Graduation Weekend!

Here’s a little taste of UB’s College of Arts and Sciences Graduation Ceremony! It was a looooong day that started at 8:30 am! The ceremony was from about 10-12:30. I went out and celebrated with my family and my boyfriend’s family afterwards in my hometown, East Aurora. I was a really long day, but so exciting and so worth it.

Before the students get up and walk across to get their diploma, they do about an hour of special honors and awards mixed in with some speeches. One of my former professors, Diane Christian got an award and it was wonderful seeing her accept it. She was my professor for Heaven, Hell, and Judgement, which was a really tough, (but worth it in the end) class. She also co-taught Great Film Directors with her husband Bruce Jackson. That class was cool because it was open to the community and held off campus in the city of Buffalo at the Market Arcade Theater. I’m glad she was recognized for all her hard work at the university, I don’t think I know an English major who hasn’t taken a class with her!

This is after we “officially graduated” because as you can see, my tassel is on the left side.

This was Senator Charles Schumer, who stopped by to give a very funny speech in the middle of the ceremony. His message was to “Go for it!”

Based on my GPA, I graduated Summa Cum Laude, which translated to English means, “the highest honors”. You’ll also see I’m wearing those ropes of different colors. The gold ones are for the Latin honors. I have two that are gold and maroon, and those are for the Tau Sigma Honor Society and the National Society for Collegiate Scholars. The black and silver cords are from the Society of Leadership and Success.

At UB there are commencement ceremonies that run from Thursday until Sunday for all different departments and awards. My department, the English department, chose to hold a separate ceremony congratulating us on Friday, which was just as special as the big ceremony on Sunday.

This is a picture of me and Professor Barbara Bono, who taught me all I know about Shakespeare! I feel very lucky to have been a part of her classes. The last thing she taught me, was how to wear the hood on my graduation gown.

I’m thrilled to have graduated from UB, I feel like the time I spent here went by too fast. I think posting about graduation is the best way to wrap up my time as a blogger for admissions so I’m going to leave this as my last post. I’ve had so much fun, thanks for reading!

Summer Plans

I’ve got a lot planned for this summer and I’m really excited that it’s here! As far as work goes, I’m going to be doing some babysitting and I’ll be giving some North Campus tours. I’m also going to be moving at some point, when I find a new place, so hopefully that search isn’t too stressful. Finding housing can be one of the most stressful parts of college and even though I’m a graduate, I might still find myself in student-type housing. For my personal goals, I’m going to spend a lot of time reading and relaxing too. I haven’t been able to read the books I want to read in so long! My Goodreads TBR list is out of control. I’m also going to spend some time learning new recipes. I love cooking, but during the school year, it’s hard to justify spending more than thirty minutes preparing a meal when I have so many other things that need my attention. One of my other goals is to try and continue blogging somewhere else, so I might give that a try as well. I start my job in August so my break is cut a bit shorter than it usually is, but I don’t mind at all. I’m so happy to have this time off to relax and get my energy levels back to where they need to be before starting classes again. But I won’t lie, I’m also really looking forward to my new program and what the next two years at UB is going to feel like.

Thanks for reading my blog this past year, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Summer time in Buffalo

Summer time in my FAVORITE time in Buffalo. You can do so many amazing things here–it’s like there’s an opportunity every where you look. For starters, you can take advantage of UB’s summer classes. I took Spanish 151 on campus two years ago, and it was great because I was able to get it out of the way. It wasn’t too much of an inconvenience because it was every day for an hour and a half in the morning so I wasn’t missing any beach time, festivals, or s’mores. There’s a pretty good selection and I know a lot of my friends like to take care of requirements during the summer so they can do less during the academic year, graduate early, or study abroad.

Another reason I love summers in Buffalo is that we have dozens of festivals. Now this list here is just a compiled list of food events that we’re hosting this summer. There are a bunch of other festivals in the area, I know my hometown East Aurora does this big Sidewalk Sale one day and the Roycroft Art festival. I’m also a big fan of the Erie County fair (AKA America’s fair). And of course you can’t forget music! I’ve got a few dates picked out to go to Thursdays at Canalside and Artpark. Between showings of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Measure for Measure in Delaware Park and going to some of these events, I’m going to have a busy, busy summer!

Finals are over!

I finished my 5 final papers and 4 final exams on Tuesday night! It felt so good to finally be done with them. The first thing I did after I finished was sleep, because I hadn’t slept more than 5 hours the last week of class and the first week of finals. It was really tough to get them done because apparently Buffalo decided to skip spring and go directly to summer. I don’t know why I’m surprised this seems to happen every year during finals. Buffalo gets beautiful, sunny, 80 degree weather and I’ve got to be cooped up in Capen Library studying. It was awful having to drive by the Governors Residence Hall Complex seeing other students play volleyball, frisbee, and laying out in the sun getting a tan. I’m just happy that it was only two weeks of staying indoors and now I can go outdoors all summer!!

It feels good to be done with my finals but also a little bittersweet. My last two days of class weren’t exciting at all. Every spring when the course catalogs come out I used to get one of the first copies and read through it a dozen times. This spring I had to hear about all the awesome classes offered next fall in my departments (English and History) and know that I won’t be able to take them! While I’m beyond thrilled to be in the Higher Education classes next fall, I know I’ll miss my old classes and especially my professors.

