Thoughts on My Last Semester

Hey everybody!

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged it up and I promise I will have something nice to blog about once my time frees up, but being a senior in your last semester can take a lot out of you.

Lately I’ve been focusing my time on getting my school work done and making sure my fraternity is running smoothly. I’ve been elected president of my fraternity for the Spring 2010 semester so being responsible for 30 or so guy’s everyday proves to be an around-the-clock job. I’m in the process of writing a bunch of papers and abstracts for my Creative Writing: Non-Fiction and Media Law class aside from my informative presentation on Greek life I just presented today for my Public Speaking course. I’m still working at Cooper Dining Hall, but I had to cut down on my hours so I had more time to get my school work done.

For my journalism capstone, I’m partnering up with my friends at Alumni Development to create a newsletter that’ll be focused more towards students who have graduated with a degree in Communications, Media, and the Arts. That’s on top of my 20-page paper that’s due sometime towards the end of the semester.

I’m supposed to be hearing back from graduate schools this month as to whether or not I’ve been accepted into their journalism program. After a hundred dollars in application fees and several weeks of application preparation and interviews, I’m ready to figure out what’s my next move in life.

It’s not all bad and stressful though. I’ve recently picked up a great girlfriend who’s as ridiculously awesome as I am. I also have this great class concerning culture in the media that has us look into the culture of pop in advertisements and the media. We write short papers and discuss certain topics like comedy in advertisements as well as how women are viewed in the media as well as men and why things are marketed the way they are. It’s a fun class, I recommend it.

I don’t mean to put a damper on any aspiring college graduate, but it definitely takes a lot to get to graduation. It’s all worth it in the long run when you walk up to the podium to grab that piece of paper you’ve been waiting all four years to receive.

I’m counting down the days till May.

Relieving the Pressures of Finals Week

Studious for Finals Week

So with the semesters end, finals week is steadily approaching. Around this time, the campus becomes a ghost town; 24-hour quiet hours are in effect for almost every resident hall, and the library becomes a temporary home for those looking to make the final push for better grades. For those who aren’t prepared, finals week can seem more like hell week with the overbearing load of final projects, papers, and exams.

For me, preparing for finals begins with my study area. Being someone who enjoys watching a room and multitasking, I tend to stay away from studying in my room to get more out of my schoolwork. The best thing I’ve found that works for me is finding a quiet area you usually don’t go to, but feel comfortable in. This place could be anywhere you see fit such as the calmest spot of the library or campus center.

After you have your area claimed and you’re ready to begin the trek of thick textbooks and endless notes and doodles, there should be some organization. The more organized your work is, the less time that’s spent looking for lost handouts and crumbled up loose-leaf papers.

A friend who is double majoring in two totally different fields has a notebook where she lists every project, paper, presentation, and final exam date that has to get done before she goes home for Winter Break. From there she can estimate what day she wants to get that particular item done and leaves a day towards the end of the week open for all the things she couldn’t get done during the week. This leaves her weekends open to be enjoyed.

Last but not least, taking occasional breaks is important when studying for finals. Rushing or plowing through any work or studying may result in excessive cramming and though it may seem like it saves time, it really mashes everything you’ve learned together. So when you’re taking a chemistry exam and can’t help but think about whom the president was during the Cuban missile crisis, you’re in some trouble. Taking a break from time to time and resting your brain with something that entertains you helps relieve the stress placed upon yourself about having to retain all this information.

Here’s a list of good things to do when breaking from studying.

With all these techniques, the best thing to do is to keep focused. The worst distracter is you. So keep yourself committed to the work you’re reviewing. And keep in mind in what ways what your reviewing can show up on your final exam and if it’s worth highlighting for remembering later on.

Good luck and I’ll see you in the library!

The Do’s and Don’ts of the Interview Process

So last week I made my way to Syracuse for an interview with a director of one of the Newhouse School graduate programs at Syracuse University. For those who aren’t familiar with Newhouse, it’s a school of communications that incorporates all types of media related learning. Held in similar regard to Oswego’s School of Business; Newhouse School the place to be for students serious about the future of media.

