1. When your DWC professor gives the essay ahead of time.
2. When the line at Dunkin Donuts goes past the bookstore.
3. When you go to bed before 2am.
4. When classmates brag about how easy the final was.
5. When you attend a study session and know all the answers.
6. When you find an open seat in Club Phil.
7. When you start talking about the final with other students in the class and you realize you did not get the same answers.
8. When the highlight of your day is the free food from BOP’s study breaks.
9. When you walk out of your last final.
Best of luck with finals! Love, OAS
1. When your DWC professor gives the essay ahead of time. 2. When the line at Dunkin Donuts goes past... MORE
GUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18
Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m a sophomore English major and am currently living the suite-life on campus (pun intended). I am a news co-editor on The Cowl and love writing stories about what’s going on around PC. I’ve also volunteered with campus ministry and love getting involved on campus. College life can be crazy, but chicken nugget Thursdays, Friday night hockey games, and PC friends make it all worth it!
As my friends and I walked into Friar Ball, decked out in brand new dresses and painful yet beautiful heels, we were excited. All the upperclassmen we had talked to said the night was going to be one of best nights of our whole college career—no pressure there. Peterson was filled with hundreds of students, many of whom I had come to know in class or meeting through a club or even just saying ‘hi’ in the hallway. And while the night was a great night to spend time with my friends before they went home for the summer or traveled abroad, it also reminded me that in five weeks I was going to be halfway done with my college career.
It seems like only yesterday that I was struggling to read the RIPTA schedule, freaked out to walk around campus by myself, and always forgetting that Ray closes at 6:30 on the weekends and then being forced to walk to Alumni. In two years, I have become friends with people from all over the country (well, mostly the East Coast), joined different clubs, and explored a new city. As I got a little nostalgic and thought about my short journey at PC, I couldn’t help think of my experience at the Writing Center. Before I was a tutor helping with thesis statements and comma abuses, I was the one being tutored.
As a freshman I was intimidated by my professors and scared to write my first paper—what if these professors wanted something completely different than what I wrote in high school? Within the first month of school, I made an appointment for the Writing Center to get some help.
Going into a tutoring session can be nerve-wracking. What if my essay was terrible? What if I had a mean tutor? What if I couldn’t even find the Writing Center? I was already psyching myself out before the session started. Ali, then a junior writing tutor, ended up looking over my paper. I sat quietly as she looked everything over, not sure what to do in that awkward waiting time and internally cringing every time she made a mark. When she put her pen down, I was expecting the worst.
But the worst never came. Ali first pointed out what was great about my essay—my strong thesis and detailed examples. But we also talked about what could be improved. I needed to add a little more to my conclusion so it wasn’t just repeating my thesis. Yes, I was nervous throughout the whole session and probably didn’t take a calming breath until I left the library doors. But later I reflected on everything that happened and realized that it was really not a bad experience and was actually really helpful. I used the Writing Center for the rest of semester and had good, unique experiences with many different tutors.
Getting any critique can be difficult, especially by people you go to class with or see around campus. But lots of the tutors, like myself, were in your same exact spot. And before we were tutors, we were students. We have all been critiqued by professors or have struggled with a class or assignment. Coming into the Writing Center can be intimidating, scary, or just simply something new. But always remember that as tutors we are on your side and here to help you put the pieces together. And who knows—in time you might find your role has been reversed.
GUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18 Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m... MORE
GUEST BLOGGER: JENNY GILLIGAN, ’18
Hey Fellow Friars! My name is Jenny Gilligan, and I am from South Windsor, Connecticut. I am a sophomore here at Providence College, with a major in Finance and minor in Spanish. Unfortunately, being a declared major does not correlate to having any clue what career path you aspire to follow. I am a first year tutor in OAS, tutoring Economics, Calculus, and Spanish, and am very excited to learn a lot from working as a tutor! I play on PC’s first ever club lacrosse team, and also participate in campus ministry. I look forward to getting more involved in the PC community as a Sophomore, because anyone that know me will tell you, I am very proud to be a friar.
If your anything like I was as a freshmen, you may have been so excited for all things college, that you may have failed to acknowledge that no matter how well you adjusted to college life, it would still be just that; an adjustment. Even though I had seen my four older sisters go through the adjustment to college, there were certain things I wished they had told me. So here are a few of the most valuable lessons I learned throughout my first year at Providence College.
