College Dorm Hacks

Good afternoon everyone!

Hope you all are starting to get over the Week 9 hump. I just took a look at my “To-Do” list, and I still have some more hills to climb before it becomes a smooth cruise.

Recently I was giving a tour to a group of people, and they asked me if I enjoyed living in the dorms. I sure did. I lived in the dorms for two years and I loved it. I still miss it, and I’ve noticed a lot of people complaining about roommate issues (I never had any issues) and how cramped it is (it sure was), and so on. I’ve decided to share some of the “hacks” or tips that helped me live and enjoy the dorm life.

Find a common ground with your roommate(s).

This means finding meeting halfway and find a consistent bedtime, “social hours”, and figuring out a schedule where dorm maintenance can be done (taking the trash out and cleaning the room).

My first roommate Scott was the complete opposite of me- he was a computer guy, zero athletic bones in his body, and played tons of video games…I’m not a computer guy, I played a varsity sport, and I barely touched a Xbox controller until then.

We both decided that we have a lot of things to accomplish on a daily basis and needed to be in bed by midnight or so. We decided on a consistent bedtime, which helped us maintain a solid 7-8 hours of sleep everyday. We also agreed that we can have people over in the dorms until 8-9PM, then call it a night. This allowed us to socialize with each other more, do homework, or just relax. This gave me the opportunity to give video games a try, and Scott got the opportunity to learn more about sports as we shared stories and experiences. But if our friends wanted me or him to hang out more, we would usually leave the room and hang out somewhere else (in the lounge, other people’s dorm rooms for example). This is oftentimes what creates tension between roommates, so respect each other’s space and be considerate.

The dorms we lived in was very cramped, but we made the most of our space. So after a week of not putting our clothes and other things away…junk tends to pile up really fast. We decided that Sundays would be our day to clean everything up. After our morning breakfast, we would just pick up our stuff, do laundry, vacuum the floor, and take the trash out (we eat a lot). By the time Monday rolls in, we’re in tip top shape.

Keep things simple.

Simplicity is essential, especially in the dorm life. My second year, I had three other roommates. Four people cramped into a dorm triple. It was harder finding common ground, my other roommates would have people over way past my old hours. I ended up developing the ability to sleep with the lights on. My self-diagnosed narcolepsy was also very helpful. But this also meant I had to bring less stuff. I had to be really simple. I brought things based on how practical they were. I had my shirts and jeans for daily wear. One or two dress shirts, khakis. Casual and formal shoes. That was it. My closet had tons of space, and it proved to be helpful because we tend to pick up some new things/free give aways during the year. By the end of the year, I had a fairly full closet. I brought what was necessary, and it really made the room a lot more spacious. I’m also talking about how you should approach roommate issues as well–be straight up with them. Be simple with your “demands.” I had to learn to be blunt and ask for people to leave the dorms after 11 pm. That was my only request, and it paid off big time. So be simple, and keep in mind–not everyone is going to be easy to work with. So keep things simple in the dorms, and keep your negotiations simple as well.

Hope you all find this helpful!

Until then, have a great one.

Skip

A Tiger Retires and a Hawk Spreads Its Wings

A Tiger retires and a Hawk spreads its wings.

Are you wondering what that means and why I’m blogging about a tiger and a hawk?  To rest your confusion, I have some exciting news!  Two weeks ago after I returned from a racquetball tournament with the RIT Racquetball Club/Team in Albany, NY, I came home and immediately checked my mail because I know there’s something waiting for me.

It was a letter from my dream graduate school for Physical Therapy at University of Maryland Eastern Shore near Salisbury, MD! The letter explained that I am accepted into their Doctor of Physical Therapy program! I was ecstatic and emotionally overwhelmed. I felt that all of the hard work I have put into my undergraduate career is finally paying off. I knew since my second year of college that I wanted to attend UMES and become a physical therapist, and now it’s happening! It’s great to know that I am already off to another amazing school and to be a part of a new family starting this fall 2016 immediately after I graduate from RIT this May 2016! Since UMES’s mascot is a Hawk, I will be graduating this May and retiring as a Tiger and spreading my wings for the next chapter in my life as a Hawk. It sounds so cheesy, I know.

