21 Things To Do In Blacksburg, VA This Summer When You're Bored

21 Things To Do In Blacksburg, VA This Summer When You're Bored

Despite loving all the free time that summer in Blacksburg has to offer, there comes a time that there is simply too much time in a day and that's when boredom strikes.

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Being bored is like the unwanted summer trend — it's bound to happen at least once. So, in order to be prepared for when the boredom hits, take a look at this list for some ideas of how to spend that time!

1. Find a new show

Find a different Netflix show to binge watch — something that isn't like your normal show.

2. Take a Power Nap (or a nap in General)

Rest that pretty head of yours and give it some time off

3. Start a Garden

Succulents are really in right now and they are super easy to plant and care for! (unless you're like me and you kill anything that grows)

4. Go see that movie you've been wanting to see

Even if it's by yourself.

5. Plan a last-minute road trip

Grab your bff or S/O and hit the road. Go check out that waterfall that everyone's been posting about or that cliff diving spot that may or may not be illegal.

6. Try something new

Like yoga or running. Literally anything that you haven't done before, or in a while, counts. So, just do it.

7. Color

I'm biased on this one because this is what I do to relieve stress but when you're bored, what do you have to lose? Give it a try & it might help lower your stress levels too!

8. Browse Zillow

I do this all the time — it could easily take up an entire day

9. Figure out a way to make more money

May I suggest going through your closet and getting rid of the clothes that haven't seen the sun since you bought them?

10. Paint your nails

Honestly, self-pampering is the best way to spend your time

11. Go on a walk

Go on a walk to clear your mind of the day or current issues that have been stressing you out. Take this time out of your day to just simply be.

12. Make a cocktail

Experiment with your favorite drinks so you can have a new concoction to show your friends when tailgating season starts.

13. Browse through new hairstyles

Is it really summer if you don't switch up your hairdo?

14. Stretch

So many people underestimate the power of stretching but trust me, you will find out that you have muscles that you didn't even know existed. It's also a great way to clear your head and to just take in your surroundings.

15. Make a vision board

Even if you already have one, you can replace the things that you have already completed with new things that you want to conquer in the coming year!

16. Go through your pictures

On Facebook. On your phone. On your computer. If you're anything like me, this could take multiple days to go through them all. Plus, what better way to kill some time than traveling down memory lane?

17. Go through your emails

If you're only of those people who just read the important stuff and leave everything else then this one is for you! Clean up that inbox and minimize the junk that's in it!

18. Update your resume

Or learn how to make a resume. Either way, it's important to have an up-to-date one so you can have it ready to go when you have a new job opportunity.

19. Pick a book in the Bible & start reading

It's very intimidating to say "read the bible" because let's face it, that thing is huge & it will stare you down until you walk away. But seriously, grab your Bible, take it outside, and just open it up to one of the books to start reading.

20. Organize something

There is always something in your life that can be organized. Maybe your closet needs some help or your bathroom cabinet has gotten a little to junky. Oh, don't forget about your car — I'm sure that could use a bit of help.

21. Call up an old friend

Yes, I said call. It takes up a lot more time than a simple "hey" text or an email with a life update. Besides, it's a lot more personal and I'm sure they would love to hear your voice.

Cover Image Credit:

Hannah King

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Here's Why You Shouldn't Donate to The Salvation Army This Holiday Season (Or Ever)

No, I’m not a grinch or a scrooge. I’m just a member of the LGBT+ community that is tired of seeing my community suffer at the hands of organizations that are supposed to help us.
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The holiday season is upon us, bringing mall Santas, twinkling lights, and the well-known bell ringers with their red buckets stationed outside busy department stores. The Salvation Army is a mainstay in the memories of our childhood holidays. I remember a number of years where my parents would give each of my sisters and I a handful of change to put in the shiny red bucket as we walked into Wal-Mart to shop for our family Christmas dinner. On the surface, the Salvation Army is an organization with good intentions of helping the less fortunate, especially during the holiday season. However, a quick Google search exposes the organization’s discriminatory practices.

The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian denomination and an international charitable organization. Their mission statement, as stated on their website, reads: “The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”

Despite their insistence of nondiscriminatory practices, however, there have been several instances of discrimination, specifically against members of the LGBT+ community. In July 2017, a Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Brooklyn, New York, was found by the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) to be discriminating. Three other centers in New York City were also cited as being discriminatory. Violations within the four centers included refusing to accept transgender people as patients or tenants, assigning trans people rooms based on their sex assigned at birth instead of their lived gender identity, unwarranted physical examinations to determine if trans people are on hormone therapy or have had surgery, and segregating transgender patients into separate rooms. The NYCCHR had been tipped off about the mistreatment, and testers from the commission went to the cited centers and found clear evidence of the mistreatment. One of the clinics told the testers outright, “No, we don’t [accept transgender patients].” Another clinic’s representative said, “People with moving male parts would be housed with men.”

