Meet our Fall 17′ @UAlbanyMyStory Bloggers Pt. 4

Meet Kayla and Franshelis

Keyla Intro Pic.JPG

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.

Click here to check out Fran’s previous posts.

Find out more about Project MyStory Here!


Growth in Reverse


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”

Getting My Feet Wet


I was raised by a hard working, motivating, and humble family.  My grandparents  started a business geared toward outdoor enthusiasts.  Shortly after, my father started his own business. When both grandparents fell ill, my family worked hard to maintain both businesses. This was a long period of great stress. Through all of this, I had to get through elementary, middle, and high school.  My social life was lacking. I did not fit in with my peers, and while I was involved in extracurricular activities, I still struggled with answering the question of, “What is my passion?” Continue reading “Getting My Feet Wet”

Soaked: Breakdown to Breakthrough Part I


Working for my family’s business was my first real job.  It was flexible and an opportunity for me to get some work experience, develop my communication skills, and it was an opportunity for me to learn the basic foundations of working in the world of retail.  New Visions forced me to adapt in ways that were unfamiliar to me. It forced me to throw myself into chaotic environments and allowed me to explore a field I thought I wanted to be part of.     Continue reading “Soaked: Breakdown to Breakthrough Part I”

Moving Forward

Street with nothing on it

I thought I was all set. I thought I was ready.  All of my core coursework was completed.  I was working on the weekends and whatever free time I had was devoted to helping care for my grandfather.  I thought I was motivated.  I thought my goal to be a nurse was the end all, be all.  Acceptance letter received, required materials purchased, physical examination done, student I.D. obtained, first couple of weeks done  –   I had to make a choice: adapt or become defeated.  When I thought I had my life all planned out, suddenly: BOOM! I felt a big smack in the face. Continue reading “Moving Forward”

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:

Keyla Intro Pic

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