One Final Sprint

I was a distance runner in high school. For some crazy reason, I chose the mile and two mile as my events for track. It was not too difficult of a task to train for; just go out and run around for about six miles. Even with all the practice and support, I got extremely nervous right before each race. Who knows what I thought about during the race; my pets, candy, or how many laps until I was finished. All I know is, when it came down to the final 200 meters, I was dead out sprinting.

The school year is somewhat similar to my races. We all don’t really know what to expect when we start a new semester. Sometimes, we think we are crazy for selecting the major that we did. Once it’s that time in the semester when we start taking tests and presenting, the nerves begin to set in; we know that the difficult part of the semester is underway. Finally, when there are two weeks left, we begin the sprint. All of our projects are due and exams are right around the corner. The amount of things due forces you to sprint no matter how much energy you have left.

Once you finish a race, it is the best feeling in the world. You know you just completed a difficult race and did really well. That is the same feeling you get when you finish the semester. Being done with another year of finals, projects, and presentations is one of the biggest reliefs.

Keep your head down, study hard, focus harder, and you will reach your goal sooner than you think. The harder you sprint, the quicker you get to the finish. Keep up that pace and the semester will be done before you know it. Good luck with your finals!

Stay classy and have a good week!

Andrew Chwalik

Monday, April 27th, 2015    Subscribe  No Comments »

The Magic of Warm Weather

When warm weather finally comes to Walsh University, everyone can tell because the campus lawn is flooded with people playing catch, throwing the Frisbee, tanning, and studying. Of all my three years at Walsh, this year has been the one where I have seen someone playing Frisbee everyday! I am not complaining because I love tossing it around and playing the occasional game of ultimate.

The best part about this weather, other than spring clothing, is that people are in such a great mood! Not only does it make classes go by faster, but it also creates a wonderful place to study. Everyone loves to study under the shade of an oak tree or eat lunch on a park bench. Some professors will even have class outside! All in all, this nice weather means the semester is almost over. I do love school, but I am so ready for summer break.

My favorite part of this nice weather is the community it builds. All you have to do is walk outside and put your hands up and you will get at least one Frisbee or football thrown your way. If you are looking for some fun, people are always out on the lawn playing something and they are always looking for more players! There is something magical about that. The warm weather draws people together and truly makes college what it is meant to be; the best time of your life.

When you get some time after all of those projects, head out to the campus lawn and play some ball. I will see you there!

Have a great week and stay classy!

Andrew Chwalik

Sunday, April 19th, 2015    Subscribe  No Comments »

The Calm Before the Storm

I am not sure about you, but I am not a fan of finals week. First off, who thought a week dedicated to taking tests would be a good idea? College is stressful enough without ending the long semester with exams. My beef is not with finals week, even though I do not like the United States’ education system, but that is a debate for another day. I almost find it more difficult to handle the two weeks leading up to finals than actual finals week.

I love college. It has truly been the best experience of my life and has opened so many doors for me. One example is that I will be interning in Washington, DC this fall semester with the Alliance to End Hunger. They are a non-profit focused on eradicating hunger from the world; a goal I am passionate about. College has been wonderful, but the format is just inefficient.

The two weeks prior to finals week are packed full with presentations, papers, and projects. It seems as though all of our major projects are due around the same time for every class! It would be nice to see professors collaborating on scheduling so the students are less stressed with timing conflicts. This is difficult, but perhaps it is training us to be effective time managers and schedulers. I choose to take this outlook because why not make every experience a learning experience?

Through all of that, I simply want to offer some advice for these upcoming weeks. While it will be stressful with all of the projects, papers, and exams, take time to relax. Go off campus to study for a bit. Go out to a cheap dinner with some friends. Save some time to go bowling. Reliving stress and getting your mind off of school for a while will do you and your mind some good. It is no fun stressing for three weeks straight so make sure to enjoy the calm before the storm.

Have a great week and stay classy!

Andrew Chwalik

Sunday, April 12th, 2015    Subscribe  No Comments »

My Time on the University Programming Board

The University Programming Board, commonly called UPB, is the group of students that plans most of the fun events on campus. I was a part of that group during my sophomore year and loved it! Some of the events we planned included a hypnotist, multiple comedians, a large concert, spring formal, many smaller artists, and so much more!

I am writing about the UPB because applications to be on next year’s board have just been released! It is a wonderful opportunity to plan events for fellow students, build your event programming skills, make some awesome friends, and strengthen your resume. It is a decently large time commitment, but if you want to get active on campus, UPB is the place to be.

I had a splendid time working on the board and learning more about the behind the scenes work of a university. You really get to see how events are managed, some budget information, and how acts are contacted. Being able to chat with Josh Gracin was a cool experience (he was the main act for the large concert). That is one of the benefits; you get to hangout with all of the people you bring to campus. I must say Sean Bott, a mentalist, was one of the most interesting guys I have ever met.

