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!

New Season, New Challenges, New Opportunities!

Well, another week of my Senior year is in the books and it’s finally starting to feel like fall on campus! There was a chill in the air towards the end of this week and it’s starting to hit me that my walks to class are going to be getting a lot colder. Fall is one of my favorite seasons, but I am not sure I am ready to face the bitter cold that follows. It has also occurred to me that since I’ve moved to the Saint Xavier apartments, my walk is much, much longer. SXU does offer a shuttle service that picks apartment residents up and brings them to campus and I do utilize that quite often, but I’ve found that sometimes it isn’t as reliable as one might hope and other times it just simply doesn’t work with my schedule. Hopping in my car for a two-minute drive to campus seems like a waste of gas, but I am anticipating I will be doing that a lot more in the coming months.

This week presented some challenges and some great opportunities. I had to give my first presentation of my senior year and I also had to give the prayer at Saint Xavier’s annual scholars and benefactors celebration dinner. As a communication major, presentations and public address are something I am called to do quite often, but it still takes a while to get back into the swing of things and rebuild my confidence after a long break. Luckily, both engagements went well and I am glad they are behind me.

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The celebration dinner in the Butler Reception Room

As previously mentioned, Wednesday night I attended the celebration dinner. This event, held once a year, is an opportunity for benefactors and scholarship recipients to meet, mingle and share a meal together. I had the opportunity to speak with some representatives of the Arthur J. Schmitt Foundation which funds and supports the scholarship program I am in. It is always heart-warming and encouraging to know that so many people have invested in my future and recognize my potential. I was honored to give the prayer at the dinner and spend the evening with such distinguished and generous people.

The program

The program

October is sure to be a whirlwind month for me as many deadlines for my senior project are approaching. Today marks exactly ten days until I turn 22 which is almost unfathomable at this point! I am looking forward to what October has in store…many highs and lows I am sure!

Happy Fall!

So This is Goodbye

As it is the evening before finals week and knowing that this time next week I will be home, I feel as though there are some “thank-yous” that I need to say to those who made my freshman year so great.

To begin with, I want to thank SXU, I want to thank the students, faculy and staff who made this place home.

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I never thought that being away from home, I would ever feel so at home like I do here. I am amazed at how much the staff strives to make each class as great as possible. It fills me with happiness to say that the staff, the people that clean and work so hard to keep things nice, by them just saying hello can just make my day. I can’t help but believe that this positive attitude starts with President Wiseman. For example, this last week the President of SXU served a free lunch to students. The way she welcomes guest speakers, seeing her interact with the student body, and watching her welcome those visiting campus just seems like so much more than her job description. Her positive attitude it clearly just part of the great person that she is.

I want to give a quick thank you to Laura Richardella, the lovely woman who hired me as an awkward little freshman in August, having some kind of belief in me that I would be able to write something every week for the Cougar Dairies. I would just like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell my week to week college life and share that with the rest of the student body and SXU community.

I want to thank the SXU Campus Ministry, from Sister Carol and Sister Christa who lead weekly women’s prayer group, to the RPM’s and PM (Resident Peer Ministers, and Peer Ministers), to Tom and Dennis for getting me involved in the Bread Truck and information about service throughout the years.IMG_0828 To my Quest family, I appreciate the bond that we created in the beginning of the fall and having such a great group of people that started the year off so right. A special thank you to Mike, who is such an amazing person that is strong and such a loyal friend. I feel blessed to have you in my life. And to Tara, “my best friend” in campus ministry, to all the times you have made me laugh, I am so excited to be RPM’s with you next fall.

To my lovely roommate Brittany, thinking back to the beginning of the year and seeing how much we have both changed is.. well… I’m impressed with us, and hey, we made it!the B's and I I can’t believe how fast this year has went by and you were always by my side. From our talks as we were getting ready for bed, to somehow staying up ’til three in the morning talking, it’s something that I will miss next year. To me, you will always be my favorite roommate and although you are going to be living with our friend Breezy next year, it’s okay, I know in the inside I will always be your favorite too.

improvvvvThank you Netflix, for keeping Brit and I sane throughout the year, and for letting us bond over you. And Improv, thanks for the laughs, the last show was by far my favorite. Seniors, you did a great show and will be missed!

