MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Biology Major

Enthusiastic about far too many things.

I'm a 20 year old commuter from Whitesboro, New York. I'm a junior and hope to be an environmental lawyer one day...or a broadway star, who really knows? I'm in love with music, and movies, and literature, and corny jokes, and sleeping, and so many other things; I like to think I'm in love with life in general. I'm involved with the Asa Gray Biological Society , Choir, Student Senate, The Optimist Club, GSA, Alpha Phi Omega, WPNR, and I'm an orientation mentor on campus.



It’s All a Balancing Act!

Nov 14, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

College isn’t just about attending classes; there is so much more that goes along with it! On top of classes, there are social events to attend, organizations to be a part of, homework to be done, and downtime to be had! The trick is figuring how to balance all of those things without letting another thing fall to the side, which can be tricky sometimes! So, this post is going to teach you how you can marathon your favorite Netflix show on Saturdays, attend your organization meetings on Wednesdays, and still have time to turn in that huge paper due Friday.

My trust planner that I use everyday

My trusty planner that I use everyday

Write it down! If you have an assignment due, write it down. Don’t count on the syllabus for all of your deadlines! Sometimes things change, you lose a paper, or you just forget to check your syllabus one night and miss a due date. Make sure to have important deadlines written down somewhere close!

Plan it out! If I have a particularly stressful day, I’ll write out a to-do list for that day.  Sometimes, it will only be the due dates of various papers or a test date coming up, but other times, it may be where I am supposed to be at what time. For busy days, I’ll map out where I need to be each hour just so I don’t forget something important.

Sometimes I'll throw a small to-do list with places that I need to be, just so I don't forget

Sometimes I’ll throw a small to-do list with places that I need to be, just so I don’t forget

Color-Coordinate! (Or find a way to group things) I personally have everything written down in my planner, and I highlight each thing according to what grouping it falls under. Pink is for tests, yellow is for assignments, green is for job times, and so on. Find a method that works for you in order to keep everything separate.

A typical month. I try to always write down what's coming up, but sometimes forget. The colors help me keep track of what's going on.

A typical month. I try to always write down what’s coming up, but sometimes forget. The colors help me keep track of what’s going on.

Take advantage of technology! Some of the organizations I am a part of on campus opt to use “Google calendar,” and notifications can be sent right to a person’s phone when there is a meeting. Do that for assignments! I personally have an iPhone and just tell Siri to remind me to do things. One of my friends makes fun of me because of how specific some of my reminders are! One time, we went to lunch and she got a tuna sandwich. She had leftovers but didn’t want it to stink up her car, so she put it in her trunk. However, she was scared that she would forget the sandwich, so I made a reminder that, “There is a tuna sandwich in your trunk. Take it out or it will smell and you will cry. Remind me at 2:30. Honestly, in my opinion, the more specific the reminder the better.

Plan out free time! Often, when people write to-do lists, they only list what needs to be done, which can be helpful. However, if you don’t give yourself breaks every so often, you may go slightly crazy. Planning to watch your favorite television show at 8 or go to the gym can help you to remember that it is important to actually do so.

My favorite thing to see

My favorite thing to see

Prioritize! If you have a whole week’s worth of assignments that you are attempting to do at once, start with what is due the earliest and then work toward the other assignments. For my own to-do lists, I always rank them in the order they are due, so I know which to complete first.

Know when to work or relax! I have a rule that I never do homework on Friday nights, unless I’ve done something relaxing before I do it. I go to class all morning and work both of my jobs on Fridays, so by the time 6 p.m. rolls around, I am pretty beat. Typically, on a Friday, I’ll go out to dinner or grab a coffee with a friend to de-stress a little from the week. It’s important to know your limits, and not push yourself too far. Also, I do homework and try to study all other nights of the week, so taking a little extra time on a Friday isn’t a bad thing. On Sundays, I break up studying/homework with other things. I’ll try to devote a few hours to each.

My way of encouraging myself.

