Internship Canceled Because of COVID-19?: How the “New Normal” Presents New Opportunities

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


At Career Expos in the past, PC students were able to interact directly with potential employers.
The Expo has moved to a virtual format as a result of the pandemic. Photo courtesy of Providence.edu.

by Katherine Belbusti ’22

Opinion Staff

It seems as though the list of effects from the COVID-19 pandemic keeps growing, including the loss of summer internships for college students. Beginning their freshman year, Providence College students are taught, “Don’t wait! Slavin 108!” and because of this, many students complete all necessary steps to ensure that they will have an internship for at least two summers of their college career, if not more. 

Little compares to the joy felt when hard work pays off and an application is accepted. Back in March when decisions were sent out, some students felt a temporary reprieve from the chaotic mess of the initial COVID-19 outbreak with the good news that their job applications had been approved for the summer of 2020. 

Unfortunately, in the months approaching June, the rescinding of offers from internship programs impacted many PC students, as it did for many college students. Even those lucky few whose internships were not canceled but were instead made virtual did not get the full, hands-on experience envisioned when they originally applied. 

Panic set in for many students, with many lamenting, “No job, no experience, how will any employer find me a desirable candidate?” According to Laura Pellecchia in PC’s Center for Career Education & Professional Studies, employers will be more understanding when reviewing college graduates’ applications. 

Those graduating in 2021, 2022, or 2023 were the hardest hit for loss of internships, but Pellecchia believes that as long as they spent their summers productively, they will not be at a disadvantage: “Explain to employers that even though you were not able to participate in an internship, these are the things that I did. The Career Center took the loss of internships into consideration and stepped in this summer to offer LinkedIn learning services, Excel Certification, and even resume building.” 

If you had a virtual internship and feel that you did not get the full experience you had wanted, you may have learned more than you think. Pellecchia believes that those students will not be at a disadvantage, as virtual internships still may have given students exposure to fields they are interested in. 

Additionally, the pandemic may change the way people work moving forward, as companies increase remote work opportunities. Any experience is a good experience. Pellecchia goes further to say that the “new normal” environment should be used as an advantage. 

Most students do not have the same kind of extracurricular commitments that they had before COVID-19, allowing them more time to work on professional skills and resume building. The term “new normal” is being used more and more recently, but it is something that everyone must accept, even looking forward to next summer’s internship plans. 

Many large companies are still planning to work remotely until at least summer 2021, and the junior class especially should be prepared for more virtual internships. Additionally, many part-time internships are being offered during the fall and winter, which may be the perfect fit for someone who feels as though they are behind after having an internship canceled this past summer. 

These new opportunities provide students with the ability to not only get more professional experience, but also to gain experience from a more diverse group of companies in different cities, even countries, that would not have been possible if done in person. Students are no longer bound by location for their internship possibilities. While the pandemic took away some opportunities, it has also opened doors to many more. 

Tangents and Tirades

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Graphic of sun.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Friar Fun in the Sun

I am sure many have noticed that spring has come a little earlier than normal this year. The grass is getting greener with each passing day, and flower buds are peeping through the ground, ready to bloom. With all these positive changes in the weather, it is safe to say that the weather has had the same effect on our spirits.

Just a couple of weekends ago, there was a Saturday that was sunny and 63 degrees. It was nearly impossible to find anyone in their dorms. All the quads and lawn space throughout campus were filled. Some could be found with a blanket and a book, others with a baseball and a glove.

Regardless of how you decided to spend the time outside, the feeling of community had never been stronger. People played music loud enough so that everyone could enjoy it. If your friend tossed the football a little too far and you had to run after it, chances are a kind stranger picked it up to give back to you before you had the chance to get there.

It is little things like this, days like this, where Friartown friendliness really shines through and makes you proud to be a Friar.

Of course, that is not to say that rainy days will be the same. People tend to let the weather reflect their mood for the day. But maybe that is just another incentive to hold out hope for the sunshine.

—Katherine Belbusti ’22

 

EDM is Not Music to My Ears

Year after year, the Board of Programmers (BOP) announces another EDM (electronic dance music) artist for the Spring Concert. Year after year many rock, pop, country, and rap fans acquiesce to social pressure and buy another Spring Concert ticket.

While EDM is indubitably a genre of music that requires tremendous talent and creativity, the genre appeals to a niche fan base on campus, thus the Spring Concert selections fail to appeal to the majorities of the student body.

Moreover, despite the artistic value of EDM music, EDM artists frankly make for poor concert experiences as they lack the energy of true live music, considering the fact there are no instruments or live singers performing in the show.

