Forever Friends

 

caitlin came to visit me in the summer of 2010

Caitlin came to visit me in the summer of 2010 (a picture off of the Bean in Chicago)

When I was younger my family moved from Chicago to Philadelphia. I made one of the best friends I will ever have during my time there, Caitlin. Just a few years later my family moved back to Chicago and I had to leave my best friend behind. Even though we are thousands of miles apart we share a bond that I can never replace! We used to write back and forth to each other and send presents, pictures, drawings, etc. One of the most heartfelt things we had sent back and forth to each other is this poem called Forever Friends. I want to share it with you so that you, too, can pass it along to one of your best friends no matter what you two may go through and experience. Whether is it together or apart, you both know that you are always together in heart!

 

caitlin2

I went to visit Cailtin in the summer of 2012 (a picture on the boardwalk in Rehobeth Beach)

Forever Friends

I’ve been thinking about you and me, and how our friendship cam eto be- how long ago that we could be forever friends. And now I look back on those days and smile at all the little ways we made the tough times seem okay, like true forever friends. At times we’d laugh so hard and then we’d catch our breath and start again. Cause having fun comes easy when you’re with forever friends. Together we’ve shared wondrous sights, like soft spring days and starlit nights. When all the world seems still and right, with my forever friend. And on those days when rain would fall and life was not much fun at all, you were always there to take my call. A true forever friend. Life’s winding roads may take us far, but if we’re apart, let each bright star remind us just how blesses we are to be forever friends. And when the stars shine down, we’ll see perhaps by fate or destiny- a friendship that was meant to be- you and me- FOREVER FRIENDS.

If you love someone, make sure to tell them. If they touch your heart in a way that no one else does, tell them just how special they are when you have the chance. Spend as much time with them while you can! (because, hey, you might move halfway across the country)

What Day Is It?

Dear Stress...

Dear Stress…

Have you ever been so overwhelmed that you don’t even know what day it is? Have you ever been so stressed out and worn down that you slept for like 16 hours of the day?

I have! He has! She has! They have! We all have!

A lot of the stress that college student encounter is negative stress. You broke-up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, your best friend is mad at you, the cafe is closed, you gained 5 pounds, that girl you’ve had your eye on is totally not interested, your sister ruined your favorite shirt, your roommate ALWAYS has her boyfriend over, you went out instead of studying and failed… we have and will always these issues! I want to share with you some of the ways that I keep my stress levels down.

  1. Stay active- going to the gym, working out, walking, participating in intramural sports… these activities actually help you stay awake throughout the day. These activities also help you burn stress and blow off some steam that you may have built up! Staying active also helps keep you in shape!
  2. Eat all of your meals- the minute you skip a meal, your body is sooooooo mad at you. There are plenty of healthy meals that you can eat on any campus. There is also plenty of junk food that you can avoid! You and still eat your meals and keep a healthy weight, if you do it right!
  3. Hangout with your friends- sometimes you just need to take you mind off of life and go out with your friends for dinner, ice cream, or a margarita! (if you’re 21!) It’s nice to  not worry about anything for a short period of time, wiping your mind clean of all stress can also help you solve your stress. Taking a step back and looking at everything that is going on from a larger pint of view can benefit you. Sometimes all we need is someone to listen to us vent.
  4. Call your mom/dad/grandma/sibling- maybe you feel a bit distant from your family now that college has taken over your life. Bring them up to speed with what is going on in your life, maybe they will have the right advice for you! Again, sometimes all we need is someone to listen to us vent.
  5. Keep you body happy- if you neglect your body, it will retaliate! Fight your lack of motivation and make sure to shower, get a full night of rest, and drink plenty of water or tea!
  6. Make a list- tell yourself what you need to accomplish and prioritize it starting with what is due/what needs to be done first. Make sure to cross off what you accomplished, it feels good!
  7. Reward yourself- make sure to tell yourself you did a great job! Pat yourself on the back, go do something nice for yourself (I like getting my nails done! hehe)
  8. Make time for school- you will not pass your classes if you do not try to understand the material that the teacher is going to test you on! Some things that I do to keep my brain engaged after class hours include:

Rewriting notes
Making Flashcards
Rereading the chapter
Talking with others about your material
Re-teaching/explaining to someone the material you learned

YOU CAN DO IT IF YOU SET YOUR MIND TO IT!

