Tips for a Less-Stressful More-Successful Final Exam Week

Staff Writers: COMM435 – Feature Writing Class

In just a few weeks, Wingate students will be faced with final exams. For some, the results of the test may change a letter grade or make a difference between passing and failing a course. For others, final exams may hold graduation in the balance. 

Whatever your situation, the following are a few simple tips that can up your odds of exam success. Here’s wishing you good luck and good grades!

Make a study guide . . .

Study guides can be a very effective tool to use for different tests, especially final exams. They can come in a number of forms including making flashcards or simply re-writing information. Sometimes you can use a friend to quiz you on the information. Sometimes a professor will provide students with a study guide.  Make sure to use this to prepare for the information that will be on the test. 

Don’t cram for your exam . . .

While cramming may be the ideal way to study for the procrastinator in you, Williams College psychologist Nate Kornell, Ph.D. found that although that last-minute study time may allow you to pass a test, you won’t remember the material for long. There is a lot of research that has shown spacing out study sessions over longer periods improves long-term memory. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why the spacing is so effective, but one possible cause is that over time people often forget what they learn during their initial study session. So, when students come back to the material later, the study session jogs their memory allowing them to recall what they learned the first time. This process of forgetting and retrieval helps cement the new knowledge in place.

Join a study group . . .

Studying in groups is beneficial for students so that they can share their notes with each other. It can help students bounce their ideas off of each other and it encourages students to think creatively and comprehend what will be on the exams. According to the Education Corner, many students feel more confident after studying in groups prior to taking their test. It can improve your notes, gives a support system, helps cover more material, and can be a fun way to study!

Take a break . . .

Taking short breaks during your study time allows room for you to de-stress and eat a quick snack or brain food. These breaks increase your energy, your ability to focus, and productivity, according to experts at Cornell University Health. Rest breaks can range from 5 minutes to an hour, and no social media does not count.

Spend time with pets . . .

Cortisol (the stress hormone) levels are already high in university students, but the levels get even higher as exams get closer. A 2019 study conducted by Patricia Pendry and Jaymie L. Vandagriff showed that students who were randomly assigned to participate in 10 minutes of hands-on interaction with cats and dogs had significantly lower cortisol levels. Polheber and Matchock found that therapy dogs have a stress buffering effect on students who took their tests in the dog’s presence. When studying, take 10 minutes of your time to spend time with your pet. If you don’t have one, Pendry and Vandagriff’s study showed that even just looking at pictures of animals reduces stress and anxiety. So  – look for cool dog videos on YouTube or google your favorite breed and scroll through the pictures. It may sound weird, but it is scientifically proven to help.

Exercise . . .

When you keep your body healthy, your mind stays healthy as well. Going beyond eating and sleeping well, if one regularly exercises it helps give the brain a clear horizon for focusing on studying or taking the actual exam itself. Exercise helps release tension and regulate oxygen to the brain, which leads directly to helping your brain retain information more clearly and to be able to recall it during exam time. 

Eat a real meal . . .

Eat a healthy, substantial meal the morning of an exam – something that will keep you awake.

Unfortunately, a bowl of cereal isn’t gonna cut it; all that sugar will just go right through you and you’ll be tired and hungry again before you know it. Try some oatmeal; oats are some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. They’re packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Try making it with plant-based milk for an extra punch.

Don’t cheap on sleep . . .

While college students generally suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, the additional

stress and anxiety associated with exams can lead to students pulling “all-nighters,” or

not sleeping at all, to cram for tests. Unfortunately, those all-nighters can actually hurt

your grades. Some studies have found that getting a full night’s sleep before taking an

exam is correlated with better grades and a higher overall GPA. Research also shows that a brief nap late in the morning or early in the afternoon can help prevent “burnout.”

Taking a quick nap between exams may help you maintain peak performance for the

rest of the day. Many researchers even think that sleep can help improve your memory. Getting a full night of sleep after studying may help your brain “consolidate” new information. This may help you recall the information as you take the exam.

