Category Archives: Questions

Spring Clean Your Life! Here’s the Secret:

Apr 9, 2015 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

I love Spring time up here in CNY.  Yes, I know that we’re STILL trying to kick Old Man Winter to the curb, but eventually that will take care of itself!

Spring is by far my favorite season. I love to watch the trees bud and flowers bloom. I love to hear the beautiful birds happily chirping and singing in the morning light. (I know what you’re thinking, it’s like a scene straight out of a Disney movie.) It’s a season of new life, rebirth, hope and restoration.

One of my favorite things to do during this time is spring clean. No, I don’t mean walking around my house carrying a dust mop and a vacuum (although necessary, it certainly IS NOT fun!)  I’m talking about the concept of spring cleaning my life. 

What do I mean? Well, as I’ve mentioned above, I look at Spring as a season of growth. After being stuck in the same mindset all winter, I’m ready for some change!

created by me

created by me

So….how can you begin to spring clean your life? The secret is simple: LET GO.

Imagine that you’re holding onto a million balloons. Each balloon represents every emotion you feel, every problem you faced or any regrets you may have. Eventually, they become too heavy to keep carrying around. So, here’s the thing: let them go. Release them. Take all the garbage from the cold, dark, stagnant winter and throw it away.

  • Spring Clean every little thing that has been weighing you down.
  • Spring Clean the hurts and disappointments.
  • Spring Clean past mistakes or regrets.
  • Spring Clean negativity and expectations.
  • Spring clean the toxic people in your life.

Sounds easy right? Sounds like a simple concept….but, it’s not. It takes a lot of strength and determination to not fall back into old habits! But, you’ll get there.

Spring is a season of new hopes, dreams, goals and life. So don’t cling to the person you were in yesterday, last week, last month, or even last year. Shed old mindsets. Dump old habits. Make way for a new beginning, and allow yourself to gently grow.

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10 Things I Would Tell My Freshman Self

Mar 16, 2015 | Author: Allison Acquaviva
My young, naive freshman self. 2011

My young, naive freshman self. 2011

With graduation fast approaching, it made me reflect on the last four years of my journey through college. My first year was a complete mess. I switched majors twice, had no idea what I wanted to do, and experienced some all too familiar high school drama. Oy! I so did not plan on starting my college life off like that. But, like most things, God had a plan and several lessons in store for me to learn. By my third year, I was FINALLY settled. After changing majors three times, I found my place and have never been happier.

The freshman ‘me’ was so worried about trivial things instead of focusing on what was important. I’ve changed tremendously over the last four years and sometimes, I would love to go back and have a talk with the younger, more naive me. It made me think of everything I would say to the past Allison.

  1. This isn’t high school – let your guard down a little and be open to new possibilities and opportunities.
  2. Stop playing it safe. Step out of your comfort zone and try things that you never thought you would. You’ll end up loving it more than you think.
  3. Focus on what makes you HAPPY, not what will make you money. Money is obviously a necessity to live, but never ever compromise your happiness for the glory of the almighty dollar.
  4. Learn to study. You never had to truly study before and now is the best time to get organized and do it. Find a study method, reevaluate if needed, and commit to it.
  5. Know your professors. Majority of them really want to see you and help you succeed. Don’t be nervous – if you have a problem, ask them. 
  6. Contribute to discussions. If you have something to say – say it. Live fearlessly and boldly. Don’t be afraid to speak up because there are no “bad answers.” Just talk.
  7. Rent your books on Amazon, or anyplace else, but the bookstore. For the love of God rent your books from ANYWHERE ELSE. Nuff said. 
  8. You’re not going to die from public speaking or presenting. Mostly everyone is nervous to do that. Choose confidence over nervousness. You’ll realize that you’re really not so bad at public speaking at all!
  9. Run your own race. Seriously, stop comparing yourself to anyone else. Nobody can do a better job at being you, than YOU!
  10. Have fun, enjoy the bumps, twists and turns. It goes by so fast. 

“Many Mountains to Climb” (HOMW 6)

Mar 7, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

This week’s highlight was definitely a unique experience and one I will not forget any time soon!

HOMW 6: “MANY MOUNTAINS TO CLIMB”

Every other Wednesday from 3-5 PM in Bell Conference Center is the full body meeting of the Utica College Student Senate. I was given the opportunity to join Senate last year, and absolutely loved it! It is so interesting to see the backbone of our student organizations at work, and I really appreciate being able to represent students when decisions are being made. As a junior, I was a commuter representative, but this year, I am a North Hall representative. Usually, meetings are only attended by the students in Senate, plus any students who may be representing an organization requesting funds that week for an event. This week’s meeting was a bit different, because we had a special guest: UC President Todd Hutton!