Miguel, please don’t graduate in less than a week, you have been such a great mentor support system for me this first year. I don’t know what I will do without you in orchestra. Like seriously. I wish you weren’t leaving, but I know you will do such great things in the world.

A “thank you” to Darlene and Ivan. Darlene is my Confirmation Sponsor back home in Minnesota, and whenever I am home, I would get to have breakfast or brunch with her. Getting to hear her story, of her, her family and her life, is something I’ve missed while away at college. Before leaving, I got to have breakfast with Darlene while her husband Ivan was out and about close by. They were both so excited about me heading off to college. Hearing about how proud they were of me, helped me believe that I could do this. Ivan, even though you aren’t with us anymore, I know that you know all about my first year of college.

My family, I want to thank my best friend, my sister Maya, who helped me go through with going to college away from home. If it wasn’t for you telling me why I should go, I probably couldn’t have went through with it.IMG_0410 To my little brother and youngest sister who always seem to bring a smile to my face, and seeing them grow; it amazes me. A thank you to my family out in Colorado, although I’m not going to school by you guys, you all were still so supportive of my decision and I love you all!

Grandpa, thank you, just for everything, for not only helping me, but our family. Thank you for all the silly joke emails that you send me to the educational articles. For always being willing to help, even when I didn’t know I needed it. And sometimes, most importantly thank you for saying how proud you are, and how proud Grandma would be of me. I miss her so much and just wish I could tell her all about how great college is like she always said it would be.

SONY DSCJon, thank you for keeping me sane, thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for understanding me when I don’t. Thank you for all the help in math or whatever the subject is and reminding me that I do know what I am doing, for reminding me that dropping out of college, when I have all A’s doesn’t make sense, and how once my hard work is done,it will all be worth it. Most importantly, thank you for being you.

To my Papi, thank you for as you so claim, giving me life. Thank you for raising me to know what hard work is, to teach me how to strive to do more.10472772_10152504120149031_7211664648222740597_n For showing me how important college is although you weren’t able to attend. Thank you for teaching me that the most important thing in life is to be happy, which is something I will always strive for. Thank you for picking up your phone whenever I call and having the conversations I think you always hoped we would, and now how much closer we are now.

And lastly to my Mami.. I’m tired after all this writing so, thanks mom!

 

Just kidding, love you momma! Thank you for being the most supportive person in my life. For pushing me to be better, leave home and attend the college of my dreams. You knew it was my dream school before I did! SONY DSCThank you for teaching me the importance of service and helping people and thank you for always listening to whatever the worry I had on my mind. You never made me feel as though it was unimportant. I guess it’s really impossible to say all the thank you’s to your mom, because there is really just so much they do. But thank you Mami, for being my biggest fan, to loving me unconditionally, and I guess to giving me life, that was cool. Picture with my grandpa and momma!

And to everyone else who helped make my first year at SXU, thank you. I’m sorry I didn’t include you, but I really should be getting to bed. Good luck to everyone on finals week! Have a great summer of warmth! To those who are graduating, congratulations and you will be missed!

Dance to Dance

girls formalHope everyone is transitioning back into the swing of things! This past week has been so busy and so much has been going on that I can’t wait for this upcoming week because I am telling myself it will be less busy. . . (This is called living in denial.  I know this.) . . Still, it was a great week!

This Friday, I had a lovely time with great people at the Spring Formal; it was so much fun! My beautiful roommate and I got ready together and took pictures with ourban dates. This dance is now the seventh dance that I have gone to with my boyfriend and it never gets old, it amazes me how much fun it still is, if not more! And the food was amazing as well.  One of my favorite parts of dances is seeing everyone all dressed up and fancy! The music was a great mixture and there were two levels for dancing, so if you didn’t like one song, then you could go to the next! And the view while we were on the Odyssey’s observation deck was so beautiful, getting to travel the shore and see the lights of downtown and the north shore was absolutely amazing. By the end of the night, though, my feet were killing me, so I was pretty happy to call it a night and reunite with my bed. . .