Finally, the relationships you build are amazing. I ended up meeting one of my best friends through UPB and am now helping with her wedding. The friendships you build will be worth the entire experience. Plus, you get to meet so many students through hosting different activities.

If you are a current student, look into applying for a position on the board! If you are a future student, look out for all of their great events!

Have a great week and stay classy!

Andrew Chwalik

Monday, April 6th, 2015    Subscribe  No Comments »

The Benefits of Amateur Interior Design

College is awesome, but if you’re not careful, you can end up falling into the same routine day after day. Having the same class schedule, eating meals at the same time, and studying for the same classes can get boring and burn you out quick. To avoid the dreaded burnout, make sure to change up your daily routines. Try going for a run in the early morning, making breakfast in the room, or reorganizing your room.

My friend Joe and I just finished moving around all of the furniture in our common room. The old layout was just getting a little…well…old so we wanted a change. We put the two chairs on a wall by themselves with a lamp in between. We took the TV to the opposite side of the room then swapped the location of the couches. It wasn’t a huge change, but enough to give a different vibe to Stein 9D.

Granted, we did this without asking our other three roommates so that was probably not the best idea. They are still to come back and see our executive decision to become amateur interior designers, but I am sure they will approve. If you do decide to flip your room and you have roommates, I recommend asking them first.

For real, make sure you are doing some things to switch up your daily routine. Getting burned out, especially at this important time of the semester, is not a pleasant thing. Do something that will brighten up your day and change your typical plan, even if it is something as silly as reorganizing your room.

Have a great week and stay classy!

Andrew Chwalik

Monday, March 30th, 2015    Subscribe  No Comments »

My 21st Birthday

Yes, today is actually my birthday and I turn 21. I am super excited about it, but not for the reason most people would think. The reason for my excitement is that I have made it to the age of 21 without ever drinking alcohol.

I have been a participant, student leader, and adult leader through my time in an organization called Teen Institute. We are a prevention agency focused on showing high schoolers that it is cool to not drink or do drugs and that you can still have a great time. I am now on the board of this nonprofit and have truly made their mission my own.

This is by far the greatest accomplishment of my young life, even though I’ve done some pretty cool things like score a goal in a collegiate soccer game, study food systems in Tanzania, and tour the islands of Greece. Not drinking until the age of 21 will be an accomplishment I cherish for a lifetime.

While I do throw alcohol under the bus a bit above, it can be a good thing as well! I have always planned to drink in moderation when I reached the age of 21 and actually had my first alcoholic beverage ever, a red wine, at 12:00am. To be honest, it was pretty dry and a little too strong.

Teen Institute has been a blessing for me as I was able to find a place to establish my values surrounded by like minded individuals. The friends and experiences I have made through the organization are countless and I have loved every minute of it. If you get the chance, join TI, you won’t be sorry.

College isn’t all about partying and going out. It’s about solidifying your future, meeting some awesome people, and making memories that you will someday tell your children.

Have a great week and stay classy!

Andrew Chwalik

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015    Subscribe  No Comments »

The Mr. Walsh Competition

Our campus just held one of our most popular events, the Mr. Walsh Competition. This is a male pageant where guys perform a variety of events and are scored by judges. The highest scorer wins the crown and title of Mr. Walsh.

There are a number of different categories. The show starts with the introduction of the judges followed by an opening video. I actually made that video this year! It was a spinoff of the MTV series Cribs; each contestant showed off their “crib” in any way they preferred.

The actual performance starts with the guys coming onstage for a choreographed dance. That is always one of the best parts of the show. The announcers come on and kick off the talent portion of the show. That is where each contestant chooses a “talent” they have and perform it on stage. There are always some pretty comical presentations.

The announcers always keep the audience entertained between each segment. I was the announcer last year and had such a great time! My cohost and I ordered pizza for some of the audience and even took a huge selfie.

The next portion of the show is the spirit wear event. The guys dress up in their best Walsh University spirit attire and model it for everyone. That is followed by the formal wear event where the men get all dressed up and model their suits. While dressed all fancy, they are asked a question that the judges score based on their response.

Then comes the conclusion and the crowning of the next Mr. Walsh! I was actually a contestant my freshman year and had a splendid time. I did not get crowned winner, but made some great memories. If you ever get the chance, absolutely go out to be the next Mr. Walsh.

Have a great week and stay classy!

Andrew Chwalik

Monday, March 16th, 2015    Subscribe  No Comments »

The Men of 9D

I live in Stein Apartment with four other guys. We all knew we wanted to move in together last year and luckily there was an empty apartment. The only issue was that is was a girl’s room the prior year so we find long hair everywhere! No matter how many cycles of laundry we do, there is always some amount of hair on our clean clothes. It is not a big deal, especially because our apartment is so nice! If you were looking for upper class housing, I would absolutely recommend Stein.

