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The Effects of Negative Thinking Arielle Taylor College Cuisine Nadeen Strachan Caffeine: Abused Drug or Student Saver? Tyler Carnahan Q&A with Porkchop Good for the Sole Mary Capers Senioritis Shannon Pak Hearing: A Gift to Treasure Contributing Writer Student Spotlight Hooked Erica Ruggles Ballinâ€™ on a Budget Clarissa Chavez
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f ro m t h e e d i to r EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Matthew Johnson ASSISTANT EDITOR Anna Garner BUSINESS MANAGER Kaitlin Keller ADVERTISING MANAGER Ashley Shelton CREATIVE DIRECTOR Drew Greiner ADVISOR Dr. Debra van Tuyll CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Whitney Hughey Georgie Latremouille
STAFF WRITERS Arielle Taylor Juanita Richardson Christy Cheek Clarissa Chavez Arthur Chapman Mary Capers Elizabeth Canas Tyler Carnahan Bradley Clark Letitia Cropps Joshua Griffin Nicholas Hall
In the words of Jason Stanford, “Health is a state of body. Wellness is a state of being.” While this is such a simple statement, it encompasses everything that this issue of the Phoenix Magazine is about.
In the information age that we live in today, it seems like there’s always a new diet fad here or a trendy exercise plan there. With this issue we wanted to go beyond just the physi98 Fall 2014 cal. As you begin to flip through the following pages, you will be provided with an in depth look of overall human wellness; an exploration of the mind, body and soul.
It is our hope that this issue will not only give you a better understanding of wellness and the different facets that make it up, but that it will act as an aid; a roadmap on your journey to a better life.
I would like to thank the entire Phoenix staff for all of their hard work. This issue would not have been possible without it. I would also like to give a special thanks to our creative director, Drew Greiner. Your ability to take our vision for this magazine and turn it into a reality with your artwork has been unbelievable.
Whitney Hughey Ashley Moore Shannon Pak Schylo Phillips Erica Ruggles Bernard Smith Shemaiah Stewart Nadeen Strachan enix Magazine
M Phoenix magazine is published three times per academic year with a press run of 2,500 copies. It is created on Macintosh OSX computers using Adobe Creative Suite 6.0. The cover is printed on 80# gloss text cover; the text is printed n 60# gloss text. The body copy is Georgia, cutlines are Century Gothic and the nameplate is Cicle. This issue was printed by K-B Offset Printing, Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. Phoenix magazine is a student publication of the Office of Student Activities and the Department of Communications and Profesional Writing at Georgia Regents University. Phoenix magazine is a designated public and has been recognized as such by | Phoenixforum Magazine Georgia Regents University. The publication is funded by advertising sales and student activity fees. The opinions expressed in the Phoenix do not necessarily represent the opinions of the University System of Georgia, the administration or faculty of Georgia Regents University, the editorial staff or the advisor of the Phoenix.
2500 Walton Way, Augusta, Ga. 30904-220 Allgood Hall E159 GRUphoenix@gmail.com
Get Involved! Interested in working with us? We are looking for writers, photographers and artists. The Phoenix magazine accepts submissions all year long from students, faculty, staff and alumni of Georgia Regents University. If interested, contact us!
Thinking Story and layout by: Arielle Taylor Photo by Leon Biss
The way people think has a strong influence on every aspect of their mental, spiritual and physical quality of life. Truth be told, these aspects are all interconnected. A single thought can progress into a habitual chain of thoughts, whether positive or negative, and ultimately have an effect on how people perceive and react to the situations in life. Although it may not always be evident, people’s thought processes affect them in many ways. “I have told my medical students for years that there is no such thing as a purely mental or purely physical illness,” said Dr. Robert Pendergrast, an associate professor of pediatrics and director of adolescent medicine at Georgia Regents University (GRU). “For example, we know that after a heart attack, people who are depressed are actually more likely to die than people
enix Magazine 96 Fall 2014 | Phoenix
who are not depressed. Teens with anxiety are more likely to have chronic abdominal pain and sleep disorders. And there are many such examples.”
People’s actions usually begin
with a thought, which creates a belief system that influences their actions. Pendergrast spoke about the effects negative thinking can produce on the brain. He explained that the brain is more than a “thinking machine” and that it also contains, “images, emotions, memories and patterns” that are all intertwined in a complex way. The way people think is connected with their emo-
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tions and experiences, contributing to the way they feel, which is then connected to their habits or behavior. Belief systems, whether they are true or not, have a way of fulfilling themselves. Pendergrast uses an example of this self-fulfilling prophecy. “So beliefs, or thoughts, that are ‘negative,’ such as, ‘I am not good at music,’ elicit negative emotional responses when confronted with some opportunity connected to that belief such as, ‘Would you like to learn an instrument and be a part of our band?’” Pendergrast said. “We thus foreclose opportunities, restrict our personal options, tend to isolate ourselves, and thus rein-
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force our own beliefs by behaving in ways that are consistent with our beliefs, or thoughts.” It is important to be mindful of thought patterns. Pendergrast explained that individuals who consistently think negatively tend to feel smaller about themselves and are less willing to socially connect with others, grow in their capabilities, or capitalize on opportunities. Consistent negative thinking affects the way the brain is wired, influencing the way people feel, believe, and behave. He continued explaining that as individuals continue this pattern, it becomes a habitual way of being that is difficult to break. He explained that with
practice, however, it is possible to change brain structure and grow in mental ability. People are not always aware of their negative thinking patterns. Without recognition of these negative thoughts, they can influence other areas of people’s lives, such as those they choose to associate with. “When negative thinking becomes a part of who you are, you’re not even aware of it,” said Lauren Penha, GRU nursing graduate and registered nurse at University Hospital. “So, when you’re interacting with people on a day-to-day basis, you don’t realize how negative you are.
In general, people tend to thrive off the vibe of people, so when you have negative feelings and you’re interacting with other people, they begin acting negatively toward you, which causes you to think more negatively about yourself, asking, ‘Why are these people acting so negative?’, which adds to more negative thinking because you think the whole world is against you.”
Mental health coincides immensely with physical health, revealing how negative thoughts can affect people’s
“They were focused so much on the side effects, they were actually having the side effects more than the ones who got the Beta drug.”
