What’s Next Session Scheduled for April 7

PRSSA What's NextOn Monday, April 7 in Lanigan 102, PRSSA will be hosting its annual What’s Next Session, which features a panel of professionals from a variety of different career paths. The event is centered around public relations and marketing.

Those who attend the event will have the opportunity to watch the panel discuss various topics and issues relating to their profession. Following the panel discussion, time will be available for the audience to network with the professionals. During this period, refreshments will be provided.

The What’s Next Session, aptly named, is designed to give students a sense of direction and an understanding of the years following graduation. It does this by allowing students to learn more about the different niches of PR and marketing.

Graduation can sneak up on anyone, so it is important to think about life after Oswego. I am only in my second semester, and while it may seem like graduation is far off, it will come up quicker than I expect.

The panel discussion begins at 7 p.m. and goes until approximately 8:30, when networking opportunities will begin.

Os “WE GO”: Christianna Miller – The Great Communicator

If you’ve lived in Funnelle Hall on the SUNY Oswego campus any time in the last three years, you would at some point, no doubt, run into the friendly face of Resident Assistant Christianna Miller.

Being an RA can be a challenging and time-consuming position. It is not exactly common for an RA to remain an RA for the remainder of their college career, let alone in the same building. The duty of an RA is to communicate with and guide and mentor students, as well as maintain the law and safety on their individual floor. Miller has mastered all of those challenges. She was the recipient of the Community Connector Award in both 2011 and 2012.

Miller said her initial interest in the position was for financial reasons. RAs are compensated with free room and board from their tuition costs.

“Since I was fortunate enough to have the luxury of my parents taking care of my expenses, I felt a moral obligation to do whatever I could to alleviate some of the costs, because as most of us are aware, college is not a cheap experience,” Miller said. “However, what made me stay an RA was all of the enriching experiences I had.”

Miller getting "pied" at a "Pie Your RA" good cause event

Miller getting “pied” at a “Pie Your RA” good cause event

An RA position requires hours of training and the hours of on-call duty vary from week to week. There are also approximately three to five hours of program activities RAs are required to do throughout the academic year.

“You also have to account for floor meetings, staff meetings, hall council meetings, decorative duties, such as door decorations and bulletin boards, and also the abundance of planning that goes into everything,” Miller said.

Miller is a communications major and creative writing minor and still has the responsibilities of being a full time student as well as those of being an RA. She is enrolled in six classes this semester and has a full time job in the Campus Center and does volunteer hours as well.

“If I did not master time management a long time ago, I would be a hot mess,” Miller said. “I am a big “to-do” list person; these have made time management a cake walk. I recommend list making to everyone. Sounds so cool, right? Also, knowing when to ask for help is equally important. Sometimes I cannot take on everything and there is nothing embarrassing in asking for help. What is embarrassing is having a bad final product because I spread myself too thin.”

Miller’s  run as an RA has taught her how to be a great communicator and said she has wanted the people that have lived on her floors to know they could always count on her.

Miller during an RA outing to a museum

Miller during an RA outing to a museum

“I would want them to see me as someone they could go to if they had an issue, a concern, a need to simply vent, or a complaint,” Miller said. “I’d want them to know there is no situation I would not help them with. I’d want them to know that my room is a bias-free, no-judgement zone.”

Miller has been an RA on three different floors in Funnelle Hall and has offered her services to many residents during that time.

“Christianna is a great RA who I now consider my friend,” former resident Jessica White said. “She was always there for me as an RA and after she changed floors she continued to be the person I went to with my problems. I trust her and she has helped me through so much. I truly believe that without Christianna, my college experience just wouldn’t be as awesome.”

Miller will be graduating this spring and said that while the big things, such as residents doing nice things for her after she did nice things for them, mean a lot to her, it’s the little things that she will remember most from her RA years.

“I enjoyed spending time at the front desk, whether it was dancing, giving baked goods to visitors, or cleaning and finding odd knick knacks. I enjoyed all of the programs we have hosted as a staff. I enjoyed the excitement of move-in day and the sentiment of move-out day. I enjoyed training sessions with my fellow RAs. I could go on forever. When I graduate, I will be taking so many memories with me that have made my time at Oswego worthwhile. I would do it all over again. There have been so many people I have met here that have changed my perspective, my opinions, and in some ways, my life.”