“Murder is A Fine Art” Cast Draws Wingate Students to Batte Center

Staff Writer: Alexandria Sessions

Last week before Easter Break, the talented cast of “Murder is a Fine Art” conducted an audience interactive play, highlighting a love triangle, jealousy, revenge, and obviously a murder. The play was brought for entertainment for friends and families by the Wingate University Department of Communication and Art directed by Barbara Pann and took place in the lobby area of the Batte center.

When you first walked in, the actors were already in character greeting guests at the door and making their rounds of the tables. One of those esteemed individuals was Hailey Beshore who played the straightforward event planner of the gallery opening, Sharon Sharealike who toted around a suspicious bag all night.  

“The show is very interactive and majority improv and so there’s a lot of things to not expect.” Sophomore, Beshore said.

The gallery opening was only the middle of what was already a storm of tangled relationships and vengeful individuals. When Libby LaBelle (played by freshman Madison Blackwelder on Monday and senior Emily Lewczyk on Saturday), who wrote reviews, suddenly collapsed on the floor, the attending cast and audience gasped with shock. The surrounding suspects: Fiona Fakes (played by freshman, Audrey Courtney on Monday, and Leah Hatherly on Saturday), Luigi Lambrusco (played by Senior Irene Wang), Pete Casso (played by freshman, Piper McClellan),  and Brett Cutler (played by freshman, Nicholas Valles ) all stood around shy of any remorse. Like many influencers today, Libby’s words carried a lot of weight and seemingly ruined the lives of her counterparts. With the help of sophomore William Worthan who played The Security Guard the killer was going to be revealed before the night was up.

“I can’t tell you who the killer is or what happens,” Worthan said. “All I can say is I’m just the security guard, I’m not the killer but you will help me figure out who the killer is.”

While the Security Guard rushes Libby LaBelle to the hospital where she was pronounced dead, her cousin, Lilac LaBelle who was played by Junior Caroline Monroe, showed up at the art gallery only to run into her ex-lover and Libby’s ex-boyfriend Brett Cutler and the news of her cousin’s death. She was immediately thrown into the pool of suspects for arriving late on the scene.

 After many arguments between the suspects, and Cutler’s and Lilac’s, ooey-gooey romance, the actors were prompted to walk around each table and answer the questions of the eager audience. With this allowed time the audience took matters into their own hands to find the killer with interrogations and witty assumptions. 

The killer turned out to be Sharon Sharealike. All other motives were obvious but hers was more believable with the murder weapon being the high heels she wore previously in another scene, shoving them into her embroidered bag and playing innocent fooled many tables but one. 

“At first I thought it was her but I was like ‘no’, Fakes had a better motive but it ended up being Sharon.” Junior Acacia Brooks said, “It was fun.” 

Trevor Hagan, a BA vocal performer, was shocked about who the killer was stating, “I really thought it was Pete Casso because the origin of the paint was poisonous.” Hagan said, “I enjoyed it, it was very interactive and I like how we got to participate. It felt like we were part of the show.”  

While many students were led astray by the red herrings, not Junior Devyn  Eury said she was not surprised.

“I did think it was Sharon just because she had so much hate and anger towards Libby.” The human service major said. 

The night ended with the wrap of a murder, a few laughs, and applauds. If you did not get to attend this play Monroe promises more in the next semester. 

“I think we are going to do something similar next year. It’s got a lot of crowd interaction and I think people will really enjoy it. Monroe said, “If you weren’t able to see this showing, next year don’t miss it for sure.”

Kristen Johnson Yost University’s Communication Specialist

Staff Writer: Alexandria Sessions

If you’ve checked your email recently chances are you have probably received an email from Kristen Johnson Yost, in the last few days. Yost, our very own campus Communication Specialist and University spokesperson, makes sure students and President Rhett Brown are up-to-date on all things Wingate, but are we up-to-date on all things Kristen?

Before leaving her footprints on the grounds of Wingate University, the Elon University alum decided to try her hand at interior design only to realize that may not have been her thing. Instead, she found her niche in public speaking, going to competitions and not shying away from a single sentence.

