How To Balance Everything

megMeg is a third-year undergraduate student from Lacombe, LA pursuing a degree in industrial engineering at LSU. She is actively involved in LSU Ambassadors as the current Funding and Financial chair while having also served as a 2015 Orientation Leader and 2015 SROW LSU representative. Her favorite things to do are travel and eat all the good Cajun food possible!

Balancing everything in college, especially your first few semesters, can be trickier than some of those equations you deal with in Calculus! There’s school work, plus organization meetings, job shifts, and more with a maximum of only twenty-four hours in a day. Here’s a few theories of what three years of college have taught me thus far:

  1. Get a planner and USE it – A planner could be anything from a small notebook to a large calendar where you keep everything in. I recommend checking out the bookstore and finding what works best for you. The important thing is to have one and actually use it. This can help you see as things are coming up ahead of time so you aren’t waiting until the last minute or forget.
  2. Have friends to hold you accountable – It’s great to have friends that you can hang out with outside of class and go on adventures with during the weekend, but it’s important to have the friends that will spend an afternoon after class studying with you or working on that group project.
  3. Exercise – This is such an underrated component of keeping students happy and healthy in college! Even if it is just thirty minutes on a UREC machine or maybe an hour-long fitness class, just go and do something. Getting your body moving and focusing on yourself for a little while each day can help keep you focused. 
  4. Get involved but don’t overdo it – This meg2may not make sense now, but you’ll know when you get to this point. It’s great to be involved, but maybe you joined one organization too many and now you’re struggling to keep up with all your obligations. Maybe you’re finding yourself spending a large majority of your time on one specific involvement of yours and not keeping up with the other aspects of your life. To quote my mother, “Don’t be afraid to say no sometimes!” 
  5. Don’t forget to call home – Sometimes you just need time to chat with people you love from home that keep you grounded. All I can say is thank goodness my wireless provider has unlimited call minutes because I sure do wear out my mom’s phone catching up about our week or even sometimes the simpler questions like how long do I leave a chicken in the oven before I know it’s cooked. 
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Trick-Or-Treat Down the Row

headshot-2Camille Beste is a senior from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She is an active member of Greek Life, serving as the current Panhellenic President and has held positions on the Greek Board of Directors, as well as within her own chapter. Her favorite spot on campus is the fourth floor of the Student Union (shhhh it’s a secret spot).

One of the most popular traditions of LSU Greek Life is the annual Trick-or-Treat Down the Row sponsored by the LSU Panhellenic Council (PHC). Held the Sunday before Halloween, this event brings hundreds of families to campus. West Lakeshore Drive, also known as Sorority Row, is blocked off for this two-hour event. Children can go door-to-door to all of the sorority houses and get candy from chapter members. Most sororities even threw in a theme. These ranged from Luau to Decades. Houses also have crafts, face-painting, and photo booths. This year, the costumes were awesome! There were lots of little Golden Girls walking down the row, as well as quite a few Ghost Busters and Wizard of Oz characters. Some families even bring their dogs; Chewbacca stood out the most to me. Overall, this event brings lots of joy to sorority row at a time of year when school is often getting the best of students. This year was a special year, as LSU Athletics got on board and brought some of LSU’s top athletes to the row to take pictures with Trick-or-Treaters. That was certainly a huge treat for all members of the family!

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Trick-or-Treat Down the Row is not just limited to the housed sororities on West Lakeshore. The Interfraternity Council (IFC) posted up in front of the LSU Systems Building. IFC Exec members handed out candy and learned quickly this year that it is very easy to underestimate the amount of candy needed for the event. Sigma Alpha and Sigma Lambda Gamma, Panhellenic’s two un-housed sororities, were stationed along the row as well to hand out candy. Several fraternities that are housed on West Lakeshore also participated. Phi Kappa Psi truly was the life of the party. These men jammed out to a wide range of (family friendly) tunes. There was a line down their driveway, onto the row, as children lined up to give their best shot at the dunk tank. It is such a treat to see fraternity men and sorority women thoroughly enjoying their time with kids of all ages. I think I can speak on behalf of the entire Greek Life community when I say that I still believe I am young enough to be one of the kids trick-or-treating.

