Final Thoughts on SUNY Oswego

Final Thoughts

As I near the end of my college career and graduation, I have a lot of things on my mind, and advice to share. Here are some of the things and lessons I’ve learned my last three and a half years at Oswego.

On Freshman Year

Fresh out of high school, college seems like the coolest thing ever. And it is. But with all of the freedom, comes immense responsibility. In high school, my mom would often ask me if I finished my homework, and my house was usually a quiet environment where I was able to study. There is nobody in college to encourage you or remind you to do your work and study.  There’s always something to do in college; whether it be a program in your dorm, a party, or hanging with your friends down the hall. While this is a great thing, it also means that there is always something distracting you from your studies. There were many nights during my freshman year where I stayed up until three a.m. hanging out with friends, and avoiding homework.

Setting up a study schedule and sticking to it is crucial. Want to go out on Friday night? Force yourself to spend a few hours in the library getting your work done for the week. Take advantage of the study carrel rentals in the library; they provide a secluded and quiet area to study. Also, GO TO CLASS. I repeat, go to class. Again, there is nobody to tell you to go, it’s up to you to do it. When you think about it, you are paying to go to colleges to go to classes, not to sit in your room. Sure, it can be tempting to skip class when it’s snowing so hard you can’t see out your window, but missing class causes a snowball effect (no pun intended). You’ll be missing notes, assignment information, and more. Falling behind, especially early on, will continue to haunt you as deadlines approach and quickly pass you by. You must be extremely self-motivated and responsible in your freshman year, because mathematically, these grades are the most important to your GPA.

On Textbooks

Don’t avoid buying your textbooks. I’ve rented most of my textbooks online through Skyo.com and Chegg.com, and it saves a ton of money, especially on books for my non-major classes that I know I won’t need in my professional career. If possible, make sure you have your books by the second of third class meeting day, because teachers usually assign reading at the very beginning of the semester, and you’ll end up far behind.

On Clubs

Get involved in clubs early on, so that you can continue to expand on your involvement throughout your time at Oswego, and run for executive board positions. These positions will not only look great on a resume, but allow you to advance your leadership and team work skills. I’ve been in PRSSA for a few years now, and have made a lot of amazing friends who I know will be great contacts in the PR world in the years to come.

On Internships

Passionate about a certain field? Not sure what you want to major in, but you’re interested in something and want to give it a try? Then an internship is right for you.  As a Public Relations major, I’ve had many internships working with social media, non-profits, agencies  and media firms, and I have been able to really hone in on what I’m not only good at, but am passionate about. Internships allow you to try on your field of choice, and see if you will enjoy doing it as a career. They give you the opportunity to figure out what you don’t like, which is also very important. You may think that you want to, for example, be an accountant, but after crunching numbers all day, you learn that it’s not right for you. This is completely fine, and as they say, college is the time to figure out who you are, and what you’re passionate about.

Internships are resume builders, and allow you to expand your network while gaining real life experience. SUNY Oswego allows students to get academic credit for internships too, which you should definitely take advantage of.

On Relationships with Professors

One of the great things about SUNY Oswego is the class sizes. Most of my classes averaged around 30 students or less, which really allows for the ability for the professors to get to know you by your name and face. Raise your hand in classes and establish a relationship with your professors. Attend their office hours if you need help or have questions, or if you want to talk about professional topics. I’ve become very close with a lot of my PR professors and have benefited from their mentorship over the years. Especially during my senior year, my professors have been a huge source of advice and someone to vent to. By cultivating relationships with your professors, you will have people to ask for references when it comes to job hunting and grad school applications.

