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Residential Life At Purdue

What You Need to Know About Having a Roommate

getting along with roommates

This weekend you’ll be receiving your housing assignment (if you haven’t already!), which means you’ll know who your roommate will be for the 2013-2014 school year.

Okay cool. Now what?

When the semester starts, you and your new roommate will discuss and sign a roommate agreement form given to you by your RA. You might want to think about your preferences in advance, so here are the topics:

Sleeping
Is it okay to have music on? What time will you go to bed and wake up during the week? What about on weekends? How many times is acceptable to hit the snooze button?

Studying
Is it okay to have the TV on? When will you be studying? Do you prefer absolute silence? Is it okay to have group study sessions in the room?

Shared vs. Private Belongings
Who can use your TV, DVDs, refrigerator, microwave, printer, gaming systems, etc.? Will you share these things with guests?

Condition of the Room
What does “clean” mean to you? Who cleans or vacuums? When? What’s a comfortable room temperature for you? Do you prefer having the windows open or closed?

Guests
Is it okay to have guests over while your roommate is studying? Is it okay to have overnight guests during the week, or only on weekends?

In order to have a good living situation from the start, make sure you start fresh. Try not to approach your roommate with any preconceived ideas about seniority or entitlement; you’re both in this together. Besides, your roommate is probably just as concerned about having a roommate as you are, so do your best to be open-minded and friendly.

In the end, it all comes down to communication. Talk to your roommate (not to your friends or other people on your floor) if you have a problem with his/her conduct. And if your roommate approaches you with a problem, try not to get too defensive until you see things from his/her perspective.

A word of advice to those of you who are rooming with someone you’re already friends with: If you’d like to stay friends, communication on these points is equally as important as if you were strangers!

Do you have any suggestions for a happy roommationship?

Things to Do: Summer Edition

DSCN1852

Hooray! It’s finally warm enough that we want to be outside! If you live and work around campus this summer, be aware that there are still plenty of things to do. And now (I hope) you have time to do them!

Fountain run
You know those times when temperatures reach 80+ and there’s not a cloud in the sky? How you just feel like throwing on a swimsuit and playing in the nearest public water feature? Well luckily for you, it’s socially acceptable to do that at Purdue. Three of the fountains on campus are suitable for a fountain run:

  • Loeb Fountain in Founder’s Park (between Beering and Stone halls)
  • Memorial Fountain (by John Purdue’s grave on Memorial Mall)
  • Class of 1939 Water Sculpture (Engineering Fountain, in front of Hovde)

Lafayette Citizens Band
Thursdays
What could say ‘summertime’ more than a big brass band serenading you on a warm evening downtown? The Lafayette Citizens Band performs in Riehle Plaza every week or two Memorial Day through Labor Day. (www.lafayettecitizensband.org)

Farmers market
Saturdays, 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
From early May through late October, the air in downtown Lafayette is filled with the smell of fresh garden flowers, baked goods, vegetables and fruits. Regardless of the day or time, a visit to the Lafayette Farmers Market promises some of the finest and freshest produce, as well as an enjoyable opportunity to browse as you stroll through one of Indiana’s oldest outdoor markets! (from www.lafayettefarmersmarket.com)

Round the Fountain Art Fair
May 25, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
This annual art fair offers a festive atmosphere around the courthouse. Over 90 juried artists will show their work for perusal or purchase. Proceeds from the fair support fine arts education in the five area public schools, after-hours arts programs, courthouse restoration projects, the restoration of the Marquis de Lafayette Fountain, outside lighting and seating, landscaping, and public art projects and installation. (from www.roundthefountain.org)

Mosey Down Main Street
June 8, July 13, August 10 and 31, 6 p.m.
This free, family-friendly event is brought to you by the local artistic community and takes place right down the center of Main Street. With three stages of music, outdoor food, beer, and wine sales as well as street performers, sidewalk chalk and handmade hula hoops, drum circles and DJ’s, belly dancers, and balloon animals. (from www.moseydownmain.com)