Ultimately, EDM shows serve as  glorified DJs rather than live musical artists.

To that end, it would serve as a better use of funds for BOP to save the money they would spend on an EDM artist and either hire a DJ instead and invest the excess funds into other events or hire multiple indie artists of numerous genres for the cost of the single EDM artist and establish a small Providence College music festival as a means of music discovery for the student body and give them a true live music experience.

The Spring Concert experience should be richer than merely listening to an electronically generated potpourri of pop song remixes, as this wave of EDM concerts is depriving the PC students of the true beauty of live music.

—Alyssa Cohen ’21

 

Us. We. Together. Cleaning. Campus.

After a few windy days, the Providence College campus is showing signs of wear and tear. Posters litter the sidewalks, poking up through the foliage, with other trash scattered about.

To make matters worse, hundreds of students walk by litter every hour, doing nothing about it.

Sure, one does not necessarily want to get their hands dirty, but with the multitude of bathrooms on campus, soap and water are not exactly hard to come by.

It is not like students need to spend hours searching for trash. Simply taking the time to stop and dispose of litter in the appropriate receptacle goes a long way.

The aesthetic of our campus very much reflects the whole student body, not just those hired to help sculpt and take care of the landscape.

Do we want to be seen by visitors as students who do not care about our campus, or are we going to be known for looking after even the smallest of details so that all can enjoy this campus?

As we move into the warmer months, with the flowers and trees returning to their blossomed states, it is important to remember that keeping the campus clean is a shared responsibility that does not ask much of us, just that we are conscious and actively work to remove the litter that can be found here at PC.

—Joshua Chlebowski ’21

A Fresh Restart: Clean Room, Clean Mind

by Katherine Torok


Opinion


Towards the end of the semester, students tend to be busier, which is why
cleaning your room is an easy way to clear your mind. Photo courtesy of Providence College.

 

by Katherine Belbusti ’22

Opinion Staff

 

Spring: it is that time of year again when our jackets get lighter and the days feel longer. The sun shines a little more brightly and everything comes back to life after a long winter of hibernation. With spring comes rebirth and the time for a clean slate. What could be better than starting off that period of newness with cleaning our living spaces?

Decluttering your physical space is a parallel for decluttering your mental space. All the dark and cold memories from winter are swept away and all those rough spots that you had during those cold months can now be let go.

Spring cleaning a dorm room can be a challenge within itself, but it is doable and can be so rewarding. The first thing recommended is to get your roommates on board as well. If they are not into it, do not worry. You can still make your space look different and clean.

It is first recommended to store all your bulky winter sweaters and clothes in a place not readily accessible. After this, all your spring and summer clothes will be the only ones easily accessible, and seeing the bright colors is a great first start.

After this, the dreaded deep cleaning comes. That means scrubbing your desk and sweeping away all the dust under your bed. While this is probably the worst part of the entire process, the fresh scent of cleaning products will be pleasant to you once you have finished.

Lastly, switch things up in your room a bit. Rearrange the pictures on your wall, or buy a new poster to hang up. Even buying a new pillow or decoration can really make your space feel ready for the warmer months.

Spring cleaning is perhaps one of the most underrated and, yet, most necessary things for a person. While it might not seem like the most appealing option to clean inside while the weather is warming up outside, there are many benefits to doing so, including mental health benefits.

Cleaning is a stress reliver. It is often said that a cluttered home is a cluttered mind. Picking one rainy April afternoon to clean your room could actually prove to relieve some of your stress. Cleaning is a task that requires just enough of your attention to take your attention away from other things that could potentially be stressing you. Not to mention, once your task is completed, you have a great sense of accomplishment. 

Instead of thinking of spring cleaning as a chore, think of it as a step in the direction of a new beginning. It can help you finish the semester strong if your mind is as decluttered as your living space. Not to mention, it will make moving out after finals that much easier!

That’s the great thing about spring cleaning. It is a process that can really test your patience, but at the end of the day, its benefits outweigh the tribulations.

Tangents and Tirades

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Slice of pizza.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

You’re Never Alone in Friartown

Midterm week is over, and all of the stress that came with it will be long gone in just a few short days when we’re on spring break. However, this past midterm week will be one that I will never forget.

On Monday of midterm week, it was windy. To call it wind is an understatement, as it was more like a series of repeatedly long gusts of wind.

