Hey Everyone,

This is a sad entry. This will be my last blog for UMass Lowell. I have been writing for two years and I have enjoyed sharing my experiences with you all. I hope that you have all learned something from me, whether it be about UML or study tips or time management skills. I have had a lot of amazing opportunities and I have realized that, looking back, I have grown a lot since I've been documenting my college experience. These entries are like my own college time-capsule. (Along with my facebook, let's be serious.)

Grad School is shaping up. I'm mailing out the last few things I have this week and then it is all out of my hands. The grad school journey has been a long one, and it hasn't even really started yet! If applying has caused me this much stress, I'm nervous to see where the program itself will take me. To that, I say BRING IT ON! :) New adventures and challenges, here I come.

But before I pack my bags and head off to grad school, I have one last semester at UMass Lowell. This makes me TERRIBLY sad and I don't want to leave. But I digress.

Anyways, my last semester is going to be a crazy one and I'm going to crack down and take my 18-credits and work and try and get dean's list one last time. These are my big time goals. So as you're reading my last entry, I want you to set high goals for yourself next semester. Not just in academics, join a new club, apply for a new job, do something completely out of your comfort zone. I'm asking you to push yourself, make Spring 2010 your best semester yet.

I wish you all the BEST of luck in your future!!!!!!

As always...
Thanks for reading!
Sam :)
Hey Everyone!

I hope you all had a great holiday. I know I did. I got to hang out with my family and see my cousin from New York. It has been great to just take a step back and breathe. Winter break is perfect for that. A month full of breathing. 

Over the holiday, I got all of my grades for this semester. I got an A in Research III, an A- in Poetry and in Acting, and a B+ in Politics. I have to wait for my ASL grade to transfer in from Northern Essex, but I'm 99.9999% sure I passed it. (It transfers in as Pass/Fail) Not too shabby I think.

On a more serious note, 2010?!?!?!? Really?!? I can't believe that 2010 is right around the corner. Who woulda thunk it!? 2010... my graduation year... it's crazy. So for my last semester, I am setting some resolutions for myself in honor of the new year. I figure if they're in writing, I'm more likely to keep them.

#1. Get into Graduate School. Accept. Figure out the financial stuff. I'm getting there now, but I have to keep up the good work next semester.

#2. Go to Graduate School. I can get accepted, but taking the leap and going is another story.

#3. Keep my GPA above a 3.6. (That's right, I kicked butt this semester and got my GPA to a 3.6) None of this senioritis stuff, I have to keep it up! I want to graduate with honors.

#4. Meet new people. So what if it's my last semester? It never hurt anyone to make new friends. I don't want to leave any stone left unturned at UML.

#5. Excel at my job. I want to walk away from my job knowing that I made an impact and that I left my mark in Residence Life.

I think they these are pretty decent resolutions. I know that I want to achieve a lot in my life and 2010 and the turn of a decade seems like a perfectly good time to hit the gas and get it going.

Everyone should comment with their resolutions for their next year. Especially academic resolutions. Power in numbers, folks!


As always, thanks for reading!!!!
Sam
Hey everyone,

Finals are almost over for everyone. I finished my last paper today. It feels so crazy to say I survived the semester! I have to admit, there were times when I thought I would just fall asleep standing up in the middle of the campus. But I didn't. YAY!

I would also like to say that I've continued my record. I have been in college for 7 semesters now and I have never pulled an all-nighter to study or get things done. I like my sleep and I can't imagine pulling an all-nighter than having to stay up the next day and go to classes and work. It just seems slightly ridiculous. Ask me again when I'm in grad school though!

So I just finished my last paper, like an hour ago. It was for Research III. I had to write my research paper on my project. Our project was on Sports and Character. We had approx. 200 General Psych students take a survey (for credit) and then we used SPSS (a statistics computer program) to look up the details and data. We found a lot of significance in our study. I won't spoil it for you though and tell you the results. There is a possibility that we may get published because of our results, you can wait for that! :)

I don't think I can express to you the weight that has been temporarily removed from my shoulders. I say temporarily because I'm well-aware that next semester is going to be just as hectic (minus Grad School stuff) but I'm NOT thinking about that now.

Well, I hope that holiday shopping and finals are going well for you all...

- Sam
Hey everyone,

One step closer to Grad School! GRE's are done! I'm satisfied with my scores (even though my top school doesn't require them!) and I have to thank number2.com mostly. Number2.com was sent to me by one of my supervisors and it was heaven sent! It gives you questions from each type of question they ask in both the verbal and the quantitative THEN (here's the best part) it tells you why your answer is right or wrong. This was perfect for the math because it refreshed my memory on a lot of things I forgot. It also let you go back and figure out the right answer once you were prompted. Then it calculated what percentile you would be in (compared to others that use their website). I have to say, the books are handy but this website just made it seem a lot more real. If you're taking the GRE's give it a shot.

The only thing that the website didn't really help prep for was the essays. I had done some further research on what the essays looked like and how much time was given to write them. I got to choose between two prompts for one of my essays and I felt really confident about my writing so *fingers crossed*. 

