Great Events for Everyone to Enjoy!

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Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a great and warm weekend! I’m sure that we all are in agreement that we cannot wait until the Summertime, or at least Spring! It is extremely cold outside and yesterday my hands turned nearly purple because of how cold it was, and I had on gloves, thick gloves at that! One more day, which is today of below freezing temperatures and than the 20′s hit. I’ve never been so happy to see temperature hit 20 degrees in my life, which is an indication of just how cold it is. I hope that everyone stays warm outside and don’t go outside unless you absolutely have to. I especially worry about the homeless and I hope that they have some type of shelter from this crazy weather.

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Over at Saint Xavier University, some interesting events will be taking place that caught my eye! One event that will be happening this week is an event called, “Small School, Big Vision: A Remarkable Story.” This event will be held in the Warde Academic Center Building. Robert McClory will come to the school today at 11am and again at 6:30pm to talk about the how a segregated Catholic high school from 1940 until 1968 beats the odds stacked up against them and produced many different leaders, from business, politicians and leaders in government and medicine as well. It should be an interesting event and one that everyone should come out and support!

If you’re looking for laughs, the Improv Club will be hosting their first event of the semester on Wednesday at 9:15pm. This will be held in the Warde Academic Center Building in McGuire Hall. They’re known for their extreme sense of humor and you wouldn’t want to miss out on the laughs and taking your mind off of anything that might be bothering you or your classes! Like always, Saint Xavier University has a host of events that everyone can be a part of!

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This weekend, this will be a ton of events going on in Chicago, but no event probably bigger than the Super Bowl! There will be tons of parties going on for the event and many establishments will be doing something to bring in the event in a major way. The two teams in the Super Bowl are the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. Seattle’s great defense against Denver’s high-powered offense should be a great game that everyone can get into. Not to mention the commercials that are just as exciting and anticipated as much as the game itself. This should be a good weekend for everyone and not to mention that the temperatures will be above freezing for us! I hope that everyone has  a great week and weekend!

 

 

Surviving SXU Diner Food

As most college students know, diner food is never really the bright spot at any university. Like ever. I’m not too sure there’s a school out there where students actually enjoy the food that their school provides for them. Such a first world problem though, right? And let me tell you, I am very thankful that this is such an insignificant problem to have. But in my opinion, if students pay tons of money to be on campus and have a meal plan, then it should be an unwritten rule that we enjoy what we eat. I mean, I think it’s the LEAST that colleges can do for us as students.

But it’s not even that. For me, I’m just looking for food that is nutritious and can sustain me. I found out pretty recently that I have a gluten allergy and cannot eat wheat. Add this on to my vegetarian (and occasional pescatarian) diet, and my food choices are limited…severely limited.

So this is why I’m doing my blog this week on surviving the diner. I want prospective SXU students, as well as current faculty, staff, and students to be able to navigate their way around our sucky (sorry, not sorry) diner in order to find food that not only is enjoyable, but healthy as well.

The dining service SXU uses. You can hear many students at SXU bashing this company 365 days a year.

The dining service SXU uses. You can hear many students bashing this company 365 days a year.

-The Salad Bar
This is my saving grace in the cafeteria. Normally, there are three kinds of lettuce to choose from, an assortment of dressing, and lots of protein filled toppings. A vegetarian like me can appreciate the cottage cheese, garbanzo beans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and various veggies they put out. If you’re looking for fresh, non processed food, this is what you need to get. The only downfall is that it is priced by weight.

sandwhiches.

-The Sandwich Station
Not my favorite part. There’s really not much for people with wheat allergies to get, especially when they run out of gluten free bread. But for people who can eat that, it’s not bad. There’s tons of sandwiches to choose from and a build your own option as well. The Buffalo Chicken Wrap and Panini’s are popular options for meat eaters. Vegans and vegetarians, warm hummus on a sandwich is like a gift from God. Soooooo good.

Basically the gist of what you can get in this section. Unappetizing? Yeah, I know.

Basically the gist of what you can get in this section. Unappetizing? Yeah, I know.

-The Fried Section (aka the Grill)
If you’re a healthy eater, avoid this. At all costs. Fried chicken tenders, french fries, pizza, mac and cheese…you get the drift. A healthier option would be to get a veggie burger or a whole wheat or corn tortilla quesadilla. Obviously things loaded with cheese aren’t the greatest for your arteries, but it’s the best suggestion I can give. Try to load it with more veggies than cheese & pray the calories won’t matter? (it helps…sometimes)
PS, egg white omelets are served every morning…if you can drag yourself outta bed in time to get ‘em!

soup and salad.

-The 2nd Salad Bar and Soup
Yes, we have two salad stations, but this one is only open during lunch time. Not much different than the other salad bar, just a few more options and a chef can toss it with dressing for you. Yeah, doesn’t make much sense to me either. Negativity aside, the soups are actually pretty decent. They’re from Au Bon Pain so you know they’re good. Try Curied Rice and Lentil and Garden Vegetable if you’re looking for meat free options. And from what I’ve heard, the Vegetable Beef Barley and Baked Potato are delicious if you like to eat meat.