1. Office hours are not scary
I remember being terrified that if I went to office hours I would ask all the wrong questions, or the professor would have no desire to talk to me and be totally un-helpful. This is a huge myth. If you do anything, go to office hours. At the very least your professor will be impressed that you showed up as soon as you had a problem. Trust me, initiative is rewarded.
2. College is NOT the era of Netflix
Most likely, you have friends like mine that told you how much Netflix they watched their freshman year. Well this may be true, it doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, true for you. Luckily, I learned this was not my reality pretty quickly. Long hours in the Library are unavoidable, but are a lot more bearable when you know you are leaving to go hangout with your friends, or at least watch Netflix with your friends. College is going to be so much more enjoyable with a great group of friends to rely on, so shut your laptop, turn of Friends, and go make some Friends. It’s not as hard as you may think.
3. Using a tutor does not make you stupid
I guarantee you at some point this year you will have a subject, or a concept, that may not come as easily to you. Luckily, you’re at Providence College and have helpful resources all around. Don’t be embarrassed to use a tutor, because chances are you’re tutor has used a tutor in the Office of Academic Services at least once. I’ve learned that there is no greater help than a student who went through that very same class and had the very same questions. If you’re downstairs in the library struggling with you’re work, do your self a favor, walk upstairs and make an appointment. You’ll thank me later!
4. You may not be as busy as you think you are
Yes you have a lot of homework. But yes, you have for time for that one club you really wanted to join even though it meets twice a week, and yes, you do have time for church. Maybe the girls on your floor aren’t going to be your best friends, but that one girl you sit next to every meeting will be. You never know, so get involved! You won’t regret it! Maybe you went to church every weekend at home, or maybe you didn’t. But if it is 10 o’clock in a Sunday night, your just finished your work and you are choosing between that episode of Orange is The New Black, and going to 10:30 mass, the answer is always mass. It’s the perfect way to let go of the stress of one week, and energize for the next. Always avoid excuses!
5. Call your mother
Yes, she probably will ask you when the last time you washed your sheets was, or when the last time you went to church was, but she also may have some good advice. Having a small roommate problem? Chances are, she had those in college too, and she also knows everything about you, especially your most annoying traits. Meaning, she will tell you if you’re being unrealistic and need to quickly change your ways. Or maybe you have a sore throat and are avoiding solving the problem because you don’t know where health services is; you’re mom will tell you to get down there within the next hour, and you will listen. You’re mom is your biggest supporter, and you’re toughest critic. College requires both.
GUEST BLOGGER: JENNY GILLIGAN, ’18 Hey Fellow Friars! My name is Jenny Gilligan, and I am from South Windsor, Connecticut.... MORE
GUEST BLOGGER: SARAH A. O’BRIEN ’15
Sarah is a Creative Writing major and Studio Art minor who will be graduating this May. She has been a Writing Tutor for the past three years, and helped to found the Writing Center’s Fiction Roundtable. Sarah serves as Managing Editor of PC’s literary journal, The Alembic. Her work has appeared in Every Day Poems, Snapping Twig, The Screech Owl, Copley Hall of Art, and is forthcoming in Hunt-Cavanagh Gallery. She loves wordplay, photography, and travel.
I like to think that I learned a thing or two during my four years as a Friar. Here’s what I would say to my freshman-year self. Since my time machine is broken, feel free to take my advice and use it to enhance your experiences at Providence College.
Dear Bright-Eyed-Freshman Sarah,
Look at you, finishing your first year of COLLEGE. Go friars. Now lie out on the quad with your LaSalle snickerdoodle coffee and listen carefully to these words of wisdom from your senior citizen self:
1. The Writing Center is the best place on campus.
Maybe I’m exaggerating. Then again, maybe not. This is the place where you will learn that helping students improve their writing is a passion of yours, and where you’ll meet amazing friends. Tell everyone you know to take advantage of this convenient peer-tutoring service.2. Do. Not. Take. Two. English. Seminars. At. Once.
You’re going to think that you can handle two 400-level English seminars, on top of Civ and two studio art courses. Calm down. Somehow, you’ll end up surviving a 48-hour essay-writing marathon, but please, try to avoid this at all costs.
3. Studying abroad is worth every penny. And then some.
One of your most amazing experiences will be living in Florence, Italy in fall of junior year. Can’t afford your next meal? Don’t worry; some Italians will probably treat you to dinner. Do not be afraid to travel alone either—your solo adventures in Munich and Paris will be especially memorable.
