Seniors reflect on their “home away from home”


Kaitlyn Tambasco, Managing News Editor    

With 84 days until commencement, some seniors have already started to prepare. 

Whether it is enjoying their last moments of college or getting ready to apply for their degree, graduation is inching closer.

College Registrar Craig Dewan said in a student’s junior year, a “junior review” is done. This is when an email is sent out to juniors to let them know it is time to meet with their advisor to make sure they are on track for their senior year. 

“We also tell students that the application for a degree and the RSVP for commencement are two separate things,” Dewan said.

Dewan said students have until March 15 to apply for their degree. This also includes students that are graduating in August or December and still want to be apart of commencement. 

Assistant Registrar for Academics Kristin Holt mentioned next week’s Grad Finale which will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 25 in the Strebel Student Center. 

This event gives students an opportunity to apply for their degree, RSVP for commencement, as well as other things, Holt said.

“We try to make sure that students are aware of what they need to do,” Dewen said. “Even if we have to do text alerts.”

The event is open to graduate students as well.

“We even get some parents at the fair,” Holt said. “So anyone is welcome.”

Psychology-Child Life major Kassidy Krenzer applied for her degree and said that throughout her time at UC she can say she is not the same person she was when she started. 

Krenzer said she enjoyed her first year the most. 

“I loved that everything was a new experience and I was eager to take on new opportunities and I made some lifelong friends along the way,” Krenzer said.

Krenzer said she would tell first-year students that there have been times she has reconsidered everything but is a firm believer that everything will work out. 

In the future, she would also like to see her major grow and have a dedicated space on campus.

“Another piece of advice I’d give is to be okay with stepping outside of your comfort zone,” Krenzer said. “That was one of my goals for college and I have really grown as a person because of that. Utica College offers numerous opportunities for students to try new things.”

Mathematics major Jessica Bates also applied for her degree and said even though things were tough, she learned a lot.

“I learned that there will always be someone smarter than you, funnier than you, and/or better than you at something you love,” Bates said. “I had to learn that that’s okay and that I can’t let it bring me down.  

Bates said she made great memories during her time at UC and says she is fortunate to be involved on campus. She was exposed to many opportunities from her job in the public relations office especially.

“Last semester, I had the busiest semester of my college career but I made it through because I had great friends who listened and kept my spirits high,” Bates said. “I would tell incoming freshmen to step out of your comfort zone a bit and join a club, get a job on campus, or go to a friend’s dorm room to hang out.”

Bates said if she could change one thing, it would be to get involved earlier.

“Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing,” Bates said. “I loved every experience, good and bad, as they have helped me to grow into the person I am today.”

Criminal justice major Betrece Braham has applied for her degree and said she has learned to never be afraid to ask for help or ask questions.

She said she enjoyed meeting new people and making connections with others.

“Don’t rush the process, everything will fall into place but don’t let the opportunity pass you either,” Braham said. “Remember to have fun and find your balance between academics and your social life; it will be rewarding.”

Braham said if she could change anything it would be to complete a Criminal Intelligence Analysis minor.

Nursing major Kendrah Stewart has also applied for her degree but not for commencement. 

“I learned how to get a good balance with that, making time for myself and my needs while also being able to form genuine trusting relationships with people,” Stewart said. “I learned what good friends really are.”

Stewart also made good memories with her roommates and said there is not a day that goes by where she does not laugh so hard she cries. 

 “Being on the soccer team really created a lot of these memories,” Stewart said. 

Stewart offered advice to current first-year students, such as not to “play dumb” to look cool.

“If you’re uncomfortable say something and leave the situation,” Stewart said. “Find yourself but don’t change who you are and consider every decision and how it affects your future.”

Stewart said something she would change is being too reserved as she never explored Utica until her senior year as well as participating in more events the college offered.

“These four years have been the best and worst at the same time but I’m happy they happened and I’m happy they’re over,” Stewart said. “I’m ready to walk.”