Category Archives: Student Life

How to Cope When Your Goals Cause Anxiety

Jan 29, 2015 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

 

Image: Google

Image: Google

Have you ever had so many goals and dreams that – before you know it – end up overwhelming you? You’re planning, you’re searching, you’re doing everything you can to ensure that you reach success, then it all crashes down on you? Yes? Well, then this post is for you!

Often times we are so focused on the future that we totally miss the opportunities of the present! We’re overcome with the stress of building the life we want instead of enjoying the life we have now.

Whenever I talk to people about my future career plans and ambitions, or whenever people talk to me about theirs, I notice that we all have one thing in common. Beneath our confident smiles and strong intelligence, we’re completely terrified. Think about it – whether we’re at the beginning, middle, or end of our college education, we’re all in the same boat.

In a few short years we will find ourselves lacing up our running shoes and stilettos, and being thrown into the world of adulthood. How do we handle that? How can we learn to take things one at a time and NOT eat an elephant in one bite? Here’s a few helpful hints:

1) Run at Your Own Pace

Your career path is uniquely yours. There is no time limit for your dreams. It’s not only part of your story, but it’s part of your purpose as well. It took me four times to figure out where I wanted my life to go. Did all those major changes put me behind? A little. Instead of four solid years, it’s taking me four and a half years to obtain my degree, but I refused to settle for a career that was going to make me unhappy for the rest of my life. Did it bother me to know that majority of my friends would be completely finished in May? Yes. But, eventually when I stopped focusing on the journey of my peers, I could focus on figuring out what would make me truly happy, and now, I’m living it.

2) Embrace the Uncertainty

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

I’m a HUGE fan of this quote. Actually, I’m a huge fan of any inspirational quotes. There’s just something so beautiful about the words of others that really, can make a difference in your life. Here’s the point of this message: embrace the unknown! Often times it’s the fear of the unknown that causes our anxiety, but imagine for a moment, if we had all the answers to life? While it might be helpful, that would make life awfully boring. We find out who we are during the most uncertain, rocky times in our lives.

3) Remember: YOU are Writing Your OWN Story

What are our fears and anxieties telling us? Are they telling us that we’re not good enough? Not smart enough? Not strong enough? Are they telling us that we need to do more and be more? If so, that’s false thinking. Much like the first point, we need to realize that WE are the author’s of our own lives. WE hold the pen. Nobody else does. We can be who we want to be, feel how we want to feel, all without competing with others. People need the skills that we have now. Focus on them. Accept fully who and where you are at this moment.

4) Find Your Inspiration

Everybody needs inspiration and the beautiful thing is that we all have the opportunities to find it.  Our inspiration could come from a book, a friend, a relative….anything. Find it, keep it, and go to it when you need a lift. You’ll be surprised at how your anxieties will quickly fade.

5) Find a Happy Spot

We all have our happy spots. You know, places that we love to go relax and unwind from a long and tiring day? For me, that place happens to be cuddled up at home with my dog on my lap and music in my ears (or a book in my hand). We all need places to go to escape from life a little bit. I find that when I take the time each day to just sit, find my peace, and do something that I love, I’m much less overwhelmed!

Remember: We can achieve whatever we want, whenever we want. The key is to not let your ambitions take control over you.

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Bookstore Bingo!

Jan 27, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Happy first full week of classes! To help students settle in to the first full week of the semester the Utica College Programming Board always puts on numerous activities. (Which numerous bloggers have already mentioned! Check out Tessa’s post about all of the upcoming events!) The event on Monday night was one of my personal favorites, Bookstore Bingo.

(Before the games started, people were  anticipating a night of bingo!)

(Before the games started, people were anticipating a night of bingo!)

It’s a typical bingo night with bingo boards, and numbers being called out. However, when someone wins they don’t shout the typical, “BINGO!” they have to shout “U-C MOOSE!” and do the corresponding hand movements. It’s funny seeing people win because they get so flustered when they remember what they have to do. Another catch is that if multiple people “U-C MOOSE!” at once then they have to have a dance off to see who will win the prize. The person with the loudest audience cheers wins.

(My friend Mary danced herself to a bookstore giftcard!)

(My friend Mary danced herself to a bookstore giftcard!)

The prizes are all from the bookstore, and are things any college student could use. This year they had various school supplies, a Utica College blanket, and gift cards to the bookstore. Even if you don’t win, it’s a lot of fun just playing along though!

(Frank, the announcer, got really into calling the numbers out.)

(Frank, the announcer, got really into calling the numbers out.)

My favorite moment was when one of the girls doing the dance off shocked everyone by doing some type of cartwheel (it was hard to see from where I was sitting) and then the other girl dancing against her did a back bend in retaliation! One of the dance offs even included some ill-timed twerking. But, props to anyone who did get up and dance, that takes a lot of guts!

