Oh, the Places You’ll Go

My roommate has a Dr. Seuss theme map of the world that says, “Oh, the places you’ll go”. I’m about 8 months from graduation and I have been wondering something along the lines of, “Oh, where am I to go?”

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Figuring out what I want to do after college is pretty daunting. I am doubling majoring in Spanish and International Studies. When I tell people this I generally get a response similar to, “Wow! That sounds hard. What is it?” or “That sounds smart. What are you going to do with that?” There is no clearly defined career that I could go into with my majors so this is a justifiable question. I could be a Spanish or English teacher. I could be a translator. I could work for the State Department (which may be my ultimate goal). There is a seemingly endless amount of possibilities, but I don’t know what I what to particularly hone into yet. So I got some trusty help from the school.

First, I meet with Lee Cruz at the Career Center for some advice on how go about looking for a job or an internship after I graduate. My ideal situation would be to volunteer somewhere for a year to get non-for-profit work experience or experience teaching English as a second language. This was my first time going to the Career Center so I didn’t know what to expect. During the meeting that lasted for about an hour, Mr. Cruz reviewed my resume. He gave me some advice on how I should format my resume, as well as what is important to include in my resume. He also suggested that I put more details into the section about studying abroad; he said this should be the highlight of my resume. He then gave me a list of resources I could use to find potential jobs or internships. He discussed the resources in great detail; by the end of meeting I felt very well informed and more confident in where to start looking for opportunities that would be available for me after I graduate.

About a week later, on the October 16th, Saint Xavier had its annual Job and Internship fair. It’s typically held once or twice a year at the Shannon Center. Various organizations and companies come to the campus looking for prospective interns or new hires. There were a lot of organizations and companies that were looking for interns or new hires for careers in Accounting, Business, Nursing, Special Education, and Service Volunteers. I was particularly interesting in the organizations involved in service volunteering. As previously stated, I really want to take a year.

This year, Mercy Corps, Dominican Volunteers, and the Peace Corps were attending. I was supper excited about speaking with a representative from the Peace Corps. Two years of service plus travel and covered medical and dental! YASSSS!  I researched the Peace Corps a few times prior to my going to the fair was greatly interested  in learning more about what they look for in potential applicants and how I could make my application stand out.

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All three programs that were at the fair offered some form of travel and loan deferment during their programs.  A year or two of volunteer service will help me to gain greater international experience and potentially I could learn another language, as well as reduces the stress of having to immediately start paying off student loans. Also, many volunteer organizations, such as The Peace Corps, Mercy Corps, and Dominican will give you a monthly stipend for you services, potential loan reduction, and scholarships for graduate school. It’s all really appealing. As the world becomes more economically and politically connected such experience will definitely look good on my resume.

After my experiences with the Career Services and the job fair, figuring out what I want to do after I graduate feels less daunting then it did before hand. I feel more comfortable, and a tab bit excited about what is in store for me after I graduate. I may not know exactly where I will end up but I feel more confident I will be going somewhere amazing.

Improv Club Show!

You know, acting is one of the greatest things I’ve ever discovered throughout my entire life. I’m no Hollywood star, but thanks to Improv Club here at Saint Xavier, it helps me get out of my comfort zone and get to try new things by being put in silly scenarios and making something up on the spot or as I go along with the scene. It helps you think quickly and act as fast as you can to make sure the show goes on. Speaking of show, the first Improv show is this Monday. Details are in the poster below. Y’all should totally come out and have some fun with the Improv Club as we have some great laughs together and just have a great time over all. Don’t miss out!

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Busy Bees!

cupsHello everyone! So this past week has been crazy busy! From different student board meetings to classes, a lot was happening! On Thursday I attended Valencia’s event of “Lets mug it out” in Regina which was decorating a coffee mug! So, of course, I attended because coffee is life. Seriously though, how do people wake up and function without coffee? (Yes I know that I am completely and utterly a coffee addict).

One really exciting thing that happened this week was Open Mic, hosted by MSPJ! Open Mic is kind of like a talent show where students get to show off what they got! This was my first full show that I got to see while also hosting! It amazed me to see all of the great things students could do! We also had a fanatic turn out and a great atmosphere!

