April showers…?

Mar 27, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

March is almost over! And with the end of March, brings the beginning of warmer and sunnier days. Yet, this area is quite temperamental when it comes to weather. While the varying weather is always a cause for excitement, it can be a bit difficult to plan for. So while April may be the time when it actually starts to feel like spring, the warmer weather usually brings a load of rain.

Actually, it rained for the first time the other day and I was simultaneously excited that it wasn’t snowing, but was upset that I was getting soaked. (April makes people feel strange things sometimes…) So I have some advice for those rainier days here at Utica College.

Make sure you have a good raincoat. And rainboots. And an umbrella. The key to not hating the rain, is to be prepared for the rain. If it looks dreary out, bring an umbrella with you just in case! Nothing stinks more than getting ready, and then getting caught in a downpour on the walk to class. So always try to be one step ahead of the weather! Rain can actually be a lot of fun in the proper attire; I love splashing in puddles if I’m wearing rainboots! (Also, if your hair does not do well with rain…bring a hat!)

Plan for a rain date (or pay attention when events have them) If you are planning to go to an event or are planning an event that is outdoors plan for the rain. If it is your organization’s event make sure to have a plan b in case you cannot be outside. If you’re going to an event, pay attention if they have a different day…and plan to attend it on that day potentially as well! Often people forget to set aside the rain day if they have to attend the event, and if it does get rescheduled they might not have work off (etc.)

Soak it up. Sometimes rainy days require not changing out of pajamas and drinking tea and reading a good book/marathoning netflix. I love taking advantage of dreary days like that. Be as cliche as you want on rainy days! Stare out a window all moodily and take a pic, that’s what instagram is for, right? All jokes aside, rainy days are great days to do absolutely nothing…or you can do absolutely everything and be super productive! It’s a personal choice, but use rainy days as an excuse to do whatever you want.

Sometimes when its rainy people get upset, but just take the weather in stride! Everything can be good if you let it! Also, you know what they say… “April showers, bring may flowers!”

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We Live in the Future! Make Technology Work for You!

Mar 26, 2015 | Author: Michael Defone

Being organized in today’s world is extremely important. Now one thing you can do is get a planner or you could even leave sticky notes all over your room but in my personal experience is to use technology to your advantage.
I would consider myself a techy guy and I love having all kinds of gadgets. Two of my favorite gadgets are my Samsung Galaxy S5 and my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. I have always had apple products but around last semester I decided to try out android products. I am telling you right now the amount of organization and coordination you can utilize with android devices is out of this world.
One of the first things I wanted to talk about was all of the calendar apps you can use. I love to make sure the app is customizable so that way I have control of how the app runs and feels. The best part about android is the accessability of widgets. Having the widget right on my home screen gives me easy access to all the information I put into my calendar. Most of the calendar apps also are compatible with google accounts so syncing your calendars to the apps is easy and simple giving you unlimited information right at your finger tips.
The are tons of sticky noke apps and widgets that allow you to stick little reminders right to you home screen and maybe even your lock screen. These come in handy when you have that random little fact your trying to remember but know you will forget.
Another great thing about these android devices is that rel time whether widgets and apps and plentiful. I personally have weather widgets for Utica, Rochester, and Muncy so that way where ever I am I know I am prepared for the weather. This comes in handy especially in Utica since Utica can have all four season within a single day.
Having a tablet I think is a extremely smart investment. It last for an extremely long time, it is easy to carry around and looks professional. Now a days there is just too much information out there and with a tablet or even a andiod smart phone you can have all the information you want all together on one scree with live feed. You got to be one step ahead of your competition and being organized and more prepared is the first step to landing that big job or interview.

Staying Awake in Night Class…

Mar 26, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

As fun and exciting as classes are, sometimes you may choose to take a night class from 6:30-9:20 pm and if you are a morning person like me, you may be a bit drowsy by this time at night! I personally do enjoy taking night classes because it means you only have the class once a week and allows for more time to work on the materials outside of class. On the other hand, sometimes it is hard after a long day to go and be bright eyed and bushy tailed for night class and that is why I have had to come up with these ideas for staying awake in night class.

1. This is sort of obvious, especially for college students, but getting a little coffee is not a bad idea! I do not drink coffee in the mornings of “Night Class Nights” because I want to save it for night class! Remember that drinking too much coffee can be unhealthy. Drinking a bottle of water can also keep you refreshed and energetic, if you are not a big coffee drinker, or just want to be healthier.

2. Write your notes! Many professors put their notes in Powerpoint and allow students to print the notes before class so they can just take little notes on the side. I believe it is very beneficial to go to class without the printed notes, take the notes and then print out the Powerpoint slides to make sure I get all of the information. This will help you retain the information better and stay focussed in class. Professor Pack tells his students all the time to write out notes instead of printing them out because it leaves a lasting imprint on memory (when I learn more about it in Neuro I will be sure to share the information with you!) I know this is a big study aid for me, while helping me stay awake!

3. Wear a nice outfit! Most people, including myself, just want to wear sweatpants and comfy clothes to night class, but this will just make you feel more sleepy. It is better to wear a nicer outfit or less comfortable clothes (than sweatpants) because it will make you less likely to feel like you are about to go to bed. I am not saying you have to be uncomfortable or wear fancy attire to night class, just wear something you would not sleep in!

