College Runway

Good Morning Cougars!

School is starting to kick my butt! My criminal justice classes are definitely kicking into high gear with exams, papers, and projects. This semester I am taking 4 criminal justice classes (Juvenile Justice, Victimology, Corrections, and Stats & Research 1) and I dropped my 1 political science class (Political Theory). It was totally NOT my thing :(

Next semester is going to be fun! I am getting more of my gen-eds out of the way and I will be taking 3 criminal justice classes, 1 English class because it’s like taking out 5 birds with 1 stone, and a history class as well. I cannot stress how important it is that you make sure you have enough credits to graduate! It’s not just about finishing up your classes. I will be taking 3 extra classes my last semester here because I will have finished my major but I would be short on credits. I am taking suggestions on fun, easy, interesting classes! LOL

In the UNIDOS world, please follow us on our social media pages!

Follow UNIDOS on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram

Follow UNIDOS on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram

We are beginning preparations for our 2nd annual mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe who is such an important and influential saint/angel in our Catholic religion. If anyone would like to participate, please reach out to UNIDOS through our Facebook page. We need lots of volunteers and help!

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe

I am like getting into this thing called exercise… Have you guys heard of it? What are your experiences like? What are some beginner exercises you recommend to get into shape? I used to play soccer in high school but that was like 3 years again… I feel old :( LOL

Fall is in full motion! What are some of your favorite things to do this time of year? I know I promised a post on DIY Halloween costumes but I just found an awesome video on YouTube that I have stuck in my mind so I’ll share that! I will be posting Halloween pictures on my next blog.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUL1pXk5wmU

In about 2 weeks, keep an eye out for my first video blog! It’ll be my first time doing something like it so I hope all goes well LOL

Catch you soon! Live Life, Love Life, Live Large!

-Jess :)

Just Another College Week, Great People, Great Memories!

small group!Hello everyone! So, over each of the last couple of weeks, I have been trying to highlight someone I’ve gotten to know while attending Saint Xavier University. For this week, I am choosing the amazing Lauren Knepper. I met Lauren through Quest, the freshman retreat. She was my great small group leader, who led my amazing group! She is one of the most beautiful people on this campus, and whenever I need someone to talk to, or just need a joke in life, she is the right woman to talk to! She has been through so much, and I really never see her without a smile on her face! She is a junior and a nursing major student, and I know someday she will make a fabulous nurse helping so many people, just like in college! I couldn’t imagine her not being here! It’s a good thing I get another year after this one to see her around campus and look up to her! (To the right is my small group, Lauren wearing tie-dye)

This week I attended my first MSPJ meeting (Mercy Students for Peace and Justice)! It was really interesting to know how much they are involved in not only our school but also our communities. This is the group in charge of the Broadview trips! We are answering the call of our fundamental human concern for others by following the example of our Mercy Tradition.

At its most basic level, MSPJ draws inspiration from our collective human desire to alleviate the suffering of our fellow human beings. They empathize with other people and long to relieve their suffering. MSPJ strives to encourage and nurture that concern for others and channel it into contemplation and action so that we may better ourselves, our families, our community, and our world.MSPJ

They draw inspiration from the Sisters of Mercy, the religious order that founded Saint Xavier University. The special characteristic of the Mercy mission includes a consideration for, and service to, the poor and marginalized of society. The Mercy tradition emphasizes compassion, concern and action. MSPJ invites students, faculty and friends to embrace this tradition and draw upon it in their lives. I will for sure let y’all know what activities they have going on in the upcoming weeks with dates and information!

This Monday marks the beginning of sign ups for the service trips for Spring Break! So head over to Campus Ministry on Monday and hear what they have to say! I really hope I can!

Also this coming Tuesday nigFreak showht at 9:15 at McGuire Hall everyone needs to attend the SXU unscripted improv traveling circus presenting the Halloween Spooktacular III: Freak Show! Like I said a couple of weeks ago, its too funny for words so everyone must attend! If you can’t tell, I’m excited for this week! And it doesn’t hurt that classes are cancelled on Tuesday for Faculty Professional Development Day! Hope everyone has a lovely week! Have a nice sleep in day on Tuesday!

