Category Archives: Lifestyle

Students share their tips on how to get a ring by spring

engagement ring

by Hannah Beebe

At the University of Northwestern – St. Paul spring is in the air and that means another thing: lots of engagements. This has caused many students to label the spring season as a ring by spring season. This phrase is not only used on Northwestern’s campus, but at many different colleges around the Twin Cities.

A recently engaged Rachel Dougan, junior electronic media communications major, offered her advice on the perfect recipe to get a ring by spring. “The secret is to be best friends for two years, then date for a year and a half, then eventually a ring will fall into place.” Dougan laughs, “it is the perfect recipe for engagement.” 

“The secret is to be best friends for two years, then date for a year and a half, then eventually a ring will fall into place.”

Emily Volkmer, a junior marketing major also has a recipe for love, “Step one: find crush; Step two: pretend to trip in front of them; Step three: if they ask ‘are you okay?’ just say ‘yes I was just falling for you.’ If they don’t notice, you are in the perfect position to trip them. You could say ‘now you are falling for me.’” Volkmer wants to make it clear this strategy has no backup of whether it works or not, but hopes are high.

engagement ring

Image courtesy of pixabay.

Victoria Downey, a junior public relations major, says if you want to get a ring by spring to “hangout in the Stud a lot.” The Stud, nicknamed for the Student Center, is a place for students to hangout and study for finals.

Rachel Allen, a senior nursing major, says that if you want to get a ring by spring, “meet and become friends with every guy in the school. Or you could just stalk the guy you like until he just gives up.” Allen laughs, “but I wouldn’t recommend doing that.” Alexus Harrison Coleman, a sophomore elementary and special education major, says another way to get a ring by sprin’ is to read the Bible in front of people. “That way a guy or gal knows that you are looking for a Christian based relationship.”

Hannah David, a sophomore education major suggests “drop lots of hints.”

Serena Lee, a sophomore English major, who got engaged last fall to Joshua Hanson, says to “get together with your group of friends and tell them you want a ring by spring. Then maybe one of your friends will give a ring to you.” Lisa Sullivan, a sophomore nursing major suggests, “Be a social butterfly and talk to people. Or forget the ring by spring and eat pizza. Those are literally my goals.”

Most Northwestern students are single, but some are not necessarily looking for a ring by spring. Spencer Yeomans, a junior biology and chemistry major, says that students should not focus on ring by spring. Instead, Yeomans suggested focusing on school first. “Focus on graduating before you get married. Then give your full attention to your spouse later in life.” Jordan Broberg, a sophomore ministry major, simply stated, “don’t get a ring by spring. It is not a good idea.”

After the ring…a Q&A with some of UNW’s engaged couples


by Kayla Floyd



Spring is here and along with the flowers coming up, so is some exciting news of engagements and upcoming weddings. Many students on the University of Northwestern – St. Paul campus have gotten engaged this year and here are just a couple of the more recent ones.

Lindsay Floyd, senior Electronic Media Communications (EMC) major and David Kalsow, senior EMC major.

1.)   When did you get engaged and how did it happen?

“I got engaged at Disney World in front of Rapunzel’s Tower over Christmas break.”

2.)   When did you first meet your fiancé?

“I met David when I was a junior in high school. We were set up by a friend. He knew her from Bible camp and I went to high school with her.”

3.)   What is your favorite quality about your fiancé?

“David is hilarious and easy-going. And he loves me a lot.”

4.)   How long have you and your fiancé been together?

“We have been together for five and a half years but there was a rough patch in there when we weren’t together because he went to another country. No big deal.”

5.)   Do you have any advice or final words?

“Advice: pick a venue and wedding date approximately five years before you get engaged … Final words: He is my crap bag and I will forever be his princess consuela banana hammock.”

Rachel Dougan, junior EMC radio major, and Aaron Sutton, training to become an electrician at Anoka Technical College.

1.)   When did you get engaged and how did it happen?

“We got engaged Wednesday, March 29th! We went on a walk at Minnehaha Falls park (neither of us had been there before), and just sort of wandered. Aaron kept stopping to talk in various spots and eventually he chose one and knelt down! He was very sweet and kept smiling the whole time we were walking around. I said yes of course. We just sort of stood there and laughed after that because I had gloves on so we had a moment of confusion before taking the glove off and putting the ring on.”

2.)   When did you first meet your fiancé?

“Aaron and I met the summer of 2013 when we both started working at Camp JIM.”

1.)   What is your favorite quality about your fiancé?

“Chose just one quality? That’s hard. I love how genuine and gentle Aaron is with people. He finds ways to connect with so many different kinds of people because he meets them where they are.”

4.)   How long have you and your fiancé been together?

“Aaron and I have “officially” been together for a year and a half. Unofficially, longer than that.”

Reagan Brakebush, freshman marketing major and Levi Haskins, graduated (not from Northwestern) auto technician.