Photo by Elisabetta Foco body responses and performance in their everyday physical activities. An ex-physiologist conducted an experiment researching the effect Beta blockers have on people’s ability to exercise. Beta blockers are drugs that lower blood pressure and are often used to slow the heart rate, according to Dr. Charles Darracott, an associate professor in the health and kinesiology department at GRU. Darracott explained that the people involved in the experiment were given a pill and informed that they would either receive the sugar pill or the drug. The participants did not know which pill they would receive, so in the case that they received the drug, researchers were required by the Institutional Review Board to notify the subjects of the drug’s side effects. When researchers examined the participants’ results over a six-year period, they found that those who reported the worst side effects had actually received the sugar pill. “They were focused so much on the side effects, they were actually having the side effects more than the ones who got the Beta drug,” Darracott said. A few members of the GRU track team can attest to this phenomenon. “For me, when I don’t feel like practicing, working out or preparing for the season or meet, I ask myself, ‘How weak do I want to be?’ and it’s like I get a glimpse into that future,” said Kévin Carlie, a psychology student and GRU track member. “If I choose not to work out today, that’s so much more strength that I’m losing out on. So during that next track meet or event, if I don’t have that strength in my legs, I can’t expect myto run that much faster next time or enixself Magazine
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jump that much farther.” Another track team member explained his outlook from personal experience, stating how negative thinking is a big factor while running track. “Track is such an individual sport that you have to have a certain swagger or confidence about yourself that you can do this, because you’re going up against guys that are stronger, faster, better than you all the time,” said Allen Eckles, a sports-management student and GRU track team member. “So you have to believe in yourself that even though they may look bigger, they may be faster on paper, you have to believe in yourself that, ‘I can beat them. I’m going to be that one guy that comes out of nowhere and beats them.’”
Spiritually When considering the spiritual im-
plications of negative thinking, Bishop Esaias Merritt of Macedonia Church of Grovetown (Georgia) believes that many negative perceptions stem from people’s experiences, and in many cases, from the way an individual is raised. Rather than internalize and hang onto negative statements people have said to an individual, it is important for one to understand that God calls the individual something positive, not negative. With this understanding, people should gravitate toward that belief. When someone “takes on” what other people have said about them, it becomes the origin of negative thinking, Merritt explained. One cannot allow what others have said about them to mold and shape how an individual feels
about themselves. Instead, the individuals must find another way to interpret themselves, which requires them to look “deep within.” “I believe that ‘deep within’ is the essence of God,” Merritt said. Merritt believes negative thinking becomes a doorway to evil thinking. He used the example of an individual 9 Fall 2014 having feelings of jealousy, animosity and envy. All of these thoughts begin with the idea that someone else is better, or someone else is doing something against an individual. These negative thoughts become the beginning of evil thoughts, which close the door to righteousness and open the door to evil. Merritt gave a few examples of how to counter negative thoughts and focus attention on positivity. He told a story about a video he saw of a young girl. As she stood in front of the mirror, she began making positive proclamations about herself, family and situations, making statements like, “I’m great,” “I love my mom” and “I love my dad.” Merritt said the excitement the girl had as she walked away from the mirror was as though “she could conquer the world.” He said he believes that people should similarly take this approach to life, declaring positive affirmations in the mirror before starting their day If individuals choose to affirm themselves with positive statements such as, “‘I am powerful,’ ‘I am capable,’ ‘I am smart,’ ‘I am beautiful,’ ‘I am handsome,’ we can walk away with a higher self-esteem,” Merritt said. People often have a tendency to worry and dwell on negative occurrences throughout their lives. In order to assist people in combating negative thoughts,
Merritt made reference to Philippians 4:5-8 in the Bible. It reads, “5Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 6Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. you will experience God’s peace, | Phoenix7Then Magazine which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise (NLT).”
Bringing it all together
According to Merritt, Pendergrast,
Darracott and Penha, people’s thoughts are interconnected with their ability to effectively perform mentally, physically, and spiritually. As people focus on thinking positively, they improve their perceptions, influencing their overall outlook on life. “Everything from your mind [to your] spirit affects you physically,” Penha said. “It’s like a table. If you have four different legs, including your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional, if one is knocked off from underneath you, then the whole table will topple over.”
Arielle Taylor is a senior communications major.
Now what? When a negative thought comes to mind, here are a few practical ways to counteract them and switch your focus towards positive thinking: 1. Begin your day by placing a number of paperclips into your right pocket. For every negative thought, place a paperclip into the left pocket. By the end of the day, you will be able to see how many paperclips are in your right and left pockets. You may continue this cycle until each day to observe the diminishing of negative thoughts. -
Dr. Charles Darracott
2. Create a journal, writing positive thoughts that counteract the negative thoughts. This helps create the foundation for your train of thought. -
Bishop Esaias Merritt
3. Take an introspective approach, asking, “How am I acting today?” or find a support group or group of friends that can help you monitor negative behavior. -
4. Reward systems can also be very effective. If people have a goal, or something to look forward to, it may help them to be more conscious of negative thoughts. -
5. “Count your blessings. Instead of looking at that 10 percent of your life that’s terrible, look at the 90 percent that people take for granted. Start looking at the positives.” -
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Photo by Georgie Latremouille
quick and easy recipes for students on a budget
cuisine Contributed by Nadeen Strachan Layout by Anna Garner
| Phoenix Magazine
CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD
Start to finish: 10 minutes Servings: 4
Start to finish: 30 minutes Servings: 8
½ cup Greek strained nonfat yogurt ¼ cup chopped cucumbers 1 package (8 oounces) pastrami or turkey pastrami 4 Greek-style pita flatbreads 2 slices sweet onion 2 tomatoes, cut into 4 slices each Mix together the yogurt and cucumbers. Separate the pastrami and set on a microwave-safe plate. Cover and microwave on high for 45 second or until warm. Place on flatbread and add tomatoes, onions and yogurt mixture on top. Fold in half and enjoy. Nadeen is a senior communications student and president of the Public Relations Club at Georgia Regents University. She is the owner of Island Girl Cheesecakes and enjoys preparing delicious culinary cuisines in her spare time.
6 slices bacon 3 cups diced cooked chicken breast meat 3 hard boiled eggs (optional) ½ cup chopped celery 1 cup seedless grapes 1 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons minced red onion 1 teaspoon lemon juice ½ teaspoon curry powder Salt and pepper to taste Cook bacon until evenly browned. Crumble and set aside. In a large bowl, combine bacon, chicken, eggs, celery and grapes. Combine ingredients for dressing in a small bowl by whisking the mayonnaise, onion, lemon juice, curry, salt and pepper together. Pour over salad and toss well.
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Story by Tyler Carnahan Layout by Drew Greiner Photography by Ali Mayfield
Heroin, cocaine, meth and caffeine.
What do these four have in common?
