Allison Acquaviva

Public Relations Major. Junior.

Writing Center Tutor. Circle K Member.

I'm a 20 year old Junior in the field of Public Relations. When I'm not blogging or on campus, I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, listening to music, watching Duck Dynasty & volunteering at the local animal shelters in & around the area. Animals are my biggest passion & someday I hope to make a difference in their lives.

Why It’s Okay To Be Selfish in College

Nov 21, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva
Image from Google

Image from Google

“I’m so busy. I’m so stressed out.”

If I had a penny for every time I thought or said that, I would have enough money to take that Disney (or Hawaiian) vacation that I so desperately need!

Between classes, homework, writing for The Tangerine, blogging, and other obligations, I sometimes feel as if my world is going to cave in! Yikes!

I never realized how bad my stress level was until I went to my doctor and she pointed it out to me. Oy! This year, my stress level has been at an all-time high, and I found myself adding MORE stress to combat the other stress. Silly right? I threw myself into everything & anything that I could, and seriously compromised my health because of it. I guess it’s not normal to be stressed, anxious, tired and irritable all the time. Who knew?

My experience with stress and anxiety in college really inspired me to write this post. It got me thinking about how the world and society holds such high expectations for us. The world forces us to put our own health on the back burner. We are always pressured to do more, work more, BE more. We think that adding more stuff to our ever-growing mountain of stress will distract us. Wrong.  

It’s NOT natural!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful thing to be goal-oriented and have fantastic work ethic – in fact, employers love that! But, there’s something very wrong with living by a weekly planner, living on caffeine, and doing your best work under pressure.

Here’s the thing: We’ve conditioned ourselves for stress. We fear that we would be “selfish” for taking a mental health day. Ultimately, we ignore our own happiness and health, and squeeze in something else into our tight little schedules.

Now that the end of the semester is near, are you finding yourself completely overwhelmed? Do you say yes to multiple things that you have no time for? Is your brain on overload? I could sum this up with one piece of advice: SLOW DOWN! But, that wouldn’t be helpful would it? No. So, here are some tips on how to be less stressed, less anxious, happier & healthier.

1) Look at how you begin your day: We have all heard our mothers say these famous words: “Eat your breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day.”  Mother truly knows best! Do you skip breakfast because you’re in such a rush? Stop. That’s self-punishing. Keep some ready-to-go food in the kitchen. Fruit, bagels, muffins, etc, are better than nothing. Feed your body & brain.

2) Unlearn self-punishment and embrace self-love: Often, we get so caught up in our work and goals that we punish ourselves for not reaching them, or for simply making mistakes along the way. We look at ourselves as failures if we didn’t achieve that “A” we worked so hard for. We need to learn to cut ourselves a break. Be low-maintenance and accept that you’re human.

3) Find relaxation techniques: When stress begins to consume me, I try to do something for myself that will make my soul happy. That includes writing in my journal, playing with my dog, drinking hot tea, or even just listening to music. Relaxation is a must. Overwhelmed with your responsibilities? Take small breaks, do some yoga, do a little self pampering, eat healthy snacks, or even wear your favorite color to class.

Believe it or not, little things like that can make a world of difference to your mood and mind. Taking care of ourselves is not selfish; It’s a priority. To be successful, we need to be healthy and relaxed.

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COM 130: My Experience in My Favorite Class

Nov 2, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

As a PR major, I am so fortunate to be able to dabble in all different types of classes. This semester, I was so nervous to take the WPNR Practicum. The thought of having my own radio show for an hour was crazy.

I never pictured myself as the DJ type of girl. Sure, I could play the music easily, but could I talk? What on earth was I supposed to say on the air? How would I sound? What if I messed up? Those were just some of the thoughts that ran through my head, and that was just on training day! 

Picture Courtesy of the WPNR Facebook Page

Picture Courtesy of the WPNR Facebook Page

The first day that I was on air I totally didn’t expect much of anything. I figured that I would play the music, introduce an artist or two and that would be it. However; I was liking what I was doing!