My favorite day in the diner.

My favorite day in the diner!

-”The Closest Thing to a Home Cooked Meal You Can Find at SXU” station
So I didn’t know what to call this part of the diner, but basically it’s where you can find food that your parents have probably made for you at some point in your life. It’s hit or miss whether or not you’ll actually like what is in this section, but my favorite part about it is Meatless Mondays. This is usually when quinoa and tofu are served. Another favorite of mine are the black bean enchiladas. Not a vegan or vegetarian? You can find things like jerk chicken, steak, pork chops, orange chicken, and other various meats in here. There are also sides and veggies to go along with it.

starbucks.

-Other various options
Last but not least, the little odds and ends within the diner. Fresh fruit is served every day (apples, bananas, oranges, fruit cups), as are breakfast & protein bars. NAKED juice and mini Sabra hummus containers are popular options for a quick on the go snack. As are greek yogurts and Gatorade protein shakes. And don’t forget about Starbucks and Subway! Both are located right on campus and are a big part of how I survive diner food.

I know it seems like a daunting task at first, but honestly, once you get used to it, it’s not that hard to find quality things to eat here. Sometimes it’s frustrating though. But what I have come to learn is that you just have to make it work. Because let’s be honest here, if you don’t, what the heck are you gonna eat??

Peace,
Torie

 

Back in the swing of things!

Being back to school, getting my work done, and balancing my social life is really a mission and something I have been putting thought into lately. This semester, I’m taking 18 credit hours and currently loving all of my classes. However, I’m involved in school activities as well as programs, so it has really been busy for me lately! We have an improv show next Tuesday at 9:16; this is really like the first show I’m involved in helping organize and I’m going to be in the video and in a few games in the show- I’m kind of nervous!

I used to be on the debate team in high school- semi-finalist 3 years and captainship☺- and I honestly miss it. The competition and level of intelligence really got me going, along with performing in front of people to persuade them. Improv is kinda like debate. I mean, it really takes a lot of effort and cunningness in order to keep a scene going with separate individuals while making it something entertaining. We’re bringing back some Alumni guys who I guess used to pack the theatre so it’ll be a good learning experience to practice and be in a show with them.

Along with that, I was asked this week to host an open-mic night and perform with my friend Marvin. We’re doing it this up coming week on Thursday and there are about 40 people that said they will or might come on the Facebook invite; I don’t have experience singing by myself like this. I’ve been in Chorus, had solos, and been lead roles in musicals but this is going to be more different- it’s going to be more personable. I’m staying positive about it though and practicing hard!

Great Experience at SXU!

1  I cannot stress enough how great my experience has been at Saint Xavier University since day one! I was a transfer student coming in the school this past Fall Semester. I was nervous and a little bit worried because of my past experiences with schools. At my last school, I never received the help that I needed for registering for classes and I just felt lost. At SXU, however, I felt like an individual. People actually took the time to help me. Not to mention how easy the financial aid process is. I can’t begin to say how satisfying it is for me that people check on me all the time to see how my transition is going. It is a wonderful feeling and atmosphere at Saint Xavier University.

2     The classes are a reasonable size and you’re not just another body or a number. The teachers at the school takes the time to get to know every student and figures out each student strength and weakness. I remember when I was injured and in a walking boot, every teacher and student checked on me to make sure that I was alright and helped me out every step of the way. That just showed that the people at SXU cared about me and my well-being. The teachers are also willing to help you out with any problem that you might have. Knowing that you can ask you teacher for help with anything that you have a problem with is a tremendous feeling. It’s like one big happy family at SXU, something that everyone should want to be a part of.4

The student body is great as well! It is very easy to make friends here and you quickly become comfortable with your classmates and the students in general. I can honestly say that I haven’t met a mean-spirited person at the school yet, which is saying something. When you can easily get along with people and it is a tremendous environment for you to get into your studies, what more can a student ask for?! There is also a lot of activities for students to get involved with as well. Activities such as, student groups and/or committees, student employment, Free Trivia Tuesdays, learning how to do a resume and gain employment and so much more! Plus, you can take in a sporting event at the school with the baseball team, softball team, basketball and football teams, and more! Just a great experience at Saint Xavier University.

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If you want to do some sight-seeing and travel, downtown is just a few minutes away! You get on the train and ride downtown or drive, and visit downtown Chicago and take it all in. Do some sight-seeing, get a bite to eat, go to Millennium Park or skating, depending on the weather. Take in a baseball or basketball game, just enjoy the full experience that SXU and Chicago brings! Saint Xavier University is like a big family and is like no other school. Anyone who chooses to come here will not be let down and have the best time of their lives, plus gain the full college experience that very few schools can provide!

