Tag Archives: radford

Spring in the Alumni Gardens

The below photos were taken by Radford’s own Patricia Forehand. Patricia collects a variety of plants and enjoys photography. Walking through the Alumni Gardens near McConnell library in the spring of 2016, Patricia noticed a variety of beautiful garden trees in bloom. She took the amazing following photos of the foliage around campus.

Muse Flowers


What the Recent Power Outage Should Teach Us

On Tuesday, January 1, 2017, the city of Radford, along with Radford University, experienced a widespread power outage.  Normally, this is expected to happen occasionally, but on this particular day, there was nothing but decent weather, a few clouds in the sky, and only harsh wind.  Even the students who had already finished their classes for the day faced an unproductive situation since they couldn’t do any homework online.  The power outage lasted a little over an hour, but in that short period of time, it really showed how reliant we all are on technology these days.

While classrooms might still sometimes conjure up the typical teacher drawing on a chalkboard, along with posters and students raising their hands, the reality is that the average classroom has really changed, just like we have in adapting to technology.  Nowadays, the majority of classes are taught through a PowerPoint, and teachers often go to a website, whether Radford-related or otherwise, at least once.  It’s nothing new to be in class and see a teacher ask his or her students to look something up on their phones.  But of course, the thought of not being able to use technology made everyone forget about the other major problem resulting from a power outage: not being able to see.

“The power outage lasted a little over an hour, but in that short period of time, it really showed how reliant we all are on technology these days.” Photo from: jronaldlee.com

For the first time in a while, many of us sat in a class where there were no computers, PowerPoints, or anyone using their phone.  Many students are used to having all of these typical classroom factors every class, but the last time we were in school before technology really took over was in elementary school, where there was very limited computer use, and if we were lucky, the occasional movie.  Not having any technology and only having a chalkboard baffled some teachers even, but classes went on the best they could.

What’s important to take away from the power outage is how reliant our society is on technology.  Things are so different when it isn’t available, and without it, we can see how living was just 10 years ago.  It can be nice having fewer distractions and not having to stare at a screen forever.  I am sure some of us, not feeling compelled to check our phone or look at the time, even learned more than we would in a usual class with power.  The power outage was a strange and unexpected occurrence, but it wasn’t as bad as people thought it would be, and was actually in some ways beneficial.  The people who got to strangely experience having class without technology, or having one in a different classroom because their usual one was pitch black, actually got the chance to reflect on how much being in class has changed. A power outage will most likely not occur again, but if it does, we know that some of us could expect to experience an older way of learning again, and that we are a lot more capable in a power outage than a lot of people initially thought.

Parking On and Around Campus

Any student at Radford University can have a car while they are away at college. Unlike most universities or colleges, Radford does not have a policy that doesn’t allow freshman students to bring their own car to college with them (provided they pay for their parking pass, of course). As such, Radford has a fairly high number of students who bring their cars with them, not to mention there are various commuter students. But as any student who drives and has a parking pass can tell you, the amount of convenient parking space for non-commuter students at Radford is almost non-existent.

parking lot
“The amount of convenient parking space for non-commuter students at Radford is almost non-existent.” Photo from: media.graytvinc.com

The most convenient space to park for students who live on campus is parking lot CC, located off campus, on the other side of a short bridge, and down a somewhat steep hill. For most students this is a fairly long walk, especially for students who live in Moffett quad. It would make the lives of many students much easier if they had closer, more convenient parking, particularly when you consider that parking lot CC does not have enough space for all of the student drivers and that the next closest parking area is parking lot Z. It is a small hike to get to and from parking lot Z, and this lot is often in danger of flooding when it rains.

However, it is also understandable that Radford University has not made more parking spaces, as there is limited space available in the area, much less space that would be convenient for on-campus students to park. It is also worth noting that students can park on campus during the weekend, something that can help ease the trouble with parking.

Nonetheless, I am sure if there was a reasonable and effective way to provide more convenient parking, then most students would encourage the university to make that happen. While this is admittedly not a top priority for the university, it would be interesting to see if Radford’s administration does anything to provide better parking in the near future.

