Category Archives: Student Life

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!

TwitterStumbleUponLinkedInWordPressTumblrFacebookGoogle+Blogger PostEmailPinterestShare

One Last Roll Call (HOMW 8)

Mar 31, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

This weekend was jam-packed with events, so it was tough to pick just one highlight for the week. By Sunday night, I had many happy thoughts running through my head, but the one that stood out to me the most was the Orientation Banquet that took place on Friday.

HOMW 8: ONE LAST ROLL CALL

The summer orientation program is one of the highlights of my entire experience here at Utica College. I am never shy about sharing my love for the orientation programs and my fellow mentors, as it was what really transformed my entire college experience. When I became an orientation mentor after my first year at UC, I was not very involved on campus and had made only a handful of friends from my classes. As a commuter, I often went to class and went back home without staying on campus to \check out things going on. However, orientation opened my eyes up to all of the things available on campus and allowed me to meet so many different current UC students, staff members, and incoming students.

Courtney, our orientation mom, me, Karita, and Laura at the Orientation Banquet!

Courtney, our orientation mom, me, Karita, and Laura at the Orientation Banquet!

 

After that first summer as an orientation mentor, I jumped into UC life head-first. I joined the Residence Hall Association, Psych Society, the Gay-Straight Alliance, and the Committee for Student Conduct; I went to more on-campus events; I branched out and introduced myself to people beyond my classes. I became much more involved on campus, which caused me to fall even more in love with Utica College and helped me have an even BETTER orientation experience during the summer after my sophomore year.

Karita, Elliot, and I! This picture makes me giggle.

Karita, Elliot, and I! This picture makes me giggle.

 

The summer after my junior year, I became a Student Orientation Coordinator and helped out with planning the orientation program. I also had the opportunity to write and direct the Transitions orientation play that the student mentors perform for the incoming students and their families. It was bittersweet to work my last summer orientation program, but I truly enjoyed each and every day, even when I was very hot (it’s mid-July, after all) and exhausted!

Laura, me, and Karita being dramatic as usual

Laura, me, and Karita being dramatic as usual

This past Friday, the first-ever Orientation Banquet was held. It included dinner, a beautiful presentation full of pictures from past orientations, awards, and some fun games. I had a blast spending time with my fellow mentors, and loved reminiscing on all of the crazy memories we had made together over the last few years!

Showing off our orientation awards!

Showing off our orientation awards!

At the end of the banquet, we recreated our “Roll Call” that usually occurs at the beginning of each of the orientation sessions. In the summer, we are introduced to the incoming students by being announced over the speakers as we run up the aisles where they are seated. It is a fun way to pump everyone up for the busy days ahead, and we all get hyped up and cheer when we hear one another being announced. At the banquet, we stood in the back of the Library Concourse and ran up to the front of the room as we announced one another and cheered. It was a sentimental moment for many of us seniors who wouldn’t be a part of orientation in exactly the same way again. However, orientation is something that changed us all and will be something we carry with us for the rest of our lives, long after that final roll call ended.

An Elaine/Alane sandwhich. Laura, Elaine, Alane, Karita. Awesome.

An Elaine/Alane sandwhich. Laura, Elaine, Alane, Karita. Awesome.

How I Relieve Stress

Mar 29, 2015 | Author: Karita Rawlins

College is stressful, duh. I honestly believe these years will be some of the most stressful in  my life. I am at a age where I’m kind of an adult, but not really. I am obviously not a kid but still need my parents for certain things but I am not really an adult but I do have adult bills but I am not making adult money. Let’s not forget about classes and extra-curricular activities. You don’t even need to be a math major to add it all up, it equals STRESS.

Stress is natural, it going to happen regardless. I hate stress, my tolerance for it is incredibly low. I try to avoid it at all costs.

Me dodging stress.  *kidding* it's Keanu Reeves in The Matrix The Matrix, 1999. [film, DVD]. Directed by Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski. USA: Warner Bros.

Me dodging stress. *kidding* it’s Keanu Reeves in The Matrix; The Matrix, 1999. [film, DVD]. Directed by Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski. USA: Warner Bros.

Not all stress is bad, when necessary it can get you out of a dangerous situation. According to the National Institute for Mental Health website, when you face a dangerous situation, your pulse quickens, you breathe faster, your muscles tense, your brain uses more oxygen and increases activity—all functions aimed at survival. In the short term, stress can even boost the immune system. Although it might feel like it is, college is not life threatening.

Routine stress is related to the pressures of work, family and other daily responsibilities (i.e, college). Over time, continued strain on your body from routine stress may lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety disorder, and other illnesses (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml).

