Results tagged “college” from Hawk Talk - Christian

For the past few days, I have been thinking about my final HawkTalk post for UMass Lowell.  Many questions, such as "What should I say?" and "How should I say it?" filled my head.  With these questions, other thoughts and flashbacks floated in my mind.  I thought about the main purpose of this blog, and my purpose in life.  I thought about my four tremendous years at UMass Lowell and my future.  I thought about my family, my friends, my colleagues, my baseball players, and others who I have interacted with.  I thought about the world we live in - all the good and all the bad.  All of this floated in my head like a crib's hanging mobile.  I'm like the infant lying there, still new to the world around me, looking over the bright objects floating above my head; all I had to do is grab one thing.  So, what should I write about?  What should I grab from this mobile that continues to spin around in a rhythmic matter?

Last night I looked at my mirror and saw a different person.  Who is that person? Who was he four years ago?  Was he a person who was just fresh out of high school?  A naive young man who wanted a girlfriend, has a lot of friends, and just hangs out a lot?  A person who wants a job and make a lot of money?  A person who doesn't know what to do with his life?  A person with no purpose?   I can tell you this:  he was all of that before and now he is someone else.  This person I see in the mirror wants to make a difference in the world, someone who wants to change people's lives for the better, a person who can make goals and aim higher to achieve them.  This person has a set of skills with a vast and vivid knowledge that continues to grow, a gentleman-type of professionalism, and a drive to live that cannot be destroyed.  This person has a caring and loving heart that is bigger than he knows and a personality that will build bridges, not walls.  This person has a purpose in life.  Humbly, this person is me, Christian.

And who should I thank for helping me become a better person and a worthy "top-of-the-line" contributor to society?  I have to thank the University of Massachusetts Lowell, my alma mater.  I have to thank my professors, their teacher aides, the deans, the Chancellor and the administration, the rest of the staff, my blog supervisor, and my blog co-workers.  Most of all, I have to thank my friends and my classmates, who stuck by me through the thick and thin.  Everyone here at the UMass Lowell has taught me many things from the topics set within my major to essential lessons about life.  They have taught me that knowledge does not end at the last page of the textbook; everything around you is a "teachable moment" and a life-worthy learning experience.  With these lessons, I took on UMass Lowell's challenge.  They challenged me to be the best that I can be.  They challenged me to work hard to reach my goals, and to fight in what I believe in.  They challenged me to make a change and to make a difference in the world that we live in.  I can be I am proud to say that I took on the challenge and succeeded; now I'm an UMass Lowell alumnus.   

So can you take on the challenge?  Can you change the person that you are now?  Can you make positive changes?  Can you make a difference?  If you are up for the challenge, UMass Lowell is your answer to overcome that challenge "plus ultra."  You "Gotta Be Here," plain and simple.  This is where dreams are made and met, and where life truly begins.  I can honestly tell you that I am happy with my decision to go to UMass Lowell four years ago.  It was one of the best decisions in my life and I hope it is yours too.

Now I leave you all with this quote:

"We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make."
- Ted Kennedy (1962-2009)




See you later and thank you,
Christian T.
UML Exercise Physiology Class of 2009

EPme.jpg 
 

    


The first day of college is about 4 weeks away and I'm already seeing the "Back-2-School" signs in retail stores, such as Target.  Usually this time of the year, I start preparing myself for a full year of academics (and late nights studying).  Surprisingly enough, it's going to be different this year.  After going through a lot of thought, I am not planning to head to school this fall for a certificate in Nutritional Sciences.  After looking over my financial situation, and other personal and general issues, going to school this Fall may be a little unrealistic, especially since I haven't found a full-time job that is suitable for me and relates to my field of study.  Right now, the Doctor in Physical Therapy (DPT) grad school is still my aim for the 2010 Fall academic year.  I'm planning to take the GRE (aka the SATs of College), get my letters of recommendation, and application ready soon.  While the DPT program is still a main focus, I'm still open to other options, like other majors, other job paths, and so on.  I'm an open-book that is blank and ready to be written.  I know for a fact that there are tons of options out there; I just need to do the research and look what's right for me right now.  I am just hoping that I find a "good" paying job that will give me a little peace of mind in this tough economic time. 

