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Insights from our UQ students

Do You Know Duke?

Duke at a Glance

 Our Duke University VIP Gives some School Insight

Duke_Infographic

Duke Infographic

Thanks to Julia Kahky for this great infographic.

 

Hot In Here: 5 Items You Need for a Perfect Hot Yoga Session

Hot In Here: 5 Items You Need for a Perfect Hot Yoga Session

 Our George Washington University yogi shares her must-haves for Hot Yoga.

I love to unwind from a stressful day or start a new day with hot yoga. I think it’s the best way kill two birds with one stone: de-stressing and fitting in a killer workout. But, practicing vinyasa flows in a 100-degree studio is a harder workout than you may realize, so here are 5 items that ensure a superiorly Zen hot-yoga experience:

1. Lululemon 

(Don’t fight it, the reputation is deserved!) The most stylish and top-notch quality. A pair of Lululemon leggings allow me to sweat comfortably in style. Trendy + quality = stylish yogi.

Lululemon Leggings

2. Manduka Yoga Mat 

Although these mats are a little pricy, they are definitely worth every dollar. Manduka mats (especially the PRO versions) allow me to go through various poses without slipping as I sweat.

Manduka Mats

3. Yogitoes Yoga Towels 
It may seem like these products are unnecessary, but trust me, these will help to elevate your practice. The Yogitoes yoga mat towels help to absorb sweat and enhance your grip on the mat.

Yogitoes Yoga Towels

:4. Nékter Juice Bar

Pre or post hot yoga session, I like having one of Nékter’s green juice smoothies or açai bowls. They have endless options available. They’re the perfect healthy snack to keep you nourished without feeling weighed down after yoga. My all time favorites are the chocolate dream smoothie, the greenie juice, and acai-banana berry bowl. Pro-tip: They deliver!

Nékter’s acai-banana berry bowl (Photo from Yelp)

5. CamelBak Water Bottle

You’ll be amazed (and a little disturbed) by the amount of sweating you do in a hot yoga session. Sweating = dehydration = thirst. So, to quench the thirst during practice, I like to bring my CamelBak water bottle.  With its easily accessible straw, all I need to do is flip and sip –without tilting the bottle. Bonus: it’s fun and spill-proof!

Camelbak Water Bottles

 

Thanks to Katherine Ahn, our awesome intern, yogi extraordinare at George Washington University, for this great post! 

 

 

 

#TBT: A Retrospective from an Ohio State Student

College Life: Then & Now

 From computers and smartphones, to fashion and parties, college has changed incredibly  from the time our parents were in school.

Around Campus

Then:

Picture this, the quad filled with students, some walk to class, others throw a frisbee with a boombox playing the latest Queen song, an abundance of conversation and noise. The girls wear high-waisted shorts and jeans with feathered hair while the guys, also wearing high waisted jeans, lounge around and admire from afar.

 

Image source: https://dlynx.rhodes.edu/jspui/handle/10267/11110

Now:

The quad is now silent, students walk alone, most on their iPhones or listening to their iPods. No audible music is heard and the number of those actually socializing and being active dwindles. Today students are enveloped with their technology, communicating through texts and emails on their way to class. In their free time they are home, catching up on Netflix or sleep. While in the warmer months there is more activity on the quad, it’s still less than it once was.

image from peopleconnectpeople.com

 

Fashion

Then:

Have I mentioned high-wasted everything? Our parent’s generation was all about the high waisted pant/trouser and tucked in shirt combo, not to mention an array of brightly colored workout gear. Combine that with geometric shapes, crazy earrings and big, feathered hair and you have the nightmare that was 80’s fashion.

Image from http://cloud.collegefashion.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/double-denim-no-1.jpg

Now:

I  jokingly refer to my generation as the “Yoga Pant Generation.” If you walk college campuses today you’ll see girls with black yoga pants, sweatshirts, and nike tennis shoes. The boys wear loose fitting jeans with their college tees. Its all very casual and “roll-out-of-bed” chic with most students opting for athletic wear. High-waisted shorts have started making a comeback with  girls on campus. Meanwhile the boys don their pastel colored shorts and polos with their sperry topsiders, because apparently everyone owns a boat in college now.

Image from http://www.hercampus.com/school/iu/boys-bloomington

Class

Then:

Students daydream and scribble in their notebooks as their professors drone on about whatever topic is scheduled for lecture that day. The smart kids sit and write furiously in their notebooks, being sure to catch everything the professor says and writes. Guys draw caricatures in their notebooks and girls fawn over the dreamy guy in the second row while giggling to their neighbor.

Image from http://www.whyallanewsonline.com.au/story/2815707/calling-students-of-the-80s/

Now:

Students sit on their laptops pretending to take notes while secretly iMessaging their friend one row in front of them. You hardly hear what the professor is saying because the article about the Kardashians is far more interesting and you know you can get the notes from a friend or the online portal that your school uses for classwork. Sometimes you don’t even go to class because you know the notes are all online and what’s the point in going if you already have notes?