I had just walked out of my English class and was on my way to my fourth and last class of the day, DWC. Our midterm was this day and although I felt prepared, I decided to carry my folder with me, so I could look some stuff over on the way to Ruane. It was windier than ever the second I stepped out of Harkins. I remember it being hard to walk, as it felt like I was about to get blown away. Before I could think about what was happening, a huge gust of wind came and took my folder with it. My papers and all the contents of my folder went 20 feet up in the air, everything flying in all different directions. I was in shock and in a rush to get to my midterm so I was just going to let my papers be lost.

Instead, everyone that saw my catastrophe helped pick up all of the papers they could see. I was so grateful for all the random acts of kindness and it really shows that you are never alone in Friartown.

—Katherine Belbusti ’22

 

Passing on the Pizza

Without a doubt, pizza has an unparalleled overbearing presence on the Providence College campus. Almost every activity or extracurricular function opts to serve pizza at their events. Such a decision is not only terribly unoriginal and boring but also poses an issue for those students who may have gluten or lactose sensitivities.

While pizza is often thought to be a universally accessible food, it contains two elements which prove problematic. The first is the dough, which typically contains gluten, and the second is the cheese, a clear dairy product. When it comes down to it, two-thirds of the basic elements to a pizza can easily exclude a number of individuals.

Pizza is also provided excessively here on campus, with its presence at numerous extracurricular events. Sure it can be enjoyable the first five times, but it loses its appeal shortly thereafter. Options from chains such as Wendy’s or even Chick-fil-A are far more appetizing choices and would introduce more options for those who have dietary restrictions while still maintaining a low price point.

Although these concerns about pizza are not the most pressing issue on campus, taking these small details into account will go a long way in increasing the participation in campus events, and, in the bigger picture, to building a stronger sense of community on campus.

—Joshua Chlebowski ’21

 

Stop Judging: Learn to Promote Empathy

The contemporary young adult population presents a disheartening deficit in empathy. 

At Providence College alone, during a walk around campus one may overhear innumerable conversations, many of which would include superficialobservations about the conversers’ peers—perhaps a girl’s “bad spray tan” or someone in their class’s stuttered seminar contribution, or someone who “hooked up” with someone else who was “way out of” said individual’s league. 

While these might seem like petty, insignificant remarks, they expose the thought processes of this generation and the superficialities that blind modern young adults from truly knowing one another. 

These excessively superficial attitudes can likely be attributed to social media platforms—the largest culprit being Instagram. 

As contemporary youths have grown obsessed with capturing the perfect Instagram picture in order to achieve the maximum number of likes, they have also acquired the proclivity to assert shallow judgements of their peers in the real world in the same way they scrutinize an individual’s Instagram profile. 

In order to correct our society’s present deficit in empathy, we must identify our superficial judgement proclivities and remember that in actuality there is very little one can truly know about an individual solely based upon the clothes they wear or their instagram posts. 

That said, promoting this social change may be simpler than it seems if each of us, before vocalizing that snap judgement about “that girl or guy” in our DWC seminar, ask ourselves: “What do I know about this person that isn’t skin deep?”

—Alyssa Cohen ’21

Spring Staycation: Save Money by Spending Spring Break at Home

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Dog sitting on couch
Relaxing with your pet is a good way to recharge over spring break. Katherine Torok ’20/The Cowl

by Katherine Belbusti ’22

Spring break is a magical time of year. The break in the school year comes happily to all, as the stress of midterms comes to an end. For some, spring break is a time to travel to a warm place and thaw out a little from the harsh New England winters.

If that is the case, then spring break means sunshine, palm trees, and relaxation. The only downside to that is the cost. A ticket to Florida for spring break can cost anywhere from $250-$600—and that is only for airfare. If traveling is not in your budget, there is no need to worry. You can make your staycation just as memorable this spring break, and here is how.

Just like any other break, one of the best parts about going home is seeing all of your high school friends again. It is possible that you might not have the same spring break as your friends, but if you do, spend the week catching up with them.

Reminisce about the “old days,” go to the best lunch spot in your town, or even go to your old high school and check in on your favorite teachers. You can make staying home exciting, especially when you are with the friends you share great childhood memories with.

As always, going home also means being reunited with your beloved pet. Whether it be a dog, cat, or even a hamster, spend the week letting them entertain you. Take your dog on a walk to a new place you have never been before. Let them run around or play catch with them.

It may sound trivial, but you might not realize how much you will miss having the opportunity to play with your pet when you get back to campus and will have to wait another couple of months to see them. Playing with your pet also encourages you to get outside and maybe even exercise with them.

