Insider: A Look Into My Planner

As far as organization goes, I am a fanatic. I am constantly looking for new tips, tricks, and hacks to better organize my life. And it may come as a surprise that I wasn’t always this way. Up until my junior year of high school, I was your ordinary slob. My bedroom floor was camouflaged with shirts and pants and my bed was just as unidentifiable. The worse part is – my grades were just as messy as my room was!

It was junior year—arguably the most important year of high school—and going to college was something I wasn’t willing to give up. I decided I needed to take control and get my life in order. The next day I went to the store and bought a planner for only 10 dollars and it honestly changed my life!

After realizing how much being organized and keeping up a planner changed my life, I never stopped. To this day I live by my planner and I truly believe it got me to where I am today. Over the years I’ve come across a few tips that have made keeping a planner easier and less stressful:

Tip #1: cross out completed tasks.tip #1 picture

I’ll admit, seeing a million and one things written on your planner can be extremely overwhelming. However, there is no better feeling than crossing those completed tasks off your planner. This isn’t only satisfying; I find that it motivates me to get more things done because I cannot wait to see my list of things to do dwindle down to me watching Netflix.


Tip #2: use sticker labels for items/events that are subject to change.

tip #2 pictureI found that there were a few things in my planner that I was constantly crossing out and moving. I wasn’t happy about this because I had to cross things out that weren’t completed and it was making my planner messy and hard to follow.


Tip #3: color-code.

tip #3 picture

I am a big fan of color-coding similar information. For example, using the stickers mentioned in tip #2, I color-code certain things that have to do with my job as a RA on campus. Stickers that are orange have deadlines on them, pink stickers let me know the nights I have duty, yellow stickers tell if I have a one on one meeting with my boss, and finally, green stickers remind me when there is a staff meeting. This “color coding sticker system” would also work great for any job!

Tip #4: plan ahead.

tip #4 picture

As soon as I get my syllabi for all of my classes, my work schedule, and the meeting times for my club, I fill in my planner. From week one of the semester, my planner is filled out until May. Obviously there are things I have to add here and there but for the most part I have everything mapped out. This tip is crucial for not over loading my schedule. For example, if I know ahead of time that I have a lot of meeting a few Wednesdays from now, I won’t plan to get lunch off campus with some friends.


 Tip #5: highlight or box out important information.

tip #5 pictureIf there is something in my planner that I want ton jump out to me when I open it, I will either highlight or box out this information. Sometimes between all the crossed out words it is hard to see important information right away. For example, I make sure to highlight when I mark down that a class is cancelled so I see it and remember to not show up and be the only one in the class! Also – if I have an important meeting with a professor or my advisor, I will box it out in a different color so it is easier to see at first glance!





Pop Culture Pop Quiz: UC Faculty and Staff

The faculty and staff at Utica College are in a league all of their own. Professors’ doors are always open to stop in and ask questions about class or just to chat! It is not rare to find a professor or a staff member in their office well before hours and far beyond the day has ended. The professional staff here at Utica College truly make a difference in the everyday lives of students, and they are very down to earth and friendly. While the UC professors and staff members are masters of their own kind, I decided to turn the tables and quiz THEM on MY area of expertise!

When I asked Alane Varga, Dean of Diversity and Student Development, to name the celebrity in this photograph, her response was: “Justin Bieber? I have no idea!”


(Correct answer: Seth Myers)


When I asked Mary Agnew, UC’s Copy Center Specialist, who was photographed her response was: “Diddy …?”

Mary (Correct answer: Kanye West)


When I asked Dr. Thomas Rossi, Professor and Chair of the Management Department, who was photographed his response was: “I’m not sure… He looks like he could be John Travolta’s Son.”

Rossi(Correct answer: Nick Jonas)


When I asked Scott Welch, Assistant Coordinator of Communication Services, who was photographed his response was: “Paris Hilton. Oh wait, the ‘Hunger Games’ Girl!”


(Correct answer:  Jennifer Lawrence)


When I asked Frank Percacciante, Academic Coaching Expert (ACE), who was photographed his response was: “Andrew Garfield”

Frank (Correct answer: Harry Styles)


When I asked, Dr. Daniel A. Barr, Associate Professor of Chemistry, who was photographed his response was: “Some Rap person”

Barr (Correct answer: Justin Bieber)


While my participants were all good sports, it is safe to say that some of the faculty and staff of Utica College need to brush up on today’s celebrities. It was hilarious to hear some of the responses I got and shared a few good laughs with some of the professionals on campus.