As the weeks went on, I became more comfortable and I realized that I truly enjoyed this radio gig! Of course, I have a huge support system of family and friends who listen every week and always manage to give me positive feedback, so they always boost my confidence!

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I now find myself really excited for Friday mornings. I love the music I play, I love getting the opportunity to let my voice be heard, and I love the fact that I step out of my comfort zone more and more each week.

I never imagined that this would become my favorite class, and I never expected how sad I would be to see it end. Taking this class has taught me so much about myself and what I truly am capable of!

Animals Need Your Help: Donate Now to the Stevens-Swan Humane Society!

Oct 30, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

1392007_10202892339099050_7225701750289333058_nUtica College’s organization, Asa Gray, is holding donations for our area’s largest animal shelter: The Stevens-Swan Humane Society.

The Stevens-Swan Humane Society has been in business since the early 1900’s and has made a huge impact ever since. The SSHS is fully dedicated to helping and preventing the cruelty, abuse and neglect of animals.

How do they do this?

  • They have an enormous adoption center where people are able to save a life, every single day.
  • They try their hardest to make the world a better place for all of the neglected, abandoned, and homeless animals by providing food, water and shelter.
  • They aim to educate the community about humane care, the animal/human bond, and the treatment of animals.
  • Finally, the SSHS relies heavily on donations and memberships from companies and the community, to assist them in ensuring the care of their animals.

The Stevens-Swan Humane Society is currently overwhelmed with kittens and puppies during this time, and therefore, they could use all of the help they can get!

Right now, they are looking for blankets, towels, stuffed animals, cleaning products, and paper towels. 

Interested in donating? Please, please, please bring your items to the boxes that are located outside of The Bistro and Student Financial Services. Students will be collecting throughout Halloween.

Hopping on the Bandwagon! 21 Questions

Oct 28, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Honestly, I’ve enjoyed seeing my fellow bloggers participate in this 21 questions game, and I figured since I have never done a post like this before, why not? Here it goes:

What is your year/major?

Senior & Public Relations :)

When’s your birthday?

August 21

Where are you from?

Born & raised here in the 315!

Why Utica College ?
I had a few friends that went here & loved it. Plus, I fell in love with the campus and wanted to stay close to home :)

What is your favorite cereal?
I honestly don’t eat cereal!

Do you have any pets?
Yes!

What is your favorite season?
Spring & summer. I hate the humidity & storms, but love the sunshine & warmth!

What is your favorite thing about Utica College?
I love the Public Relations program. Each professor is great, and I’ve had so many opportunities already!

What city you would like to visit?
Boston. I’ve already been there, but I love it.

Favorite song?
I’m a country girl, so I have too many to list!

Any siblings?
Nope!

What is your favorite animal?
Dogs & kitties. Love those little angels!

Favorite restaurant?
Basil Bluz Bistro

Pet peeves?
Mean people! Plain & simple!

Favorite quote?
“The flower that blooms in adversity, is the most rare and beautiful of all.”

Most played song?

Something in the Water  – Carrie Underwood

Favorite video game?

I don’t really have one!

If you could be friends with any celebrity, who would it be?

Carrie Underwood, or pretty much any country music star.

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I was lucky enough to meet Carrie Underwood 2 years ago. She was super sweet!

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Happy. Enough said!

 

Career Advice: How to Be a Go-Getter

Oct 21, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

“Look at them. They are such go-getters!” Let’s be honest; how many times have we all heard (or said) that before? We might be describing our friends, family members, co-workers, or even ourselves.

Being a “go-getter” is such a wonderful compliment, and we as future professionals should embrace it. How can we get there? How can we motivate ourselves to be “go-getters”?

