Alvernia Students


35 Things Every College Student Should Do This Semester

By Alvernia University

#gotserviceAU? The Class of 2014 does!

#gotserviceAU? The Class of 2014 does!

late night debate

As we look to begin another year of college, I must discuss an all-important aspect of college-life…

Late night food.

Now, at Alvernia we have the fabulous Courtside Café (you’ll most likely see me there Friday/Saturday nights).

But, today I shall be discussing the “debate” of our age…

Sheetz? Or Wawa?

For me, it’s Sheetz. For a few reasons…

    -Wawa TELLS ME when I can and cannot purchase their breakfast sandwiches. I have never understood this. I cannot believe it is impossible to put a bagel, some meat, an egg, and a slice of cheese together after 11 a.m.

2. Gasoline.
    -Sheetz has this wonderful program where if you sign up for their card thing, you save a few cents on gas when you swipe it at the pump. I also just got an email the other day saying that because I’ve been a member for x-amount of time, if I swipe my card at the pump I can put my gas in my car THEN go inside to pay. Very cool.

    -This is where I’ve found out one of the “secrets” to the Sheetz & Wawa debate. If you LOVE hoagies/subs/whatevers, you most likely love Wawa. The general consensus is that their traditional sandwiches are of better quality. If you LOVE anything else besides hoagies, (including hamburgers that have mozzarella sticks and French fries BUILT INTO THEM) then you love Sheetz.

I don’t think this debate will ever end, because frankly, it’s not a debate.

Yes, they both are touch-screen-ordering-gas-station-24/7 food locations, but they aren’t the same at all.

Wawa is no-nonsense. You come in (and get your breakfast sandwich DURING breakfast) and you order your normal sandwich. No gimmicks, no shenanigans, just good quality hoagies… and occasionally that Hoagiefest guy that looks like John Lennon…

Sheetz is the king of nonsense. You come in, you have to choose between too many food options, then the screen asks you too many questions until finally you just decided to answer “YES” to all of them and end up with some fairytale sandwich that inexplicably has an unnecessary “z” or two in the name. You have no idea if this sandwich is going to be delicious, or just barely considered “food.”

So, if you ask me, that’s the real secret. Wawa is for people who like a no-nonsense experience when buying gas-station sandwiches, and Sheetz is for those of us who aren’t terrified of biting into a sandwich that may or may not contain the entirety of three meals in-between two buns.

… where do you stand? Sheetz? Or Wawa?


Aug 7

wistfully looking into the distance

It’s August. I can’t believe it’s already August.

For me, Senior year starts in less than 3 weeks. For others, it might be orientation weekend or the thrill of starting Sophomore or Junior year.

 My advice for everyone is basically what it always is: live a little bit outside the box this year.

 Want to take a class outside your major just because it sounds great? Do it!

 Want to go outside and read and study in the middle of the quad in the grass? YES!

 Want to go with friends to every pizza shop in town in one day just to determine the best one? DELICIOUS.

 Want to grow a magnificent beard and look wistfully into the distance in the dead of winter?? I recommend it…


My point is, be a little weirder this year, laugh a little harder each semester, and don’t be afraid to be confident in yourself 100% of the time.

Have a phenomenal last few weeks of summer and a great start to the school year, everyone!


Jul 9

be a better _______

In the ongoing adventures I’m taking part in, the most looming quest I just started involves grad school.

I’ve changed my mind multiple times over the past year, in terms of what and where I want to study after my time is done here at Alvernia.

A few months ago I sat down with a professor here at Alvernia to talk about graduate school and she gave me some of the best advice I’ve gotten over the past few years.

She told me not to think about what lies at the end of grad school, be it the lure of a job or a promising career.  Go to grad school just because you want to study more of something you love. Go to grad school because you have one passion or desire you need to embrace or have one burning question you need to answer. Go to grad school because you want to be a better doer of whatever it is that you do.

That advice still sticks with me. I keep looking at schools and telling myself not to think of the opportunities I’ll have after I graduate with an MFA or PhD or whatever, but to think of the opportunities I’ll have while I’m studying and learning more about what I’m passionate about.