4. Spend time with people who give you support and respect.
And just forget about those who don’t. Your true friends will be there for you when you need them. Also, don’t date anyone who doesn’t make you laugh or feel loved. You deserve the best so do not settle.
5. Party sober.
You’ll often go out sober, and sometimes you’ll even go out on your own. Guess what? Nobody notices or cares. Just be safe and have fun. When you do drink, don’t drink to get wasted. (You’re clumsy enough as it is.)
6. Ignore the haters.
Some people will question your decision to shave your head at the Relay for Life. Shake it off Swift-style and embrace the badass baldness; you won’t regret it. Along the same lines, never apologize for what you choose to wear and don’t compromise who you are for anyone.
7. Alternative Spring Break is a must.
You will get the opportunity to travel to Lima, Peru for spring break of sophomore year. Although very different from your freshman year alternative spring break trip to Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic, this week of volunteering will be just as life changing. You’ll be reminded to count your blessings.
8. Don’t leave your stuff unattended in the library. Or anywhere.
You will be lulled into a sense of security and trust within the PC campus bubble. Don’t be fooled. Your laptop will get stolen in the midst of finals week.
9. Take the C, go to office hours, and get involved.
A senior in the chapel basement will give you this advice. He will say that sometimes an event is worth prioritizing, even if that means “taking the C” on an exam or assignment. He’ll tell you to get to know your professors, since they want to know you. (Take a course with these gems: Chard deNiord, Dzvinia Orlowsky, Dr. Russell Hillier, Dr. Peter Costello, Heather McPherson, Dr. Eve Veliz, and Alison Espach.) Also, join campus clubs! Don’t get discouraged when certain groups reject you—you’ll find your niche.
10. Show Friar Pride.
Go to as many home games as you can. Be loud and proud. #ForeverAFriar
GUEST BLOGGER: SARAH A. O’BRIEN ’15 Sarah is a Creative Writing major and Studio Art minor who will be graduating... MORE
GUEST BLOGGER: CHRISTINA PERRI
Hello Friartown! My name is Christina Perri, and I am a junior from Long Island, New York. I am a biology and psychology double major with a minor in neuroscience, and a member of the Liberal Arts Honors Program. I work in the OAS Tutoring Center primarily as a CIV tutor, and I dabble in other subjects as needed. When I’m not in class, lab, or OAS, I can be found singing with Schola Cantorum, playing the flute with Symphonic Winds, arguing with the Debate Society or writing articles for the psychology newsletter, Analyze This. Check in with me at PC Smartypants for tips and tricks for college success!
I’d like to offer a huge “Congratulations!” to all the first years. Way to go—you survived your first semester of college! You survived your first semester of DWC! You came, saw, and conquered, and now you’re ready for another semester at PC.
The jump from fall semester to spring semester can be especially rough for first years. Many of you have transitioned from taking four classes to taking five. While it may not seem like a huge difference, the extra three hours of class and consequent extra six hours of homework (as per Undergraduate Catalog recommendations) quickly eat into the free time you enjoyed last semester—or worse, the time you used doing homework for those other four classes. Many of you may also have transitioned out of introductory classes into higher level work. It can very easy to coast by in some first semester classes if you have a background in AP classes—the material is a review, so the homework moves faster and there is less investment in studying before exams. But when you are suddenly confronted with new material in a college setting, it can be overwhelming.
This is the point in your life where, if it hasn’t already, time management becomes really important. With more of your time beholden to a schedule and more things you need to do in your unscheduled time, it becomes harder to send your homework into the impenetrable ether of “later.” I don’t mean to say you need to have every second of every day accounted for, but for those of you who are not accustomed to planning ahead, there’s no time like the present to start. Get a calendar. Get a planner. Write a To-Do list. Having even a general sense of what you need to have accomplished and when puts you in a better position to tackle the extra work—or the new work—you have taken on.
Finally, include something “for you” every day. I know that I’m tempted to stay locked in my apartment all day if I have a lot of work to do, but it’s just as important to have some fun too. Balance is key—use this spring to figure out what balance works for you.
GUEST BLOGGER: CHRISTINA PERRI Hello Friartown! My name is Christina Perri, and I am a junior from Long Island, New... MORE