Chilling During Finals Week

IMG_4432The last couple weeks of classes are probably the most chaotic. There are finals coming up, students graduating and end of the year banquets going on. Utica College and the many organizations within it have been putting on de-stress events which have helped my roommates and I a lot! Some of the events that have been put on had the following activities:

  1. Punching bag balloons: my roommates have had a blast with these! They are durable balloons we blew up and they have a rubber band attached so you can punch your stress away!
  2. Make your own stress ball: pour some sand into a balloon and you have your own stress ball!
  3. Calming oils: at one of the events we went to, there were calming oils we put onto a sponge and then placed them in our windows for a calming presence!
  4. Play-Doh: we were able to take a free container of Play-Doh and it really is stress relieving when studying
  5. Massages: There were free massages going on in Streble lounge along with an acoustic singer!
  6. Therapy dogs: On several occasions, therapy dogs have been brought onto campus for students to cuddle and play with. This is my favorite event!
  7. Of course you can always go to the zoo like my roommates and I did to de-stress! We went to the Syracuse Zoo, which was awesome! Don’t forget the Utica Zoo right down the road from the college, though!IMG_4444

Good luck on your finals Utica College, may the odds be ever in your favor!

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Senior Feels

Hey Folks,

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This semester has flown by and I still have so much to do! I have been very busy with school work and with all of the activities going on, on campus (you can check it out on my last blog post). I will be graduating this semester with my Bachelor’s degree in Health Studies and I will be continuing in the Occupational Therapy graduate program for another year at Utica College. Although I have another year on campus, it is still pretty emotional being a senior! I will be on campus for the Fall 2016 semester and for a couple weeks in the Spring 2017 semester (for most of the spring semester I will be at home on fieldwork!). Technically, this is my last real spring semester on campus!

I have many friends on campus in different majors and in different years on campus (Junior year, senior year, ect.) but some of my best friends from my first year, will be graduating and going home to their first real jobs. I met my roommate for freshman year at an Open House and we have been together ever since! We were on a tour of the school and we started talking and found a common love of horses. In the meantime, our families were talking on their “parent” tour and hit it off. When the students and families came back together it was completely ironic that our families hit it off and so did we. We exchanged numbers and talked over the summer, planning out what we were bringing and when we were moving in. We became best friends and we stuck together the full four years of college! We are constantly asked if we are sisters and we have just started telling people “yes”. We went through the awkward first week of college getting to know everyone and making friends, figuring out how to get to classes, eating ice cream for every meal, trying out clubs and going to different activities on campus and getting to know the Utica area together. It will be odd in the fall when she is not here, but I know I have other friends to hang out with on campus. Although she will be graduating and going on her internship, I know we will remain best friends and that we will return as Alumni someday! This is just one of the great friendships I have made at Utica College and I am so grateful for it! Good luck Seniors and thank you for all of the memories!

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So Many Activities!

Hey Everyone!FullSizeRender

(2016 Senior Class Best Friends!)

I apologize for my absence, the past few weeks have been crazy! The end of the semester is getting chaotic with projects, senior events and events in general! I have been trying to attend as many events as possible with my friends because although I will be on campus another year for my Master’s degree, my friends will not be.

Etiquette Dinner:

Every year the office of Career Services holds an Etiquette Dinner where student’s are invited (for free) to participate in a guided five course meal by a professional dining expert. Utica College Alumni of different majors are also invited to sit at tables with students to discuss professionalism. It was a great experience and I learned a lot! The dinner was amazing and the professional dining expert gave us a lot of feedback on how to act professionally while at dinner.

Relay for Life:

This year the Relay for Life was held in the new Dome! It was a lot of fun and for a great cause! Almost all of the clubs and organizations on Utica College campus participated and all of the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. There were bake sales going on, games like Kan Jam and even life sized Hungry Hungry Hippos!IMG_4314IMG_4299IMG_4300

Escape- The Final Chapter:

For the past four years of my college experience, there has been an event called Escape, which is a rave put on by Utica College students who enjoy dj-ing! It is an event for 18 and up and it is held within the community of Utica. It is a great event for students to have fun at off campus!

Senior Networking Night and Happy Hour:

Career Services held a networking night for seniors to meet with UC Alumni and career services faculty to go over any last minute senior questions! There were free cocktails for seniors 21 and up and appetizers! It was a lot fo fun and I got to see a lot of my friends who are also seniors.

Holi:

My favorite event on campus! Holi is a spring celebration that the Asian Student Union holds every year in the quad. This year the colors were more vibrant than ever! My friends and I had a lot of fun at our last Holi!IMG_4365FullSizeRender-2

 

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Staying Safe on Campus

We often hear about the horror stories about things happening on college campuses and we often think, “I will be fine, nothing will ever happen to me.” I am not writing this blog post to scare anyone to believe that our campus isn’t safe, but I would love to share some tips and resources that you can utilize if you ever feel unsafe or are worried while on campus. Our campus is in a very populated area and many people are walking through and around our school, it is important to be aware what is going on around you!

Did you know? Campus Safety’s phone number is 315-792-3046. They are located around the back corner of Strebel Student Center, in room 112. It is also kitty-corner to the Clark Athletic center, and accessible by the sidewalk leading from Strebel to Clark Athletic Center. Their office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm, but are available to reach on the phone 24/7.

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Have you ever felt unsafe walking back from the academic side of campus to the residential side, or across the street to the Burrstone House? You can call Campus Safety and they will escort you from where you are to where you need to go.

Have you noticed the blue lights on campus? These blue lights are a great way to connect with Campus Safety immediately if you notice suspicious activity or do not feel safe. Students from Leadership Weekend have presented to Student Senate the importance of the blue light system and our campus is currently in the works of getting more on the pathways and within the parking lots.

