Fransexual: I am out.

“The process of exploring your sexuality can be one of the most confusing and complicated things that a person can experience.” – Franshelis Calderon

Before Fran graduates in just a few days,  she brings us a few more installments of her  Fransexual Blog Series.

Pride Flag

I am out. I am proud to be who I am. I am out to anyone who asks—even my mother. This was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I am still dealing with the consequences. Continue reading “Fransexual: I am out.”

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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

Life is a Journey not a Destination

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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

Welcome Back UAlbany Danes

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Need an Advisor? Just Come in!

This week, the Advisement Services Center is open for walk-ins from 8:30am to 5pm.  We are not taking any appointments, just come in, swipe in at the kiosk, and an advisor will meet with you.

If you need help with finding a resource; with adding, swapping, or dropping a class; with finding a class; or some other general question, have no fear. Our Peer Advisors are here!

Our Peer Advisors will be here to serve you this week, at the following times:

  • Tuesday –  10am to 11:30am; 12pm to 5pm
  • Wednesday – 9am to 5pm
  • Thursday – 10am to 11:30am; 12:30pm to 5pm
  • Friday – 9am – 12:30pm

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

Credit available for RSSW 190 – 1 Credit 35 Hours of Service
On Wednesday, April 18, UAlbany’s Project MyStory and Skribblers will host a storytelling conference for a 5th grade class from our local community. This conference will focus on identity.  The children are quite excited! We are seeking volunteers to prepare the storytelling “stations” and to work with the students on the day of the conference. If you are interested in participating, please contact Rachel Moody at rsmoody@albany.edu


Some Project MyStory inspiration for your first week of classes:

From Zero Point Five to Hero

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All throughout high school I would have considered myself a certified slacker. Procrastination is one of my biggest weaknesses and is something I have struggled with my whole schooling career, including now. The idea of doing school work days before it was due didn’t appeal to me much especially if there was something better I could be doing with my time. The ticking hours before a deadline was my motivation to power through an assignment or study for a test. In spite of this, I wasn’t always handing in quality work, rushing to finish in time. I knew I could do better if I tried, but my laziness pulled me into doing the bare minimum. Due to my good memory and test taking skills I was able to slide by in high school despite missing home works and handing in assignments late. I often think that if I had put the effort into my high school classes that I put into my work now, I would be going to Harvard. One of the biggest challenges a student experiences when transitioning into college is the work load.

“A 0.5 was the number
I read to my parents when
they asked about my GPA.”
   

When I arrived here, I didn’t realize how important it was to do all assignments, to go to all classes, and to study for all tests in clock-iconadvance. I would miss an assignment and brush it off, thinking it wouldn’t impact my grade THAT much. There was one time I missed a test because I didn’t feel like leaving bed. It’s just one test right? My attitude towards college school work reflected that of high school. I didn’t even realize I was so far behind in school until I returned home at the end of the semester and received my grades. A 0.5 was the number I read to my parents when they asked about my GPA. I felt like a complete failure letting my parents down. I had to beg for a second chance for weeks as my parents weren’t going to let me go back the following semester. By the time I finally convinced them to let me return my mind was set that I had to take my education seriously. It took a little time to figure out the best ways to perform in school but with a little hard work my grades slowly improved. The best advice I can give any new students is to not fall behind. It’s been really tough digging myself out of the hole I was in and all because of a mistake I made one semester. Although this experience was a setback it’s taught me a lot about myself and what I am capable of doing if I put my mind to something.

Here are some tips on how to stay on top of your work I’ve learned through my personal struggle with school.

  • Go to class. I can’t stress how important this is. Even if there’s no attendance and even if you really don’t want to go, push yourself to. When you go to class and pay attention to what is being taught it makes easier to study because you actually learned what you’re about to take a test on. Also going to class gives you the opportunity to meet other students in the class and it’s always beneficial to have a friend in a class. You can study the material together and help each other learn the subject if one of you are confused.
  • Don’t cram. Putting off studying till the last minute is setting yourself up for failure. When you are rushed you don’t take the time to fully understand all of the material as you are more focused getting through it all. Study throughout the week a little bit at a time and save yourself from sitting in the library for hours the night before a test. This is the same for papers and other assignments. You’re more likely to get a good grade on a paper if it’s done correctly and well developed.
  • Go to office hours. If you are confused with something that you are learning stop by office hours and talk to your professors. They are there to help you and they really want. With how big UAlbany is it’s easier understand something one on one instead of in a lecture hall filled with hundreds of people.
  • Utilize the library. I know the library isn’t the most appealing place but even if you go for a short amount of time you’re more likely to get all your work done there than anywhere else. It’s also reassuring to know that the people around you are also working hard.
  • Practice your study habits. Every person learns things in their own way. Sometime you don’t know which way works best for you unless you try different things. There many different studying methods from everything from a quizlet to flashcards, or even making up songs in your head.

College is only 4 years and it’s hard to lose sight of school with everything going on around you. It’s important to enjoy this time of your life because it will only happen once but it’s also important to work hard for your future.


melissa-ferringMelissa F.
Class of 2018
Majors: Spanish & Communication
Blog Theme: Fierce & Freaked 

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.

 

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.

We are not our Grades poster
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

The End and the Beginning: Around the World and Into Myself

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If you are considering an Education Abroad experience, visit their office on the first floor of the Science Library, check out their website, and/or stop by the Education Abroad Fair when it takes place during the Spring and Fall semesters. Whatever you do, get the information you need. There are options for every budget.  What may seem impossible, might be highly probable!

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Cinque Terre

Last semester, Erica Bertucio shared her study abroad experience in Italy. These are the last three installments of her series, “Around the World and Into Myself.” If you were wondering what happened to the lady who flew off of the ATV in Italy, your wait is over.  For context, you may want to read Mountains & Broken Things: No Stopping Me.  If you are ready, read on!

Continue reading “The End and the Beginning: Around the World and Into Myself”

MyStory Mondays 11-6-2017 – Time & Grit

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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, our bloggers, focus on grit, grief, time, and goals achieved.

Join the Spring 2018 MyStory Team

Next semester, in addition to blogging and conducting workshops, we, in conjunction with Skribblerswill host a Storytelling Conference for a class of 5th graders. If you are interested in sharing your story and helping others to share theirs, CLICK HERE!


statue-1515390_960_720Heather Moore shares how hearing Tammy Duckworth’s Ted Talk,  Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance resonated with her.

“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.” Click here to read the whole story.


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Anik writes about how understanding the value of work and the arduous task of seeking a job has taught him much about perseverance, motivation, and time-management.

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. Click here to read more.


“Working on time management was not a choice I had, it was something I had to do to survive college.” Click here to check out out Simonti’s battle with time.


Moving Forward:  Get a glimpse of Kayla’s long, and continuing,  road to success. 

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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. Click here to read more


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Call for Volunteers

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