Spring Break 2017 is upon us and with the help of our friends at Holmes Murphy and AFLV, we compiled a list of safety tips for students heading out on Spring break trips!
- Communicate the Details
Make sure family and friends know your departure and arrival times and phone numbers where you can be reached. Set regular check-in times over the trip. Always keep your hotel door locked and never open your door to strangers. Always carry identification, emergency contacts, and important medical history (allergies to medicines, chronic illnesses) in your purse or wallet.
- Drive Responsibly
If you’re taking a road trip as part of your spring break plans, take turns behind the wheel, and always remember: Click It or Ticket. And whoever sits shotgun should stay awake and keep the driver company.
- Hitting the Town
Follow the “buddy system” at all times but, ultimately, know you are responsible for your own personal safety. Trust your instinct if a situation just doesn’t feel safe. Don’t assume that acquaintances are looking out for your best interests. Go out with your friends; come home with your friends. It’s as simple as that.
- Know your Limits
Remember that “moderation” is the key to much in life, including alcohol for those of legal drinking age. Know your limit and stick to it. Use extra precaution while drinking in the sun or in a hot tub. Both affect the body in different ways when alcohol is involved. Less is more. Alcohol and water don’t mix. Avoid swimming and boating while drinking.
- Use Protection
Set your personal boundaries prior to your trip and stick to them. Don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with, and don’t try to coerce others to do something they’re not comfortable with. And always make sure protection is involved if that’s the direction you choose. The best way to protect yourself against “date rape” drugs is to never leave your drink unattended at bars, nightclubs, and parties. Don’t assume that acquaintances, and even friends, are looking out for your best interests.
- ATM Usage
Visit the ATM during the day, use your hand to cover your PIN when punching it in, and find another ATM if it looks sketch. It’s easy for hackers to insert a chip and collect account numbers and PINs. Your best bet is to use an ATM at a bank instead of a random ATM.
Stay safe and try and get some rest and be ready to hit the ground running when you get back to campus!
The following is a personal philosophy I have adopted about life.
- Always dress well.
- Golf is one of the only sports where polos and dress pants are a norm. Only in golf do get rewarded with a jacket as a trophy. Some people may argue that such attire has no impact on play. Those people would be wrong or Rickie Fowler
- In life, dressing for success is more than just something for business meetings. How you dress is a mentality. When you put effort into your appearance, whatever it may be, you feel confident.
- Golf should never have a peak.
- Unlike other sports where players can be in their prime for only a short part of their life, golf is a sport you can play for your whole life. Don’t believe me here is the legend Jack Nicklaus at 75 still killing the game.
- When we focus on our peaks in life we see past success and compare it to our current situation. When I got to college nothing I did in high school mattered. Those achievements got me in the door and that was all. Now a college graduate, my college accomplishments don’t mean anything either. No one cares about which tier my fraternity was in or how we did in intramurals. When you graduate you can choose to have high school/college be the peak for the rest of your life or focus on your next summit.
- A far drive off the tee-box doesn’t mean a birdie
- Some golfers care too much about their drive. Go to any driving range and you will see 90% of the people there straining their backs with the newest possible driver, swinging for the fences. Meanwhile hardly any person is seen at the chipping green. Short game isn’t sexy, but it is what makes you a great golfer. Anyone who has seen the master of short game Phil Mickelson knows this to be the case.
- In life we spend too much time on what makes us look cool rather than what actually gives our lives substance. This can be illustrated by the guys who go to the gym every day to maintain that unrealistic “perfect” physique, while ignoring the growth in other areas of life. He often doesn’t study. He repeatedly neglects his responsibilities. He doesn’t aim to be promoted at his job. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger is a relentless business man who grows his brand outside of just working out. Live a well-rounded life.
- You’re going to play horrible some rounds
- In golf you will play bad. You will get a snowman on a hole. Even the best have an atrocious hole now and then. Take this Jordan Spieth meltdown for example
- Much like one bad shot can lead to another and another; bad days tend to compound themselves. This is going to happen in life. Whole months may pass where you forget what a good day feels like. Simple aspects of life like getting out of bed become a chore. But with each new day, is a new round and has the potential for the best day of your life.