On Finding a Job

After my internship this past summer, I set out to expand my network on LinkedIn and meet people at different types and sizes of Public Relations agenices in New York City. Starting in September, I began researching different agencies, and finding employees who work there on LinkedIn. For those who don’t know, this is really simple (even though it might seem like stalking…) to do on LinkedIn. Simply type in the name of a company in the search bar, and it will say “people who work at X company” – click this, and begin searching through the results. After this process, I began sending short messages (make sure they’re professional!) to employees at the companies asking for a few minutes of their time to do an informational interview, as I was very interested in their work at X company. You’d be surprised how many people responded. People love talking about what they do, and were happy to speak with m. Take your time to research the companies, and be well prepared with questions on the company, and the person’s work. Try to figure out what they specifically work on. After hearing about what they do, many people asked me what I am interested in and my experiences. When it got to be closer to graduation, I sent my resume to my connections asking if their company had any openings. All of the job interviews I did were a direct result of my informational interviews. Responding to job postings on Indeed or Monster is often unsuccessful, due to the sheer amount of applications companies receive. I’ve personally had more success trying to establish direct contacts within companies and their HR departments.

On Graduating Early

Due to taking Spanish courses in high school and receiving internship credits, I have enough credits to graduate a semester early. While at times it seems that my college career is being cut short, it’s an accomplishment that I am very proud of. To me, it seems that the job market is better for December graduates, as there is a much smaller amount of recent grads job seeking. Graduating early is something you must be committed to, and is not for everyone. It’s a choice that you must be sure of, or you will end up with regrets.

On Studying Abroad

I had always wanted to be able to experience a different country, but didn’t want to be away from my friends and boyfriend at Oswego for an entire semester. Up until my end of junior year, I had no idea that Oswego offers quarter classes that provide an opportunity to study abroad for a week during either Spring Break, or during Winter Break. I participated in the GLS 100 course Spring 2015, and learned about London for the first eight weeks or so of the semester, and travelled there during Spring Break. The trip was very inexpensive; thanks to grants the school had received. Getting to travel abroad and experience an entirely new way of life for a week was an absolutely incredible experience. After learning about the history of London and the famous landmarks, it was awesome to be able to see these places firsthand. I really believe that studying abroad, even for just a week, gives one an entirely new perspective on life. I have never experienced being a “foreigner” before, and it was really interesting to get stared at when I spoke, because I was clearly not from there. Exploring a foreign city and experiencing all it has to offer is amazing, and really gives you a new frame of mind. Sometimes I feel that we get too consumed in our everyday lives in our school, town or city and don’t actually realize how large the world really is. I would definitely recommend the GLS quarter classes to anyone with the desire to travel.

 

Random Thoughts

  • Have an open mind about anything and everything.
  • Take new experiences as they come and don’t be afraid to try new things.
  • Appreciate your friends and family, and remember to stay connected to those back home.
  • Don’t think that college will last forever. It doesn’t, and you’ll always miss it.
  • Be yourself, and stand up for your beliefs. Don’t worry about other’s opinions of you. Be yourself.
  • Don’t try to do laundry on Sunday nights.
  • Don’t be passive aggressive with your roommate(s). Open communication is key and crucial.
  • Invest in a large winter coat, and snow boots with intense treads.
  • Don’t ever try to use an umbrella. Think Mary Poppins.
  • Go to hockey games, even if you aren’t into sports. They’re a great way to get some school spirit.
  • Go to Mackin and have the mac and cheese and chicken tenders.
  • Watch every sunset you can, and take lots of photos. You’ll miss the sunsets come November when you hardly see the sun anymore.
  • Take advantage of the resources Oswego has, whether it is the Center for Experiential Learning, tutors on campus, or Disability Services.
  • Go to the library to study. You’ll get a lot more done, I promise.
  • Enjoy every last minute of it, because it truly does fly by.

Os-Way We Go!

Last year around this time, when my cousin was going off to college, I was bantering my mom about what I’m going to do when it’s my turn. She said it would be a while away and that I need not worry. Well it’s now that time and now I’m worrying. I’m concerned with the fact that I may not have or will get all the necessities I need for college.