 

 

Break?…Or MAKE?

 

The last two spring breaks I’ve experienced in college, I’ve gone home, hung out in my bedroom, watched some movies, talked with my parents, and that’s pretty much it. At the time, all of that seemed quite okay after the week of midterm exams and seemingly never-ending essays. This year, it was not like that at all.

1506994_10201472411718166_1618160145_n

Each year, SUNY Oswego offers “Alternative Spring Break” to its students. Instead of going home and doing the things I listed above, Alternative Spring Break gives students the opportunity to travel to various parts of the country to do a week’s worth of volunteer work for various volunteer organizations. My decision to go on this journey started in such a simple way…in a McDonald’s in Canajoharie, New York. That’s where my friend told me she was applying for it. I’m on a mission to see all 50 U.S. states in my life and some of the destinations offered; Alabama, Mississippi, and Iowa were all states that I’d never seen before. I also love helping people and I knew that some volunteer work would be good for me.

My friend and I both applied and both were selected to help in the construction of a house for Habitat For Humanity in Florence, Alabama. Us and 11 other SUNY Oswego students, two of them group leaders, gathered together and took a week trip down to the South. The total 22 hour car ride was a lot of fun in itself and when we finally did get down there, each one of us were extremely taken back by the amount of kindness and hospitality that the people there were providing us. Right away, our “guide” welcomed us into his home and told us his history and the town’s history and then the rest of our hosts provided a lovely Southern dinner for us. They wanted to know all about us: who we were, what we studied, why we were doing this. And that made each one of us want to talk to them and ask them about their lives and experiences.

1922003_10201472413158202_1756357312_n

The actual volunteer work was incredibly rewarding. Pounding hundreds of nails, climbing up and down ladders dozens of times, installing windows, wires, putting up siding on a house at the work site didn’t even feel like work. Better yet, it made you want to do more. You felt useless if you were just standing there and didn’t want to leave when work for the day was over. When there wasn’t much to do, you would stand and talk to the elderly men and women that were also working there, all in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, volunteering and climbing up and down ladders like children. They provided Krispy Kreme doughnuts every morning, lunch every afternoon, and took us out for dinner every night and ice cream two different days. They helped us whenever we needed help and guided us whenever we were lost. It was a lot of fun and seeing something go from messes of plywood to what the house was when we left was inspiring to each one of us.

That was the other part that was rewarding. The “us” part. Every one of the SUNY Oswego students that went on this trip had their own special qualities and brought something different to the table. There were the fun-loving ones, the enthusiastic ones, the hard-working ones, the ones who didn’t say too much and the ones who said a little too much. We weren’t perfect. Everyone got on everyone’s nerves several times, but that happens when you spend a week with the same 13 people constantly around you. But at the end of the day, we were all able to enjoy each other’s company and friendship. The last night we were there, we passed a volleyball around and everyone in the group would go around the circle and say something positive about the person who held the volleyball. This was estimated by our group leaders to take 15-20 minutes to do…it was so much fun and we all had so much to say about each other that it actually took us three hours..

1977452_10201730047076233_635607876_n

And even after we got back to Oswego, I thought I’d probably never see most of that group again. On Monday morning, as I was walking to my first class, I stopped at the Information Desk in Campus Center to talk to my friend (the one who told me about the trip) and then suddenly two of our group members walk up and say hello. And they were actually there to meet another member of our group to give her her headphones that she had left in the car. I was five minutes back into the real world and already I had had a small reunion with these wonderful people. We agreed to meet up again when we can, the first time to make thank you notes to the people down in Alabama.

I can’t imagine sitting on a couch doing nothing over break anymore. Going to Alabama was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in college and I would recommend it to everyone and anyone. It was the best spring break I could ask for. I want to try to do the international trip next year.