My way of encouraging myself-Put in right around midterms.

The main point of this blog post is to essentially find a way of organizing your life. It can be hectic having so many things to do all the time, but if you attempt to categorize and sort what is important, then you’ll have time for all of the things you want to do.

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Conservation Biology: One of My Favorite Classes

Nov 6, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

I’m a biology major and have taken loads of courses. Plus, I’ve enjoyed quite a few of them! However, I think if you find a class that you really love (and love learning about!), then that is something you should pay attention to.

I knew I was interested in conservation before I took Conservation Biology, an upper-level biology course open to bio majors. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was young, and I am thinking about pursuing environmental law when I graduate. I actually took this class because I thought my own interest in the subject would increase…and I was right! I love going to class and learning about issues I am passionate about. Plus, studying for tests isn’t so-so bad! (Tests are always a little nerve-wracking no matter the subject matter!)

Finding a class you really love can be spontaneous or can take a lot of thinking! As always, here are some tips and tricks to help you find a class you love just as much as I love conbio.

-Think about what you want to do when you graduate. Are there any courses geared toward that area? I know your entire degree is focused on your post-graduation plans, but maybe there is a specific course that really focuses on it.

-Take a random course (or two!) There are always those courses that sound so cool…but  you don’t really need them for course requirements. If you have time, take one anyway! I know someone taking a literature course, and its focus is on the Harry Potter books. How cool is that? If you are a fan of the book, then the course may not even seem like that much work! There are loads of fun courses depending on your interests. Be sure to check out the course catalog and explore a bit.

-Take a course with a professor you like. If you had a professor in the past and enjoyed their teaching style, see if you can take something with them again. Some professors’ teaching styles do not mesh well with a student’s attention span, and I would suggest paying particular attention to how you learn. If you like a professor, chances are you might like the classes they teach…because of them!

-Look into one-credits. There are so many one-credit courses available to students in a myriad of topics. Look into the music, fitness, art etc. offerings, and try one of them out. Typically, one-credit courses are only half a semester, so you don’t have to devote too much time to the material.

Taking courses should not always be a chore. Find some that are fun for you!

 

 

Don’t Let The Bullies Get You Down: How To Use Social Media

Nov 2, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

As I’m sure many of you are aware, Yik Yak is  a popular social media app which allows users to anonymously post their thoughts/opinions/quick blurbs about their lives. With the freedom of anonymity also comes the responsibility associated with it as well. This blog post is an easy way to navigate your way through using Yik Yak (as well as various other social media sites) safely and productively.

 1.) Think before you post! Everyone always says this, and for good reason. What you are posting may seem all in good fun, but think about how it might make someone else feel. A good rule of thumb to follow is, don’t talk about anyone except yourself! If you’re posting about people you don’t know, you have no idea how they might feel about it. …so don’t do it. Posting about someone else in a negative way makes you a bully, and you may not even realize it! No one likes to feel ostracized or singled out, so don’t be the person that does that to someone else.

2.) Why are you posting? A lot of people post things only to see likes, or “ups” on it. While it may be  a good feeling to have other people agreeing with you; are you going to be okay if people don’t agree? Personally, before I put something out into “the world of social media,” I try to think what I want from it. Will I still keep that opinion or enjoy that picture if other people don’t agree? My answer is usually yes, but sometimes it isn’t. If I find myself posting something only to see others like it, then I won’t post it. It is important to recognize where your validation comes from…and my advice would be to find it from within yourself.

3.) Be true to yourself! Often people post what they think other people want to see, not how they really feel/are. Don’t make your social media profiles into “fake personas” of yourself, be authentic with what you post! Even with social media platforms that are anonymous, such as Yik Yak, be careful to not morph into something you’re not. Being aware of who you are as a person, and not loosing sight of that, is an important ideal to maintain.

4.) Don’t take it too seriously! Social media is a quick form of communication between large masses of individuals. Don’t read too much into people’s messages because the tone they are using, or their actual inflection may be missed. People should always try to be aware of how they come across and what they say, but sometimes, things like sarcasm are lost when read from a phone screen.

