Viola skill introduces BU junior to a world of opportunity
By: Jessie Napkora, Features Editor
With a résumé that boasts being part of the Honors Program, Board of Governors Program, Biology Honors Society and other campus organizations such as the ping pong club, it’s no surprise that BU junior biology major and chemistry and viola minor, Brendon Juengst, can also add his status as a skilled viola player to that list.
Juengst began developing his musical talent at nine years old. “At the time I don’t really think there was much logical thought put into the matter. It’s just something I chose and I’ve rolled with it ever since,” he said. The skill stuck with him through the years and eventually landed him the position of first viola player in the campus orchestra.
“In high school, I really enjoyed my time playing the viola and the people I met through the various orchestras and venues I played in. When I came here I basically wanted to keep that experience going,” he said. In addition to playing, he is also the president of the Community Orchestra.
“That job basically consists of thinking of ways to raise money for the orchestra,” he explained. His talent has also paid off in the form of the James R. Hammaker Orchestra memorial scholarship which Juengst has won twice thus far.
“If you get good at your instrument, there are a ton of opportunities and groups for you to get involved in,” he said.
He would know a lot about this, as he has played with the Hershey Symphony and even had the opportunity to visit such places as Baltimore, Albuquerque, Chicago and Salt Lake City with the Hershey Festival Strings.
“I was also was a part of the Harrisburg Youth Symphony, District and County orchestras, along with my regular high school orchestra. I think all of those are really good experiences because you are surrounded by really high performing individuals who are great at whatever instrument they play. It really inspires you to be better, or at least the best you can be,” he said. In Bloomsburg, Juengst’s performances are mainly confined to the Haas auditorium or at a Lutheran Church downtown.
The viola also provided Juengst with a job during high school. “My private teacher hooked me up with a couple professional string quartets and I would get paid quite well to play for weddings and other occasions,” he said.
His teacher also gave him the opportunity to instruct some of her students, an enriching experience for Juengst.
“Teaching is always a very eye-opening experience, and at least I figured out it was something I didn’t want to do. It definitely built character though,” he said. Naturally, becoming such a skilled violist requires practice.
“There’s about five hours of orchestra rehearsal a week, and I probably only practice by myself maybe four or five hours on a good week,” he said.
Despite all the practice, Juengst still has some qualms while performing.
“For me it is when I am performing a solo piece. Tuning out the audience and remembering to play all the little nuances that turn your piece into music,” said Juengst.
This semester, Juengst has already performed on Oct. 1 in the young person’s concert. His upcoming performances include a Chamber Orchestra concert on Oct. 27 at the Lutheran Church in town and a Nov. 10 Community Orchestra show in Haas Auditorium. Although Juengst has spent a large majority of his life sharpening his viola skills and enjoying the experiences it has allowed him, he does not think he will pursue a career in music. “It’s very difficult to make a career out of music especially if you don’t want to teach. You have to be extremely good and practice a whole lot more than I do if you want to be a professional. I’m not really sure what I want to do after I graduate. I’m considering going to graduate school for some discipline of biology,” he said.
Eating disorder amound college females
By: Kaitlyn Andrey, Assistant Features Editor
College can be a stressful environment for everyone, but is it becoming increasingly difficult for females? Here at Bloomsburg, general “going out” attire consists of short skirts, crop tops and high heels—an outfit that most students have come to believe looks better on young women who are thin. Every day, tons of girls on campus are heading to the gym, picking at a small salad at the Husky Lounge, or asking for the “skinny” version of a beverage from Starbucks. Many people may consider this proactive, healthy behavior, but are more girls crossing the line than we know?
One in every five women across the United States struggles with an eating disorder. In addition, 25% of women attending a university also face the same problem. The numbers seem to be higher for those who are away at school, but why?
Being part of a campus here at Bloomsburg where the female to male ratio is considerably higher, many young women see this as less of an opportunity to make more girlfriends, and more of an obstacle to compete with all of the young women in this college town. Most students encounter almost five times the amount of females that they had ever dealt with in high school or in their hometown prior to attending BU. Whether it’s a competition of “who wore it better” or a battle for the quarterback’s attention, it’s almost female nature to want to out-do other women. This, according to 20-year-old Jane Doe, a junior here at BU, is a huge reason that she feels so much pressure to be thin.
“You walk around campus and you see tons of beautiful girls with their designer bags, perfect hair, and tiny little bodies. They’re like barbies, I swear… not real people. And you think to yourself… ‘that could never be me,’” said Doe.
“Most of us can’t afford the name brand clothes and have split ends. These are things we can’t control. But being skinny? That’s free. It actually ends up saving you money. So you kinda just stop eating, since it’s the only thing you can do to try and compete with the perfection you feel like you’re up against every day,” said Doe.
Lisa Smith, also a junior here at Bloomsburg, expressed that she believes her anorexia developed in the middle of freshman year, due to all of the newfound stress she had been experiencing. Between the tests, projects, homework and papers, she found herself always worrying about what was due the next day and what she would be forced to tackle next week or even next month.
“I was in over my head. I felt like I had no one to turn to and I had no control over anything in my life. At first, the stress is what caused me to stop eating. But the more weight I lost, the more in control of my body I felt. And since I felt like I couldn’t control anything else going on in my life, this was the only thing I felt like I owned. And I guess from there, it just developed and got worse,” said Smith.
Stress has proven to be a large factor in the development of eating disorders across the nation. With all of the stress that college students feel on a day to day basis, it’s not surprising that it can lead to such a vicious disease.