The cool thing about the GRE's are you can send your results to 4 schools for free (normally $80) so I sent my results to my schools and that's one more thing done and over with.

So now that GRE's are done. I'm 1 final paper, 1 acting presentation and 1 final exam away from winter break. 


WINTER BREAK PLEASE GET HERE SOOOOOON!
- Sam

Hey everyone,

Let me start off by saying I am one overwhelmed college senior. Classes, working and grad school stuff is really bogging me down. I wish that I could just add a few hours to every day. Or have a snow day, but mother nature isn't feeling that one right now.

So what does one do when one is stressed out beyond reason? One MAKES A PLAN! I have outlined my life over the next two weeks. I have when I am going to write my papers, continue studying for the GRE's, memorize my acting final script, mail grad school stuff AND sleep (maybe).

Time management has become a huge part of my life in college. Before college, I was fortunate to be one of those people that didn't have to study to get good grades. I was involved but no where near as involved as I am now. Basically I never had to juggle anything, it all got done and I was always in bed by 11pm (to be fair, I used to wake up at 5am).When I started working in the Honors Office when I was a freshmen, I was required to read these packets on  Time Management, Study Skills and Note Taking to become a peer advisor and to hold workshops. When I read the Time Management one, I scoffed and said that I wouldn't need to do that. Basically, finals approached and I learned I was very, very, very wrong. So I re-read the time management packet, photo copied a few the sheets and organized my life a little better. I learned that time management took a lot of work, but it was worth it when I finished work and was in bed by 1am (to be fair, I didn't have to wake up until 9).

I think that if you're one of those people coming out of high school and you coasted through senior year, hold on, because you're in for a bumpy ride. Do yourself a favor, and google time management strategies or go to the Centers for Learning and sit in on a workshop. They really are helpful.

Tonight though, I am treating myself to one last night out before I really crack down. I am going to see Brothers in the movies. Luckily for me, I bought discounted tickets at the Student Information Center ($7 tickets for the Showcase Cinemas). I don't know how I'm going to function when I'm not a UMass Lowell student. I'm definitely going to have to budget my money a little bit better without all these discounts and student prices.

 

Well I'm off to make a list or six... Thanks for reading!

Sam :)

Hey Everyone,

How are you? I hope that you and your families had a great Thanksgiving! (And a GREAT Black-Friday & Cyber-Monday!)

So the other day I almost did something that I've taught almost every freshman and transfer that came through Orientation NOT to do. I almost dropped a class because I wanted to add a different one in the Spring. So I logged onto ISIS and I had all the numbers ready to go and I clicked the "Drop Classes" link. Then I highlighted the right class.. THEN I realized that I was commiting an ISIS no-no (not really, it will let you do it, it just isn't smart). So then I quickly quicked the "Swap Classes" link and entered in the class number I wanted to add next to the one I wanted to switch it with. THIS is a much smarter idea. If you change classes under the "Swap" function, you won't get dropped from your first class until you get into the second. It is always a safer thing to do. What if you dropped one class and your new class was full?! And then someone took your spot in your first class?!? Now you're doomed (well kind of). So basically, on ISIS, you never want to DROP a class if you have intentions of adding another one. Got it?! Don't forget it! It's handy information.

 

On another note, I delivered all of my Letters of Recommendation packets to people that agreed to write them. I provided them with tons of information (probably too much) including my resume and personal statement draft. I never understood why people asked for so much, but I realized that they need all of that information to write about you in a more well-rounded way. If my supervisor didn't know that I had a 3.59 GPA, she couldn't write how I balance my academics and my job. Same if my professors know that I do well in class, but don't know how much work I do around campus. It helps them fill in the gaps about what they don't know.


I'm also almost done filling out the applications themselves, which means this process is almost done.

 

WOOOOHOOOO!

 

On the note, Thank you for reading...

Sam :)

Hey everyone -

I have a very busy weekend ahead of me.

Tonight, I'm going to see Funny People for FREE in O'Leary. FREE MOVIE!!! If you're on campus, you should go! I didn't see the movie in the theaters, and I've heard very mixed reviews but I have nothing else to do tonight so it's my game plan. (Plus maybe I'll bring my laptop and get work done....... that's a BIG maybe though.)

Tomorrow, I'm going to a conference that will hopefully help me (and motivate me!) to get back on the Grad School ball. I have been ssssllllaaackkkkiiiinngggg! The conference is put on by NEACUHO (Northeast Association of College and University Housing Officers). It's called RD2B. I went last year and I had a blast. It's a great opportunity for me to network, hear about some programs, get my resume looked at and maybe even do a mock interview? I'm looking forward to it. (Even though I have to wake up at 6am.)