This Sunday we also had open house for future SXU Cougarschamp and i which is always fun but busy! It’s a packed day for students and even more so for student ambassador’s staff; it’s always amazing to me how everything goes to plan!

A lot is happening this upcoming week!!

On Monday from 11-2 in the cafeteria, there will be information about different Spring Break Service Trips. I will for sure be there after my 11am class because Spring Break Service Trips are the best way to spend Spring Break.

On Monday 3-5pm I’ll be in the student lounge helping my transition students understand how to register!

Also on Monday SXU Improv Club Presents: “It’s the Great Improv Show, SXU!” at 9:16 PM in McGuire Hall.

On Wednesday at 3pm, RPM Kathy, PM Marcelino, and I will have our event for “Walk for Peace” which will begin in the student lounge where we will do an extremely short walk and talk about violence in our world and what we can do about it!

Later that evening, SXC Presents: Hocus Pocus Movie on Wednesday, at 7pm in Butler Reception Room

And on Thursday the RHA Halloween Bash at 8 PM in Regina Res Center.

As you can see, a whole lot is happening this week! And realistically I am missing something else that is happening on campus as well! But my goal is to participate as much as I can while still completing my homework and studying! Have a great week!!!! (I’m pretty sure mine is going to be wonderful.)

 

Senior Project Phase One: Complete

Welcome back, readers!

Unfortunately, this will be a short blog because I am sick so I don’t have much exciting news to report! I came down with something Friday afternoon and I’ve been laying in bed struggling with it all weekend. This was not exactly how I planned to spend my weekend. I went home Friday afternoon with the intention of giving my mom a hand with some yard work, but she ended up giving me a hand with just about everything as I recovered from my illness! (you’re never too old to have your mom take care of you when you’re sick). I am still feeling pretty sick today, but I am hoping my condition improves by tomorrow because I have a lot on my plate on Mondays and I can’t afford to miss classes!

That being said, I do have a bit of good news. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the fact that I was working on the first assignment of my Senior Research Project, a thirty source annotated bibliography with an accompanying project proposal and paper outline. Well, I submitted that on October 12th and I received my grade this week. I was so nervous that I couldn’t look at it for a while. I wanted to hang on to that glorious time between submitting an assignment and seeing your grade. The good news is, I got an A! Not only did I get an A…I got 100%! I did not even think that was possible. I felt so unsure of myself throughout the entire process because I have never done research quite this extensive before. Nonetheless, I did work really hard and spent a good deal of time on it so I am happy with the result. Sometimes hard work really does pay off!

The tree in front of my house

The tree in front of my house

Fall is in full swing and the trees are absolutely stunning around Saint Xavier’s campus and my home town as well. Next weekend is Halloween and I am looking forward to taking my nephews trick-or-treating (and reliving my childhood a bit)! I have wanted to do that since they were born, but it’s been while since Halloween fell on a weekend so I haven’t had the chance. I am sure I will have plenty of pictures for next week’s blog!

I am hoping I will be in better health by this time next week, refreshed and ready to share my week with you!

Until next time…

Sunday Funday

Today is a beautiful day. The sun is shining; it’s a perfect 54°F, and I just had breakfast with my family. It was nice to reconnect with my mom aka “homes”, my brother, and my aunt and uncles. What a great way to start the week, no?

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Sunday means many different things for many people as we have different routes for how to spend this day. For some it’s a day of praise and worship. For others it’s a cleaning day, and for folks like me, it’s a day to get done with all the homework that you put off during the week. I believe that despite what you do on Sunday; Sunday is a universal day to start fresh. Sunday is a start to a new week maybe with a lighter conscious, a cleaner house, a more organized schedule, or whatever you want or need Sunday to be.

So to assist in making Sunday a “fun day” and to begin your week off with a bang, here are some videos that are sure to put a smile on your face and send you good vibes.

Puppy jumping on iPad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_HVrHd5UhI

Bill Withers- Lovely Day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYi7uEvEEmk

Ashley Monroe- On To Something Good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-1reayyENA

SoulPancake- The Power of Optimism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbjH9d4h6GQ

All these videos are happy, positive, and light. What a great way to start your week off!

