5 Tips I Wish I Knew When I was a Freshman

Hi everyone! With spring in the air (sort of) and April fast approaching, I’m sure everyone is getting anxious about their upcoming freshman year (or transferring to a new school). In light of upcoming events, I thought you would all like to know some basic tips for survival for your first year at a new school!

1. Less is more, especially when it comes to packing for your first year living in the dorms! Trust me, I had two cars full of my stuff when moving into my dorm freshman year! And also trust me when I say I did not use even half of the things I brought with me. You might think you need those shoes you haven’t touched in two years “just in case”, but they will be just fine staying in your closet at home until you come back.

2. THE FRESHMAN 15 IS REAL! You might think this is a myth, but I can assure you it is not. This might be a sad truth to realize, but it is better to stay on top of this then realize it when it is too late. You can join the gym on campus, participate in intramural sports with your friends, or even try out yoga!

3. Come into college with some money in your pocket! Whether it be from working all summer, or with a little help from your parents, you are going to need some cash in order to get through. There are even some employment opportunities on campus!

4. You don’t have to buy all of your books from the bookstore!!! (sorry Oswego). There are many alternatives to purchasing your textbooks full price from the college store. See if someone on campus is selling the book(s) you need, check online, etc. You could even find out if the textbook for your course has been placed on reserve at the library by your professor, then you can use it for free!

5. Don’t make yourself sick stressing about your grades. When I was a freshman, I came into college not knowing what to expect when entering my classes that first semester. YOU ARE GOING TO RECEIVE A BAD GRADE AT SOME POINT IN YOUR COLLEGE CAREER (or two, or three…) but this is nothing to be ashamed of or worry about too much. The best thing to do in this case is set up a meeting with your professor to see where you went wrong, and learn from this mistake to prevent it from happening again in the future. It happens to everyone!

I hope you all found these tips helpful! πŸ™‚

Tips for Living in the Dorms

Hey guys! It has been a few months since my last blog post, this semester has been crazy busy for everyone I am sure. With so many high school seniors deciding to come to Oswego in the fall, I thought this would be the perfect time to write a blog about living in the dorms. Living in the dorms is a chapter in your college career that you will always cherish, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. There are many pluses to living in the dorms, but it definitely isn’t all fun and games all of the time. You meet some of your best friends living in the dorms, learn how to take care of yourself, learn to live with another person (friend or stranger) and so much more. If you are nervous about living in a room with another person (for possibly the first time in your life), being away from your home, and all of the natural feelings that come with starting college, then you should find these tips extremely helpful!

1. Don’t be closed minded (and don’t keep your door closed!)
During the first few months of college, you will meet so many people you won’t be able to keep track. You will think you found your best friends, and the next thing you know you meet more people and suddenly you don’t know how you lived 18 years without them. When living in the dorms, most times the first friends you meet are the people on your floor. With that being said, during the day when you are just hanging out in your room, keep your door open! You might not believe me now, but I met all of my best friends living in the dorms, and many of them introduced themselves to me by simply walking past my door and saying hi. You will meet so many people this way, so like I said, keep your door open!!

2. Lock your door when you are sleeping or not home!
Following my first tip of keeping your door open, make sure you only do that when you are actually in your room. You might become best friends with everyone who lives on your floor and think that no one would steal from you. That is not the case. During my two years living in the dorms, I heard countless stories of people getting their things stolen right out of their rooms. This isn’t anything you should be scared about or worry about too much, it is 100% preventable if you just lock your door when you aren’t home!

3. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate!
We all go into college thinking that our roommate is going to be our best friend. And for many people, that is the case! But for some, like me, it does not work out the way that you hoped. My roommate transferred the third week of college, and I had three roommates my freshman year because of it. But it didn’t even come close to ruining my college experience! If the same thing happens to you, or you and your roommate just gravitate towards different friends, it is okay! Don’t let it get you down, I made other friends and I promise that you will too.

4. Some days you are going to miss home
Living in the dorms, being surrounded by your friends, and making your own decisions for the first time is a great feeling. But some days you are going to miss home, and that’s normal! It may seem like it is years and years away, but graduation comes faster than you think. The semesters and your college years will fly by, so enjoy the time that you have now. When you miss home, call a parent or a friend! Ask if someone from home would be willing to come see you for a day or a weekend, or even ask for some homemade cookies to be sent to the dorms for you to share with your friends. Even just talking to someone from home will make you feel a little bit better.