R-Space Event Friday

Sponsored Content for R-Space

R-Space’s own Richard Delehanty has an exciting event planned for the Radford student body. Beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday, February 2, escape rooms will be located upstairs in the Bonnie. With eight people allowed per room, bring your friends and go through the challenge as a team. The three options range from deadly viruses to two bomb-themed rooms. Both picks are well-designed and exhilarating. They give you the opportunity to impress your friends by solving clues, working together, and escaping the areas. Complete the obstacles in the fastest time and everyone in your team will receive a sweet prize. Following your escape, join Comedy Magician Brian Miller downstairs from 9-10:30, eat free food, and visit the Radford event tables. Stay behind for bingo and try your hand at winning prizes. Some—but not all—are a long board and a Keurig.

Stop by the Whim table to learn more about us and how to get yourself published!

Hazel Eyes

The touch, the feel,

The heat, the sweat.

A hand running along the hip,

Feeling of rose petal lips against the heart.


Dark, spiraled hair of ebony,

The golden-green hazel eyes framed so well.

The soft, pale pink lips,

Often mistaken for a cloud.

“Those hazel eyes see horror and pain.” Photo from: www.muscledudelife.com







Those hazel eyes see horror and pain.

Her pale lips are lowered.

These curls hide the face of a girl.


Those who passed her over,

Who didn’t bother to look beyond her skin,

Far too self-centered to see the damage,

Unable to see the women she would become.

More Than Parties

- Photo from parktownprogress.blogspot.com
Party Aftermath – Photo from parktownprogress.blogspot.com


Radford University . . . now take a moment and think of what comes to mind when you hear about this college. Is there one standout thought that you think when it comes to this school? Probably. And that thought is most likely not “academics.” But how much more is there to this university?

The very first thing I heard about Radford was, yes, its reputation over the weekends. But now, as a student, I have seen Radford for more than what it is mainly talked about. There’s a lot to hear about this university and it doesn’t include our Spartan-strength weekend warriors. There is a community at Radford where two people throwing a football out on the quad can turn into a full game. Radford has some excellent students in prestigious programs. There’s research being done by students here that hasn’t even been attempted before. Students do research here that gets presented nationally and travel internationally to work in their career fields.

All I have ever heard about Radford was the parties, but no one told me that it offered opportunities and programs to be plugged into. You wouldn’t think there are ministries on campus that are worshiping and praying for this university, but there are. Chi Alpha, a ministry on campus, had 45 students go on a Christian retreat where 14 got baptized. There’s so much more to Radford than parties, which is something that students do at every university, no matter if it’s Virginia Tech or Liberty. People have failed to hear or think that Radford has academics, faith, and the potential makings of a kid’s future at this campus. Students can leave this school successful and ready to make a contribution or an impact on this world. One bad thing that’s not what it once used to be shouldn’t be the sole thing that this university is renowned for.


The Radford Coffee Company

Radford Coffee Company is a new restaurant where all proceeds go toward a foundation that gives money to students in communities in Nicaragua. All of the employees work on a volunteer basis and only earn pay from tips. So, while you are spending money on your coffee and breakfast, you know that you are also contributing to a great cause and helping educate students in Nicaragua.

Graphic from Radford Coffee Company.
Buy your coffee for a good cause. Graphic from Radford Coffee Company.

The restaurant also has a different environment compared to  Starbucks because it’s more open and has an assortment of seating like couches and chairs and stools. The staff is very friendly and helpful as well. The overall experience at Radford Coffee Company is enjoyable and makes you want to go back because of the staff, the cause, the environment, and the food.

Specializing in coffee, the restaurant also offers healthy breakfast sandwiches, salads and sandwiches for lunch, and smoothies and protein shakes. Sometimes they’ll put out specials on certain days like banana bread or coffee cake.  The prices aren’t steep either so if you’re worried about spending money and eating healthy, this is a great place to get your healthy meal while not spending too much.

I would always rather support a local business over a chain business because I think it’s good for the economy and for the locals in the area. I also like that the company is supporting a great cause and all of their proceeds are going toward this.

If you’re looking for a great staff, awesome food, and a soothing environment, Radford Coffee Company is a great place to check out.

