Pacing Break…Spent on Campus

Midterms are over whether you like it or not, and for some of us, nearly a third of our grade is set in stone. But who cares? It’s Pacing Break, and that means all that homework and studying can wait. Because we have Monday and Tuesday off, that means no Physics Lab, no Calc homework due on Monday, no Physics due on Monday, I’m basically living the American Dream (FREEDOM). Now it’s time to go home, spend time with family, feel loved and get pampered. At least, as long as you don’t live over 4000 miles away.

So, if you’re not going home over Pacing Break, what is there to do on campus? Nearly everyone will be gone and dining hall options will be limited. So rather than wasting my time spouting lamentations, I’m probably going to take this time to explore South Bethlehem. I’m pretty sure I can make it through alive, at least I hope so, and becoming more familiar with the surrounding area will be very beneficial for my next few years here. As of now, the farthest I’ve gone into Southern Bethlehem is Saxbys. Which is literally right across the street from Campus Square.

Either that or I’ll be holed up in my dorm room watching #Worlds. For those that got the reference #FaithAge.


This gif is actually quite an accurate representation of how Pacing Break is going to go for me.

Engineering 5

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the engineering curriculum at Lehigh, all first-year students are required to take engineering 5 with Professor Gardiner. The class consists of roughly an hour of lecture and three hours of lab. During the lecture period, the professor often has guest speakers that include faculty, students, and even alumni that explain the different disciplines of engineering. For the past month, our engineering 5 class was assigned a group project in which students selected an area of engineering they were interested in and a specific topic in that area.                                                                              Microfluidics1    For the majority of my high school career, I have been determined to major in chemical engineering. When I heard about the opportunity to try a chemical engineering project on Mountaintop Campus, Lehigh’s top notch research facility, I immediately signed up for the ChemE lab. This specific project was run by Professor Vince Grassi of the chemical engineering department at Lehigh. The first day of lab, students were given several options to pick from including hydrogen fuel cells, airline safety, food wraps, and microfluidics. I chose the latter, along with six other students who were also interested in microfluidics.                                                                   Procedure1                                                                                            Throughout the month, we listened to chemical engineers describe their careers and researched our topics in-depth. Professor Grassi was incredibly patient with all groups, as we would miss the bus to mountaintop or experience equipment malfunctions. The procedure for our topic, consisted of building small scale chips that were able to mix injected fluids and our challenge was to figure out the most efficient design. Overall, the project was engaging, fun, and an incredible experience.                                                               On the final day of our lab, our group had to present our project to the entire engineering five class.Our presentation went smoothly as each group member explained a different portion of our procedure, using a power point backdrop as a guide. Not only did chemical engineering present, but, other groups such as computer science and civil engineering did as well. We watched as other students demonstrated their custom made computer games and showed us how to contain over forty pounds of sand with a few sheets of paper.                                                                                                                                In just a few weeks into the first semester of my freshman year, I have researched, designed, and presented an entire project in front of nearly a hundred students. This project did not only teach us just information but it taught us how to apply our research in a real world situation just as engineers do on a daily basis.Procedure2

What to Expect When You Go to College

So, now that I’m in my seventh week here, I think it’s safe to say I’ve adjusted to college life quite bit.  I’ve had my first set of lectures, my first midterms, and I’m finally getting used to the college atmosphere.  Things have changed for me for sure, and the adjustment from high school was a big one.  Living away from home, being independent, and balancing work and fun have all been challenges.  However, these are challenges that are any college student must face, and as such, I’ve been able to achieve.  Let me describe some of the things you should expect when you go to college:

Food – Yea, your mom won’t be home cooking food for you anymore.  At Lehigh, you have a few different options for cafeteria eating, some better than others, but overall, you’re still eating at a food court.  Lehigh does have plenty of options, though, and we’re definitely not the worst out there.  If you come visit, give it a try! (Also get a crepe from the crepe lady; she’s the nicest person out there.

Work– We are Lehigh University.  If you got into Lehigh, you should know what to expect when it comes to workload.  Your classes will be tough, and you will have lower grades than you had in high school.  Some majors are harder than others, and if you’re in CSB like me, you’ll be loaded with classes your freshman year (freshman take the maximum credits allowed, 18, for CSB majors).  It’s tough but you’re able to manage.

Sleep – Yeah, you’re probably not gonna get as much sleep as you did in high school.  With the added work, comes added homework.  With added homework, comes added procrastination.  With added procrastination, comes less sleep.  At least that’s the way it works for me, hopefully you can be different.

