The Ends, the Beginnings, & the In-betweens Part 2

mystory-mondays

MyStory Mondays is a weekly digest of our latest posts. 
Yes. We know. It is not Monday.
Our UAlbany MyStory Bloggers share their lives with you to help you to stay focused on your goals, to remind and inform you about the many supports that we have on campus to help you succeed, and to let you know that, whatever you are going through, you are not alone.
This week, we share more Finals Week inspiration, conclusions from last semesters’ posts, and some follow-ups to old themes. But first…

Call for Volunteers

“Since last semester, I feel like I can say that, through time, I have learned to let Albany in and I am just beginning to enjoy it.  In the beginning I felt like I didn’t have an identity but after a while I realized that the world doesn’t stop turning.” 

Was this your first year at UAlbany? Are you like Simonti? Check out the rest of her post, and consider volunteering with Project MyStory. While students are not asked to be biographical, they usually join MyStory to tell their stories. If there are topics that you feel would help other Danes to adjust to UAlbany and to thrive here,  Join the Team!


Mid-Week Graduate Celebrations

 


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Internationalize Your Degree – Consider Adding Global Distinction to Your Diploma


This week Franshelis Calderon shared her last MyStory posts. On Thursday, she will receive the Unsung Hero Award at the Lavender Graduation for sharing her personal journey with the world. Several persons have expressed how her blog has helped them through difficult moments. Your story matters. Own it.
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Check out Fran’s last two offerings:

 

Latinos & Sexuality and Goodbye UAlbany

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Craig Stropkay graduated from UAlbany in Spring 2007. He has since earned a doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Brandeis University, and is now an entrepreneur. Many graduates are unsure about their future. Even those who intend on going to graduate school, may not be sure of their next steps. Craig has some information and words of career advice for those thinking about pursuing a PhD.

Check out Craig’s blog post here.


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Taylor Grant

Taylor Grant will graduate in a few days and he wanted to share a bit of his journey with future Danes.

The past four years at the University at Albany have been nothing short of life changing. Each year, I have grown academically, socially, and mentally.

As a freshman, I was thrust out of my comfort zone, which was quite an adjustment. Growing up in Long Island, I had the same group of friends since 1st grade. I had to actively force myself to engage with my classmates from various backgrounds and to not just rely on my stable friend group back home. I was also challenged by the new demands of time management – balancing my free time with my course load. – Click here for more.


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Brittany Newell graduated in Spring 2017.  We are sharing her last post for everyone who has no idea what is next. We want you to know that your future is bright. Click here for more.

Nicholle Project Mystory 2015

 

 

 

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Goodbye UAlbany

There are five days before I graduate. Five days before I get my Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics. Five days before I am set to step foot into the “real world.” It feels like just yesterday that I arrived on campus full of hope and wonder, ready to take on the next four years of my life. It’s a bittersweet feeling. I’ve made this place home. I have settled into my niche here. I have lost myself, and found myself again right here on this campus. How on Earth am I supposed to leave?

Fran in Grad Robe, holding Pride flag Continue reading “Goodbye UAlbany”

Latinos & Sexuality

Latin American Flags

For this post, I asked a number of people who identify as Latino/a and LGBTQ+  to share their experiences of balancing their sexuality and their culture.  I interviewed Vanessa, a pansexual, Puerto Rican and Peruvian who was raised Catholic; Haleigh, a bisexual Puerto Rican who was raised in a mix of Catholic and Protestant; Valerie, a bisexual Greek, Spanish, Dominican, whose mother is not religious and father is Roman Catholic; and Alex, a homoflexible Mexican and Colombian who was raised as Catholic. Continue reading “Latinos & Sexuality”

Meet UAlbany Senior: Taylor Grant

Have Faith in The Process,
Trust Your Journey &

Be an Active Member of UAlbany’s Inclusive Community

Taylor GrantThe past four years at the University at Albany have been nothing short of life changing. Each year, I have grown academically, socially, and mentally.