“So I thought ‘Oh my gosh, you can make money just speaking! That’s so cool’,” Yost said. “When  I was trying to decide on what I wanted to do going to college…I’ve never been terrified speaking in groups of people and so I thought ‘Sure, I’ll go for that [Communications].’”

With the uncertainty of financial stability of just Communications, Yost graduated from Elon University with a double emphasis in Broadcast and Corporate Communications. In 2005, she landed her first Journalist job at an NBC station located in West Virginia. A year later she moved on to CBS affiliated with WDEF in Chattanooga, TN. Four years went by and she ended up being a one-man band for WBTV in Charlotte, NC.

“It was a great experience. I met a lot of great people and got to tell a lot of great stories,” Yost said. “I’m from a small town, so being able to broaden my horizon about how other people think and their perspectives and opinions was definitely eye-opening.” 

Grateful for the experience, the journalist found her next step through a mutual co-worker who knew Wingate’s former Marketing Director, Jeff Hakinson who needed help managing WUTV here on campus at the time.

“I was hired on to be the executive producer of the station as a marketing tool. It was a great step out of the news but still doing the news side of storytelling, and introduced me for the first to the behind-the-scenes of higher ed,” Yost said.

  Along with teaching the Studio Broadcast course here at Wingate University, Johnson Yost wears many hats in the office of Stegall including helping Brown and pushing out news for both faculty and staff, and students. 

  “I help Dr. Brown, our president, with external and internal communications…just kind of preparing him to know who he’s talking to, what they want to get out of the meeting, and all that good stuff,” Yost said. “For university Spokesperson, it’s just representing the university whenever the media calls, so putting out COVID response team emails or crisis management response emails.”

With these two positions, the former WBTV journalist has to work closely with Brown, who is intentional with his job, including showing appreciation for his co-workers and staff. This display of appreciation was something Kristen was not used to coming out of the News Writing business where everything is fast-paced.

“ Coming to Wingate was the very first time somebody ever told me ‘I appreciate you and the first time that they are like ‘I appreciate the work that you do’,” Yost said. “I never realized how meaningful that was until I heard it. In the news, it is just churning stuff out and there you are a dime a dozen. If you leave they will be replacing you the next day.”

Yost believes that Brown wants to see everyone succeed and thinks Rhett Brown is a great boss.

“I do appreciate the fact that he is so approachable… and very relatable. The fact that he went to this school and invested so much of his life in the school and that’s why I think that he genuinely cares about the students that go here and seeing them succeed, the same with employees too,” The 38-year-old said.

After arriving here in 2013 and taking on multiple positions, she still enjoys working at Wingate University, so when asked to move her office into Stegall to work closely with the administrative staff and Brown in 2019 she jumped at the opportunity. The constant change of positions is normal for the University spokesperson whose contracts in previous journalism positions, lasted about three years. With the school growing in many directions she continues to aid in any way she can. In a previous story in 2016 written by Robert Gay, on Wingate’s Weekly Triangle Yost said, “I’m a doer and always up for the challenge.”

Yost believes the Communication major is broad and can lead you to do many things, take her career path as an example. The former interim director of Marketing and Communications has some advice for students who picked up communication as their major.

“I think it’s a great field to go into especially if you don’t know exactly what you want to do,” Yost said. “My advice for students in the communication field is to keep in mind that you can do so much with it that you don’t need to limit yourself. Take advantage of every opportunity you have.”

Savannah’s Scoop

Staff Writer: Savannah Phillips

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news…” the doctor said as he entered my room in the ER. At that moment I knew- my toe was broken. You are probably wondering, how did you manage to do that? Well, the answer is simple, I was moving too fast. I didn’t take enough time to make sure my foot touched every step of that stairwell, and I slipped down. 

Now, I’m in bed recovering, I have to use crutches, elevate my foot, apply ice… you get the idea. After realizing that I would be out of school for 2 weeks, or more depending on what the OrthoCarolina specialists have to say, I beat myself up. I said to myself, if you would have worn different shoes this never would have happened! I even thought, if you would have gone a different way, you never would have fallen! The secret ingredient in both of my little thought bubbles was “if.” 

