5 Studying Don’ts for Commuters


I know that feeling of commuting home from a long day’s work or classes and just wanting to go home after and grab your laptop and hopping on the couch to relax.  But does this really help you learn or even bring motivation, while going to college?? I think not!!  Such as this example, which was a HUGE distraction for me.  So, I’m sharing these 5 Studying Don’ts and I also provided some handy tips that have worked for me throughout each semester.  I’d like to share these tips to help you get much closer to become an awesome and educated student.  The better my grades are, the more opportunities I have ever had before.

Here we go … 🙂


1. Don’t get too comfy on the couch and set yourself up an ‘office’ with as close as you can get ‘desk’, and this helps with getting rid of distractions.  Or put a desk in your room where there is a door you can close for a certain period of time you planned for school.

2. Don’t dehydrate yourself and drink LOTS OF WATER.  This can help you feel focused and refreshed, as staying hydrated is very important for every student to keep their brain strong to obtain a lot of information.  Put a lemon in your water, if plain water is getting too boring to drink after a while.

3. Don’t think your life sucks right now (ha-ha) because it will all be all worth it when you receive that diploma, in the end.  I will talk myself into how having good grades could potentially help me in my future.  I think most jobs know that a lot of young adults have their degree, but not all have really good grades and that takes determination from the student.

4. Don’t eat junk food or eat too late at time.  A way to not binge eat at night is by going TO BED at a decent hour.  You should reward yourself with a ‘sweet treat’ when you complete a planned study or assignment.

5. Don’t cram your work and try harder when it comes to planning and time-management for studying and assignments, etc.  It’s important to be organized and to divide up the school work between the days of the week, and maybe even on Sunday nights.  It won’t be like this forever and if I can do it then you can do it!!!


I never found myself going to the library unless it was to get together with the groups from my classes, for the project we have to complete together.  Places where there are a lot of people, seems to be distracting for me.  So, at home I have found that using a ‘HUGE’ desk calendar has saved me!!   Also, having the option in my house to have an office with a desk.  This room is separate from the rest of the house and has NO DISTRACTIONS. When I get in there, I am in the zone and can focus, kind of like when I am at work!  If you don’t have this option then choose an area where you can’t hear sounds that much in your place.  There is the option of going to Penfield library, which is huge and has computer labs and printer access, etc.

Good luck with your studies Lakers.  Comment below if you find any of these to be interesting, if any have worked for you or if you have certain tips of your own that you have found very useful as a commuter.


Food, Yoga, and Trying New Things


At the beginning of this semester, I promised myself one thing I would do before I graduate in May: Try as many new things as possible. It’s March 1st and I’ve accomplished a lot already.

One thing I really wanted to try was ACTUALLY cooking some meals instead of just putting frozen food in an oven or microwave or ordering from Dominos. During winter break, I found as many recipes online as I could based on my capability and my budget. On one of my first nights back in my Village house, I made lo mein and teriyaki chicken, as seen in the photo above. I gotta admit, I was extremely proud of myself for being able to make it. Since then, I’ve promised I would cook something at least once a week. I’ve been able to make garlic and parmesan zucchini fries, banana pancakes, crescent pizza rolls, and even edible cookie dough.

While all that food tasted delicious, I needed to be able to work it off somehow. I absolutely love going to the gym, but sometimes going on the treadmill and machines at 7 o’clock in the morning just wasn’t enough for me. I was looking around the list of group exercise classes available at Cooper and Glimmerglass gyms and found one that caught my eye: Strengthening Yoga.

I never took a yoga class in my life. I was a little nervous about it. However, when I did take it, I felt completely relaxed and at peace with myself. Yes some of the positions were a little tricky and I fell onto my mat a couple times. When I did fall, I was laughing it off and trying to keep up with the rest of the class.

Going on with the theme of working out, I took another group exercise class one night where my instructor had us hold a plank for one minute. I typically held mine for about 30 to 40 seconds, but I was extremely proud of myself when I was able to hold mine for a minute. Now I make sure to always include it in my workout routine.

College is about trying new things, whether you’re a first semester freshman or a second semester senior. I encourage those who read this post to try something new, whether it’s cooking a delicious meal or trying to do a crazy yoga pose.


You must acknowledge this to succeed!

Hello, fellow students!

I hope your semester is going well. As I stated in my intro post, along with spending time outdoors I enjoy sharing thoughts of encouragement occasionally.

I recently have felt the need to share some thoughts with you to help keep you motivated this semester.

