My Happy Place: Bengston’s Pumpkin Farm

This weekend I had the pleasure of heading home to see my family and celebrating my upcoming birthday! Along with seeing all of my favorite people, my family visited one of my favorite places in the world, Bengston’s Pumpkin Farm!

As part of my blog, I hope to share some of my favorite places in and around Chicago to spread the word to people new to the area, especially new Saint Xavier students and families. If you’re from the Chicagoland area, I’ll go ahead and assume you’ve been there, but if you haven’t, you must make a trip there this month.

My family has been visiting Bengston’s every October for years and years. It started out a lot smaller and simpler than it is now. There were a few small attractions, some food and a lot of pumpkins. In fact, Bengston’s was originally home to a real pumpkin patch, which means you had to pull your pumpkin right off the vine.

Since then it has changed and expanded quite a bit and skyrocketed to popularity. This weekend was the busiest I have ever seen it in my lifetime. They’ve added a lot of rides and extra events specifically for children (I liked it better without the rides, they take up too much space), but I’ve enjoyed this pumpkin farm at all stages of my life and even now as an (almost) 21 year old. I now also have the pleasure of taking my nephews there and watching them enjoy it as much as I did as a child.

I highly recommend that everyone take a trip to Bengston’s. It is the perfect fall experience. If you’re going to plan a trip, here are a few quick tips from a pumpkin patch pro:

  1. They’re open 7 days a week and weekends are generally very crowded. If you can, try to make a weekday trip!

  2. Dress warm! I probably sound like your mother, but October can get pretty chilly. You’ll enjoy yourself much more if you’re comfortable. So bring an extra jacket, as I like to say …. it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

  3. You don’t necessarily need cash, but just keep in mind that the entrance fee isn’t cheap. Its somewhere between 12 and 14 dollars per person depending on the day you go. Most food locations accept credit cards, but there are a few that don’t so it never hurts to have a little cash on you.

  4. If you’re going to get a pumpkin, grab a wheelbarrow on your way out to the patch. As much as you like to think your muscles are exceptional, those pumpkins are heavy and it’s a long, uphill walk back.

  5. Get some food! They have a wide variety of tasty fall treats like apple cider, caramel corn, chili, apple cider donuts, caramel apples and much, much more! Take advantage of it!

Here’s a few pictures from my family’s recent trip and a link to Bengtson’s website! I hope everyone enjoys it as much I do!

http://pumpkinfarm.com/

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It’s all a part of growing up…

2Hello all, I hope that everyone had a great week and is enjoying their weekends as well. I’ve been enjoying my weekend thus far. Spending time with my girlfriend and her family was good and just hanging out. As always though, business needs to handled as well. I spent some time time in the library to work on my school year long Senior Seminar Project. It goes without saying that the project can get frustrating and annoying at times, but it will be well worth it at the end, hopefully.

 

3With this being my Senior year, I am learning how to prioritize my time and be more responsible in the process. It’s extremely hard, especially seeing your friends going out and always asking you to come out too. You want to say yes, but you know that you have three major papers that are due at the same time. You have to pass, no matter how painful it may be for you. That’s the price you pay for being in school and becoming an adult as well.

 

4Speaking of prices, this is how I feel at times. Every time I turn around, something needs to be paid for or I have to buy something that needs to replace something. It’s alright though, it’s all a part of growing up. Some people fail to get that concept that things change over time. You have to learn what’s important in life. It’s cool if you only have $3 in your pocket if you have taken care of important matters first. Good things come to those who wait.

 

1I hope that everyone has a great upcoming week and enjoy the rest of their weekend as well.

Midterm Mayhem

We are officially reaching the middle of the semester. We are in Week 7 and Midterms are taking over. I am freaking out because I have exams to study for and papers to turn in. In the past two weeks I have had 2 papers to turn in plus a midterm paper. Talk about writing my fingers off. But on the bright side I have been having mini-adventures to release stress and get away from the books. On Monday, October 6th, Michael (my boyfriend) and I went to the Bulls Preseason Game vs the Wizards. Even though the Bulls lost, we took lots of pictures! Check it out!