Alas, I didn’t win this year and I was pretty sad about that. But, it was a lot of fun and I’m already looking forward to the next time UCPB holds Bookstore Bingo. In the meantime though I’m eagerly anticipating all of the other events this week.

 

Things I Learned During Fall Semester

Jan 23, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Welcome back, everyone!I hope you had a restful, healthy break and are returning to the Utica College campus refreshed and ready to go.

Winter break encompasses the end of one year and the beginning of a new year, which for many indicates a desire to reflect and resolve change. I enjoy hearing others’ New Years’ resolutions, but have never found them too helpful for my own life, simply because I do not feel much of a change between December 31 and January 1.

However, I do reflect and create goals for myself at the start of each semester, which are sort of “new semester resolutions.” I will now share with you some of the lessons I learned from the fall semester, and then later I will share the goals I have set for the upcoming semester.

Things I Learned During Fall Semester:

1. Finding an on-campus job you are passionate makes a world of a difference in your semester! I am fortunate enough to love all of the jobs I took on last semester- from being a Resident Assistant in North Hall, to being a DJ and Production Staff member at WPNR, to being a student blogger. Working can take up quite a bit of your time, so enjoying your job(s) is important if your goal is to find pleasure in your daily life. One of the best decisions I made last semester was to finally quit my restaurant job that was immensely stressful, and to pursue fun and new jobs on campus. Looking forward to going to work, getting along with coworkers, and having great supervisors can make your on-campus job seem less like “work” and more like a fun experience that you happen to get paid to do! Don’t waste any more time being miserable at work when you can seek out an opportunity that fulfills your needs and is fun right on campus.

2. You can’t do it all, though! Even if you do enjoy all of your on-campus jobs, all of your organizations, all of your classes, and all of your social obligations, you simply cannot do everything. Trust me- I tried! Last semester, I stretched myself very thin between course work, orgs, work, and graduate school applications. Most days, I would leave my room at 9 AM and would not return until 8:30 pm, only to face a mountain of essays, readings, and application materials. It was exhausting to constantly fulfill so many roles on campus, and while I was able to survive the semester, things became dramatically easier for me when I accepted the fact that I couldn’t do it all. Once I began taking a little more care of myself- turning down a social event for an early night’s rest, for example, or delegating a task to another individual in an organization on a day when I already had a full schedule- things became much easier to handle.

3. Sunlight matters. Here in Utica, we have a very long and cold winter season. At the beginning of fall semester, the sun is bright and beautiful until around 7:30 pm, but by finals week, the sun would set before I would be out of class at 4:30 pm! On dreary days, it would be extremely hard for me to stay motivated and productive; once the sun was down, I would want to hibernate! Once I realized how much sunlight affected my work ethic, I began prioritizing and working with Mother Nature. By accomplishing hard tasks during daylight hours, I could get important things done when my motivation was the highest. Then, when I settled into hibernation mode later in the day, tasks like reading a textbook could be done while I snuggled at my desk with a mug of tea. Figure out what works best for you, and prioritize to work with that!

4. Coffee cannot fix everything. This is controversial, I know. Our society has accepted coffee as liquid magic, and students, faculty and staff alike down its potent potion like it is the cure for all of their ailments. At the beginning of fall semester, I too was under coffee’s spell, but I began to realize that coffee was hurting me more than it was helping me. Rather than being an occasional treat, it became a way for me to mask my exhaustion and power through an over-packed schedule. I should have listened to my body’s need for more rest, but instead, I guzzled more and more coffee. Eventually, I “woke up” (without the coffee!) and realized that I seriously needed to make sleep a priority and stop depending on coffee to make me feel normal. It is definitely easier to stay up late finishing a project, grab a coffee in the morning, and go through the day perked up, but I feel much better listening to what my body needs- actual sleep- and getting that instead. Moderation is key, so if you can’t kick your caffeine habit, at least keep it in check!

5. It truly is the little things that mean the most. I’m sure we have all heard this a million times before, but the spontaneous, small moments are the most magical ones in our lives. For someone like me who likes to have every minute of the day carefully scheduled, being spontaneous can be a challenge. But some of my favorite memories from last semester arose from little, unexpected events. Things like laughing all night at a sleepover with my best friends, going to an amazing new restaurant with my boyfriend, trying on hideous prom dresses at the mall, waiting in line for an hour and a half at Midnight Breakfast for a caricature that we never even got, and having special guests on 3BL on WPNR are all memories that I did not expect to make last semester. Embrace those little moments, because before you know it, the semester will be over once again.

Importance of Volunteering

Jan 13, 2015 | Author: Benjamin Mehic
via Youthareawesome.com

via Youthareawesome.com

Let’s face it: The majority of college students attend college with hopes of landing a job after graduating.