One incredible aspect of this event is that it is truly geared toward the Baton Rouge community. It is not limited to Greek members, like many Fraternity and Sorority events are. Word is spread to LSU faculty and staff members, as well as in many elementary schools in the surrounding areas. Families look forward to this event every year. Maybe it’s the fun that comes with the day, or maybe parents are looking for another chance to get some wear out of those costumes that can certainly cost quite a bit of money. I’m going to say that the event itself is the main draw for most families. Growing up in Baton Rouge, I attended this event many times as a child. Being on the other end of the event and helping to facilitate it is like a full-circle journey for me.

This year, Panttdtr-2-copyhellenic collected monetary donations at each trick-or-treat stop for their local philanthropy, Live2Serve. These monetary donations will be used to purchase clothing and toys for children from at-risk families who are not able to provide gifts for their children during the holiday season. This is an ongoing campaign for all of the Panhellenic sororities, and Panhellenic was thrilled to be able to involve families from outside the Greek community.

I think it is certainly safe to say that everyone who participated in Trick-or-Treat Down the Row, from the sorority women and fraternity men, to the families who came out to gather some candy, cannot wait for next Halloween! If your Tiger is a member of a Greek organization, encourage them to get involved with this event next year. If you are from the Baton Rouge area, I highly recommend that you check this event out; the costumes seem to get better and better each year, so start planning now!

Why STRIPES?

IMG_3286Bio: English major, Junior, from Marshall, Texas. Involved in LSU Ambassadors, served as a STRIPES small group leader for 2 years, currently serving on executive staff

STRIPES bio: extended orientation program focusing on history and traditions, spirit, and making students feel more at home and have a more personal or intimate connection with campus and with other future tigers. It stands for Student Tigers Rallying Interacting and Promoting Education and Service.

Take it from someone who heard about STRIPES and said “Ew. That sounds lame.” STRIPES is worth your time. Though I was never a participant at STRIPES, this program has shaped me and changed me more than I can express in 500 words or less. However, this isn’t about me, is it? It’s about you. And how STRIPES can change your life like it changed mine.

S is for spirit.

I don’t necessarily mean cheer camp or fired up spirit. While this program is fun and energetic, it instills a sense of pride for LSU that doesn’t have to be loud and noisy. Whether you’re more introverted or extroverted, there are parts of the program that can show you how sweet it can be to be a tiger.

Just an example, all participants get a little card with the lyrics to the LSU alma mater, and line by line, we sing it together. What a resource. I was mumbling those lyrics for a solid year and a half after football games, and knowing that it said “worth” and not “birth” would have been handy.

T is for tradition.

Did you know that LSU is one of the only universities with a land grant, a sea grant, and a space grant? Did you know that we have the Indian Mounds on campus, a landmark older than the Egyptian pyramids? Did you know that Death Valley started our as a residence hall and somehow was magically converted a football stadium by Governor Huey P. Long?

LSU’s history is full of wild, interesting tidbits, making it a unique university with tons of interesting fun facts. And while I might be a little partial, I think ours are more interesting than any other school in the SEC – two words for you Bama, GEAUX and TIGERS.

But I digress. All of these interesting tidbits are things that I learned from the STRIPES program.

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R is for respect.

There are 30,000 students on this campus and they all come from different walks of life. Aspects of the program focus on getting students to see from the perspectives of others, and to unite the student body. No matter our gender, racial identity, sexuality, political party, or economic class, we’re all tigers. That’s something we can’t forget when starting a new chapter.

I have seen STRIPES give students the pen they needed to keep writing that chapter. Students can leave with a respect not only for their campus, but for the 30,000 beautiful individuals that call it home.

I is for intelligence.

