Move-In Day!

Move-In Day about four years ago I came to Oswego. Being from New York City I wanted to arrive early so my mother, brother, and I left around 5 a.m. That day it was very foggy and cold which later became warm and sunny. It was about a 6-hour ride and arrived at 11 a.m.
As a freshman, I lived in Johnson Hall. I wanted to arrive early because I needed the help of my family to decorate and organize my room. We decorated for about an hour then went out to eat. Came back around 2 p.m. and my resident mentor said at 3 p.m the students had an activity so my family and I said our goodbyes.
The activity was basically icebreakers for the people on our floor to get to know each other. Then we all left because some had meetings to go to also there was a picnic for students at 4:30 p.m. Later that day we were told that there would be a torchlight ceremony. Where we were welcomed by the president of the school and came in with our resident halls.
Lastly, there were fun activities planned for the rest of the night. My suggestion is come early and listen to your resident mentors/advisors because they have many fun activities planned! This is where you will meet your friends and make memories.

Purchasing a laptop!

When I came to Oswego I had a newly bought laptop it was not the most expensive but it had everything a college student needed. This was the wireless internet and the convenience of having it in my room. With the money I had saved up, I bought a Google Chrome laptop which only cost $300.

Once, I started classes as an engineering major then later becoming a graphic design major this laptop was not meeting expectations for either one. My courses had programs like Adobe Photoshop and computer science software which needed to run on a more advanced laptop. The issue with having a Chrome computer only being able to download certain programs offered in the Google store.

Within the next two years, I noticed, that most everyone had an Apple computer and even in computer labs. In the computer labs as a graphic design major, Apple computers were only used. It did not matter, the consumer culture whether your social class, age, gender, household, psychographics, values, or personality almost every student had an Apple laptop. That was when I decided I had to go to Apple to get a Macintosh because I wanted to do my homework in my dorm and not have to go to a computer lab to get it done to use those programs.

For the decision-making process, I had to do my research. When making the decision I had to factor school work and extensive projects that required certain computer applications. Then came my information search I asked my friends who had Apple laptops. “What was their reasoning for an Apple laptop?” some said it’s the best in the market, never gets viruses, its popular, and colleges recommended it. After I decided that I was going to the Apple store I had my mind made up that I was going to buy the MacBook Air because at the time it was $999 and it was lightweight. That surely changed when I entered the Apple store.

The consumer culture was like no other it stuck to Apple’s true identity of being simplistic but modern. The representative then persuaded my decision asking me what my major was and how the MacBook Pro was a better fit for me. The features of the MacBook Pro are as stated by Apple, “packs more performance into a thin design, yet still provides all-day battery life — up to 10 hours for both the 13-inch and 15-inch models.” There are plenty of more fascinating features which influenced my decision and consumer behavior which ultimately made me purchase this laptop.

Unfortunately, I was persuaded by the sales representative to buy a MacBook Pro luckily I had the ability to pay $1,600 but I was leaving with Dr.Dre Beats, the newest laptop, Apple Care, and an external drive which motivated me to purchase it.

If money is an issue like most college students start with a cheaper laptop. Then save or use campus computer labs that can be accessed 24/7. Some brands that I recommend that are cheaper but just as good as Apple.
– Dell (Highly recommend) $300-1000 price ranges
– Windows $350-1000 price ranges
– HP $250-800 price ranges

Peer 2 Peer Educator

I am happy to say that this upcoming fall semester I will be a Peer Educator.

What is a Peer Educator?

This is a program held by the Counseling Services Center which Peer Educators (P2P) are SUNY Oswego students who involve, empower, and support educational campus environments related to psychological health and wellness.

What do P2P students do?

The role of the P2P Educator is to promote programs and provide information on mental health topics that can impact the academic and social success and overall well-being of SUNY Oswego students. P2P Educators are committed to teaching skills that can help fellow students reduce potential stressful life experiences (prevention) and to resolve situations more quickly should they arise.

Who are these P2P Educators?

P2P Educators are undergraduate students who represent a rich diversity of cultural and life experiences. They have a commitment to learning, teaching, assessing, role modeling, communicating in person and using social media, and effective presentation skills.

This is something I am very excited about and I can not wait to meet/help students. During my undergraduate career, I had my own experience of going to the counseling office because I felt that I needed help. At that time my friends thought I was in need of counseling because I was making decisions that they thought I could have prevented and were “affecting others”. Which made me feel like I was being attacked so I made the decision to speak with a counselor and it was the best decision I made.

