What do you want to do with your life?

The amount of times a student in college gets asked, “What do you want to do?” is one of the most cringeworthy questions for a lot people. If you’re the lucky few who know exactly what they’re passionate about and can picture doing that for the rest of their lives, then “blessed” is more of an accurate description for those people. But for the rest of those students who think they can kind of picture themselves doing something in that major/field, the unknown is so real; it’s scary.

Figuring out the rest of your life at the ripe age of 17 sounds reasonable, right? Wrong. But this doesn’t mean that if you chose to major in psychology that you can’t end up teaching kindergarten. It takes doing something to figure out if you truly enjoy it or not. It’s similar to trying a new pizza topping. How are you going to know if you enjoy the new buffalo chicken recipe unless you buy a slice first? After all, that’s what college is about. Enrolling in all these different classes so you can get a sneak peek into what that field might entail. It also helps you figure out if you’d like to pursue more of those types of classes and that degree.

A lot of people in the working world are currently working jobs in which they did not major in, in college. In a NY Times article Six Myths About Choosing a College Major, written by Jeffrey J. Selingo on November 3, he writes that “Majors tend to lag behind changes in the workplace. No wonder fewer than a third of college graduates work in jobs related to their majors.” This is moreso a problem with curriculum and a lack of field awareness for these students, as opposed to people not knowing what they want to do.

Nikki Giocastro, 24, is a sales assistant for the entertainment industry within the company. She went to SUNY Albany and now works in New York City at Sony. She explains, “I majored in business management and marketing and now I am a Direct Response Assistant at Sony… Safe to say that I’m not doing exactly what I studied in school.” Though being a sales assistant was not the career Giocastro intended to pursue, she is very thankful for the opportunity to have a job in this day and age.

Unlike Giocastro who did major in a type of business field and now works for a major company, there are some students who will major in one type of area and then go on to work in a completely different field entirely.

Kelly Buchanan, 27, went to the University of Rhode Island and she majored in and graduated with an undergraduate degree in psychology. Buchanan is now working with children in a special needs school in Kingston, RI. “I’m a teacher’s assistant (T.A.), meaning I help out the full time teachers with their kids… I’m a helper more or less. I love working with both special needs and non special needs children, it’s crazy how much you can learn from them while they learn from you.” Buchanan has only been working in the school for three months. She plans on going back to college and getting her master’s in education with a concentration of special needs education.

At the end of the day, you want to be happy while working at your job. If you aren’t, and not everyone is, that’s okay. You’re not going to always have a great day of work, even if you’re at your dream job. Do what makes you happy. According to Raghav Haran, author of Career Advice No One Tells You, he gives a list of 10 pieces of advice that can help anyone struggling to find their career path. He gives advice on topics based upon his own personal experience such as how “The real education begins after college” and “Always be getting more exposure.” Haran, your school counselor and advisors, professors and so many more people can be your guide to figuring out just what you want to do with your life.

Long Island Views

Fall is a beautiful time for festive adventures out and about and what better place to do that other than beautiful Long Island?  Long Island holds some of the most dazzling beaches and forest areas you can find south of the city. These eight breathtaking spots will not only have you in awe, but your followers too.Once they see you in such exotic looking places, they’ll be envious with the need to go there themselves. In no particular order, here are ten gorgeous spots on LI that you must see!


  1. Norman J. Levy Park, Merrick, NY 11566

With 52 acres, this land uplifts to about 115 feet enabling views of the south shore coast as well as the NYC skyline. In addition to three miles of jogging and walking paths, the park has a farm with goats and chickens as well as a 50 ft fishing pier. This hidden preserve is located right off the Meadowbrook State Parkway. Whether you’re walking through the preserve for health or for fun, it is breathtaking at all points and would look nice in any picture.


Norman J. Levy Park pier.

Photo Courtesy of the Town of Hempstead


  1. Smith’s Point Beach, Shirley, NY

Smith Point Park, located on the barrier island of Fire Island, is a haven for sportsmen, surfers and beach lovers. An extremely popular facility, the park has white sands, rolling Atlantic surf and an adjoining camping facility that attract both Suffolk County residents and tourists. This beautiful beach is one of many magnificent oceanic spots on Long Island that is just waiting to be captured by your camera.


Smith’s Point Beach sunset.

Photo Courtesy by William Gorman



Smith’s Point Beach rocks and ocean.