Taste of Tippecanoe
June 15, 4 p.m.-12 a.m.
The Taste of Tippecanoe is the major fund raising event for the Tippecanoe Arts Federation. Over 100 area arts organizations benefit from funds raised from this event. Good eats, good music and great fun will be waiting for you at the 2013 Taste of Tippecanoe, so you won’t want to miss it! (from www.tasteoftippecanoe.org)

Wabash Riverfest
July 13
The Wabash Riverfest is a free, family-friendly celebration of one of the region’s greatest natural resources! Music will be provided by SAMI and the Dulcimer Gathering. Available kids’ activities include pony rides and a bounce house. Canoe races will be held hourly on the half hour throughout the day, and there will be an officially timed 5K race. (from www.wabashriver.net/wabash-riverfest)

Dancing in the Streets festival
July 20
Year after year, thousands of people return for the best festival around! Three stages of continuous live music, great food and beer/wine and a classic car and motorcycle cruise. (from www.dancinginthestreets.net)

I hope you’re having a wonderful summer!

Earth Week Activities

By NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Spring has finally arrived this month! Plants around campus have been blooming and everything is greening like crazy. It’s time to show our appreciation for the beauty of nature by participating in this year’s Earth Week!

MONDAY, APR. 22

Earth Day Carnival
Centennial Mall (between Wetherill/ENAD and the Bell Tower/Stanley Coulter), 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

  • Food Vendors
  • Carnival Games
  • Sustainability Information
  • Unicycle and Juggling Team
  • Evonik Wind Explorer
  • Grateful Heart Gallery – Creating Recycled Art
  • Rides from the Boilermaker Special
  • Jeopardy (sign up here)

Sustainability + Security: A Symposium
Hosted by the Honors College, panel features Col. Mykleby
STEW 318, 1:30–2:30 p.m.

Keynote Lecture: Col. Mark Mykleby – Sustainability: Our National Strategic Initiative
FRNY G140, 5:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, APR. 24

Earth Day Hike with Prof. Dunning
Bell Tower, 8:30 a.m.

THURSDAY, APR. 25

Volunteer Tree Planting
9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.

Tree Campus USA Ceremony
11:00 a.m.

Sign up here to plant trees.

What Incoming Purdue Students Should Know

toknow

Purdue is amazing. You’re coming here, so you know what I’m talking about. Even though navigating your undergrad can be rough, Purdue is full of wonderful surprises and experiences if you just know where to look. Here’s a list of the things I wish someone had told me when I started:

  •  Take advantage of events on campus. There’s always something going on here, usually free or at a discount for students. Check out @PSUBEVENTS or @ResLifeAtPurdue on Twitter for the latest info on free movies, concerts, improv shows, food drives, guest lectures and more.
  •  Libraries have the best places to study. You’ve probably seen the great study areas in HSSE and Hicks, but have you been to the stacks in HSSE? I’ve always found it to be much quieter there and more conducive to holing up for hours on end. The basement in the Siegesmund engineering library is similarly silent. So go ahead. Check out this map and get your nerd on.
  •  Find an internship, part-time job or volunteer work in your interest area. I didn’t do any internships until my senior year, and starting earlier than that is consequently something I would recommend for anyone. Internships gave me a better feel for what my area of study was all about and even helped in a few of my classes. View the page at the Center for Career Opportunities here and the employment page here to start your search. Don’t have a specific area in mind? The CCO can help you with that, too! This site relates your personality and interests to the various majors at Purdue. Still not satisfied? Stop by the CCO in Stewart Center to speak to a counselor, who can assist you with anything from beginning the exploration process to arranging a personality test for more concrete results.
  •  Join a club, attend a guest lecture or take a class that’s completely outside your comfort zone. I went through three majors and had what I considered a very balanced dose of Purdue (friends in many different programs, locations, and clubs), but I’m still exploring the many sides of Purdue. There’s always more to learn! Check out PurdueBoard and GetInvolved for info on upcoming callouts and events, or check the bulletin boards on your way to class.

