Finishing The Spring Semester

It’s Sunday afternoon and we’re officially less than a day away from the conclusion of Spring Break. While the thought of going back to school is somber to some, I have some good news: The end of the Spring Semester is almost here.

Here’s a look at the remaining calender for the current semester, via

calenderThere’s slightly over a month left of school.

So, what does that mean?

You’re likely finishing up your mid-terms. Once your mid-terms are complete, you’ll turn your attention to finals, which are right around the corner.

It might seem like the semester is already over, especially since we’re currently on break, but there’s still quite a long time to go. Of course, studying for exams and doing all of your other work will help accelerate the time.

Here’s a tip from US News:

Final exams often make up a sizable portion of your grade, sometimes equal to two or three other tests taken throughout the semester. Make sure you understand how your score on a final exam or project will affect your grade, and what you need to earn in order to achieve the grade you want.

Now is certainly not the time to get lazy and take your work lightly. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Instead of scrambling during the closing moments, finish out the semester strong. Trust me, you’ll enjoy summer break a lot more if you end the Spring semester on a positive note.


Tips: Staying Productive During Break


Attending college is stressful, therefore breaks are necessary. After months of school work, studying and examinations, you deserve to relax and enjoy your spring break. But if you don’t like being unproductive, spring break or any other break for that matter, could become a hindrance.

After winter break, I had a tough time readjusting to school. The weeks of not doing anything noteworthy caught up to me and getting used to the school grind was difficult. To avoid that mishap, I tried to be more productive during spring break.

Here’s some tips on how you could stay productive during break, which should make your transition to school easier:

Set a schedule

During school, you likely follow some sort of schedule. Whether it’s getting to class on time or waking up for practice, you have a routine while going to school. Getting back to that routine could become difficult if you’re not on a schedule during spring break.

To avoid having a tough time getting back into the scheduled flow, set some sort of schedule during break.

I try to avoid sleeping in by going to the gym early in the morning. By doing something early in the morning, you’ll set yourself up for success for the rest of the day. If you sleep in and don’t start your day off on the right track, you’ll have a much more difficult time being productive for the remainder of the time.

Get ahead

School can often cause fatigue and a break is much needed. But after a few days of not doing school work, it can become easy to forget about your courses. This is why getting ahead and reading your syllabus could help you stay productive.

While you probably won’t be able to start your assignments early, you’ll likely have the chance to get some of your future readings done during break. By getting them done early, you’ll have more time to yourself during the rest of the semester.

Speaking of starting assignments early; if you were assigned work to do during break, then get it done as soon as possible. A lot of students make the mistake of procrastinating during break and waiting until the final weekend before the semester begins to finish their work. If you do this, you’ve probably already forgotten much of the information necessary for you to complete your work to a satisfactory level. By getting your assigned work done early, you’ll have a better chance of completing up to your regular standards.



Tips: Breaks Between Classes


Before starting college, I dreaded having breaks between classes. After all, most high-schools don’t have breaks before you go to your next classes and the thought of having to wait before finishing class isn’t pleasant.

Having breaks before, between or after class is almost inevitable. Chances are, you’ll likely end up having to take a course that doesn’t fit in your schedule, so you’ll have to make it fit. With that said, you’ll probably end up with a break.

When the semester first began, it’s tough to utilize that time wisely, but once school gets going, it’s easy to see why that break could become beneficial. Other than avoiding procrastination, utilizing your time wisely is probably the most important part of being a successful college student.

So, here’s a few tips on how to utilize your break time between classes

Grab a bite to eat

When you’re in college, time is extremely precious. Finding time to get a quick bite to eat, especially if you have class in the afternoon, could become tough. That’s where having a break between classes could become useful.

This time, especially if you’re a commuter student, could definitely be helpful. The Utica College campus offers plenty of places to go eat, so you will have options. You don’t want to go to class hungry. So, grab a bite to eat during your break!


This might sound like a given, but using your break time to study will save you time in the future. Instead of cramming study time after class, why not use your break time to get your studying done?

Do your coursework

Let’s face it: By the time you get home, you’re probably exhausted from being in class all day. The last thing on your mind is finishing your homework or coursework.

Doing your homework between classes, especially in the library, could become a routine thing once you start doing it on a regular basis. Finding time to study and do homework could be tough, so doing your homework during the break could be useful.



How To Avoid Procrastination


With spring break around the corner, it’s tough to focus on school work. To make matters worse, we’re virtually in the middle of the semester and midterm exams are coming up very soon.

