Category Archives: Class

How To Survive With No Sleep.

Mar 29, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Going to college means having a workload waaaaaaaaaaaaay more intense than what you may be used to. Between homework, projects, studying for tests, and reviewing your notes, classes take up a huge chunk of time. Plus, you probably have a job, and a social life. …So sleep doesn’t really factor into the mix all of the time.

Running on little-to-no sleep is hard. …but not impossible. (Just be sure to not do this all the time. Reserve it for those crunch times during the semester.)

Stay Away From Caffeine

I know, counter-intuitive. But, hear me out. Caffeine causes a “jolt” in your body, but soon after you’re going to crash. And you’ll be worse than you were before. If you must, only have a cup of coffee, or one energy drink; don’t guzzle them down.

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(If I’m advocating against coffee then you know I mean it…as evidenced by my affinity for coffee…and taking pictures of myself while drinking it.)

Stay away from carbs, focus on proteins.

Chips, pretzels, bread, and all those other carb-ladden foods cause a spike in blood sugar…which then may cause drowsiness to set in. Try to eat proteins such as nuts, peanut butter, and cottage cheese. Try to eat throughout the day, and not have huge meals.

(Peanut butter is a good high protein food to eat when tired.)

Take Cat Naps

http://sleepyti.me/ This website is pretty cool. You can use it to calculate when you should wake up in order to get the most efficiency out of your rest time. (It calculates the average human REM cycles and then gives you suggested times to wake up when you are least likely to interrupt a cycle) I’m not actually sure if it works, but I always feel more refreshed after I use it…so give it a try, who knows?

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(A snapchat someone sent me…of me. …sleeping.)

Remember, any sleep is better than no sleep. Pulling all-nighters is actually super bad for you though, so I don’t recommend it.

So, next time you’re exhausted check yourself and try to do these things, they’ll totally help.

 

 

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Coming back from spring break? 5 Tips for getting back to normal

Mar 27, 2014 | Author: LaShanna Saunders

Coming back from spring break is always tough. You just had a week off of no school, exams, or any other obligations pertaining to work. Most of us either cry on our way back or some may be too busy trying to get assignments done. Here are 5 easy tips you can use to get back to normal after spring break. By normal I  mean: stressing over exams, cramming, pulling all nighters and waking up for those 8:30 classes.

Tip 1: Go to bed earlier than usual.The day before your first day back ( which is usually a Sunday).  Do not stay up and watch t.v and try to avoid leaving your assignments for that night. This will  ensure that you rest for your first day back so even if its tough, you will be able to manage.

Tip 2: Eat a good breakfast your first day back. I am for one am not a breakfast person, however eating an healthy breakfast improves your chances of staying awake in class and decreases headaches throughout the day.

Tip 3: Organize yourself. After your first week back, you feel as though you have been ran over by a car, so you tend to sleep in that first weekend back. Find time to organize your self. Now that you have had all your classes, go through  the syllabus for each class and write out ( or maybe even type up) a schedule for the remaining of the semester, that way you know what you are up against. This gives you the ability to plan things out so that you don’t get overwhelmed with due dates.

Tip 4: Group studying. Dont be afraid to ask for help, you are not the only person failing a class or having a hard time adjusting back to school. In the library you can request study rooms. Request a room and invite some friends or classmates to study. You guys can feed off of each others energy while still studying and it will help you feel more relaxed that your not alone in this situation.

Tip 5. Relax!!!! This is big one. Find some relaxing time for your self, go to a zumba class, (Which is offered at Utica) or even the gym. Find time for yourself because you will be stressed out especially at this time of the year. Even changing your room around can help you feel refresh and motivated.

I hope that these tips were helpful in adjusting back to normal after spring break . If you would like more advice or entry’s on stuff like this just leave a comment telling me what you would like to know more about.

Moose You Later, L.