As a freshman, I was thrust out of my comfort zone, which was quite an adjustment. Growing up in Long Island, I had the same group of friends since 1st grade. I had to actively force myself to engage with my classmates from various backgrounds and to not just rely on my stable friend group back home. I was also challenged by the new demands of time management – balancing my free time with my course load.

Continue reading “Meet UAlbany Senior: Taylor Grant”

Fransexual: I am out.

“The process of exploring your sexuality can be one of the most confusing and complicated things that a person can experience.” – Franshelis Calderon

Before Fran graduates in just a few days,  she brings us a few more installments of her  Fransexual Blog Series.

Pride Flag

I am out. I am proud to be who I am. I am out to anyone who asks—even my mother. This was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I am still dealing with the consequences. Continue reading “Fransexual: I am out.”

Reflecting on Your New Year Resolutions

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Every year millions of people make resolutions. In the beginning of the year, there are countless “new year – new me” posts. To go along with those posts are the “new year – new me” memes. One of the most popular resolutions might be to go to the gym and eat healthier and an overwhelming number of people fail at their resolutions, hence the memes. Although resolutions are made in good faith, people just get lazy and by the first week or two they have given up.  I partnered up with Simonti to write about our resolutions.

NYEMeme7There are so many students on campus who are having problems dealing with transitions and certain parts of college life. Since I am a junior now, I have pretty much experienced a lot of the things the newer students are facing. This is why I decided to write about the resolutions I have made with problems I have faced. With these blogs in front of them, the newer students will have stepping stone for their problems. They will have a good idea on how they can go about reaching their resolutions. There are a couple of blogs I think apply to many students. My first blog, where I wrote about entering the freshman year was one of them. I know firsthand how hard the transition of going from high school to college can hit you. They are two very different environments. My second blog was about the typical new year new me resolution but many of us here at UAlbany can relate to it because, for many of us, it is our first year living on our own. It is difficult at first to manage your time with so many things going on around you. My fifth blog about being social will apply to many university students as well, especially the commuter and transfer students. It is hard being in a school with over 17,000 students and barely knowing anyone. The thing I was most afraid of when I was trying to be social was trying not to make a fool of myself. The things you think will make you look like a fool in most cases actually will not.

While working with Simonti this semester, I realized that there are so many different goals people want to achieve. Although the word resolution may have the same definition to everyone, resolution has many meanings. Some of my resolutions may be completely different than Simonti’s. We both have goals we are working toward. Even though resolutions get made fun of a lot, if you are serious about achieving something and are determined, you will, very likely, be able to reach it. You may even fail a few times. It may not be easy, but you have to stay persistent to reach your goals. We should all be respectful of one another’s resolutions no matter how silly we may think they are.  No matter what problems you may be facing, you are not alone in your struggles. There are many other people going through the same thing and helping each other will help us get through it with less stress. I hope all of you readers were able to take something away from my blog and I hope it helped you in some way, whether you were going through the same thing as me and needed guidance, or maybe you were motivated by my blogs to start your own resolution.  – Anik Paul


simonti end picIt is hard to make a resolution and even harder to share it. There is a lot of judgement on social media. Android users bash iPhone users and vice versa. Older generations mock millennials and then, there is the famous “new year’s new me.”

Although some people have the grand idea of changing themselves completely overnight, I think that deciding that there are aspects one wants to address in themselves is a courageous first step to self-improvement and it is nothing to ridicule, big or small. Admitting to yourself that there are things to change is a big step forward, with or without a plan and it is never anything to be ashamed about.

Starting this project I never realized how many “New Year’s resolutions” I set for myself in the past or how many things there are I still want to improve. The big and little goals in my life ended up really shaping who I am today. They made me stronger, more reasonable, and open minded.

Reading our “resolutionary” blogs throughout the semester, I thought it was interesting to see some of the things Anik worked on and some of the things that he still plans to work on. Some are different from my resolutions and others are quite similar. I really was not expecting to see any of them because he always seems to have it together. This just comes to show that there are so many of us who are working on ourselves. We may seem to be just fine and perfect, but everyone is working, in some way, to improve something or reach a certain goal.

