Category Archives: Posts from Amelia

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.


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 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:
    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
  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…

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.

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.!

Fall Fun

Smell that? That wonderful concoction of coming winter, dried and dying leaves, and occasional piles of burning leaves? It’s fall, and these days (including the wonky weather) are the epitome of it. This weekend may be the last of the good weather!  So grab your jacket and head outside — it’s time for some fun! Here’s what I suggest:

  • Jump in a pile of leaves! Remember the smell and feel of hundreds of leaves around you, and the sun peeking through from above? Happy Hollow Park and reliving your childhood are only a bus ride away.
  • Take a walk through Hort Park. There are other nature walks in the area, but this is the closest and (maybe I’m biased) the best.
  • Make peanut butter sandwiches! They’re the perfect complement to chili, which is basically the official fall food. You can get everything you need at the BoilerJunction in Tarkington or the BoilerCrossing in Meredith.
  • Play touch football at the intramural fields.
  • Tailgate. There’s only one more home game: November 24 (vs. IU). Did you hear me? Only one more chance to tailgate this season and show your school spirit! So Boiler Up!

What fall activities do you love?

Symptoms of Fall

Ah, fall. The leaves. The breezes. The pumpkin-flavored everything. The loud, drawn-out sniffles that interrupt your lectures. It’s no surprise that changing weather means a new round of colds and flus. What can you do to ward off the pervasive germs? Here are some preventative measures, for which I must give credit to webMD.

  1. Wash your hands. Seriously. And keep them away from your nose, mouth and food.
  1. Carry hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes. How many other people touched that keyboard, desk or door before you?
  1. Exercise. Even 20-30 minutes of cardio a few times a week will help your immune system.
  1. Drink more juice. At this point nobody is sure whether or not vitamin C prevents colds, but it’s worth a try, right?

Guess what else? Flu shots are available at PUSH for students. They’re $20 and you can go Monday-Friday from 8:30-4:30.

If you do get sick, visit urgent care at PUSH. If you get too sick to leave, let your RA know, because sick trays are available through your residence hall’s main office.

The last time I got sick, you know what my doctor’s number one prescription was? Rest and plenty of fluids. If you think rest means “do something other than go to class or study,” think again. Sleep is one of the best things you can do right now. And “plenty of fluids” is at least three quarts a day. Remember that fluids can also be soup, popsicles and gelatin.

Stay well now, or get well soon!

Green Week!

It’s Green Week here on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, and (as you know) that means that emerald hues are mandatory attire, every dining court is serving green eggs and ham, and all green-eyed students receive extra credit.

They ought to listen to my suggestions sometime.

But the bell tower lights are green, if you haven’t noticed yet. Here’s what else is going on as our lovely campus honors sustainability:

Movie Night – “Last Call at the Oasis”
Fowler Hall, 6:30 p.m. w/ Panel Discussion

Tours of the West Lafayette Anaerobic Digester with Dave Henderson
Van Transportation for Tours – Meet at Front Entrance of the Union, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Ford College Community Challenge
For more information please visit: The 2012 Ford C3 Competition
Harrison / Hillenbrand Rain Garden, 3 p.m.

France A. Cordova Recreational Sports Center Tour 9-10 a.m.

Alternative Transportation Expo
Centennial and Memorial malls11 a.m.-3 p.m.

AASHE Campus Sustainability Day
STEW 318, 2-3:30 p.m.
Preparing Students for a Changing Climate – Interactive Screening of Keynote Lecture

France A. Cordova Recreational Sports Center Tour 9-10 a.m.

Last Day of Campus Farmers Market
Please join us and watch a performance by the Purduettes at Noon.
Take a ride on the Boilermaker Special from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Come learn about Sustainable Food in the following areas:

  • Tippecanoe Urban Farmers
  • Slow Food
  • Full Circle Agriculture at Purdue

Prof. Ejeta Lecture – Global Challenges on Food Security 
PFEN Auditorium, 4:30-6 p.m.

Campus Conversations on Climate Change
More information
HICKS G980D, 1-3 p.m.

End of Week Celebration
Memorial Mall
Tree Planting, 3:30 p.m.
Food Served, 4-6 p.m.
Scavenger Hunt Winners Announced, 4-6 p.m.
NRHH Residence Hall Winner Announced, 4-6 p.m.

Boiler Volunteer Network – Make a Difference Day
MSEE, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.Meet with Harry Brown

Wabash River Clean-up

There’s also… (Drumroll, please) … A scavenger hunt! Only a few days left, so get out there!

Maybe campus events aren’t your thing, but you can still make the change. Remember to turn off your lights when you leave your room, use your On-the-Go bottle, and challenge yourself to take five minutes off your shower time.

Go green!