PAY DAY!

Pay Day is my favorite day of the week! I get money AND it’s Friday. You can’t start your weekend off any better than that, right? Well, you actually have to work in order to get paid!

I have a few jobs, and I have had many in the past. I work as a customer service representative at a bowling ally, Arena Lanes. I write for the Cougar Diaries. I babysit regularly. Lastly, I am the Special Visit Coordinator for the Student Ambassador Program.

ambassador

Some of my fellow Ambassadors!

From all of my decisions I have made at Saint Xavier, I know that this Program has been the best one! As a freshman, I had started off as a volunteer, where I followed the tour guides and learned from observation. Sophomore year I spent as a tour guide. As a tour guide I had a specific day and hour in which I could share my experience and show a prospective student around campus. Now that I am a junior, I am the Special Visit Coordinator of this program. Now I over see these tour guides and set up events where High Schools can bring their students to our school and visit. My partner, Amber, and I run the Open Houses and some of the larger events as well.

I would have to say that this job is the most fulfilling of opportunities that I have come across here. I get to work with some amazing people and I enjoy working in the office everyday!

Spring Break, Heck Yeah!

All my life I could never go on a real Spring Break because of sports. Once I started attending college, I couldn’t go because I didn’t have enough money saved up due to car payments, insurance, credit bills, school loans, etc. Now that I am a Junior in college, working 3 jobs, and am 21 years old I finally made it out on a Spring Break! I started setting aside a little money from each pay check for bills, necessities, and fun. It payed off because when this opportunity came along, I didn’t have to pass it up!

A little bit of Broadway!

A little bit of Broadway!

Where did we go? NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE! Yee Haww

It all started with a little country love. Most people correlate Spring Break with the Panama City Beach or South Padre Island. Not us! Our Paradise was right on the strip of Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee!

13 of us made the plans to get together and we jumped on a Mega Bus (cheap tickets) to Nashville on the first Friday of Spring Break. The bus ride was 10 hours! The bus rode from Chicago, through Indianapolis and Louisville, then finally into Nashville. The long ride just made us more excited to finally get there so we could finally enjoy what we had been waiting for.

Some of the group on the River Front

Some of the group on the River Front

Once we got into our hotel, we were ready to get out on the town! Every night, we went to bed late, every morning we woke up early, spent a lot of money, and made a ton of memories with our friends. We did everything from karaoke, to hot tubing, to cuddling 4 to a full sized bed. We really enjoyed the FREE continental breakfast every morning and FREE Happy Hour every late afternoon. The weather was real nice, too! On day one as we walked the strip, we had to stop in every store, bar, and facility we passed. One of my favorite parts of Nashville was that there was live music all day every day! We got to the strip and started shopping as early as 10:00a and some of the live bands were already in the middle of their first set! We were even allowed to get up on stage to sing with some of the bands! We took every change and didn’t pass up an opportunity. The walk from the River Front to our hotel was just over 2 miles. Perfect to get some exercise in on the break, as well! We did too much dancing, just enough eating, and not enough sleeping. Our 10 hour bus ride home was really quite because we all slept most of the way.

Janine is one of my best friends! I wouldn't have wanted to spend my Spring Break with anyone else!

Janine is one of my best friends! I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my Spring Break with anyone else!

My Grandparents live about 2 hours from Nashville, so they drove to come see me and my friends. They took one of my best friends and I out to lunch, they showed us around the city, and drove around the Opry. Just the hotel of the Opry was amazing in itself. It was great to be able to find time for each other since that part of my family only congregates about once a year. For lunch we went to Dick’s Last Resort- please take my advice and NEVER take your grandparents to a place like Dick’s. I’m fortunate enough that they found the place humorous, but I was a bit uneasy when we sat down! All-in-all our visit went very well.