Tips on how to be a go-getter, from a go-getter herself! (created by me in Pixlr)

Tips on how to be a go-getter, from a go-getter herself! (created by me in Pixlr)

  • Believe that you CAN overcome any obstacle: There is a force within you that is greater than any roadblock. It’s called determination. Every go-getter believes that they have strengths and capabilities to climb over the hurdles that life will inevitably throw at us. Sometimes, these hurdles can be so big, so overwhelming that we start to lose our hope, confidence , and simply, just want to quit. That’s a natural reaction, but in those times, we have to believe that our purpose is far greater than what we think.
  • Create visions and goals for YOUR life: No matter what year you’re in, as college students, we know that we are nearing the end of our education. It’s time to lace up our running shoes and achieve our dreams. Note: a vision is NOT the same thing as a plan. The difference? A plan is structured; a vision is more broad.
  • Blend your passions and professions: As we grow up, it becomes easier to lose our passions. We start to focus on the life’s stresses and forget what truly makes us happy. I think we owe it to ourselves to at least try to incorporate our passions into our work. Having trouble figuring out if you’re in the right program? Ask yourself what your passions are and ask yourself if you can make that work in your career.

What are your top three ways to be a go getter? 

Are You Too Busy to Be Successful? Keys to Managing Your Time Effectively

Oct 19, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

It’s only the middle of the semester, but we are already feeling the pressure of upcoming deadlines for projects, papers, and exams. It’s making us crazy, overwhelmed and just stressed out. 

Managing your time effectively is so much more than simply not procrastinating. In order to be successful, you must be organized, determined, and be willing to work your hardest. Everyone knows that though….right?

Here are some key concepts to make managing your time easier and to make your success rate soar:

1. Evaluate Your Timelines: Are you constantly struggling and staying up all night just to finish an assignment? If so, it’s time to re-evaluate your timeline. Set realistic expectations for yourself that you can handle without feeling overextended.

2. Don’t Underestimate Deadlines: Just because something is due in November, does not mean you should wait to DO it then. It’s important to be open about the time you take to work on things. Granted, we all need relaxation time, but before you put off any of your assignments, make sure you will be able to deliver on that deadline. They are sneaky little buggers.

3. Embrace the Power of No: Every day, we are presented with opportunities and things we want to do. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough hours in the day to possibly get everything that we want to done. It’s okay to say no. Sometimes, for our own sanity, we have to let go of unnecessary obligations….for the time being. That doesn’t mean we can’t revisit them later on when we’re less busy.

Created by me in Meme Generator

Created by me in Meme Generator

4. Take a Digital Diet: Put down the phone, log out of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and the list goes on. I know, easier said than done, right? Absolutely! I can’t tell you how many times I get distracted by my phone, Kindle, or even my dog. Then, before you know it, what was supposed to be an hour-long assignment has turned into an all day affair. Seriously, for your own benefit, put the digital devices away.

5. Prioritize: Consider what projects must be done first. Then, consider how your time can be used more productively. For example, if you have that dreaded research paper to do, think about the ways that you can make your life easier. Is there anything you can complete ahead of time? If so, do it. Also, try making a “today” list instead of a “to do” list. Focus on the tasks that you want to complete that day. Looking at all the tasks you have to do, might completely overwhelm you.

Do you want to be more successful? Do you want to accomplish more? Try doing these five key points. If those don’t work for you, make your own list of steps that you feel would be beneficial to you. Take that “too busy” feeling and turn it into a “successful” feeling!

An Introvert’s Guide to Succeeding in College

Oct 14, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

I’m an introvert. Yes, it’s true. I’d much rather chill out at home with tea in my hand and my puppy on my lap than pretend I’m having fun at some huge party surrounded by people who I don’t even know.

Don’t get me wrong; I DO enjoy socializing. In fact, there are a lot of misconceptions about being an introvert. We get told that we don’t like people, we have poor social skills, we don’t have valuable ideas, and the list goes on….

Created by me on Meme Generator

Created by me on Meme Generator

But, here’s the thing: none of those accusations are true. Introverts ARE capable of having great social skills, they CAN become successful business men or women, and we DO value the relationships that we have.

Throughout our whole college career we’ll hear things such as:

  • “Get out of the box.”
  • “Put your introverted self away.”
  • “You need to become more outgoing and change your personality, or you’ll never have a fun college experience.”
  • “You won’t meet anyone by sitting on the couch!”