- If your golf game needs help talk to someone
- When you are playing at your worst and nothing seems to be changing, it comes the time to talk to an expert. Take Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, and Ernie Els who have all asked for help from golf guru Butch Harmon. Even if a golfer isn’t at his worst he always has a confidant in his caddy; someone to talk to about what he is thinking and help him out.
- In life when things are going tough we often think we have to go it alone. When sadness hits us we tend to tell no one, just hoping that it will work itself out, but sometimes it doesn’t. This can provide a perfect opportunity to slip into a deeper depression. Life isn’t easy, but there are trained professionals who can always help.
- No one is as good as they say they are.
- If you have ever sat in the club house after a round of golf you will hear countless stories of amazing achievements deserving of ESPN top ten highlights. “It was raining sideways and I hit my ball out of the rough around three trees, over a lake, and past 3 sand traps to land 2 inches from the hole. True Story.”
- In life this is the equivalent of Facebook, Instagram, and snapchat. On social media we post only the great things in our lives. We see the wedding engagements but never the failed relationships. We see the smiling faces scroll across our feed and never the frowns. When we start to compare our lives to the perfectly-crafted personas we see on social media we stop striving to live our own lives.
- Every round of golf is against yourself.
- At the end of the day golf is a thrilling sport because you are always playing yourself. With each round, you are competing against your own handicap. Any great golfer will tell you that you should never look at the leader board. The moment you start playing based on someone else’s score is when you start to play your worst.
- With social media being inescapable it can be easy to get caught up in the success of those around us. We start to live life for the approval of others. Achievements no longer have meaning unless they get 100 likes. I used to have elaborate snap chat stories of my adventures in college until one day I realized that by being fixated on someone else’s impression of my personal experience I was actually missing out on my story. Put down your phones and enjoy the ride.
Finally, open your eyes, it’s a great day for a round of golf. And even if it isn’t, there’s always tomorrow.
Will Maher, Field Executive
Summer-The warmest season of the year, in the northern hemisphere from June to August. What student doesn’t love this season? It’s when the rigors
of classwork slow down. It’s that time of year where you don’t have to peel off multiple layers as soon as you walk into a building. Finally, after months, you are able to escape the rattling indoor heat to indulge in the sights and smells of the great outdoors. Most students see this as a time to kick back and do, literally, nothing. Why not instead, take advantage of the opportunities available to you during this break?
Here are some tips to help make the most of your summer.
Get a job/internship
Are your dues owed by the time everyone gets back for fall semester? Planning on a spring break trip next year? What about formal? These things all require a good amount of money, but if you start working and saving over summer, it’ll be much easier to manage. The scope of jobs and internships available for college students is vast, but they all can help you plan for a great year, while at the same time provide you with real world work experience. The great part about this is that you are choosing it. If you get an offer for an internship that you aren’t excited about, look around for another opportunity. Summer offers something we normally don’t have an excess of: time. Regardless of the path you take with a summer job or internship, the experience could provide opportunity for full-time employment after you graduate. At a minimum, you’ll meet new people and expand your network.
Take a class
A lot of majors have that one required class that nearly everyone seems to struggle with (organic chem. FTW). Taking it during the summer is a great chance to earn a better grade. You have the opportunity to take one class at a time and won’t have other coursework to distract you. Yes, having class during the summer is not ideal having fun, however ask yourself: Do I really want to take this class along with a full course load? Equally, it could also be a chance to take a class that interests you, but you haven’t been able to fit into your regular course load. Just because you’re a molecular biology major doesn’t mean you should bar yourself from taking a stab at that sculpture or piano class. Don’t be scared to try something new.
Establish a workout routine
Summer is a great time to start a workout schedule. Due to the nice weather gyms often offer great deals during the summer to attract more customers (I used to pay $60 for 3 months during the summer with free parking at my school’s rec center). With the warmer weather you can create a mixture of inside and outside exercise routines to keep you invigorated. Developing an effective workout schedule in the summer gives you time to build a habit and perfect it towards your needs. By the time fall semester starts up, it will be that much easier to continue and give you an outlet whenever a break from classes and studying are needed.
Make time for yourself
Whether it is reading a book on the sunny veranda or hitting the links for a round of 18, making time for your own enjoyment is essential. Summer is a great time to decompress from all the hours of studying from the past school year. It also gives you time to hang out with friends and family. Enjoy this beautiful season before reality hits, once again.
