Category Archives: Residence Halls

New Semester Resolutions: How I Did!

May 8, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

In a post at the beginning of the semester, I listed my new semester resolutions. Now that the year is coming to a close, I’d like to return to the list and reflect on what I have accomplished over the last several months:

My New Semester Resolutions/ Senior Year Sentiments:

1. Attend as many of my favorite (and free!) UC events as I can- including UCPB nights, Crystal Ball, and Mooseapalooza!

I definitely accomplished this! Some of my favorite events were the hypnotist during Moose Madness week, the Utica College TEDx talk, the Eh440 concert, Crystal Ball, and the GSA Annual Drag Show!

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The UC Gay-Straight Alliance snaps a picture after the show (above). 3BL at Crystal Ball (below).

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2. Win at Tuesday night trivia! (Hey, 4.0 Laura, I’m going to need your help with this one, lil sis)

While we didn’t win, we did get third place! Mainly because 4.0 Laura had night class and couldn’t be on our team to save us.

3. Do something fun over Spring Break- even if it’s not very far away or tropical!

We went somewhere both far away AND tropical- St. Thomas! It was gorgeous and so much fun!

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3BL in paradise!

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4. Take advantage of the open swim hours at the UC pool to add variety to my workouts.

Mission accomplished! Karita and I love to swim, and Laura and I tried spin classes, zumba, yoga, step, and tabata to switch up our workout routine. Photographic evidence of Karita and I at open swim can be found below.

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5. Take a Saranac Brewery tour, and check out any other local attractions that I have yet to see before I leave Utica.

The brewery tour was great! I went with Rachel, a Burrstone RA, and a few of her residents. I loved learning all about how beer has been made throughout history right here in Utica.

6. Get a good night’s sleep (most nights, at least!) so I am more alert during my 8:30 AM classes!

While I don’t have photographic proof of me sleeping, I can attest to the fact that I made sleep more of a priority, and my grades definitely prove it!

7. Make it a priority to do more volunteer work in the area.

This is one area that I was not able to accomplish nearly as well as I wanted. While I stayed very active on campus and was involved in many orgs that help area charities, I didn’t ever find the time to do my own, separate volunteering in the Utica area. There’s definitely always room for improvement, so I still plan to keep this goal in mind for the future!

8. Take a trip to NYC to see museums and eat tons of new foods!

This is another one I didn’t cross off the list. St. Thomas was a huge trip, which made finding time for NYC difficult. Luckily, I have some time this summer to try to accomplish this goal!

9. Allow myself more down time and fun, rather than over scheduling every moment as usual.

Check! I worked very hard on balancing my life more this semester. I gave myself more down time, had a great time with my friends, and was more spontaneous. This allowed me to enjoy every moment instead of trying to over-plan everything all of the time, as I am often tempted to do.

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Sunny days and good vibes in Utica with Karita (above) and Rochester with Ryan (below).

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10. Graduate summa cum laude and go on to graduate school next fall!

I am very excited to be the Class Marshall for the School of Arts & Sciences at this year’s graduation ceremony. In the fall, I will be beginning at the University at Buffalo in the Social-Personality Psychology PhD program.

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So there you have it! I’d say I did pretty well accomplishing most of the things on my list. It was a lot of fun to both create a senior year bucket list and to work towards checking it off. Though my time at UC is almost finished, this list helped me make some awesome memories in my last months here.

Time passes much faster than you think, so I invite you to ask yourself what you want to do before you graduate, make a senior year bucket list or new semester resolution list of your own, and have exactly the college experience that you imagine for yourself!

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The Weekend of A Thousand Events

Mar 31, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

The week after Spring Break is expected to be a busy one, as professors and students alike scramble to make progress in their courses as the time until the end of the semester draws closer. However, this weekend was even busier than anticipated, because there were TONS of fun events happening right on campus! Here are just a few of the things I did this weekend:

FRIDAY, 2 PM: OPEN SWIM

Karita and I love to take advantage of open swim at the Clark Athletic Center. It runs 12-3:30 PM on Fridays, so as soon as we are done with our afternoon classes, we like to head over to complete some laps, practice floating, and spend some time in the sauna. It’s a great way to kick off the weekend!

