What it’s like to graduate a semester late

Every time I hear “Are you graduating?” it chips away at me inside a little bit because the answer is, I was supposed to. I came into college as a freshman in Fall of 2013 which means that I have spent four years at this school; the stereotypical length that you’re “supposed” to stay in college for your undergrad. But who’s to say that it’s only supposed to take four years? According to the New York Times,  “only 50 of more than 580 public four year institutions graduate a majority of their full time students on time” (Lewin, 2014). That being said, I can’t help but feel a little left out when I hear my closest friends talk about what their wearing to graduation or that they just applied for their dream job. I love this school, I really do, but I have reached that point in my life where I want to be done and start my life already. Luckily, that day will come sooner than I imagine in December and I will probably regret all these feelings I have now and want to stay in school just a little while longer. That being said, there’s always a bright side to things so here’s a list of some of the benefits I came up with of having to stay an extra semester in no particular order.

  1. A chance to keep building my resume! Another semester means another opportunity to build my resume and get another internship. Considering that I have only had one internship during my college career, I am very thankful that I get another chance to apply to internships where I could learn a few more things about the broadcasting business  before I am thrust into a job. In addition to internships, it also allows me to take on roles in clubs that I haven’t had the chance to have before. For example, I just accepted a web director position at WTOP and I have held a position there before so I am very excited about being more involved in a club that has been a large part of my college years.
  2. More time to figure out what I want to do with my life! I’ve narrowed it down to two types of work that I would be interested in: literally anything on a talk show or entertainment news show, or a video editor. I would love to use this extra time to hopefully dive into a professional setting and see if I would really like to do what I think I want to do now.
  3. A chance to finally get a car! Since I am not graduating and my loans are deferred to six months after I graduate, this now means that instead of starting to pay back my loans in November, I will have to start paying them back in June. What this really means to me is I will finally get the chance to buy my first car! I’ve been saving up for years and never had enough to buy a car on my own and the thought that I have to pay back loans was casting a huge cloud over my decision to buy a car after graduation. Although it only gives me the summer and one more semester to save up money for post grad life, a car is a necessary purchase to get to and from a summer job and a potential job in the future so that’s how i’m justifying it.
  4.  More free food! I work in the dining hall so everytime I go into work we are allowed to eat a meal even if we do not have a meal plan. That means that approximately three times a week I get a free lunch. When you figure that out for the semester, that saves me a ton of money in comparison to if I were to be out of college and buying my own groceries for the entire week.
  5.  More time living on my own! After college I will most definitely have to temporarily move back home for financial purposes so it will help me retain a bit more of my sanity being away from my family a little longer, I’m kidding! However, I really enjoy living with my friends and am thankful that I will have another couple of months with them.

Although many people take having to stay an extra semester negatively, if you look at it in a positive light it will help you deal with having to stay in school longer than you would’ve liked.  I have one more semester to get my act together and decide what I would like to do with my life! Until then, I’m trying to take nothing for granted and take every opportunity I can get.

Active Minds: Being a Co-President

Good evening everybody! Today I wanted to write about my experience being one of the Presidents of Active Minds at SUNY Oswego. For those of you who do not know, Active Minds is a national organization whose goal is to reduce the stigma of mental illness and help people access the resources that they need.

I first joined Active Minds my second semester Freshman year. My roommate at the time was thinking about declaring her major as human development and had heard about a mental health club called Active Minds. I remember walking into the room being really nervous about joining a group in the middle of the semester but once I walked into the room I felt much better about my decision because everyone was so nice. I had attempted to join a different club with my roommate earlier in the semester but still a few weeks in and had a strange experience where I felt like I was intruding on a group of friends hanging out so I was very relieved that Active Minds felt nothing like this. One of the things that really drew me to Active Minds was how they were trying to get the word out on how common mental health issues are. I struggled with anxiety and depression throughout high school and did not know anyone in any of my classes going through the same things as me. Active Minds made me feel better by making it known how common mental illness really is, for crying out loud we give out buttons that say how common it is (1 in 4, meaning 1 in 4 people have a mental illness)!

My memories from Active Minds include participating in Send Silence Packing, which is a display of backpacks that represent the number of suicides on college campuses each year, “Get Scrambled” which was a stress reliever where we threw eggs with our stressors written on them at a tarp on the wall in front of Tyler Hall, as well as going to weekly meetings with a bunch of people who wanted to help people understand mental illness as much as I wanted to.