Midterm Week and Some Fun!

 

maya and i day 1Hey everyone! So this week has felt like an extremely long week! Not only did I have midterms, but my sister Maya (the eighteen-year-old) came to visit during her teacher workshop days as she looked at colleges here in Chicago! It was really good to see her after not seeing her since the beginning of August when UHS (University Housing Staff) moved in for training. So that was really nice! She also came to visit me during the second busiest week of the school year, midterms. You can probably come to the conclusion that it was a stressful time! It wasn’t until Friday morning at 11 a.m. when I was skipping through Regina Hall after finishing my history midterm that (Maya claims) I was much more enjoyable to be around.  And in all honestly, I can see what she meant because I felt way more relaxed because, well, midterm exams were finished.

In the stress of midterms, I did attended Thursday’s lecture of “Mercy in the City” led by Kerry Weber, an editor of America. It was a great presentation that focused on how one can actively be involved in mercy and the corporal works of Mercy on a daily basis. Through her presentation she talked about her book Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, While Keeping Your Day Job which included details of her being in the Mercy Volunteer Corps and later being a Mercy Associate. Overall, it was a fantastic presentation of how we all can do simple actions in our lives no matter the career to perform mercy to those around us.

One thing that I realized as I was taking my sister to different universities around Chicago was how happy and truly lucky I am for finding Saint Xavier two years ago. Maybe it’s because of how we were founded from the Sisters of Mercy or that we just care about our surroundings or maybe I just got lucky, but I haven’t heard of any other university that is so focused on service, on the poor, and on those in need. I know it’s hard to get that in an hour tour elsewhere or even talking to other students, but going on tours at other universities makes me realize not just how awesome our tours are, but how we try so hard to make the tours personal. So yay, SXU!

On Friday evening, I took my sister Maya and my boyfriend Jon to go see The Bad Plush by Joshua Redman at Symphony Center.

maya and concertThey are a contemporary jazz group that brought Maya to tears, which to her was an amazing experience! She completely loved them, which is good because Jon and I went for her in reality. Jon and I did find them to be really good, but being cellists and finding classical music to be more our thing, we weren’t brought to tears or experienced having deep insight into the meaning of life like Maya did. Overall, I’m really happy that we went because it made Maya so happy to see them!

After that late night, on Saturday a group of us went downtown exploring and saw the new Maggie Daley Park by Millennium Park and had a blast exploring, drinking coffee and shopping! We had lovely weather and just had a blast! I am happy that was how we spent Maya’s last full day in Chicago! downtown with the girlsToday is Sunday, Maya heads back to Minnesota and I am trying to get up-to-speed on homework and papers that are due this upcoming week!

I wish everyone good luck this week!

 

 

“What are you going to do after graduation?”

Welcome back, readers!

I wish I could say that I had the most fantasitc and productive week ever, but alas, very few noteworthy things have occured since I last blogged.

As mentioned in my previous blog, I turned 22 on Wednesday! I suppose that’s an event, although I’ve come to realize that the older you get, the less birthdays are really celebrated. If you ask me, it should be the other way around. Making it through a year of childhood is a blessing indeed, but making it through a year of adulthood is a victory. That is something to celebrate.

Just a couple of 22 year-olds!

Just a couple of 22 year-olds!

I did get to venture home this weekend to celebrate with my family. Our plans didn’t pan out exactly how we intended (nothing ever does), but we made the best of it. I got to hug my nephews and have most of my family all in one place and it seems that this matters to me more than anything else as an adult.

