Coffee coffee coffeeeee!

imagesCoffee, tea, cappuccino, latte, sugar, no sugar, extra (x3) sugar, cream.  However you like your wake-up beverage, Plattsburgh has a place that will make it just how you like it.

Many of the campus buildings have small cafés within them where you can find all sorts of treats to feed your cravings. These cafes are open before classes begin (around 7:30AM) and stay open into the early evening (5:30PM). There is one located in Hawkins Hall and Sibley Hall, as well as a Tim Horton’s and Campus Express in the ACC building. You can find information about all campus dining locations on the College Auxiliary Services webpage.

I should also mention that Einstein Bagels will be opening up in Hawkins Hall once renovation is complete!

Einstein_Bros._Bagels_logoAs a graduate student many departments have a lounge area specifically for your major, most of which have a community coffee pot. This is definitely something you will want to utilize, because if you’re like me, you will spend much of your time there!

If you are driving, biking, or walking into campus and want to visit an off-campus location, Plattsburgh has a Dunkin Donuts, open 24 hours and roughly 0.6 miles from campus. There is a Starbucks 0.9 miles from campus, and a small local shop called Koffee Kat which is 2.5 miles from campus. There is also a newer place called My Cup of Tea which is 0.6 miles for campus and offers more than 95 varieties of Republic of Tea, coffee, and custom beverages.

If you haven’t already heard about Cardinal Cash, consider loading some onto your ID card.  There are bonus dollars added to the amount on your card based on how much you initially deposit, plus there’s the everyday convenience of not needing to dig out cash or a credit card to make small purchases.  Cardinal Cash is accepted at every dining location on campus, including vending machines.  Many off campus businesses will accept Cardinal Cash too, and may throw in a student discount or offer you a special as a SUNY Plattsburgh student.  To view a complete list visit the Where to Use Your Cardinal Card/Cash page online.

It may take a few weeks to get into the groove of finding the right caffeinated beverage just how you like it and just when you need it, but I am confident that Plattsburgh has enough options to make everybody happy.  Just make sure you don’t get overly excited and accidentally order 3, like Lorelai Gilmore:

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Ahead of the Game

calendar-crossed-outSummer is coming to an end and as warm nights have started to fade into cooler ones, I am thinking about this upcoming semester. The calendar is marked and the countdown is almost over – school starts in only 6 days!

Here are some steps I have taken to help ease the anxiety of the upcoming first day:

Taking care of business: Prior to my arrival I like to make sure everything is confirmed under my Student Accounts. This would include processing any leftover Financial Aid paperwork, submitting Health Insurance, obtaining a parking pass, setting up or checking my email account, and obtaining my Student ID card. Each of these specific areas helps pave a smooth path of communication between SUNY Plattsburgh and myself. Most of these tasks can be done online at one’s convenience.

Organize word

Hit the ground running: One of the more important things I like to do before the first day of school is to know exactly where my classes are located.  This upcoming semester I have classes that are close together (1-3:45pm/ 4-6:45pm), which makes it important that I know where I am going.  I also like to put together calendars to help me manage my time.  Everyone has a different preference for how they track their own schedule, but for me, planning a basic week schedule that shows my work schedule versus my class schedule is helpful.  Publication3This allows me to plan my days in terms of meals, breaks, studying, and extracurricular activities. As a graduate student I have found that it is important to keep a balance between my work/class schedules and my free time.  I am a very routine-based person. Knowing what days I need to pack a breakfast, lunch and dinner is important when it comes to staying healthy and stress-free. No one likes to learn on an empty stomach.

Research: Imagine walking into your first class on the first day of school having no idea what to expect, and having done no background research… scary!  This is why I like to take a look at my course descriptions and peek at the textbooks, to help me get an idea of the subject matter. When doing this, I like to keep an open mind. You never know how much you’re going to read or use the textbook. Also, I like to attend any orientations, welcome meetings, etc. before classes begin, which help me get an idea of who my peers are.

Remember: Your overall experience in graduate school is, for better or worse, in your own hands, so be sure to make it all it can be. This is your time to sharpen old skills and create new ones. As you get ready for this upcoming semester, remember to breathe 🙂

#1 Taste Tester

delishFrom Taco Tuesday at Olive Ridley’s to the Nepali cuisine at Himalaya, Plattsburgh has a huge variety of food options for a city of its size.  Tripadvisor lists 117 different restaurant options in our area.  Let me tell you about a few of my favorite places that are unique to Plattsburgh!

If you’re looking for something fast, Cheechaco Taco is great for a taco, wrap or quesadilla.  The names of the items on the menu are just as outrageous as their flavors (Pocatello, Portland, Noura’s Nom Noms).  IMG_2734-editedThere are several great local pizza places around town too, like Giuseppe’s, Bazzano’s and Dino’s Gourmet Pizza and Pasta, to name a few.

Plattsburgh has a very popular Thai restaurant, Sawatdee, where a wide range of traditional Southeast Asian dishes are offered.  406715_10152372306800195_1237949009_nMy taste buds always thank me when I eat there, especially if I order a Thai Ice Coffee or Thai Ice Tea!  YUM!

I have not yet had a chance to visit the newest addition to downtown Plattsburgh, Aleka’s, a Greek restaurant that many people are raving about. Before this upcoming semester is over, I will be checking this place off my bucket list!

Another popular new restaurant downtown is Blue Collar Bistro, which first opened last year at the 1002740_606866252671993_66159037_nPlattsburgh Farmer’s and Crafter’s Market, then established a restaurant on Margaret Street in 2014.  Their emphasis is on fresh, local produce, and their menu changes seasonally. My boss, who is vegan, had lunch there recently and really liked it!

In addition to the local restaurants, Plattsburgh is home to many common chain and fast food restaurants that you may enjoy, including Panera Bread, Starbucks, Texas Road House, Five Guys, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, Ground Round, Perkins, Ninety Nine, Applebee’s, Friendly’s, Dunkin Donuts, and a bunch of others.

If you’re looking to cook instead of go out to eat, there are several different options for grocery stores, including Hannaford, Price Chopper, and Aldi’s.  The North Country Food Co-op is one of my favorite’s, for healthy, organic, local, clean items that come in bulk.coop-001

Plattsburgh is also home to Pray’s Farmers Market, where they do the growing for you!  PrintIf you’re looking for locally grown fresh fruits and veggies, Pray’s offers a great variety at a low price.

I know that as a grad student, the cost of going out to eat is often a concern.  Remember that some off-campus restaurants do accept Cardinal Cash, and that many restaurants in town will offer a student discount.

Enjoy exploring our local area food options!  And let me know if you discover any others that I should try 🙂