5 Things to Get Excited About Post-Spring Break

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So the semester isn’t over yet? I could’ve sworn it was based on my exhaustion. I totally understand why 93% of the campus is dragging their feet to class this week, but here are some reasons you shouldn’t:

1. It isn’t freezing anymore

Yes, you were so annoyed to be back to the hustle and bustle of the college life after a week of sweet nothings that you completely forgot to notice that the freezing air was no longer hurting your face as you walked to class. Yes, it is pouring rain, but hey, all the more reason to not get ready in the morning am I right?

2. You’re almost there

You’ve managed to survive 10 whole weeks of classes and you only have a measly five more to go. It is the home stretch!

3. Warm weather makes people nicer/happier

People are evidently nicer when the weather is nice. Just a couple more weeks and people will go from darting from building to building, buried in their parkas, avoiding human interaction, mumbling swear words to themselves as icy show whips them in the face to taking leisurely walks, socializing and smiling again. Maybe that’s just me, maybe not.

4. RELAY FOR LIFE

The most fun all-nighter you will ever attempt to pull is less than a month away! On April 8 in the Dome, the UC community is in for a night of music, games and some serious cancer fighting. Last year, Relay For Life raised over $22,000 for the American Cancer Society and it’s looking like we are going raise even more money this year! You really don’t want to miss out on this. Join the fight at relayforlife.org/uticacollegeNY.

5. Moose Madness Weekend

Assuming you’re all going to push-off studying for finals until the night before, you have an amazing Moose Madness weekend to look forward to! Moose Madness begins on the last day of classes and features an annual spring concert, sporting events and other activities. You wouldn’t want to miss that, would you?

Hang in there, folks. It ain’t over till it’s over.

 

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America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk

Every single year, Utica College hosts America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk to benefit the American Heart Association.

I’ve lived in Utica my whole life and the weekend of the heart walk is always a huge event.  The local news stations cover it from start to finish and if you aren’t walking, believe me you are hearing about it all day.

Friday night is the heart expo in UC’s gym. Saturday is the walk. The streets are blocked off for miles, and for good reason, considering they’re flooded with people. As I’m walking I always think, “wow, what about the people that live in these houses? They aren’t going anywhere today.”

I’m weird in this way, but I take on other people’s pain. In seeing how many people come out to support this cause, I know there has been a lot of pain and a lot of loss. And in the same breath, I know there is a lot of love and a lot of passion at the walk.

I’ve heard stories of both survival and loss. I’ve walked beside friends, acquaintances and strangers. I’ve seen my own mother struggle with the passing of her father, who passed of a massive heart attack at 46. All of these things make me appreciate the event and the people that work to make it happen all the more.

In the past, I walked with Sarah’s Angels, as did my entire high school. And this year, I got the pleasure to walk with team Maneen.

But, it really doesn’t matter what team you’re on because we are all walking to support the same cause. We are all walking to promote healthy lifestyles and raise money to fight against cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

This year, almost $770,000 was raised and I’m so happy that I was able to be a part of it.

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Me & my boyfriend, Eric all bundled up at the walk on Saturday, March 5.

 

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Why YOU should join The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)

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This is a public service announcement to all public relations, journalism, pr/j, communications and marketing management majors:

If you are currently enrolled in any of these programs and are seriously considering entering the field of communications, public relations, journalism or marketing, do yourself a favor and get involved in PRSSA!

Contrary to popular belief, PRSSA not only open to PR majors! It is an incredible opportunity to network with the professionals, make connections and get tours of local businesses and get advice and questions answered from the people actually working in the industry.

I know college students are afraid of commitment, which includes getting involved in organizations that you feel you “won’t have time for.” But rest assured, PRSSA only meets when there is a potential learning experience for the students involved.

There is talk of a possible field trip to the Saranac Brewery this semester to get a tour and meet the people behind the scenes, but we would love to reach out to more students to get involved before we do that!

Believe me, this is a great opportunity. It’s very laid back and informative, only looking to help you get the most out of your time here at UC.

Networking is arguably one of the most important things you can do throughout college. Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?” Well, that’s wrong because it’s about what you know AND who you know. Having both is the key to success.

Yes, studying and grades and doing well in classes is the #1 priority, but you need something that sets you apart from other people. When you’re done here, what can you say you have done (besides study)? PRSSA is a national organization.

Get out there. Make the most out of all the resources you have provided for you on this campus. Join PRSSA today!!!

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Spring Break Fever, Anyone?

As midterm week is winding down and spring break is coming up, where will UC students flock for a week of fun in the sun? I took it upon myself to look up the most common spring break party spots, and according to the travelchannel.com, here’s where college students are most likely to end up at on their week off.