Spicing Up My Weekends

Hello readers! I’ve been having a wonderful weekend and I hope you have as well. I was lucky enough to have my big sister staying with me here at Saint Xavier this weekend. It was so nice to have her company and show her what it’s like to be a cougar for a few days! I did not have anything extravagant planned for our weekend, but we managed to have a really nice time in and around this area which can sometimes be hard to do. That being said, I wanted to share some of my favorite low-cost, low-effort, low-stress weekend activities for college students in this area and beyond!

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My roommates and I enjoying our face masks. Limited face movement, but unlimited fun!

-Spa Night – On Friday, my roommates and I decided to do our own face masks and spend a quiet night at home to unwind from a chaotic week. When it comes to planning a spa night at home, Pinterest is your best friend (well, Pinterest is always my best friend).  There’s plenty of simply face mask recipes that are natural and inexpensive. So, couple that with DIY manicures and pedicures and you’ve got yourself a spa…and endless laughs once you see yourself wearing a face mask.

-Go out to eat or to a bar – Saturday night, I took my sisters and our best friends to Francesca’s on 95th. Now, this restaurant is definitely more of a splurge, but it’s necessary to do that every once in a while. They’ve got a very nice bar (if you’re 21 or over) and absolutely delicious Italian food. It’s about a fifteen minute drive from Saint Xavier and more than worth the money. Check it out! Some of my other favorite places so far (once again, for those that are 21) include 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park and Grape and Grain in Homewood for those of you that live on the far south side.

-Cook or bake – If you’re living in the dorms like me, cooking and baking are almost impossible. However, my friends and I have come up with a few fun ways to escape diner food for a day or two. We bought ourselves a very inexpensive crock pot that is capable of cooking everything from soup to pulled pork. As a I previously mentioned, Pinterest is your best friend. Simply type in crock pot recipes and see what you get! In addition, we have a small fondue pot. We’ve had a lot of fun making fondue and there’s more options than you would think. You can use cheese, chocolate and even oil to cook meat. It takes little to no time to prepare and it’s about as fun as dinner can be!

02114bEnjoy the rest of your weekend!

 

Great News!

imageHello everyone, I hope that everyone had a great week and are enjoying their weekend as always! For me personally, it has overall been a very productive weekend. Catching up on all of my assignments, which means that I have basically no social life whatsoever. It’s fine and it’s alright because I got some of the best news of my life earlier this past week.

On Tuesday or Wednesday of this past week, I was told after looking over my transcripts that I have the possibly of graduating this upcoming May and not in December 2015, as originally planned. That was the greatest news that I have received this year that was school related. This is one of the reasons that I love Saint Xavier University. They actually took the time to view my grades and see what classes I truly needed, which made the graduation date reachable. A ton of emotions started to run through me. It went back and fourth from being excited to me proving people wrong.

There was a few times that I honestly thought that this time would never come. However, I stayed dedicated to what I wanted to achieve and I didn’t pay any attention to people not having faith in me. I worked so hard to achieve this and I’m not about to get comfortable now. The finish line is so close and if I have to run on just fumes to get across, than so be it.

Some people can’t understand that this is an accomplishment I will not stop until it is official. Some friends don’t understand, which has led to damage in a couple of friendships. However, my true friends understand and are rallying behind me that is all that matters.

With all of this being said, I hope that everyone enjoys the rests of their weekend and the week ahead!

Bittersweet

Today, October 19th, 2014 marks the 9th week of school! That means that we have 7 weeks left. My advice to everyone is that you are meeting with your professors and advisors to make sure that you are doing the best you can.

On Friday, UNIDOS sponsored a dance to close Hispanic Heritage Month in the Regina Res Center and got a head start on Diversity week. Here are some pictures.

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

 

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

Follow UNIDOS on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram

Follow UNIDOS on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram

Saturday was Sweetest Day! I spent a wonderful afternoon with my partner. He came to my house with flowers and chocolates. TOTALLY SURPRISED ME! Then we went to eat at bd’s Mongolian Grill (it’s my favorite place). Usually we go to the one in Naperville but this time we went to the one on Bolingbrook. The place is located within a mini mall called the Pomenade. I didn’t even know of this place before saturday but its so nice!