This time of the year can be very stressful, graduation, finals, finding summer jobs. Here are three tips to help cope with stress:

1. Yoga – Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety.

image

Jeff Percacciante ’12 Photo by Ramon Aiello

Yoga is offered as a one-credit course here but if you’re interested in taking additional classes, Jeff Percacciante, UC alumn and Area Coordinator teaches Monday and Thursday evenings at Body by Design in New Hartford.

2. Talk to someone!

 

The Counseling Center is available Monday- Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm, a counselor is available on-call after hours. For more information on the counseling center visit their website. If you think the counseling center is not for you there are other options. The great thing about UC is the number of faculty and staff members who have an open door!

3. Exercise

image image image

Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. My personal preferred form of exercise is swimming. For pool hours visit the Harold T. Clark Athletic Center.

April showers…?

Mar 27, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

March is almost over! And with the end of March, brings the beginning of warmer and sunnier days. Yet, this area is quite temperamental when it comes to weather. While the varying weather is always a cause for excitement, it can be a bit difficult to plan for. So while April may be the time when it actually starts to feel like spring, the warmer weather usually brings a load of rain.

Actually, it rained for the first time the other day and I was simultaneously excited that it wasn’t snowing, but was upset that I was getting soaked. (April makes people feel strange things sometimes…) So I have some advice for those rainier days here at Utica College.

Make sure you have a good raincoat. And rainboots. And an umbrella. The key to not hating the rain, is to be prepared for the rain. If it looks dreary out, bring an umbrella with you just in case! Nothing stinks more than getting ready, and then getting caught in a downpour on the walk to class. So always try to be one step ahead of the weather! Rain can actually be a lot of fun in the proper attire; I love splashing in puddles if I’m wearing rainboots! (Also, if your hair does not do well with rain…bring a hat!)

Plan for a rain date (or pay attention when events have them) If you are planning to go to an event or are planning an event that is outdoors plan for the rain. If it is your organization’s event make sure to have a plan b in case you cannot be outside. If you’re going to an event, pay attention if they have a different day…and plan to attend it on that day potentially as well! Often people forget to set aside the rain day if they have to attend the event, and if it does get rescheduled they might not have work off (etc.)

Soak it up. Sometimes rainy days require not changing out of pajamas and drinking tea and reading a good book/marathoning netflix. I love taking advantage of dreary days like that. Be as cliche as you want on rainy days! Stare out a window all moodily and take a pic, that’s what instagram is for, right? All jokes aside, rainy days are great days to do absolutely nothing…or you can do absolutely everything and be super productive! It’s a personal choice, but use rainy days as an excuse to do whatever you want.

Sometimes when its rainy people get upset, but just take the weather in stride! Everything can be good if you let it! Also, you know what they say… “April showers, bring may flowers!”

My Favorite Thing.

Mar 25, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

One of my favorite experiences at Utica College has been my involvement every summer with the first year orientation program. I started doing it the Summer after my freshman year, and fell in love with the experience. It’s a lot of fun introducing new students to the UC community, and getting to know the incoming first year class.

(Fellow mentor [&blogger!] Courtney and I taking a picture with a student from Orientation!)

(Fellow mentor [&blogger!] Courtney and I taking a picture with a student from Orientation!)

Orientation is a great way to meet new people on campus-both current students, and the new incoming class. You are seen as a “pseudo adult/role model” by the incoming class, and its actually really cool. One of my favorite things is when someone comes up to me and mentions how they remember me from orientation! It even happens months after the fact! The impression that you make on the incoming students is huge.

(Mentors are always super happy people...right?)

(Mentors are always super happy people…right?)

I also love how orientation allows for current students to share their stories and experiences with incoming students. It’s nice to be able to give little tips and tricks to the new class so they too can navigate their own ways through their college careers.

(The transitions cast from last year.)

(The transitions cast from last year.)

Going with the theme of the sharing of information, orientation also holds a play, “Transitions” every session. This play is written/directed/acted in by students. It’s a lot of work because the mentors that are part of the cast only get a few days to rehearse, but those few days rehearsing are some of my favorite Orientation memories! The whole point of the play is to show students various situations that have could actually happen on our campus, and it also shows what to do in case an event like that were to ever occur.  I’ve been involved with transitions every year I’ve worked Orientation, and I always love the responses that students have to it.

(Ice breakers are one of my favorite things about Orientation!)

(Ice breakers are one of my favorite things about Orientation!)

Another faucet of orientation is ice breakers. As a mentor, you are in charge of helping to “break the ice” between the new students. This is done by little games and get-to-know-you activities that range from stationary name games, to massive games of red light/green light. The games are fun to facilitate because you get to watch as students gradually become more comfortable with one another, and establish tentative friendships.