On the last day of our trip, I was more than ready to come home to my dorm. I was getting tired of living out of my duffel bag. Now that I am home, I am more than ready to go back! I am already searching for great spots to visit in the future. We have to go everywhere at least once! And if we didn’t enjoy it, maybe give it another chance! I am very fortunate and satisfied in all of my heard work that allowed me to take the time off of work and reality to go on a vacation with my friends. I can’t wait to go somewhere new.

My very first Spring Break was a success. I can promise, I will be back! So, Watch Out Nashville!

The Freshman 15… or 25

Some people have a great metabolism, others not so much-

There is a rumor about entering college and gaining a bunch of weight, for a lot of people this is not just a rumor but it is reality. I, willingly, will tell you that I gained well over 15 pounds my freshman year of college. I couldn’t figure out where it came from, until my roommate and I sat down and told each other how disgusted we felt in ourselves. At that point, I tried to pinpoint why this tragedy was happening and I told myself I would turn my bad habits around. I never realized the differences in my lifestyle from high school to college, but they were pretty significant.

Typical me. Eating...

Typical me. Eating…

The difference between college and high school…

  • I played volleyball and softball year round in high school, I didn’t participate in either when I came to college. I went from being fully active 3-6 days a week, so sitting on my butt with my nose in an anatomy book and snacking constantly.
  • In high school, not even a water bottle was allowed outside of the cafeteria. I can bring my whole kitchen to class in college. You can find me with chips, soda, Starbucks, and chocolate EVERY DAY.
  • Gym(Physical Education) was required in high school, every day. I was even in a weight training PE class for varsity sports. In college, it turned into my responsibility to make time and effort for the gym.
  • My house is the poster child of healthy. I lived at home when I was in high school. In college, I went shopping for myself, I choose what is for dinner and what food I keep in my dorm room. With our meal plans, we can buy anything we want, and I did!
  • I found that college is more stressful than high school ever was. Between friends, work, and school I was overwhelmed. I gained some weight from the stress of college.

As I gained this unhealthy weight I started to become tired, irritable, and depressed. (But hey, I still managed to score a boyfriend!) I wasn’t myself and I knew it. My average weight is 135-140 pounds. I made it to 165 pounds my freshman year of college! So after I made the decision to get back to my normal weight and be healthy again, I was back and better than ever! I go to the gym almost everyday and I eat more consciously. Everyone thinks that they are invincible, and that the bad will never happen to them. Well think again people! Don’t fret, you can turn it around if you go down the wrong path. I’m happy to be able to share my experience with the freshman 15 (and some) so that my readers know what they are getting themselves into. I obviously am not it the same shape I was in high school, but I am definitely finally satisfied with myself again.

you’ve got a friend in me.

In college, I have found some remarkable people who I call my best friends. I have also met a bunch of people who are just okay suck. I have had roommates that cuddled with me and held me while I cried myself to sleep, and I have had roommates that made me want to bang my head off walls. Your college experience will be what you make it, so be nice to the people who surround you and they will do the same.

janine hug

Janine and I before my 21st Birthday party!

Janine (right) and I have known each other since my freshman year here at school. It wasn’t until this past summer that we became the best of friends. We literally do everything together and love each other (maybe too much!) to pieces. I can’t imagine my life without such a supportive, funny, and caring friend. I know that the relationships that I have made and are yet to make in college will stick with me for the rest of my life!