Pomenade Mall in Bolingbrook

Pomenade Mall in Bolingbrook

Sunday was a nice family day. My little cousin slept over and played all day with my little brothers. His parents came later that evening and I got to hold and play with my two baby cousins. It gives me baby fever sometimes :/ LOL

I got my half of my midterms back! I got a C on my political theory midterm and I also got a C on my criminal justice – juvenile justice midterm. It was intense. It was 25 multiple choice plus a short essay and a long essay! Talk about college :( lol

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

Just Another Week of College

IMG_1100Hey everyone, so you know how when you’re a freshman you don’t really know what’s going on? Well I made my first real freshman mistake by saying that last week was midterms…. And then I realized it’s like three weeks long… It makes me sad.. But hopefully everyone is still doing well? This week was a pretty busy week! On Tuesday we had an education meeting for first-years, and we were finally able to get into the details about the different grade levels and options for teaching. I realized that I really wanted to be Middle School Education Major (grades 5-8) with endorsements in Literature, Reading, and Social Studies. I also got to add E.S.L. and Bilingual Studies! I am really excited for my future to unravel! (Group of friends going to the Greater Chicago Food Depository shown on right).

Wednesday eveningIMG_1103 I had the opportunity to work at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to supplying and storing food for homeless shelters and bread trucks! In our group of about 75 people (which included SXU students, church members, and community members) we prepared about 25,000 lbs of food. The winning side prepared 16,000 lbs of pears. Naturally, this side had the SXU students working. After getting back from my hours volunteering, half of my family surprised me with hugs and food after they drove all the way from Minnesota! That was pretty awesome, they were able to stay until Sunday afternoon! (SXU group of students that attended the Greater Chicago Food Depository on Wednesday evening).

On Friday morning, I woke up early at 5 a.m. to go and stand in solidarity with the families that were being broken apart IMG_1127because of the immigration system. We went to Broadview Detention Center; it was about a forty-five minute drive from our school and we prayed for the families in both Spanish and English. Seeing all the small children who had to goodbye to their parents was heart breaking, and the knowledge that I could easily be like them, saying my last goodbye was difficult. For those of you who don’t know, here’s some facts about immigration: it costs $40,000 of taxpayer money to deport just one person. The government deports people every Friday and Saturday morning at Broadview Detention Center. They wear chains on feet, hands, and neck linking them to each other, and are treated like murderers when most of them have come here for a new beginning. 1,100 people in America are deported every day. One of the people who was also attending for the first time said that he lives five minutes away from the detention center and never knew it was there, and that nowIMG_1124 he was terrified by the thoughts of his family being deported. 100,000 children have lost at least one parent to deportation in the last ten years. 400,000 undocumented immigrants were detained and deported from the US in 2011 alone. There are over 400,000 undocumented immigrants in the detention centers in the U.S. at all times. This is a broken system. The buses that take people away have someone’s father and mother on board. They are people. If you are looking for more information go to: http://advocacydays.org/advocacy/faithful-budget-campaign/ , http://migrationpolicy.org/ , http://www.sistersofmercy.org/ – click on “How We Serve Justice Immigration/Migration”. I really could not be more proud to attend a school with so much focus on helping all humans, including immigrants. Being able to learn from the Sisters of Mercy and see how they serve so many is inspiring.(First picture is the large group of SXU students who attended, we had the largest group of students there. Second picture, if you look closely to the picture with the white bus, you can see a baby in a hat, Friday she had to say goodbye to one of her parents).

Friday evening I was able to have fun with some friends of mine doing the .08K Fun Run! Overall, it was fun promoting the awareness of sobriety! We got to do a short run across the football field to win tickets to free food trucks and games! My family from Minnesota even participated! The food was amazing, and the activities they had set up letting you learn what it felt like to “drive” under the influence were really fun! (My great group of friends and little brother who did the run!)IMG_1150

Saturday afternoon I got to be apart of my first college orchestra concert! It was the High School’s Honors Concert which had some of the high schools from our community playing with the SXU Symphony Orchestra! It was a great concert and was really exciting getting to play with the high schoolers! Miguel, our senior, principal cellist as well as a pre-health major, couldn’t find his black shirt so he borrowed one from me! Even though we missed the group picture seeing him struggle trying to get one of my shirts on was worth it! And really – don’t we just look adorable?IMG_1168dinner

On Sunday morning, after getting brunch with my family, we had to say goodbye so they could begin the trip back to Minnesota.. As always, it was a sad goodbye. But, I get to see them for Thanksgiving! Counting down the days till Thanksgiving Break! (Here to the right is a picture of half of my family that could come: from left to right: Brittany: my roommate, me, my mom, my brother :Emiliano, my sister :Maya, and my Grandpa!)

