It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Oct 2, 2015 | Author: Grace Pfeifer

Warning this post might be a little redundant but I really really love Fall, so here it goes.

Yesterday, started the first day of my favorite season. Since I could remember, I have always been a fall and Halloween fanatic. Even though 90% of the time Upstate/Central New York has been less than the ideal climate to live in, it always seems to shine in Fall. So I’d thought I start the season off well with a short blog on eleven reasons why fall in Utica is actually the best.

1.Fall clothes- Who doesn’t love trading in shorts and tank tops to wear clothes you can eat a whole pizza in the night before, and for it not to show. Sweaters, scarves, jeans and high boots are actually the best things ever invented.
fall clothes

2. Football, Football, and a little more Football. Nothing like kicking back on a Sunday afternoon after a long and stressful week, to watch your favorite team kick some butt. Football, pizza, wings, and good company are all you really need in life.


3. All the pretty colors. Who doesn’t love walking around and seeing all the beautiful colors that fall has to offer. Red, green, orange, have never been a better color combination.


4.  It’s not too hot and not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.

miss conngeniality

5. Pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin spice donuts, pumpkin spice pizza, pumpkin spice everythinggg. Or should I say pugkin spice?


6. Halloween Candy. The stores are loaded with delicious multi packs of combinations of your favorite treats. No one will ever be too old for candy.                                                               candy

7. Haunted Houses/ Haunted Hayrides. Who doesn’t love a good thrill every once in a while? getting your scare on with a group of friends at a Haunted House sounds like a good time to me.


8. HALLOWEEN costumes. Nothing is better than a good old fashion Halloween costume. Keeping it classy and original is my favorite kind of costume. Flash back to sophomore year when I dressed as one of the girls in the “What does the Fox say” music video.


9. That weird burning smell that is always in the air when you walk outside but is strangely refreshing. I’m still waiting for them to make a Yankee candle of that smell. I’ll totally be their first customer when they do.

10. Last but not least, HALLOWEEN movies. Nothing will make you feel like more of a kid again than binge watching Hocus Pocus and all the Halloween Town movies again.  Who remembers a time when the only thing they had to worry about is what time “Halloweentown Revenge of the Kalabar’s” was on?

straight outta



11. Last but not least…Homecoming! This year UC brought back the free carnival complete with thrilling rides and all the classic carnival games. What could be better? Don’t forget to invite your families to all the events and tomorrow’s football game!

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year because soon it will be covered with ten feet of snow…



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Stressed Out? Take a Hike.

Sep 29, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

We’re so fortunate at Utica College to be not-too far from one of the most beautiful national forest reserves in the entirety of the United States. Literally, head up north for just an hour and you’ll be submersed in mountains and trees and glorious fresh air; it’s something every UC student should experience at least once.

This Sunday one of the RA’s in the First Year Village was holding a floor event where people could sign up to go for a hike. I signed up once I knew there were enough spots left, and convinced a friend to tag along. It was a beautiful day and we were lucky it wasn’t too hot in the sun-it was literally “just right.”

The hike was up Bald Mountain which is just outside of the Old Forge area. It’s a relatively easy hike and barely takes a half hour to submit the top. There isn’t too much fancy-footwork required, but there are a view rock faces you have to scale. My philosophy is, “if that dog can do it, so can I.” The views at the top, however, are beautiful and well worth the climb.

So, if you find yourself stressed and in need of some nature-time: head up to the mountains, gain some perspective, and enjoy the view.

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(The view from the top of Bald Mountain.)

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(Courtney and Gator attempting some relaxing yoga at the summit.)

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(George and I scoping out the view.)

MVRCR: What is it?

Sep 24, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

One of my Occupational Therapy classes is called “Community” and it is to teach us about social interaction with people and having proper communication skills. For the class, we go to the classroom every other week and every week we go to the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees. The Center is a school for refugees who need to learn English and there are different levels or “grades” the center has for the students. I was placed in the Level 2 learning where students are learning basic English: reading, writing and speaking such as “what is your name, where are you from”. I was really nervous my first day at the center because I have never been in a situation like that before and I have never been around a lot of diversity (besides at Utica College). When I went in my first day, my nervousness vanished because I was amazed by the bravery the students had, in order to travel so far from home! The students were from all over the world and from small countries I have never even heard of before! It was also really neat to see the clothing that some students wore because they wore their traditional attire. I introduced myself and it was such an eye opener to speak with the students and learn a bit more about them. They were also very welcoming for me to come to their classroom to assist them and in the process they have also taught me a lot. I feel that my favorite part of the experience was to watch them during their “break time” because even though they spoke different languages and come from all over the world, they were all interacting with one another and making friendships. I am very excited about this experience that the UC OT program is giving me and I know it will help me with communication in the future as an OT. Here is the link to the website for more information!

Whats Happening at Homecoming 2015?!