7 LETTER WORD

Mar 27, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

Ok so i have a question for you. what 7 letter word is essential to a great college career ? … can’t get it ? or maybe you think you have it. well the answer is BALANCE. Balance is so important in college for multiple reasons. Balance does exactly what its meaning says and thats keep you up right so you don’t fall down. College can get really frustrating with all the amount of work that you have to do , if you play a sport the endless meetings and hours in the weight room and lastly we can’t forget down time i mean we live for the down time at college thats when all the magic happens , its the one time when we get to experience college life and all the cool things that come with being a college student. Now with all those things being said it can sometimes be hard to keep yourself leveled to make sure that you are taking care of everything that is needed and at the same time having funny. This is where most people find themselves in trouble when they go away for college. They lose their Balance and everything starts to crumble , their homework starts to become late or not done at all and partying starts to take over their lives. This is were having the ability and know how to balance all of the things that are on your plate comes in handy. On my next blog i will list some steps more like helpful tips that you can use to create a base foundation for your own balance so you can stay on track and still enjoy college life. Just always remember that theirs a time for everything but make sure that its the right time for it.

You Did Badly on an Exam…You’ll Be Okay.

Mar 25, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

During my freshman year here at Utica I was insanely hard on myself about tests. Any bad grade and I would beat myself up about it for ages. …Which, I realize now, is not fair.

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(Now I’m just sad for a bit, and then I move on.)

Tests are not the end-all-be-all; it may feel like it when professors throw around, “But it’s 15% of your grade!” But it is okay. Most professors try to scare you into studying, which you should do anyway, but there are ways around a bad grade, such as working to complete your homework on time, participating in class, etc. But, if you can’t stop thinking about that bad test here are some tips:

(Note: these tips only work for those who actually studied. If you get a bad grade because you simply didn’t try then these will not apply for you.)

First of all, just move on. Do not dwell on one bad grade. It’s alright to be upset about it, but if you’re still mad a few days later then you are focusing too much on that one test. Look forward. Try to focus on how you’re going to ace the next test.

(Your next test grade!)

 Change up the way you study. Maybe your bad grade was because your study method just wasn’t working. If you only ever re-read the notes, try re-writing them, and maybe reading your textbook as well. I found that, personally, I study better when I’m being asked questions. So, I make review sheets with questions based on my notes, and then I answer those questions.

Also. Check out how you study. Do you study by yourself? With a group of people? Maybe group studying just doesn’t work for you, or maybe it shouldn’t be the only way you study. Try to switch up who you study with.

(The show Community was based on a group of students who formed a study group.)

Lastly, look at your study environment.

I can not study in the library during the day. I can only go at night when I know there won’t be that many people there. I get distracted so easily. However, maybe you are a person that needs the motivation of going to the library, and being surrounded by books…and general “scholarly-ness.”

(The Utica College Library….a frequent study spot for some.)

I also haaaaaave to listen to music while studying, but nothing with words! I find I focus best on material while listening to classical music. I usually play Pachelbel’s Canon in D, on repeat, for as long as I’m studying. I do switch it up sometimes though. However, you should look into if you’re a music person or not. I know some people who need dead silence before they can even think about studying.

So, next time you get a bad test grade, which I hope doesn’t happen(!), don’t fret. Take a breath, then evaluate why you got that grade. You’ll be alright.

How to Be a Better Commuter

Feb 17, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine
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Photo by The Tangerine

Utica College has a fairly large commuter base. It attracts a lot of local folks, myself included, who choose to go home at the end of every day and drive back again in the morning. Some of us have a quick five-minute drive while others devote an hour or more there and back.

We all have our reasons for why we prefer it this way. And as with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages. One of the hardest things about being a commuter is dealing with harsh CNY winter travel and making that dreaded decision of whether or not to take your chances driving to school every time the snow rolls around.

There are several things to do to lessen the inconvenience and dangers posed by nasty weather. For starters, be smart when you’re making the decision of whether to face the commute or not. If you can afford to miss the class without severely getting points docked from your grade, then it might be best to not go in. Even if there’s important material, you can always try speaking to your professor or getting notes from a friend. Class is very important, and so is attendance, but your safety is the most important of all.