5.) Remember that social media isn’t everything! While it may make things a bit more fun to share your quick thoughts throughout your day, try to unplug from it every so often. I used to obsessively check my twitter, but now I find it much more relaxing to just scroll through once every so often. If you find yourself constantly turning to Yik Yak, or Instagram try to find something else to do when bored. It may be fun, but don’t let it take away from actual experiences occurring in the moment!

Hopefully you find these tips easy and helpful when using social media. I, personally, use several forms of social media. I tweet about my day, and post pictures all of the time. However, I am always conscious of the messages I am putting out into the world. I did have Yik Yak for a while, but I really didn’t like the way people interacted on the app, so I deleted it. That is also always an option, if you don’t like a social media network, don’t use it. You have the ability to make a conscious decision to be aware of how you are presenting yourself, and please make sure you are making a good impression.

Questions About Me

Oct 27, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

So I’m jumping on the bandwagon with this post. Several other bloggers have already completed a “questionnaire” of sorts. and I figured I would as well! (See other bloggers take on the same questions here, and here, and here.) I’ve been blogging for so long, and I realized that I had never given any “fun” personal information about myself. So, here goes nothing!

1. What is your year/major?
I am a junior biology major.

2. When’s your birthday?
August 24th

3. Where are you from?
I was actually born right across the street at St. Luke’s Hospital! I’ve lived in New York practically my entire life.

4. Why Utica College?
I actually grew up seeing the campus, and when I was older I looked into it. The inviting atmosphere and friendly professors were exactly what I was looking for.

5. What is your favorite cereal?
I actually don’t eat cereal that often! But if I had to pick one, Chex.

6. Do you have any pets?
I’ve actually helped to raise seeing guide dogs for most of my life, so I’ve always had dogs around. I do have one “permanent” dog, Martha May. But, all of the dogs we have helped to train have felt like my own pets.

7. How involved are you on campus?
I try to be involved in all different aspects of the college! I (obviously) work as a student blogger, a student ambassador/tour guide in the admissions office, and I work in the International Education Office. During the summer I work as a research assistant, and have also been a mentor in the Summer Orientation program. I am the Vice President of the Asa Gray Biological Society on campus, the Junior Class Treasurer, and I am the Treasurer in the Gay-Straight Alliance. I also am a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a member of the red cross club, a member of the optimist club, and a member of the Utica College Choir. I am involved with WPNR, the Dining Services Committee, and the Student Conduct Board. In the past, I have also been involved with student research meetings. Just recently, I joined a new leadership society on campus.

8. What is your favorite season?
Fall! I love everything about it. The leaves changing, the not-too-chilly temperatures, and the fashion!

9. What is your favorite thing about Utica College?
The faculty and staff. Every single person who works on this campus wants students to succeed and do well. It is a really comforting feeling.

10. What city you would like to visit?
What city wouldn’t I like to visit? I love just going someplace and exploring. I don’t really mind where, just as long as I can see what there is to see. My favorite thing is just taking a day to wander around a place that I have never been before.

11. Favorite song?
It changes all the time. For a while, I’ve loved the song, “House by the Sea” by Moddi. The lyrics are poignant and describe how I feel about life.

12. Any siblings?
Two brothers! One older, and one younger…though we are all “old” now! My youngest brother is almost 19!

13. What is your favorite animal?
I love dogs. Any time I see a dog, I’m like a little kid; I get so excited and have to talk to and pet them.

14. Favorite restaurant?
I went to this one restaurant in Disney World, and they had the best gluten free/vegetarian entrée I had ever had in my entire life. I am sad that I haven’t had it since! Around here though, I love Delmonico’s.

15. Pet peeves?
People who don’t listen! It gets on my nerves when someone either completely tunes another person out, or only hears what they want to hear. Actually taking the time to understand and comprehend what another person is saying is high on my list of qualities of which I feel are important.
Also, chewing with your mouth open. Gross.