Those who are heading back or are heading to UMass Lowell for the first time, I want to congratulate you in getting accepted to your major.  UMass Lowell is a competitive school; thousands apply every year to go to this great insitute of education.  You should be proud that all of your past experiences and achievements have brought you this far.  Don't let it stop now.  Continue to bring your talents, skills, and motivation into your new chapter at UMass Lowell.  This university is well known in developing well-rounded professionals, so expect to be one of the very best when you cross the stage four (or less) years from now.  Like I have mentioned in other blogs, please get involved in the Riverhawk community!  You will feel like you are part of a family if you do (and yes, that means you "Commuter Students!").  Keep your head up through your college career and you will suceed.

Here are a few links to my older blog posts to help you out for the new school year:

High School - College Transition 
GET INVOLVED!!
Forever Bound to The River
Commuters Prepare! (2008)
Gas Tips (2008)
Gas Tips 2 (2008)
Small Blog Post About Summer Classes
What is my drive like to UML? (Video)


GOOD LUCK!!!

- Christian
For those people who saw the words "High School Musical," I just want to tell them that I am not going to blog about that crazy kid / preteen / teen drama mess of a movie that supposedly brought in bizillion dollars and made 5 young adult actors extremely famous.  Sorry, it's not my type of blog post! 

This post is going to be about the transition or shift from a easy going high school life to a more rigorous and meaningful college path.  To me, the high school and the college worlds are two totally different things.  One is a small, yet significant pebble, and the other is a noticeable and majestic boulder.  It's like a huge change on the "grade" (or hill / slant) of a treadmill.  High school is like a 1.0 grade, which is a little bit intense, and college is like a 5.0+ grade, which is very intense.  It's like Babe Ruth Baseball and Major League Baseball... like a 1987 Honda Accord to a 2010 Lamborghini... I think you get the point. 

College is a huge step in your life.  It's a drive towards your goals and dreams.   An education at UMass Lowell will help you become a well-rounded professional and a successful contributer to the present-day world.  This is a new chapter that is waiting to be written, and only you can write your story.  How can you, the potential college student prepare yourself for a life-changing four years? 

1)  Be mentally prepared.

Many students have a very hard time transitioning from a "high school mind" to a "college mind."  Heck, I think all students have a hard time going from a summer fun mode to a buckled down college mode.  Weeks before school starts, students should start looking at what is ahead of them.  Start thinking about the subjects of your classes.  For example, if you are taking a general psychology class, start looking for current day event articles that might relate to that and start thinking about it.  Professors will most likely talk about these events and relate them to the topic of the day.

Start making goals for yourself.  If a person has a set goal in mind or on paper, most likely that person will stay focused to reach that goal.  Being motivated, focused, and driven towards your "summit" is how you succeed in college. 

Overall, stay positive.  Negativity will lessen your drive to your goals, or even put you in the wrong track.  To me, a negative attitude and focus brings negative results.  Even when things get rough, keeping your head in the game will take you further in life.  Keep your goals in your mind with that positive attitude.  Positivity WILL  bring you to your goals and dreams.  That's 100% true.

2)  Get organized.

Let's use my messy room as an example.  There's clothes everywhere.  Papers, books, CDs, and guitar picks are littered everywhere. You can't see the floor.  It takes you hours to find something.  Plus it smells.  That, my friends, is not an organzied room.  If you run your life in an unorganized matter, you must change that.  College is like a jigsaw puzzle.  Professors will give you a small piece of the puzzle and only you can put the picture together.  Staying organized throughout college is key.  Keeping things in a set manner will keep your mind and work ethic clutter-free.  This will help you go from step 1 to step 2, and so on.  In other words, organization keeps you running hard at a fluent pace.  It also keeps you positive and focused.

So don't be like my room.  Get organized!

3)  Game plans are a must.

I've noticed that many students do not have a game plan towards college work.  These students are like football players with no huddle and no play called.  So, instead of driving the team (you) to field goal range (goal), the defense (college) will push you back further and further back to force you to punt the ball away (fail).  If you do not have a game plan, you will be a lost soul. You must plan out your attack on your college work.  It's the only way to keep your mind driven and ogranized.  Plus, doing a paper the night before it is due IS NOT A GAME PLAN.  You will be burned out instantly.  That's one thing you should not do.

