Glitter, owls, and more glitter (HOMW 2)

Hi, everyone!

As I mentioned last week, I am making time each week of this semester to reflect and share a moment that was a highlight of that week. In my previous blog post, I told you all about the great time I had at Crystal Ball on Saturday. That was definitely a highlight, but the highlight of my week actually happened prior to Saturday night…

HIGHLIGHT OF MY WEEK (HOMW) #2: GLITTER, OWLS, AND MORE GLITTER

I had an RA Event last Thursday in North Hall. For those of you who may not know, I am a Resident Assistant here at UC, and part of my job includes planning fun events for my residents. Sometimes they are educational events, like when we visited the Clinton Cider Mill and learned how apple cider is made. Other times, they are social events, like last Thursday, which was a make-your-own Valentines event.

This was the flier advertised on the Utica College First Year Village Instagram account. FYI, you can follow the account to be in-the-know about upcoming RA events in North and South Hall! It's named uc_firstyearvillage
This was the flier advertised on the Utica College First Year Village Instagram account. FYI, you can follow the account to be in-the-know about upcoming RA events in North and South Hall! It’s named uc_firstyearvillage

I have had many RA events before, but had never had one that included my love for crafting. However, I talked to some of my residents earlier in the semester and discovered that many of them also loved arts and crafts and liked the idea of having a time we could all decorate Valentines together. I immediately began planning the event and was extremely excited to pick up glitter, construction paper, the CUTEST owl stickers of all time, and all sorts of other art goodies for my residents to use. By Thursday night, many of the students who lived on my floor as well as other floors were looking forward to the event as much as me, and met me downstairs right at 8 pm when it began. The basement lounge was soon filled with students drawing, glueing, and glittering to their hearts’ content.

This is just one of the many groups of students who were making Valentines at the event last week. We put newspaper on the floor to minimize the amount of glitter mess- it's a tricky hazard of crafting!
This is just one of the many groups of students who were making Valentines at the event last week. We put newspaper on the floor to minimize the amount of glitter mess- it’s a tricky hazard of crafting!

Over thirty students attended my event. It was scheduled to only go until 9 pm, but we ended up crafting past 10:30 in the evening! I had a great time watching other students make beautiful cards for their friends and family, and of course I enjoyed making some Valentines myself! I was so happy that the students who attended had as much fun as I did crafting. One of my residents told me it was the best event she had been to yet this year!

Here is a glimpse of the Valentines I crafted!
Here is a glimpse of the Valentines I crafted, featuring the cutest owl sticker of all time.

Sometimes in the business of college life (especially during your first year, which is a huge transitional phase of your life), you can lose sight of special little traditions from your home life. I really missed making Valentines for my friends when I began college, so I was happy that my event allowed students an opportunity to be festive, creative, and do something that may have reminded them of old traditions in their lives.

Events like these remind me of how great it is to go to a school that has such a tight-knit student body. I love celebrating holidays in fun ways with my UC family. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Have a great week!

 

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The Friday Afternoon Time Warp (Highlight of My Week: Week 1)

Hi everyone!

This semester, I have decided to reflect at the end of each week and share with you a moment that was a highlight of that week. Last semester was a whirlwind of meetings, classes, appointments, events, forums, office hours, and library sessions- by the end of the term, I was pretty burnt out, to say the least! One of the things I want to focus on this semester is having some down time and enjoying the moment more, rather than over-scheduling myself. I think that consciously spending time each week to reflect on the things that occurred will help with this mission. So, seeing as last week was the first full week of classes, here is my weekly highlight!

HIGHLIGHT OF MY WEEK (HOMW) 1: THE FRIDAY AFTERNOON TIME WARP

A little background: I am currently enrolled in a class titled ENG 407: Advanced Poetry Workshop. This class is a continuation of ENG 307: Beginning Creative Writing. I took 307 last semester on a whim because I heard that it was taught by a really funny professor, and I hadn’t taken a creative writing course since high school. The class ended up being my favorite class of the semester, and I was happy to enroll in 407 this semester to continue learning from Dr. Leising, who always challenges the class to write in different, unique, and fun ways.

407 is a bit different from 307, mainly because it focuses primarily on poetry writing, rather than a variety of types of writing (creative non-fiction, for example). Furthermore, my 407 class has only a handful of students in it (seven, to be exact), which allows us to spend some serious quality time reviewing and discussing one another’s work. This makes the workshop a very thought-provoking and fun class; I know that I am going to get to read some awesome poems when I go to class, have quality conversation with my fellow students about the creative process, and will get some sincere feedback on my writing that will help me improve. Plus, as a psychology major, I love that I am in a class with mainly English majors, because it allows me to view things from a different perspective and broaden my frame of thinking.

Anyway, onto the highlight of my week! On Friday, my class was so invested in our workshop that we ended up going over the class time by 15 minutes. Usually, students will be a bit fidgety towards the end of class, especially during a 75-minute time block. However, none of us even noticed the time; we were really enjoying our conversations with one another and had no idea that we were past the class period. It was as if we had entered a time warp- we hadn’t realized how fast the time had passed us!

This moment reminded me of why I love Utica College so much- the small class sizes allow me to really get to know my professors and fellow students. I am grateful to be able to take a course that is not only challenging me as a writer and a thinker, but also is truly something I look forward to attending twice a week.