16. Favorite quote?
I once read a poem by an anonymous contributor and fell in love with it. I have the entire thing printed, and it is on my wall. They basically took a well-known lecture from a theoretical-physicist and made it into verses. It’s about the connections in the universe, and the most poignant part for me is the line, “Stars have died so that you may live.” It’s my favorite because it is a little reminder that we are small beings in something so much greater than ourselves. The entire universe is connected, and I love that.

17. Most played song?
“Pompeii” by Bastille. I went through a weird phase last fall and didn’t really listen to much else…

18. Any talents?
I love singing! All the time! It’s fun to perform in a professional setting, or to just belt out a song driving with friends.

19. Favorite video game?
For a while, I really liked playing Tetris. Anything repetitive like that is fun while I am bored or waiting for something.

20. If you could be friends with any celebrity, who would it be?
Mindy Kaling! She is fabulous and always knows what to say, even if she doesn’t. She isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind, even if it isn’t what some people might want to hear. She is a role model for all people, not just young women and girls! Plus her style is great.

21. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Happy.

 

 

Time to Pick New Classes. Again.

Oct 22, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Registration is coming up for next semester (November 17th is a little less than a month away!) I’m sure you’ve given thought as to what classes you are going to take. However, if you haven’t,  I suggest running a degree evaluation (in bannerweb) and figuring out what courses you still need in order to obtain your degree.

I’m sure you think this post is a little early, however, you can never start planning your next semester early enough! Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the most of your next semester.

Are you dreading a class? Take it as soon as you can! Don’t put anything off because you’ll have to take it eventually! Why dislike a class your last semester of senior year? If one of your requirements scares you (like physics scared me!) then be proactive. Find out about tutoring opportunities before you even need them, and use them! I asked my friend last semester if he would be tutoring for physics just because I knew I would need the help!

Plan accordingly! Are you not a morning person? Check out which classes are going to be offered when and have a game plan for when it is your day to schedule classes. Don’t waste time on the day you can register by trying to figure out times, have that all done before! Just go through and register. Nothing stinks more than when you’re stuck taking an 8:30 because the 11:30 section filled up while you were trying to figure your schedule out.

Find when classes are offered! Do you need a course that is only offered a certain semester? Or once every other year? Plan ahead for those special courses well ahead of time. If a course is only offered every other spring semester, make sure you know when that is and register for it! Don’t waste an opportunity to take a course you may not have another chance to take! Also, if any of those special courses are specifically required for your degree, pay extra close attention to when they are offered.

Know yourself and the classes! Don’t over or under load yourself. There is a precious balance (that can be hard to find) when registering for classes. If you are anticipating a certain course to be extremely hard for you, then maybe hold off on another super difficult course. You want to make sure you have enough time to devote to all of your classes, and some classes take more time than others. You don’t want to spend all of your time on one thing and not have enough for another extensive course.

Speak with your advisor! Every student has to meet with their advisor in order to receive their PIN so they can register. However, don’t only go to them for that. Advisors are professors who are there to help and assist you! Ask them for opinions on what you should take and bounce potential schedules off of them to see what they think. Definitely listen and value their opinion, but remember that the ultimate decision is your own. You have to do what is right for you.

I hope you follow my tips and tricks and start thinking about those classes for next semester soon! It is closer than you might think!

What I Love About Utica College: Fall Semester Edition

Oct 19, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit down due to midterms and gloomy weather, but I hate feeling that way. I don’t believe in bad days (As I’ve stated before…). So, I decided to make a list of all of the great things on campus that I appreciate, and some things that I am looking forward to for the rest of the fall semester; I figured that would cheer me up in no time!

(A picture I snapped the other days of the trees on campus.)

(A picture I snapped the other days of the trees on campus.)

The ambiance – Utica College is a beautiful campus in the fall. I love changing leaves, and the warm colors that everything takes on around this time. Going for a jog or walk around the campus during this time is especially nice because you can appreciate the entire place fully. One of my favorite things on campus is the trees that line some of the parking lots; they are gorgeous!