While at first, I was nervous speaking about my experiences but then realized that they are there to help. These services that students take for granted are not only for people with “mental issues” but in actuality, it is for students who need someone to talk to. As a P2P I want to bring awareness to all students that these stereotypes of illness are not true which is one of the reasons I joined. The counselors on campus are all amazing people, help with different stressors in life, and are people who care about your well being.

Everyone is welcome so please stop by Mary Walker!

For more information follow this link below.

My Internship Experience

This past spring I had the pleasure to intern for the financial aid office. For those twelve weeks, I have learned many helpful skills that will help my career as a Financial Advisor. This experience was something new to me and Kathy Flaherty made it possible. She gave me experience in parts of the office that I was not aware of.

The purpose of this internship was to create professional relationships to better understand emotions and attitudes. I also wanted to improve my interpersonal and communication skills. I felt like I accomplished this and actually created professional relationships with the staff. It has taught me information about paying off loans to getting a job. I was given the opportunity to attend meetings and learn how to speak to family members in uncomfortable situations. This helped me find out that I like the consulting portion of being a financial advisor.

A program that I learned throughout this experience is called Banner. The financial aid advisors use this to view students financial awards and to adjust any unmet needs. As well, I was giving many small projects like identifying those students who had unmet needs to attending open houses.

My favorite part of this internship was learning about the staff’s career journey. I enjoyed listening and expressing my own interest in becoming a financial advisor and getting their advice. My experience of being an intern was exceptional. Everything I learned was invaluable. I just can’t wait to get to the point where I am comfortable enough to do it on my own. I know my homework is to become more familiarized with the technical terms and being able to communicate it with my peers. I am very appreciative and cannot wait for what is to come.

Joining the Army—my delusional fantasy…

One day, as I scrolled through my emails, I came across an email to join the military. I immediately become intrigued by the benefits that would be provided to me—especially the “100% tuition” payment. This offer came to me during a time I craved change in my life, and I can surely state that my life shifted this day. I decide to enlist to New York National Guard Army. Upon this journey, I was excited to take a break from school, as well as taking this time to expand my mind on the challenges I was capable of overcoming. By challenging myself in choosing a job that was related to electrical circuitry and mechanics, I did just that.

Moreover, during boot camp, after a couple of days, doubts began to cloud my mind, filling me up with “could I do this? Do I have what it takes to continue in the military?” thoughts. A few weeks later, after various training; jumping off walls, hiking, running miles and much more, I doubted my self even more, and questioned if it was all worth it. But, at that point, I thought the only way to get through it was to complete the training—it was going to make the experience easier. As I got deeper into the process, I realized that it was not the experience for me. Furthermore, now that I am back in New York it is a constant struggle to manage my college life and military responsibilities. For instance, when I’m required to attend training, the long traveling day from Oswego to Staten Island is exhausting. As well as having to leave the same day for another 7 hours in order to make it on time for my classes. One conclusion/opinion I can say from my personal experience is that the military is not made for everyone.

I thought that the military process would give me the confidence or the missing piece I was looking for. I got out of it twenty-one weeks later happy to be “free” but, I still didn’t feel content. Now that I look back at it, it was an experience that I could never forget, but wish I thought more beforehand. I thought my college tuition would be paid but since my mother makes such a low income, and I was already receiving the benefits that the military was offering from the very beginning. Additionally, I was upset because I wasted a semester of my college career to a delusional fantasy; this is what I needed to find myself, and graduate with fewer loans.

If I were to give advice to anyone interested in joining the military, I would say do your research. The support provided to students who embark on this journey from SUNY Oswego helps make the experience more pleasant for individuals. On campus, there is a room made just for military students to reach out with one another. The coordinator Ben Parker, also does a great job often offering lunches for veterans during the semester and much more. I know it may seem as if I have to only point out the good things about the army, as a member, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and proving my honest experience is important to me.

Community Service

There are plenty of ways to be a part of the Oswego community! Living in Johnson Hall prepared me to be involved on campus. Ever since freshmen year, I have tried to make an impact on the community. Below, you will find a list of opportunities to get you involved!

Permaculture (between Lee Hall and Shineman) –

I volunteered for the permaculture on campus. A campus environmental development community service opportunity, created and led by Grace Maxon—in which we were given the opportunity to harvest a fruits and vegetable garden. This event was a hard but rewarding experience. We had to dig, fertilize, and plant to make this happen.