Great Information/Humbling Experience

1Greetings all, I hope that everyone had a great past week and are enjoying their weekends as well. My weekend has been going smooth overall. I went to do community service with my girlfriend and her friends. Doing something such as a hunger fund for children or anyone is a humbling experience and makes you grateful for the things that you do have . It also makes you eager to give back whenever you can. However, it’s back to the grind of school and it’s hard to imagine that it’s already close for the semester to come to a close. I’m not complaining about it one bit with the heavy course load this semester. This semester is much tougher than what I thought it would be, but I’m learning so much about my profession that I’m going into in the process.

3Being a Communication Major, I thought that you just give speeches and write a bunch a papers. However, there is so much more that goes into it (different platforms of communication, different ethics and more). This is why I am so grateful that I chose Saint Xavier University over all of the other schools. The teachers take the time and effort to teach us the fundamentals of the class that we are in and it helps us out tremendously. I am happy to be in the classes that I’m in, because I know that I am going to learn something new each day.

 

2The course load maybe difficult at times, but it’s well worth it. You’re going to come out learning so much more than what you went into the class knowing. I can’t begin to express how much I have learned just from being at Saint Xavier University in a little over a year.

 

4I hope that everyone enjoys their weekend and be prepared to end this semester strong. It’ll be here before we know it!

It’s OK to Let Your Yard “Fall” Apart

Hello readers,

I traveled home this weekend to renew my drivers license (I turned 21 on Tuesday!), which meant a lovely trip to the DMV. Luckily, it wasn’t crowded and I was in and out fairly quickly.

My sister and I celebrating our 21st birthday at Bourbon Street!

My sister and I celebrating our 21st birthday at Bourbon Street!

My mom had a few yardwork projects she needed help with so I stuck around to lend a hand which got me thinking a little bit about yards. Thats relatively weird, right?

Fall is my favorite season, I would let every leaf stay exactly where it falls if it were up to me. As I was cleaning up my yard, I noticed that several of my neighbors were also outside doing yard work as well. Now, my mom and I were just cleaning up some leaves that had fallen on our patio and sidewalk,nothing major. For the most part, we tend to leave our yard as it is. A little nature never hurt anyone.

However, I noticed that many of the neighbors were doing a much more thorough cleanup, tree and bush trimming, grass trimming and complete leaf clean up. It seemed a little strange to me. I guess one thing I’ll never understand is why people spend any extensive amount of time cleaning up their yard. I have friends and neighbors that devote countless hours ensuring that not a single leaf touches their lush, green lawn, the weeds never even sprout and no blade of grass or branch ever rises above the others.

falleaves

Yes, a clean-cut yard is something to be proud of these days, and I commend them for their effort. But my family has always taken a different approach. And some might say we have a messy yard, but I suppose that is one of my favorite things about it, its a little……wild. I guess the reality is we’ve never had much time to groom our yard, we were always too busy enjoying it. Sure, we mow the lawn when need be, we plant a few flowers and vegetables and pull a few weeds but I’ve always found nature so much more beautiful when it hasn’t been altered much. So that is right, in the summer our lawn is always a little long, in the fall its covered in leaves, in the spring its home to dozens of dandelions (I’ve never thought of them as weeds anyway), the grass is a little longer when it rains a lot and a little browner when it doesn’t. Its full of trees and birds and squirrels and rabbits and bugs and we don’t do much about it.

There is so much natural beauty out there that occurs without a single human touch, I figure nature knows what its doing so I hand over the reins….it rarely disappoints.

Here’s to a peaceful and relaxing weekend!