Top: How the house started Bottom: What the house looked like when we left

Top: How the house started
Bottom: What the house looked like when we left

 

Back to school

Back to school

We all had quite a variety of experiences coming back from our Spring Break. From experiencing child birth on bus rides back here to a quick and relaxing plane ride over. I’ve heard many people having quite an adventure coming back and we can all be thankful we arrived back safely. Now that we’re back, we all have to get back into the mood of getting used to school after a 1 week break. For some it can be rough, with a side of rude awakenings or it can be just another day for those who stayed on campus during the break. Some midterms are unfortunately still going on and we have to be rushed into the mood of studying for them. I have an essay due plus two midterms and a quiz due in this one week, and it feels overwhelming as I find the time to write this blog describing my thoughts.

I am not as stressed as I could have been if I had all my tests due before the break. However, I didn’t quite use my time during the break to study or really get any information from my classes in my mind. I’m surely not the only one who does this, but I do hope to get rid of that habit of procrastinating. Although many of us can work well under pressure, it feels overwhelmingly risky in my opinion. This Sunday was the day we could all notice that people tried to get their last minute homework in and some found out, they couldn’t beat their forced limited time.

The break, for me, was probably one I couldn’t ask to be any better, even though I really didn’t want it to end. Fun times with friends are the best moments you will experience in your life. To be able to share memories with others is the best. I feel like you will be able to smile more often and be happy. This ability could win the battle over the stress and sadness you can evidently feel if you had oops on your homework and study time.

Now that I’m back, I had a mix of feelings being back here in Oswego. The first was the weather difference! Again I almost forgot just how much colder a 10 degree difference feels like here in Oswego compared to New York City. Second, the lights in the hallways are much brighter! It causes my eyes to squint much more when I have to use the restroom in the middle of the night. I do like how I can almost call my hall one of the brightest dorms on campus. Finally, third, the upsetting fire alarms going off. They sure bring back memories. I think we all hope we don’t get caught taking a shower when it goes off. It is probably all of our greatest fears.

I think it is great to be back to be able to spend time and make more memories with friends in here SUNY Oswego. I’m glad to be back and continue pushing on to my goals. Enjoy your time here everyone, it’s definitely worth it.

Committing to SUNY Oswego

Committing to SUNY Oswego

I have noticed some of the admitted students wonder whether to commit to attending this university and the answer is: they definitely should! Well why? Well, SUNY Oswego has a wide variety of activities, clubs, sports, and dorms to try out! Especially the fun orientation over the summer! Oh how I wish I can be a freshman again next year… As a current second semester freshman, I definitely love it here and wish to live and study here quite lot more. When you think about graduating sooner and sooner, you are getting closer to living away from the best 4 years of your life, give or take a few more years if you’re going to graduate school.

The traveling, specifically from New York City to here can be a pain in the neck if you are using the bus(es) to travel here. Using both Greyhound and Centro is probably the best way by bus since Greyhound has outlets within the bus, from what I know of. It can take a total of 9 hours adding waiting time and the time to arrive to the bus from whichever borough you live in using the MTA. The actual bus rides would take 6 to 7 hours. However, you should realize you aren’t the only one! There are many city kids here in Oswego and they enjoy coming back every semester to this university. The friends you make is really hard to let go once you commit, especially when you go back home for vacations. You’d have to wait to come back to the university to live with them again in your respective dorm halls.

It’s also great to find out you have quite a number of things in common with others within the SUNY Accepted Students Class of 2018 page. The same hobbies, sports, etc…! Take note that your college friends have the most potential of being your lifelong friends!

