Category Archives: Student Life

Importance of Work Experience

Sep 13, 2014 | Author: Benjamin Mehic

Most college students choose to get a higher education after the completion of high school, because, well, most jobs require a college degree.

According to Tony Carnevale, via American Radio Works, the nation will need “at least 22 million more people to have college degrees in order to meet the growing demand for educated workers” by 2018.  Simply put, that’s a lot of workers and a lot of college degrees.

So, how will you separate yourself from the hundreds and possibly even thousands of college graduates who are competing for the same job as you? Answer: Work experience.

Although working and going to school at the same time can be extremely difficult, most schools such as Utica College offer work study programs and internship opportunities which not only serve as a great resume builder, but could give you a boost when it’s time to look for a job post-school.

Utica College offers plenty of work study jobs for students to gain real work experience (more info can be found here), but they also have information about how to get an internship, which is required for graduation (more information about internships could be found here).

Work study jobs are paid positions, often with flexible schedules, that give students a variety of options as to where they could work. Internships are often unpaid, but if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find an internship where you’ll get paid to work in a field that will give you real work experience for the future.

 

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Work Hard- Play Hard

Sep 12, 2014 | Author: LaShanna Saunders

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Begin a hard worker and having an healthy work ethic is admirable and necessary to live a comfortable and well grounded life. However, everyone needs a balance  between work and fun in life. Too much of anything in unhealthy. What’s the point in working hard if in the end you have no one to share it with. Finding free time for enjoyment is necessary. For example, some people come into college and they go through college without experiencing life on campus. They come to school get good grades and then graduate without any memories but the  library. Getting good grades in extremely important because the main reason for coming to college is to graduate and be well off but if that was the only point then we would not have college activities. Monday – Thursday should be solely dedicated to  your studies but Friday- Saturday is for you to enjoy yourself. Over working yourself and always isolating yourself from campus and activities can lead you to depression and  social anxiety. From experience I have tired to be that person who only wanted to focus on schoolwork and nothing else because I felt that it would guarantee me a successful future and it would somehow make me more mature and a better student, But to be a good student you need to have fun and have a life outside the classroom and outside your work. Having a social life is not only healthy but it allows you grow and develop yourself. School can prepare you for success but having a social can prepare you for the world. You can be as smart and well grounded as you would like to be but if you haven’t experience  life then your success is half completed. Success is half education and half life experiences. Find what makes you happy and do it because in a blink of eye you will be in the work force and an adult.

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LOL, OMG, WUT? Writing a Professional Email

Sep 11, 2014 | Author: Elaine Paravati

As classes are now in full swing, many students find themselves needing to communicate with professors beyond the classroom setting. The easiest way to do that effectively is, of course, dropping by a professor’s office during his or her office hours. However, with busy schedules and different office hours for each professor, sometimes it can be hard to find the time to drop by a professor’s office, and sending an email is often the next best way to get in touch. With today’s smartphones, it takes just a quick moment to jot a note to a professor and send it instantly.

Not so fast! Emailing a professor – and any professional, I may add (your coach, area coordinator, academic coaching expert, etc) – requires a level of respect and courtesy. Sometimes, students forget that email is still a form of communication, and that it is important to set the right tone when communicating both in person and online with any individual who is considered a professional. Getting into the habit of sending out appropriate emails is helpful not just in academics, but certainly also will aide with internships, job interviews, and the real world. So, without further ado, here are some tips on how to write a professional email:

1. Write a subject line. Professors are busy people, and may receive a multitude of emails every day. Including a concise subject line will help them remember your email and retain the important information. For example, if you are emailing about a missed class, a subject line of “Missed class 10/31/14″ will let them know the exact date you are addressing before they even open the email. Similarly, writing “Essay #3 Assignment,” “Advising Appointment,” or “Lecture Notes Question” will let them know the purpose of your email ahead of time. A short subject line is very helpful and demonstrates thoughtfulness.

