Senior Year Bucket List

It is so surreal that this is my last on-campus semester here at Utica College, as my final semester will be in the fall but I will be out on my internship. It is crazy to think that I am almost done completing my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology-Child Life. I am so excited for my future and am interested to see where I wind up.

Other than kicking butt this semester academically, I plan to make sure that I reach all of my goals within my extracurricular activities on campus. I am a part of a number of different organizations on campus and try my best to attend different events that are held by other organizations I am not in. Something that I have decided to do was make a little bucket list for senior year!

Here is what is on my list as of now:

  • Get an internship!
  • Actually run the American Red Cross Heart Run & Walk
  • Expand my professional wardrobe
  • Attend Relay for Life
  • Get back on track financially
  • Volunteer and explore during spring break
  • Have successful events within my organizations:
    • Psychology-Child Life Society – bake sales and our annual St. Baldrick’s Day
    • Gay/Straight Alliance – Ally Week, Day of Silence, and our annual Drag Show
    • Student Senate – a smooth sailing election year as I was just recently appointed Elections Commissioner
  • Create a series of awesome events for the graduating seniors
  • Not throwing up and/or passing out on stage while giving my Senior Class President speech at the Commencement Ceremony

I am excited for what this semester is going to bring and I hope that I can complete everything that is on my bucket list before graduation day!

Maybe you can make a bucket list for your spring semester too and work towards some of you goals!

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Student Success

Have you checked out the new and improved Office of Student Success located in 122 White Hall? Not only do they have the best staff who will go the extra mile to help you out, they have coloring books, a fish tank, and free coffee and hot chocolate! I volunteer every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30am-10:30am and stop in whenever I can. Don’t hesitate to stop by!

This semester they have a series of events, every Tuesday from 12pm-1pm and Thursday from 5pm-6pm that are beneficial for all students, especially the first year students. I have listed the events below…

  • Study Aids/Utilizing Technology for Success – 2/17 & 2/18
  • Test Preparation and Test Taking – 2/24 & 2/25
  • How to be Successful in Class – 3/2 & 3/3
  • Stress Management: De-Stress Fest (Midterms) – 3/9 & 3/10
  • Grade Calculations – 3/23 & 3/24
  • Avoiding Procrastination – 3/30 & 3/31
  • Planning for Next Semester: Registration – 4/6 & 4/7
  • Recharge and Stay Motivated – 4/13 & 4/14
  • The Study Cycle: Avoid Studying in Circles – 4/20 & 4/21
  • Stress Management: De-Stress Fest (Finals) – 4/27 in Strebel Lounge

Everyone who works in the office, students included, are energetic and willing to help anyone who walks in. I hope to see more students filter through the office and take advantage of the wonderful atmosphere.

Check out the daily updates on our white board outside the office!
Check out the daily updates on our white board outside the office!
The view from the office on this past Wednesday morning!
The view from the office on this past Wednesday morning!
Nothing but smiles when working in the office!
Nothing but smiles when working in the office!
Fish are friends, not food! :)
Fish are friends, not food! 🙂

 

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10 Things Only Coffee Lovers at UC will Understand

As a college student, coffee is frequently a go-to when you’re feeling less than fully functional. Every morning before class, I find myself stopping in the Pioneer Café to grab a cup of coffee just to wake me up for class! Here are 10 more things only coffee lovers, like me, at UC will understand:

  1. Before your morning cup of coffee, you experience feelings like this:

Blog Post 2 - 10 Things only Coffee Lovers at UC will Understand 1

  1. And after your first cup, you’re already set to order your second cup.
  2. You frequently reward yourself for getting out of bed with a large cup of coffee.
  3. Dunkin Donuts on Burrstone Road has become a second home for you. UC Runs on Dunkin!
  4. You find yourself going to the Sangertown Square mall and you still end up at Dunkin.
  5. You make time in your schedule to get coffee before class or else your day is simply ruined.Blog Post 2 - 10 Things only Coffee Lovers at UC will Understand 2.jpg
  1. You always say you’re tired just so you can have another cup!
  2. You find yourself resorting to studying at alternative locations, such as Dunkin, only because you want to make sure you have coffee while doing so.
  3. You stayed up all night working on a term paper, so coffee must be the answer to keep you going throughout the day.
  4. During the cold winter mornings, coffee never fails to keep you warm while walking across campus!