  1. Panama City, Florida: The Travel Channel names it the “unofficial spring break headquarters,” but to the naked eye it probably looks more like a hot mess. The popular Holiday Inn Sunspree is located directly on the Gulf of Mexico and promises to be a good time for college student with its beachfront themed parties and wide variety of bars and clubs.
  2. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: How a majority of college students can afford this, I will never know. But according to the travel channel, the white sandy beaches of Punta Cana offer many all-inclusive options for students which include meals, drinks and water sports.
  3. Nassau, Bahamas: Nassau is the most popular spring break location of all the Bahamas islands. Famous for its Mardi Gra parties and all-inclusive hotels, Nassau is also home to popular locations like Senor Frogs. Some packages even include a free tour of Blue Lagoon.
  4. Cancun, Mexico: A location known for being a vacation spot for celebs is surprisingly a popular spring break destination as well. According to travelchannel.com, students can let loose at the all-inclusive Oasis Cancun hotel, famous for its beach-side dance parties.
  5. Negril, Jamaica: This serene spring break destination is for those more low key college students who enjoy a laid-back party atmosphere. This tropical paradise is famous for concerts and nightlife at Margaritaville.

For more info on these destinations and more popular spring break locations, visit www.travelchannel.com/interests/spring/articles/spring-breaks-party-spots.

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Let’s Finish The Fight Together!

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In the fall of 2014, the Colleges Against Cancer Organization (CAC) at Utica College was officially established. I have been involved in the club from the very first meeting and it’s something that I hold very near and dear to my heart. Thank God, I have never had a loved one affected by cancer. However, I have friends whose family members have been affected. After hearing countless stories of hope, survival and loss as a CAC club member, I have made it a passion of mine to raise awareness about this disease and raise money to help find a cure.

There is power in numbers, so the more people I can encourage to get involved, the better. The main focus of CAC is to plan, organize and host a Relay For Life event every year, which is the American Cancer Society’s most profitable fundraiser. Funds raised go towards cancer awareness, education and advocacy as well as providing wigs, transportation and overnight lodging for cancer patients going through treatment.

Last year was Utica College’s first ever Relay For Life event, and it raised more than $21,000.

Throughout the course of the year, CAC hosts many events such as The Great American Smoke-Out, which encourages people to quit smoking. That event takes place in November, which is lung cancer awareness month.

The premise of Relay, for people that don’t know, is that people form a team, a lot of times in honor of someone who has battled cancer, and each team raises money for the American Cancer Society through fundraisers and activities at Relay.

Relay itself is like a big party. Some Relay events run for 24 hours straight, others for 12. But regardless, the events are overnight. “Cancer doesn’t sleep so neither will we,” is a common saying related to Relay. UC’s Relay begins at 6 p.m. and continues until 6 a.m. the following morning.

At Relay, there are bands playing, games and activities, themed laps and every single team has a booth. It’s such a fun event and such an amazing cause. Not only do you have the opportunity to raise money and have a great time, but you get to hear stories of amazing bravery from people in your community. Their passion and appreciation for what you’re doing at Relay is plenty of motivation to keep you going all night and once you experience that you won’t be able to get enough.

If you’re interested in joining CAC, stop by a meeting! We meet Thursday nights at 8:30 p.m. in Boehlert Conference Room and love to hear fresh, new ideas for Relay. If you want to make a Relay team or join a team, just visit relayforlife.org/uticacollegeNY.

Hope to see you at Relay, in the Dome on April 8!

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Student Advocacy Day

On February 2, I had the pleasure of attending Student Advocacy Day in Albany, NY, with a group of UC students. We had an early morning—the bus left at 7:30 a.m. So I fueled up on coffee and off we went.

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The entire day was about advocating for student aid programs such as the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP). Students that receive support from these programs got the opportunity to thank lawmakers and express how big of an impact the funding has had on their college education.
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Students with majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics advocated for money from the STEM program, which is currently only offered to SUNY schools.

We even got to meet personally with Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and Senator Joseph Griffo.

I think it is extremely important to thank lawmakers for state aid. For some people, it makes the difference of whether or not they can afford to attend college. The funding changes a lot of lives and creates an infinite amount of opportunities.

I would definitely encourage more students to attend Student Advocacy Day next year so that lawmakers continue to make student aid a priority.

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8 Thoughts That Go Through Your Head The First Week Back At School

Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Here’s some comic relief from the first week of classes in the form of hilarious memes.