2. Use the right title. When writing the email, it is appropriate to begin with “Dr. Appleseed“- writing “Dear Dr. Appleseed” is also fine, but not truly necessary. Title is EXTREMELY important; if your professor is a doctor, he or she spent many years earning that title, so it is definitely necessary for you to use it. If you are unsure of if your professor has a doctorate, you can search them on the Utica College webpage and read their credentials, or look at the syllabus for the class. When in doubt, you can also address them as “Professor Appleseed“. Then, when the professor emails you back, look at how they signed their name and use that as an indicator of how to address them in the future. Another important part of the correct title is correctly spelling your professor’s name. Take the extra minute to ensure your spelling is correct; you don’t want to start off the email on the wrong foot!

3. Be concise, but OMG, don’t use abbreviations. Emails are not short stories. A professional email should be to the point and only a few paragraphs at most. If you find yourself needing to write a small novel, perhaps the topic would be better discussed in person. Likewise, if you are addressing a subject briefly but could add more information, you can end the email with “Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. I am also available to meet with you if you would like to discuss this more in depth in person.” As far as the email itself, keep it short and sweet- but don’t use Internet slang (LOL, 2GETHER, HW) in order to keep it brief! Remember, you are communicating with a professional, not your Facebook friends.

4. Wrap up the email respectfully. As I mentioned before, leaving the lines of communication open with your professor will let them know you are willing to talk more in person if necessary, which is always a good thing. If you are sending an email because you need something (such as help with an assignment, or to set up a time to meet), finishing up with “Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing from you”  demonstrates that you are appreciative of their help. This also shows that you are expecting a response. This is important because professors are busy people, and may not necessarily feel inclined to respond to an email unless a student specifically indicates that they would like an answer. If you do not need an email back, a simple “Thank you” is always suitable ending. You always want to finish an email with the expression of your gratitude for their time. Don’t forget to sign the email with your first and last name, so that your professor knows who is writing to them!

5. SPELL CHECK! Double, triple, and quadruple-check your email for any spelling and grammar errors. Nothing ruins a professional email faster than a silly mistake! Typos are totally normal, but can be easily avoided by looking over an email before pressing send. It is always worth the extra minute to look over your email and make sure it is a flawless piece of scholastic merit before sending it off into the permanent abyss that is the World Wide Web.

It may seem strange at first to write emails that include subject lines, professional titles, cohesive messages, conscientious endings, and plenty of spell check. However, with enough practice (and trust me, in four years here, you will get plenty of practice), writing a professional email will become second nature. Good luck, and TTYL!

For Everything There is a Season….

Sep 11, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva
This, by far is one of my favorite verses from the Bible.

This, by far is one of my favorite verses from the Bible.

With Autumn fast approaching, it got me thinking about how quickly things change. Seasons change, situations change, friendships change.

Change can be scary at first, sometimes it can even be painful. We may not be willing to embrace it, but, like the seasons, change is necessary in order for growth.

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When the luscious, green leaves of Summer begin to make their transition into the Amber and gold shades of Autumn, naturally, they detach themselves and fall away.

It’s the same with us. When making a transition into a new season of life, some of the people and situations that were in your life no longer fit you, and they too, fall away.


College is the perfect example of this. No matter what year you’re in, coming into a new semester is always a transition. We let go of the baggage from last semester and begin anew again.

Maybe you’ve changed your major so many times, that people often wonder what your next switch will be. That’s okay. Remember, there’s a time for everything. A time to grow, a time to laugh, a time to learn, a time to be afraid, and a time to be completely lost. The beauty in that is, those rough times won’t last forever and once we get through them, we often learn some of the most valuable lessons.

Same thing with friendships. Maybe those friends that you met last semester are no longer part of your life. That’s okay too. Leave them in the past, there’s a reason they didn’t make it to your future.


I learned those lessons all throughout my college career. It took me a long time to finally find my place and to surround myself with the right people. I went through numerous major changes, and thankfully, I didn’t settle for any of the three that I had (before PR of course ;)). I could have, but it wasn’t my time to just settle. Now, I’m glad it is and I’m glad for the different seasons I went through.