Of all the people who are helping me gather the huge list of things I need for college, it’s my grandma “Bubbie”. She is a 74 year old lady who runs around like she is in her mid 20s. She never stops helping me out especially being a guy and being completely irresponsible with the most basic tasks. Even during some of the dumbest things I’ve done, she has always been there to help me out and make me a better person.

Look, it’s the beginning of June, and I still didn’t even finish high school yet, and Bubbie is already having a panic attack about items for college. Maybe her inner clock and calendar are off, but the beginning of June for college supplies? You’d think this lady is nuts, but she is only doing this out of the goodness of her heart. We went out already and she has already made me get the bare necessities such as shaving cream, deodorant, and oh, I can’t forget this one, a green toothbrush because Oswego’s color is green. I think we got into an argument over why I needed a green toothbrush and then I realized that: A. Can’t argue with grammy, she’ll pull some embarrassing story on me that I want no other human being to hear and B. I’m a broke teenager who spends his money on stuff from Amazon and grandma drops cash on me like a tree in the fall losing its leaves which in my case is money.

I cannot forget my good old pal Jordie who is like an older brother to me. He’s been my family friend ever since I moved into my current neighborhood and have been friends since 2002. Although he is 23, and actually just graduated from Florida Atlantic University, we somehow just click. But besides all the background info, this older brother of mine is a clown, but a great one. He calls me up one day and asks if I wanted to use his egg crate that he used all four years, you know the thing that makes your bed turn from a rock into a cloud. I said I’d take it and that my mom would pay for the shipping. Well, oh well, what a character he is indeed. I come home one day from school, about a week after we last talked and I see this monstrosity of a clothes box barely taped shut and I instantly knew what it was. Now Jordie always has to make it extravagant and not in the way you are thinking of. As I opened it, I called him up and the first thing he told me was not to open it, oops. He told me he had to do unimaginable things to get that gremlin inside that small box. The guy at the USPS store said he had never seen something packed with that much tape and barely inside the box. That’s Jordie for ya!

Many around me have said, including myself, that I have a crazy family with even crazier friends. But not necessarily in a bad way. A lot of my friends have said they wanted someone in their family or a friend to be there like mine are. Even though I don’t see it now, down the road, I’ll be thanking the crazy lady with the out of whack inner calendar. And also that older brother, who isn’t my brother, who I call a brother.

If anyone wants to contact me my email is lpatmore@oswego.edu and my Instagram, which I live and breathe, is: @LJP1203.

Peace current and future Lakers!

~Landon | ‘19

 

It's my sister's room.

It’s my sister’s room.

Jersey or “Joiesy”?

New Jersey… supposedly the dump of New York is where I am from. My name is Landon and I’m going to be attending Oswego this coming fall semester. I will be majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Forensic Science because I’m slightly crazy when it comes down to technology. This summer I am going to be blogging to you all about what I’m doing to prepare for college. What I want to do first is tell you about myself.

I first want to get this out of the way, we DO NOT say New Jersey as “New Joiesy”, that is just some stereotype that everyone thinks we do. On the other hand, we do “butter” and “water” as “budder” and “wader”. I am from Manalapan, which is a town in Central New Jersey next to Freehold where George Washington actually came through which is crazy in itself! I was born in Freehold but moved to Manalapan when I was 5. My parents are divorced but not like the crazy parents who throw their kids in the middle of every single argument they can think of. They are both good friends to this day and I can call myself one in a million to be blessed with a gift like that. I get to see both of them every other day which is awesome and they only live about 10 minutes away from each other. (Barely use any gas especially being the typical broke teenager.)

As for being a technology nerd, I can’t remember the first day I saw some type of technology because my face had to have lit up like the sun. My mom tells all of her friends how I always have had a knack for all technology. She told me that one day the VCR broke (what is a VCR again?) and I was so frustrated that it didn’t work that I took a toy hammer and hit it a couple times and I somehow actually fixed it. I am always keeping up with the latest in technology and I’m so crazy that every year since the iPhone 5, I’ve stayed up until 3 a.m. just to get the first batch of new iPhones. I’m the friend that everyone comes to for their questions or problems with their devices.

