How to host a Christmas party

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With Christmas only about five weeks away, it’s not too early to begin thinking about what to do for the season. To add a little pumpkin spice to your holly jolly Christmas, have you thought about having a party? Why not throw a Christmas party in your dorm or apartment? Because we’re college students and we have to be wary about spending money, it is important to make a budget. One way to be realistic about your budget and still create a jolly atmosphere is to “start with what’s most important when it comes to hosting a Christmas party: paper goods, main dishes, appetizers, desserts, (UMHB appropriate) drinks, decorations, and tablecloths” (daveramsey.com). The blog goes on to say that if you run out of money as you buy the items, you can avoid buying the decorations that don’t matter as much as the main attractions. For decorations, you can get a small Christmas tree that can fit inside your apartment. Make sure you check with your RA or RD about what kind of lights you can hang, but if you can, Christmas tree lights will really make your living room stand out. One source suggests that a fun and cheap way to get decorations is to make your own. Including your friends in the decoration process is another sure way to start a fun and successful Christmas party. Another suggestion is to plan classic holiday activities such as stringing popcorn and cranberry garlands, or cutting paper snowflakes (voices.dyouville.edu). After the decoration portion is done, next you would need to plan either to cook or buy food. Naomi Michaelson is a junior education major who has hosted a few Christmas parties on campus with her friends, and she agrees that food is an essential ingredient in planning a party. “I think we all know that, especially in college, the main way to get anyone to go to anything is food,” Michaelson said. “Food is a very important part of a party. I personally love themed snacks, especially for holiday parties.” Cookie decorating is always a good idea for a Christmas party. Allowing your guests to be a part of the experience is even better. Also, you can never go wrong with hot chocolate. Providing these kinds of traditional treats is a sure way to keep your guests in a cheerful mood. Now that the party is well under way and your guests have settled in, you should plan to bring out some more activities. Some ideas are: having a holiday movie marathon, holiday karaoke, and secret Santa or white elephant (hercampus.com). You...

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Stay on top of your semester: Time management tricks for students
Sep12

Stay on top of your semester: Time management tricks for students

The life of college student isn’t always easy. Between trying to get good grades, maintaining a social life, going to church, staying healthy, and getting a decent amount of sleep each night, we have a lot on our plate. How do we do it without going crazy? Time management is the key for any college student to survive. Here are a few tips to manage your time wisely: 1) Write everything down If I don’t write something down, I won’t remember it. So, when you’re in class and your professor gives you a due date and extra information on your homework assignment, jot it down. This way you can go back in your notes and remember exactly when the due date is for your upcoming homework assignment. 2) Maintain a planner This is a cheap and easy way to remember due dates, your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s birthday and the dates of the Cru’s football games. It’s all in one place. Some people like to color code their planner. Whatever works best for you. If you’re not a fan of planners, at the very least make a list of upcoming assignments starting with the one that’s due first. Prioritize assignments. Don’t work on an assignment that’s due 5 weeks from now if you have one that needs to be finished by tomorrow. 3) Make time for fun “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” You can’t study 24/7. UMHB has many student organizations to get involved in. Just don’t overload yourself with too many organizations. Find a couple that you are passionate about, attend their meetings, participate in organization activities and make friends. 4) Don’t be distracted by electronics We all get into the habit of working on an assignment, picking up our phone for just a minute or two, and suddenly 30 minutes has passed while we were checking our Facebook and Instagram. When studying or working on homework, put your phone away. Whether you must put it in your desk drawer or tuck it into the pocket of your backpack, put it away so you’ll be less likely to get distracted. 5) Don’t wait until the night before Many students think they can wait until the night before to finish an assignment due the next day. Speaking from personal experience, waiting until the night before to complete an assignment is very stressful. If you have a large assignment that is going to take you many hours, start early. Get a little bit done each week. This way you will not be stressing the night before. It will also give you time to ask your professor...

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Showcasing students’ businesses
Sep12

Showcasing students’ businesses

College students often find themselves in need of a quick way to earn money. For some, their passions and talents drive them to create their own business. Several students here at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor share how they built their businesses and give advice on how students can start their own. Matt Murray, a senior mathematics major, started Pedagon Education in June of this year. Pedagon Education, a combination of polygon and pedagogy, is a tutoring, mentorship and consultancy business that focuses on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics area of education. They also work on consulting with prospective students by helping them build four-year plans. Pedagon Education serves students in the Belton, Temple, Killeen and Austin areas. Tutoring subscription rates start at 25 dollars for high school students and 35 dollars for college students. The first session is always free. “I had been wanting to start the business for a while, but found myself in need of a marketing representative,” Murray said. This is where Katie Scott, a senior marketing major, comes in. Katie focuses on the social side of the business. Murray believes you need to find someone to be able to approach others online and to get your name out there. Scott recommends that if someone is looking to start their own business they should network and use social media to get their name out there and build their brand. Murray agrees that you need to find someone to show off your skills. You can get in touch with them by email, katie.scott@pedagonedu.com and matt.murray@pedagonedu.com, or phone at 254-228-9609 and 817-600-6892. And check them out on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @PedagonEdu. Danielle Demetria East, a senior studio art major, sells her artwork on the side of earning her degree. She is a talented sculptor and also makes handmade journals and mixed media collages. When East came to college she thought this would be a good way to “jump start her career” and make a little cash on the side. Her products range anywhere from 5 dollars to 300 dollars depending on the piece. East recommends that students speak up and meet new people to network with. She advises artists to know their work and its value and not to sell themselves short. Follow her on Instagram @danielledemetria or check out her website danielledemetria.portfoliobox.net. Megan Henefield, a freshman education major, specializes in portrait, group, and live-action photography. Her business started during her sophomore year of high school. She grew up in a family of photographers, so it was natural for her to choose this profession. “I grew up in front of a camera and gradually stepped...

