Dave Floyd

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It's that time of year again, the time when applications begin flooding into colleges and universities nationwide. As you get set to do the same—or maybe more importantly, as you begin your high school career—here's the top 5 things that will make you a better college prospect…

5. Don't wait until junior year. Too many students make the grave mistake of “slacking off” during their freshman and sophomore years. Unfortunately for those students, college admissions offices don't look the other way at those years when that happens. The first two years count, as well, so start well and finish strong.

4. Challenge yourself…smartly. Post-secondary schools want to see that you're taking rigorous college preparatory curriculum throughout your high school career (again, from freshman year on). However, if you're still struggling with the definition of a function, AP Calculus probably isn't your best bet.

3. Get involved…but not just to be involved. It's important to be involved in extracurricular activities, from sports, to theater, to community service organizations. Don't, however, just join to say you're a member. Be committed, and even strive for a leadership position or special honor within the organization, for that, too, will be looked highly upon by colleges.

2. Set yourself apart in the application process. “Well, duh,” you might be saying, “isn't that the whole point of this thing?” And, of course, it is. What I mean by this, though, is use your essay, letter(s) or recommendation, and all the other supplementary materials wisely. Make the individual of your application say, “Wow, this student's different—in a good way—and we need him/her on our campus.” Who knows, maybe that'll even help lessen the blow of that C in 10th grade English.

1. Maintain a solid academic record. There's obviously much more to it than this (see above), but quality grades and test scores are a critical part of the process. At most places, you won't need a 4.3 GPA and 35 ACT, but it's imperative to work and work throughout your high school career to make sure you are where you need to be when it comes time to start filling out those applications.

Dave Floyd is an Admissions Counselor at Waynesburg University, whose travel territory includes Westmoreland County, Eastern Pennsylvania and the Northeast states. He is also a 2012 Waynesburg alumnus.

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WU students walking

It's almost that time.

Today's date is Aug. 8, and that means all of you incoming Waynesburg University students report to campus in less than two and a half weeks! Everybody here at WU is anxiously awaiting your arrival, but we're sure there's plenty you still need to get done before orientation begins Aug. 24. So here's something that may help you out.

This is a list of the top 10 must haves for your college experience. A couple of weeks back, I provided you with what you'll need for your dorm room. These, on the other hand, are items you may utilize in a variety of places, whether it's down the hall, across campus or even miles away on a spontaneous road trip.

Check ‘em out…

10. iPod. These days, it's rare to walk across campus and not see students with their Beats on or earbuds in. Good for walking to class, working out at the fitness center or just jammin' in your dorm room, an iPod can keep the tunes playing 24/7.

9. Water bottle or travel mug. Whatever beverage you choose to stay hydrated or awake—be it cold or hot—having something to carry said drink in all day is key. And a tip if you're looking to make a purchase: if it clips onto your bag of choice, it's a definite bonus!

8. Shower caddy and flip flops. For at least your first year at Waynesburg, you'll be using the community bathrooms in the traditional residence halls. Thus, you want something in which to carry all your toiletries. And if you're not a fan of making the trek down the hall in your bare feet, flip flops it is.

7. Rain jacket or umbrella. As much as I'd love to tell you it's always 75 and sunny at WU, unfortunately, that's not always the case. So if you're not trying to get drenched walking to class, something to protect you from the rain is a must.

6. ID card holder and lanyard. You'll need your ID card to eat, get into the fitness center and enter your dorm room, so you'll be carrying it around just about everywhere. These two items will help you remember to always take it with you. Plus, it'll give you something to put your mailbox key on, as well as other personal keys like car keys.

5. Hoodie (and sweatpants). Let's face it, you're probably not tryin' to look extra dapper or checkin' the weather before your 8 a.m., so if you can just throw on a hoodie and sweats, you'll be good to go! And the real goal is also accomplished with this strategy: maximum comfort.

4. Backpack and/or drawstring bag(s). As a college student, you'll be heading from class, to the dining hall, back to class and then off to another activity. It's a pain to have to keep running back to your dorm, so you need something to carry everything around in. A backpack's good for when you're gone for a while, a drawstring bag works if you just have one class to go to, and yes, ladies, a purse will do just fine, as well.

3. Pop-Tarts, Easy Mac, Ramen and more! While the dining hall and Beehive will keep you well fed, it's inevitable that you'll get a case of the munchies here and there. Pick out a few of your favorite snacks, and keep them in your dorm room. Just beware of that freshman 15!