At Oswego, I’m looking to actually concentrate on Cybersecurity/Cyeberwarfare and hopefully work for the government when I’m older. But I’m not there yet and I have no idea what the future holds for me. I know that Oswego was the right choice for me the moment I stepped foot on the campus after driving for 6 hours straight. If anyone wants to contact me my email is : lpatmore@oswego.edu and my Instagram, which I live and breathe, is : @LJP1203. As with my buddy Collin, I am going to the July 12-13th orientation and hope to meet a lot of you there.

Peace current and future Lakers!

~Landon | ’19

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My first impressions of Walmart

For years I had always heard Walmart referenced in movies and pop culture and I was always so intrigued as we have nothing quite like it in Australia. The college is really well serviced with public transport so getting to Walmart was not an issue. My friends also had never been to Walmart before so we decided to make a day of it.

As expected it was huge. I had built it up so big in my mind, however it really wasn’t as incredible and exciting as I had expected. It was underwhelming to be completely honest. It was just like several stores in Australia combined (Woolworths and Big W). I was really impressed by how inexpensive everything was, especially makeup. I was able to pick up lipsticks which are usually around $17 in Australia, for $6 at Walmart. I also loved how friendly and willing to help all the folks there were and the great range of cheap, American candy.

Sweet selfie we took

Sweet selfie we took

New Page: Humans of SUNY Oswego

Modeled after the very popular Humans of New York page, SUNY Oswego has a new page that’s getting some major attention.

Humans of SUNY Oswego is a photography post project on Facebook that aims to photograph students and briefly interview them for a photo caption to tell a story. The goal of the project is to raise awareness of the age old saying “everyone has a story to tell”.

I’ve been a fan of the HoNY page fan for a while and enjoy viewing the interesting photos that the photographer posts.  Even better than the photos, are the short stories that the brief interviews tell. Regular people have spectacular stories of love, loss, dreams, war and everything in between.

I love the idea behind the project; to showcase that everyday passers-by on the street are all dealing with something or have been through something. It’s so easy to get caught up in our lives and problems and forget that the world is so much bigger than just yourself and your own daily struggles. These simple photos and brief interviews are often inspiring and thought provoking.

Being a Social Media intern with a love of photography, I wanted to take this idea and bring it to SUNY Oswego. There are over eight thousand students on campus and undoubtedly a lot of interesting stories to be told and heard. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I get lost in my own little world when I’m walking across campus with my headphones in and music turned up loud. But imagine, if you truly looked around at everyone and thought about their lives, what they’ve been through or what they are currently dealing with. These thoughts make the world (or the campus) seem a lot bigger than just ourselves and our daily lives.

As one of the photojournalists for the Humans of SUNY Oswego project, I aim to take photos of interesting students and share a line or so that they have shared with me about themselves or their life. I will be posting these photos on the Facebook page.

If you, or someone you know has a story to tell and would like to be featured on the site, please contact me by sending the page a message or emailing me at kburke2@oswego.edu

 

Hack Upstate, Fall ’13

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”  -William James

Hi Readers,

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a local engineering event open to the public (provided advanced registration was duly made online) called Hack Upstate, which this year, was held at “The Tech Garden” in nearby Syracuse. This was a gathering of bright minds from all over New York state, who got together with the sole purpose of seeing what kinds of crazy projects could be attempted (and even more, completed!) over the course of an ever-so-short 24 hour window. The word “hack” in the name might imply a certain affinity for computer programming, and while there were certainly a majority of code projects on display, the competition is not limited to them in any way. There were some incredible feats of electrical and computer engineering accomplished for such a short amount of work time, and that is just the tip of the iceberg! The purpose of the competition is to utilize existing technologies in interesting ways – apart from that, there are virtually no restrictions on what can be attempted.