Then tomorrow night, I'm going to the hockey game. I haven't been able to go to nearly as many games as I would like this season, but tomorrow night I can go!!! UML is playing Merrimack. I'm hoping that they have some really fun entertainment between the periods. A few weeks ago they had these blow-up animal things that danced called Zooperstars. They were a RIOT! We had to leave early that game, but we stayed late enough to watch them peform twice. I think that the atmosphere of the games are really my favorite part. Seeing everyone chanting and yelling with their face paint and jerseys... you really have to go to a game to understand. (DON'T FORGET: They games are FREE to all UML students with your ID.) 

Well I hope you all have a great weekend!!!

Thanks for reading,
- Sam

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Hey everyone,

I hope that you're all having a great week before Thanksgiving. I'm sad. I'm missing the snow we should be getting! Not even little flurries, I want like 2' of snow! That would be SO cool right now. Plus, who doesn't love a snow day or 2? I mean, comeee on... It's NOVEMBER... not May! Enough with the warm weather. Phew.. okay... There's that rant.

On another note, I went to UML's Off-Broadway Players show on Thursday night. For those of you who don't know, Off-Broadway Players are the theater troupe at Umass Lowell. They are great! On Thursday nights, It's student night and students get in for $1 with their ID. (Seriously, we save so much money because of that little piece of plastic.) Their latest show was Rumors by Neil Simon. It's a comedy and it lived up to it's genre because it most certainly had the whole audience laughing. Their set was also INCREDIBLE! It was two stories and it looked like a real house! I had a great time and I hope that everyone else that went had a great time.

Grad school update: The GRE practice books and stuff are starting to scare me. What if I don't do well? I'm cutting it close with my priority deadlines as it is. I mean, almost all the schools are rolling applications (should be a term you first year students/high school seniors are familiar with) but I want to get it in early. Also, my goal is to finish my personal statement on Sunday so I can get it to my Professor's so they can write my recommendations.

Sorry I've been so boring lately, I promise I'll spice it up soon!

Thanks for reading,
Sam :)

Hey everyone -

GRAD SCHOOL UPDATE -

I've narrowed my choice down to three schools and they are all in Massachusetts. I know that seems crazy because I was so convinced about going to NC but because of family things and a few serious discussions with my mother, I've decided that for grad school I'm going to stay local, then if I choose to go away, then I should try then.

Also, last week I registered for the GRE's. Basically they are like the SAT's for grad school, but way harder. I'm scheduled to take them in December. I've been prepping here and there since the summer. I recently received a new practice book, DVD and book about the test. I'm hoping they help a little bit. I only want to take the GRE's once.

I've also filled out some of the applications and outlined my personal statement. Basically, a personal statement is an essay about what you want to do and why. I feel really comfortable with where I want to go with it, but I've been putting off writing it. I NEED TO GET THAT DONE. Haha.

I have also confirmed three people to write recommendations for me. Two professors and one of my supervisors. I'm really excited they all agreed and I think that over the past 3 and a half years they have gotten to know me the best.

Okay, so on a less stressful note (meaning this has NOTHING to do with Grad School), I am taking my brother to a comedy show tomorrow night. (If he somehow finds this blog in the next 24 hours, you can bet I'm going to be mad. I've kept this a secret for MONTHS) So if you remember last year, the comedian Mike Birbiglia came to UML. HE WAS A RIOT. He joked about everything from freshmen living at the Radisson to his brother and their relationship. So fast forward to the beginning of the summer when I found out he was on tour (!!!!!!!!). I ordered the tickets on the spot. My brother wants to be a comedian so I knew he would enjoy it, and VOILA easy birthday gift. 

Well, I'm super excited to head home for the first time in almost a month and I'm sure my family is too... So I'm going to start packing (and by packing, I mean throwing my laundry into a basket.. and hoping it all fits)

Hey everyone,

If you're a frequent reader of my blog, you know that this is MY FAVORITE time of the semester. It is time to meet with advisors and begin registering for classes.

Basically, right about now, everyone is starting to feel "blah" after the midterm rush and ready to be done with their current classes. The new-ness and exciting-ness is just gone. BUT a wonderful website listed as the "Registrar's Office" posts a very exciting thing... A NEW SCHEDULE!

If you're a first semester freshmen or a 2nd to last semester senior, you should be meeting with your advisor listed on ISIS. They will come in handy with helping plan your future career here or filing your DIG form (see below.).

Otherwise, most departments do "Group Advising" sessions and you get to go when it is most convenient for you and meet different advisors and professors. I always signed up for group advising with a different professor to get to hear their different stories and opinions on classes. That's how I met one of my FAVORITE psychology professors.

Fast forward to last week sometime...

Here I am, looking through the registrar's website and realizing that I've taken A LOT of these classes. Then I had a sad realization. Next semester is my last semester here at UML. This is my last time looking through classes and finding that one perfect slot with my favorite professor. Then I realized it was time to file my DIG form. A DIG form is a "Declaration of Intent to Graduate" and basically you write all of your classes and where they fit into your requirements and electives. It is incredibly scary, but incredibly relieving to see that I'm only 6 classes away from graduating in May 2010.

*shudders* well now that I feel incredibly old... I'm going to wash my dentures... and by that I mean work on some politics reading.


Thanks for reading,
Sam :)

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