Archive for March, 2011

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

by
Becky, Class of 2014

It seems like spring has finally sprung in Potsdam!  Well, it has given us hope at the very least. We’ve had a few days filled with blue skies and sunshine…and even some warmer temperatures!  Given it may only be 41 degrees here right now, but trust me when I tell you that after the frozen tundra winters of Potsdam it feels GREAT.  My heavy winter coat is NOT at ALL missed right now!

This being my first Potsdam springtime, I’m seeing how true it is that the entire environment changes when the snow melts.  Everyone gets so happy and friendly and all of sudden both downtown and campus are filled with people emerging from their winter hideaways.  It’s such an amazing environment and I can’t help but be in a great mood because of it!  My roommate and I have had our blinds and window open to enjoy the fresh air of the new season.  Earlier, we took the mile walk to the shops downtown.  There’s a TON of places to go on Market St. including stores for everything from clothes to guitars to canoes and even more places to eat.  I have to say: Potsdam makes my tummy a very happy camper.

Speaking of food, spring also means shedding that winter weight in preparation for the removal of all those layers we’ve been able to hind behind all winter.  Living on campus, it can be easy to fall into the ease of overeating at the dining halls or grabbing a bag of chips in your room.  But as simple as putting on the pounds can be, shedding them isn’t that much more difficult!  We have an amazing fitness facility on campus and there are always classes going on including Zumba, Kickboxing and Boot Camp workouts.  All of this is free for students and it’s a lot of fun too!  The hours are great, so it’s simple to fit into even the busiest schedule…I would know!

In addition, making better food choices is pretty easy too.  We have several salad bars across campus and ready-for-purchase salads too.  But if you’re anything like me and salad just doesn’t do it, there are plenty of other options too!  Try a Cod sandwich at the Union, Shrimp Stir Fry (made to order, and my personal selection for dinner this evening!) at Lehman, or a Grilled Panini at Becky’s Place.  The options are endless and even more delicious.  Who knew spring would taste so good?

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

by
Chelsey, Class of 2013

I started checking out colleges when I was fifteen. It was the end of my tenth grade year, and I had just discovered that I wanted to graduate a year early. Most fifteen year old’s would opt to go somewhere close to home, start off easy – but not me. I wanted a challenge and I wanted somewhere to shine. But mostly, I wanted what I had been working towards since fifth grade – to go to a school I truly loved.

I used a website (collegeboard) to search schools detail by detail. Suddenly, researching colleges was what I did for fun. I narrowed down that I wanted to go to school in the North East, and that I wanted to attend a public school that had Spanish Education and Creative Writing. That still left a lot of options. After reading about hundreds of schools, I made a list of six. Then I started visiting. Potsdam happened onto my list – not because there was anything particular I loved about it. It just so happened that there was nothing I hated about it. I visited it out of my anal necessity to see all the campuses on my list but I didn’t expect to be excited by anything I saw. I’ve never been more wrong in my life.

As soon as I got here, I fell in love. I loved the flowers in front of Raymond Hall (the building where admissions is) and the homey feeling of the big couch in the Admissions office. I loved that they were working on Becky’s place, a healthy food option. I loved the fall leaves just starting to depart from trees and swirl in colorful strides around me. I loved the personalization – from the tour to talking to an Admissions counselor after. The Crumb Memorial Library captured me with sheer size and the prospect of reading a book on a beanbag chair with a lovely drink from Minerva’s Café in my hand.  While I had planned on getting out of small time life for college, Potsdam completely flipped my mind. The personality of the campus captured my heart in seconds and though I visited schools after, Potsdam never strayed from number one.

Still, more than two years later, I am head over heels with this institution. It has provided me with more than I ever could have hoped. It has shown me a variety of things I never knew I needed to learn – or would want to. I’ve become a leader and learned exactly how many minutes it takes to pack a book bag. I’ve met all kinds of people – people I never thought I could meet in a small town. Here, you are opened up to other cultures and experiences that you may never otherwise encounter. Potsdam may seem like it’s in the middle of nowhere but really, it’s in the center of all of our hearts.

Chelsey at Entrance of SUNY Posdam

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

by
Brian, Class of 2012

After spending more than two and a half years as a student at SUNY Potsdam, I have found a level of comfort and a feeling of security that is stronger than what I feel toward my own hometown. Despite this sense of belonging, I have to remind myself of what an intimidating and uncertain path I followed in order to get here.