Friends – The first few days of college can be a little intimidating, meeting hundreds of new people and not remembering a single person’s name.  But that’s alright.  As time goes on, you find your clique. You find your group of friends, and you’ll spend 99% of your free time with them.  You will miss your hometown friends (including your pets), but you’ll get to see them during breaks.  Until then, you’re happy with your new group here.

Clubs – There is literally a club for everyone.  If there isn’t a club, it’s extremely easy to make one.  Extracurricular activities such as clubs and sports are common, and it’s extremely easy to sign up for any club you want.  The only problem is finding time to balance the meetings (for example, rugby for me often conflicts with the Investment Management Group), and balancing time at clubs with schoolwork.

Diversity – I’m not really going to talk about this, since pretty much every college pamphlet does.  It’s just kinda cool when you have friends from Cali, Florida, Jersey, and Korea, all at the same time.

Parties – Lehigh has a very solid Greek scene.  I’m not really going to get into this either, but if you want to go out, you’ll always have an option to.  Conversely, if you don’t want to go out, there are plenty of kids here who choose not to.  It’s all preference.

Overall, college is a very big change from high school.  You don’t have your parents as a safety net, and you have to work harder than you’ve had to before.  You’ll be a lot more busy, but you’ll have a lot more fun along the way.  Just keep your priorities straight (school first), and you’ll be fine.  Just be ready for the change.

Pacing Break

I didn’t realize how much I took life back at home for granted until I left for Lehigh in the middle of August.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been having a blast forming relationships with new friends, playing ultimate frisbee, and going out with friends on the weekends, however, I’m finally feeling a little homesick. I can’t stop thinking about my two dogs, eating home-cooked meals, and simply taking a shower without flip flops. At the beginning of the semester, I couldn’t imagine going home for pacing break, but now I can’t wait to take a small break for four short days.                                                                                            When I called my parents to tell them the news, they couldn’t have been more excited about my decision. Ever since that call, I’ve been bombarded with dinner requests and plans for the weekend. Over the summer, I would’ve been a little annoyed by the affection, but now I don’t mind it at all. Already, I have called in my requests for my favorite meals and made plans with friends that will also be back home. While the food in Rathbone and Lower court is mostly good, there’s still certain foods like ribs and steaks that I crave on a daily basis.  While I thought I was alone, the majority of my friends are leaving as well and some are even buying plane tickets to get back home.  steak                                                                 For those of you who haven’t started college yet, its hard to understand that after gaining so much freedom, I’d want to give up four days of no classes on a college campus. Trust me, laundry does not magically appear folded in your drawers and your room doesn’t clean itself. Despite the heap of new responsibilities, a break from doing the laundry will not even be the best part. Seeing my dogs and being greeted at the door will definitely be the best thing about visiting home. For me, that was the hardest part about leaving home and for all of you dog people, I can guarantee that it will be for you too. Not only seeing my dogs, but having unlimited access to my car is another luxury I have missed since leaving for Lehigh. While I have taken out a rental car several times, getting stuck in a Prius and running over my rental time is not nearly as fun as driving my own car. After these four days of recharging, I know I’ll be ready to return to Lehigh, but until then I can’t wait enjoy my four days back home


A time of solidarity….

Okay, I’m going to take a break from my silly antics for once to talk about something serious.  As of yesterday, there was an official FBI warning to all Philadelphia area colleges, warning of a potential threat.  The threat was posted on 4chan, an anonymous image board site, and referred to the community college shooting last week.  It warned that the previous attack was only the first of many, and that Philly area schools should watch out today, 10/5, around 2 pm EST time.  The threat is being taken very seriously.

After news of the threat broke out, the FBI sent an official warning to schools that they thought the threat might be referring to.  Unfortunately, Lehigh was on that list.  All students were contacted through the LUPD being made aware of the threat, but no classes were cancelled as it was so unspecific.

This, of course, scared many students.  Although we are over an hour away from Philly, it stopped students from going to class, and for some, even living on campus.  People were terrified, and I’ve never seen anything like that.  It was really surreal.

Although the time for the threat has passed, you can still see the nervousness in the student population.  People are walking to class faster, classes are empty, and no one is on campus unless they absolutely have to be.  Everyone is being cautious of each other, and no one knows what to expect.

However, that also didn’t stop students from standing together.  Yik Yak, the app infamous for its jokes and cyberbulling based off the anonymous population in an area, was surprisingly tame today.  The top posts were about caring for each other, staying strong, staying supportive, and staying safe.  They were reassuring that we really are Lehigh Strong, and we have what it takes to stay above this madness.