Being someone that is lucky enough to live through the transition between dinosaur computers, to iPad and Nokia phones, to smartphones with the internet readily available with a few touches of a screen, the internet, specifically social media, has shaped and changed the way I think and live my life. Growing up before social media was this big thing we spent half our lives on, I remember not being a judgmental person or holding impressions on people by any means. But then from high school and onward, starting with Facebook and then into Snapchat and Instagram, I noticed myself and the people around me becoming more and more judgmental and making wrong conclusions about others. Noticing this through the semester, while reading Anik’s blogs and being a little taken back that he wasn’t always confident and put together as I thought he’d always been, has made me realize that drawing conclusions based on bits and pieces of information shared on social media really is not fair. It made me realize that everyone is on their own path to self-improvement whether they want to try dong it overnight or over a lifetime and that it’s no one’s place to judge. So this is my resolution for 2018, to keep an open mind about everyone and everything.

Being curious, patient and kind to the people around us really doesn’t hurt anyone, in fact it’s something we need a little more in today’s fast growing environment. Through this project I was able to take a step back and realize that I grew a tremendous amount through the years because of the people I have met on my path, the obstacles I had to overcome, and luck that made me grateful. I hope that everyone who reads this is able to take something out of our project, and hopefully set a resolution, even if it is something really small, because it is also the small things in life that make a big impact over the years.

This is us, just two kids and fellow students that wish you a very Happy New Year full of success and joy. Now go and be resolutionary. – Simonti Banik


Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.
About the Authors:

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Simonti B.
Class of 2019
Majors: Biology and English
Past Blog Theme:
Writing My Own Chapter

Current Theme:
Resolutionary

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Anik Paul
Class of 2019
Major: Economics
Minor: Business Administration
Blog Theme:
Resolutionary

Life is a Journey not a Destination

Picture of Turkey (The Country)

Kayla looks back on her life and she has some lessons that she wants to share with you before she graduates. Her guiding theme last Fall was “Let God Take the Wheel.” This was not her theme because she was particularly religious, but this theme resonated with her because it spoke to how she learned the hard way about the many things were outside of her control, and about those things that were in her control which she may have taken for granted.  Click Here for Kayla’s Past Posts.

As a child I grew up in reverse.  I allowed my parent’s lifestyle to guide mine.  Their lifestyle was and is the family business, so I allowed my lifestyle to be structured around the family business.  Their lifestyle was taking care of their parents, so I allowed my lifestyle to be structured around helping take care of my grandparents.  Their social life lacked, so I allowed my social life to lack.  I was a child, and now as a young adult reflecting, I have learned and I want to share:

1) Lead your own lifestyle.
2) Take care of yourself: eat healthy, exercise, and go to the doctor.
3) Think about the type of social life you want/would want.

I decided to get my feet wet early.  As a child, watching my parents work influenced me to want to work.  My first job, as a cashier, was what I thought would be my last job.  What had been a constant routine, helping take care of my grandparents, was what I thought would be my lifelong career.  What had been a lacking social life was what I thought would be a permanent problem.  Apparently, it was time for a wake up call.  I have learned and I want to share:

1) Do not limit yourself to one job .
2) Take some time to really explore different fields.
3) Find someone who is similar to you.

Once I got my feet wet, next was to get soaked.  I had worked so hard to keep a job where I thought I could move up.  I had worked so hard to prepare for what I thought would be my lifelong career and I worked so hard to only realize that I was not having any fun.  I got a big smack in the face; another wake up call, and from that smack in the face I learned and I want to share:

1) A dead end means getting back up to move forward; try a different job .
2) Find what interests YOU to move forward; take classes from a variety of majors.
3) When you feel overworked,  move forward, have some fun, and then try again.  