  • Like Winter, I went through the season of cold and frustration. Every class I went to seemed dull and lifeless, and every person I met seemed just plain negative.
  • Like Spring, I went through the season where everything became new and exciting again. A fresh start, a new attitude, new faces and so on.
  • Like Summer, where I was enjoying my classes, having fun, making friends and simply loving life.
  • Finally, Like Autumn, where eventually the fun and excitement settled down into calmness, and contentedness.

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Ultimately, change is inevitable. Everyone goes through different seasons – some harder than others. As I said, the beauty in it is, that no season lasts forever. You may be feeling lost, stuck or nervous right now, but don’t worry. That will pass. You weren’t created to live in darkness, fear or regret. But if you find yourself in that season, embrace it with grace and realize that you will be given the strength to get through it.

What is it like to never consume alcohol, forever pseuodrunk?

Sep 9, 2014 | Author: Cody Plasterer

Personally, I do not consume alcohol. My family, on both sides, have trouble with alcoholism, and since it is hereditary, my chances of becoming an alcoholic as well are very high, so I choose not to drink. There are other people out there who also don’t drink and choose to be above the influence, you guys are awesome!

I just want to shed some light on what it is like to be a non-alcoholic drinker:

1) We get harassed by people who choose to drink alcohol.

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I have been verbally harassed by people before by being open about not drinking alcohol. Usually these are people who think I am judging them because they drink and I don’t. I can speak for most non-alcoholic consumers and say:  WE DO NOT JUDGE PEOPLE WHO DRINK! We just choose not to participate.

2) We are your rides when you want to go home from a party

Have you ever gone to a party and had no way home? Well, I hope that taxi wasn’t too expensive. Do you know how you can lower the cost? Get a Designated Driver (DD), like someone who does not drink alcohol! We, the sober ones, are so willing to get you home safe, because we care about your safety, give us a call if you need a ride (some gas money would be nice in return).

3) Just because we don’t drink doesn’t mean that we don’t like to attend parties

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Sure, I would love to be the DD for the rest of my life, but sometimes I would like to attend the parties myself. If you have friends that don’t drink, please still invite them out, plus, sober people are fun and can be your ride home!

Now, for those of you non-alcoholic party goers, if you need a trick to look cool and have a different experience at the clubs/bars , try pseudodrunk. Weird word, huh? That’s probably because I made it up, although Urban Dictionary says it is a real word. Lets break down what this word could mean:

Pseudo –  false

Drunk – someone under the influence of alcohol

Now, lets put the words together:

Pseudodrunk – someone who pretends to be under the influence of alcohol

I’ll give you the easy tip to being a pseudodrunk that worked for me. Go up to the bar and ask for a coke. That’s it! If anyone asks you what you are drinking just say “coke and rum.” You wont have people giving you weird stares or having your friends bug you about not joining the crowd and drinking. For an added bonus, if you try to act drunk, everyone will believe that you are actually drunk. Think of it as a social experiment and try to see if people actually believe you are drunk.

Disclaimer: I am not saying that you need to do this to have a good time when you go out with your friends, but it is an option if you want to just blend in with the crowd.

 

6. Attend a Toga Party

Over this past weekend I attended a Toga Party hosted by the brothers of Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity. It will definitely be one to remember for the rest of my life not only because of the great time I had with my friends and new people I met but simply because I will never get over the fact that I attended a party in a bed sheet. Yes, a bed sheet. 

The toga party is an annual event and every year I tell myself I’m going to go but I just never get around to it or I am away from campus that weekend. Growing up, I watched a lot of TV shows about college like Greek and Veronica Mars (Season 3 is college) in which toga parties seemed to be a reoccurring theme; so I created this bizarre requirement in my head that college is not complete until you have attended a toga party. I made sure I put it on my bucket list and truthfully speaking, I think college will be the only time I will be able to wear a bed sheet in public and it will be socially acceptable. It would be very distracting if when I become a news reporter I randomly decided to wear a toga to work. 50% entertaining 50% distracting; I’d be 100% fired.