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Make the Most of the Snow!

Welcome back to Utica College! I hope everyone had enjoyable and relaxing  breaks. By now most people are almost fully back into the swing of things, and ready to take on the spring semester, myself included! This semester is by far my favorite, more than fall, because by the time finals roll around the warm and sunny weather feels like such a reward for making it through.

However, the spring semester is also notorious for dragging on. The winter weather sometimes has too firm a hold on the Central New York Region. While I enjoy snow during the holiday season, two months later it begins to feel like some sort of punishment. So, don’t dread a single moment of it. I’m planning on trying to enjoy the snow, and the cold while it’s here. You know, not everyone is fortunate enough to live in a region where we get to experience four very distinct seasons…or just keep telling yourself that!

Anyway, here’s some tips to help you not only push through the winter in Utica, New York, but also enjoy it too!

Do Typical Winter Activities! Go outside on campus and build a snowman! Take advantage of the close proximity Utica College has to numerous skiiing/snowboarding/sledding locations. Actually, there is a great sledding hill at the Recreation Center on the Parkway which is literally down the road from the campus.  If you don’t want to leave campus, grab a few friends and start a snowball war! Just grab some boots, and a hat and get out there!

Take A Brisk Walk. I find the crisp winter air to be refreshing…to a certain extent. I like going for a walk if I am completely bundled up, and fully prepared. It can be as small as the walk from your residence hall to your class. Instead of rolling out of bed reluctant to go outside, try to look at it as an opportunity to breathe in the fresh winter air. Trust me, it just smells different than the other seasons.

Bundle Up. Winter is great because the cold gives a great excuse to wear your coziest and warmest clothes. I love wearing oversized sweaters during the Winter. I also love beanies and hats, which I can’t really get away with in the Summer. So wear the fashions of Winter while you can! Even if fashion isn’t your thing, cherish the ability to wear your sweatshirt. (It’s the small things that can make the season better.)

 Indulge in Your Favorite Winter Foods. One of my favorite winter foods to eat is soup, I don’t eat it any other time! It magically seems to warm you up from the inside out. So, after a long day of studying (or sledding!) have a warm bowl of soup. Also, I don’t think there is anything as cozy as curling up with a mug of coffee/tea/hot chocolate during the frigid winter months. One of my favorite ways to de-stress is with a warm blanket, a good book, and a mug of tea.

Anticipate! The Winter season has so many things that people look forward to. I, personally, am counting down the days until the Academy Awards (Oscars) in February. But, others may be anticipating the Super Bowl which is also coming up! And don’t forget about Spring Break in March! There are plenty of things to look forward to.

Marvel in How Pretty Winter Can Be. The snow can make everything look so pure, and clean which can be beautiful to look at. So, take advantage. Instagram that fresh snowfall, and find the perfect filter for that snowflake close up…maybe you’ll spread your new found appreciation of Winter to some new people too!

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How to Make the Most of Your Winter Break

Finals are over! You have no idea how thrilled I am to say that… And I’m sure if you’re a college student reading this, you’re just as thrilled. So now, you have an entire break stretching out in front of you. The first few days are for the very necessary sleeping days and recuperating days after all-nighters and study binges. However, once a few days have passed and you’ve recovered from finals, you find yourself with a plethora of free time you haven’t had to yourself since August before classes started. So, this blog post is going to help you manage all of your free time…because it can be harder than it seems.

Actually get dressed some days: While it may be tempting to just lay around in pajamas every day of break, resist the urge! Maybe set aside one day a week as your “lounge day” and wear your pajamas and messy hair to your heart’s content. However, the other days of the week, you should actually put on real clothes, and look (at least a little bit) presentable. It’ll make you feel more productive, even if you didn’t really do anything.

Set an alarm: While it may be tempting to sleep your entire break away, sleeping until the late afternoon wastes valuable morning time! You don’t have to get up insanely early, but make sure to be up before regular people are eating lunch! The early bird gets the worm, and all that. But also, it won’t be as big of an adjustment when classes do start again and you have to be ready for 8:30s.

Make a mini winter break bucket list: Take time out before the craziness of a new semester sets in, and do things you wouldn’t have time to do during a semester. Plan little activities with family and friends, and make the most of your free time. Go to the movies, go shopping, and especially take advantage of all of the holiday activities!

Forget about your grades: If you did the student opinionnaires, you’ll get your grades December 23rd, and for those that didn’t, you’ll get your grades a week later. That can be a stressful time. I know whenever I check my grades, I get incredibly nervous, and my heart beats fast. It’s fine to freak for a while, either good or bad. But, don’t let a bad grade ruin your entire break. If you didn’t get that A or B you were aiming for, don’t beat yourself up about it. Either let it go, or figure out if you need to retake the course…but don’t spend all break on it. Deal with it, and then put it to the back of your mind.

 Don’t forget about your classes next semester: Check your email! Order the textbooks you need for the class. Look if your professor wants you to read certain materials. Don’t completely forget about the work you are going to have to do next semester! Brace yourself, and prepare.

The most important tip though is to have a great break! Enjoy the time off because before you know you’ll be back at Utica College ready to start a new semester!

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