Sep 24, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

Hey Everyone!brochure

Mark your calendars for October 2-4 for Utica College’s annual Homecoming! For anyone that does not know, Homecoming at Utica College is a big deal and a lot of fun for students, families and alumni. You can still register online (for free depending on the activities you want to participate in) and if you sign up early, you can receive a free pair of Utica College texting gloves! Your friends from home or even your family is also invited to register for Homecoming and there are many events they can participate in! Also, do not be embarrassed to bring your family, many students are excited to invite their families to Utica College for this event. There is a large variety of events going on next weekend, but here are some of the events I am planning on participating in.

1. Friday: Casino Night hosted by the Inter Greek Council in Streble Student Center from 7:00pm – 10:00pm. This is so much fun! There is no money involved, you show up and receive a cup of chips to play the games and at the end you can turn your chips in for raffle tickets! It is a lot of fun, it is easy for people of all ages and there are always great prizes.

2. Friday: Pub Night from 8:00pm – 12am in Pioneer Pub. There is beer and wine for those 21 and up and there are rootbeer floats for anyone! There will be a talent show, WPNR (our campus radio station) will be taking song requests and there will be dancing!

3. Saturday: Tailgating in the Burrstone Road Entrance, Parking lot A from 11:00am – 1:00pm to prepare for the UC football game! Many organizations have tents with food and beverages including beverages for those of you 21 and up!
4. Saturday: 1pm, Utica College football vs. Ithaca College at the stadium! Be sure to check out the new dome and wear your blue and orange!
I am sure I will be attending other events as well and you can find out more at under “Register Now”.
There is something for everyone so do not be shy, come to the events and have a great time!

Welcome Back! Now Go Be Productive.

Sep 24, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Welcome back to UC! We’re now almost a month into the semester and everything seems to be settling down. The first week jitters are long gone and the people are finally starting to remember their schedules, without double checking room numbers. Also, people are getting a hang of rolling out of bed right before class, as opposed to the whole “let-me-look-my-best” thing, and with that the semester can be considered fully in-swing.

With that being said, I love the in-swingness of a semester. (Apologies for the made-up terminology.) The routine of going to classes and scheduling out breaks can be the best way to lead a productive life …in my honest opinion. So, this blog post is dedicated to the minor “Type A” person in all of us.

Get into a routine! Every second of your life does NOT have to be planned out. But it does help if you consistently do things a certain way, because your body does adapt. Have you ever woken up early on a weekend, without an alarm? Your body is used to getting up that early, and just expected it. (Annoying, right?) But also helpful. So, maybe plan out a consistent library schedule. Or gym schedule. Plan to work out at a specific time every Monday, that way your body (and ultimately you) can expect it.

Write out the semester! Those syllabi that every one of your professors handed you on the first day? Useful. Look through that for important deadlines. Write all of them down. (Now would be a good time to buy a planner if you don’t already have one.) Don’t just write down tests. Write down any little thing the professor mentioned on a specific day; there was a reason why they mentioned them!

Look into events! Be on the lookout for events going on on-campus that you might want to be involved in! There is always something going on, so why not be involved with it! If you see something happening write it down in your planner so you don’t forget! Go to things! Be involved. Ya know, the speel. Have fun and all that.

So, those are just a few tips for the semester. I’ll be sure to have more as the semester goes on. But, for now, welcome back and have a good next few months!


An open letter to incoming freshman from a jealous senior

Sep 23, 2015 | Author: Grace Pfeifer

An open letter from a jealous senior to all incoming freshman

This year UC has been graced with the largest freshman class in history. Over 650 students picked a quaint private college that not many have heard of in central NY, to call home for the next four years. This is only good news for Utica College. UC is finally getting the attention it deserves. The more the merrier right? Well, despite the obvious reasons this is a good thing, you may hear some negative comments from the upperclassman. “The Freshman this year are so annoying” “The caf is so claustrophobic with all these freshman” “The freshman act so entitled”, etc. If you’re a freshman and overhear any of these comments, you may be thinking the UC upperclassman are not so wonderful. I’ve decided to play devil’s advocate and write an open letter to explain the senior to freshman relationship and why it is the way it is.

Dear freshman,

Despite contrary to popular belief, seniors do not hate you just because you are a freshman. No senior has a true vendetta against you just because you’re younger and new to the school. In fact, we’re jealous of you. No really we are. Bitter even. Why? We see ourselves in you.

It may not seem like it to you, but I remember my freshman year like it was yesterday. I can remember every emotion, every fear, every sight, every smell, and every sound of the first day I stepped on Utica’s campus. The excitement, anticipation, and anxiety was like nothing I’ve felt thus far in life. Nothing compares to the anticipation of starting your first year of college. Before you know it you’re immersed in this wonderful false reality. Meeting new people every day becomes your hobby, you’re finally free of parental supervision, you’re taking all these new grown up classes that relate to your chosen career, you’re able to make up your own schedule, if you don’t want to do something no one makes you. It’s an amazing feeling be a freshman in college but the thing is you often don’t realize that till it’s too late.