On Saturday afternoon, we did a couple of quick, fun, fall activities at Undead Acres (see previous blog for details on this great establishment) and then we hung out at home and ate some birthday cake. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 22 years it’s that you have to cherish little moments like this. A quote that I have been TRYING to apply to my life recently comes to mind, “Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

Sitting with our nephews at Undead Acres

Sitting with our nephews at Undead Acres

That being said, registration for Spring Semester is upon us here at SXU which means all students have to meet with their academic advisors and get approved to register in the coming weeks. It has occured to me that this will be my final registeration for college classes and it has everyone and their mother asking me, “So what are you going to do after graduation?” And the only concrete answer I have to that question is “I don’t know.” That answer will most likely be accompanied by a detectable hint of shame as if I have come all this way and exercised and expanded my mind only to come up empty handed. You would think after four years of study I would have everything figured out, but that’s just not the case. I attribute this uncertainty partially to the nature of the major and partially to my personality. A lot of majors lead right into a specific career, for example, my sister is an elementary education major, so when someone asks her, “what are you going to do after graduation?” she can, with a good degree of certainty, say “be a teacher.”  As a communication major, I will be qualified and trained to do a wide range of things. To give you an idea of what I mean, here is a list of the concentrations I will have completed by the time I grab my diploma in May:

  • Journalism
  • Online Communication
  • Advertising and Public Relations
  • Communication Studies
  • Health Communication
  • Corporate Communication.

I could give you some general areas of interest I have, but even those change from time to time. I wish I had a clearer path at this point, but I’m anticipating a period of trial and error after I graduate and I think that’s o.k. I think as humans, especially as college students, we interpret a lack of direction as failure, but when you really think about it, trying different things until you get it right is the way you’ve learned everything you know now, from first steps to college degrees. So if you ask me that question, believe me when I say “I don’t know.”

Depsite all of this uncertainty, I am confident in what I have accomplished so far and everything I do, including this blog. It gives me a little more experience and a little more insight as to what my future might hold.

Thank you for bearing with me as usual!

Until next time…

 

October Movie Review: The Evil Dead Series

It’s finally my favorite month of the year: October! Nothing like autumn leaves falling from the trees, nice weather, and my personal favorite, Spookiness! I love Halloween and will always love it. It’s the only time of the year where gore is accepted and you get to dress ugly on purpose. Okay, maybe not everyday. However, it’s still a pretty fun month overall. With spirit of Halloween, I think we should do a horror movie review! Let’s take a look at my favorite Horror movie series of all time. The Evil Dead!

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No, I’m not talking about that garbage of a remake that was released in 2013(Just kidding, it was actually okay)I’m talking about the original one that came out in 1981. The story is the same as the remake. A group of Teenagers go to a cabin in the middle of nowhere and find an evil book by the name of the Necronomicon which is the book of the dead. They also find a recording of a man reciting the evil prayers to summon the evil spirits that the book brings to life. The main character Ash, played by the one and only Bruce Campbell. soon finds most of his friends possessed by the evil spirits that were summoned by the book and it doesn’t turn out too well. I won’t spoil the rest because I feel that if you’re a fan of horror movies, this is a must watch. Yeah, the effects look cheesy, but in my opinion that’s what makes them scarier. We’ve become too dependent of CGI that people forgot that even the simplest stuff can be scary.

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Now seeing that there’s a sequel, I’m sure you can tell that Ash survived the first one. But for some reason, he decided to go back to the same Cabin and with a new girlfriend. Jeez, you’d think he would have learned from the first movie? Well, this movie can get a lot of mixed reviews. Fun fact! The famous saying “Dead by Dawn” in this movie is also the title of song by the Death Metal band Deicide which in respects is a tribute song to this movie. Again, this movie is a mixed feelings one. Some people love it, some people hate it. I personally love it. If you love the first one, this one is just as great of a movie. However, I will warn you that this movie has a little more of comedic side to it instead of full horror. But as long as you don’t take it too seriously, I’m sure it’s a movie that is definitely enjoyable.

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Last but definitely not least, Army of Darkness! This movie is very different from the last two. I wouldn’t say it’s a horror movie either. It’s more of an action movie. To be honest I didn’t really like it at first. But I decided to give it a couple more tries and now it’s one of my favorite movies of all time. This is a direct follow up to The Evil Dead 2 and it seems kind of strange how Ash ends up in the medieval times. Yeah, it sounds really really weird and not like an Evil Dead movie but trust me, if you just give it a chance you may like it. So if you have nothing better to do on Halloween, why don’t you give these movies a try. I’m sure you’ll love them as I do myself. Well have a Happy October everyone! 20 more days until Halloween and still counting!