This isn’t the first time the Salvation Army has discriminated specifically against transgender people. In 2014, a transgender woman from Paris, Texas fled her home due to death threats she received related to her gender identity. The police told her, “Being the way you are, you should expect that.” She went to Dallas and found emergency shelter at the Carr P. Collins Social Service Center, run by the Salvation Army. The emergency shelter allowed her to stay for 30 days. Towards the end of her 30-day stay, she began looking for other long-term shelter options. One option many of the other women staying in the shelter had recently entered was a two-year housing program also run by the Salvation Army. When the woman interviewed for the program, she was told she was disqualified for the program because she had not had gender reassignment surgery. The counselor for the program later claimed there was a waiting list, but it came out that two women who arrived at the emergency shelter after the transgender woman had already entered the program. The transgender woman filed a complaint with Dallas’s Fair Housing Office, which protects against discrimination on the basis of gender identity. She was able to find other housing through the Shared Housing Project, a project that aims to find transgender people with housing who are willing to support those without.

The Salvation Army’s Christian affiliation drives the organization’s statements and beliefs. The church has a page on its website dedicated to its decided stance on the LGBT+ community that seems to paint a nice picture. Their actions, however, tell a different story. There have been several accounts reporting the Salvation Army’s refusal of service to LGBT+ people unless they renounce their sexuality, end same-sex relationships, or, in some cases, attend services “open to all who confess Christ as Savior and who accept and abide by The Salvation Army’s doctrine and discipline.” The church claims it holds a “positive view of human sexuality,” but then clarifies that “sexual intimacy is understood as a gift of God to be enjoyed within the context of heterosexual marriage.” This belief extends to their staff, asking LGBT+ employees to renounce their beliefs and essentially their identity in order to align with the organization. The Salvation Army believes that “The theological belief regarding sexuality is that God has ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman and sexual activity is restricted to one’s spouse. Non-married individuals would therefore be celibate in the expression of their sexuality.” Essentially, gay people can’t get married. Unmarried people can’t have sex. Therefore, gay people are forbidden from being intimate with one another. This is unfair to ask of any employee, especially considering that one’s relationship status does not interfere with how well anyone can do their job.

If you are still looking to donate to a non-homophobic and transphobic organization this holiday season, here are some great pro-LGBT+ organizations with outreach similar to that of the Salvation Army:

  • Doctors Without Borders: medical and emergency relief
  • Habitat for Humanity: homelessness and housing
  • Local homeless shelters: search the National Coalition for the Homeless’ website for shelters near you!
  • Local food bank: find your local food bank through Feeding America here.
  • The Trevor Project: a leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT+ young people ages 13-24.
Cover Image Credit: Ed Glen Today

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6 Reasons You Should Go On A CRU Summer Mission

The two missions I went on were the best summers of my life.

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The campus ministry that I have been involved in since freshman year has so many great opportunities but one of the best is the opportunity to go on a summer mission. I have personally been on two summer missions and they were the best summers of my college career.

In honor of #GOVEMBER I have compiled a list of reasons why everyone should spend at least one summer on a CRU Summer Mission and if you aren't convinced after reading I will gladly meet with you in person and tell you stories and show you videos. I am very passionate about summer missions because of how valuable the two I went on have been to my walk with God.

1. They are so much fun

College is the best time of your life right? Well you know what you don't want to do during your college summers? Go home and be bored! There's an easy solution, just go on a summer mission.

2. They look great on a resume

You know what most people can't do after their freshman year? Get a good internship. You know what I did after my freshman year? Went on a summer mission! I still haven't gotten a good internship, or one at all for that matter but let's not focus on that. Summer missions are unique and also a level playing field. You don't have to have a stellar GPA or research hours to be a great fit for a summer mission, but they provide you leadership training, relationship building, and conflict resolution opportunities.

3. They are absolutely unique

There is no other place where you will drive ten hours, meet fifty new people, be randomly assigned to a small group of a few of them and then have to share your life story on the first full day after you arrive. There's also no other experience that involves spending a summer in another state to work in the convenience store of a large surf store counting cigarettes but I can proudly say I did that on my first summer mission. Summer missions are composed of many experiences that would not happen in any other circumstance, and it is great.

4. The community is unrivaled

When you share your life story and hear others share theirs after knowing each other for less than 24 hours you make fast friendships. ANd not surface level friendships either. Lasting ones.

5. They *may* include a dream job

Some people find internships in their field in a location of a CRU Summer Mission (and some people count cigarettes every day). I'm kidding, I'm kidding though that is what I did for the summer. But the next summer I got the opportunity to go on another CRU Summer Mission to Fort Collins, CO where I got to hold babies for 40 hours a week. Which is indeed my dream job, diapers and all.

6. It will be the best summer of your life

I don't say this lightly. Both of the summer missions I went on were such eye opening experiences. I wouldn't trade a single part of either of them because the good and the bad truly made up the most wonderful summers full of adventures, first time experiences, and the best friendships I have ever made.

Now that you are ready to experience this for yourself go ahead and apply now! You can apply on Cru's website.

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