5. Don’t wish it all away
When living in the dorms, sometimes you will find yourself wishing for the day you will move off campus with your friends, graduate college, or even move home and commute to school. Don’t do this!!! Even if you do decide to transfer, commute, or move off campus, I promise you will miss living in the dorms (even if its just a little). So don’t wish it away! The time will come when you move out of the dorms for good, and even if it wasn’t your favorite thing in the world, you will still miss at least one thing about it. Enjoy it while it lasts!

I hope you all found this helpful! πŸ™‚ Good luck and remember, it all goes by so much fast than you think. ENJOY IT!! πŸ™‚

Study Tips

Hi everyone!! Finals week is upon us, and we all know what that means….it’s time for us to start studying. This may be the most dreaded point in the semester, but it will be worth all of your hard work once you receive your grades in a few short weeks. With that being said, here are some tips that you may find useful while trying to cram in all that studying.

1. Don’t study everything the night before! This will leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Start a few days before and break everything you need to know into sections. This is a way more effective way to learn.

2. Don’t get too comfortable! Many of us love to study from the comfort of our own bed, but that is not the best way to get a lot of work done. If we are too comfortable, our mind will go elsewhere and we won’t get as much does as we originally hoped. Get out of your bed and crack open those books!

3. Go to the library! There is one on every college campus for a reason. They are a helpful tool many people hate to use, but it is almost necessary when trying to study for finals.

4. Don’t forget to take a break! We are all swamped with work at this point in the semester, but that doesn’t mean you can constantly work without any time for yourself. It is important to set aside time to relax and do something you enjoy each day, even if that is just laying on the couch and watching TV. If we take breaks, we are more likely to come back to the tasks we have to complete more energized and ready to go.

I hope these tips help! Don’t forget to take care of yourself this week and remember, this will all be over before we know it! Good luck on finals!! πŸ™‚

Turn That Frown Upside Down

Here we are everyone, approaching the final week of classes! We all have a million things on our minds at this point, and reading this blog probably isn’t on your list of things to do (haha!!) Because we are all faced with countless deadlines and amounts of stress at this time of the year, I wanted to remind everyone of 5 reasons you should keep smiling (even though it might be painful!) We are almost there!!

1. Smiling can improve one’s mood! Even if you’re having the worst day ever, a smile can do the trick. It sound kind of creepy, but just sit where you are and smile for a second! I promise it will make you feel a little bit better. πŸ™‚

2. Smiling actually improves our productivity! You are more likely to be in a good mood when you are smiling, therefore your good mood will lead you to getting more work done. I swear I am not making this up, scientists have proven it!!

3. Smiles are contagious!!! Try to smile at someone who is sitting near you. I know it may sound strange, but there is almost a 100% chance they will smile back. It is how our brains are wired, if they don’t smile back at you that means they are putting in a conscious effort to do so. Spread some smiles around campus!! πŸ™‚

4. Smiling makes you more approachable. This might sound obvious, but during this stressful time of the semester, don’t you want to be someone that people feel safe around? We all need people to talk to when we are stressed out, and if you keep smiling, people will know they can confide in you. Even if you just give a stranger a simple smile without saying anything, this may improve their day more than you know.

5. If you are in such a horrible mood that smiling seems nearly impossible, don’t worry, I have a solution for you! Scientists say even a fake smile will do the trick. Even if you have to force it, try to smile. It has been proven that you can still benefit from fake smiles! Go ahead, try it!! πŸ™‚

We are all stressed and pressed for time, but that does not mean there isn’t any time for smiles! Put a smile on your face during the next couple weeks we have left of the semester, you will feel so much better. πŸ™‚

What I am Thankful for This Holiday Season

As the holidays are quickly approaching and we all head home for Thanksgiving break, I can’t help but think about the things I am thankful for, especially the things SUNY Oswego has brought me. We all have our own personal memories and things we love about Oswego that we cherish, but I want to share mine with you guys in the spirit of the season.

The number one thing I am thankful for, by far, are the friendships and relationships SUNY Oswego has given me. Without the friendships and professional relationships I have made throughout the past two and a half years, I would not be the person I am today. We are all on our own path in life, and I believe the people we meet along the way play a part in all of our stories. I am beyond thankful for the people I have met thus far, and am looking forward to meeting new people during the time that I have left at this school.