FRIDAY, 5 PM: WOMYN’S RESOURCE CENTER PUB & AWARDS NIGHT

We headed to the Pioneer Pub for the K Della Ferguson Womyn’s Resource Center Pub & Awards Night. The pub was packed with students, faculty, and staff who were celebrating the diverse women on the Utica College campus. I was honored to be a recipient of the Womyn of Substance Award!

FRIDAY, 5:45 PM: ORIENTATION BANQUET

The Orientation Banquet, held in the Library Concourse, was a fun way to reminisce with past orientation mentors. We watched a beautiful slideshow, had dinner, and all of the senior mentors received awards and gifts. I love all of my fellow mentors, and really enjoyed the opportunity to spend time all together as one big (slightly crazy) family again.

SATURDAY, 10 AM: ACCEPTED STUDENTS DAY

Even in chilly temperatures, the campus was bustling with eager students and their families, as well as many student workers who woke up incredibly early on their Saturday to help the day go smoothly. I was a part of a student panel and helped answer questions on the commuter experience at UC as well as life on campus.

SATURDAY, 3 PM: RA EVENT

My friend Rachel, who is a Resident Assistant in Burrstone, took her residents to the FX Matt Saranac Brewery for a tour. I learned a lot about the history of the brewery, the process involved in making their beers and soft drinks, and some interesting facts about Utica, NY, too! At the end of the tour, we all received free samples of Saranac soft drinks. My favorite is the Orange Cream soda!

SATURDAY, 6 PM: WIND ALL GIRLS ROCK! GALA

The Women In a New Direction’s second annual All Girls Rock Gala was held in the Library Concourse and offered a candy bar, a delicious dinner, a very charismatic and inspiring guest speaker, and (of course) plenty of awards. It was great to celebrate many great women on our campus, from faculty to staff to students.

SUNDAY, 11 AM: GAY- STRAIGHT ALLIANCE BRUNCH

The GSA had an informal Sunday brunch which was free to all UC students and included some surprise performers. The brunch was a sneak-peak of our second annual Drag Show, which will be in April. Many students joined the GSA for breakfast and helped paint a canvas for the organization by putting their handprint on it in a variety of bright colors.

WHEW! That was only a few of the events from the weekend! One thing I love about UC is the variety of things that happen right on campus. There are still plenty of fun events ahead before the semester ends, so make sure to check them out!

Magic Always Comes With A Price (HOMW 3)

Feb 25, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Hi everyone!

My highlight for the second week of February is a little delayed, but I am still going to fill you in on a moment I loved!

HIGHLIGHT OF MY WEEK (HOMW) #3: MAGIC ALWAYS COMES WITH A PRICE 

In case you forgot, Utica was hit with some major snow at the beginning of February. So, during those first few weeks, my friends and I spent quite a bit of time in the residence halls instead of hanging out outside or attending events in other buildings.

One weekend, we spent the entire weekend watching a TV series on Netflix. The show, called Once Upon a Time, is all about fairy tale characters living in a modern world. It is totally addicting, and we loved ordering pizza, piling up all of our fuzzy blankets, and binge watching episodes!

My friends and I are extremely involved on campus and usually try to attend every meeting, class, and event possible. But sometimes, that can come with a price: feeling stressed or burnt out at the end of the week. While it rocks to take advantage of all of the fun events on campus, sometimes it is nice to actually stand still. Taking a weekend to relax with friends and watch Netflix allowed me to rest, recharge, and avoid the snow for a little while.

I am so grateful to attend a small school, as it really helped me get to know my peers and make some true friendships.This weekend was exactly what I needed to feel ready to face the busy week ahead. These girls are there for me through it all, and we have weathered the storm together- literally! And that is better than any fairy tale.

 

Glitter, owls, and more glitter (HOMW 2)

Feb 11, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Hi, everyone!