Summer never seems to be long enough (especially up in the north). Instead of spending your entire summer on a couch do something to help better yourself. Don’t worry, Netflix will still be there once the cold weather hits again.
Nick Hoke, Field Executive
In a few weeks it’ll be time to cram for those final exams then it’s finally three months of freedom! Being from Maryland, this means boat trips on the river, Orioles games at The Yard, crabs doused in Old Bay, and of course a trip to Ocean City. But whatever your summer plans may entail, it probably involves trading in your sweatshirt for a Theta Chi tank. That means it’s time to start shedding the winter plumpness and getting in shape.
I’m not going tell you to skip “wing night” or not eat Chick-Fil-A; you can still have fun, go out with friends, and eat the foods you like. I’m here to give you a quick rundown on how to eat a little healthier and still be yourself. Education is the first step to living a healthier lifestyle. One blog post cannot possibly cover it all, but it’s a good place to start and hopefully it will inspire you to continue the research and share the knowledge.
First, let’s talk about your diet. When I say diet, I don’t mean going on one, I’m talking about what you actually eat. Unfortunately, diet fads don’t work. Even though you may lose weight (awesome), they don’t focus on long-term health (not awesome.) The fat cells your body develops to store fat as you gain weight, never go away – even when you lose the weight. This is why it is so easy to put weight back on. If weight loss is your goal, you’ll need to develop a plan to change your lifestyle. That sounds daunting but I’ll break it down and offer some tips to help you out.
- Before you make changes, record what you eat and how much you exercise for seven days. You don’t need to spend money on this, there are plenty of free apps to help you: My Fitness Pal and My Plate are two I would recommend.
- Take your seven-day log, do a little research, and figure out what areas you can improve in. This is the hardest part so feel free to get help from a nutritionist or personal trainer. Chances are you might have someone in your chapter majoring in a health and fitness field that could help.
- Make a plan on how to incorporate your areas for improvement into your diet over time. The key here is not to quit “cold turkey”. If you have a few sodas each day, cut your limit to one per day then once you conquer that, every other day, and so on. You can still go out but consider grilled chicken instead of fried, downsize your unhealthy selections – then eventually eliminate them, hold the butter and salt, etc.
- Take a look at your exercise routine. If you don’t have one, incorporate an actual plan. Put your workout schedule into your calendar and try to keep it to the same time each day. It may be hard at first but once your body gets acclimated to this routine, it becomes almost second nature. Make sure you’re lifting and doing cardio. You don’t need to get big, but use weights to tone your body. Burning fat will happen through cardio. You can do as many crunches as you want but it’s actually cardio that will allow those abs to show.
- Continue tracking your food and drink intake and educate yourself about what is in your food so you know what you’re eating. This is really important. If you go through three sauce packets at Chick-Fil-A, that’s 400-500 extra calories. A large Baja Blast from Taco Bell is over 500 calories. Those items might seem rather harmless but they add up quickly and neither of those items have any nutritional value. On the other hand, guacamole (minus the chips) and nuts for example, are high in fats but in reality offer high nutritional value so they’re good, in moderation. This is why it’s important to know exactly what you’re eating.
Then what? Keep it going! Continue slowly eliminating the unhealthy aspects from your diet, exercising, tracking your food intake, and educating yourself on healthy foods. Get a brother or friend to join you. It adds a layer of accountability and even a little competition. There will be times you need the motivation. Don’t be afraid of a cheat day or cheat meal as long as you don’t make a habit out of it. After a while, you’ll find yourself not even wanting those unhealthy foods you used to crave.
Ultimately, It’s about living a healthy life and developing a healthy lifestyle while you’re young and can better train your body and mind. You’ll feel better, be more productive, be more confident, and just be all around happier. For those chapters I’ve visited you’ve already heard this but for the rest of you – buy a tux before you’re 30 and stay that size.
Marc Bodine, Field Executive
This has been an incredible season for the Golden State Warriors. From their 24-0 start to seeing their head coach sidelined for the first 43 games of the season due to a back injury, the Warriors have made this season exhilarating to watch— but they are still not satisfied.
The Warriors are chasing history this season. The 24-0 start was its own success, yet are other spoils of war in the Warriors’ sight. They are looking to not only become the first team in NBA history to go through a single season without back-to-back losses, but to also best the current NBA highest single season win/loss record held by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls at 72-10. Things are now getting tight down the stretch for the defending champs. With the regular season coming to an end next week, the Warriors must win all 4 of their remaining games, including home and away dates with the San Antonio Spurs to make history.