Alternative Spring Break (Habitat for Humanity)- 

SUNY Oswego Habitat for Humanity offers volunteer opportunity during winter, spring, and summer breaks. There are numerous locations and different reasonings you go where you go. You are given the opportunity to choose the location with a small fee which covers food, gas, and housing. Some locations range year to year. This summer there was one for Puerto Rico. When I went, I went to Iowa to build a home for a well deserving family. We were only there for a few days during Spring break, but we were able to create all the walls, demolish the old home, and learned to use power tools. Within those five days, we were able to explore different states since it took 18 hours to drive there from Oswego. On the trip, I was able to go to Chicago for the first time and eat real deep dish pizza at the famous “UNO” restaurant.

Red Carpet Crew-

The Red carpet crew is a service that allows upperclassmen to assist resident halls to move in incoming students or returning students. The first day back to school is usually a hectic one, which is why this is such a great opportunity to relieve stress for students, families, and staff. Most students do this because they are able to come back to campus a few days earlier to have everything settled before everyone else comes to campus, while also providing great service to campus.

Mentor Oswego- 

Mentor Oswego is a program where college students go to a middle or high school in the Oswego community. Here you are able to reach out to the youth and talk about your experience and answer any questions they may have. When I did it, my job was to get to know a group of students who were having attendance issues and figure out ways to ensure 100% attendance. As a group, we played games, ate lunch, and talked about ourselves and our future aspirations. It was very enjoyable getting to know the kids from the community and build relationships with others.

Overall, I was happy to help and loved the experience of meeting new people. These are just a few community service opportunities available. There are much more and there can never be enough help!

Lakeside, Johnson Hall

Johnson Hall, as many refer to as the “freshmen” building. Located on the east side of campus, with easier entry to the lake—Truly captures the welcoming “vibe” of SUNY Oswego. Furthermore, as a previous student resident of this hall, I’ve encounter meaningful and unforgettable experiences. When I arrived at Oswego, after the five-hour drive from New York City, not knowing what the other halls looked inside other than Cayuga; I was happy for the upgrade. Johnson was one of the newly renovated buildings and still is in great condition. In my opinion, Johnson Hall is the best dorm hall to live in.

However, many may state otherwise. Individual students often complain about living in Johnson due to the requirement of ten-hour community service (per semester) commitment and a two-credit course (one credit per semester). Moreover, the two credit-course is not hard, most of the time we had activities to get to know the other freshmen in the hall. Many of the coursework was informational; learning about Oswego, clubs, programs, events, and helpful skills for school.

Lastly, one of the many benefits of living in Johnson is having a dining hall right inside the building. Which is extremely great during winter snow! The required work, like the community service, helps build your resume. And, the two credits are useful because you need to have a certain amount of electives. It is an easy course which helps with maintaining a good GPA. Tune in for next time to learn more about the different types of community service I have done and more.

Choosing a major

Before coming to Oswego I knew I had to major in Science, Technolgy, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM). I received a scholarship stating that my tuition would be paid during my undergraduate career. Only if I majored in one of those categories and lived in New York State for five years after graduating.

At first, I was happy to do so because I thought engineering was something I wanted to do. When I started my fall semester as a freshman I declared my major in Electrical and Computer Engineering. My schedule seemed manageable but I had to take both chemistry and physics while taking four other courses. I soon realized that I did not like science and lacked the knowledge because I did not take any advanced courses during high school. Which made me consider changing majors because this was something I did not want to struggle with to then regret it. Sadly, I lost my scholarship but I was happy to say that I was going to come out of college with a degree that I wanted.

Soon after I learned that Oswego had an office that helped with discovering a career path. This office is called “The Compass” which soon became my second or third home. They have many resources such as resume building, career fairs, and interview preparation. I suggest any student whatever level in college to take advantage even after graduating they are there to help. I took a personality test and career test which said that I was most likely going to enjoy art and business. Which helped me decide from all the different majors on campus what path to go to. I first started as a Graphic Design and Cinema and Screen Studies double major but felt that it was too many hours seating and staring at a screen. I  felt that my creative skills were not as good as the others and did not want to struggle to find a job after graduating. Which is why I decide to major in Marketing with a double minor in Art and Arts Management. It was the best of both worlds because it is art and business like the test results showed. My only regret is that I did not keep two majors but I have a diverse knowledge because of my path.

If I were to do it again I would have double majored in Art and Marketing but things happen for a reason. At the end of my college career, I honestly did not want to double major because I did not want to stay longer in college because of more loans. I only wish I would have known what career path I wanted before coming to college because that can really save students thousands of dollars. Another important money saving tip would be taking AP courses and CLEP exams which advances your graduation date.

Life as an EOP student

My fellow readers, it’s great to be back! Just a heads up I will be posting my blog every week so keep an eye out.

