have to reschedule that weekly Skype date. But you don’t want your parents to think you’re blowing them off.

4) Ask your parents what is happening in their life

A lot will be changing in your life and it will be exciting, so you will probably have a lot to report back to your parents. But don’t forget to ask how things are going for them; even if they just simply tell you about their workday, it will make a difference in your relationship.

5) Communicate the struggles of young adulthood to your parents

Again, a lot has changed since our parents have been in college or have been twenty-somethings trying to start their life. College is the time you learn to become more independent, however it doesn’t all happen at once. So, you still may need help from your parents with somethings. That is okay.

7) Tell them how appreciative you are of them

Whether you are the first or last of your siblings to go off to college, remember that you not being home is going to be a difficult time for your parents. It’s always fun to get a care package from your parents during midterms, but remember you could always send them something nice too! Like all relationships, your relationship with your parents is a two way street.

Overall, every individual is different and everyone’s relationship with their parents are going to differ. But just remember how much your parents have done for you and the support they’ve provided through out your life. Parents are so awesome that there’s even a national holiday for them! Sunday, July 24 is Parents’ Day, so recognize this day and make sure to do what’s best for you and your relationship with your parents while in college!​

My mom not only gave me her small size, but more importantly her big personality. The photo of my dad and me shows how he makes me smile and laugh with his humor and one-liners which I would say is a quality of his I have.

My mom not only gave me her small size, but more importantly her big personality. The photo of my dad and me shows how he makes me laugh with his humor and one-liners, which I would say is a quality of his I have.

 –Dana Scott

Secondhand First: Saving Money on Clothes in College

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Are you working on your new budget for this fall semester? As you’re crunching the numbers are you wondering how on earth you’ll be able to afford to update your fall wardrobe?  To start, lets say goodbye to expensive retail, and hello to secondhand shopping!

One way to make it easier to choose secondhand first when it comes to fashion is to choose to do your shopping at local thrift stores. There are many places in and near Winona for you to shop secondhand. To start, a brand new Goodwill just opened its doors in Winona! When I stepped in for the first time, I came home with a bag full of like-new clothes to add to my summer wardrobe. That’s right, a whole bag of name-brand clothes for less than $20! There’s also plenty of other great shops like the Salvation Army Thrift Store across the highway from Goodwill, and locations downtown like Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Grace Place, Restored Blessings, kate + bella and the Clothes Shop, which is a program of the non-profit Winona Volunteer Services.

Maybe the idea of buying used clothes is weird to you. If that is the case, think of secondhand shopping the way ThredUP does: secondhand shopping is simply buying clothes that are “pre-loved.”  How nice!

ThredUP is the world’s largest online resale/consignment shop. It’s a website where shoppers can browse thousands of pre-owned tops, bottoms, dresses, bags and shoes without ever leaving their couch! They sell many different styles and brands of clothing, all for affordable prices! They even have an app, so you can order your items through your smart phone or tablet. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Photo from fastcompany.com

Photo from fastcompany.com

But wait, the fun doesn’t end there! After all, ThredUP’s tag line is “Secondhand Clothes, Firsthand Fun.”  ThredUP not only focuses on giving customers great brands and value, they also provide an outlet for their customers to rid themselves of unwanted articles of clothing. All you have to do is go online and request a free clean out bag. The bag arrives on your doorstep, you fill it full of unwanted, name brand apparel, and then you mail it back to ThredUP. They take care of the shipping charges, too! When ThredUP receives the items, the customer receives credit to shop for other items. This is an awesome and easy way to throw out the clothes taking up space in your closet that you don’t wear often, and replacing them with something new. Moreover, with the store credit you receive, this swap may end up costing you NOTHING!

Similar to ThredUP’s system, Plato’s Closet in La Crosse does the same thing. If you are planning to take a trip to La Crosse for the day, take a minute to bag up a bunch of your unwanted clothes. You can take them in to Plato’s Closet and they will pay you for your clothes! They also have a great selection of name-brand, gently used clothing for sale. Again, you can swap your unwanted, too big, too small, or simply unworn clothes for something new!

One last idea that I want to leave you with is hosting a clothing swap with just your friends or a club/organization you’re involved in. This past year, the women’s group within my campus ministry, Chi Alpha, held a clothing swap where you brought a few pieces of clothing that you were tired of, and then you went home with a couple new items! It was a great idea, and turned out to be a great success! Once school starts, you can talk to your RA and also start a clothing swap in your dorm.

I hope these ideas help you revamp your fall wardrobe in an affordable manner! Remember to think secondhand first.

Happy shopping and swapping!

