Reality Check: Graduation is in 20 Days!

Out of all my years here at Utica College, senior year has gone by the fastest. With graduation just 20 days away, I can’t help but look back over the past four years. There have been good times, bad times, and some of the best moments of my life. If I had the chance relive my time here at UC I would, but I wouldn’t change one thing. Okay – maybe I would change some choices of outfits.

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Now the butterflies, nerves, and excitement are all setting in. Finishing up my undergrad classes and being aware that I am soon to be a graduate student is a weird relief. Now I’m not sure if I’m more concerned about future employment or what to decorate the top of my graduation cap with!

 

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I look forward to May 8 at 9:30 am when I walk across that stage but my mind will be torn between bottling up every memory possible from the past four years, taking it all in, and thinking about what’s next. My undergrad experience at Utica College is something that will be hard to leave behind but I am excited to take what I’ve learned here, in and out of the classroom, to the next step in my life.

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5 Things I Love About College

 

1. Class Times: 

They weren’t lying when they said that college is WAY different from high school. But the structure of my day is most defiantly the thing I love most about college. In high school you are stuck in one building for eight hours and aside from lunch and gym class, it is school, school, and more school for those long eight hours. I love how college has allowed me to schedule my day the way I want it. There are some days that I have classes in the morning right in a row, and then the rest of the day is mine to do what ever I need to. Or, there are some days where my classes are spread far apart and I have large breaks to grab lunch, hang with friends, work on homework, or even sometimes, take a nap!5 things I Love... Pic #1

2. Freedom:

I never thought I would say it, but I’ll admit it: I miss my parents. That being said, it is a nice feeling to be independent from them. It is definitely a culture shock to not have to ask my parents if it is OK to go somewhere or do something. I love the freedom that I gained when I left home, but it does take some responsibility and a huge adjustment. But, after getting it down to a science, all it takes is a good head on your shoulders and some time management skills. But don’t worry, my mom still calls me 100 times a day…

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3. Friends: 

I have always grown up and been around a strong group of friends, and when I first left for UC, I was terrified to leave them. However, I quickly learned that my fear was unnecessary. The friends I have made here at UC have become lifelong friends. I will never not be friends with the people I’ve grown up with but there is something different about the bond you build with the people you go to college with. It truly is something special.

4. Campus:

Like I mentioned before, the biggest change from high school to college is the structure of my day. I love not being confined to one building for the whole day. Especially when its night out, I love finding different places to hang out on campus and some some work, like under a tree or on a blanket in the quad.5 Things I Love... Pic#4

5. Professors:

The professors I’ve had over the past four years have truly made my college experience that much better. They are always willing do help me with a project, stay after office hours or, come in early to meet me. My professors are always reaching out to me with information about job opportunities and other networking information. When I graduate I will miss many things about Utica College but the professors and the relationships I’ve built with them is something I will definitely remember forever.

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The Coolest Thing That’s Ever Happened to Me…

I am very fortunate to live a short 45 minutes from Manhattan, the heart of New York City. I myself like to think of my ordinary town as the stem of the big apple. During high school it was not rare that a few of my friends and I would ditch school and hop on an express train into Grand Central. Sorry, mom.

Our favorite things to do in the city included grabbing lunch and walking around Time Square. For some strange reason I always found the constant-moving atmosphere and intensity of afternoon traffic soothing. There is just something about those gigantic buildings that puts me in my place and makes me feel capable of anything.

One day about four years ago a few of my friends and I decided to skip school yet again and go into the city to do some shopping and get lunch. While we were walking down a side street near Time Square we bumped into two large men. By the time we looked up from our phones to apologize and see who it was, a head popped out from behind the men. Who was is you ask…. none other then Ellen DeGeneres!

Dumbfounded and super geeked out because I have never met someone famous before, I jolted out my hand and said “Hi!” louder then I probably should have. She shook my hand and then apologized for having to leave in such a hurry. I stood there more still than the surrounding skyscrapers – frozen in time.