Why are seniors so bitter? Because we wish we were you. Truth is the majority of us seniors would do anything to go back and start from scratch again. Not because we’re unhappy with our choices but because we’d love to have the opportunity to do it just one more time.

College is something that not everyone has the privilege of having and it too often gets taken for granted. I for one will admit that I took the four years spent at UC for granted, and not because I’m a spoiled. Mostly because I and many other young people had the false ideology that time is endless, when it is in fact anything but.

Four years may seem like an eternity to you now but trust me, it goes by in a blink of an eye. Which brings me to my point, please do all us seniors a favor and live your freshman year of college like it’s your last one. If you have an interest or want to do something, go for it. Wanna join an org? Join it. Want to take a class that has nothing to do with your major but you have a personal interest in it? Take it. Want to go out for a team you may not make? Try out for it. Want to pledge a fraternity or a sorority? Pledge for it. Want to try a sport you’ve always had an interest in playing but don’t know how? Join the intramural team. Want to be in a play? Audition for it. You’ll never know until you try.

The next four years of college are what you make of it. What no one tells you is that your freshman year sets the foundation for your entire college experience. What you choose to do today, helps form you into the student you’ll be four years from now. The matter of fact is the friends you make today may or may not last. People transfer, find out college isn’t for them, or leave for other reasons. Nothing is guaranteed or set in stone. But getting as involved in this campus as possible, will never be something you regret.

Now is the time to do the things you want to do for you. Its four years of peer approved selfishness. So if you want to get involved in something do it right now. Your time in college is unfortunately not endless.

In conclusion, try to remember that every snarky senior was once in your shoes, and we remember it like it was yesterday. We’d do anything to be in your shoes again but that’s not possible. So, make our legacy continue after we’re long gone. Join our organizations to make sure they continue to bring happiness and involvement to campus, take our classes with dedication and seriousness, treat our students and employees with respect and admiration, and make this the kind of school that everyone would want to attend. It’s up to you to continue making this school greater than it was when we left it. Make us all proud with what you choose to do with it.

A jealous senior

Saturday Night Lights!

Sep 21, 2015 | Author: Gregory Spears

I’m sure everyone was at the  football game saturday night to watch our Utica Pioneer football team put on an outstanding performance against their opponent. The game was great but the view of the dome under the lights is beautiful! I’m sure I’m not alone in this but the Athletic department should definitely schedule more night games and use it as a recruiting tool for their high school recruits! I don’t want to take anything away from the players but the view of the dome distracted me throughout the game. I’m pretty sure the opponent felt a little envious towards the Utica College football players knowing they will get a chance within the next month to use the dome as they please. Let us all hope for a quick process as the dome is being built!utica+college+dome

Stay True to Yourself

Sep 10, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

Hey Everyone,

I remember coming in as a freshman and not knowing anyone and being completely nervous! One thing that is important to remember when coming to a new place with new people is to stay true to yourself. When I came to Utica I wore my cowboy boots and the belt buckle I won from showing horses because that was typical where I grew up!  As some of you can imagine, this probably was not something that was a fashion trend in Utica. Some people gave me funny looks and some actually thought it was cool that I rode horses. My point is, when you are coming into a new situation or new place, you may feel insecure being yourself and you may feel as though you need to change yourself to fit in. THIS IS NOT THE CASE!!!! I felt like I had to fit in for the first month or so and I felt awful about myself. It felt like everyday was Halloween and I was trying to be someone I was not because I thought I might not fit in being myself. Then I made friends with the founders of The League of Extraordinary Nerds and when I told them about myself and that I rode horses they thought it was cool! We became very close and I realized I could be myself and still fit in and make friends. When I did this, I became happier and I actually made a lot more friends by being myself and joining clubs due to my confidence in myself. IMG952859 copy 2

The League of Extraordinary Nerds is a club against bullying and it is for anyone that is nerdy about something! I highly recommend the group to anyone because it is just a great group of people who just want to be themselves in a judge free zone. I absolutely love my friends that are in it and who were in it! They really made Utica feel like home!

When starting out in a new place you may feel insecure with yourself and it is important to remember to stay true to yourself no matter what! You will feel better about yourself, be happier overall and your confidence will attract others to you.

“Why fit in when you were born to STAND OUT” – Dr. Suess300980_4691698215828_899169177_n

Begining Graduate Studies

Sep 10, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone had a great summer and is doing well this semester so far! So as you may already know, this is my senior year and my first year in Occupational Therapy graduate studies! I am pretty excited about it and I am already having a great time getting to know my OT class of 2017 and my fantastic professors. Graduate studies is a lot different than my previous three years at Utica College, so I thought I would tell you a little bit about it and hopefully it helps future OT students!