Luckily, there are multiple places across UC’s campus that offer coffee. However, Dunkin is generally my go-to, and like many UC students, I make multiple stops a day!

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The “Can’t-Live-Without” Items in My Backpack

As college students, there are things that we must have with us at all times for our own personal success. College is a series of triumphs, hardships, and sometimes reckless behaviors that can lead to trouble. However, let’s hope that you experience more triumphs than hardships and reckless behaviors.

As a junior PT major, I carry my backpack with me every day, no matter where I go. Within that backpack, there are definitely things that I CANNOT live without:

backpack
Planner
– There’s no better way to stay organized and stay on top of your assignments than using a planner. I use my planner daily to track my assignments and I also keep a weekly to-do list in my planner so I know what to accomplish by what day.

Highlighters – You never know when you may need one. You may have to highlight an assignment in your planner, you may have to highlight key terms in your notes, or you may have to color a picture to relieve some stress and highlighters are the next best things when you don’t have markers at your disposal.

Pencils – Though most work you will do in college is in pen, it is always necessary to have a few pencils on hand. I find myself using pencils quite frequently for exams, quizzes, homework, and outlines for papers just in case I make a mistake.

Computer – It is useful to take notes on, look things up, begin a class assignment, write a paper, or simply for fun or to relax.

Computer charger and phone charger – You never know when one or the other will have a dead battery, so it’s always best to be prepared. This is most useful charger is for the computer. You do not want your computer to have a dead battery when you need it for things, so always have your charger ready and available in your backpack.

Calculator – Yes, you have one on your phone and computer, but that can be distracting and hard to use depending on the calculation you are doing. Unless you’re in a math class, you will probably be calculating something simplistic, such as your grade on an exam, but it’s always useful to have a calculator if you need it.

Mini-notebook – These are useful for note-taking. Some professors do not allow you to take notes electronically, so a pen and paper is the next best thing.

Flashcards – THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO STUDY… or at least in my opinion it is. You can never have too many flashcards in your backpack. They’re also extremely useful in taking small notes on or making a quick to-do list if you prefer to not use a planner.

Headphones – You may be asked to listen to things on your computer and headphones are always useful. Like in the residence halls, headphones are useful in maintaining respect for other residents on the floor and other classmates in your class.
These are just a few things that I find to be extremely useful in carrying with me each day in my backpack. I believe that they truly are a part of my success and may be useful for you to consider carrying with you.

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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!”

 Alane

(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!”

Scott

(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.

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This Weather?

I hope everyone had a great winter break with your friends and families this year, and I bet you all wish it didn’t have to end. I don’t know how you all felt this break but being that the weather was so nice, it didn’t really feel like Christmas to me. So it wasn’t much of a surprise to see that the week we came back, all the snow came with us. With that being said, I just wanted to give two big tips on how to make it through the weather this semester:

  1. Always check the weather before starting your day.
    • The weather is constantly changing throughout the day, and it’s important that you are wearing the proper clothing. So that means hat, gloves, boots!FullSizeRender-3 copy
    • You don’t want to wear the wrong clothes and then end up getting sick, because getting sick and being away from home is the worst. Mom won’t be here to take care of you.
    • The daysheet, a daily newsletter that goes on to all UC students, always has the weather for the day in the email, so that is one place you can check.

       

  2. Always check your emails before leaving your room on a snowy day.
    • It is very rare that Utica College cancels classes on a snow day and I learned that last year, but always check for possible cancellations.
    • You don’t want to be that person who gets up and goes to a 9:30 class only to find out you don’t have class that day. Trust me, I’ve done it and I was not happy that day.
    • Especially if you’re coming from dorms like Burrstone where you have to cross the street to get to class, check your email!

These are two big tips that I wish someone had given m,  because there were times when I just put on a sweater not realizing how cold it was outside. Also, there were times where I would go to class only to see I got an email saying class was cancelled. Just stay organized and on top of things this semester, and there will be no worries.

 

For more information about events on campus, please look at my Twitter where I am constantly tweeting. @Jayson_UC

– Jay

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‘Tis the Season (For Stress)

Have you ever noticed how filled the library becomes when December hits? Well, it’s that time of the year again. The library is mobbed, the lines to get coffee are longer than usual, and the printers are heating up.

