It’s Christmas Time at Belmont

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While most mourn the loss of shorts and sunshine I am thrilled with the recent chill, because cold weather brings the holidays at Belmont. Belmont is beautiful all year round but it is more magical than ever during the holidays. Every inch of campus decorated with lights and garland, nothing like the end of finals and Christmas trees at every corner to get you in the holiday spirit.

Growing up I went to a public school and that meant Christmas trees were not allowed. One of my favorite things about Belmont is that they leave no building unadorned. Around the middle of November the holiday invasion begins. Lights are strung in all the trees in the quad and wreaths hung over every door. There is no need to go anywhere else to look at lights or Christmas displays. The grand finale is the huge Christmas tree in the grand atrium. It reaches to the very top of the atrium and is the perfect place to take holiday pictures with your friends. If you get to visit our beautiful campus this time of year, consider yourself lucky because you are catching Belmont at its very best. So grab a cup of coffee and as soon as the sun sets walk through campus and you’ll be singing Christmas carols before no time or at least signing something because after all this is Belmont.

 

Music for the entire Belmont POPulation

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From Pink to Jay-Z and Sara Bareilles to TLC there was a full range of styles represented at the pop showcase this Saturday.  Four artists each with a different unique style, lit up the stage providing one of the most exciting and diverse showcases yet! With Belmont students’ talent and passion for their music, the five showcases throughout the year never disappoint. This year was no different!
Each year four of the best artists in each genre urban/pop, rock, country and Christian, are given the honor of performing on stage in the Curb event center in front of all their peers! The showcases are completely student run from the lighting, sound, production etc. The artists in each showcase performs a set of three songs and a winner is selected to compete in the final showcase called “ the best of the best.” This is not only an amazing opportunity for the artists to promote their music and expose the campus to their work but it also provides a great opportunity to audio engineering, music business, public relations, and various other majors giving them great experience in working in every aspect of show development.  I as a non-music oriented major however, I just enjoy the music.
You may expect the pop showcase to be full of top 10 radio hits all very upbeat and mainstream, but I was personally blown away by this year’s students ability to really expand the genre, displaying every aspect of the broad umbrella that is pop music. The artists were allowed to do covers and originals. The first artist performed pup tunes, fun girly upbeat songs about break ups and going out with friends. She did a cover of Pink’s “Glitter in the Air”. The next artist had a more bluesy feel. She even did a very rich and soulful variation of Scrubs, originally by TLC. The third artist had  more of a powerful Sara Bareiles flare, showed off her amazing vocals by taking on “Stay” by Sara Bareiles. The last act of the night and Showcase champ was a rap artist who had the whole Curb groovin by the end of his set. He brought everyone to their feet closing with “Show Me What You Got” by Jay Z. The diversity really shows the musical talent within Belmont. Belmont produces incredible musicians of all genres and all styles. I am thankful get a chance to hear some budding artist and add some great Belmont sound to my collection.

“Beginning of the End” The Start of my Senior Year

It’s move in day and students are busy buzzing around lugging lamps, boxes and comforters up the spiral staircase of the freshman door I once called home. I watched as all the excited and nervous freshman stepped onto the campus for the first time. I couldn’t help but feel sentimental as I passed the very room I moved in to my very first day at Belmont. It felt strange thinking how different that little freshman was compared to the person I am today. In the midst of the craziness of school starting back, I had almost forgotten that this would be my very last first day at Belmont.

Heading into my senior year is surreal. It seems as if the three years leading up to this point have flown by. I have made so many incredible memories on this campus and will forever cherish every moment at Belmont. This school was my first home away from home. It was where I first became inspired by learning, first discovered my passion for the medical field, and first developed all the amazing relationships that have shaped my life in such a big way.

Though it saddens me to think in a year I will be graduating, I look forward to the challenge that this year brings. I want to make the most of this year and fully experience all Belmont has to offer. Stay tuned as I share the many adventures of my senior year!

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Then …. and now!

Hello Summer

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Finals are upon us here at Belmont, and as we “dot our I’s” in our final essays and take our last exams we all look forward to summer! Belmont starts summer earlier than most so that students can take a Maymester if they so choose. But for those of us not taking summer courses, our summer starts May 1st!

