Where I’m Coming From

When you look at the population of this campus, you’ll notice that our student body is from all over the country and all the over world. With representatives from over 100 countries and states like Texas, Illinois, Florida, and California, there are many students that come from so many different backgrounds. We may come from different places, but we experience similar things during our freshman year of college.

pic1We all remember arriving on campus on move-in day ready to take on the world on your own for the first time. You walked through the doors of your room and stood there thinking, “This is my new home for the next 8 months,” whether you liked it or not. All of your stuffed was moved in and unpacked. Your parents said their last goodbyes and they headed back to the car all teary eyed knowing that their baby was about to start college and that they were all grown up. Eventually as you were sitting there in your room, it started to hit you that this was really happening whether you were ready or not.

I remember sitting in my room after I said goodbye to my mom and just thinking about everything that was happening and everything that was still yet to come. I remember feeling like I was ready to take on the daunting task of college. It was my first time being away from home, just like almost all freshman, and I feel like my experiences in the past had helped me get to the point that I was at in my life. I was ready to handle the change in the difficulty of the course work, the task of taking care of myself, and the change in competition level in track. In high school, I wouldn’t have called myself the typical student. I was a varsity athlete in 4 sports during my senior year, I was in the marching band, I was on the honor roll, I was in the honor societies, I was actively doing community service, and I still managed to graduate at the top of my class. In the summer, I worked at a local amusement park so that I could save up some money before school started just like most college kids do.

I always felt like I was ready to enter college and that I would be able to handle it. The first couple of months were definitely rough, as they would be for anyone transitioning into college no matter how prepared they really felt that they were to handle it. It was hard adjusting to going to class, then going to practice, then going back to class, then going to study hall, and somehow fit in time to eat, socialize, and do homework. Luckily I was already used to such a crazy schedule and taking care of myself to some extent, but I never realized how big of a change it was going to be for me until I experienced college for myself.


As a freshman, we all experience the same things in some way or another. The way we handle it and how prepared we are to handle it are the outcomes of our past experiences. That feeling of being completely alone and lost are common. If there’s anything that I want fellow freshman to get out of this series, is that you’re not alone and there are people that come from similar backgrounds and very different backgrounds that have experienced similar things in their life. We are in this together as freshman and it’s our job to make connections and use each other to get through these confusing times. I will be talking not only about myself, but other students that have come from different backgrounds to show the diversity within this campus in the hope that their story is similar to yours and that you see how they are handling this big change in their lives.

Comments are Welcome!
About the Author:
Joe D
Joe D. Class of 2019
Major: Business Administration
Spring 2016 Blog Theme: Where I’m Coming From

Wait, Where Did Everyone Go

family-915754_960_720.jpgThis post is going to seem like it is directed towards first year students more, but everyone can relate to it somehow. Even if you are not in your first year right now, you have gone through it already here or at some other school. The first year of college is a hard time for many students on campus. For people, like me, that value their family and friends highly, it s hard to be taken away from them for long periods at a time. When looking back and thinking about it, August was such a sad month. Those late night car rides with your friends stopped happening, the family dinners were coming to their end, your friends slowly left because their school started before yours. My family has been very important to me as I have grown up. As I started getting older, I started to see the value of my family
more and more. I realized that no matter what, they would always be there for me. “Friends will come and go, but family is forever.”

It seemed that as I got older, I started to connect with my family in new and different ways because I was no longer a kid to them, I was actually considered to be an adult. This made it so hard to leave my family. I stopped dreading seeing my family for holidays or just for dinner because it actually became nice to see them. It was hard knowing that I was going to be two hundred miles away from them when I was at school. In high school, my friend group slowly started to dwindle in size. At the time, it seemed like having less friends was a bad thing, but I later found that it was better to have less than more. Quality over quantity. The friends that were still around were my true friends. The
ones that I could go to for anything. The ones that would put me before themselves sometimes. I spent almost every day with my close frroad-1030878_960_720.jpgiends over the summer, especially as our time together started to come to an end. Leaving them behind was so hard to because I had no friends at the place that I was heading to.

I remember leaving my house, saying my last goodbye’s. Goodbye bed, goodbye house, goodbye Long Island. I sat in the car for three and a half hours and just thought about all of the possibilities that were in front of me. It was my chance for a new beginning, new friends, new school, new opportunities.

Like many freshman, I came to college feeling like it was going to be hard to make new friends. I guess I didn’t take into consideration that there are 17,000 students on this campus, which means that there are 17,000 opportunities to make a new friend. Since I am on the track team, I had a set of new friends set out for me before I got here. My teammates would be my family away from home since we go through so much together. All of the blood, sweat, and tears that we would leave at practices and meets where we would spend hours together. We had no choice but to become friends taken the fact that we spend so much time together. The friends that I have made here aren’t just limited to my teammates though. I have come to be line-609713_960_720.jpgfriendly with the people that live nearby in the dorms. Coming from Long Island, it was easy to find a couple of people that were from there too. There was someone that lived down the hall from me that was actually from the town over from me, and we have become good friends since move in day.

