Archive for September, 2009

The Honeymoon is Over…

Today is Day 3 of our focus on communication.  Today we are going to discuss….roommates.  Most of you have them, whether you live on or off campus.  For some of you this might be the first time you have had to share a space with someone who is not related to you.

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Some of you might have embraced the idea of having a roommate.  Maybe you thought that your roommate would be the person you would play guitar hero with all night long or the person who would let you raid their closet when you needed just the right outfit.  Things might have started off great, but now you might be fed up with their (insert annoying habit here).

Does it mean you need to move?  No.  However it is time to talk to your roommate.  You might be tired of their dirty clothes all over the floor or fed up that they sleep with the TV on.  Whatever it is, have you talked to your roommate about it?

Most roommates will have an issue at some point, but rolling your eyes and posting how irritated you are with them on Facebook is NOT the solution.  You need to communicate with them, let them know what the issue is and find a compromise both of you can live with.  Most people don’t realize that (insert habit) annoys others and most are willing to compromise if they are told it is causing a conflict.

I have a lifetime roommate, my husband, and I have a habit of going to sleep with the TV on.  I didn’t know it was an issue until he said something.  We talked about it, I explained that I need the TV on to fall asleep, he explained that he can’t sleep well if the TV is on all night.  So, we compromised…I go to sleep with the TV on but set the sleep timer.  Now we both are happy and sleeping well 🙂

Here are 4 tips that can improve communication with your roommate:

Talk to your roommate directly when something is bothering you. Don’t discuss it behind his or her back because this can cause a breakdown in trust between the two of you.

Be direct. Be clear about what is bothering you. If you don’t tell your roommate that there is a problem he or she won’t be able to do anything about it.

If you create a win-win situation then the conflict is more likely to be resolved. Evaluate the needs of both sides before a solution is proposed. And make sure the solution is acceptable to both parties.

Respect each other’s differences. Everyone has different values, lifestyles, expectations, and communication styles. Get to know each other and establish common ground. It is easier to solve a problem with a friend than with a stranger.

The more you communicate with your roommate the better the chances are for having a positive living situation.

Tell us in the comment section:  What has been the most challenging thing about sharing a room or apartment?

What Happens on Facebook

Facebook is a must have for any college student.  It allows you to connect to your peers and stay connected with friends across the country.  From status updates to pictures, Facebook has become a major part of our day to day communication.

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I wake up every morning and update my Facebook status.  It has become part of my daily routine.  It allows me to share the goings on in my life with people who live in other time zones.  I might not have time to call 10 of my closest friends to tell them about _____ but I can put it on Facebook and let all of them know within a minute.

While that is the upside to Facebook, the downside is just like any electronic communication…it is open to interpretation and I bet someone knows someone who knows the person you just referred to in your status.  I also am willing to bet that the person you just dissed in your status will find out from that someone who knows someone.

We all have had some good times and there are photos to prove it.  While you might not be the one to post the evidence, someone does and tags you.   What is the picture saying about you?  You have heard a picture is worth a thousand words…

What you put on Facebook communicates something about you.  You should never post your phone number or address.  Think twice before updating your status…yes, you might think your professor/boss/roommate/etc is smelly/weird/overbearing/boring/etc but even if you are not friends with them they could be that someone who is friends with someone who is your facebook friend.

What do you use Facebook for?  Tell us in the comment section and you could win in this Friday’s drawing!

Can You Hear Me Now?

Communication is all around us.  We e-mail, text, twitter, facebook and sometimes we actually talk face to face.  So many of us use electronic forms of communication that some say we have forgotten how to get our message across without the use of a facebook status.

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While you are here at UNT you will take classes in various disciplines.  While you might not see the connection between art and chemistry, there is: communication.  Every class you take will allow you to fine tune your communication skills.

Most employers want someone who can communicate effectively.  I am going to share with you 5 tips to improve your communication:

Think before you speak. Saying what you mean and meaning what you say is the golden rule to communication.

Make eye contact.  This little gesture communicates that you are sincere.

Keep it simple.  We all have a family member that takes an hour to tell a story and all you can do is sit there and think, “hurry up and get to the point”.  While details are important, your point can be made without a long winded story.

Your body says more than your words at times.  If your eyes are rolling or your arms are crossed the message you are sending is I am not listening even if your words say you are.

Hearing is half of being heard.  If you are not listening to what someone is saying then they are less likely to hear you.

These are just a few tips to improve your communication.  This week we will look at different situations where you will need to put your communication skills to the test, from living with a roommate to talking to your professor.  Can you hear me now…good!

Tell us in the comment section what type of communication you use most and you will be entered into our weekly drawing (held on fridays)


Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.