Now, I’m totally biased, but since not all departments do this I’m going to brag a little. The English department is celebrating the graduates this year with their own little ceremony tomorrow that I’m going to. I’m really thankful for this because it give me an opportunity to tell all my professors how much I’m going to miss them and see them one last time all together. They’ve been such a big part of my life the past three years, I’m glad I get to share this last weekend as an undergrad on campus with them.

Last Day of Undergrad

There’s a lot that I can say about my time at UB the past four years but I think it’s best summed up in a survey of sorts, so here it goes:

Favorite Event on Campus?
-Leadership Training Camp. SO MUCH FUN.
Professor(s) that made the biggest impact on you?
-Can’t choose one but a few are (in no particular order of course): Barbara Bono(English), Joseph Conte(English), Carole Emberton(History), and Jonathan Dewald (History)
Mentor that made the biggest impact on you?
-Holly Kahn, a student affairs graduate student I met during my junior year.
Which class that pushed you the most?
-Transnational Literature with Professor Conte and War and Society in Modern Europe with Professor Dewald
Favorite Campus Resource?
-Career Services and the Center for Student Leadership and Community Engagement
Greatest Accomplishment?
-Getting accepted into UB’s Graduate school of Education
-Not double majoring in History and English. I got the minor but I wish I had time to do a full major! I love that department so much!
What does it mean to be a part of the UB Community?
-To me, it means that you are interested in the world around you and that you want to make a difference. It means pushing yourself to do your best and learning from every experience and opportunity that is thrown your way.
Favorite extracurricular experience?
-UBSTARS! I got to blog, give tours, and it helped me solidify my choice in pursuing a master’s degree in higher education!
What will you remember most 30 years from now?
-The anxiety of not knowing what I was doing with my life for 2.5 of my 3 years at UB, and how I FINALLY discovered something that held my interest for more than a semester. And of course the immense relief of knowing I was good at something besides school and studying.
Name one thing you did that you had never done before coming to UB?
-Took pride in my school and got excited for school events. I never understood how people got excited about school events before coming to UB. It’s about supporting your community and I take pride in the fact that I get to be a part of such a fantastic community.
What do you wish you would have done more of?
-I wish I had gone to a sports event on campus. I was so busy doing other things, and participating in other events that I haven’t gotten a chance yet. But there’s still time, after all I’ve got another two years on this campus. Maybe even more.

Leadership Training Camp

The Center for Student Leadership and Community Engagement office is one of my top 3 favorite offices on this campus. They offer a wide variety of ways to get involved at UB and develop leadership skills. As you might already know from a previous blog post, I will be starting UB’s Higher Education Administration master’s program in the fall, which will take me two years to complete. Part of going the process of applying, getting into, and choosing graduate school was securing a graduate assistantship. I was lucky enough to interview with the CSLCE office and I will be one of their GA’s next fall. Part of my position next fall is to organize leadership activities, one of which is Leadership Training Camp.

Two Sundays ago, I went to the Leadership Training Camp session to observe and see what the program looks like. I had completed the LTC program a few semesters ago and it’s one of my more memorable moments at UB. Definitely in my top ten favorite experiences on campus. LTC is about four hours long and students who register work on different tasks or games using them to further understand how leadership works. The set up is basically this: you break up into groups and are put in a schedule of rotations; each rotation you visit a different room and there’s a different task there that you and your group have to solve or participate in. After the task or puzzle is completed you have a conversation about what the task taught you about leadership. The tasks are pretty silly and a lot of fun.

LTC is like a crash course in thinking about how leadership affects your daily life. When I participated in it a few semesters ago, the biggest thing I took away from it was that even though I really like to talk a lot, it’s not helpful to talk when I’m not really saying anything of substance. If I’m not contributing to the group goal, I should let other people share their opinions and brainstorm about how to solve the problem. It’s a hard lesson to learn for an extrovert like me, but it has been really important in group interviews and group projects since. This time around, I noticed that learning is so much more effective when students are having fun. The first group that I shadowed, literally could not stop laughing for more than two minutes. I helped run one game with them where they had to stay silent while solving the puzzle and they kept bursting into fits of giggles during it. I am so excited to help plan and execute this program next year! If you come to UB, I highly recommend that you sign up for the LTC during your first year on campus–it’s a great way to get to know people and learn about leadership!

Crossroads Culinary Center

During my 10-11am break today, I did what I normally do: go to Capen and check my email, Facebook, twitter, blogs I follow, and maybe if I have time the news and weather for the day. I was really surprised when on my Facebook newsfeed I found this article about UB’s Crossroads Culinary Center in the Buffalo News. When I lived in Richmond Hall in the Ellicott Complex two years ago, I either had to go to the Richmond Dining Hall or Red Jacket Dining Hall for breakfast or dinner. I had the option to go elsewhere on campus like the Commons, but I usually didn’t want to make the trek all the way over there when I could just go downstairs in my dorm. Now, as I recall, the food wasn’t very good. In fact, I went to Wegman’s quite a bit even though I had a meal plan. I wad definitely frustrated that it was AFTER I moved out that UB started construction on C3 (its the shorter and more often used title for Crossroads Culinary Center). I WOULD choose to live off campus after they start construction on a brand new dining facility in the dorms.

