A Hornet’s Tale

By: Shah Zafrani
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There I was…

…17 years old and ready to start my real education. My plan was to attend a college in-state and then transfer to Georgia Tech after two years. So, my decision of where to go first didn’t mean much to me. I weighed out my options and finally decided to go to SPSU thinking I would enjoy a small school for a few years. I signed up for Jumpstart which was a program that let me start classes in the Summer right after I graduated from high school. I was very excited to start college and I had no clue that I was about to have one of the best summers of my life!

Fast-forward 4 months…

…I was a Desk Assistant for Residence Life on campus, and I had joined the Student Government Association. I was loving the small school environment and the green, walkable campus. It wasn’t long until I decided that I wanted to finish my 4 years off at this welcoming University.

Continue to fast-forward nearly three more years and I’m now counting down the classes till I graduate using the fingers on my two hands. I’m on the SGA Student Council and involved in running the International Students Association. I’ve been proud to call this place my home and look forward to using the skills, and knowledge that I’ve gained here out in the workplace and wherever I go in life. But first I have one more year of classes and debauchery.

And that, my friends, is the story of how I came here and evolved into a Hornet!

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Let’s Talk: Rate My Professor

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By: Emerald Alexis

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Ok, so rate my professor has become the Holy Grail or the who’s who for selecting professors. However like with any system that allows a multitude of users to comment, there will be problems. What might be the biggest problem you ask? Well sometimes rate my professor is just…..wrong. I know why would students lie? How could this wonderful informative system be inaccurate? Let me provide a personal example.

When making my schedule for my first semester of college, I was absolutely and completely unaware of rate my professor. I’m not sure how I didn’t hear or come across the site at the time, but I didn’t. So, I went about making my schedule making sure I had the classes I needed and then playing with my schedule until it had a nice ebb and flow. I assumed the professor didn’t matter that much ( I was wrong.. I know!). I spent my semester with some very interesting professors to be quite honest, I met one of my all-time favorite professors that semester.

A professor at the time mentioned rate my professor, leaving me compelled to investigate the site. More than once what I found and read about some of my favorite professors was astonishingly inaccurate and contrasting to what I had experienced. Reading the reviews I could not believe the professors I had were the people being described. I felt as though the reviews were leaving with a sour taste and skepticism to what rate my professor offered.

After multiple semesters of reading many seemingly perceptually inaccurate reviews, I did something many students find almost Ludicrous…. I ignored rate my professor. On occasion I look to see what students say, but I take it with a grain of salt. What might you ask are my professors generally like? I can honestly say not using rate my professor as a guideline has allowed me to come across not only magnificent professors but magnificent opportunities as well.
To put it simply, don’t use rate my professor as if it law, go with your gut. Check out your classes the first day or two then decide. Your experience is yours and you have to decide for yourself, what is best for your journey.

One Life, Many Paths

Red Top Mountain

By: Drew Forbes

If you like getting outdoors, you might not be a stranger to the fun of hiking in northern Georgia. I’ve seen many of the local mountains, but Red Top Mountain remains one of my favorites on the virtue that you can swim on location.

Red Top Mountain

You can also camp out in the park’s campsites. My high school swim team took a couple of camping trips here. I can confirm that you’ll have a good time if you like camping and don’t want to have to hike between your car and the campsite.

There’s an impressive total of six different trails here. You can go mountain biking, take a hike that’ll give you a good workout, or take a short stroll on a paved trail. Hear it straight from the website: “There are 12 1/2 miles of wooded hiking trails in the park. These vary from 1/2 mile to 5 1/2 miles, traverse the woods and the shoreline, and vary in ratings from easy to moderate.”

Parking is $5 for a day. If you want to plan a trip there, check out the maps or the other resources on the website.

Have fun!

Roommates!

By: Sarah Tyrlick

Last year, I went into Southern Poly knowing only one person…who was not a girl. Meeting my new roommate was the most terrifying experience of my life. Upon meeting her, I decided that I did not like her. I did not want to live with her, talk to her, share a vanity with her… NOTHING. This girl and I had nothing in common. Well, fast forward, that girl is one of my best friends. We get along effortlessly plus we know how to live together. Unfortunately, she will not be attending Southern Poly in the Fall.

Recently, I met me new roommate. She is the polar opposite of what my first roommate was. She is a ball of energy, and upon first meeting her I was iffy. My advice to both myself and anyone reading this though is give it a chance. I wish I had given Kristen one months before I met her because her friendship was one of the best things that have ever happened to me!

