Living the Life of an Overly Involved College Kid

May 10th, 2012 by Forrest Finkler

Choosing a college is an exciting and scary experience. Who will your roommate(s) be? What do you want to major in? What clubs do you want to join? Should you play a sport? Can you work? Is it possible to do everything? The answer to the last question, my readers, is yes. How do I know? Because I’ve done it all…well, almost.

Allow me to elaborate. Besides being a student, which we can say is a full-time job, I am also a Resident Advisor, Student-Athlete (Varsity Swimmer), Co-Head Lifeguard, Secretary of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Volunteer Assistant High School Swim Coach, Teaching Assistant, Intern at a local gym, and the occasional appearance at sports games as our Mascot “Stormin Norman.” Needless to say, I wear many hats. Many have asked me how I’ve been able to do it all without burning out, or quitting something along the way.

But that’s the thing, quitting was never an option. These were activities I loved doing. Sure, there were the occasional sleepless nights, and the “Why am I doing all of this?” Yet, at the end of the day, I loved doing everything. This was the college experience I wanted to have.

So, how can you do it all? Learn to balance and prioritize. I would do my homework between classes, or after practice. I scheduled work and internship hours around my classes, coaching, and practice. When I was in the room, and my door was open, my residents came first. I always made sure to put them first. Duty nights were scheduled around swim meets and practice, if needed. SAAC meetings and events were planned to fit the schedules of the student-athletes, and committees were made to help lighten the load for planning and putting on events.

The outcome of all of this? Dean’s list student, 7-time team record holder, All-New England swimmer, ECAC Top 16 finalist, and a proud RA of an amazing floor. I can’t promise that all of this will happen for you, but I can promise that if you want to do everything, and you are dedicated to everything you do, then you shouldn’t have a problem having the college experience you desire. College is what you make it. Do what you love, and it won’t feel like a burden.

 

 

Spring is in the air!

April 25th, 2012 by Forrest Finkler

Spring is in the air, and you know what the means. Well, apparently here at UNE it means scattered snow storms, but hopefully that should end soon. But usually when people see spring, they start shedding those winter skins (North Faces and leggings) and start dressing for the occasion. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter weather, but there are some things that you can only do during spring and other warmer times of the year.

UNE offers many ways of staying active, whether it is through the Cardio Club or some intramural sports, but those could get stale after a while. That’s why UNE offers something that many people don’t realize, we offer you a chance to go off campus and experience the world how Mother Nature intended. Through Outdoor Recreation and Campus Life, they offer many opportunities to get away and relax, because not everyone can just leave campus on a whim.

For more information, visit the Box Office located in the Campus Center open from 8am – 10pm, Monday through Friday and 10am – 10pm, Saturday and Sunday.

If you don’t want to go out into the real world to enjoy this lovely weather, then you can take one of my personal favorites for a spin, Longboarding. Ever since I started my sophomore year, two years ago, I’ve been hooked. There is something about the freedom of hopping on a set of wheels and just rolling through our fine campus and seeing everything go by in a flash. It’s a way for you to just forget everything that’s going on because everything that happens is in the “now” because by the time you see something, it’s gone just as fast. The longboard club, “The Sidewalk Surfers”, is trying to abolish the negative stigma that comes along with riding a longboard. When people see us, most usually think that we’re obnoxiously hogging the roads or that we all do drugs. We don’t want that type of reputation so we try to educate everyone about the sport. We’ve recently acquired two brand new boards that are being kept in the Campus Center for anyone to rent as long as they are with one of the executive board members (Nick Blunier, Michael Sang, or Jake Farrell).

So come along and try out one of the amazing activities that UNE has to offer, whether it be an off campus program or an on campus cruise. You should take advantage of the opportunities that this school has to offer while you still can. Before you know it, you’ll be walking across the stage to get a diploma and who knows when such of event will fall onto your lap again?

Roommates!

April 5th, 2012 by Forrest Finkler

Roommates. What are they exactly? People that you either choose or are forced to share a very cramped space with; or something much more? Living in the first year area, you’ll get to know everyone quite intimately fairly quickly because everyone lives within such close proximity to each other. You learn some things about each other that you probably don’t know about yourself. Being a Resident Advisor for a floor of first year students, sure I’ve seen squabbles go down, but I’ve also seen friendships and bonds form that will continue to bloom throughout their time at UNE and beyond.

Roommates have to be able to share and communicate in order to form such a bond. Getting to know each other and getting to know each others’ little quirks will go a long way, but the hardest part is leaving your comfort zone. For first year students, this is quite possibly their first time leaving the nest and experiencing the world on their own. From personal experience, this is a scary point in anyone’s life. No more Mom and Dad to come and check under the bed for monsters or to make sure all of your work is done.