(A student, Quinaya, holding "Sweat-P" the snake during the majors and minors fair.)

(A student, Quinaya, holding “Sweat-P” the snake during the majors and minors fair.)

The events – There are countless big events which are coming up toward the second half of the semester. The Gay-Straight Alliance and the Utica College Programming Board are putting on “Take Back Your Prom.” The Greeks are going to put on Midnight Breakfast toward finals week. There are numerous sporting events to attend; hockey games are going to start soon! Everywhere you turn on campus, you’ll see a flier for a new event.

The opportunities – I just helped out with the majors and minors fair, which is an event put on annually in the Library Concourse. It is designed to help students understand what options they have as far as majors and minors go. Information about specific programs is typically presented. Also, there are numerous other events coming up in regards to future opportunities for students. There are networking nights for various majors, which establish connections between current students and successful individuals in their respective fields.

(I needed a warm cup of coffee on this chilly sunday!)

(I needed a warm cup of coffee on this chilly sunday!)

Coffee on a brisk day – For me, there is little better than sipping a cup of warm coffee on a cold day. Excuse the cliche, but it warms your soul. Fortunately for us, Utica College has a wide array of places to choose from when it comes to coffee. If you haven’t done it before, I encourage you to sit outside the library in the concourse and sip a coffee (or hot chocolate!) and just observe. As I’ve said before, this campus is beautiful in the fall. Take some time to appreciate it.

Thanksgiving break – This isn’t necessarily a thing which occurs on campus (for most), but it is three days off that the school allows us. I love spending time with my family, and relaxing before the craziness of finals starts. Plus, one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday, is the day after. I love getting all of my Christmas shopping done and out of the way on one day!

 

 

 

 

Too Old For Halloween? Never!

Oct 9, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

It’s only October 9th, but I am already planning out my Halloween festivities for the month of October. I love this weather, I love apple cider, and I love the fashion! I also love Halloween. Plus, the history of Halloween is probably the coolest part about the holiday. When I studied abroad in Ireland I took a walking tour of “Dublin’s Hallowed Past” and learned the history of the spooky holiday.

(Me touching a “sanctuary stone” in a graveyard I visited in Ireland.)

Originally, the holiday was celebrated by the Celtic People who populated Northern and Western Europe, with large numbers of people concentrated in what is modern-day Ireland. The purpose of the day was to celebrate the end of a successful harvest season, and the start of a long winter.

“Samhain” or Halloween was actually the biggest event during the Celtic calendar. Their new year started on what we consider to be November 1st, so it was the very last day of the year. It was believed that the souls of those who had died during the past year would finally be able to make the long trek to the underworld. People would light bonfires in the hopes of guiding the dead along their way and keeping them from still-living people.

I’m a huge history buff, so this is totally interesting to me. However, if the history of the day isn’t your thing, then I’m sure the actual day is. And, lucky for all students, there are numerous events on and around campus to celebrate the upcoming day!

RHA’s annual Haunted House- This event is located right on campus in the basement of one of the residential halls. Be scared by fellow classmates and Utica College students as you wander through rooms full of scary goblins, and ghosts, and gouls…oh my.

The History Club’s trip to Sleepy Hallow- An event put on by the History club, there are fliers all around campus for this event. They are doing a movie night on October 24th to watch “The Headless Horseman,” and then the next day, they are venturing to Sleepy Hallow for a private tour of the cemetery there. If you don’t know the story of Ichabad Crane and the Headless Horseman, I suggest looking more into this event!

The Utica Zoo’s Spooktacular- This is a fun event for children (and adults!) of all ages. The ASA Gray Biological society and Alpha Phi Omega are just two organizations from campus volunteering to pass out candy to young trick-or-treaters wandering throughout the zoo. Come, dress up, and join in on the Halloween fun! (October 17th-19th, Friday and Saturday are “scary days” from 6-9 p.m., and Sunday is less spooky from 12-4 p.m.)

