Greek Life Through The Eyes of a Sorority Woman

Joining a sorority at SUNY Oswego was one of the best things that I have done during my time here. I never had a sister before joining my sorority and these women quickly accepted me as one of their own. I have met my absolute best friends and my future bridesmaids and I have Delta Phi Epsilon to thank for that.

It really saddens me when greek life is talked about so negatively. I have been a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon for almost two years now and I have gained so many skills just from this organization. In my two years of being a sister I have been a leader in not only my chapter’s eyes but in the eyes of the entire greek community. Within the greek community here at SUNY Oswego, there are many minor councils and programs one being “Lettered Leaders.” Throughout this program, I learned what it takes to be a leader within the greek community. The following semester, I had the opportunity to be a facilitator for the program, where I taught newer members of our community on how to be a leader. I have also been an executive board member of G.A.M.M.A. (Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol). During my time on this E-Board, I worked with members from other chapters to give the greek community a better reputation. Other than these councils and programs that help greeks gain leadership skills, my sorority has allowed me to network with others more than I have ever imagined. My sorority has over 70,000 sisters because it is an international sorority in both the United States and Canada. Having so many sisters has benefitted me in many ways, one being an interview that I had last week for a possible summer internship. If I was not a member of Delta Phi Epsilon I would not have had the opportunity to speak with someone regarding a field that I am so passionate about.

It is so unfortunate that greek life has a negative stigma attached to it. Don’t let others tell you something without doing research on it yourself. Talk to people in greek life and ask about the positives that comes along with being a part of something bigger than yourself. Without my sorority I would not be the woman that I am today. Thank you sisters. Thank you Delta Phi Epsilon.

How to Eat for a Healthy Heart

February is heart health awareness month. Having a healthy heart is key to living a healthy lifestyle. Take care of your heart health by eating a balanced diet and getting daily exercise. This can reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

There are key nutrients to include in your diet to keep your heart healthy. A diet high in fruits and vegetables,  whole grains, and lean meats such as poultry and fish are exceptional for lowering the risk of heart related illnesses.  Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are all  high in fiber. Fiber helps lower cholesterol and makes you feel fuller for longer. Try adding oatmeal with fruit to your morning routine for a little added fiber. Fruits and vegetables are packed with key vitamins and minerals for a healthy heart. Chicken, fish and beans can provide a good source of protein yet limited amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol. The unsaturated fats in fish, such as salmon, provide health benefits and can reduce the risk of heart disease.Salmon, nuts, seeds, and oils are all examples of these healthy fats. While trans and saturated fat found in processed foods like butter and pastries are the less healthy type of fat.

A diet high in sodium, fried food and red meat is less ideal for a health heart and foods that have high amounts of sodium include, fast food, canned food, frozen meals, condiments, deli meat, and packaged soups. Sodium can be sneaky and it is important to make sure your daily sodium intake isn’t too high. To avoid having a high sodium diet do your best to avoid processed foods and don’t use the salt shaker. ¼ tsp of salt is equal to 600mg of sodium per day and the daily recommendation is no more than 2000mg of sodium per day.

Exercise is equally as important as diet when it comes to heart health. To increase your cardiovascular health try to do vigorous exercise such as swimming, biking, running, gym classes, walking and elliptical. You should make an effort to exercise for 30 minutes every day and get your body moving by doing activities like walking, yoga, or going on a bike ride. You can break up the times throughout the day to make sure you get a full 30 minutes but don’t have time to do it all at once.

Healthy Eating on Valentine’s Day

On a holiday notorious for chocolate, candy, and all things sweet, it can seem hard to eat healthy on Valentine’s Day, but here are some tips to help make it easier to make the right choices on date night.

While going out to eat is always fun, it can sometimes be hard to decipher what’s healthy and what’s not just by looking at the menu. One way to ensure you’re getting food cooked in the best way possible, is to avoid any menu item that is fried. Instead, ask your server if it is possible to have the item grilled, or baked instead. This change alone will reduce the calories and fat content of the food.

Vegetables are always your best option when trying to eat healthy, so make sure whatever you order, there are some greens. Many dishes may offer unhealthy sides such as fries or chips, but typically these can be substituted at little to no cost with a salad or steamed vegetables. Similarly to substituting fried foods, this switch will also save you some calories and fat. In addition, compared to the unhealthy side dish, there will be more vitamins, nutrients, and fiber when vegetables are substituted.

Lastly, always choose a whole grain if the option is available. Whole grains are complex carbohydrates and will keep you fuller for longer when compared to simple carbohydrates (ex. white bread, white pasta, white rice) and provide more fiber. Ask your server if there is either a whole grain or whole wheat substitute for the carbohydrate in your order. Many restaurants may offer substitutes such as whole wheat pasta, brown rice, or other grains such as quinoas, farro, or wheatberry.

When it comes to dessert, order one and split it with your Valentine, you’ll still get to try that delicious sounding item, but this will help to prevent overeating.

It may seem impossible to eat healthy on Valentine’s Day, but if you follow the tips above, dining out at a restaurant will still leave you with plenty of options that are both nutritious and delicious!

