Monthly Archives: November 2013

Fuel for Finals Week: What You Should Snack On

Nov 12, 2013 | Author: Colleen Bierstine


There is actual evidence to show that college students gain weight because of the stress from finals week. It’s a natural habit that we like to reach for the snacks to ease the pain of studying. Often times, we’re not even hungry, but we partake in mindless snacking that can go on for hours. And before you know it, you’ve inhaled an entire bag of potato chips and 20 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. You’ve probably got the pizza delivery guy on speed dial too.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, eh?

But there’s more science to tell you that all that junk doesn’t help you much in the long-run. Not only does it do nothing to fuel your brain or aid your test performance, but it’s unhealthy and will expand your waistband in the future. It sounds pretty obvious to me that, if you’ve just got to snack while studying, then you should reach for healthier options.

I know, you’re sitting there thinking, “Girl, I’m young. I don’t have to eat healthy.” And you probably don’t want to either. But the truth is, the earlier you start treating you body better, the better off you will be. I’m not telling you to give up everything delicious in life and never indulge again; I’m just talking about switching out your normal studying snacks for real brain food.

The common misconception is that brain food equates to raw fruits and veggies, but there are much more exciting options out there if you prefer. Here are some of my favorite snacks that will fuel your brain so you can crush those exams without weighing enough to crush your professors after.

  1. Go nuts. No, but really. There are so many different varieties of nuts that there’s one for everybody, plus they’re salty, crunchy, and delicious. They’re proven to reduce stress and help your brain. And they’ve got protein! Just take it easy on these babies; you only need a handful or two.DSC_7293
  2. Cute & delicious. Teddy Grahams are, in my humble opinion, the cutest snack at the grocery store. You’d think because they’re sweet and targeted at kids that they’re also horrible for you and loaded with sugar, but they’re actually not half-bad. You can have about 30 little bears for around 130 cals, 8g of sugar, and 4g of fat. That ain’t bad! And they come in a plethora of flavors: Chocolaty Chip, Chocolate, Apple, Strawberry Banana, Honey, and Cinnamon.


    Get the recipe for these PB & Apple Teddy Graham Pretzel Bites on

  3. God’s gift to nature: Avocados. I know, you don’t want fruits and veggies, but in my book, avocados don’t count. They are so rich, creamy, and scrumptious that you won’t believe they came straight out of nature. Some people argue they should be classified as cheese because they taste that rich. But half an avocado is only 50 calories, and it’ll amp up anything you spread it on: wraps, sandwiches, veggies, whole wheat pita bread, etc. They are a bit high in fat, but it’s good fat, like in nuts.DSC_6046
  4. Get it poppin’ with plain popcorn. Sound boring? After a lifetime of eating popcorn drenched in fake butter, I never imagined plain popcorn would be any good. As It turns out, I was pleasantly surprised by how addicting and delicious it really is. Just a little bit of salt is enough to make plain popcorn taste like an indulgent snack, but you can have 2 cups for about 40 calories. Score!
  5. Hot and steamy. Did you know sugar-free hot cocoa has only 25 calories? It’s comforting, and it’ll satisfy your sweet tooth, but it won’t put you into a sugar coma afterward.DSC_7464
  6. Cup o’ Joe. Hot coffee has the same comforting qualities as hot cocoa for absolutely zero calories. Just be careful; when you load it up with milk and sugar, it quickly becomes bad for you. Use almond milk or a sugar-free creamer instead. Also, Nectresse is my sugar-free sweetener of choice. It’s not as artificial as other sweeteners.
  7. Take a dip. Hummus is a nutritious but completely delicious and hearty dip that’s perfect for study-time snacking. I only recently fell in love with hummus, but that love quickly grew into an obsession. If you haven’t tried it yet, just give it a shot, and you won’t be disappointed by how creamy and yummy it is. Plus, it tastes good on everything.DSC_8409-6

Those are MY go-to snacks, but here’s what fellow UC students suggested:

  1. Victoria L. – Granola bars (just make sure you look for ones low in sugar), apples, Rice Krispie treats (in moderation – one treat is 90 cal), Subway, and hummus. Did you know you can buy hummus from the Bistro at UC?
  2. Tyler G. – Cheez-Its (in moderation, a handful or two), grapes (try freezing them; they’re like candy), and Chobani yogurt (hello, protein!).

What snacks will you reach for when it’s time to study?

TwitterStumbleUponLinkedInWordPressTumblrFacebookGoogle+Blogger PostEmailPinterestShare

5 Tips for Choosing the Best Classes

Nov 12, 2013 | Author: Victoria Lamanna

With registration this week, I figured I would share a few of the things I have learned about picking the right classes for you and your schedule.