(The Orientation crew from two years ago!)

(The Orientation crew from two years ago!)

This year the first year orientation has been moved to the fall, so it is going to take place August 28th-30th. If you remember your orientation or think it sounds like fun, I strongly encourage you to apply to be a mentor! (Go here: Utica.edu/orientation) This year I decided to apply to become a student coordinator of orientation and I got the job. It’s a little more in depth than a regular mentor job, but I’ve never had more fun at a job in my life; orientation is literally one of my favorite things at Utica College…even more of a favorite than brown paper packages tied up with string. (Sorry, the Sound of Music is a classic…I couldn’t resist.)

To be sappy, Orientation helped me to become the person I am today. I grew more comfortable with the Utica College community, and grew more comfortable taking charge and being a leader. Orientation introduced me to friends that would help to shape my experiences at UC and even more so, my life in general. I am forever grateful for that. So, if you want to be a super sap like me, apply to be an Orientation Mentor. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

10498247_10204358155738878_2161523609694237145_o

(The Orientation crew from last year.)

Registering for Classes

Mar 25, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Registration for fall classes is soon approaching! Here are a few tips to help you create the best schedule possible for next semester:

  • Run a degree evaluation on BannerWeb (listed under “Logins” at the top of the Utica College web page). The easiest way I have found to do this is to search “Eval” in the search box, and click the option “Generate New Evaluation.” This evaluation will tell you exactly what classes you need in order to complete your degree requirements, and it will also tell you what classes you have already completed.
  • BannerWeb also has a Course Catalog which explains what each course means. If you have options between PSY 321 and PSY 322, for example, the Course Catalog shows that 321 is Infancy and Childhood, while 322 is Adolescence Psychology. The Course Catalog also tells you how many credits a class counts as and if it is offered as a lecture course, online course, or both.
  • After you have checked out what courses you need for your degree and what those courses are, you can go to the Class Schedule option in BannerWeb to see what times and days the classes will be offered in the upcoming semester. This allows you to plan potential schedules for next semester. It is helpful to know if two classes you need are at overlapping times, or if a lab is only offered once a week, or if your favorite professor is teaching an elective that you could fit into your schedule.
  • Meet with your advisor. Bring your degree evaluation and several potential schedules with you to show to your advisor. Your advisor might be able to help you decide which classes will be the most beneficial for you to take in the upcoming semester and which classes you should wait to take when you are further in your academic career.
  • Have backup plans! The day of registration, plan on logging on and completing your registration as soon as you are able to. If a class is closed out before you are able to secure a spot in it, have a list of several other classes you can take in its place that can still fit into your degree requirements, count as an elective, or are interesting to you. Don’t fret if you don’t get into every class you want, because sometimes the classes you don’t originally plan on taking end up being the most memorable!

Eye of the Tiger

Mar 23, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

As the weather gets warmer and the end of the semester nears, it can be tough to stay focused on academics. It’s tempting to put off that term paper in favor of hanging on the quad with friends. However, these last few weeks of classes will be over before you know it, so it’s important to stay on top of your assignments now more than ever. Here are a few ways I keep focused when the end is near:

1. Make a list. Having a to-do list can help you prioritize and complete assignments before their deadline. You won’t forget an assignment or miss a meeting if you jot it down in your planner or on your list of things to accomplish for the week.

2. Give yourself a mantra. Repeating a phrase to yourself when you are getting frustrated can help you feel more confident and focused. I always tell myself to have the “eye of the tiger,” and usually follow that with a little singing and bad dancing.

3. Bribe yourself. For every page of your paper you complete, give yourself 5 M&Ms. Or, once you get your group project done, treat yourself to a white hot chocolate from Common Grounds. When you get that daunting study guide filled out, celebrate with a half hour TV show and a chocolate bar. (As you can tell, I use a lot of chocolate when I bribe myself). Set manageable goals for yourself, reward yourself for your progress, and keep the momentum going in order to complete even the hardest things on your to-do list.

4. Create a study zone. Try not to study somewhere that you know will be distracting. If your residence hall is hard to study in because your friends often stop by your room, go to the library. If the people walking around in the library snatch up your attention, consider finding a table in Gordon Science Center, the Romano lounge, or the Cybersecurity building. There are lots of hidden areas in the academic buildings that can be great for getting a paper written or a textbook chapter annotated. Find a zone you can really focus in and get it done!