4. Make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before or take a nap before going to night class. This way you will still be energetic and your mind will still be ready to learn for your night class! It is important to get all of the information from your classes as you can.

5. Eat a good, healthy meal before hand! I know 6:30 is usually my dinner time, so it is important to make sure you get a good meal before night class so you can stay focussed and energized. Although it probably would not help to eat a lot of turkey before night class… (they have a chemical that makes you sleepy!) You can also take snacks and gum to chew in your night class to help you stay awake.

Reasons to go to Admissions Events as an Incoming Freshman

Mar 26, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

Hey everyone! As you guys know, I work for Utica College Admissions as an Ambassador-Tele counselor! I work to call students who are interested in Utica College and help them out with the admissions process and answer any questions they may have. At admissions events such as Open Houses and Accepted Students Day’s, myself and the rest of the admissions staff show students and their families around Utica College, answer their questions, inform them of the college and make them feel welcome! This Saturday (March, 28) is the first Accepted Student Day of the semester and I am so excited to meet everyone! I love talking to students interested in Utica College because I remember how nervous I was when I was looking into colleges and I remember all of the questions I wanted to ask that I wanted true answers for! (Check out my previous post for questions and TRUE answers I give to students!) Now that you know why I like to work the admissions events, these are the reasons why you should attend admissions events (such as Accepted Students Day) as a student interested in Utica College…


Utica College Accepted Student Days offer accepted students and their family members the opportunity to gain a stronger perspective of a day in the life of a UC student through a series of sessions that will discuss the student/family experience, academic programs, and student life at UC.  Students and their family members will also have an opportunity to have lunch in our Dining Commons and go on a campus tour.

1. At the Accepted Student Day, you and your family are invited (for free) to check out Utica College in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Looking at colleges is a big step in a person’s life and can be quite frankly, terrifying. At Utica College, the admissions team works to make you and your family feel welcome and comfortable as possible while getting important information. I know that when I was looking at colleges, the other colleges I was accepted into (9 not including Utica!) did not make me feel nearly as comfortable as Utica did. This comfortability is the reason I picked Utica College over the nine other colleges and universities I looked into.

2. You will never be lost or have to wonder where to go! On a few of the admissions events I went to for other colleges, my family and I were confused and even got lost. The admissions staff at Utica make sure you know where to go and help you completely throughout the day. This made it a lot easier for me my freshman year at Utica College because I had a great sense of where everything was located.

3. You get to meet and talk to students that attend Utica College of varying majors, who are in different clubs and activities and that participate in sports! This allows for the incoming/accepted students to get many perspectives from the students attending Utica College and allows for many questions to get answered!

4. You get to meet faculty members and professors for your major! This is a great way to get more information on the programs you are interested in and a way for you to meet the people who will soon  become like family to you!

5. You overall get to learn anything and everything about the college. You get to speak with professors, faculty members, students, you can go on a tour of the college and the residence halls and even eat lunch at our dining commons! It really is the best way to learn everything about the college before actually attending to make sure it is the perfect college for you and fits all of your needs.

My Favorite Thing.

Mar 25, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

One of my favorite experiences at Utica College has been my involvement every summer with the first year orientation program. I started doing it the Summer after my freshman year, and fell in love with the experience. It’s a lot of fun introducing new students to the UC community, and getting to know the incoming first year class.

(Fellow mentor [&blogger!] Courtney and I taking a picture with a student from Orientation!)

(Fellow mentor [&blogger!] Courtney and I taking a picture with a student from Orientation!)

Orientation is a great way to meet new people on campus-both current students, and the new incoming class. You are seen as a “pseudo adult/role model” by the incoming class, and its actually really cool. One of my favorite things is when someone comes up to me and mentions how they remember me from orientation! It even happens months after the fact! The impression that you make on the incoming students is huge.

(Mentors are always super happy people...right?)

(Mentors are always super happy people…right?)

I also love how orientation allows for current students to share their stories and experiences with incoming students. It’s nice to be able to give little tips and tricks to the new class so they too can navigate their own ways through their college careers.

(The transitions cast from last year.)

(The transitions cast from last year.)

Going with the theme of the sharing of information, orientation also holds a play, “Transitions” every session. This play is written/directed/acted in by students. It’s a lot of work because the mentors that are part of the cast only get a few days to rehearse, but those few days rehearsing are some of my favorite Orientation memories! The whole point of the play is to show students various situations that have could actually happen on our campus, and it also shows what to do in case an event like that were to ever occur.  I’ve been involved with transitions every year I’ve worked Orientation, and I always love the responses that students have to it.

(Ice breakers are one of my favorite things about Orientation!)

(Ice breakers are one of my favorite things about Orientation!)

Another faucet of orientation is ice breakers. As a mentor, you are in charge of helping to “break the ice” between the new students. This is done by little games and get-to-know-you activities that range from stationary name games, to massive games of red light/green light. The games are fun to facilitate because you get to watch as students gradually become more comfortable with one another, and establish tentative friendships.

(The Orientation crew from two years ago!)