Each is a psychoactive drug, but only one is legal and consumed daily by millions of Americans according to Harvard studies. The most likely abuser of this addictive drug? You. Chances are you’re consuming it at this
very moment. Many college students find themselves relying heavily on caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, to help keep up with school. As college students find themselves stressed and pressured to trade sleep for study time, they often seek out caffeine for that extra boost they need. Take it from Georgia Regents Uni-
versity alumni and recent graduate, Jacob Thigpen. “I didn’t start drinking coffee until my sophomore year,” said Thigpen. “When I drank it in the morning, I could focus more because I had that jolt of caffeine. It was a way to get my brain tuned up for school. There were times where I would
Fall 2014 | Phoenix
need to stay up later to study. I would drink three to four cups, and I know that wasn’t good, but at the time it did help me.” According to Tadd Patton, psychology professor at GRU, this jolt from caffeine that Thigpen refers to takes place when caffeine blocks a neurotransmitter, adenosine, from working properly. Adenosine is a chemical in the brain responsible for creating a feeling of fatigue over time. Caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors in the brain because they share such a similar chemical structure. “When the adenosine binds to the adenosine receptors, they slow down the secretion of dopamine,” Patton says. “Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with a lot of things such as motoric behavior and mood elevation. Xanthines that make up all different types of caffeine will bind very well to the adenosine receptors and block them from doing their job. When the adenosine receptors are blocked, it means dopamine doesn’t slow down. Dopamine goes at its continuous rate. When you do that with any type of caffeine from coffee, tea, or chocolate, then you’re going to end up reversing that process for a short period of time.” In a nutshell, this means that caffeine replaces a chemical in your brain that is responsible for making you drowsy. This antagonism gives you the alertness effect from caffeine. The brain adapts to this process over time and becomes used to operating under these circumstances. When you suddenly remove caffeine, withdrawal sets in. In May 2013, caffeine withdrawal was included as a mental disorder for the first time in the 5th edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disor-
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ders, a respected scientific publication created by psychologists. The way the brain adapts to caffeine is that it grows more adenosine receptors to combat the lack of adenosine. This is a trait that caffeine shares with other psychoactive drugs in building a tolerance. The more adenosine receptors there are, the more caffeine is needed to block those receptors. Psychology major and junior at GRU, Ali Mayfield, has recently found this to be true. “I don’t drink nearly as much coffee anymore,” said Mayfield. “It does help me, but not like it does [for] others because I’m used to drinking a lot of caffeine. I’ve definitely built up a tolerance over the years.” Compared to other drug addictions, the effects of caffeine withdrawal are fairly short term. The average person needs about seven to 12 days without caffeine to kick the habit. This allows the brain to restore balance in its chemical makeup. Withdrawal effects consist of headaches, fatigue, anxiety, irritability and even depression. According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation website, cutting cold turkey might not be the ideal way to stop one’s dependence on caffeine. Coffee is commonly a favorite of students for caffeine intake because it is usually a breakfast supplement. Sometimes, it’s the only breakfast for students on the go because it is quick and easy. Depending on how you prefer to drink coffee, it can contain massive amounts of
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sugar and calories such as many of those found at Starbucks. For those wishing to end, or at least limit, their dependence on caffeine, there are many healthier alternatives. The website authoritynutrition.com lists many benefits to green tea as an alternative that contains caffeine, but not nearly the amount coffee does. An eight ounce cup of green tea, which is a Starbucks tall (small), consists of about 24 to 45 milligrams of caffeine compared to coffee’s 85 to 200 milligrams. Green tea is also full of flavonoids that work as antioxidants and the amino acid, L-theanine. L-theanine increases the activity of a neurotransmitter, GABA, which has antianxiety effects and increases alpha waves in the brain. What this means is that the mild amount of caffeine, when combined with L-theanine, forms a formidable team in providing a healthy source of alertness when consuming green tea. Stacy Bennetts, biology professor at GRU, gives her thoughts on green tea.
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“There comes a time when sleep has to go. Would you rather be well-rested and fail? Or would you rather be sleep deprived and do well on the test?”
“There are a lot of anti-oxidants in green tea that help clean up your system, help you feel good, and help your skin,” said Bennetts. “There are also chemicals in green tea that help stimulate your metabolism.” Bennetts went on to strongly recommend a drink she currently loves. “Right now I drink a lot of what’s called Sparkling Ice. It’s flavored sparkling water and it has vitamins B12, B3, B6, biotin, and flavonoids from the green tea extract in it.” In the end, the best alternative to caffeine may be the most obvious one: more sleep. If you are well rested you may not need the coffee in the morning to get you going. As many students may come to realize, finding more time to sleep becomes increasingly hard to do as your workload increases. It ultimately becomes a challenge of balancing interests between health and grades. “There comes a time when sleep has to go,” states Patton. “You’re a student, you’re in this situation. Would you rather be well-rested and fail? Or would you rather be sleep deprived and do well on the test?” When answering this question, it’s important to consider the effects of caffeine withdrawal and whether or not you want to temporarily change the chemical balance in your brain. The goal should be to peacefully co-exist with caffeine; not abuse it.
Tyler Carnahan is a senior communications major.
Augusta, Georgia, artist Leonard Zimmerman, who goes by the nom-de-brush “Porkchop,” was voted Best Local Artist of 2010 by Augusta Magazine. In that same year, he painted a large-scale mural for the Augusta Water Works, and his Happy stickers can be found all around the city. Recently, the Phoenix 98 Fall 2014 editors had the opportunity to learn more about Porkchop and his artistic mission of spreading happiness. Layout by Drew Greiner Photography by Brent Cline Q: Tell us a little bit about your background as an artist. A: As a kid I took classes at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, and I went to Davidson Fine Arts School for most of middle and all of high school. I attended the Savannah College of Art and Design where I studied Graphic Design and graduated cum laude.
only a tiny portion of what we do, but I wanted to use my knowledge of the system and do something good. It’s a fact that smiles are contagious, so I figured the simplest message I could send was “happy.”
Q: Do you find that your background in graphic design has influenced your current painting style at all? A: I definitely think being a graphic designer has helped me as a painter - at least in the conceptual sense. There is usually a strong reason for what I am painting, but I also try not to shove whatever message I’m communicating in the viewer’s face.
It started with posters that I put up downtown (Augusta) - which disappeared as fast as I put them up. Through social media I discovered that they weren’t being torn down and thrown away; folks were taking them home with them! So the next logical step was to create stickers. They’re free and available at OddFellow’s Art Gallery on Broad Street - or if you see me I usually have some on me. I’ve also spread Happy via buttons and billboards.
Q: We love seeing your “Happy” stickers all over Augusta. What are the origins of this project? A: As a graphic designer you create logos and put logos on everything. Sure, that’s
Q: Robots seem to be a common theme in your art. What inspired you to use them in your pieces? A: Robots can have any age, race, gender and can represent anyone. It helps in
communicating. Q: Have you been influenced by any particular artists? A: I won’t deny there have been several pieces strongly influenced by Edward Hopper’s fantastic grasp of composition. I’ve also done some send-ups for Charles Schulz and the Peanuts gang. Q: What has been the most gratifying aspect of being an artist? A: Being able to watch someone enjoy something I’ve painted. It’s very cool to watch a child’s eyes light up when viewing a mural I’ve painted. Q: Word of advice for budding artists? A: Just get out there and do it. And keep doing it.