The first week of classes are actually not your classes for the year… For example, we received a schedule that we must follow the first week of classes that is not the schedule that we created the semester prior. This was to introduce us to the Occupational Therapy program, teach us what OT actually is, introduce us to professors and to the OT class ahead of us. It was very helpful having this week of introductions to get us weaned into everything and to make us feel more comfortable. I personally was very nervous the first day (I am not sure why)!

The next week of classes was the first week of our normal schedules, so it was sort of fun having two “first weeks” of classes to get used to everything. Graduate studies are a lot different than taking core classes because all of my classes are Occupational Therapy classes. We also had to get quite a few books, but we have already used them all at least once and do exercises from them which makes learning very active for us. I learn a lot better through doing these exercises at the end of readings and they are actually pretty fun and interesting. We also do a lot of hands on and discussion based classes rather than your typical lecture class, which I love! Overall, I am absolutely loving my first couple weeks of graduate studies for the Occupational Therapy program.


Enjoy your Summer!

May 18, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Finals are over! Graduation has passed! And with the utmost certainty I can say that summer is here! Celebrate. Sleep for 10 hours (like I did as soon as my last final and responsibilities were over!) Summer is a magical time where the days are beautiful (and sometimes sweltering) yet the nights are cool and long. Sorry if I’m waxing poetic here, but I just love summer.

Often during the summer the days seem so long that there isn’t a need to make a schedule or to prioritize activities. Well, this is true on some days…but please, the scary type-a in me is asking you to have some structure some of the time.

Plan for whats to come. Believe me, I love to ignore the responsibilities I have and try to push off the future, but you can only push it off for so long… So, figure out what’s next! If you’re going to be a senior (like me) then plan for whats next after college. Do you need to take the LSAT, the GRE, the MCAT and any, or all, of the other letter abbreviated tests? Plan for that! I just registered to take the LSAT in October…so I plan to study for that all summer. If you are an undergraduate and need to get an internship in before you graduate, try for one over the summer! Or, make the connections required to have one next summer.

Take advantage of sales. It’s the end of the semester for almost everyone! So, often, school supplies will be in the clearance bin. Buy them now! I always stock up on pens during sales because you can get them for 9 cents at the right time! Never spend more than $1 for a pack of pens again. Hoard the school supplies until the semester starts, and you’ll be good to go.

 Think about what worked (and what didn’t). Looking back on this semester, I realize that some of my study habits were not the best. I would either study crazy intensely but only a few days before an exam, or I would lazy study for a few weeks before the exam. I need to figure out a method that works somewhere in the middle of those two styles. I plan on buying a mini whiteboard I can use to study with, because I seem to respond well to writing things out (yet don’t want to waste the paper!) So, think about your learning style and plan for that!

Enjoy. Have fun this summer! Go to the beach, or spend a day reading your favorite book! Marathon your favorite Netflix show (Orange is the New Black anyone?) Spend time with your family and friends, and be happy you have this time. Worry about school and life stuff only when you have to. For the rest of that time, enjoy your summer!

(My friend Mary and I were overjoyed to be done with our semesters!)

(My friend Mary and I were overjoyed to be done with our semesters!)


You’ve Got This.

May 13, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

The last day of finals is tomorrow! And if you’re anything like me, you’re feeling pretty burnt out.  I have one more exam tomorrow morning and then I am done! (WOOOO!!) I know a lot of people that have exams tomorrow morning and night, so here are some tips to push through that last day.

Get a good night’s rest. Go to bed early tonight! Don’t stay up late trying to cram everything in. Wake up early in the morning and do a last minute review. I’m honestly exhausted from the entire week and have not been sleeping much…which is all adding up. I don’t want to be so groggy and tired during my last final that I can’t think properly. So I’m heading to bed as early as I possibly can. Plus, its easier to look over your notes when the sun is rising…it feels super productive, believe me.

Ignore all previously completed exams. Do not stress over any grades you may or may not receive. Pretend the exam yesterday and the paper you finished last night never existed. They’re done! Worry about those grades (if you must) after you are completely done with finals.

Eat a good (maybe bland) breakfast! During finals week I get into the bad habit of forgetting to eat for the longest time, and then eating too much when I did eventually sit down to grab a bite. My stomach is not thrilled with me at the moment, and I plan on eating oatmeal tomorrow morning to help make it feel better. Having a stomach ache during your last exam would not be the best physical state to be in.

Stay as long as you can! It’s tempting to finish your last final as soon as you possibly can and then high tail it out of there…believe me, I also want to. But. Don’t. Avoid temptation. Summer will still be there for you when you get out that extra hour later. Use that time to look over answers and be sure you fully completed every question. Don’t rush! I know that antsy feeling comes along, but ignore it. Only leave the exam room when you are completely sure you have finished everything to the best of your ability.