(The Orientation crew from two years ago!)

This year the first year orientation has been moved to the fall, so it is going to take place August 28th-30th. If you remember your orientation or think it sounds like fun, I strongly encourage you to apply to be a mentor! (Go here: Utica.edu/orientation) This year I decided to apply to become a student coordinator of orientation and I got the job. It’s a little more in depth than a regular mentor job, but I’ve never had more fun at a job in my life; orientation is literally one of my favorite things at Utica College…even more of a favorite than brown paper packages tied up with string. (Sorry, the Sound of Music is a classic…I couldn’t resist.)

To be sappy, Orientation helped me to become the person I am today. I grew more comfortable with the Utica College community, and grew more comfortable taking charge and being a leader. Orientation introduced me to friends that would help to shape my experiences at UC and even more so, my life in general. I am forever grateful for that. So, if you want to be a super sap like me, apply to be an Orientation Mentor. Trust me, you won’t regret it!


(The Orientation crew from last year.)

Registering for Classes

Mar 25, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Registration for fall classes is soon approaching! Here are a few tips to help you create the best schedule possible for next semester:

  • Run a degree evaluation on BannerWeb (listed under “Logins” at the top of the Utica College web page). The easiest way I have found to do this is to search “Eval” in the search box, and click the option “Generate New Evaluation.” This evaluation will tell you exactly what classes you need in order to complete your degree requirements, and it will also tell you what classes you have already completed.
  • BannerWeb also has a Course Catalog which explains what each course means. If you have options between PSY 321 and PSY 322, for example, the Course Catalog shows that 321 is Infancy and Childhood, while 322 is Adolescence Psychology. The Course Catalog also tells you how many credits a class counts as and if it is offered as a lecture course, online course, or both.
  • After you have checked out what courses you need for your degree and what those courses are, you can go to the Class Schedule option in BannerWeb to see what times and days the classes will be offered in the upcoming semester. This allows you to plan potential schedules for next semester. It is helpful to know if two classes you need are at overlapping times, or if a lab is only offered once a week, or if your favorite professor is teaching an elective that you could fit into your schedule.
  • Meet with your advisor. Bring your degree evaluation and several potential schedules with you to show to your advisor. Your advisor might be able to help you decide which classes will be the most beneficial for you to take in the upcoming semester and which classes you should wait to take when you are further in your academic career.
  • Have backup plans! The day of registration, plan on logging on and completing your registration as soon as you are able to. If a class is closed out before you are able to secure a spot in it, have a list of several other classes you can take in its place that can still fit into your degree requirements, count as an elective, or are interesting to you. Don’t fret if you don’t get into every class you want, because sometimes the classes you don’t originally plan on taking end up being the most memorable!

Women’s History Month At Utica College

Mar 24, 2015 | Author: Benjamin Mehic

In case you didn’t know, March is Women’s History Month.

Here’s a brief description of Women’s History Month, via InfoPlease:

The public celebration of women’s history in this country began in 1978 as “Women’s History Week” in Sonoma County, California. The week including March 8, International Women’s Day, was selected. In 1981, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) co-sponsored a joint Congressional resolution proclaiming a national Women’s History Week. In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month, and March was declared Women’s History Month.

The month celebrates all of the individual, social, political and virtually all of success women have achieved in society. To highlight the month, Utica College is hosting several cool events for students:


Aside from watching Huey Cal perform, you could also take a trip down to Brooklyn, NY to celebrate Women’s history month:

Women’s History Month is a great time to step back and recognize all of the achievements women have gotten within society. There’s no better way to celebrate it than with your peers. Perhaps checking out the show by Huey Cal or taking a trip down to New York would be a good way to reflect on those accomplishments.

Favorite Professors

Mar 24, 2015 | Author: Cynthia Chuni

Although my academic experience at Utica College Isn’t as long as upperclassmen I have met some amazing professors. All of the professors that I’ve had so far have been more than willing to help their students and have an exceptional way of teaching their students. There are two that have stood out to me the most in these past two semesters.

  • My first semester here at UC I took psych 101 with Dr. Kreiger. My original major was health studies, that is until i took this class. This class is what peeked my interest into the field and motivated me to change my major. Many thought he was a tough professor, I never understood that. Unlike other professors Kreiger gave students one free pass to hand in an assignment. He only had about three assignments throughout the whole semester so this was more than fair. He even took the names of the students who came to class the day before thanksgiving break and exempt them from the next assignment. Before we had an exam he always announced to the class what specific topics from each chapter would be covered. His style of teaching is another reason i enjoyed the class. Instead of making sure we understood the exact definition of a theory he always incorporated examples from his own life. As nerdy as it sounds i could probably go on forever about this class, he’s extremely fair and makes an amazing effort for students to understand the course material.
  • The second professor I’m actually currently taking this semester. Professor Richardson is my English 102 teacher. I was referred to take her by my heop counselor. I’m glad I was, from the first day of class I could tell just how many other students loved her as a professor as well. There had been a handful of students in my class who had her the previous semester for English 101 and joined her this semester. My class is actually pretty small, about 15 students. She does an amazing job at having conversation with every student as a whole class. Her lessons have to be my favorite. She involves very modern and recent trends into assignments to make them interesting. For example as an intro to our psycho-geographic unit she had us read several articles on parkour (which is pretty cool btw check it out!). The class in general is made very interesting by the professors personality and her teaching style.