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RANDOM questions Q: Three words that describe you? A: Not. A. Robot. Q: Where do you go to get inspired? A: [I get inspired] when I’m least expecting it. Recently [I] was in Las Vegas and in New York. Immersing yourself in new places can be very inspiring. Q: Coffee or tea? A: COFFEE! Q: Motto you live by? A: “Surround yourself with things that make you happy.”
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Good for the Sole:
Life Lessons Learned through Running Story and Layout by Mary M. Capers
enix Magazine 18 Fall 2014 | Phoenix
“I just felt like running.” –Forrest Gump
| Phoenix Magazine
Everyone has heard how great running is for your health; at least that’s what I’ve been told my entire life. Blah. Blah. Blah. I never listened, or just never ran. Either way, I wasn’t a runner. Always admiring from afar, I longed to be one of those who just ran, for no other reason than to run. Not away from something. Not towards something. Just run, Forrest Gump-style. In my mind, it was just that easy, but why was it so hard for me? I just couldn’t understand it. I was in decent shape, but I physically couldn’t. Was there something wrong with me? I’d soon found out there was: I was going about it the wrong way. This past year I became even more determined to conquer running. I quit smoking, and even drinking, as much. I started walking, almost every day, between three and six miles each time. Soon, I wanted to run. It was like something inside of me suddenly clicked and told me to run. And so I did, but not for long. I became incredibly out of breath and had to stop. Ugh, I thought. Maybe this just isn’t for me. Well, if you have ever met me, that is not me. I am determined and stubborn, and not always in a good way! Running was no different than everything else in my life. I wanted it, and I wasn’t going to give up that easily. Day after day, I would push myself a little longer, a little farther. Soon, I was running. Not just for 60 seconds, followed by three minutes of heavy breathing. At first it was five, then 10, then 20, and soon 30 minutes of continuous running. I was actually doing it! Hold on. Don’t let my boasting misguide you; I am still a novice, at best, but I can now call myself a runner. What surprised me most about my running experience wasn’t the physical benefits; it was the mental ones. Yes, I felt more energetic and stronger physically, but it changed me mentally too. “It’s a psychological thing,” said Jim Knight, a runner for more than 50 years. “Your body has a tremendous capacity to adapt. Its just as much mind as it is body. It’s the mental aspect of it that’s tough. I mean, its physical, but once you get into good condition, it really becomes mental.” Running became my therapy through which I learned valuable lessons that ap-
ply to both my running, and life in general.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint
If I had a dollar every time I heard this little gem! I now realize its validity as I look towards my next run and my next big step in life: graduation. My journey was not traditional. I am 25 years old, I currently live at home, and I have no idea what I’m actually going to do after graduation. Even though that doesn’t seem like a good place to be, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in life right now. “Running is not about the distance,” Michael McCauley, owner of Fleet Feet Sports, said. “It’s about the journey. So learn to enjoy the process.” I know where I am, where I’ve been, and where I want to go. Just as one must train for a race, we must also train for life. Though I am not where I thought I would be at my age, I am enjoying the process and avoiding putting pressure on myself. This journey is my own. “Sometimes you have to go at your own pace,” said Adam Ward, Georgia Regents Uiniversity’s cross country coach. “Running is very symbolic. Everyone’s journey is different, and some people are gonna get there faster than others. But you may get more out of it when it takes longer.” Like my road to graduation, the process of learning to run has been longcoming, but I am going at my own pace and getting as much out of it as possible.
Go for the goal
I have officially learned the golden rule to running: starting is the hardest part. Whether it’s lacing up your running shoes or getting yourself out the door, or even the first physical step onto the pavement. It’s difficult. “Running requires you to be disciplined,” Ward said. “I think that’s the great thing about running; it forces you to set goals and routines, and to stick with them. They need to be realistic and challenging. Create short- and long-term goals. Plans A, B and C; you have to learn to modify and deal with it. Through running you can definitely learn to deal with setbacks and challenges.” Ward’s advice is applicable in creating everyday goals. Life is about taking calculated risks in order to advance in life. You
may lack motivation, or maybe the confidence, but in both running and life, you have to learn to put yourself out there: A short run is better than no run.
through hard work is a priceless life lesson.
Hard work pays off
“You should be exhilarated after a run,” Knight said. “Not exhausted.” That’s what is amazing about running. It can create more energy. Even though running is an extremely physical activity, it also takes mental strength. “A lot of times we don’t give ourselves enough credit,” Ward said. “We sell ourselves short. There will always be those little voices in your head that come up in any situation, trying to talk you out of things, saying, Oh, you’re gonna fail. You’re gonna do this. You’re gonna do that. I think running teaches us if we give ourselves a chance, we can exceed our own expectations.” Running becomes mind over matter. Your mind will tell you that it’s too hard and you should stop. Don’t get me wrong; one of the most important physical lessons that I have learned through running is to listen to your body. I’m not advising you to push yourself to physical exhaustion. But through running, I have found that I need to push out of my comfort zone, and I have been surprised with my own strength. Realizing your own strength and a willingness to push yourself allows you to be more successful.
“It’s okay to put yourself out there,” Ward said. “It’s okay. When things are tough, just persevere, adapt and survive.” Growing up, I was always frustrated that I wasn’t a successful runner. I tried and failed. But I didn’t understand it as a process. I simply couldn’t comprehend how easily it came to others, but not me. “Running teaches you to be patient and wait; you don’t see results immediately,” Ward said. “It takes time. There are no shortcuts. What you put in is what you get out. That’s like anything in life. If you want to be successful in your career, you have to put time and energy into it.” I wouldn’t call myself patient; quite the opposite. I got it from my father. Thanks a lot, Dad. But through running, I have found that I am more patient with myself than I am with the old lady driving 15-under in the left lane. At times, I would get frustrated with myself because I wasn’t running five miles immediately, but then I would think about how far I had come. With consistency in my training, I slowly improved, day-by-day, week-by-week, and finally month-by-month. “You get to the point where you enjoy it,” McCauley said. “In the moments you don’t, push through it. Take it on a daily basis; get through today and tomorrow will come.” Setbacks are inevitable in life, but one must endure and push forward. Learning
enix Magazine 20 Fall 2014 | Phoenix
You are stronger than you think
“I think breathing patterns have an af-
“When things are tough, just persevere, adapt and survive.” fect on the therapy aspect of running,” McCauley said. “Focusing on breath to deal with the stress that the body is under teaches you to deal with both the physical and mental.” Of all the physical components of running form, breathing was one of the most difficult and beneficial techniques to learn. To control breath during physical exertion isn’t easy. Once I was able to create a breathing rhythm, my running improved dramatically. I was able to focus, and it distracted me temporarily from the physical component of running. When I would get discouraged, I would take a deep breathe and resume my rhythm. “Without realizing, people tend to respirate more, signaling to your body that this is harder than it really is,” Ward said. “Just take a deep breathe and say I’m fine. It calms and centers us.” Stress is stress. Running is simply good stress on your body, helping you learn to deal with the emotional stressors in98 life.Fall 2014 When it gets difficult and overwhelming, you have to remind yourself to breathe. By focusing on breathing, we can take it moment-by-moment, breath-by-breath. There are obstacles in life that cause stress; take a deep breath and remove yourself.
