Category Archives: Campus Life

Get Me Into Grad School!

Oct 29, 2014 | Author: Elaine Paravati

    Lately, I have been focusing extensively on my grad school search. It’s intimidating and exciting all at once to look at and apply to future colleges. After all, my time here at Utica College will be over in less than a semester and a half, and who knows where I will be at this time next year!

    Last week, I attended a presentation by Career Services entitled, “Get Me Into Grad School.” The presentation lasted about an hour, and had a great turnout. Students filled the room in which the presentation was held. Helina Lotyczewski, director of Career Services, led the conversation and gave plenty of tips and tricks for navigating the higher education application process. Here are some of her main suggestions:

-Know what you want. For some, grad school is totally unnecessary for success in their field. For others (like me, as I aspire to be a psychology professor), grad school is completely a necessity. Having a clear goal will help you figure out exactly what program will be the best fit in order for you to achieve that goal as efficiently as possible.

-Know what you need. In my case, the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is required for all of my applications, as are recommendation letters and a personal statement. I also need research experience and teaching experience in order to be considered for more competitive programs. Having knowledge of what would be expected of me as an applicant helped me accomplish everything early on, so I wouldn’t be scrambling the week before the deadline to pull things together. Look into program and application requirements early on, so you have plenty of time to prepare for exams, gather materials, and secure recommendations before your deadlines.

-Know who can help you. Helina gave us all sorts of great online resources from the Career Services page that helped with finding programs and universities. There are tons of tools on the Career Services page that can help any student, from job market opportunity analysis to resumé builders. However, there are also plenty of people on campus who can help you in your graduate school process. Helina explained that with a personal appointment in the Career Services office, students could receive help finding the right path for their desired career, they could practice their interview skills in a mock interview, and they even could have their personal statement revised! The professionals in this office are trained to help students, and their services are free, so it’s worth making the appointment and getting that extra help.

     Overall, the “Get Me Into Grad School” program was a huge success. The students who attended received plenty of helpful advice and tools to assist them in their process. As for me, I left the presentation and walked straight to Career Services to schedule my personal appointment. I am determined to get into grad school, and am grateful that Utica College has so many great resources to help me along the way!

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Halloween

Oct 27, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

Hey guys, how are you doing? This week is a major week for all those people who just want one night to be something other than who they really are. Yes, it’s that time again: Halloween!!! So go to Party City, Walmart, or any place that sells costumes, and get ready for a great week at UC.

Last year, I was thinking that Halloween at college is not even celebrated; it’s just another day. But I was so wrong. People really go all out, but it’s cool and fun. I really advise you guys to go out this weekend with your fellow UC student and have fun.

Homecoming 2014: Through My Lens

Oct 21, 2014 | Author: Kevin Montano

Hi! I’m Kevin, and I am a junior studying journalism (but planning to switch to PR/J come spring). I’m an intern in the Office of Marketing and Communication here on campus.

One of my passions is photography, and this past weekend, I got to put that in action by shooting the homecoming events.

Here are some of my favorite images from Saturday’s festivities. Have homecoming photos to share? Post them on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #CUatUC14.

© K. Montano

Despite the weather, campus tours went on for prospective students, alumni and their families.

© K. Montano

Utica College ROTC practice marching outside of Hubbard Hall. The ROTC provided a color guard for the homecoming football game.

© K. Montano

Musical entertainment at the construction management tailgate.

© K. Montano

The clouds did break for a little while on Saturday.

© K. Montano

Jon PIacentino (center) was Utica’s honorary captain for the game against St. John Fisher.

© K. Montano

Enjoying some post-football activities in the Strebel Student Center.

© K. Montano © K. Montano © K. Montano © K. Montano © K. Montano © K. Montano © K. Montano © K. Montano © K. Montano © K. Montano © K. Montano © K. Montano © K. Montano © K. Montano

Over 900 images and 7.5 miles of walking later, that’s how I spent my Saturday.

What was your favorite homecoming event?

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!

 

 

 

 

12 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About College

Oct 17, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine

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Most of our knowledge comes from experience. That’s why a lot us will look back on events in our lives and say things like, “If I only knew then what I know now.” We tend to think about things in retrospect – what we could have done better if we had known more at that present time. But of course, this never really does us any good because, try as we might, we can’t go back to those moments.

Now that I’m about to graduate this semester, I have been thinking of a lot of things that I wish I knew going into college, things I wish someone had told me. Although, even if someone had passed this knowledge my way then, would I have listened? Who knows? My hope is that, in sharing these tips with you, you’ll trust me and take it to heart so you can get the most out of your time and money.

