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!

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!

 

 

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.)

Just Keep Swimming!

finals1Hey y’all, it’s that time of the year, where everyone is stressed, talking to themselves as they walk, and if you ask them how they are doing, they look lost. It’s the week of finals. Now as a freshmen I thought I knew what finals would be like, they would be tests. Nope. It’s so much more. How many papers can one person write? Well let’s take that limit, and times it by ten, and that’s how many papers we all can write!! Through out the semester the thought of, “man, I’m stressefinals and purpled, there is so much I need to do!” But that was before this week.. So many papers. So many readings. So many things. It’s just. Well how I thought college was going to be. Stressful. And this whole semester was working up to this up coming week.
So even though I am a freshman, I have been given a few tips on how to live through this up coming week so I thought I would share!:sleeping at work
#1. Get sleep. It doesn’t do you any good to stay up till 4 am on coffee and power drinks to only be at your 8 am exam sleeping..
#2. Don’t procrastinate! Try and get assignments and papers done before they are due! Work on what is due soonest and just keep pushing till it’s done!
#3. Eat healthy! It’s so important! Eating unhealthy weighs you down! If you can pick food that will give you energy for the day not just an hour that will help you in teating healthyhe long run! This also being sad don’t load up on energy drinks and pops! You might feel awake for an hour or so but after that you will crash! And that isn’t good, and really they are just unhealthy for you!
#4. Try and work out! I know it’s a stressful time, and we all feel like we have no time, but if you can try and go for a run or hit the gym for half an hour, it really will give you a break from studying and it’s good for you!
#5. Take breaks! Studies show that studying one thing for more then an hour doesn’t do you any good! So study for 45 minutes, take a break, work on another subject for a bit, and keep pushing!
#6. Lastly, you are just human, you are one person, try your hardest, it’s not the end of the world! Breathe!
I hope everyone does fantastic on there finals! We are almost done then it’s home for the holidays! You can do this! I can do this! We got this! Just keep swimming! And have a great break everyone! just-keep-swimming

Walk Through Week

I am super excited this week because I did a lot of great things. This was my week. Check it out!

MONDAY! Michael and his best friend Matt are going to start a podcast! Whenever they are together they have a blast! They laugh about nothing and everything at the same time. They are definitely good vibes to be around when you’re having a bad day.

Ice Cream Time!

Ice Cream Time!

Sudying/Breakfast at Denny's

Studying/Breakfast at Denny’s

TUESDAY! This day was very nerve wrecking and exciting at the same time. I received an email from Career Services quite some time ago about an internship. At first I didn’t make much of it until I read it. It was a PAID internship and all I needed to apply was my resume and a cover letter. I sent it in so now I am just waiting! Pray for me! HAHAHA

WEDNESDAY! I worked all day…. Don’t talk to me about Wednesday…. BUT I had COFFEE so it wasn’t too bad. Denisse bought me lunch too! #CommuterProblems HAHA! Hey girl, hey! I see you.

My Best Friend!

My Best Friend!

THURSDAY!

Nothing special… I went to work. I had a caramel burlee lattee from Starbucks. My dirty little obsession.

FRIDAYYY!

UNIDOS had their Ice Cream Social for Diversity Week. It was a success! We have 4 different flavors plus a special treat called Mangolada. It’s a mango purree/sauce and you add chamoy which is a chile sause and tajin which is like chile powder. You can add ice cream to it and lemon as well. It was great!

Follow UNIDOS on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram

Follow UNIDOS on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram

SATURDAY!

This was my mommy’s birthday! She is now in her late 30′s. She’s so amazing. She recently started working on the weekends and I see her less than I already used to and it makes me realize how much I miss her and how much work she does at home. It feels empty without her.

This is my mother and her 4 kids.

This is my mother and her 4 kids last Christmas.

SUNDAY!

Today was nothing special. I had a photoshoot with Michael for one of our friends photography class. It was interesting. AND….. THE BEARS WON TODAY! I predicted they would win today. I am a proud Bears Fan.

Go Chicago Bears!

Go Chicago Bears!

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

 

 

First Ever Cake Shake

photoHey y’all so I’m going to start with the fact that everyone should do the break truck. I’m serious! Email Tom at: tcook@sxu.edu! Its great and amazing! You can meet so many great people! And you really get to help people, serve people who need food, need a conversation, need to know that they are cared for, and mostly that they are important. (Picture includes bread truck with some awesome people)

I’m pretty lucky, I am goingjon and i on two years next month with the smartest, sweetest guy in the whole wide world. Not only does he deal with my favorite popcorn toppings of Worcestershire sauce and parmesan cheese for movies, but he deals with my crazy book loving self who always has a book on me.. Even on dinner dates! (The picture is my lovely boyfriend, Jon aphoto 2nd I)

Saturday evening, I got to go to Portillos for the first time ever. The best part being the cake shake. It was happiness in a cup. It has cake.. And a chocolate shake.. Together. Pure happiness. Next time, I’m gonna try the true Chicago style hotdog!(This picture is my lovely roommate Brittany and our friend Jerry)photo 4

I also got to go to Jewel’s for the first time ever! And its pretty much like all other grocery stores out there.. But just the same! I went! I hope everyone has a great week!

 

 

photoHappy birthday to my lovely little brother who is super cool, he turned a whole twelve years old! He is super cool and I miss him like crazy! The next time I see him, he will probably be taller than me.. Because when I saw him a couple of weeks ago he was almost taller than me.. But its okay, still love you little brother!

College Runway

Good Morning Cougars!

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

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

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

Follow UNIDOS on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram

Follow UNIDOS on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram

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

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe

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

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

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

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

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

-Jess :)

Spicing Up My Weekends

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

10698685_10153296005084128_4093611519513008281_n

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

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

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

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

02114bEnjoy the rest of your weekend!

 

Bittersweet

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

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

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

 

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

UNIDOS Dance

Follow UNIDOS on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram

Follow UNIDOS on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram

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

Pomenade Mall in Bolingbrook

Pomenade Mall in Bolingbrook

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

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

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!