“Running is not about the distance. It’s about the journey. So learn to enjoy the process.”
local | Phoenix A Magazine
runner enjoys a trail on the Augusta Canal. Photo by Andre Barnes
Make yourself a priority
“Anyone has time,” McCauley said. “Focus on yourself.” One of the easiest, and also hardest, lessons I learned through running was to think of me. Life may get busy with all the commitments we gather, but making time to take care of ourselves can be challenging. It gets stressful and busy; we make excuses and don’t stop to enjoy life. Whether spending time with loved ones, giving yourself a break for vacation or making time for a run, we need to learn to make time to enjoy the little things in life. “Try to have a set schedule,” Ward said, “so that you fit running into your schedule.” Making time for running, or anything we love, can be difficult. We need to remember to do things for ourselves to promote overall wellness.
Life is good
Throughout all these life lessons, I was taught to appreciate life and think positively. I had forgotten how great life truly is. I
went through a period of disbelief: a disbelief in myself, my capabilities and my life. Running helped me put my life in perspective. Honestly, for the first time, I truly cared about myself. I learned to love me for me, to meet challenges straight on, to be patient with myself, and to take away something from everything that life has to offer. Find your therapy. Find your strength.
Mary Capers is a senior communications major.
TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED
1. Make a plan and stick with it. 2. Bring your friends along. 3. hydrate.hydrate.hydrate. 4. REST IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS ACTIVITY. 5. Food is fuel. 6. push through HARD TIMES. 7. TAKE YOUR TIME. BE PATIENT. 8. DON’T FORGET TO WARM UP, COOL DOWN AND STRETCH. 9. ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. 10. HAVE FUN! 21
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Story by Shannon Pak Layout by Drew Greiner Photography by Whitney Hughey It’s inevitable. It’s an epidemic that comes in different forms of laziness or anxiety that strikes seniors in their last couple of months before graduation. Common side effects include consistently failing to get to class on time, being lazy or disconnected from all things pertaining to school, or feeling small, sudden episodes of sadness or angst when remembering that graduation date just around the corner. Although it is an unavoidable outbreak among seniors, there are methods to cure it. Lekeva Cancer, a senior and finance major, describes senioritis as “the lack of having any motivational drive at all.” When asked how to describe students who have senioritis, she
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said they lack preparedness, they are late to class, and they fail at having the desire to get school work done; Cancer claimed to have all of these symptoms. She remembers her realization of catching senioritis in her calculus class. While falling asleep from complete boredom and disinterest, she was contemplating whether or not she should skip the next class. It is understandable that students who are ready or anxious to graduate have such feelings. They have worked hard for the past four to five years with a goal of earning a degree. Students like Cancer may feel worn out or even deserving of a more merciful last semester.
When asked why seniors might come down with senioritis, senior marketing major Madeline Rogers replied, “I think we are just burnt out. We have worked so hard up to this point, and we are so ready to be finished that we start to slack off a bit…or a lot.” Rogers feels she has lost almost all motivation to work as hard as she did when she was a freshman or sophomore. “I know I’m graduating in December so as long as I pass my classes, I’m happy,” she said. Although seniors like Rogers and Cancer are struggling with senioritis, they understand that they need to focus and finish out their last semesters strong. Cancer said, “I need to take some advice
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for myself: Just keep a goal in mind and continue to press forward, because, at the end of the day, you are one step closer to graduating or moving onto the next semester. Just try to keep that goal in mind. Just stay focused.” Similarly, Rogers advised, “Although it may be hard to stay focused, take pride in what you do and work hard at it. It will all soon be over, and you will start a whole new life. Make the most of the time you have left.” Although these students feel apathetic with school towards the end of their years at Georgia Regents University, career advisor, Melissa Hudson Hall feels students only appear “disconnected or reluctant” because of their lack of preparedness after graduation. Hall de-
scribes senioritis as “a feeling of intense anxiety seniors feel when they are about to finish classes; and that fear can be about selecting a career, a career path or whether or not they will get into grad school.” She believes students can get rid of their fear, anxiety and laziness by using all resources available at Georgia Regents University, such as career services. Hall noticed the earlier seniors strategize a plan for after graduation, they are more excited and less anxious about finishing school. She said, “Having a game plan, having a focus, or sense of direction can eliminate a lot of anxiety; and those students who previously seemed lazy will kind of perk up… Often,
when you don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t do anything.” If you are infected with senioritis this semester, it is important to remember that you are not alone and that there are ways to cure it! After years of being in school, seniors should take charge and become leaders for the underclassmen. Although it may be difficult to see the light, graduation is just around the corner. Use resources around campus to help better prepare for the last couple of months in school, and for after graduation.
Shannon Pak is a senior communications major
HEALTH & WELLNESS
advice from an expert
A gift to treasure
Gloria Garner, AuD (Doctor of Audiology), leads the audiology program at University Hospital’s Speech and Hearing Center and provides consulting services for the cochlear implant program at Georgia Regents University’s Department of Otolaryngology. She is the Chair of the Ethical Practices Committee for the American Academy of Audiology and an adjunct professor of audiology at A.T. Still’s School of Health Sciences. She is a nationally certified trainer for The Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation and is passionate about helping others to enjoy every listening opportunity by preserving their hearing.
top for a moment and think about your favorite sound in the whole world. If you were to suddenly lose your hearing, what sound would you miss the most? Would it be the sound of waves crashing on the beach? The birds chirping overhead as you go for a walk? A song that takes you back to a special place or time? Someone special whispering, “I love you?” Our ability to hear well connects us to music, our loved ones and the sounds of nature. We live in a very noisy world and it is crucial to remember that one-third of permanent hearing loss is preventable with simple hearing loss prevention strategies. Damage to hearing can occur suddenly (for example with a single unprotected blast from the gunshot of a hunting rifle or standing too close to the speakers at a club or concert) or gradually over time (listening with earbuds to an iPod at high levels for hours each day). enix Magazine 24 Fall 2014 | Phoenix
One of the greatest common threats to hearing in young adults is repeated exposure to music at loud levels. Here are some easy to implement strategies to dramatically reduce the potential for permanent hearing damage.