5. Put away your phone. Stop hindering your success with your phone. Save the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Buzzfeed, and YouTube for later. Put your phone on silent, on airplane mode, or turn it all the way off, put it in your backpack, and leave it in there until you complete your work. Don’t let your phone be your own worst enemy; put it away to stay focused on your work. I promise, the world will not end because you are disconnected for a few hours.

Stay focused on your goals and what you need to accomplish in order to achieve them. Summer will be here before you know it, so keep the eye of the tiger until then!

Spring Break (HOMW 7)

Mar 23, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Hi everyone! With only six weeks of classes left in the semester, this week’s highlight was pretty easy to identify: it was the fact that we were on break!

HOMW 7: SPRING BREAK!

While I absolutely love my life at Utica College, it can get overwhelming. Between classes and assignments, organization meetings and events (GSA, Psych Society, and Student Senate- just to name a few that I am involved in), office hours as a Teaching Assistant, my responsibilities as a Resident Assistant, time spent at the WPNR station… there is a lot on my plate! I really enjoy everything I am a part of, which is why I am happy even on days that my schedule is chaotic. However, it is definitely nice to have a break from my usual routine.

Spring Break was just what I needed to rest, recharge, and relax before finishing up the last six weeks of my senior year. Most of my break was spent sleeping, hanging out with my sister, and playing with my kitten, Cleo. I was so grateful to have a few days to spend with my family before the end of the semester craziness kicked in.

Now that we’re back on campus, I am excited to finish out my career here at Utica College strong. I can tell many of my senior friends feel the same way, as I see the look of determination on their faces as they hit the library or walk to class. There are plenty of fun events coming up in these next six weeks as well, and warm weather is ahead. I am definitely feeling optimistic about the rest of this semester, and hope you are, too!

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. 

Have a “Staycation” this Spring Break!

Mar 13, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Spring Break is here! I’m so happy. For those lucky enough to be headed toward an exotic location, please disregard this post. (And have a blast obvs!) I’m going to New York for a few days, but other than that, I’m as free as a bird. I’m literally thrilled that an entire week stretches out before me, and I’m not obligated to do anything! No early morning classes, no labs, no meetings…I’m actually a little frightened about all of the free time I’ll have.

Actually, I take that back. I’m so excited about all of my free time, and I’m sure that you are too! Spring break is a nice refresher in the middle of (what I consider to be) a long and dreary semester. The Spring semester is always a little bit more dreary than the fall semester because the Winter here in upstate New York just seems to stretch on. Spring break is about that time when the weather starts to turn, and the boots and coats can be retired until the next year.

So, are you frightened or thrilled about all of your free time? Either way, you’re going to have some free time. So here are some of my tips on how to have yourself a little “staycation” or a vacation while in the comfort of your very own home.

1. Plan a day where you do nothing. Literally put aside a day during the week you have off, and don’t change out of your pajamas. Marathon your favorite show on netflix, or find a good  book and attempt to finish the entire thing in one sitting. Don’t eat a proper meal (unless you want to!) and count microwave popcorn as an essential food group. Bonus: Don’t look at your phone all day. Shut it off. Don’t answer any texts/calls. Be disconnected.

2. Make a To-Do List. Think of everything (that you know of) that is due before the end of the semester. Get started on it! I have a few papers that aren’t due until the end of the semester, but I already have all of the information to get started…so I’m going to get started. I plan to finish a bunch of assignments during spring break in order to give myself some leeway when things get really rough (assignment wise) during the finals weeks of the semester.

3. Get Creative with your Meals. While you may not be at some exotic locale, it doesn’t mean you can’t indulge your taste buds! Go and buy a coconut, and stick a straw in it! Or, get some sushi and eat that for dinner. I plan on getting mexican quite a few times during break, and justifying it by saying that it’s a part of my staycation-I’d rather be in Mexico!

4. Have some creative fun! Build a fort and lounge around in it. If it’s warm enough, set a tent up and camp out! Go and buy a hula skirt from a costume store and wear it around your house. Bonus points if you also add the coconut bra and lei! Instagram your “day at the beach” when really you just put on flipflops and took a walk around the block.

5. Be a tourist in your own area! My ultimate vacation is anywhere I can wander around a museum for hours. (I went to the Louvre and cried I was so overwhelmed!) So, lucky enough, I live near Utica and they have an art museum open to the public! So, look into what you can go to! If you’re into concerts, look at what local musicians are playing a gig. Think about what someone who has never been to your hometown would want to see, and go there! Take pictures! Be as corny as possible! There are loads of things going on and things to do, you just have to seek them out!

So these are my little tips for having a great spring break, while still staying home. I hope everyone has a safe and fun break no matter what you chose to do!