A Walk on The Wild Side

A few weeks ago, I was looking for something to do outside before the snow hit. Just about an hour away from campus is the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, NY. A friend and I decided to jump in the car and take the trip. I’ve seen a few zoos in my life, but this, by far was the best. It was a perfect fall day filled with exotic animals and great times.

On the top of my priority list was to see the Asian Elephants. We started at the back of the zoo and made our way to the front. There were four large adult elephants and newborn baby elephant fresh to the zoo family last March. Unfortunately, when I was there the baby was being held indoors because he was sick. It was amazing how close we were able to get to see them running round and playing. Just as we were about to move on to another exhibit, five zoo workers dropped a dozen bails of hay into the elephants’ play area. All of the elephants ran to the hay and began to eat their lunch. It was an amazing site to see them use their trunks like hands to bring the hay up to their mouths!elephants

Then we moved our way to see the Snow Leopard. Half of the exhibit was incased in glass and the other half was open but protected by netting. Within the leopard’s habitat there were trees and logs everywhere where it would climb and jump on. The Snow Leopard was not the friendliest animal, once it saw us it ran to the highest tree and glared at us from

On our way out, we stopped to see the bird unit. There was a pond filled with ducks, swans, and other birds. As we crossed a small storybook-looking bridge, there was a gathering of bright pink flamingos. Standing on one leg and bending their long necks down to drink the water, I was amazed by them.flamingo

In a small green house-like structure there was a display of rainforest birds. We were able to walk through this display and be up close and personal – there were literally no barriers between us and the birds. They were free to fly right by us! Needless to say, I used my zoo map as a hat to protect my head just in case!bird

This was definitely a trip I would recommend taking. It took us about 2 hours to do the entire zoo and each exhibit was better then the last – especially the gift store!


A Dollar Make You Holler… For Some Pizza!

For me, last Tuesday was a long day filled with studying, meetings, and jumping from class to class. Around 4:30 pm, I had lost all energy and was dreading a night filled with homework. I decided I was in need of a pick me up.

AH-HA! I remembered it was Tuesday – the best day of the week. Why, you ask? Because Tuesday is dollar slice day at Pizza Boys Pizzeria. The line is long, but trust me, it is so worth it!

One dollar?! Yes, one dollar.

Just 1.5 miles away from campus lies one of Utica’s best eats: Pizza Boys. From pizza to wings and specialty subs, panini, and delicious pasta dishes, this place has got it all. Pizza Boys may be best known for dollar slice Tuesdays, but they offer much, much more when it comes to good food and saving a few bucks. They have great specials almost every day of the week!

Monday: Half Price Boneless Wings!

Tuesday: All Slices $1 – All Day!

Wednesday: $0.50 Chicken Wings

Thursday: $8.50 Chicken Riggies

Friday: $6 Large Fish Subs

If these specials didn’t get your mouth watering yet, sign up online to be a rewards member at Pizza Boys. A rewards member receives even more discounts, exclusive specials, and even bonus specials around their birthday!


Put a Twist on Sodexo: How to Make Your Own Meal Out of Bits and Pieces of Theirs

Have you ever gone to eat at the dining commons on campus and felt like there was nothing “good” to eat? I mean, we’ve all been there; crunching down on some Cinnamon Toast Crunch during the 5:00 dinner rush.

I’m here to tell you there is so much more you can do within the restrictions of the made-to-order deli station, grill, the two hot food stations, and the good ‘ol salad bar. Combine, take out, add, “beef up,” mix it, and my favorite: make it into a sandwich.

The other day at dinner I found myself indifferent to what was being served. The nacho bar is always a crowd favorite and definitely one of my go-to’s, but I wanted something more. I got the chips from the nacho bar and all of the toppings I wanted; olives, salsa, jalapeños, beans, sour cream … more sour cream. And then I went to the salad bar and filled the bottom of a plate with lettuce, cheese, and some grape tomatoes. When I got back to my table I grabbed my fork and took some deep-seated childhood anger out on the plate of nachos.