Both professors made class very interesting by both their effort to make the class material relate to the students as well as their own personal touches to the class. I’m hoping too have more classes with both in the semesters to come as well as meeting more great professors. Until next time guys, hope you enjoyed!

Even the biggest failure, beats the hell out of never trying

Mar 24, 2015 | Author: Grace Pfeifer

College is a time of growth and development. During the ages of eighteen to twenty two you will have great accomplishments and achievements. But with all great successes come failures. What no one seems to really tell you is that being a young person is all about failing and making mistakes. For many college students it can seem as though college is more a test of how many times you can get back up from getting knocked down again.

I can definitely relate to this feeling, especially recently. I seem to be experiencing a lot of failure lately and it’s really been getting the better of me. Over break I had an interview for a really great summer internship. It would have been a really great opportunity with a lot of experience in my field. The interview was one of the best interviews I’ve ever had and I left feeling really confident. I was sure I had the job in the bag.

A few days went by and I heard nothing. I logged onto Facebook and I saw that the two other girls that I knew had also applied for the Internship; posted about getting the internship. Even though I had not heard from the program, I knew at this point that I had not gotten the job because if I had I would of found out when the other girls did.

I was feeling an array of emotions from sad, to angry, to disappointed. I felt like a huge failure. So many questions raced through my mind. What did those girls have that I didn’t? Am I not smart enough? Do I not have enough experience? Did I actually blow the interview? I just didn’t understand what I did wrong. I mean they seemed to really like me, so what was wrong with me then?

After I stopped questioning myself, all I could feel was anger and regret. I was mad at myself for not being good enough, but I was also really mad at my mom. My mom had really pushed me to apply for this internship and go for it. I was hesitant and on the fence about applying, but with her encouragement, I decided to apply. I was mad that she pushed and helped me applied. As irrational as it sounded, if she hadn’t pushed for me to apply then I would have never known any better about the job and therefore wouldn’t be hurt about it.

I thought about the way I felt for a little while and one thing kept sticking out in my head. My favorite show is Grey’s Anatomy and I practically know every line of every actor to every episode. It’s a slight obsession, but intertwined in the ridiculously good looking McDreamy and McSteamy episodes, are some excellently written poetic life lessons. When thinking about my regret about applying for the internship, one quote on the show by lead character Meredith Grey kept playing in my head; it went something like “knowing is better than wondering, waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beats the hell out of never trying”.

Never trying would be the easy and safe thing to do in life. You would never get hurt or experience loss or pain, but is that really better than sitting around wondering about the what if’s? You can’t get very far in life without trying. If you don’t take risks and go for things, then you will surely be stuck in a rut. Yes, failure can sting but so can wondering what could have been.

So even though I failed, and didn’t get the outcome I was hoping for, I’m sure happy I tried. I took a chance and went for something. I’m not going to regret taking a risk that had the potential to further my educational experience. Instead of focusing on the outcome, I’m going to choose to focus on the future. I’m going to apply for more internship programs and other positions that could benefit me. I’m going to focus on all the things I’m good at, my past successes, and successes to come. As much as this experience sucked, it made me thankful. Overcoming failure is an essential key to a happy life and learning to triumph over it will only make you stronger. So don’t ever be afraid to take risks that may result in mistakes or failure. Failures do not define you as an individual; how you choose to overcome them does.

Eye of the Tiger

Mar 23, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

As the weather gets warmer and the end of the semester nears, it can be tough to stay focused on academics. It’s tempting to put off that term paper in favor of hanging on the quad with friends. However, these last few weeks of classes will be over before you know it, so it’s important to stay on top of your assignments now more than ever. Here are a few ways I keep focused when the end is near:

1. Make a list. Having a to-do list can help you prioritize and complete assignments before their deadline. You won’t forget an assignment or miss a meeting if you jot it down in your planner or on your list of things to accomplish for the week.

2. Give yourself a mantra. Repeating a phrase to yourself when you are getting frustrated can help you feel more confident and focused. I always tell myself to have the “eye of the tiger,” and usually follow that with a little singing and bad dancing.

3. Bribe yourself. For every page of your paper you complete, give yourself 5 M&Ms. Or, once you get your group project done, treat yourself to a white hot chocolate from Common Grounds. When you get that daunting study guide filled out, celebrate with a half hour TV show and a chocolate bar. (As you can tell, I use a lot of chocolate when I bribe myself). Set manageable goals for yourself, reward yourself for your progress, and keep the momentum going in order to complete even the hardest things on your to-do list.

4. Create a study zone. Try not to study somewhere that you know will be distracting. If your residence hall is hard to study in because your friends often stop by your room, go to the library. If the people walking around in the library snatch up your attention, consider finding a table in Gordon Science Center, the Romano lounge, or the Cybersecurity building. There are lots of hidden areas in the academic buildings that can be great for getting a paper written or a textbook chapter annotated. Find a zone you can really focus in and get it done!