As I mentioned last week, I am making time each week of this semester to reflect and share a moment that was a highlight of that week. In my previous blog post, I told you all about the great time I had at Crystal Ball on Saturday. That was definitely a highlight, but the highlight of my week actually happened prior to Saturday night…

HIGHLIGHT OF MY WEEK (HOMW) #2: GLITTER, OWLS, AND MORE GLITTER

I had an RA Event last Thursday in North Hall. For those of you who may not know, I am a Resident Assistant here at UC, and part of my job includes planning fun events for my residents. Sometimes they are educational events, like when we visited the Clinton Cider Mill and learned how apple cider is made. Other times, they are social events, like last Thursday, which was a make-your-own Valentines event.

This was the flier advertised on the Utica College First Year Village Instagram account. FYI, you can follow the account to be in-the-know about upcoming RA events in North and South Hall! It's named uc_firstyearvillage

This was the flier advertised on the Utica College First Year Village Instagram account. FYI, you can follow the account to be in-the-know about upcoming RA events in North and South Hall! It’s named uc_firstyearvillage

I have had many RA events before, but had never had one that included my love for crafting. However, I talked to some of my residents earlier in the semester and discovered that many of them also loved arts and crafts and liked the idea of having a time we could all decorate Valentines together. I immediately began planning the event and was extremely excited to pick up glitter, construction paper, the CUTEST owl stickers of all time, and all sorts of other art goodies for my residents to use. By Thursday night, many of the students who lived on my floor as well as other floors were looking forward to the event as much as me, and met me downstairs right at 8 pm when it began. The basement lounge was soon filled with students drawing, glueing, and glittering to their hearts’ content.

This is just one of the many groups of students who were making Valentines at the event last week. We put newspaper on the floor to minimize the amount of glitter mess- it's a tricky hazard of crafting!

This is just one of the many groups of students who were making Valentines at the event last week. We put newspaper on the floor to minimize the amount of glitter mess- it’s a tricky hazard of crafting!

Over thirty students attended my event. It was scheduled to only go until 9 pm, but we ended up crafting past 10:30 in the evening! I had a great time watching other students make beautiful cards for their friends and family, and of course I enjoyed making some Valentines myself! I was so happy that the students who attended had as much fun as I did crafting. One of my residents told me it was the best event she had been to yet this year!

Here is a glimpse of the Valentines I crafted!

Here is a glimpse of the Valentines I crafted, featuring the cutest owl sticker of all time.

Sometimes in the business of college life (especially during your first year, which is a huge transitional phase of your life), you can lose sight of special little traditions from your home life. I really missed making Valentines for my friends when I began college, so I was happy that my event allowed students an opportunity to be festive, creative, and do something that may have reminded them of old traditions in their lives.

Events like these remind me of how great it is to go to a school that has such a tight-knit student body. I love celebrating holidays in fun ways with my UC family. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Have a great week!

 

What an amazing weekend

Nov 3, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

 

This week was great, it was our first and only weekend without a football game this year and it just so happened to be Halloween week. Last year around this time I didn’t have as much fun has I have done this year and I guess due to the fact that you got to learn I mean as a freshman, I was the type of person that was ready to have fun, but I was uptight still and this year was little better I let things just work themselves out and I just enjoyed every day at being at school. And this week made it great was just the best weekend I have ever had school so big ups to everyone who throw a great party and ups to the city of Utica on knowing how to have fun , party, and keep it all safe

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.

Change Makes the Campus Go Round

Sep 23, 2014 | Author: Luis De Leon

People tend to get comfortable with the status quo, but change happens all the time. Change is the reason life in 2014 is so awesome (and I’ll just assume the History Department will agree with me on this one). Change is natural, inevitable and hopefully it’s not as scary as you think.

For example, think about life when you first arrived at UC. For most of us, it’s the first taste of independence and therefore, the most freedom we’ve ever had. Living on campus probably means you’re far from home, so you left old friends and family to start all over again in a new environment.

So now you’ve been on campus for a while. Whether a while means a few weeks or a few years, Utica College has gone through quite a few changes as well. Sometimes we don’t notice because it can seem trivial in the moment. We might be too busy thinking about the cute girl (or guy) in our class and when that next paper is due. There’s nothing wrong with that, but smaller changes have a compound effect over time, and then you realize life on campus really has changed.

Alumni of the past decade, for example, witnessed the ECJS Building and Romano Hall go up. Some of us will be fortunate enough to see some very big changes, such as the forever-wished-for addition of the dome.