Good luck with the rest of your finals! You’ve all got this!

Play Therapy

May 12, 2015 | Author: Courtney Hryniowski

One course that I really enjoyed this semester was PCL 374: The Helping Relationship. I learned so much information about the do’s and don’ts when in a helping situation. The knowledge that I have acquired within this class will not only help me short-term, but long-term as well. With my life long aspiration to be a Child Life Specialist, understanding and applying the proper techniques and theories is extremely important.

To wrap up the semester, my classmates and I presented our group presentations and also welcomed a very influential guest in the remaining days we had left. Our guest, Jennie Mazza Jones who works as a Play Therapist, came to discuss the importance of play therapy and how beneficial it can be. With the classes’ participation, we did an activity where we wrote down one or two negative things that we often tell ourselves on a paper plate. After writing them down, we painted over them. As the paint dried, we listen to more stories that Jennie shared with us. When finally dry, we were told to write the opposite thing that we had previously written. It was very therapeutic to see those negative thoughts visually disappear.

For our final class, a group of my classmates organized an activity incorporating play therapy. We were given a blank piece of paper and several bright colored paints. We could use our hands or feet to paint and had the freedom to create whatever we wanted. Some of us used our hands while others used their feet. It was a great stress reliever just being able to get my hands dirty.

Take a look at some of my classmates, along with some of our beautiful creations:

Courtney Stocker showing some love for play therapy.

Courtney Stocker showing some love for play therapy.

Dana Simpson used her feet to create her awesome piece of art!

Dana Simpson used her feet to create her awesome piece of art!

Professor Marris and some of my classmates enjoying play therapy in the sun!

Professor Marris and some of my classmates enjoying play therapy in the sun!

Child Life holds a special place in all of our hearts!

Child Life holds a special place in all of our hearts!

The class coming together to talk about our experience!

The class coming together to talk about our experience!

My lovely creation!

My lovely creation!



10 Things I Learned in College That Were Not Taught in a Classroom

May 11, 2015 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Photo credit: Me

Photo credit: Me


It’s true when they say that not everything can be taught out of books. Looking back on these last four years, I realize how much time I spent doing homework, worrying about grades, pleasing my professors, studying for numerous tests & quizzes, & working endlessly on projects (oh, the media kit…PR majors will understand).

All of these things have prepared me to enter the workforce. By doing every single assignment, prepping for every exam, attending every lecture, etc., I have gained the knowledge I need to be successful in Public Relations. However; as I reflect on my years spent at Utica College and the educational wisdom I have, I also know that college has given me life lessons that I will always remember. Here are some:

  1. Who I am: This didn’t just occur in one big “aha!” or epiphany moment. This was a process that was exciting, interesting, and often times, very confusing. Through all of my major switches, successes, failures, and moving slowly, but surely out of my comfort zone, I began to recognize who I am & who I want to be. I learned what my interests were, what I was most passionate about, and I even discovered talents that I never knew I had.
  2. Who I’m not: Conversely, college made me realize who I wasn’t. I learned this by going through the three major switches. I learned that it is completely useless to be someone you’re not. By trying to be like other people, you stifle your own strengths & interests. I learned that by being myself, I’m a much happier, genuine & healthier person.
  3. How to dream: College taught me how to dream. Here I learned all about majors and careers I never knew existed. I never heard of Public Relations before discovering it through Utica College. I never knew how much I could fall in love with my major & how many opportunities there are and will be for me. These four years showed me a little taste of the real world & taught me how to dream beyond anything I could imagine.
  4. What I want: After 2.5 years of jumping from major to major, I finally settled in the place where I belong. As soon as I jumped into the PR field, I knew this was exactly what I was meant to do and I knew that I would be completely happy. All it took was some trial and error for me to dig a little deeper about my passion, what I want, & what I aspire to be.
  5. How to balance: One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is how to balance, how to prioritize. Life is all about balancing your job, family, friends, personal time, etc. College gave me a little glimpse into how to be better organized, balance fun and work, and put my priorities in order.
  6. How to trust the process of letting go: In college (& in life in general), there are all types of people you will meet. Some will be blessings, others will be lessons. I’ve had so many people blow in and out of my life in these last four years. Some have been breaths of fresh air – always supportive, always encouraging, & always positive. Some have also been negative, discouraging, and untrustworthy. However; I learned from those people. I learned how to build trust within myself. I learned how to let go of negativity, let go of the fake friends, and to stop worrying over people who didn’t matter. I learned that it is okay to burn bridges sometimes.
  7. How to accept others: Although I hated high school with a passion & would never ever wish to go back there in a million years, that place was my comfort zone. Everything & everyone was familiar. College tossed me into a whole new world filled with all different kinds of people. They weren’t all like me, they weren’t even all my age. I grew to appreciate and respect those amazing cultural differences.
  8. Who my real friends are: I have learned that in life, quality is so much more important than quantity. The truth is, friends will come and go. People from your past won’t always make it to your future, and that’s OKAY. I learned that friendship isn’t tied to who you party with or drink with. Friendship stems from so much more than that. I have friends who are like family. Some aren’t my age, but that’s the amazing thing. They don’t have to be.
  9. How to create my own opportunities: College has taught me that life doesn’t hand you anything. Jobs don’t fall on your lap, dreams just don’t happen. You have to work for things, you have to make things happen. Reach out, talk to people, connect & network, just do it!
  10. Live life with no regrets: Finally, I have learned that living with regrets is plain silly. We all have things that we wish we could change or that we wish we did differently, but why carry around that heaviness? If you’re living with regret, I give you permission to let them go. Imagine yourself holding your regrets like balloons in your hand. One by one, release them into the air.


