Tag Archives: academics

Are you smarter than a study-abroad student?

I’ve always worried about new grades and schools. I remember being concerned that third grade would have too much “real” work to do, the SOL tests would be impossibly hard and middle school would be a three-year exercise in getting lost and failing algebra. I was nervous about applying for both of my Governor’s School programs and nervous that I wouldn’t get in. Once I did get in, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to distinguish myself. Continue reading Are you smarter than a study-abroad student?

Mu Sigma Upsilon: The sorority for people who feel out of place

Mu Sigma Upsilon isn’t your typical sorority.

I went to the first interest meeting thinking it would be interesting to write about. Sororities tend to appeal to extroverts because they are better suited to social events and can deal with the occasional Stepford-Wife-esque stares from higher-ranked sisters. I never had the courage to get information about any of the social sororities because I never thought they would appeal to me.

And then I came across Mu Sigma Upsilon.

Continue reading Mu Sigma Upsilon: The sorority for people who feel out of place

In defense of failure

I firmly believe that every student should fail at least one class during his or her academic career. Attention has too long been focused on excellence, achievement and realizing one’s full potential. This obsession is not only exhausting, but unnecessarily exclusive. Failure’s noble tradition has been ignored and due to the peculiar qualifications of the smart person, every member of this distinguished group must immediately rise to this unique challenge. Continue reading In defense of failure

The case for early experience

This is one of my favorite times of year, and not just because the Christmas cups are back at Starbucks and Thanksgiving break is all but here. No, I love mid-to-late fall because I get a huge kick out of listening to my high school friends’ college application updates and other upperclassmen adventures. Not only is it exciting to find out what schools everyone’s aiming for, but their tales of senior homecoming and graduation applications are something of a nostalgia trip for me. It’s funny how the same thrills (and the same problems) show up for class after class, year after year. Continue reading The case for early experience

From our perspective: The best and worst classes at RU

We’ve all had those classes that are less than satisfactory. There are the classes where you have to drink a venti Starbucks coffee before attending (even though it’s in the middle of the afternoon), or the classes you spend texting and tweeting, counting the minutes until you’re dismissed. Last, but definitely not least, there are the classes you love and wish you could retake just for fun. Continue reading From our perspective: The best and worst classes at RU

The scenic route: Why students should take electives

As a resident assistant in Stuart Hall, lots of freshmen residents have been coming to me to assist them in their quest to pick classes for the spring 2013 semester.  After hearing about how awful their advisor is, we get into working out a good schedule for the next semester.

Who knew there is a class where you can learn basket weaving? Graphic by Caitlin Lewis.

I’ve realized that many students who I’ve helped have interest in some kind of class that isn’t required for their major. I encourage them to take it, but they argue that the class will put them behind in getting their degree. This is your one and only time in college; you should be willing to take everything and anything to expand your knowledge. Continue reading The scenic route: Why students should take electives

Parental involvement promotes academic success

It seems obvious that children with parents who are involved in their education would have better academic success. They have a good support system, someone to help them with homework and projects (maybe too much) and the motivation to make their parents proud. An interesting question, however, is how does their performance compare to children who go to good quality schools but have little parental involvement? With a good school comes good teachers, a positive learning environment and encouragement to do extracurricular activities, which would certainly help children academically. Continue reading Parental involvement promotes academic success

Why honors should remain an honors program

Imagine an academic program here at Radford University, designed to serve twenty students whose parents have not gone to college. Does that sound like a honors academy to you? Not to me and many other RU honors students. Honors is a community on campus that is dedicated to academics. Admission to it shouldn’t be based on your parents. Continue reading Why honors should remain an honors program

Finals week: Is there a simpler solution?

It’s the end of the year and finals are around the corner. For those classes that have projects, there is less stress since most projects are due during the last weeks of class, rather than finals week. Finals week, in general, is very stressful. It’s the last way we can control what grade we will get in the class. However, finding out what time your final will be held only serves to add to the stress of studying. Continue reading Finals week: Is there a simpler solution?

Life off campus: Pros and cons

Picture by Stephen Mustgrave

Many of the Students here at RU choose to rent an apartment or house off campus to live for the year. Radford University’s policy for moving off campus is that one must either live on campus for four semesters, live on campus for two semesters and take a class pertaining to living off campus or transfer in as a junior. Many RU students decide to live off campus after their sophomore year and some find a change in their lives. Some experiences are better than others, but in the end the pros and cons end up being about even. Five students were interviewed about their living situations, and most of them had similar good and bad things to say. This semester is the first semester living off campus for each student.

Some students move because their friends move. Junior Ben Belo stated that he would have been completely content living on campus if his friends had stayed as well. Other students tire of the rules associated with living on campus.

“I got tired of mandatory hall meetings and quiet hours and not being able to have pets,” sophomore Stephen Mustgrave said.

Some students prefer having their own space and freedom.

“I enjoy my privacy. I didn’t like living next door to people every day. There’s too much drama in the dorms. Here I get to pick and choose who I talk to every day,” junior Danielle Lare said.

With moving off campus comes big changes. Suddenly there are rent and utility bills to pay, groceries to buy, gas money to budget in and you don’t have anyone to pick up after you. There’s also a commute to factor in with possible parking issues as well. How much of an impact does all this have on students?

“Having to get up earlier to get to class on time is a huge change,” Mustgrave said.

Also, there aren’t the social ties off campus that exist when students live on campus; they aren’t necessarily around other students all the time.

“I don’t hang out with a lot of people I knew before, but I tend to get my work done more,” Lare said.

Living off campus can impact a student’s responsibilities, privacy and comfort and it could impact their academics in some way as well. RU expects its students to put academics first and everything else after. But how does living off campus impact one’s academics?

“I feel like I do more of my academics on campus now, like at the library because things off campus distract me. Campus has a lot more of an academic vibe,” Belo said.

And for some students the commuting factor of living off campus can be a positive where others would consider it a negative.

“It’s made me a better student,” Lare said. ” I have to actually get up and come to campus and wake up where as when I lived on campus I would just roll out of bed and go to class half asleep.”

Picture by Stephen Mustgrave

There are both good and bad sides to living in an off campus house or apartment. It could help prepare students for the real world or it could make them antisocial. Either way it’s the choice of the student. The university stresses to students that they need to be prepared for the changes that may occur with moving off campus. If a student is not ready to move off campus, whether it be financially or maturity wise, there could be consequences and repercussions that could follow them even after they leave Radford.