Little Pumpkins

Although I’ve been taking advantage of off-campus Halloween related events, I’ve realized over the past few weeks that the University itself has so much going on for this spooky time of year.


This past Sunday was the college’s annual Safe Trick or Treat that takes place in the DeNaples Center and Residence Halls on campus. Children from local agencies such as Friends of the Poor and United Neighborhood Centers, are escorted by students through dorm halls collecting candy from room to room, giving them an opportunity to, you guessed it, trick or treat in a safe environment. After the kids collect their candy, the day is filled with games, crafts and plenty of fun activities. Seeing a bunch of toddlers dressed up in adorable Halloween costumes trotting around campus was a fun way to start off the morning.

While I was walking to dinner last night, I noticed quite a few students holding pumpkins. One of the student clubs is currently hosting a pumpkin carving contest! Tomorrow afternoon, first, second and third place winners will be picked all earning a prize of a different amount of flex money. (Flex dollars are amounts of money on your Royal card used specifically for the campus stores and food court). If only I was artistic enough for this!


Although October is undoubtedly a fun-filled month, it sadly cannot take away from the dreaded college assignments. I’ve noticed, more so this month than the past two, that distractions are inescapable! I love being with my friends but lately I have definitely had to hide myself away in the library to finish my work efficiently. But one thing I have kept in mind since I’ve been in school is this; it’s okay to say no! It is completely okay to tell your friends you can’t hang out because of that 5 page paper you need to start or that exam you have tomorrow morning. It is fine to complete homework by yourself and it is absolutely normal to want some quiet alone time. While you might think you’re the only student who feels this way, you’re not! I say this now because this is one of the first instances of having a constant flow of excitement surrounding me. (If it’s like this for Halloween I can only imagine Christmastime! But I won’t jump ahead)

On that note, back to the essay I need to write! Have a great week and Happy Halloween 🙂



Reaper’s Revenge and Room Decorations

Unfortunately, due to some technical difficulties I was unable to post this on Wednesday, but thankfully I had the post saved and ready to go!

October is in full swing!

Last Friday was a little more exciting than usual here in Scranton. And by exciting, I mean adrenaline filled, thrilling, exhilarating, and some might say, scary! My friends and I decided to take a ride about 15 minutes away from campus to the haunted attraction known as Reaper’s Revenge.

Reaper’s Revenge consists of a 2 haunted hayrides that transport its passengers to three destinations: a Lost Carnival, the maze of Pitch Black, and lastly, Sector 13. For a good description of these 4 regions check out the website!

Although we were on line for about 2 hours, the hour and a half experience proved it was worth the wait. What makes Reaper’s Revenge such a uniquely spooky adventure is that fact that it doesn’t consist of automated machines and cliché Halloween scare tactics and scenarios. The staff members for this attraction work hard to train real actors and actresses to play the roles of evil clowns, sideshow freaks, gruesome zombies, ravenous cannibals, and so much more as you see when walking through each setting. These characters surround you as the hayride makes its stops through the creepy trail, allowing anything and anyone to hop on the cart. I can’t say I recall the last time I experienced something like this, or even the last time I sat on a hayride, but I know I’ll never forget Reaper’s Revenge! It really put me and my friends in the Halloween spirit.
Me and my friends waiting on line!10698697_10205180160368679_984939331705468126_n

The Halloween activities continued on Sunday with a floor program planned by my Residence Assistants (RAs). This floor program was devoted to decorating the hallway and our doors with fake spider web, pumpkin cut outs, black garland and pretty much any other Halloween décor you can think of! Here’s a picture of one side of the hall.

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Floor programs are always a blast. I honestly love the girls on my floor and we all get along so well. We’re always taking advantage of opportunities to do activities together! One of our next programs I believe is going to be a Pinterest Program where we all talk about more dorm decorating, snack recipes, craft ideas etc, that we, of course, find on Pinterest.

Hope this post made you excited for Halloween as much as it made me! 🙂 And since the holiday is on a Friday this year, get ready for a whole weekend filled with candy, scares and costumes!


Back From Fall Break

Here I am all settled in once again after being home for four days during fall break; I have to admit, it feels good to be back! Although, in a way, it feels like I never left. Fall break definitely crept up on me; the semester is FLYING by. It needs to slow down! Before I know it, Thanksgiving break will be right around the corner.

Like many other freshmen would say, there are a number of nice things about being home, especially for the first time: sleeping in your own bed, being greeted by your pet, having a home cooked meal, enjoying alone time and being able to tell family and friends all about your college experience thus far. Similar to how I feel about being back in my dorm, when I was home it felt like I had still been living there for the past 2 months (except for the fact my room was much cleaner than it usually when I was actually there every day!). Although I absolutely love being at school and living on campus, after being back in Wayne I’ve realized nothing can ever replace my home. But Scranton has truly become my home away from home.