As a result of living off campus the only meal I eat on campus is lunch or dinner. To stay on budget I try to do it only on my busiest days once a week. My favorite place in the Union is of course, everyone else’s favorite place: Pistachio’s. If I don’t go there, I’m in the Commons getting lunch at Three Brothers or Rachel’s Mediterranean. I haven’t gotten a chance to go over to C3 yet because it’s all the way over in the Ellicott Complex. After reading this article, however, I think I’m going to head over there sometime next week! The students here talk about it all the time. It’s a bit expensive from what I’ve heard, but if you’re on the meal plan it’s not a big deal because the food is so good. Most people I’ve talked to say it’s well worth the price. I swear, even though I feel like I practically live on this campus because I’m here so much, I always find something that I haven’t explored or done yet.

Did I mention that UB is #1 ranked Dining Service for SUNY University Centers?

Diagnosis: Senioritis

I’m getting the same feeling now that I got four years ago in high school. At this time four years ago I was double checking that my community service hours for AP Government were taken care of, preparing for my spring concert band performance, and I was just starting to study for AP exams. I remember thinking, I can’t believe I have to sit in class for another three months when I’ve already been accepted to college. What’s the point? I’m going to be a biochemistry major, I’ll never need to know this stuff in college!

I just want to say one thing to current seniors: pay attention and don’t check out yet! If anything, you’re going to want to pay attention in those classes (especially English, you DO write essays in college you know) because they are important for the fall! I promise you, the stuff you learn in high school is important. You will use it, at the very least, in your general education courses in the fall.

Hopefully, by encouraging other seniors not to quit and to stay focused, it will help motivate me to keep on keepin’ on! I can relate to this awful senioritis feeling because I’m also itching to be finished. Now that I know where I’m working and going to school in the fall I feel like I need to be done with undergrad NOW. RIGHT NOW. I feel so restless and frustrated that I have another five weeks of class left before I can finish. I know from experience that the only cure is walking across that stage in a ridiculous cap and gown. But just because I know that’s the cure, it doesn’t make it any easier to sit in lecture and stay motivated to finish my assignments. I know I’ll feel better after classes end and that I’ll probably start feeling nostalgic because my undergrad is done, but right now, I feel like the senioritis is winning.

If you are also battling Senioritis, I wish you the best of luck with completing your assignments, texts, papers, and presentations 🙂

SA elections

Gotta love the internet 🙂 This beauty popped up on my newsfeed earlier this week.

The past few days in the Student Union have been really hectic. Every spring the Student Association holds elections causing undergraduate students avoid the Union like it’s their job. The reason people avoid the Union is because members from those parties and their friends are all campaigning and asking students to go in the theater to vote. If there’s anything I’ve learned at my time at UB, it’s that students here are independent thinkers and a lot don’t like to be badgered into voting. Since the Student Union is where everyone gathers during the day it makes things one big hectic mess. Honestly, I’ve voted all three years I’ve been at UB and I think it’s important to vote for this because it affects all students. I follow what they are doing through our school newspaper, The Spectrum. I know some of the functions of SA are to work with the 100+ clubs we have on campus (I think we’re up to 160? 170?) and to represent students’ needs. This year the two main parties are FORWARD and SPIRIT. I voted for the FORWARD party this year because I know three of the people running on that ticket and all three of them have the characteristics to succeed and will bring unique skills to the SA. I was a bit unhappy with the party I voted for last year so hopefully as I leave my undergraduate career at UB I can help elect competent and capable students.

I can’t wait to find out who is going to win, I really hope it’s going to be the FORWARD party!!

What I’ve been reading lately

As an English major a lot of people expect me to be constantly reading books in my free time. I do love reading, but as a full time student with a part time job, a boyfriend, friends, and I’m outgoing president of Tau Sigma Honor Society, I don’t exactly have a lot of time to hang out reading what I like. I used to work at a public library when I was in high school and for a bit while I was in college and that inspired me to read all the time. Patrons would constantly come in recommending books and telling me that I just had to read this new book they’d discovered over the weekend. I’d spend most of my shifts trying to find new releases and putting patrons on waiting lists or requesting whichever book was at the top of the NYT bestseller list. I loved that job because I got to talk to people and hang out with books all day (even though it killed my allergies). But since I’ve been in college it’s been really hard to keep up with my leisure reading. Over spring break I had time to get re-energized about my Goodreads To Be Read (TBR) list and I wanted to share what I’m currently reading.

Currently Reading
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

To Be Read
Requiem by Lauren Oliver
Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Reading for Classes
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser (Book I)
The March by E.L. Doctorow
A variety of readings on War and Justice*
A variety of readings on the Great Depression*

*Some professors at UB assign several short readings on Blackboard so that they can A.) cut down on textbook costs B.) compare and contrast perspectives and C.) students can gain a broader understanding of the topic at hand by looking at several subtopics at a time.