Tag Archives: dorm

Quiet hours

I tend to listen to my music throughout the day. While I get up and get ready, through doing my work, sometimes while walking to class, and even while getting ready for bed at the end of the day. It is something I have found to help me stay on time and motivated throughout the day.

I also tend to leave my door open when I’m in the room, and I’ve enjoyed seeing the variety of musical tastes from my neighbors along my floor. It’s entertaining to the shift in the genre of music throughout the day, and sometimes it’s surprising or can help me make a connection with the listener.

Sign-Quiet_Hours
“It’s always a bit shocking to wake up some mornings to Lil Wayne coming from down the hallway at full blast at six in the morning.”

One thing that does bother me though, is that sometimes people feel it necessary to blast their playlist at 11 pm or later, and in some cases extremely early in the morning.

I understand that you may be a night owl, or an extremely early riser, but could you please have your volume reflect the time of day?

It’s always a bit shocking to wake up some mornings to Lil Wayne coming from down the hallway at full blast at six in the morning. Or to be snuggled in bed and on the brink of sleep at 11:45, only to be jolted awake by Taylor Swift coming from the other end. Or maybe above or below. Some headphones, or even just taking it down a few notches would be great. We don’t all want to feel like our hall is at a concert with the music and bass blaring.

By all means, please do enjoy your music. But maybe be a little more aware of others around you during courtesy and quiet hours? Not everyone can start their day with some wall shaking rock, but rather quietly ease into it; or end their day with jolting dance, but to wind down with the night.

Get a flu shot and beat the second Radford Plague

Ah, dorm life. The first couple weeks of Freshman year are debatably the most hypersocial time of your college career. You may binge on your newfound freedom and spend every waking moment with your new group of friends or partying until you can’t remember them. Or you might have been the type that stayed inside all day, despite several knocks on the door by the RA to leave your door open to socialize. Either way, you’re heavily encouraged to get out there and meet new people.

Then someone in your group of friends gets sick, but they don’t want to miss a moment of hanging out, so they decided to socialize anyway. Next thing you know, everyone in your group is sick, and everyone brings that sickness back to their roommates, and they, in turn, make their friends sick. So begins the annual event known as the Radford Plague.

getting a shot
“Then someone in your group of friends gets sick, but they don’t want to miss a moment of hanging out, so they decided to hang out anyway. Next thing you know, everyone in your group is sick, and everyone brings that sickness back to their roommates, and they, in turn, make their friends sick.”

You’re almost never alone in a dorm. You may wash your hands on the hour, or take a cocktail of immune boosters to keep you healthy, but your roommate might not be, and that makes you just as vulnerable.

With flu season coming up, you can protect yourself from the second Radford Plague by getting vaccinated and encouraging your friends to do the same.

Flu shots are the subject of some controversy, with critics questioning its effectiveness, as well as any number of government conspiracy theories to control the population. Such absurdities won’t be gratified here, but it’s important to understand how the vaccine works before judging whether it’s right for you.

When you get vaccinated, you’re injected with dead influenza particles, which your body then learns to make antibodies to protect against. So when you actually do come in contact with the virus, you’re already prepared to beat it. The reason some may not find it effective is because the CDC provides a flu shot for what it believes will be the most common strain of the flu, but this may not be the strain you contract. As such, the flu vaccine can never be 100% effective.

For those afraid of needles, the flu vaccine is also available in nasal spray form. Initial studies also seem to suggest that this form may actually be more effective than the shots.

Remember also that getting vaccinated is not only about protecting yourself. There is a small population that cannot be vaccinated. The elderly, and those with HIV and AIDS can have immune problems that prevent them from creating the antibodies to fight disease. Imagine being the one who brings a common cold to your group of friends and then finding out that a friend was immunocompromised and you inadvertently put them in the hospital. You have a responsibility to keep those around you safe, and you can do so by getting vaccinated.

This flu season, take care of yourself and your friends.

Grow fresh veggies, no backyard needed

Advertisers and numerous sources tell consumers to purchase fresh and locally grown food. There are farmer’s markets and specialty stores located throughout Virginia that serve this exact purpose. It’s considered to be a better value and supports the community. In an age where sustainability has moved from a serious idea to a point of action, it’s time to think outside-the-box. Consumers can take the idea of purchasing locally grown food a step further by growing their own plants, herbs, fruits and vegetables.

Grow herbs in your window. Photo by Creative Commons.

Many students live in apartments or residence halls, and don’t have a backyard and the tools to grow a garden. In today’s technological world, that’s no longer a problem. Growing produce in a small space inside has become a fairly simple task. Farmer’s markets sell packets of a variety of seeds for those who want to stick with the local theme. Seeds and window kits are also available at stores like Lowes and Wal-Mart. The difficulty depends on the plant.

Brittni Hammond, a senior at Radford University majoring in Interior Design, feels that growing fresh herbs is the easiest feat to accomplish.

“Even if you don’t use them for cooking, the smell that fills your room will be worth your efforts,” Hammond said.

Lavender and rosemary are examples of herbs to try. Hammond has grown flowers, herbs, green peppers, cherry tomatoes and strawberries inside her dorm room and townhouse. Her best advice is to follow the directions on the packet.

“The seeds are not difficult to grow, but you have to be willing to keep up with it. It is definitely possible to do,” Hammond said.

She also doesn’t think it’s time consuming because she just has to prune and water the plants on a regular basis. She compared it to a chore like taking out the trash.

To start an inside garden, it’s best to begin with something simple like an inside plant or fresh herbs and work up to something more challenging like peppers or strawberries. With winter on its way, plants need enough sunlight and plenty of water. Most produce also has a peak season in which they normally grow. Information about growing indoor plants is available in books, magazines or online. Some plants need bigger pots, so look into what particular plants will prefer. Cheaper decorative pots can be purchased at discount stores such as Ross and T.J. Maxx. The soil and seeds can also be purchased for a low price and are easy to find.