But, how do you separate yourself from the hundreds of applicants who are seeking the same career as you? It’s simple; your resume.

Nowadays, most jobs will require some sort of  college degree. If you graduate from Utica College, you’ll end up with a 4-year degree. Hundreds of students will graduate from UC with a degree, but not all will end up with their dream job right out of the gate.

Having experience in the field before graduating is extremely important. By now, you’ve heard about the importance of internships, but volunteering often goes unspoken.

If you’re able to fit the time in, even if it’s alongside a part-time, paying campus job, it could be worth your while to pursue a volunteer position. Employers like seeing that you volunteer your time, and are able to manage your time well enough to take on an unpaid position. Volunteerism also suggests that you’re a team player, a quality many employers will look for in potential hires.—via Scholarships.com

Working for free isn’t always ideal, but it might be necessary. Showing that you’re committed and willing to work just for experience could potentially set you apart from others seeking the same job or career.

Perhaps you’ll build a relationship with the company you’re volunteering for and might even end up working for them in the future.

The company you volunteer for will serve as a good resume builder and reference. If you don’t have the time for an internship right now, but want to get some experience, why not try volunteering?

Importance of Resumes

Dec 18, 2014 | Author: Benjamin Mehic
via Career Realism

via Career Realism

Besides a college degree or an internship, building a solid resume is arguably the most important step to landing a job after graduation.

Some college students make the mistake of thinking I’ll build my resume after I graduate, when it’s time to job-hunt, but in reality, you’re supposed to start working on your resume way before graduation.

Getting an internship often requires a resume, and believe it or not, other college students will apply for the same internship. Like any job or career, a resume could separate a good candidate from a great one when searching for an internship.

Constantly updating your resume with volunteer work, activities you’re involved with in school, and past jobs is essential.

Here are some tips via Monster.com,

Many students have part-time, seasonal or temporary work experience that is unrelated to future career goals. You don’t want to pack your document with irrelevant details, says Feldberg. On the other hand, prospective employers value candidates who demonstrate dependability and a strong work ethic, even if the experience is in a different industry.

Having experience, whether a part-time job, internship, or volunteer work, is obviously important when building a resume. Still, tweaking your resume for certain applications is also important. List the experience you have in the order of the requirements the employer is targeting. Not every employer is seeking the same requirements, so update your resume as need be.

If you have any questions about building a resume or anything career related, check out Utica College Career Services.

 

How to Manage Anxiety While in College

Dec 7, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

College can be an exciting but extremely stressful part of our journey into adulthood. It’s the first time that we have the power to choose where we want our lives to go. We get the chance to choose the career path that we have to be happy with for the rest of our lives! No pressure, right? Wrong. 

The more research I’ve done, the more I see that anxiety is a growing problem among young people – especially college students. Plus, I have my own personal experience with this….

Anxiety is a topic that I’ve kept quiet about, but always wanted to address. I think if more people were willing to discuss it and were willing to realize just how many people are affected, there wouldn’t be such a stigma about this.

Here’s the thing: Anxiety is so much more than just getting nervous. Anxiety is an internal life altering condition that can affect the way a person thinks, feels, and lives their life. Anxiety is also not the same thing as stress, though they are used interchangeably. Stress is caused by external circumstances, and majority of the time, it can easily be controlled or managed.

Anxiety affects millions of people every single day. It doesn’t discriminate. Research has shown that people from ages 16-25 years old are more likely to experience and suffer from anxiety due to the high demands and pressures of society. Interested in learning more? Read here.

As someone who has experienced anxiety, I know how debilitating it can be. You feel alone, misunderstood, and you constantly feel like you’re a prisoner of your own thoughts. That’s a lot to take on at such a young age!

However, I know I’m not the only one who has felt this way before. I know that there many people who choose to remain silent due to fear and judgement. I also know that I’m not one of those people anymore. So, if you’re like me and live with anxiety, I’ve compiled a list of ways to help you manage college life along with keeping your health in check.