I am also thankful for the education I am earning. Not everyone gets to attend college and earn a degree like so many of you reading this get to, and I think that is something we all often forget. We are all wrapped up in our classes, friends, and extra curricular activities. We don’t always take time to stop and think about how lucky we really are to be attending college, something that so many people can only dream of. I am extremely thankful for the education that SUNY Oswego is providing me with, and always will be.

Lastly, I am thankful for all of the beautiful sunsets I have gotten to see while attending this school. There is nothing like looking at the sky and seeing an amazing Oswego sunset, and it is something that has always brought me peace and comfort, even on the worst days. SUNY Oswego would not be the same without it’s famous sunsets.

There are many other things I am thankful for, but this is them in a nut shell. Attending college has changed who I am as a person in the best way possible, and that is something I will always be thankful for. During this holiday season, make sure you stop and think about all the things you are thankful for. Happy Holidays!

The Season of Giving Thanks

Hi Everyone!

It’s that time of year again! Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I’m sure everyone is scrambling to get all of their work done before heading home for a few days for a much needed break. With the holidays being such a happy time in most of our lives, we have to remember that there are those out there who are less fortunate than many of us that we may forget about during such exciting times. These people need a Thanksgiving meal too, and if you are looking for a way to help and to give back to the community, I have the perfect solution for you. Dr. Isiah Brown teaches management here at SUNY Oswego, and he has made it his mission to collect canned goods to donate to the Food Bank of Central New York. If you would like to participate in the food drive he is holding, just drop as many cans as you would like off to his office in 108 Rich Hall. If he is not there, you can leave it with someone at the desk. Most people in the building know of the food drive he has put together, so they will be sure to pass the items along to him. Dr. Brown will be collecting canned goods in his office until Friday November 16, 2017. Every little thing helps, so even if you only have one canned good, feel free to drop it off! Take a picture with your canned goods for a chance to be featured on the SUNY Oswego SnapChat!

Have a great week and an amazing Thanksgiving break!

Registration Time

Hi guys! Here we are again, registration time. We all know the stress that comes along with this time of the semester. Registering for class can be an intense, nail biting experience while trying to make sure you get into all the classes you want for the perfect schedule. Here are some tips to ensure you don’t miss out on any classes while making your schedule!

1. Make multiple schedules! it is never a good idea to rely solely on the first mock schedule you create. Things change, classes fill up, and you don’t want to be left scrambling to find classes at the last minute because your original schedule didn’t work out.

2. Make an appointment with your advisor before registration! This will help you to be sure you are taking classes that will keep you on track for graduation. You don’t want to waste your time taking classes that won’t count toward your major or minor.

3. If a class you really need to take is full, try reaching out to the professor. There isn’t a guarantee that they will let you be added to the class, but it is worth a shot!

And most importantly, always keep an open mind. Many times the original schedule you wanted won’t workout, but that just means it wasn’t met for you. Don’t let it get you down, just tweak it a little bit and it’ll all workout for the best!

Good luck with registration!

End of the Semester Stress: How to get Through the Next few Weeks

At this time of year, we all hit a wall. It is hard to juggle work, school, homework, physical fitness, mental health, and a social life. We all wonder at times, how do people do it? There are simple steps to follow each day in order to lower our stress levels and keep our minds in check during this crazy time in the semester. If you are feeling down, worn out, or just need a little break, follow these steps and I guarantee you will be feeling stress free in no time!

1. Meditate.

2. Workout (Running, yoga, walking, etc). This will boost your mood and leave you feeling great!

3. Focus on your breathing for at least 5 minutes. You will feel centered and more focused on the task at hand.

4. Call up a friend and just talk for a while. This will help get your feelings out and leave you feeling less stressed.

5. Listen to music and dance!

These are just a few of the many exercises you can do to reduce stress. This time of the semester is stressful for everyone, but with the right mind set and motivation you will get through it!

Family and Friends Weekend

Hi Everyone! Family and friends weekend is just around the corner (October 20, 21 and 22), and for many of us this will be the first time we are seeing our families since leaving them in August. If the long awaited arrival of your friends and family has you jumping for joy, then here are a few things for you to do over the weekend to ensure everyone has a good time!

