Category Archives: Student Life

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!

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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!

The *Almost* Final Step: Grad Fair

Mar 11, 2015 | Author: Karita Rawlins

Graduation is down right terrifying. After a long four year journey, you will be starting a new chapter in your life. I do not like change, in fact most people do not like change.

To help students prepare for graduation and life after college, the many offices at Utica College came together to host a “one stop shop”. The fair featured, the Class Gift Committee, the Bookstore, the and the Registrar just to name a few. There was a very stress-free chill environment, WPNR DJ’d the fair.

Set up for the fair on March 10

My first stop at the fair was the Class Gift table. As a very active member of the UC community I want to make sure my class leaves behind our mark. We all see gifts given by previous classes, the Bronze Moose outside of the Athletic Center (2005), the doors to the Strebel Auditorium (2013) and the clock in Strebel Lounge to name a few (2014) and I know I want to come back and feel the same pride. Students who donated at least $1 received a “Class of 2015″ t-shirt, the same one we received during our First-Year Orientation, which was great because after a few years its not the most form fitting shirt in my closet. For anyone interested in donating to the 2015 Class Gift, you can visit the website here.

A photo from Convocation in 2011!

A photo from Convocation in 2011!

I stopped by the Student Activites Table to get more information on Senior Week and what is planned. Besides graduation, I look most forward to Senior Ball with my friends.

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Elaine Paravati ’15 and Justin Hubman ’15 speaking with Steve Olivera ’15 about Senior Week!

Elaine and I stopped by Alumni Relations where we picked up a copy of the Pioneer, a magazine of Utica College, which I try to catch up on quickly. We learned all about the events to once we are UC Alum. I even joked about the new dome that is being built and how one day it will be nicknamed “The Hut” in honor of it’s namesakes.

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After two bags of popcorn, a few half moons and a minor anxiety attack… I applied for my degree. In that very moment I almost cried. After all this time in college it has finally set it that I will be closing one chapter of my life and moving on to another.

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I can honestly say I feel much more prepared and ready for graduation!

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High school vs College

Mar 11, 2015 | Author: Jayson Bretton

From homes to dorms: Living life as a College student

137085706_1386005925Graduating high school and moving on to college was a big step for most of us freshman here on campus. College is not only about the education, but also it’s the experience you get behind it. It’s about finding who you are; coming in with one major but realizing you’re meant to be in another. It has been said that you find some of your best friends in college and some of those may even become lifelong friends. The first couple weeks here was filled with feelings of confusion, excitement and stress. I’m sure many other freshman can agree with me when I say that, college is nothing compared to high school. We have more responsibilities now and we must learn to deal with them on our own. Also, unlike high school, most of the classes that usually took a whole year to finish is squeezed into one semester. It’s already the second semester and it’s almost coming to an end and it seems as if just yesterday we were moving our stuff into our rooms. Just think about it like this, next semester we’re going to be sophomore’s…. SOPHOMORE’S! It could be just me, but I can’t believe how fast these semester’s went by.

“Months are different in college, especially freshman year. Too much happens. Every freshman month equals six regular months—they’re like dog months.”- Rainbow Rowell

There are many reasons as to why the semesters seem to be going by fast and one of those reasons could be how you spend your time. Everyone in college is here for one thing and one thing only and that is to get a degree in their field of choice. Yes, college is about pushing yourself to get a degree for your future but you also want to make sure you aren’t just about work, work, work 24-7. I learned that within my first couple weeks here that just going by that schedule could be boring. That’s why I found myself to become active here on campus by joining org’s. Doing this caused me to become more social with other people and make new friends. I highly encourage everyone to become involved on campus to avoid stress from school work. Just make sure to look out for flyers or emails that are sent out on campus about joining some clubs, because they really help make your UC experience a lot better. Besides that, it really looks good on a resume, so why wouldn’t you want to become active?

Don’t forget, college is supposed to be a memorable experience. Work your hardest but also have fun while you can.

Blog you later,

Jayson

Spring Farm CARES 3rd Annual Run & Walk For The Animals!

Mar 9, 2015 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Alright folks, the time has come once again to blog about an event that is so near and dear to my heart, The 3rd annual Spring Farm CARES Run and Walk for the animals!

Anyone who knows me, knows my love for animals. Every project I do, every paper I write, and every organization I research are somehow all animal related. I am a huge advocate and often volunteer at the local shelters in the area.

*Side note: I’m working closely with Angels of Fur K-9 Rescue in Rome, NY – an organization dedicated to adopting, rescuing and fostering our canine friends – to establish a blogging website to help spread awareness about adoption and Angels of Fur itself. This is my love.*

Anyway, one of my favorite places to volunteer at is Spring Farm CARES located in Clinton, NY. Spring Farm CARES is a non-kill animal sanctuary fully committed to saving the lives of animals. For more in-depth information about Spring Farm CARES feel free to check out their website here or take a peek at my previous blogs about this organization Running and Walking for our Furry Friends and Spring Farm CARES Run/Walk Reminder

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Thanks to my friends at SFC for the picture!

This 5k run and 1 mile walk is a charitable event to benefit SFC which is currently home to over 250 animals. This year, the event takes place on Saturday, May 2 in the Village of Clinton, NY from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Registration is NOW OPEN & the cost for the run or walk is only $20 until March 30. After that the price increases to $22 until the race day. (Not bad at all!)