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Textbook Shopping for the Frugal

By: Laura Sherman

It’s almost that semi-annual time of buying your textbooks! But before you empty your wallet- try to save a few bucks by buying some not-so-new books.

Start by looking on Banner Web to see your required books for the classes you’ve registered for. Sometimes, you can already skip a few of the books that are listed as “optional”. More times than not, you can get by without them.

Mentally sort your books into these 3 categories:

  • Workbooks/Lab books that need to be purchased NEW
  • SPSU-ONLY Textbooks that were written by SPSU Professors
  • Generic Books (i.e. books that can be found on Amazon.com)

For the SPSU-ONLY textbooks, you can save a lot of money by going right across the street from Southern Poly to:

Southern Engineers Bookstore at 1011 S Marietta Pkwy SE, Marietta, GA 30060. You can see what their book prices are and then come back to the SPSU Bookstore. You can tell them the price of the book across the street and usually SPSU’s Bookstore will match the prices!

Most SPSU students end up consigning their books there. You can find many of the most recent editions of professors’ books gently used. You also get to flip through the pages to make sure nothing’s been ripped out or drawn in. But be sure to get there early! The best books go fast!

  • If you’re buying a new/gently-used textbook that you don’t need to write in, invest in a book sleeve and keep the book in like-new condition. Selling the book “like-new” immediately after your course can sometimes give you a full refund!
  • Don’t risk buying a used lab workbook. If the day comes that you’re in class and a page is missing, that’s a missed grade. The extra dough is worth it.
  • If you’re feeling extra-thrifty, try the SPSU Free and For Sale Facebook page. If you get lucky, someone might be willing to sell/give you a textbook on your shopping list!
  • For all your supplementary needs, go to a thrift store and rummage through their textbook section. Having multiple versions of the same information can help you study!

Music Mania

By: Lauren McNitt

The first day I walked into my intro to electrical engineering class, my teacher simply walked in, and began to play a YouTube video. It was a clip of Linda Ronstadt preforming live on a beach front stage. Once the video finished, he informed us that there was no way that show could have been performed without electrical engineers.

“The beach is notorious for wind.” he says, “Did you hear wind blowing around the microphone?”

(We didn’t)

His point was clear. Every field, even music, has a need for engineering.

In the future, you could be the one making things possible at performances like these:
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Let’s Talk: Being A Research Assistant

By: Emerald Alexis

A little background

As you may or may not know, getting an internship or position as a research assistant is vital to your engineering education. You get real world experience and real world knowledge. So, this summer I got my first real world position and experience as a research assistant.

Through a series of events I ended up in a class with a wonderful professor who happened to be looking for a research assistant. Now, I will be honest I didn’t know entirely what that meant. I at least deduced that I would be doing some kind of research. What I did know was that I would take the first step towards the position. I went to my professor’s office and expressed my interest in her work and the research assistant position. After conversing I knew what area of engineering I would be working on…..Biomechanics and more specifically damage control orthopedics.

I found this topic truly intriguing because I saw the good that it could provide. Damage control orthopedics could save victims of accidents, soldiers and other injuries. I felt like I had somehow moseyed my way into the exact reason I wanted to be an engineer….to help people.

What I did

As a research assistant you will most likely get exposure to a lot of different experiences. I had to use research tools to locate articles and journals to find information for the creation of a journal article. I also got to create power points, summaries and listen to other professors. Also, I received course credit for my work. Some research assistants will get monetary compensation and/or college credit.

What I learned and Some Advice

So far I have learned a fair bit. For instance, there is a lot of background research to be conducted when creating a journal article. There are also some very reliable tools to use for scientific research such as, the compendex database (SPSU Library has this database).

Now, on to the advice. The number one thing I recommend for a research assistant is to be ORGANIZED. Organization is absolutely essential! Have a planner, binder, usb, folders, pens/highlighters, phone reminder app and anything else you may need ready for work. Make sure you are on time, professional and remember that you have been given a fantastic opportunity to further your education and yourself.

One life, Many Paths

The Top Five Places to Visit After your Campus Visit

By: Catherine Brown

One thing I have learned while being both an Ambassador and working in the Admissions Welcome Center is that not many people seem to know the importance of going on a campus tour. This is an opportunity to get a tour of the campus in a smaller group and for you to ask EVERY question you could possibly have about college in general as well as our awesome campus.