1.) When did you get engaged and how did it happen?

“We got engaged in September at Minnehaha Falls. I really didn’t suspect anything that day, and it took me by surprise!

2.) When did you first meet your fiancé?

“We met as campers at Crescent Lake Bible Camp in northern WI many years ago.”

3.) What is your favorite quality about your fiancé?

“My favorite quality about him is that he can make me laugh and that he loves the Lord!”

4.) How long have you and your fiancé been together?

“We’ve been together for one year and nine months.”

5.) Do you have any advice for couples or any final things you’d like to say about your own engagement and future plans?

“My advice for couples is not to settle on the person you’re thinking of marrying, I would find someone who fits the qualities you want in a future spouse and try not to compromise on any of the important ones. Secondly, I wouldn’t rush into engagement. enjoy dating your boyfriend/girlfriend for a while, then get engaged and enjoy that period of life and planning the wedding! It all goes so fast and you only get to do it once! My wedding is in two months and I can’t believe how fast it’s coming up! I can’t wait!”

Katie Olson, senior kinesiology major and Forrest Tompkins, graduated two years ago with a pastoral ministry major.

1.) When did you get engaged and how did it happen?

“We got engaged over spring break. His family decided to take a vacation to Hawaii and asked me to come along. Of course I said yes. His family and I woke up at 6am one morning to catch the sunrise and walked along the beach. He then proposed on the beach!”

2.) Where did you first meet your fiancé?

“We first met during my freshman year of college but didn’t start talking until the beginning of my sophomore year.”

3.) What is your favorite quality about your fiancé?

“My favorite quality would be how adventurous he is. We are always visiting some new place or finding something different to do.”

4.) How long have you and your fiancé been together?

“We’ve been together for a little over a year and a half.”

5.) Do you have any advice for couples or any final things you’d like to say about your own engagement and future plans?

“Don’t spend all your time at college looking for your “soulmate.” I think once we start putting our focus on Jesus that’s when he places the right people at the right time into our lives.”

Jessica Cole, senior finance major and Tate, senior biology major at the University of Northern Iowa.

1.) When did you get engaged and how did it happen?

“Tate and I got engaged last June. I had been gone in Colorado for the week on vacation with my family and he took care of our horses all week. The night we got back he told me that one of our trees in our pasture had gotten struck by lightning so I went with him to check it out. As we got closer I noticed a path of candle lit jars leading to the tree where he had carved out a huge heart that said “Marry me Jess.” Then he proposed! It was perfect.”

2.) When did you first meet your fiancé?

“We met in summer drivers ed when we were 14. We were driving buddies and we didn’t talk to each other at all.”

3.) What is your favorite quality about your fiancé?

“The kindness and gentleness he shows to me and everyone else. Also his humor, he makes me laugh constantly.”

4.) How long have you and your fiancé been together?

“Since freshman year of high school, so about six to seven years.”

5.) Do you have any advice for couples or any final things you’d like to say about your own engagement and future plans?

“Tate and I are getting married in June back home in Iowa and then we are moving to Bloomington and Tate will be starting chiropractic school in September.I don’t really have any great advice, but Tate and I have been together for a while and half of it has been long distance, which hasn’t been easy. So if you’re in that long distance spot right now, I feel for you. The coolest thing I did was drive three and a half hours to surprise Tate at his school. Do fun, crazy thingsthat surprise each other!

“Another thing we really enjoy doing together is hanging out with our siblings. If you have siblings, especially younger ones, include them in the fun things you do together. Take them to the drive in, out to get snacks or just hang out with them around the house. Tate and I have a lot of younger brothers and sisters and some of our favorite memories have been spent with them! Our siblings are our best friends and it’s honestly the best thing ever. Having younger siblings, we all have a huge responsibility to set the example for them and what better way to do that then to include them in the fun things you do together as a couple”

Tale as old as time hits the big screen

By Sarit Bridell

Movie poster for the new Beauty and the Beast remake that just hit the big screen (photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures).

The long-awaited remake of the family favorite “Beauty and the Beast” hit the big screen this month, captivating viewers all around. “Beauty and the Beast” was one of this years most anticipated films and a family classic.

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In Defense of Music Education in Schools – Opinion

Trumpet Player

By Jacqueline Lofstad

Jacqueline Lofstad is a second-year PSEO student majoring

in music education and history. She is a trumpet player

from Circle Pines, MN (photo by Jacqueline Lofstad).

Trumpet Player


Imagine a sweet sixth grade girl entering middle

school for the first time. She is nervous and is

struggling academically and socially. However, she is

given her first instrument and learns to make music.

Through numerous rehearsals, she is able to work

with her band mates and form lifelong friendships.

The skills she develops transfer over into her academics.

When the concert comes, she has the chance to

confidently show her skill.