It was calming to see those posts.  Our students, our family, still cared enough about each other to try to keep each other safe.  In a similar anonymous platform that was used to create the threat, Lehigh students instead turned it into a warning system, and a way to connect and stand tall against this threat.  It was really uniting.

All in all, though, I’m glad it’s over.  I’m glad were all safe, and as of now, there has been no more news about the threat.  People are starting to feel safe again, and that’s a really important thing.  Lehigh is a very, very safe campus, and to have that feeling compromised, it feels violating.  I’m happy it’s over.

Now, back to class.  Yay!!!!

The Lehigh Squirrel

Quick! What was that! That brown blur dashing by your foot! Running, running, running, it stops and looks at you.  It’s the Lehigh Squirrel.

You might think this squirrel is like any other squirrel.  You might think it’s an average tree-climbing, nut-loving rodent.  But you’d be wrong.  You’d be way wrong.

No, Lehigh squirrels are better than that.  Lehigh squirrels are dignified, smart, and athletic.  They do their own thing; they don’t follow societal expectations of squirrels.  They go above and beyond.

This little guy.

This little guy.

The other day, I saw a Lehigh squirrel run, jump over a stick, and do a somersault, only to get up and keep running.  Another squirrel I saw was just lazily walking down the sidewalk with two giant walnuts in his mouth.  We don’t have a walnut tree on campus.  Another Lehigh squirrel was just sitting next to some kid as he did his homework outside, and another one was just sitting on the bell tower on top of the UC center.  These squirrels do whatever they please.

And they have absolutely no fear of humans.  The squirrels on campus are about as attaching as my ex girlfriend.  They have no problem with going up to you to eat one of your fries from the Fud Truck, and they have no problem assembling an army to get what they want.

Wait, an army? Yeah, that’s right, an army.  More than once, I’ve seen the Lehigh Squirrels in packs, looking for their next victim.  They’ll prey from the treelines, where no human can reach, and they’ll pelt you with acorns.  Why they use their food source as bullets, I don’t know.  Maybe it’s because they have some mysterious walnut source.

Even so, you can’t be mad.  You have to appreciate the ingenuity some of these little guys have.  They’re smarter than normal squirrels, and they know it.  And as a result, they can do whatever they want.  They run the school, they run the job market, and they run the business and engineering world.  They have some of the best return on investments for colleges in the country.  They are some of the highest paid graduates in the country.

Wait, I might be talking about the students here.  I forget.


In Case You Needed Your Day “Brighten”ed!

Brighten Logo

One of the many perks that comes with attending Lehigh is the strong alumni network. With this network,  I was able to become an App Representative for an up-and-coming app known as Brighten.  A former brother in my fraternity who recently graduated extended the opportunity to me and some other kids.  The application is mainly a way to lift people’s spirits through anonymous messages intended to “Brighten” someone’s day. Some guys are working on the start-up in Venice Beach and they are really awesome dudes.  It is definitely cool to be a part of something so positive, simply because of having the Lehigh connection.  I would highly suggest checking out their story and downloading the app upon release date!  It’s an awesome project that could really help a lot of people just get through some of the rough days and periods of their lives.  Lehigh provides plenty of students with opportunities such as these, but the key to capitalizing on them is to step out of your comfort zone!

Brighten Cover

Main and Application to Become Rep:




The Other Part of College… The Midterm Experience

Hey everyone,

So for those of you that regularly follow my blog (yes, Mom, that’s you), you’d know that I normally post on Mondays and Wednesdays.  And for those of you that pay real close attention (yes, Mom, I’m talking about you again), you’d know that I wasn’t able to post on Monday.

But why is that? Was I in some horrific traffic accident?  Was I locked in the dungeon of the Packard engineering building by a TA and not allowed to escape until I mastered Java?  Or was I just straight up abducted by aliens while on a walk to the Bethlehem star?  Well, as it turns out, it’s actually midterm week, and I was busy dying in my own, pathetic, procrastinative way.

At Lehigh, we have a period of 2 weeks known as the 4 o’clocks, pretty much when all your midterms are assigned.  Along with that, since it’s about half way through the semester, there are also a lot of projects due this week.  Combine the two and you get…. my own personal hell.

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating.  But this week is really stressful, and as a CSB student, I have a really heavy workload that requires hours of studying.  I’m pretty sure I’ve spent more time in the library in the past week than I have in my entire high school career.  Let’s just go over some of the things I’ve had due this week:


Tuesday: English rough draft due, 20% of grade.  Computer Science 2 Lab due.  Computer Science HW due.

Wednesday: Business 001 Midterm, 20% of grade. Computer Science 1 Lab due.

Thursday:  Calc 22 Midterm, 20% of grade.  Final draft English paper due.