This summer, I look forward to some much needed rest and relaxation while working and doing research towards my senior research project. At Belmont, students with science majors are required to do a senior research project. We are matched with a faculty member and are able to develop and perform a research project that we create under their tutelage and expertise. I am doing my research a little differently. One of my past professors remembered by interest in malaria and set me up with a professor at Vanderbilt. I will assist in his research which goes perfectly with my interest. I am honored to be working under such an established scientist making strides in my area of interest. This is a perfect example of how devoted our faculty members are to helping you gain as many opportunities as possible during your time in college. My research this summer is exactly what I had always hoped to do in my undergrad.

Throughout the summer I will be going to the Vanderbilt medical research building and collecting mosquitoes from the lab to manipulate in order to test various physiological mechanisms. Understanding the inner workings of mosquitoes will help us to better understand their efficiency as a vector of various diseases such as malaria.  I look forward to learning the process of performing research and answering a question I help develop. I will learn so much from experiencing science first hand and undergoing the entire research process.

I have had so many incredible experiences and opportunities that have come from the amazing people I have met and had the pleasure to work with at Belmont. My undergraduate career has been so much more than simply going to class. I know I will reap the benefits of all this experiential learning as I move on to graduate school. I cannot wait to start working in the lab and see what it is like to work as a real world scientist!

 

 

Greek Week!

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You may question what kind of Greek life a liberal arts Christian school could possibly have. Though I will admit our Greek life isn’t your typical state school experience, joining our incredible group of Greeks here at Belmont was one of the best decisions I made in college. This past week I was reminded of how much fun I get to have due to my involvement. This week was Greek Week a week  of fun activities and friendly competition between the sororities and fraternities, the grand finale being Greek Sing!

Greek Week at Belmont has a few traditions, one is Trivia Night. People get so into it. I had sisters who studied for weeks learning random facts about the other sororities and fraternities. We also have Greek Olympics which involves relay races, an egg toss, dodge ball and a super intense round of tug of war! For us less athletically inclined this means face paint, cheers and running along the sidelines with a handmade sign. On Thursday we had a “middle school dance.” We all dressed up in clothes only 90′s babies would understand and relived the old days of Britney, the Backstreet boys and the Spice girls. The whole week is filled with cheering on your sorority or fraternity and having fun with other members of Greek life. We also have a Service Day where everyone gets together and volunteers for a local charity event. This year my sorority teamed up with another fraternity and did a local race called Dairy Dash. I got to meet a lot of new people while serving! Points are awarded for attendance and winning each event. A Grand Chapter Winner is named at the end of the week!

The week ends with Greek Sing. At Belmont we have incredible singers and dancers so Greek Sing at Belmont, as you can imagine, is like no other school. If anyone can put on an amazing show it is Belmont students. Each sorority and fraternity work all semester coming up with hilarious lyrics about our greek life, learning dances and practicing songs from Remix to Ignition to Brown Eyed Girl. We do a little of everything. Unlike at most schools where they lip sync, at Belmont we go full out. Someone from each sorority or fraternity sings each song. We have a set, props, an intro video and serious show quality. I love having all my sorority sisters come together and work on something.  It’s a really great bonding time for all the chapters. Watching everyone’s performances made me remember how much I love my school and our unique Greek life community.

 

Here are links to My sororities opening video and Greek sing!! Please forgive the quality of the Greek sing video it was filmed by one of our sisters.

http://youtu.be/_wxbNwsM1j8 Intro Video

http://youtu.be/AmGHgcXP7I8

 

 

Throwback Monday?? A month in Cambodia

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As the weather starts to get warmer, the flowers bloom and the semester comes to a close, Belmont students are anxiously awaiting summer break!  Summer in Nashville is made up of days at the park, internships, outdoor shows and much needed rest and relaxation. I am so excited for the festivities to begin, but I can’t help thinking of this time last year. A year ago I was prepping to embark on a trip that will forever top any summer plans I will ever have. Last summer I took a trip across the world for a medical mission that has forever changed my life.

Last May I studied abroad in Cambodia. This is a trip that takes place every year through the Belmont nursing department, but they occasionally allow a non-nursing major to tag along. I am biology major with the intention to go to medical school, I hoped to shadow doctors and gain more experience working in hospitals abroad. The wonderful nursing faculty helped me develop a unique program, while they would be training nurses in Cambodia, I could meet with doctors there. We prepared by learning about the Cambodian people and the history of their war stricken country. We learned about their cultural norms and religious beliefs. Yet, despite months of preparation and learning nothing compared to how much we would learn while we were there.

