Welcome Home: 19 Things App Students Need To Know

Welcome Home: 19 Things App Students Need To Know

Really, just some wisdom from a not-so-wise junior.

To all the incoming freshman at App State (and transfer students):

Welcome home. Living in a new place can be terrifying, and a new experience, especially a big one like college, can be overwhelming. But I want you to know that you're home. It might not seem like it yet, but over the next four years this place will stop being a huge college campus and turn into a homey place of friends and family. When I moved here two years ago, I had no idea how much of an impact App State and the Boone community would have in my life. Now, entering my junior year, I’ve come to realize that I may never be able to leave. I hope the same happens for you. As a welcome present, here are some things I’ve learned that you need to know about App State and Boone.

1. Think local.

Boone is a very local-focused community. And living here means you’re going to be influenced by that. Get out and explore, don’t just stay on campus. The Greenway, the farmers market, the shops on King Street—this place is your home now. Even if you’re living on campus, you’re still part of the Boone community, and it’s a real gem. Don’t miss it.

2. Invest in a pair of Chacos and Birkenstocks.

If you don’t own a pair already, you must have lied on your application because I don’t know how you got in to App without them. Chaco tan lines are a sign of your Boone residency.

3. Also, buy an Eno.

Eno’s are the best way to relax on App’s campus. I know, I know, they’re not super cheap, but they’re worth every cent.

4. The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most beautiful places on this Earth.

If you do not explore it every chance you get, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

5. It’s Espresso News, never ENews.

It’s located on Howards Street and has the best coffee in town. Their iced dirty chai is phenomenal and one of my favorite study break pick-me-ups. They serve one soup every day and a variety of scones and muffins and cookies, but there’s no real system to their menu. I have yet to try something I haven’t liked, even if it has sounded very odd—and most of it does.

6. Don’t bother shaving.

No one else does.

7. Get fruity.

Cascades has good smoothies, but if you want more flavor and whipped cream, go to Crossroads (student union) or the Wired Scholar (library).

8. SafeRide isn’t that safe.

I was once packed into a 12 passenger van with 15 people. Two people were riding in the floor. But if you need to get across campus late at night, it’s a handy service. Just be prepared to wait. I usually just called my mom or a friend while I walked across campus alone after midnight. And all the times I did do that, I never once felt unsafe. Campus is well lit and patrolled by the campus police at night, but as long as you’re smart, there’s no need to worry about taking the walk if you don’t want to wait for a crammed van.

9. Anne Belk is a maze.

Give yourself an extra 15 minutes to find your classroom if you’re in Belk. It’s not just you; the room numbers really don’t make any logical sense.

10. It’s Central, not Roess.

Never call it Roess. No one (including the people who work there) will know what you’re talking about.

11. Sanford is the setting for a horror movie.

Don’t use the elevator because it might (as in, almost definitely will) trap you. There are no vending machines, and the water fountains are hidden, so bring your own food and beverage. Also, bring both a parka and a personal fan. The building does not have A/C, so it can be sweltering, especially in the winter months, when the heat is set 10 degrees too high. However, some rooms have A/C window units and rotating fans, which is nice…until it’s snowing and the heat still hasn’t been turned on and those window units are still turned to full blast. Hello, icicle fingers.

12. East Hall is haunted.

Don’t worry, the ghost(s) aren’t malicious. Yet. As long as you don’t mind slamming doors and randomly knocked over/rearranged objects, you’ll be fine.

13. Macado’s cinnamon rolls will change your life.

They sell them individually wrapped or you can sit down and eat one fresh. The first time I tried a Cinnamon Sensation (a fresh, hot, melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon roll with a heaping serving of vanilla ice cream), I cried tears of joy. No joke.

14. Slacklining happens every sunny day on Sanford Mall.

They make it look incredibly easy. It isn’t. And it’s dangerous. Be careful. I’ve watched many a poor soul land with a very tight rope in a very inconvenient spot.

15. Keep your door open

Make friends on your hall. Don’t go home every weekend. Weekends, especially freshman year, are a great opportunity to spend free time making memories and new friends. After freshman year, it will get more and more difficult to find free time as your classes get harder, and you’ll start taking on more responsibilities (maybe) like a job. Make connections, because these are people you’re going to be spending the next four years with.

16. Know your professors’ skip policies and use those skips wisely.

Don’t waste them. Those things are precious.

