October 30, 2013 by Selena Cerra
Hi, everyone, my name is Selena and I am now a student blogger! I am really excited to be a blogger for the university because the student blogs I read from last year really helped me figure out that Niagara U was the perfect fit for me.
To get started, I should probably tell you a little about myself. I attended Holy Cross High School, near Scranton, Pa., and I am currently a freshman Spanish education 7-12 major. I also am a member of the Division I women's golf team on campus.
In addition to sports and school, I am a freshman senator for the Niagara University Student Government Association (NUSGA), as well as a member of Bienvenidos (Spanish Club), American Sign Language Club, CPB Promotions Committee, Niagara University Future Teacher's Association (NUFTA), and tonight (10/29/13), I begin my radio show on WNIA! As you can imagine, I am busy ALL the time; however, I think that being busy is a good thing!
For today's blog:
- I hope to focus on answering some questions that I know I had as a senior entering college and as a student-athlete.
- Tell you about my experiences at NU thus far.
Believe it or not, you will have time! I am in a number of clubs, take an honors-enhanced general education course, and play a Division I sport; nonetheless, I am busy but there is always time! However, don't expect to walk into college and be able to do whatever you want and put in the minimum. Create good time management skills and stick to them. I work hard on the weekends and get assignments done a few days in advance so one or two days during the week I can take a break and relax.
The infamous question nearly all residential students fear: "What will my roommate be like?" I chose to have my roommate randomly assigned and we both get along great! We set rules in the beginning of the semester so we both know what our limits are with each other. Luckily, we have a similar schedule so we both have to wake up and be ready at about the same times each day. We are both respectful to one another, if we are playing loud music when the other walks in, we turn it down or put headphones in. If you are unlucky and have a bad roommate experience, don't stress. A lot of my friends found that just talking to your roommate if something is annoying or aggravating (in a polite manner, don't forget), usually problems can be resolved. My advice is to be respectful, and hopefully your roommate will be respectful back! If you don't want to hear someone talking on the phone at 3 a.m., chances are neither does your roommate.
This is a tough one. I personally love the food at Gally and eat lunch there almost every day. I'm not the biggest fan of the food at Clet; however, I almost always find something that I like and, if not, I'll order pizza or Chinese. Currently, I have the silver meal plan, which gives me 12 meals at Clet and (I think) $175 per semester at Gally. Next semester, I plan to downgrade to bronze since I prefer Gally, giving me 10 meals a week at Clet and $200 at Gally. During tours and campus visits, try the food at both places so you can get a feel for where you might prefer to spend your time.
From Scranton, Pa., I have about a 5-hour ride to get home. I personally love being away, and as a Spanish education major, I will probably be going abroad, so being away from home doesn't bother me much. I do call my parents about twice a week, and email my mom (since she can't text) just about every other day. I Skype and write letters to my friends and family as often as I want. Living on campus has been nothing but a great experience. There's almost always something to do, and who wouldn't love that their best friends could be next door? If you're nervous about being away from home, don't be! You can call, text, email, Skype, and write to whomever you're missing as frequently as you'd like. If you join clubs, study hard, and are open and friendly to new experiences, you won't be as sad being away from home.
So far at NU, I have had a ton of different experiences, but to start I will talk about golf! I have traveled to two tournaments and both of them were extremely fun and my team did well at both (yay!). I was definitely a little nervous coming into a new team, especially since last year there weren't any new freshmen. Luckily for me, my teammates are really great and they help me with anything I ask, give me advice and make me and hopefully the other two freshmen on the team feel welcome. Currently, we are in the offseason until the spring, but I see them a lot on campus and, of course, we have team get-togethers. I personally love when the men's team cooks for us (that's right, the men's team cooks).
On a more academic note, I also started Learn and Serve Niagara, which is a program at NU where students pursuing any education major have to complete 20 hours of service at a local school each semester. I absolutely love my school placement, teacher and classes! Usually, I answer students' questions, help students with makeup work, grade tests, and, this Thursday, I get to teach a mini-lesson! I am a little apprehensive as it is Halloween and I am almost positive that a group of 8th grade students - especially right before lunch - would much rather talk about Halloween than vocabulary; nonetheless, I am still excited.
Dorm life has also been quite unique. I love dorming, everything is conveniently located within a few-minutes walk and I am surrounded by friends on all floors. However, it can get a little challenging when people on my floor decide to have a dance-off at 4 a.m. on a Tuesday or use the wall as a goal when they play soccer. Living in dorms has its ups and downs, but that's all part of the experience. I would much rather have a funny story about what happened on my floor than live in absolute quiet. The limited spacing was a challenge for me at first, since growing up I had my own floor as a room (I lived in the attic). However, I have become quite handy at finding optimal storage space and making the most room possible.
I cannot forget to mention my experiences with college classes! As a junior and senior in high school, I took college classes at Marywood University, so I came in with prior experience to professors, major research papers and late night studying; however, I still was nervous about starting classes. Usually, I plan my time out well and finish assignments early. There are some very stressful weeks, especially if I have to miss class for a tournament, but I have not felt any stress that I can't handle. There are a lot of people at NU dedicated to helping students work through the stresses of college classes and life in general such as your CAs, Academic Support, Counseling, and Disabilities Services. I have not had to utilize these facilities, but I know people who have and it has worked very well for them. Don't fear stress, you will have a lot of people to help you work through it.
That concludes my first-ever blog! Hopefully, I will be able to create a new one every so often and clue you in on some of the big events on campus and whatever else I experience during my time at NU!