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Today's word on journalism

January 13, 2009

Breakneck:

"I get the feeling that the 24-hour news networks are like the bus in the movie 'Speed.' If they stop talking for a second, they think they'll blow up."

--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, 2008 (Thanks to alert WORDster Ross Martin)

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Freshmen reflect on work, independence of first semester at USU

By Kayla Harding

December 12, 2008 | As their first semester comes to a close, USU freshmen expressed their opinions about the pros and cons of campus life and living on their own.

Some students have selected their major, are taking 14 credit hours or more, and are expecting to come out of this semester with A's in all their classes. Many freshmen find themselves too busy to have jobs, thus struggle with money.

"It's so easy to spend money up here and I don't have a job, so I think what I need to do is budget," said Ben Kiser a USU freshman beginning journalism and communication pre-major courses next semester.

Sarah Anderson, a family, child, and human development major said she has overspent as well. "I've indulged," she said, "Every month I've over-drafted on my debit card. I've gone out and bought clothes when I shouldn't have, and especially at the first, gone out to eat weekly. Now I have to be really careful about money and now I'm keeping a register; so I'm on top of it."

With an array of courses being taken to earn associates degrees, many students both enjoyed and despised their classes which came to an end last Friday. "My favorite class was rape defense, it teaches about the law and gives you really good tips and makes you more aware," said Anderson.

Kiser felt that his creative arts class was, in general, "A waste of time. It was just a breadth credit for the university [to] milk out some money; that's exactly what I think of most [of] the general eds, because honestly what am I going to use creative arts for?"

Student's parents have various opinions about their majors. Anderson's father would have had her choose a different major. "My dad is not supportive at all of my major," she said "He feels like it's a degree that I won't be able to do anything with, or that will make any money."

Trevor Vincent, a music performance major with an emphasis in saxophone performance, said his parents support his decision. "Well my mom was a music performance major and my dad was an artist, so they really like it," he said.

Academically, many students are confident in their performance this semester however Anderson expressed a few exceptions. " I think I will have a really good grade point this semester, except for my science class," she said. "I'm going to fail that class; that will not be good." She said she talked to her advisor and she is taking the class again so it "won't count against" her GPA.

Alexis Graham, a music performance major, said, "The most important thing in school is to work really hard, but make sure you stay at your own pace; don't get over your head."

When asked about their choice to attend USU, and if they had any regrets, Kiser and Casey Williams, an undeclared major, both admitted in the beginning they wanted to attend a college in southern Utah, but in the end remain happy with their choice. Anderson said, "I love Utah State, I think I made the right decision in coming here."

Kiser and Vincent say they benefit from being roommates at Reeder Hall. "It's very convenient, very close to everything, so I really like it here," said Kiser.

Anderson, however, does not like her housing choice. "I hate where I live and the people I live with. Next year I'm planning on living somewhere totally different. I live in Pineview Apartments and they are dorm style somewhat and I want something totally different next year," said Anderson.

Williams, who lives off campus said, "I'd rather have a dorm type (apartment) so you get to know more people. Everybody up there, they're just kind of into things and down here I'm secluded, up there it just seems like everyone knows more."

When questioned about what this university needs Anderson jokingly said, "Maybe a better football team?" Kiser and Vincent were quick to say, "Free food!"

However, after thinking for a moment, Kiser said, "Housing scholarships for not just the crappy Towers and Richards Hall, because I got a scholarship offer for housing for only those places but nowhere else. Why don't they just give a general housing scholarship?"

Overall the students have enjoyed their first semester here at USU. "I think it's a very beneficial thing towards my life in general and can take me places and I'm happy to be here," said Kiser.

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