The following day I had the opportunity to attend the Presidential Scholarship Ball with student ambassadors, S.T.R.O.N.G. members, and staff in hope of raising moneyball' to aid with scholarships. For those of you who do not know, every single student at Saint Xavier University has a scholarship, which if you think about is a big deal! This was such a great experience and I had so much fun being able to take part in it. I got to see so many important faces from President Wiseman to the mayor in Arizona for the town where our new location is to my boss for Cougar Diaries itself, Laura Richardella to Mrs. Spelman who is in charge of the elementary and middle level for education. I also got to meet so many more chair positions in the education department, it was such a great experience! Getting to meet so many of the people who help aid not just me, but all of the Saint Xavier students was an honor.  We are all so thankful for them. After the lovely dinner and auction, we were able to get everyone on the dance floor and had a blast!

I hope everyone has a great week and good luck with all of your classes! Hopefully the warmth stays with us and soon summer shall be upon us!

Spring Break? Sorry, I’m a broke college student.

We are 8 days away from Spring Break! I am NOT going anywhere though. haha I wish I could go to the Wisconsin Dells and relax on a mini vacation or maybe go to Florida and soak in some sun and melt the sadness in my frozen heart.

March is Women’s History Month and here is the flyer of all the cool things going on around campus.

Women's History Month Flyer

Women’s History Month Flyer

After spring break, time is going to fly on by. We have no breaks, except for Easter with is the first weekend of April. After that, it’s time to go hard at those books, work, and studying. I have set some higher goals for myself since I always struggle with school towards the end.

This semester I am taking 18 credit hours and time management is very very hard for me. It always has been. But I excel in organization. I invested in a pretty pink planner that I know I will use and constantly use. I also invested in a expandable folder so I am able to keep track of all my papers and it was seriously the BEST INVESTMENT EVER! I am so on top of all my school work. I am actually having fun.

Did I mention I am obsessed with office supplies? Well….. I am! Hahaha. Especially Post-It Notes :)

Find the thing that you find fun and integrate it with your school work! You won’t regret it.

Good luck on your Mid-Terms SXU!

Everyone is Holding Hands

wall of looeI hope everyone had a great week! This week was a busy week! Everyone wrote on the hall of love this week and it was so great to see everyone write what they loved, who brought them love, and what love means to them. Love is such a powerful, amazing thing, but I’m just not that into Valentines, but as many of you know, I tried this year. So maybe a few of you wondered how it played out?

To begin with, I got cupa cute stuffed puppy, a whole lot of chocolate, and a beautiful necklace. While I made him a cup! And it turned out to be pretty awesome! Once we did gifts, the search for food started! Our favorite restaurant in the world wouldn’t take reservations on Valentine’s Day. So my boyfriend and I decided to just wait it out, right? Wouldn’t be that long? It was. The line was to the door, and people were going on an hour wait, of course at that time, we were hungry. Really hungry. The idea of possibly waiting another hour was not okapastay, especially with just the smell of our favorite restaurant from the back door. It was not fair. So we walked another two blocks, disappointment filling our stomachs. Neither of us could think of anything else that this oeneven sounded good. We turned another corner and saw the La Macchina, a cute little Italian restaurant that one of Jon’s TAs said we had to try, so we thought, what have we got to lose? So we went in, got a cute little table lit dinner, and it was the best Italian food of my life. Even now, a day later, my mouth is watering… We had chocolate covered strawberries and Lemon Sorbet. It was amazing. So it may have been my third Valentines with my boyfriend but my first time actually celebrating it, and it was fun. But, we both realized that we didn’t really like Valentines, even though we did have fun, it’s just not our thing. I want to get to have fun dates just because, I don’t want to hold hands because I am supposed to. So yeah, we tried Valentine’s Day, we kind of liked it, but it wasn’t really us.