Photo Courtesy by William Gorman



Smith’s Point Beach, sun descending by the trees.

Photo Courtesy by William Gorman



  1. Downport, Port Jefferson, NY

The downtown area of Port Jefferson acquires a stunning marina where you can walk on the pier and gaze into the sunset as ships, big and small dock. With a cute little seaside town having quaint shops and restaurants, sitting outside or walking down the streets on a sunny day is the perfect formula for an amazing photoshoot in Downport.


Port Jefferson sunset.

Photo Courtesy by William Gorman



  1. Cedar Beach Pier, Harbor Beach Rd in Mt. Sinai, NY

Boasting between three and four miles of white sand stretching along the Atlantic Ocean, Cedar Beach has lots of active fun to offer. Areas are designated for surfing, volleyball, and fishing – including a handicapped-accessible fishing dock – and there are courts for basketball and handball. The amazing scenery will make you feel as though you could fly out into the lovely sunsets.


Cedar Beach Pier panorama shot.

Photo Courtesy by William Gorman



Cedar Beach Pier sunset.

Photo Courtesy by William Gorman



  1. Caleb Smith State Park Preserve, Smithtown, NY

Nestled in the heart of Smithtown, Caleb Smith State Park Preserve is one of only two state nature preserves on Long Island. Within its 543 acres are a variety of habitats offering guests picturesque views that change with the seasons. Caleb Smith is a passive use park. This not only helps protect the local plant and wildlife populations but also allows visitors to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy the quiet serenity that can only be found in nature.


Caleb Smith State Park, Smithtown, NY
A beautiful autumn day on the pond at Caleb Smith State Park.

Photo Courtesy of Parks.NY.gov


  1. Frank Melville Memorial Park, Setauket, NY

Within the park are five structures, including a Greek revival post office, a simulated grist mill, the cottage of the last working miller, an early 20th century barn, and a meeting house, now called the Bates House. The park and its buildings are included on the National Register of Historic Places.


The park was designed using existing ponds surrounded by native species of plants and trees. It covers 26 acres, including an estuary and natural woodland with more than 200 varieties of plants and trees. It may feel as if you’re in some far off place, in a land far away. The mystical scenery will draw not only you in but the magical photos you’ll soon take.


Frank Melville Memorial Park bridge.

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia


  1. Muttontown Preserve, Jericho-Oyster Bay Road, Muttontown Lane, East Norwich, NY 11732

Comprising 550 acres of fields, woodlands, ponds and estate grounds, Muttontown is Nassau County’s largest nature preserve and one of the most stunning settings on Long Island. The preserve includes miles of marked nature trails with local wildflowers, trees, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Another esoteric landscape where you’re never going to want to leave — not without any evidence anyway.



Muttontown Preserve old staircase.

Photo Courtesy of tudsmudh.typepad.com



Muttontown Preserve old building pieces.

Photo Courtesy of Yelp

  1. Jayne’s Hill, West Hills, Town of Huntington, NY

Also known as High Hill, West Hills, Oakley’s Hill, and Janes Hill. It is the highest point on Long Island, New York, with an elevation of between 387 feet and 400.9 feet above sea level. This charming mountain top-like hill will make you feel as though you’re on top of the world. With The Sound of Music type feel to it, you have to take an awesome picture if only because  the hills are alive with the sound of your flash.

Jayne’s Hill hilltop views.

Photo Courtesy of mountain-forecast.com

Real Talk: The Truth About IUDs

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Mirk

Ladies, let’s talk birth control. What a lot of women don’t know is how many forms of birth control there are. So ask yourself, what would your ideal form of birth control be? Something that is effective, unforgettable and helps with your period? Well there’s good news: its called an intrauterine Device, or IUD. IUD’s are a form of birth control that flies heavily under the radar. A lot of people either have no idea what they are or they have heard common misconceptions about them.

When the question, ‘What do you know about IUDs?’ was asked to a bunch of college seniors, the responses looked like: “I don’t know much about it,” said Carman Fredini, 21, NYU student. As well as “Not enough,” said Shaye Davis, 21, NYU student. Another senior, Shauna Morgan, 21, from Baylor University said that he used to see a commercial for IUDs and their side effects on Hulu. Morgan said they used to “freak” her out and she swore she’d never get one.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, among contraceptive users, the groups of women who most commonly use IUDs and implants are those aged 25–34, those born outside of the United States, those living in Western states, those reporting their religious affiliation as “other” and those who have ever stopped using a non-long-acting reversible contraceptive hormonal method.