When it comes to choosing a dorm hall, this all depends on how you feel like living. All dorms have something unique about them but here’s some basic information. East campus dorms are Scales, Waterbury, Riggs, and Johnson. Scales and Waterbury do not have a dining hall, thus, you would have to walk to the lakeside dining hall that is connected between Riggs and Johnson. Johnson is the freshman dorm hall that requires you to do some community service type of classes (I’m not completely sure what they are since I haven’t really chose to live there) in order to stay there.  The one dorm I have never been to Riggs. The middle campus dorms are Hart and Funnelle, Hart is the international dorm, the dorm that invites those who come from different nations and come here, and just like Johnson, you need to do some sort of community service classes in order to stay. Funnelle seems to be the dorm many students favor because of the wide rooms and the fact that it’s so close to all the academic buildings! You will most likely be eating at the Cooper dining hall connected between Hart and Funnelle when you come for orientation.  The West campus dorms are Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, and Oneida. Seneca is a huge 10 floor dorm hall while Cayuga is the 4 floor dorm hall with the amazing RA’s! But I’m probably only being bias. Both Cayuga and Seneca share Pathfinder Dining hall and there’s a tunnel connecting both dorms. Similarly Onondaga is like Seneca only for upper classmen and full of suites, and Oneida is like Cayuga only with lounges on every floor plus a computer lab to print stuff out. The Village is the farthest place to live on campus, unfortunately I don’t know much about living there.

Overall, the choice is yours and we are lucky to be given the chance to choose where we want to live and with which roommate specifically. Hope we all can be friends and enjoy making your commitment to SUNY Oswego worthwhile!

Just Say “Yes” To All The Places You’ll Go

I have to say that during my freshman year of college here, I was pretty intimidated by the overwhelming amount of things that happen at SUNY Oswego. I came from a high school that was connected to its middle and elementary school and graduated in a class of 61 people. The only thing I ever participated in besides academics in high school was drama club. It was definitely worth it. I was able to snag two lead roles in that time and know the ways to make a proper performance.

When I first came to SUNY Oswego, I knew I wanted to do more. And everyone that I had talked to about college had told me to get involved in things besides academics. From the start, I joined The Oswegonian newspaper and a few clubs but only went to their general interest meetings and then fizzled out over the next few weeks.

Over the last year or so, I’ve just begun to notice just how much SUNY Oswego can do for someone and where it can take them. I made it a goal of mine last year to not say “no” to things so suddenly when they come up. There were a lot of opportunities that came up that I simply refused and others thought, “yeah that would be cool, but I’ll probably never do it.”

IMG_0224

That changed last year and it has rewarded me ever since. One of my favorite things to do is travel. I’ve been to almost half of the U.S. states and have seen some wonderful sites of North America and close to home in New York State. I befriended the president of the history club last year and she told me over winter break that the club was going to Washington, D.C. later that spring. She knew I was a huge history buff and asked if I might want to go. I had wanted to go to Washington, D.C. since I was in fifth grade. I wanted to see the Washington Monument and the original Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, along with all the spectacular monuments. This was one of those “yeah that would be cool, but I’ll probably never do it” moments. But then I went…

388697_4534632569846_1040753732_n

It was one of the best trips I’d taken in years and was everything that I expected it to be. I also met some people that became my best friends this year and became a full time member of the history club. We are going to Philadelphia in April, another place I’ve always wanted to go. The whole trip just opened my eyes as to what I had the ability to do now.

In November of this year, I was told about “Alternative Spring Break” that SUNY Oswego offers. I’d heard about it before, where students have volunteered to go down to New Orleans to help in the still on-going repairs from Hurricane Katrina. I was told that the trips this year were going to Mississippi, Alabama, and Iowa. I thought, “Well, I’ve never been to those states before” and I love helping people so for only $150, I was gladly able to jump on that band wagon. I was placed in the Alabama group, which is volunteering for Habitat For Humanity and I leave for that in just a few days.

IMG_0920

I’m hoping to go international next year, whether it be the international trips that Alternative Spring Break offers or a Communications quarter class where students can go to Paris or London over spring break.

I never even imagined I’d be doing any of these things during my college years. I’ve come to realize that now is when I have the time, the expenses are right, and the overall experience is always worth it. SUNY Oswego and college itself offers so much to do in a little four year span. All you have to say is “Yes.” In terms of my joy of traveling, it’s a wonder to think of all the places I’ve gone and all the places I might go, all because I decided to go to SUNY Oswego.

IMG954454

 

Three Ways to Budget Your Time Wisely

As one goes through their college career, they start to get busier and busier as they take harder classes and become more involved on campus. Everyone also has their “week from hell” every once in a while where so many important things are all due in the same week.