 

When icebreakers happen…again. But there’s still nothing interesting about your life:

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When the professor actually starts teaching material on the first day and you don’t even have a pen:

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                                         When the professor says the textbook is required:

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When you start your first assignment:

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When the professor assigns a group project and you already know you’re going to end up like Bradley Cooper:

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When you realize you can’t avoid that dreaded trip to SFS any longer:

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When you just really need it to be Friday:

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When the first to second week transition is all too obvious:

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Welcome Back Already?

Okay—is it just me or did it feel like break was 5 minutes long? I don’t think I am mentally prepared for syllabus week and completely starting from scratch. Luckily, I got to spend break exactly how I wanted; hanging out with my family, catching up with friends, making money to dig myself out of my Christmas hole, attempting to stretch my birthday (Jan. 7) into a complete birth month, and binge watching  the most useless and mindless form of entertainment—reality television. Yes, I bought Hulu just to re-watch Mob Wives in preparation for the final season. But that’s what you’re supposed to do on vacation, right?

Now, it’s time to go back; to order books, buy supplies and start setting an alarm again. Your days of relaxation and minimal worries are over; but don’t fret. There will be plenty of fun activities around campus come the week of Jan. 18 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

In my opinion, the best way to honor Dr. King on his birthday would be to completely get the day off. But instead here at UC, on Monday, Jan. 18, students will get the opportunity to take part in a freedom march hosted by the local NAACP at St. Paul’s Baptist Church.

On Tuesday there will be a round table panel discussion of Dr. King’s vision of the “beloved community” and what it means to us today. R. Scott Smith, Dr. Todd Franklin, Rev. Dr. Maria Scates, and James Vaughn will take part in the discussion along with UC’s Daniel Kurtz, Kathryn Silva and UC seniors MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord and Amie Pinckney.

On Wednesday, Jan. 20, photojournalist Matt Herron will tell the story of his adventures in a talk titled “Mississippi Eyes: Shooting Civil Rights in the Deep South.”

On Thursday, Film@UC will show “King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis.

On Friday, the blues band “Tangled Roots” will perform at Pioneer Pub.

On Monday, Jan 25, director Curtis Chin will be on campus to show a screening of his most recent film, “Tested,” which follows a dozen racially and socioeconomically diverse 8th graders as they fight for a seat in one of New York City’s most elite public high schools.

So be sure to keep busy the first week and try to have some fun! If you are interested in taking part in any MLK events, visit  utica.edu/mlk or search #UCMLK2016 for more information.

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7 Resolutions I’m Embracing in 2016

New Years is always the perfect opportunity for me to look back on the past year and look forward to the upcoming year. It’s always crazy to see how much my life has changed; who I started the year with and who I’m ending it with, what I planned do to that I didn’t and what happened completely unexpectedly.

Every year we make resolutions, some that we keep and some that we don’t. Here are some resolutions that I want to embrace in 2016 and you should, too.

  1. The Cliché “Be Healthier”

This is a no-brainer. No matter if you achieved your health goals last year or not, everyone always wants to better themselves.

  1. Be smarter with my money

After an expensive Christmas, I decided that this year I want to be smarter with my money and save-up more. I took on my very first car payment this year and probably lost about $400 to Dunkin Donuts.

  1. Treat myself more

Although I do want to save, I also want to treat myself more. I want to save my money for things I really want rather than wasting it on coffee or food or a shirt I’m going to wear once.

  1. Manage my time better

I had a busy schedule this year and I think it took a lot out of me. I want to make sure I put “free time” on my schedule in 2016.

  1. Stop trying to please everyone

I’m a people pleaser, guilty. I like to do things that make other people happy, which isn’t a bad quality. But I think I let this get the best of me this year. It got to the point that it genuinely bothered me when anyone was mad or didn’t agree with me. I learned that it’s okay to do what you want and it’s okay if you’re not everyone’s favorite person. Never compromise what you want or need just to appease others, the loyal people in your life will completely understand.

  1. Devote my time to the people that value me

Pretty self explanatory—I want to put my time and energy into those who are and have always been there for me in 2016.

Be more thankful—all the time

During the holiday season it’s all love and gifts and family time, everyone giving thanks for this, that and the other thing. This year I want to be more thankful all the time.

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Finals Week as Told By Buddy the Elf

Who doesn’t love Elf, right? Here is some advice of how to get through/deal with finals week, courtesy of our friend Buddy.

When your professor asks you how you slept before finals:
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When your Mom asks how you’re doing:

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When you have it narrowed down to two nearly identical multiple choice answers:

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When your final exam is nothing like your professor described:

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When your friends reassure you that you did fine, anyway:

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When you take your stress and rage out on your roommates:VCR

 

 

 

 

 

When you realize you haven’t had a real meal all week:

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When you are finally done with the semester and can have a life again:

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