When I was in the car this morning, I couldn’t help but remember that the last time I was making this drive was back on August 23rd. I recalled the myriad of emotions I felt that day: the nerves, the excitement, the inability to realize I was finally going to college! I thought about going to the diner that day with my parents and talking about all the move-in plans. Comparing that to the ride this morning, I had no nerves, no worries. I knew exactly where I was going and what I should expect. I was excited, but not quite for the same reasons. I was excited to see my roommate, floor mates, class friends, the campus! It’s crazy to think that on August 23rd I had no idea what Scranton had in store for me. Now I know so much and am always learning more.

Hope you all have a great rest of the week! (I know I will being that I only have 3 days of classes…but who’s counting? 🙂 )


Writing Truly Frees

About a week or two ago, when I was walking down my dorm hall and passed the giant bulletin board (usually publicizing events, retreats, etc), a purple poster caught my eye. It was titled “Stories From Inside Prison: Formerly Incarcerated Youth Share Their Life Stories and Poetry!”. Sounded pretty interesting to me! And between getting settled in, handling schoolwork and a cappella practice, I haven’t been to too many events on campus; I thought this would be a good one to start with.

So last Wednesday night my floor mate and I made our way over to LSC. Running the lecture/poetry reading was a group called Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop. Free Minds is a book club that introduces reading and writing to young inmates in hopes that it will positively change the way these individuals express themselves. When these men, some being in jail at an age as young as 14, joined the club, they started reading an array short stories, novels, and poetry. Soon after, many of them began writing their own poetry: poetry that described their experiences and feelings toward incarcerated life. They found freedom in writing and saw it as a meaningful way to spend their time. But the goal of Free Minds doesn’t end in the D.C Jail; Free Minds works with these men even after incarceration by helping them find jobs, go back to school, and reach the goals they never thought possible. At the event, about 5 or 6 members of group came and spoke about their lives, from before, during and after prison. You can check out some of poetry written by members of the club on the Free Minds website!

Being a writing enthusiast, it was really amazing to see how writing impacted the lives of these men. There is something that is so therapeutic about putting words on paper and being able to get rid of all the little thoughts that are bugging you. So I definitely enjoyed this presentation!

After talking about that event in detail, I try to keep this short! On Saturday afternoon I attended the Red Flag Football tournament since Men and Women for Octaves sang the national anthem, which you can check out here:

The flag football tournament was an event used to promote awareness for sexual assault and dating abuse. There were representatives from the Women’s Center running the tournament including one who read a poem she wrote about an abusive relationship. Although I wasn’t participating in the games, my friend Alex told me he had a lot of fun! I’ll definitely be on the look out for more events like this. It was a great way to bring attention to an unfortunate, but prevalent, social issues.

Weeks like this remind me that there really is always something going on at the U, and I know I’ll be attending different types of events in the future.

Hope you all have a great rest of the week! 🙂 And students, enjoy fall break!


Noticing the Little Things

Evenings and sunsets here are too beautiful.

Whether I’m on my way to my friend’s dorm, the DeNaples Center, or the library, night or day I can’t seem to get over the scenery on campus, even on grayer days. (Wow I must really sound like a freshman now…)

The bottom picture was actually taken last night when I was on my way to the library. The other is from before dinner over the weekend.
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I think one of my favorite aspects of being in college is that there are so many spots and places to hang out or do homework. I’m definitely a big fan of getting my schoolwork done in the library (sounds stereotypical I know). But the Weinberg Memorial Library is a glorious place for homework! With five floors total, each one gets progressively quieter and quieter. Even sneezing on the fifth floor is considered noisy!

But as I’m writing this blog I’m in, not the library, but one of the sophisticated yet fun, study rooms in LSC (Loyola Science Center)! LSC is one of the newer buildings we have on campus and is the home to, you guessed it, many science and mathematics majors. It is a beautifully designed building: including 5 floors filled with laboratories, classrooms, study rooms, with great views and plenty of space for just hanging out. What’s also cool about this building is that it is FILLED with clear glass boards and walls that students are allowed to write on. There’s always been something enticing about those clear boards to me, so as you can see I definitely took advantage of this when I was planning a paper for my English class!
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The first and second floor of the DeNaples Center are also a favorite spot of mine. Being able to grab a drink and plopping myself at one of the high tables or couches is so relaxing. There is a ton of seating so it’s definitely a nice place to spend time with friends after dinner or between classes. But I can’t forget about all the gorgeous bench and table areas outside, such as the Rose Garden, or the Dionne Greene. I’m hoping to spend some more time in these areas while the weather is still nice before winter creeps up on us.

While this might not seem like the most exciting post, I must say I’ve really been taking advantage of all the spots on campus! Relaxing in my dorm is always nice, but having so many other places, in walking distance, to relax in is a small part of college that I’ve noticed I really love! Hope you all have a good week and a great start to October! 🙂