5. Put away your phone. Stop hindering your success with your phone. Save the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Buzzfeed, and YouTube for later. Put your phone on silent, on airplane mode, or turn it all the way off, put it in your backpack, and leave it in there until you complete your work. Don’t let your phone be your own worst enemy; put it away to stay focused on your work. I promise, the world will not end because you are disconnected for a few hours.

Stay focused on your goals and what you need to accomplish in order to achieve them. Summer will be here before you know it, so keep the eye of the tiger until then!

Spring Break (HOMW 7)

Mar 23, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Hi everyone! With only six weeks of classes left in the semester, this week’s highlight was pretty easy to identify: it was the fact that we were on break!


While I absolutely love my life at Utica College, it can get overwhelming. Between classes and assignments, organization meetings and events (GSA, Psych Society, and Student Senate- just to name a few that I am involved in), office hours as a Teaching Assistant, my responsibilities as a Resident Assistant, time spent at the WPNR station… there is a lot on my plate! I really enjoy everything I am a part of, which is why I am happy even on days that my schedule is chaotic. However, it is definitely nice to have a break from my usual routine.

Spring Break was just what I needed to rest, recharge, and relax before finishing up the last six weeks of my senior year. Most of my break was spent sleeping, hanging out with my sister, and playing with my kitten, Cleo. I was so grateful to have a few days to spend with my family before the end of the semester craziness kicked in.

Now that we’re back on campus, I am excited to finish out my career here at Utica College strong. I can tell many of my senior friends feel the same way, as I see the look of determination on their faces as they hit the library or walk to class. There are plenty of fun events coming up in these next six weeks as well, and warm weather is ahead. I am definitely feeling optimistic about the rest of this semester, and hope you are, too!

Finishing The Spring Semester

Mar 22, 2015 | Author: Benjamin Mehic

It’s Sunday afternoon and we’re officially less than a day away from the conclusion of Spring Break. While the thought of going back to school is somber to some, I have some good news: The end of the Spring Semester is almost here.

Here’s a look at the remaining calender for the current semester, via Utica.edu:

calenderThere’s slightly over a month left of school.

So, what does that mean?

You’re likely finishing up your mid-terms. Once your mid-terms are complete, you’ll turn your attention to finals, which are right around the corner.

It might seem like the semester is already over, especially since we’re currently on break, but there’s still quite a long time to go. Of course, studying for exams and doing all of your other work will help accelerate the time.

Here’s a tip from US News:

Final exams often make up a sizable portion of your grade, sometimes equal to two or three other tests taken throughout the semester. Make sure you understand how your score on a final exam or project will affect your grade, and what you need to earn in order to achieve the grade you want.

Now is certainly not the time to get lazy and take your work lightly. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Instead of scrambling during the closing moments, finish out the semester strong. Trust me, you’ll enjoy summer break a lot more if you end the Spring semester on a positive note.

Tips: Staying Productive During Break

Mar 20, 2015 | Author: Benjamin Mehic

via cooltext.com

via cooltext.com

Attending college is stressful, therefore breaks are necessary. After months of school work, studying and examinations, you deserve to relax and enjoy your spring break. But if you don’t like being unproductive, spring break or any other break for that matter, could become a hindrance.

After winter break, I had a tough time readjusting to school. The weeks of not doing anything noteworthy caught up to me and getting used to the school grind was difficult. To avoid that mishap, I tried to be more productive during spring break.

Here’s some tips on how you could stay productive during break, which should make your transition to school easier:

Set a schedule

During school, you likely follow some sort of schedule. Whether it’s getting to class on time or waking up for practice, you have a routine while going to school. Getting back to that routine could become difficult if you’re not on a schedule during spring break.

To avoid having a tough time getting back into the scheduled flow, set some sort of schedule during break.

I try to avoid sleeping in by going to the gym early in the morning. By doing something early in the morning, you’ll set yourself up for success for the rest of the day. If you sleep in and don’t start your day off on the right track, you’ll have a much more difficult time being productive for the remainder of the time.

Get ahead

School can often cause fatigue and a break is much needed. But after a few days of not doing school work, it can become easy to forget about your courses. This is why getting ahead and reading your syllabus could help you stay productive.

While you probably won’t be able to start your assignments early, you’ll likely have the chance to get some of your future readings done during break. By getting them done early, you’ll have more time to yourself during the rest of the semester.

Speaking of starting assignments early; if you were assigned work to do during break, then get it done as soon as possible. A lot of students make the mistake of procrastinating during break and waiting until the final weekend before the semester begins to finish their work. If you do this, you’ve probably already forgotten much of the information necessary for you to complete your work to a satisfactory level. By getting your assigned work done early, you’ll have a better chance of completing up to your regular standards.


Break the Habit

Mar 17, 2015 | Author: Grace Pfeifer

This morning, like every other twenty something year old social media crazed young adult, I was scrolling through my Facebook account. While scrolling, one particular article caught my attention. It was titled “Retarded is much, much more than a word”. The author, Michael Bodley, goes on to talk about his sister Caroline who has Down syndrome and how it’s impacted his family’s life.
The ironic point that Bodley made was that, it actually hasn’t impacted his family life too much at all. While, Bodley does acknowledge that Caroline is technically “Mentally Retarded” and with this certain things are harder for her, that she for the most part lives an extremely active and normal life. Caroline is on the varsity swim team, has a boyfriend, is a devout catholic, and an average high school senior.