If you have any questions about starting at Purdue, feel free to comment below. I’m sure you have a ton of information coming at you right now, so if I can help you at all, let me know!

Upperclassmen: What are some things on campus you wish you’d known about sooner? What are the best places you’ve found to study/nap/snack?

Spring Break!

Spring break is coming!! I’m sure you already have a countdown going in your mortarboard, or are at least aware that you’ll be free in less than 3 days.

Soon...
Soon…

Maybe you have an awesome vacation planned. Maybe you’re just planning to stick around campus to sleep and get ahead on homework and sleep. Either way, no classes means a wonderful break no matter where you are!

If you’re traveling, make sure you…

  • Take your phone charger.
  • Take only what you need; keep only a small amount of cash, ID and debit/credit cards in your wallet.
  • Check on tsa.gov for traveler tips.
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary and ID with your parents.
  • Make sure your friends know how to contact your parents in case something happens to you.
  • Stay with friends while at your destination — do not go somewhere alone with a stranger.
  • Stay hydrated and use sunscreen.
  • Drink responsibly.

If you’ll be around campus, pay attention to the dining court schedule —  you’ll probably want to stock up at On-the-GO! so you’ll have food for the duration of break. There may not be plenty going on around campus, but that’s just what spring vacation is! You can do almost whatever you want. My own suggestions:

  • Take the train to Chicago for a couple days. Train has got to be one of the most underrated modes of transportation – so much leg room! I’ve never enjoyed a three-and-a-half-hour ride more. Plus, Chicago has the French Market (mmm crêpes), tons of museums and galleries, and The Second City.
  • Drive to Indy for a day. Since the commute is shorter, Indy is an easy day trip. Museums, Circle Centre Mall, Fountain Square — sounds like a blast!
  • Reread one of your favorite books. I recently found a novel I hadn’t read since high school, and reliving the excitement of reading it was amazing (especially since I’d forgotten how it ended). It’s extra fun if you read under the covers with a flashlight. 🙂

Whatever you do, remember to relax and enjoy yourself so that you’ll be ready to take on the last weeks of the semester!

Things to Do: Winter Edition

Did you know that when you Google “winter activities Indiana” at least 75% of the results have to do with Christmas and snow? It’s true. Even Google agrees there’s nothing worthwhile to do if we’re snowless between December 26th and spring break.

Makes me cold just to look at it.
An all-too-familiar sight.

Fortunately for you, I’ve assembled a list of things to do here in the Lafayette area when there’s no snow, and most of them are indoors! And since I know how easy it is to say, “Oh, I should do that!” and then never follow through, I’ve also included specific details so you can make it happen.

  1. Have a Disney/retro movie night, complete with pajamas, blankets and hot chocolate. Your residence hall main office probably has a good selection of DVDs. And there are at least two RedBoxes on campus that I know of, plus the Hicks Undergraduate library. (Did you know they have movies? No Disney movies, though.) My personal recommendations: The Sandlot, Star Wars (original trilogy, obviously), Robin Hood and The Emperor’s New Groove.
  2. Board/card games. If the main office of your residence hall isn’t one that offers board games and none of your friends or floor-mates have anything to borrow (nobody has Apples to Apples or a deck of cards? Really?), well… Walmart is only a bus ride (1B or 4B) away. Recommendations: Scattergories, Spoons and Spades.
  3. Billiards/bowling night. I’m not sure if having a pool table is a requirement for residence halls, but it seems like they all do; I can’t think of an exception at the moment. If you’d rather go elsewhere, the Union Rack and Roll (in PMU) has $2 unlimited billiards every Wednesday and Xtreme Bowling (glow-in-the-dark bowling) every Friday night after 9.
  4. Concerts and other events. Purdue Bands and Orchestras offers free concerts every few weeks. Check out Purdue Student Union Board at their site or on Twitter to see other upcoming events on campus.
  5. Art Museum of Greater Lafayette. It’s at 102 South Tenth Street, open from 11 a.m-4 p.m. every single day (except for holidays) and current exhibits are listed here. The museum is accessible via CityBus’s Trolley line.
  6. Campus art galleries. You’ve probably passed at least one of these, but have you ever gone in? The Robert L. Ringel Gallery is across from Fowler Hall in Stewart Center and the Patti and Rusty Rueff Galleries are in PAO. The current exhibit in Stewart Center, “Trains that Passed in the Night,” looks really interesting.
  7. Ice skating on the levee at the Riverside Skating Center, which is now open for the season. I’m not sure when the season ends, but considering Indiana winters tend to drag on, I’m guessing it’s not anytime soon. You have plenty of time to get on the ice! Admission is $4 per person per session, and skates are $2 to rent. Their hours are pretty particular and might be confusing if I wrote them out, so I’ll let you see for yourself on the website. Guess what? The Trolley will take you there, maybe after your trip to the art museum.