The last, and possibly most exciting way to spend spring break on a budget, is a road trip! If home is giving you major separation anxiety from your PC friends, hop in your car and go visit them.

You can even get a group of people to travel with you to all meet-up at your PC friend’s house and have your own mini-reunion.

You don’t realize how close you are with your PC friends until you are forced to spend a whole week without them. Pack your car with friends and snacks and road trip to someone’s house. Everyone will be glad to see each other, and you can commiserate on how sad those four days apart have been.

Spring break is your week off to make of it what you will. Just because you might be jealous of your friends’ beach pictures on Instagram, do not let that take away from your week off for some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Spring break is truly what you want it to be, and it can certainly be just as fun staying at home as it can be if you are traveling.

Tangents and Tirades

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Poster of the Netflix show "You."
Photo courtesy of YouTube.

I’m Watching ‘You’

The new Netflix series that has secured many binge watchers is “You.” If you tell someone what show you are watching, you will literally say “I’m watching ‘You,’” which may just be the perfect double entendre in this instance. 

Without giving away any spoilers, this show is about a guy who aggressively stalks a girl, even after he becomes her boyfriend. While real-life stalking might not always be as extreme as it is in the show, the concept of cyber-stalking is one that teenagers, specifically, know all too well.

It is important to think about what you post and how you portray yourself once you have graduated and are on the job hunt, because all those pictures stay with you even when you think they are gone.

Upon meeting someone new, within minutes you can find information on their hometown, birthday, and their cousin’s dog’s favorite chew toy. If you truly think about how much of your life you make public for anyone to see, it can be scary. Anyone can find this information, not just the perfect stranger.

Teenagers do this mostly to learn everything about the cute someone in their XYZ class who sits three seats away from them.

Social media can be fun for portraying the best version of yourself, but it is also the way that you portray yourself to the world that you don’t know “IRL.”

Because of this, it is important to be conscious of how you present yourself online. You never know who might be on the other side of the screen.

—Katherine Belbusti ’22

 

To Remove or Not to Remove: The Laundry Debate

It’s 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning and you make the wretched discovery that you have finally depleted your supply of clean clothes.

Being forced to finally take care of the mountain of dirty clothes accumulating in your closet, you make the trek to the laundry room. However, you soon discover that the machine that you thought was available is actually full of wet clothes, as the person who used it before you failed to claim their load on time.

There is much contention about what the proper protocol is in a situation like this. Some people maintain that no one has any business touching clothes that are not their own. However, if your fellow resident is not mindful enough to remove their clothes on time, you should never feel guilty removing them to start your own load.

Laundry rooms are shared with all residents of the building, and it is selfish for anyone to assume that their lack of punctuality will not affect anyone else. There are only a handful of machines in every dorm on campus, so people must recognize this and plan accordingly when starting a load.

Laundry machines at PC tell you exactly how long it will take for a cycle to complete. It is not difficult to set an alarm to remind yourself when to retrieve your clothes. If someone is not responsible enough to do so, they cannot be mad if someone touches their clothes to use the machine that they were negligently hogging.

Please be considerate in the laundry room. And if others are unwilling to do so, do not hesitate to take matters into your own hands. 

—Kelly Wheeler ’21

 

The College Bookstore: More Than Just Books

As a busy college student, one rarely finds the time to leave campus to purchase groceries, toiletries, or more school supplies. 

Luckily, the Providence College bookstore has everything college students need, with the convenience of being located centrally on campus, so students ought to make use of these amenities.

Not only does the bookstore sell Friars apparel and textbooks, but it also has entire sections filled with essentials that students would otherwise have to go to an off-campus store to purchase.

The PC bookstore offers a wide array of snacks as well as a shelf filled with all of the necessary toiletries including toothpaste, shampoo, feminine supplies, mouthwash, and facewash.

With a wide selection of toiletry products, students do not have to leave campus to purchase these items at a convenience store or a pharmacy. As such, having all of these items at the bookstore on campus saves college students a lot of time and effort that would be spent leaving  campus.

Further, the bookstore’s selection of notebooks, folders, and binders helps students who need a last-minute binder for a new class, or did not have the time to go school supply shopping before coming back to campus.

Most students visit the bookstore solely to purchase clothing and books; however, students must become aware of the other items that they can purchase and take advantage of this convenience to save time.

—Emily Ball ’22

The Early Bird Gets the Internship: Take Advantage of Career Resources on Campus

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Phone screens with the Handshake app.
Handshake, which recently replaced eFRIARS, is a great way to connect with employers and other PC students while exploring internship and job options. Photo courtesy of Handshake.

