Time Management

Hey friends and happy Friday! Can you believe it’s almost October?! School just started a few weeks ago and its almost the second month of the semester. I looked at my calendar and I couldn’t believe it myself! I was already putting my schedules in for the month to manage everything within the next few weeks.

Now, talking about managing. It’s around that time of the semester where your professors give quizzes, tests, exams and critiques on what you learn. Time management is HUGE during these next few years. When you start getting involved within the UMass Lowell community, you start having less time than before and  having time management is great! It helps you stay on task, get everything done accordingly and no stressing out!

Here’s a few of tips you can use:

Monthly Planning
It’s always great to be a head of the game! Invest in a planner that has a large blocks to write things within them daily. Look at all of your syllabuses and write down when assignments are due. This will help you plan things accordingly and give yourself time to get things done on time. This is something I do around the end of each month for the next month. I have a color for academics, clubs, events, meetings and work. It helps me stay organize and get a head start on things. It also gives you an idea of what your week is looking like ahead of time as a way to prepare yourself instead of forgetting something.

Weekly Planning
I definitely would encourage buying a planner. This will help you write down your homework for the week and things you need to do daily. If you forget something that you need for class, write it down in your planner! It helps out more than you think. When you take a look at it, you may have something for the class like, “remember to bring a book for class or read an article that will be talked about in class.” It’s little things like that can help you in the long run.

To Do List/Prioritizing
Being a part of the UMass Lowell community, there are so many opportunities you can be involved in. I could name all of them, but it would be longer than the blog itself. As you take on opportunities, just make sure you prioritize yourself. If you know there’s a few assignments that are coming up, do them in order of importance. I use sticky notes as a “To Do List” of things to do for the day or when a certain assignment is due. Remember, its not good to leave things for last minute. Its always good to prepare yourself rather than stress out.

Block Study Time & Breaks
I am guilty of last minute studying because I found out there was a quiz or test the night before. It’s never good to do that.,, You don’t study at your best potential and you will be nervous when the time comes to take it. Try to set up some time for yourself beforehand to organize the material and find what you need to study more than other information. This will help you remember more information and I promise, you’ll ace it!

Academics FIRST!
It’s great to enjoy college, go out with your friends and create memories. Remember that you are a college student. The faculty and staff do understand that things may happen, but it is your responsibility to maintain your grades. I understand its a lot of pressure and you want to explore new opportunities, I was there. There’s one thing I’ve taught myself recently, you cannot do everything. You can enjoy life and accept new opportunities that go your way. Just keep in mind, you are student, too.

I hope this week went well for all of you! Happy almost October friends!


How To Roommate

Hello friends and happy Wednesday! It is crazy to think that September is about to end and we are heading into our fourth week of classes. You all will come to find that college time does not function like real world time. We are at a very specific point in our lives. All that is expected of us is to learn and I think that is a beautiful thing because the real world has a tendency to be unfair and unforgiving. But right here and now, all we have to focus on is learning the rules of life as they apply to our (hopefully) wildly successful journeys. Those rules include being a decent human being to whoever your living with. With that in mind I now give to you my thoughts on how to be a good roommate vs. a bad one!


Scenario 1:I have an 8 am. class.
Good Roommate: You have an 8.am? I’ll put my headphones in and turn off the light. actually you know what I have a lot of work to do, I might go to the library so you can get some sleep!  
Scenario 2:We Share a mini fridge.
Good Roommate: Hey man, I labeled everything that I want to save for myself in the fridge, everything else is fair game! And if you really are in need of sustenance just ask and you can have some of my food, I’m not gonna let you starve.
Bad Roommate: (with mouth full of your food) Dude, how could you expect me not to eat your mother’s delicious cooking, that is a crime as far as I am concerned. Ill get you food. . . soon.
Scenario 3: We live in a quad the size of a double.
Good Roommate: I want to figure this room out so that we can maximize floor space! We should all be able to have our own personal space . I will make sure my side of the room is clean so that the room doesn’t look so muddled.
Bad Roommate: My stuff is going to go right here! (Dumps things in the middle of the room). . . What? I am a beautiful peacock , you need to let me stretch my wings!
Scenario 4: I want to have some friends over for a bit.
Good Roommate: Cool man, no worries! I always clear it with you when I have people over just like we agreed to at the beginning of the year. I might even chill here and see if I can make some new friends. Whoa, my side is a bit messy, let me take care of that before they get here.
Bad Roommates: huh? What? Oh I’m sorry, I did not notice you talking. I am still amazed at the sheer amount my side of the room smells. Yes you can have people over, but only if they can handle the stench for more than 5 minutes, then they can stay.
Scenario 5: When I come back from a weekend off campus.
Good Roommate: Hey man, I sent you a text asking if I could borrow your laundry detergent. I put it back right where you left it, thanks!
Bad Roommate: Hey, I may or may not have used your razor to shave over the weekend… can I keep it?
A lot of those scenarios may seem like funny examples but they are taken from my experiences as well as those of my friends. What you all should take away from this blog is something very simple. A rule most of you have been taught since preschool. The Golden Rule : Treat others the way you would like to be treated. If you think about it, that one rule could actually fix most issues between roommates. 
Of course if you are having some serious issues that cannot be resolved through mediation contact your RA or the office of residence life and they will give you the next step to resolving the issue. Hope this was fun and gave you all some perspective.