College students typically have trouble with procrastination, and now that spring break is on our sights, it can become easy to procrastinate. While you might be able to get away with it occasionally, it’s difficult to get away with procrastination during an important time in the semester. Since midterms are coming up, it’s even more important to avoid procrastination.

Here’s why:

Realize the inevitable

If you’re someone wants to excel, you’re eventually going to do the work required for you to do well, whether that means pushing back to a later time or knocking it out when it makes most sense. We’ve all been there. It’s easy to put the notebook down and go back to doing whatever else you want to do, especially if you’re studying for a course you’re not particularly fond of.

But the sooner you realize you’ll eventually have to do the work, the quicker you’ll do it. Now, that doesn’t mean you should just rush through your work for the sake of getting it done, but it does mean that you should prioritize.

To have a good chance of conquering procrastination, you need to spot straight away that you’re doing it. Then, you need to identify why you’re doing it and take appropriate steps to overcome the block.

tip via Mind Tools

If you have a break in-between classes, it might be best to finish some of your studying/work then, so you could do more enjoyable things later on. Basically, if you manage your time correctly, studying or doing homework will not become a burden. Instead, you could use the extra time to finish your work and avoid cramming in the last minute.

Looking over your notes every day, even if it’s just for a little while, helps a lot as well.

As difficult as it might seem, it’s not that difficult to avoid procrastination. If you prioritize your time and use it wisely, procrastination will be a thing of the past.



Preparing For Spring Break


Like all of you, I’m counting down the days until spring break. This semester, especially over the past several weeks, has been very hectic and a break is certainly deserved.

Unless you’re leaving the area, you probably won’t get much “spring” during spring break. For those who are leaving for spring break, and even for those who aren’t, breaks often give people a reason to slack off. While it’s definitely important to rest and enjoy your break, it’s equally as important to not begin to slack off during such an important time in the semester.

Believe it or not, midterm exams are right around the corner. Of course, midterms are the last thing on your mind during spring break. But if you want to get the most out of your time, it might be beneficial to get a head start during break.

Here’s a good tip from Campus Explorer:

So instead of slacking off during spring break, start reviewing for your finals. Get a head start on papers or projects that you have coming up. Getting your grades under control and developing good study habits is essential…

The spring semester will rapidly come to an end after break and you don’t want to get start slacking before the end. Before you know it, the semester will be over and you’ll be headed for a much longer break.

Taking the time to study during break might not seem ideal, but it could become extremely beneficial. It’s tough to study throughout the semester, especially with work due and classes coming up, but with no worries, it’s easy to sit down and get ahead.

We have just one more week to go before spring break. Enjoy your break, but don’t slack off too much!


Ethics Talk on Thursday

Utica College hosts a number of talks throughout the semester. While some of these talks are major related, a lot of them deal with societal issues and all are welcome to attend.

This Thursday afternoon at 7:00pm, Dr. Yolanda Wilson from Howard University will be giving an ethics talk on discrimination in the workplace. Here’s more information about the talk, via

Her talk will center around her theories on racial bias in relation to police/citizen interaction as well as résumé evaluation. She will illustrate how these two diverse topics have underlying similarities.

The talk was originally scheduled to take place at Donahue Auditorium, but it will take place at Carbone Auditorium, which is located in the Economic Crime, Justice Studies Building.

Dr. Yolanda Wilson has years of experience in researching societal issues, and while it’s certainly possible to become informed without attending these talks, it’s definitely important to get other perspectives on issues that affect people on a day-to-day basis. Some of these issues, like resume evaluation bias, may not seem very important given the lack of coverage it gets in the mass media, but it certainly has a significant impact on people.

Utica College is a very diverse school, so it’s difficult to grasp some of the issues people deal with, especially since many people don’t experience it first hand. By attending talks like the one happening on Thursday, you’ll have a chance to get a better understanding at some of the issues that occur in society.


Starting (and finishing) Out The Semester Strong

Believe it or not, we’re already six weeks into the Spring semester.

While it’s easy to look forward to Spring break, it’s just as important to start…and finish this semester out on a high note.

Like most of you, I’ve already taken a few quizzes and exams for each of my classes. If there’s one thing I learned from the Fall semester, it’s the importance of starting out the semester positively.

Here’s two ways you can ensure a positive start and finish to your semester:


This might seem like a given, but it’s incredibly easy to slack off on your first quiz or exam, especially if your professor gives you the luxury of dropping your lowest grades at the end of the semester. I’ve found that it’s easier to do well throughout the remainder of the semester if you perform well on your first few quizzes or tests.

Once you do well on that first exam, you’ll set a high standard for yourself going forward. While it’s possible to not to very well at the beginning and still finish out the semester with a good grade, you don’t want to limp to the finish line. Instead, make sure you ace your first exam and give yourself some breathing room going forward.