1) Don’t schedule 8 a.m. classes if you don’t have to.

If you are not a morning person, enrolling in 8 a.m. classes will not change this. Every morning will turn into a battle with you and your pillow and your class will look less appealing each day. Instead, schedule classes during the day or night.

8am Class Alarm

2) Want to skip the parking spot hassles?

Schedule classes around lunch time, like 12 or 1 p.m. Most people will be out to lunch or are done with classes for the day, which frees up parking spots.

3) Go to group advising sessions if they are available.

I just attended my first one a few weeks ago and it made choosing classes a lot easier. At the meeting, all of the teachers for my major (Public Relations/Journalism) all talked about the classes they will be teaching. It provided insight into the classes (or teachers) that are not the right fit for me, and those that I would have never chosen. Also, they might let you know if the classes being offered this semester will or will not be offered in the future….Oh! And there was free pizza!

Deciding what classes you need to take can be difficult. Attend group advising sessions or individual sessions so you can sort through your options.

Deciding what classes you need to take can be difficult. Attend group advising sessions or individual sessions so you can sort through your options.

For example, this semester I will be taking a class on the Olympics, and the public relations aspects behind the iconic games. Just hearing the professor talk about the class and the things that we would learn got me interested in the topic…even though I had never been interested in the Olympics before. I also learned that this class won’t be offered again until 2016, so this was my only chance to take it.


When it’s your time to register, sign up for your classes at that exact time. Classes fill up quickly, especially ones that count for core credits. During my first semester, I waited too long to register for a history class. I ended up taking an 8 a.m. class that I was not interested in at all.

When you go to register, don't forget your pin! You need to get it from your advisor in order to add or drop classes.

When you go to register, don’t forget your pin! You need to get it from your advisor in order to add or drop classes.

5) Talk to people. 

Nothing is worse than signing up for a class that is not the right fit for you. Whether it be the work load, the professor, or the material, you want to know what you are getting your self into. Talk to the people in your current classes to find out if they have taken the class, or know someone who has.

This semester, I had to complete my core credits with a non-lab science. I am not a sciencey person at all, and wanted to find out what class would be best for me to take. I asked many people about the science that they took, if they liked the class, and what the difficulty was. Through this, I found a science that both interested me and had a difficulty level that I could handle.

People of the World

Nov 9, 2013 | Author: Matty Campos

Every year Utica College receives dozens of new international students from all over the world. Meeting these students and hanging out with them is probably one of the best things an American student could do to get a full collegiate experience. It helps to make one realize how small the world really is, and how people who seem so different can be so much like us. Just this past summer I spent a month in Eastern Europe, hanging out with friends from Serbia, Montenegro and Finland, all of whom I met last school year.

The international students even more interested in experiencing new things. They come here with open minds; wanting to experience everything the US has to offer, as well as meeting other international students who are along for the same ride. One of these interested students is my friend Jasmine Kukko from Finland. She has created her own website where she features Utica College students, both international and local, whom she has interviewed. She also includes some of her own stories about life at Utica College.

The other day, Jasmine asked if she could interview me for her website. I’m guessing that since I’m from Hawaii some people consider me an international student, even though Hawaii is a state. But I traveled just as far as many international students, and the culture in Hawaii so very different from New York. It makes sense that people would think that. I told Jasmine a little about me moving from Hawaii to Utica, and one of the stories from my travels.

To watch the interview, click this link!

Matty from Hawaii


I also invite you to check out Jasmine’s website where you can read about many of the other international students who are here this semester, and also to see my video!


8 Tips for Incoming Freshman

Nov 7, 2013 | Author: Ghedion Behonegne

I sit here on my throne of having reached the pinnacle of my college experience as part of a few elite. I’m a senior; I belong to the wisest and most experienced few, in all affairs that are collegiate that is. Here are a few tips to help navigate the murky waters for the uninitiated (Incoming freshman, I’m looking at you).

1. Ditch the lanyard. This is the easiest give away, by far.

2. If you are sitting in the front row of a class and have your laptop out, bear in mind that everyone behind you can see you updating your Twitter or stalking your ex on Facebook. You pay to go to school, so pay attention.

3. Under no circumstances brag about your ACT/SAT score, barring the admissions office- no one cares.

4. Understand the type of person you are, and plan your schedule accordingly. If you are a night owl, taking 8.30’s everyday of the week will only set yourself up for catastrophic failure. Conversely, if you are an early riser, those three-hour night classes might encroach into your bedtime. Be wary.

5. If you’re the shy type, join student organizations, go to seminars and meetings hosted on campus. Join a team if you are of the athletic persuasion,  or go Greek. Once that seasonal depression hits and your roommate is the only person you have socialized with for the last half of the semester, you’ll be thankful you did.