While your Ambassador will show you the great places on campus, I do suggest that if you are coming to visit the campus from out of town that you visit some of the interesting places surrounding our beautiful campus.

This blog post is dedicated to the off-campus places near campus that really adds to the experience of Southern Poly (in my personal opinion).

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  1. Marietta Square

The square is less than 5 minutes from campus and really could take up multiple spaces on a top ten list but for the sake of diversity, it is best to group it all together. My top places to visit on the square include:

  • Marietta Pizza Company : Delicious Pizza perfect for a college budget
  • Miss Mamie’s Cupcakes: She won “Cupcake Wars” and her cupcakes are DELICIOUS
  • SweeTreats : Delicious Ice Cream perfect for those Summer Visits
  • Cool Beans: Delicious local coffee and they have AMAZING giant cookies
  • The Fountain: Perfect photo op and a playground for younger siblings going on the tour

 

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  1. Six Flags White Water

Located just a short distance from our beautiful campus is one of the largest waterparks in the Southeast. If you are visiting in the summer, there is no way to beat the Georgia heat than diving in the wave pool after your tour. As an added bonus if you do a Thursday tour and then go to White Water afterwards they have a movie played on a huge screen at the deep end of the wave pool you can get a full list of their movies at http://www.sixflags.com/whitewater.

 

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  1. Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield

If outdoors or history is your thing, this is a beautiful place to visit. Located about 15 minutes north of campus there are: historic sites, a museum, and lots of open space that can fit whatever you want to do. Personally, I like to grab some lunch to go and a blanket, have a picnic, and enjoy the beautiful mountain that I have been visiting since pre-school. If you are bringing younger siblings on your tour there is also many great places to just run some energy out or fly a kite.

 

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  1. Atlanta Braves Stadium

Now the current Braves’ stadium is about a 45-minute drive but with the current ticket offer on Tuesdays for $15 clubhouse tickets, I personally think it is worth the trip out there. Even on other tour days, I suggest going to a Braves’ game especially if you have never been to Turner field before the stadium is moved. Luckily, once the new stadium opens in the 2017 season it will only be a 5-mile drive from the school so when the family comes to visit you at school you can always try to get them to take you to a game.

 

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  1. Historic Marietta Trolley Company

As an ambassador, I totally understand just wanting to get off your feet after the tour. The Historic Marietta Trolley Company offer an hour long tour across Historic Marietta and is located about 5 minutes from campus. Not only will you get to see all of the historic sites that I personally find awesome, you also get to ride in one of the tours that we use for Trolley Thursdays. Trolley Thursdays is free for all students and as the name suggests is every Thursday night. The trolley takes students to Wal-Mart so they can get groceries or to Marietta Square (see point 1 for my favorite spots). The trolleys are also used for special events such as College Night at the High where students get to experience the High Art Museum at night with fellow Atlanta area college students.

Now that you know some of my favorite spots please let me know of some of your favorite spots if you have already visited campus so I can share it with more future students!

Pro-Tips For The New Semester: Choosing Classes

By: Ruth Petit-Bois

School is approaching soooo quickly. It may not seem like it, but trust me before you know it, it’ll be August and if you have siblings still in public school, they will be heading back and then it’s only a matter of time before it’s your turn.

You’re probably really excited if you’re a freshman. It’s a whole new world! A whole new environment! These are the final years that anyone ever finishes off with “the best years of your life.” Now there is a pressure to making these next four years years all about the stories you can tell your kids and the stories you will keep under lock and key til the end of time (or til you reminisce with the ones who were witness).

I’m here to offer some last minute tips to making college bearable. Things I wish I knew before I entered college for the first time. Things that you learn as an upperclassman through experience (aka: the hard way). Be grateful that I’m telling you these right now.

I’m Studying What?

Fresh out of high school you still probably have this schedule in mind: English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Elective, Elective. Only now that you are going onto college you’re probably going to be thinking like: English 1001, Math 1113, HIST 1111, BIOL 2107K, SPSU 1001, Major Class. You’re going to have to get rid of the mindset that you need to take a bunch of core classes all at once. For one thing, college doesn’t work that way, and two, you don’t have enough time in the day to take a bunch of core classes while trying to complete your degree. If you were to do the schedule I listed above you’d be taking 18 credit hours. You would be pretty much struggling to handle your coursework and your social life. Not the best start to “the best four years of your life” and it will kill you at the end of your college career. Don’t be that person who is stuck in all major classes come your junior year. Your core classes offer a much needed breather in between all the stress. Space these out evenly over the years.