After traveling for 28 hours we finally arrived in Phnom Pehn, the capital of Cambodia. There we stayed in a hotel, but definitely nothing like what we are use to. The first thing I noticed was how thick, humid and hot the air was. It would range from 95-110 degrees during our time there. We settled in and the next day we were off to the hospital. The hospital was like nothing I could have imagined. They had no air conditioning. They waited to be seen by setting up camp outside of the hospital, many traveling miles and miles.  Each floor had an open layout with very few old rickety beds. That week we learned how different medicine is in a 3rd world country.

The trip also had a mission component. The days we were not in the hospital we got to go out in the country and experience poverty like I had never seen on any mission trip. We saw the thick jungles and beautiful waterways that make up this special country. Our days were spent working on a new home for a family who desperately needed a home and bathroom for their large family. The parents were also victims of HIV aids and needed to be in a healthy environment.  As a team we learned how to use very primitive construction techniques to build them a beautiful new home! We got to know the family despite our language barrier and quickly learned how warm and gentle Cambodians are. I will never forget the woman so desperate to find a way to thank us, collected fresh mango from the tops of trees so that we could eat with her family. It was the most delicious piece of fruit I have ever eaten.

The trip was filled with ups and downs as we experienced something so out of our norm and comfort zone. My heart was softened by this experience and since my trip I have decided to go into mission related work (hopefully in Cambodia) after becoming a physician. Studying abroad was one of the most incredible and rewarding things I have ever done. I wish I could go back every summer and experience the knowledge and wonder of a new world.  

 

A College Girl’s Favorite Holiday

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After a week of cramming for exams, typing paper after paper, spending late nights finishing group projects, spring break was finally upon us! Students get pretty excited about this week. Spring semester is tough and there is nothing like taking a little break after midterms to recharge. My friends and I have been planning our trip since October! We couldn’t wait to get out of the cold and head to the Florida coast, this year’s destination.

Six of my best girlfriends and I flew out Saturday morning  beach ready decked out in our sundresses and flip flops. We got a few strange looks considering it was still 30 degrees in Nashville. As we sat anxiously awaiting take off we looked through our newsfeed watching it explode with everyone’s fabulous travel plans. Whether it be going home, post undergraduate interview trips, a week in L.A or an exotic get away, Belmont students know how to take full advantage of a break!

We finally landed in West palm to start our trip where we met 15 more of our friends at our friend’s home where we were staying. We spent the first couple days at Juno beach soaking up some much needed sunshine! After that, we took a two day trip to our other friend’s condo in Boca Raton. Boca was by far my favorite place I have ever been in Florida. We spent our days there at the beach and at the incredible pools of the beach club! We had a blast. I feel so lucky to have met so many incredible friends here at Belmont that would welcome us in to their homes.

We finished our week with a big group dinner at a fantastic seafood restaurant and I was reminded of how wonderful friendships are! Spring Break always reminds me how blessed I am to go to such an incredible University that has such a strong community allowing me to make so many lifelong friends. Belmont has helped me gain so much in regards to my future but sometimes I forget how much I have gained in regards to relationships. I have not only received an amazing education but also friendships and memories I will never forget.

Another Night Another Show

Another Night another Show another show

Nashville is a happening place full of life, fine food and most importantly music! The music scene here is unreal! Every week I look forward to hearing the talent Nashville draws in. When I say shows I don’t mean another expensive show at a packed out concert space, I am talking 10 dollar tickets at  the coolest venues with the best crowds standing at the edge of the stage. In Nashville seeing incredible shows on a regular basis is the norm. Here in music city we are surrounded by incredible talent, all across the city from coffee shops, pizza joints to local dives you can hear the best of up and coming artists and the greats. We may be at the heart of country music but Nashville has so much more to offer. The music scene is diverse and heavily integrated in this exciting city.

This Friday night my friends and I enjoyed one of these great shows at Cannery Ball room. Quadron started the night. I had only recently heard some of her music. One of my favorite things about Nashville is getting to hear a lot of great artists at their start. I am always being exposed to new music. Next Mayer Hawthorne lit up the night! He has such a unique sound and is an incredible performer. His band had great energy and the intimate feel of the venue made the hype of the audience incredible. We actually made our way to center front right at the edge of the stage by talking and meeting people. Nashville is full of interesting people who share the love of music.

I have loved every minute of living in this city! One of the major perks of coming to Belmont was that it was in the heart of Nashville. Every weekend there are things to do that have made my college years so memorable. No matter where I end up in the future I will always look back on my amazing experience living in Nashville and soaking up all that is music city.

