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!

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

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!

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?


If you are going to pick a professor for the rest of the semester, please go on 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! :)

You Might Be An Architect If…

By: Laura Sherman

After reading Lauren’s awesome “You Might Be an Engineer If…” blog post, I thought I might jump on the bandwagon with my own version!


You Might Be an Architect If…

1. You live by minimalism. Less is always more. Unless of course, more is less.

2. Your clothing is a rainbow of black, white and grey- but mostly black. Just like your coffee.

3. When your X-Acto blade cuts your finger off, you scream in fear that it will drip on your pristine, white model- not because of pain.

4. You wear glasses. Yes, you have a prescription, but they also enhance your architect-ness.

5. As an adult, your library consists of picture books and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

6. There is nothing more unsettling than a disproportionate space. Not even five-star food can shake that feeling.

7. You’ve eyed someone’s pile of recycling and asked “Can I have all of your cardboard?”

8. You have a favorite pen that delivers just enough ink with a line weight that has “character”.

9. When on vacation, you take selfies with architectural monuments as if they were your BFF.

10. Most of your life is spent with crushing amounts of work to do and the other part is spent pondering and doing nothing at all.

11. You carry a sketchbook everywhere you go but only you can understand what you are sketching.

12. You use the word “lettering” instead of “writing”.

13. While watching a beautiful sunrise all you can do is freak out that the project isn’t finished yet.

14. You have a dozen sizes and types of rulers.

15. You are the go-to person for all things arts-and-crafts related because you own 4 types of glue of various brands, 20 various materials arranged by color and size, and you always have scissors and a 20-pack of blades.

16. You’re on a first-name basis with famous architects: Corbusier, Mies, Tadao, Zaha.

17. When in a new building, you go around looking for connection details and snapping pics of them with your phone.

18. People can only relate and compare you to Ted Mosby.

19. You’ve added typology, morphology, topology, etc. to your vocabulary.

20. You go through more sketch/trash paper than toilet paper.


Sorority Recruitment Basics

By: Sarah Massagee

Alright ladies! Let’s talk. So, as you know there is that whole merger thing. Didn’t know about it? Check it out at: And of course KSU has some wonderful sororities. And you’re probably thinking, “Why not just go through recruitment once the merger happens?” Well, I guess you could do that. OR, OR, you can go through the LAST SPSU sorority recruitment. Now, I don’t know what’s going to happen to the sororities here; but, I can tell you that it is totally going to be worth it.  Because Alpha Xi Delta AND Gamma Phi Beta are pretty freggin’ sweet.

Alright, so let’s go over something to know about recruitment. I’m going to try to get the basics out of the way, and of course you can comment and ask questions if there is something I didn’t answer.


Let’s go over some basic lingo you’re going to hear: BIG, LITTLE, BID, PNM, PANHELLENIC, PHILANTHROPY, NEW MEMBER, ACTIVE, and ALUMNI

Alright let’s start this off with the most important one BID. A bid is something that you get AFTER you have gone through recruitment. Recruitment is when you get to visit both Alpha Xi Delta and Gamma Phi Beta houses. You have to go to at least one of the first two nights. (It’s a four day ordeal this recruitment.)

  • The first night is just meeting the girls and having one-on-one conversations.
  • The next night is all about each sororities Philanthropy. (Which I’ll explain later)
  • The third night is preference night. This event is by invite only. The sororities can invite you back, for this last event. After this event is done, you go to a room where you get to choose which sorority you want to be your home.
  • SO, on the fourth day you go down to the house where you have to wait for every single girl who has gone through recruitment show up. And then you get this envelope and a bag. You open the envelope AND THAT’S YOUR BID! The bid has one of the sororities name on it. That is your new sorority! And then you run to your new sisters and you get to enjoy BID DAY!!!!
bid day

Bid day 2013

Big sis (Also known as Big): So this girl is a sister that you’ve grown close to. She’s a sister you admire, a sister you want to basically mentor you. She is someone who will be there for you during your ups and downs. Her job is to help you become a sister and help you when the time comes to initiate.  She might not be your best friend, but she’s someone who will do what she can to be there for you.


A picture of me and my big right after I initiated.

Little Sis (Also know as Little/Lil’): So, you’ve got your big. What does this make you to her? You are now her lil’.  And of course, once you have initiated, you can get your very own little! Your job as a little is to just enjoy the big. And get showered with much love and presents of course! And you may only be able to have one big, but you can multiple littles!


A picture of Taci from Gamma Phi Beta with her two littles. (The one on the left is on Panhellenic Council for rush this year and that is why she has a circle over her face)

Philanthropy: This one is pretty easy. A philanthropy is basically a charity you choose to support. Each sorority has their own philanthropy. Gamma Phi Beta’s philanthropy is Building Strong Girls and Alpha Xi Delta’s philanthropy is Autism Speaks.