  1. Take the classes that matter to you.
    I am going to be completely honest. Every semester, when it came time to build my schedule for the next semester, I focused only on a) what was required to graduate, b) what was most convenient time-wise, and c) what was easiest. This worked out to make my time here quite efficient, but all of a sudden, it dawned on me that I have taken all of the classes that I will take.
    I wonder if I missed things. I took a couple easy A courses, but did I take things that would be practical and applicable? Yes, but not as many as I could have. Do whatever you can to broaden your horizon now. Take communication, business and writing courses, no matter what your major is. These will help you so much. Then be sure to fit in things you find interesting.
  2. Class attendance is crucial, but your health is the most important thing.
    This past semester, I got hit with mono. It took me a week or two to get diagnosed, but I knew something was severely off. The type-A part of me was saying, “Go to class!” But my body was physically incapable of movement. I did the right thing and went to the doctor instead of class, then brought my professors a doctor’s note. When you have a serious illness like mono, you have to put your health first.
  3. The best way to do well in a group project is to take charge.
    We all know that, despite professors’ best effort, group work is never an equal division. And if you don’t get to pick who you’re working with, there’s no guarantee the people you work with have the same work ethic or concern for their grades as you do. Therefore, if you want to do well on a group project, the only way to do so is suck it up and take the reigns. You need to be in control, be responsible, and be aware of dates and requirements. As harsh a reality as it is, that’s just group work for you.
  4. Your professors want you to succeed.
    It feels like they’re out to get you when they hand you a research paper assignment, but I swear, they want to see you do well. They will do everything in their power to help you if you show you’re willing to work and to reach out to them.
  5. Make time to see your family.
    A lot of kids want to get away from their families when they go off to college. And even if that wasn’t the case for you (it wasn’t for me; I didn’t want to leave), it’s likely you’ll assume you have your entire life to visit your family, and you won’t make it a priority on breaks. The thing is, life is going to keep changing and more and more things will get in the way of spending time with them, whether it’s jobs or distance or whatever. Take the time while you have it and be with your family as much as you can.
    rehearsal
  6. Get at least one person’s phone number in every class you’re taking.
    This will come in handy on many levels. If you’re stuck in traffic and going to be late, you can text someone and ask them to let the professor know (make sure you pull over to do this though!). If you miss a class, you can reach out to them for notes. If you’re confused about something, you can ask them for clarification.
  7. Pens exist only to be sucked into a black hole when you’re not looking.
    Seriously, buy a million, because they’ll all be gone in a week, even if you don’t lend them to people.
  8. Learn to cook.
    This is for men and women. People like people with food. It will help you take care of yourself, make friends, get on professors’ good sides, and you’ll look smooth on dates.

    A Loaded Cheese Fries Grilled Cheese from my blog.

    A Loaded Cheese Fries Grilled Cheese from my blog.

  9. You really need to check your email.
    Ask any professor; students don’t check their emails. That’s because our generation is accustomed to texts, and email seems like a thing of the past. However, you have to remember that your professors still use email avidly. It never fails that the one day you don’t check your email is the one day you got a class cancellation notification, but missed it and drove to school for nothing. Plus, you need to look out for weather and campus safety updates. All kinds of important stuff goes to your UC email.
  10. Establish credibility with your professors.
    This is especially true for professors you know you’ll have again. Even if someone rubs you the wrong way, you want to be on their good side. Prove to be diligent, motivated, and responsible by consistently handing assignments in on time, showing up to all classes on time, and participating in class. Always hand in your best work and be friendly. That way, when an unfortunate circumstance does happen, your professor trusts you and is willing to work with you. For example, I got rear-ended on the way to a midterm a few semesters ago, and was consequently a few minutes late, but my professor knew what kind of student I was, and he understood.
  11. You are never “too busy,” so ditch that excuse.
    The saying is true: if you really care about something, you’ll find the time for it. When you tell someone you were “too busy,” you really just didn’t see the thing you didn’t do as priority. I don’t care how much crap you take on – I’m the queen of taking on too much – you will find a way to do what matters to you.
  12. It never hurts to ask.
    A lot of people refrain from asking for something they want/need if they’re sure the person will say “no.” I have always adopted the mantra that it doesn’t hurt to ask, and it’s almost always been helpful to me. When I’m feeling like things are going south in a class, I see if there’s anything a professor can do to help me, even if I think they’ll say “no.” Nine times out of ten, I get surprised. The same goes for anything. I’ve expressed to professors that the whole class could benefit from a couple days extra of studying and gotten tests moved back. This semester, an incredibly understanding professor was willing to work with my teaching schedule at the gym. People will surprise you, and if they say no, so what? You should ALWAYS ask.

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.