This brings me to the first lesson I have learned from my broken toe. 

1. We plague ourselves with this one tiny, minuscule word, “if,” that holds so much meaning! The truth is, when something happens, it happens. There’s no wondering what alternate scenario could have avoided it. All wondering accomplishes is making you feel guilty or simply refusing to view the circumstance as it is. 

Secondly, my fall resembles something I’m quite familiar with. 

2. Sometimes we get too far ahead of ourselves in life resulting in a fall, and sometimes, a break. Healing is a part of life. 

You thought that relationship was going perfectly- that you finally found your person. But then, they break up with you. You got too far ahead of yourself. 

You thought you would get that position on campus, but someone else was a bit more qualified. You got too far ahead of yourself. 

Don’t beat yourself up for the anticipation of a “win.” We all believe things will go our way, and sometimes they do, but when they don’t, we have to recover from the fall and learn to walk again. 

In the words of Bear Bryant, “Expect the unexpected.”

WU Cheer Tumbles Their Way to Being Top Dog

Staff Writer: Madison Mataxas

We see them on the sidelines of sporting events dawning smiles on their faces, repping their blue and gold uniforms, and performing for the crowds, but more goes into the Wingate Cheerleader’s routines than many of us realize. 

The season kicks off in August with the team participating in the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) camp. Here is where they learn a lot of material that they can put into their routine for the NCA National Championship. During this year’s camp, the team got a bid to compete in Daytona, Florida, and would be competing in the Game Day Open division against three other teams including rival school Lenoir-Rhyne.

During the two-day competition, the scores were split between the days. Points earned on the first day accounted for 25% of the final score and the remaining 75% were earned on day two. “On day one, we competed and hit our routine which moved us into 1st place by 4 points which was an amazing place for us to be going into finals,” sophomore cheerleader Keri Hennessee said. 

Skip forward to day 2, it’s time for finals. The team arrived at the Ocean Center for warmups where everyone’s energy showed that the Bulldogs came to play and were ready to go. Entering the Band Shell, the team was more than ready to show off what they have been practicing since August. “The team came to life…we hit the best routine that we have ever done, and it felt amazing walking off the mat,” Hennessee said. Before the team scores were announced, Head Coach Kelly Sheppard pulled the team aside to tell them that the Bulldogs’ score had gone up by 1.5 points and that was the moment that the team knew they solidified their 1st place spot in the Game Day Open division. “When we were presented with our trophy we were overjoyed because we knew we had just become National Champs,” Hennessee said.

After WU Cheer was presented with the championship trophy, banner, and national title the team headed to the beach to participate in the tradition of running into the ocean to celebrate their win. “That was one of the most special moments we had as a team, it was something we’ll remember forever…Our team is so excited and thankful that we get to bring home another national title,” Hennessee said with a smile.

Wingate Women’s Lacrosse Update

Staff Writer: Bella Pellet

It has been a whirlwind of a season so far for the Wingate Women’s Lacrosse team. Since the Dogs’ first game, they have made history in these past 10 weeks. Back on March 5th, the Dogs beat Limestone for the first time since the Saints have moved into the Southern Atlantic Conference. 

A few weeks later, on March 21st, the Bulldogs were ranked 25th in all of Division 2 women’s lacrosse. This was the first time in program history the women’s lacrosse team from Wingate has ever been ranked. The accomplishments of the women’s team just continue to grow. 

Since that first ranking on March 21st, the Dogs have been able to move up to #21 in the nation. They have won their last 7 consecutive games against rivals. On that road to #21, there have been some memorable moments.

In the game on March 25th against UVA Wise the Dogs took home the win 20-11. Senior Paige Kamar scored a career-high of six goals, adding three assists, four ground balls and three caused turnovers. 

