The T-Wolves Two Cents

T-Wolves,
I’ve been invited to my cousin’s wedding this summer. The problem is that I can’t stand her
fiance! What should I do?


The most important question to ask yourself is why you don’t like your cousins soon-to-be
husband. Is it that you personally find him annoying, or because you’re worried about your
cousin’s safety? If the issue is merely that he makes fart jokes, grin and bear it through the
wedding. Chances are that there are some other redeeming qualities that you’re not seeing.
If it is the second choice, you may need to pull the bride or another loved one aside at some point
and tell her your concerns.


Some signs may include that your previously bubbly and happy friend is now sad and
withdrawn; dressing differently or altering their appearance to suit their partners ‘type’; putting
his needs above her own; he speaks down or unkindly to her; her fiance doesn’t like you or her
other friends, which can lead to spending less and less time with loved ones and randomly
canceling plans- these could be signs of her partner isolating her. If she starts to show up with
unexplained marks, cuts or bruises these could be signs of physical abuse as well.


If you see any of these signs in your cousin, then it may be time to pull her aside and ask how
she’s doing. It’s important not to mention how much you don’t like her fiance, because right now
she is probably excited for her wedding and wants to protect him. Demonizing him will only
drive her further away. Bring it up as you being concerned for her well being. Even if you bring
it up as gently as possible, she may not react well. There is a lot of shame around abusive
relationships, and she may not be aware she is in one or ready to admit it. There is also the threat
of violence if she leaves, and she may be financially dependent or have children with him. There
are plenty of resources available for people in these situations, even if they aren’t ready to leave
quite yet. The Family Justice Center (link here) does a lot of good work in both Erie and Niagara
County, or call the domestic violence hotline at 800-799-7233.


Best of luck to you and your family during this time.
Family Justice Center


Dear Twolves Two Cents,

I am struggling with all of my coursework and keeping up with all my classes, what should I do?

–Too Much Stuff

Everyone struggles with staying on top of course work and home work at some point in the semester. It is all about taking a minute to reset. Once you have reset it is best to email your professors and let them know what is going on. Keeping them on the same page as you helps continue to build a good relationship with them, especially the courses that are all online and you may have never met them in person.

I have a planner and write down all of my assignments so I know what is due for each class and when. But that does not work for everyone so you need to find what works for you. If I feel myself falling behind I make a list of assignments due for that day and slowly chip away at them. Do one assignment, start to finish. By doing this it will help you feel accomplished and less overwhelmed. You can take a break in between assignments if you need to, normally 10-15 minutes and then start to tackle the next assignment. Also, the ACE center in the library is a great place to go for help with any course. They are always there to help. Here is the link to sign up for a torturing appointment. (https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/ace/ace-tutoring-availability/) The library is a good place to do work as well, or even the commons. It is a bit noisy but when I am at school I always seem to get more work done than sitting at home, at my desk or even sitting on my bed.

School work can become stressful and overwhelming with other things in life going on. I work, go to school and help take care of my sisters so I understand getting time management messed up. More than anything make sure that you turn in assignments on time, once you fall behind it can be hard to catch up. It is not impossible but it takes some time to catch back up.

Getting behind in homework and schoolwork happens but how you recover will determine how the rest of the semester will go. Let your professors know right away and try your best to get back on track. There are always people to help you!


T-wolves Two Cents,


I’m having a really hard time. Between my classes, homework, my friends and clubs I can’t keep
up! I am so stressed out and tired. Can you help me?
-Stressed


Dear Stressed,


I’m so sorry to hear you’re feeling this way! You’re likely facing what I like to call the ‘October
Slump’ – the newness of the semester has worn off and you start falling into some bad habits.
The good news is that you can totally turn this around and have an awesome semester!
The very first thing you need to do is identify which classes you’re struggling with, and why.
Does your physics class assign a lot of homework? Are you struggling to understand the
reading assignments in your English class? If you’re struggling to understand the material being
taught, the ACE Center in the library has tutoring sessions at various times to meet a variety of
schedules for all classes! In the Bright Space app, there is also a space called ‘ACE 001’ where
you can find test taking and studying tips. Your professor is an invaluable resource- go to their
office hours and go over the specifics of what you struggle with. Check in with your classmates
too- make study buddies so you can compare notes and check your assignments before you
hand them in.


Struggling to keep up with the amount of assignments? Take advantage of your Google
account! Write down all of your due dates, appointments, and when your classes are in your
Google calendar. Set daily alarms for classes and reminders for due dates. You should build
your daily schedule around things that can’t be moved. Think: classes, recurring appointments
and practices. It can also be color coded and shared with people who have g-mail accounts.
Google Docs is Google’s version of Microsoft Word, but better. It saves automatically, so if your
computer crashes or your battery dies before you save hours upon hours of work, you won’t
lose anything. Even better, you can share documents with other people so they can see it
and/or edit it if you have a group project or are sharing your notes. This is also true for Google
Slides, Google’s version of PowerPoint.