Unfortunately, when school budgets shrink, arts

are often the first programs to go because they are

not considered core subjects. However, music needs

to be kept in schools because it is a core subject, not

just pretty sounds (or otherwise, in the case of middle

school band). Music helps boost student’s academic

performance, improves teamwork skills, and gives

students confidence that they can use later in life.


Music in schools enhances a students’ academic

performances. Schools with music programs have

significantly higher graduation and attendance rates

than do those without programs. Music can help with

standardized tests. Students who have had music appreciation

classes or musical experiences scored on

average 50.5 points higher on the SAT. The Music

Educators’ National Conference writes, “Excluding

some Americans from music education denies them

access to one of the core academic subjects, music, as

an essential path toward meeting their educational



Music not only helps students have incredible

success in academics; it also helps benefit students in

all areas of their life. One of these areas is teamwork.

It’s proven that broad educational outcomes that were

thought to be most effectively met through participating

in music included cooperation/teamwork and

self-esteem. Cooperation is a skill necessary for ensembles

to be successful in performance.


Every society has music. Music education helps

students to work together with those of a different

race, religion, or socioeconomic class. Music helps

students understand diversity. Exposure to different

kinds of music helps students accept each other’s

differences. In high school, I played trumpet in MN

Youth Symphonies for two years. We had a Jewish

conductor, a lesbian student, many races, and pretty

much every political view possible in one orchestra.

We were unified in our love for music and excellence.

In a world with so much racial and religious tension,

unity is needed more today than ever before.

Music helps a student to gain confidence because

music gives students opportunities to present

themselves to others. When a student has a successful

performance, the confidence can carry over to other

areas of their life. Through performance, I learned

how to present myself well. This has helped so much

with other “performance” situations such as job interviews,

class discussion, and presentations. Through

rehearsals, teachers and performances, a student’s

self-esteem is boosted. Paul Lehman states, “The bottom

line is this: Music makes a difference in people’s

lives. We music educators have something to give to

the youth of America that no one else can give them,

and it’s something, that, once given, can never be taken

away. It’s the joy and beauty and the satisfaction

of music.” Music teachers who encourage to perform

may push them out of their comfort zone, but the students

will grow through that experience.


America must take action and start funding music,

so that every student, wealthy or not, has the opportunity

to participate in music ensembles. America

funds public schools to provide a well-rounded education

for everyone. If music is a core subject, then it

should be funded as well. Steven N. Kelly states, “All

individuals should have the opportunity to experience

music in ways that challenges them individually and

in groups.” Because music increases academic performance,

teaches teamwork, and promotes confidence,

funding for music education should be increased, not

cut in schools.

Practical and Common Safety Tips Against Sexual Assault


by Kayla Floyd

In the words of Gracie Hart, played by Sandra Bullock in the movie “Miss Congeniality”: “Just remember to S.I.N.G—solar plexus, instep, nose, groin.” It’s a method of self-defense that the FBI agent in the film shows to get rid of an attacker from behind. While this movie might be a comedy, and the actors are not actual fighters, lessons can still be learned.

Just remember to S.I.N.G—solar plexus, instep, nose, groin.

Sexual assault is a very real problem, especially if you are a girl living on a college campus. While a lot of people don’t like to think about this problem, young women still have a flash of fear in their mind when they have to walk across campus late at night. Of course there are tips for all people to avoid sexual assault, here are a few:

Pepper spray. While it is illegal to buy mace at a store, pepper spray comes in all forms, from fake lipsticks to attachable bracelets.

Another self-defense mechanism is the bulldog keychain. These keychains have holes where the eyes are and enable anyone to put their fingers through the hole to use the sharp ears of the keychain to stab at an attacker.


Bulldog keychains for self-defense (photo from

Of course, the University of Northwestern – St. Paul also has Public Safety to keep students safe. At any point of time at night you can dial the Public Safety number and request a ride across campus. Another tip is to never walk alone. Phone some friends, call a guy you trust if you feel unsafe to walk alone.

We live in a world of technology, therefore there are of course apps for this such as SafeTrek. This is an app connected to your friends’ phones that allows you to hold down a button for the duration for your walk. If you feel threatened or in danger you just pull out your phone and hold the button. If you release the button early and do not enter your four digit pin, the app will notify your local police of your location.


Self-defense is a life skill that will be beneficial to have. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Another more active way to stay safe is to take a self-defense class. Many places in the Twin Cities offer self-defense classes that mainly target women looking to defend themselves. This is a life skill that will be beneficial to have and also can make a woman feel more confident in themselves.

Lastly, if you feel in danger and fighting is not an option, many women said that their first instinct is to run. Running into the nearest campus building and yelling for help would be their first response.

Overall, the world can be a scary place, but precautions can be taken to make us feel more comfortable on campus and back at home. Always remember to tell people where you will be and to not walk alone late at night. If you ever feel threatened or in danger, do not hesitate to call for help.


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