President Hutton attended the meeting so that he could speak directly to us about his plans to retire. (For those of you who may not know, President Hutton announced his retirement earlier this week. To read WKTV’s report of his announcement, as well as President Hutton’s letter to the UC Community, you can click here.) President Hutton said that he had “many mountains to climb, both literally and figuratively,” as his retirement plans include hiking with his wife and spending time with his family. It meant a lot to me and the other students that President Hutton took the time to discuss his decision and the thought process behind it with us in person.  He gave us the opportunity to ask questions or make comments, and many students shared stories of special memories they had with him throughout their years at UC. Others asked him to share some of his own favorite moments during his time here. I was honored to have had the opportunity to not only hear more about President Hutton’s decision from the man of the hour himself, but also to have been able to hear so many wonderful memories he and my fellow students shared from their Utica College experiences.

After the meeting, my friend Karita and I shared with President Hutton our gratitude for his service to the College, as well as a special memory of our own. Karita and I met when we worked together during the summer after our freshman year; we were both summer orientation mentors and spent two weeks living and breathing every minute together. During summer orientation, President Hutton makes a speech to incoming students and their families about being mindful of what they do with all of the opportunities available to them at Utica College. He says, “Look next to you: that could be a lifelong friend.” Karita and I have always treasured hearing that speech when we worked orientation after both our sophomore and junior years, because we felt that his words were especially true for us, since we became friends at orientation just as he described! It was great to share that with President Hutton, and he said he was really grateful to hear that his words had such a positive impact on us.

Then, of course, we took a picture with him.

His smile says it all: we may very well be his favorite students of all time. I'm not saying that is true, but the proof is in the picture.

His smile says it all: we may very well be his favorite students of all time. I’m not saying that is true, but the proof is in the picture.

President Hutton’s guest appearance at the Student Senate meeting this week was a really wonderful experience. As a graduating senior, I felt a connection to his words, as I too will have “many mountains to climb” in the future when my time at Utica College comes to a close. I am grateful to President Hutton for all of the positive impacts he has had on UC, and wish him all of the best in his future endeavors.

Things That Just Aren’t Cool

Mar 6, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Utica College is a very small school, so generally students end up feeling like everyone knows everyone. Spending so much time every day with the same people usually has everyone thinking pretty similar thoughts, which ends in conversations of “I know exactly what you mean!” and “I was thinking the same thing!” That being said, here are some things I think we can all agree on: Things That Just Aren’t Cool:

1. Smoking. Seriously, it is 2015, who still smokes? I am always surprised when I randomly see a student smoking outside of an academic building before class. I think we are all grateful that there are designated smoking areas on campus, so we can avoid the stink of cigarettes. Seriously, cut it out, they’re gross.

2. Walking really slowly or blocking stairs and hallways during busy times. I’m not talking about walking at a generally slower pace to class because you’re enjoying the weather here. I’m talking about when you’re hurrying to the caf to grab a sandwich before your 4 meetings in the afternoon and you get stuck behind students who are barely crawling up the stairs in Strebel, or when you’re speed-walking to class and a group of people are creating a human barrier that is taking up the entire hallway. If you know it’s a busy time of day and you want to have a social conversation, take it to the student lounge instead of the hallways so that people can get to where they need to go. There is plenty of room for everyone if we are considerate of others.

3. Using your cell phone in class. I cannot believe my eyes when students try to make phone calls or send text messages in class. Not only are you being rude to the professor, you are being rude to everyone around you who is trying to pay attention. On top of that, you are defeating the point of attending class- you can’t retain information as efficiently when your attention is split (this is an empirically supported statement, not just something your professor says to get you to stay off your cell phone). When you get to class, turn your phone on silent, put it in your bag, and focus on the present moment.

Hopefully, we can all agree that smoking, texting in class, and blocking the halls are just not cool. Let’s all be a little more considerate of our fellow students and silence those phones, give others room to walk, and leave those cigarettes where they belong: in the garbage!

 

Why It’s Okay To Be Selfish in College

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

Image from Google

“I’m so busy. I’m so stressed out.”

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

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

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

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

It’s NOT natural!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get to Know Me

Oct 14, 2014 | Author: Karita Rawlins

As I read through my previous blogs, I noticed I never formally introduced myself, which is actually really ironic seeing as the only person I want to talk about majority of the time is myself.

I recently turned 21, so I will answer 21 random questions about myself that are a combination of ones I found online and made up on my own.