Made with Pixlr

Made with Pixlr

  1. Breathe: I know firsthand how classes, professors, assignments, projects, and presentations can completely overwhelm you. Take a few deep breaths. If you find yourself in that place of anxiousness, stop for a moment. Go somewhere quiet and take in a few deep breaths. Focusing on inhaling and exhaling sends oxygen to your brain and stops the anxiety from occurring.
  2. Watch What You Eat: While it is important to have a balanced, healthy diet, I’m not talking about food here. Watch what you feed your soul. Are you constantly digesting negativity? Are you indulging yourself in the judgments of others? If yes, stop. It’s unhealthy and will only feed your fears. Instead, surround yourself with positivity. Read positive blogs, read positive affirmations, and of course, surround yourself with positive people.
  3. Talk: One of the best ways to combat anxiety is to talk it out. Find someone you trust – whether that is a family member or close friend. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, but avoid people who are only going to use that vulnerability against you. When you confide in someone about your anxiety, be very selective. Not everyone is going to understand your journey. But, when you find that special person that you feel that you can open up to, do it. Don’t hide yourself. Be prepared though for frustrating and hurtful times on both of your parts. If the person that you talk to doesn’t have anxiety, be patient with them as they try to understand what you’re going through. Realize that it’s not easy for them to understand, but by being as straightforward as possible, you’ll help them know you a little better. Don’t be afraid to let someone see the dark side of you. If they truly love you, they won’t walk away from your friendship or relationship.
  4. Let Your Professors Know What’s Up: Anyone living with anxiety knows that some days are better than others. Some days, you’re fine, and some days, you struggle to get out of bed. Anxiety can hit you out of nowhere. If that happens, and you find yourself having to leave or miss class because of it, let your professor know what’s going on. You don’t need to go into explicit detail, but give them a heads up. You don’t want them to think that you’re merely skipping class or are just plain irresponsible. It might be embarrassing, but chances are they will understand and your grade won’t suffer because of it.
  5. Self-Care/Self-Love: This is probably the most important tip. Learning to love yourself despite your anxiety is hard. Very hard. But, it is oh so necessary. Every day, take some time out to do something you enjoy. Make time in your busy schedule for YOU. Take a walk, play with your pet, read your favorite book, listen to your favorite song, do Yoga, exercise…allow yourself to be happy.

Bottom line is that living with anxiety sucks. It sucks more when you’re in college. But there are so many ways to get help and keep your anxiety level low. Be confident. Be brave. Be bold. Be you.

Holiday Activities At Utica College

Dec 3, 2014 | Author: Benjamin Mehic
via cooltext.com

via cooltext.com

The semester is quickly winding down and there are just a few weeks remaining until the Holiday break begins.

With that said, Utica College is hosting several holiday related events before the beginning of break. Here’s more information about two events that will help those in need:

Annual Holiday Dinner

Utica College will be hosting the Annual Holiday Dinner on December 4th, starting at 4:30 p.m. Enjoy a great meal, but more importantly, the proceeds will be donated to the Make-A-Wish foundation, which benefits children living with medical conditions.

Toys for Tots

In case you haven’t heard, Utica College will be collecting toys for underprivileged children this holiday season. Donate an unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots campaign, and help put a smile on a child’s face this holiday season!

There’s no better gift than giving back, so if you can, please check out those two events–Annual Holiday Dinner and Toys for Tots. The benefits will help those in need, so why not participate? At the very least, please spread the message. The more people that participate, the better.

Happy Holidays.

 

I am Finally Going Home Today! (Break Bus)

Nov 25, 2014 | Author: Brittany Sierra

I am so excited to go home today! I have not seen my family since I started this semester, so going home feels bittersweet to me. I’m looking forward to eating a home-cooked meal! ESPECIALLY ON THANKSGIVING! I get hungry just thinking about it! I kind of wish the break was a little longer. I leave today around 3:30-4:00pm on the Break Bus! I will keep you posted on how the rest of the week will go!

Frozen Dome

Nov 25, 2014 | Author: Elaine Paravati

This past Saturday was the Frozen Dome Classic at the Syracuse Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. As a Utica College student, I scored a ticket to the festivities for just $10 at Student Activities. My boyfriend and I headed to the Dome around 2 p.m. and met up with friends before the Utica College Men’s Hockey team played against SUNY Oswego at 3 p.m. It was a great game, ending in overtime, and eventually, a tie.

Karita, Laura, and I at the Frozen Dome Classic!

Karita, Laura, and I at the Frozen Dome Classic!

There was a break between the UC/Oswego game and the big game of the day- the AHL Syracuse Crunch vs Utica Comets game. During the break, we explored the Dome, checked out some AHL gear on display, met some mascots, and even won prizes!

Karita LOVED meeting the mascots. It was hard to get her to leave them in order to get back to our seats for the game!

Karita LOVED meeting the mascots. It was hard to get her to leave them in order to get back to our seats for the game!

At 7 p.m., it was finally time for the big game. Although the Utica Comets lost to the Syracuse Crunch 2-1, it was still an awesome experience because we made history; we broke the record for the largest crowd for an indoor American professional hockey game, clocking 30,715 people in attendance.

Even though we lost, it was an awesome atmosphere and a great experience. I loved being a part of the Utica College student section and cheering for Utica College and the Utica Comets with my friends. The Frozen Dome Classic was a unique way to spend my Saturday and was definitely an experience I won’t forget!

Why It’s Okay To Be Selfish in College

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

Image from Google

“I’m so busy. I’m so stressed out.”

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

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

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

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

It’s NOT natural!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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