When listening to an iPod or MP-3 player, if someone an arm’s length away can hear the music coming from the earbuds, the volume is too loud and needs to be reduced. Seriously consider switching from earbuds to quality headphones. Headphones better isolate background noise and allow you to listen at lower volume levels. Automate your settings. Lower the maximum volume on your iPod to 60% (Go to “Settings” and choose “Volume Limit” under music). This will assure you never accidentally exceed a safe listening level.needs to be reduced.
Think 60/60 rule: Limit listening with earbuds to 60 minutes per day at 60% volume. Stay well back from the large speakers at concerts and clubs. Use earplugs if you will be located near the speakers.
98 Fall 2014 If the volume levels coming from music in the car are so loud that a conversation cannot be carried on without raising your voice, the volume levels have reached a damaging level and need to be reduced. Musicians should consider custom-made musician’s earplugs to protect their hearing.
If you experience any of the following, it can be an early warning sign of damaging noise exposure > Your ears feel full or heavy after leaving a noisy area. > Your ears ring or buzz after noise exposure. > You experience difficulty clearly understanding conversational speech even though you can hear people talking. > Your hearing seems muffled or distorted.
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the inside scoop from students just like you
How do you manage to eat healthy on a college budget? “I don’t buy frozen foods or prepared foods. I focus on buying ‘real’ food and preparing it myself. If I buy prepared food, I can spend maybe $4 on one meal, but if I buy the ingredients myself, I can spend $6 and have two or three days worth of meals. That way, I know exactly what’s in the food I’m eating, too.” - Morgan Ryffé
How do you stay organized as a college student?
“On a day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month basis, I write everything down in my planner and I cross out my days just so I know exactly what I’m doing each day and the whole week.” - Katherine Douglas
Do you have any tips for students struggling with “senioritis”? “Once you’re able to time manage yourself, you have these gaps that open 8 Fall 2014 up [in your schedule]. So maybe now you can go to the gym and work 9on your fitness, or maybe you can start investigating what your future’s going to look like after college. Maybe do a little job searching or start incorporating some internships into your life. Anything that betters yourself.” - Benjamin Hammond
How do you find time to stay physically active as a college student?
“I try to get a good night’s sleep; I make myself go to bed early and wake up early. If I’m well rested, it helps me to not only do better in my school work, but also practice better when I train.” - Olegs Garner
What helps you to manage stress throughout the semester? “Find something you enjoy that helps relieve stress. Sometimes, it’s OK to momentarily get away from your books if you’re feeling super stressed out. What I enjoy is shopping in moderation. If I’m stressed out, or feeling like I didn’t do well on a test, I’ll go buy myself a little something to make myself feel better. Find something you can buy or an activity you enjoy that helps relieve stress.” - Victoria Phillips enix Magazine
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HOOKED Story and Layout Design by Erica Ruggles
Photo by Rachel Jackson enix Magazine
he hooks are set and the tension is equal across all points in my body. I feel the rigging being pulled up and the skin on my legs and back being stretched with it. My shoulders start to tense up in response, but I quickly close my eyes to bring my concentration inward. I take a big, expansive breath, feeling the energy radiate from my heart center, and feel myself settle into the warm, inviting embrace of the six hooks embedded in my body. I take one more cleansing breath and open my eyes, grinning. “You ready?” “Yes,” I say, and for the first time I feel a true sense of calm and preparedness wash over me. My body starts to leave the ground as the rope pulls me up; the tugging on my skin becoming more intense, more earnest, as my entire body weight begins to be supported by nothing more than the hooks in my thighs, calves and back. I feel myself bounce a little, but before I can ask to be steadied, cheers and applause come from the small crowd gathered around me, and I realize that I am fully off the ground. This is my sixth ascent and I am high | Phoenixamong Magazine the trees and nature, no less. Most in attendance on that humid evening at the end of August 2014 were familiar with the feeling of exhilaration and absolute mental calm. We participate in
Photo by Paul Dorian
Photo by Fabrizio Diehl flesh, or body suspension. This practice, with ritualistic roots, originated with the Native Americans and some Hindu sects. Although most modern suspensions are not rituals, groups such as CoRE (Constructs of Ritual Evolution) return to ancient roots and perform suspensions with two hooks placed in the chest, referred to as o-keepa suspensions in this context. In a flesh suspension, medium-sized, sterilized hooks are pierced through clean skin with single use needles on different areas of the body, depending on the position that the participant prefers to suspend in. No numbing cream is used during the piercing procedure. The most common position for first time participants is the suicide position, with two to four hooks placed in the back. The next step is creating the rigging that will properly and safely hold the body weight of each participant. This is where the professional expertise of individuals like Kaspa Disgrace and Mandolynne Hopkins come in. Both are professionally trained piercers and body modification artists who have taken classes on subjects such as bloodborne pathogens, cross contamination guidelines, general safety and infection control. Although the placement of the ropes and the knots may seem to be of little difficulty, there is a distinct science involved. “It’s a mix of math and basic physics, which is really fun,” said Mandolynne, who is a key member of Skindicate Suspensions, a group that operates out of Atlanta. They frequently travel to places like New York City to perform at tattoo con-
ventions and other events. “There are rules and equations used to determine safety factors while suspending,” Mandolynne continued. Kaspa, director of Skindicate, stresses the utmost importance of sterile procedures and equipment. “Do you know how an autoclave works?” he asked me. While I have a general idea, his basic explanation gives me a better grasp of how the machines work. Autoclaves are used to sterilize the hooks and are also used in piercing studios to sterilize body jewelry and piercing implements. “We keep a log of the spore tests,” Kaspa said. “This lets us know that the machine is working properly.” There are also strips inside the individually packaged hooks that show the hook has been sterilized. Although the practice of suspension, along with tattooing and other body modifications, is not regulated by the government, individual coalitions have been formed to emphasize the importance of proper education and techniques to make the experience safer for everyone. The International Suspension Alliance’s mission is stated as follows from the suspension.org website: The International Suspension Alliance (ISA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the unification of the body suspension community through research, education, outreach, and the dissemination of information pertaining to the safe practice of human suspension to practitioners, the general public, and health care professionals.
Fall 2014 | Phoenix Magazine
matter how long you are in the air.