Getting a job is always stressful. There is so much pressure to try and find the perfect fit. For college students, it can become even more stressful when there is pressure to find the perfect summer job. 

Whether you are in the market for an unpaid internship or a paid job, knowing what options are out there for you is one of the most important parts. 

The Providence College Center for Career Education and Professional Development is one great tool to look into for help in finding internships or jobs. 

For some majors, such as accounting or finance, it is easier to see job possibilities compared to other fields, but, regardless, the Career Center is a great place to start your search. 

Of course, another great option is to talk to your professors or your major’s department chair to ask if they have any insight about possible job or internship openings. 

The most important part about the summer job search, however, is to start looking as early as possible. 

My  friends and I all agree that there has been a lot of recent pressure to start finding a summer job now. It can be difficult to sift through the various positions available to find a good match. 

For example, internships are a great way to get exposure to a field of possible interest. They give you the opportunity to see the inner workings of a company and then allow you to decide if it is something you could see yourself having a career in. 

The downside is that depending on what field your internship is in, you may not get paid. 

If you are looking to get a paying job this summer, there are a couple of good options. The Career Center suggests using the Handshake app. 

Handshake allows you to filter job searches by category, location, full-time or part-time, and many other filters.

 Other options for paying summer jobs include camp counselors, lifeguards, and even babysitting. 

If you are interested in babysitting, a great resource for finding a job is care.com. 

Cara Turner ’22 said, “I have had a great experience with care.com. I’ve met multiple families this past summer who I worked for often (almost daily), and it was a fun way to make money over the summer. Job openings are always available.”

Summer is a great opportunity to test the waters with different options that you may have never known you would be interested in. 

If you can take an unpaid internship, use the opportunity to try out the ‘real world’ job market and see what it is like. You will have the chance to make connections with people in careers that you would like to go into. 

Do not wait to start looking for your own perfect summer job or internship, take a look at what is out there now.

Be Kind to Your Mind with Meditation

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


The Mindfulness App guides you through different kinds of
meditations depending on the amount of time you choose. Photo courtesy of Dribbble.

by Katherine Belbusti ’22

Opinion Staff

One semester down, and another one has arrived quicker than some of us may have liked.

As course loads begin to pick up and extracurriculars are starting to take up more of our time, there are some things you can do to help yourself. Not only just for the new semester, but for the start of the new year; for example, try meditation.

Meditation apps have become increasingly popular over the last year, but still may seem like something that will not help your stress. How can an app help to calm you down when there are so many stressors you out in the world around you?

What these apps do is give meditation techniques and even guided meditations for you to listen to.

Some popular free meditation apps include The Mindfulness App, Headspace: Meditation, and Calm. What makes these apps so popular is their “reminders” feature. All the apps mentioned have a feature that will remind you to take deep breaths, or even remind you to listen to a meditation tape, whenever you program it to do so.

This feature is especially good for sticking to New Years resolutions. A common problem is setting good resolutions for yourself, but then forgetting to follow through with them when the new year comes around.

But with any of the aforementioned apps, you will be reminded to take a break and relax. Sometimes all that is needed is a reminder to step away from whatever stressors are triggering you in the surrounding world.

For example, in the Calm app, not only can you set reminders for yourself of when and how often you would like to be reminded to meditate, but you can also pick certain things that you would like to work on for that week. Some things the app suggests are reducing anxiety, sleeping better, increasing happiness, and improving focus, to name a few.

Cara Turner ’22 said that that the app Headspace “always helps to calm her down during stressful times. Whether it be stress from school or extracurriculars, I always find it helpful to listen to the guided meditations on headspace.”

Kate Donohue ’22 also had positive feedback regarding meditation apps. Donohue loves to use the app Calm for “the guided sleep meditations, they are the best! If I ever have trouble sleeping because I’m anxious about work, I’ll put on one of the sleep meditations and be asleep right away.”

Whether you are looking for a healthy New Year’s resolution to stick to, or maybe just a way to be kinder to your mind during periods of stress, try out a meditation app and see how it fits for you.

Not everyone responds well to guided meditations, but if you want to try being less anxious and more relaxed, give meditation a try.

Donate Your Time This Christmas: Giving Back in Non-Monetary Ways

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Volunteer at local soup kitchens this holiday season, such as the Amos House soup kitchen in Providence. Photo courtesy of thriftyfun.com

 

by Katherine Belbusti ’22

Opinion Staff

There is something about the Christmas season that puts so many people in a good mood.