Radford University will eliminate tuition fees for the next three years

For the next three years, Radford University has decided to eliminate all tuition fees for all students! They realized the tuition was way too expensive, and students who want to attend here but can’t because of money issues should be able to, no matter what. They received enough complaints from students and parents, making it the easiest decision they’ve ever made. They’re also going make one day a week free food day, where all food on campus will be giving away free food to anyone and everyone!

Ever since Trump came to the campus, and the new president has been chosen, Radford has really tightened up on their beliefs and values, and how they want to affect their student population. The new president has come out, publically, as a Bernie Sanders supporter, and the first thing he wanted to do to prove that was to make college free, and food on campus somewhat free. The president of RU knows what it’s like to be a broke college student, to not be able to afford food everyday or even afford college at all. So that’s why he has made college free for three years, and he intends on continuing free college as long as students continue to apply and keep up their grades.

Ever since RU’s new president announces his support of Bernie Sanders, all of social media has been raging, in happiness of course. One student was so ecstatic, she tweeted Bernie Sanders and he tweeted back! He told her that he would love to come to Radford University and clean up what Donald Trump left behind. This was the best news I’ve heard all year, to hear Bernie Sanders speak to the Radford campus will be an even I never forget. I can’t wait to write an article on the rally and the amount of peace and happiness it will bring.

This last week has been the most exciting week of my life. To hear college will be free, one day a week on campus food will be free, and Bernie Sanders is coming to speak at RU, it’s literally the best news I could ever hear. I don’t know how this year will get any better!
April Fool’s bitches. This article is entirely satire.

Trump: He’s just like us, only richer and much more orange

**Disclaimer- This article was written before Mr. Trump’s visit to Radford University **

Donald Trump is coming to Radford on Monday and you could say that I’m just a little bit excited. Although Radford was his last choice, it’s still makes us here at little RU feel very special.

With the primary on Tuesday, it makes sense as to why Mr. Trump would want to come down here. It was a smart choice for him to come, with Radford being surrounded by towns that are largely populated with right wing conservatives.

Although Trump used to be a publically known democrat, his run as a republican candidate has done nothing but great things for the businessman. He seems right at home with his extreme stance on immigration and nationalistic views, however new they may be.

Image from salon.com
Trump may look like an Oompa Loompa, but he doesn’t act like one. Image from salon.com

I’ve never been to see a presidential candidate speak before so I’m very excited to see what topics Trump covers as well as how the crowd reacts to him. I know, from the people that I’ve talked to, that most people here at Radford don’t particularly like him.

With most college campuses being liberal, it’s understandable as to why the students here don’t appreciate or respect his viewpoint. I can expect there to be a multitude of protests occurring, hopefully non-violent ones, expressing their distaste for Trump’s blatant sexism and racism. However, I, like some other of my friends, are going because we want to see what he has to say, how he reacts to protesters, and how he chooses to talk to the younger generations, the ones who have a big impact on the election.

With Trump being the big deal that he is, I’m excited to see all of the secret service agents surround him, the dramatic precautions that happen when protecting a man with so much money and power. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not he decides to make a pitstop at Starbucks or the Radford theatre.

Whether or not you agree with Trump or his views, this opportunity could potentially be a once in a lifetime event, and should be taken advantage of.

Keep calm and wait three minutes

I’m sitting in my 8 am class, anxiously waiting for my professor to finish her lecture. The clock strikes 8:47, when all of the sudden I hear rustling from all over the classroom, along with zippers being opened and books being slammed closed. I finally look around to investigate what’s happening and I realize everyone is packing up. My professor is still talking, yet here everyone is, putting all their things away while being extremely loud and rude.

There are only three minutes left, can’t you wait? People who enjoy the class or maybe respect their teacher can’t hear what she’s saying because you can’t wait three single solitary minutes.

Seriously. It's all gonna be okay. Just chill out and wait. Photo from keepcalmandposters
Seriously. It’s all gonna be okay. Just chill out and wait. Photo from keepcalmandposters

This has always been a pet peeve of mine. Not only because it’s annoying, but also because I feel bad for the professors who are still trying to get the material in with the small time they have left. It’s disrespectful not only to the professors, but also to the other students who crave to hear what’s being said in the last three minutes of class.