Photo by Fabrizio Diehl The ISA, along with other seasoned practitioners in the community, work to fulfill this mission by holding open meetings at major suspension and piercing events, such as Dallas Suscon, Mecca and the Association of Professional Piercers Conference. It is worth noting that all practitioners whom I have come into contact with are also professional body piercers and as such have an intricate knowledge of human skin and piercing procedures. After the rigging has been finalized, shackles are attached to the eyes of the hooks, and rope is threaded through the shackles, which are attached to the rigging plate or beam. This system is then attached to a rope and carabiner setup so that another individual may thread the rope through a harness attached to their waist, similar to the belaying action used in mountain climbing, and hoist the participant in the air. The process of getting off the ground varies for everyone, from first time suspendees to more seasoned participants, but I have found that the resounding opinion is this: once your feet leave the ground, the feeling is intoxicating, no
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erhaps the most burning question that those who denounce and decry this practice feel compelled to ask is, “Why?” Suspension is unique in this aspect; everyone has their own personal reasons for choosing to participate, ranging from curiosity to enjoyment or to celebrate a special event in their life. As such, each suspension is a deeply personal experience. Eric Manion, a body piercer located in Chicago, has motives that are much different and far removed from the aforementioned reasons. “I wanted to suspend for one reason: My girlfriend hung herself when she was 18,” he explained. “It was a huge part of my life and changed me completely. I started doing lots of drugs, got involved in a gang and generally stopped caring about life. I even tried to take my own life a few months after.” Manion emphasized the positive influence that she had on his life when she was alive. “My first suspension was a tribute to her and the final piece of letting go of the hurt I felt for so long, which is why I chose the ‘suicide’ suspension.” Eric then drove four hours to suspend at the DisGraceGiving Atlanta event in November 2013, one of five community-
Photo by Meko Kilmore
centric suspension and Thanksgiving potluck events organized by the DisGraceLanD Entertainment group. Eric credited the overwhelming kindness extended to him by the suspension community for putting him at ease. He was mainly concerned that he wouldn’t be able to get off the ground. “I was so nervous [that] I would fail myself and Kacey’s memory,” he remembered. “While I was lying on the table about to be pierced, I completely shut everyone else out and visualized Kacey and all the wonderful times we had together. This continued throughout the length of my suspension, and when my feet hit the ground after being let down I felt an incredible weight fall on my whole body. Then, a few seconds later, it was as if everything was released: my weight, gravity, sadness, all the pain I ever went through was completely gone and I felt completely at peace.” Such emotional accounts are not uncommon in the community, especially when participants overcome a difficult and more uncomfortable position. Last November, I was also in attendance at the DisGraceGiving Atlanta 8 aFall 2014 event to attempt my first suspension9in lotus position. Typically, the participant is seated in a cross-legged position (although some
| Phoenix Magazine Photo by Michele Osborne suspendees have their legs in full lotus position) with two hooks in the back, one in each thigh and one in each calf. My two prior suspensions had only been from my back, so I was particularly nervous about this unexplored position. I was most concerned about how the hooks in my legs would feel.
“Then, a few seconds later, it was as if everything was released: my weight, gravity, sadness, all the pain I ever went through was completely gone and I felt completely at peace.” I can most certainly say that I would not have had so much success with the position without the most motivating facilitator, Cere Coichetti.
Cere is the team leader at White Flag Suspensions in New York, and he traveled to Atlanta to facilitate suspensions during the event. As I expected, the pain and discomfort from the hooks in my legs was almost too difficult to overcome. Cere was there to talk me through the pain and imbue in me the strength to continue in my endeavor. As I was suddenly pulled into the air, I struggled through the first seconds of flight before I felt completely at peace. It was such a meditative position. My mind quieted as the endorphins surged through me; I felt weightless. I stayed in the air for 45 minutes in what was, at the time, my most successful suspension to date. The prevailing feeling of calm lasts far beyond my time in the air, in fact. Throughout my daily life, I feel confined and almost numb at times. However, after I have received the hooks in my skin, I can really, truly breathe once again and continue unabated, having achieved mental clarity. Each time I have participated in a sus-
pension, the pain of the hooks almost convinces me not to do it anymore, but the initial shock of the piercing tends to drag my euphoria to the surface, even if it is spiked with nervousness. Every suspension is an opportunity for me to improve on my self-awareness and mental strength. This practice becomes truly beneficial to me in my daily life because I have become aware of how strong and capable I am, both physically and mentally.
Erica Ruggles is a junior communications major.
Welcome to Greek life, music festivals, weekend house parties and no curfews.
But not so fast.
Welcome, ramen noodles, $150 books that get bought back for $30, renter’s insurance and unpaid internships. These days it seems like everything fun costs money, and students might be feeling the college financial blues already. Being a poor college student is certainly a stereotype with some truth behind it, but don’t get discouraged. All it takes is a few lifestyle adjustments to become a pro at being poor. It’s easy to get into the habit of staying home all the time with the excuse of, “I’m too poor to do anything.” Keep your chin up, college student. Just as you’ll adjust to functioning on only five hours of sleep, you’ll adjust to staying entertained and
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socially active on the cheap.
Amanda Thomas, junior clinical science major and retail sales associate, says the secret to being good at being a poor college student is to “actively seek out free or cheap activities.” Leza Witherington, Administrative Assistant of the Communications Department, encourages students to get involved in their community when empty pockets are the case. Witherington is the volunteer coordinator for several events in the Augusta, Georgia, area. Over the year she reaches out to students to volunteer at events like Rock Fore Dough, Papa Banjo-BQ, Arts and the Heart, and 12 Bands of Christmas. Volunteer opportunities provide
students a chance to trade a few hours’ work for free entrance to the fun events in the community. Volunteering at these events is broken down into three to four hour shifts and it’s not manual labor, Witherington explained. The work that is done includes working the front gates, scanning tickets, pulling beer, monitoring booths, or any number of hundreds of little
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tasks that putting on an event can take. “They do their time with me,” she said, “and once they’re done, they can stay and do their thing.” ‘Their thing’ meaning maybe meeting up with friends at the festival, sticking around to see the show, grabbing a beer, or participating in any of the community events that are offered. Except as a volunteer, the entrance and the experience is fo’ free! Getting active is more than just a fun time though. Witherington sees volunteering as an
opportunity to network, give back, meet people and better yourself. “Young people don’t appreciate the importance of getting active and involved,” she explained. “It shouldn’t be just about having a night out. You never know who you’re talking to.” Volunteering offers the chance for students to gather with people who have the same interests. “We’ve got everything in this town,” Witherington continues. “Pick one. It could be music, politics, environmental, the arts, history.” All a bored poor college student could ask for. And volunteers almost always get fed, which is reason enough to sign up. Who doesn’t love free food?
Let food become your favorite currency
At Papa-Banjo-BQ, Witherington said that volunteers received free entrance and a lunch voucher in exchange for working the event. While patrons of the festival had to shell out for their delicious barbeque, volunteers got a free sandwich and drink. For many students, free food is enough to get them signed up for almost anything. Sam Heffner, sophomore Political Science major, is also an intern for the Georgia GOP here at their local office. “It’s a long day,” he confesses about his work day there, full of constituent outreach and canvasing, “but the office manager always buys lunch for us [other interns and volunteers], which is pretty cool.” Heffner goes on to confess that, sure,
most days it’s just pizza, but that still saves him a couple of dollars on the days he goes in to work, and that can quickly add up. Think about it; a lunch maybe cost $6, multiplied by three days that’s $18. And that, Heffner says, is gas. Factor that into not having to wash dishes, not having to worry if it was your roommate’s pizza, and it’s a break from canned soup or ramen noodles. Working for food is a pretty smart move, college student.