Getting soaked helped me move forward. After trials of different tasks at my family’s business, I moved forward to another job.  After trials of preparing for becoming a nurse, I moved forward to UAlbany and enrolled in different classes from a variety of majors.  After trials of all working and no playing, I moved forward by accepting to enjoy the fun in life.  From finding ways to move forward, I have learned and I want to share:

1) New experiences and new relationships come with a new job
2) Changing your environment and learning new concepts can help redefine your interests.
3) Accepting and having fun is one of the best ways to keep moving forward.  

Life is a challenge.  For any UAlbany student who is reading this, do not give up.  If you appreciate the lessons I have learned and shared, please use them to your advantage. Know you are not alone at this time in your life. Lead your own lifestyle, get some experience (learn from it), work hard, and keep moving forward.  Whenever you feel uncertain, stressed, or anxious: stop, step back and. . .

Let God take The Wheel


Here are some tools that may help you to move forward:

Academic and Career Tools:

Personal Growth 


Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.
About the Author:

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Kayla K. 
Class of 2018 | Transfer
Major: Psychology
Minor: Business
Past Blog Theme:
Let God Take the Wheel

About Those Study Skills…

mystory-mondays

MyStory Mondays is a weekly digest of our latest posts.

Our UAlbany MyStory Bloggers share their lives with you to help you to stay focused on your goals, to remind and inform you about the many supports that we have on campus to help you succeed, and to let you know that, whatever you are going through, you are not alone. 

This week we share past posts from our Peer Advisors and our MyStory Volunteers about study habits and study skills. Please add to the list. What works for you? How do you manage your time? 


dog-734689_960_720.jpgLooking for a place to look over your notes before the big test? Are your roommates throwing a party the night before? Can’t find anywhere to settle in the library? Look no further as you’ll learn some of the secret and not-so-secret spots for studying to ensure you get that A you deserve! Click Here for More.

 


The Advising PLUS Tutoring and Study Skill Schedule is Here!
CLICK HERE FOR MORE!


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Last semester, Simonti shared her struggles and successes with time management. Check out her experiences with, what she would describe as, the two sides of time management. Click Here for Side One. Click Here for Side Two.


Sam Broking 3Sam B., has a tool kit for starting well in her post, Starting the Semester Strong. She did not come up with this list by doing a Google search. As an athlete, she learned time management and study skills the hard way. She practices what she preaches and she has benefited from establishing better habits.  It is so easy to get off track.


During Fall 2015, we asked our advisors, peer advisors, and student workers for a list of study tips. If you are a senior, you might recognize some of their names. 

  1. Start Studying now. Do not cram. You will learn more by not procrastinating and this will help you excel with your midterms. – John Donoghue, Assistant Director of ASC
  2. Only focus on the same subject/class for 30 minutes- 1 hour and then switch subjects! – Sam Brookings, Peer Advisor
  3. Use your time wisely and take care of your body. If your health is off-center your focus will not be on the books. – Mayra Raxon, Academic Advisor
  4. Social studying helps! – Anita Ma, Peer Advisor
  5. Breathe and be patient with yourself. Study often rather than waiting and cramming at the last minute.  – Kiara Davis, Work Study Student.
  6. Examine yourself and think about when, where, and with whom you study best. I studied best in a cafeteria/coffee house/book store setting, but when working on a paper, I needed silence so the 2nd or 3rd floor of the library was my hiding place. I could never study in my dorm – never.  – Rachel Moody, Academic Advisor
  7. Try your best and stay positive. You will get through this! – Krystal, Work Study Student
  8. When studying- reward yourself with pre-planned break sessions. For example…”If I learn this chapter’s material, not just read it but keep full focus, receive full comprehension and ensure full confidence in my knowledge for the next 23 minutes, I DESERVE three minutes to eat an apple cider donut and check social media”. If you make it into a game, you will focus less on being overwhelmed and more on challenging yourself to learn the material without the FOMO. – Samantha Miller, Academic Advisor
  9. Stay organized! Keeping track of due dates on one calendar will ensure nothing sneaks up on you! – Nicole Clause, Academic Advisor
  10. Know that it is normal to be stressed right now and that this time will soon pass. Check your syllabi often. Map out your test and assignment due dates so that you are prepared. Knowing what is ahead of you really helps to lower the pressure.  –Barbara Brown, Coordinator of Advising Plus
  11. Remember to take time off for yourself.  – Anonymous Work Study Student
  12. Try to keep up that “first week of school” energy.  It can be easy to start to slack off in the middle of the semester.  Do something fun to celebrate getting this far, then hit the books with a renewed spark! – Amanda Parker, Academic Advisor
  13. Remember that there is a bigger picture – a greater goal that you are working toward!  Do not panic, but do your best.  – Anonymous Work Study Student
  14. Pace yourself! A little studying everyday goes a whole lot further than trying to cram in one night!  – Dr. JoAnne Malatesta, Director of the Advisement Services Center and Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Poster of Genevieve Durso
Genevieve Durso