Giving back.  It is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have, not only in college but in life.  Some people volunteer because of a class, some do because it looks good on a resume, others do because they enjoy it.  No matter what the reason is for volunteering I can tell you that all of them are positively impacted by the experience.  All of them have made a difference.

habitat humaity

Getting involved and giving your time is a rewarding experience.  Whether you tutor kids, help build a house, donate canned goods or plant a tree…you are making a difference.  There are many organizations on campus and in the Denton community that you can get involved in.  Today I am going to tell you about 3 of them.

BIGS is the campus chapter of Big Brothers, Big Sisters.   You will be paired up with a child and spend one on one time with them.  It could be a day at the park, playing a board game or spending a day at the museum.  The schedule is flexible and you pick the time, but they ask that you commit a few hours a month to that child.

Habitat for Humanity has a chapter at UNT.  Besides helping build a home, members fund raise, raise awareness and work with the local city chapter.  Members pay a $5 membership fee each year.  The group told me that they fund raise in the Fall and those funds help support building in the Spring.

Alpha Phi Omega is a co-ed national service Fraternity.  It was founded on the ideals of Leadership, Friendship and Service.   The fraternity is open to anyone who is a student at UNT and if interested in joining you will need to take part in their pledge program.

Here are some things you might get out of volunteering:

  • Making new friends
  • Gaining important skills and experience that will help you later in life
  • Making connections that can lead to a job or career
  • Seeing more of your community and world
  • Building confidence and self-esteem

Have you been involved in community service?  If so, tell us what you did and 1 thing you gained from the experience.  Remember, your comments will enter you in a drawing for a cool prize (the winner will be announced today in this post at 4pm)

And today’s winner is: Mark McCall (your prize will be delivered on Monday)

Yes, they have a group for that.

This week we have been talking about involvement. While some groups are associated with an academic area or are service oriented, there are some groups that you can join just for fun.  Today I am going to tell you about 3 groups on campus that sound fun.

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Color your world.  Do you like to paint?  If so you might be interested in H2O HUE.  This group is dedicated to watercolor painting, getting together to socialize and venturing out to see art.

Breathe in….breathe out…are you looking for ways to reduce stress?  Meditation is a great stress reliever and yes, there is a club for that.  The Meditation Club meets every Tuesday ay 5:15 in the Union and they suggest you bring a small pillow and wear comfortable clothes.

Run, swim, bike.  If you enjoy all of the above and like a little competition then you might be interested in joining the Mean Green Triathlon Team.  The club participates in several races in the spring.

These are just a few of the fun student groups that exist on campus.  While the meditation club might not be a resume builder, involvement doesn’t always need to be…just ask yourself…I am interested in it, would I have fun and would I enjoy meeting others who share my passion?

If you could form a student group on campus what would it be?  Post your comments and you could win in tomorrow’s drawing!

Beans or no beans

Family. Friends. Fun.

All of this and….chili!  This weekend is Family Weekend at UNT.  It is time to invite the family, close friends and enjoy the festivities:  the 5k fun run/walk, football and did I mention, chili.

chilichilitexaschili

Family weekend is a great opportunity to get involved.  Whether you are planning on spending the weekend with family and friends or going it solo, you have the opportunity to take part in lots of fun activities.

Stephanie, I know you told us that you like to run.  Rachel is not a fan of running, but do you enjoy a good walk?  The 5k fun run/walk is a great opportunity to run/walk the campus (without having to do it to get to class) and get entered into a tuition raffle.  Yes…by simply putting your feet to use, you could win free tuition for one semester.  If interested you need to register (online or at the site) and the cost is $10 advance and $15 day of.

Peppers, beef, spices….Mmmmmm….Chili!  On Saturday there will be the 13th annual chili cook-off.  Are any of you chefs in the making?  Does your mom make the world’s best chili?  Then you should enter the chili cook-off.  I would enter my chili recipe but I am still tweaking it.  I am also unsure what the reaction would be…I put beans in my chili (I was born and raised in Ohio…we use beans).  However I am sure that Texans will like one thing about my chili…the heat…I love spice.  Maybe next year for me…will this be your year?

The culminating event of Family Weekend is the football game!  Attending the game is just one of the many ways you can get involved…and I guarantee that you will share something with the hundreds of people sitting around you, UNT pride.

For more information on Family weekend, check out:

http://familyweekend.unt.edu/

Attending campus events like Family Weekend is one way to get involved at UNT.  Are you planning on attending Family Weekend and if so, what event are you most looking forward to?  And a bonus question, beans or no beans…that is the question?  Tell us in the comment section and you could win a prize this Friday.