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What is an IUD?
An intrauterine device is a small “T”-shaped plastic and flexible device that is inserted into your uterus by a licensed medical professional such as a gynecologist or a nurse practitioner.

According to Dr. Maria Giannopoulos, a gynecologist at the Garden City Obstetrics & Gynecology, said that IUDs are “excellent options.” Dr. Giannopoulos said that patients are generally very happy (with the device) and have had a lot of positive results.

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What types of IUD’s are there?

There are two types of IUD’s: a nonhormonal and a hormonal kind. The nonhormonal kind is called ParaGard and it has copper wire wrapped around it. There are four brands of the hormonal kind, Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla.

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How do IUD’s work?

According Planned Parenthood, both copper and hormonal IUDs prevent pregnancy by changing the way the sperm cells move so they can’t get to an egg. If the sperm can’t make it to and get inside the egg, pregnancy can’t happen.

Since the ParaGard IUD is made from copper and the sperm doesn’t like copper, the IUD makes it almost impossible for sperm to get to that egg.

The hormone, in the Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla IUDs prevent pregnancy in two ways: it thickens the mucus on the cervix, which blocks and traps the sperm, and then the  hormone, progestin, stops the eggs from leaving your ovaries (a process we like to call ovulation), which then results in no baby!

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How long do IUD’s stay effective?

The ParaGard IUD can last up until 12 years after insertion. The hormone-based kinds vary from three-six years depending upon which one you get.

The best part of IUD’s are that they aren’t permanent. So if you feel like you’re ready for a family or you just don’t want it in anymore, your medical professional can take it out quick and easy. Unlike other forms of birth control, your fertility goes back to normal right after your IUD is out, so it’s possible to get pregnant right away.

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How effective are IUD’s?

Sixty-seven percent of women who practice contraception currently use nonpermanent methods, primarily hormonal methods (the pill, patch, implant, injectable and vaginal ring), IUDs and condoms. IUDs are pretty much mistake-proof. According to Planned Parenthood, IUDs are one of the best birth control methods out there — more than 99% effective. That means fewer than 1 out of 100 women who use an IUD will get pregnant each year.

Think about it! There’s no forgetting to take your pill, or get your shot or switch your ring, etc. You’re being protected 24/7, 365 for however long you have it in for.

“I heard that they’re very painful to get inserted,” said Carolyn Fanelli, 21, Fordham University student.

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How is an IUD inserted?

It’s a little nerve wracking when you’re sitting on the table without your pants on, just waiting for the doctor to come in and insert a little T-shaped plastic thing into your uterus… But knowing that in 10 minutes you’ll be done and pregnant free for years? There’s no comparison to how much relief you’ll feel… afterwards.

According to Planned Parenthood, to put the IUD in, the nurse or doctor will insert a speculum, an instrument inserted into the vagina to dilate it for examination of the vagina and cervix, inside your vagina and then use a special inserter to put the IUD through the opening of your cervix and finally, into your uterus. The process usually takes less than five minutes.


How does it feel to have an IUD inserted?

It depends on the person, their body and their pain tolerance. There is almost always moderate to mild cramping. Some women are fine after an hour or so, while others are in pain for the whole day. It feels as if you were getting your period. Though some people may become faint or dizzy after the insertion, it is recommended to bring someone with you just incase. Some doctors have their patients take medicine prior to coming in for the insertion.

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What can I expect after my IUD is inserted?

According to Planned Parenthood, many people feel perfectly fine right after they get an IUD, while others need to take it easy for a while. There can be some cramping and backaches, so plan on chilling at home after your appointment — it’s a great excuse to curl up on the couch with your favorite book or movie. Heating pads and over-the-counter pain meds can help ease cramps too. You’re pretty much treating your symptoms as you would for a normal period.

You may have cramping and spotting after getting an IUD, but this almost always goes away within 3-6 months. Hormonal IUDs eventually make periods lighter and less crampy, and you might stop getting a period at all. At the same time, copper IUDs may make periods heavier and cramps worse. For some people, this goes away over time. If your IUD is causing you pain, discomfort, or side effects you don’t like, you should call your doctor right away.