I want to thank my family, friends, roommates, swimming & diving teammates, professors at RIT, and the NTID ambassador group/family for all of their tremendous support and love. I’m extremely lucky and thankful to be a part of the UMES DPT family next year, but I cannot ever thank everyone at RIT enough. The following photo is my happy face, eagerly signing the paper in a heartbeat, agreeing to attend their program in the fall!

FullSizeRender-1

Aside from my exciting news, I also had my first RIT swimming and diving team meet of the year, and it is my last first meet as a diver! We competed against one of the strongest competitors, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and I competed on 3M diving board for the first time since my Nationals Championships competition where I got injured the summer before I came to RIT! I did well and am excited to dive off 3M again. For the homecoming weekend, my brother also came up to visit me and see RIT for himself as he’s only a sophomore in high school! It was great having him around and I know he really likes RIT, he even observed a college class! You can see my brother, who is in the middle, in the following photo!

FullSizeRender 4

Homecoming Weekend!

Happy week nine everyone! I can’t believe we are almost 2/3 the way done with this semester! It has gone by so fast! This past weekend was Homecoming weekend. There was a lot that went on including the pumpkin launch, a presentation from Jamie Hyneman from MythBusters, and the RIT men’s hockey game! We had a CODA (Children of Deaf Adults) gathering this weekend in Rochester, so it was nice to see everyone again!

Last time I posted I mentioned that I would share some ways that I de-stress here on campus. I love to go to the gym, swim laps, and walking in the RIT walking trails. The nature trails on campus are a great way to get out and move! Check out a picture (it all looks a little different now since the leaves are changing in Rochester).

Catch up with you all soon!

IMG_4914

Maintaining A Balance

Good evening everyone!

I’m sitting in my apartment watching the New York Mets go up against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the playoffs. I’ve spent some time thinking after a few conversations I participated in/overheard on campus the past week. The main four topics were tied off with one word: balance. The four topics: school, sleep, social life, and sports.

With that said, I’ve been told this before- “Grades. A full night’s sleep. A fun social life. Success in sports….pick three out of four.” This meant that I had to decide which three things were important to me in college, because we were incapable of achieving balance with all four on a daily basis. I’ve seen people complain about their grades falling because they were partying too much, some complain about lack of sleep because they’ve been studying a lot, and so on. I’ve rarely had that problem, mainly because I was smart enough to listen to my parents and role models’ advice. So here’s what I suggest:

You will lose balance at times. But it’s how well you adjust that matters. 

There will always be some long days and nights where the course work is overbearing, and you look at the time and it’s 11PM. You will lose sleep, and you might miss a fun time with your dormmates. You might be a little tired for practice (especially for student athletes). So what do you do when your balance is off? You re-adjust. Get a power nap here and then, in between classes or practices. Grab dinner with your friends, catch up on what you missed. Get some extra practice in to keep yourself sharp in sports.

There are a lot more to it than just school, friends, sports, and sleep. 

These four things are pretty common in college, but there are so many little things that go unnoticed. What about your parents? Siblings? Friends from back home? That new friend you made during lunch? This little favor you have to do for a friend? Your stiff hamstring? Work? There are TONS of little things that pop up on a daily basis, and you will have to prioritize these things on top of the big four as well.

Priorities are very important.

You have to consistently prioritize and re-prioritize things based on how important they are on that particular day. What worked the best for my dad worked the best for me. He made a full to-do list everyday and checked off whatever he did, and then rearranged the remaining tasks. He then assessed whether it’s important or not that day. Once all the necessary stuff is done, he adds the remainder to the next day’s list. I’ve done the same thing throughout my tenure here, and it has proven to be very helpful.

Hope this helped you guys!

Skip

Japan, “Into Act” and Sweaters

Hey everyone!

Depending on where you’re from you may have noticed….it is officially fall! The cool weather here in Rochester is amazing and invigorating. While I loved the hot summer, I am definitely ready to crack out my long sleeve t-shirts, sweatpants, long johns, and sweatshirts. Warm during the day and cool at night…what else could you ask for?! But that’s enough small talk, a lot has happened on campus and for me, so its time to catch up!