Panhellenic Council: The two sororities on campus are part of a national organization called the panhellenic council. This council is in charge of creating a fair and fun recruitment environment that gives all the sororities involved a chance to recruit fairly and equally. Each school that has sororities on their campus also has a campus panhellenic council that helps reinforce the rules of the National Panhellenic Council. You will meet these girls and hang out with them in-between your house visits. There are four girls on the SPSU panhellenic Council, but they have disassociated from their sororities to help you through recruitment. These girls will not tell you which sorority they are part of so you can have a chance to talk with them without any bias on their responses. On bid day, they will reveal their letters to you, so you will know which sorority they are apart of.

PNM (potential new member): A pnm is what you are until you join a sorority. And as it says, you are just a potential new member. Pretty self explanatory right? Right?

New Member: This is just a sister who has not yet initiated. These terms are getting pretty simple right?

Active Sister: A sister who is in the chapter currently AND has initiated.

Alumni: A sister who has graduated/transferred and is no longer an active sister. You will see Alumni at some events (such as BID day) but they will not be around as much as Active members.

Chapter: Chapter is simply a meeting that each sorority has. Chapter is held once a week and is just to keep all the sister’s informed of what’s going on and what needs to be done.

Alright, I think that’s it! I hope it has helped you in some questions, and of course you can comment if you have questions! If there are questions I cannot answer, (or you just don’t want to ask me) you can contact the panhellenic council here:



That’s all from me for now. Have a good evening!!! Eat some tacos or something.

Running That Race

By: Ruth Petit-Bois

Hey guys! It’s me again with another illustration! Hopefully you learn from this one too! Before I start, remember I told you before that I have been exercising in the mornings? I don’t think I’ve told you exactly what I’ve been doing.

I’ve been running!

I think it’s about the fourth week since I have started and I have come a long, long, long way from where I started. The ultimate goal was for me to be able to start from the couch (because I’m not really the active sort) to run a 5K in a good amount of time. So I downloaded the C25K app (which is running a 5k in hopefully 30 minutes) and got started.

get down to buisness

On day one, the regimen the app called for was for one minute of straight running and then a minute and a half walking to rest. When I saw that seemingly easy routine, I felt insulted. I could do a whole lot better than running for just one minute. I could do so many things in one minute! Why spend a minute and a half of walking breaks when I could spend that time getting better? Who did they think I was?

Yeah, right, not doin that.

Yeah, right, not doin that.

So instead I came up with a new and improved game plan. I was just going to run for thirty minutes straight and then see how far I could go in that time. Then I would try to increase how far I went to run a 5k in less than 30 minutes. It was great! What could go wrong?



If I could explain exactly how bad of an idea that was, I could give — a run for their money. I made it to about three minutes into my torture session before I was out of breath with my hands on my knees, wheezing and half a mind to quit. I couldn’t do this! It was way too hard! And I was supposed to try to go on for thirty minutes? No thanks!!!

Woe is me.

Woe is me.

But (thankfully) I got my act together and decided to do what the app suggested. Because of my earlier mishap the first run turned out to be worse than it had to be, but I did complete it and I actually felt like I could go from the couch to a 5K (provided I followed what the app said). And so here I am now on week four. The run calls for ninety seconds of running with ninety second intervals of walking along with a three minute run and a three interval of walking. By the time I’m done I’m tired, sure, but I honestly feel like I can keep going. Flashback to day one when I could barely run three minutes straight & I get excited to see such progress. Just what else can I do as the weeks go on?

This is so exciting!

This is so exciting!

So I guess my illustration for this week is that if you are starting something new, don’t rush it.

Yes, you can see where you want to be as clear as day and you are impatient to just get there already, and don’t get me wrong, that’s great because that shows you have a vision for yourself. But don’t lose patience with yourself. Sometimes you need to gradually make it to where you need to be. Not only that but listen to the authorities on the subject. You may think you know everything there is to know, but there is a reason why we go to college and why we have Google. We need the help and we need the instruction. So whether it is painting, coding, designing, researching, writing, or anything you want to set your mind to, take it one day (or one week) at a time. You may not see it now, but you are always improving. So keep at it and soon you’ll see it too!

I got dis!

We got dis!

Okay! See you next time! & if you are trying to learn something new, don’t give up! ;)

High School Friends

By: Sarah Tyrlick

When I first got to college, I did not think that balancing this new and exciting adventure with those of my past was going to be a problem. I could not have been more wrong. Throughout my freshman year, I was so busy that I hardly had time for my high school friends. It was rather unfortunate. I had two girls that I used to see every Sunday. We had a standing date to go to the thrift store. Both of these girls are younger than me, so they stayed in high school while I was shipped off fifteen minutes a way to my new home. We had plans to see each other all of the time, but it did not work out.