That being said, I am not in any way condoning skipping classes without a darn good reason. After all,we are seasoned veterans here in CNY when it comes to driving in harsh elements, so if you can, get your butt to class. It’s a given that you should drive slow, and always leave early on a bad weather day so you don’t feel the need to rush. But if you can’t avoid leaving late, do not try to rush there. It’s better to make it to class safely and a few minutes late.

It’s a good idea to even leave for class early on a good day when you’re a commuter. You never know what kind of traffic snafus or incompetent people you’ll encounter along your journey.

In fact, getting there early means better chances of a better parking spot. You can’t argue with that!

Being a commuter can also be tricky if you’ve got a long day with back-to-back classes and/or work. You don’t have time to run home again, so it is key to plan ahead when packing for the day. More obviously, you’ll need all your books, papers, etc. for your classes. But you also want to make sure you have tons of food to get you through the day. I recommend bringing more than you think you’ll need in case you get stuck being out later than you originally intended.

On a similar note, I recommend getting yourself a Brita water bottle. It has a built-in filter, so you can feel safe drinking tap water. That means you’ll have water all day long, and won’t have to bring or buy a million plastic water bottles.

It’s also not a bad idea to keep your car stocked with essentials like tissues, Advil, and your chargers for your phone/laptop/etc. This way, you won’t find yourself running to the store or back home when you unexpectedly need something.

If you have a laptop or tablet, I definitely recommend bringing it to school with you as a commuter. You never know when you might need it. If one of your classes gets canceled and you’ve got time to kill, you’ll be glad you brought it along.

Be sure to have a back-up plan for rides. Just last week when it snowed on Friday, I got completely blocked in by snow thanks to the snow plowers at my apartment complex, and couldn’t get out of the parking lot. Luckily, I had a friend who was willing to pick me up on her way into school.

Finally, try to be as picky with your class schedule as you can be. Some classes are only offered at one time, and you have to deal with that. But if you can choose classes so that you have to make as few trips to campus as possible, then do it. Your gas tank will thank you.

Are you a commuter? What do you do to make your life a little bit easier?

How to Survive Night Class If You’re Not a Night Owl

Feb 10, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine
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Photo from camelcitydispatch.com

Some people thrive in night classes. In fact, some people actually prefer to take them  because night classes are generally only one night out of the week as opposed to the typical Tuesday/Thursday or Monday/Wednesday/Friday combination.

However, there are also a lot of folks like me who would much rather take an earlier class, and often avoid night classes like the plague. On top of not being an evening person, I am also night-blind (it’s a legitimate genetic condition; look it up), so driving at night is a struggle. Night classes are basically my worst nightmare.

I successfully avoided taking any until this semester in my senior year when two classes I needed to take were only offered at night. I’m sure many of you have run into this as well, and the most we can do is suck it up.

But there are ways to make it more bearable, tolerable even.