So, to all you ambitious students out there thinking about grad school:

Don’t do it just because you’ll get a job with more prestige or more money or because you think it’s the easy way out or the right continuing step in your education.

Do it because you want to be a better you and a better doer of whatever it is that you do.


Focusing on what you love to do

It’s now officially been one month that I’ve had my studio over at the GoggleWorks.

The time has flown by and I’ve learned a bit about myself as an artist.

I’ve been trying to do about a painting per week (you can check out all my finished pieces here).

From this I’ve started to really develop a sense of what I love to paint and what I don’t.

In the grand scheme of things, it seems like everything works that way.  We all have things we love to do and things we don’t.  What I’ve learned through this is that even in the things we don’t love to do, we can grow and come to better know ourselves.

Sure, I love to paint people, figures, & faces, but I love the challenge of landscapes or the sheer joy of abstract painting as well (and the best is when you combine everything!).

So, to sum it all up,  know what you love and challenge yourself with things you know will make you a better person. We learn so much when we don’t stick to just the things we know and love.


Instagram Summer Photo Contest!!!!!!!

Having a great time at your summer job? Learning a lot at your summer internship? Traveling somewhere you’ve never been? We want to see! Show us how YOU #getrealAU this summer on Instagram. 

It’s simple! Submit a photo of yourself at your summer job, internship, hobby or travel spot on Instagram using #getrealAU. 

A weekly winner will be selected on Mondays and featured on Alvernia University social media channels and will receive an Alvernia t-shirt. 

The grand prize winner will be selected on Tuesday, August 5th and will receive an Alvernia University swag bag filled with Alvernia goodies!

We have had an overwhelming amount of entries in our first week of the contest. We wanted to share some of them with all of you. Don’t forget to join in the fun by using #getrealAU.

Jun 6


Go draw!

It doesn’t matter if you’re as good as Vincent Van Gogh and Albrecht Dürer or you can barely manage a stick figure. Go draw!

Draw on your meeting notes!

Draw on your air sickness bag!

Draw things that don’t make sense or make you laugh!

Happy World Drawing Day!

Go celebrate!!


Empty spaces & painted faces

A few weeks ago I dropped this little note on a post:

So, to everyone (the grand audience of all you out there reading the fantastic AU student blog!) I now share what my grand plan is for this summer and the coming year.

5 weeks ago yesterday I met my parents for lunch at the GoggleWorks (for any of you who don’t know what that is, read here). I questioned why we met for lunch at an art center cafe and not a restaurant, but hey, my parents haven’t always made sense (and man, do I love that).

They said, after lunch, we were gonna roll upstairs and meet somebody. I figured Pops knew some person with a studio, and they just wanted me to meet him/her.

We cruise upstairs and meet with the gallery director and she starts showing us an empty artist’s studio. I caught on quickly, but still had no definite idea what was going on.

Fast forward to today and I’m just about settled in to that same studio (after an application was handed in, after I was juried in to the studio, and after three paintings have already been completed).

Move in was relatively easy, as I didn’t have too much to move, just a cabinet, some previous artwork, and a small couch and chair.

I made sure to take time that first day to paint. My whole reason for being there is to paint, so I wanted to start on day one.

So, here’s “Moving Man.” a 14” x 18” acrylic & ink on canvas.

Much more artwork to come, as I’ll be spending 20+ hours a week in my studio creating. Should be a great year. I’m not sure where I’m headed after graduation next May, but I’m sure I’ll be doing something creative.

If you’re ever over at the GoggleWorks, make sure to swing by studio #317, as I’ll probably be there.

Make sure to check out my always growing online portfolio.

And most importantly…

keep it real and never take yourself too seriously, Internet.


Two Alvernia sophomores, Kyle Covington and Monica Echeverriare, are taking part in a highly anticipated pilot program to study and travel in the People’s Republic of China this May.

The group of ambassadors arrived this week, and have already visited the Great Wall (first photo) and the Summer Palace with their group. They also went to Tiananmen (second photo), Mao’s Mausoleum and the Forbidden City.

The scholars heard a lecture on the attempt to save hutongs - a type of architecture found in northeast China - and did a walking tour of the area.