Coming to college and leaving my friends and family at home was hard for me to do. The fears of being alone in such a big place scared me. As I started meeting new people and gaining new friends, I started to see that other people felt the same way that I did. Some people came from different states, some people came from different countries. Most of us left something or someone back at home that meant so much to us. Finding something or someone new is all about the experience of college and the beginning of our new life.

About the Author:

Joe DJoe D.
Class of 2019
Major: Intended - Business Administration
Spring 2016 Blog Theme: Where I'm Coming From

More on Time Management

The topic that I am going to talk about in this post seems to have perfect timing as the midterm point is coming up. For myself and some people I know, it seems as if we are having tests and quizzes all at the same time. The assignments are still being poured down our throats on top of exams and we are getting a little stressed out. And of course, Mother Nature is deciding to bring spring weather a little early this year. I find myself staring outside my window from my desk in my room sometimes just fighting the urge to go outside and do something instead of studying. If you haven’t figured out the topic by now, it is the art of time management.

Most of us have heard of the phrase, “Work hard, play hard” at some time in our life. Ideally, I would like to be able to work really hard and get a lot of quality work done when it comes to school. As well as working hard, I would like to enjoy myself a little bit too. College isn’t meant to be all work and no play. Sometimes I like to step away from my work for a little bit and go take a nap, or watch Netflix, or go for a run. Basically I’ll do anything that I find relaxing to take away the stress of school. Sometimes I step away from my work because I like to procrastinate, but that is more often than not because I need a mental break.

In high school, my time management skills developed a lot. I was on sports teams, in honors and AP classes, in the band, and in honor societies. Managing my time efficiently became a big thing as the work load started to get bigger and bigger every year. Leaving for school at 7 in the morning then getting back home after practice at 5:30 almost every night during the week was hard to do sometimes. I was able to find a good balance between time for school work and relaxation, but it didn’t happen overnight.


Time management is a skill that can be very hard to develop and get good at. I have met people that are very good at managing their time and I have also met people that are very bad at managing their time. I feel like I am a bit good at it, but that it is only because I have had so much practice with it. My goal is to challenge myself during my college years so that I can better my time management skills. For students that I know, they find themselves struggling because they are trying to balance their time between school and a job. Other students I know like to party a little too much and struggle to manage their time between partying and school work. With myself and most of my friends, I find myself struggling between athletics and school. Being on the track team takes up a lot of my time. I have been known to lay in bed on my phone or watching TV instead of studying. It is not because I am lazy, it is because sometimes I am just really tired.

sloth-1041855_960_720The older generations of our society often look down at our generation and say that we are lazy. They see us glued to the TV or to our phones at times, but maybe it is because of different reasons other than that we are lazy. For some, it might be because it is relaxing, and it gives them a nice break from life, which can get kind of stressful at times. Finding a good balance between relaxing and working can be hard for some, but just because we want to relax sometimes doesn’t mean we are lazy. Being a student is hard sometimes.

If I had any advice to give to students of all ages, it would be to work on developing the skill of time management. It is a skill in life that will always be handy, and it will be very important in college. It may be hard to do, but you need to just keep trying and learn from the mistakes you make.

About the Author:

Joe DJoe D.
Class of 2019
Major: Intended - Business Administration
Blog Theme: Where I'm Coming From
Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories –  their voices.


Need Help Managing Your Time? Here are some tips from ASC:

ATLAS Time Management Worksheet

  • Use your resources!
    • See your academic advisor. 
    • Seek help from Advising Plus.
    • Ask a friend who has fantastic time management skills for tips
    • Attend time management workshops when you see them advertised.
  • Set reminders for tasks and deadlines on your phone.
  • Remember, even though you make the time to study, your study habits have to help you. You want to study effectively. Use the resources above to help you make the best use of your time
  • Make sure to make time for you. You are not a machine!

Going to College in Your Backyard

Clifton-Park-.jpgFor this blog I decided that I would switch it up a bit and talk about another student. I wanted to interview someone that lives relatively close to UAlbany and comes from a different background than me. I interviewed my girlfriend who is from Clifton Park, NY which is very different from Long Island in my opinion. Like myself, she is a freshman on the track team, so our schedules are both very busy as we try to balance academics and athletics. I wanted to talk about the topics I have discussed in the past, but from the perspective of another student on campus. My goal of this blog is to reach out to many students so adding new perspectives will hopefully allow me to reach a broader spectrum of students. Continue reading “Going to College in Your Backyard”

College Across the Ocean: Cayman Islands to UAlbany

gcmflagFor this blog post, I wanted to interview another student. I decided to talk to a student that lived far away from school as opposed to someone that lived 20 minutes up the road. This student that I interviewed is from the Cayman Islands. He is a friend of mine and a member of the track and field team as well. I know from talking to him that coming to college in a completely new place has been crazy. Continue reading “College Across the Ocean: Cayman Islands to UAlbany”