  1. What is your year/major?
    • I am a senior studying communication arts.
  2. When’s your birthday?
    • September 9! I’m a Virgo.
  3. Where are you from?
    • I was born in St.Thomas, US Virgin Islands. and I lived in the Bronx,NY since I was 4, but just last month, my family moved to Syracuse, NY.
  4. Why Utica College ?
    • My sister was a student here, and I follow her everywhere, so naturally, I went to the same college as her.
  5. What is your favorite cereal?
    • I’m pretty sure I am an 85 year-old woman on the inside. My favorite cereal is Wheaties; second place is Corn Flakes. I hate fruity/sugary cereals!
  6. Do you have any pets?
    • I am afraid of pretty much everything not human. So, no.
  7. How involved are you on campus?
    • I’m pretty involved. This year in particular, I’m not due to time constraints, but I am a member of Alpha Phi Omega Petitioning Group. In the past, I’ve been active on UCPB, Student Senate, RHA and many more…
  8. What is your favorite season?
    • Autumn. Sweaters are my favorite article of clothing. It gives me the opportunity to wear cute outfits without freezing or having to hide them behind a big winter coat.
  9. What is your favorite thing about Utica College?
    • The people. Both faculty/staff and the students. They all contribute to this unique experience that I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.
  10. What city you would like to visit?
    • Hong Kong. It seems kind of cliche, but I’ve always been intrigued by China, and I am very determined to visit.
  11. Favorite song?
    • Currently “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift, but overall it would be “Imagine” by John Lennon.
  12. Any siblings?
    • Yes, 8. There’s a big age gap between the first and the last!
  13. What is your favorite animal?
    • Elephants. I actually have a tattoo of one. They are very protective of their heard and are a universal symbol of strength, good luck, power, loyalty and divinity. Plus, the little babies are sooo cute!
  14. Favorite restaurant?
    • Applebees. Anyone who knows me knows for a fact I love Applebees.
  15. Pet peeves?
    • Notifications on my phone and unread emails. It bugs me when I see someone’s inbox and there are 5358 unread emails. *cringe*
  16. Favorite quote?
    • “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all,” - The Emperor of China, Mulan
  17. Most played song?
    • I just checked iTunes;  It’s “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit. I played it a whopping 146 times.
  18. Any talents?
    • No. I am as talented as a brick. I am really good at parallel parking though, so maybe that counts.
  19. Favorite video game?
    • The Sims. I’ve been a avid player since I was young. I need to add the Sims 4 to my collection!
  20. If you could be friends with any celebrity, who would it be?
    • Mindy Kaling. She is my spirit animal.
  21. What do you want to be when you grow up?
    • Happy. I’m still figuring out what specific career path I want, but I know for a fact I want to be happy.

Want to learn more about me and my experiences at Utica College ? Check out my Senior Year Bucket List!

 

 

 

 

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.

Ditch the Perfectionism Trait!

Oct 3, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Things to Remember When You Feel Lost & Stressed

Sep 22, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Stress is such an unhealthy reaction for your body.

It’s exhausting and just fills our minds with a bunch of unnecessary, negative thoughts. It makes us feel like absolute crap, and causes us to be in over our heads. We feel disjointed, lost, confused, overwhelmed, and we forget who we are.

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We weren’t made to feel like that, yet we all experience situations that completely stress us out and we really don’t know how to properly handle them. When that happens, we have to remember these key points:

1. Prayer

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I am rooted in Faith. I was raised that way, and I will always stay that way. One of my all time favorite verses is “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13. It reminds me that I’m a pretty strong person and truly can handle anything that life brings my way. It also reminds me that I am equipped with the right amount of strength, courage and confidence, even on my worst days. I find so much comfort and peace through Prayer, and I truly advise everyone to at least give it a try. :)

2. Circle of Influence

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This past summer was so incredibly stressful for my family. Honestly, I don’t ever remember feeling so overwhelmed. Luckily for me, I had such an amazing and supportive friend who I counted on to keep me calm and logical. During that time, she told me about my circle of influence. In other words….

  • What can I control?
  • What is in my circle of influence?

The answer? Myself. The only thing I have control over is myself, my attitude, my reactions. Anything outside of that, I can’t control, so why stress? It sounds pretty obvious, but it’s so easy to forget and feel like you have to control everything.  Remembering this actually helped me get past those rough times.

The point: Although you may not be able to control the situation, when you realize that you CAN control your response, your attitude toward it, things will seem much easier to handle.

3. Reach Out.

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Having a solid support system in times of turmoil and stress is so crucial. Reach out and grab a friend, a family member, anyone that you trust and know will be there to listen. Remember, you don’t need a whole network of people. Sometimes, too many opinions can cause even more stress. Stick with one, or two.

4. Laughter IS the Best Medicine!

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I think this is the easiest point to forget when we’re stressed….at least, it is for me. Whenever life gives me more than I can handle, I try to relax and unwind with some humor. Put on your favorite TV show, be around people who make you smile and laugh. It’s been proven that laughter actually reduces your stress level.

Is College Worth It?

Sep 20, 2014 | Author: Benjamin Mehic

Most students decide to get a higher education after high school because most jobs require a college degree. With that said, college is an investment. No longer can students coast through classes like they did in high school, as there are consequences for not doing well. Most students who study and take advantage of their resources in college, eventually graduate with a degree.

But, college is expensive. Students typically graduate college with thousands of dollars in student loans and debt which they will eventually have to pay back. So is a degree truly worth it?

According to the New York Times, “Americans with four-year college degrees made 98 percent more an hour on average in 2013 than people without a degree. That’s up from 89 percent five years earlier, 85 percent a decade earlier and 64 percent in the early 1980s.”

Although student loans could potentially become overwhelming, often times, students accumulate scholarships and financial aid which lessen debt after graduation.

It’s no secret that most jobs require a college degree. The more school a student completes, the higher chance he/she has to land the job they’re seeking. Oh, and the pay increases drastically as well.

So, I think it’s fair to say that college is worth it. Unless you get extremely lucky, there’s a good chance that your future job will require you to have some sort of a degree.