Erin Kloepping

7 College Tips From a J Student

Three Winonan newspaper staff members and I attended the ACP/CMA Summer Workshop at the University of Minnesota this past weekend. We learned tons of new ideas for our paper and came away with a few life lessons as well. From left to right: Kilat Fitzgerald (features reporter), me (editor-in-chief), Zach Bailey (features editor) and Taylor Nyman (photo editor).

Three Winonan newspaper staff members and I attended the ACP/CMA Summer Workshop at the University of Minnesota this past weekend. We learned tons of new ideas for our paper and came away with a few life lessons as well. From left to right: Kilat Fitzgerald (features reporter), me (editor-in-chief), Zach Bailey (features editor) and Taylor Nyman (photo editor).

 

I’m not gonna lie – college isn’t easy. I am a journalism student and also the editor-in-chief of WSU’s student newspaper, The Winonan, and as with any college major, there will be times when you think you have your future figured out and you’re on the right track. Then there are times where you wonder why you even chose this major and how you’re going to make a living.

This past weekend, three Winonan staff members and I attended the ACP/CMA Summer Workshop in Minneapolis, which included 220 students from 78 schools and 36 states. The conference consisted of different workshops and I attended the Future of Digital Journalism track. I not only gained new ideas for our paper at the workshop, but I also took away a handful of tips to apply to my college career. These tips and life lessons are definitely applicable to any student in college, whether your major is journalism, math, psychology or nursing – whatever your future career, there’s no doubt you will endure roadblocks, struggles and doubts. Here are 7 things to keep in mind and follow while in college and beyond:

1) Embrace constraints and work with what you have
In our workshop we discussed how newspapers are often limited and constrained by budgets and the ever-changing industry. But despite these challenges, you need to work with what you have and make the most of your resources and abilities. The same goes for living in college – you may not always have everything you want, like a photographic memory, air conditioning in your place or a strong WiFi connection, but it’s important to embrace these restrictions and make the most out of your situation. You may need to make adjustments in life, but in the end everything works out and you need to be resourceful.

2) Work hard to get where you want to be
In the journalism field, more often than not you’re going to have to work your way up from the bottom. After college you’ll probably start out working the smaller jobs such as reporting for a small-town newspaper or being part of a team that works on social media – whatever direction you want to take your mass communication degree, you will still have to work hard for where you want to end up career-wise. In any situation in life or in a career, you need to have a goal and work towards it. Nothing comes easy, and having career goals will keep you grounded, motivated and focused.

3) Be careful what you post
This is so crucial while you’re in college. During the conference, one of the advisors from a Texas college newspaper began telling my staff members and I about a controversial Snapchat video of a fraternity one of the Texas reporters saw, and how the paper was probably going to use that video to support a a follow-up article. This is the perfect example of how students need to be mindful of what they’re posting on social media in college. I know this has been preached to you before, but it is true that you don’t know who is really looking at your posts, and these viewers may include future employers or current professors and bosses. Just be aware!

4) Don’t box yourself in
As mentioned above, when it comes to pursuing a career in journalism, it’s important to remember that you may not be doing exactly what you dreamed you’d be doing right away. If your interests lie with writing, you may have to work with video at some point. If you’re into videography, you may have to work with photos. It’s important not to be narrow minded heading into a journalism career, or any career. This goes for the college experience as well. Be diverse, be open to new ideas and push your limits. You’ll get farther in life if you’re open and can adapt.

5) Never stop learning
The ACP/CMA Workshop is a perfect example of this! Even though it’s summer break and The Winonan doesn’t resume printing until September, our staff continues to learn and better our publication by attending this conference yearly. In college, make the effort to teach yourself a few things along the way that will benefit you in the future. Remember, learning does not cease after you graduate. You’ll constantly be learning new things in your career and teaching yourself along the way can only help you get to where you want to be.

6) Don’t be afraid of change
In the ever-changing journalism industry, communication tools and media platforms will never stay the same for too long. That means you can’t be afraid of change as a journalist. This follows the two preceding points; you need to be open to this change and learn how to adapt. The same goes for in life. In college, you’re going to be going through tons of changes with friends, family and who you are as a person. You’ll discover new things about yourself and deal with situations you’ve never come across before. College changes you, and you shouldn’t be afraid of this change. Change is a good thing, and it can lead you to amazing experiences and relationships.

7) Make memories
As a journalist, you want to make people remember what you write, produce, photograph, etc. It’s about telling stories to last a lifetime, and that’s what college is all about as well. Make mistakes and bold decisions and you’ll create and share memories with people you can tell for years after you graduate. So do something different and try something new – write your own story and carry it with you forever.