  1. Start by looking on the bright side. You only have to take this class once a week! That means less trips to campus and less days to worry about the class in general. It also usually means you have more time in between classes to get your assignments done. If you play your cards right, this could mean having a day or two off except for the night class(es).
  2. Learn to reverse your homework schedule. If you’re like me and you’re used to getting your homework done at night, you’re going to have to learn to switch that around on the days you have night classes. Get your work done early in the day so you don’t have to tackle it when you roll in at 10 o’ clock at night.
  3. Eat a light dinner beforehand. You want to make sure you’re not going to class on an empty stomach because that’s miserable and distracting, but you also want to make sure you don’t overeat so you aren’t uncomfortably full during class.
  4. Check the weather a day or two in advance. This only applies to commuters, but you want to be prepared if you’re going to have bad weather while traveling at night. Plan to leave a few minutes early so you can take your time. Also get your professor’s cell number so you can contact them if the weather is making it completely impossible for you to finish the trip safely.
  5. Carpool, if possible. Again, this is just for commuters, but you can arrange to carpool with a friend, switching off each week. Driving at night is just annoying, so it helps to share the burden. Plus, you can make it a point to stop and get ice cream or something on the way home, giving you something to look forward to.
  6. Bring snacks. Your mind is bound to wander during three straight hours of class, so keep yourself focused with energizing snacks. Just be wary of the super loud and crunchy snacks like carrots and chips that could be distracting in class.
  7. Ideally, have a classmate walk to your car with you. There’s safety in numbers, people!
  8. If that’s not possible, call a friend or family member while you’re walking to the car. Have a safeword agreed upon so if anything happens, you can say it to them so they can call the police for you. I know this stuff is ominous, but it’s good to be prepared.
  9. Don’t go the gym right beforehand. Okay, this one is really just for me. I took a cardio fitness class right before my night class and didn’t have time to shower or cool down in between. It was rough.
  10. Caffeine! An obvious one, but essential. If you’re not a night owl, you’re going to need a little pick-me-up in order to stay focused at the end of the day.
  11. Don’t wear uncomfortable clothing. It’s college; nobody cares if you wear sweats, and you aren’t going to want to sit there in your Sunday’s best at 9 o’ clock at night.
  12. Get a friend to take the class with you. Even if it’s not related to their major, there’s a good chance they can get elective or liberal arts credits for it. And obviously, class is a heck of a lot more fun with a buddy.

What are your opinions on night classes? Are you a night owl or a morning person?

The 8 websites that got me through college.

Dec 4, 2013 | Author: Vikki Feggulis

That’s one loaded post title. It implies I will really, actually, truly, in less than two weeks (O M G) graduate. Wow.

In true nostalgic fashion, I figured I’d share some of the sites that I’ve discovered in school that have helped me out academically, physically and mentally. I need all the help I can get.

1. VisualCVScreen shot 2013-12-04 at 3.25.07 PM

#ShamelessPlug. Let’s get the academic stuff out of the way off the bat, shall we? (P.S. look around the page right now and try to tell me you’re not creeped out by all the little pictures of my face. GO AHEAD, TRY.)

This website has helped me a lot when applying for jobs and internships! The page itself is set up pretty much like LinkedIn and looks like a virtual resume. Unlike LinkedIn though, VisualCV makes it super easy to upload documents, visual samples and audio clips into a portfolio section. This feature is really helpful, especially if you’re trying to get a job working with social media. Many applications for positions involving social media now require a blog URL or portfolio URL to be submitted, so having something like this handy is great!

2. CollegeRuledScreen shot 2013-12-04 at 4.31.05 PM

Keeping with the academic theme, this website makes plotting your strategies for battle, I mean “picking classes,” ridiculously easy. I’m a little old-school I suppose (Excel docs 4Evah), but this option was introduced to me last year and I have a feeling that if I’d known about it as a first-year student that I would’ve been all over it. (P.S. I only gave you half my schedule in the example above so you can only half stalk me. Boom.)

3. InstamotivationScreen shot 2013-12-04 at 4.46.41 PM

Let’s be honest, there’s something you should be doing right now that you’re not doing because you don’t want to and you’re thoroughly going to regret it right…. now. (Sorry.)

Instamotivation, which happens to be from the brilliant minds at Greatist, will hammer you with motivational phrases until you feel like you could climb Mount Everest, backflip down and then run a marathon at the bottom.

Then you’ll remember that you’re only writing a paper on the economic situation in Sri Lanka and get real sad again. But you’ll be super motivated!! E-C-O-N, who can do it? YOU CAN! (Again, I’m sorry. Instamotivation overdose.)

4. GreatistScreen shot 2013-12-04 at 3.41.58 PM

Greatist is one of the best websites I’ve found in a long time. The goal? To breakdown health, fitness and general wellness information to interesting and easily digestible bites. The site is littered with infographics, research-based articles (with “takeaways” at the bottom for those moments when you’re pressed for time), recipes and polls that ask some tough questions about the state of health and wellness in the country all in a conversational, easy-to-understand format. The unique angle of the articles makes this site one of the biggest ways I procrastinate, but I’m constantly learning so it’s not all bad right…?? Guys?