Meanwhile I had other once close friends that I either fell out of touch with accidentally or completely intentionally. Either way, balancing a new life with an old one is not an easy feat. This summer I am getting closer with the people I lost throughout the year. My suggestion to incoming students is as follows:

If someone is holding you back, drop them. If someone means the world to you never let them go. If you cannot make time, they will understand and you can reconnect whenever you do have time. This week I have been reconnecting with some of my favorite people. Finally I have had time, and I could not have been more excited to see them.


Summer Time Boredom? GeoCache!

By: Lauren McNitt

It’s summer time! The months you have been waiting for all school year. And what happens? You and your friends get together and find nothing to do. Well, if you have a phone or a GPS, I have got a fun thing for you to do. It is called GeoCaching. It is kind of like treasure hunting!

A Geocache is a container that a person or an organization can put out basically anywhere. They can be put in either residential areas like parking lot or in more wooded areas or parks. In each container, people place small trinkets. When you go GeoCaching, you take small trinkets with you so that when you find a GeoCache, you pick up a trinket from the box and replace it with one of your own trinkets. There is a free app in the App Store that, once downloaded, shows you all the Geocaches in a five mile radius of you. Once you pick out a GeoCache location, the app guides you up to ten feet of the box.

There are two GeoCache locations on the SPSU campus and many more around Marietta. The City of Marietta even put out 10 GeoCaches to find. When you find one of the Marietta Geocaches, you take out a card. Once you have all ten, you can take them to city hall to get a gift bag of prizes.

Here is my friends and I completing the Marietta GeoCache:




30 Signs You Might Go To SPSU

By: Laura Sherman

1. You’ve trained yourself to having a 5-minute gap between classes.


2. When someone asks for directions, you refer to buildings alphabetically, not by their name.


3. Only fellow hornets understand why the prime spots are at the top of the parking deck.

giphy (1)

4. You’ve helplessly yanked on the door of Stingers when it was closed.

giphy (5)

5. You have an architecture friend who you wouldn’t recognize without coffee in hand.

giphy (2)

6. Your football team is still undefeated!

giphy (6)

7. You made it through a Public Speaking class with your pride intact.

giphy (1)

8. Your girls dorm was fully equipped with urinals.


9. You’ve mercilessly nerf-gunned an unwilling victim.

giphy (6)

10. You know where this is, and seeing it makes you hungry.


11. Repeat after me: “This is our rock. There are many rocks like it but this one is ours.”


12. Your Hornet Card might as well be a Sonic Screwdriver.

giphy (7)

13. You have a collection of SPSU T-Shirts, including a few you don’t remember getting.


14. The honors kids always fill up that class you wanted before you got to register for it.


15. You have a “usual” at Mondo’s every lunch hour except Fridays.

giphy (2)

16. Whenever someone visits, you take them to the Marietta Diner.


17. Hornet Alert has woken you up early on one of those days where you didn’t have morning class.

giphy (3)

18. You know it’s finals week when this place starts looking like the Harry Potter Knight Bus.


19. Your closest friends are comprised of engineers and architects.


20. Every time someone mentions KSU, you’re all like:


21. When SPSU holds their midnight breakfast, you better run to reserve your ticket.



22. This was the biggest shock of your 2013.


23. You’ve sweat it out in the Math Building on a summer day.

giphy (3)

24. There isn’t a fraternity or sorority on campus you haven’t heard of.

giphy (4)

25. Your computer is so full of software that it crashes on you the night before something’s due.


26. You avoid driving around 8am and 5pm, even if you’re not in Atlanta.

giphy (5)

27. Having a girl in your class is like winning the lottery.


28. Every time you tell a stranger you go to Southern Poly, you have to add “It’s in Marietta…”

giphy (4)

29. But it’s still the best hidden gem of a school you’ve ever known.


30. When you make it to graduation, you know the struggles will all be worth it. (‘Cuz, like, our school is da bomb. com)


The College Life

By: Sarah Tyrlick

Multiple times I hear the words, “I am a broke college student” come out of my friends’ mouths.  While this is a true statement for most people living the college life, there are plenty of ways too save money. My personal favorite is the thrift store. It really does not matter what your thrift store of choice is because regardless, I personally believe the thrift store is a gift sent from the heavens. While you have to be a little more careful shopping at a thrift store than at regular stores (because the clothes may be worn, have holes, etc.), it is worth it when wearing a five dollar outfit and getting complements. Even if you think you are above clothing from the thrift store, sometimes the stuff can be super cool too.

This brings me to my second favorite money saving place - Flea markets. This past week I was driving along with a good friend of mine,and we came across a flea market. The stuff was really cool. He got a mirror, a vintage board game, and a CD while I got a super cool dream journal book and a box. Flea markets always have the most interesting stuff, so I am a strong believer that it is always worth stopping!

thrift-store-sign Flea-Market031311

In another news… CRISIS AVERTED :) my hair is now a dirty blonde, and I am loving it!!!