Caroline Bodley Swimming

However, what can make it hard for Bodley and his family, is not an extra chromosome his sister inherited, but people’s words. Bodley goes on to talk about how there has been days where Caroline has come home and sobbed for hours. When asked why, Caroline would talk about how she overheard fellow students refer to her as “The Retard”. Bodley goes on to talk about how the word “Retard” is much more than a word and how its overuse and general acceptance is a growing present day issue (Bodley, 2015).

I am personally affected by the use of the “R”, word myself. My mother used to work with intellectually and physically disabled adults and children when I was younger. As she was a single parent, and often didn’t have a babysitter, I’d come to work with her the school holidays I had off. I was very young when I started going to work with my mom; I was around seven when I started. My mom worked with a variety of people with various disabilities. Some of the disabilities were Autism, Turrets syndrome, Spina Bifida, Down ’s syndrome, Prader Willi Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and many more.

Being exposed to people with disabilities opened my mind to soo many things and made me see all kinds of people in a different light, even at a very young age. I realized just how fun-loving, intelligent, kind, and caring people with disabilities could be. But, as I progressed in school, I quickly realized there were not many people who felt the same way.

When I was in 3rd grade, I changed schools, and started at St.Mary’s in Waterford, NY. It was a small, private, Catholic school. I was struggling with learning issues myself, so it was hoped that the smaller environment would give me the one on one attention I needed to thrive. St. Mary’s did exactly that and before I knew it, I was quickly flourishing academically and socially.
This is when I met one of my childhood best friend’s, Anna. Anna was one of the kindest, smartest, and most loyal friends I ever had and we quickly became close. When we were both ten, Anna told me she was about to have a baby cousin. We were both very excited to welcome her new cousin. In 2005, Andrew was born.

At first, everything seemed to be okay with Andrew, than his family and doctors noticed that something was wrong. Before long, Andrew was diagnosed with Down syndrome.
This was tough news for Andrew’s family but they were determined to love him just as much and the same nonetheless. Anna and I spent many days playing with Andrew and taking care of him. Anna was so happy to be a big cousin. Anna and I were both only children, so she really liked feeling like a big sister. It was very easy to fall in love with Andrew. Andrew had the biggest smile and loudest laugh of any toddler anyone ever knew. But not everyone in our class had the pleasure of getting to see that side of Andrew.

It doesn’t take much to know that Middle School is a very rough time for kids emotionally and physically. Kids are harsh and cruel with little regard for one another. It was in Middle School when I noticed the prominence of the “R” word starting to be used. “What a retard” and “That’s retarded” seemed to be thrown around every other sentence. While I didn’t like this at all and was offended by it, it was not nearly as devastating to me as it was to Anna. Every time Anna was around a kid who used the “R” word, she would get an expression on her face as if someone had just taken a dagger and stabbed her directly in the heart. This was very frustrating for me and I did my best to try to encourage my peers to not use the word.

As the years went by, Anna and I grew farther apart as friends but I always did my best to try to ask about Andrew and how he was. A scary thing happened though. I hit mid High School, and I started noticing myself using the “R” word. I would of course get scolded by mother if I let it slip around her, but that was nothing compared to the guilt I felt when I caught myself using the word.
I tried to reflect on why I had let everything I learned go. I questioned how I could so easily go against my personal beliefs and values. The only thing I could think of was habit. Maybe I had not directly myself gotten into a habit of using the “R” word, but my peers and society certainly had. As I got older the word only got more and more socially accepted and abused. As a result of this social acceptance, I grew more and more disconnected from my personal experiences and beliefs.

It took a lot of maturity and growing up to realize that I myself was becoming a part of a problem that I never thought I would have. I had to work very hard to break the habit of the approval and normality of the “R” word from my vocabulary. I have come very far in my self-determination to not use the “R” word but even so, I still am far from perfect. Even now and then I slip. Luckily, articles like Michael Bodley’s remind me of the importance of advocating for the cessation of the “R” word.

I inspire you to do the same. If the “R” word is an accepted word in your vocabulary, please consider removing it. One of the greatest things about UC is that it is such a diverse community. We have African-Americans, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, Indians, Men, Women, Young, Old, Single, Married, Parents, disabled students, all making up our varied student population. This is something that makes Utica College special. We consist of a campus who accepts one another for not what we look like, but for who we are as an individual. If we use words like the “R” word, or the ever popular “N” word, or any other derogatory term, we are tearing our diverse community down little by little. So please, from now on before you go to “jokingly” use a demeaning word towards or about another, think before you speak. You never know whose mother, brother, son, sister, or friend you might be putting down. Words can be just as deadly as weapons, choose to use them wisely and with caution.

*Some names have been changed to protect privacy.

Reference: Bodley, M. (2015, March 12). Retarded is much, much more than a word. Retrieved from http://www.elonpendulum.com/2015/03/retarded-is-much-much-more-than-a-word/

Things Nobody Tells You About Your Senior Year

Mar 17, 2015 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

My senior year of college has been my most exciting, yet nerve-wracking experience of my life. Suddenly, everything is on the fast track. From finding internships, creating proper resumes and cover letters, making a perfect media kit, juggling two – soon to be three – blog pages and planning for graduation – whew! I became tired just typing that sentence.