Through talking with my professors, my advisers, and friendly faculty, I’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for any important interview. As many people have told me throughout my life, a strong first impression can hold limitless possibilities. There’s no reason to throw that away on not being prepared.


-Make sure you have a portfolio that showcases your talent. Whether it is drawings, lesson plans, business proposals, or articles, make sure you have something that shows you can produce quality work.

-Research the position or program you’re trying to get into. If it shows you know what they’re talking about when they explain the program or position to you, it shows your dedication to what you’re trying to obtain and could give you a little advantage.

-Dress appropriately for the interview. That doesn’t mean wear a three-piece suit, but kakis or dress pants, button-up shirts, and a tie shows off your professional side. It also adds some seriousness to the interview and shows your interest.

-Be on-time. Usually for important interviews, if you’re just in time for your name to be called, you’re late. Give yourself ample time to get there also. Traffic and parking should never be an excuse.

-Keep good eye contact. There’s no need to make sure your eyes are completely glued to the interviewer since they might catch a creepy vibe from it, but make sure it seems than you’re interested in the conversation.

-Smile. Don’t make the interview process seem painstaking. Keep a good conversational tone, but still keep that professionalism that shows you’re serious about the interview.

-It’s helpful to have a list of questions for the interviewer. It further shows your interest and helps you get a better understanding of some things you may have been uncertain about.

-Be honest. Nobody likes a liar. It’s better to tell the interviewer you aren’t familiar with something than to lie and risk getting caught and embarrassed.

-Be yourself. Everyone has a personal trait that sets them apart from others. If it’s a positive trait, try to show it off a bit.

-Relax. Go with the flow of the interview. Don’t try to rush through anything.


Hopefully these tips can help you as much as they’ve helped me in my life thus far.

Good luck to my fellow SUNY Oswego 2010 graduates. Let’s finish out this semester strong and in one piece!

Owen does the Oswego Indie Series

The music scene is quiet around these parts. Unless you travel to Buffalo or Rochester, chances are you probably won’t find much live music. Thankfully, ARTSwego and WNYO college radio are teaming up to bring “The Indie Series” to Oswego State campus.

This month, the campus gets to indulge in the acoustic folk sounds of Owen. Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Owen is the brainchild of singer/songwriter Mike Kinsella. Mike is a well-known name in the Chicago indie scene, to say the least. Owen manages to take the unpolished and raw acoustic style of an old-school Bright Eyes while utilizing the sweet sincerity of other stringed instruments like violin and even cello. Mike plays virtually every instrument on all nine of his EP’s and albums.

Owens lyrics are pretty down to Earth. He sings about things going on in his everyday life, sort of like an angelic, teen Bob Dylan with girl problems (and a lot more fluid melody). It doesn’t leave much to the imagination, but it’s calming and soothing. Owen is more of a band to sleep and reflect to than to get amped.

No matter what you choose to do with your Friday night on October 16th, just remember for $5, you can catch a decent show with a bunch of people looking for the same thing; some good music to listen to.

Talk About Being Busy

There’s a lot of people on campus who spend their time reading, playing video games, or lounging around their dorm room.

I can’t be one of those people.

Even before school started I’ve been running around preparing for school, setting up social events for my Fraternity, and working at Cooper Dining Hall. It’s fun, but very tiring. I wake up at about 7:30 every morning and just go till the wee hours of the night. I’ve managed to steal away some more hours of sleep this past weekend, but no matter how many hours you sleep, you’ll always use up those hours and you’re back to where you started.

All this work is paying off though. I’m off to a good start with my classes, I’ve been raking in some money, and meeting a boat load of new people along the way thanks to my position as Social Chairman in my fraternity.

Life has been moving really quickly. But I feel even though it’s going at such a fast pace right now, it’s going to be all worth it. And I’m going to have the best time doing all this.

I’m a senior in college. It’s one last time to show this place what I have to offer. I’m going to do it right.