Once the chips, olives, salsa, jalapeños, beans, and lavish amount of sour cream was all crushed and mixed together, I added it to the other plate of ordinary salad. POOF! A delicious taco salad was in front of me!taco2

It doesn’t stop at the nachos. Veggie and turkey burgers are always an option at the grill – just ask! Once they’ve cooked either of the two “secret burgers,” put it between two buns or skip the bread, layer some crispy cucumbers, and drizzle with some light ranch dressing and balsamic glaze! Since you’ve been so creative I’d say you deserve to put a scoop of your favorite ice cream in between two of Sodexo’s dangerously good chocolate chip cookies! Enjoy the dining commons your way!


If Your Life Was an Episode of ‘Friends’: Utica College Edition

Hey! I’m Angela from Westchester, New York. I am a senior here at Utica College studying business management. I also concentrate in human resource management and minor in psychology. As far as my involvement on campus, I love to get my hands in a bunch if different projects. I am the President of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and I am a resident assistant in the First Year Village. Along with being a student blogger, I also work in the Utica College mailroom.

My two favorite things are pop-culture and good eats. I am excited to relate pop-culture and Buzzfeed inspired posts to everyday life here on the Utica College campus. What’s better than trending topics and great food? I hope my readers will enjoy reading about awesome eats in the surrounding Utica area and campus food. So if you’re interested in finding the best grub in Utica and reading up on some of the latest campus hacks, I’m your girl!

If Your Life Was an Episode of ‘Friends’: Utica College Edition

The gang enjoying a beautiful fall day on campus

Everyone knows Friends’ famous six-character dynamic of chaos and great laughs set in New York City. But what if they were to hang out on our campus for a day? Central Perk? How about freshly served Starbucks at Le Bistro in Gordon Science Center. In between classes you would probably find the gang hanging out in one of the many lounges on campus.


Rachel working at Le Bistro in Gordon Science Center
Rachel working at Le Bistro in Gordon Science Center

Speaking of Le Bistro, Rachel channels her inner barista skills as she has taken up a work study job making lattes. In her free time, Rachel recently got four other friends together and created her own club on campus called “Green’s Garbs Fashion Club.” Her club designs Utica College apparel and has held workshops on what not to wear.


Phoebe jamming out at Open Mic Night

Phoebe’s debut of her hit single “Smelly Cat” at Open Mic Night in the Pioneer Pub has become a fan favorite. She struck stardom after becoming a YouTube sensation and is often featured on UC’s webpage. After a day’s work filled with studying, Phoebe could be found tabling outside of the dining commons selling her home made sock bunnies to raise money for stray cats and other charitable organizations.


Ross taking a break outside WPNR

Ross has his own talk show segment on the school’s radio station, WPNR. His show features his weekly “Ross’ Rants” on evolution and the latest discoveries in dinosaur bones. You may often find Ross visiting Alex in the counseling and wellness center every Wednesday at 1:00 to talk about his inner conflicts and why he can’t keep a serious relationship. There Ross also seeks clarification of what a “break” actually is. After earning an A in Anthropology, Ross became a Teacher’s Assistant and realized his life calling of being a professor. Of course, as they did in the show, Ross and Chandler are college roommates. Ross’ side of the room looks as if the Museum of Natural History was having a “store closing sale”. On Chandler’s half of the room, there is a “joke of the day” calendar on his desk and of course, a Baywatch poster hanging on the wall.


Monica stressing out in the UC library

Involved in five clubs and organizations on campus, Monica still finds time to kick back with the rest of the group. Often times you will find Monica buried in the library because she will not accept anything less than an A in all of her classes. Although she is busy, Monica’s competitive instincts can not be put to rest. She is the ranking champion and president of the table tennis club here on campus.


Chandler enjoying a copy of The Tangerine

Chandler follows Phoebe’s act on Open Mic Night were he showcases his talents in stand up comedy. After hearing some laughter in the crowd, he has signed up to have his own column in the school’s newspaper, The Tangerine. Every week the gang sips their coffee as they read “Chandler’s Chuckles”. While he prides himself on being witty, Chandler puts his game face on when he meets with the Investment Club – could investing BE anymore exciting!?


Joey grabbing something to eat at the Pioneer Café

Last but not least, Joey. Spending most of his time catching all the sporting events on campus, Joey sure does work up an appetite. It is not a rare occasion that Joey is the last one there when they close down Pioneer Café every night around midnight. Joey’s passion for acting is not lost at Utica College. He is often the lead in each play the Theater department puts on.

Joey and Chandler playing some foosball in the South Hall Lounge

Where do you find yourself most on campus? Maybe you live in the library like Monica or have a reserved seat in the stadium like Joey. Either way, there’s plenty of ways to find out at UC.