Category Archives: Voices

Things Nobody Tells You About Your Senior Year

Mar 17, 2015 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

My senior year of college has been my most exciting, yet nerve-wracking experience of my life. Suddenly, everything is on the fast track. From finding internships, creating proper resumes and cover letters, making a perfect media kit, juggling two – soon to be three – blog pages and planning for graduation – whew! I became tired just typing that sentence.


Here’s the thing: nobody tells you what your senior year of college will really be like. No matter what major you are, us seniors are all in the same boat. Sure, we stress out no matter what year we’re in. However; there’s something about our last year that gives us the willies….am I right?! So, without further ado, here are the top things that no one tells you about your senior year of college:

  • Real life is coming……and fast! This has weighed so much on my mind since beginning the year. Yes, you are prepared each year for the “real world”, but it doesn’t exactly hit you until your last year. There’s no classes to register for, no familiarity at all. “OMG, you’re supposed to work! You have to find a steady job! Here comes those student loan payments!” are the types of thoughts that enter your mind. It’s surreal to think that at one moment you’re working your butt off for an A, the next, you’re working your butt of for a paycheck. Oy vey!
  • The time for trial & error is over: There’s something very earth shattering when you realize that this is your last chance to make everything right. Gone are the days of dropping classes, postponing classes, skipping an assignment, etc. We know that a simple mistake can push-off graduation and we absolutely cannot let that happen.
  • Life will become a balancing act: Somewhere around spring break, we become like professional jugglers. Between our classes, assignments, work, social life, questions from family, planning for graduation, planning for life after graduation we begin to be pulled in 10,000 different directions. Inevitably, we begin to board the emotional roller coaster called “the future.”
  • You’ll feel lost: You’ll start to second guess yourself. You’ll start to wonder if the career path you’ve chosen is the right one. “Will I be able to find a job?” “Where will I find a job?” “Where should I go to find a job?” and more….oh goodness!
  • It’ll all be OKAY: Just breathe, take a deep breath and realize that everything will work out the way it needs to be. Life is funny like that. We stress, we worry, we obsess over everything, but you know what? Everyone feels that way. Just calm down and roll with the changes. That’s what our 20s are all about anyway!
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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!

So Glad I Joined the Herd

Mar 13, 2015 | Author: Karita Rawlins

As the number of days left in my undergrad career slowly declines, I like reflect on it.  One of my favorite things about Utica College is it’s size. A.) I don’t have to walk 3 miles to class or take a shuttle and B.) it’s easy to get to know other students, we really are a tight knit community.

I really do believe UC was the school for me, I couldn’t have succeed the way I have at a large school. I have been involved in so many different organizations which have led me to traveling the country (RHA, Student Senate, Alpha Phi Omega to name a few), been provided with so many opportunities including meeting Senator Kirsten Gillibrand  as well as Utica Mayor, Robert Pallmeri and made some true friends.

I’ve spoken in previous blogs about that friends I have made and how they feel like family to me and I cannot stress it enough.My life has been turned upside down over the last four years but this school and my friends have kept me grounded.


The sun was like shinning down on my life, after having dinner with a few friends we took a brief walk around campus and enjoyed the beautiful day.


Mar 12, 2015 | Author: Kenari Flowers

We are halfway there, the semester is half complete!


Luckily there’s time for you to kick it up a notch. If you have been slacking you have time to make improvement. If you have been doing good, you must keep it up. That “A” can turn into a “C” easily, just like your “C” can become an “A” with hard-work. Always remember it’s not too late to finish strong. After spring break make your fresh start to putting your all into this semester. Meet with your professors, talk to your advisor about courses your concerned about, request a tutor. There’s still time for a comeback!

End strong! Midterms might have been a little tough , but remember that’s one test not your overall grade. Check out your syllabus and see what all dictates your final grade (participation, homework, quizzes and so on). If your unsure ask your professor for an estimate of where you stand in the class, see if he/she offers extra credit. Your professors are here to help you. They can’t help you if you don’t reach out.

You have all the necessities to do great, you just have to access them and use them all to your advantage. Let’s KNOCK this semester OUT! WE GOT THIS!!!!! (:  




Spring Break

Mar 12, 2015 | Author: Kenari Flowers

Spring Break is near… it’s practically here! 

Don’t let the spring fever overtake you. Focus on your midterms now and use the idea of break as your motivation to knock these exams out the way. Keep calm it’s coming! A good way to break away from studying but still being productive is to began washing your clothes, pack, and/or spring cleaning. This is also the time to decide whether that class you’re struggling in is worth keeping or dropping… No one wants to drop a course but sometimes it happens. Just a reminder the last day to withdraw from a course is April 3rd. 

As you complete your midterms be sure to safely secure your room and belongings. Before exiting the campus make sure your windows are closed and locked, throw out any food that may go bad (keep your fridge plugged in), empty your trash, take any expensive or personal items home, and lock your door. Double check your room again before leaving. Make a list so you don’t leave anything you’ll miss over break.