Surviving the Stress

May 11, 2015 | Author: Courtney Hryniowski

Final exams are in full swing and I just want to share some helpful tips and words of wisdom with everyone! Many of you are done but many of you are still writing papers, creating study guides, or cramming to learn as much as you can with the little time you have. Do not worry because everything will be okay!

Take a moment and stop what you are doing. Realize the importance of giving yourself a break and time for your brain to recoup from all of this cramming. You will definitely the benefits of doing this in the end. For every half hour you are working, give yourself a five to ten minute break. I know that this has helped me survive some of the most stressful moments before a final exam.

When you can plan a longer break than five to ten minutes… go outside! Go outside and get some fresh air, whether it is for a walk or a game of volleyball with friends. Getting out of the library or your room for an hour or two is such a good way to relieve some stress.

Do not forget the importance of eating and getting enough sleep. When trying to plan our studying schedules, we often forget to plan to eat and sleep. Remember that these two things are crucial for our health. There are some great foods to help boost your brainpower; some that I like to snack on include nuts, apples, and berries. Also consider with a better nights sleep, the better you will perform the next day!

Good luck to everyone who still has finals left and just remember… the stress will soon be gone. Summer break is right around the corner!

Enjoying some sun with my Melanie Hicks on the residential quad!

Enjoying some sun with my Melanie Hicks on the residential quad!

Evening game of volleyball with some friends and professional Residence Life staff!

Evening game of volleyball with some friends and professional Residence Life staff!

Campus Yard Sale!

May 8, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

This semester I took a biology senior seminar class that focused on urban ecology. While we discussed the several different viewpoints there are to an urban ecosystem, the one thing we emphasized throughout the entire semester was the need for urban environments to head more toward the direction of sustainability.

We talked about what it meant to be eco-friendly and why we felt it was essential for smaller urban ecosystems, such as the Utica College campus, to become more environmentally aware. We brainstormed different ideas and tried to think of ways to improve the ecological footprint that our entire campus gives off.  (An ecological footprints is the measure of demand that a person or people put on the earth and its resources.)

One idea we came up with was to promote the idea of reusing and recycling items. Often, at move out, students will throw away items they no longer have use for, or simply cannot bring home due to lack of space. That is a huge waste of resources! (And move out is often a sad site to see the garbage containers over flowing with items that should not be there.)

So, our class decided to host a campus yard sale. All donations are welcomed, and encouraged from both students, and faculty/staff. This event is a great opportunity for items to be “revived” and get a second home. You know that saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Well, this event is made with that principle in mind. Also, all proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Utica Zoo to aid in their own conservation efforts.

So, if you want to donate items you no longer have a use for, there are donations bins in every single residence hall, as well as outside of Gordon 173. Please reflect on your own ecological footprint and consider donating those items which might have otherwise ended up in a landfill.

Also, be sure to stop by the actual yard sale! It will be held Wednesday May 13, the last day of finals! It’s from 12:30-5:00 in Strebel Lounge. 

Yard Sale Flyer

New Semester Resolutions: How I Did!

May 8, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

In a post at the beginning of the semester, I listed my new semester resolutions. Now that the year is coming to a close, I’d like to return to the list and reflect on what I have accomplished over the last several months:

My New Semester Resolutions/ Senior Year Sentiments:

1. Attend as many of my favorite (and free!) UC events as I can- including UCPB nights, Crystal Ball, and Mooseapalooza!

I definitely accomplished this! Some of my favorite events were the hypnotist during Moose Madness week, the Utica College TEDx talk, the Eh440 concert, Crystal Ball, and the GSA Annual Drag Show!


The UC Gay-Straight Alliance snaps a picture after the show (above). 3BL at Crystal Ball (below).



2. Win at Tuesday night trivia! (Hey, 4.0 Laura, I’m going to need your help with this one, lil sis)

While we didn’t win, we did get third place! Mainly because 4.0 Laura had night class and couldn’t be on our team to save us.

