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! 🙂

National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month, a nutrition and education campaign created by the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics. This campaign aims to bring awareness on the importance of healthy eating practices. Every March, the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics launches the campaign offering free tips and promotional items to help spread the word.

Each March, when the campaign begins, it is paired with a theme that will set the stage for what the academy is trying to promote that particular year. This year the chosen theme is Go Further With Food. The theme aims to educate the public on healthful eating practices throughout their day. Whether it be starting the day with a nutritious breakfast, or fueling up for a specific sporting event, eating the right foods will give you the optimal energy to take on whatever your day brings.

All March long here at SUNY Oswego, we will be celebrating National Nutrition Month! The campus’ registered dietitian and her interns will be in various dining halls throughout the month where you can come up to our table and ask questions, play games, win prizes, and try new foods! We hope to see you there!

March Nor’easters bring…

Hey Oswegonians! I apologize for the lack of posts – it’s been a long semester thus far for me. Try taking Synoptic Meteorology, Mesoscale Meteorology and a statistics class all at once…

Anyhow, if April showers bring May flowers, what do March nor’easters bring?

Answer: Snow, wind, and coastal flooding. The Northeast has seen three such storms in the past two weeks! While this many storms in such little time is not unheard of, it can cause a tizzy for those who reside in the area. In Oswego, while the area has not seen as much snow as places further east have, the storms have still had an impact on daily operations.

The first storm, which occurred on March 2, dropped around 7″ of snow on campus. Inland, nearby Fulton reported 14″! The storm caused nearly every school and college in central NY to close, however Oswego remained open. We’re die-hards around here, right?

Oswego sunset season is coming around! In between storms, this beauty occurred on March 3.

The second storm’s snow, which impacted New England on Wednesday, actually missed Oswego. However, snow fell due to the system’s wrap-around moisture the next two days. Oswego itself saw a couple of windy days and 2-3″ of snow, with higher snowfall inland once again.

The third storm, ongoing as I type this post, is almost a carbon copy of what happened last week. Greatest New England snowfall happened yesterday, however our area is seeing the wrap-around moisture with several inches likely to fall before all is said and done tomorrow.

That’s three nor’easters, folks! And we may not be done just yet. The same pattern that has been around the past couple of weeks looks to continue through about the end of March. That being said, it is not a guarantee that the Northeast sees another nor’easter. Here’s to hoping for some more spring-like weather in a couple of weeks!

How to Perfect your Staycation

The sun and the sand of St. Lucia sound amazing, but that’s not always realistic for a broke college kid. If you’re spending spring break (or any vacation in your house), I have a few pieces of advice to make it one of your best.

  1. Sleep

Image result for sleeping gif

Staycations are the perfect time to catch up on the sleep you missed for studying for midterms. If you’re at home, you don’t have to feel guilty about wasting any time you could be spending sightseeing or tanning.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Organize

Image result for organizing gif If you’ve been letting your planner get messy or you’re pushing 587+ emails in your inbox, it’s a great time to hunker down and sort it all out. Getting prepped for the second half of the semester will make your life go a little more smoothly.

 

 

 

 

3. Do your hobby

Image result for baking gif If you’ve got a camera, a pair of skis, a computer, or whatever you like, pick it up and do it! Hobbies can be harder to execute while you’re at college because there is so much else on the docket. I’m planning on baking while I’m home!

 

 

 

 

 

4. Binge a new show

Image result for binge watching gif If you’re like me, you hate picking up a new show during a super busy time like right before big tests. A staycation is the perfect time to catch up on a show all of your friends have been talking about. Plus you have enough time to watch 2 (or 7) episodes in one day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Relax

Image result for treat yo self gif It’s spring break! The word break is in there for a reason, so at the end of the day, just relax and do what you want. You can treat yourself to a meal, new headphones, a little RnR, anything you want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t let envy take over! Your staycation can be just as beneficial as a trip to an exotic locale (and can be easier on the wallet). If you really can’t stand it, turn up the heat in your apartment and post a picture from the internet to your Instagram (kidding!). Have a happy and restful spring break!

Spring Break Prep

We all know Spring Break is just around the corner. We’re all excited for a week off of school, and some may even be jetting off to warmer weather and want to look our best while on the beach. Some simple ways to clean up our eating while preparing for a week in the sun can be as easy as switching up your snacks, drinking more water, and eating colorful meals!

        Snacking is important to ensure we don’t overeat during meals, which can lead us to feeling too full and sluggish, making us unproductive for the tasks we need to complete.  Here are some healthy snack options:

  • A handful of nuts
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Bananas or apples with  2 tablespoons nut butter
  • Yogurt with honey and fruit
  • Air popped popcorn

Another thing to consider when getting ready for Spring break is to increase your water intake. Water is important for your body and it will not only help you to look and feel less bloated, it will flush out toxins and help clear up your skin and eliminate brain fog to get you through those pre-spring break midterms. Switch your morning juice or soda at dinner with water and you will notice a world of a difference. If you don’t like the taste of water add sliced lemon or cucumber.

        An important aspect of eating healthy is to include lots of colors to your meals to ensure you are getting adequate vitamins and minerals. Try adding at least three colors to your meal to make it nutrient packed and well rounded. For example, if you love pasta, add spinach (green), sweet bell peppers (red or orange), and purple cabbage (purple) this way you have a quick pasta salad that will be filling, nutritious, and colorful.

 

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! 🙂 Good luck and remember, it all goes by so much fast than you think. ENJOY IT!! 🙂

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.