Friday, October 20

1. Rice Creek Tours! This will be taking place from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Rice Creek Field Station on Thompson Road. Come out and visit the new facility.

2. Go to open skate from 11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. in Marano Campus Center! Admission is free with an Oswego student ID and skate rental is $3.

3. Splash-In Movie! Bring your bathing suit and enjoy the movie Moana while swimming in the pool located in Lee Hall at 7 p.m. Admission is free!

4. The Theatre Department Presents: “Clybourne Park” Bring your family and friends over to Tyler Hall for the showing of this play. The show starts at 7:30, admission to the public is $15 and student admission is $7. Don’t miss out on this awesome show!

Saturday, October 21

1. Head over to the Mini Carnival! It is located in Swetman Gym in Marano Campus Center from 1-3 p.m. This event is free for students! Come out and enjoy food, fun and games with your friends and family.

2. Love astronomy? You’re in luck! There will be a planetarium show at 2 p.m. in Shineman Center. Seating is limited, call the box office to reserve your tickets now! (315-312-3073) (UPDATE: This is sold out.)

3. Haven’t taken a photo together in a while? Enjoy a complimentary family photo from 2:30-3:30 in Marano Campus Center room 151! This will be a great way to remember the weekend.

4. Men’s Soccer vs. SUNY Cortland. If you and your family love sports, this would be a great way to enjoy a fall Saturday afternoon. The game starts at 4 p.m. on the Laker turf. Don’t miss out!

Last but not least…bring your family and friends to the lake! Oswego is home to one of the most beautiful lakes in Upstate New York, and the best sunsets! Don’t let your friends and family miss out on this awesome experience.

For more events taking place this weekend, visit www.oswego.edu/campus-life/schedule!! Enjoy the weekend everyone!

I Am Oz Speaker: Kate Fagan

Hi everyone!

I know my blog entry is a few days late this week, and that is because I wanted to wait until I attended the I Am Oz Speaker event that took place Tuesday night before writing this week’s blog post. The reason that I want to center my blog around Kate Fagan, an ESPN sports anchor and journalist, is because she has inspired so many young college students to be who they truly are and find what they love in this world. As a college student writing for an audience mainly of college students, I believe we all can learn so much from Kate and the journey she endured during her time as a college athlete and her years beyond that.

While Kate was speaking, she addressed the issues that commonly occur among college students. The issues of depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses occur on college campuses on a daily basis, and no matter how hard the college tries to address these issues, there are always people who go unnoticed. I wanted this post to be for those people. The people who feel like they are alone, who feel as if no one notices the struggles that they are facing. Whether it is transitioning into college, trouble with friends, grades, or something even deeper than that, college students everywhere need to know that they are not alone. Here at SUNY Oswego, our campus provides many resources that people may not even know about, and these resources help students work through difficult times they are facing. Here is a list of resources any student on our campus can use for free if they are facing challenges in any area of life:

  1. Counseling Servies Center (www.oswego.edu/counseling-services) The counseling center can be used for anyone who is dealing with a life change, personal problems they would like to discuss, or just need someone to talk to. They provide a variety of services, and you can find these services and their phone number on their website (which I posted above).
  2. The Compass (www.oswego.edu/career-services/compass-navigators) The compass is an outlet for students who need help with any challenges they may be facing regarding their future careers. The compass is full of professionals and staff who can help you build your resume, cover letter, or just talk with you about your future and where you are hoping to move on to after your time at SUNY Oswego.
  3. Student Resources (www.oswego.edu/ols/student-resources) Student resources is a tool provided to students through the Office of Learning Services at SUNY Oswego. This tool provides students with tips about how to take notes, maintain good grades, and how to figure out what they are good at. This can help students get a handle on their academics and help prevent future stress that may be caused by classes.

There are many more resources out there, but these are just a few of the very important ones that students should be taking advantage of while on campus. College campuses are huge and filled with people, but it is so easy to end up feeling alone. But the truth is, you are not alone! Chances are the people that live in your dorm or the person who sits next to you in class feels the same way that you do. Don’t bottle up your emotions! It is okay to talk to people about how you feel and figure out exactly what it is that will help you. Even if SUNY Oswego does not have exactly what you need, there are people here who are more than willing to make connections for you and get you the help that you need and deserve. Take advantage of everything the campus has to offer! You won’t regret it.