I understand that, maybe you hate this class and you can’t wait to leave it, you have a class right after this one and need to be quick, or that you simply don’t care about other people, but what’s the true difference between packing up three minutes before class ends or right when class ends? It takes you 15 seconds to put all of your things away. 15 seconds that could be spent after the teacher says we can go. I don’t care if you are dying to get out of class. It’s a matter of respect, to the other students as well as the professor, and if you want the professor to respect you and then you should show respect in return.

Bottom line friends, just wait until class is over. I promise, it won’t kill you or make you late. It’ll probably help you in the long run if you need help with an assignment or desperately need an extension. Respect goes a long way, in every endeavor you wish to achieve, so you might as well start now. You never know how many events you’ll have to suffer through in the future, so learning how to respectfully get through them now will only help you down the line.

F is for friends who leave you behind

When I came to Radford, I had a good number of friends. Most of them were high school friends, some of which I had been friends with since elementary school and middle school. We did everything together. We were “those girls”. The ones who hung out everyday after school, talked about boys (and girls later on), school, family, and everything in between. When I was having trouble at home, they were my family. They held me when I cried, laughed until our stomachs hurt, and stayed up all night talking about nothing and everything. To say the least, they were my girls.

However, things started to change senior year of high school and into our first year at Radford. I got into a relationship and they started to, slowly, stop talking to me. I don’t think it was on purpose, but it happened. We didn’t hang out anymore and they started finding other friends to be around all the time. Then when I came to Radford, most communication stopped completely, even though two of “my girls” go here now. They only talk to me when I talk to them first, and sometimes they still don’t respond. I don’t know if it’s because college has made them feel like they don’t need old friends anymore or if they just grew out of our friendship. Either way, it impacted me way more than I know it impacted them.

When friends leave you behind for better friends. Photo from Pinterest
When friends leave you behind for better friends. Photo from Pinterest

It was a big change for me that I wasn’t expecting. I met my “best friend” in second grade and she had been through everything with me. We grew up together and are the people we are now because of each other. I know how gay it sounds, and not gay as in insulting but literally gay, but it’s hard when your friends, who you thought would always be there for you, just aren’t anymore. It sucks feeling left out, especially when your friends still talk to each other but not you.

But I guess that’s a part of growing up. You move on and find new people to make memories with. I try and tell myself that everything happens for a reason and if they don’t make an effort to be in your life, then you shouldn’t waste your energy on people who don’t care enough to try harder for you. You deserve the best there is and if you aren’t receiving the best, find people who will give it to you.

Why won’t school ever be cancelled?

Whenever we get snow, the first schools to close are always the high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. The babies of the community get to sleep in, hang out with their friends, and eat all day.

Colleges, however, hardly ever close. Colleges will wait until death is a certainty when you go outside before they close the school, whereas high schools will close when there is a centimeter of snow on the ground. I went through the torture that was high school, and this is how I’m repaid? I did my time and now these kids in high school get to have a week off of school while I have 8 am classes every day. It’s unfair and ridiculous.

Why can't school be closed everyday? Photo from plano88
Why can’t school be closed everyday? Photo from plano88

I used to go to Blacksburg High School where school is closed every other day during the winter. As I’m writing this, my mom got a call saying that the high school is closed for tomorrow. The reasons why high schools are closed are ridiculous.

Radford has forced me to check my email every three minutes, hoping for classes to be cancelled. They’ve created a monster in me. These kids who get to wake up at 7:30 am to get to school at 7:45  are complaining about having to go to school, when I have to wake up at 6 am every morning to leave by 7:15 in order to get to Radford by 7:45. I then have to park in four-hour parking, and walk in the 12 degree weather to my class across campus. But, apparently, the high schools definitely need to be closed and colleges should never close. It all makes so much sense. I wish I could feel bad for my friends that are still in high school, but I don’t.