Leading up to the day of the party my friends and I all contemplating what would we wear, we had few options:

  • Buy a dress that looks semi-Grecian/Roman
  • Make one out of a t-shirt
  • Wear regular clothes
  • Lounge wear because we could just stay in and watch the entire series of Greek
    on Netflix and dream of being lavaliered

However we decided a sheet would be the cheapest and most effective, I mean how hard could it be….

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Okay, cheap? Yes. Difficult ? I think the pictures speak for themselves

My original plan was to make this blog post be a spin off into How to Make a Toga until I realized I’m still very unsure how to make a toga. However, either we worked our goddess magic or Venus felt bad for how terrible we looked and she worked her goddess magic but some how after a hour and a half of tying knots, tossing, and even a little snipping (I now need a new purple flat sheet) we managed to make it work because the end results were fantastic!

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I think Venus would be proud of our craftsmanship. After doing my research and learning that the women who usually wore togas were prostitutes I think that will be my last one but I encourage all UC students to get out there and try something new or attend an event they could never see themselves at. It might just end up being one of your best times in college.

Want to know more about my Senior Year Bucket List? Check out how far I’ve made it down the list!

 

 

 

Learning How To Study

Sep 8, 2014 | Author: Benjamin Mehic

via lawschooltoolbox.com

As I make my transition from high school to college, I’ve realized that managing time and actually taking the time to study and look over notes makes a difference.

Like most of you, I rarely studied in high school, but still managed to get good grades just from attending class and learning that way. Now that the classes in college have become a lot more detailed, I’ve had to adjust from rarely studying to taking time out of my day to sit down and review my notes.

According to the National Survey of Student Engagement (2011), the average college student studies for approximately 15 hours per week. That’s just over 2 hours of study time per day, including weekends.

I never really thought looking over the notes I took in class or re-reading my textbook would make a difference, but as I’ve begun to do that, I’ve found that actually understanding the course itself has become a lot easier.

It can become difficult to learn how to study, since everyone does it their own unique way, but I’ve found that by simply reviewing notes could help drastically. When it comes time to take a quiz or exam, having the notes readily available will make the time you’re using to study become a lot more substantive. After all, I don’t think anyone enjoys cramming last minute information in hopes of actually learning something.

Missing My Sisters

Sep 6, 2014 | Author: Elaine Paravati

College is all sorts of exhilarating. However, some days, the excitement wears away, and you may find yourself sitting in your room, missing your friends and family. Homesickness and loneliness are very common feelings among both first year and returning students. Personally, I have two younger sisters and I miss them every day. My sister Melissa attends SUNY Geneseo, and my sister Whitney attends Boston College. Last year was the first time in our lives that we were all apart for more than a few days, and it was tough on all of us.

Left to right: Melissa, Whitney, and I, last summer (2013) before they went off to college.

Left to right: Melissa, Whitney, and I, last summer (2013) before we all went off to college.

Dealing with separation anxiety and feelings of loneliness is something I have grown better at as I have gotten more adjusted to college life, but it is certainly still difficult. However, there are several things I have found especially helpful for me and my sisters when it comes to coping with missing one another:

  • Taking pictures

When my sisters and I are together, we take lots of pictures and print them out. Then, when we return to school, we have lots of photographs to tape to our walls and stick on our mini fridges. These pictures make me smile and remind me of happy memories, rather than keeping me stuck in the moment and being lonely. Surrounding yourself with images of your friends and family may help you to feel less homesick. Similarly, taking pictures with friends on campus and sending them to my sisters helps them feel connected to me while I am away at school. This is also great because it keeps me from dwelling on my life at home and allows me to focus on enjoying the present moment. Remember, while you have family and friends back home that loves you and supports you, you also have your UC family here that has your back.

  • Keeping in touch

My sisters and I have a special group chat on our phones that we are constantly using. We send each other funny stories from our day, pictures of cute puppies, recipes we want to try together, and weird articles we read. This helps us feel more connected throughout the semester, so if we have to go a while without seeing one another, we still feel included in little parts of each others’ lives. Keeping in touch with your friends during your busy day doesn’t have to mean scheduling an hour-long Skype date; it can be as easy as forwarding a link to a funny YouTube video. Sharing those few minutes of time with your loved one might just make your day.