Kilat, Taylor, Zach and I made some great memories at the conference and on our Minneapolis adventures! Never stop learning and trying new things.

Kilat, Taylor, Zach and I made some great memories at the conference and on our Minneapolis adventures after the workshops every day! Never stop learning and trying new things.

 

-Allison Mueller

8 Alternate Activities for a Greener Summer

We all have our favorite summer activities, but why not make those activities more eco-friendly!? Here are 8 examples of how to have fun and enjoy the weather all while lessening your ecological footprint:

1) Bike instead of drive

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From going to grab your favorite ice cream treat or meeting friends at the beach, nice weather calls for being outside as much as possible! So save money and gas by biking to your summer destinations. It may take a little longer, but think about the tan and workout you’ll get!

2) Canoe or kayak instead of boat

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We all want to spend a beautiful summer afternoon lounging on the boat. But instead, grab a couple friends, pack a lunch and paddle out to your favorite sandbar where you can enjoy both the water and relaxation you’re looking for!

3) Build a birdbath

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If you want to spend your day in the water, I’m sure other outdoor creatures want to as well! Help them out in your spare summer time by building a birdbath in your yard. Not only does it give the birds a way to cool down on those hot summer days, but it also adds to your curb appeal and makes a fun project!

4) Farmers’ Market

Farmers-market

Save money and support your local farmers by heading out to the Winona Farmers Market this summer! You’ll find lots of great fresh foods that are healthy and delicious…and try to bike or walk there of course!

5) Use a gas grill

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This may sounds odd…use a gas grill instead of coal? It turns out that grilling with gas is better for the environment. A Huffington Post article explains gas-powered grills produce less carbon emissions than coal and is overall more efficient.

6) Conserve water – bathe in the lake!

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To some, this may seem weird, but it can truly be a fun experience if you give it a try. After spending a day on the water, why go inside to wash up when all the water you could want is right in front of you? Lather up in the lake and feel fresh right away. Be sure to use chemical-free soaps that are environment-friendly to keep the lake-life healthy!!

7) Exercise outside

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No need to waste energy running on a treadmill when you could be outside enjoying the nice weather. Not to mention you will sweat more in the heat, giving you a better workout. And, just like biking, running gives you the best summer tan! Don’t forget to use sunscreen and stay hydrated!

8) Camp in a tent, not a camper

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We all have a different version of camping, depending on how we grew up. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE camping in a camper, but put yourself out there, save the energy and gas, and get to know your surroundings! Learn to build that tent and make that fire so that you can enjoy a toasted marshmallow under the stars!

-Lauren Reuteler

Beyond Textbooks: My St. Croix Travel Study Experience

StCroix

May 11-28

I had the amazing opportunity to be one of 24 students on the Winona State University travel study to the US Virgin Island of St. Croix. This trip focused on Caribbean culture and history, and how race, class, and gender continue to play integral roles within our society. We studied past and present acts of resistance in the face of colonialism and had the privilege to learn from local professors, businesspeople, environmentalists, and social activists about current issues happening on the island.

Before going to St. Croix, we were required to do readings and a workbook revolving around Caribbean culture, history, environment and tourism. We also explored ideas like privilege, intersectionality, and service-learning. While on the island we wrote daily journals about our experiences, interviewed local people for insight on current events, met with government and educational leaders, and connected our experiences back to the readings.

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In addition to classroom time and excursions, all students volunteered at one of four worksites: Queen Louise Home for Children, The Village (an addiction rehabilitation center), The Nature Conservancy, and Women’s Coalition of St. Croix. I worked at The Nature Conservancy on projects like planting native trees for habitat restoration, beach clean-ups, painting the visitor’s center and laying the foundation for a children’s garden. We worked Monday-Friday and had nights and weekends to explore the island. Some of the excursions included in this travel study were: snorkeling at Buck Island, a catamaran boat tour, sea kayaking, a baobab tree tour, a day-long jeep tour of the island, relaxing at the beach, scuba-diving, shopping, trying local cuisine, plantation tours, botanical gardens, swimming in tide pools, going on turtle watches and enjoying the nightlife of downtown Christiansted.

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Overall, this trip truly changed my outlook on life. I not only learned about the culture and history of St. Croix, but learned life lessons regarding privilege, intersectionality, travel and volunteer etiquette, and the importance of creating and maintaining lasting relationships with people who want to make a difference in their community. St. Croix taught me a lot about myself and allowed me to gain knowledge I could never get from a textbook or lecture. I truly believe that traveling is the best way to learn about our diverse and changing world. I highly recommend doing a travel study/studying abroad to any student looking to get the most out of their educational experience.

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-Danny Young