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“Even though I always tried, I had no confidence in my own abilities. I was convinced that my brain was broken.” – Heather M.
Heather’s blog series, One Life’s Potential, addresses the negative voices that we, sometimes, allow to build a nest in our heads, hindering us from doing our best. She urges us not to let a garbage pile of negativity blind us to our true potential. Click here to check out her latest post.
Liz is completing her degree in abstentia and will graduate in May. Although she is not with us, physically, Liz has left us several posts to share. Her theme was Homebody for Everybody, in which she gave us a glimpse of her life as a very introverted, yet highly involved person. In her latest installment, she gives five suggestions on how to maintain long-distance relationships and on how to let them go. Click here to read more.
Kerry graduated last May, and is currently a graduate student at UAlbany. Last spring, her blog series, Pulled Back to Move Forward, focused on grief, loss, healing, and self-care. After reading some of her series, several students made the decision to seek help in addressing their diverse losses. Words have power.
This week, Kerry writes about how difficult it was to decide on what to do after graduation, and how she, eventually came to the best decision for her. Check out her latest piece here.
Simonti and Anik are both writing separate pieces under the same theme, “Resolutionary.” Using the idea of making New Year’s resolutions, they focus on how the pressure to change your habits, attitude, or your heart, can be a significant hurdle. They share their experiences in how they have made changes that have allowed them to succeed and to grow. Click here to see how, you too can become “resolutionary!”
Kayla’s series, Let God take the Wheel, focuses on how she has learned to be less of a perfectionist so that she can appreciate where she is in the here and now. This is her final year here and she has much to say about letting go. Click here to check out her latest post.
I heard it, I felt it, and then I took ownership of it.
The label was my enemy, and my scapegoat.
When I was in fourth grade, I was called dumb for the first time by a classmate. I was called dumb because fourth grade was the first year I was put into a reading help class. I could not read as fast or as well as the other kids. I specifically remember sitting in class one day during reading time and looking over to see the girl next to me reading Harry Potter and then looking, shamefully, back down at my Junie B. Jones book. I could not even fathom trying to read a Harry Potter book. Harry Potter looked like a dictionary compared to the books I was reading. I know it should not have, but this set the tone for me for the rest of elementary school, and even followed me through my high school career. Because of that, I always felt behind everyone else. I was always struggling to keep up, even with the extra help classes. Continue reading “What Happens When You Let Other People Tell You Who You Are?”
Moving away from home involves a lot more than experiencing a new place, living with new people, and starting a new life. Everything is new but there is some aspect of the old that you want to keep, such as your friendships and relationships back at home. When I moved away I found it to be refreshing that I could easily drop those toxic relationships that were detrimental to my well-being, but it was worse that I could not see the people I truly cared about as often as I wanted to. It was definitely a difficult transition but I learned some tips on how to maintain those relationships when I was away.
Simple enough, we’ve got to communicate. I know that it’s not the same as face to face but thank goodness we have Face Time and cell phones to communicate with each other. It’s such a blessing that we can call whenever the time is right. Our lives get pretty hectic, but setting aside the time to talk to those you care about is incredibly important.
You don’t always have to set aside a time for a full on phone conversation. Take pictures of those moments that make you happy during your day and send them to your friends and family. Snapchat is perfect for this. Then, when your friends and family have the time, they can respond and enjoy that moment with you.
It’s evident that when we miss people, we cry, and that’s okay. As long as you cope with the sadness in a healthy manner, this can only make your relationships stronger because it shows that you care. To cope, try joining a group on campus and having a support group. Go to the Counseling and Psychological services or call the Middle Earth Hotline. Write out your feelings or sing a sad song. This can only strengthen your relationships.
We have weekends and breaks during the semester for a reason, so we can go home! Mark it on your calendar and plan out who you are going to see as soon as you get home and what you are going to do with them. This can lessen that tensed feeling you get when you don’t see someone for a long period of time.
I know this may sound like a step back from maintaining a long distance relationship but when you’re busy and your people back at home are busy, there will be less worry on your shoulders when you send a text and don’t get a response right away. It can also keep you moving in that direction you are headed in, the reason you did move away.
The most amazing thing about long distance is that when you have this space between you and your circle of friends back at home, you begin to realize who is really there for you and who is not. You’ll begin to see who contributes to that effort you’re putting out to stay in contact and who isn’t. You may even find yourself not wanting to contribute to a previous relationship when you move away and meet new people. This change is good, because you are discovering who you are and what you want in your life. As for the people you’re missing right now, they want to see you succeed as much as you do. So stick it out for them and for you. You are a strong individual and you’ve got this down.
Reflection is the key to growth. I find value in reflecting on past experiences because it helps me realize how far I’ve actually come. Right now, as I wrap up my third week of my first fall semester of grad school, I am able to reflect on how much I’ve grown since last fall.
A year ago, I was in my third week of my senior year, brainstorming post grad plans. I was torn between taking a gap year, going straight into grad school, going to Denver, CO; staying in Albany, NY; or going back home, to Queens, NY. I didn’t know where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. This was odd for me, as someone who loves to plan and know what my next steps are. But for some reason, when it came to post-graduate plans, I just could not figure it out. I put too much pressure on myself to make decisions on things that I needed time to think about. I knew my ultimate career goal was to become a special education teacher, but I was unsure of which path I should take to get there. I was so worried about making the “wrong” decision and choosing a path I would not be happy with.