 

Image from http://kellimarshall.net/my-blog/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2012/11/laptops-classrooms.jpg

Thanks to Caitlyn Shaughnessy, our intern-delux at the Ohio State University ( and in the office at UQ Marketing) for this awesome post! 

 

 

 

Colorful Chairs Mean Spring

University of Wisconsin- Madison: Sun Returns to The Terrace

The University of Wisconsin is famous for a few things. Football, for one, is a massive part of our culture and school spirit. Being located in our state’s capital has many advantages and special opportunities as well. But one of the more hidden gems known by students attending the University of Wisconsin is the famous Memorial Union Terrace on Lake Mendota.

http://www.union.wisc.edu/venue-muterrace.htm

http://www.union.wisc.edu/venue-muterrace.htm

Even the seating at the terrace is famous- the colorful, uniquely shaped chairs seem to be on the bucket list of souvenirs for graduating students. Not to mention the culture of the area itself- being a part of Memorial Union means lots of food options, including some Wisconsin classics like the best brats and cheese curds on campus. Not to mention the famous specialty Babcock ice cream that is only available on campus! The mix of the wonderful and decadent classics of the Wisconsin menu is enough to send any student running toward Memorial Union.

Students, faculty, and alumni gather in herds on bright and sunny days to admire the view, and of course these delicious treats, on the Terrace.

Speaking of the view, the beautiful panorama calls to professional photographers and iPhone camera users alike. A typical day spent studying, hanging out, or just enjoying the view of the terrace involves the sound of cameras clicking away. Sometimes, it’s not unusual to see engagement or wedding photos taken in the classic terrace chairs or with Lake Mendota’s beautiful scene behind it. Littered with beautiful sailboats, canoes, and students enjoying the docks and water, this view is definitely enough to make anyone smile.

(Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

(Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

 

The Terrace isn’t just used for amazing food, ice cream, a hangout and study spot, or a photo op, however. It is also the host of many music events and cinema showings. So along with the food and the view, concerts of small bands can accompany the comfortable and classic ambience of the Terrace. So while you enjoy your brat and Babcock ice cream in between classes on a sunny day, you can expect there to be a band playing their latest ‘garage-born’ hit that you can bob your head to. The display of these small bands is something that makes the Terrace so unique- a way for students to showcase their talents in a place that surrounds them with their fellow Badgers, past and present.

All in all, the Terrace is a classic at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Whether you stop by to study, meet with friends, listen to a concert or just grab a bite, the Terrace welcomes all, and is always worth the visit.

Thanks to Megan “Meggie” Layer, University of Wisconsin Spring 2014 VIP intern for this awesome post! 

 

 

 

SAT: A College Tradition, Like it or Not

College Admissions Test Makes a Change… Again

For Tradition Thursday, we’re going to focus on something a little different. The SAT is a tradition that the admissions department of almost every American University has shared. This month, the College Board announced that big changes are coming for the old-school test.

Students study hard for the SAT and ACT photo: @allthatjasss

Students study hard for the SAT and ACT
photo: @allthatjasss

Beginning in 2016, the test will return to a 1600-point scale, the essay section will be optional, and test-takers will not be penalized for incorrect answers.  The notorious vocabulary section will be revised and updated to words in more common usage. For the first time ever, SAT takers will have the option to take the test on a computer.

History of the SAT

So how did the SAT become a factor for college entrance and where did the test come from?

Before the SAT, college’s each hosted their own entrance exams. The questions varied wildly and the knowledge required to master the exams was heavily contingent on the professor’s interests and the high-school from which the student was graduating.

The military developed the test that would become the SAT during WWI. The “Alpha Test” was developed to help the Army make quick placement decisions for large numbers of recruits.  The test was designed in a way to reduce bias among people from different socioeconomic backgrounds.  Many would argue that with advances in SAT prep, tutoring, and disparities in public education, the test has become significantly less democratic since it’s inception.

In 1926 the Scholastic Aptitude Test, an evolution of the Army’s Alpha exam, was given to a group of college hopefuls. 8,000 students took the test, and only 40% were female. The population skewed highly Northeastern—with most students trying to gain entry to Ivy League universities like Smith College and Yale. The Test has been amended countless times since then and the new changes will be implemented on the 2016 version.

The controversy of standardized testing has a robust history. Critics argue that the tests don’t take a student’s full intelligence into account, or that the tests are culturally or economically biased; while admissions counselors argue that they need some way to sort through the thousands of applications they receive each year. While many schools have switched to the ACT, as a more accurate predictor of student’s future college performance, the SAT is alive and well. And rolling with the times.

