College life home and away


Alex Willis                                                                                                               12/05/18

College life home and dorming away

I have never been away from home for an extended period of time in my life. This is my first semester here at SUNY Oswego and it was a bit of a difficult task to adjust to this new life that I have chosen to be a part of. I had to give up most of the things I love to do which I can only do at home. I’m essentially in college right now just to pass the time and get a degree for something I’m interested in, not to get a job after and if I graduate. It is also a good back up plan just to have a degree in case I could use it in the future. While I am going for this education it is also giving me more time to find out what career path I want to get into in the near future. I am trying to figure out what I really am passionate about while I’m in college, but when I went away to school I realized that I gave up everything I loved which was back at home for me.

When I first arrived here at SUNY Oswego, I wasn’t really overwhelmed with pressure that I would be away from the place I call home on Long Island, to this new home up here. I wasn’t nervous at all I knew I could handle it, but I was faced with the question, is coming here worth it? After a bitter 3 three years of going to a community college and progressing nowhere with a college degree, I felt it was a time for a change in my life. I decided to try and go away to college for a semester or two too see a change of scenery in my life for once. I did know of the things I would be giving up in order to go here, but I felt I needed to take a chance and let it happen, but I think I made a mistake.

Back at home I have a 7 year old sister and a now 1 year old brother. For the past few months that I have been here I have been thinking that maybe it wasn’t worth coming up here. I will only get one chance to watch my little siblings grow up, I can always get a college degree. I say this because life is so un-expecting and anything can happen at any time. I want to be able to watch these grow up, as for when I was home with my sister it was amazing to see her grow up so fast and I want to be able to do the same with my brother. I watched my sister age so fast and I know the same will happen to my brother cause time moves so fast.

Back at home doing the things I loved were so much easier. I had all my game systems with me, the newer ones connected to the big TV and the older to the smaller TV. Up here I only have my PS4, and am limited to the games I want to play which I cant on the newer systems. I don’t have my car up here so I can’t go for drives which I love to do and to grab something to eat different. It’s even more easier to just watch a movie at home, here I don’t have access to my movie collection. I guess I can say I know whats important to me now that I don’t have them now.

Me and my uncle recently spoke about how when he went away to college for a year and came back because he didn’t like it and how it wasn’t for him. He told me “When I left it was around the time you (me) were about 3 years old and it was hard for me to leave you and not watch you grow up for a time being. I came home after that year because going away for school wasn’t for me”. I feel the same way as my uncle as going away for school just isn’t for me, even if the degree I’m going for is only offered here at SUNY Oswego.

My mother also has said “Alex it’s just for a year and then you will be back home to take online courses”. I knew a year is just a short time, but so much can happen in that time. My brother will be going through the time of his life where he will realize the world around him, start talking and developing more, and me being up here I am missing out on that wonderful part of his life. At this point I just want to get college done and over with, and sadly I know if I come home it will delay my graduation time further than it I want it to be.

Frequent talks with my grandmother who I live with at home, she can tell in my voice that I am not enjoying myself here. She knows all that I gave up and understands why I want to come home. “I can tell you’re not enjoying it up there, maybe we can find a way for you to stay home once you come back in December.

Up here at Oswego, college life is actually pretty involved and fun compared to when I was at my community college, but that fun isn’t the fun I want. I like to have my alone time, its hard when I share a room with someone. I like doing the things I’m used to and being with my friends that I have known for years. I have just been torn with decisions on what is worth more at this point in my life, but I think the last couple of months here have helped me with that decision. I think in all I did need this experience of going away, cause now I know what is truly important to me. 


Social media in college life

Alex Willis                                                                                                                  10/17/18

Social Media in the year 2018 has become a normal thing to people of all ages, as its creation has grew all over the world. Its impact has led some colleges and jobs to make their students/employees have a social media account for professional or education purposes. The multi-platform availability of it makes it very easy for people to access a social media account, as many types of devices offer compatibility. Various social media platforms have given people opportunities of a lifetime as in a time before social media not many voices could be heard, while the people who misused it could be struggling.

Typically the college life of social media is not used for a professional purpose, at least for the recent high school graduates and kids that don’t take it all too seriously. Apps such as Instagram and Snapchat can be mainly used as a platform to stay in connections with past friends from high school by posting pictures. The way you present yourself on social media can be impactful in ways. Jobs tend to look up your social media accounts as they want to make sure you act professional online. If you use social media in the wrong way by just posting pictures of you and your friends drunk, jobs will see that you are not mature. The use of it that way can harm your future.

“Admissions leaders may be changing their attitudes about the appropriateness of looking at applicants’ social media accounts, a new survey finds, with a large share saying they consider it legitimate to view applicants’ social media postings” said by Scott Jaschik from inside highered .com has a valid point on how job leaders can view your accounts. Today’s generation of college kids have a lot of responsibility to prove to themselves online with the content they can post. Years ago it was easier for college graduates to hide their social life as there was no social media and the internet wasn’t as big, but now a lot of pressure is on college kids to mess up their future.

On the other hand there is more than one side to the use of social media in college, as some can see it as unnecessary, some colleges actually encourage the use of it. “Social media has been key for us and has been a great audience connector not only with prospective students but with prospective parents.” – Kayla Germain, E-Media Coordinator, The College of Saint Rose. Through the use of social media you can find an area in a college that fits to your standard and your comfort. It gives college kids a chance to have a better look at what they’re getting into. You can use social media in other ways besides posting content, you can use it as a platform for research, which in a lot of cases college kids do.

Kelsey Harrison posted an article to peace times online saying “Social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, are all highly used social media platforms. The social media usage of college students has the potential to affect their grades, social-skills, and time-management skills, but it could be positive or negative effect”. College kids tend to spend a lot of time on their phone, and the most time used on their phone is the access to social media. Infinite content is posted daily onto social media and millennials are the dominant force that put out the content. The effect of staring at your phone all day can hurt social skills, and social skills are usually necessary for a job. Social media can be a real addiction and it can impact how some view the real world.

Social media can be a gift to some, and to the ones who use it in the wrong way it can be a curse. Some people with their use of social media has gotten them far in life while others it has halted their path to a career. The encouragement of some colleges to promote the use of social media has opened up opportunities for some people that may not have gotten them without the use of it, due to expanding your voice on the internet. The way in which most college kids are using social media is just for fun. Some experiment with it in a professional way, others are using it in a way that is not appropriate. Social media in college life in today’s generation has had many views, so it is college kids responsibility to treat it fairly while they still have the freedom to it.

Alex Willis

Alex Willis


Broadcasting and Communications/ Accounting

Hauppauge, Long Island

Alex Willis is a new student at SUNY Oswego. He went to Hauppauge High School on Long Island. He is going for his Bachelors in broadcasting and communications while also going for his Masters in accounting. Alex is in to things such as movies, videos games, music, comic books, sports, and exercise.