Here’s a tip on how to set yourself up for success during your first exam via Cal Newport:

Never “study.” The word is ambiguous and tied up with too many emotional connotations driven by guilt and what you think school work should feel like (e.g., tiring, boring, painful). While you’re at it, never “write a paper” or “do a problem set” or “read an assignment.” These phrases are all too vague!

Instead, always follow a concrete plan built around specific actions. When you complete the actions according to the plan you’re done. No more late nights reading and re-reading your notes until you feel like you’ve paid your academic dues. Get specific. Then get it done.


We’ve all taken those classes that don’t require much work to get a good grade. Perhaps you’re taking an introductory level class and you’re able to pass the course without doing all of the required reading or putting a lot of effort into the class work.

But, what if you actually tried to get something out of those classes? After all, you’re paying to take the course, so why not do more than what’s necessary to get a good grade?

Take the time to actually do the readings and remember the key points addressed in the material.

Also, Utica College hosts numerous events throughout the semester. These events usually correlate with some of your classes, so instead of just coasting through the textbook readings, attending speeches or events may help you learn even more about the particular class.



Upcoming Events At UC

Let’s face it.

It’s too cold to go outside of campus for entertainment. So, why not experience some of the entertainment on campus?

Prior to attending Utica College, I had no idea how many events the college produces in a given month. Needless to say, there’s a lot of things to do on campus.

Here’s just a few upcoming events that might interest you:

Please join us for the Professor Harry F. and Mary Ruth Jackson Lunch Hour Series Wednesday February 25th at 12:30 pm in the Library Concourse for The Society of New Music- Tyler Ogilvie. Classical to contemporary with a multimedia twist.


Chamber Music and The Actor’s Nightmare

“Chamber Music,” by Arthur Kopit, is set in 1938 at a psychiatric hospital. The play follows the perplexing discussions at a meeting of eight famous women who have gathered together to conspire their defense tactics against a perceived threat. As the dark comedy unfolds, the women decide to take drastic action to save themselves.

In second play, “The Actor’s Nightmare” by Christopher Durang, an accountant named George Spelvin is mistaken for the understudy of the production’s lead actor while wandering onstage. Spelvin quickly learns that the lead has been in an auto accident and he is expected to replace him immediately even though he does not know any of the lines or what play it is. The comedy is inspired by dreams that actors frequently have where they forget their lines or cues

-via Utica College

If you’re taking an Introduction to Theater class, you’re likely required to watch the two, one-act plays which run through February 26-March 1st. Like all things, it would probably be best if you attend the events with friends.




Film Festival

It’s February and the semester just began. Oh, and it’s also extremely cold outside. Simply put, it’s tough to find fun things to do in this weather.

I have some good news, though.

Utica College is hosting a film festival on February 10th. Here’s more info:

Join us Tuesday, February 10, from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. in Macfarlane Auditorium
for a viewing of The Intouchables (in French with English subtitles, 112
minutes).   The Intouchables, a French film directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric
Toledano, is based on a true story, and is about two men ” one a rich
aristocrat, uptight and white; the other poor, exuberant and black ” who become
friends despite their different backgrounds.

The film has also received great ratings. For instance, check out this rating from IMDB:


Why pay a ridiculous amount of money to enjoy a movie at the local theater, when you could attend a movie at Utica College?


Benefits of Studying Abroad

At some point, every college student thinks about studying abroad.

Whether it’s experiencing life in a different country and culture or simply wanting to get out of the blistering cold for a semester, studying abroad could become a legitimate option for some Utica College students.

If you haven’t heard already, UC his hosting a Study Abroad Fair this Thursday. Here’s more information via email:

The International Education Office will be hosting a Study Abroad Fair on
THURSDAY, JANUARY 29th from 11:00-2:30 outside the cafeteria in Strebel Student
Center.  Stop by to learn about the extraordinary opportunities available to
earn college credit using the world as your classroom.

See the World. Change your Perspective. Control your Future.

If you have questions please contact the International Education office at (315)

But, you may ask, besides visiting a new country, what are the benefits of studying abroad?

First off, studying abroad could help you develop not only as a person, but as a potential employee. Throughout our college careers, professors and advisers will continue to harp on the importance of building up your resume.

Well, having the study abroad program listed on your resume could be a tremendous advantage.

Employers want to see that you’re a willing learner and curious about other cultures. Perhaps showing that you have more life experience could separate you from others that are seeking the same career.


Students from the United States are often intimidated by the concept of studying abroad, but if you’re an upperclassman, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to increase your experiences.