This Monday I was abFood Truck Picturele to do the Bread Truck and it was great. I got one of my best friend’s Jerry to join me! I also got to know one of the girls who will be joining me on my serve trip next month to Mississippi which only made me more excited because she is awesome! Email Tom at tcook@sxu.edu if you would like to go and help the hungry people of Chicago!Ireland

This Tuesday I joined my roommate Brittany at the traditional Irish music concert by the Dirty Wellies! It was a fun and great concert! Lots of fun to listen to! And they all had so many beautiful accents that were so pretty! They played so well! But no Grandpa or Mom, I do not want to play the fiddle, so please don’t start again. But please people! Look them up!

I would also like to apeacepologize, I made a mistake! I thought that Broadview Deportation was last Friday, but i’ts actually this upcoming Friday! So this Friday it is happening, so please attend! We will be leaving at 6:15 am from Regina Hall so please attend! Also MSPJ will be hosting a movie night this week about immigration so look out for all of the flyers! Hope everyone has a great week! Thanks for reading!

A Beautiful Weekend For the Minnesota girl in the Windy City

heart Hello all, so the end of January is around the corner and the beginning of February is here, a perfect month! And the day that many dread is near, Valentines day. Now technically I do have a Valentine’s, and I have for the past two years, but I still am not the biggest fan of it.. The idea that I’m suppose to tell my significant other I love them, the same day as everyone else and do a date just as everyone else.. It sounds controlling and weird right? Or no? Well, this year I have decided to end the protest of Valentine’s Day and I am stepping up! Now I can’t say what my plans are just yet because my boyfriend might actually read my blog.. But after Valentine’s Day I shall tell ya how it went! Now for those like me who love history you need to watch the link about Al Capone! Super cool because he was in Chicago when he did it, but yeah, he made Valentines cooler. http://www.history.com/topics/saint-valentines-day-massacre

The SXU student I want tobre highlight this week is Breanna Nelson, or what she is known as by her freshman as Brea! Brea is a sophomore here and she is my RPAL! She has been there for my academic break cries, to working out together, she really knows how to give a pep talk as well! Really getting to see her in the halls just brightens my day! She is always cheerful! Even if she is studying with her heads in the books in the cafeteria she always greets you to a hug!  chicago baby

And hopefully this beautiful picture will make you happy with the views of downtown Chicago! Friday was so nice and warm! I hope everyone had a great week and has a good one for this upcoming one! Get those Valentines thoughts going! And remember, you can’t be as bad as Al Capone!

 

 

Are Weekends a Thing of the Past?

Welcome back!

I hope everyone had a productive week and a relaxing weekend! I traveled home to the south suburbs for the weekend to visit my family. It was a much needed break from campus! As much as I enjoy Saint Xavier, I think living away from home is a bit trying for everyone at one point or another.

As part of my weekend activities I took a break from my many hours of homework to go on a brief shopping trip. When I say brief, I mean that in the most literal sense. I stopped at a couple stores, I didn’t even buy anything. One of the main reasons I did not buy anything (besides being strapped for cash) was that my phone was absolutely blowing up. For those who don’t know what that means, I was getting an over abundance of texts and emails all at once. When I’m out, I tend to leave my phone in my purse unless I receive an important call, I like to focus on the task at hand. But as I shopped around and my phone continued to buzz and ring I had to look at it because I figured it must be something serious. It turned out to be texts and emails from a professor demanding my response…on the weekend!

technology

This certainly is not the first time this has happened to me. As a matter of fact, I find that due to technology I feel as though I am in class 24/7. It’s finally starting to make me question whether or not thats fair. I recognize that my future career may require me to be available or reachable via technology at all times. But I also know a lot organizations that allow you to be out of the office for the weekend…including texts and emails. Technology has numerous benefits and has broadened our world in so many ways, but at the same time, I feel shackled to it.  Gone are the days when a weekend is actually time off for me. Does anyone else experience the same thing?

I might just have to make it a personal mission to “unplug” myself from technology during the weekend and deal with the consequences on Monday!