So here's the situation:  Each semester will consist of many game plans.  Each assignment needs a plan of attack.  With a game plan established for each assignment, you will be successful in winning the game (passing the class with an awesome grade).  A "win" will be a plus on your "win-lose" record for the season; one semester is a season.  If you continue to go undefeated for the next four years, you will have one helluva career.  Hey, you might be a hall of famer (also known as summa cum laude)... who knows?

So try to create a game plan towards something during the summer, like planning out a camping trip or a day-trip to Boston.  Plan and organize your trip and see how smooth the day will go.

 

These are some of the important factors a transitional student must have.  If you think about it, all three of those points link together.  In order to be positive, you have to be organize and have a game plan.  If you do not have a plan and be disorganized, you most likely turn your positive attitude to a negative one.  Your dreams and goals will be wiped away if you have a negative attidude. 

So if you are nervous about your first semester at UMass Lowell, think about the three factors that I have mentioned.  Those factors brought me through 4 years and now I'm a successful college graduate.  I hope this helps on your transition from a high school student to a college student.


If you have a question or comment, leave a "comment" on my post!  I will respond!

Good Luck!

- Christian
It was May 13, 2009, and the time was 4:45pm.  Our professor wished us good luck and congratulations.  I looked around the lecture hall as my classmates were leaving.  I said to myself, "Wow, this is my last lecture class as an undergrad."  I looked at my friend, signaled him, and we left the hall.  The first thing my friend said was, "Dude!!!  We're done!!!  I can't believe we're done!"  Trust me, I can't believe it either.  My friend and I walked towards that massive mass of pavement we call the "Big Lot."  During that typically 5-minute walk, we went through our massive filing cabinet in our brains and reminisce on the good and bad times at UMass-Lowell.  When I say our memory cabinet is massive, it is MASSIVE.  Even when we reached our cars, we still 1/1000 of it to go.  So we leaned against our cars and stood there as the sun went down, talking.  I think we stood there for a good hour before the chilly air finally reminded us that it was time for us to leave UML one last time before graduation (and a final for me). 

Like what I said for my last blog, it's just weird to not come back.  Sure, I'm coming back as a part-time student to get a graduate certificate in nutritional science, but coming back as a full-time naive, not-ready-for-the-world undergrad?  That's history.  We're not coming back as undergrads.  We're already called alumni.  It's just weird, weird, weird, and weird. 

I can tell you that I don't regret going to college.  College was a major chapter in my life when I finally grew up to be a better person, academically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and so on.  Physically... eh, I need to work on that (Ha ha).  Going to college was the best choice I ever made in my whole entire life.  I feel like I am ready to take on the work world and go to graduate school down the line. 

And who should I thank?  UMass-Lowell off course.  UMass-Lowell is the school to go to if you want to make a difference in the world.  Everyone here is awesome and extremely supportive beyond belief.  You can't get anything better out there.  Financially, the tuition here is affordable compared to big-time schools.  Come on, who would turn down affordable tuition with phenomenal education?  And sports?  All the sports here are extraordinary.  Come on, Division I Hockey East Riverhawks?  It's true that the university is young and lacking in traditions, but that is where you, the perspective and current student, comes in.  You have the ability to make a change for the better.  UML will give you the best education out there, and you should give the best of you.  I did and now I'm graduating.

It's your turn to make a difference and to create life-long memories for your cabinets in your brain.  It's worth a shot.  You won't be disappointed.

- Christian EP '09  

  


So first of all, I want to tell you that I have a pretty bad headache right now.  Okay, "pretty bad" is such a weak set of words to describe the AGONY, TORTURE... and the INCONVENIENCE of having this "a carpenter hammering a nail into concrete in my noggin" headache.  So if you see me on campus (for those who are students at UML), give me a hug.  I rarely get headaches and, yes... I'm being a big oversized "senior" baby right now.  

So what does this headache drama got to do with anything about college?


