As I reflect on my last four years of college in the short 2 weeks that I have left here I started to think about how much has changed over the past four years. When I graduated high school in 2015 I had no idea what to expect when I entered college.
My first few days of college seem to fly by so fast until there were some days that felt like they would never end. Those long days turned to slow weeks that then turned into fast months to then a quick years. And before I knew it I didn’t know where all the time had gone.
I wouldn’t take back any of the decisions and choices I’ve made in college because they helped me start to understand myself apart from my family and everything I had become so familiar with over the past 18 years before entering college.
Now fours years have past and at the age of 22 I feel like I’ve made a full circle. Packing up my life in boxes and bags, saying goodbye to old friends, and leaving a place I’ve become so familiar with.
It might seem scary at times but I’m feeling the same anxiousness and excitedness I felt four years ago when I had no idea how my life was going to change.
For those of you who are graduating I am sure you might feel the same and for those who are just beginning… make the most of your time here in college because you will never truly be this young again.
Freshman year is one of the most amazing times in your life and if you’re lucky enough to experience this opportunity, I am sure you will see this too. Entering college is a huge life change, as many incoming freshman have lived in the same place for 18 years of their life. One thing a lot of incoming freshman are scared about is starting over and making new friends.
I was definitely one of them. Four years ago I left high school with a huge group of friends (10 boys and 10 girls) and it seemed perfect but none of us were going to be in the same place after college. This left me lost and alone but eager for a fresh start. I took advantage of this opportunity knowing I was vulnerable and put myself out there in some of the few ways I recommended below.
For those of you who are incoming freshmen and transfer students, this is what I recommend:
- Utilize the Facebook group chat to find students who have similar interests to yours (this is how I found my freshman year roommate)
- When you move into your dorm, take the opportunity to get to know your neighbors and other people living in your dorm. I found that the first few floor meetings were an excellent opportunity for this!
- Try to be as open as you can! There is nothing to be afraid of because everyone is in the same position weather they show it or not.
- Go to the student involvement fair which takes place the first week of classes!
- Get involved on campus – this is a great way to meet people all over the SUNY Oswego campus and find something other than academics that interests you.
Most importantly, remember that you are not alone in the process there are thousands of new students attending this fall that have the same nerves you have.
Seniors have about a month left until they walk across the stage at graduation! Here are some ideas to start planning and buying the perfect gift for your favorite graduate. From the more basic gifts to super customizable ones, these will impress any graduate and help them look, feel, and be their best self to start off their journey in the real world!
Alumni Gear –After putting in all the hard work and dedication to graduate, it’s time to rock that nice alumni sweatshirt, hat, or other apparel item.
Adult things –Apartment decor and accessories, electronics, random kitchen gadgets or appliances, and things that college students never really needed before make great graduation gifts.
Money –Money is always a safe bet when it comes to gift giving because they can do anything they want with it.
Nice Watch – Nothing screams adult, more than a nice watch. It also makes for a great accessory in the office and will spruce up any interview outfit.
Professional Clothes –By the time graduation rolls around, most college students are in desperate need of professional attire. Gifts cards to stores that sell great options for office outfits are great for those gift-givers who don’t know a graduates size or style well.
A gift card or membership for something they like to do –Find something that the graduate in your life loves to do and treat them to a gift card or membership that relates to their favorite hobbies. Think of things like yoga or a culinary classes.
Your graduation weekend can be one of the most exciting times for you and your family. Here are somethings to keep in mind to effectively plan for your big weekend!
What time are you graduating?
The Graduation Schedule provided will allow you to see what time your ceremony will be taking place so you can plan accordingly as far as when you and your family and friends should arrive at the Marano Campus Center.
What day should I arrive?
Most people decide to make the trip the day before graduation. This can all depend the distance you will be traveling. Since SUNY Oswego graduation is held on Saturday, most people tend to arrive anytime on Friday.
When should I book the hotel room?
Hotels recommend that you reserve your rooms a year in advance. For example I called last May (2018) and was put on a waiting list with my contact information. They called me back in June to confirm my reservations for my May 2019 Commencement. Keep in mind: Most hotels will make you reserve the rooms for a minimum of 2 nights!
Hotels that are close to campus that I would recommend:
- Quality Inn & Suites Riverfront, Oswego
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Oswego
- Best Western Plus Oswego Hotel and Conference Center, Oswego
- Beacon Hotel, Oswego
Should I make reservations for lunch/dinner?
Yes, I would recommend calling restaurants around Oswego 2-3 months in advance. This is because local restaurants will be in high demand that weekend. Some restaurants will make you pay a deposit to secure your table for graduation weekend it is normally no more than $25.
Local restaurants that I would recommend:
- Red Sun Fire Roasting Co
- La Parrilla
- Bistro 197
- Canale’s Restaurant
- Alex’s on the Water
What do I wear?
Formal wear is expected from both students and guests; you’ll have the pictures forever, so it’s worth making an effort with what you wear. But given that most graduations take place in spring, it’s worth checking the weather before you put on a full woollen suit on the hottest day of the year.
I hope that this guide will help you and your families better prepare for your graduation weekend!
It’s OK to feel stuck during your senior year and I promise you are not the only one.
It’s happened to all of us. We’re having a great time our last year in college; meeting new people, making our last college memories, traveling all over the world, until the dreadful realization occurs. I have no idea what I’m going to do after graduation.
Well… okay I have somewhat of an idea of what I would ideally like to do, but realistically, I have nothing lined up. With monthly freakouts last semester to now weekly moments of panic I try to remind myself… it’s okay to feel a little lost right now!
Sure it might seem like “everyone” you know has their life together and have everything lined up and ready after graduation, but the truth is, a lot of people don’t. Just because someone has that one job lined up doesn’t mean it’s going to be something they stick with or something they even end up enjoying. Just because you don’t have something lined up, doesn’t mean you won’t find what you’re looking for.
Yes, it’s absolutely important and necessary to plan for your future and apply early to positions you’re interested in, but it shouldn’t consume your thoughts constantly. Everything will work out in the end. As long as you’re doing your best and putting the work in, you will find something that works for you, even if it’s not right away.
The best thing you can do senior year is to take a deep breath, continue to do everything you can to reach your goals, and enjoy this last year of college before graduation!
Hi everyone! I am Kendall Padovani. I am a second semester senior where I am currently studying Public Relations. I am very excited take part in my last undergraduate internship as a social media intern for the Communications and Marketing Department here at SUNY Oswego.
I began my journey at SUNY Oswego Fall 2015 already having declared my major as Public Relations. I had been pretty set on declaring this a major since I was a sophomore in high school even though I had no prior knowledge of what it really consisted of. After my first year I declared my minor as human development because I wanted to learn more about the development of humans and how this affects their judgement and decision making. I thought it would complement my major in understanding more about the public. My second semester freshman year I became a sister of Phi Sigma Sigma which is a National Sorority here on campus. Being a member of this amazing organization has introduced me to several leadership opportunities and where I served on my organizations executive board as their Member Recruitment Chair. My first semester junior year I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in London. Here I took part in a semester long internship at a boutique PR agency in Kensington. During this time I also traveled to ten other countries expanding my horizons and love for traveling.
During my last semester here at Oswego I was elected to the role of VP of Programming for our National Panhellenic Council which oversees all four national sororities. So far this position has given me so many opportunities and strengthened my relations within the Greek community. As college graduation is quickly approaching and I am determined to capitalize on the rest of the time I have left here while bracing through my last Oswego winter.