With the exception of the occasional scrooge, the holiday season brings out the best in a lot of us. Specifically, the holiday season sparks an overwhelming urge to give back and do good.

The issue, or rather setback, is selecting the best way to give back. The easy option for some seems to be money or presents; the simple way out  is to donate $20 and call it a day.

That is not to say that that money will not go towards something good, because it definitely will. For example, in some of the dorms on campus at Providence College, there is the Adopt a Family program which asks that you donate any sum of money that will then go towards purchasing necessities for a family in need.

In addition, starting right before Thanksgiving, the dorms put boxes in the lobby courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse, as part of Operation Christmas Child to buy and donate items such as toys and clothes from a provided list.

While PC provides us with ways to give back this holiday season, many of them are monetary.

Unfortunately, that is pretty much the only thing college students do not have a lot of: money. However, there are other ways to give back during the holiday season.

Donate your time instead of your money. It often means more to shelters to have volunteers working hands-on, especially when it comes to working with children.

Time is scarce during finals season, but after your finals are over and you are back home, spend some time volunteering in your community. You might be surprised how rewarding it feels.

If you wish to donate time, you can also organize collection drives. Organizations always need volunteers who are able to collect and organize others who wish to help and give back.

Although giving back centers around giving, there are other ways to do good for those around you, especially during the holiday season.

Smile at the strangers walking past you. Give the person who looks like they are having a bad day a hug. While these things sound cheesy and like they might not help, that is not the case. Everyone wants to feel needed, and by doing these little things, you show that you care.

Any way that that you give back this holiday season is better than the alternative, which would be to do nothing at all. There is so much to gain from giving back.

Though this might sound a little ironic, giving back during the holiday season benefits both parties. As nice as it is to receive during the Christmas season, it is even more rewarding to give.

The holidays are an especially emotional time for most. Perhaps it is because of the stress of buying gifts or maybe it reminds one of the loss of a loved one. Regardless, any opportunity to help stay in that wonderful holiday spirit is worth it. After all, it is called the most wonderful time of the year for a reason.

Donate Your Time This Christmas: Giving Back in Non-Monetary Ways

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Volunteer at local soup kitchens this holiday season, such as the Amos House soup kitchen in Providence. Photo courtesy of thriftyfun.com

 

by Katherine Belbusti ’22

Opinion Staff

There is something about the Christmas season that puts so many people in a good mood.

With the exception of the occasional scrooge, the holiday season brings out the best in a lot of us. Specifically, the holiday season sparks an overwhelming urge to give back and do good.

The issue, or rather setback, is selecting the best way to give back. The easy option for some seems to be money or presents; the simple way out  is to donate $20 and call it a day.

That is not to say that that money will not go towards something good, because it definitely will. For example, in some of the dorms on campus at Providence College, there is the Adopt a Family program which asks that you donate any sum of money that will then go towards purchasing necessities for a family in need.

In addition, starting right before Thanksgiving, the dorms put boxes in the lobby courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse, as part of Operation Christmas Child to buy and donate items such as toys and clothes from a provided list.

While PC provides us with ways to give back this holiday season, many of them are monetary.

Unfortunately, that is pretty much the only thing college students do not have a lot of: money. However, there are other ways to give back during the holiday season.

Donate your time instead of your money. It often means more to shelters to have volunteers working hands-on, especially when it comes to working with children.

Time is scarce during finals season, but after your finals are over and you are back home, spend some time volunteering in your community. You might be surprised how rewarding it feels.

If you wish to donate time, you can also organize collection drives. Organizations always need volunteers who are able to collect and organize others who wish to help and give back.

Although giving back centers around giving, there are other ways to do good for those around you, especially during the holiday season.

Smile at the strangers walking past you. Give the person who looks like they are having a bad day a hug. While these things sound cheesy and like they might not help, that is not the case. Everyone wants to feel needed, and by doing these little things, you show that you care.

Any way that that you give back this holiday season is better than the alternative, which would be to do nothing at all. There is so much to gain from giving back.

Though this might sound a little ironic, giving back during the holiday season benefits both parties. As nice as it is to receive during the Christmas season, it is even more rewarding to give.

The holidays are an especially emotional time for most. Perhaps it is because of the stress of buying gifts or maybe it reminds one of the loss of a loved one. Regardless, any opportunity to help stay in that wonderful holiday spirit is worth it. After all, it is called the most wonderful time of the year for a reason.