Tis the Season-2There is always that really, really thin line between being extremely stressed out or just officially checked out by the time the end of the semester comes around. You’re either zombie walking to your classes or leaving the library with bloodshot eyes from intensely studying. Or there are the complete opposite types of people who basically have just reached the end of caring. They either feel very confident or just cannot take the overwhelming feeling of the term “end of semester” gives them.

What does help the anxious feeling of finals are the events Utica College has during the final weeks of classes. As classes come to an end, Utica College’s Greek life throws an event called “Midnight Breakfast.” Midnight Breakfast is something I look forward to during the last weeks of hell. The cafeteria serves the most delicious breakfast at midnight on the last day of classes. At some point each student who attends Utica College makes their way to enjoy waffles loaded with syrup and Oreos or anything of your choice. It is something to take your mind off exams, and students are able to take a break from studying.

Because it is the last weekend of the semester, of course it would not be a great weekend without a Chi Beta Sigma bar night. The girls host the final bar night of the semester, “Naughty or Nice” in honor of the holidays approaching, which is another way students take their minds off the books and focus a little more on themselves. Over-studying is never a good idea, so why not celebrate the closing of yet another semester with friends?

But, if you’re not in the mood to get out of the dorm but you need something to take your mind off of the books, Jakki Pickett, a counselor from the UC Counseling Center gave me some good advice on how to manage stress and relax. She said, “It’s all about balancing your time with making sure you take a break for self-care: eating, sleeping, and exercising and setting out specific study times.”

After talking with Jakki, I tried some of her tips. When I feel a little overwhelmed, I take time for myself and nap. When I eventually wake up, I feel motivated to get more done. I also really enjoy exercising; I believe it is a great way to relieve stress and get one’s mind off of finals. Jakki also gave me a pamphlet that I thought was very useful. It gives students a couple of more tips such as diet, sleep and exercise plan. Students should visit the health center during a break to learn how to take care of themselves during this time of year.

The most important thing to do is to remember to be happy. Though it may not be the best time of the year, remember that everything comes to an end and to take time out for yourself.

“May the odds be ever in your favor.”

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When All Else Fails… Communicate!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll find that it’s extremely hard to perfect the art of communication. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the correct form of communication that conveys the message you wish someone to receive.

In my experience, I have found that it is extremely hard to communicate in one way that everyone can interpret. So, I hosted an event for my residents on Tuesday that was focused on effective communication that poses a variety of issues that people must overcome. It was called, “Let’s Talk About ___ Baby! An event based on effective communication and the struggles that go along with it.”

When I was thinking of an event that could help my residents with communication skills, the first thing that came to mind was something that I did when I applied to become a Resident Assistant: structure building.

When one thinks of a structure, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Probably a building of some sort. However, communication is a structure that truly underscores the human race. Communication is what makes us, and it’s what could potentially break us. Without effective communication, life would be extremely difficult.

This event asked residents throughout North and South Halls to make groups of three to four people until they were given directions on what to do. I separated small bags; four bags filled with broken spaghetti noodles and four bags filled with mini marshmallows. Each group was given one bag of spaghetti and one bag of marshmallows and asked to build the tallest, self-sustaining structure possible within 8 minutes. However, it comes with a few challenges.

One member of each group was told that they could not use their dominant hand. Their dominant hand had to be placed behind their back at all times, and if it was observed that they used their dominant hand, they were disqualified. Another member of the group was told that they could not speak unless another member of their group had asked them a question. Lastly, another member of each group was told that they could not use their hands at all. Each of these rules posed challenges for the groups and revealed that various forms of communication were necessary to accomplish the common goal of building the structure.

Here’s one of the finished structures:

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There’s always more than just verbal communication. Sometimes it’s true that actions speak louder than words and the nonverbal messages sent through body language and gestures speak more to the audience/group than any verbal communication ever could!

So when all else fails, communicate!

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A Walk Through the Dome

 

Earlier this week, I scheduled an interview with President Hutton for The Tangerine, as I also work as the Assistant News Editor for the paper. The topic was the new Todd and Jen Hutton Sports and Recreation Center, as it is formally known. We students, however, have given the new facility the nickname of “The Hutt,” and even more simply, “The Dome.”

Since President Hutton had announced his retirement plans just as the construction of the then unnamed dome was about to begin, the alum who funded much of the costs insisted that it be named after the president and his wife. Now normally, college policy would prohibit buildings from being named after current faculty and administrators, but the donor was very set upon naming it after the president to commemorate his dedication to the college over his many years as president.