Getting to know people may be a scary thing too, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Attempt to learn the hobbies of those around you; chances are that they are going to like similar things. Despite contrary belief, there are actually things to do on campus. You can:

  • Go to the UNE Fitness Center. This is a good time to blow off some of the college jitters, get to know each other, and beat the dreaded “freshman fifteen”. Your roommate can be great motivation to keep you on a good schedule.
  • Go to one of the many on campus events. The Activities Programming Board puts on weekly events which include movies, games, and live entertainment. Bring your roommate and enjoy a good flick or win some prizes for participating. Follow them on Twitter for updates on campus activities.\
  • Take advantage of the box office. The box office located in the Campus Center offers discounted tickets to movies and sporting events. Also, they offer tickets to off campus activities as well. Rock climbing at the Maine Rock Gym and even Scuba Classes are some of the activities they offer free or at a discounted rate to students!
  • Take a road trip. From experience, Biddeford may not be the most aesthetically pleasing town, but the surrounding area is. Take a ride down the highway, explore, and enjoy the “Way Life Should Be.”
  • Hit up the Portland mall. There is a perfectly good mall within driving range with a lot of stuff to do. Nice food court, good shopping, and amazing people watching locations.
  • Visit the Heart of Biddeford. Through this locally run organization, you and your roommates can learn about the historical background Biddeford and everything out area has to offer

Your roommates can be someone that you can share almost anything with, because at this point, you are more like family now. The bonds you make here and now, they will only get stronger as long as you learn to be honest and communicate. I have seen far too many friendships in my day go downhill because of the lack of communication. If you have an issue with them, sit them down and have a civil conversation to clear the air. If you need help doing this, seek out your RA! That is one of the many things that they are there to assist you with. It kills me on the inside to see two people who I know have such a great bond lose it for such petty arguments.

 

 

Michael Sang is currently a Senior, who expects to graduate at the end of this semester. He enjoys long walks on the beach and playing with kittens, but nothing more than to be with his residents. Making his debut appearance in the housing department this year, he has worked diligently with his first year girls, making sure that their transition into UNE has been comfortable for them. Along with the duties that come along with being an RA, he is an active member of the Biddeford community where he volunteers as both a mentor and at an after school program.

Boston Bruins

March 26th, 2012 by Forrest Finkler

As the semester nears a close, burnout from studies can be a very present reality.  Everyone has seen it, whether it is first hand or via a friend, burnout from studies can be your worst enemy.  Every once and a while, students need a way to wind down and enjoy a nice afternoon/evening just together enjoying one another’s company while they watch a movie or sports event that they have in common.  This is what I myself have been attempting to facilitate with the Boston Bruins programs in East Hall.  Every week or so, some with more games than others, chips & salsa, pizza, and drinks are set out in the first floor lounge in East on the night of a Bruins hockey game in order to give residents that opportunity to exhale and enjoy a sporting event.  While the programs take place in East Hall, all residents are welcome and even encouraged to attend these programs (we might need to get more food though!).

If relaxing with your peers while you enjoy some free food and a viewing of a Bruins game is your thing, there is still a chance to take advantage of this opportunity.  There are a few regular season dates left so feel free to take advantage of these opportunities:

Tuesday, March 27th, Boston Vs. Tampa Bay 7:30pm

Thursday, March 29th, Boston Vs. Washington 7:00pm** This game will include an information session on time and how to manage it as the semester comes to a close!

Thursday, April 5th, Boston @ Ottawa 7:30pm

 

While the Bruins regular season may be winding down, stay tuned for more dates via flyers in East Hall for possible viewings as the Bruins push forward through the playoffs on their quest for the cup!

In the end, if watching a Bruins game with fellow Bruins fans, and maybe some enemies, is your thing, don’t be afraid to come down to the first floor of East and enjoy some good times and some great hockey.

 

Howard is a Senior Athletic Training major from Brunswick, Maine.  A second year Resident Advisor (RA) he has advised upper-classmen residents in Sokokis and East Halls.  In addition to being an RA, Howard has done research in the field of sports medicine, was a member of the UNE Men’s Lacrosse team, and is currently an athletic training student for the Portland Pirates Hockey Club of the American Hockey League (AHL).  Howard is an avid hockey enthusiast and loves anything that keeps him active.  Howard plans on attending a Doctor of Physical Therapy program after graduation from the University of New England.

Cupcake Wars

March 16th, 2012 by Forrest Finkler

On Sunday, March 11th, residents from all parts of campus came to participate and show off their skills in the ultimate competition: Cupcake Wars – The Sequel! Third-year Resident Advisor (RA) Elyse Johnson ran the program last year with great success, so I teamed up with her this year with high hopes for another successful program! We teamed up with the Activities Program Board (APB) and they gave us $500 to help ensure this year was even better than last year!

