From The Voice That Rocked The Boat - A Message To UNH And Writers Everywhere

From The Voice That Rocked The Boat - A Message To UNH And Writers Everywhere

All it takes is just one person – one person to speak up and spark a chain reaction and reach hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people.
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Last week, I wrote an article exposing the University of New Hampshire’s poor expenditure of alum and longtime librarian Robert Morin's generous donation on a new $1 million video scoreboard for the football stadium. After sharing my article throughout the UNH community, it quickly went viral. In just one week, the post was shared approximately 7,200 times on various social media platforms, and received 30,000 page views.

Response to the article was mixed, some people called me a hypocrite, challenged my logic, and defended the administration's decision. Backlash is something that every writer should be prepared for. But the vast majority of the UNH community - including faculty, students, fellow alumni, and even prospective parents of potential future students - thanked me for writing the article and bringing light to the issue. And now the article and the problem that it addresses has extended much farther than just the UNH community.

My post was referenced and quoted in stories written for USA Today, New York Magazine, Inside Higher Ed, NPR, Portland Press, The Washington Post, and many more. I talked about the article on the radio show Attitude with Arnie Arnesen, and was contacted by the Boston Globe and Boston.com with requests for interviews to include in their own stories.

All of this was made possible by Odyssey - the online content platform for millennial voices. Odyssey doesn’t give millennials a voice, it gives us a microphone so our voices can be heard, to which I am extremely grateful. Since joining Odyssey in July, I have worked with an extremely talented group of writers and editors who encourage and support each other every week. Odyssey makes each and every voice feel valued. And the extensive outreach and press that my article achieved exemplifies just how powerful each voice can be. All it takes is just one person – one person to speak up and spark a chain reaction and reach hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people. Chances are that if something touches your heart, then it probably touches the hearts of many others too.

The first step to changing all the injustices in the world is to speak up and protest them. So write your heart out. Be heard. Make waves. Even if it’s exhausting, even if there’s backlash – keep fighting for what you believe in. That old saying still rings true today - “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Ideas can change the world. It won’t happen all at once. It’ll be slow, and you may not see results right away, but don’t think for even a second that your voice doesn’t matter.

The University of New Hampshire released a statement last Friday announcing that they still planned to move forward with their original plan to use $1 million of Morin’s money to buy a scoreboard for the new football stadium. As I told Boston.com, I think their decision to move forward with this, even after the outcry from their own community (and how far the criticism has extended outside the community), shows that they clearly don’t value the voices and opinions of the UNH community. It further dishonors the memory and spirit of Robert Morin. After emailing my article to the entire administration and President Mark Huddleston, I received an email from an administrator offering to meet with me to "answer my questions and discuss my concerns," but it's pretty clear that they don't care about the concerns of their own alumni, students or faculty.

CBS Boston reported that even New Hampshire governor Maggie Hassan said that the purchase of the new scoreboard was “concerning and perplexing.” The governor went on to say, “There were much more appropriate uses for these funds – such as the library and career center that received part of the donation, the new science building that the university wants or holding down the cost of tuition…I strongly encourage the university's leadership to be more thoughtful when determining how to use donations such as this”

Despite the fact that UNH is moving forward with this heinous decision, the response that my article received, and the press that it attracted to this issue, has doubtlessly put the university administration on its toes. They know now that the UNH community is watching, and we won’t idly sit around as they misuse donor’s money. The pressure is on, UNH administration. The whole nation is talking, so you might want to listen up.

Cover Image Credit: pcwallart

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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10 Study Habits You Should Never Break

Tips and tricks to surviving finals and midterms.

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It's starting to become that time of year again - wrapping up the semester and preparing for the dreaded week of finals and mid-terms. I couldn't be more excited to be done with high school. But finals stink. I luckily don't have many classes that are going to require taking a test, mine are mostly projects.

All throughout high school, I had really struggled with testing and study habits. I didn't know how to study and therefore continued to do poorly because of my study habits or lack of. It was not until my junior year in high school, I had found my way of studying and it has worked for me for every test since. I color coat everything and write things down a million times. It is time-consuming but it is worth it in the end. You just have to find what works with you and stick with it. Here are some tips and tricks to hopefully help you with your study habits. I wish I had someone to tell me these things when I was struggling at the start of high school.

1. Time management

Don't be silly and study the night before the test and expect to do well. Some people can actually do this but I am a person who has to work their tail off for what kind of grades I receive so studying the night before a test would result in me not doing well. But it is different for everyone. What I typically do is if I know the test date ahead of time, I write it down in my planner and then as we learn something I add it to a notecard so as we go on with a unit I remember what we have learned in the start of the unit. I typically study a week prior to the test.

2. Find a study space

I like when my environment is completely quiet, I find it hard for me to focus when I am surrounded by noise. I usually study in my room or somewhere where no one is at

3. Choose a style of studying you like

I am a freak when it comes to studying. I am a very visual person. I will read the chapters in the book, highlight the important stuff, take notes and color coat them, highlight them. Draw diagrams or pictures if needed. And sometimes write small important things a couple of times. Yes, it's time-consuming but it has gotten me to not fail my test. With more unvisual classes like math, I write a notecard of all the formulas and buttons I will need for that unit. I do all of this as we go through each unit. I also use Quizlet to help me remember vocabulary words.

4. Actually do the study guides or Quizlets, they help

I complete the study guides a couple of times. Sounds crazy but it helps me memorize stuff so much better. There are tons of resources out on the internet, use them. Quizlet, Books online etc can all be valuable resources, just got to know what is available. Sometimes my friends will make a Quizlet and we will have the same class and I will use her Quizlet. Why make what's already made for you?

5. Write things out

I love technology and all but I think some of us have gotten away from writing things actually down on a notebook. Believe it or not, it has been proven that physically writing things out helps you memorize things better. I use a notebook for class and color coat my own notes. I also use flashcards for vocab words and color coat them as well. As you can tell I love color coating.

6. Have a study buddy

Personally I study better alone but when I do study with groups we bounce ideas off each other to get a better understanding of the material. It again depends on how you like to study.

7. Eliminate distractions

I used to have a problem with getting distracted from being on my phone and then I'd realize I just wasted 30 minutes scrolling through Instagram when I could have been studying. So turn your phone off or put it where you can't see it because it really does shorten your time of studying without being on it.

8. Use memory games (pneumonic devices) 

This helps me so much! When I am working on a test I always remember pneumonic devices before anything else.

9. Take your time

Don't rush through the material, you'll get it eventually. If you don't know it, highlight it and come back. Also if you have already mastered and memorized a topic, don't keep studying that study the things you don't know and haven't mastered.

10.  Find what works best for you!

You have to find out what works for you and what doesn't. Your study habits are completely unique to you. If something works for you, continue to do that.

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