I Wake Up When?

There are only a very few orientations left. This information came a little late, but if you decide to take this advice to heart, there is still some merciful time to change it. If you are thinking of taking 8am-3pm classes on the premise of “I woke up at 6am to catch the bus/drive to school every day at high school and got out at 2pm. I’ll be fine”. Don’t. Take it from someone who made that mistake. My freshman year I signed up for an 8am Pre-calculus class for every day except Wednesday because I thought I could handle it much like I did in high school and the only reason why I don’t regret that decision is because now I know better. Love yourself. Take classes at a reasonable hour. If you don’t have to wake up at 7am every morning to make it to class at 8 because there is another slot open.Don’t. Take the other slot.

I’m Taking That Class With Who?

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If you are going to pick a professor for the rest of the semester, please go on RateMyProfessor.com to double check if you really want to take them. Rate My Professor is a biased site as you can get feedback from both the slackers and the triers in one spot, but usually the advice on the site is legit and you can get a really quick snapshot of what the rest of the year is going to be like just by viewing a couple of comments.  Sometimes there isn’t a choice in who you want to take, but if you end up getting a choice, it is great to see how previous students reacted to the professor you are about to take.

I’m Supposed to Go Where?

The day before school starts, I always make it a habit to go to the classroom where my classes are going to be. That way, I eliminate the struggle of having to look for the classroom and showing up late because I don’t know where I am going. I also do this so I can grab the best seats in the room. Sometimes your grades correlate to where you are sitting when the professor is teaching. Make sure along with knowing who and what you are going to take, take care to also know where.

I Had To Leave How Long Ago?

I missed several classes at the beginning of my first semester because while I did create the schedule I would follow and who I would take, I still wasn’t used to going to class at say, 2pm. My roommate can attest the multiple times I’d scramble out the door in the most undignified fashion because I found out I completely forgot I had a date with the SPSU’s Hitchhiker’s 1001 class 30 minutes ago. Set up some alarms to make sure you get yourself to class on time. Walking in to your English 1101 class 25 minutes late isn’t a cute look (and it scores you ZERO points with the professor). You’re in college now. Act like it.

That is what I’m going to tell you about classes. Next I’ll be telling you about choosing your friends! I hope you can use this info well! See you next week! :)

So You’ve Got New Roommates?

By: Laura Sherman

Many of us will begin the fall semester with new dorms, apartments or roommates. The idea of it can be exciting and nerve-wracking. Having spent two years at SPSU with different roommates who have become my best friends, I can safely say that you’ll be more than alright if you keep to a few rules. Although you can be great friends, like all relationships, being around people with differing lifestyles 24/7 can be a real headache at times. BUT THAT’S OKAY! Keeping to these three tips can help things go swimmingly.

According to the Rent.com survey, renters say these are the worst roommate traits to have:

  • Leaving the living room or kitchen messy (35%)
  • Using another roommate’s things without asking (34%)
  • Blasting loud music (13%)
  • Always having a significant other around (11%)
  • Eating another roommate’s food (6%)

TIP 1- Don’t bottle up your frustrations.

If your roommate has a habit rubbing you the wrong way, calmly talk it out with him as soon as possible. Don’t wait for your emotions to get the better of you. Remember, CALMLY. Chances are, your roommate doesn’t see the habit as bothersome until you let him know. If the problem persists, continue to be calm in your approach.

TIP 2- Manage your money together.

Money is the biggest problem between roommates. Even if your rent is automatically split up, keep tabs on things that could potentially lead to arguments. If your mom made you your favorite pie and you don’t want to share- leave a note saying so. Keep tabs on groceries, electric, housewares (what belongs to whom), and damages. If an argument comes up anyway, try to work out a solution together to prevent future mishaps.

TIP 3- Set guidelines for your privacy, study and cleaning habits beforehand. 

Talk to each other about:

  • Let your roommates know when/if it is okay to enter your room.
  • Let others know which of your things they can/can’t borrow.
  • When do you need the apartment to be silent for sleeping/studying?
  • Can guests come over and how long can they stay? (Be sure to do this way ahead of time.)
  • Who does which chores and how often?

GOOD LUCK! :D