Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tips For Taking On The World!

So you're back at school for another year…or maybe, this is your first. Either way, college has the capability to be some of the best years of your life. Trust me--I know. I just started my junior year today, and I have never been happier. Filled with friends (who turn into family), fun and adventure, being a part of the current "college demographic" is something that should be enjoyed and is something that should be cherished. Whether or not people give us a hard time for our generation norms, the bottom line is, we have some pretty awesome times ahead of us, and happiness is a great quality that affiliates itself with being a "social media savvy twenty-something."

With that being said, college is also a dangerous place. Not to scare anyone, but it is unfortunately true. However, do not fret! The goal is to be aware--not paranoid--about these situations. Prevention is key. So, go out and have your fun! Meet new people, socialize, learn as much as you can! But do so in style. Do so with class. Do so being on the defensive, and convey an attitude of friendly confidence.

Four starter tips to help all of you college students embrace everything the world has to offer:


First and foremost (and probably the most obvious)- be aware of what is going on around you. Take an extra moment to look around you and feel out the environment. Who is near you? What are they doing? Locate all emergency exits no matter where you are--the classroom, the bar, the gym. You never know when it will come in handy.


Is something wrong? A little off? Don't ignore it. I am an avid believer in this rule. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have gotten up and walked out of a venue, or a restaurant or even my school library, because someone was making me feel uneasy. Do not be afraid to go with your instinct, because majority of the time, your feel it for a reason. Your sixth sense is trying to tell you something!


Do not use up all the bathroom time in the morning so your roommate doesn't have time to shower. No, that is not the selfish I am talking about here. What I do mean however, is to put yourself first in regards to safety. Who cares if someone bought you a drink? Referring back to rule number 2, go with your gut, don't be afraid to turn things down if you feel it will in the end, best benefit you. Someone giving you a bad vibe? Do whatever you need to do to avoid communication. Bottom line--whatever is best for your continual safety, is what should be done. Despite who's feelings you may hurt, or what friendships you may be testing, the number one importance is you. No questions asked.


Personally, I always carry a little extra cash around with me in case of emergencies. However, evaluate what will come in handy for you to use! A debit card, an ID, a set of keys? Always be prepared for the unexpected, and always walk around knowing you are set for any situation.

Just some food for thought, while still making the most out of your experience in school!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Let Me Introduce Myself!

Confidence. A word I have come to know quite well over the past few years. Confidence in life, confidence in others, but most importantly, confidence in YOU, are all things we strive for, and as I sit here on my computer trying to surf the web for an appropriate quote that will give some relevance for all of you out there reading, I realized that by just simply introducing myself, opening up my world, and sharing my story, I can originate my own form of inspiration.

So with that, I am going to start off with a HUGE hello! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Marissa Accordino, and I am ready to take on the world and share it with you as I see it! A little bit of background information—Currently, I am a rising junior at Ithaca College, working to obtain my Bachelor of Science degree in Integrated Marketing Communications with a double minor in Theater and Legal Studies. I absolutely adore public speaking, singing, acting, dancing, going to the gym, eating chocolate (I know, what a contradiction)…. Heck, the list really never ends. But out of all of these things, one thing I pride myself in is advocating for what I believe in, and trying to be the best leader I can be.

Before I ventured into the collegiate world, I was a high school student like most of us. It seems like ages ago, but I woke up at seven every morning, attended my classes, did my homework, participated in my fair share of extracurricular activities and earned myself decent grades. Lather, rinse, and repeat. And while I wouldn’t change some of my high school experience for the world, I also felt that some of it was at most, typical. I was very simple and shy, I had my close group of a few friends, I was overweight, and around those that I did not know, I was reserved and for lack of better words, self-conscious. Sure, I knew that I had great qualities to offer, but the fact of the matter is, until I realized my own potential, I didn’t really believe that they could be recognized.

That is where the National Organization for Women’s Safety Awareness comes into play. As a dedicated Girl Scout of Nassau County, it was only protocol that I obtained the highest-level award known—The Girl Scout Gold Award. I have always been a paranoid person, so when trying to decide what I wanted to be the primary focus of my project, the answer was a no-brainer. Although I had never actually been the recipient of forceful harm or assault, I always had some type of sixth sense where I could perceive danger when it was in close proximity to me. And believe me—I hated the feeling. So there I was, once again surfing the web like I had done countless times before, and I came across the page for the NOWSA. Nervous and introverted, I contacted Lidia Szczepanowski-Goldmsith Esq., founder, and Fran Petito, President, not really anticipating what type of impact it would have on me. I was fully aware that this type of collaboration would have an extremely positive outcome, but it wasn’t until I actually met them and officially gained the title of First Annual Teen Ambassador, that I understood how important being a part of this organization was.

By attending safety seminars and board meetings, by being featured on radio shows and in fashion shows, by learning various safety techniques and most importantly, by becoming acquainted with people who were brave enough to educate me with their message of hope, I was not only able to find my own voice against violence and assault, but I was also able to find myself. And with that newfound confidence that has carried with me to this day, I was able to, and still hope to, spread my knowledge and empower others. Because whether you realize it or not—being able to stand tall and know that you have the opportunity to influence and inspire an infinite number of people, is one of the greatest rewards.

So in short (because I know this is quite the ramble), I want to be the first person to welcome you to my new blog as the new college ambassador for the National Organization for Women’s Safety Awareness.  It is my hope to adhere to a brand new audience, expand the circle of those involved, be an honest source of information and invite you into my world as an Ithaca College student. What I see, what I hear and what I experience will all be disclosed as it relates to safety for our generation and beyond, and I can only hope that my stories will inspire others to take a stand and Be A Voice.

Lastly, I want to thank Lidia Szczepanowski-Goldsmith, Esq. and Fran Petito for granting me the opportunity to work with such an esteemed organization. It has meant more to me than you will ever know!
Stay Tuned!!!