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”

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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:

Heather Intro

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

Working Resolutions

Some have mixed feelings for work. Certain people love what they do, and then there are others who work just to survive.  Growing up I would observe my parents going to work and coming back home. All I knew was that they went to work for a few hours, and then came back home. I did not realize the actual meaning of work, so I just brushed it off.  I took their work for granted.

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My parents would try their best to get me whatever I wanted, from my favorite foods to toys. We moved to Albany, from Queens, when I was almost 11 years old. My dad had a new job up here which required a lot of overtime, so sometimes he would go to work for 2 days straight. There were times where I only saw my dad once or twice a week. A few years went by, and now I was almost 14. One night I was having a hard time falling asleep. I was thinking about my day, my actions that day, and things that have been going on around me recently. I started to think about how I do not see my dad as much, ever since he started his new job. That is when it hit me. He was working so hard to give my brother and I as much as he could. Since I was going to turn 14 that summer, I was going to be old enough to work.  I made a resolution that I would work so I would not have to keep asking my parents for money when I wanted to go places with my friends. I got my working papers and I worked for the next three summers. I did not make a lot of money, but I made enough to cover some of my expenses.

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Once I turned 16, I was able to work when school was not in session so I started looking for a weekend job. I was a minor with minimal work experience so that was the largest obstacle I had to overcome. There were many more qualified applicants, so almost every place that I had applied to did not call me back, or said they would but never did. I was starting to get frustrated but I knew eventually one of these places would hire me and once I was in, it would be much easier for me to get other jobs. There was a toy store in a plaza near my home. My mom worked at a bank in the same plaza. She learned that they were hiring people for the Christmas season. Although it was a seasonal position, I thought that, at least, it was something for now, so I went and applied. I got an on-the-spot interview and I was hired within a week. I finally got a job to work on the weekends and breaks. As the Christmas season was ending the manager decided to keep me. This made me ecstatic. I finally had a steady weekend job. Since they were a small shop, they were not able to give me many hours, but it was okay since school was still in session. I worked there throughout high school. The summer, before college I decided to take up a second job instead of sitting around all summer. This time around, the job search was easier and I was able to find a job within 2 weeks.

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I still work two jobs and go to school full time. I often am asked how I work two jobs,  go to school full-time, and maintain good grades. It is all about timing. If you waste less time and get stuff done, you will be just fine. There is also the motivation to work and cover my own expenses so my parents have one less thing to worry about. I was able to achieve this resolution, even though it took a few years to achieve. Things are not always easy but you have to keep trying. That’s the only way to succeed and also how I fulfilled my resolution.


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.
Meet the Author

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

The Power of Focus

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If you listen to any successful person talk about how they got to where they are, a lot of times, the word focus will be mentioned at some point. Everyone wants to be successful, but many of us lack focus. Although we live in this multitasking age, multitasking just does not work. And I am not just talking about daily tasks. I am talking about greater focus in life. Look back and be honest with yourself. Do you consider yourself to be a focused person? I personally do not consider myself  to be a focused person. I constantly have to remind myself, “Heather, be focused.” We are constantly getting distracted from what we need to be focused on. Whether we are distracted by our phones, other people, worried thoughts or, you fill in the blank. Continue reading “The Power of Focus”

Getting My Feet Wet

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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”

What Happens When You Let Other People Tell You Who You Are?

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Image taken from: http://howigrewtoday.com/2013/10/how-i-grew-today-19/

I heard it, I felt it, and then I took ownership of it.
The label was my enemy, and my scapegoat.

When I was in fourth grade, I was called dumb for the first time by a classmate. I was called dumb because fourth grade was the first year I was put into a reading help class. I could not read as fast or as well as the other kids. I specifically remember sitting in class one day during reading time and looking over to see the girl next to me reading Harry Potter and then looking, shamefully, back down at my Junie B. Jones book. I could not even fathom trying to read a Harry Potter book. Harry Potter looked like a dictionary compared to the books I was reading. I know it should not have, but this set the tone for me for the rest of elementary school, and even followed me through my high school career. Because of that, I always felt behind everyone else. I was always struggling to keep up, even with the extra help classes. Continue reading “What Happens When You Let Other People Tell You Who You Are?”

Transfer Tuesdays VI

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Our Next Transfer Advisement Day is Tuesday, August 1.
Will You Be There?


9a42c81259d79d0ceaea80c392c3cf4aWelcome to UAlbany!

As you are preparing to begin the next leg of your academic journey here, we want to share some useful and fun information to help you transition to your new educational home.

Every Tuesday, we will share one or two personal stories from our transfer students, along with information from advisors that we think would be helpful. 

It is always a great day to be a Great Dane!
The Advisement Services Center Team


Make sure to check out the Welcome Page. The Welcome Page has information about housing, registration, health forms, billing and more. Please MAKE SURE to submit all of your health information before August 1.


Are YOU Coming to one of our Transfer Advising Days?
June 20 | August 1 | August 22 | August 24
If not, you may miss out on the
August 25 Transfer Orientation!