5. The OatmealScreen shot 2013-12-04 at 5.00.51 PM

This website literally makes me cry. Real tears. Real tears of wonderful, unrivaled joy. These comics are hysterical and most are based on current events (procrastination is justifiable in you’re learning, obviously.) Pretty sure laughing constitutes an ab workout too, so it’s like a win-win.

6. What to Wear ToolScreen shot 2013-12-04 at 4.14.09 PM

For all my fellow runners! Plug in a few different details about yourself and the conditions outside, and the tool will tell you what to wear. No thinking involved. None. Nada. Zip. I need one of these for like, my life. Someone tell Mark Remy to get on that.

 7. Tone It UpScreen shot 2013-12-04 at 3.55.25 PM

Next we’ve got Tone It Up! I started following the site about two years ago because I was bored with my workouts. Karena and Katrina, the girls who run Tone It Up, create, film and distribute free workouts on their site. And let’s be honest, free is every college student’s middle name.

Low on time and space? You could definitely buy some dumbbells and do the workouts in the dorm too. Every Sunday, they post a day-by-day schedule of workouts, which is great if I’m feeling blah about my impending trip to the gym. Each one comes with a printable copy (although, I’m a cheapo and write the workouts on post-its. My gym bag looks like a multi-colored paper-based bomb went off.) With everything else going on, it’s nice to not have to plan my workout from time-to-time.

8. Whatever this isScreen shot 2013-12-04 at 6.31.34 PM

BEST way to waste time (and force you to turn dejectedly to Instamotivation) EVER.

 

I hope you find some of these websites useful! And hopefully, their use goes beyond just being amazing time-killers.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go play with the little spaceship. #Instalazy

For you:
What are your top 3 most visited websites?

Other than the obvious Facebook and Twitter.
I almost typed MySpace.
Help me, I’m stuck in 2006 and I can’t get out.

Fuel for Finals Week: What You Should Snack On

Nov 12, 2013 | Author: Colleen Bierstine

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There is actual evidence to show that college students gain weight because of the stress from finals week. It’s a natural habit that we like to reach for the snacks to ease the pain of studying. Often times, we’re not even hungry, but we partake in mindless snacking that can go on for hours. And before you know it, you’ve inhaled an entire bag of potato chips and 20 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. You’ve probably got the pizza delivery guy on speed dial too.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, eh?

But there’s more science to tell you that all that junk doesn’t help you much in the long-run. Not only does it do nothing to fuel your brain or aid your test performance, but it’s unhealthy and will expand your waistband in the future. It sounds pretty obvious to me that, if you’ve just got to snack while studying, then you should reach for healthier options.

I know, you’re sitting there thinking, “Girl, I’m young. I don’t have to eat healthy.” And you probably don’t want to either. But the truth is, the earlier you start treating you body better, the better off you will be. I’m not telling you to give up everything delicious in life and never indulge again; I’m just talking about switching out your normal studying snacks for real brain food.

The common misconception is that brain food equates to raw fruits and veggies, but there are much more exciting options out there if you prefer. Here are some of my favorite snacks that will fuel your brain so you can crush those exams without weighing enough to crush your professors after.

  1. Go nuts. No, but really. There are so many different varieties of nuts that there’s one for everybody, plus they’re salty, crunchy, and delicious. They’re proven to reduce stress and help your brain. And they’ve got protein! Just take it easy on these babies; you only need a handful or two.DSC_7293
  2. Cute & delicious. Teddy Grahams are, in my humble opinion, the cutest snack at the grocery store. You’d think because they’re sweet and targeted at kids that they’re also horrible for you and loaded with sugar, but they’re actually not half-bad. You can have about 30 little bears for around 130 cals, 8g of sugar, and 4g of fat. That ain’t bad! And they come in a plethora of flavors: Chocolaty Chip, Chocolate, Apple, Strawberry Banana, Honey, and Cinnamon.