They say college is so much better than high school, but from what I’ve seen, college is harder and will close when hell freezes over. My favorite part of college is walking to class with my hands feeling like ice cubes, my nose dripping with snot because it’s so cold, and then getting to the classrooms where it’s hotter than hell, forcing me to take off all of my snow gear and then having to put it back on when I leave. That’s the best. I love college.

Radford’s Recent Snowpocalypse

Our school was closed Friday due to all the snow we ended up getting in what the students all call Radford’s Snowpocalypse 2016.  We got the day off Friday to go play in the snow with everyone and enjoy the winter wonderland for the weekend.  There are always some positives and negatives when something like a snow storm hits your town, I like to focus more on the positives but also can’t help to think about some of the negative aspects as well.

How did you spend the snow day? Graphic from BoulderSource
How did you spend the snow day? Graphic from Boulder Source

Some positives were that we got to have school off the whole day and wake up to it snowing which is always exciting no matter how old you are.  Also, because of the snow almost nobody was able to drive so we could walk and run through the streets without worrying about watching out for cars.  There was so much snow it was easy to have snowball fights, make igloos, and snow angels with everyone which was the most fun of my weekend.  However, some negatives that came with the snow were how cold it is for one.  You had to be wearing triple layers of socks and long boots with lined leggings and a huge puffy jacket not to mention ear muffs or a hat and gloves because if you didn’t at least have this stuff you were frozen somewhere on your body when you were outside in the snow.  Also, since we didn’t have school a lot of people spent a lot of their money on either drinks or food either preparing for the snow because they wouldn’t be able to leave the house for a while or just getting things to go to parties.  That was the lowest negative for me was spending more money than I had anticipated or wanted to.

Overall, the snowpocalypse in Radford was well worth all of the money blown and frozen faces and hands.


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.

The threat of the freshman fifteen

There’s one thing we all worry about when coming to college for the first time, and that’s the dreaded freshman fifteen. But what really changes after freshman year? Certainly not our eating habits– we’re stuck with pretty much the same old places to eat, on campus and off. So that leads me to believe that not only is the Freshman Fifteen a thing, but so is the Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Fifteen, despite those being not near as fun to say.

Many of us know that the weight gain is coming, and we want to avoid it, but we’re stuck in a rut when it comes to figuring out a routine to keep the pounds away. Whether it be eating less or exercising more, we set goals that rarely become the reality unless you have absurd amounts of self-discipline and restraint.

Ever since I moved into Radford, I’ve been trying my best to keep a healthy diet, even though this often meant only one of two meals. A salad from Wild Greens or sushi from Hissho. Always more of a protein girl, I mostly traded the salads for a crunchy roll.

The other day, after weeks of sushi lunches and dinners, a good friend of mine posed a question. He said, “is sushi actually healthy for you? I feel like since it’s mostly rice, it’s not very good.” The more I thought about it, the more I figured he must be right. So naturally, as soon as I got home I looked up the answer.

As it so turns out, there are many different answers to the question, “is sushi good for you?” because there are many different elements that go into it. Fish is incredibly healthy, as it’s rich in omega-3’s, as well as other acids, and has plenty of different kinds of vitamins. Rice can help with energy and blood sugar levels as well as slowing down the aging process. Put them together and you get a healthy dish, right? Especially if you’re looking for a low-calorie meal. Seven pieces of salmon nigiri (sticky rice with a piece of raw salmon filet on top) is equivalent to about 478 calories, about ¼ of your average daily intake.

It’s when you start adding more ingredients, however, like the fried bits of crunchy rolls or the incessant amounts of soy sauce that you run into a problem.

While both can be delicious and even fairly good in moderation, when you continue to pour them on, they become quite unhealthy and even cancel out the benefits of the salmon and rice.

In the end, the lesson always comes down to: know what’s being put in your food. If you don’t trust it, don’t eat it. Find something else that you know is a healthy alternative. Or, if all else fails, you can always head to the gym and work your butt off.