6. On roommates, don’t room with close friends. Every healthy relationship needs some degree of separation. If the only person you hang out with happens to sleep 7 feet away from you, frustrations will arise and friendships could potentially be irreparably damaged.

7. Forget high school; this is your chance for a fresh start. Freed from the mundane social imprisonment of high school, you have the chance to blossom into the person you were meant to be. Or you can hold on to your past accomplishments and let them shackle you and never grow.

8. Skip the burger and fries combo. The freshman fifteen is a real and cruel mistress, transforming cute coeds into unrecognizable blobs over the course of two semesters. Wise up and eat heatlhy-ish, and work out. Your body will thank you for it.

On the Run! Valley View Golf Course

Nov 6, 2013 | Author: Vikki Feggulis

Welcome to the first real post for On the Run! In case you missed my first post about why running isn’t actually the devil (I have done extensive testing), check it out here!

When I started thinking about this feature, I realized that I was gonna need to start with something big, something pretty awe-inspiring, and really hit the ground running, so to speak.

Valley View Golf Course seemed like the only logical place to go.
2013-10-28 16.54.48

But let’s take this journey a little more gradually, shall we?

From UC, Valley View is a straight jog up the parkway. The parkway has sidewalks along either side and a strip of grass in the middle (which I’ve heard referred to as a park?? Utica, you are not helping your case). This grassy strip is also home to a familiar face….

2013-10-28 16.39.49
It’s Grandmother Willow! From Pocahontas?! …Guys?

You get a cool, birds-eye view of Utica on your way up the parkway. And I literally mean UP. Utica is latin for “hills of doom” afterall!**

2013-10-28 16.48.43

**I made that up.

Once you hit the end of the parkway and take a small detour through Valley View’s parking lot, you’ll find a gravel trail.

2013-10-28 16.53.12

Trail running isn’t something that Utica is necessarily known for (at all), but they exist and they are wondrous. But we’ll go more into that next post…. ;)

This trail is one of the tougher parts of the run because it’s like HILLS HILLS HILLS, but it evens out pretty quickly. The view helps a bit too.
2013-10-28 16.53.32 2013-10-28 16.54.37 2013-10-28 16.54.48   2013-10-28 16.56.56

I took about a thousand more pictures, but you get the idea. Super pretty. And we’re not even technically in the golf course yet! And yes, the sun was absolutely assaulting my corneas.

The trail runs just less than a mile before you hit paved trails. These are also beautiful. This entire paved path is also part of the Boilermaker 15K course, which takes place in July and is a ton of fun. It is also approximately 60 degrees warmer outside. Excuse me while I weep.

2013-10-28 16.59.59 2013-10-28 17.03.11

As you can see, there are about a million different paths, give or take, to choose from and you can mix and match depending on the length of your run. I promise it’s pretty hard to get lost in the golf course (golf carts don’t have GPS systems ….although, I may go patent one that does because that is GENIUS), so have fun and explore! The path I chose goes straight up and around…

2013-10-28 17.06.56

 …then through the woods….

2013-10-28 17.07.15

And viola! We made it and it’s all down hill from here.

2013-10-28 17.08.34

The run back is a breeze and takes you downhill most of the way and then flattens out right back by the college. The whole loop is just over 7 miles and can be made longer or shorter depending on where you start on campus and what trails you take. You can also park at the Rec Center (located on the parkway off of Oneida Street) and start running from there, which cuts the run down to just over 3 miles. It’s a great area and one of the biggest things I’ll miss when I head home to New Jersey in December.

And just for good measure, here’s a picture of me looking like a looney.
Yes, that was published in the college’s paper. No, Under Armour did not promptly contact me to do their cold-weather ads. I know, right?

Talk to me:
Most embarrassing picture ever taken of you? (You can just describe it, although I would love to see it.)
Locals/students: Based on my hints, any ideas where I’m headed next?!

Winter in Upstate, NY for $10 or Less

Nov 5, 2013 | Author: Victoria Lamanna

Even if you have lived here for your entire life, winter in Upstate, NY can seem like a cold, dreary time with nothing to do. But this is not the case! There are plenty of things to do (both inside and outside) that won’t break your college-student-size budget.


Ice Skating:

Did you know that there is an ice skating rink about 10 minutes from campus? The New Hartford Recreation Center offers ice skating Tuesday through Sunday. For just $5, you can skate as long as the rink is open and get in the winter/holiday mood. Skates can be rented for $5 as well. Check out the rink’s schedule for more information.

Art Museums: 

Once the winter weather comes, finding inside activities are key for snowy weekends and days that you just want to stay warm. Local art museums, like the one on campus or the Munson Williams Museum of Art, always have new exhibits coming and going that compliment their permanent collections.