Amber fun

Amber and I before the Home Coming Football game

Amber (left) and I were placed together by chance our freshman year of College. Even though we drive each other crazy, I wouldn’t trade her for a million dollars. She knows more about me than I know about myself and we have seen more of each other than we have ever needed to. Amber is a life-long friend that I know will never let me down. Amber is someone I know I can run to even if we haven’t talked in a while.

roommates

Paige, Bridget, Catherine, and I during our Monday Night roommie time

My roommates from this past year are so fun to be around. Paige, Bridget, and Catherine (Right) are always down to have a good time and talk if I need a helping hand. We share everything and respect each others belongings. We are able to talk to each other until we fall asleep and share secrets that we know will never leave our room. We have our nights that are solely for just us where we watch out TV shows and I cook dinner.

Timmy

This picture sums up the relationship that Timmy and I have

Timmy (left) was one of my first friends at Saint Xavier. Amber and I lived just a few doors down from him and we would hang out until the early light of the morning. There wasn’t a get- together or event on campus that you didn’t see us three at together. Sometimes I wish that my freshman year of college lasted forever! I know that all of my best friends here at Saint Xavier have seen the best and the worst of me. I cannot express the impact that these individuals have had on me. I have learned so much from each one of them and I believe that my friends are a lot of what makes me who I am today! Since they are still around through my mood swings and egotistical stories, I know that these friends really love me for me, and that is the best thing that I could have asked for in my college experience.

 

“A FRIEND IS SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS YOUR PAST, BELIEVES IN YOUR FUTURE, AND ACCEPTS YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE”

Psshh… Who Needs High School?

YOU DO!

High School is in fact one of the coolest things that you will experience in life. The neat thing about this cool opportunity is that you HAVE to go. Well, you have to go if you want to get anywhere in life. There are countless amounts of activities, sports, clubs, and friend groups to be a part of. You will meet some of the best and some of the worst people in your life while you are in High School. Soooooo why is doing good in High School so important? (this is a lengthy post so bear with me!)

Laugh a Little- it's okay!

Laugh a Little- it’s okay!

  • College- We all watch those Big Ten schools compete in games, we wear their logos with pride, and we fight with our friends about which school is better. Why can’t you be a part of that? Maybe a Big Ten school isn’t for you, maybe Saint Xavier is! No matter where you go, there is going to be a minimum requirement. Try applying to Saint Xavier, see if you make the cut!
  • Scholarships- There are scholarships that you can receive for just about anything! Apply, Apply, Apply! If you don’t get one, try another! Saint Xavier gives out millions of dollars in scholarships every year. They base one of the scholarships on your GPA (grade point average) and your ACT score, the higher they are, the less you pay for college!
  • Moving on in Your Future and Career- Where do you see yourself in 10 years? A nurse, teacher, counselor, police officer, speech pathologist, insurance agent, doctor etc.? College is the way to achieve these goals. Try taking a look at our undergraduate programs! After you graduate with your undergrad degree, you can go on to achieve a graduate degree.
  • Graduation- Why graduate in the low 30% of your class when you can strive to be in the top 15%! The more you can add to your resume, the better you look! The higher you keep your grades, the less stress you will have on your shoulders when it comes to applying to college.

Everyone complains about High School. Why would you want to go on to more schooling, if you don’t even enjoy the schooling that you’re in now?

  • Repetitive Schedules, mandatory class, and classes are not interesting

IN COLLEGE you can make your own schedule from under 12 credit hours (part-time student) to over 12 credit hours (full-time student). You can choose what section of the class you want to take and what time works best for you. It is your responsibility to make it to class so that you do not miss any lectures.

  • You get your cell phone taken from you when you use it in class

IN COLLEGE you can bring you beloved cell phones to class so you can learn and talk to your boyfriend/girlfriend at the same time (I know you all can’t go a full hour without knowing what the other is doing). You can even bring your laptops, iPad, tablets etc. You can download the notes, type the notes, and share them all within the same hour. On most cell phones (smart phones) you can download apps that actually help you in class such as a graphing calculator, dictionary, chemistry formulas, and anatomy diagrams. You can even send your assignments to the printers here from your laptop or mobile device!

