Going away to college

ImageWith the last two weeks of classes upon us, there is one thing that seems to be looming on most people’s minds: graduation. Whether you’re graduating or your friends are graduating, you’re thinking about it. Chancesare you know at least one person who is a senior and who is wrapping up their college career.

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You’ve probably had a couple of the “I can’t believe you’re leaving”or “I’m going to miss you” conversations. Someone has probably told you at least once to stop talking about the “G word.” If you’re anything like me, you’ve had slight panic attacks thinking about how much is going to change in the next couple of weeks.

Now, I’m not graduating, but I do know quite a few people who are. There are 14 seniors in my sorority that are graduating. My big sister, Steph (pictured), is one of those seniors. Another one of my best friends, Ian (pictured), is also graduating.

I think about them leaving and them not being here next year, and I start to get really sad. Steph is only going to be in Rochester but Ian is planning on movingacross the country to Colorado. I’ve told them I’m getting anxiety about them leaving. I’ve been taking steps to prevent pre-graduation depression, and I will share them with you in hopes to keep your spirits aswell.

1)   Do your best not to think about it. Keep yourself busy and occupied. Do your schoolwork. After all, the last couple of weeks of the semester usually are the most stressful.

2)   Don’t mark graduation on your calendars. It’s just a 

Imagewritten reminder that you will have to see every day until it passes.

3)   Spend as much time with your friends as possible. This goes without saying, but you should get as much quality time in as you can.

4)   Don’t remind each other that someone is leaving. When more than one person is talking about it, the conversation will be dragged on longer.

5)   When you go someplace or do something with a graduating senior, keep in the back of your mind that this may be the last time you partake in that activity with your friend. But do NOT tell them it is the last time you guys will be eating Sub Shop together. Chances are, they probably already realize it, and they don’t want you to bring it up.

6)   Plan visits for over the summer and next semester. Convince your friend that even if they have a real life job by Harbor Fest, they still need to come back to Oswego for the weekend.

7)   Remember that it may be hard for you to watch your friends graduate, but remember that they are entering the real world, and the real world can be a scary place. It’s not going to be easy for them either.

8)   Have as much fun as possible and do not dwell on the change.

Most of us have already gone through a high school graduation. We can deal with college graduation as well. People often say that you make your best friends in college. Just because you won’t be living in the same town as your friend doesn’t mean your friendship has to end. But growing up is scary, and change is imminent. Smile for now, because there are still three weeks left until graduation. 

Greek week is a week on most college campuses where all of the Greek organizations faceoff against one another in different games and sports. This week happens to be Greek week in Oswego, and today is the last day of events. All of the national and local, men and women’s, social Greek organizations have been competing against one another. There are different brackets for the men and women. Today the final results will be known.

What are we playing for? To be honest I’m not even sure. I just heard today that the first place team wins some sort of prize, but I’ve just been playing for the glory of “Greek Week Champions” all week long.

The sports range from games like volleyball, to football, to softball, to kickball, to dodge ball. There is also a race from the east side of the town to the quad. These events take place on and off campus. If a team goes to the biweekly Greek organizational meetings, Greek Council, they are awarded points for that as well. Points are awarded to the first, second and third places teams, and whoever has the most points at the end of the week wins. 

Competition is stiff and everyone is super competitive this week. Everyone wants to do well for their organization to win the title of Greek week champion. It would not have been uncommon for someone to drive around campus this week to see fraternities and sororities practicing for their upcoming events. We personally held practices for softball and kickball. The girls who are participating in the race have also made the loop once this week.

There are general rules for each event. You must have the minimum number of players at the start of an event for it to even be possible for you to participate. If you do not have that number by a maximum of five minutes after the event begins, you are disqualified. There are more individual, stricter rules for each event that are extremely enforced. If a team does not follow these rules, they are disqualified.

My sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, has been doing fairly well this week. We came in first place in softball, first place in arm wrestling, third place in foosball, third place in volleyball, and have come close to placing in every other event we have participated in so far. Today the final three events, dodge ball, kickball and the race begin at 3 p.m. and we’re all very excited and think we are going to do well and perhaps even finish in the top three.

My favorite part of Greek week is the fact that it brings the Greek community together. There are often times that organizations do not get to spend a lot of time together throughout a semester, but this week we have been able to. Everyone puts their differences aside and comes together to support one another. While their may be some poor sportsmanship from time to time, everyone is playing for the good of the Greek community on the Oswego campus.