STRIPES works with LSU’s Center for Academic Success and the Olinde Career Center to give students resources to help them succeed for their first semester and beyond. One of my favorites is the Learning Style Preference Assessment, where students are given strategies that are individualized to help them learn to the best to their own ability. Also, students get to see the faces of the workers at those offices, opening doors for them to be unafraid to ask for help.

P is for people.

This is my favorite letter because the people at STRIPES are some of the programs greatest assets. STRIPES has over 60 qualified student leaders that come from every corner of campus. These student leaders take on the role of mentorship for participants, for the program and beyond.

Staff aside, students are put into small groups that go through the program together.   There is something special about watching groups go from painful small talk to camaraderie in four short days. I have no idea how it happens, but somehow I have found every small group I have ever had laughing while eating breakfast without student leaders  having to drive the conversation.

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E is for eats.

Okay, honestly maybe this is my favorite letter. STRIPES is catered by some of Baton Rouge’s best restaurants and caterers – they believe and invest in the program and I thank them from the bottom of my heart and stomach. One new part of the program – GEAUXchella – is a Baton Rouge appreciation festival that will bring in restaurants from the Baton Rouge area to show students that Baton Rouge has cool things for students off of campus as well as on campus.

S is for stories.

Before my freshman year of college, I though STRIPES was lame. Let’s blame that on me being uncomfortable at LSU. Stripes showed me that whether LSU was my first choice (which it wasn’t) or at the bottom of my back-ups (which it was), there was something I could find on campus that would not only make me successful on campus, but make me feel like I belonged in the midst of 30,000 terrifying strangers. While this was comforting as a sophomore, it would have been a real life-saver as a freshman.

Thus ends my plea. As a group leader, I have seen this program do amazing things for students. And it’s my firm belief that it can do that for anyone. As a small group leader, I have met so many people and learned their stories, and those stories have pushed me, inspired me, and given me so much confidence that I am in the right place.

If you’re on the fence, give it a try. You might surprise yourself.

 

LSU Family Association Scholarship Recipient

Untitled3Kat Latham is a Junior mass communication major from New Orleans, LA. She currently serves the university as an LSU Ambassador and a Student Government Senator. Kat has also served as an LSU Orientation Leader, a Parent Orientation Leader and was a recipient of the LSU Family Association Scholarship this year. As an LSU Family Association Scholarship recipient, I was so excited that my family would be get the chance to celebrate my achievement during LSU Family Weekend. On Saturday morning got game day ready and headed to the LSU Family Association Scholarship Breakfast, where I was recognized and awarded for being chosen for the award. This was such a special moment for my family and I as this scholarship represents how my family supports me in my college education. I am incredibly grateful for my family and being awarded this scholarship gave me a way to give back to them and make them proud. We took many pictures to celebrate and then headed to the parade ground for the Family Weekend Tailgate. After enjoying some delicious tailgate food and jamming to the band, we headed to the stadium for the game!Untitled After arriving at the game I immediately had butterflies of excitement in my stomach. I was so excited to get to go on the field before the second quarter to be recognized for my scholarship. With 10 minutes left in the first quarter I headed down to join the other scholarship recipients on the sidelines. I loved the opportunity to be so close to the action on the field and seeing my friends wave to me in the stands was unforgettable. When the end of the quarter came we all got to walk on the field and President Alexander personally shake all of our hands and commended us on our achievement. With a win from our Tigers, an on field recognition, and quality time with my beautiful family, I could not be more grateful for the opportunities I had not only during this weekend, but also every opportunity I have had during my LSU Experience. Family Weekend was a great experience for my whole family and I cannot wait for next year!

From a Bobcat to a Bengal

IMG_5816Meet Paige Elmlinger, a first-year student in the Master’s of Higher Education Administration program. She earned her Bachelors degree in Communication Studies from Ohio University complemented by a Diversity Studies certificate. An Ohio native, Paige has encountered many cultural differences since moving to Louisiana, which has made for quite the experience!