On a lighter note, on Thursday, I ventured downtown with a few friends to see one of our favorite local bands, The Personnel. They’re a friendly and charismatic group of guys that covers 90′s hits. As a 90′s kid, their performances always take me back! We’ve seen them play several times, but this past week they performed at a bar called Social 25, a weekend hot spot on Hubbard Street (for my 21 and over readers). I’ve included the link to band’s website, everyone should give them a listen!

http://thepersonnel.com/

Have a wonderful week!

A New Year, A New Start to the School Year!

Hello everyone, I hope you all had an amazing winter break and first week back at school! For winter break I went back home to cold snowy Minnesota to hang out with familybrit and i and friends, and even though it was so nice not to have any school work to do, it feels so good to be back to the windy city! Saint Xavier has really became my home away from home. Being back for this first week was so relaxing but stressful! It was so nice to be back with my roommate and getting to see all of my SXU family, but is it just me or are the first two days back super stressful? Going over the syllabi for all of my classes, realizing that I need to do so much, it’s overwhelming! I think it gets better over the week, and by this upcoming week I think I will be back in the swing of things! (Picture to the top left is my roommate Brittany and I at Gilhooley’s over the week, happy to be back.)nena

Over break my youngest sister had her golden birthday of six years old! Her birthday was themed Garfield because he is one of her favorite shows right now. While over break we got to bake a ton, have many pajama movie days, teaching her how to make snowflakes with paper, and so much fun sledding together! (Picture to the right is Luna and I making snowflakes by the Christmas tree.)

Quest sign ups are hapeaceppening right now! Freshman and transfer students should look into going! It is a great experience to meet other SXU students while also making great memories! Also at SXU this week we have Martin Luther King Jr. Week, filled pack with daily activities and events! This Friday there is going to be Broadview which is what I am looking most forward to! Broadview is one of my favorite things about our school, so if you want to know more about our broken immigration system please attend!

Today, January 18 was my birthday! It started with my boyfriend treating mebirthday to a late brunch to later going having dinner at Todoroki, which is now my favorite place for hibachi now! It was so good, and to top off my lovely birthday away from home, we got to have Andy’s Frozen Custard! Even though I missed being home for my birthday it was still pretty nice of a birthday! (Jon and I at dinner eating amazing food.)

Hello 2015! Welcome back SXU!

Good morning SXU!

I hope the holidays were wonderful for you and you got to spend lots of time relaxing and eating and just doing nothing.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Now that 2015 is here, it is time to set goals for yourself, manage your time, and reach for them. We are now entering the spring semester. That means another step closer to graduation and becoming adults with careers. Doesn’t that sound great?!

Here’s how to have a great semester with rocking grades!

1. READ YOUR SYLLABUS FOR EVERY SINGLE CLASS!

2. MAKE SURE YOU GO TO EVERY SINGLE CLASS!

3. GET ORGANIZED! Use a planner to write down due dates and homework assignments. Get a notebook to write down notes. Make sure you are neat and you understand what you’re writing. Phrasing is very important when given a big load of information and you need the main idea(s). Color coding with higlighters or color pens makes everything fun and pretty. Make sure that you have a classmates phone number, email, or facebook in case you need to get in touch with someone.

Use a planner to help you have a great semester.

Use a planner to help you have a great semester.

4. MANAGE YOUR TIME! Use your planner to schedule time to read, do homework, study, and socialize. Remember that school comes first so when you’re supposed to be reading, actually read and not read facebook statuses or tweets. It’s okay to say “no” to going out if you have work to do. Making lists is a fun way to make sure you don’t miss anything.

5. STUDY SMART! Find a good place to study where you will focus and not get distracted. Get started as soon as possible and do not procrastinate. Figure out how you learn best (hands on, rereading, flash cards, listening to the lecture again, etc.). Organize how you’re going to study.

Ask questions, take good notes, and study.

Ask questions, take good notes, and study.

6. BE SUCCESSFUL! Do all your work & complete assignments. Sit in front of the class. Be on time. Participate! Communicate with your professors and establish good relationships with them and they’ll usually give you the benefit of the doubt (although not all of them will). Use services available like tutoring, open labs, etc.

Once you get the grades you want, you can reward yourself. :) that’s the best part. Make sure you have a great, fun semester!

Go for it!

Go for it!