College nomads: Moving out and moving on

When my brother and I were home for Easter, my mom welcomed us with bowls of Raisin Bran and big mugs of decaffeinated tea, long hugs that started with her telling us how good it was to have us home,  even just for 24 hours, and that ended with a kiss on the cheek. She let my brother fall asleep in the recliner and let me take the last granola bar in the pantry. She bent the old rules and put our dishes in the dishwasher for us when we, so used to dining halls and drive-thrus, forgot. But...

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Alcohol’s effect on your mental health

No matter their major, no matter what clubs they devote their time to or what fraternity or sorority they rushed, college students often agree on one thing: They are stressed. In a world where deadlines loom on the horizon, students juggle rigorous academic course loads with extra-curriculars and a social life, stress is a shared experience. Students joke about the “Sunday scaries” as Monday approaches. They take pride in their coffee addictions. When asked how they’re doing, they respond, “Hanging in there.” With these levels of stress, it’s no wonder that mental health has become such a prevalent issue...

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Speaking up about mental health is key

After the fourth shot of vodka, I screwed the cap onto the bottle, put it back in my desk’s bottom drawer, hoisted my backpack onto my shoulders and left for my 11:30 class. It was a Wednesday morning, and I was drunk — it wasn’t something I planned. It wasn’t a way to keep the previous night’s party going, or to make myself look cool by catching a buzz during class. It wasn’t even something I enjoyed. When I pulled myself out of bed that morning and reached for that bottle, I was drinking to cope. I needed something that could dull my brain, that could push away the thoughts that had been gradually seeping into my mind and tormenting me over the past year or so. They made me feel worthless. They made me feel like a failure, like I had thrown away any potential I’d come to college with, and like my recent failures excluded me from any sort of success down the road. They put me in a constant state of panic, always worried that a catastrophe was lurking just around the corner. They invaded my mind and destroyed me from the inside out, making me feel empty, like I’d lost any sense of the person I was once proud to be. I lost all enjoyment in the things that once made me feel alive. I...

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Micropoetry competition emphasizes unity

A micropoetry contest focused on the theme of unity in diversity at Miami University is accepting submissions until Friday, April 21. The Miami University Creative Writing Program is running the competition in collaboration with Miami President Gregory Crawford, who approached Director of the Creative Writing Program Cathy Wagner with the idea just in time for the contest to coincide with the celebration of National Poetry Month. Anyone in the Miami community is welcome to submit poems through Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #LoveHonorPoem, and students are eligible to win prizes. The rules are simple: poems must fit within Twitter’s 140-character maximum and still allow room for the hashtag, or contestants can post a photo of their short poem on Instagram. Multiple submissions are welcome, and three students will win a grand prize that includes a Love & Honor medal and a $40 gift certificate to the Miami University Bookstore. Up to 100 honorary prizes will be awarded in the form of an $18.09 bookstore credit. The length constraint requires participants to hone their skills in brevity, but the challenge of compression intrigues students like first-year Delaney Heisterkamp, a creative writing and professional writing double-major. “When you think [about poetry] in a new way in terms of size, it’s going to influence how you write,” said Heisterkamp, who is wary of how the character count will impact her word...

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