The Fall 2016 MyStory Team

Project MyStory BrochureGreetings! We are excited to usher in the 2nd year of Project MyStory. We are students who share our personal stories and encourage others to share in order to help one another succeed at UAlbany. This semester, we have mix of returning and new MyStory participants who will be blogging, vlogging and conducting story circles and workshops. We hope to ease the stress of college while also building each other up for the future. Meet the Team: Continue reading “The Fall 2016 MyStory Team”

Project MyStory Workshops – COME!

This semester, Project MyStory has prepared several workshops and story circles to help you focus, refocus, plan for your future, and thrive. These workshops are not lectures, they are quite interactive and may sometimes involve glue! Joe D. , Asha P., Ashley W. and Leobianny H. (pictured above) are your facilitators this semester. Take a break and be refreshed. Attendee limit 15. Register ASAP. We hope to see you there! Continue reading “Project MyStory Workshops – COME!”

Meet Tendrina: Communication & Journalism Major


  1. What is your major and why did you choose it?

I’m a double major in communications and journalism. I chose it because of my career aspirations, because of my love for media, and because I’m awful at math and science.

  1. How do people react when you tell them what your major is?

Depends. Most of the time I get a pretty positive reaction because I’m a double major and people tell me that I was meant to work in those fields.

  1. What do people perceive is the most popular or “well-known” career for your major?

Journalist or public relations agent.

  1. What do you think of the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I think it’s a very loaded question. What does that refer to? What do I want to be professionally? What do I want to be in the eyes of others? What do I want to be in the world? And what does “when you grow up” mean? Continue reading “Meet Tendrina: Communication & Journalism Major”

Peer2Peer: Starting The Semester Strong

Peer Advisor Peer2Peer

My name is  Sam Broking and I am a senior majoring in Math and History. I am a member of the softball team and a Peer Advisor in the Advisement Services Center. I love the zoo and my favorite animals are emus! 

Sam Broking 3

There are many emotions that arise within the first month of classes. Excitement is most likely our prime emotion because we get to catch up with friends, decorate our rooms, and we get back our full independence. These things could also give us fear, since each semester brings new experiences with taking new classes and trying to make new friends. There is also some excitement about classes, especially the first week due to the minimal homework assigned. Although, once we get a couple weeks into our schoolwork, our emotions become what I like to describe as “meh”. “Meh” is that feeling when you are no longer excited about classes, but you aren’t totally washing school away – because we need to keep up those GPA’s. However, it is extremely important to start the semester strong and find any and all resources that could help you succeed so you do well during your “meh” phase.

Each semester is a fresh start. We take new classes and have different professors, but most importantly, we all start with a 4.0 GPA for the semester. Realistically, those 4.0’s may start to diminish quickly since college is extremely demanding and challenging, however, starting strong and finding the appropriate resources will allow you to succeed! Below are some tips for starting the semester strong and helping with finding resources: Continue reading “Peer2Peer: Starting The Semester Strong”

Meet Tiffany F.

Tiffany is a non-traditional student who came to UAlbany as a non-matriculated Student. She is currently in graduate school here and she wants other non-trads to know that they are not alone and that they have what it takes to finish strong! Click Here for Her Story!

Tiffany Finkle
Tiffany Finkle

Meet Drew

Drew Murphy is a senior Criminal Justice and History major. He shares his academic and mental health struggles and successes here. Have a bit of inspiration to be the best you – check out Drew’s story!

Drew Murphy
Drew Murphy

Meet Genevieve Durso

Genevieve Durso
Class of 2018
Major: Psychology
Minor: History

After a long time of contemplating what to do with my life, I thought the only thing notable would be to pursue a profession that would help others. I want to earn a degree in psychology, pursue further education and do social work. I know it doesn’t make lots of money but this is a place where I can actually help people and make a difference in someone’s life. My grandma was a social worker for 20 years and she said it was very strenuous, however she always tells me stories about how she changed people’s life’s. I want to affect people like that too. I also picked history as my minor because I love history.

During my first semester here,  I wasn’t much for studying and work. I knew college required work but I didn’t think it would be this much. No one ever really taught me how to study or what to even expect when I got here. Over time, I learned studying techniques and realized that college is more than the professor teaching you, you sometimes teach yourself. I started doing better on tests now and feel more confident.