The team beat the Mars Hill Lions on the road 21-2. Junior captain Leah Knowles led the way with four goals and added four draw controls, two ground balls and two caused turnovers. Junior captain Megan Biase also came up huge for the Bulldogs as she did not allow a single goal in the first half of the game. 

In the next game, the Bulldogs held Catawba to 5 goals in their 16-5 win. Senior captain Becca Ruiz contributed three goals while junior defender Emily Phipps added a team high of six ground balls, three caused turnovers and two draw controls. 

The Bulldogs took down the Lincoln Memorial University Railsplitters on April 2nd with a score of 19 – 3 win. Freshman Danielle Scarfogliero had a team high five points with two goals and three assists, either scoring or assisting on each of Wingate’s first five goals. 

On April 9th, the Wingate Women’s lacrosse team beat the Newberry Wolves 15-13. This game was a battle for the dogs as it was more physical than normal. Although the conditions were rough, Head Coach Abby Wiley had taught her team to be composed and never stoop to the Wolves attitude levels. Due to this, Dogs came out on top. Not to mention it was Head Coach Abby Wiley’s 100th career win! Coach Wiley has been at Wingate for four years and ever since her arrival she has been building the program from the ground up. It was also during this game that goalie captain Megan Biase piled up her 250 career saves!

On April 13th, the Wingate Women’s lacrosse faced off against their historic rivals the Lenoir Rhyne Bears. The Bulldogs once again held off the Bears 22-9. Freshman attacker Nelida Watson added a goal and two assists to assist with the win. Junior attacker Kayleigh Hiles and freshman midfielder Claire Fuchs contributed to the win by each scoring twice. 

Just two days after the Lenoir Rhyne Game, the Bulldogs faced off against Mount Olive, an out of conference rival for them. This game was the senior game for the five seniors of the program, Becca Ruiz, Bella Pellet, Caroline Heffner, Camyrn Gallagher and Paige Kamer. The Bulldog defense came up huge in this game holding Mount Olive to only 3 goals. This effort was led by junior captain Megan Biase in goal. She tallied up 11 saves throughout the game. 

As the team approaches the last regular season game this Saturday, April 23rd against the Tusculum Pioneers. Following the next week, they have the Southern Atlantic Conference Championship weekend to look forward to. With all the hard work the Dogs have put in, they have been able to secure a spot in the semi-finals, bypassing the quarterfinals. The championship weekend is held at Lenoir Rhyne University. The semi-finals will take place on Friday and if the Dogs progress, they will be in the championship game on Sunday. 

This season for the Wingate Women’s Lacrosse team has been a record breaking one and they do not intend to stop making history until they bring home a Southern Atlantic Conference championship for the first time. 

How to Solve the World’s Problems

Staff Writer: Emily Werner

These are trying times. We’re almost three years into the pandemic, Russia and Ukraine are at war, and One Direction is still broken up. There are so many issues in the world and it seems as though nobody knows how to solve them… except me. 

Debt and poverty are debilitating to the average person. This country (and a good portion of the entire world) has so much debt. We have an enormous amount of people living on the streets, unable to afford food or healthcare. People are forced to choose between basic necessities; either go to the dentist for the first time in years, or get your kid school supplies. Have dinner or get a warmer winter coat. Nobody should have to live like that. My solution? Give everyone a house. It’s possible. According to Statistica, there are more than 30 empty houses per homeless person in America. Vacant, functional, climate-controlled homes that no one is using. Everyone needs a house. Give them the houses. How do we pay for it? Where will the money come from? How will the world go on?! Simple; PRINT MORE MONEY. Don’t try to talk to me about inflation and economics. Money is made up. We can assign a value to any piece of paper. We have before. Just don’t tell anyone you’re doing it. Duh. Civilizations used to use salt as currency, so I think we can deal with a few more bills coming out of the mint. 

It’s too late to solve coronavirus. Too many people have it at this point, but here’s what I would’ve done. Two words: Typhoid Mary. You know, the cook who gave everyone typhoid fever? She was told not to be a chef anymore yet kept getting cooking jobs and infecting people. At the start of the pandemic, we should have taken every person from that plane and put them on North Brother Island, where Typhoid Mary once resided. Then, anyone who they’ve come in contact with is monitored to make sure they don’t have symptoms. If they do – bye. North Brother Island. Yes, isolation is extreme, but so is coronavirus. 

