How I Relieve Stress

College is stressful, duh. I honestly believe these years will be some of the most stressful in  my life. I am at a age where I’m kind of an adult, but not really. I am obviously not a kid but still need my parents for certain things but I am not really an adult but I do have adult bills but I am not making adult money. Let’s not forget about classes and extra-curricular activities. You don’t even need to be a math major to add it all up, it equals STRESS.

Stress is natural, it going to happen regardless. I hate stress, my tolerance for it is incredibly low. I try to avoid it at all costs.

Me dodging stress.  *kidding* it's Keanu Reeves in The Matrix The Matrix, 1999. [film, DVD]. Directed by Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski. USA: Warner Bros.
Me dodging stress. *kidding* it’s Keanu Reeves in The Matrix; The Matrix, 1999. [film, DVD]. Directed by Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski. USA: Warner Bros.
Not all stress is bad, when necessary it can get you out of a dangerous situation. According to the National Institute for Mental Health website, when you face a dangerous situation, your pulse quickens, you breathe faster, your muscles tense, your brain uses more oxygen and increases activity—all functions aimed at survival. In the short term, stress can even boost the immune system. Although it might feel like it is, college is not life threatening.

Routine stress is related to the pressures of work, family and other daily responsibilities (i.e, college). Over time, continued strain on your body from routine stress may lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety disorder, and other illnesses (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml).

This time of the year can be very stressful, graduation, finals, finding summer jobs. Here are three tips to help cope with stress:

1. Yoga – Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety.

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Jeff Percacciante ’12 Photo by Ramon Aiello

Yoga is offered as a one-credit course here but if you’re interested in taking additional classes, Jeff Percacciante, UC alumn and Area Coordinator teaches Monday and Thursday evenings at Body by Design in New Hartford.

2. Talk to someone!

 

The Counseling Center is available Monday- Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm, a counselor is available on-call after hours. For more information on the counseling center visit their website. If you think the counseling center is not for you there are other options. The great thing about UC is the number of faculty and staff members who have an open door!

3. Exercise

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Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. My personal preferred form of exercise is swimming. For pool hours visit the Harold T. Clark Athletic Center.

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Things To Do: Utica Edition Part 1

I work as an Ambassador (Tour Guide) in the Admissions Office and one of the questions I field most frequently is, “What is there to do in Utica?” My answer to that is simple, there are LOADS of things to do. Not only are there events on campus all of the time, the city itself hosts numerous fun and interesting attractions. And, the best part is, most of the activities are not too far from campus! Throughout the semester I plan on revisiting this topic and adding attractions as the season changes, and as I, myself, discover new things as well!

This posting is going to focus on things to do during the Winter season, and are all basically places you can go to get a reprieve from the cold…which is not to say you couldn’t go to these places in other seasons! Most of the attractions are year round! (I also included an estimate for cost because I know the college student “low-fund” struggle.)

Catch a Comets Game!

The Utica Comets are Utica’s professional hockey team. They play in the AHL league, and their games generate quite a bit of buzz. The city is proud of the team, and it’s a must-see for anyone near the city to go to a game! I’m not a hockey fan, but its hard to not get caught up in all of the commotion that comes with a big game. The games tend to sell out quickly, so be sure to check out their website to see when they are playing!

(The Utica Memorial Auditorium is a familiar venue to any Pioneer Hockey Fan, both Men's and Women's ice hockey play there!)
(The Utica Memorial Auditorium is a familiar venue to any Pioneer Hockey Fan, both Men’s and Women’s ice hockey play there!)

The Comets home arena is the Utica Memorial Auditorium, which is where the Utica College Pioneers have their own home hockey games! (For those unaware, its 610 Oriskany St) so this excursion will take you only 5 minutes from campus! This activity is the most expensive out of all of the ones listed, but it’s worth the money! Seeing a game is something everyone has to do at least once!

(The Utica Comets! Props to my friend Caroline for the Comets pictures! She's an avid hockey fan.)
(The Utica Comets! Props to my friend Caroline for the Comets pictures! She’s an avid hockey fan.)

Grab a Cup of Coffee at Utica Roasting

Utica Roasting is a locally owned business which, according to their website is, “committed to offering the highest quality coffee available from around the world—right here in downtown Utica.” They source their beans from around the world, and then roast them right  in their shop in Downtown Utica. They pride themselves on fair trade coffee, and buy local products for everything else. Even if coffee isn’t your thing they have a wide variety of teas, and juice products.