CAYO Industrial Haunted House- This one is not for the faint of heart. I have personally never gone, but I have heard stories from friends who have been scared out of their minds. It takes place right in Utica, not too far from the school. It’s filled with haunted horrors and scary creatures all brought together in one big warehouse. It runs all weekends in October, so check out the website if this haunted house sounds fun to you!

(Last year I was a hippie for Halloween, and my friend a unicorn. I am still working on costume ideas for this year!)

What Did You Do This Weekend: Asa Gray Picnic 2014

Oct 6, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

The Asa Gray Biological Society is one of the oldest academic organizations on campus. It is  geared toward volunteering and planing activities that have to do with biology in some way, shape, or form. Basically, it is an organization that is open to all students on campus who have an interest in joining a club related to the natural world.

I, personally, have been a member since my first year here at Utica, and even have the privilege of being an eboard member for this year.

This past Sunday, the club held one of its annual events, The Asa Gray Picnic. This is an event that is open to all club members, and all first-year biology students. Professors and students get to interact in a more relaxed setting. Every year, there is guaranteed to be free food, games, and a fun atmosphere for everyone to partake in.

Typically the event is held at a bio professor’s house, and this year, it was held at the home of two professors: Dr. Wise and Dr. Buchanan in Trenton Falls. Their house is something you would expect to see in a magazine about beautiful country homes. It was completely secluded and had a large yard which, was ideal for yard games.

People took advantage of the sunny yet brisk day, by sitting around a fire, playing frisbee, and enjoying the free food. The students were all encouraged to sit and chat with their professors, and fellow students. Funny stories of test stresses, long labs, and general classes were shared by everyone. Even topics not related to school were discussed. The picnic was a time where people could just come and relax.

If this annual event sounds fun to you, feel free to check out an Asa Gray meeting sometime soon. There are numerous other events they put on, and new members are always more than welcome!

 

Leadership Weekend 2014

Oct 1, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to attend Student Senate’s annual Leadership Weekend. The purpose of the event was for student leaders to develop leadership skills within themselves and when working with other people. The weekend was held up on Raquette Lake at Camp Huntington, which is a secluded property owned by SUNY Cortland. We left from Strebel at 2 p.m. on Friday and returned at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

    (Camp Huntington is so secluded that you have to take a pontoon boat to get there!)

(Camp Huntington is so secluded that you have to take a pontoon to get there!)

The biggest attraction of the weekend were the high and low ropes courses, which were done Saturday afternoon. Individuals were split into two groups, and then went through a series of obstacles designed to test a multitude of skills associated with leadership ability. On the low course, the main take back was that of teamwork; people had to help out their team, and had to be encouraging if someone was having difficulties. The high ropes course was more about challenging yourself, and overcoming any personal hesitations you might have had.

(One of the low ropes course obstacles was being led around while wearing a blindfold...while your teammates also had on blindfolds.)

(One of the low ropes course obstacles was being led around while wearing a blindfold…while your teammates also had on blindfolds.)

 

(I was terrified of going up on the ropes, but I was proud of myself that I did it.)

(I was terrified of going up on the ropes, but I was proud of myself that I did it.)

Throughout the weekend there was also free time to kayak, canoe, swim, and even paddle board. The weather was beautiful (not a rain cloud in sight!!), so everyone took full advantage.

(My friend, Elaine, and I loved kayaking with everyone else.)

(My friend, Elaine, and I loved kayaking with everyone else.)

The other main focus of leadership weekend is for the students to think of ideas which may better the school, prepare presentations on them, and then present their proposals to various Utica College dignitaries who were invited up to the camp on Sunday afternoon. Several ideas were thrown around, but eventually three ideas became the prevalent ones, and were presented by the groups on Sunday afternoon. The proposals were:

1.) Better Handicap accessibility on campus. (Including shoveling snow more thoroughly in the winter, fixing the elevators in the academic and residential buildings so they break down less often, and allowing for better handicap seating in classrooms.)