I talked through my ideas as much as possible with friends and family, however, there is one resource on campus I wish I had taken more advantage of during my senior year. I wish I went to Career and Professional Development to talk to a Peer Career Advisor, who could have helped me narrow my choices. I think I became too overwhelmed because I had too many options. I bet you’re wondering, “How can having too many options be a bad thing?” It is when you are indecisive like myself. I am indecisive in almost every aspect of my life: when it comes to figuring out what I should eat, what to wear, what to do for post grad—you name it. I was given so many options from people I knew in the teaching profession; from Teach for America, Blue Engine Teaching Apprentice, Relay Graduate School for Education, Denver Literacy Fellow, City Year, UAlbany Special Education & Literacy II Program (ding ding ding…we have a winner), Queens College, St. John’s University, NYU, and the list goes on.
I was also torn between going straight into a job that would give me teaching experience right away, versus going into a teacher preparation, graduate school program that would teach me about things like classroom management so I would be better prepared. I was always told, “Experience is your best teacher.” I was also told, “It’s best to feel as prepared as possible before jumping into anything in life.”
I think a year ago, I had enough research done to figure out what my next steps should have been but I did not take the right steps to eliminate options that were not best fit for me. I was able to see myself in every environment that I was considering. It is important to consider getting rid of ideas and options that are not the best fit for your personality, values, needs, etc. It takes a lot of self-reflection to do this and I did not get to this point until March of my senior year. I went all those months, from September to March, not sure what environment was the best fit for me.
If there is any senior who is unsure about what they want to do, or where they want to go, first realize there is no “wrong” path when you are deciding between two or more options. Then realize what your needs and desires are, and truly look into all options to see which one is best fit for you. You just have to take it a step at a time. Process of elimination and weighing pros and cons never hurt. Don’t be afraid to be selfish with your decision. This is your life you are planning for!
One might be thinking what I mean by “Growth in Reverse.” Unlike other children, I recall growing up learning how to face challenges that are to be faced during adulthood – challenges related to finance, health, career, and more.
Born, August 18th, 1995 into a hardworking, motivated and successful family. My grandparents had their own business. My father and mother had only been married for a couple of years, and were working together making safety glasses out of the basement of my grandparents’ house. My brother who is 6 years older than I had just been finishing up elementary school, but, while being a boy, was thinking about a career during his spare time. This is just the beginning and a summation of what started my growth in reverse. Continue reading “Growth in Reverse”
The end of Senior year of high school is a very exciting time for almost all of us. The weather is getting nicer, graduation is fast approaching, and you have chosen what college you will be attending in the fall. This was me at the end of senior year in high school. I was very relaxed. The workload was winding down quite a bit which meant more free time and more hanging out with my friends. High school graduation day was a very exciting day at my house because I was going to be the first in my family to hold a degree achieved in America. That summer, before freshman year of college, was one of the best summers I had. I got lots of travelling done and spent a lot of time with my friends before classes started. Towards the end of summer, I made a resolution to myself, that I would focus, study hard, and not procrastinate so that I could achieve exceptional grades. I thought that since I was having a very relaxed summer, I would be able to focus better once school started.
The summer flew by and before I knew it, the first day of my freshman year at the University at Albany had arrived. I looked forward to starting this new chapter of my life, but at the same time, I was very nervous since I was a new student at a huge, confusing campus. Little did I know that freshman year was going to be a year of many ups and downs. From what I have seen, freshman year of college does not go as planned for many people, and that was the case with me as well. Continue reading “Going into Freshman Year”
The whole “New Year-new me” thing that everyone makes fun of, in a way, ridicules resolutions. For the longest time I thought that resolutions were stupid too, how can you just decide to be something else when you wake up on New Year’s Day? Well, it occurred to me a while back that resolutions don’t have to mean that you change everything about yourself and become a new person overnight, which is probably why I failed at fulfilling my resolutions for many years. I have tried, too hard, to fix too many things about myself at once. I learned, through time, that resolutions can be tiny improvements that you decide to work on throughout the span of a year. It really does not have to be anything drastic at all.
My name is Kayla Kennedy and I am a transfer student. This is my second semester and
final year here at Albany. I am majoring in psychology and minoring in business. As a
volunteer, I have chosen to focus on the theme of: Let God take the Wheel. I am by no means a religious person, but, I recently turned 22 and am realizing that I have spent a great portion of my childhood, adolescent and early young adult years striving so hard to be a perfectionist that if I do not start to open my eyes, I will miss out on everything that can happen in my 20’s. My ultimate goal is to share my experiences and enlighten other students to: Let God take the Wheel.
My name is Franshelis Calderon. I am a senior, and a linguistics major, with a double minor in Italian and sociology. When I first arrived at the University at Albany, I had no idea who I was. I didn’t know what I wanted to study, and I was lost in the idea of who I was supposed to be rather than who I am. After my journey thus far, I can confidently say I am exactly where I need to be at this point in my life. I discovered a passion for learning and studying how language works and that this is what I want to establish my career in. I also realized a big part of myself I had been hiding, which is my sexuality.
Coming to this university, I felt the freedom I needed to begin to become the best version of myself. I want to use this platform to encourage new students to let themselves experience life and the challenges that it presents, even if you don’t want to. I was terrified to even contemplate the possibility that I wasn’t straight. If I hadn’t gone through all the growth I did, I would still be struggling to accept myself, and I know I wouldn’t be as successful as I am now. And don’t get me wrong, I still struggle, with my sexuality, and with a lot of other things. I haven’t reached nirvana, but I believe I’m well on my way there. And I wouldn’t be here had it not been for this university and the growth I went through once I arrived. I want my story to encourage my readers to embrace this phase of our lives, and not to fight the process, but to trust and believe in it.
Find out more about Project MyStory Here!
Two Locations: The State Quad Success Center & the 2nd Floor of the Science Library
What is Offered?
Help with Study Skills and Time Management
Honors College Strategies for Success
Study Clusters for: BIO 130, 131, 212, 217