During my senior year of high school, I found myself uncomfortably stuck with very little direction as to what I wanted to get from life after graduation. I had always known that I would attend college, but was lost in terms of what I wanted to study or where I wanted to study it. In this sense, I gave into the pressure of people who feigned interest in my future with insubstantial questions such as “where are you going to college next year?” or “what is your major going to be?”. Questions like those made me feel like I was unmotivated and lacking direction, when I should have realized that I didn’t need a four-year plan at age 18. So with my broad range of academic interests (I was very enthusiastic about Spanish, history, music, culture, and especially science) I adopted a “carpet bombing” strategy of college applications. My idea was to apply to every college that had a program that interested me or had a campus that I particularly liked. From there, I planned to select a school based on what kind of financial aid packages they offered. This plan was also meant to keep my options open until I could get an idea of what I was looking for in a college.

In all, I applied to 13 colleges and universities in New York and Pennsylvania. I was accepted to all of them, and as my senior year progressed I started to get an idea of what kind of campus environment was right for me. Being from a small town of around 2,000 people, I realized that I wasn’t quite ready for an adjustment to city living and was able to cross all of the large universities off my list. Also, I decided that I would enter college undeclared and that technical or engineering universities didn’t give me enough flexibility to make a comfortable, calculated decision. So in that sense, I narrowed my search down to a handful of rural liberal arts colleges, including SUNY Potsdam.

It was after that point that I heard back from Potsdam about their Mt. Emmons Scholarship. Earning that award was the defining point that pushed me toward SUNY Potsdam and made me realize that it blended music, art, science, and small town culture in an ideal way. Choosing a liberal arts education has allowed me to broaden my intellectual base and dip my toes into multiple fields of study. I am incredibly happy with where I have ended up with my geology education and my opportunities for the future are already opening up. I love Potsdam and couldn’t imagine myself being anywhere else!

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

by
Michael, Class of 2012

My journey to SUNY Potsdam began as the men’s ice hockey coach recruited me back in 2008. Not knowing what to expect I decided to visit the campus to get a preview. A 6-hour drive quickly turned into a 14-hour trip due to the weather and a car crash. When I finally arrived I was excited to see what the College had to offer. During my recruiting trip I went on a campus tour and enjoyed the dining facilities, but Maxcy Hall and the chance to continue my hockey career were my main reasons for the selection of SUNY Potsdam. I left that trip with really no idea what campus life would be like at Potsdam.

Over my last 3 years at Potsdam I’ve gained a great appreciation of the College, the people, and the town. Small class sizes allow the teachers to spend more time with students to address weak points in their studies. The small campus size allows for an easy commute from class to class no longer than a 5 minute walk. The dining options at Lehman, Union, and Becky’s offer easy access to a quick meal when you’re in a rush. The collegiate sports at Potsdam get a ton of student support and make for a great environment to showcase school spirit. Our intramural programs run yearlong and offer something for everyone. There are numerous clubs and organizations and the nightlife in the town is not to be forgotten.  From the Roxy Theatre to the Maxfields Patio there’s something for everyone no matter what your taste. You will meet your greatest friends along the way and join a tight knit student community that will surely allow you to thoroughly enjoy your stay at SUNY Potsdam.

Good luck with your decisions.

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

by
Vincent, Class of 2013

My choosing of SUNY Potsdam came by some sheer hunch I had about a year ago that this was the place I belonged for my four years of college. Transferring out of a community college was a tough process, especially because I was considering four other schools before coming up to the ‘dam. I realized as soon as I set foot on campus that this place was the right fit for me. My experiences here have been life changing. From my classes to extracurricular activities, this college has shaped me into a successful student. The opportunities for advancement and leadership experience are endless on campus, as is the social life and campus culture. The town of Potsdam is built around the colleges it hosts and this shows when you walk up Main Street or hang around downtown. If anyone is looking for a full and enriching college experience, this college is quite the place for it. Give us a visit! You certainly will not regret it.