Perhaps the most disheartening of all possible causes, are that these young women admitted that they learned supportive behaviors from roommates or new friends they met here at Bloomsburg, which aided in the development or perseverance of their eating disorders. They explained eating disorders as an unspoken connection. “If you have an eating disorder, it’s really easy to pick out other people who are going through the same thing,” Smith said.
Based on this fact, it isn’t uncommon for these young women to share “tips” among each other or provide support for one another on this eternal quest to be thin.
Both young women expressed that it was more difficult to cope with their illness while being away at school, because they didn’t have anyone to answer to or “tell them to stop.” They explained that being alone at college makes it much easier to repeat or develop habits of starvation or purging, because no one really checks up on you the way that they would at home. It’s a sad reality that many young women attending college face every day.
Although services are provided on campus through the health center and counseling services, it can sometimes be difficult for females suffering from such a disease to self-motivate themselves to ask for help or attend these sessions. If students notice friends becoming increasingly thin, skipping meals, making frequent trips to the bathroom, or over-exercising, try to talk to them. Sometimes, they’re secretly wishing someone would just offer help, because they’re too afraid to ask for it themselves. Eating disorders not only have the ability to physically kill someone battling them, but the emotional toll can sometimes be equally painful. Offering support to someone that may appear to be suffering in silence or encouraging them to seek help on campus could end up saving them from a lifetime of misery, or even a shorter lifetime than intended.
NOTE: Names have been changed to protect identity of students.
By: Katty Andrey
College is a difficult time for young adults. Assignments are lengthy, exams are challenging, searching and applying for internships is tedious and confusing… the list goes on and on. Trying to balance all of these academic demands with students’ social lives and that thing that they so often neglect and forget about —sleep— can be difficult enough to juggle. However, for some students, there is another large factor that’s added to the equation, sometimes making it near impossible not to drop the ball… employment.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say that having a job here has negatively impacted my school work,” senior Kelley Nelson explains, “but it has definitely made it more stressful.”
Nelson, a psychology major, works on campus here at Bloomsburg University at the Phonathon. She sits at a desk for three to three and a half hours, three times a week, contacting alumni for donations to the school. Nelson explained that working at a desk on campus fortunately allows her the time to complete basic assignments while she is on the clock, but makes it impossible for her to write a paper or study.
“It definitely does make me stress more,” Nelson says, “just because it takes three and a half hours away from time that could be spent studying, and because after work, I’m usually tired and not in the mood to do it.”
Nelson explained that she chose to work at the Phonathon because of its short shifts, and the fact that it allowed her to get some work done. She did say, however, that during her busy weeks with schoolwork, she has felt that if she wasn’t working, she would have more time to study and would have done better on a test or paper.
When asked if she thought that having her own money is worth the sacrifice that she has to make sometimes for school, Nelson immediately replied with, “Yes, definitely, especially since I have to support myself completely. But I feel like having a job has also taught me better time management skills, so I don’t have to make sacrifices as often anymore.”
Olivia Nieves, a senior who works off campus as a waitress at Rose Marie’s Restaurant right in town, feels much differently.
“Working has come in the way of my schoolwork in terms of group projects and exams. Sometimes, if I have a really busy week and I can’t get anyone to cover my shift, I might spend five hours at work—not making that much money—when I could have been studying,” Nieves says.
Nieves, who also happens to be a psychology major here at Bloomsburg, explained that she already procrastinates to begin with, so having a job has not helped with her already packed schedule of writing papers, completing group work, and studying for exams.
“It’s nice to have money,” Nieves says, “but it’s really difficult to balance both accordingly. I’d much rather be less stressed and have less to spend.”
Nieves does not believe that the cash she earns at Rose Marie’s is worth the additional academic stress and sacrifice, but says that she has to continue working at school, although she may request less hours in the spring.
“I really need to focus more on school next semester,” Nieves says. “The increase in my hours at work definitely reflects the lower grades I’m pulling this semester.”
It seems that having a job on campus versus off campus is easier to manage. However, Nieves receives much higher financial compensation as a waitress in town than Nelson does as an operator at the Phonathon on campus. Does a happy medium exist?
Zoe Compton, a senior here at Bloomsburg studying mass communications, believes that it does. Compton makes a two-hour commute to her hometown every other weekend to work at a sports bar called PJ Whelihan’s. She is a waitress, and works Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons.
“People think that I’m crazy for making the drive home so much to work for two days,” Compton explains, “but I honestly have the best of both worlds by doing so.”
Compton averages anywhere from $250-$400 a weekend. She doesn’t have to leave Bloomsburg until 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, and can usually make it back by 11 p.m. Sunday evening.
“The only time that I’m really giving up is a Saturday night of drinking and a Sunday of being hungover,” Compton says. “Working hasn’t affected my schoolwork, because I have enough time Friday and Saturday afternoon, as well as Sunday night, to complete my work. Yeah, I’m tired sometimes when I get back on Sundays, but if that’s the case, I just go to bed as soon as I get back to school and wake up really early the next morning.”
Compton explains that it wasn’t always that easy for her to adjust and manage her time, but she has had this schedule since her freshman year of college, so it’s something she has been able to develop over the past two years.
“For me, it’s definitely worth it,” Compton says. “I make killer money and I’ve pulled A’s and B’s every semester. Sure, I get stressed sometimes, but I’ve accepted the fact that this is what I need to do to survive, so I take it in stride and make it work.”
Maintaining a job throughout college is definitely a difficult thing for students to handle. Some find it worth it, others don’t, but it’s certainly an added stress to the already hectic schedules of college students regardless. The key, it seems, is to manage your time, try to relax, and do what you can with the time that you have.