Why I am Thankful for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

Why I am Thankful for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

Proud to be EOP!
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I know there aren’t many people out there that know about or even know what EOP is, so I’ll just give a brief summarization of it. The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) is most formally defined as a program that is prompted to provide students admission and give financial assistance to undergraduate students that are eligible, based upon High School GPA’s, SAT scores, etc., etc. But to me, it is so much more than that.

Being a student at the University I attend, UAlbany, I was one of the lucky ones to be selected for this program. I can honestly sit here and say, that if it weren’t for EOP, I don’t know where I’d be today. They gave me a chance, for which I am forever grateful for.

When you are selected under EOP, you are to attend a five-week program usually for the whole month of July. It’s an intense program at my school. No phones. No physical contact. A strict dress code (not even shoulders). Nada. You are also to take three classes throughout the program and attend lectures. A fully scheduled day. And when you’re spending the five weeks in the program many people are like man, “Why, WHY am I here?!”

But for me, it was different, I knew why I was here. There was just something about my summer that I truly loved and always stuck with me. It’s where I gained most of my college friends, where I stepped outside of my comfort zone, where I truly felt like I could be myself. It was an opportunity for me to grow and get started for something that’d change my life for the better. It was an opportunity that gave me the chance to bloom. I learned so much about myself and college, before I actually even started college, and it’s all thanks to EOP.

It’s not the same for everyone, not everyone’s going to feel the same as I did. They won’t feel that it was this life changing thing, some just don’t see it that way, and that’s fine.

But I’m writing this because it did so much for me, so much that I even decided to become an SA (Student Assistant) for the next two summers following mine! And even though those weeks were tough, and stressful, it was so rewarding to both give and get back. You learn so much about the students and the staff, the counselors and the amazing director (Maritza Martinez is thee best EOP Director by the way). We all come from such diverse backgrounds and I just think it’s amazing because we learn so much about one another.

I just wanted people that stereotype us EOP students to know, this is not a program for some poor kids who get bad grades and are just thrown into college - no. We are scholars who put in the time, night and day to work towards something bigger than us. As students, we all have goals, and we all have dreams that we strive towards – the only difference we may have from regular admission is we, as an EOP family, have each other to fall back on at the end of the day. No matter what paths we walk, no matter what roads we take - that’ll never change. #EOPHoldinItDown

Thank you for everything you have done for me. Sincerely.

Cover Image Credit: Claudio Gomez

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7 Truths About Being A Science Major

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Whether your major is Human Bio, Chemistry, Neuroscience or any other that deals with a lot of numbers, theories, experiments and impossibly memorizing facts, you know the pressures of pursuing a career in this field. So without further ado, here are seven truths about being a science major:

1. There is no “syllabus week.”

Coming back to college in the fall is one of the best times of the year. Welcome week has become most students' favorite on-campus holiday. But then you have syllabus week: another widely celebrated week of no responsibilities… Unless you’re a science major that is. While your other friends get to enjoy this week of getting to know their professors and class expectations, you get to learn about IUPAC nomenclature of alkanes on the first day of organic chem.

2. Your heart breaks every time you have to buy a new textbook.

Somehow every professor seems to have their own “special edition” textbook for class… And somehow it’s always a couple hundred bucks… And somehow, it's ALWAYS required.

3. Hearing "attendance is not mandatory," but knowing attendance is VERY mandatory.

Your professor will tell you that they don’t take attendance. Your professor will put all lecture slides online. Your professor will even record their lectures and make those available as well. Yet if you still don’t go to class, you’ll fail for sure. Coming into lecture after missing just one day feels like everyone has learned an entire new language.

4. You’re never the smartest person in your class anymore.

No matter what subject, what class or what concentration, there will always be someone who is just that much better at it than you.

5. You get totally geeked out when you learn an awesome new fact.

Today in genetics you learned about mosaicism. The fact that somebody can have a disease in part of their total body cells but normal throughout all others gets you so hype. Even though you know that your family, friends and neighbors don’t actually care about your science facts, you HAVE to tell them all anyways.

6. There is never enough time in a day.

You are always stuck choosing between studying, eating, sleeping and having fun. If you're lucky, you'll get three of these done in one day. But if you're a risk taker, you can try to do all of these at once.

7. You question your major (and your sanity) almost daily.

This is especially true when it’s on a Tuesday night and you’ve already consumed a gallon of Starbucks trying to learn everything possible before your . Or maybe this is more prevalent when you have only made it through about half of the BioChem chapter and you have to leave for your three hour lab before your exam this afternoon. Regardless, you constantly wonder if all the stress is actually worth it, but somehow always decide that it is.

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5 Ways To Succeed In College Without Losing Your Mental Stability

Please take care of yourself.

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School is in full swing. And when I say full swing I mean the library is already running out of seating. College students are starting to get used to the fact that there is no parking and moving on to the truth that there just aren't enough hours in the day to study, eat, sleep, go to class, and study some more. We start to lose ourselves in the midst of tests and quizzes and truly forget how to function.

Here is how to keep your mental stability and still be successful.

1. Stop pulling all-nighters. 

Contrary to popular belief, these help you more than they hurt you. You actually remember things better if you are fully rested, so shoot for at least 6 hours before your big test and I bet you'll do better.

2. Take breaks. 

Give yourself enough study time to be able to take breaks. Yes, I know we all cram the night before or even wait until the day of but give yourself time to process and rehearse what you're learning or else you won't remember.

3. Try harder on your first tests than you do any of the others.

Everyone does pretty terrible on their first tests so be sure to study more for that one so you go in confident, but also have the opportunity to slack off a little.

4. Do all of the extra credit you can. 

If your teacher gives you extra credit opportunities, do all of it. Even if the class seems easy, even if you get a drop grade, always do the extra credit.

5. Always keep a snack (or two or 100) with you. 

Odds are during the day you'll get bored or hungry so just keep some snacks on you so you can't tell yourself you don't have time to go get food.


It's so easy to get caught up in college and really feel like your life is ending, but it doesn't have to be that way. Don't overload yourself and start preparing early.

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