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

by
Becky, Class of 2014

Choosing a college is a process, and it’s different for everyone.  For me, coming to Potsdam was an extremely unique experience.  During my Senior year of high school in a small town of central New York, I left a semester early to study dance in New York City while living with my uncle and working in a restaurant.  Throughout middle and high school, I always had felt the drive to get out of my tiny little town and get to a place where I could be something greater than what I was confined to by my location.  This is why I left to move to the city.  At the time, it was my intention to stay there long term…to eventually get an apartment and just keep working and taking as many classes as I could, attending company auditions, and just going for it…which is why I applied to a total of zero colleges.  But around mid-March (ironically, almost exactly a year ago) when all my friends were excited by their acceptance letters and plans for the next four years, I realized that maybe I wasn’t on the track I was really meant to take.

I began my college search.  I had few requirements in a school: a good dance program, an artistic environment, and FAR.  I was convinced that as long as I stayed near my comfort zone, I would never really grow the way I was meant to or become all that I know I can be.  So I applied to Dean College in Massachusetts, Coker College in South Carolina, and Hollins University in Virginia.  I had already visited Dean College and during my family’s annual spring break vacation to Myrtle Beach we visited both Coker and Hollins on the way.  I loved each school, but I felt completely at home at Hollins.  From a young age, I had always said I wanted to live in Virginia, and I thought it was the perfect place to cultivate my growth and creativity in dance.  I was accepted to each school that I applied to, and thus faced with a very speedy decision time (a week and a half) before a deposit was due.  The day we got back from our vacation, I filled out a check and sent it in to the school that my heart was truly set on: Hollins University.

As anyone that I’m close to would tell you, I make decisions.  I make a lot of decisions, and I then make new decisions.  It was mid-July when I decided it was about time to make a new decision.  Did I really want to live 8 hours from home?  Did I really want to spend money on a private education, when I had to go to grad school anyway?  Was it really the right time?  Maybe I panicked, but I guess it worked out okay in the end.  I hopped on collegeboard.com and searched for 3 things: public school, rolling admissions, dance program.  One school came up: State University of New York at Potsdam.  I applied that night and three days later (it was so late that it HAD to be that fast) I sent in my check and made my housing selection.  I was officially going to SUNY Potsdam.

Though my journey to Potsdam makes it seem like a last resort (which, I’ll be honest…it sort of was), my reasons for staying grow each day that I stay here.  The people here are generally good people…the kind of people that hold open doors and smile at strangers.  It’s a positive and artistic environment, which turns out to be exactly what I needed.  The classes are generally small, and I got to know each of my teachers personally.  They take an interest in each student and challenge us without completely burying us in work.  The staff is so willing to go out of their way to do everything possible to make sure you have literally every possible opportunity at your disposal.  I came here last semester planning on being a transfer, but I wound up finding my home.  Now, I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere but SUNY Potsdam.

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

by
Vincent, Class of 2013

A word of advice to any out of state students who are coming up to Potsdam in the fall, plan your trips ahead of time if you cannot get your parents to come pick you up. The town of Potsdam is rural, but thankfully accessible to cities such as Albany and Syracuse. We have a transit bus line called Adirondack Trailways that services the North Country and Canada. The main hub for the Trailways is the Syracuse station, which has an Amtrak terminal and direct service to Hancock Airport. Being from Maine, my central station is in Boston. If I have some extra cash to spare around breaks there is a small plane service out of Saranac Lake that flies to Boston as well as Albany. The service is Cape Air and is extremely affordable! Service is top notch too, baggage claim is a breeze because only six or seven people fly the airline, and it shaves off a good portion of time that normally would be spent on buses. Potsdam makes it accessible for out of state students to get home, just make sure to book early and organize your trip!

Here are a few helpful sites:
http://www.flycapeair.com
http://www.trailwaysny.com
http://www.amtrak.com

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

by
Brian, Class of 2012

As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. I often find myself at the middle of each semester wondering where the time has gone so fast. This spring has been no different, and the sudden occurrence of spring break and three midterms has only shocked me further into realizing how quickly the first few months of 2011 have passed. Although the passing of the first half of Spring ’11 feels incredibly fast, a lot has been accomplished and I still have a lot to look forward to.