You will need to learn to prioritize too. Some days you may need to stay in and study instead of
going out, and other nights you can study for an hour or two and then go out with your friends.
As you get more comfortable with your daily schedule you will learn how much time it takes to
do things- try to set a timer as you do your work so you know how long things take you to do.
For example, I know I need at least an hour to write a short writing assignment, but more than
two hours for math assignments. So if I have an hour-long break between classes, I know that I
have time to get a rough draft of my writing assignment or half of a math assignment done. That
will give me a realistic idea of when I can get my work done, so I’m not stuck trying to get two
hours of work done in a thirty minute break between classes.


And don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to sit down and do everything at once for
maximum productivity. Even 5 minutes of work is better than nothing! Your brain will need
breaks to produce quality work.


Speaking of breaks, don’t think that to be successful in school you need to give up all of your
fun! You just need to space out fun with work. You need to give yourself time to relax so that
you’re working at your fullest potential. If you know when things are due, you could decide to
skip dinner with your friends to study on Thursday night, but join them for a movie on Friday.
Most importantly, stop and take a deep breath. I know that it can feel overwhelming, but take it
step by step and day by day. You are going to do great!


Sincerely,
T-Wolves Two Cents


Dear T-wolves Two Cents,

I’m thinking about transferring to another school in the spring, but I feel so overwhelmed and confused. Can you give me any advice?

A: First of all, congratulations on this exciting next step! I’m glad you reached out, because transferring can be a time consuming process. I’ll break it down into a quick checklist for you.

  • Step 1: Pick a major

You may not know what school you want to go to right now, and that’s completely okay! Your most important choice is what kind of degree and qualifications you want to have when you’re done with your educational journey. So decide now- what kind of degree do you want to earn and what major will you choose?

  • Step 2: Research schools

Now that you’ve decided what your degree path will be, now is time to start looking for schools. You will need to pick a school with your chosen major, and decide on a few other factors, such as if you want to stay in state and commute or go out of state and dorm or live off campus. The possibilities are endless!

  • Step 3: Apply

This part tends to be the hardest- applying and waiting for an answer! SUNY schools all have a common application, but out of state or private schools will have you fill out their own application. Most schools will want your high school transcripts as well as your college transcripts so make sure to have your high school’s phone number on hand! The next FAFSA application comes out on October 1st, so apply for that as well. Double check your answers because it was recently updated, and don’t forget to put down every single school you applied to on there!

  • Step 4: Choose your school

Once all of your acceptance letters are in, compare the amount of financial aid you will receive compared to any tuition or dorming costs that may accrue as well. From here you can decide which school will be the best fit for you, your budget and your life!

  • Step 5: Register for classes

Like NCCC, once you have accepted a spot at your chosen school you will need to register for classes. There are typically other types of paper work you will need to fill out as well. SUNY schools will require you to have health insurance, so make sure to decline enrollment if you’re already covered. If you plan on commuting you will likely need to purchase a parking pass and potentially send in proof of vaccination. There may be other things you need depending on which school you attend, but those are very common.

Best of luck on your next step in your educational journey!


Dear T-Wolves Two cents,

I’m about to graduate this May, but I’m so anxious and afraid something will go wrong. I really don’t even know where to start. Any advice?

A: Hey! Thanks for asking, I’ve got some solutions that might help! Right now is a really good time to get moving, because the end of the year is coming up faster and faster! Before you know it, another group of people are going to be walking across a stage to graduate.

Tip #1: First things first, Go talk to your advisor. Be honest with them and tell them your plan for the future; they’re there to help you figure out what’s next! If you’re struggling to meet them on campus, email them and ask about a zoom meeting. Our advisors just want to help us in a good direction, so be honest to them and talk to them about your concerns. They can help you figure out if you’re on the track to graduate, and even help you out if you find yourself needing some summer classes.

Even if you’re not graduating, this is still a good time to talk to your advisor and figure out your next steps for the fall semester.

Tip#2: Stay on top of your classes! This is not the time for senioritis to hit you, you are in the home stretch. Get going on your homework, start that essay a week earlier than you were planning, and go to class.

Tip #3: Ask your professors how they think you’re doing, a lot of professors are kind and will try and help you step onto the path of graduation; they were there at one point in our spots. If you’ve noticed yourself struggling with their class, it’s not too late, you can ask for help.

Tip #4: Sign up for graduation! Stop procrastinating it, it’s time to just do it and get it out of the way. It literally takes like 5 minutes. Go to Banner web, and click on Student Records, it’s right there.

Tip#5: Even if you’re not graduating at the end of this semester, here’s a piece of advice for you. When you go to talk to your advisor about your next semester’s schedule, try some new classes. College is a learning experience, so use that time to learn a new skill or even try something new like 3D printing (yes, we have that as a class).

Here are some important dates for those of you who are graduating:

Wednesday, May 4th is the last day you can buy your cap and gown. You can find that on campus in the Book store.

