Skip

About Skip

Major: Psychology

Hometown: Framingham, Mass.

Why I chose RIT: RIT has strong academic programs to go along with a wonderfully energetic student body! I love the fact that after two years at RIT I still meet new people every day.   

Clubs/Activities: RIT Baseball Team, Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

Hobbies/Interests: Reading, hanging out with friends and being active. 

What I like best about RIT: I absolutely love how there’s ALWAYS something to do on and off campus every single day. I like to be constantly doing something, and RIT provides fun events to attend with fun people!

Favorite T.V. Shows: “Burn Notice,” “Scrubs” and “Suits.”

Fun fact about me: I love sleeping more than anything. 

Posts by Skip

Adding Water To Ideas

Good evening everyone!

Hope you all are having a great start to the week. Things here in Rochester are getting slower and slower. But I’m probably going to kick myself about that, because things will start to pick up once I talk about it. Anyways, I’ve had some extra down time as of late- and I’ve started to come up with a quite few ideas since. After investing some time in thinking about my ideas- all kinds of ideas- I’ve realized that I have a few courses of action that I have to take in order to make my ideas grow exponentially. Ever since I set up a routine of developing my idea- I’ve seen a significant improvement in my ideation progress regarding a few projects that I’m interested in pursuing. I’ve decided to share with you a few tips on how to do that.

Write everything down.

I don’t care if it’s late at night, but your mind has a funny habit of racing when you’re trying to relax. Most of the time those thoughts are going to be some of the best ideas that’ll ever cross your mind. Carry a note pad with you anywhere, jot down whatever strikes you. I tend to do this a few times a day. Some of the most nonchalant things will strike me, like a random Buzzfeed article that exposes a critical issue regarding something that I’m interested in exploring…write it down. You’ll be surprised with what your mind can come up with about some of the simplest things.

It’s never going to be a final product right away. 

Your idea might sound like a lousy one, but if you keep molding it, adding/subtracting, you’ll see some considerable progress. For example, I had an idea about developing a website, but after talking about it with others…I realized that a brick on campus could come up with a better idea. So I decided to modify and tailor that idea to suit my passions better, and I saw almost immediate improvements in my idea flow, thought flow, and the quality of content that I was coming up with. So spend some time tinkering on whatever you have written down.

Research your ideas.

You have to dig around a little bit and see if there are ideas out there that are similar to what you’ve been thinking about. Sometimes you’ll be surprised how rare that idea is, or how common it is. I oftentimes dig around for interesting sources and utilize it to improve my idea. The world of knowledge is at your fingertips. So, you better use it!

Hope this helped!

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Cultivating Your Zest

What’s up everyone?

I’m still going at it with school, work, and figuring out my future as of right now. I’ve spent quite a few moments sitting and thinking on a daily basis about cultivating my zest. To me, zest means energy, enthusiasm, and self-learning. By self-learning, I mean trying to learn new ways to keep your passion going, learning new things, and figuring out how your passion can create opportunities in life.

With that in mind, I’ve been doing three things that helped me cultivate my zest this past semester.

Talk to someone about it. 

This may sound a little odd, but it works for me. I have a passion for learning everything about leadership, especially in sports. I am very interested in seeing how teams develop through different types of leadership, how unique concepts are applied, and what kind of adjustments teams make to achieve their goals. I would try and find someone and talk to them about it over a cup of coffee or lunch. Most of the time, you’d be surprised with what other people bring up. They might bring up great points, become a devil’s advocate and challenge your thinking. I found this to be very stimulating, because I have to think more laterally. This will lead to me researching a certain topic even further. So your knowledge will expand quite well, and result in learning a new ability to think outside the box or view something differently.

Read, read, and read. 

I’m an avid reader…when I’m not in school, that is. I always do most of my reading online nowadays. Google will provide some excellent sources of information, but sometimes not. But when I’m back home on break or whatever, I’ll have a book in my hands at some point during the day. I asked my parents for a bunch of leadership books this Christmas, and they did NOT disappoint at all. They gave me a box full of incredible books that left me even hungrier for more information. So when you’re passionate about something, you have to read as much as possible about that particular ‘something’.

Find different ways how people apply their learnings in employment.

You know how people say if you’re passionate about it, you won’t feel like you’re working. This is a goal of mine. I want to see how people find ways to apply their knowledge (in my situation, leadership) in the workforce. I am working in the athletic department as a NTID liaison, and I’m constantly trying to find ways to apply what I learned. I’m learning by reading books, articles, and applying experience (as a captain) to improve my work efficiency. I want to learn how to coordinate my efforts, how to communicate differently, and how to make a positive impact on others. So if you’re very much brimming with zest, find ways to use that in a way where you can improve your work experience, academic experience, or athletic experience.

Hope this helps!

Catch ya later.

Skip

Full Tilt, Full Time

Good morning everyone!