Things are really picking up with my research project. I’ve started doing microscope work on the thin sections we had prepared. Research work has become part of my weekly routine, and every day I am reminded of why I love being a part of the scientific community and why I am happy with the career path I am following. You can read more about my project on the Presidential Scholars website at:

http://www.potsdam.edu/academics/specialprograms/presidentialscholars/butts.cfm

Also, be sure to take a look at some of the other very interesting projects being worked on by Presidential Scholars here:

http://www.potsdam.edu/academics/specialprograms/presidentialscholars/currentprojects.cfm

Other upcoming events I am looking forward to this semester include the Northeast Section meeting of the Geological Society of America (in Pittsburgh!), the SUNY Potsdam Learning and Research Fair, and several Ultimate Frisbee tournaments, including the sectional tournament.

The time sure has flown so far, but I have enjoyed every minute of it and hope to milk the rest of this academic year for all it is worth. Happy Pi Day!

Monday, March 14th, 2011

by
Becky, Class of 2014

The past 5 days have absolutely been some of the best of my life.  Tuesday afternoon I arrived back at Potsdam from my shortened Spring Break (which was completely uneventful since I was sick the whole time!) for last minute rehearsals before we left for the American College Dance Festival, New England Conference.  We went over all of the fine details and ran our dances in costume to prepare ourselves for the performances later in the week.  Both rehearsals went very smoothly, and we were all beyond excited for the conference!

At 5:30am, we all met at Dunn Studio before loading into two 12-passenger vans headed for Keene, NH.  The trip was eventful in and of itself since one of the vans managed to get a flat tire on the highway!  Luckily, we had left in plenty of time, so even with the time it took to fix the tire (we needed to call somebody since a normal car jack doesn’t exactly work on those huge vans!), we still made it on time for the 2:30 registration.  That day we all took our first class together…a jazz class with a teacher from Keene State College, where the festival was being hosted.  It was a great way to kick off the week and we all had a blast!  We had one more class and then it was time to take in our first performance: The Monica Bill Barnes Company!  It was an amazing show to say the least.

During the festival, each day consisted of 2 morning classes, a lunch break, an Adjudication Concert, 2 more classes, a dinner break, and another Adjudication Concert.  On Thursday, it was our turn to perform during the first concert!  We had tech rehearsal earlier that morning, but it was rocky at best.  There were issues with the music and none of us seemed to be “on” our normal game.  Luckily, the actual performance went much smoother!  Both pieces were received beautifully and we all felt really confident with the movement we presented.  During the feedback session, we received really positive comments, so that made it all the better!

After 4 days of amazing classes with amazing people and the best teachers in the New England region, we left completely and utterly exhausted!  Coming back to Potsdam was bittersweet…it was nice to be back in my room and to finally be done living out of a suitcase, but I miss ACDFA so much already!  I had the time of my life being immersed in dance 24/7 and wish it could be like that all the time.  Unfortunately, it’s time to get back to reality and back to Potsdam!  But I still have a feeling I’m going to be floating around on cloud nine for at least a week.  I’m so so glad that I had the opportunity to go on this trip and that SUNY Potsdam has supported the dancers in the way that it has.

Bond of a Storm

ACDF Group Pic

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

by
Tanasia, Class of 2013

Last weekend I got an amazing chance to go to the 2011 Region 4 Regional Conference in Providence, Rhode Island for orientation leaders and directors.   Orientation leaders are students who help the incoming first year students set up their class schedule and tell the students all about the school. They help with the transition from high school to college.  This is a very big task aided by faculty members on campus who share information from their departments with all the students. I am an orientation leader and I love it! I get to share how much I love Potsdam and help students through their process not only at orientation, but through most of their college careers.  At The Regional Conference I learned so many things. Many schools do things completely different from Potsdam. Most of the differences are based on the fact that we are a smaller school. Some schools like Cornell have 600 orienatation leaders.  I like that Potsdam is such a small school and our orientation program is more intimate. I was also selected to go to a separate program called Regional Orientation Leader Institute (ROLI). You go through a two day process where you are assigned a mentor who is a Director of the Orientation program at a different school along with several other orientation leaders from different schools. We all talked about how orientation operates at our schools and shared some different ideas of how to improve certain areas of our program.  At the end of the process we got a certificate along with a personalized National Orientation Directors Association organizer. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to go back again and enjoy the educational sessions.  Being an Orientation leader is more than just a job. I have made great friends and another family. You see great strides in personal growth throughout the summer. I wouldn’t trade it in for anything else.