Starting the new year and the new semester on the right foot

2020 marks not just the start of a new semester, but a new year. Whether you’re beginning your first semester or you’re set to graduate in May, The Duke has some tips to start the new year off on the right foot.

On the right foot

Griffin Sendek | Photo Editor

One of the most common lies nearly everyone tells at the beginning of every semester is, “From now on, I’m going to the gym every day.”

For the most part this is only followed for the first week of classes before the stress and fatigue of the semester sets in. However, it is time to start this new semester and decade off on the right foot by better committing to your physical health.

Be careful not to set your goals too high, especially if you are a gym newbie. It’s easy to want to come out of this year with ripped abs, a perfectly toned butt and able to lift double your bodyweight. While having high expectations for yourself is a good thing, setting the bar too high is the fastest way to burn yourself out and get back into the rut of going months without stepping foot in the Power Center.

If it has been awhile since you have dedicated yourself to working out, or if it’s your first time going to the gym, start small with some cardio and simple weight lifting. Commit to going at the very least to once or twice a week.

Duquesne’s Power Center is host to a fully equipped cardio/selectorized weight room with more than 100 machines, weight rooms, exercise studios and a spin room, a high intensity training (HIT) zone, according to the Power Center’s website.

Photo by Griffin Sendek | Get fit this year by going to Duquesne’s on-campus gym, the Power Center

The Power Center is open from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m on Mondays through Thursdays, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.

At first, going to the gym might be the worst thing you’ve ever experienced, but do yourself a favor and don’t let that deter you. Before too long it will become a habit and you might even start enjoying it and go more often.

Pro tip: Go with a buddy and the whole process will be a lot easier. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water!

On the “write” foot

Grace Rosello | Staff Writer

Looking for ways to make your transition into the spring semester easier? Here are some academic ways you can lay a good foundation during the first week of classes.

The university offers plenty of academic resources to students. The University Writing Center offers help with writing at any stage of the process: planning a schedule for drafting a research paper, developing a thesis, organizing paragraphs or editing a final draft.

The Writing Center has locations at Gumberg Library in room 402A and at College Hall in room 216. The Online Writing Center has been specifically created for returning adult students and commuting students. It offers 45-minute video appointments with Zoom for the student who has multiple commitments. Consider scheduling an advance appointment online around the time a paper is due this semester.

The Duquesne University Barnes & Noble bookstore offers an on-campus resource to purchase school supplies, apparel and textbooks. Note that the bookstore accepts all forms of payment, including Student Financial Aid and Barnes & Noble Gift cards.

You can find the required textbooks by logging into DORI, going to Self Service, Student Information, Registration and then View Customized Booklist/Order Books Now. Many people suggest to wait until classes actually start to see if textbooks are required, but not having a book can make coursework difficult. Reach out to a professor or the financial aid office if purchase is an issue.

Organizing your study space has the potential to refocus your mind for a new semester of homework and projects. Go through paper clutter from the fall semester, keeping only what you need for this semester or want to remember, and, if possible, recycling the rest. Make sure that your desk surface and laptop are disinfected.

Financial organization of your life prepares you not just for a successful academic semester but a new year as well. Sort out your finances by looking at your purchases from last year. See where you can spend less or where you can afford to spend more. Set financial goals for yourself, such as an amount you want to see in your savings or coming up with the money for a spring break trip.

Finally, whether you live in a dorm, an apartment or at home, look for a few new recipes to try this semester. Finding new things to cook can prevent the rut of cooking the same thing all the time or at least give you an option to cook something decent in the microwave when you have a night class that lets out at the moment most dining options are closing. Use a Google Search such as “dorm recipes” or “quick healthy meals for college students.”

With a combination of organization and attention to wellbeing, you will be prepared to face any challenges the next few months offer.

Get involved

Kellen Stepler | Features Editor
Get a Work Study Job

Everyone’s parents have probably told us one time or another to “go get a job.” That’s the whole reason why we are in college, right?

Well, finding a job available through the Federal College Work Study program at Duquesne is one way students can get involved on campus.