This past week, I had one of those weeks from hell. In a single week, I had two huge group projects due two days apart, a paper, and more (which is mentioned below) added onto my usual weekly workload. I had dreaded last week for this whole semester and it arrived rather fast. I believe I survived last week by doing the following things:

1. Leave Open Space for Unexpected Surprises:

While I knew I had a lot of assignments due last week, I knew there would be more than I was expecting. For example, I wrote a paper that was due in the middle of the week. Upon bringing the paper to class, the professor without prior notice says, “Now, you are going to switch papers with someone else in the class and critique their work. This is due two days from now.” Because I left open patches in my schedule, I knew I had to give one of those up in order to complete the assignment.

That week, I also helped a friend with a project and helped out with a video shoot. These two tasks were all on short notice. Every week is different and a single week is never set in stone. One’s schedule has to be flexible enough to change at any moment. Always keep a few hours free just in case.

2. Get Things Done Early:

There would have been no way to finish all of my work in a single week. I instead broke my tasks up in chunks and did small bits of each beforehand. One of my two group projects was actually completed the week before it was due. I met with my group members both online and offline and worked during less busy weeks to get it done. The paper I had due Wednesday was actually finished a couple of days prior because I wanted to use the time Tuesday night to work on other things rather than rush out a paper.

There have also been times in the past where I completed assignments a week or more before they were due, just because I couldn’t think of any other time I would have to get them done. Procrastinating is easy to do. I’ve done it plenty of times. When one has multiple assignments due day after day, procrastinating isn’t an easy option to choose. There’s no shame in getting things done early.

3. Make a To-Do List:

The most successful days and weeks I have are the ones where I have made to-do lists. I always have so many things to do during any given week that it becomes very hard to remember them all. To-do lists allow me to keep track of what I have to do. Making a to-do list also gives me satisfaction when I’m able to cross an item off of my list. I can get a visual as to how much progress I have made in a day or week. It also forces me to commit to a plan of action.

Throughout college, there are always so many things to do and so little time to do them. College students typically procrastinate, but sometimes, that will prove to be ineffective. This is especially true during midterm and finals weeks, I do follow the advice I gave above and it does lead to be more productive and relaxed. These strategies also give me time to polish my work rather than hand in the first draft of a paper and call it a day. Be wise with your time. Don’t waste it.

WTOP: The Beginning of Something New

Studio at WTOPThis semester, I am expanding my horizons by becoming a part of the TV world at WTOP.

I have no plans to be in front of the camera – at least anytime soon. Instead, I chose to be a part of the crew, operating a camera for the nightly news.

Joining WTOP is not something that I necessarily need for my career path – at least Public Relations. However, one of my biggest interests revolves around television. I am fascinated in what goes into television programming. From sporting events to ceremonies, to national news programs, to local programming, I love having a look behind the scenes of it all.

So, joining WTOP was something simply for fun. Just because it is for fun however, does not mean I cannot take away anything from the experience.

I look forward to learning what goes into a news program, how a TV team works together, what certain positions entail, and most importantly, how to perform at my best for my assigned position.

Working a camera may seem like nothing, but on the day of my training, I learned there was a whole lot more to it. Learning terms, controls, different cameras, and positions can be intimidating at first.

I tend to get nervous about a lot – pretty much everything, even the simple parts of life. I like to think that is what drives me at times. Jumping into WTOP, I was extremely nervous.

I was nervous about what I could control. I was nervous about what I could not control.

A friend of mine, who is a member of WTOP, got an earful of questions from me the week leading up to my debut behind the camera.

After training, a run through, and the first few weeks of live shows, I feel much more comfortable.

I am still far from perfect.

I have much to learn and I can only get better with practice. As a whole, I feel happy, comfortable, and confident, especially with the team of people around me at WTOP.

I am sure I will be getting a call from NBCUniversal any day now for a job behind the camera.

I am kidding, of course.

But down the road, who knows?

PRSSA Brunch Fundraiser on March 9th

American Cancer SocietyHelp fight cancer while fighting your hunger!