Round trip train ticket into the city: $14.50.

Meeting Ellen DeGeneres: Priceless.

Not getting a picture: 100 years of utter regret.

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Utica’s Good Eats: Piggy Pat’s BBQ

A few weeks ago a few friends and I got together and went out to dinner. We wanted to try something in the area that we have never tried before. After a few minutes of debating and violently searching through Yelp, we landed on a review of Piggy Pat’s BBQ. A few people had mentioned that it was some of the best barbeque food around and that it was a “must eat.” So, we were up for the challenge.

Less than 10 minutes from campus and right off the highway lies Piggy Pat’s. When we first walked in there was an obvious a cabin-in-the-woods type feel to the restaurant. We were seated in the dining room that was draped with handmade quilts and some other old, country-like artifacts.

The menu was full of fun named and creative entrees. I ordered a pulled pork sandwich, a fan favorite. While waiting for our food we discovered a few home made barbeque sauces on our table, and they were delicious!piggy pats pic #1piggy pats pic #2

Then, finally, our food came out. Piggy Pats has hands down some of the best BBQ I have ever had. This is definitely one of Utica’s good eats and a must try! Needless to say, we will be back for more – especially after learning about some of their weekly events!

Wednesday Nights – Trivia Night

Friday Nights – Live music starting at 6 p.m.

Saturdays Nights – Live music starting at 8 p.m.

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A New Adventure

It’s no secret, I am not a gym-going kind of girl. I personally envy those who truly enjoy going to the gym and working out. Me, I dread it more than the most pain-filled trip to the dentist. That being said, I’m always looking for different things to do to stay active.

This past weekend we had a few hours of beautiful weather, there was still a bit of snow of the ground but the temperature and the sun drew almost everyone out of their rooms. I had been wanting to take up hiking for a while but always seemed to find an excuse to push it off. But no more!

A few friends and I decided to go on a hike a trail in Wilderness Park in Deerfield, NY. It took us just about a 15-minute car ride from campus. When we got on the park grounds there was a large pavilion with ten or so picnic tables and a large set of swings. The perimeter of this area was lined with great big evergreen trees – it was a perfect day to explore.new adventure pic #4

new adventure pic #2We followed the signs to the trail and followed the yellow reflector squares through the woods. The trail was guided by paths and huge makeshift stairs made from large logs. The trail was the perfect mix of flat surface and inclined areas. It was beautiful! We came across a flowing stream that was half frozen along the side of a hill.new adventure pic #3 new adventure pic #1

This adventure wasn’t only a great way to get some enjoyable cardio in, it was a beautiful winter sight. I look forward to revisiting this trail and hopefully discovering some other trails in the area.

 

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If Your Favorite Disney Princesses Went to Utica College

Growing up watching and idolizing Disney Princesses, I recently decided to revisit my fascination.

Being that the past few weeks have been filled with rain and snow, it was the perfect opportunity to binge on movies like The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, and my new favorite, Frozen. Yes, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands paired with a slight self-diagnosis of insomnia. After a few hours of watching, I thought to myself – my life is far from the standards of those of the Disney Princesses. But what if they lived my life? This 3 a.m. ponder lead to some interesting scenarios.

Ariel:

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Upon her enrollment as a full time student at Utica College, Ariel finds comfort in becoming a Pioneer while joining the Women’s Swim and Dive team. Breaking records and owning the lanes, she never looks back – her happily every after will culminate on her senior night when she breaks the school’s longest standing record.

 

Cinderella:

Cinderella PicAfter declaring her independence from her evil step-mother, Cinderella spends most of her time in the Womyn’s Resource Center where she is surrounded by faculty, staff, and other students who share her same passions and ideas of equality. She has since ditched the glass-slipper look because, let’s face it, glass slippers are not ideal for getting across campus in a hurry!