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I’ve been working really hard to finish up the details of our UNIDOS events and I am excited to say we will be hosting a dance to celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month! Check out our flyer! If anyone has any questions or ideas for events they want to see from UNIDOS, feel free to shot us an email at sxu.unidos@gmail.com

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UNIDOS is also on social media now! Check out our flyer and like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram.

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This weekend is a super special one. Michael has family coming in from California and we will be spending Saturday downtown. We’ll probably be going to the field museum and doing a lot of shopping! I better lock up my wallet. It’s going to be hurting pretty soon. I will be uploading tons of pictures so keep tuned!

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Halloween is coming up! I will have a post dedicated to Halloween and costumes and other fun DIY projects for you guys to try out!

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Campus Ministry is having a Women’s retreat! I went on this retreat as a freshman and met some of the most amazing women. I made a lot of good friends and got closer to my best friends. I was also a leader on this retreat and gave a speech on beauty. I encourage all you queens on campus to sign up and experience this wonderful program. You will not regret it. It is truly captivating. Here is the flyer for more info and some pictures from my experiences.

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Good luck with your midterms! Stay positive & reward yourself. It’s the little things that count. I want to have a video blog one day. But I’m a little stuck on things to talk about. Let me know your ideas or questions or topics you think I should touch on! All your support is greatly appreciated!

Peace, Love, & Blessings!

So It’s Starting To Feel A Lot Like College?!

Hey everyone, so its starting to feel real, college. We are going on the seventh week now, and the time is flying! As a freshman, everything is new. SomeonBrit and I for BLOGe from a different state, it really is all new. Now, Minnesota is really similar in weather, except it’s colder. I think I’m starting to get the hang of college though, starting to have some kind of understanding. What I have learned so far, is to take it one day at a time. I will be the first one to say that I can’t wait to go home during Thanksgiving break to see my family, and that I talk to my family daily, but when missing home, you gotta take it one day at a time. And before I know it, I will get to be home again! (Or that’s what I am telling myself anyways…) Really though, this campus is starting to feel like another home, and one pev and I for blogrson who has helped me so much with living here for the past two months is my roommate, Brittany. She really is one of the best people I know. It is amazing how close we have become, she is just so great to be around and I love her, even when we match! (My roommate and I on the right.) One person who has both of us both transition into college is our amazing RA (resident assistant) Valencia, or V as we like to call her. She has helped us get use to living with each other, and seeing her through out the day. She is just sunshine! To make things even better, I found out that for student ambassadors, I will be shadowing her for our tours on Friday morning! Couldn’t be more excited to be learning from her! So if you are thinking about going on a tour here at SXU, do it on Friday and you will get to meet Valencia and I!breadtruck

Getting involved around campus really helps when it comes to meeting people! The Bread Truck has become a weekly activity that I have grown to love at this college. The ability to give food directly to those who are in need is such a great action. It really is so much fun as well! I have always thought that I knew how lucky I was, but through working the bread truck it has really opened my eyes to people who are in need. I really cannot stress enough how great the Bread Truck is and how everyone should email Tom about volunteering for an evening! tcook@sxu.edu And really though, how could anyone say “no” to an evening with Antony? Work the bread truck!chicago on the train

Now, to sound totally not “Chicagoan”, I got to ride the L, without an adult (even though I am an adult) by myself, even though I had a friend with me to make sure I didn’t get lost.. So I guess I wasn’t by myself.. But it was a blast! Waiting at stops and getting to hear the music come alive as people played in the tunnels, it was so amazing! And the art work in the tunnels, it’s beautiful! Hopefully next weekend the weather is better so I get more time to explore this exciting city! Until then the windy city!