PRSSA, the Public Relations Student Society of America, is hosting and promoting a special fundraiser this weekend.

In support of the American Cancer Society, brunch will be served this Sunday, March 9th, at The Shed in Oswego.

Tickets are $10 and can be bought at the door. A percentage of all proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

The brunch begins at Noon and lasts until 3 p.m. This way, it is possible to sleep in and still catch a nice meal to start the day.

The Shed can be found at 1 Washington Blvd right here in Oswego. I’ve personally never been there yet, but I have heard great things about the food.

We have been working very diligently at PRSSA in the recent weeks to promote this event and we hope to make a difference. Even if it is small, it is still worth it.

Who knew you can fight cancer with bacon?

4 Years and 4 Roommates: My Story

I remember as a college freshmen, I was very nervous to find out who my first roommate was going to be. Living with someone you don’t know can be scary. This same “fear of the unknown” is something I went through multiple times. I have had four different roommates, one for each year of school. Three out of four of these roommates were randoms.

I really have gotten lucky with roommates. My first roommate and I had a lot in common. We got along great and even had a similar group of friends. To make a long story short, there was a conflict within our group of friends and I grew apart from them. My roommate and I at the time went from being close friends to more so acquaintances. He also had a girlfriend who would never acknowledge me, no matter what I did. It got pretty uncomfortable in that room at times.

During our second semester, one of my roommate’s friends had his roommate move out, so he moved into that vacant spot, leaving me with no roommate for the rest of my freshmen year. If you have a good roommate, having your own room isn’t that much different. The room is just quieter and there’s a lot more space for activities. About this first roommate, as the years went by, we actually became closer friends and he is even my neighbor now which is really cool.

I decided to keep my freshmen year room for my sophomore year and leave it up to fate as to who would lie in the empty bed sitting in my room. Turns out, it was someone I had met weeks prior to reserving my room once again. I was happy that this new roommate was at least someone I was familiar with. My second roommate turned out to be great! He also had a girlfriend, but this time, the girlfriend actually talked to me and because she was in the room so often, she felt like a third roommate. She was great to me so I really didn’t mind.

My sophomore roommate decided that he wanted to live off campus the following year, so I had to find a new roommate because I wanted to stay in the dorms. I became close friends with a guy that lived two doors down from me, so I asked him if he wanted to be roommates with me and he agreed so long as we moved to a different residence hall. I happily agreed.

My third roommate again was great. This was the first time I didn’t have a random, so I kind of expected this. At the end of the year, I was prepared to live with him again, but he got hired to become an RA. The RA job would come with his own room, leaving the adjacent bed empty for my senior year.

So I lied above. I actually had a fifth roommate. This roommate who came in at the start of my senior year was nice. He was a junior transfer, so the whole college thing was very new to him. I barely saw him and because I was so busy, he barely saw me. After three days, he texted me, saying that school was not for him and that he was preparing to drop out. At this point, I ran from the involvement fair in the campus center back to my room and caught him right on time to say our final goodbyes.

For the following three weeks, I would have my own room once again. It was fun, but because there are more students living on campus this year, I knew it had to end eventually. I was told by a friend on my floor that there was a freshmen who was being bullied by his roommate and was looking for somewhere new to live. I had only met this guy once before, so it very much felt like taking the same plunge as when I got a random at the start of the year. I agreed to let him move in and it definitely was the right decision.

My relationship with my current roommate is different than that of my other three, and that’s not to say it’s a bad thing. My previous three roommates are in my social circle. They would be the people I would hang out with during the weekends or on a random night. This time, my roommate has his friends and I have mine. Even though this is true, we still have become very close over the course of the year. We talk a lot to each other and it’s really fun to kind of look into the life of a freshmen once again, but this time, from the perspective of having been there.

Not everyone can say that they have become good friends with their roommates. Sometimes, it just wasn’t meant to be. I feel very lucky that not only did I become friends with all four of my roommates, but I see them all on a regular basis to this day. I do not take this for granted at all. If you are a freshmen and are worried about who may move in with you, just keep an open mind. You never know who you will meet or what will happen. Its a lot of fun leaving this up to chance.