 

Jasmine:

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Always going to be beat of her own drum, Jasmine spends most of her time working in the robotics lab trying to build her own flying carpet. Unfortunately, her whole new world here at Utica College does not allow for her pet tiger Rajah. However, she keeps her passion for wild life alive by majoring in Animal Behavior.

 

Elsa:

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Deciding to leave her castle was one of Elsa’s hardest decisions. But like most people, Elsa decided to move on to the next chapter in her life. Her fascination with weather has landed Elsa as president of Asa Gray Biological Society (Asa Gray). While Elsa has made tons of friends, some do blame her for the lake effect winter we experience here in Utica.

 

Belle:

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As scholarly as she is, Belle’s transition into college was a breeze! Spending most of her time reading, she has almost made her way through half of the books in the library. Since Belle is so adoring of literature and the atmosphere the library brings, she has just become the latest work-study at the circulation desk and has taken part in peer tutoring.

 

Aurora:

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Catching naps in between classes is a must for our sleeping beauty. Luckily, she has had the freedom to schedule all her classes for later in the day. That being said, her favorite place to hang out is in the Residence Halls. After getting five other friends together, Aurora formed a club on campus called “Sleepers Anonymous.” The club works together to help raise money and donate things like blankets and pillows to the local homeless community.

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Saranac Brewery Tour

Last weekend my friends and I found ourselves looking for another adventure and wanting to experience something Utica has to offer! I then remembered a tour of the Saranac Brewery was something I’ve been wanting to do since freshman year but never got around to doing it. We looked up the Matt Brewing Co. online and decided to do it!

When we got there, we walked into the gift shop and checked in for the next tour. The tour only cost $5 a person and included two free beverages in the tavern at the end of the tour! While we were waiting for our tour to get called we walked around the gift shop. Decorated with some vintage Saranac gear, the whole place had a long-standing feel.

 

Saranac Pic 1Before we knew it our tour was about to begin. We were walked through the entire brewery and the tour took a little under an hour. The hallways leading up to the production room was beautifully decorated with authentic Victorian décor with many original aspects from when the brewery opened in the 1800s by FX Matt. We were able to get up close and personal with every aspect of the brewing process from the hops and grains used to brewing, bottling, and packaging.

Saranac Pic 4 Saranac Pic 3 Saranac Pic 2The tour was very informational and interesting. It was cool to learn that Utica Club, a beer made at the Matt Brewery, was the first beer sold in the United States after prohibition.

We then made our way to the tavern to try our two full-sized free drinks. They had their seasonal and craft beers on tap along with their assortment of sodas and hard sodas. I tired their famous root beer and it was – AMAZING! We ended up sitting in the tavern for two hours drinking and talking. This is something I recommend for everyone to do – in fact, I can’t wait to go back and do it again! A fun day for only $5, it’s a win-win!

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Anxiety Level: Applying to Grad School

This is my last semester as an undergraduate student here at Utica College. The past four years have been made up of some of the best times I’ve had and some of the best people I’ve met. But let me tell you, these past 1,000 days or so have flown by! And now – its time to start another adventure…

Grad school was something I have thought about in the past but I always shied away from the idea of attending MORE school. However, earlier this fall, I decided it was something I absolutely wanted to do for a few reasons. First of all, I was worried about if I could mentally take more schooling but then I thought; four years of undergrad flew, what’s two or three more at this point!? Secondly, after seeing all the greater opportunities that came along with a graduate degree, it seemed like the best option for me. And finally, I’ve spent most of my life in school – I’d like to think I’ve mastered the art of being a student and I think I could rock grad school!

I am in the middle of applying for acceptance in the Utica College Masters of Business Administration program. For now, the hard part is applying. When I started this process I was overwhelmed and honestly, didn’t know where to start. My first step was to contact the counselors in Graduate Admissions. I can easily say they have made applying manageable and easier than I ever thought it would be!

Somethings that are required for my application are a personal statement, at least two letters of recommendation, the application its self and a copy of my most recently updated resume. At first, this list of requirements gave me anxiety. After talking to a bunch of faculty and staff for advice I took away a few good tips for each of these requirement.