Upon walking into his office, President Hutton asked if I had seen the dome in person yet, to which I said no. He quite enthusiastically said that we should go and take a walkthrough together. This was a bit of surprise, but a good one nonetheless. We hopped into his car and took a drive down to The Hutt, and he shared little anecdotes about lots of different things on the campus; his nostalgia was clearly showing.

As we pulled up to the door, we walked into a lovely little lobby that featured a new concession stand, some offices and some tables for students and visitors to sit down at. We then passed through a set of revolving doors and entered the actual dome itself. I looked across the massive room and to the ceiling and a “wow” slipped out of my mouth. I was bewildered and amazed by the enormousness of the building.

IMG_7343 IMG_7342President Hutton took care to point out all of the new facilities that were contained within. From the Wi-Fi to the removable tennis courts, he appeared to have every detail completely memorized. We walked along the path of the track to the opposite side of the dome to find students engaged in a lacrosse game on a three-quarter size field. What was remarkable, however, was that it was three quarters the size of a football field, yet it only took up about a sixth of the facility.

My awe did not stop there, nor did the President’s enthusiasm. He explained to me all the new events that could be held in the building in the coming years and all of the new opportunities that it presented. Moreover, when a visiting potential student came passing through, President Hutton took a moment to introduce himself and continue discussing the dome with both myself and the potential student.IMG_7344

The hype that has surrounded the building in the past few months was completely justified. It is one of the largest freestanding domes in North America and understandably so. Although do to fire codes, it is only zoned for athletic events at the current time, the potential that it offers down the road is limitless. Personally, I hope that one day, graduation will be held there, both for the sake of being able to walk out of the dome and back onto the campus with a diploma in hand.

On Dec. 12th, Utica College will be hosting its first track meet of the season. It will be held in the Todd and Jen Hutton Sports and Recreation Center and will be the first of many to be held there. I cannot wait to be there for the event, as I imagine that it will truly be something to remember in years to come.

Things are really starting to change here at Utica College, and definitely for the better. The excitement grows every day and the opportunities do to match. It really makes me wish I had more time to spend here to see what else lies down the road for UC.

 

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Utica College Choir: The Rockstars of UC

Ever since I was a little girl, singing has always been my favorite past time. I sing when I’m happy, stressed, excited, sad, bored, etc. My mom tells stories of how I would sit alone in my room for hours and just narrate what I was doing through song.

So, imagine my happiness when I found out that I could continue my love of singing when I enrolled as a student at Utica College. (Actually, you don’t have to imagine my happiness because I’m going to tell you all about it…)

The Utica College choir is a student, faculty and alumni choir that is under the direction of David Kolb, a professor here at UC. Participation in choir can range anywhere from students who have never sung before that are taking it as a course, to people like myself, that have sung in a choir since they were 9. My favorite thing about the UC Choir is that it is a welcoming environment for all abilities.

We rehearse every single Tuesday night from 6:30-8:30. (No worries though, we get a 10 minute break to relax and grab a coffee if we need one!) We typically perform 3-4 times a semester, whether at our own concerts or at sporting events singing the national anthem. Concerts and events range from dressy attire to UC apparel, and we always sport our UC Choir scarves or ties.

The songs the choir sings range from typical choir selections, such as Broadway pieces and traditional vocal selections, to more contemporary pieces; one of my favorite pieces the choir has ever performed was my sophomore year when we sang Queen’s Somebody to Love. The songs are always varied, and Director Kolb tries to add variety to every concert lineup.

This past Wednesday we had our “Lunch Hour Series” concert, which is a part of the Professor Harry F. and Mary Ruth Jackson concert series that, according to the UC website, “presents a series of musical and literacy programs each semester.” (Learn more about the lunch hour series here) The concert is open to the public, and always has a good turn-out of students, faculty, staff, and community members.
The Utica College choir is something I encourage all students to participate in. Even if you doubt your singing abilities, singing in a choir can help to foster a sense of music that you might not have even known you had. Plus, the UC Choir is a small choir that allows for close interactions with fellow singers; I enjoy just hanging out with choir members! So, think about joining choir next time you find yourself bored on a Tuesday night, we always welcome new members!

 

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