Adjusting Back

I’m not afraid to say it; I miss being across the pond. By placing yourself in a foreign country, trying to build up contacts and a support network while cooking and doing other things for yourself, you change. It’s inevitable when you go off to see the beauty and the people that the world has to offer. You get pretty comfortable with introspection–and Citymapper for that matter. How can you not? You are undergoing so much personal growth and learning.

 

What’s the point I’m trying to get at? It’s easy to forget that being back is an adjustment. Yet another lifestyle change, and yes, you can get culture shock being back home. My first day back someone asked me what kind of tea I wanted. I said Earl Grey and she said “No, I meant hot or cold.” After being picked on by my fellow diners, I realized fairly quickly that I wouldn’t slip back into things as easily as I thought.

The college lifestyle is different back here, too. Classes are different and how students interact with each other is different. I think the key word in these phrases is different. Not better or worse, just different. That’s a really big takeaway from being exposed to new cultures that people don’t necessarily take the time to think about. It’s a concept that was mentioned in a communication class I had previously taken, and I always thought I had grasped it, but I truly understood it after my experience.

One thing to be really grateful for is my friends and family. I don’t think I’ve ever had better hugs in my life than those I received when I saw people for the first time in months. They are also what I missed the most, even more than Kraft mac and cheese or American peanut butter. They are what make the adjustment back so worth it.

Winter’s Wonders in Oz

Hello, Oswego!

If you’ve been outside, or at least looked outside your window recently, things have changed colors a little. Snow has finally descended upon the region!

A number of minor to moderate snowfalls have occurred in Oswego the past couple of weeks. While the first official accumulating snow was way back on November 13th, the first snow that actually stuck around just occurred last week. A little over a foot has fallen since, though not more than a few inches at once.

The blanket of white left behind after a lake effect snow band dropped 3″ of the white stuff on campus the morning of Sunday, December 10.

Now, why haven’t we had a large snowstorm yet this season in Oswego? We are in lake effect country, after all!

Much of it has to do with the wind direction. If the wind shifts too quickly, the lake effect snow will pass right over us, only impacting campus for an hour or two, enough to drop a quick 2-3″ but no more. If a lake effect event were to drop a lot of snow, the wind needs to be steadily blowing in the correct direction (west-northwest, ideally) for several hours or more. Thus far this year, that has not occurred.

And, for a reason not well known, that wind direction does not happen very often. Maybe it’s because there are meteorology majors like me here, and it’s scared of us…

A lake effect snow band hangs just offshore as viewed from Shineman Center on Tuesday, December 12.

 

Neat: The setting sun shone its rays on the same lake effect band pictured above, creating an eerie yellow glow to the falling snow.

There’s plenty more winter to go, though. Storms of the lake-effect and not-lake-effect variety will impact campus periodically, as the weather pattern is shaping up to befavorable for cold, wintry weather the next several weeks.

Happy Holidays and enjoy your winter break!

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!! 🙂

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. 🙂

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!! 🙂

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!! 🙂

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. 🙂

Thoughts from Thanksgiving Break

Not many family Thanksgivings pass where I have the opportunity to reflect on my life, my experiences, and my relationships enough to discern what exactly I’m thankful for. However, going to college is where all of that began to change. It wasn’t until then where there were drastic changes and challenges that came up where I really began to note all of the people in my life that remained consistent, as well as the type of relationships I hold the dearest.

Anyone that has grown up in a small town can tell you about the effects of predetermined expectations. People assume they know everything about you, given that so often they know you and your family as well as those you spend your time with. When you live in that kind of setting, people can often assume they know what you’re capable of without considering the resources available. When I was in high school, I considered myself fairly average. I wasn’t the top of my class, I wasn’t the most well-known person, and I certainly wasn’t able to do everything I wanted to do. I’ve always dreamed of working in the performing arts and being a part of the stage.There was a lot in my life I wanted to accomplish, but people assume they know you based on what they hear about. Ever since my oldest brother John went to college back in 2009, I knew that college would be where that would begin to change. Here at SUNY Oswego, I found those opportunities, and I learned that ambition can be a defining characteristic all in itself.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for every person in my life who has given me a chance to accomplish something bigger than myself. As a person, I define myself by the type and quality of work that I do, rather than the titles affiliated with them. Every responsibility I’ve been granted here at Oswego, every leadership position and opportunity, has all been provided by somebody who was willing to take a chance on me. It’s been because of those chances that I’ve been able to be a part of so many amazing projects here. I had an incredible experience on the Media Summit as the Event Promotions Director. I’m currently the PR Representative for the Shaun Cassidy Fan Club Improv troupe and am the Wardrobe Run Crew Chief for the student honors production of ‘Boeing, Boeing’. I’m also an intern with the Marketing and Communications Department and am going to be helping manage Dramafest next semester with the Oswego State Theatre Department. I’m so happy to be in a place that puts faith into my ambitions.

Most of all I’m thankful for the people in my life who believe in me and support me; friends, family, my mom and dad. I’m happy for the opportunities I have, but it’s all of the wonderful people in my life that remind me every day that it’s not about the things you can do, but the type of person you are. The people close to me in my life are genuine and help remind me what is important. Without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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!