  • Visiting one another

Obviously, the best way to keep from missing my sisters is to visit them. However, with three busy schedules to coordinate, planning a trip is easier said than done. But for those occasions when we can find time to visit one another, we jump at the chance. One of my best memories from last semester was when Melissa and I surprised Whitney by showing up on the BC campus on St Patrick’s Day just to take her out to lunch. Though it may require effort, planning time to visit your friends’ colleges can help you better understand your friends’ (or siblings’) new world. Meeting their friends, exploring their campus, and eating in their dining hall is a great way to connect with them in this new part of their life. Plus, it will help you better understand who they are talking about when they tell you stories about their friends!

Melissa, Me, and Whitney at Boston College last spring

Melissa, Me, and Whitney at Boston College last spring

  • Handwritten letters

I absolutely love writing letters to my sisters. I often make them cards with plenty of glitter and stickers, and try to make the envelopes as jazzy as possible so that the mailroom staff at their colleges know just how cool and crafty I am. There is nothing better than a handwritten note, and writing to your friends is sure to make their day. Whether you make a card yourself out of construction paper and Sharpies or buy one from the Dollar Store, I guarantee your friend will love it.

  • Returning to normalcy

The most important part of missing my sisters for me is making sure we have time together during holiday breaks and summer that is relaxed and normal. After a busy semester, it can feel strange to go back home to your “old life,” and spending time with high school friends may feel weird. This is totally normal, but you don’t need to let it deter you from maintaining your relationships with your friends and family from home. Recognize that you are growing and changing as a person, and so are they. Spending time with friends from home without putting pressure on the situation- in other words, just hanging out like you used to, instead of making every get together into a huge reunion- will allow your relationship to develop naturally and will help you both feel more comfortable when it comes time to return to school once more.

Melissa, Whitney, and I at a Syracuse Chiefs game this summer (2014). Just hanging out together like we used to helps us feel better when its time to go our separate ways for the semester.

Melissa, Whitney, and I at a Syracuse Chiefs game this summer (2014). Just hanging out together like we used to over breaks helps us feel better when it is time to go our separate ways for the semester.

While homesickness and loneliness are totally normal things to experience at school, don’t let it keep you from enjoying your life at UC. Share your feelings- with your roommate, your RA, your professor, a counselor, or that random guy that sits next to you in Bio. Chances are, they have felt the same way, and will be willing to talk to you until you feel better. Keeping communication open with your UC family, along with keeping in touch with those you are missing using the tips above, will help you cope with missing your friends and allow you to enjoy your semester here at UC.

 

Freshmen Mistakes- And How to Avoid Them

Sep 2, 2014 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Being a first-year student is tough. Whether you commute from the area or live on campus, college is a huge transition into adulthood. It is important to remember that as a freshman, you deserve a lot of credit for putting yourself out there, challenging yourself, and venturing here in pursuit of becoming a better person.

Left to right: Me, Trax, and my friend Sarah at a UC hockey game during our freshman year

Left to right: Me, Trax, and my friend Sarah at a UC hockey game during our freshman year. Freshman year is tough, but not too tough that you can’t give Trax a little love!

That being said, there are several mistakes I commonly see first-year students making. While plenty of upperclassmen have made these same mistakes in the beginning of their college experience and lived to tell the tale, these mistakes are definitely avoidable. Being an individual who does not get any pleasure from seeing others suffer, I will take this moment to explain some common mistakes, as well as how to prevent them, in the hopes that I may ease the transition for even one individual out there.

 

FRESHMAN MISTAKE #1:  STAYING IN YOUR ROOM

Residence halls rock. As an RA, I totally love that you are comfortable and happy spending time in your room. But there’s a whole world out there, and you won’t get to fully experience it if you’re just gazing at the residential quad from your window in North Hall. Don’t be afraid to leave your room and check out a free event on campus or go to a club meeting. Heck, even wandering in the lounge of your residence hall is better than being alone in your room all day. Keep in mind that everyone is new and awkwardly trying to make friends, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

FRESHMAN MISTAKE #2: EATING EVERYTHING

Me and my friend Heather enjoying a milkshake at Johnny Rocket's in Syracuse, NY during my freshman year. One milkshake is great. A milkshake every day is even better, until none of your pants fit.