The Gathering Room

The Presentation Room

There were people from all walks of life present – even non tech-oriented types who simply had ideas they wanted to see realized. It truly was a melting pot for innovation. One group materialized a web-based game utilizing the popular Bandcamp website, wherein players could vote on randomly generated bands in order to find the so-called “best band on Bandcamp”. Another group created a website where stories are dynamically created by the users of the site – any user could add new branches or alternate endings, etc.. to an existing story, at will. Cool stuff.

Now, this probably sounds like all work and no fun, right? Think again! Organized by the show-runners of Syracuse Startup Weekend, Hack Upstate is a less formal event that takes place twice a year, and is a rockin’ good time meant to encourage interaction amongst the participants in fun ways. It starts with idea pitching, where anyone can come up in front of the audience and try to sell their idea to everyone in the hopes of finding talent to help work on it. After the competition begins, its just a party, with practically unlimited pizza and subs and free reign to do pretty much whatever you want. (There’s even an award given to the most social/engaging group of the competition!) A few of us groups got together and decided to go to a local venue nearby and do work while listening to some live music – truly a memorable experience.

Funk N Waffles

Enjoying some jams at Funk N Waffles while coding away!

Repping Oswego was myself and recent alumni Nick Poorman, a former Computer Science major and founder of Regattable, a startup operating out of the Tech Garden in Syracuse. Being a relatively new event with little publicity, it is understandable that not more of us techies from Oswego showed up. However, I am going to go ahead and use this as an opportunity to call on all tech majors at Oswego (Computer Science, IS, ECE, etc…) to bring yourselves and your “A” game to the next event in the Spring! So, join Hacker League today and keep an eye peeled for the upcoming Hack Upstate in Spring 2014. Hopefully I’ll see you all there!

Any questions or comments you have about the event, its organizers, or who the winners were, submit in the comments below!

 

Oswego Students Set out to Make a Difference

 

TKE (3)

Many times college students have a reputation of not being beneficial to their communities or active participants towards making a difference. However, I, along with the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity have set out to prove that this is simply not the case here at SUNY Oswego.

Oswego Community Cares Day, being held on October 13th at The American Foundry (behind Fajita Grill), was conceptualized in May of last semester and has grown ever since. Hundreds of volunteer hours have been dedicated to this project; which raises funds for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude’s mission is advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.

With the brothers of TKE, I have set out to create an event that is appealing and friendly for both the SUNY and City of Oswego communities. In addition to raising both awareness and funds for an amazing cause, the event serves to bridge the gap between both entities.

As a college student, it is important to get involved in any way you can, and use your skills to help others around you. We may feel secluded and as if we are not a part of the Oswego County community as a whole; but the SUNY campus is a huge and key part of the city in my opinion.

There are many volunteer opportunities available through the plethora of organizations on campus. One way to find out when these opportunities arise is to sign up to get emails from the Volunteer Opportunities list by going here. You can also find additional opportunities on the new Laker Life website.

Personally, I have seen firsthand the graciousness of members of the community when I have volunteered at events such as BucFest at Oswego High School or through programs such as Adopt-A- Grandparent. Our help and time truly means a lot to those in need.

It is easy in life, especially in college, to get sucked into the thought that we are in our own little world and nothing else matters.  Volunteering and helping those in need is a great way to be reminded that the world is bigger than the problems we are all dealing with in our daily lives.

I have always had a passion for helping others and using my Public Relations talents and skills to promote events to raise money for good causes. Event planning has also been a way I have been able to help others. Working on Oswego Community Cares Day with TKE has been a pleasure and I look forward to the event!

It would be an honor to see a great turn out at this event, which is next Sunday, October 13th at The American Foundry (right behind Fajita Grill) from 4-6pm. Tickets are just $15 which includes a delicious Chicken BBQ dinner and raffle tickets. Amazing prizes will be up for grabs including a signed Macklemore CD as well as many gift cards from local establishments.  Entertainment will be provided by Oswego student performers. Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here or at the door the night of the event.

 

For more information, leave a comment below or email foretheecause@gmail.com