While it is important to expand your horizons and step outside of your comfort zone, everybody does it differently, and nobody has the right to judge. If you’re introverted like me, know that you can have a fantastic college experience. Here’s how:

  1. Find your circle: You’ll come across tons of people in your curriculum, but that doesn’t mean you need to befriend every single one of them. If conversations make you feel a little uncomfortable, start small. Talk to the person next to you, in back of you, to the side of you, wherever. If you only take away one friend from a class, so be it. Lose the notion that you need to have a billion friends. Remember: introverts care about quality NOT quantity.
  2. Take advantage of office hours, e-mail, anything! Have an idea or question that you would love to express to your professor, but are a little apprehensive to ask in front of class? Approach your professor after class, during office hours, or even through e-mail. Don’t let your idea or question go by the wayside. A professor will respect you so much more if you contribute your thoughts to them instead of ignoring them.
  3. Create your own fun: If going to a party just isn’t your thing, find something that is. The campus is filled with tons of activities for everyone to get involved in. From intramural sports to yoga, art classes, Bible study, and various organizations, the opportunities for those of us who are on the reserved side, are endless.

Find your people. Find your common interests (yes, there ARE people who have the same interests as you). Stick with them. Quit listening to the voices that tell you who you should be or what you have to do. Everyone’s personality is different, and if you’re introverted, there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, YOU create your own experiences, no one else does.

10 Words to Eliminate From Your Writing

Oct 9, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva
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Created by: Pixlr Express

As a public relations and journalism major, there is one thing that I have learned to do, and that is simply to de-clutter my writing.

Writing for social media outlets, newspapers, e-mails and essays all have one thing in common: keep it short and sweet, yet descriptive and detailed. People want the story, the facts.

We have all had to write those dreaded research papers or meet some sort of word count. We eventually run out of information and begin to “fluff up” and colorize our papers with unnecessary words.

Want to keep it simple? Want to give your message and your paper more meaning? Want to make your paper more collegiate? Avoid these overused words.


  1. Amazing: Yes, “amazing” is a great descriptive word, but only for certain situations. This word has been overused so many times that it really has lost its luster and appeal. Look for a synonym to be more creative. Is everything really amazing?
  2. Awesome: This goes hand-in-hand with the word amazing. It’s been so overused that “awesome” is boring. It’s not descriptive enough, and can be viewed as a sarcastic response to something.
  3. Maybe: When writing a paper, particularly an opinion paper, you want to try to avoid this word. “Maybe” sounds like you are unsure of your answer. Why? Just be straightforward.
  4. Very:  This is often used for emphasis of something. However, “very” is very vague. For example: “The weather was very cold today.” Cross it out. It’s not needed and is definitely not the most descriptive word out there. Try thinking of another word that may impress your professors.
  5. Perhaps: I am so guilty of using this word too much. Perhaps, like maybe, just goes to show that you’re not sure of your answer. It almost indicates a question in the reader’s mind that says, “Are they confident about their response?”
  6. Just: In my opinion, this word is simply a filler for a sentence. It doesn’t particularly add anything, so why bother putting it in?
  7. Really: Another common word that we’re all guilty of using too much. Similar to “very,” this word is used for emphasis, yet completely lacks emphasis altogether. There are much better words to describe something. It’s a weak word.
  8. Literally: This word kind of annoys me. It adds absolutely nothing to a sentence. What’s the difference between “I literally drove all night,” or, “I drove all night?”
  9. Like: I know “like” is used for comparison, but it is to the point where it’s so overused these days. Starting a sentence off with “like” is a big NO simply because it sounds a bit immature.
  10. Good: “Good” isn’t great at all. It’s non-descriptive, non-informative, and it leaves the reader lacking information.

Avoiding these words will help improve the quality of your paper. I know that it is so tempting to use them, but seriously, put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Do you want to keep their attention? Do you want them to get the gist of the story without looking for more?  Be creative! Look for synonyms that make the reader visualize what your paper is all about.

How to Survive & Thrive at Public Speaking & Presentations

Oct 8, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

I HATE presentations and public speaking. It truly creeps me out.