Letters of Recommendations:

  • Ask for one letter from an education resource like a professor and ask for the other from someone who will represent your extra curricular life like a boss. Also- make sure your references know you on a personal level so that your personal flare will reflect in the letter.

The Application:

  • This part of the application process is supper straight forward and it made the whole experience much easier when I got that out of the way first.

The Personal Statement:

  • At first I had a really hard time with this – I was overthinking and felt pressured for it to be “perfect”. After taking a break and a few deep breaths I gave it another try and this time I told myself to just be genuine and realize that the best I can do is just be myself.

My Resume:

  • My resume was a train wreck! I made sure to do it as best I could by myself then I made an appointment with the Career Services office for them to look it over and make improvements. They met with me and pimped out my resume! 

UPDATE:

all my hard work paid off! I am officially enrolled into the MBA program here at Utica College. I will begin my Masters of Business Administration this summer! WOOOHOOOO!

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How to Get Away with Murder…ing Stress!

I’ve found that stress is one of the easiest things to get but one of the hardest things to get rid of. Between school work, maintaining a social life, staying healthy, keeping a job, and keeping sane, stress is everywhere on a college campus. Being a chronic over-thinker, I often find myself stressing out and obsessing over every little detail. This is not only not a healthy way to live, it is also extremely counterproductive. The times when I am stressing the most just so happen to also be the times when I barely get anything done!

That said, over the past four years of being a college student here at Utica College, I have found a few perfectly reasonable tips on how to de-stress!

Tip #1: Mindless doodling.Stress Tip #1 PicThis is one of my favorite things to do when I have some spare time or when I need a break from all of the moving parts of my day! An added bonus to this activity: I never knew I was good a drawing until I tried – grab a pencil and try!!

Tip #2: Painting nails/self pampering.
Stress Tip #2 PicNot only does painting my nails or putting a face mask on take me away from the chaos of homework, it also makes me feel refreshed and rejuvenated!

Tip #3: Throwing a one-person, private dance party.

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Locking my door and tuning out all that is outside helps me practice my most embarrassing dance moves! (does this count as exercise? I think yes!)

Tip #4: Taking a break & hanging with friends.

Stress Tip #4 PicIf I ever need a laugh, I know who to do to. Sometimes the best way to relax is to laugh it up with the people you love!

Tip #5: Blindfolded silence.

Stress Tip #5 PicFinally, I think that this technique is the most effective. I love to take five or ten minutes to totally unplug, cover my eyes with a sleeping mask, and pretend like nothing else exists in the world!

BONUS – Tip #6: keep it to a minimum.

All of these stress killers take no more than a half hour. It is easy to take a small break and get carried away with it. So the best thing to do with these tips is time them. Set a time limit for your break and stick to it, once the time is up – get back to work!

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Killer Wings at the Killabrew

Here is another one of Utica’s good eats!

Last night a few of my friends wanted to go out for some wings. Now, I am not a wing person but I decided to tag along because I have heard that the wings at Killabrew are world famous. Not to mention, it has been on my “college bucket list” to go there, and as my senior year is coming to an end, I figured it was time!

We were seated at a wooden booth and given our menus. When I looked down there were carvings all over the table. It was really cool to look at all the messages others had left behind. Things like “M+D Forever” and other small notes gave this place a homie and familiar atmosphere along with the overall décor of the place.
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My friends and I ordered a bunch of the “everything” wings. These are said to be the wings that keep people coming back for more every week. After about 20 minutes or so, the waitress brought us our order. A large plate of orange-red steaming wings accompanied with a dozen napkins and wet-naps sat in front of us, and we were ready.

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Like I said before, I am not a wing person. However, the Killabrew’s everything wings have brought me over to the other side! They were delicious and like something I have never tasted before! Tangy with a light kick – I would definitely go back for more! Lets just say this is one of Utica’s good eats and a must go to!

 

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