Megan

About Megan

Freshman

GSIS Global Business

Major: Global Security and Intelligence and Global Business
Hometown: Renton, Washington
Research: Can’t wait to get started
Activities: Sorority Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Alpha, Swimming, Hiking/Exploring
Favorite Class: Introduction to Global Security and Intelligence
Favorite thing to do in Prescott: Explore downtown and hike
In my free time I… like to go swimming, spend time with my friends, craft, watch Netflix, and explore the great outdoors

Alternative Spring Break- Mexico Addition

Spring breaks in college have a stigma that they involve partying and going crazy, but let me tell you, there are alternatives. This past spring break I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico and volunteer my time. I went with Chi Alpha, which is one of the clubs on campus that I am involved in, and it was amazing!

Meixo Girls

We left on Friday after classes finished and drove down to San Luis Mexico, which is right under Yuma. It was a five-hour drive filled with ice cream, singing, and friends. When we crossed the border, the first thing we did was meet up with the group at the best taco stand. Then we continued on to the boy’s home where we would be staying.

Meixo Tacos

The next morning we had breakfast then split our group (we had around 30 people), some went to build roofs on people’s homes, and others went to host a carnival at a soup kitchen. I went and helped host the carnival. We got to sing with the kids, put on a skit, and have games for them to play! After that, we went back for lunch. After lunch had a water fight with the boys at the orphanage and then went to go give beans to people whom could not leave there homes. During that after noon, I saw extreme poverty and some people who were struggling with hard things but they had a hopeful outlook and joy about life. And it has a way of reconsidering your situation.

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On Sunday, I got up early to watch the sunrise then I was off to Church. This year I had the opportunity to share a little bit of my testimony at Church, which was an amazing experience, and something I will never forget. After church we went back, some went to finish roofs, and others handed out the rest of the beans at the poorest part of town. In the evening, we had a fiesta with the boys at the home and served them ice cream. After that, our team went out for those amazing tacos again.

Mexico Sunrise

Monday we packed up and headed home. Before crossing the border my car stopped and got some fresh tortillas and juice boxes to help the borderline go faster. We even ended up pushing the car in the line to save gas and help it not overheat. By 5 pm I was back in my hall on campus which the rest of spring break in front of me.

Mexico Reagan

Even though I did not have a tradition spring break or the opportunity to go home I had the opportunity to give myself and my heart away which means more to me than I can explain with words. So just know, spring break does not have to be a constant party it can be many other things too. Spring break is for you, so don’t get trapped in the mindset that other people try to portray it to be.

Havasupai- A Pinterest Dream

So I don’t know if any of you love Pinterest, but I sure do. And in the past year Havasupai and the beautiful waterfalls there keep popping up. Well over spring break I had to the opportunity to fulfill all my Pinterest dreams and see them! Now they are just as beautiful as you think but there is one part of seeing them that nobody seems to talk about, the 12-mile hike in. There are other ways to get down to see them such as mule and helicopter but that is going to add quite a bit of money to your trips.

 

12 miles in and 12 miles out with all the clothing, food, and sleeping gear you will need can seem a little daunting and it is, but it is worth it. Seeing the beautiful scenery and having very little people around helps create a breath taking view. Now this hike is not for new hikers and people who are not prepared, but it is one worth training for. And there are some of the beautiful reasons why.

Supai village

  • You get to sleep on the edge of a waterfall and next to a river!

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  • The pictures are pretty crazy

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  • You will hike more than 30 miles in 3 days and that’s really cool

Supai sign

  • The water is beyond amazing

Supai Jumping

  • You can join the few people who have conquered Havasupai Supai MooneySupai Water

A Letter From Your RA

Dear Residents/Soon-to-be-Residents.

Hi! I am that seemingly scary older student that said “Hello” to you on move in day, I am the person who can get you into trouble for being too loud, but I am also one of the best resources at your disposal while you live on campus. I have been trained in how to get someone to fix your toilet, get your cloths out of a broken washer, and who to point you to when you need help with class. Nevertheless, I am also here to be a listening ear, help you feel safe on the floor, and solve most all problems you have, whether they are emotional, with your roommate, or family. I know it might seem scary when you see me walking up the stairs or in the dining hall but I am not your enemy. Sure, there will be times that you fail your health and safety inspections (HSI) or are written up for being loud during twenty-four hour quite hours, and yes those times are awkward. But they are to help you grow. Failing your HSI is no fun and I do come back, but it is better to learn that the pink stuff at the bottom of your shower is not left over shampoo and your toilet is not supposed to look like that. And being written up is frustrating I admit it, but learning to be studious and respect the needs of the others around you is a lesson that you will never forget.

Speaking of things you will never forget RA programs, no, they are not mandatory, but yes, they are highly recommended. Programs hosted by RAs are not always informational, and most of the time you get free food. Your RA loves it when you come to their programs and it’s even better when you bring friends to share in the fun with. The point of programs are residents. Food for the residents, games for the residents, all in hopes to build a community where people know their neighbors and floor mates. I get it they can be awkward but try them you might be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

I am a big supporter in getting to know your RA, even if that means just saying “Hi” on your way to class, but it is really up to you. You can talk to your RA or not. You can go to class or not. You get to decided what your year looks like, take every advantage to make it great, because college is short and your time living on campus and with that community is even shorter.