How this works is quite simple: Runners will line up at 7:45 a.m. and start the run promptly at 8:00 a.m. Walkers will line up at 8:00 a.m. then begin their part at 8:15 a.m. Once the run/walk is completed, participants can enjoy themselves by feasting on delicious food, listening to some rockin’ music which includes live bands, visit various vendors, and of course, my favorite, see all of the adoptable animals!

Can’t participate in the event, but still want to contribute? Here’s how:

  • DONATIONS: Since Spring Farm CARES is a non-profit organization, they rely heavily on donations. Any amount is appreciated and is always put to good use to benefit the animals! I have seen firsthand how well each and every single one of those animals are loved and cared for.
  • SPONSORSHIP: While Spring Farm CARES hosts many adoptions, they also house many permanent residents. Some of the precious animals that have been brought to there need special attention and care. Unfortunately, due to those conditions, those animals are not able to be adopted. YOU CAN still make a difference! Last Christmas, my parents and I sponsored an adorable cat, Moxie, who had many medical issues. That was one of the best things we could have done for that sweetie. We would frequently receive updates on her, pictures of her, and newsletters regarding her and the rest of the special needs animals.

Please consider participating in this extremely enjoyable event. If you can’t, then please consider donating or sponsoring an animal. Any amount is accepted and appreciated. Even the littlest things can make a big difference. Here are some of the animals that you’d be helping:

Red Barron. A 13 year old Cocker Spaniel who is just a sweet, little teddy bear. I've spent numerous time with him and he has completely captivated my heart.

Red Barron. A 13-year-old Cocker Spaniel who is just a sweet, little teddy bear. I’ve spent numerous time with him and he has completely captivated my heart.

My sweet Moxie girl. She's blind and is filled with medical issues, but she is a total love.

My sweet Moxie girl. She’s blind and is filled with medical issues, but she is a total love.

Sweet little Tommy the cat. Thanks to SFC for the photo.

Sweet little Tommy the cat. Thanks to SFC for the photo.

The miracle dog, Charlie Brown. His story is so touching and almost too incredible for words. He is a Cocker Spaniel who was rescued and found unable to walk. Due to acupuncture, water therapy and extensive medical care, Charlie Brown is able to walk. Thanks to SFC for the photo.

The miracle dog, Charlie Brown. His story is so touching and almost too incredible for words. He is a Cocker Spaniel who was rescued and found unable to walk. Due to acupuncture, water therapy and extensive medical care, Charlie Brown is able to walk. Thanks to SFC for the photo.

To see more animals that you can help, visit their sponsor page on their website. For frequent updates on the permanent residents and adoptable animals, “like” Spring Farm CARES on Facebook. Finally, to register for this precious event, click here!

 

Colleges Against Cancer at Utica College: Relay For Life!

Mar 8, 2015 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Cancer.

Just the mere mention of that word sends shivers up and down my spine. Every day millions of people are affected by this horrendous disease. Children, teenagers, adults, families…..sadly, no one is exempt.

In the past 12 years, my family has gone through the loss of three awe-inspiring, heroic people. I lost my uncle and both of my grandfathers due to various forms of cancer and it has completely broken my heart. Each of these men have made incredible impacts on my life and I carry them with me every single day.

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This year, I was so excited to find out that the school approved a new organization: Colleges Against Cancer at Utica College. 

Colleges Against Cancer is a nationwide community of college students, faculty and staff who are dedicated to finding ways to eliminate cancer through programs and keeping the mission of the American Cancer Society.

CAC has hundreds of chapters all over the country and has made a tremendous impact on young people. Perhaps my favorite part of this organization is the fact that our generation is showing the world that WE care and that WE want to make a difference in raising awareness against all forms of this disease.


The most popular event created by the American Cancer Society is the Relay For Life walk. At these events, communities come together as one to honor every battle won, remember each battle lost, and to support those who are still fighting. The common goal is to raise money to help find a cure and to promote ways to reduce your cancer risk.

Relay For Life teams spend the overnight hours taking turns walking or running around a track or path at a local high school, college, etc. Throughout the night there are several ceremonies to join in on as well as several fun and exciting activities for the teams and participants. For more information on what to expect at a Relay event, click here!

From April 17-18, from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. UC will host its first Relay For Life event right on campus. So far, there are 23 teams and 85 participants who raised a total of $5,755. To keep up to date with the latest information on this event, consider liking the official “Colleges Against Cancer at Utica College” page on Facebook, or follow the organization on Twitter (@UC_CAC)


Please consider participating or donating to this wonderful cause. If you can’t attend the event, but would like to contribute, you can do so by clicking here. You will immediately see a sign up and donate button.

We all know someone who has been affected by cancer. There are truly no words to describe what losing a family member to that disease feels like. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s something no one should have to endure. A simple donation can truly make a difference in the fight against cancer and make a significant step in finding a cure.

“Many Mountains to Climb” (HOMW 6)

Mar 7, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

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

HOMW 6: “MANY MOUNTAINS TO CLIMB”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things That Just Aren’t Cool

Mar 6, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

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

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

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

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

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