Reality Check: Graduation is in 20 Days!

Out of all my years here at Utica College, senior year has gone by the fastest. With graduation just 20 days away, I can’t help but look back over the past four years. There have been good times, bad times, and some of the best moments of my life. If I had the chance relive my time here at UC I would, but I wouldn’t change one thing. Okay – maybe I would change some choices of outfits.

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Now the butterflies, nerves, and excitement are all setting in. Finishing up my undergrad classes and being aware that I am soon to be a graduate student is a weird relief. Now I’m not sure if I’m more concerned about future employment or what to decorate the top of my graduation cap with!


trax grad pic


I look forward to May 8 at 9:30 am when I walk across that stage but my mind will be torn between bottling up every memory possible from the past four years, taking it all in, and thinking about what’s next. My undergrad experience at Utica College is something that will be hard to leave behind but I am excited to take what I’ve learned here, in and out of the classroom, to the next step in my life.


Graduation, Here I Come!

This is my last month of college classes. Ever.* And in order to celebrate the end of an era I am going to do a countdown of sorts as some of my final blog posts. This is going to be a pseudo bucket list of sorts, and I intend to produce (photographic) evidence that I’ve actually completed my tasks. So, stay tuned. And check out the list of things I am going to (attempt) to complete before the end of the semester rolls around.

  1. Work out at “The Hutt” aka the Dome!
  2. Swim in the pool! (My entire time at Utica College I have never gone in the pool…)
  3. Check a book out from the library…a book for lesiure. (Not something to be used for a paper/research. For fun.)
  4. Organize a friend “family” dinner. Cook actual food. (…learn to cook actual food.)
  5. Attend an annual event on campus that I have never attended before.
  6. Pull an all nighter for some reason other than schoolwork. Watch the sunrise.
  7. Wear sweatpants to class. (I’ve literally never done this. Surprising, I know.)
  8. Write a cover letter. Actually try to perfect my resume.
  9. Apply for some jobs and stop stressing when someone asks me the “dreaded question”.
  10. Plan a huge-elaborate event with one of my orgs…and get other orgs involved!
  11. Get to know someone that I haven’t known before. (Make a new friend.)
  12. Find a new resturant in Utica and buy myself a fancy dinner. “Treat yo’ self”
  13. Thank my professors for everything they have done for me. Find a way to actually show my grattitude.
  14. Decorate my graduation cap. (…actually buy my graduation apparel.)
  15. Walk across the stage and get my diploma!

*Well, until I decide if I want to continue with a further degree…that decision is unknown as of right now


I’m simultaneously thrilled and terrified at this upcoming month, but I’m sure it will be filled with many unforgettable moments. I’ve always believed in the tired and true saying to “live in the moment” but, this month will see me fully embracing the motto. Here’s to April and here’s to the now.



20 Things That Inevitably Happen When It’s Your Last Semester

My big girl backpack.

Fingers crossed, I should be graduating in December. Am I excited? Yeah. Am I scared? Terrified. It’s taken 3 1/2 years, but I have realized several things this semester. In fact, I’d say this was the first semester I finally felt like I knew what I was doing. Now, why couldn’t that have happened sooner?

These are a few of the things I’ve noticed now that it is my last semester here.

  1. You’re outraged when you have to do a big project or paper because you’re just so over the whole thing.
  2. No one, and I mean no one, can match your procrastination skills.
  3. You’ve started making sleep a priority again because you’re basically an old person now.
  4. Everyone on the planet wants to know what your post-graduation plans are.
  5. Seriously, that is the only thing anyone wants to talk to you about anymore. Um, hello, can we talk about something happier, like food?
  6. You’ve realized your “I’m in college” excuse time frame is dwindling, and are therefore milking it for all it’s worth while you can.
  7. You’re trying not to countdown, but it’s impossible.
  8. You’ve mastered the art of doing as much as possible with as little effort as possible.
  9. You’ve convinced yourself there’s some way to avoid entering the real world. I can win the lottery in the next three months!
  10. People have decided it’s their business where you’ve applied to, how many jobs you’ve applied to, and how every bit of your job search is going.
  11. You finally know your best, most efficient study methods.
  12. You don’t understand how you’re about to adopt an adult life when you still feel like a child.
  13. Your mind is so far ahead of you that you keep forgetting it’s only October, and you still have schoolwork to complete.
  14. You’ve become an expert schedule builder, learning to craft schedules according to your own preferences.
  15. Professors, co-workers, and loved ones make (mostly) empty threats about sabotaging your grades so you can’t graduate yet.
  16. You don’t remember how you were ever able to get up so early in high school. It’s 10 a.m. classes and later all the way.
  17. If you stacked up all the revisions of your resume, you could build a skyscraper.
  18. You laugh at the juniors who are freaking out about their graduation, as if THEY have it bad.
  19. When you go to events that alumni attend, you can’t help but think how you’ll be one of them soon.
  20. You’re both ready and not ready at the same time.

Fellow seniors, what worldly knowledge have YOU garnered?

Note: all photos were taken & edited by me. The watermark “SCC 2014” refers to my personal food blog, The Smart Cookie Cook.


17 Things Students Who Graduate Early Will Understand

Photo by Kevin Waldron

College students know it’s hard enough to graduate on time, let alone early, but some of us are on a different path and kick things into high-gear so we can get our diplomas sooner. It isn’t easy, but we stick to the plan of attack come whatever may. And with a few heavier course loads and a lot of determination, we finish up a semester or two early feeling on top of the world.

Anyone who’s been there knows our lives are a little bit different than our fellow students on the normal 4-year timeline. There are certain things only we can understand, and for that, we share a special bond.

  1. There is no such thing as an “easy” semester for you. You have a full or overloaded course load every time, even as a senior.
  2. If you’re like me and only graduating one semester early instead of two, you wish you’d gotten yourself going sooner so you could graduate two semesters early.
  3. Free time? What’s that?
  4. Maintaining a decent GPA is twice as hard.
  5. You’ve inevitably had those full days that start with 8am classes and end with a night class, at least once every semester.
  6. People assume you’re really smart, but honestly, it was more about taking on extra workloads than anything else.
  7. People get really confused when your age and your class don’t match up (You’re 20 but you’re a senior???).
  8. You’ve come to accept the inevitability of all-nighters.
  9. Your time here with your favorite professors and classmates is all the more precious since you’re leaving sooner.
  10. People who say college goes by in the blink of an eye don’t know the half of it.
  11. You’ve been forced at least once to cram some of the most labor-intensive classes for your major into the same semester.
  12. You felt like a boss when you made it out of that semester alive, and with good grades too.
  13. You have a special bond with your adviser who helped you make graduating early possible. Without them, you would’ve gone crazy trying to put your schedules together.
  14. You’re a master at packing a whole day’s worth of meals into one lunch box since you often wind up spending entire days on campus.
  15. You are the ultimate multi-tasker, and your time management skills are incomparable.
  16. You learned to embrace planners and calendars to keep your plethora of deadlines straight.
  17. You know graduating early isn’t for everyone, but for you, it was worth it.