You’re a college student; milk it for all it’s worth
Dean Smedley, Assistant Director of Student Center Operations, says to take advantage of being a college student, which is, well, great common sense advice when students actually take the time to think about it. Students get all kinds of student discounts on shopping, food, technology, entertainment tickets, and with some companies, even utilities. It just takes a six-word question, “Do you offer a student discount?” and a simple redirection of spending habits. Instead of following the money, follow the discounts. Yet Smedley is thinking even more specific; down to the university level, where students spend the majority of their time. He builds off of Witherington’s advice to get involved and goes on to tell students to keep themselves informed. While Smedley understands that students are overwhelmed with information, emails, posters, Facebook posts, and it’s easy to miss things, he says that if you’re bored, it’s your own fault. There’s always something going on on-campus. Every semester, various organizations host events across campus both during traditional class hours and outside class hours that are, you guessed it, free. The Initiative, The Sandhill Series, The Cinema Series, The Crew, and plenty others, host events that range from movies to dances to poetry and spoken word to art exhibits and beyond, all paid for by student fees and tuition. “Most of what is offered for students is either free or at minimal cost compared to outside services.” Smedley said. Not just entertainment wise either, Smedley points out the everyday utilities available to students on campus, like gym membership opportunities. Georgia Regents University has two wellness centers, one at the Summerville campus and the other at the downtown medical campus. Students have free access to these centers, including their equipment,
enix Magazine 34 Fall 2014 | Phoenix Magazine
Above, volunteers at the 2014 Rivers Alive Cleanup, serve themselves lunch, provided to them free by the Savannah River Keeper. Below, members of GRU Student Government Association pose next group workout classes, basketball courts and an indoor track. “When you think about the cost of a gym membership, plus the cost of gas driving to and back, it adds up,” Smedley explained. “The most important aspect of the facilities on campus is the convenience. Students are on campus anyways. All they have to do is take the time to plan out their day and read about what is available to them.” Smedley thinks that not enough students are doing this; planning their day to pack their gym clothes and work out on campus, or making a point to stick around for the after-hours student events. But if they did, it could save them a lot of money. Staying on campus can be difficult for a student who has just spent hours studying in the library and all he/she may want to do is just leave to get away from it all. Thomas says students should consider a change of heart. “I spend hours on campus,” she sighs. “I’m either in lab or in the honors suite, but there are always people in there to talk to, that way I can tell my mom I socialized today.” Which isn’t a bad thing. The individuals that students, like Thomas, may interact with on campus share common interests. Don’t underestimate the impact that like-minded people can have on a cash-
strapped social life. Thomas advises students to take notice of those common 98 Fall 2014 areas that students can congregate in. “I bumped into a friend of mine from work and she took me to a movie that she was about to go see [on campus].” Thomas describes seeing a free Sci-Fi film in the Maxwell Theatre. “I would have never thought to go see a movie like that, but she invited me [and] so I went. I liked it.” Hanging out on campus can present opportunities that can change the campus environment from study hall to social hour.
Go big, go smart
Jamie Lough, recent transfer student studying Early Childhood Development and who works as a nanny, has some advice about becoming a responsible, social adult. Lough has just returned to college and is a non-traditional student, so she has some insight for the students in their early twenties. “If you’re going to go out, go all out,” she says. “I don’t waste my money at the bars here because I can’t [gain] anything out of them.” Except maybe a hangover, of course. Lough is talking about staying away from “empty” environments and, instead, attending networking events like the fund
-raiser she went to in Atlanta. “I planned ahead. I knew how much money I wanted to spend, and it was a cause I’m passionate about,” she explained. It was a fundraiser benefitting an organization called CARE, which advocates for the empowerment of girls and women in third world countries. The cost of the ticket was $35, but Lough explained that since the cost of the ticket acts as a donation to the organization, she does get to write it off on her taxes. “If I party, I like to look for things like that to go to,” she says. “It was put on by Young Professionals of Atlanta, so I met people that could potentially advance me forward.” Lough currently sponsors two girls in Africa, which is what initially attracted her to the CARE organization. Lough says that particular weekend in Atlanta cost her about 150 dollars, which included the ticket, a full tank of gas, and drinks. In return, she learned more about CARE, met three employees of the organization, other individuals who share her same humanitarian interests, and guess what, the food was free. “I think it’s an investment,” she says. “When I got home, I applied for an open position that one of the people I met told | Phoenix Magazine me about, and I was able to say that I was familiar with their organization, that I was told about the position through one of their employees. I was able to state my current relationship as a donor but I wanted to become more involved as a professional.” Most students might winced at the price tag on Lough’s weekend away but she says she doesn’t spend that much every weekend out and it was because the event was in Atlanta that she spent as much as she did. Lough reminds students that there is a Young Professionals association in Augusta too, so driving to Atlanta can be avoided. “Try to get out at least once a month,” Lough advises. Unfortunately, the final advice is sacrifices must be made. While all young people hate to hear the word “moderation,” that’s exactly what being a happy poor person is all about. But no fear, it’s not that bad if you are a smart, involved, fearless student.
Clarissa Chavez is a senior communications major.
stay out of the red be smart with credit
Don’t get a generic credit card. Those make it way too easy to rack up unnecessary debt. Choose a specific and practical credit line, such as a gas card. If you own a car, you’ll be spending money on gas anyway, and many of these cards offer a couple of cents off a gallon as rewards for being a card holder.
plan your splurges
Being “poor” isn’t necessarily about living without. Sure, name brand items cost more, but you don’t have to give up everyhing you love just because you can’t afford it. First, determine three everyday items that you absolutely cannot live without. The logic is that not everything you buy has to be name brand, but consider a few items that you are willing to invest a bit more into. For some, it’s the expensive coffee, for others, it may be top shelf alcohol or designer lipstick at Sephora. Second, account for these items in your budget when you go shopping. This will help with the feeling that you have dissented into squalor. The money that you save choosing generic brand items will go towards the cost of those three items you decided to splurge on.
know the local specials
The local newspapers should become your new best friends. The Metro Spirit and The Augusta Chronicle have community calendars. That will keep you up to date on all the latest happenings in the area. Some of which, of course, are free! Also pay attention to your favorite restaurants’ daily specials. The Bee’s Knees, located in downtown Augusta, has drink specials every day of week. Not to mention, all the specials are available on Sundays.
not bad, college student! 35
either the work of the other
is the work of
good for the soul is the work of the soul
- Henry David Thoreau
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