With Tennessee Promise, many students are looking for a place to get in their community service hours.  It can be difficult to come up with ideas for this, so feel free to check here if you want some help finding a way to get your hours.

  1. Nursing Homes:  Nursing homes usually appreciate receiving volunteers to spend time with those inside.  Spend time speaking to some of the people inside or even volunteer to help with a craft or game event that takes place.  This is especially great for anyone who may be going into medicine, has an interest in hearing life stories, or appreciates meeting and learning from those who may have more experience than you.
  2. Animal shelters:  Sometimes it helps to find a shelter near you and offer to help them clean and feed the animals there.  This would be an extra great experience if you love animals but cannot have one in your home.  You will get some time to help prospective pets and get those service hours in, fast.
  3. Vol State:  ALWAYS check for volunteer opportunities through the Office of Student Life and Diversity at Vol State.  Some of the events held offer students a great chance to get a few hours in.  Keep up with these events by reading The Settler, speaking with the coordinator of student activities or asking the SGA President.
  4. Schools (and Libraries):  Maybe a local school or library is needing volunteers to help with a school event or after school program.  It could be anything from supervising children, helping set up, providing a fun craft, or even tutoring.
  5. Tutoring opportunities: Are you really good with a subject?  Check in with certain school facilities (Like, say, Vol State’s Library if you are REALLY good) and see if they offer a tutoring program that may be able to stand as a volunteer opportunity for you.
  6. Community and Community Events:  Perhaps there is someone in your community that needs help?  Simply spending a few hours a day with them could help them greatly.  Maybe your community is holding a public event?  Volunteer to help ensure everything goes well.

Do you have a suggestion you would like to add?  Put it in the comments below, and maybe you will be able to help someone get the service hours they need!


Valentine’s Day around Vol State

Valentine’s Day is just one week away, and some people (myself included) may have found themselves looking for plans to celebrate with their significant others, family or kids.

Some area venues are hosting specials for couples and families.

  • The Palace Theater is hosting an event to benefit the Gallatin Day Care Center at 2 p.m. Feb. 12th.  It is a family event with a showing of The Princess Diaries and hors d’oeuvres.  Tickets cost $20, and you can RSVP by calling (615) 452-2518.
  • According to The Tennessean, Swaney Swift’s on the Square will be hosting a Valentine’s Drag Show by Elite Drag Star Productions on Feb. 11 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. for $10 a ticket.
  • Swaney Swift’s on the Square will also be hosting its own event on Valentine’s Day.  For $35, guests can have 2 drinks (this includes alcohol and shakes), a shareable appetizer or dessert, any two burgers or sandwiches, and a complimentary photo.
  • Since Valentine’s day falls on a Tuesday this year, this is a great chance to take advantage of NCG Theater’s $6 ticket deal.  They accept student discounts for any Vol State students who show their IDs.  Some new movies that will be showing that day will include Fifty Shades Darker and The Lego Batman Movie.
  • The Marketplace at Amberleaf will be hosting a Mother-Daughter Mixed Media Valentine Making Class Feb. 11, 1 – 3 p.m.  It is $40 per pair and $15 for any additional children, and will consist of making a Valentine’s Day collage on 12×12 canvas.  RSVP at The Marketplace or via phone, (615) 424-6636.
  • There will also be several events going on in the Nashville area for those who would like to enjoy a night in the city, and a full list is available at the Visit Music City website.

Do you have a suggestion? Want me to check out one of your favorite places or one you are curious about? Let me know in the comments!

Discounts for Vol State Students

Like with many colleges, Volunteer State Community College students are able to receive discounts at local businesses.

Students are eligible for a discount at places including:

  • AAA (Brentwood)
  • Baskin Robbins (Gallatin)
  • Brixx Pizza (Indian Lake)
  • Brown’s Florist (Hendersonville)
  • Buck’s Barbecue (Gallatin)
  • Dunkin Donuts (Gallatin)
  • El Cantarito (Gallatin)
  • enVme Hair Studio (Gallatin)
  • Feld Entertainment
  • Frist Museum (Nashville)
  • Gateway Tire & Service Center (Gallatin)
  • Goodwill
  • Hair & Company (Gallatin)
  • Jet’s Pizza (Gallatin, Hendersonville)
  • Kasper-Lebanon Premium Outlets (Lebanon)
  • Loft (Hendersonville)
  • McDonald’s (Greensboro Drive, Gallatin)
  • Nashville Opera
  • NCG Cinema (Gallatin)
  • Sam’s Club (Hendersonville)
  • Zaxby’s (Gallatin)

For more information and a larger list of discounts, check the full list on Vol State’s website.


Swaney Swift’s on the Square

The Swaney

Swaney Swift’s on the Square had been recommended to me several times since they first opened on the Gallatin Square, where the old Swaney Swift’s drugstore was located.

They have a breakfast menu as well as their lunch and dinner menu.  I will start this by saying I personally have not tried their breakfast, but will update as soon as I am able to.  It is available from 8 to 11 a.m. every day.  It will also be available from 5 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 8th, 2017.

I enjoy the atmosphere here.  It is very chilled out, laid back and perfect for anyone who wants to just hang out with their friends and eat some great food or enjoy a few drinks (alcoholic or not).  They always play quality music that everyone can enjoy, not too much old or new, and they mix it up throughout the day.

Their menu is interesting, but great.  They have milkshakes, floats, specialty drinks, regular drinks, alcohol, appetizers, salads, vegetarian-friendly food, burgers, and “not burgers.”

I have no complaints with any of the foods I have tried.  I tried the Smooth Shirley and the Homer on my first visit. The Smooth Shirley is their take on a classic Shirley Temple by adding vanilla ice cream.

When I saw the Homer on the menu and read the description, I instantly thought of The Simpsons.  It is a hamburger patty, bacon, and cheese all between two glazed donuts.  It sounds weird, but it tastes amazing.  It was the perfect combination of sweet and savory, although a little messy.

The Homer

The very next day, I came back and brought my mom to try it with me.  This time I tried the fried pickles and two of their signature items:  the Swaney Soda and the the Swaney burger.  The fried pickles were amazing, not too crunchy and not too soft.  The Swaney Soda is essentially their in-shop cream soda, and is delicious.  I could drink those non-stop.

The Swaney is a hamburger patty with provolone cheese, jalepenos, bacon, fried pickles, and Swaney sauce.  I actually had to take the jalepenos off after the first bite because they were too hot for me.  The burger was absolutely delicious and everything on it tasted great together.

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who wants to enjoy a great meal with their friends.

Overall rating: 4.5

Average price per meal (reg. drink + sandwich and fries): $10-12

Distance and time from Vol State: 3.4 miles, 12 min.

Do you have a suggestion? Want me to check out one of your favorite places or one you are curious about? Let me know in the comments!