Today marks the start of my second week back here in Rochester, and it’s safe to say that I’m currently traveling at a comfortable speed of 500 miles per hour. I’m staying on top of my two online courses while going back and forth between two part time jobs since I’ve gotten back from playing ball in California. I’ve also submitted applications for graduate school, so a lot of moving pieces flying around.

With all the hoopla, I’ve thought of a few tips that might help you stay grounded regardless of what’s going on with your life- academics, athletics, in the workplace, and in the society.

Consistency is key. 

Regardless of circumstances or anything happening unexpectedly, you have complete control of your daily endeavors. I mean, you’re in college- you do what you want to do. In my instance, I’ve switched a few things up in my daily schedule knowing that life will happen and jumble your schedule. I noticed that after playing four years of college ball then doing nothing in your fifth year, you have a whole lot more time on your hands- and this often leads to distractions. My buddies would text me to grab food, play video games, or go out. I didn’t have any restrictions any more, I didn’t have to go to practices, meetings, or volunteer in events. But I’ve spent the majority of my time and training during nights, and this often made me struggle to schedule my training with spending more time with my close friends. With this feedback, I decided to turn my alarm clock back earlier and work out early in the morning, which allows greater flexibility in the afternoons and evenings. This allowed me to be even more consistent, where I can control my commitments in fitness, gain more time with my buddies, and invest time in my academics. Being consistent in your daily endeavors will help you tackle things easier.

Slow down!

I’m guilty of wanting to go faster and faster in terms of productivity, efficiency, and information obtaining. I want things and I want them fast. With this, I tend to end up not doing as well on my assignments, projects, or organization of information. I prefer to get everything out of the door right away, but paired with consistency, slowing down will allow you to see things more clearly. More rationally. And you can think things through even further, which only improves the quality of your work. You will have to learn how to identify when you’re going too fast and need to slow down. I’m still learning to master this skill, and I believe this will be beneficial for anyone in all walks of life.

So take things on one project at a time, and be thorough. You’ll do big things!

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Prioritizing Hacks

Hey guys!

Hope you all are dominating Monday so far. I know I am. I’m still knocking out a lot of errands applying what I learned from James Waters (see my previous post), and the to-do list hasn’t gotten any shorter. This is when I start to apply some of my “hacks” that I learned from my parents growing up.

My dad always told me about the “Yellow Pad”, where he always jots down his to-do list for the day or the week. My mom explained to me that for me to succeed in all aspects of life, I will have to learn balance. I still am learning and trying to balance everything in life on a daily basis. So in this post, I am showing you how to prioritize and balance things out in college.

Always write down what you need to do for today and for the rest of the week.

It’s imperative that we put our thoughts to paper, because sometimes we do forget things, and these things can be important (sometimes could cost us a good grade). This also gives us a little more of a sense of purpose, and helps us organize our days easier. I’m big on this, because I’m a creature of routine, and I find ways to move my errands into my daily routine. I would wake up at the same time daily, go to breakfast around the same time, then spend a certain amount of time in the library or behind my laptop working on assignments before classes begin. So, incorporate your homework times, errands in between your daily “staples” (classes, practice, or meetings), to maximize your productivity. When you list the things you need to do for the week, you can separate the tasks into different time slots of your weekly schedule. It’ll look a lot easier when your tasks are spread out instead of doing them all in one sitting.

The assignments that are due in the next two days are the most important.

This semester, I’ve finally been able to do this religiously. Partly due to the extra two-three hours I have daily (because I’m not playing college ball anymore), I’ve managed to squeeze in more homework time. I try to hand in my homework and papers a day or two before, this allows me to move forward onto the next thing a little faster. This tends to give me an edge towards the end of the week, I get to relax a little more on weekends.

The easy stuff first. 

Always do the easy stuff first, especially in the classes you are doing well. You are more often than not “fresh” before you start the hard assignments or projects, so I highly recommend that you knock all the easy things out early. Then give yourself a little break, or a cat nap before you take the difficult assignments on. For example, I’d do my discussion posts online for my Web Design class, email my group members for my Advertising project, go to classes, post a blog and then give myself a break before doing my Senior Paper. By the time I start my paper, I’ve already checked 4 things off my list, definitely better than being exhausted after my paper and seeing four more boxes to check off.

Nap, nap, nap. 

If you saw my bio on the NTID Ambassadors’ site, my love for sleeping is very evident. I’m a big fan of sleeping, because it has a direct correlation with my academic and athletic performance. Try to get a cat nap (20-30 minutes) here and there. I tend to take two naps a day, one between my homework hour and classes, and then another after classes, and before my work out. For some reason, I find myself zonking out on couches for naps rather than my own bed. This is largely due to keeping the nap times shorter. You wouldn’t take super long naps on a couch before your back starts to get stiff (I guess I’m getting old). This will help you think a little straighter and clearer, which helps you stay on top of school work a little easier.