If you’re like me, you get all nervous, your face gets flushed, and you debate if showing up for the presentation is really that important. However; like everything in life, you have to put on your grown-up pants and just do it.

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I know, easier said than done, right? Well, if you struggle with presenting, public speaking, or even talking in class, here are some tips that may help you overcome your fear.

1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare! 

There’s nothing worse than showing up to a presentation unprepared. One of the things I like to do on the first day of classes is just scan the syllabus to see if there are any presentations in my future. Nine times out of ten, there is. Now, here’s the key to prep time. DON’T PROCRASTINATE! 

Seriously, if a professor assigns you a topic that you’re unfamiliar with to present on, don’t wait until the night before, or even a week before to start your research. Get ahead of the game. That way, you have an easier time coming up with notes or putting together a PowerPoint. The same goes for if you can choose your own topic. Why wait and add the extra stress? Know your material.

2.  Practice Makes Perfect!

The best way to get over presentation jitters is of course, by practicing. Take some deep breaths and rehearse out loud. Practice talking in front of a mirror. It might sound silly, but it actually helps with eye contact! Now, if you’re not comfortable talking in front of a mirror, grab a friend, a relative and give your presentation a try on them. They might interject some great ideas too!

3. Know Your Audience.

If you’re presenting in front of your classmates and professor, chances are you know them pretty well. You know their personalities, or the general mood of the class. Don’t be afraid to use some humor and don’t be afraid to smile! Presentations don’t always have to be stuffy and boring.

4. Focus on the Message.

Instead of contaminating your mind with negative thoughts of anxiety and fear over this, try merely focusing on the message you are trying to get across. What do you want people to know? Why is this information so important? Put emphasis into the answers to those questions. Before you know it, you’ll be able to convey the message in a clear, confident and concise manner.

5. Relax!

This is the most obvious, yet hardest tip to follow. When we face a room full of people and we are the only ones speaking, yes, it is only natural to be nervous! However, we have to realize that each of these presentations are giving us experience. Each time we get up and do our thing, we gain confidence. There is no need to apologize for being nervous; Odds are, everyone is feeling the exact same way, so it is crucial to know that you are not alone.

So, how do you beat the nerves from presentations? 

Ditch the Perfectionism Trait!

Oct 3, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

If there is one thing that my 3 1/2 years at Utica College has taught me, it is that I’m more of a perfectionist than I thought.

As I’ve said in my previous post, I love being a PR major and I love writing. When you’re passionate about something, you are going to work your butt off to do your best at it, but sometimes we work so hard to be our best at something that our passion becomes stress.

Don’t get me wrong; being a perfectionist is not all bad. There are a few pros for our madness. For one thing, we don’t settle. We want to do our best, we want to achieve our goals, we want to be successful. We want to try our hardest.

However; we are also setting ourselves up for disappointment because after all, perfection does not exist.

Note: Pixlr Express & Noteography are 2 wonderful apps for those of us who like to create or edit our own pictures :)

Note: Pixlr Express & Noteography are 2 wonderful apps for those of us who like to create or edit our own pictures :)

So, how do we kick those perfectionist traits to the curb? How can we learn to be content in our situations?

  1. Mistakes happen: Once we realize that we are human and mistakes happen, we will be much better off. The main thing about making mistakes is that we don’t need to be highly conscious or hyper critical of them, but instead, learn from them.

  2. It’s OK to relax: As I said above, as perfectionists, we always strive to do our best. That includes things that we are not even interested in. Let that stuff go. Now I’m not saying to neglect that math class that you hate so much, or slack on the science class that you’re never going to use, but seriously, stop stressing. We can’t be the best at everything!

  3. Don’t neglect your well-being: Sometimes, we perfectionists like to put our work before ourselves. We put our mental and physical health on the line in order to achieve something that does not exist! Go figure!

  4. Go easy on yourself: We are our harshest critics. In our world, there is only black and white. We view failure as imperfection and often beat ourselves up for it. STOP. Things are never going to always go the way we envision them. Instead of focusing on just the end goal, why don’t we try simply enjoying the journey?