Gun violence is a huge problem in the US. Kids are being gunned down in schools, a man recently opened fire on a crowded subway car in New York City, and 54% of all gun-related deaths are related to suicide. How do we fix this? It’s hard to come up with a solution to this because of how many people would choose their gun over their firstborn child, but I’ve come up with one. Stricter background checks. If you want to get a gun, you should have to go through a year of therapy and consent to your therapist sharing their findings with the gun distributor. If they find you unfit to own one, you don’t get one. People assume that having a mental illness automatically means you’re dangerous, but that is not the case, hence the year of therapy – to ensure you are not a danger to yourself or others. We could also do a rental system. If you want your gun for hunting, go ahead and rent one. This way we have paper trails. Same with selling them at gun shows or whatever place you can buy a gun without a license. Paper trails keep track of guns so there’s never any confusion about who has them.

Starvation affects 9.9% of the world’s population. That may not seem like a lot, but it is over 79 million people. How would I solve this? Stop treating food like a luxury item that only certain people deserve. If everyone had access to food and clean water, you wouldn’t see those commercials about starving babies across the world. All people deserve to be able to take care of themselves. Food and water should be a not-for-profit item. Like the houses.

The world’s biggest problem is that One Direction has been on their 18-month hiatus since 2016. I’d solve this by tricking them. I’d have them all set to perform at the same stadium at the same time and ask them to sing the same song. They’d be on five segments of a stage, and as they sing, the walls come up to reveal they’re all together. This would bring back memories and strong feelings of nostalgia for them. They would realize the world would be better off with them together. They will finally tour their fifth album and they will continue to make more music. What a dream.

Courtesy of US Weekly

Obviously, the answers to the world’s problems are so much more complex. Sometimes there isn’t an answer at all. Nobody is going to just give someone a vacant house or food. Nobody is going to give up their guns or do extensive background checks. One Direction might do a reunion tour someday, but that’ll be it for them. People are not going to quarantine to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. There is no convincing everyone that they should care about others. Our society is very individualistic and it shows when it comes to these issues. Unfortunately, some of these may never get fixed. Some will get worse. I am serious about my One Direction plan, though.

Happy April Fools’ Day!

Staff Writer: Jacob Almond

Most of you can probably say that you have been fooled once or twice before on April Fools’ Day, maybe by someone you know personally or a celebrity pulling a prank on the general public. 

However, there have been times the public thought something was a joke on April Fools’ Day when it wasn’t, such as the announcement that David Lee Roth was out of Van Halen on April 1, 1985, or that even last year, April 1, 2021, that Roy Williams was retiring as head coach for the University of North Carolina. 

So how did all of this start?

Some say it originated in France under Charles IX, when he declared that the new year would no longer start on Easter, but would begin on January 1. Since Easter was considered lunar and a movable date, those who followed the old ways were considered “April Fools”. 

Others speculate that it could be related to the vernal equinox which takes place on March 21,  a time people are often thrown off by the weather. 

Despite the variations on where this globally recognized holiday originated, all cultures have in common the fact that this day is set apart for one to try and fool someone else. 

So how will you spend your April Fools’ Day? Will you be the puppet master of an April joke, or will you be the puppet?

OTF Gaming Kicks Off An Early Start To Success

Staff Writer: Dwayne Davis

WINGATE, NC– Most student-athletes on college campuses are known for their hard work on and off the field but not so much for their gaming skills. Once considered as a distraction to young kids and even adults, video games have opened doors for many, while turning casual players into multi-millionaire athletes. Thanks to the progressive popularity of eSports and gaming, a junior football player at Wingate University, Darius Randolph has seen nothing but success after being inspired to start his own gaming team.