College offers so much more than just your class at 8 A.M.  you struggle to wake up for. The college nightlife, or our beloved sports. These are some components that make our great college experience, but to me, there is so much more you should be aware of.

TIME. In college, we have an abundance of time to try different things, be successful in some and fail in others. High school was your last chance to acquire a free education. if you are reading this right now, you have made quite an investment in yourself, and to whom much is given much is required. Weekends are not just meant for catching up on sleep, you can actively pursue your main interests. Most of us don’t have a full-time job in college, which gives you no excuse as to why you might not have the time to figure out what you want to do in life. You have prolonged your education and absence from the full-time workforce by deciding to participate in higher learning. With the occasional exception for having fun, how important your success is to you, will be determined, by the effort you put NOW!

Most of us don’t have a full-time job in college, which gives you no excuse as to why you might not have the time to figure out what you want to do in life. You have prolonged your education and absence from the full-time workforce by deciding to participate in higher learning. With the occasional exception for having fun, how important your success is to you, will be determined, by the effort you put NOW!

There are clubs on campus you can join, to gain experience in an area you might be interested in, and many internships and job opportunities, that allow you to continue your studies, and build your resume. I have already started building mine, are you? When an employer compares our resumes how will yours stand up?   This is the time you can really push ahead of the crowd and focus on your passion. I want all of my fellow Oswego alumni to stand out!


I intend to make a few more points about other suggested benefits we have as students in future posts, but that’s all for now folks. have a productive day!

Her Definition of Thanksgiving

What did Thanksgiving mean to me?

  • Chicken (not turkey)
  • My siblings and I texting the first time since the summer ended
  • Reflecting on what to be thankful for other than the obvious…Christmas
  • Playing Christmas music
  • Eating without regrets, until I stand up and feel the anchor hold

Thanksgiving is a time where we can either be with family or treat others like family.

I was so happy to see many of my friends willing this semester to get out of their regular routine of Thanksgiving (whatever it may be) and look to their neighbors who may be homeless or without specific needs.

This Thanksgiving I stayed back on-campus, and found that Oswego made many efforts to serve the homeless and even those on the college campuses who were without. There was a restaurant that opened itself up throughout the day, just to give free meals on Thanksgiving. There were churches that availed themselves to give those in need, the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, which is to gather like a family.

Did I celebrate Thanksgiving?

Yes! Thankfully, the advisors of the BASIC club, Anthony and Annette DiPierro invited me to their Thanksgiving dinner table. It was amazing! I had never experienced a Thanksgiving like their own.

That Thanksgiving holiday, we met like family, we ate like family, and we told our own stories and experiences like a family. That night, Anthony said something interesting. He said Thanksgiving is not about the food, it’s about the company.

What does Thanksgiving mean to me?

  • Company
  • Chicken (and maybe a lil-bit-a Turkey)

Before your food coma…

I’m sitting in my warm home with my mother realizing halfway through making pumpkin pie that she only has enough to make one pie and not two while my sister is trying to show me different things she wants to do with her Pre-K students. My sister’s fiance is in the garage fixing his truck. My dad is out working in the cold; unfortunately, he doesn’t get today off.

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and as I’m writing this, I don’t need to think hard about what I’m thankful for. I have a home and people who love me. I have fantastic friends, and I’m fortunate enough that I have the ability to pursue a college education. I’m lucky that I had Friendsgiving on Sunday and Thanksgiving with my family tomorrow.

As much as I’m happy and grateful for everything in my life, I don’t want this post to be a laundry list. Instead, I would like to ask that anybody reading this remember what they are thankful for and make sure to spread extra love and kindness this holiday season, whether that is at the dinner table or in life in general. Don’t let Aunt Sue’s political opinions or Grandpa Jerry’s food complaints get you down. Love is what is important. Happy Thanksgiving!

Mom's not impressed with this pie. She's having an off-day for pie making

Mom’s not impressed with this pie. She’s having an off-day for pie making.

Thanks For Giving!


Thanksgiving is coming up in only a few short days. For college students, it’s the time to come home to family and friends, whether they’re one hour or eight hours away. First year students are telling their family members how incredible the campus is, while seniors graduating in December are preparing their resumes and are starting to say their goodbyes.

Aside from the home cooked meals and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the family, Thanksgiving for me literally means “Thank you for giving.” It’s not only a way to say “Thank you” to your friends, family, and people who support you, but a “Thank you” to yourself. Without making it sound arrogant, thank yourself for making it in college. For upperclassmen, thank yourselves for making it this far in your career. You went out there to make friends, join clubs and organizations, get good grades, try new things, learn to cook and find happiness. Give yourself a pat on the back and thank yourself.