After a semester, I became secretary of Active Minds and started a twitter account for our chapter. I remember being happy to have been elected to this position because it meant that I could be more involved with the club. I went to every meeting and would send out meeting reminders before the meeting through our email list and on our twitter. I would also send out the meeting notes to members who could not make it to the meeting due to class or illness. Then at the end of my junior year, I was elected to take over for our former Co President who graduated and got the chance to run the meetings which I have been doing since then. I really liked the freedom to talk about whatever topics I wanted in the realm of Active Minds and I still do! Although it can get frustrating being President like when budgets don’t go through or when we do not get a good turn out at a meeting, knowing that I have the ability to make a difference on campus is something that I will always appreciate getting the opportunity to do.

Al Roker return(ed)s!

Students crowd Al Roker after breaking the world record

Students crowd Al Roker after breaking the world record; Photo courtesy of Chuck Perkins

If you’ve been paying attention to our social media or The Today Show at all this past week, you may have noticed we had a certain special guest on campus Friday morning. Al Roker, returned to campus to broadcast an attempt to break the world record for the longest conga line on ice. The entire event was broadcasted live on the today show starting at around 8AM and only going to about 9AM. What you didn’t see was all the behind the scenes work that went into it, including the meetings and the practices. It was a long and exciting week that lead up to the morning of so let me walk you through it!

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Why I Chose Oswego

As I watch the Class of 2021 and Transfers Facebook group, I’ve noticed one of the most common things that I have been seeing lately within people’s posts is “I haven’t decided if I’m going to Oswego yet but…” In no particular order, here is a list of reasons why I decided to come to Oswego.

  1. Rejection
    1. Although this sounds like a bad way to start, Oswego was not always my number one choice. If someone were to go back in time and tell the high school version of myself that I would end up at a school four and a half hours north of home, I would have told them that they were nuts and I that was destined for a minimum of 60 degrees year round. Something to take away from this, if your top choice rejects you, although at the time it may feel like the end of the world, give your second choice a chance!
  2. Tours
    1. I applied to a total of four colleges, none of which I toured before applying which was probably a mistake but oh well! After getting rejected from my original top school, I started looking into Oswego more because that was the only other public school that I applied to besides my community college. I really did not like the idea of staying in my town for another two years and then transferring so I decided to go to admitted students day at Oswego. It was here that I toured the campus and really started to get the smallest gleam of excitement, which leads me to my next point.
  3. My mom
    1. My mom was really the push I needed to get me to commit to Oswego. I originally came into college as a Zoology major and at the time my class was the first class to use the new Shineman science building. The tour guide mentioned that a large portion of Zoology professors had their Doctorates and my Mom really liked that. I can still remember our conversation in the Campus Center auditorium where she convinced me that I should be thrown out of my comfort zone and commit to Oswego. If it wasn’t for my mom, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to move nearly five hours away from my house to a place where I did not know one single person.

Overall, I urge anyone who is considering Oswego to take a trip up here and really take a look at the campus in person and feel what it is like up here. I promise you will not regret it, I know I haven’t!

Lessons from Tragedy: A Conversation on School Safety and Preparedness

Flyers providing more information on the speakers were handed out at the door

Flyers providing more information on the speakers were handed out at the door

Wednesday night, I got the privilege to sit in on a presentation on campus given by the former principal of Columbine High School, Frank DeAngelis, and Kristina Anderson, a survivor of the Virginia Tech tragedy. During their presentations, they recounted their personal stories of coming face to face with school shooters and what they did that allowed them to be here today.

DeAngelis talked about his faith and the luck that allowed him to grab the correct key out of a keyring of about 35 keys to unlock a door near the gym to get himself and a few girls to safety while Anderson talked about hiding under a desk and despite being shot three times getting rescued after the attack was over. Their personal stories were very emotional to hear and eye opening.

DeAngelis talked about how a lot of the time when people think of the survivors they only think of the people who were injured. He then went on to tell us that it was obvious that those who were in the school during the tragedy were greatly affected as well when a balloon archway popped at a dance and

Frank DeAngelis former Principal of Columbine

Frank DeAngelis former Principal of Columbine

everyone fell to the floor. Anderson kept her talk on the more light hearted side which made it easier to hear, even when she showed a cell phone video from outside the building that she was shot in. They both talked about how they belong to a club that they do not want anyone else to join, which is why they both came to speak, to share their experiences so that god forbid if anyone in the room was ever involved in something like what they went through, maybe they would be a little more prepared than they were.

In each of their speeches, DeAngelis and Anderson also delved into the world of “the media” and each talked briefly about how news outlets covered each tragedy. This surprised me because I was in a room full of a majority of emergency response officers as well as public justice majors and I went simply because I was interested in what they had to say so I wasn’t expecting something that would correlate with my career path so much. Although as one person going into the field of broadcasting I will not be able to change the way that news outlets cover school shootings, I would like to try. They talked about how the news went into detail about who the perpetrators were and Frank DeAngelis even said that he believes the reason why Columbine is remembered so well is because of how much coverage it got on the news.