To begin, for those who aren’t aware of what the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) stands for: its an organization whose purpose is “to fulfill New York state’s commitment to provide access to higher education for historically underrepresented students who possess the potential to succeed in college, but whose academic preparation in high school has not fully prepared them to pursue college education successfully.” Additionally, in private universities, the Educational Opportunity Program is recognized as HEOP, and SEEK in CUNY schools. Professionals say that it is good to have diversity in the workplace because people can relate to others and think outside the box.

The EOP program provides students with additional financial assistance. In fact, despite the financial stress, EOP students have higher graduation rate than admitted students and become successful.

I am an EOP student from the class of 2014. My experience has been amazing at Oswego and before coming here, as an EOP student, we are given the opportunity to come for a month. During this month you get the chance to live on campus and experience the life of a college student. First, you will meet your peers and live in one of the residence halls. Many of the students are from different parts of New York so you meet people from a similar but different background. Which is great, since you meet people before you begin your first semester freshman year, causing it to be less overwhelming. Second, your classes will mostly consist of English and math in order to help transition high school students to the college life. Lastly, you will be assigned to an individual Academic Planning Counselor (APC) but you can go to whomever you feel comfortable with.

In addition, there will be peer leaders to guide you which are upperclassmen that inform you about Oswego and their experience. The peer leaders spend a lot of time creating activities so that you can bond with each other. I know this because I was a peer leader for the class of 2015. After my freshmen year, I wanted to gain those experiences I lost because I was not involved in my EOP class. Which is why I wanted to become a peer leader. It was a channeling experience but I recommend that everyone should apply even if you are not an EOP student. It is an opportunity to build leadership qualities and something to put on your resume.

Moreover, if given the opportunity to do it again, I would be more social and attend group activities. I was lucky enough to find true friends which is why I did not do much, but I suggest talking to everyone. You can never have too many friends and sometimes your freshmen year friends will not be the same friends you leave with. You will be assigned to an individual Academic Planning Counselor (APC) but you can go to whomever you feel comfortable with.

A goal I suggest as EOP students are to be a part of the Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society. I am a part of this and I have been a member since Spring 2016. To get into this honor society you must first maintain a 3.0 GPA for three consecutive semesters. Then you would be invited to be inducted as a member. It is an honor because not many EOP students are in it but I suggest to start off your freshmen year strong. Have a mindset of not going lower than a 3.o because freshmen year really does affect your whole college GPA. I mean I did not have a 4.0 at the end of my freshmen year but if you have that mindset you can reach close to it. There is plenty of great staff in EOP who are very friendly and there to support you.

Overall, what should you take away from this? Aim high because you were chosen to be in EOP. Do not be ashamed to admit your EOP because there are students who actually wish they were. Take advantage of all opportunities because you do not know where it will take you. Be an active student but remember that school always comes first. Make time for school and then everything will fall into place. Remember to be yourself because college is to grow as a person, not become someone new. At the end of your journey, you’re here to graduate so do not let anyone stop you!

It’s Kev

Greetings readers,

I would first like to say thank you for joining and welcome! I am excited to say this is my first blog. I am here to tell you about my life and my experience as a college student at SUNY Oswego.

Who am I? Yeah, cheesy I know a question I use to hate when I was younger now this is something I love to talk about. My name is Kevin but my close friends call me Kev, so hi am Kev. I am a senior majoring in Marketing and double minoring in Art and Arts Management. I have been on this crazy rollercoaster you call college. Its been an unforgettable four years and I still have a few months left.

Being from New York City and coming to Oswego was something I would have never imaged for myself. I used to be someone who hated school because I had a difficult time learning. Once I went to high school that all changed because I had top-notch grades. I was one of the top 10% of my graduating class and received a four-year scholarship. That did not come easy because high school was not the best experience. I went to three different high schools in three years but that’s another story for another day.

I wanted to come to SUNY Oswego because it was far from the Bronx and my mother. She and I had a difficult relationship and I needed to get away to find freedom and be an adult. I loved that Oswego offered great financial aid even though I had a scholarship but it only covered tuition, not housing expenses. I was also interested in the social life and read that parties were amazing, which was something I wanted to experience. I lived in a Dominican household that was strict and lived by my mother’s rules. Since I had changed so many high schools I did not have many friends and never went to a party other than family gatherings.

I can go on talking about myself but what makes Oswego so great is the environment; that makes it your home. Coming to Oswego helped me become who I am today. I have met many great people and learned many lessons. The view from the lake is like no other and it is something that is always constant. I hope you enjoyed reading a little about myself stay tuned for more!