When You Give A College Campus A Dog

When You Give A College Campus A Dog

Some puppy love for a college kid can change your whole day.
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If you saw me two weeks ago on campus at Villanova, you may have also seen my dog, Violet. A yellow lab, almost two years of age, dragging me around right and left as she eagerly stopped to meet a new face every minute or so. I had been begging my mom to bring her to campus for weeks, and she finally obliged on a Tuesday morning in late September.

While we were only a few days past the Autumnal Equinox, it may as well have been the middle of July. We took a nice walk to enjoy the weather, stopping here and there in the shade or on the grass. The sun beat down in its 78-degree heat, made obvious by the aggressive panting coming from Violet and the obscene amount of drool dripping down from her tongue. Nevertheless, happiness was inevitable, for me, for my mom, and of course for Vi.

And shockingly enough, for everyone else who encountered me that day, too.

"You seem to have a lot of friends, Annie," my mom noted at least three times.

She was referring to the absurd amount of people who confidently walked up to me, said hello, and asked if they could say hi to Vi. Walking around the Oreo, past the Connelly Center, and sitting on the Quad, people seemed to come from every direction. The truth was, I had never met at least 85% of the people who did that. I'm normally not very good with strangers; in fact, I'm all about the "pretending to be busy on your phone in order to avoid eye contact" strategy. I do that quite often. But on that day, what would have normally been an awkward smile at the very best turned into an unexpected but wonderful meeting of a lot of new people. And why? Because I had a puppy, of course.

A dog on campus made everyone more friendly, and I felt a happiness in the air that put a smile on my face. Many people even told me that meeting Vi made their day. There's something about the unconditional love and care of a dog that makes everyone feel good about themselves and about the world.

Meeting Violet is a prime example. She is always happy to see a new face, and she wants to meet everyone she sees. It's easy to feel down around midterms. Fall break is approaching, but in slow motion it seems. You're overwhelmed, tired, maybe even a little homesick. And somehow, a dog's love on campus can give you a piece of home.

Cover Image Credit: Annie Condodina

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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6 Tips On How To Get An A From Your TA

Being a teacher's pet isn't a bad thing--at least for that A.

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1. Show Up On Syllabus Week

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Even though your two years older brother, whose going to the same exact college, swears that syllabus week isn't necessary--it is. Some teachers get their classes up and going right away, taking no time for reviewing the syllabus because you're a big college kid now and should've done that on your own time. During syllabus week, you'll either hop right into lessons or actually review the syllabus that you should've before but you know you didn't. Either way, it's beneficial to go just for the sake of learning where the class is, if not anything else.

2. Show Up On Time After That

Mitchell Hollander

Punctuality is everything about how others see you for first impressions. If you're the kid strolling in ten minutes late everyday, everyone is going to get annoyed--including the teacher. Have some respect for yourself and others. Be sure to attend class on time. Some would say if you're five minutes late, don't come at all, but that's more for the sake of the class and you've got to be watching out for yourself.

3. Sit In Front

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It's not awkward or weird to sit in the very front of the lecture hall, I promise. You're actually setting yourself up for the best when the teacher's mic fails and she's resorted to shouting the rest of the lesson instead of cancelling it. Not only that, but your questions are always addressed first and you can be the first one to reach her after the class is over, instead of the tenth in the line of people who were too nervous to ask the questions during class.

4. Participate In Class

Edwin Andrade Edwin Andrade

If, or rather when, the teacher asks the class to answer a question, just raise your hand and answer it. Stop stressing over whether you're wrong or not. It's far easier just to answer and let class move along instead of sitting there for an awkward five minutes of silence and paper shuffling. Another note, if you have a question, ask it. This refers back to the line of ten people that appears after class because they were too nervous to ask in front of a crowd. Not to mention you're all probably asking the same question. Moral of the story, if you have a question, ask it because at least one other person out of two hundred has that same one.

5. Go To Office Hours

Nastuh Abotalebi

If you need help, get it. Or even if you don't, get it anyways. Have them check over the outline of your paper or ask them what topics they feel will be touched on most during the test. Or even just go in there to have coffee with them. Office hours suck when no one comes in and many TAs enjoy getting to know their students. You're in college; you're supposed to be networking.

6. Talk To Them Like They're People

Michael Discenza Michael Discenza

Because they are. Don't raise your voice when you didn't study and weren't prepared and didn't get the grade you wanted. Don't yell when you aren't getting something. Form a relationship, a good one, because they're students too, probably only four years older than you. They like to get drunk on Friday's too--you'll see them out at the same bars you go to right after you sent that email to them, asking a question about the paper.

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