Here’s the thing: nobody tells you what your senior year of college will really be like. No matter what major you are, us seniors are all in the same boat. Sure, we stress out no matter what year we’re in. However; there’s something about our last year that gives us the willies….am I right?! So, without further ado, here are the top things that no one tells you about your senior year of college:

  • Real life is coming……and fast! This has weighed so much on my mind since beginning the year. Yes, you are prepared each year for the “real world”, but it doesn’t exactly hit you until your last year. There’s no classes to register for, no familiarity at all. “OMG, you’re supposed to work! You have to find a steady job! Here comes those student loan payments!” are the types of thoughts that enter your mind. It’s surreal to think that at one moment you’re working your butt off for an A, the next, you’re working your butt of for a paycheck. Oy vey!
  • The time for trial & error is over: There’s something very earth shattering when you realize that this is your last chance to make everything right. Gone are the days of dropping classes, postponing classes, skipping an assignment, etc. We know that a simple mistake can push-off graduation and we absolutely cannot let that happen.
  • Life will become a balancing act: Somewhere around spring break, we become like professional jugglers. Between our classes, assignments, work, social life, questions from family, planning for graduation, planning for life after graduation we begin to be pulled in 10,000 different directions. Inevitably, we begin to board the emotional roller coaster called “the future.”
  • You’ll feel lost: You’ll start to second guess yourself. You’ll start to wonder if the career path you’ve chosen is the right one. “Will I be able to find a job?” “Where will I find a job?” “Where should I go to find a job?” and more….oh goodness!
  • It’ll all be OKAY: Just breathe, take a deep breath and realize that everything will work out the way it needs to be. Life is funny like that. We stress, we worry, we obsess over everything, but you know what? Everyone feels that way. Just calm down and roll with the changes. That’s what our 20s are all about anyway!

10 Things I Would Tell My Freshman Self

Mar 16, 2015 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

My young, naive freshman self. 2011

My young, naive freshman self. 2011

With graduation fast approaching, it made me reflect on the last four years of my journey through college. My first year was a complete mess. I switched majors twice, had no idea what I wanted to do, and experienced some all too familiar high school drama. Oy! I so did not plan on starting my college life off like that. But, like most things, God had a plan and several lessons in store for me to learn. By my third year, I was FINALLY settled. After changing majors three times, I found my place and have never been happier.

The freshman ‘me’ was so worried about trivial things instead of focusing on what was important. I’ve changed tremendously over the last four years and sometimes, I would love to go back and have a talk with the younger, more naive me. It made me think of everything I would say to the past Allison.

  1. This isn’t high school – let your guard down a little and be open to new possibilities and opportunities.
  2. Stop playing it safe. Step out of your comfort zone and try things that you never thought you would. You’ll end up loving it more than you think.
  3. Focus on what makes you HAPPY, not what will make you money. Money is obviously a necessity to live, but never ever compromise your happiness for the glory of the almighty dollar.
  4. Learn to study. You never had to truly study before and now is the best time to get organized and do it. Find a study method, reevaluate if needed, and commit to it.
  5. Know your professors. Majority of them really want to see you and help you succeed. Don’t be nervous – if you have a problem, ask them. 
  6. Contribute to discussions. If you have something to say – say it. Live fearlessly and boldly. Don’t be afraid to speak up because there are no “bad answers.” Just talk.
  7. Rent your books on Amazon, or anyplace else, but the bookstore. For the love of God rent your books from ANYWHERE ELSE. Nuff said. 
  8. You’re not going to die from public speaking or presenting. Mostly everyone is nervous to do that. Choose confidence over nervousness. You’ll realize that you’re really not so bad at public speaking at all!
  9. Run your own race. Seriously, stop comparing yourself to anyone else. Nobody can do a better job at being you, than YOU!
  10. Have fun, enjoy the bumps, twists and turns. It goes by so fast. 

Have a “Staycation” this Spring Break!

Mar 13, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Spring Break is here! I’m so happy. For those lucky enough to be headed toward an exotic location, please disregard this post. (And have a blast obvs!) I’m going to New York for a few days, but other than that, I’m as free as a bird. I’m literally thrilled that an entire week stretches out before me, and I’m not obligated to do anything! No early morning classes, no labs, no meetings…I’m actually a little frightened about all of the free time I’ll have.

Actually, I take that back. I’m so excited about all of my free time, and I’m sure that you are too! Spring break is a nice refresher in the middle of (what I consider to be) a long and dreary semester. The Spring semester is always a little bit more dreary than the fall semester because the Winter here in upstate New York just seems to stretch on. Spring break is about that time when the weather starts to turn, and the boots and coats can be retired until the next year.

So, are you frightened or thrilled about all of your free time? Either way, you’re going to have some free time. So here are some of my tips on how to have yourself a little “staycation” or a vacation while in the comfort of your very own home.