2. Cell phone and charger. This may seem like a no-brainer for some, but it'd be hard to make this type of list and not include these two items. You want to be able to keep in touch with family, text your friends, and if you have a smart phone, take care of all kinds of stuff. And don't forget your charger, especially if home is hours from Waynesburg.

1. Bible. “Faith, learning and serving” is a motto that means a lot to us here at Waynesburg, and there's a reason for the order of that trio. We want you to have the opportunity to develop your faith in a multitude of ways during your time at Waynesburg, and that makes God's Word the No. 1 item on your packing list!

Like I said earlier, time is a tickin'. It'll be move-in day before you know it, so if you're missing a few of the key items on this list, it may be time for a shopping trip! Waynesburg's bookstore may be the perfect place to look for some of these college must haves.

And we'll see you all in just a few short weeks!

Dave Floyd is an Admissions Counselor at Waynesburg University, whose travel territory includes Westmoreland County, Eastern Pennsylvania and the Northeast states. He is also a 2012 Waynesburg alumnus.

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Waynesburg University Dorm Room

Exactly one month from today, all of you new Waynesburg University students out there will be moving into your dorms to begin the next chapter in your lives. I'm sure there's plenty for you all to do before orientation starts Aug. 24, and that includes lining up all the items needed for your dorm room. Below are the top 10 bigger-ticket items you may want to think about getting your hands on…

10. Nightstand. It doesn't have to be your traditional wooden nightstand or anything too elaborate; heck, it could be a cardboard box you top bunk people hang from the ceiling. But whatever the case, it helps to have something to put your cell phone, alarm clock and/or whatever else you won't want to climb out of bed to grab.

9. Mattress pad. This isn't a must because the mattresses provided are already pretty comfortable on their own. You will be here for a good eight months out of the year, though, so a little extra cushion to sleep on sure wouldn't hurt.

8. Surge protector, extension cord(s), Ethernet cable and longer cable cord. These will give you the opportunity to set up anything electronic anywhere throughout the room. And it allows you to rearrange whenever you want throughout the year. (Just a heads up...extension cords do need to be UL approved.)

7. Fan. School starts in August and ends in May, so the first and last few weeks can be a bit toasty. With no A/C in the traditional dorms, especially if you're living on the higher floors, a fan can help you beat the heat.

6. Carpet. Tile can be a little chilly on the bare feet, so having a carpet combats that. Plus, it makes it more comfortable to lounge on the floor. And in this same category, you may even want to think about a small mat or piece of carpet right by the door where you can put your shoes or wipe them off after coming in from the rain, snow or mud.

5. Lamp. Sometimes the overhead light can just be too much, especially if you have to wake up for an 8 a.m. Whether it's big or small, some sort of alternative lighting is always nice to have.

4. DVD player and/or gaming system. There are plenty of times you'll want to just sit down and watch a flick with friends, so you need something to watch said movies on. And whether you're all about Mario Kart, Madden, NHL or CoD, it's nice to have some type of gaming system to take advantage of in your free time.

3. TV. Well, if you heed my advice from No. 4, you'll need a TV to watch your movies and play your video games on, so it makes this an easy one. Plus, WU provides cable in all the dorms, so you might as well take advantage of that!

2. Fridge and microwave. Snacks and drinks are a MUST, and you have to keep them and heat them up in something. Whether you sleep through breakfast, nap through dinner, or are just hungry late at night, it's always nice to have a cold drink and some Easy Mac handy in your room. (Another heads up...refrigerators should say two cubic feet or less, while microwaves have to be 900 watts or less.)

1. Computer. There are plenty of computer labs on campus that you can utilize, but you can't beat the convenience of having one right there in your room. I'd certainly recommend a laptop, but a desktop isn't completely obsolete yet, so it'd work too. With e-mails to check, papers to write and, of course, Facebook to check, a student's need for a computer makes it simple to name this the No. 1 item needed for your traditional dorm room.

In two weeks, I'll give you a list of lesser-thought-of items that may come in handy as a student at WU. But that's for another time, another post! Until then, happy shopping!

P.S. If you need one more look at the dorms before arriving on campus, remember you can check out our virtual tour online at www.tourwaynesburg.com.

Dave Floyd is an Admissions Counselor at Waynesburg University, whose travel territory includes Westmoreland County, Eastern Pennsylvania and the Northeast states. He is also a 2012 Waynesburg alumnus.

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