A guide for being sick in college

Being sick at college is no fun. Graphic from Doctors in Training
Being sick at college is no fun. Graphic from Doctors in Training

Your health is more than just the physical condition of your body. In the past two weeks, every student on campus seems to be catching an unwelcoming sickness. Being sick in college is not pleasant; you don’t have anyone to take care of you and make you food. And living in college means living with germs! I was sick this past week and it was so hard to get out of bed for every 8am or 9am class and last Friday, I heard every student sitting behind me in my COMS 130 class coughing or sneezing. It was horrible and I’m scared to get close to anyone! Work piles up as you stay in bed and that’s not fun either. But at some point, every college student is going to get sick. Here are some tips I have for you from experience, if you’re sick with the Radford plague:

  1. Go to the Student Health Center in Moffett Hall and ask for a cold kit (this was a lifesaver for me) and most importantly– it’s free.
  2. Drink lots of fluids and get a good night’s sleep.
  3. Stay away from anyone who’s sick as well and keep hand sanitizer with you in your backpack at all times.
  4. Grab some chicken noodle soup from the Au Bon Pain cafe since your mom can’t make you any, and trust me it’s delicious! Remember to eat healthy.
  5. Stay prepared with your medicines and cough drops.
  6. Try to avoid sharing personal items and keep your room clean.
  7. And lastly, if you’re going to miss a class, let your professor know beforehand!

The best way to treat illness is to prevent it! Also, in my opinion, it’s okay for students to take it easy when they’re sick, don’t stress too much otherwise it’ll be harder on you to get better. Not only is it important to get well and ready to college again but to not hurt any other student’s health. I hope the ones not sick can manage avoiding the plague.

Follow these tips to tackle your sickness and don’t forget to stay warm!



Virginia is underrated

Many television shows and movies take place in great big cities with lots of people and towering buildings. The most common cities movies will take place in are Los Angeles and New York City, of course. These cities are beautiful in their own way, but California and New York are grossly overrated when you compare them to the state we live in.

Virginia has a wide range of diverse ecosystems. From the sandy beaches of Chincoteague to the rolling mountains of Southwest Virginia, there’s a lot to appreciate in this great state that we often take for granted. Growing up in an Air Force family, I got to move around and experience many wonderful places. As much as I hate to admit it, Virginia is probably the second most beautiful place I’ve lived in, if not the most beautiful.

“These cities are beautiful in their own way, but California and New York are grossly overrated when you compare them to the state we live in.”

I was born in Florida and spent a total of 7 years of my life there. Florida will always be my home, but when I compare Florida to Virginia, I can appreciate the fact that this state is so colorful in comparison to Florida. Here, there are beautiful beaches, seemingly endless marshes, thick forests and towering hills. In Florida, there are swamps, lots of beaches and more swamps. Some areas of Florida have thick, beautiful woods but there are limited species of trees. Also, the geography is quite plain with very few hills and no mountains at all.

Even though I live very close to West Virginia, which is a beautiful state, overall it’s not as exciting to me. The mountains of West Virginia are beautiful and go on for days. That’s just the problem, though. The mountains go on throughout the whole state with no breaks as you drive through it. Although the mountains are majestic and make you feel very small, they begin to feel quite claustrophobic. The beauty of Virginia is that as you drive through it, you see varying ecosystems.

In September, my boyfriend and I traveled from Radford to Chincoteague. I had wanted to visit Chincoteague since I moved to Virginia and I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to finally visit this magical area. Driving through the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is a lot to see when compared to driving through West Virginia. Along with mountains, you can see  vineyards taking over the sides of hills, hundreds of small creeks along with larger flowing watersheds. In Richmond, you see skyscrapers carefully placed overlooking the James River. In Virginia Beach, the eye can see the ocean seemingly going on forever. My favorite part, however, is Chincoteague itself. On one side, there is a calm, slow-moving bay edged with marshes, and on the other, the roaring ocean slams against the sand and the wind takes your breath away with its salty-sweetness.

Although I miss the white-as-snow beaches of Florida, and the emerald-colored bathwater Gulf of Mexico, it still doesn’t compare to the diverse beauty that can be found in our grossly underrated state. Even though we all will dream of the great cities of Los Angeles and New York City, and long to live that Hollywood fairy-tale lifestyle, we’re still lucky. We’re lucky to live in a state that, even though it was settled long ago, still remains naturally beautiful.