So, to effectively balance things, you will have to make some sacrifices on a daily basis. You might have to sleep a little less one day for more schoolwork to be done. You might have to do a little more homework one day so you can sleep more the day after, or to hang with friends and such. Sometimes it’s friends, sports, or school. You will know. So listen to your gut and decide what’s important that day, then seize the day.

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Small Victories

Good morning!

It’s almost nine in the morning, and I’m looking at my to-do list right now. I honestly think that to-do list is longer than the “Quarter Mile”. I have to collect data for my senior project, attend classes, post my discussion online, talk to some people for my two seminars this weekend, add more to my literature review, and knock out a bunch of small assignments. Not to mention training for pro ball while working two other part time jobs. Things are quite hectic as of right now. It’s a handful of things to do, especially in a week. But I’ll be okay. Thanks to James Waters.

Not long ago, I got lucky and was able to attend a presentation with some of my old baseball teammates down at Rochester School for the Deaf. James Waters was presenting that day, and he is a former United States Navy SEAL. He went on to present about how he operated, how he built a better team as a team leader, how to take on big tasks, and he explained that he got through “Hell Week” (five days of constant physical and mental training with only a few hours of sleep) by celebrating the small victories throughout. He explained that if we celebrate the small victories, it will give us more and more momentum. For example, if we have a list of things to do, and we check one off…that’s a small victory, celebrate that. Now we’re feeling pretty good…onto the next one. Do the same thing over and over, then things just seem to come to you easier. The seemingly insurmountable tasks are now a cakewalk.

So I’m going to apply that kind of approach this week. Break things down one by one, and celebrate my small victories. The next thing we know…week 13 will be done.

Fight on. And prevail.

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The Difference Between High School and College Sports

Good evening everyone!

Since I last posted on here, I’ve been pretty busy with school and trying to balance two different part-time jobs (NTID Student-Athlete Liaison and NTID Ambassador) while taking on a full-time college coursework and training for my second professional season. I’ve been thinking about a couple things, and I took a brief trip down memory lane during one of my workouts and realized how big of a difference playing HS and college ball was.

College sports is a whole new world.

You’re a hotshot athlete, with All-State honors and/or All-Conference honors, and you show up to college…you’re just one of the 30 something guys on the team who are also All-State/Conference athletes, even All-Americans. You have to check your ego at the door, because there are guys who are extremely talented, and they will push you to your limits and beyond as an athlete. You will be humbled.

College sports will own your life.

It might sound a little extreme, but it’s true. College sports is a big commitment, you commit to working out at odd hours of the day, being around your team, going to all these meetings, practicing with the team and so on. It will be tough, but the success and pride of being on a team makes every single thing worthwhile.

College sports will help you become who you want to be.

A lot of people go off to college to “soul search” as they go through their years. But for student-athletes, sports and being a top-notch student athlete will grab their souls. Student athletes will find themselves in situations where they are mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted, and their inner champions will come out. I had this unique “revelation” around my sophomore year, I thought I was at my limits, and then realized that I was only getting started. It really changed how I look at things, how I operate, and pursue my goals. So far, my experience as an athlete here at RIT has completely transformed my “High School Self” into something bigger and better and more prepared for the real world.

Sorry if I sounded a little intense, but that was what went through my head recently. Until then, I hope you all have a great week!

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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.

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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!

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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,

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Ambassadors Take On New York City

Good evening everyone!

Hope you all are wrapping up a great weekend (and the last weekend of the summer season). I can say for sure that I had a great weekend- my roommate/co-worker/superstar ambassador Dylan took me over to New York City for the weekend. As I drove across (yes, I drove into NYC the first time I’ve been there, thanks Dylan) the George Washington Bridge, the skyline captivated.

I’ve never been to the Big Apple, and Dylan brought me along to attend the Indian Larry’s Block Party, which was a big motorcycle event. The event helped raise awareness and money for ALD (Adrenoleukodystrophy). It was a massive event held on the streets of Brooklyn. I saw tons of cool bikes, met some big name motorcycle builders, and ate New York pizza (the New York way, where you fold it in half).

As the sun went down, we were invited to attend an ASL Poetry Slam in downtown Manhattan. So we hailed a cab and went down there. Cab rides are truly exciting. Not one calm moment in the car. But we got there pretty fast. As I hopped out of the cab, Dylan told me to look up. We were at the base of the Empire State Building! That thing is so massive, I had to crank my neck to see the top of the building. The top of the ESB lit bright white and blue to signify that the Yankees had won the second game of the Subway Series (….ugh).

So, we went to the slam, met some familiar faces, and met a whole lot of new people. We had an absolute blast there, hanging out with old and new friends. Afterwards, Dylan and I decided to check out Times Square. And that place truly lit up the city, and it felt like midday when I walked through the place. New York City is truly the city that never sleeps. So, we walked around a little bit more, and then went back to the hotel and crashed. We then woke up and drove back up to Rochester. Our to-do list grew again, and it’s time for us to knock them out through out the week. New York City, we’ll be back.

Until then, take care everyone!

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