The Federal Work Study program is a need-based program. A work study award is provided to students demonstrating financial need. Students interested in work study must indicate their interest when filling out the FAFSA while applying for student loans. The decision of who is qualified and who fails to qualify is ultimately determined by the Financial Aid office.

John Falleroni, the senior associate director of financial aid at Duquesne, explains that the work study program is awarded to students demonstrating need, which is determined by the FAFSA.

“When a student completes a FAFSA indicating an interest in Work Study and it is determined the student has need according to the FAFSA; the clearance is automatically given on the initial Financial Aid Notification,” Falleroni said.

After the clearance is provided, students can check with the Student Employment office about opportunities for the upcoming semester.

According to Tiffany Zurow, Duquesne’s student employment recruiter, jobs range from office assistants, CTS computer lab aides, residence hall desk attendants and tour guides, among others.
Another aspect of the work study program, according to Zurow, is the focus on community service.

“We have many partnerships with community service organizations throughout the city of Pittsburgh,” Zurow said.

For example, Duquesne has partnerships with organizations such as the Brashear Association, Mercy Hospital, the Children’s Institute and the John C. Heinz Family Center.

Zurow also notes the benefits of having a work study job, and says that the experience gained from working in higher education before entering the workforce is “invaluable.”

“Not only does it help with adding to one’s resume, but having a work study job also provides some extra pocket money that students can use for books, groceries, late night pizza cravings, paying off tuition or whatever they may choose,” Zurow said.

Networking is another added bonus when it comes to having a work study.

“The connections made through working can help students land full-time jobs once they graduate,” Zurow said. “In fact, some students have even been hired into full-time positions at Duquesne in the department where they completed their work study position.”

Falleroni also sees the benefits of a work study, saying that it prepares students for the “real world.”

“Federal Work Study is part of the college process of making students into responsible adults,” Falleroni said.

Students who fail to qualify for work study are still able to earn on-campus jobs, according to Zurow. Parkhurst Dining and Barnes and Noble offer jobs throughout each academic year, and students can contact the Center for Career Development, who work with organizations in Pittsburgh looking to hire students and recent graduates.

Join a Club
Joining clubs help students meet new people with similar interests, make new friends and have fun, among other things. At Duquesne, there are more than 260 student organizations, ranging from fraternities and sororities, community service and advocacy groups to club sports.

Marc Grandillo, director of programs and leadership at Duquesne, says that joining an organization on campus gives students an opportunity to build their professional skill set.

“Whether this includes communication, leadership or time management skills, any additional experience improves employment marketability when applying to jobs and internships,” Grandillo said.
Grandillo also said that involvement in clubs can lead to long-lasting friendships, and allows students to meet and network with others outside their immediate social circle. Participation in these organizations can also help build self-confidence.

“By learning to balance academics with extra-curricular activities, students gain an understanding of their own capabilities, and are better prepared to take on more challenges,” Grandillo said.

There will be a Meet the Sororities event Sunday, Jan. 12 at 9 p.m. in the Union Ballroom, and a Meet the Fraternities event Wednesday Jan. 15 at 9 p.m. in the Union Ballroom. According to the Student Organizations webpage, there are 10 fraternities and 10 sororities at Duquesne. Additionally, Duquesne hosts 11 Greek lettered professional organizations as well.

A Spring Student Organization Expo will take place the week of Monday, Jan. 21 to Friday, Jan. 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day on the second floor of the Student Union.

“The Expo is a great opportunity for students looking to join an organization to meet some of the great organizations we have on campus,” Grandillo said.

The Duquesne Program Council (DPC) will also host some upcoming events this semester. The DPC will sponsor Epic Bingo on Friday, Jan. 31 at 9 p.m. in the Union Ballroom, hosts DPC DUNites on Fridays at 9 p.m. in the Union NiteSpot, and will have a Spring Film Series on select Fridays at 7 p.m. in room 105 in College Hall and Saturdays at 9 p.m. in the Union NiteSpot.

Grandillo also said that for more information regarding upcoming on campus events, students can visit CampusLink, download the free CORQ app on your phone and check out the weekly email blast sent to all students.

“While academics are the priority, the Center for Student Involvement encourages students to make the most of their collegiate experiences and get involved with campus organizations and activities,” Grandillo said.

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