3. Do something fun over Spring Break- even if it’s not very far away or tropical!

We went somewhere both far away AND tropical- St. Thomas! It was gorgeous and so much fun!


3BL in paradise!


4. Take advantage of the open swim hours at the UC pool to add variety to my workouts.

Mission accomplished! Karita and I love to swim, and Laura and I tried spin classes, zumba, yoga, step, and tabata to switch up our workout routine. Photographic evidence of Karita and I at open swim can be found below.


5. Take a Saranac Brewery tour, and check out any other local attractions that I have yet to see before I leave Utica.

The brewery tour was great! I went with Rachel, a Burrstone RA, and a few of her residents. I loved learning all about how beer has been made throughout history right here in Utica.

6. Get a good night’s sleep (most nights, at least!) so I am more alert during my 8:30 AM classes!

While I don’t have photographic proof of me sleeping, I can attest to the fact that I made sleep more of a priority, and my grades definitely prove it!

7. Make it a priority to do more volunteer work in the area.

This is one area that I was not able to accomplish nearly as well as I wanted. While I stayed very active on campus and was involved in many orgs that help area charities, I didn’t ever find the time to do my own, separate volunteering in the Utica area. There’s definitely always room for improvement, so I still plan to keep this goal in mind for the future!

8. Take a trip to NYC to see museums and eat tons of new foods!

This is another one I didn’t cross off the list. St. Thomas was a huge trip, which made finding time for NYC difficult. Luckily, I have some time this summer to try to accomplish this goal!

9. Allow myself more down time and fun, rather than over scheduling every moment as usual.

Check! I worked very hard on balancing my life more this semester. I gave myself more down time, had a great time with my friends, and was more spontaneous. This allowed me to enjoy every moment instead of trying to over-plan everything all of the time, as I am often tempted to do.


Sunny days and good vibes in Utica with Karita (above) and Rochester with Ryan (below).


10. Graduate summa cum laude and go on to graduate school next fall!

I am very excited to be the Class Marshall for the School of Arts & Sciences at this year’s graduation ceremony. In the fall, I will be beginning at the University at Buffalo in the Social-Personality Psychology PhD program.



So there you have it! I’d say I did pretty well accomplishing most of the things on my list. It was a lot of fun to both create a senior year bucket list and to work towards checking it off. Though my time at UC is almost finished, this list helped me make some awesome memories in my last months here.

Time passes much faster than you think, so I invite you to ask yourself what you want to do before you graduate, make a senior year bucket list or new semester resolution list of your own, and have exactly the college experience that you imagine for yourself!

Utica Zoo

May 8, 2015 | Author: Courtney Hryniowski

Before this semester began I asked my residents what theme they would enjoy having for their spring semester. With a few ideas floating around, they decided on the third floor zoo! They wanted to be the animals with me being their zookeeper of the zoo. Their name tags on their door were admission tickets for the zoo with their names and their favorite animal on them! I also incorporated the theme with my bulletin boards and events throughout the semester. This past Sunday, May 3rd, was time to take all of my residents “back home.”

The sun was shining and the temperature was perfect. Not all of my residents were able to attend but the ones who did had a blast. It isn’t everyday you can randomly go to the zoo! I was accompanied by three of my close friends who are also RA’s in the First Year Village. The time away from assignments and studying for finals couldn’t have been better spent anywhere else.

My favorite part of the day was feeding the alpacas. It was twenty-five cents to get a handful of treats. I have to admit… I spent about $2.00 just on alpaca treats. I don’t regret any second of it! 

If you have some free time and are looking to have a few hours of fun, make sure to stop at the Utica Zoo! It is less than ten minutes away from campus and the admission prices are pretty cheap, especially with your student ID!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day:

Zoo Collage 3

Being silly at the zoo with Alexia Bigart!

Being silly at the zoo with Alexia Bigart!

Staying hydrated!

Staying hydrated!

A kodak moment with Michael Cottle.

A kodak moment with Michael Cottle.

Showing the alpaca's some love!

Showing the alpaca’s some love!

Zoo Collage 4

A wandering peacock and some cuddling pigs!

Things to Do: Utica Edition Part 2

May 7, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

It’s study day and honestly, where did the time go? I feel like just last week it was February. But, now the sun seems to be here to stay and the area is getting greener and brighter with every passing day. The initial change of a season is my favorite time. (From summer to autumn, winter to spring-the transitions always feel so new and fresh.)

If you remember, I wrote a blog post about things to do in Utica during the wintery/colder season. (Check it out here) So, I figured since Spring is upon us, I would scope out some fun activities to do outside.

Head to the Utica Zoo!

The Utica Zoo is located off of the Utica Parkway, so it is not even 10 minutes from campus! The zoo boasts numerous types of animals and is a fun place to pass an afternoon. My favorite little animal buds are the alpacas. There’s also numerous bird species, invertebrate species, and so many others to oogle and aw at!