17. Appalachian Cooke Company is a wonderful resource for deliciousness.

They’re open until 3 am and deliver on campus. There is an eight dollar minimum for deliveries, but the heavenly goodness is worth it, trust me. They even have a Ron Swanson flavored cookie. What more could you want?

18. Get plugged in.

Find a club, organization, church home. Sometimes, you may not click with the people on your floor and that’s okay. But you will always need a church home, no matter how well you get along with the people you’re living with. I’ve found my home with Alliance Bible Fellowship and their college ministry, College Connection. This is my shameless plug, but they’re the best. We’re weird and slightly crazy, but genuine, welcoming, funny people who love God and others so well. We meet Sunday nights at seven at Alliance, which is a church about sevenish minutes from campus. Rides from the traffic circle at Trivette happen starting at 6:45. And we’re not the only campus ministry. Try them all. Find what works for you, find where you fit. Just find something, make connections and keep yourself strong in the Lord. A healthy relationship with him makes everything crazy in your life so much easier to handle.

19. Stay up late, have fun, make friends, memories etc., but be responsible.

You’re living on your own now and that means a lot of freedom. Use that freedom wisely. Take care of yourself. Eat. Sleep. Get alone time. Study hard. And have fun. Yes, college is about learning and pursuing your future, but it’s also a wonderful time of adventure. So adventure…just do it wisely, because these four years, whether they’re good or bad, will change you forever.

Cover Image Credit: Anna Smith

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Your Feelings Are Not Invalid, It's OK To Not Be OK

I know that life can get really hard, but I promise it'll be okay.


Recently, I have had an extremely hard time with my level of happiness that I have in my life. I go through my days feeling overly exhausted by the drama and hardship around me. I have gone through the past few weeks really struggling with this stint of depression and anxiety that I have been fighting with through the course of my life. These past few weeks, I have had large issues with this feeling of not being good enough and feeling like the world around me is falling apart because of stress and drama and self-image issues happening around me. I was at a point where I found myself not being able to have a positive thought in my mind and it was feeling like the whole world was against me.

I hate feeling like this. I feel like my world is crashing down and I truly just want to feel better. I have come to the conclusion in my life that the world I find myself living in makes us feel like if you feel depressed or upset, you have an issue and you are not alright. Numerous times I have been told that I need to get over it or that my issues are just "first world issues" that do not matter. This has shown me that there is communication in our world that is not being discussed. Depression has become this thing that society looks at so commonly and we have become accustomed to the idea of people around us being depressed that it makes us numb to it. This has made people think of depression as something not as horrible as it truly is because "everyone" has it. Depression is something that is extremely detrimental to the person being affected by it.

My journey with depression and anxiety started at a young age. I would have anxiety attacks at random times because of untold issues that I was having with my father or issues with bullying. From that young age, I learned very quickly to put up an act when I was around people because I didn't want them to tell me that I needed to get over it or tell me that it was not an actual issue and I was just being dramatic. I kept my mouth shut and pretended that this black mass wasn't engulfing me into is and pulling me deeper and deeper into this whole that was full of self-deprecating thoughts and images. People in school with me and that went dancing with me couldn't tell at all. They thought that I was this nice, happy little girl and honestly, I couldn't be mean to anyone else because all of my efforts were being put into being mean to myself. But, as I said, I couldn't express this to anyone because I felt like this issue I was having was one that I shouldn't be having and that there was something wrong with me for feeling this way.

Here's the thing: it has taken me so long to realize it, but I have come to understand that it is okay not to be okay.

Going through my life with this overall and underlying sadness and self-image trouble does prevent me from doing some things, but it does not mean that I need to stop doing what I am. I do have this issue but it is alright for me to talk about it and there is nothing wrong with me for feeling the way I do because at this point in my life and in history, there are a lot of things I have to deal with that are not the greatest mentally. Understanding the issue and talking about it is the only way to improve my metal standing, however, and I feel like this right to talk about it should not feel like it is too taboo to actually have conversations about. The world around us though needs to listen and stop blowing off these issues like they are not important. I have experienced many times this idea of someone telling me that I complain too much after I talk to them about the struggles I have in my life and I am sick and tired of feeling as though my problems do not matter. Big or small, people react to hardships differently and this needs to be something that the world understands and listens to.

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