 

Fire It Up

University of Tennessee Illuminates the Future for Freshman

The University of Tennessee has numerous beloved traditions that students and alumnae hold dear to their hearts. One of those traditions is the candlelight ceremony called Torch Night, which originated in 1925 with the freshman class.  It has continued every fall since then as a tradition among the freshman.

photo credit: http://torch.utk.edu/firstyear

photo credit: http://torch.utk.edu/firstyear

Torch Night is held the first week of fall semester to officially declare the new freshmen as part of the student body.  Thousands of students gather in the Thompson-Boling Arena on the first Friday night of the school year and seniors pass the “torch of preparation” to the new students by giving them a lit candle.

The chancellor of the university and administration lead the ceremony by talking to the nervous new students and encouraging them that the next few years at the University of Tennessee will be some of the best years of their lives.  Chancellor Jimmy Cheek gives advice to students to encourage them to focus on their academics, but also to enjoy the experiences that the university has to offer by joining clubs, pursuing internships, and studying abroad.

A single lit candle starts from the seniors and is then passed along to each student lighting each candle one by one.  As the seniors pass on light to the new students’ candles, the chancellor leads the students in a pledge of loyalty to the university.  The booming sound echoes throughout the room asking, “Do you pledge to serve the university and society?”  Roughly 4,000 freshmen respond with a triumphant, “I do.”

A new tradition was added to the class of 2014’s Torch Night; each chair inside the arena contained a sealed envelope with a tassel inside. Chancellor Cheek adds to the ceremony that he looks forward to seeing each and every student walking across the stage wearing that same tassel at graduation, and he wants them to remember the night that they got it.

photo credit: http://utdailybeacon.com

photo credit: http://utdailybeacon.com

The students then leave the arena in silence, carrying their lit candles along their first “Vol Walk” from Thompson-Boling Arena, down Volunteer Boulevard, and into Neyland Stadium. The students have the pleasure of running onto the field surrounded by the University of Tennessee’s marching band, Pride of the Southland, playing traditional university songs like Rocky Top.  To finish off the magical night, students pose for a class picture in the shape of the “Power T” directly centered over the 50-yard line.  This tradition is a great part of the University of Tennessee because it gets every student excited for his or her college career and is a memory he or she will carry the rest of their lives, especially when looking back on their college years.

Special thanks to Ellie Gaffney, University of Tennessee Knoxville student and Spring Semester UQ VIP intern, for this post. 

 

 

Let the Good Times Roll

Rolling the Quad: the Symbol of Wake Forest Pride, Spirit and Unity

Wake Forest University’s dedicated and enthusiastic students pride themselves on tradition. Since the university’s move from Wake Forest, North Carolina to Winston-Salem in 1956, students have been creating traditions to make the new campus location their own. One of the most important and distinctive traditions includes “rolling the quad.” It began in 1961 when students found a way to celebrate amazing athletic victories: “TP-ing” Hearn Plaza.

from www.wfu.edu

from www.wfu.edu

After a few years of throwing toilet paper into the trees of Hearn Plaza, also referred to as the upper quad, the trend quickly became a tradition.  Alumni would return to campus for Homecoming and Parents Weekend, with hopes of winning a football or basketball game, the most popular reason to roll the quad. One of the biggest “quad rollings” was in 2006 when Wake Forest beat Georgia Tech for the ACC football championship. Hundreds of students, faculty and alumni dashed from BB&T Field to Hearn Plaza to celebrate their victory. I remember my first time rolling the quad when Wake Forest beat the UNC Tarheels the fall of my freshman year. It was an absolutely overwhelming feeling, a feeling that only Demon Deacons can truly understand.

 

Though athletic victories have been the most popular reason to roll the quad, the act has expanded to cultural, political and academic events as well. For example, students rolled the quad after the 2000 Presidential Debate between George W. Bush and Al Gore that took place in Wake Forest’s very own Wait Chapel. Members of both political parties joined together in this monumental event in the school’s history to express their school pride. In addition, students rolled the quad after our math club won the Mathematical Contest in Modeling, a competitive international math contest, in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

from www.mentalfloss.com

from www.mentalfloss.com

Wake Forest is a very eco-friendly university; however, sustainability often comes into question. Concerns about throwing streamers and toilet paper into trees are often discussed among prospective families and those outside the community. Our defense includes the fact that the toilet paper on campus is biodegradable, but this defense is not needed when one considers the main reasons for rolling the quad. It is more than “trashing” Hearn Plaza. It symbolizes everything that embodies Wake Forest University: pride, spirit and unity. The excitement of winning sports games, hosting a presidential debate, or representing Wake Forest on national and international levels ignites our passion for our school and helps us remember why we are Demon Deacons. Rolling the quad demonstrates our uniqueness and allows us to come together as a student body to express our school spirit. Some of Wake Forest’s more intense fans dorm storm while screaming “Roll the quad! Go Deacs!” Rolling the quad is the best tradition that represents Wake Forest University, and it will continue for many generations to come!

 

Special thanks to Emily Kalis, Wake Forest University Class of 2016, and Spring Semester UQ VIP intern for this post.