This is what the dome (beyond Gaetano Stadium) would look like walking from Parking Lot J.

If you’re new to the UC community, just know that a few years from now, the campus will look and feel different. As a fifth-year senior, UC has changed a lot. But it only makes sense, right? Our motto is Never Stand Still, after all.

This whole change thing is probably easiest to explain if I paint a picture of what life was like when I was a freshman. It was Fall of 2010, and I was looking extra fresh with my lanyard and the blue UC Class of 2014 shirt (time flies because it’s crazy to think the new shirts say 2018…).

Anyway, the following is a list of random things that have changed since my first semester at UC:

My hair. Two afros in four years that I grew out for a whole semester each time. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like doing that again, but at least it was fun while it lasted.

No Wi-Fi in your room. Can you imagine that? Only the main lounges of the Residence Halls had Wi-Fi, at best. Unless you had a data plan on your smartphone, the only way you could access the Internet from your room was by plugging an ethernet cable into your laptop or video game console. I still had a dumbphone at this point, but the coolest thing out at the time was the iPhone 4. Bell Hall was the first to receive Wi-Fi in Spring 2011. By Fall 2011, all of the rooms on campus had Wi-Fi.

iPads were a new thing in Spring 2010, by the way.

R.I.P. Mellow Moose. Mellow Moose was the coolest place on campus, but it no longer exists. The new Campus Safety Office used to be a coffee house that was basically a mini-Tramontane Cafe (highly recommended place, FYI). The atmosphere was quiet enough to study, but also comfortable and laid back enough to hang out.

Even though it was right in the middle of campus, Mellow Moose had such a distinct energy to it that it felt like you were off campus. At one point, Mellow Moose sold milkshakes, bagels, halfmoon cookies, brownies and other goodies. Mellow Moose was the place for open mics, board games, group meetings and other small-scale events.

Students worked there and you could use your declining balance to buy snacks. Unfortunately, the College felt that the space was seldom used and decided to close Mellow Moose down. It tried to make a return as an arcade room, but that flopped.

Common Grounds. That’s right. This was under construction in Fall 2010. I always wondered what the construction in the library was all about back then. I’m not much of a coffee person, but Common Grounds is clutch, especially during Finals Week. Now that I think about it, the launch of Common Grounds made Mellow Moose a redundant business. I still miss that Mellow Moose atmosphere, though. So chill. Anyway, the only gripe against Common Grounds is that it could stay open an hour or two later on weekdays.

Track & Field facilities. It’s awesome when hockey players go off campus to practice, especially after the $1 million makeover courtesy of the Utica Comets. When track has to go off campus, it sucks. Although the campus still awaits a track, UC took a step in the right direction in building an outdoor throwing and jumping facility in 2011. Soon enough, track & field athletes will have everything they need on campus. In all honesty, it’s crazy how good the track & field teams have been considering the lack of facilities the program has dealt with.

UC throwing and jumping facility near the baseball field.

Campus Safety. Wayne, Bruce, Rick and those golf carts have been here forever. Now that I’m actually thinking about it, the Officers enjoyed a small change to their uniform last year. Campus Safety Officers get to wear short sleeves during summer months, which we all know lasts about 48 hours a year.

Themed Housing was new. If I remember correctly, the only themed housing that existed my freshman year was Health & Wellness and the Global Village. In Fall 2011, the Global Village was in Tower Hall, and after that, it has stayed in Boehlert. Residence Life once had themed housing in Alumni Hall. Once. Now, most of the themed floors are in South Hall, such as UDiscover and UBalance.

Dining was different. There was no such thing as the sandwich line. The way you’d make sandwiches on the weekend was how you made them every day back in Fall 2010. The sandwich line used to be the “Fresh & Healthy” station, where you could have custom orders of stir fried food every day. The dining services were provided by Aramark, a company UC had partnered with for over 30 years. Honestly, the stir fry was the only highlight in the Dining Commons, which is why Sodexo took over in Spring 2011. Hiring Sodexo has been one of the best things the administration has done in the time I’ve been here.