            Two years ago on this date, most college students were getting ready for their last five weeks of classes. I had exactly two months until my last day of senior year, and I could not be happier. I was looking forward to prom, graduation and mostly college. I couldn’t wait to grow up.

            I hated high school. I thought I hated high school. Looking back on it now I absolutely loved every minute of it. Well, most of it.. I think. I was a typical over-dramatic, teenage girl. Everything rubbed me the wrong way and I thought practically everything was going to be the end of the world. I had a shaky relationship with most of my friends at that point, and I could not wait to leave home.

            In seventh grade I figured out I wanted to be a journalist. My social studies teacher would rant and rave about how good I was at writing. At open house he told all of the other parents about my writing and how talented he thought I was. I grew up loving sports so I decided then that I wanted to work for ESPN.

            When applying for colleges, I looked for the schools with the best communications departments. I really wanted to go out of state, but my mom told me that if I stayed at a SUNY school she would pay for half of the bill. I could not refuse that offer.

            I applied to Oswego, Cortland, Albany and Buffalo. I could not figure out where I wanted to go. I was so confused. I visited every school and that did not help at all. I made a list of everything that I liked about every school.

            Buffalo: Buffalo was my number one choice before visiting it. I knew it had a great reputation and many successful people have gotten degrees from their institution. When I went to visit, I hated it. The school was way too big for me. The dorms were separated from the campus by something that resembled a highway.

            Albany: Albany’s campus was a city of its own. I stepped foot on the campus and I hated it. I did not even want to stay for the tour. My mom made me stay though. For some reason she really liked it, but I was miserable.

            Cortland: I did not even bother visiting Cortland. I know it is a good school, but I was not interested in going there. I just applied for the sake of applying. Cortland is only about an hour away from my hometown, so I was not interested.

            Oswego: I had come to visit Oswego before I scheduled an actual college tour. I have had friends that went here before I graduated high school. I knew that it was a good school, and I made my mom come visit with me.

            I could not be happier with my choice. Oswego is a great school for me and I’m really happy here. When it isn’t snowing, it is a beautiful campus. When it is, I deal with it and remind myself that it will be cheaper in the long run. The communications department is absolutely amazing and it will be great for my career in the long run. Linda Cohn graduated from here, and now she is working for ESPN. I want to follow in her footsteps to accomplish my dreams. 

1,640 Mile Commute

In middle school I was terribly intimidated by a girl named Lauren Wasser. She didn’t like me for some reason and she essentially terrified me. But, one day she instant messaged me on AOL Instant Messenger to tell me that I had spelled the word “commercial” wrong in my buddy profile. We’ve been friends ever since.

Going away to college is a scary thing for most people. Everyone kind of has some sort of reservations about leaving home for the first time. That is why Lauren decided to stay at the local community college for her first two years of school.

Lauren graduated from my high school a year before I did in 2010. She chose to stay at Broome Community College so she could save money and take all of her general education classes while living at home. She wanted to get her “pointless” classes out of the way before moving away from home. Lauren was able to take classes and continue to work at her favorite job at Wegmans.

Her “pointless” classes were ones that did not pertain to her communication disorders and sciences major. Lauren has known since high school that she wanted to become an audiologist when she grew up. Her dad is hearing impaired and is a major inspiration for Lauren’s career goals. He now has a cochlear implant which helps to restore hearing. Mr. Wasser had to go through a process to be selected as a candidate because it does not help everyone.

When her two years at BCC were done, Lauren had a major choice she had to make. There are many SUNY schools that are excellent schools for communication disorder majors. Lauren applied to University of Buffalo, Cortland, Plattsburgh, New Paltz and Fredonia. She was accepted to all of the schools but New Paltz.

Her boyfriend of two years, Dean, had moved to Houston, Texas in October of 2011. He was hired at a new job for higher pay as an IT security analysis. After having a long distance relationship for nine months, Lauren applied to the University of Houston on a whim. They offered her major and she was excited for the opportunity to move out of the state.

Lauren moved to Texas in July of 2012. She shares an apartment with Dean and his brother Dylan. She goes to school at the University of Houston and works at Petsmart in her free time. (Lauren doesn’t really love it there because she says it pales in comparison to working at Wegmans.) She came home for winter break and is coming back again in the summer to get hours so she can continue to receive a scholarship from Wegmans.

