Results tagged “freshmen” from Hawk Talk - Christian

Throughout the summer, I have been getting tons of emails from UMass Lowell News and announcements.  It seems like the university has been very busy. I can tell you that I am very happy to hear about the new changes and additions to my alma mater. 

One major addition to the university is the old Double Tree Hotel a.k.a UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center.  I've heard about Chancellor Meehan's interest in purchasing the hotel throughout my senior year.  He wanted to buy the hotel so the university would take in more dorm students for the upcoming school year.  To me, it's a great idea.  First of all, who wouldn't want a renovated hotel room as a dorm for a whole year?  Everything is going to be brand new for the hundreds of upper-classmen, honor, and international students who will dorm their in the Fall.  Nice and fresh for the new year, huh?  Second, it's right smack in the middle of Downtown Lowell.  Students can spend more time in the area, like hanging out at coffee shops, heading to the museums, eating at the great restaurants down there, or just plain sitting and enjoying the historical atmosphere of the canals.  Maybe more students would bring new life to the Downtown area and help the already poor economy.

Another major addition is the new UCard.  This new identifcation card will allow you to gain access to parking lots and the recreational center, purchase food from out-of-campus merchants, buy food from Aramark food in campus, and so on.  You can even add money to the card so you don't have to carry cash on you.  It's just like a bank debit card.  It pretty much makes life simplier for UML students - one card for everything!  What make's it better is the protection system that backs the card.  According to the UML website, the card is protected by the "most secure technology available in the market today."  That should give the UML student peace of mind if the card gets stolen. 
 
There are other plans such as building a new dormitory across the tracks in South Campus, a new parking garage, and more renovations throughout the university.  For freshmen, you should be very excited of the new changes your university is going through.  There is a bright future for the University of Massachusetts Lowell!

- Christian '09

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
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Driving to and from UMass Lowell was a major part of my college life.  I drove from Malden, MA to Lowell, MA everyday for all of my four years at UML.  The drive from my hometown to the university was a good 40 - 50 minutes, depending on the times that I'm driving (ie. driving 8am vs. 1pm), traffic, and the routes I took.  Planning out my drive was very important for me as a commuter student.  I wanted to avoid night driving, hitting traffic, getting caught up with construction crews on Route 3, and so on.  I also wanted to get home right away so I have enough time to study, do papers, and other school-related stuff. 

All commuters were like this, especially those who live 20+ miles away from UMass Lowell.  Because of our strict planning to get out of Lowell to beat rush hour and our limited time in UML, we all felt that we weren't part of the UML Community.  I bet a lot of commuters felt like this.  The problem with commuters is our lack of discovery, involvement, and spirit.  I first realized this when I got involved with Alpha Lambda Delta in my sophomore year.  To make the most of the college experience, I felt that I have to get involved with what was offered, from sporting events, joining clubs, getting involved with an organization, helping out a professor, or even just plain hanging out in the university with residents and other commuters.  My friends and I have realized that if we get involved in some kind of way, we would finally feel like we're part of the community.  Last year, I started going to hockey games... and now I wish I started watching them when I was a freshmen!  The Riverhawks are an excellent Division 1 hockey team.  Their games are super exciting and... hey, they're nasty!! (And when I say "nasty" that means THE TEAM IS WICKED GOOD).  Also, I started to get involved with Omicron Delta Kappa.  One event I helped out in was "Trick or Treating for the Troops."  That was a blast!  Plus, I get to dress up as a handsome and adventurous Indiana Jones (hehe).  I started to get involved with what was offered and I finally felt like home.

Thumbnail image for Trick or Treat for the troops.JPG  

I regret not spending more time at UMass Lowell.  I wish I was more involved with the community and the organizations I was part of.  I wish I was at more sporting events so I can support our Riverhawk teams.  I finally felt like I was part of UML community at the end of senior year... do not make the same mistake of being a late bloomer.

Get involved as soon as possible!! 
Trust me, those 4 years will fly by faster than you can blink...


Christian Tiongson
UML Alumni, EP '09



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