I would tell any student that is struggling that the only person you can help is yourself. This is the real world and you are responsible for all of your work. I would advise them to make time and schedule out their day, including time for school work and friends. There are many places you can go for help and resources but at the end of the day, you are responsible to take initiative.

TangoWhat helped me find home at UAlbany was simply leaving my room. During my free time, instead of sitting on my phone or netflix, I went to different rooms and places just to simply socialize and meet new people. I joined a few clubs but found that as long as you get out there and put yourself out there, it can feel like home quickly. Eventually after talking and meeting new people, they will convince you to go with them places you would have never thought of. My friend loves to dance and now we go to tango class every sunday.

If you take a the leap and put your self out there,  you will learn something new everyday. Whether it’s in the classroom or the dining halls, your are exposed to so many new things compared to the smalls town some of us are from. You are also learning new things about yourself everyday too which can be a lot of fun. If you keep all of your priorities straight, you will excel in school. Welcome to the best time of your life!

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Meet Alex Johnson

Alexandria Johnson
Class of 2016
Major: Communication Minor: Business

Freshman year wasn’t easy for me. I thought I was the only student who didn’t think college was the right path for them. Everyone else seemed so happy and seemed to fit in, but I went home every chance I could get and cried every time I had to come back. So basically, I went home every weekend and every school break. You name it and I was home.  I wasn’t able to do anything without shedding a tear. I didn’t think I would make it a month, let alone another week.

you are not alone

My advisor, Rachel, advised me to contact a women in the office, Barbara, about my troubles. During my first meeting with Barbara, I was a mess, but she calmed me down and offered to meet with me every week. So I went to her every week
after that just to have someone to vent to and talk to. Later on I got involved in sports which helped keep me distracted about not being home. I also made myself weekly to-do lists and a huge calendar so I could see what was due weekly and monthly. This helped lower my stress load by a ton because it had me look at a smaller picture rather than the whole thing. When you think that you’re the only one having a tough time adjusting to college. You’re not alone there are many other students out there who feel the same way. Just take it day by day and you will get through it. Just like I did.

Sophomore year wasn’t easy for me either. I had mono all summer and thought I was healthy again going into August of sophomore year, but oh, was I wrong! The second week in October I went to the doctor for a cold and blood was taken. And guess what…I had a Mono again! I was sent home for 2 weeks to be on bed rest. Now being sent home from High School for two weeks is okay, but college? I was freaking about everything I would be missing because missing a day of college is like missing a week of material. I came back after the 2 weeks to find that all my professors were really understanding about the whole situation. They let me take my time and hand in everything I owed when I could. I ended up finishing the semester with a 3.4 GPA.

This is not where the story ends.

Spring semester of that year, right near finals, my grandfather passed away. I had to deal with studying for finals and the emotions that came with his passing. Let me tell you, that wasn’t easy! I was on the phone with my parents constantly crying. I managed to study and clear my head. Surviving being homesick, having mono and my grandfather passing away,  made me see that when I set goals for myself I can accomplish them. It just takes a little push to get you started.

don't give up

It was my 21st birthday and I was all excited to celebrate it on Saturday April 25th 2015 with my friends and family. I was headed home on Friday the 24th when my mom called and said to go to my grandmothers. I did not think anything of it. I walked through the door and my mom told me my uncle/godfather passed away. I thought they were kidding, I thought I had more time with him, but ALS wasn’t a forgiving disease. He was diagnosed in January 2015 and we were told we had a couple of years. It ended up being two months. Later that night my family and I were gathered in our home when my mom got a call from my grandma saying my grandfather only had a few hours left. My grandfather was sick from dealing with Alzheimer’s and was moved to a nursing home two weeks prior.  My mom started throwing things together into a bag and my dad took her down to her parents. They were 20 minutes away when she got the phone call at 1:20 am “he has passed” my grandma told her. Having just lost 2 members of my family made my birthday weekend hell.

The following week was not easy. I had the calling hours for my uncle and grandfather on April 28th (uncle) and April 30th (grandfather). Then I had the funerals April 29th (uncle) and May 1st (grandfather). To top it all off May 1st was the one year anniversary for my other grandfather. Losing two family members lead me to miss that whole week of school. If it was not for the support from my family, friends and professors, I would not have been able to make it through that week. I know life has its funny little ways of getting in your way, but it only makes you stronger. I learned that from losing an uncle, grandfather, and having a one year anniversary for another grandfather all happen within the same week. When life throws you its little curve balls, everyone is there to help. Just do not be scared to ask.

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