20 Things That Inevitably Happen When It’s Your Last Semester

Oct 12, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine
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My big girl backpack.

Fingers crossed, I should be graduating in December. Am I excited? Yeah. Am I scared? Terrified. It’s taken 3 1/2 years, but I have realized several things this semester. In fact, I’d say this was the first semester I finally felt like I knew what I was doing. Now, why couldn’t that have happened sooner?

These are a few of the things I’ve noticed now that it is my last semester here.

  1. You’re outraged when you have to do a big project or paper because you’re just so over the whole thing.
    speech
  2. No one, and I mean no one, can match your procrastination skills.
  3. You’ve started making sleep a priority again because you’re basically an old person now.
  4. Everyone on the planet wants to know what your post-graduation plans are.
  5. Seriously, that is the only thing anyone wants to talk to you about anymore. Um, hello, can we talk about something happier, like food?
    IMG_20140712_174750-2
  6. You’ve realized your “I’m in college” excuse time frame is dwindling, and are therefore milking it for all it’s worth while you can.
  7. You’re trying not to countdown, but it’s impossible.
  8. You’ve mastered the art of doing as much as possible with as little effort as possible.
  9. You’ve convinced yourself there’s some way to avoid entering the real world. I can win the lottery in the next three months!
  10. People have decided it’s their business where you’ve applied to, how many jobs you’ve applied to, and how every bit of your job search is going.
    DSC09586
  11. You finally know your best, most efficient study methods.
  12. You don’t understand how you’re about to adopt an adult life when you still feel like a child.
  13. Your mind is so far ahead of you that you keep forgetting it’s only October, and you still have schoolwork to complete.
  14. You’ve become an expert schedule builder, learning to craft schedules according to your own preferences.
  15. Professors, co-workers, and loved ones make (mostly) empty threats about sabotaging your grades so you can’t graduate yet.
  16. You don’t remember how you were ever able to get up so early in high school. It’s 10 a.m. classes and later all the way.
    DSC06967
  17. If you stacked up all the revisions of your resume, you could build a skyscraper.
  18. You laugh at the juniors who are freaking out about their graduation, as if THEY have it bad.
  19. When you go to events that alumni attend, you can’t help but think how you’ll be one of them soon.
  20. You’re both ready and not ready at the same time.

Fellow seniors, what worldly knowledge have YOU garnered?

Note: all photos were taken & edited by me. The watermark “SCC 2014″ refers to my personal food blog, The Smart Cookie Cook.

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!

 

Stressing Out

Oct 3, 2014 | Author: Laura Holmes

Stress (n.)- a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances As college students we can all pretty much agree that stress is a fact of life.  It’s pretty much inescapable.  I am the kind of person who is ALWAYS stressed about something.  I even get stressed for other people.  If I find out one of my friends is procrastinating on a paper or something, I will be stressed out about it for them until it gets done.  Literally, other people’s lives give me agita. The thing is, we are all so stressed all the time that it seems like we’re getting to the point where we almost can’t function without stress.  I know I leave things to the last-minute even when I have plenty of time to get them done, and so do my friends.  Ask any chronic procrastinator and they will respond, “I work better under pressure”.  But is that really a good thing? The short answer is obviously no.  Stress can lead to a lot of mental and physical problems, but yet we seem to constantly put ourselves in stressful situations and stress out about things we can’t control ( i.e. my friends’ study habits).  In my opinion there are a lot of factors contributing to this, but one of the major ones is also one of the hardest to avoid. One of, in my opinion, the best things about Utica College is the variety and multitude of things happening on campus.  We have numerous clubs and organizations. with new ones forming all the time.  We also have varsity and intramural athletics, on campus job opportunities and internships, as well as events happening nearly everyday.  (That’s not even mentioning the classes, homework, and friends you’ll have)  Any time a group of students here is asked to give advice to incoming first years the most common answer is “get involved”.  And how can you not?  With such a range of exciting things happening, getting involved is easy and lots of fun.  The stress part comes from over-involvement.  It’s easy to look at all the groups on campus and want to be a part of everything.  And at first it might seem easy to balance them all too.  But as the semester goes on and workloads increase you’ll soon find yourself running between classes and meetings and getting a lot less sleep than you should be. I’m definitely not saying don’t get involved.  I’m involved in a bunch of orgs and I work on campus while balancing a double major and minor.  It’s definitely possible.  As a Junior here I feel like I can offer some valuable advice though… slow down and breathe.  Take some time for yourself at least once a week.  Time when you’re not thinking about everything you have to do when you can just relax a little bit.  Personally, I drink a lot of tea, go for runs, and do yoga once a week with my friends.  Find something that works for you and do it!! IMG_0330