Randolph looks to be one of the biggest names in the history of the eSports league as he kicks off his gaming team, “OTF Gaming.” The team consists of several gamers that he has met on and off the field throughout the balance of both careers. When Darius isn’t busy putting in those hours inside the Irwin Belk Stadium, he runs constant games of Call of Duty on his Xbox Series X late at night. Being a Division ll football player takes up countless hours of his life so his team is what keeps him going. 

“I really don’t get to enjoy my passion for video games as much as I want to. My roster of gamers that I hand-picked was the perfect move in my opinion. They have lots of free time and don’t do anything but treat this gaming stuff like a full-time job.”

In fact, being on the roster of OTF Gaming is really like a 9-5 job to the players. Competing in tournaments in many of the friendly wagers that go on in the Call of Duty pro-community allows for the team to earn unthinkable amounts of cash for just “playing a video game” like many mothers would recall. Fortunate sponsors such as Firstblood and many others host tournaments for gamers like Randolph’s team and have a ranking system or bracket just like the NBA or any other sport. However, just like any other sport comes with the responsibility of holding practices and putting in the hours of training. To many, this might sound a little unusual but for the players of OTF, this is an almost everyday thing. 

“I wake up, eat breakfast and watch my favorite streamers on Twitch, then I go run a session of squad games on Warzone, sleep, and repeat. I try to do the same thing that Optic Scump does. He’s kind of the Micheal Jordan of the eSports league,” said OTF Big Ty, one of the eight on Randolph’s team.

As Big Ty mentioned, Scump is one of the most honored and also most emulated in the history of gaming. He was one of the first big names when it came to eSports and inspired many other players such as Darius to compete and take his favorite hobby to a professional level. Surpassing over a million Twitch stream viewers and over $400,000 in earnings, it is safe to say that Optic Scump is a staple and an idol for both Randolph and his roster.

Just like Scump, Darius wants to be one of the many gamers that have crossed the benchmark and stigma that gaming is just gaming. He wants to be one of those guys that turn gaming into a more popular sport to show the younger generation that football and basketball isn’t the only way to make money while doing what you love. With Randolph being a psychology major at Wingate he definitely uses those skills when it comes to grinding towards his goal. 

“I don’t think I want my body to be worn out from countless hours of hitting on the football field, CTE is very common in the professional league and even other sports so I don’t think it’s worth the risk. Playing with OTF and having a shot at the eSports league sit right with me knowing that the risk of injury isn’t there. I want this team to be generational and create opportunities for those who don’t have that athletic gift or weren’t blessed with those genes,” Darius spoke. 

When it comes to his team, it seems as if they were gifted with a special and natural talent for gaming. Winning five tournaments of Call of Duty has shined the light not only on Darius but also on most of his teammates gaining notoriety from the likes of big gamers such as Faze Swagg and Faze Temperr. If Darius keeps going in the direction that he’s going, he is sure to be a big competitor in the eSports league sitting right beside the greatest.

Savannah’s Scoop

What if I told you that your own worst enemy is someone that you know quite well? What if I told you that it is yourself? I know it’s hard to hear- we each hold onto so much pride.

 I’ll be the first to admit that last night, I was brought to my knees… as my pride crumbled onto the ground, I felt humbled. God brought me to my knees indeed, exactly where I needed to be. 

 “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too,” as they say. Think about it, if something, or somebody, is in our way, we move them. There are often mountains between us and our goals, but we tend to climb them anyway. So, why is it that we can’t seem to overcome ourselves? 

We are the hardest obstacle to move, I think, because it’s a struggle between “you and yourself.” The human mind is a powerful thing, and we often are faced with what we want, and what is truly right. It’s easy to give someone else advice, but when it comes to having the conversation with yourself, the innermost parts of who we are are often stubborn. 

Though resistant at first to the realization that I had to change Myself, the grip slowly loosened. It was uncomfortable to overcome those twisted emotions, the war that raged in my head. But once you realize that you are your own worst enemy, the struggle will begin to fade away and the answer is clear- how bad do you want to change? Bad enough to get yourself out of the way?

-Savannah Phillips