Latin Heritage Month

Hey friends and happy Friday! Hope your week was dandy and flew by! I promise weeks will fly faster than you know it.
As you know, September is full of events. It’s the first month of the semester and a majority of these events are geared towards getting involved on-campus. This month is also Latin Heritage Month from September 14th to October 15th. There are events hosted by Latin American Student Association (LASA), ALPFA and SHPE. 
September 14th was the kick-off of the month! There was a soccer game at the Cushing Field on North Campus, where burritos were given to about the first 250 people who came to the event. The finals were on the same field, too!
Yesterday, in University Dinning Commons at Fox Hall was Comida Latina. From 4:30 PM to 8 PM, the Dinning Commons served Spanish rice, chicken, paella, and Cuban sandwich with tres leche as desert. LASA, ALPFA and SHPE had tables set up in one of the glass rooms for anyone who wanted more information about their clubs. There was cultural music playing in the background and several games of dominoes were played. 
If you have some free time tonight on campus, come by Fox Hall! SHPE will be hosting the Domino Tournament on the first floor of Fox Common from 8 PM to 10 PM. If you know how to play dominoes, that’s great! If you don’t, you can come by and learn! There will be prizes!
This Thursday, September 25th from 8 PM to 10 PM, there will be Cafe con Leche (Coffee and Milk) at University Commons in Moloney Hall. Come for entertainment from students on campus, some cakes, coffee and hot chocolate! I will be co-hosting along with Abi Martinez, a current Orientation Leader from last summer! Hope to see you all there!

On Thursday, October 2nd, 2014, there will be a Latin Leadership Panel at University Crossing in Moloney Hall from 7 PM- 9 PM hosted by ALPHA. This panel will have several Latin leaders within the community. They work in corporate businesses throughout the area, where they are pro-staff within their companies. The panel will share their stories of being Latin, while sharing how they made it to where they are today.

If you are interested in joining any of these clubs, here’s some information below:

Latin American Student Association (LASA)
Meets every Wednesday at 5 PM at Fox Commons

ALPHA (Empowering Latino Leaders)
Biweekly meetings on Thursdays at 5 PM at Southwick Hall, room 240

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
Biweekly meetings on Tuesdays at 5 PM at Southwick Hall, room 240

Hope you all have a good weekend!


Lowell Youth Instrument Drive

   Hello and happy hump day! This year feels like it has a lot of promise and I hope you feel the same way.
     As some of you may know I am a senior in the Music Business program here at our beloved school. But I do not only practice in the business sector of the industry I am also highly involved in Music Education. I have my own private studio of students as well as teaching marching band at the high school level. Because of this I wanted to talk about an event happening on campus that is near and dear to me and to anyone that is involved in the wonderful world of music.

    The UMass Lowell Collegiate Chapter of the National Association of Music Education (NAFME) is partnering up with The Party Band (A 20 piece community brass band based in Lowell) to facilitate an Instrument Drive! The instruments collected will go to students who need them in the public school system as well as the local Boys and Girls Club. These facilities do not have enough instruments to give all of their students a quality musical education.

    The instruments collected that are not in the best shape will be repaired by our very own Blair Bettencourt, A professor in the Music Department. Professor Bettencourt will be running an instrument repair clinic for students in the Music Studies programs so that when they get into their respective classrooms they will be proficient in instrument repair themselves. Literally Everyone Wins!!

The first two drop of dates are Today the 17th of September in front of Fox hall on East/Durgin Hall on South and tomorrow the 18th in front of Durgin hall, both days from 12-5 PM. The instruments that are being collected are your average band instruments (winds, percussion etc.) guitars, electric basses and drums. The only items they are not being accepted are amps and effect pedals.