Not only should you thank yourself, but thank the people who helped you get this far.

I’m thankful for my family back downstate (err…somewhat downstate) for sticking with me during my time in college. I always take it upon myself to call my mom and dad every week and text my little sister whenever she’s bored in school. They’ve gotten me through my best weeks and my worst weeks. I can’t wait to see you all again soon.

I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made here at Oswego, who have all not only been supportive of the things I’ve done, but have also pushed me to do better and try new things. I’m proud to be a Topper thanks to the many different friends I’ve made at WTOP-10. I’m proud to be a writer and editor at Her Campus thanks to the girls who have been supportive of my work and have helped me fine tune my passion for writing.

I’m thankful for the professors and supervisors who have pushed me to be a better writer, student, and professional human being.

I’m thankful for my housemates this semester who’ve included me in their conversations and their downtime watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians and that reality show with the boats (I still don’t know the name of it). I may be the person who hides in my room doing work or is constantly running out of the house all the time (especially early in the morning), but I’m grateful to have such sweet housemates like you guys. We exceed expectations.

I’m thankful for the many things I did this semester, like organize the Intern Queen event, become a first year peer advisor and become an assistant news producer and reporter.

I’m thankful for the Oswego sunsets I was able to see and take corny Instagram photos of. I’m thankful for Dominos, my savior during the long weekends of doing nothing but work. I’m thankful for the Chai Lattes at Lake Effect Cafe that have helped me stay awake during the day. I’m thankful for the pianos all over campus that help me unwind and de-stress during my busy days.

Not only do I thank myself for what I’ve done, I thank those who have been by my side and have made me feel proud of who I am.

Be thankful of the things you’ve accomplished and be proud of yourselves. Find something to be thankful for, whether it’s your puppy back home or your best friend in college. Most importantly, be thankful of yourself for accomplishing everything you’ve done.

To all of my family members and friends, I thank you.

Networking 101

Hello everyone!

Whether you are a Communications, Accounting, Health Science, or Education major (etc.) it is so important to begin networking now. I would like to tell you a little story about WHY it is so crucial to network.

When I was applying for internships I had no idea where to start. I began discussing with my Mother possible internships I could apply to, which leads to network one. My Mother set me up with her friend who worked at Newsday Media Company, which is the Long Island Newspaper. From there I was able to land an interview in the Event Marketing Department. I got the internship! At Newsday I met so many great employees. Some who I actually stayed in touch with, which leads to network two. Here at Newsday I met Kim. Kim and I worked very closely together on the events Newsday would be holding. It wasn’t until Kim and I discovered that we were in the same sorority that our friendship expanded.

It is so important to maintain these relationships we make. I reached out to Kim after my internship ended and asked her if she had any connections with anyone at a Radio Station. This is where network number three comes in. Kim set me up with Joe from Connoisseur Media Long Island. This Media Company is the home of five Long Island stations. I was able to send Joe an email because I was already back in Oswego. In the email I stated that unfortunately I  was already back in Oswego, but would love to send him my resume. His response back to me left me speechless. Joe responded with “I would do anything to be back in Oswego”. I was able to send Joe my resume and land an interview at this Media Company. I became a Promotions Intern. After my internship ended I got hired to work on the Events Team.

To sum this all up, I want everyone to be aware with whom they meet. You never know what networking with people can do for your future.


#LakerTakeover: 24-Hour Theatre Festival

Our most recent #LakerTakeover on Instagram featured Spencer Ventresca showcasing the theatre department’s 24-Hour Play Festival, which saw writers, cast and crew hastily create, assemble and stage a new production.

Hack Upstate, Fall ’13

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”  -William James

Hi Readers,

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a local engineering event open to the public (provided advanced registration was duly made online) called Hack Upstate, which this year, was held at “The Tech Garden” in nearby Syracuse. This was a gathering of bright minds from all over New York state, who got together with the sole purpose of seeing what kinds of crazy projects could be attempted (and even more, completed!) over the course of an ever-so-short 24 hour window. The word “hack” in the name might imply a certain affinity for computer programming, and while there were certainly a majority of code projects on display, the competition is not limited to them in any way. There were some incredible feats of electrical and computer engineering accomplished for such a short amount of work time, and that is just the tip of the iceberg! The purpose of the competition is to utilize existing technologies in interesting ways – apart from that, there are virtually no restrictions on what can be attempted.

