Quit Bashing Radford University

Quit Bashing Radford University

Radford University is more than just a party school.

The wonderful school that I attend is Radford University. Radford University is located in Radford, Virginia, a low-key, relaxed little town in the mountains of southwestern VA. With all of the interactive clubs, delicious dining halls, and state-of-the-art classrooms, the first question I am always asked is "how are the parties there?" I, along with many other students that attend this university, are tired of it. Next time you run into one of us, consider asking us about any one of these topics, and we will gladly answer.

Our academic programs.

Here at Radford, we have many excellent programs and majors that there is something for everyone. Although I am not involved in the nursing program, we have one of the top ranking nursing programs in the nation. According to NursingSchoolsAlmanac.com, our School of Nursing is in the top 4 percentile of all of the public universities considered. Moving on from nursing, but remaining in the medical field, our athletic training program is ridiculously competitive. My best friend is an AT major, and she rarely has time to do anything outside of her school work. On the rare occasion that she does pry herself away from her books, she spends it socializing with her friends and grabbing wings at our local wing joint, Sharkey's. I wish I could brag on all of the amazing programs that we have here, but ain't nobody got time for that.

Our faculty.

I don't mean to sound like a cookie-cutter school promoter, but trust me, if you have no idea where you want to go or what you want to do, one of our many academic advisors will assist you in finding where the best place for you is. Once you have found what it is you want to pursue, you will begin exploring classes within your major. The teachers, which may I add that many of our professors also teach at our neighboring school, Virginia Tech, are extremely helpful. With the average class size being between 18-22 students, you have plenty of opportunities to meet one-on-one with your teacher. There are many professors that I had my first semester of my freshman year that still talk to me when we pass each other on campus. Our professors respond to e-mails within the hour you send them; they understand that you have plenty of other classes and don't overwhelm you with work, and finally, they treat you like the adult you are. Our faculty at RU really help to make your time here fun and enjoyable.

Our clubs.

During my first semester at Radford University, I was enrolled in UNIV 100, which was basically a one credit transition class to make the change from home to college easier. This class forced me to go to the club fair for a grade. You had to go, find three clubs you were interested in, pick up a flyer, and bring it back to class as proof that you went. Our biggest lawn area, Heth Lawn, was full of tables, Greek letters, dogs, and of course, students. Clubs ranging from Men's club soccer to the American Sign Language club and everything in between. If I hadn't gone to that fair, I would have never found the acapella group I am so deeply involved in. The 160 clubs and organizations that Radford has to offer are so broad that there is truly a club out there for everyone.

Our location.

As I mentioned before, we are located in the mountains of southwestern Virginia. We are about 20 minutes away from Virginia Tech, within walking distance of the New River, around 30 minutes away from Claytor Lake, and surrounded by countless hiking trails. We have a very small movie theater on Main Street about .3 miles from campus. So really, there is never a day where there isn't anything to do. Also, being placed where we are, we typically have mild summers and really cold winters. So, when spring and summer roll around, it is never too hot to do any of the outdoor activities, and all of the ski resorts and hills around us make for an eventful winter! I personally love where RU is located because it is such a small area, we are never more than 15 minutes away from anything we could need.

So please, do all of us here at Radford University and stop asking us about the "wild ragers" we have. Nearly every college campus has parties, social events where we can unwind, "darties," or kickbacks. Call it what you'd like, but they've all got them. We have worked hard to get into not just this university, but our own specific major. Please do not degrade our education and only ask us about our parties. Ask us the questions you would ask any other college student attending any other university.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.

It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.


If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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