Editorial – Fresh start to begin a masterpiece

For most, college  is a melting pot of relationships, experiences and memories.

The start of a new semester gives students a fresh start and a new canvas.

Depending on the type of experience one wishes to paint, he or she may find subjects on campus.

Although many complain about the climate and a region that sometimes seems geared toward the elderly, there are outlets available to students who are willing to brighten their college portraits.

There are regional attractions such as the Heritage Discovery Center in the city’s West End that attempts to capture the area’s rich immigrant legacy.

Johnstown’s Inclined Plane and Shanksville’s Flight 93 Memorial offer contemplation opportunities.

St. Michael’s National Flood Memorial, the Old Stone Bridge at the city’s Point and the Plot of the Unknown Dead at Grandview Cemetery all offer important national history lessons.

On campus, there are athletic events to attend and intramural sports to play.  There is a Ski Club for those who actually enjoy winter weather.

Programming Board members offer comedians and discounted movie screenings for some stress-relieving entertainment.

Academic organizations offer guest speakers, and the art-inclined can find fixes at the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center.

There are freebies now and then too, such as T-shirts at basketball games or stuffed bears for Valentine’s Day.

If that’s not the kind of activity one is looking for, there are other options.  Some local restaurants offer specials and discounts for UPJ students.

Additionally, the college experience relies on the educational aspects.

Students can make the most of their money by attending the classes they are paying for as well as tutorial sessions and free advice at the Academic Success Center.

For those attempting to stick to their New Year’s Resolutions, there is a support group for those trying to kick their smoking habits.  For everyone else, there is the Wellness Center and swimming pool.

College is what one wishes to make it.  It can be a drag that burdens students with the stress of classwork and exams.

Or it can offer new friendships and life-changing memories while being a learning experience – literally.