Today, I was thinking about the days that I did not attend class because I was sick with something or had something that took my focus away.  A few weeks ago, a person I know had an "illness" so that person did not go to class.  The thing about that person's absence was the fact that he/she did not contact the professor ahead of time.  So at the end, that person has -2 points riding on his final grade.  Stinks huh?  Two points removed from a final grade doesn't sound bad, but if you are riding between an "A/A-" then you can kiss that "A" goodbye.

In high school, if a student gets sick, his or her parents/guardian/family member/or a friend who is faking to be an "authoritative figure," would call up the school office to tell the secretaries that his son/daughter won't be able to attend his/her classes today.  This message is relayed throughout the school so all his/her teacher's gets a heads up.

Unfortunately, this doesn't work at UML or other colleges.  If you are sick, have problems heading to classes due to a snowstorm, or other stuff, you must email your professors ahead of time - yes that means you have to send individual ones or a mass generalized message.  Alerting the professor before the scheduled absence would save you from losing points or any other consequences that may occur.  Luckily, classes at UML and other colleges do not have classes everyday, unless you are taking a winter/summer class or have some kind of practicum/clinical experience.  So if you (the student) doesn't go to classes, you are still responsible for the work missed.  I can honestly tell you that there are some professors who will give you "leeway" if the illness or event is unbearable - but at the end you are still responsible for the material that you missed. 

I have had certain events that pulled me away from my bird's eye focus in classes, and I can say that the professors I had were very supportive.  For example, during that time period, my professor allowed me to take an exam a different day or told me a paper is due another day.  The professors here do care about your progress throughtout your reign at UML.  They understand that there are some things you can't control (death, illness) and those things do happen.  So I'm happy to say that I did not have any problems that lead to me losing points for a missed day.  You got to thanks emails! 

So the bottom line is that a college student must have a professional relationship with their professor; COMMUNICATION IS A MUST!!!  Trust me, without a strong sense of communication, nothing worthwhile will happen... other than the fact that your grade will drop...

Well, I have to get off this computer... the flashing screen is not helping my headache. 

Remember, if you see me on campus, give me a friendly hug!  (Just kidding!)  I'm probably just going to spread whatever I have if you give me a hug... but try not to think of that if you want to be a caring friend :-).

- Christian
Forget what I said for my last blog about being screwed unhappy after graduation.

Okay, maybe you still can say "I'm screwed" job-wise, but my journey to gain more knowledge?  That journey will continue for one more year at the University of Massachusetts - Lowell.  So, my final lap around campus just has to wait... Sweet, huh? 

So what am I going to take after getting my Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Physiology? 

After remembering a particular suggestion from my professor to get a nutrition certificate in addition to a certification in Strength and Conditioning (CSCS) and an U.S. Olympics Weightlifting Certification (no idea what the abbreviations are) all on top of my EP degree, I decided to research for schools to get such a certification.  And guess what?  UMass-Lowell saves the day once again!  UML is offering a 4-course, 1 or 2 year program for nutrition certification.  Instead of going to a different campus (and try to adapt to a new and strange environment and routine) I can just stay at UML as a commuter and enroll to get a "Graduate Certificate in Nutritional Science." 

After I read the description of the certificate program and saw the words "designed for the health professional, such as a medical technologist, clinical lab scientist, biologist, nurse, physician, physical therapist, exercise physiologist, athletic trainer and personal trainer" (and yes I do have selective reading)  all the stress of post-graduation just went away.  Oddly enough it just disappeared like that.  Sure, job-wise (as mentioned) I'm still stressed about that, but it feels like I finally got redirected to a better path.  All the uncertainty of what I want to do after graduation cleared up. 

Honestly, I'm pretty excited that I'm going back to UML next year.  UML became another home for me, since I've been there for a good 4 years.  Why should I start a new life at a different school if I can continue what I have at a place I pretty much like?  Besides, I finally got the hang of things this year and finally connected with the UML community.  I want to continue that "grasp" (even if it seems like Senioritis is killing me).

Also, my buddies are taking it with me too!!!! So nothing is going to change!  Hey, I'll take the parking problems (and yes... the $1500 fee raise) any day if my commuter buddies are part of the ride!!!!!

Great stuff!

Christian 


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