Friday:  Computer Science 1 HW due.


Now this might not seem like too much, but trust me, it is.  The CompSci HW’s and labs take minimum an hour for each program to do (many times it’s more than 1 program), and combine that with the English essay and 2 midterms, and I have one hell of a busy week.  I was up until 5:30 am on Sunday trying to get my CS stuff done, to allow me time to write my essay on Monday, so I could study for Business on Tuesday, so i can study for Calc today, so I can finish my English paper tomorrow, so I can do my CS on Friday.  It’s a busy week, but is it this way for everyone at Lehigh?

Absolutely not.  I’m just a horrible procrastinator, and I regret that so much.  When you go to college, please make sure that you get your work done first. Start it the day you get the assignment.  Trust me, it’ll pay off.  You’ll get more sleep, and then, better grades.  But most importantly, you’ll get sleep.

Sleep… Ah, the things I would do for a nap right about now… But nope, gotta study for my midterm.  And this is only my first semester of freshman year.  I can’t wait until my 4th year final!


If there’s one thing to take away from all this, it’s that CSB is a lot of work. But it really pays off in the end.  Graduating with two degrees, incredible resume items, and huge job prospects make it all worth it.  I’ll just have to tough through it until then…

Wish me luck, God knows I need it.

-Floppy Fishsticks

“Finding Yourself” in College

We’ve all been there. Bubbly eighteen-year-old students bouncing with buoyant exuberance as we eagerly prepare for the next chapter of our lives. Whether it’s a chapter filled with parties, academic achievements, or whatever it may be, our optimistic dreams were similar to those young soldiers marching off to World War I fantasizing of trumpets, fanfare, and cavalry charges.

OK, that comparison is a tad too dark. But what brought about this sudden spout of pre-pubescent angst? Was it the 4:00 exams? Pfft, no. It’s due to the fact that you realize your life probably hasn’t changed that much. We’re still reliant on our parents (waiting on those care packages), and for the most part, lifestyles don’t change. You don’t magically transform when you go to college. If you partied in high school, you’re going to keep partying in college. You’re not suddenly going to become an academic. If you were once a academically focused person, sure, you might socialize a bit more, but your focus will still be on academics. There is no Cinderella-like magical moment during orientation or whenever where you magically discover yourself. It’s a long process.

Though that’s not always a bad thing. Not changing. We often hear “change is good.” But some things are better because they don’t change. Of course, if you’re a drug addict with a history of alcohol induced violence, you should probably get that checked out. But otherwise, don’t feel as if you need to force yourself to “fit in” to the typical college student lifestyle. Because there isn’t one. Don’t want to rush into Greek life? Then don’t. Everyone else and their mother might be doing it, but that doesn’t mean you have to (looking at you M&M third floor). To make long lasting friendships, you shouldn’t have to change who you are around different people. Don’t just accept who you are, embrace it.

As usual, here is another gif.


Celtic Classic

Before last Friday, I couldn’t tell you anything about Celtic customs or cuisine, however, after going to the Celtic Classic, I cannot wait to go again next year. After classes ended at four, I met with the Ultimate Frisbee team to walk over to the festival in North Bethlehem. Our large group of forty marched through the streets of Bethlehem mentally preparing by chanting “eat the haggis!” and “Celtic Classic!”. When I finally arrived, I was mesmerized by the abundance of delicious Celtic food and various festival games. To ease my growling stomach, I bought lamb stew at one of the stands after purchasing my tickets. The stew was piping hot with generous and tender chunks of lamb with every bite. Not only was the lamb stew delicious, but I also tried haggis for the first time in my life. For those of you who don’t know, haggis is a Celtic pudding that contains sheep innards, onions, oatmeal, and various other spices. It was incredible! Upon my first examination, It didn’t look very appealing, nor did the smell make it any better, however, the taste is what makes haggis a hidden gem. That was one thing I crossed off my bucket list during my first semester at Lehigh.


After gorging ourselves with Celtic food, our team walked over to watch the haggis eating contest and caber toss. The rules of the haggis eating contest we’re simple, whoever could eat one pound of haggis the fastest, wins. I could not believe how fast the contestants were able to eat the pound of haggis, nor could I imagine how they must have felt afterwards. Not only was the haggis contest awesome, but try tossing an eighteen foot tall and two hundred pound log across a field. The caber toss was an incredible display of strength, as each contestant seemed to out-throw the next. To cheer them on, we unanimously chanted “toss the cabre!”, to which the audience swiftly joined us. The Celtic Classic was an amazing experience and I highly recommend that you go if you are down to try bizarre foods and watch uniquely exciting games.