(On this day I went with a friend and she had a traditional coffee and bagel, while I tried a frozen green tea. It was delicious, and I highly recommend it.)
(On this day I went with a friend and she had a traditional coffee and bagel, while I tried a frozen green tea. It was delicious, and I highly recommend it.)

Located right on 92 Genesee Street, not too far from the Utica Memorial Auditorium, it is central and not even 10 minutes from campus. The cost is definitely affordable for a cup of coffee, and even leaves you room to buy a muffin or bagel to go with your drink!

(My friend Adelle enjoying her coffee outside.)
(My friend Adelle enjoying her coffee outside.)

Oogle at Art at Munson Williams

Located right up the street from Utica Roasting is one of my favorite places in Utica, The Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute. It’s a museum dedicated to enriching the community by having various styles of art represented. The museum makes use of the space by having numerous styles and mediums represented, from sculpture to photography to water color to many other types. They also have various exhibits which come in and only stay for a brief period of time, so you can keep coming back to see new things! They also have a film series which shows movies which may not make it to mainstream cinemas; it’s my favorite way to catch a lesser known film. They also show various short and foreign films. Check out their website for more events, exhibit schedules, and films which are currently being shown.

(One of the free exhibits at Munson. It's fun to try to guess what the artist was feeling while constructing a work of art.)
(One of the free exhibits at Munson. It’s fun to try to guess what the artist was feeling while constructing a work of art.)

Located at 310 Genesee Street, it is literally right in the middle of the city. Once again, it is not even 10 minutes from campus. The cost is FREE to enter the general museum, the film series is very reasonable for students, and the additional exhibits have a small cost. (Be sure to ask for the student rate!)

(On the Genesee Level, right across from the main entrance, is a rather large work of art by Jackson Polluck. It's a beautiful piece, and people can spend ages staring at it. The museum also holds another one of his pieces, which is quite impressive because I've seen his work also displayed at the MOMA and MET.)
(On the Genesee Level, right across from the main entrance, is a rather large work of art by Jackson Polluck. It’s a beautiful piece, and people can spend ages staring at it. The museum also holds another one of his pieces, which is quite impressive because I’ve seen his work also displayed at the MOMA and MET.)

I hope you give all these activities a try some time soon! Since they are all located quite close to one another, you could make a day out of it and do all of them at once! But, be sure to check out my future blog posts for more fun things to do around Utica!

 

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Moose-a-Palooza

This past weekend was Moose-a-Palooza! For those of you who are (sadly) uneducated on what exactly that is, read on! And for those of you aware of the festivity, read on to see what you missed. (Or totally participated in.)

Typically Moose-a-Palooza is the end of a week long list of campus events, put on by UCPB, which occur the last full week of classes. On that Saturday there is typically things to do outside, carnival games, and (free!) food. I was in the process of studying for finals while the events were occurring, so it was nice to take a short break and enjoy the fun.

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(People enjoying Moose-a-Palooza this year.)

There are always shirts which go along with the events, and this year the shirts were provided free to students with ID. …And when you say free clothes, I am so there. There was actually a competition held to design the shirt for this year.

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(This year there was a blow up “obstacle course” which allowed for two people to race at once.)

There are always numerous things to do. This year there was laser tag, a blow up obstacle course, carnival games, a photo booth, the opportunity to get an airbrush tattoo, and so many other things. There was even a live band.

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(The band played numerous covers! Including Ed Sheeran…which is always a good choice, in my personal opinion.)

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(My friend and I got matching tattoos, unknowingly, mine was done ironically because I do not like spiders. Not at all.)

One of the coolest things was one of the blow up “games/contraptions(?)” (I’m not really sure what to call them.) But, there was a giant “wrecking ball” game which allowed people to try to push others off of platforms. If you’ve ever seen the tv show wipeout, it kind of was like that. …which is not really an adequate description, but it was really fun.

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(I obviously was incredibly good at it…just kidding. I was the second person to be knocked down.)

Basically, the only thing you really need to know about Moose-a-Palooza is that it is fun. Like. A lot of fun. Plus, it is free. Fun and free are are two of my favorite things as a college student. And, if you’re anything like me, they’re your favorite as well. So, if you went this year, good for you. But if not, be sure to try to attend next year! You won’t regret it!

 

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