You can seriously make a difference in a kids life through getting rid of your old trumpet that is collecting dust in your attic. I was a benefactor of an instrument drive when I was a budding musician  in the fourth grade and now it is my career, hobby and life. Make a difference whenever you have the opportunity and I think you will be satisfied with the result.

Just some food for thought!


Tips Are Always Helpful, Right?

Hey friends!

I hope the start of the semester went for all of you! I remember my first year at UMass Lowell like it was yesterday. There was so much to do for the first month with events, clubs and exploring the university. I learned a lot within my first year and I would like to share it with all of you.

Trying new things

This is a new experience for you. Think of it like a game board. You get decide the next move you get to make, whether its rolling a die, picking up a card or starting a timer. Each decision you make adds on to your time here at UMass Lowell.  Please, don’t be scared to try something you have not done before. Try going to an event, a club or activity hosted on campus. Who knows? It may end up being something you’ll end up loving!  

Meeting new people

UMass Lowell is a large population of college students. You can meet people by just walking to class or sitting next to someone on the shuttle. Never be afraid to say hello and introduce yourself. A simple conversation one day could make a friendship for life. It’s true what people say about the friends you make in college are the friends you make for life!

Never take on too much
It’s normal to want to be involved on-campus. You can join or participate with everything available to you on campus. It’s great! It’s one of many things I love about this university. However, if you do a lot, it can get overwhelming. I am guilty of doing this my first year. I loved being everywhere and taking part of anything offered. It got to the point where I needed to decide what exactly I loved to be involved in. As long as you can manage academics with everything you can do, you’ll be fine.

Time management
This is quite essential to have. It helps you keep organized when it comes to academics, clubs, activities and personal things. I tend to sit down in the beginning of the semester with my schedule and color code everything. Next, I look at my monthly schedule and put all my meetings in my calendar, then look at my week with assignments and when they are due. This is all color coded, too. The colors have no order of importance, its just my way of remembering things. If this works for you, this is something you can use! If not, you’ll have a good way of managing your time, too!

YOU Time

Taking time to yourself is NOT a bad thing. Never feel guilty of staying in one night to spend time to yourself. I am quite guilty of not taking time to myself and I’m always on the go. I started to make time to watch my favorite television shows and take a nap whenever I had an hour or two to myself. It’s a good way to relax and feel refreshed. Try not to run yourself on empty. It will catch up to you, so please try to take a day or two off to just kick back and relax!

I hope these tips were helpful! Hope you all have a good weekend!

Much love,


My 3 Biggest Pitfalls of Freshman Year

My 3 Biggest Pitfalls of Freshman Year
Hello friends! I hope your first week of classes has not been too painful. I know I have tons on my plate and I can only imagine the crazy things all of you are up to. I remember feeling a hilarious combination of frantic panic, freedom, anxiety and happiness all at once . . . all in the first week of classes. With all of those feelings running around in your head it is very easy to feel overwhelmed and make some questionable decisions. With all of this in mind, I now bestow upon to all of you my biggest pitfalls from my freshman year.

  1. Staying in my room way too much.

    The only times I left my room the first 2 weeks school was to go home, go to class and to eat. I just sat in my room and watched a deadly combination of Netflix and YouTube all day. Looking back, that was the least productive thing I could have done. I was not making any new friends or exploring the campus that would end up being my home for the next 4 years. Thankfully I made some friends that brought me out of internet cocoon and into an awesome social life.

  2. Going home way too much.

    I went home every single weekend that I could my first semester at UML.  Granted I had my reasons (family, work, girlfriend etc.), but I wish I had spent more time exploring the campus and getting acclimated to college life. The experiences you have in college will shape you into the adult you are going to be, while staying in touch with who you were in high school is important, personally I wish I had experiences from my first year and established my independence as a young adult.

  3. Saying no to anything out of my comfort zone.
    Yes, there is a trend here. While I was in my room eating Cheetos/at home away from the college I was, you guessed it, NOT participating in anything that had any sort of time commitment. Fast forward to the present I am highly involved on campus and have reaped most, if not all the benefits a UML student could possibly receive. The moral of the story being: It took me four years to get to that point!! I could have been bettering myself for an extra 3 years if I had just taken the plunge, gotten out of my comfort zone and joined a club or organization that did not involve my major. Freshman year is the time to do it friends, you will only get busier from here!
    I hope you all take notes from my pitfalls and avoid them altogether, I wish I had!