The Munson Williams Art Museum, only five minutes from campus, is free and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday. More than six exhibits are featured through out November along with their permanent collection. One exhibit, “Robert Indiana from A to Z,” will feature the works of the artist Robert Indiana, who actually spent some time in Utica. You may recognize his works from the image below! Check out the Museum’s website for more information.


The Edith Langley Barrett Fine Art Gallery is located in the lower level of the library on the College campus and is FREE and open to the public. From Nov. 4 through Dec. 6, the gallery will feature the works of the Utica Camera Club, which is composed of camera enthusiasts, both amateur and professional. The club, established in 1923, also hosts monthly photography competitions and challenges. Check out the Utica Camera Club’s page for more information.

Lights on the Lake:

The Lights on the Lake is one of my favorite thing to do during the winter. It is one hour from campus, but provides the perfect opportunity for one last road trip before the end of the semester. Lights on the Lake is a two-mile drive-through show that features thousands of displayed Christmas lights, accompanied by Christmas music played through your car radio. Admission is $10/ car Monday through Thursday, or $15/car during Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

I suggest that you get together with friends, (including one that owns a car) and all drive together. If about 5 people arrive in one car, that is only $2/person! You can also stop and get hot chocolate and cookies on your way to enjoy during the show. Lights on the Lake starts Nov. 21 and goes through Jan. 12. Click here for more information.

christmas lights

Turning Stone Casino:

Only 20 minutes from campus, the Turning Stone Casino is a great place to enjoy the holidays…even on a budget! Its annual Gingerbread Village and giant Christmas tree are quite the spectacles. The Gingerbread Village is a collection of houses, mansions, etc. all made out of gingerbread, candy and icing. Last year, the display was more than 50 feet long! There is no charge to view the village or the Christmas tree, so you can spend your money on coffee and dessert or other activities in the casino. 

The Utica Zoo: 

During the winter season, the Utica Zoo offers reduced admission, as well as snow shoe rentals! With a valid college student ID, admission to the zoo is only $3.50, and snow shoes can be rented for $2.50/hr. In addition to the many snow shoe trails and outside exhibits, the zoo also features several inside, heated buildings, such as the Primate Building, Wildlife Hall and gift shop. For only $6you can see snowy owls, monkeys, red pandas and more all only five minutes from campus! Check out the zoo’s map here!

Sea Lion

Have any other ideas for things to do during the winter? Share your ideas and/or experiences!

How to Survive the Final Stretch of the Semester

Nov 2, 2013 | Author: Colleen Bierstine


If you recorded the amount of stress you have throughout each semester on a graph, it’d probably look the same every time: a short, gradual slope that suddenly shoots up into a steep, ever-increasing mountain. That’s because the assignments become more frequent and more involved the deeper we dive into the semester.

Since we’re at about the 3/4 mark, you’re probably dangling somewhere near the top of the highest peak right now. Not only are you in over your head, but you know you’ve still got more climbing to do before relief is in sight. This is probably your face most of the time:


I need you to keep hanging in there though. Winter break is just around the corner, and you’ve got this.

Here’s what you can do to keep your head above the water for the remainder of the semester:

  1. Don’t shut down. When things are really overwhelming, it almost feels like you can’t do anything at all, so you want to give up. But instead of losing all hope, try to get just a few simple things done, and you’ll be amazed at how relieved you feel. I did the dishes the other night, and it felt completing a marathon.
  2. Don’t look too far ahead. This one is tricky because you don’t want due-dates to creep up on you. But if you look too far in advance, you’re going to get overwhelmed by the amount of work you still have left. Instead, try just focusing on the next two weeks and say, “Okay, what do I need to get done this week? What can wait?”
  3. Make study guides now. Do you need more than just your notes to study? If you’re like me, you like flashcards and study guides for test prep. However, putting those aids together can be more time-consuming than the actual studying. So, put together as much of your studying material as you can now so you can focus on the actual studying when finals come. A great site I love to use is Quizlet, and there’s an Quizlet iPhone app too. It lets you create electronic flashcards and offers different ways to study them. It’s much more efficient than paper cards.
  4. Check those midterm grades. If you aren’t satisfied, and you want to work on bringing them up, now is the time to do it. Wait any longer, and it might be too late to make enough of a difference. Don’t let yourself be surprised at the end of the semester. Or, if you’re happy with your grades, at least you don’t have to stress about raising them. Just make sure you maintain it!
  5. Create incentives. Tell yourself, if I get this paper done, I can go out with my friends on Saturday, or, if I study for this test for the next couple of hours, I can watch my favorite show tonight. This psychological tactic will motivate to get things done and out of the way.

Those are my tips. What do you do to survive the dreaded final quarter of the semester?