Me and my friend Heather enjoying a milkshake at Johnny Rockets in Syracuse, NY during my freshman year. One milkshake is great. A milkshake every day is even better, until none of your pants fit.

One of the perks of being independent in college is being able to eat whatever, whenever. Our cafeteria has tons of different options every day, and there is a plethora of local restaurants just a few minutes from campus. However, what many students (including myself) learn the hard way is that just because a million options are available to you at all times doesn’t mean you should consume every one of those million options on a daily basis. Personally, I interpreted the “all you can eat” option at the dining hall on campus as a challenge. I soon earned the nickname “The Human Garbage Disposal,” and not long after that, I couldn’t fit into any of my jeans. Learning self-discipline takes time, but the sooner you master it, the better. Don’t get me wrong- there’s nothing wrong with enjoying food, having dessert, or spending time with friends at a restaurant. I would just advise you against making midnight McDonald’s runs a regular habit. Your body will thank you.

FRESHMAN MISTAKE #3: OVERSHARING ON THE INTERNET

The Internet is great. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are a convenient and fun way to stay connected with family, chat with friends, and pass the time between classes. However, the Internet is also public and permanent. Sometimes students forget that the things they share with friends can be easily spread to employers, future mother-in-laws, and Santa Claus. I advise all freshmen to THINK BEFORE YOU POST! As MaryEllen said during Summer Orientation 2014, “#YOLO does not mean it’s #Appropriate”. It’s great to share pictures of you having fun at school, but just consider what your grandmother would say if she saw the picture. Don’t let a funny picture you post this weekend keep you from getting a job when you graduate.

My boyfriend and I at a UCPB event our freshmen year. This picture is totally cute and Facebook appropriate; in fact, his grandmother commented on how much she loved it. You can enjoy the Internet and share fun moments from your life on it- just be mindful of what you are posting!

My boyfriend Ryan and I at a UCPB event our freshmen year. This picture is totally cute and Facebook appropriate; in fact, his grandmother commented on how much she loved it. You can enjoy the Internet and share fun moments from your life on it- just be mindful of what you are posting!

FRESHMAN MISTAKE #4: BEING AFRAID OF MISTAKES

I’m sure you will receive plenty of advice throughout your college experience about what you should or should not do. However, college is your time to learn and grow as an individual, and part of that learning process is making mistakes. Some mistakes may be more fun to make than others (I am, of course, talking about the Johnny Rockets milkshakes that I gained 15 lbs on because I treated them like their own food group). Some mistakes may be more detrimental than others (staying in your room and missing a fun event isn’t as serious as posting a picture that costs you an internship down the road). But all mistakes are opportunities for you to learn and be one step closer to being the best person you can be. So, enjoy your freshman year, and don’t let the fear of making a mistake keep you from living your life. But maybe think twice about that tweet you were going to send about staying in your room and eating an entire box of Oreo’s. Just a suggestion.

Welcome Back

Sep 1, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

 

Hi everyone I would like to just say welcome back to all the returning students and a big welcome to our incoming freshmen. My name is Juwan Wilson I’m a sophomore at UC and I’m excited to be back. This post is what we call in football a warm up. Something to get you off your feet , hyped , and ready to go for this school year. First things first, last semester is behind us so that 3.0 , 3.5 even 4.0 means nothing you are now sitting with a 0.0. That also applies to that 2.0 , 2.5 its time to work . Get yourself organized and ready to achieve all the things you didn’t get a chance to last year. Make sure you’re taking advantage of all the resources early so there’s no worries when problems arise. For the new comers make sure you are starting your college academic career off the right way. Which means to get your head in the books early. Thank you guys again and I wish you guys a successful school year