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The return of the Pioneer Pub. Before Fall 2011, there had been no campus pub for 26 years! The area where the pub is was an empty corner with a pool table that nobody used. On the bright side, back then you could actually use the back door to Pio. That was really convenient if you were coming from the Athletic Center, the fields or the Residence Halls. As a result, the back door was probably used more often than the front door. Without a liquor license, Sodexo couldn’t sell any alcohol. In other words, Fall 2011 was the semester of free booze on campus. Too bad I wasn’t 21 at the time… Anyway, way to take one for the team, Sodexo.

If you saw how Pio looked before this, you’d appreciate this beauty right here.

Speaking of Pio… The renovation to all of Pio was very much needed. There were no TVs and no booth seating. Renovating Pio, an important hangout spot on campus, was definitely a wise move by UC. The electronic menus that were added this past summer is also a nice touch. I just have one request: can we please keep Subway open until 11 p.m. every day?

Other renovations and changes worth mentioning. Gordon Science Center. Most of the Residence Halls. The library. The trading room with a live stock ticker. The canopy atop the pressbox. The transition to Google from Sun Microsystems. The new stadium turf… I can go on, but you get my point.

The people. The most interesting changes, in my humble opinion, happen to be the people on our campus. Hopefully, one day you will wake up as a senior and realize you’re not the same person who walked around campus for the first time with fresh lanyards.

Many people come and go. Mistakes are made and lessons are learned. People you never saw or spoke to during your freshman year might be your best friends at Commencement. A lot will change during your time at Utica College, mostly for the better. Just know that you as a person will grow and change with each footstep you take on this ever-changing campus.

Campus Security

Apr 30, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

real random post but i love the campus security at UC like here mad cool i mean i know at other places there might be some conflict but here there really cool i mean don’t get me wrong like they don’t pay games when it comes to breaking the rules but other than that they really respect you as a person and give you respect. I really have a great relationship with these women and man. i’m really thankful for having these people in my life to not only keep me safe but to talk with and share my concerns with. i just thought i should really let you guys know about the great job that this campus security really does thank you

Quick Facts About Being an RA

Mar 28, 2014 | Author: Cody Plasterer

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A picture from one of my events to the Syracuse Zoo

For the past two years I have been apart of a great leadership opportunity here at Utica College: being a Resident Assistant. During my first year I never contemplated the idea of becoming an RA, the idea of being in charge of two dozen people and creating events every month seemed like a lot of work to me. But during the Fall semester of my second year something amazing happened, the residence life department ran out of alternative RAs and a position opened up so they were scrambling to fill the position as quickly as possible. A few of the Area Coordinators met and through out names of student leaders on campus that could be a good fit for the position and my name came up. I received an email to come meet with the staff about the position. When I read the email, I did not know what to do. Did I really want to do this? I don’t really know all the duties of an RA so I guess I should at least go find out. So, I went to the interview. After the interview, I was hired and I do not regret that decision at all. I love being an RA. I get to meet so many individuals and create so many bonds with my residence on my floor and other people who live in the residence hall. Besides that, I get to see my residence grow and I get to be apart of the welcoming atmosphere of Utica College. I would suggest anyone to apply and become a student leader.

Now, I would like to take a moment to tell you some facts about being an RA:

1) Not every student is going to appreciate the things you do for them, and sometimes they will judge you unfairly.

As much as we would like to be appreciated and on friendly terms with each and every resident, that is an unrealistic vision. People in the halls may not like you. People in your own community may not like you. These views may have nothing to do with you personally, but the role you have as a student authority figure. Being a Resident Assistant puts you in a position to not be liked. Be fair, kind, and caring towards others, and you will find that the majority of residents will respect and care about you in return.

2) Do events that the residents want to do.

The only want to get your residence to come to your events is to do events that interest them. If your residence do not want to go to the museums but instead would rather go play laser tag, well, you better put in a proposal for laser tag. You will have a better turn out, and your residents will appreciate that you are doing things that they want to do. If you don’t know what your residence want to do, then ASK THEM. Take 20 minutes out of your day and go to each room on your floor and ask your residence what things they would like to do. Remind them that the events are free.

3) Be clever with your advertisements

It is very hard to get residence to go to educational events, so, put up flyers that are clever and make the residents think the event is about something else than it actually is. For example, if you are going to teach your residents about planting, put up a flyer that reads “Pot Party.” What do you think the residence will think the event is about? To get good turn outs you have to be creative!!