 

Resolutions

Hey Everyone,

Freaks and geeks! <3

Freaks and geeks! <3

I hope you all had a wonderful winter break filled with lots of relaxation and rest! I definitely took full advantage of all the time off doing tons of fun and interesting things! HAHA, who am I kidding? I basically laid in bed all day binge watching American Horror Story & Freaks and Geeks on Netflix. I occasionally got out of bed to eat, and workout, and shower…but that was only when I became so disgusted at my laziness that I just HAD to do something more productive.

That being said, I really did not miss the hustle and bustle of college life. At all. As soon as I moved back on campus for spring semester RA training, my schedule began piling up. Classes, work, meetings, programming, extra-curricular activities, homework….is your head spinning yet? Because mine sure is. And it definitely was last semester. I found myself basically just running through the motions of every day life. Not really being present. Just hoping that the day would hurry up and be over with. For the first time ever, I actually wished life would speed up. I wanted to rush through my junior year. I wanted senior year to get here already so I could graduate and go to grad school. I wanted to be done with the monotony of college life.

Yeah, I was surprised at myself too. The last time I wanted to grow up so badly was when I was younger and thought that it would be soooo fun and easy to be an adult. (This was obviously before I knew that grown ups pay taxes, work long hours, and have a mortgage to worry about..I was definitely a very sheltered child.)

But As 2014 approached and everyone began making New Years resolutions about their health and fitness, I decided to make mine about something completely different.

Some of the people I love the most in my life.

Some of the people I cherish the most in my life.

This year, I’m striving to live in the moment. To stop thinking about the busy weeks ahead of me and focus on what’s happening right here, right now. Everyone gets burnt out, and it’s basically an inevitable part of anyone’s college career. But what’s important is that you realize that in order to live a happy life, you have to take care of yourself. You have to appreciate the little moments in life, cherish the people around you, and let go of things out of your control.

No matter what 2014 will have in store for you, good or bad, please always remember to live in the moment…because it’s the only thing in life that is for certain.

keep calm

That’s Latin for “seize the day”, in case you were wondering.

 

Back on campus!

Happy 2014 everyone! Hope you’re looking freshly at life and all its trials.

Family:) Ryan, my brother, Brittany, my cousin, me, Vanessa, my sister.

Family:)
Ryan, my brother, Brittany, my cousin, me, Vanessa, my sister.

I’ve always said that I’ve lived in the same place my entire life, and that’s true- well it was. Over winter break, at home, it was different than when I lived there and from when I went back for Thanksgiving and a couple of weekends. I felt kind of awkward, directionless; I guess you could even say a tad bit depressed. Don’t get me wrong, I had TOO much fun with my family and friends but something just felt off about it all. My room was the same, my family members and close friends for the most part were the same, my dogs were the same, but I wasn’t.

 

I wrote my first couple entries about living at SXU and about how it was so truly different than anything

Kolin and I. The day we left for winter break.

Kolin and I.
The day we left for winter break.

I’d ever experienced before. But something I failed to realize, and didn’t really see until I was back is this place truly became my home. I have strengthened my spiritual practice, learned more, seen more, met more people who have shown me different facets of humanity; I have changed, and I will venture to say it has been for the better. It’s so nice being back here and my break hit just the spot! I feel refreshed and ready to get that 4.0 that I missed last semester by 1 B! I’ve revamped my room and added more decorative aspects that make it even more lovely and homie to be here.

 

The Saint Xavier student organizations and staff have also really done an exceptional job at welcoming us back too. There has been so many free cookies and hot chocolate, there was an ice skating outing with a free ride to millennium park, my teachers have all been easy on the homework and didn’t have full classes the other day, and tonight there is free pizza and comedy! This semester will prove to be an interesting one and I’m excited to see where it will take me.

 

I hope you are all successful in your endeavors!

New Semester! New Year!

sxuHappy later New Years to everyone! Hopefully, everyone enjoyed their break from classes to re-energize their batteries and get back to it with classes. I have to admit that it was kind of a lousy week and a half with how cold it was outside and having to stay in. All in all though, it was a great break. I got a chance to catch up with my friends, who are all at different schools, hangout with my family and just enjoy some much needed time off from classes. However, now it’s time for us to continue with our education and get one step closer to achieving our goals of becoming a college graduate!

classmates

Now is the time to get to meet our new classmates! Meet different personalities, our teachers for the semester, and to get familiar with our new surroundings. It the beginning for some people, it is a little bit nerve wrecking meeting new people all over again and it feels like you’re starting over, especially when you’ve just met new people last semester. I will be the first to admit, when a new semester starts for me, it takes a little while for me to warm up to my new classmates and to get adjusted to my new surroundings. All of the personalities, trying to get to know names, it’s a real hassle, not to mention that I’m kind of shy. However, now I’ve warmed up to the idea of it. Meeting new people can be something to look forward to. Not every encounter with someone new, is a pain. Sometimes those encounters turn into friendships, like with my friends that I have now. Plus, everyone is there for one common goal, to gain an education, which is the most important thing. It should be an interesting school year for sure!

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I hope that everyone has a great semester and a great year as well! I hope that everyone strives to be great in any and everything that everyone puts their minds to!