One thing that has been constantly on my mind is my study abroad trip to Japan this winter. Every class seminar we have, the closer we get to leaving, the more I’m learning, leads to more excitement. We recently had a reflection assignment due where we had to describe what we learned so far from the class,how it applies to our trip, and what we’re excited for. Honestly, it was tough keeping it brief! There is just so much to talk about, the history, the modern culture, thegaming culture, what everyday Japanese life looks like, and my favorite…(drumroll please) THE FOOD! My biggest fear is not having the opportunity to just try everything once.

Coming up this week is “INTO ACT.” You may ask yourself, “what the heck is that?” In fact, it’s an ASL play being hosted here at NTID in Panara Theatre. It’s a great show that a group of actors have been working on, myself included, and we’re excited to show the world what we can do. If you’re still curious, check it out on Facebook! It’s a show with multiple funny skits that all relate to sign language and Deaf culture. If you’re reading this from RIT/NTID or even Rochester N.Y., then you should come and check it out!

Well I guess that’s all for now. I’ve still got some work to catch up on…until next time!

Michael

Five Online Class Hacks

Good morning everyone!

Hope you all have been dominating your climb to the top of the hump this week!

I’ve decided to make an installment of how to do well in an online class today. I’ve taken several online courses here at RIT over the last few years. I’ve taken Psychology of Personality, Sports Nutrition, and Effective Web Design I to name a few. I’ve learned things through my successes and failures, and I’m putting them together in this short list.

  1. Don’t Underestimate Online Classes

Online classes are hard too! They require the same amount of course work we do in person, sometimes more because we have to do more reading or research outside of the course. If you’re trying to skate to an easy A…it ain’t happening! You have to put in the work.

2. Read Up! 

The most important thing for success in an online course is reading. The online courses are oftentimes based on textbooks or a specific website, so read up and put yourself in the best position to succeed!

3. Establish a Consistent Routine

Since online classes don’t meet in person, it’s very easy for one to forget about the online class. So make room in your schedule to sit down and get the work done before a deadline. For example, my online course’s discussion posts are due every Friday, but I have a lot of free time on Tuesday after my morning class…so I head straight to the library and get my posts up right away. I just do it every Tuesday as a habit now, and I won’t forget about it.

4. Be Prepared to Flip Pages Really Fast

Online classes’ tests are oftentimes open book, but they also span a few chapters…meaning there will be a lot of pages to go through. Did I mention that the tests have a time limit sometimes? So, I highly recommend that you add markers, highlights, or a specific tabs for specific categories so you can find the right chapter/subject instead of thumbing through the pages all the time. Take some time before the test to prepare yourself with the text book.

5. Be Responsive 

In my experience, there will be some group work through online classes. I had a bad experience with that, because I didn’t check my email that my group members sent me and respond right away- resulting in a missed deadline and a bad grade. So, when it comes to group work, be very responsive and always be on the look out for new emails, updates, or anything relevant to the group work.

I had a lot of fun doing this, this one rolled off my fingers nicely. Stay tuned for more tips! Until then, keep up the good work, everyone!

Cheers,

Skip

Projects, Soccer and a Future Scientist!

Hey everyone!

These past weeks have been full of presentations and projects! I have been busy preparing for our K-12 Interpreting Panel in my Practical and Ethical Applications Interpreting class. We are having several panels featuring interpreters who work in different domains like K-12, medical, video relay, deaf interpreters, etc. I am really excited to meet working interpreters and to pick their brains about what they do out in the field! Personally I am interested in K-12 and medical interpreting, so this is a great opportunity for me!

This past weekend my club team won both of our games against Geneseo and Canisius college! Both were hard fought games and worth the drive! 

On top of everything I do here at RIT, I also work as a student assistant to Erin Kane in the NTID Office of Admissions to coordinate visitors’ schedules. One of my favorite parts of the job is when my boss brings her kids to work! This past weekend I got to hang out with a future scientist! Take a look! 

Future Scientist

I always love when this scientist drops into the office! I’ll catch up with you all soon! Next time I’ll share some of my favorite ways to de-stress here on campus!