We spread the word by putting up advertisements on the TVs in the Campus Center and outside the café, sending out e-mails to on-campus students, and having RAs spread the word to their residents.  The day before the event Elyse and I went shopping at Wal-Mart and got to spend our $500 budget on cooking supplies, crazy ingredients, and, best of all, really great prizes!

Students arrived at 2pm on Sunday and were given their first round task to create a cupcake that included 3 of the following: instant coffee powder, bananas, cucumbers, kumquats, Swedish Fish, and orange soda. With only an hour to get their cupcakes made, the seven teams grabbed their supplies and ran off to kitchens around campus. When Elyse, Tara, who was the APB representative for the program, and I got to taste some of the cupcakes, we were blown away by how creative the teams got! We all fell in love with a team’s mocha frosting and another team’s banana flavored cupcakes. It was tough competition, but we were eventually able to narrow it down to three teams for the final round.

In the second round, teams had to include 4 of the following ingredients: tea bags, mint life savers, Doritos, garlic powder, Kit-Kats, and Campbell’s tomato soup. We gave them 45 minutes to create an entire batch of cupcakes with a spring break theme and were pleasantly surprised with the results! One team made ocean and bonfire themed cupcakes and sprinkled garlic powder on top which worked really well with the other ingredients they used. Another team cooked a Kit-Kat bar into their cupcake, which was a delicious touch once you bit into the middle of the cupcake. All teams did a fabulous job, but eventually we were able to rank the teams and let them choose from an assortment of prizes which included: cookie trays and cookbooks, picture frames and photo albums, popcorn tubs with two movies and two candies each, and fleece blankets.

Everyone who participated in this program had a lot of fun and got to meet new people. It was fun to watch people work together, both within their team and with other teams because they had to share materials and/or kitchens.  It was an enjoyable break to the average mundane Sunday that allowed residents show their creative side and RAs expose their weakness for a good cupcake. Hopefully the tradition continues next year with more teams and even bigger stakes!

 

Hello! My name is Ashley Tomaswick and I’m currently a junior athletic training major with aspirations to continue on in a physical therapy doctorate program. I grew up in southern New Hampshire and went to a high school that has a farm (yes, cows and all).  I’m a second year RA on Champlain 4th this year. I love meeting new people and hearing their story, which is one of the best benefits of the RA position at UNE. Along with my RA position, I’m also a gross anatomy teacher’s assistant, an officer for UNE’s Habitat for Humanity and an officer for the Athletic Training Club. I love volunteering and giving back to the community. I’m a big fan of music (especially music you can dance to), NCIS, taking pictures, and anything Harry Potter related.

Touchdown UNE!

February 14th, 2012 by Forrest Finkler

Did you know that there are events that occur on campus over the weekend? Many organizations do offer different things on campus over the weekend and as an RA, programming is a big part of the job as well. Sometimes, a whole staff might get together to make a huge program. Some RAs might have things planned beforehand for special occasions, such as Valentine’s Day. However, on Super bowl Sunday, there is only one type of program on campus: watching the game.

My floor has both Patriots and Giants fans. So, Super bowl 46 was pretty big for my residents. Sometimes, RAs can bring their floors to events happened on campus, rather than have to come up with a new one. For me, I brought my floor to the Hang to watch the big game and enjoy free food. It was co-sponsored by the Activities Program Board (APB) and the Hang. A fellow RA and friend, Mike Sang did the same as well. APB is a huge programming organizer on campus. They bring in comedians on Thursdays, host Bingo night on Saturdays, show movies on Sundays, etc.

They also often raffle very good prizes too. My residents won a football, a shirt, DVDs and movie tickets, just by attending the program. There are events on campus, you just need to be pro-active and find them. Together, we had about 20 residents attend, which was not too bad, considering most people already made their own plans to go home and enjoy the game. As a patriots fan, it was another heartbroken day. Some of my residents went straight back to their rooms, while the Giants fans tried very hard to contain their joy. This is going to sting for a bit…

Mark Bentley won this football for attending APB’s Super Bowl Party!

APB Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/UNEAPB

Student Involvement Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/getinvolvedUNE

View events via the Biddeford Campus life calendar: http://my.une.edu/calendar/biddeford-campus-life

 

Vernon is a senior from Hong Kong who is double-majoring in Biochemistry and Medical Biology. As a second-year Resident Advisor (RA) he has assisted first-year residents in Featherman Hall and Siena Hall. In addition to being an RA, he is the Academic Affairs Senator for the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and a Leader Scholar while doing research in a chemistry lab and working at the library as well. Vernon loves soccer and nothing comes before Manchester United. Vernon also hopes to attend medical school after graduation from UNE.