I tell you this because I want to share the awesome, but interesting group of guys I call my roommates. I am a business major really into politics and sports, plus really active with Student Government. My best friend since freshman year is a science major with a highly logistical thought process. One of my honors friends, who is a theology and philosophy major, is like the uncle of the group; he is always up for fun, but always makes sure we are productive. You can imagine how well this theologian/philosopher and scientist get along.

Another roommate is a passionate Catholic. He is the father of our diverse group, always making sure morality is a focus and that we are making appropriate choices. The final gentleman is a computer science major who deeply understands operating systems and programming. He is the one that provides us with random foreign music and witty comments.

So we have a business/government-focused guy who loves to talk about policies and Supreme Court rulings, a scientist who always spouts out random facts and thinks logically, a theologian/philosopher who is critical and is always up for a debate, a devout Catholic who is the moral compass for the room, and a computer programmer who loves international music. I am sure you can imagine the interesting conversations we have, especially with my random mind.

I tell you all of this to demonstrate how the most diverse group of people can get along and be the best of friends! We all love to sit around our common room and talk about current events and life. We also go out to eat and bowl every other week. While we all have our own interests and thought process, we all grow closer everyday and have become best friends. Actually, as I am writing this, all of my roommates are chatting around me in the common room.

Have a great week and stay classy!

Andrew Chwalik

Monday, March 9th, 2015    Subscribe  No Comments »

Gasping for Air

It is finally Spring Break 2015! Honestly, for me, it could not have come at a better time. This semester has gone by quickly, but it has been a lot of work. It seems like the business 360 classes are filled with so much work. Sure, it makes for a better understanding, but I am glad to get a break.

The bummer is that during such busy semesters it is difficult for us to take some personal time to focus on ourselves. Personally, I find it challenging to balance schoolwork, sports, extracurricular activities, and everything in between, let alone have some quality alone time. This is a common theme throughout our society; work life and personal life are combined. Personal phones are now used for work purposes. This is a good thing on the side of productivity, as efficiency levels continue to increase, but family lives are faltering. This is an extreme example when it comes to college, but it really gets the point across. LEAVE SOME TIME FOR YOURSELF, YOUR FAMILY, AND YOUR FRIENDS!

It is important to focus some energy on mediation and strengthening relationships. You can easily get burnt out if you do not take time to stop and observe life. I cannot believe I am already a junior in college. I can still remember chilling in my freshman room and watching the Walking Dead, time flies. I wish I had stopped to smell the flowers and reflect on who I was becoming. Don’t get me wrong, I love the man I am developing into because of Walsh, I just wish I could have slowed everything down to fully enjoy it all. Take my advice, keep on engaging in the full college experience, but also take time to relax. Spend a day in meditation and think about all of the great things you have taken part in at Walsh.

Make sure to keep your relationships intact as well. To be happiest, relationships need to be maintained and utilized to their fullest extent. Tell you family you love them and plan a family game night (my personal favorite bonding activity). Your parents and siblings miss you so spend some time with them. Also, hang out with those friends you haven’t seen in a while. Friendship is one of the golden possessions in this life so enjoy it and have a great time! There is nothing better than chilling with your favorite people and just being yourself.

Have a wonderful Spring Break 2015! Take time to relax and focus on yourself, while bonding with family and friends. For all of you on vacations in some foreign land, have a blast! Don’t forget, have a phenomenal week and stay classy!

Andrew Chwalik

Sunday, March 1st, 2015    Subscribe  No Comments »

A College Sport

Playing soccer in college was one of the best experiences I could have asked for. Participating in the sport I love, with some great guys, a smart coach, at a beautiful university was the perfect scenario. The recruitment process was also like a dream. Every young athlete imagines signing a contract to play their favorite sport in college or in the pros. Signing my letter of intent with my family standing close by may have been one of the best moments of my life so far.
While it is amazing playing a sport in college, it is like a full time job. Between classes, homework, sleeping, a social life, and relaxation time, participating in a sport can be overwhelming if you do not plan appropriately. Time management is a key skill that must be utilized to have a successful college and sport experience. Thankfully, Walsh’s Counseling Service Office is here to help! They have programs that help you learn effective time management and scheduling skills to help you succeed on the college level. The coaches and advisors are also great resources when it comes to adjusting to college life. They understand that an education should be the first goal and are willing to let you miss a practice if you need to study for a large exam. It is awesome to see how everyone at Walsh works together to help the students succeed.

I would not trade my time playing soccer at Walsh for anything. It resulted in so many memories that I will cherish forever and eventually tell my kids. If you are thinking about being a college athlete, meet with the coach of your respective sport! They will tell you how it is and help you get to where you want to be. Also, ask current college athletes to tell you about their experiences. It will truly help you make and educated decision on where your interests lie. Good luck!

Have a great week and stay classy!

Andrew Chwalik

Monday, February 23rd, 2015    Subscribe  No Comments »