    Courtesy of the Greater Lafayette website: http://www.westlafayette.in.gov/
    See? So much fun. 🙂

So there you have it. New things to try, no snow required. What do you and your friends do for fun when it’s nasty cold out?

Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!

This is a tough time of year for those of us who make resolutions. On New Year’s Eve, we think of all the habits we’ll break this year, the foods we’ll stop eating, the things we’ll start doing… And by January 4th it’s all out the window. Every. Single. Year.

But this year — this year can be different. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your resolutions this time around.

Set attainable goals. It’s good to reach for perfection, but you need to be realistic, too, or you’ll get discouraged when you slip up. Instead of resolving to “Never eat unhealthy food again! Diet time!” try to make small changes to your eating habits. You could decide to stop eating donuts for breakfast, or include a salad every day at lunch, or not drink more than one soda in one sitting. You’ll notice that these goals are realistic because they’re more specific. Many times we want to accomplish big vague things (e.g., work out more, procrastinate less, save the world) without taking into consideration how it will happen. Which leads me to my next point…

Make smaller goals to accomplish larger goals. As with any plan, you need to look at the steps along the way. Let’s say you want to get all A’s this semester. (And who doesn’t, really?) What do you need to do to get there? Try incorporating smaller goals into your week: study for an extra hour on weekends, read the chapter more than once, or wake up five minutes earlier to make sure you have everything ready for class.

Take your time. Progress doesn’t happen overnight. I once heard a suggestion to write down (every day) one thing you’ll stop doing that day and one thing you’ll start doing that day. It sounds great because it’s like baby steps, but in reality I think that’d end up being a lot of things to keep track of. And doesn’t it supposedly take three weeks to make or break a habit? So yes, try working on one thing at a time, but make sure you’re pacing yourself so you actually accomplish things. You’ll feel better if you solidly cross off a few of your resolutions instead of halfway attempting and then failing all of them.

Stay positive. You might break one of your resolutions accidentally (or intentionally — we’re all human), but that doesn’t mean you’re a failure overall. Henry Ford said: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” So don’t use failure as an excuse to give up!

Now that you’re ready to conquer the semester, here are some possible resolutions you could make:

  1. Apply for scholarships. College students are stereotyped as poor for a reason. Check out the scholarships available through Purdue here (deadlines are coming up!) or register on sites like FastWeb, Cappex or CollegeScholarships.org.
  2. Make the most of your meal plan. It’s already paid for, so why not? The nutritional information the dining courts provide makes it easy for you to keep your ‘eat healthy’ resolution, too.
  3. Hit up the CoRec at least once a week. They have personal trainers and a few fitness programs available, which you can check out here.
  4. Join a club or non-profit organization. Purdue has lots of clubs to choose from, and Lafayette holds other volunteer opportunities.

If you need more ideas, Olusegun Ajuwon over at Purdue Student Life wrote a great post called 13 Resolutions for 2013.

What are some of your resolutions?

Words for Winter Break

Well, you’ve done it. You’ve finished the semester! Can I just say that you deserve some time away from campus? We’ll miss you, of course, but at least you get to relax and spend time however you want.