The hardest part about her current situation is the fact that her dad was recently diagnosed with cancer, and she cannot be home to see him. They have always had an excellent relationship so it really bothers her that she is not with him.

Lauren is 1,640 miles away from home. A 26-hour drive to be exact. She misses home, but she is happy. Going away to college is a big step for everyone, and Lauren made a bigger step than anyone I know. She does not regret her decision at all.

I personally think that one of the most nerve-wracking things about going away to college is sharing a small room with someone. There is nothing like getting to know someone by living with them. When you dorm with someone, you are essentially with them from sun up to sun dow269157_10151380320803409_26526875_nn. Even if you are trying not learn something about them, you are going to. You observe everything about them, all of their little quirks.

Since you get to know all of these things about them, you form a relationship with them that is unlike no other. Sure, you’re close with your friends, but you probably don’t know that they color coordinate their underwear drawer or that they wake up at 6:04 on the dot to go to the bathroom every morning. I’m not kidding when I say you get to know almost everything about a person when your bed is next to theirs every night.

Because of your proximity to the person, having a good relationship with your roommate makes life a lot easier for the both of you. However, tensions can often run high, especially when you can barely get any free time for yourself while you’re away at college. I know a lot of people who have had completely intolerable relationships with their roommates. I know people who have suffered through a year with someone they could barely stand and some people that had the ability to change their poor living situation quickly.

I like to consider myself pretty lucky when it comes to the roommate situation. Freshman year, like most people, I roomed with a complete stranger. I met a girl through the Oswego 2015 Facebook page and we talked for while via messaging. The day of roommate requests she asked me if I had a roommate yet and if I would be interested in living with her, and I said yes. We had a lot of things in common with each other and seemed to get along pretty well.

We requested Seneca Hall as our first choice as a residence hall, and were lucky enough to be placed in the building. We knew some girls that were placed in the hall as well, on the fourth and sixth floors. Jenna and I immediately became very close friends and spent a lot of time together. We had the same group of friends, but would occasionally hang out with other people. We actually ended up joining the same sorority, along with two of our other friends. We stayed close throughout the year, but she had considered transferring to Buffalo. Since I didn’t want to be left with another random roommate for this year, I promised a girl I knew from home, Lily (pictured), that I would live with her when she came here for her freshman year.

There is a few things about my current situation that is not typical. First, my roommate is from my hometown and I have been pretty good friends with her for a few years now. A major piece of advice I had been given about rooming situations was to not room with someone that I had already knew. We decided to ignore what everyone said. Second, she is a year younger than I am. It is only her freshman year, while I’m a sophomore.

 

Deciding to live with Lily was one of the best decisions I have made in my entire college career. We have the most perfect relationship for roommates, and although we were good friends in high school, we have become the definition of best friends now. It is common for people to get annoyed with their roommate and want alone time, but Lily and I literally tell people and each other how much we miss each other when we’re not together. We sit in our room waiting for the other one to get home from class. We go home for breaks and tell each other how we want to move a second bed into our bedrooms so we can go to bed together every night and wake up to each others’ alarms every morning.

It is common for people to have good relationships with their roommates, but I forever want to live in the same 11 foot by 16 foot dorm room with Lily for the rest of my life.

Wishing My Youth Away

For most people, the thought of growing up is terrifying. People want to stay in college for as long as possible, they do not want to join the real world. Now, it is common that college students take longer than the allotted four years to graduate. My oldest brother, Cliff, took seven years to graduate college. He also transferred many times and ended up going to four different colleges before getting a degree, but that’s a different story.

My brother and I are complete opposites. I am proudly graduating from college in three years. I would never dream of transferring. I love Oswego! I could not imagine a better place for me to have gone to college. Anything I need is here. I could not be happier about graduating in three years. I am so excited to graduate, get a real job and join the real world.

All throughout high school, my mom always told me “don’t wish away your youth.” I have been praying time went fast since I was a freshman in high school. At first, I couldn’t wait to graduate high school and go to college. Now, I can’t wait to graduate college, go to grad school and start my life.

In high school, I was a little bit of an overachiever. I took as many Advanced Placement and dual credit college classes through our local community college as they would let me. Thank God I did that; I came into college with almost a year of credits under my belt. I barely had to take any general education classes before really delving into my major. This is only my fourth semester at Oswego, and after this semester, I only have one class left for my major to take. Since I just recently declared a minor, I have two more classes to take for that.