Remember the buddy system? If you can, grab a buddy to walk with! It never hurts to be with someone when walking around campus.

Be alert. Be alert to what your surroundings are. When walking around campus, especially late at night, make sure that you aren’t on the phone or have your head phones in. It is important to know who and what is going on around you.

I personally know many of the Campus Safety Officers and I think they are all so wonderful! They are very friendly and do a great job keeping our campus safe. Save their number, say hello to the Campus Safety Officers, find the blue lights on campus, and continue to be alert about what is going on around you.

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Heart Run & Walk 2016

For the past four years I have participated in the America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk, and this year I realized how amazing this event truly is. I was a little upset with myself, as I planned to run the 5k, but had no time to head to the gym before to get my body in shape and knew that the outcome wouldn’t have been a positive one! Walking was just as much fun though!

The American Heart Association is the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to defeating heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Their mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

TOTAL AMOUNT RAISED: $785,082

I was apart of Team Utica College and we raised $2,915.70! Other groups from our campus that formed teams for that day included the Health Studies Student Society, Student Nursing Association, Alpha Chi Rho, Theta Phi Alpha, Psychology Society, Therapeutic Recreation Society, and Utica College’s Volleyball team.

So many different organizations and businesses took time out of their day to be apart of another successful event. Chobani, Subway, Sweet Frog, local churches, Utica College’s WPNR, as well as many other organizations and businesses do a great job making sure that everyone participating in the run and/or walk is having a fabulous time.

My favorite part of the day is when you are walking throughout the neighborhood and families and friends are in their driveways, on their lawns, and on the side of the streets playing music, giving away hot chocolate or coffee, and so much more! It is really amazing how the community comes together!

If you have not participated in this event, I definitely recommend it! If you enjoy running, go for it! There are three different runs that you can choose to participate in. If you do not enjoy running, walking is just as much fun!

Ann Ciancia and I with the one and and only, PRESIDENT HUTTON!
Ann Ciancia and I with the one and only, PRESIDENT HUTTON!
Nothing but smiles with this girl! :)
Nothing but smiles with this girl! 🙂
Michael Cottle and Ann Ciancia look like they are leading the walk!
Michael Cottle and Ann Ciancia look like they are leading the walk!
I love all the signs and different things everyone makes for this day!
I love all the signs and different things everyone makes for this day!
Another successful event in the books!
Another successful event in the books!
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Live & Learn: Going Green

Over the past few years, I have become more cautious about the environment and the positive and negative impact we have on our world. So… what does it mean to go green?

According to Save the World, living a green lifestyle, or going green, can begin in small, easy to manage ways. Recycling is a huge, obvious part of helping to save the world through green living. Reducing one’s reliance on oil-based energy sources is another popular method employed in trying to save the world. Purchasing only all organic, chemical free products is another way that many people begin going green, and is considered a very effective method at trying to save the world and all of its resources. Green living is infiltrating all parts of daily life, and the planet is sure to be better for it.

I came across a blog post online which included several ways that students can go green on college campuses. Some of the tips that I believe Utica College Students can do include the following:

  • Take notes electronically: save money on paper and sticky notes as well
  • Adopt reusable bag practices
  • Nix bottled water: use a reusable water bottle throughout the day
  • Recycle properly (not everything goes into the same garbage bin)
  • Power down and unplug your electronics when you are not using them
  • Use energy efficient light bulbs
  • Do not liter: it will not kill you to wait until you get until the nearest garbage bin

My good friend MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord, a senior majoring in biology here at UC, has taught me the dos and don’ts about going green! Here are some helpful tips that she has recently shared with me…

“Take advantage of the shuttle service on campus or carpool with friends when going to Walmart. Trying running errands together once a week, as opposed to all going separately multiple times!”

“If you do use notebooks for class, don’t throw them out at the end of the semester. I always use the second half of the notebook for another class, just put a separator in between the different classes.”

“Only take what you can eat in the cafe. It’s super tempting to take a lot and only pick at it, but that’s uber wasteful.” Remember, you can always go back up for seconds!

“At the end of the semester, donate the things you don’t want or can’t transport home. Don’t throw things away!”

I hope that you reflect on your current habits and think about how you are taking care of our world and if there are things that you can do better. The smallest things can have an amazing impact!

Source: http://www.nowtowowhygiene.com/wp-content/uploads/green.jpg
Source: http://www.nowtowowhygiene.com/wp-content/uploads/green.jpg
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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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See ya spring break ’16!

Last week was such a tease for what summer ’16 is about to be! Sunshine, warm weather, friends, no homework – I mean, it honestly can’t get much better, right?! Spending a week in Florida, on the beach, with friends, with temperatures at 80* or above – it was honestly heaven! I was in no way ready to come back here and get back into a routine of classes and homework. Let’s be thankful for those of us who are not graduating that we get to have at least one more spring break! 🙂

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With five weeks left of classes and a week of final exams, many of us are not sure how we will ever reach the end after a full week of leisure! For many of us, there are still numerous homework assignments, a few exams, and probably a few pop-quizzes left to complete before we can be on our way to summer break – so let’s hope for the best and hope that we will get through it!

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Here are some thoughts that many college students have when spring break is coming to a close:

  • The weekend before school starts back up – “is this really happening?!”
  • While traveling back to school – “I’d much rather stay home with my pets and never move for the rest of my life”
  • First opening your planner/schedule – “so about that assignment that I was supposed to do over break…”
  • The first Monday morning class – “I can go back to sleep in roughly 3 hours and 27 minutes.”

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Getting back into the swing of things can be hard and definitely emotionally taxing. However, we’re only a few short weeks from summer and you can consider that an extended, fun-filled, and awesome spring break!

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