Downtown Weekend Adventures

My weekend started on Friday after my last class. It was 1 p.m. and I could not wait to get home. I practically ran to my car, threw my purse in the passenger seat and drove off. I knew it was going to be a great day when I didn’t find parking in the front lot of school and I was already running late. I usually never look for parking by the bookstore parking lot so I don’t know why I did that day… and… drum roll please… I FOUND A PARKING SPOT! It was a great surprise. It was closest to my class which was on the 3rd floor of the WAC. I was still late to class… but we didn’t have a quiz! I think… so… It was a good day I would say :)

On this day, Friday, October 10th, 2014. I was with Michael eating Burger King… I recently cancelled my Netflix membership so we couldn’t watch that. Michael suggested Hulu. We usually watch TV while we eat, it’s a habit now. I was swiping through the promotion banners that come up when you get to the home page and I found a TV show that I had been dying to watch! We watched the first two episodes because who cares about homework and studying for exams right?

TV show advertisement

TV show advertisement

OMG! This show is intense! I have a dream of becoming a lawyer so watching this is just so intriguing! I love it! The 3rd episode is for Hulu Plus only right now if not I so would have watched it! It is a great show and I totally recommend it to any law student. Just in case, you know… Anyone wants to get away with murder.

On Saturday, Micheal and I went on a double date with his aunt and uncle who came in from California. I feel like they really understand our relationship because they too are a mixed couple. Michael is white and I am Mexican and his uncle is white and his aunt is black. We all just got along so well. I loved having a day out getting to know them.

Lake Shore View with Aunt Cheryl & I

Lake Shore View with Aunt Cheryl & I

Our 6 months together downtown with the Lake Shore View behind us

Our 6 months together downtown with the Lake Shore View behind us

Sunday Morning my family and I went to Denny’s for breakfast and it was a super longgg wait but it was well worth it in the end. We went to the Chicago Ridge Mall after and I’ve been struggling a lot lately with my size. I have a lot of jeans and shorts that no longer fit me. It really depresses me and makes it harder for me to want to change my body type. We first stopped in Sears where I looked for pants but I didn’t really find anything I liked. The main reason we went was because our desktop computer broke and we think getting a laptop would be more convenient. We looked in Sears and Best Buy but I didn’t see anything worth our investment. I also stopped into Forever 21 and got a pair of jeans because they were on sale. The $7.90 pairs were all sizes that didn’t fit any longer. I was a 27 and I am now a 28/29. We went into Aeropostale looking for hoodies but no luck. They were cute but the bigger the size the wider they got. Talk about unattractive. My dad was shopping for hats for the kids. I have two little brothers and they both got a fitted cap. They’re so cute. Here they are.

Our trip to the Field Museum

Our trip to the Field Museum

My dad bought me a bear winter hat. It’s super warm and I love it! It is super warm and I am a huge Bears fan!

Chicago Bears

This week is the UNIDOS Dance! Don’t forget to come out and join us!

UNIDOS Dance Flyer

Follow UNIDOS on social Media!

UNIDOS Social Media

I hope everyone is having a great time! Good Luck on Midterms!

God Bless You All!

Peace, Love, and School ;)

Midterms. We did it.

midterm weekHey y’all so we lived through midterms. The best way to make it through you might ask?! Starbucks. Now being from Minnesota, we drink Caribou. My drink in case you are wondering is a turtle mocha with no snickers, hot, I miss it. A lot.. But Starbucks got me through midterms, or at least coffee did. I am a true coffee addict.. But compared to what people are addicted to, coffee isn’t too bad, right?!
This week was I was told by one of my many questie besties to attend “Improve Your Life,” it was so funny. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, it’s like a mix of speech team/ comedians and games!  Those of you who didn’t go, I feel bad for you, its great! I laughed so much! I didn’t know that I could laugh so much in a hour and half! Next time you need to go! Everyone! It’s too great to miss!! Especially with it being such a great break during midterms!improv I also hope everyone saw the amazing moon this week! It shined over our beautiful campus so well! I also got to do more exploring through downtown and Lake Michigan! It was really exciting because of the Chicago Marathon! Lake Michigan is really beautiful! The water is so blue! I would also like to state that I so have the L down with all of it’s stops and transfers! It really is such a great way to get around!

lake

I’m so excited to see half of my family next weekend! They have M.E.A. break, which in Minnesota is teacher workshop with the students not having to attend school! And they get to see the Symphony Orchestra honors concert is next Saturday at 4:30 at McGuire Hall! For those of you who do not know this, our lovely campus bookstore has student tickets for the movies! So you can get tickets for a cheaper price! I was able to see the Maze Runner and Dracula, story untold, both were soooooooooo gooooooddddddddd.