The Internet: Your Best Friend and Worst Enemy

This semester, I am taking my first ever fully online course. Because of this, and the university’s recent switch to Canvas, I’ve been online a lot more within the past few weeks. My most recent assignment for this class required me to monitor and document my schedule and internet usage over a period of three days. I had to account for activities like sleep, phonesclass, work, homework, meals and leisure. But, I also had to record any time I accessed the internet, whether it be on a mobile device or computer, as well as how long and what I used it for each time. After monitoring myself for these three days, my main conclusion was that that I use the internet quite a bit…probably too much. My data looked something like this…

-Wake up

-Check my phone

-Get dressed/Eat breakfast

-Check my phone

-Go to class

-Check my phone

-Go to work

-Check my phone

-Eat lunch

-Check my phone

-Do homework/study

-Check my phone

-Eat dinner

-Check my phone

-Hang out with friends

-Check my phone

-Take a shower

-Check my phone

-Go to bed (which really means… lay in my bed and stare at my phone until I fall asleep)

Granted, this is a very simplified (and humorous) version of my actual findings, but the main idea is the same. I am pretty confident that this type of behavior is relatively standard for a college student.

I found that although I was checking my phone very frequently, it was rarely to text or play a game. Most often I was checking it out of necessity. Because of this online class and my extensive use of text and email to keep in contact with professors, family, friends and coworkers, I need to be on the internet frequently. The internet and mobile devices no longer only house a college students social life, but also a vast majority of their academic life as well. It’s a tool that helps us stay organized, informed and on schedule. That being said, the internet is often an agent for distraction. However, through this assignment, I learned that being on the internet that often isn’t necessarily bad if we use it to its full potential. Based on my findings, here are just a  few of the ways that help me do that:

 

  1. Limit your social media and messaging usage when on the internet for academic purposes – This sounds like a no brainer, but its actually quite hard. I try to set small goals for myself when trying to complete homework and studying. I stay focused and on task for an hour and then I reward myself with five or ten minutes of answering texts or checking Facebook.

  2. Use the internet for research – Since you’re already there, why not find something that supplements your work? If you’re writing a paper or answering some discussion questions, see what you can find online that might further enhance your understanding or give you a new perspective.

  3. Don’t use it if you don’t need it – If you’re simply studying for an exam and you have all the materials you need without using your phone or laptop, then put them away. I often convince myself that I need my phone or laptop near me just in case, but the reality is you’ll study better without it. Force yourself to step away from your electronic devices when you don’t really need them.

I’m sure many people reading this blog can relate to the findings of my little experiment and I hope my advice helps you use the internet in the best way possible. Have a great week and happy October!

Fall

Learning Experience!

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Greetings all, I hope that everyone had a great week and is enjoying their weekend as well. It’s hard to believe that we only have two months left in this entire semester. Soon, December will be here before we know it. Overall, I am enjoying my first semester entering my senior year of college. I have met new people and every day seems to be a learning experience that I can take with me for years to come. At the same time, this semester is filled with a lot of hard work and tons of assignments it seems to finish this senior year strong.

 

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This picture describes me 100%! I feel like I have accomplished so much, but I feel as though I have so much more to go. Working on Senior Seminar is no easy task. It takes a lot of time and energy to work and stay committed to it. At times I feel like throwing my hands up in the air and just be finished with this class. However, hearing that I can do this and the confidence coming from people all over, including my teachers helps me out a lot.

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Over at Saint Xavier University, they arguably have some of the best teachers that you can ask for. They don’t mind taking time out of their busy schedule to help you with whatever you need on a regular basis. Most are even avaliable on the weekends as well. Just knowing that I can ask my teachers anything, no matter how obvious the answer may be, helps me out a great deal. I am thrilled to be at Saint Xavier University and there would be no other school that I would want to attend. The learning experience is tremendous!

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Enjoy the rest of the weekend that you have! Spend time with the people that matter most in your life and live each day to the fullest as well as being productive in the process as well!