Commuters before leaving your home unattended over break be sure to seal and lock all windows, secure all doors, empty the trash, leave a light on in place of your absence, and double-check and secure your home as well.

While on spring break if you aren’t too busy take a look at your course syllabus consider starting a final paper or two. It’ll only benefit you later when you need it. Don’t wait until the last-minute. If you’re looking for internships or employment for the summer start applying during your downtime on break. But also remember this is your spring break… VACATION. So please remember to relax, sleep, rest and enjoy it!

Good luck on finals, be safe on break, and remember to have FUN.






Good Morning Sunshine

Mar 12, 2015 | Author: Courtney Hryniowski

Do you have trouble getting up in the morning? I know that as a busy college student, staying up late or having a crazy schedule can really effect being the best you can be when you wake up.

Personally, my bed is one my favorite places to be and sometimes I struggle to get up and leave the comfiest place I know. I have recently come across some interesting posts and articles about ways to becoming a morning person.

After I get out of bed, fully awakening from my deep sleep, I am usually okay with starting my day on an upbeat note. For many that is easier said than done.

Here are some of my favorite things that I have put together to help you become a better morning person:

  • Try to get to bed a little earlier, as hard as that may be. If are having some trouble, drink a warm cup of tea…. I know that always helps me!
  • Set an alarm for a reasonable time. If you are someone like me who sets multiple alarms, try only setting two to get in the habit that you need to wake up right when it goes off.
  • Do something you enjoy right when you get up. Whether that is making yourself a cup of coffee, hopping in the shower, etc.
  • Exercise – this is a wonderful way to wake your body and mind up.
  • Think positive. Plan to have a positive and productive day.

I hope everyone is sleeping well, especially during midterms!

Lastly, always remember to smile. Spring Break is only two days away!

Taking an Online Class

Mar 12, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

Hey everyone! This semester has been hectic so far with my schedule containing: Neuro Anatomy and Physiology, Kinesiology, Anthropology, Clinical Research and Senior Seminar! That does not even include my jobs on campus, clubs and other activities (like sleeping!) With such a busy schedule, it was hard to find time to fit all of my classes into a working schedule and that meant I had to take an online course. I had never taken an online class before, but I had heard of the mixed reactions students have to them. I decided to take Senior Seminar online and was a bit confused in the beginning, but it has definitely turned out to be a great experience! Here are my personal pros and cons to taking an online class. Just remember, these were my personal pros and cons and everyone will have different opinions about it!


1. I have a week to get the work done and I am able to get it done when I have the time to

2. I was unable to fit all of my lecture classes into my schedule, so taking an online class allowed me to get all of my course requirements

3. The discussion forums that the class participates in has helped me learn a lot more than if I was simply sitting in a classroom because I am very engaged

4. The professor replies instantly to any questions that I have

5. The first couple weeks taking the online course was laid back so everyone had the time to get used to having an online course

IMG_1787Oh and did I mention the BEST Pro to taking an online course? You can do it in your PAJAMAS!!!!!!!


1. Sometimes the work may be confusing and you have to communicate online with your professor.

2. You cannot speak with your professor in office hours, you must email them.

3. You have to make sure you have the motivation to make yourself do the work. (Unlike in a classroom setting where the professors take attendance and insist on you showing up!)

4. All class communication is online, unless you meet your classmates on your own time.

Overall, I really enjoy taking an online class due to my busy schedule. It was benefitted me a lot and even though I am slightly computer illiterate and was confused in the beginning, I was able to figure everything out and I am now excelling in my online class. If you ever consider taking an online class, just make sure you take into consideration your schedule and remember: taking an online class does not mean it is easy; it just means you are able to participate in class on your own time (in the course of a week).

America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk

Mar 12, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

On Saturday, March 7, 2015 I participated in my first America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk at Utica College! I have heard so many positive comments about the run/walk and I figured I would give it a shot. Turns out, it really was an amazing event! I walked the five mile event on behalf of the National Society for Leadership and Success and I walked with the Utica College fraternity, Alpha Phi Delta. It was amazing to see all of the students and student organizations that were involved with the run/walk. IMG_1757This is a picture I took of the people ahead of me participating in the walk, there were so many!

The American Heart Association is the “largest voluntary health organization working to prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases” and the diseases account for the #1 and #4 top causes of death in America.

(More info on

America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk 2015 at Utica College has made (so far) $646, 718!! How awesome is that?! This event was for a great cause and was such an inspiration. It was so inspiring to see so many people joining the run/walk and seeing all the support from the neighborhood. There were signs in people’s yards, there were children cheering on runners/walkers in their home, there were friendly onlookers throwing out candy and water to the runners/walkers, the support was intense! The support just showed how tight knit of a community Utica College is apart of and how complete strangers can come together for a great cause! I definitely plan on participating next year and I recommend the event to everyone!

IMG_1762At the end of the walk!



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.


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.


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.


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