Back to School 2014

August 2014

Updated -- 8 /20 / 14

Loudoun Looks Forward to Fantastic Fall


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The start of the school year always seems like a steep climb. We're here to help.


STERLING, Va.-- Although the August mugginess makes it hard for us to admit that summer has slipped away, the crowds in the bookstore and confusion in the parking lot means it must be true: fall semester is upon us.

Here at The Loudoun Lantern, your online student newspaper, we're ready to make welcome you, share some great student-generated journalism, and help you get involved in campus life.

For instance, we've reached back into our Viewpoint archives to find some helpful tips from successful students. Sarah offers a list of Dos-and-Don'ts for community college life (which must have worked well -- she went on to earn her bachelor's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University with great success!), while Lacey's column tells about the benefits of getting involved in campus activities. We also dug into our Campus & Community News archive for this great reporting from David, where professors and students share tips for starting the semester right.

But we know that your life extends beyond the campus -- just look at the reporting from our Spring 2014 journalism students. Martin uncovers a hidden gem for military families in need, right in our backyard, while Eva's travel piece on Old Town Warrenton might spur one more road trip. Creative minds, don't skip our Literary Lantern section, filled with good student creative writing.

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Don't be afraid to ask away.

And remember, we need you, too! The Lantern's content is completely student generated, and with so many of our writers moving on and moving up, we need new folks. Learn how you can come have fun while gaining marketable media skills!

Old Town Warrentown Offers New Perspective

WARRENTON, Va. -- From the bright green grass of the Warrenton Branch Greenway to the brick walkways and old brick buildings of varying colors on Main Street, Old Town Warrenton is full of character. There is a bright red caboose that sits on the old tracks of Warrenton's historic rail yard.

That is where history and health meet in Old Town. The Greenway is a popular spot for runners, walkers, bicyclists and people who simply want to get from one side of town to the other on foot. Just a few blocks away are retail shops, restaurants and antiques. The area radiates a small town feeling that makes you want to stay.

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VIEWPOINT: Successful Student Offers Helpful Parting Shots

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PWhen I first figured out that community college was the best option for me, I’ll admit, I got images of my education going down the drain and being generally miserable. I’d heard pretty horrible things about community colleges growing up.

Luckily, most of them were exaggerations at best, and, in hindsight, I would not trade my community college experience for the world. It was a gateway to better things, and I learned so much about myself and the world in the process. I was able to mature quite a lot, without the added stresses of living on my own.

However, I definitely would have appreciated some guidance or advice from someone who had been through community college before me

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LITERARY LANTERN: Enjoy Works From Budding Bards on Campus

The Literary Lantern page has a great selection of fiction from Creative Writing Students.

From a story about considering how life isn't always like a "sitcom version" of who we imagine ourselves as to the exotic world in the "Las Vegas of the Middle East," our campus creative types have some great reading for you.

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Cosplay: Creating A Character In A Place To Belong

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA –“It’s fun to be a giant nerd in a group of other giant nerds,” fifteen-year-old Haley Prillaman, said. Her leg bounced in nervous agitation when asked questions about a world few know anything about. 

Haley, full of freckles, braces, and energy, is an avid cosplayer. Cosplay is an activity where people dress up in costumes to portray characters from Japanese anime, television, video games, books, or film. She has portrayed three different characters so far, and is in the process of developing a costume for her next event.

Prillaman has been Lavi from the anime D. Gray Man, Soul Eater Evans from the anime Soul Eater, and Naruto from the anime Naruto. Her next costume will be to portray Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon, because her friend Maggie Browning will be dressed as the dragon, Toothless, and her friend Maddie Neilson will dress as Astrid.

"I usually pick a character with a similar personality to me and if they have awesome costumes I know I'm capable of designing," Browning said. 

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