New Semester, New Beginnings: A Reflection

Hi Everyone-

It’s been almost one whole year since I’ve posted and I feel absolutely guilty for not contributing more over the past year. 2015 was a whirlwind for me. I finished my first full year teaching in New York City and I am happy to continue working with such amazing students and staff. 2016 has been good, thus far, so let’s hope it’s successful and prosperous for all of you as well.

A wicked cold and sinus infection coupled with the prospect of a winter storm down here in the NYC tri-state area has me home from work, bundled up on my couch, eating soup, and taking a moment to contribute to this wonderful blog. In reflecting on my time at Saint Rose, January was always synonymous with the phrase “new beginnings.” The more obvious meaning revolved around the beginning of the new semester, but it also entailed the start of a new year, maybe new resolutions, new relationships, new friends, etc. I wanted to share some insight and advice as you embark on this “New Beginning” at Saint Rose:

1. The Past is the Past: Regardless of how you were in previous semesters, you are starting out with a clean slate. Make the effort and put forth the energy to go to class, take the notes, and review the content. We ALL had that one class that was a “snoozer” or maybe extra challenging. With this new semester, try looking up strategies to help you understand the content better and put more energy into studying. Try some of these tips! Remember, this is your “New Beginning,” so reflect on what you struggled on in the past and leave those habits behind.

2. Be Active on Campus: In the new semester and new year, make an effort to go to events and activities. When I was at Saint Rose, I was on the Student Association Board and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I had at Saint Rose. Being involved in clubs and activities gives you a sense of purpose and pride in your school. As you embark on this “New Beginning,” keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to join a club or to contribute to the campus community.

3. Get Rest and Exercise: Make sure you embed some time for rest and relaxation. College is full of “social events” and constant activities and events. Create a sleep schedule that allows for you to get enough rest and energy to be ready for class and for what your days have ahead of you. When I was at Saint Rose, many people took time to go to the Saint Rose gym together to work out for an hour or so a few times a week. I, personally, liked open swim and would go twice a week my senior year. It’s surprising how much exercise gives you energy.

4. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: As you begin your semester, especially if you are a senior, keep your eyes on the “end prize.” Focus on your purpose for being in college, what the degree you are getting is going to help you achieve in the long run. As a first-year student, I honestly didn’t even think about my overall degree right away. I was too busy writing ethics papers or worrying about my Math 105 midterm. It’s almost HARD to think that far down the road. BUT, take a moment to realize that all of these courses and experiences are going to help you achieve your ultimate goals- not just a degree, but what you may end up doing when you’re out in the working world. Seniors- reflect upon all you’ve been through and reflect upon all the courses you might have hated or struggled with and realize you are standing tall, you made it through, and now you are embarking on the first of hopefully MANY new beginnings for you in 2016!

I always reflect back on my work both as a teacher and my time at Saint Rose. It’s something that helps me align myself with what I want my goals for 2016 to be, both personal and professional. Enjoy the ride!!!! I hope you all have a wonderful new year and new semester.