It’s Bruin Time!

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This past weekend was Homecoming at Belmont University! It was also Parents weekend for a few of the sororities including my own Phi Mu! Homecoming is one of my favorite times of the year! There is so much going on on campus to celebrate your bruin spirit and to get you pumped for the big game!

On Friday night the festivities kick off with a bonfire.  Students come out to eat, hangout and get lots of free Belmont gear! My favorite event however, starts on Saturday! A few hours before the game we have a tailgate. All the student organizations are invited. I helped set up my sorority’s booth, we had a big tent, hot dogs, hamburgers even a basketball shaped cake which one of the basketball players saw and asked my sister who had made it to formal! We also played corn hole, had music playing and everyone got to meet each other parents.

It was so fun walking through the line of booths introducing my parents to all my friends. Belmont has such an involved tight knit community on campus that you really get to know so many of your fellow students. This was one of the main reasons I came to Belmont, unlike some schools where there are lots of clubs and activities to get involved in but the school is so big and disconnected that there is no true community. At Belmont I have had the opportunity to get to know so many students who are both very similar and very different from me. This aspect is what makes my college experience so special, I don’t just go to a school I am a part of a community.

After the tailgate we headed to the game! Belmont definitely shows it’s personality as a school in sporting events. The national anthem was sung by Belmont alums who are now signed to a label. They were absolutely incredible!! My parents were in awe, but I wasn’t surprised, I mean it is Belmont we are surrounded by amazing talent daily. Belmont adds several little musical touches to the game, around half time several of our students run around with microphones and sing along to whatever song happens to play and hand over the microphone to random students to sing along. The students get to show off their amazing talent for a couple minutes and do different arrangements and harmonies on the spot!

The highlights of the game were the announcement of homecoming king and queen, which ended up being Two Bruin Recruiters! If you came to a preview Day you may have talked to them! Also cheering with all my friends and family and of course Belmont ending up with another Victory!

Home or Away?

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    I am from Kentucky so I was born and raised a University of Kentucky Basketball fan.  And when I say fan  I mean I was born on a Kentucky game night, we have had season tickets at Rupp my whole life, my grandfather played  Basketball for UK and every year for Christmas at least one of my gifts is a new UK sweatshirt. But when it came to choosing my dream college, I knew it boiled down to more than sports allegiance and family tradition. Now as a proud Belmont Bruin, I consider myself a Belmont/UK hybrid fan often trying to work my homework schedules around both teams’ games. My dual fandom worked well until December 21st when my two favorite teams went head to head. Belmont would play the University of Kentucky at Rupp Arena! 

                   The game took place over our Christmas break so I planned a whole weekend of activities and invited some of my Belmont friends to stay at my home to go to the game! For months leading up to the game my family and friends from home asked what color I would wear to the game.  Would it be UK blue or Belmont Blue and Red?  My answer was always, “What do you think?”

                The day of the game finally arrived and I left my house in a bright red Belmont sweatshirt so there wouldn’t be any confusion whose side I would be cheering for! My friends and I were a little red spot in the sea of UK Blue. We sat in the seats I had grown up sitting in. The people I have sat around for years looking at me like I was a trader. When the UK fight song played I couldn’t help myself. I had to sing along. But then  the Belmont boys ran on to the floor. My friends and I cheered as loudly as we could, trying to compete with the roar of the home advantage. The game was one of the most exciting sports events I have ever witnessed! Belmont wasn’t expected to hold their own against a big state school’s legendary Basketball program, but in the first half we showed them we weren’t messing around. Belmont was neck and neck the whole first half, even ahead at certain points! I had either had class with, met or was friends with most of our team. Unlike the UK fans, calling out the players last names they memorized from the rooster, I referred to each Belmont player by first name. Like all Belmont games, it felt like I was cheering on a group of my friends. The tight knit Belmont community makes sporting events a lot of fun.

            Though I wish Belmont could have brought home the win, considering how outnumbered we were as fans, avoiding a big upset for the Cats was probably best. It was strange being an outsider cheering for the opposing team at the place I use to consider my home court.  Despite all, I couldn’t have been more proud to be a Belmont student. It was so fun to share that game with both friends from Belmont and my friends from Kentucky. I will always be a Kentucky girl at heart but I am a proud Belmont Bruin!

 

 

Getting a little nervous being the only ones in our section in red!

Getting a Little nervous about being the only ones in red!

 

 

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