          Growing up in the Buckeye state I thought I knew what football culture was all about. Football in Ohio was witnessing everyone decked out in Scarlet and Grey on Saturdays (or more importantly Green and White, Go Bobcats!) or hoping for the Browns to pull through with a win on Sunday. Then I moved to Louisiana and began attending a SEC school; I quickly realized football isn’t just a past time down here, it is a way of life.

          I had no idea what to expect when it came to Tiger football- an example for you all to understand how unschooled I was, the first few times I read the motto “Geaux Tigers” I thought it was pronounced “Gee-awwx Tigers”. Being an Ohioan I had a lot to learn as a new Southerner. My first LSU game was a success, LSU defeated Sam Houston 56-0 and my day was filled with sun, food, and great friends! To be honest, my favorite part of sports is the social aspect and I was mainly looking forward to the tailgating aspect of Game Day! Ohio tailgating has nothing on LSU- it was a complete culture shock for me. You could not go a few feet across campus without encountering another tailgate. The campus grounds were filled with tents, music, tailgate games, TVs tuned into ESPN, food, and an insane amount of people- it was jaw dropping!
Tailgating is a huge component of Game Day and here are some tips as a newcomer I have for those who have never experienced the SEC:

1. Traffic: Baton Rouge is infamous for their congested traffic and Game Day is no exception. Leave quite early to get onto campus. You may be unable to take your normal route to campus due to road closings in order for law enforcement to ensure a smooth traffic flow. Also carpool with friends because parking is limited!

2.Game Day Attire: I was so stressed over what to wear for Game Day, but it’s a simple as this: wear what you are comfortable in! You will see outfits ranging from LSU t-shirts and jerseys to purple sundresses with cowboy boots! I definitely recommend wearing something cool since you will be tailgating in the Louisiana heat. The most important part of Game Day attire: it is essential to wear purple and gold! Pair your purple and gold with neutrals such a khaki, white or black

3. Drink water: Drink lots of it! The heat can take the energy out of ya and it is important to stay hydrated! You do not want to pass out in Death Valley!

4. Familiarize yourself with LSU traditions: Especially the Garth Brooks song “Callin’ Baton Rouge”. You’re guaranteed to hear this song multiple times throughout the day and every time Louisianans go crazy! Witness the football team walk down Victory Hill and check out the Golden Band from Tigerland.

5. Have fun and embrace the LSU culture: Step out of your comfort zone! Try new tailgate foods such as meat pies or jambalaya. Join in on “Geaux Tigers” cheers. Walk around campus just to people watch and take it all in!

My first SEC football experience was unforgettable and I can’t wait for the remainder of football season! I hope y’all have a better insight of a Northerner in a Southerner’s world!

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Tigers Road to Victory

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I am a junior biology major and football enthusiast who enjoys music, meeting new people, and the south. I am also a member of Phi Mu sorority, LSU Ambassadors, and Co-Chair of Relay For Life of LSU. 

Like many LSU students, I have been rooting for the tigers since I was just a little kid. In fact, my first word was probably “LSU.” There’s nothing quite as exciting as a Saturday night in Death Valley, or so I thought. When I found out the tigers would be playing in Houston, Texas for the opening game of the 2014 season against Wisconsin, I knew I had to take the four hour drive to cheer on my team.

It is safe to say that Baton Rouge took over Houston this weekend, as LSU fans were everywhere, clearly outnumbering Wisconsin fans. When we arrived at Reliant Stadium Saturday afternoon, the tailgating was a little different than the usual sea of purple and gold tents I’ve come to expect on Saturdays, but we made the most of it. I was so anxious; an 8:10 pm kickoff time seemed like an eternity away.10645106_10203629835499674_8537683475902582421_n

          Finally the moment I had been waiting for since December had arrived. LSU fans were in their usual high spirits and positivity as the game began. Wisconsin quickly took the lead, and continued to increase it to 24-7 at the beginning of the third quarter. All hope seemed lost. But if I have learned one thing being a tiger fan all of these years, it is to never give up on the tigers, and especially on the mad hatter, Les Miles. The comeback was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life. After the game the air was filled with chants of “Geaux Tigers” and people in red shaking their head in disbelief. My first away game was definitely one for the books and I can’t wait to experience another one.