Best Wishes,

Your RA

Lets Talk About the “Riddle Ratio”

Let’s talk about the “riddle ratio”, I am sure if you were like me looking at this school the “riddle ratio” freaks you out just a tad which is okay. To start off, if you do not know what the “riddle ratio” is, it explains the number of male to female students at Riddle. Currently at Riddle the population is around 25% female and 75% male, vastly different from most universities what are 50% male and 50% female. At Riddle, the students have adapted a term to address the gender difference and that my friend is the “riddle ratio”.

I want to be honest with you all; the “riddle ration” is a thing. Your floor freshman year might have one other suite of girls with four others being male, and a few classes might only have two girls in them. But take it from,it’s not bad. Yes you receive a lot of male attention, especially the first few weeks of school, but you gain so much more.

Being surrounded by males most of the time gives you some amazing things.

  1. You will make amazing girlfriends. And there is a strong community  around campus
  2. You will gain so many brothers. Once the boys realize you won’t date them, they turn into brother and have your best interest at heart, and you can always count on them
  3. You will barely ever open the door to the library or dining hall for yourself. People are really polite and considerate, and it will become normal to you really fast, and when you go back home and people don’t do open the door for you it will seem strange
  4. You forget that mostly males surround you. It starts to feel normal and you won’t realize until you go home for break and see girls all over the place.

Now this is my experience and everyone has their own, but being at Riddle has given me so many guys that turned into brothers, some of the best friends I could ask for, and such a unique and special culture that is is weird to go home. Although a large gender gap can be scary don’t let it turn you away from an amazing school because you are scared!

 

Organization Anyone?

Organization anyone? Being in the midst of midterms, clubs going crazy, and it almost being spring break life is pretty hectic. The way I combat the stress of life is by staying organized. I believe that everything has a place and that everything should be in its place. So I have a few helpful hints to keep the stress down and the productivity high.

  • Planners. Live by them. This can be in a physical planner or a phone calendar, either way they are great ways to keep track of meetings, tests, and due dates. Personally, I have a physical planner, a desk calendar for events, and a wall calendar for important things such as birthdays.20170222_123305
  • Keep a binder or folders for all past and current assignments. Your never know when you will need to look back on an assignment or pass it off to someone else. Avoid papers cluttering your desk, backpack, and keep them ordered by date and time.
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  • Color-coding. I am a firm believer in this. Every class, club, responsibility has a color and it is easy to see quickly what is coming and needs to be done.20170222_123247

 

These are a few things that work for me, and they might not work for everybody. If you can find a way to remove the excess clutter from your life you just might see a reduction of stress in your life.

Student Health or “Student Death”

Being sick sucks. Being sick is college might be even worse. The first time I got sick at college was last year with a cold. At home, my mom would make sure that I taken car of, comfortable, had medicine, and I also felt like I was in good hands. Then all of a sudden you’re at school and it’s just you. Instead of your mom checking in on you it’s your roommates, you call your parents to  be diagnosed over the phone (yes this has happened more than once, Thanks mom!), and then give money to friends to go pick you up medicine.

If you get really sick, or have been sick for a while there is the wellness center. My family had always joked and called the wellness center (the on campus doctors office) student death, because you only go in when you are really sick. This past week I had my first experience at the wellness center. I scheduled an appointment and went for it. When I arrived, the office was really nice, and the nurse who checked me in made me feel a really comfortable. I think the best part was that I was in the wellness center for maybe 15 minutes. I checked in, talked to the nurse, then the doctor, then was free to leave. It was easy and painless.

Being sick in college is an adjustment and it can feel very lonely. But you are not alone. There are resources around campus such as the wellness center, and the housing department that can help you both get better and talk to your professors to help give you time to heal. Also take advantage of your community. They will be there to grab you food or medicine, because they know you would return the favor. Although it’s not your comfy couch at home with your mom taking care of you, being sick at school is not as hard as you think it will be. Because let’s be honest, everyone gets sick.

3 day weekends= Freedom!

A three-day weekend to college students is the equivalent of Halloween for children! It is a beautiful time where school stress diminishes (until late the night before classes) and you are free to have fun and play. I don’t know about everyone else, but being at school with all my friends minus the actual study part is one of my favorite things. Don’t get me wrong classes are interesting, but the unique freedom that comes when it’s a three day weekend is one for the books. As usual, I fled town, with some of my favorite people. I drove up to Moab Utah with my friends to play at Arches and Canyonlands National Park for the weekend.

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The fifteen or more hours in the car for the weekend were well worth it. We played in the snow, had a bouncy castle in our hotel, and saw some breathe taking arches!

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Sunday we ventured up to Canyonlands, which happened to be in a cloud. We tried two view points and could not outrun the fog so head back to Arches National Park where we got to play some more.