2.) Updating IITS issues. (Printers placed in every residential hall, schedules put up outside of computer labs when they are in use, and the Strebel computer lab getting a bit of a “face-lift.”)

3.) Helping to integrate commuter students more easily. (More programming for commuters, and a lounge which contains lockers, a refrigerator, seating areas, etc. so they have somewhere to go on campus.)

(A group presenting their proposal on how to improve Utica College.)

(A group presenting their proposal on how to improve Utica College.)

The ideas were all good ideas, and presented very thoroughly. The various Utica College officials took notes, and will try to implement some of the students’ suggestions.

 

(I love love love loved Leadership Weekend 2014.)

(I love love love loved Leadership Weekend 2014.)

Leadership weekend was probably one of my favorite things to have done on campus, and to quote my friend Elaine, “I’ve done a lot.” It is a beautiful place to go and spend a weekend, and I highly encourage it. Even if the ropes course freaks you out (like it did me!) think to yourself, “When am I ever going to get this opportunity again?” A completely free weekend spent in the Adriondacks challenging yourself, and thinking of ways to make your school better – I can’t think of anything better.

Try New Things! No, Seriously. Try Them.

Sep 26, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Everyone says college is about trying new things, and leaving your comfort zone…well, listen to them; it’s a cliche for a reason. My first semester on campus, I was the typical commuter; I went to class, and went home. I joined one organization and prayed their meetings weren’t later at night so I wouldn’t have to drive back to campus. Now, I rarely leave campus…which may be considered not so good, looking at my sleep schedule. But looking at it from my own perspective, sleep aside, I enjoy college much more now, and *bonus* know all of the places to get coffee on campus. Plus, I feel more at ease with my surroundings, and love all of the organizations of which I am a part of.

I credit my current involvement with the personal philosophy I adopted my second semester freshmen year, and even more so when I studied abroad the fall of my sophomore year. If I see something that looks interesting to me, I do it…or join it. I don’t let my own fears hold me back from doing something I want. So, you shouldn’t either!

(Mentors involved with the Transitions play during my first year of orientation, Summer 2013.)

I joined Orientation the summer after my first year and learned so many useful techniques about interacting with people. I even made friends I consider to be friends for life. When I was applying for the position I was unsure, and a little nervous about joining in with a group of people I had never really met before. Now I know every single mentor and wouldn’t hesitate to say hi if I saw any of them in the hall between classes.

(The Dublin Zoo was so fun to visit, it was definitely worth the hour walk.)

My fall semester, I studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland. I had planned on going abroad since I applied to UC. However, I had never lived away from home for more than a few weeks, let alone many months. Plus, the only foreign country I had ever been to was Canada.

While I lived in Ireland, I told myself that I would not let a day go by where I did not do a single thing. Luckily, one of my housemates had the same philosophy, and we made sure to do at least a little thing every day. We went to museums, little shops, parks, and the zoo; really, we went anywhere we could. However, this philosophy doesn’t have to be used in a different country. Do it here! Do something different everyday. Whether it be as small as trying a new sandwich for lunch, or as big as going to the next town over and exploring, just try new things.

(The first pic I ever took in the radio station. This was taken from the Divaa Hour’s first show.)

The spring of my sophomore year, I randomly decided I wanted a radio show. So one of my friends, Karita, and I created The Diva Hour. We would play music from all of the great divas, classic to modern. It was fun, and we even got our other friend, Elaine, on board with it. Then, this year, we decided to make a new show, and titled it “3BL.” It’s fun to do, and fun to listen to (at least according to our mom’s it is…). Our show is even going to be featured during the upcoming college radio day, which we’re super excited about! So, if making a radio show is one of the new things you want to try, go talk to the staff at wpnr!

Utica College is a diverse campus with loads of activities and things to do. So, go out there and try some new things, it’ll make your college experience that much more exciting. Trust me.