Thursday, May 5th till Friday, May 13 is when tickets for graduation will be distributed. Anyone who buys a cap and gown can receive their tickets here. Each student gets 2 tickets, but don’t worry to those students who have more than 2 people coming; you can sign up for up to 4 extra tickets.

Saturday, May 14th is the day we graduate! Head to the NCCC Main Gym (H Building) at 10:00am to either watch your friends and family members graduate or even to walk across the stage yourself. Congratulations, you did it!

Thank you for the question! If you feel like you have a question for the T-Wolves Two Cents send it on over to spirit@niagaracc.suny.edu

Good luck my friends!

-T-Wolves Two Cents


Dear T-Wolves Two cents: I am stressed out! What are some ways to handle the stress that comes from being a college student?

A: Hello there! Thank you for this question. First off, I think everyone reading this article can relate. I think that the stress is especially present coming off of spring break. You have had all this time to relax and not have to work on assignments. Personally, I woke up Monday morning freaking out about this week and thinking about everything that I need to get done (including this article).

Tip #1: My first tip for handling stress surrounding college is to take care of your body and wellness. This means getting enough sleep, getting some exercise, eating well, and not downing tons of caffeine. Getting enough sleep is not impossible if you prioritize it. I am not saying here that you have to get a full eight hours, but at least six is preferable. Your body will not function properly if it is not getting enough rest. Lack of sleep affects every aspect of your life, not just academically. Exercise does not mean that you have to go to the gym X amounts of times per week. It could mean simply going for a walk. Eating well is really important because lack of nutrition can lead to health problems, which can add a lot more stress. I think that eating a healthy breakfast is one of the most important parts of a college day (and helps me). It is equally important to drink enough water, which is what I struggle with the most. Lastly, limit your caffeine intake because it will help your body from crashing later on in the day. Caffeine can over-stimulate your body and lead to feelings of anxiety and restlessness.

Tip #2: Plan ahead!! Write down which days you are going to work on assignments. Make sure to check your course schedules and know when due dates are. I would suggest buying a planner and keeping track of your assignments that way. Believe me when I say that missing due dates will only add to the stress that you are feeling. Also, have a set time each day when you stop working on assignments. For example, I try to not do college past 8 p.m.

Tip #3: Try your best not to procrastinate. Procrastination always leads to more stress. You do not have to sit down and do an assignment in one sitting. It is a good idea to take short breaks during study/homework sessions. The more you put off an assignment, the more you will overthink it and worry about it. You will feel a lot less stressed if you get your assignments done ahead of time rather than waiting until the last minute. My biggest tip for not procrastinating is to put your phone in a different room because it is the biggest distraction. Scrolling is not going to help you get your work done any faster. It might help you not think about it for a period of time, but you will still have more work to do and less time to do it.

Tip #4: Do not let your life revolve around college. Get involved in activities or hobbies that alleviate your stress. Read a book, get coffee with a friend, take a nap, spend time with your family or do something else that is relaxing to you.

Managing college stress can be tough and difficult to navigate. I hope that you find these tips to be helpful. Please reach out if you have any more questions! Just keep doing your best! We are so close to the end!!


Dear T-Wolves Two Cents,

Just recently, my fuzzy friend Felix crossed the rainbow bridge to the big farm in the sky. He was my first pet, my partner-in-crime, my best friend. I would come home from school every day knowing I had someone waiting for me at the door. Now, the house feels a little emptier without him here. Do you have any suggestions of how to cope with losing a pet, and what I can do to help myself move on?

Sincerely,

Feline Friend Fred

Dear Fred,

I too have recently been going through something similar to your situation. My beloved pet, Gus the corn snake, has passed away and I’ve been trudging through the same stages of grief. You may be wondering, “Why a snake is no loving companion to have, it’s just a mere reptile!”, and to that I say you must not have known Gus. This cold-blooded little guy was the most heartwarming companion one could have. We would start each day with a game of hide-and-seek through the glass of his tank, and he would lunge out towards me when he found my face hiding behind his rock. A tap three times on the tank meant it was dinner time, and he was presented with his mouse for the week. I would even confide in Gus when times were tough. Sitting next to his tank, I would rant about my mundane problems, and somehow, Gus always had the right advice. Without him here, life feels a little less complete, like one of my puzzle pieces has gone missing. Yet, there is a lot you can learn from your pet. Caring for someone or something makes one compassionate and diligent with their emotions. As time goes on from when they pass, you’ll find yourself putting in the same time and energy as you did your pet into all your other responsibilities. You may find yourself picking up new hobbies that fill your time with all the same joy you had with your furry friend. And there will always be signs of them here and there that remind you of their favorite toy, the way they walked, or the curl at the end of their tail, but this is all just them sending you signs from beyond, saying that they’re always with you. Although Felix has passed on, your memories together will always be with you. Spend time taking care of yourself with the same love and admiration you had for Felix, because you know he would’ve wanted to see you happy. I hope this helped, and may Felix live on in Feline Firmament.

All the best,

T-Wolves Two Cents