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Being able to get in the car and drive to Utah on a weekend is one thing that I never thought was possible before college but now it is a common occurrence in my life. The National Parks and amazing opportunities that surround Prescott and Arizona as a whole are amazing and a great bonus to riddle. Now don’t worry, if driving 6 hours to Utah to look at some arches is not your thing that is okay, there are hundreds of others things to do on a three day weekend. Some binge watch Netflix (gotta catch up on the shows you don’t have time for during the week), some go to Phoenix, and others mess around on campus. No matter what you are doing three day weekends are always a memorable time and something college kids live for!

你好! Lets Talk Chinese!

你好!Hi everyone! Sorry it has been so long since I have posted but it has been crazy with finals, break, and the start of a new semester. A lot of what has made life crazy for me has been learning Chinese. As a Global Security and Intelligence (GSIS) student, I am required to take four semesters of a language. Riddle offers four different languages; Chinese, Arabic, Russian, and Spanish. I chose Mandarin, the reason for this is because I have always been interested in China and the US interest that are there so for me it was an easy choice!.

I started Mandarin this past fall on the regular track; the regular track is four semester of one class each semester at 3 credits. We have a fast track, which are 6 credits of language a semester then other Chinese classes on top of that. I opted for the regular track because as a freshman, I was not willing to commit my life to Chinese, it felt kind of like a marriage, and I was not ready for it. The regular Mandarin tracks Professor is Professor Chen, she is absolutely wonderful. She makes tackling this difficult language manageable and fun. Just this past week at our first class of the semester she said she had three questions we needed to answer, she said the questions in Chinese and waited for a response. For a particularly uncomfortable five minutes, my ten-person class just looked at each other and at her. She finally broke the silence with a laugh, said, “it has been a long break I see”, and helped us dissect what she had said. Although those five minutes (honestly it was most likely way shorter than that is just felt like five minutes) were uncomfortable she still made the class fun and helped us to feel more comfortable and able to make mistakes.

For me a typical day in Mandarin includes…

  • Going through chapter dialogue
  • Listening practice (work book or the chapter dialogue)
  • Speaking practice (vocab, workbook, really anything)
  • Sometimes writing practice

 

This is one of the most interactive classes I have ever been part of. The environment fostered in the classroom makes it okay to make mistakes and learn from others. We do a lot of speaking and listening in class to work on pronunciation, while the writing and character work is done mostly at home and turned in as homework. We learn around 50 words every three weeks with around a quiz a week and daily homework, but it helps. This is one of those classes that will teach you how to study but I can almost guarantee it will make you a better student, it surely has for me. Although the workload can sometimes feel like a lot, I have learned so much in just a semester and am looking forward to continuing. So if you are a GSIS student (or soon to be) don’t shy away from Mandarin, it is hard but the work is worth it.

Thanksgiving 1,354 miles from home

Happy Holidays! Since Thanksgiving just past, and more holidays are quickly approaching, I thought I would talk about spending my second Thanksgiving 1,354 miles from home. Let me start-off by saying it is not as bad as you might think. Some people go home, some go to friends houses, and other stay out with friends, but a lot of people decide to stay in town because the break is short.

Last year for Thanksgiving, some of my friends who stayed in Prescott and I went to my grandparents in Tucson. This year my friends who stayed in town and I had a Friendsgiving. At Friendsgiving, we made dinner, played some games, laid on the floor, and fought like siblings. Just like any normal Thanksgiving. Eight of my closest friends gathered into a house and tried our hands at a family Thanksgiving (secret… it is harder than you think; thank your parents…ALOT!).

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The day started with people in the kitchen while others watched the parade, then progressed into games around the appetizers, then dinner which made everyone so full they laid on the floor in a food coma, then we did dishes and had dessert.

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Although it was not like Thanksgiving at home, it was one for the books. Our first Thanksgiving dinner made by ourselves, surrounded by people who love you, is one of the biggest blessings. So, if you are considering moving far away from home and know you won’t be able to go home for Thanksgiving, or other holidays, just know that you will not be alone. Other people will be in your boat and you will have friends to celebrate with. It makes a classic family holiday new again with a new family to celebrate with, many blessings to be thankful for, and possibly a new tradition formed.

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College is what you make it, so make the most of it

College looks different for everyone. Some people are at big schools others are at small, some are engineers while others are GSIS students, but we are all trying to optimize the time that we have in college. Whether we like it or not our undergraduate career is generally eight semesters, sometimes ten, but that is it, it basically boils down to 4-5 years. On the outside looking in, it seems like a long time, a lot of tests, and studying, and it is, but it is also so much more. College is a time to be yourself, grow, find out what you want to do with your life, and make it your own. School will always come first but college is much more than the lessons you learn in a fifty-minute class or on a homework assignment. It’s about the roommate conflicts, the late night coffee runs, and the spontaneous adventures to the dells at one in the morning. The long talks with new friends and letting go of old ones, learning to do your own laundry and time management, and everything in-between. But that is the beauty of it.

For me college is…

Friends who will always study with me

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School spirit

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Giving back

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Adventure

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Late night Walmart adventures

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Early morning coffee runs

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Longing to see friends back home while creating lifelong relationships hereimg2097055872-1

Exploring the glorious world, we live in

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And finding out what truly makes me happy

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… What does college mean to you? And how are you/ will you make the most out of the short time you have here?