The Other Part of Time Management

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A large part of being a student is not being a student.

I remember storming through Spring semester. When it came time for summer, I really had no clue what to do. It kind of felt like I forgot who I was and everything I did on my free time because I was so wired up to work like a machine. I remember going to the library and reading books nonstop for a couple of weeks because I had a strong feeling that I needed to keep working and I felt guilty when I was not doing anything, even though there was absolutely nothing to do.

Being a student in college calls for amazing time management skills and endless hours of actively studying and working to succeed, but it also calls for breaks, which is something we usually neglect to do while the semester is in session.

Breaks are great to prevent semester burn outs. Now that I am in my junior year, I have realized a pattern that I have been following: For fall semesters, coming back from months of doing absolutely nothing, I usually stay on my toes until midterm point and begin to burn out right before because I get exhausted, causing me to do terrible on midterms and then spend the rest of the semester stressing and trying to get back on track by overworking. This usually ends horribly. Spring semesters, I usually start off slow because I am exhausted from my previous semester’s shenanigans, which helps me regulate breaks for myself right from the beginning so that I can easily prevent the mid semester burnout.

Taking breaks and knowing when to take them are a powerful tools for your academic achievements. These breaks also help you to remember who you are, while striving to be an A grade machine. It takes me forever to remember who I am all over again after spring semesters because I spend so much time away from being myself or when there is time I am usually too exhausted to do anything.

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Spring 2016 Tabling – Now This Poster is FILLED!

Even though it sounds really easy to take a break, figuring out when to take a break when there is barely any time to finish work as is is really tricky. A lot of my free time ends up being wasted lying in bed before school dreading to start my day; falling asleep in the Science library, while trying to get work done between my classes; or laying down, after school, unable to move from the exhaustion.

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In my last blog post, I talked about time management, mostly in the sense of not procrastinating and getting work done efficiently, but there is a great deal of time management that goes behind taking breaks. To allow myself to take breaks, I need to finish all of the work I have planned for that day or for the week, so that I do not ruin my “break day” by stressing our about work I still have to get done. Setting myself up to look forward to things is a technique I use to make myself finish my work faster, instead of moping around. The thought of working hard now and being able to relax later at a set date for an event always makes me work a ton more efficiently.

Breaks are not something I am good at managing. Sometimes I am really good with self-control, and allowing myself to get back to work after a day or two of stepping away from school work, but sometimes I do not get back to the world of homework and studying. This sometimes results in me not taking breaks at all for a couple of months, in order to catch up. Doesn’t that sound stressful.

Figuring out how to balance a social life, school, sleep and pretty much everything is something I have been trying to do since starting college. Sure I have improved a lot, and I do not end my semesters scarred for life and hating myself anymore. Still, I could really improve my efficiency by a ton, if I keep trying to figure out what is not working for me. This is something I strive to continue doing. I am getting better and better.


Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.
About the Author:

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Simonti B.
Class of 2019
Majors: Biology and English
Past Blog Theme:
Writing My Own Chapter

Current Theme:
Resolutionary