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Sydney Van Dreason

The importance of being open-minded

Over the weekend, I engaged in a very intelligent debate with my sister over a topic that was so mind-boggling and world-changing that I forgot what it was. However, during the argument, I realized that whenever I tried to defend my stance, my sister would interrupt me or talk over me and not listen to a word that I had to say. She didn’t have an open mind during our conversation and was unwilling to see another point of view. Refusal to open one’s mind to new possibilities and new perspectives might be okay if it is contained to...

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Bye, boredom: 8 fun things to do around FGCU

College isn’t just a place to take classes and earn a degree; it’s also a place to meet new people and have fun. Finding something fun to do may be a challenge sometimes, especially for students who don’t know the area very well or who are on a tight budget. Here are some ideas of fun things to do with friends around the FGCU area, both on and off campus. 1. Waterfront at North Lake Village At FGCU, we’re lucky to have our own beach located in North Lake Village, complete with activities like paddle boarding and kayaking. On...

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Age does not define skill level

If my first two semesters at college have taught me anything, it’s that age does not define skill level, and the stigma surrounding younger people for being unexperienced or less skilled than the older generation is patronizing to the younger generation. A few weeks ago, I attended the FGCU Writing Awards with a friend of mine who is a member of the ACE program. Even though she’s only 16 years old, she beat out all of her competitors and won first place in the creative nonfiction category. Her skill level was just as good, if not better, than everyone...

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Schools should teach more current events

People like to complain about high school, especially public high school, for nearly everything; the sports teams weren’t good enough, the kids were mean there, there were no clubs to fit every interest, classes were too hard, the teachers stunk and many, many more. But the biggest flaw in public high school wasn’t the sports teams or the intensity of the classes. I’ve only ever been exposed to Florida public education systems, and I was never given the opportunity to take a class related to current events in politics, economics or world issues. Sure, those topics might have come...

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Students at FGCU have one thing in common: they are all stressed out

It’s that time of year again, the time when we spend all of our free time in the library surrounded by three empty cups of Starbucks, multiple open books and roughly 20 tabs open on our laptops. Finals week is quickly approaching. Some people may think that the above statement is an exaggeration, that college students can’t possibly be that stressed out. Nope, we’re just this stressed. College, however, is a time for stress and hard work as students prepare themselves for the adult world of career life, bills and taxes. Every college student is stressed in his or...

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‘Beauty and the Beast’ exceeds expectations

It’s been 26 years since Disney released its animated classic, “Beauty and the Beast,” and now, we are once again invited to relax and pull up a chair as the company proudly presents a stunning live-action remake of the movie. “Beauty and the Beast,” based on the original French fairy tale of the same name written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, is about a beautiful girl, named Belle, who agrees to trade places with her father after he is taken prisoner for trying to steal a rose from the Beast’s garden. The Beast, however, is actually a prince who...

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Valentine’s Day date ideas under $50

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and you’re probably realizing that the $20 in your bank account isn’t going to cover an extravagant dinner at a top-notch restaurant or the present of your loved one’s dreams. The good news for financially strained college kids is that there are plenty of low budget Valentine’s Day activities and gifts that will make the day just as good and, dare I say it, even better than it would be if they dropped $100. You’re probably asking yourself what kinds of activities there are out there that are budget-friendly and still romantic...

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Remember the past, live in the present

Remember when we were kids in elementary school, talking and laughing with friends on the playground during recess and just starting to learn what subjects in school we liked and which ones we despised with a passion? Making friends and determining what we liked and didn’t like seemed to be simplistic back then, but as we got through high school and eventually moved on to college, the bar was raised, and everything seemed to get 10 times more complicated. Have you ever wondered why you choose certain people to befriend or why you prefer to keep yourself busy with...

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Beat the boredom: Top 11 things to do at home over the break

We may have been listening to Christmas music since July, but the time has finally come for winter break, and with it comes a plethora of holidays and the inevitable cloud of boredom that hovers over young adults. Here’s a list of activities you can do to beat the boredom back at home during the long and well-deserved break. 1. Do you wanna build a snowman? Or a sandman? Being back in your hometown for a month can be refreshing, and as tempting as it is to burrito-wrap yourself in your bed and watch Netflix all day, fresh air...

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Florida’s voting curse

There’s a universal shadow of fear and uncertainty that surrounds this 2016 election, and, as a member of the generation who’s first time it is voting, I have to echo the nationwide sentiment that has been circulating around the country since the primaries: this is probably one of the worst elections America has ever faced. I have to admit that I didn’t feel as hyped up about voting as I should have been. I understand the importance of voting, and I still exercised my constitutional right to do so, but it’s hard to be excited when you’re not crazy...

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