  • Chewing gum gets you 5 detentions

IN COLLEGE YOU CAN EAT IN CLASS, respectfully of course! You can bring water bottles, soda, energy drinks, lunch, breakfast, and countless amount of other things to get you through the day. There are many places on campus that you can buy food and drinks from. Aside from our main cafeteria here at Saint Xavier, there is also an on campus Starbucks and Subway!

  • Having trouble and you can’t seem to get your teacher to help you in the right way

IN COLLEGE you can get all the help you need, for FREE! We have tutors, students who have already taken the course, a fully stocked library, full computer labs for each individual major, and all of the teachers have mandatory office hours. During these office hours, you can meet with your professors and get the help you need!

 

My roommates are going to kill me for posting this picture! I am so lucky to have met these awesome people

My roommates are going to kill me for posting this picture! I am so lucky to have met these awesome people

In High School I was part of the cool crowd, the nerds, and the jocks. I was also part of the Science Club, Environmental Club, Special Education Adaptive PE Program, Pep Club, and Student Ambassadors. I knew everyone and just about everything that went on in my school. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my High School experience. When I graduated from Lincoln-Way I thought it couldn’t get any better than that… then I got here. The people I have met, the classes I have taken, and the teachers/faculty/staff that have helped me along the way is outstanding. At this point in my life, again, I draw the question as to if it can get better than this!

Hey, I’m Rachel.

So this blog thing… I think it is really neat. To have someone nominate you for anything is pretty cool, and I (as well as all of us SXU bloggers) have been nominated. We all think that we are special, perfect in our own ways, and I’m sure you all are. Don’t get your panties in a bunch, I’m not singling anyone out for being arrogant (unless you are, then you should probably stop before you lose all of your friends). What I mean is that we all really think highly of ourselves, even if we do not express it. I mean OBVIOUSLY when you ran a mile without stopping last week it was way more important than when Bobbie-Sue ran 7, right? No not really, sorry to burst your bubble. When you look at the big picture, we are all pretty cool in our own ways, we are all equal. Hey, if Billy Madison is cool, so are you!

pee

So why was I asked to share all of my awesome experiences and brilliant knowledge with you? I ask myself the same question! I’m new to this, but I’ll catch on eventually. I don’t know everything, but what I do know is that I have been through a lot in my three years here at Saint Xavier University. I think some of you will benefit from my experiences, some of you will laugh at me, and some of you might reminisce on some of my stories. However you take it, I thank you for reading! As far as feedback goes please ask whatever you want, and chip in if you feel inclined to!

Let’s start with me- the cool one. 

Dionte and me

This is Dionte, he has Down Syndrome. We became friends in High School and we still hangout to this day!

My name is Rachel, I’m 21 years old, and I think I’m pretty cool. I think a lot of things though, sometimes I need to think twice, three times, but four times max. I’m not 100% sure what I want to do with my life, but I always have known that I want to work with individuals with exceptional needs. It’s a start and I’m working my way to the finish. I am optimistic, I don’t worry too much about anything because worrying wont fix my problems. I don’t always match my clothes, and usually it’s accidental. I’m convinced that I’m a professional photographer thanks to Instagram. I’m not scared of much except for feet, horses, and someday looking like Honey Boo Boo’s mom. I don’t really enjoy drinking all that often, but gettin’ jiggy with my friends is always fun. Yeah, I just said jiggy. I like music, country is my preference. I have a tattoo of Garth Brooks lyrics on my rib cage. It says “Life is not tried, it is merely survived if you’re standing outside the fire”. It has hidden meaning in which you probably don’t care about. So far getting a tattoo is still not a regret, so that’s pretty neat because I can’t return it. I miss High School a little bit, but I’ve learned that life goes on and it has a lot in store for each of us. I really enjoy college. I think it’s the coolest thing since sliced bread. I’ll tell you about it later, I know you are all dying to hear why I like it so much. I’ve also learned that maturity and age are not directly correlated. I’ll tell you about that later, too.

In a nutshell, I’m a full-time college student with a few part-time jobs and a full-time reputation to stay awesome. So welcome to my blog! ✌