Finding Something to Fill That Saturday Night Void: Arts at LSU

 IMG_0420Emily is a junior majoring in English from Metairie, LA. She was heavily involved in theatre throughout her elementary and high school years, but she now mostly opts for a seat in the audience. She still finds multiple ways to keep performing as a hobby, while juggling her involvement in LSU Ambassadors and her job as a campus tour guide. Emily is proud to serve as a Parent Orientation Leader for the college of Art and Design.

 

 

Let’s imagine it’s a Saturday night here at LSU. Most, myself included, immediately find their thoughts drifting to the deafening cheers ringing throughout Tiger Stadium as our football team takes center stage on the field. This image becomes a reality as fall semester rolls in and college football officially begins. Many affiliate football season as the one and only entertainment line up on campus. Of course, there are entertainment seasons outside of football and live music just as thrilling as the Tiger Band that can be found in multiple theatres and venues across campus.IMG_0735

Like football, the arts at LSU are one of the many versatile pieces in the puzzle that make Louisiana State University the flagship university it is. One of my favorite aspects of the arts on campus, especially the performing arts, is its availability to the student population. I grew up performing in theatre and constantly attending shows, so I’ve always been a fan of the arts. I naturally sought out opportunities to see shows on campus, and I first looked into the theatre department. LSU’s theatre department offers an array of performances by students in the department or professional actors, depending on the show. A typical season consists of two categories—LSU Theatre Mainstage and LSU Lab Shows, with special events intertwined during the season.

Many incoming students choose to take a theatre elective to fill their general education arts requirement, and in order to fully immerse themselves in the workings of live theatre, many professors require their students to see a certain number of LSU shows. I didn’t chose to take a theatre elective, but I still frequented the performances. Since so many of my friends were enrolled in Introduction to Theatre, I enjoyed discussing the various shows and sharing opinions on the performances.

The variety of performances during a season are housed in diverse theatres around campus, which include the Shaver Theatre and Lab theatre, both located in the Music and Dramatic Arts building, and the Swine Palace theatre that resides on the east side of campus. Each venue has a unique set up that enhances the performances staged there. Separate from these three theatre department stages stands the beautiful Union Theatre at the center of campus. This theatre is certainly one of my favorite spots on campus, and definitely my favorite performance venue. The state-of-the-art stage has been host to traveling Broadway shows, international ballets, famous comedians, and concerts. When I first found out that a theatre literally within walking distance of my residential hall offered professional Broadway shows at a discounted student rate, the theatre kid inside of me was jumping (or rather, dancing) for joy.

IMG_0459Many my favorite memories at LSU include soaking in the performing arts in the Union Theatre. I have had so many wonderful experiences as an audience member for symphonies, musical theatre class review, LSU Musical Theatre Club’s production of “Grease”, my favorite Disney musical “Beauty and the Beast”, and a Las Vegas Beatles Tribute entitled “Yesterday”. The variety of both amateur and professional shows hosted in this theatre offer a unique and inexpensive way for students to take advantage of one aspect of the arts on campus.

 Just as I discovered the wonders of Broadway touring shows making their way on campus, I encourage all students to reach out and discover what is going on in the world of LSU arts. I was only able to cover a small fraction of the typical theatre happenings at LSU, but there is so much more out there! If there is one thing I want my readers to gain from this post, it would be to keep your eyes open for traveling shows, art gallery specials, poetry readings, band concerts, or anything at all in the arts that piques your interest!

 

Football may last a season, but on-campus live entertainment is year-round. Find something to fill that Saturday night void.