TV commercials and songs on the radio keep telling me that it’s the most wonderful time of the year. There are tragedies happening throughout the world (is it just me, or does it seem like crime is up a lot this year?), which makes it hard to believe, but that only emphasizes how important it is to be with those we love. The holiday season — even as materialistic as it can be at times — has a way of reminding us of what’s really important. Family. Friends. Hope. Happiness. Simple everyday blessings like good food and a warm place to sleep.

Please have a wonderful and safe break, and know that we look forward to seeing you (well-rested and happy) in the new year!

Happy Holidays!

Finals: How to Survive

Ugh. Finals week. Even if you’re done by Wednesday, it feels like an eternity. You can procrastinate, but there’s always the obligation to study lurking over your head. Or you can study non-stop until you’re done, but that’s extremely draining, in my experience, and leaves you feeling half dead.

The key is to compromise and find a method somewhere in between slacker and zombie. So first of all…

Study
You do have to do this, you know. Set a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Set a timer, shut off your phone, confine yourself to the library — do what you have to do. Color-code your subjects and calendars, rewrite your notes. You know how you study best, so get to it.

gummybearstudy
I can’t believe I never thought of this.

In case you’ve never tried to revise your study techniques, here are some amazing suggestions.

Remember how it’s also the holiday season? When studying in a public area (which is anywhere other than your room), make sure you don’t leave your belongings unattended or somebody may pick up a new Christmas present. It’s a shame, but you need to know: most thefts on campus happen in this season of thanksgiving and charity. So don’t leave your expensive stuff unattended, and study hard!

You also need to take time for yourself, so…

Prioritize You
What do you like to do? What makes you feel like yourself? Schedule some time for that amidst all your cramming. It’ll be that break you deserve, or at least the one you rationalize taking. (“Bam, finished that chapter in 15 minutes. I should reward myself by watching an entire episode of ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’”)

Try to get to the CoRec . Because… Well, why not? You’ll feel better about yourself afterward and it’s good for you. Here’s a quick read for more reasons why and ways to motivate yourself. 

Have you ever heard of a vision board? Making one is a fun way to reconnect with who you are and what you want in life (and may lend perspective to why you’ve been slaving over those biology flashcards for the past five hours). This article will help you get started.

If nothing else, take time to treat yourself to a Pappy’s shake or some pizza from the Knight Spot. Studying for finals can be a sprint or a marathon, but either way you need food!

Good luck!

Gingerbread Contest!

The Gingerbread Competition Voting is now CLOSED.
Thanks to everyone for participating and to our wonderful dining staff for all of their hard work! The winner will be announced Monday! BOILER UP!

When I say “the best part of the holidays,” you say…

The food. Obviously. What else are the holidays about?

Only joking. We know that family time and having a break from classes is important, too. But that warm, cozy, happy image isn’t complete without the smell of food. Lots of food. And as we all know, dessert is the best part. At Purdue’s Housing and Food Services, we want to encourage holiday spirit and get you ready for winter break by holding a gingerbread competition among our dining operations, and we need your help to determine the winners!

Each of the dining courts, the Athletic Dining Room, Central Production Kitchen and Pappy’s Sweet Shop is responsible for building a gingerbread structure, and everyone has been instructed to make them as awesome as possible. How else will they win your vote and the first annual gingerbread contest?

There will be two categories:

  1. Best Structure: decided by a panel of judges.
  2. Popular Vote: determined by you!

The rules are simple. All you need to do is choose the structure you think should win this year’s gingerbread competition at this survey. Or, if you’re a survey-hater, you can participate on Facebook. Go to the ‘Gingerbread Competition’ album on University Residences at Purdue’s profile and like your favorite picture! Please only like one of the entries so we can be fair to all contestants.

Got it? Just to be clear, go to

this link to participate via survey

or this link to participate via Facebook by liking your favorite picture.

Get out the vote and hurry! The contest is only running for a short time from Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. – Dec. 6 at 5 p.m.!