People look at me funny when I tell them I can’t wait to grow up. But, it’s always just how I have been. Since I have two older brothers, I have always hung out with an older crowd. Most of my friends are a year or two older than I am. One of my oldest friends graduated college last spring and now has a full-time job that he absolutely adores. I can’t wait to have that.

Going to class is a hassle for me. I hate waking up early in the morning to go from class to class, building to building. I believe that a lot of things students learn in their classes will not have a great impact on what they do on the future. I hate school. I just want to be a journalist already!

I guess the fact that I have such exciting career aspirations is a big reason why I can’t wait to actually start my career. I love sports more than anything in the world. I want to be a sports journalist when I grow up! I would do absolutely anything to get a job in Bristol, Connecticut, at ESPN. I am so excited for my future that I would be ecstatic if I could start it tomorrow.

It is going to be difficult and a lot of work, but I am willing to do all of the work necessary so I can graduate early. I’m having fun in college, but it is only a few years of ones life. There is so much time on the other side of a degree. I can’t wait to see what that brings to me.

Building The Future

With this being my second year here at Oswego, I came into my sophomore year knowing I wanted this to be my last year living in the dorms. I actually started looking at houses last spring semester before leaving for the summer. I wanted nothing to do with the dorms.

I wanted a clean, pretty house. There is a couple problems that come along with that statement. First, the problem most college students have: I’m broke as a joke. I barely even have two pennies to rub together. Second, college houses aren’t beautiful. They’ve been passed though, lived in, and messed around with for years. There’s a possibility that there have been 100’s of people that have slept in your room before you. That skeeves me out.

When looking at houses this past fall, nothing was working out for me. I could not find a group of people that would commit to a house with me. Everyone was worried about now finding a good deal, a better house, just an overall better opportunity. Signing a lease is a big commitment. There’s never a guarantee that everyone on a lease will get along a year after you sign it. That’s kind of nerve wracking.

While everything I have previously stated is a common occurrence, I differ from most people in one way. I actually have something in common with only 70 other people. I am living in the Premier Living Suites next year. For those of you who don’t know, the Premier Living Suites are a brand new apartment complex that they’re building across the street from Oswego High School. 

I signed a lease for the apartments during the fall 12 semester. I signed a lease when the building didn’t even exist. I signed a lease when there was absolutely nothing there…. not even the foundation. I went on the word of the people trying to sell the apartment to the students of Oswego. 

Now, a lot of people questioned why I would do such a thing. “Why would you sign a lease to an apartment complex that isn’t even built yet?” “What if it isn’t built by the time you’re supposed to move in?” “What if you get screwed out of someplace to live next year?” 

I had all of these questions, too. I like to think the best of people, so I trusted the people who own the building. I signed the lease and gave them a hefty security deposit. They could have taken my money and ran. 

However, my faith in humanity worked out. I can truthfully say every time I drive past the building, something else has progressed. There is now a beautiful building there. It has even progressed so far that the people living in the building are allowed go on tours through the establishment. 

The rooms are absolutely beautiful. I won’t lie when I say that this apartment complex is nicer than my mom’s house. We have a completely full kitchen, four bedrooms, and two bathrooms for the four of us. We have a laundry room in our apartment. There is a huge porch for every apartment. 

Let me just quickly outline what this apartment complex is doing for all of it’s inhabitants: first, I got an iPad for signing a lease with the Premier Living Suites. Come August, I will have my own iPad 2 to keep for the rest of my life. It is completely furnished. Every week day the building is providing us with Dunkin Donuts breakfast. Every monday, a different pizza place is going to come to give us dinner, and every Friday a different restaurant is coming to give us dinner. Each semester we live there they are going to provide us with all of our cleaning supplies. There is a free gym in our basement. Included with the gym includes free yoga and zumba classes. There is also a movie theater in our basement. One room will have a 100 inch television screen with an abundance of movies. There is free parking, free garbage removal, free utilities, free cable and WiFi. I received a $125 check for referring a friend to the building. I have a bed in my apartment that is bigger than my bed at home. 

It was nerve wracking and intimidating. I won’t lie it was pretty ballsy of me to sign a lease for a building that was nonexistent at the time. However, I would not choose anything different. I can’t wait to live with three of my best friends, and across the hall from another. 

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