4) Make connections with your residences

The only way to make your residence respect you is to talk to them. It may not seem like they care, but talking to your residences once in a while allows them to feel comfortable with you and you will see that they will respect you more when you have to write them up for breaking the rules…

So even through the hours of training, piles of paperwork, numerous meetings, lock outs at 4 in the morning and the stress of busting underage parties in the residence halls; being an RA has been a great part of my college experience, this position has allowed me to grow as a student leader.

 

I hope you all liked my first blog. Please let me know what you think!

Being an RA is really, really fun sometimes.

Nov 15, 2013 | Author: Vikki Feggulis

They told me I was crazy.

When I mentioned to friends and coworkers what I was planning on doing, they called me a looney. Told me it was madness. I must be ill!

What exactly did I do, you ask?
I, voluntarily, took 16 18-year-olds on a six-hour trip to the mall. And it was AWESOME.

As I mentioned in my first post, I’m an RA for a themed community for first-year students. Whereas the zoo trip went along with the ULive floor theme for biology majors, this trip was for my own community: UBalance. In UBalance, we focus on healthy living from head-to-toe.

So when my partner-in-crime and fellow UBalance RA Sam came to me with an idea to take our floors to Destiny USA for the ropes course, WonderWorks and shopping (in the name of mental health and learning, of course), I was all for it.

On Wednesday, we loaded up two 12-passenger vans and set out for Syracuse.

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Destiny USA is pretty overwhelming. It’s basically four thousand stories and has every store/restaurant you could ever need (except a Chipotle. I am still sad about this.)

But even the open-plan, enormous, fully Christmas-ified interior of the mall didn’t make me half as hysterical as this did:
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This is where the fun begins.

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WonderWorks is probably the coolest place I’ve ever been. I don’t want to ruin the surprises, but they have a lot of neat things like anti-gravity space machines, roller coaster simulators, a BUBBLE LAB and lots of other exhibits. But, in order to get to the WonderWorks exhibits, I had to conquer a few fears.

canyon

If you’ve been to Destiny USA, you’ve no doubt noticed the 7-year-olds sprinting from obstacle to obstacle above your head while parents cling to support ropes and mutter obscenities. Kidding. Kinda. If you’ve never been, you’re walking across various rope and beam obstacle while suspended over anywhere between 1-3 floors of the mall, depending on the part of the course.

We were all very excited. Especially these two.
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This is George and Kelsey showing off their “very-excited”/”we-are-totally-not-about-to-die” faces.

It was a lot of fun! You never actually unclip from the beam your harness is attached to like with some ropes courses, so after exploring for a bit, everyone gets daring. I did a few obstacles with no hands!

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Picture included because this girl looks eerily just like me. But it’s not me. But it could be. So that’s weird. 
Also, pro tip: Don’t wear converse when attempting the course. I almost slipped to my doom a few times.

Everyone pretty much had free reign, which is part of the reason I thought this trip went so well! You could spend a little time on the ropes course, browse WonderWorks, eat, shop–whatever!

Or, you could do what me and Cody did, which was get froyo and then scour the mall to find his face. Success.
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He is so cool.

Overall, it was a great trip! Living on campus can have drawbacks (I still miss/talk to my mom basically everyday), but I’ve been able to do a lot of awesome things that I never would’ve been able to do otherwise! Exploring the area has expanded my knowledge on a lot of things, too! Like, for instance, I now think ropes courses should be mandatory in all malls. All of them. It is our RIGHT. Well, not really, but I want it.

The great thing about this trip was that everyone that attended is part of the UBalance community. In a themed community, you have the opportunity to do things you’re really, truly interested in with people you connect with outside of the fact you attend the same school. It’s like forcing people to be your friend!!! Except significantly more successful than when I try to do it.

Living at UC, you’re really close to a lot of great places. It would be a shame to never see them, right?

Ok, it’s your turn!
Are you a fan of ropes courses? If you’ve never tried one, would you?
Have you ever visited WonderWorks before?
Do you like Cody’s glamour shot on that banner?!? Because I do.