(This goat was too cute. He ate right from my hand!)


(There’s a great view of the city at the top of the zoo! It’s a must see!)


Every time I head to the zoo I make it a point to take as many pictures as possible.  And I encourage you to do the same! Admission to the zoo won’t break the bank, and you’ll probably have enough to grab some fries from the Voss’ food stand while you’re there!

Find a good mountain to hike!

Utica College is super close to the Adirondacks, maybe 45-1hr away! So I always take advantage of that. Located throughout the northern region are numerous mountain peaks, and hiking adventures you can embark on. My friends and I love to hike up Bald Mountain, near Old Forge, every year. There’s also Rocky Moutain right close by, so you can climb two peaks in a day if you’re feeling up for it! My family also hikes Panther Mountain, which is on Piseco Lake.

(My friends and I stopped for a group pic during a hike last summer!)

(My friends and I stopped for a group pic during a hike last summer!)

There are so many places to choose from, and they’re all free! So hiking is a great way to blow off some finals steam, and de-stress!

Head to the Canal Trail!


(My friends and I always go and hang out at the lock. Here we were listening to Ed Sheeran’s new album for the first time last summer!)

For those that might be unaware, Utica actually had the old Erie Canal run right through it. (Where I live in Whitesboro, at the very end of a road not too far from mine is an Erie Canal Memorial area which is dedicated right where it used to run!) Some parts of the canal are actually still in tact, and are still used today. There is a lock not to far from Utica College that is one of my favorite places to just relax and hang out.



The canal is great because it’s another free(!) spot to hang out and relax. Also, it’s closer to campus than hiking in the Adirondacks…so you can still get your taste of nature, just closer to home!

(My friends, Mary, Pat, and I, enjoy the occasional frog hunt both on campus and at the canal!)

(My friends, Mary, Pat, and I, enjoy the occasional frog hunt both on campus and at the canal!)

There are so many things to do in Utica! So soak up the last bit of the semester and explore the area! After a final head on down to the lock and de-stress! Or head to the Utica Zoo and make a new friend! Just whatever you do, have fun and I hope you give these activities a try!

Be Prepared for Next Semester

May 7, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

Hey everyone! I know you are just focusing on finishing finals and looking forward to the summer but when August rolls around, remember these tips for coming back! Preparation is the key to an easy start of the semester!

1. Remember to print out your schedule.

2. Buy all the notebooks, pencils, paper, ect. that you will need! Take an inventory of your school supplies.

3. Take inventory of your dorm room supplies. Ex: cleaning supplies, personal hygiene supplies, ect.

4. Wash all of your dorm room bedding, rugs, ect.

5. Purchase your textbooks ahead of time!

6. Talk to your roomate/clustermates and decide what you want to bring back. I know I am planning on bringing my Wii back for our living room area of our cluster!

7. Start packing early!

8. Prepare what clothes you may need.

9. Pack ahead of time, not the hour before leaving like I do…

10. Clean your room at your house so your parents will not have to deal with your mess!

My Spring 2015 Semester Favorite Moments

May 7, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

Hey everyone! I have had an awesome Spring 2015 semester at Utica College and I hope you have too! Here are some of my favorite things that happened this semester! IMG_1987

1. Took some pretty cool classes! I took Senior Seminar, Clinical Research, Neuro Anatomy and Physiology, Kinesiology and Anthropology- Health and Healing! Neuro Anatomy was a pretty interesting class and for everyone that needs to take it: do not worry! It is not as scary as it may seem initially and it is very interesting! P.S. Take Professor Pack for everything you can! Kinesiology was another fun and interesting class. Professor Mallace was my professor for this and he is another awesome professor! Professor Mallace was also my professor for Clinical Research and he is great about helping you throughout the research process. Anthropology with Professor Blouet was another cool class and I learned a lot about healthcare in other areas of the world.  Senior Seminar was pretty cool because I was able to have class discussions on many types topics in healthcare.

2. I have successfully made it through my general education classes and some major related classes!

3. I was apart of Utica College’s first class to be inducted into the National Society for Leadership and Success! (Which is an awesome organization and anyone who gets invited into it should join!)IMG_2085

4. I was able to participate in the American Heart Run/Walk and Utica College’s first ever Relay for Life. IMG_1762

5. I went to the Alpha Phi Delta Formal and took a tour of the Saranac Brewery when I turned 21!IMG_2041Sorry the picture is so blurry!

6. I had a great time at Moose Madness and saw the X Ambassadors!

7. I had a great time meeting future OT and PT majors at the Admissions Open House and Accepted Students Day events! Also dancing with Trax at these events!

8. The Holi Celebration, of course, was FANTASTIC!

9. Having fun with friends in the Residential Quad when the weather was finally warm!

10. Visiting the Utica Zoo with my family and showing them around the city of Utica!IMG_2091IMG_2079