Doing Things That Make You Happy

11863237_1040415949324571_9133901594397760549_nMidterms are this week and the horrible stress weighs us all down. Times like this remind of well, any other week where the stress of midterms is not on me. So for this week, I’m going to be focusing on doing things that make you happy!

Yes, I know your first thought is probably, “Genesis said I don’t need to study for midterms, yippee!” and so of course my answer is no. I know of course there are things in life that we all have to do that we don’t really want to do; midterms is one of those things.

One thing that people always ask me is how do I do it all? And my answer is “I dunno. I kinda just do it.” This week, though, I realized that everything I do makes me happy. 12038305_1159419904072873_110222659428685842_nOf course some days I am more tired than others, some days are just crappy, and some days nothing goes my way. But there are days where simple little moments can make my whole day. Maybe it’s after a tour where a perspective student is so excited that afterwards they clap for me (which seriously is one of the best feelings ever). Or when one of my transition students is no longer freaking out and they feel better. Or even something as simple as having one of my residents hug me after being in distress. I love these simple things where I did something to help—even just a little. Honestly I think everything that I do makes me happy.

Today in one of my education classes we talked about how work isn’t really work when it’s something that you love. This really got me thinking about everything that I was involved in. From doing Broadview to being a Resident Peer Minister to every little thing in between: I love what I do.12032920_757997394306696_3591963017190083193_o Being happy makes doing so many things possible. Yeah, for sure, I do things that I don’t really want to do (like take my first midterm tomorrow…) but overall, I try to surround myself with activities and people who make me happy.

One awesome thing that happened this week was MSPJ’s October 2 trip to Broadview which was featured in the Chicago Tribune! Within the article it talks about SXU, Broadview, and immigration. I also have a couple of quotes within, so give it a look by checking out the link here!

I would like to wish everyone good luck on midterms this week! I know it’s going to be a long week, but we got this! Two things that I’m  looking forward to this week are the NSCS induction ceremony tomorrow and my sister Maya is visiting from Minnesota this week! So yay! Stay tuned next week to hear all about it!

College Student By Day, Zombie Killer By Night

I’ve realized that one of my favorite things about writing this blog is that I get to sit down and reflect on my week and really process everything that happened. In a world that is so fast-paced and technology driven it’s nice to just sit and think for a minute.

That being said, my week itself was not all that eventful. Academically, it was pretty taxing because I had a midterm paper due Tuesday and another one due Friday and I have a 30 source annotated bibliography due tomorrow, so I spent a lot of the week with my face buried in my laptop. I don’t have classes on Thursdays so it’s normally my time to relax a little and catch up on whatever I’ve put off, but this past Thursday, I spent the entire day working on my annotated bibliography. I didn’t even step foot outside of my apartment for a full 24 hours. I understand the value, but that kind of repetitive work is maddening after a while. I’ll be relieved to submit this assignment next week and move on.

As I mentioned in my last blog, I will be turning 22 on Wednesday! It is unlikely that I will have any time to celebrate in the middle of the week so my friends and I did a couple fun things this weekend. We traveled to my home in the south suburbs and visited a nearby landscaping company that turns into a creepy and exciting fall activity at night… Zombie Paintball! Nothing says mature and sophisticated 22-year-old woman like shooting people in zombie masks with a paintball gun. I have never done anything like this before so I was a little nervous, but I had a blast! Sometimes it’s good to do something that makes you feel like a kid again! The company is based out of Monee, IL, and the family that runs it is wonderful! You can tell they’ve put a lot of work into making this event something anyone can enjoy. In addition to paintball, there’s also corn cannons, a haunted trail, a warm bonfire and a concession stand. It’s not too scary so it’s really perfect for all ages. I’ve provided the link here if you’d like to check it out! They’re open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October.

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After our spooky little adventure, we traveled over to a local bar near my hometown and met up with some friends. I got to do something that almost never happens… sit down and chat with another set of identical twins! We spent a lot of time sharing twin stories, it’s always a pleasure to hang out with my own kind!

My sister and I with our new twin friends!

My sister and I with our new twin friends!

That about wraps up my week…now I am getting back to work! Next time I blog I will be 22 years old (cue the Taylor Swift song)! Time flies!

Until next time….