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

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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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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”

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

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

Moving Forward

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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”

Do you have Grit?

statue-1515390_960_720Recently, I came across a Ted Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth. I had seen this Ted Talk once before in a class when I first started college and did not think much of it. When I came across it again, only a few months ago, what she talked about really resonated with me as a senior in college. In the video, she spoke about the idea of grit and the power of passion and perseverance. She talked about how she taught seventh grade math for the New York City public school district. Through teaching, she found that IQ was not the only thing that separated her best students from her worst. Some of her top students had lower IQ scores than her less successful students and vice versa. She then studied the question, “What characteristic leads a person to be more successful?”

Through her research, she found that the one defining quality in people who were successful was grit. It was not IQ score, socioeconomic status, or physical health. Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals. Duckworth said that grit is having stamina and the ability to weather the storms that life brings while continuing to work on your goals day in and day out. In her words, grit is living life like it is a marathon, not a race.

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This idea of grit has become a key theme both in and out of my academic life. Every day I have to “check my grit”…no really…about 3 times a day I say to myself in my head, “check your grit.”

I may be weird, but it is the difference between me going home to relax only to push more work onto tomorrow, or going to the library and setting myself up for a good week. I ask, “Am I working my hardest? Could I do more today to achieve my goals? What are your goals?”

If I just push a little harder today, then I will have a better tomorrow. This statement has proven to be overwhelmingly true in my life. Like all college students, I am vulnerable to procrastination, laziness, and discouragement. School is hard. And life is harder! No one is on their game 100% of the time. The great thing about grit is that it is not something you are born with or born into. Which means it can be learned over time. It also means that there is potential inside of everyone to succeed. Lazy days are inescapable. But remembering to check your grit on a regular basis can turn you from a person who can work hard sometimes, into a hard-working person.

The American dream is real. You can come from nothing and make something of yourself. I was a poor, mediocre student in high school with issues. Now I am an undergraduate student, taking graduate courses with a bright future ahead of me. Having grit is the difference between knowing what you want, and actually getting what you want. Having goals and actually achieving them. Do not let anybody ever tell you that you cannot achieve what you want to achieve. Because if you have the determination and passion to do something, you can do it. You can do it because this world is built off the backs of underdogs. This world is built off the back of gritty humans. And gritty humans get things done regardless of race, IQ, socioeconomic status, or cards that are dealt to them. Grit is a field leveler. It is that thing inside of yourself that no one else can tap into. That underutilized resource of hope and change. So, try checking your grit on a daily basis. Move your life into the direction you desire. Because no one knows your potential but you, and no one else is going to bring it out of you.


 

 


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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Heather M.
Class of 2018
Major: Communication
Minor: Psychology
Blog Theme:
One Life’s Potential

Time

“Working on time management was not a choice I had,
it was something I had to do to survive college.”

It is 9 p.m. on a Tuesday and I just got home. It was a long day of four, back-to-back, tedious, and complicated classes. There are two chapters and a lecture slide to review for developmental biology, an essay to write about psychoanalysis, a difficult reading from Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography for American literature, an essay and notes to review for history, a lab to read over and prepare for, and another essay to write for my contemporary writers class. So what do I do first? I spend an hour showering and then another hour eating, and then waste some more time prepping to sit down and study.

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I remember listening to my senior year AP Biology teacher stress us about time management, and the whole time I thought it would never be a problem I would have. During my freshmen year of college, my non-problem hit me like a truck, just like she said it would.

Time management is something I never had trouble with before college. In high school, and before that, I always kept myself on a cycle of getting home, doing my homework, and then doing whatever I wanted until bedtime. Coming into college, the workload amplifies, and suddenly the responsibility of life and just being older and having less energy, makes it more difficult to maintain a steady schedule. Even though I don’t procrastinate like some students around me do, I still do not get most things done as efficiently as I could.

Reflecting back to freshman year, I remember grabbing random assignments and getting them done, but, from time to time, forgetting an assignment or simply, missing a  deadline which really put a dent in my grades. I had to get into the habit of writing down assignments and when they were due, and making sure to reference my list of to-dos from time to time, so I never left an assignment undone, even if it had to be finished in a rush.

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Peer Advisor Diane caught planning out her semester with color coded pens. It works!

One method that I have been using since last semester, which I believe helped me to get a stream of As, is to make a chart with the days of the week and filling out which assignment I should do on what day, corresponding with the amount of time I would have to do school work. When I first started doing this I remember filling out the first few days of the week with a ton of work and nothing for the rest of the week. The problems with this, was that I would either be overloading myself with work, even though I had ample amount of time to get stuff done, if I spaced them out. Also, if I did not get everything that I wanted to get done for the day, I would feel really discouraged and keep working until they were done, which resulted in minimal to no sleep on some nights. Although I do not have those issues every week anymore because I space out my work accordingly, on busier weeks, I find myself getting barely any sleep.

Working on time management was not a choice I had, it was something I had to do to survive college. Time management was not something I could make a resolution about because it had to be put into effect immediately, to try new methods week-by-week to find what fits me and my work habits the best.  I am still perfecting my way of managing what to do and when to do it. Even though my way does not work out every week, I am better than I was before and I can work with that.


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

MyStory Mondays 10-23-17 Adjusting

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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 are focusing on adjusting socially and academically.

Elizabeth B
Click on the Pic to Read More about Liz’s Journey at UAlbany
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Click here to read about how Anik addressed his social fears.
When I was in a large group, I was afraid people would judge me. I would ask myself the same set of random questions in my head every time I was around a lot of people. “Is there something in my teeth?” “Is there a stain on my clothes?” “Does my breath smell okay?”

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In her last post, Simonti shared her love of music, especially Hindi music.  This week, she writes about how music had become a distraction and how she wrenched herself from her addiction to sound. Click here to read more. 

Music has always found a way to make me feel more excited about doing whatever it was I had to do. It made my life more colorful. There are certain songs, in which, I have a period of my life stored. This is something no picture or book has ever been able to do. I have been the type of person that always needed a song playing in the background, anything, just to avoid having to be without a tune. But there was a problem…

Navigating RoomHATE

 

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Kate Engert offers several steps to addressing difficult roommate situations, in her post, “Navigating RoomHATE.”  This post was part of her MyStory blog series, Metamorphosis. Click here to read her offerings.

Alex J Project MyStory 2015
Alex went through almost everything. Click on the image to read her story.

Want more stories? Click here.


Plugging Our Friends:
Check out Great Danes Daily: The UAlbany Dept. of Communication Student Blog.  You can also follow them on twitter @gr8danesdaily.

Social Resolutions

Have you ever seen a person you know from school in public and tried your best to avoid them so you do not have to greet them and make conversation with them? That was me from middle school until the beginning of 12th grade. I hated social situations. I preferred being in smaller groups of people I knew. Being in a social situation would make me very anxious and extremely fidgety. I would not know what to do with myself. When I was in a large group, I was afraid people would judge me. I would ask myself the same set of random questions in my head every time I was around a lot of people. “Is there something in my teeth?” “Is there a stain on my clothes?” “Does my breath smell okay?” Continue reading “Social Resolutions”

It’s About the Little Wins

 

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College can be an incredibly tumultuous time for people, filled with high highs and low lows. The school year can be so stressful. Between homework, studying for tests, working, going to class, and having a social life; it is hard to remain sane. Although it is important to keep your grades up and remain diligent, you also have to keep your mental and emotional well-being in check. This is way easier said, than done. Continue reading “It’s About the Little Wins”