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    Get the recipe for these PB & Apple Teddy Graham Pretzel Bites on thesmartcookiecook.com

  3. God’s gift to nature: Avocados. I know, you don’t want fruits and veggies, but in my book, avocados don’t count. They are so rich, creamy, and scrumptious that you won’t believe they came straight out of nature. Some people argue they should be classified as cheese because they taste that rich. But half an avocado is only 50 calories, and it’ll amp up anything you spread it on: wraps, sandwiches, veggies, whole wheat pita bread, etc. They are a bit high in fat, but it’s good fat, like in nuts.DSC_6046
  4. Get it poppin’ with plain popcorn. Sound boring? After a lifetime of eating popcorn drenched in fake butter, I never imagined plain popcorn would be any good. As It turns out, I was pleasantly surprised by how addicting and delicious it really is. Just a little bit of salt is enough to make plain popcorn taste like an indulgent snack, but you can have 2 cups for about 40 calories. Score!
  5. Hot and steamy. Did you know sugar-free hot cocoa has only 25 calories? It’s comforting, and it’ll satisfy your sweet tooth, but it won’t put you into a sugar coma afterward.DSC_7464
  6. Cup o’ Joe. Hot coffee has the same comforting qualities as hot cocoa for absolutely zero calories. Just be careful; when you load it up with milk and sugar, it quickly becomes bad for you. Use almond milk or a sugar-free creamer instead. Also, Nectresse is my sugar-free sweetener of choice. It’s not as artificial as other sweeteners.
  7. Take a dip. Hummus is a nutritious but completely delicious and hearty dip that’s perfect for study-time snacking. I only recently fell in love with hummus, but that love quickly grew into an obsession. If you haven’t tried it yet, just give it a shot, and you won’t be disappointed by how creamy and yummy it is. Plus, it tastes good on everything.DSC_8409-6

Those are MY go-to snacks, but here’s what fellow UC students suggested:

  1. Victoria L. – Granola bars (just make sure you look for ones low in sugar), apples, Rice Krispie treats (in moderation – one treat is 90 cal), Subway, and hummus. Did you know you can buy hummus from the Bistro at UC?
  2. Tyler G. – Cheez-Its (in moderation, a handful or two), grapes (try freezing them; they’re like candy), and Chobani yogurt (hello, protein!).

What snacks will you reach for when it’s time to study?

Life as a Physics TA

Oct 25, 2013 | Author: Matty Campos

As the teaching assistant for the PHY 151 and PHY 251 courses, my primary responsibility is to prepare the different labs that each class will be conducting each week. This is right up my alley, as I gained a lot of experience working with special instruments and equipment as an armament repairer in the Army. I was taught how to troubleshoot, disassemble, assemble and repair weapon systems ranging from the M16 rifle, all the way up to the cannon of the M1 Abrams battle tank.

However, today when I came into the lab and began setting up the experiment, I was stumped! The lab was to observe the effect of air resistance on falling coffee filters and to determine how air resistance and mass affect the terminal velocity of a falling object. It seemed simple enough, until I took out the motion detectors used to collects position, velocity and acceleration data of moving objects. I looked at them and had no idea which side of the sensor was up and which was down. I had never worked with equipment like that before and began to panic, as the lab had to be set up that same day for an actual class. A few hours later, after painfully going through the instruction manual and taking a few photos along the way, I was successfully gathering data of falling objects with the set-up.

Even the life of a physics TA can has its exciting moments!

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Majors and Minors Fair

Oct 9, 2013 | Author: Matty Campos

Today we had the annual Majors and Minors fair in the Strebel Student Center lounge. Before the event officially began the lounge was packed with students. It was almost impossible to walk through without bumping into someone. All the departments had its own table with a so many cool things to show off. But the best of them all: the Physics departments table, where we were “shocking” students with our static electricity machine and a bunch of other cool toys. I think the Chem departments table was pretty cool, literally, with their ice cream made with liquid nitrogen. Thanks to everyone who stopped by, and to all my friends and colleagues who were participating in the event.

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