Statistics show they have at least a 56% chance of matching the historic 72-10 mark but only a 14% chance of surpassing it and becoming the only team in history to go 73-9. The pressure’s on, right?
The Spurs are not the only thing standing in their way, of course, but this might seem like their biggest obstacle. Fatigue can lead to turnovers and miscommunication on the court. Lack of sleep due to their schedule (4 games in 6 nights) can hamper their ability to focus. Stress will play a huge role in their performance over the next 7 days and could even hold over into their post-season play. To make things even more difficult, the Warriors have still not secured the overall number 1 seed for the NBA Playoffs. The Spurs are only 3.5 games behind the Warriors in the standings and still have a shot at 70 victories if they win out. The night is dark and full of terrors, you know what I mean?
How can the Warriors manage expectations and still outperform the competition over the next 7 days? They have a resiliency never before seen in the NBA through their ability to, at this point, not lose back-to-back games. They have youth on their side with the average age of their starting 5 being 26.8. They have a coaching staff with a combined 7 NBA Finals victories, including their most recent victory in the 2014-2015 season. They have some of the loudest fans on earth with 120 decibels of raw sound power being unleashed in Oracle Arena. They have their families who not only are NBA veterans themselves (Dell Curry, Mychal Thompson, both with championships of their own) but a support network of wives, mothers, siblings, and children all there to pick them up when they feel overwhelmed.
So what does this have to do with collegiate men and their health and safety? I am really glad you asked.
At this point in every collegian’s spring semester, the pressure is on. Some brothers are on the last sprint toward graduation. Others are on a mad dash to catch up on all the reading they neglected during SPRING BREAK 2016. Some might even be frozen with fear for their fate is left in the hands of the professor they swear has a vendetta against them. Some are in a mad dash to finish strong and secure that 4.0 GPA to make themselves competitive in the summer internship pool. Making the connection?
Some of our brothers are the first in their family to attend college, let alone graduate with a 4-year degree (making history). Others are spread so thin with work, school, and other student organizations their mind has become mentally taxed to its limit (fatigue). Some brothers are active participants in group projects and all-nighters spent in the library with 4 tests or papers due over the course of 6 days (lack of sleep). Some may even feel like they are trapped in pressure cookers trying pass their classes so summer isn’t consumed with retaking courses (Stress carrying over). Luckily for our undergraduates, they do not have the San Antonio Spurs standing in their way.
But the record, fatigue, lack of sleep, and stress are not the only thing our collegians have in common with the Golden State Warriors. They also carry with them the resiliency which is manifested in their ability to study all night, wake up the next day and not only take but ace their last test before the final in organic chemistry. They obviously have youth on their side with most Theta Chi members being between the age of 18-22. Their coaching staff is made up of older members, Greek life advisors, chapter advisory boards, and actively engaged alumni who are there to help design the play and watch them execute. Their own brothers serve as their fan base; although I hope they can keep the decibel level down during study sessions or tests. Their families are full of college veterans and a wide support network who can provide encouragement and knowledge when things become overwhelming.
Staying healthy during this critical moment in the semester is imperative to the success of not only our individual brothers but to our brotherhood as a whole. Utilize your resources and know your limits. Remember how invincible you felt during March Madness before Michigan State was bounced in the first round? If you are lamenting over something similar, it is in this moment you have to pick yourself up and find a way to overcome the odds. It’s time to make the trek towards the end of the semester with composure and determination.
• Get at least 8 hours of sleep a night
• Exercise regularly
• Eat well
• Take Breaks
• Use your down time between exams wisely
• Don’t get lit
I wholeheartedly believe in our collective brotherhood to make history and outperform others during these vital moments of the semester. It excites me to know the men of Theta Chi Fraternity will live by their maxim this semester and truly honor “Alma Mater First and Theta Chi for Alma Mater…With that being said, The Spurs will prevent the Golden State Warriors from making history and will take them to 7 games in the Western Conference Finals to eventually win the 2016 NBA Championship.
Did I mention I’m a die-hard Spurs fan? I’m even wearing my lucky socks for tonight’s match-up right now.