Once you get the IUD, a string about 1 or 2 inches long will come out of your cervix and into the top of your vagina; don’t worry, you won’t notice it. The string is there so a nurse or doctor can remove the IUD later. You can feel the string by putting your fingers in your vagina and reaching up toward your cervix. But don’t tug on the string, because you could move your IUD out of place or pull it out.

There’s a very small chance that your IUD could slip out of place. It can happen any time, but it’s more common during the first 3 months. IUDs are most likely to come out during your period. Check your pads, tampons, or cups to see if it fell out. You can also check your string to make sure it’s still there. If your IUD falls out, you’re not protected from pregnancy, so make sure to go see your doctor, and use condoms or another kind of birth control in the meantime.

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Are IUDs safe?

Can any woman get an IUD you ask? Well according to Planned Parenthood, most people can use IUDs safely, but there are some conditions that make side effects or complications more likely. Talk to your nurse or doctor to find out if IUDs are safe for you.

You shouldn’t get any kind of IUD if you:

  • have or might have an STD or other pelvic infection
  • think you might be pregnant
  • have cervical cancer that hasn’t been treated
  • have cancer of the uterus
  • have vaginal bleeding that’s not your period
  • have had a pelvic infection after either childbirth or an abortion in the past 3 months

You also shouldn’t get a ParaGard IUD if you have a copper allergy, Wilson’s Disease, or a bleeding disorder that makes it hard for your blood to clot. You also shouldn’t get a hormonal IUD if you have had breast cancer. Very rarely, the size or shape of someone’s uterus makes it hard to place an IUD correctly.

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What are the benefits to having an IUD?

As previously mentioned before, these are the pros to having an IUD:

  • IUDs are VERY effective
  • IUDs are REALLY convenient
  • You can get pregnant after taking out an IUD
  • IUDs can make your periods better
  • The copper IUD doesn’t have hormones
  • The copper IUD can be used as emergency contraception.

ParaGard IUDs are the most effective form of emergency contraception out there. If you get one within 120 hours (5 days) of having unprotected sex, it’s over 99% effective against pregnancy.

IUD’s have failure rates of less than 1% for both perfect and typical use. This method has low typical-use failure rates because they don’t require user intervention.


What are the downsides to having an IUD?

These are the cons of having an IUD:

  • IUDs don’t protect against STDs

Some people have side effects after getting an IUD. They usually go away in about 3–6 months, once your body gets used to the visitor in your uterus. So if you can stick it out for a few months, there’s a good chance the side effects will ease up.

Side effects can include:

  • mild to moderate pain when the IUD is put in
  • cramping or backaches for a few days after insertion
  • spotting between periods
  • irregular periods
  • heavier periods and worse menstrual cramps (ParaGard)

Pain medicine can usually help with cramping. If the bleeding or cramping gets pretty bad and doesn’t seem to get better, tell your nurse or doctor what’s going on.

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How does it feel to get my IUD removed?

According to Planned Parenthood, getting your IUD taken out is pretty quick and simple. A health care provider gently pulls on the string, and the IUD’s arms fold up and it slips out. You may feel cramping for a minute as it comes out.


What can I expect after getting my IUD removed?

Basically, everything should go back to normal – before you had your IUD. You may have some spotting, depending upon the person will determine how long you’ll spot for. Overall, it’s as if you pressed the pause button on your pregnancy cycle and told Mother Nature you weren’t ready!

One of the most important tips to take away from this information, is to talk to your doctor or a medical professional about all of your questions. Lindsey Yancey, 21, is a nursing student at the Baptist School of Health Professions in San Antonio, TX and received her IUD on September 4, 2017. Yancey’s doctor did not inform her of how painful the procedure could be and was also not very knowledgable on the subject. “I contemplated getting it removed…” Yancey said. She decided to switch doctors and seek better medical attention only to find out her IUD was too big for her uterus. Her new doctor was shocked at her old one’s decisions, especially knowing she had never had kids before. All in all, Yancey is very happy with her decision to have her IUD inserted and is excited that her cramps are going away and that she doesn’t have to remember to take anything. “I am happy that i have five years of contraceptive protection,” said Yancey.

So talk to your doctor if this birth control method interests you. IUDs are just one of many forms of birth control helping the women of this world have that much more control of their lives. It allows us to have a say in what we want and don’t want. If they aren’t for you, then that’s alright. Find something that is convenient and the best option for you. Like everything else, it has its pros and cons, but it’s an option and it’s an option for you!