This does not apply if you have already
connected 
with your academic advisor
and have made your schedule.


Christie Project MyStory 2015

Christie Allen
Transfer Student
BSW – Class of 2014
MSW – Class of 2015
Major: Social Welfare

I left my first career in the corporate world to pursue my dream of becoming a social worker. Social work offers a depth and breadth of experience that many other careers can’t offer. I care deeply about the well-being of others and as a professional social worker, I can be utilized as a change agent to make a difference in another person’s life.

As a returning adult student, it isn’t easy to manage a family, finances, and college. My family supported my journey back to college and encouraged me to relentlessly pursue my dream of becoming a social worker.  I am grateful for their support but also the financial sacrifice that they were willing to make to help me achieve my educational goals.

I was overwhelmed when I first came to UAlbany. I didn’t know how to navigate the services available here. The university is rich with resources! I strongly encourage you to meet with your advisor and ask questions. They will strive to help you. I know that when I felt overwhelmed, I went and spoke with my advisor and she was a light in the fog! She listened, cared, and provided contact information for people who were relevant to my success at the university. I couldn’t have done it without her!

If you are a student who struggling, first take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I am not alone.”  UAlbany is committed to helping all students achieve academic and personal success. Don’t hesitate to meet with your advisor. They are here to help you. Your education is your responsibility. Own it! If you need help don’t be afraid to say so. I encourage you to reach out to other students and form study groups. If you are struggling, you may want to utilize the Counseling Center. There are counselors available to help you navigate your difficulties and bring back hope!

I would recommend that new students research services and resources available at UAlbany before you start classes. Before I started my first semester, I explored the Uptown Campus. I strongly recommend that you know how to navigate the campus. Know where you are going before your first day of class so that you feel more confident navigating around the college and can relax and enjoy your college experience. Remember to utilize your instructor’s office hours; they want to help you be successful. Remember, this is your educational experience. You must take ownership of it. Talk to people, ask questions, and embrace your learning. College isn’t easy but it is worth it. Remember, never ever give up. You will be graduating before you know it!

MyStory Mondays 6-19-17

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MyStory Mondays is a weekly digest of our latest posts.
We are all done for the semester, but we are going to go back in time and share some posts that, we hope, will be useful to our new Danes!
New Danes – Make sure to complete your course request form and register for Orientation at www.albany.edu/welcome.

This week’s installment of MyStory Mondays focuses on identity.  As you gain more knowledge about the world and become exposed to information that will help shape your future, you are also developing – shape-shifting in amazing ways. This is a time to decide who you are and who you want to be. Several students have shared what this growth was like for them. Check it out!

Find out more about our students and how college has impacted their personal growth my clicking on the pictures below.

Brittany Newell


Franshelis 2017


The following two stories were posted by UAlbany Student Affairs on their Facebook Page. Click on the photos for more and like their page!

Chill

“I am a first generation college student. I attribute my success to myself, but mostly to my mother. She was a single mother who raised me and my brother and I watched her break her back to make sure we had everything we needed to get through life…
Click here for more.


 

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“The Honors College is fun. It fits me. I’ve come to appreciate the community of like-minded people. There’s this perception that school only teaches you what you need to know to work in the real world. People don’t look enough at how schools shape people as human beings…
Click here for more.

Vulnerability

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This week I noticed a theme in conversations that surrounded me. The topic of vulnerability came up not only as the subject of a classroom discussion, but also within the confines of a conversation I was having with a friend.  While we both agreed and discussed  how scary it can be to take that chance to open up to someone in that way, I surprised myself by also adding something else:

“I also think, it’s kind of empowering,” I texted hesitatingly, and ironically for the same fear we were just previously discussing.

I wasn’t sure how I would explain myself, and re- recording probably 5 different voice memos (don’t you love modern technology), I finally got something right.  To quote it exactly, this is what I said:

“Being vulnerable is terrifying…but at the same time I feel as if I have surrounded myself with people in college who weren’t as afraid of it as I was.  So being able to be vulnerable with someone now feels more of a testament to myself, than a testament to whether or not I can trust that person…”  Continue reading “Vulnerability”

My Path is Bright

 

path-bannerThis last week I found myself making slow but deliberate steps towards my future, and it feels great to know that I am finally on a path.  In my last post I wrote about the impact of  meeting my favorite poet this week.  He inspired me to dig a little deeper and go for the things I want out of life, even if it is only for just now.  So this past weekend, not only have I have finally started my application to graduate school at the University at Albany, but I have decided what program and field of work I want to get into as well, though it may not be what you think.

Many of you may be thinking, “Oh you definitely applied to continue with your English students”, or “maybe she’ll start working on her MFA since she loves creative writing so much”. But nope, while these were all, definitely, real options that I have mulled over in my mind, I actually decided something completely out of the norm of what I ever thought I would be doing after graduation.  Continue reading “My Path is Bright”