Kristina Anderson survivor of Virginia Tech

Kristina Anderson survivor of Virginia Tech.

One thing that I recall learning in my broadcast news reporting class was how in media ethics you are not supposed to report on something in a manner that could cause copycat offenses, my guess is that they did not know about this since it was April of 1999, nearly 18 years ago, or that it was such a tragic event that they simply wanted everyone to know every detail.

This talk opened my eyes to things that I do not usually think about during the course of my school day. DeAngelis and Anderson both said that they never thought that anything like the tragedies of Columbine and Virginia Tech would ever happen to them. They talked about how being prepared and alerting the police when something does not feel right can save a life. Although the chances of tragedies like this are slim, I learned from their speeches that it is better to be safe than sorry.

I also urge all of you to go to events like these on campus because they can really open your eyes to ideas that you would never think about before hearing them from someone who witnessed something first hand.

Students and emergency responders filled Lanigan 101 Wednesday night to hear Kristina Anderson and Frank DeAngelis share their stories

Touring CNYCentral

Members of NBS and WTOP with Laura Hand at CNYCentral

Members of NBS and WTOP with Laura Hand at CNYCentral

On Tuesday evening, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to travel to CNYCentral in Syracuse with Oswego’s Career Coach Jenny Roxas and a four other members from either the National Broadcasting Society or the campus TV station WTOP. While we were there, we were given an approximately two and a half hour long tour of the station by anchor Laura Hand from the studio while a broadcast was going on to behind the scenes.

It is one of my dreams to work at a TV station so visiting one while the news is going on was absolutely incredible. The most shocking part of the entire visit for me was how calm everything was. We walked into the studio when they were on a break and we were introduced to the anchors and then all of the sudden they were back and reading off of the teleprompters with no warning at all. The only people on the set when they went live were the anchors which is a big adjustment to what I am used to at WTOP where there is a person behind every position. The reason why there were no people manning the equipment was because everything was coded by computer which I thought was really cool technology. Another really cool part of the trip was meeting a few Oswego graduates at the station which made me feel confident that I have been getting a good education and with hard work I could end up in their place one day.

This trip really opened my eyes as to what a functioning news station looks like and truly helped me develop a stronger idea of what I want my life after Oswego to look like. My advice to you all is to take every opportunity that is thrown at you because college is a time of getting out of your comfort zone and finding out what you want to do with your life and taking trips like this are extremely beneficial!


Happy RAK Week!

Good morning everybody!

Active Minds' table full of free stuff in the Marano Campus Center!

Active Minds’ table full of free stuff in the Marano Campus Center!

I’m guessing right about now you’re wondering “What is RAK Week?” Well I’m glad you asked! RAK stands for Random Acts of Kindness and it is an annual initiative to spread kindness across the world. As a part of Active Minds, we celebrate this every year to try to cheer people up here at SUNY Oswego; you never know what a small act of kindness can do for someone who could secretly be struggling! Plus it makes you feel good to make others feel good! Here are a list of ten small things you can do as a part of RAK week and in your daily life!

Free Cookies in the Marano Campus Center 2/15-2/17 from 10AM-2PM!

Free Cookies in the Marano Campus Center 2/15-2/17 from 10AM-2PM!


  1. Sit with someone who is sitting alone.
  2. Pay for the person’s coffee behind you in the Cafe.
  3. Guest pass a friend without a meal plan into the dining hall.
  4. Bake cookies for a friend.
  5. Write a friend a thank you note!
  6. Hold the door open for someone.
  7. Pick up someone’s shift at work.
  8. Smile at a stranger.
  9. Give compliments!
  10. Leave positive notes in public spaces!

Overall, in the famous words of Ellen… Be kind to one another! Have a fantastic day and happy RAK Week!


Introducing Jess!

Hey everybody!

My name is Jess Mulder and I am currently a first semester senior at SUNY Oswego. I am a Broadcasting and Mass Communication Major from Bridgewater, NJ which is roughly 45 minutes west of New York City. This semester I am interning as a Web Multimedia Intern for the Communications department with a focus on creating videos for the sunyoswegovideo YouTube channel. I am Co-President of a mental health club on campus called Active Minds, and a crewmember at WTOP, the school’s student run TV station. I am still figuring out what I want to do when I graduate in December but I am extremely interested in pursuing a career involving social media and am hoping that this internship simply strengthens that desire.

My focus this semester will be taking over former intern Alyssa Levenberg’s “Alyssa Explains It All” Q&A segments, obviously with a new name… Jess Explains It All doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Head over to my twitter to vote on the name! You can find me at @jess_mulder ! I relied on these videos for tips during my time at Oswego and I look forward to guiding new students to success just like Alyssa’s videos did for me!