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First Generation dinner: Making transitions and learning traditions
Sep12

First Generation dinner: Making transitions and learning traditions

To welcome the 370 first-generation freshmen who became Crusaders this year, The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s President Randy O’Rear hosted the third annual First to Go Welcome Dinner on his front lawn on campus Thursday, Aug. 30. The recently established annual dinner is held for first-generation freshmen to help them get in touch with other students, faculty and even President O’Rear himself. Students had the chance to eat Cru dogs for the first time, take pictures in a photo booth and participate in a raffle for UMHB themed prizes. UMHB defines the term ‘first-generation’ as a student where neither parents received a bachelor’s degree or higher. Katie Gregory is the head of the First to Go (F2G) program and a Student Success Specialist in the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE). She personally contacts each student before the school year starts and answers their questions. “There have always been first-generation students attending UMHB, but [this is the third year the program has been active].“As each year passes, we enhance the program to be more impactful and beneficial for students,” Gregory said. Statistics show that three out of five first-generation college students do not complete a degree in six years, and 60 percent of the first-generation students who drop out of college do so during their first year. These are two statistics UMHB is trying to change. By providing recourses and answering questions, the F2G program is helping first-generation students realize that they are not alone and have many people who want them to succeed in life beyond UMHB. “Originally, I felt we had such a large number of first-generation students and I felt that the university could do more for that group of students and encourage them. The national statistics communicate that it is hard to be successful as a first-generation student,” President Randy O’Rear said. He started hosting the dinner to show first-generation students that UMHB cares about their well-being and achievements. He wanted to show the incoming freshmen that they are not alone in this and help is all around them. “They came to Mary Hardin-Baylor because they want to obtain a college degree and we are here to help them reach that goal,” O’Rear said. Many students have some sort of idea about what college will be like or they can ask their parent about their college years. But first-generation students don’t really know what to expect because they are the first in their family to experience college. Freshman social work major Mary Herschberger says that a big challenge for her is breaking the cycle of not attending a college. And she feels the pressure to succeed...

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Welcome Week 2018 Gallery

Photo by Claire Henry Photo by Claire Henry Freshmen gathered at Luther Memorial for the candlelight Dubbing Ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 19. Since 1995, the ceremony has begun by the current Crusader Knight (this year’s Crusader Knight is Caleb Fitzwater) taking a part of the living flame and distributing it among faculty and students. Faculty traditionally place swords over the shoulders of freshmen, dubbing them Crusaders for Life. Photo by Madeline Oden/ The Bells UMHB President Dr. Randy O’Rear unloads a student’s vehicle on Move-In Day outside of Remschel Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 15. Waiting to help move more boxes at left of O’Rear is Jack Phelps, Chairman of the UMHB Board of Trustees. Seniors Katie Maniscalo, Ellie Ball, and Allie Walker flash their “C”s in Bawcom Student Union during the Spirit and Traditions Rally on Thursday, Aug. 16. Photo by Sarah Ifft/ The Bells Photo by Claire Henry Photo by Madeline Oden/ The Bells Photo by Madeline Oden/ The Bells Photo by Madeline Oden/ The Bells Photo by Madeline Oden/ The bells Photo by Madeline Oden/ The bells Photo by Claire Henry Photo by Madeline Oden/ The bells Photo by Madeline Oden/ The bells Photo by Madeline Oden/ The bells Photo by Madeline Oden/ The Bells Photo by Madeline Oden/ The Bells Photo by Madeline Oden/ The Bells Sophomore Madison Henry flashes a thumbs up while passing out candles to freshmen for the Dubbing Ceremony outside of Walton Chapel on Sunday, Aug. 19. Photo by Madeline Oden/ The Bells Photo by Madeline Oden/ The Bells Sophomore pre-med major Will Williams talks to freshman accounting major Nobel Smith about the organization “Some Christians @ UMHB” at the Big Fair on King Street on Thursday, Aug. 16. photo by Madeline Oden/ The...

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Tips and tricks to decorate your college dorm room
Aug29

Tips and tricks to decorate your college dorm room

Freshman year can be scary and exciting all at once. Making new friends, finding out where all of your classes are, staying on top of your college courses, getting involved in the community and finding a church home are all new things to juggle. What better way to prepare for the year than to spruce up your living environment? Decorating and organizing your dorm room will help build your feng shui and ease you into the year ahead. While you’re doing your homework, you want to have a nice and relaxing environment to do so. Some ways to create a calming atmosphere in a small space are: •Succulents (on a window sill or desk) •Wallflowers fragrance plugs •Carpet/rug •Posters/wall art •Standing lamp •Whiteboard/cork board calendar Feeling homesick? Here are some remedies: Make sure to bring reminders of your friends and family to keep them close, even if they aren’t physically present. •A photo wall mural on a bulletin board •Photos on the wall with washi tape borders •Picture frame of family/friends •Knick-knacks from family and friends, or items reminding you of your town Dorm rooms are tiny, so when friends or guests come over, the living space becomes even more cramped. Here are some ways to add more seating: •Fold up chairs with cute cushions •Beanbag chairs •Inflatable chairs Want to stay organized? There are many thrifty and creative ways to store your belongings in your dorm room. •Colorful plastic bins to stack on top of each other •Mason jars for pencils and pens •Hanging closet organizer (for snacks, larger items or shoes) In addition, make sure you check your dorm’s guidelines to see what you can and cannot decorate with. For instance, some living spaces with sheetrock walls require you to use picture hanging nails and thumbtacks instead of command strips. Talk to your RA if you have any questions regarding what you can use. Remember, it is important to make your living space as welcoming as possible so you can relax, socialize and study in an appealing environment. This is now your new home, therefore it is essential to love where you...

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