The Gathering Room

The Presentation Room

There were people from all walks of life present – even non tech-oriented types who simply had ideas they wanted to see realized. It truly was a melting pot for innovation. One group materialized a web-based game utilizing the popular Bandcamp website, wherein players could vote on randomly generated bands in order to find the so-called “best band on Bandcamp”. Another group created a website where stories are dynamically created by the users of the site – any user could add new branches or alternate endings, etc.. to an existing story, at will. Cool stuff.

Now, this probably sounds like all work and no fun, right? Think again! Organized by the show-runners of Syracuse Startup Weekend, Hack Upstate is a less formal event that takes place twice a year, and is a rockin’ good time meant to encourage interaction amongst the participants in fun ways. It starts with idea pitching, where anyone can come up in front of the audience and try to sell their idea to everyone in the hopes of finding talent to help work on it. After the competition begins, its just a party, with practically unlimited pizza and subs and free reign to do pretty much whatever you want. (There’s even an award given to the most social/engaging group of the competition!) A few of us groups got together and decided to go to a local venue nearby and do work while listening to some live music – truly a memorable experience.

Funk N Waffles

Enjoying some jams at Funk N Waffles while coding away!

Repping Oswego was myself and recent alumni Nick Poorman, a former Computer Science major and founder of Regattable, a startup operating out of the Tech Garden in Syracuse. Being a relatively new event with little publicity, it is understandable that not more of us techies from Oswego showed up. However, I am going to go ahead and use this as an opportunity to call on all tech majors at Oswego (Computer Science, IS, ECE, etc…) to bring yourselves and your “A” game to the next event in the Spring! So, join Hacker League today and keep an eye peeled for the upcoming Hack Upstate in Spring 2014. Hopefully I’ll see you all there!

Any questions or comments you have about the event, its organizers, or who the winners were, submit in the comments below!


Leadership Skills – A.K.A. How to be a Good Community Member

If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.

-Henry Ford

You may not have known it at the time, but when you decided to come to SUNY Oswego, you entered into a sort of social contract. By making the choice to pursue a higher education degree, you have made the choice to be part of a community. The  community you and I belong to is called SUNY Oswego. The most important part of your end of the contract is your obligation to go to classes and do the work for them, but there is another part of that contract which may not be so obvious: being a valuable member of your community at large. The college has multiple avenues for being active in the greater community, but there is one common thread which holds them all together: you. Without student members of the extracurricular organizations and offices, there would hardly be anything to write home about at this school. And while you may not think your role in whatever group(s) you are a part of is particularly important, it most definitely is. If you take these bits of advice and try to behave more like a leader in your organization, you might see it spring to life and gain more influence and credibility in the community at large.

1. Confidence is key.

We’ve heard it a  million times, but it can’t be stressed enough. If you know what you are talking about (or at least act like you do), people are more likely to listen and believe. But this isn’t about just being outgoing for no reason; I mean to say that if you work hard on something, it will show in the way you talk about it. So, sometimes it isn’t enough to talk the talk if you don’t have something good and tangible to back it up.

2. Dedicate time.

This appears to me to be one of the most common problems facing young student leaders. It is very difficult to set aside time for something when the first thing you learn about college life is the breadth of opportunities and activities available to you as a student. But if you can hone in on a few things and really set aside the hours for them, you will soon find people looking up to you and appreciating your effort and dedication to your club or activity.

3. Organize.

If you can find some solid, meaningful, and well-defined goals for your time here at SUNY Oswego, you’re already two steps ahead of the competition. A good way to do this is to start big and work your way down. Find a few broad goals for yourself and compartmentalize them into smaller, more specific tasks, and keep working your way down more and more until you have found yourself in the possession of a set of tasks that are very easy and not stressful individually.

4. Enjoy what you do.

Most importantly, don’t force anything upon yourself. If an activity is not naturally part of your life, you might find yourself often unmotivated to pursue it. This may seem like common sense to some, however I can say from personal experience and first hand observation that it is very easy to feel the need to do something simply out of obligation to friends or maybe because you feel forced to. The trick is to enjoy helping others in the ways that you most easily can afford to.

Hopefully some of these tips stick with you throughout your college career, and hopefully I have helped you make some connections in your mind on what it truly means to be active and a good member of your community. This is an important skill set, one which will greatly enhance your personal and professional life – after all, that’s what we’re going to college for in the first place, right?