1. Plan a day where you do nothing. Literally put aside a day during the week you have off, and don’t change out of your pajamas. Marathon your favorite show on netflix, or find a good  book and attempt to finish the entire thing in one sitting. Don’t eat a proper meal (unless you want to!) and count microwave popcorn as an essential food group. Bonus: Don’t look at your phone all day. Shut it off. Don’t answer any texts/calls. Be disconnected.

2. Make a To-Do List. Think of everything (that you know of) that is due before the end of the semester. Get started on it! I have a few papers that aren’t due until the end of the semester, but I already have all of the information to get started…so I’m going to get started. I plan to finish a bunch of assignments during spring break in order to give myself some leeway when things get really rough (assignment wise) during the finals weeks of the semester.

3. Get Creative with your Meals. While you may not be at some exotic locale, it doesn’t mean you can’t indulge your taste buds! Go and buy a coconut, and stick a straw in it! Or, get some sushi and eat that for dinner. I plan on getting mexican quite a few times during break, and justifying it by saying that it’s a part of my staycation-I’d rather be in Mexico!

4. Have some creative fun! Build a fort and lounge around in it. If it’s warm enough, set a tent up and camp out! Go and buy a hula skirt from a costume store and wear it around your house. Bonus points if you also add the coconut bra and lei! Instagram your “day at the beach” when really you just put on flipflops and took a walk around the block.

5. Be a tourist in your own area! My ultimate vacation is anywhere I can wander around a museum for hours. (I went to the Louvre and cried I was so overwhelmed!) So, lucky enough, I live near Utica and they have an art museum open to the public! So, look into what you can go to! If you’re into concerts, look at what local musicians are playing a gig. Think about what someone who has never been to your hometown would want to see, and go there! Take pictures! Be as corny as possible! There are loads of things going on and things to do, you just have to seek them out!

So these are my little tips for having a great spring break, while still staying home. I hope everyone has a safe and fun break no matter what you chose to do!

So Glad I Joined the Herd

Mar 13, 2015 | Author: Karita Rawlins

As the number of days left in my undergrad career slowly declines, I like reflect on it.  One of my favorite things about Utica College is it’s size. A.) I don’t have to walk 3 miles to class or take a shuttle and B.) it’s easy to get to know other students, we really are a tight knit community.

I really do believe UC was the school for me, I couldn’t have succeed the way I have at a large school. I have been involved in so many different organizations which have led me to traveling the country (RHA, Student Senate, Alpha Phi Omega to name a few), been provided with so many opportunities including meeting Senator Kirsten Gillibrand  as well as Utica Mayor, Robert Pallmeri and made some true friends.

I’ve spoken in previous blogs about that friends I have made and how they feel like family to me and I cannot stress it enough.My life has been turned upside down over the last four years but this school and my friends have kept me grounded.


The sun was like shinning down on my life, after having dinner with a few friends we took a brief walk around campus and enjoyed the beautiful day.


Mar 12, 2015 | Author: Kenari Flowers

We are halfway there, the semester is half complete!


Luckily there’s time for you to kick it up a notch. If you have been slacking you have time to make improvement. If you have been doing good, you must keep it up. That “A” can turn into a “C” easily, just like your “C” can become an “A” with hard-work. Always remember it’s not too late to finish strong. After spring break make your fresh start to putting your all into this semester. Meet with your professors, talk to your advisor about courses your concerned about, request a tutor. There’s still time for a comeback!

End strong! Midterms might have been a little tough , but remember that’s one test not your overall grade. Check out your syllabus and see what all dictates your final grade (participation, homework, quizzes and so on). If your unsure ask your professor for an estimate of where you stand in the class, see if he/she offers extra credit. Your professors are here to help you. They can’t help you if you don’t reach out.

You have all the necessities to do great, you just have to access them and use them all to your advantage. Let’s KNOCK this semester OUT! WE GOT THIS!!!!! (:  




Spring Break

Mar 12, 2015 | Author: Kenari Flowers

Spring Break is near… it’s practically here! 

Don’t let the spring fever overtake you. Focus on your midterms now and use the idea of break as your motivation to knock these exams out the way. Keep calm it’s coming! A good way to break away from studying but still being productive is to began washing your clothes, pack, and/or spring cleaning. This is also the time to decide whether that class you’re struggling in is worth keeping or dropping… No one wants to drop a course but sometimes it happens. Just a reminder the last day to withdraw from a course is April 3rd. 

As you complete your midterms be sure to safely secure your room and belongings. Before exiting the campus make sure your windows are closed and locked, throw out any food that may go bad (keep your fridge plugged in), empty your trash, take any expensive or personal items home, and lock your door. Double check your room again before leaving. Make a list so you don’t leave anything you’ll miss over break.

Commuters before leaving your home unattended over break be sure to seal and lock all windows, secure all doors, empty the trash, leave a light on in place of your absence, and double-check and secure your home as well.

While on spring break if you aren’t too busy take a look at your course syllabus consider starting a final paper or two. It’ll only benefit you later when you need it. Don’t wait until the last-minute. If you’re looking for internships or employment for the summer start applying during your downtime on break. But also remember this is your spring break… VACATION. So please remember to relax, sleep, rest and enjoy it!

Good luck on finals, be safe on break, and remember to have FUN.