Its coming to an End

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great week, now that this school year is coming to an end, it’s weird to think about how much I have changed… Now, I don’t think the change is bad, but I have noticed that I am different, I think this is true for many freshmen though. For many of us, this is our first time truly being independent from our parents. For me, at home I had many responsibilities, but me going away to college is my first time being responsible for only myself. It’s a weird feeling, being the oldest of four awesome siblings and not seeing them on a daily basis. Although I don’t get to see or talk to my siblings as much as I use to when I was living with them, it has reminded me how valuable our time is together, which is why I am excited about this summer. One nice thing about this year is how close I have gotten to my dad. Since I have been in college, I call him at a daily basis. Sorry mom, I swear I love you, you are just busy every time I call. Next year’s goal?

running blog

So my friend Briana and I have started the 6 week 5k and 10k running program, we started last week and it has taken my workout to the next level. In high school, I was ran varsity track, and I have missed running so much that it feels good to be back. This summer, in addition to taking summer classes, I am going to be working on running in my daily work out.

miguel and i blog

This past Friday evening, Miguel had his senior presentation. Well he did an amazing job! I have now learned about how likely it is to get a musical injury… From his presentation, I learned that the pain in my hands and wrist may possibly be carpal tunnel and/or tendonitis… First off, I would like to say that I thought the soreness, the numbness in my fingers, cramping was normal. Secondly, I will start warming up and using the tips that Miguel gave us. He has also given me hand exercises that will help! And lastly, I will be talking to my private teacher about it because now I know that pain is abnormal… So thanks Miguel!

girls and i at feild blog

sorry mn blog

On Saturday, Minnesota heard that I was going to be going to the White Sox’s game with Student Ambassadors and sent rain to Chicago. So much rain that it cancelled the game. I’m sorry Minnesota. I truly am. So once we found out that the game was cancelled, we decided to go to the Field Museum and it was so awesome! First off, it’s the museum from the Night of the Museum, which I thought was really cool because I loved the movies and have seen them so

jon and i at field blog

many times because of my siblings. It was an awesome day with awesome people, so even though the rain cancelled the game, it was still a great day. So good luck to everyone on their last week of classes and finals the following week!

 

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!

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!

 

 

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 :)

Adios Women’s Workout World. :(

w3.

On November 15th, 2013, the Chicagoland area lost one of the oldest and most endearing gyms in the history of this city…Women’s Workout World. For 31 long and prosperous years, this gym has served the fitness and nutritional needs of women while providing them with the support and confidence they need to achieve their goals.

Okay, so I am a little bit biased. You see, W3 has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. Not only did I grow up playing in the nursery while my mom worked out, but I also worked there for two and a half years. For this blog, I wanted to honor the place I called home for so many years of my life…and give it the goodbye that it deserves.

 

Told ya I was cute!!!

Told ya I was cute!!!

Now, I don’t remember a lot of my childhood besides how awesome and cute I was as a little kid, but I do remember getting so excited when my mom went to workout. This meant that I would go in the nursery and be able to and play with kids my age outside of school. As I got older and outgrew being babysat, I remember being excited to start working out with my mom at this gym. The only bad thing was that even though I was old enough to stop being taken care of, I wasn’t responsible enough to purchase a gym membership. AKA have my mom buy me one.

 

So in the meantime, I started working out on my own. I began running when I was in the sixth grade and never really stopped; I wasn’t serious about staying healthy and being in shape until high school though. This was when I became the workout queen that I am today. Well, not exactly. You see, I was OBSESSED with working out. And in an unhealthy way. I would run constantly as a junior and senior in high school, doing anywhere from eight to ten miles every day. Not exactly a smart thing to do, especially in cold winter months with snow and ice on the ground. I definitely needed a change of routine and thankfully, Women’s Workout World came into my life when I needed it the most.

 

Myself and my favorite co-workers (and close friends) Kaitlin and Genesis!

Myself and my favorite co-workers (and close friends) Kaitlin and Genesis!

Right before my eighteenth birthday, I went to workout with my mom one Sunday morning at W3. On a whim, she told me to go ask at the front desk and see if they were hiring. And GUESS WHAT? They were! I took an application and filled it out, not knowing that I would get a call a few days later asking me to come in and interview. I began working at W3 Hometown in mid March of 2011 as a class instructor and sales associate. I loved every minute of it! I taught tons of classes, got to know the members on a personal level, and had lots of fun each day at work. I know everyone’s first job wasn’t nearly as fun as mine was, which is why I felt so blessed and lucky to be working there! I got paid to workout for a living…I mean come on, how freaking awesome is that??

 

Yes, I used to wear a heart rate monitor. Told ya I'm obsessed with working out!

Yes, I used to wear a heart rate monitor. Told ya I’m obsessed with working out!

My favorite thing about working here wasn’t just the classes I taught, or the commission I made, it was the women who worked out there. Even though I was the youngest staff member, I connected a lot with the members. Even though most of them were twice my age. They were the ones who kept my spirits up when sales stopped coming in as often, and they were the ones who made me want to stick around through bad management. I missed every member there when I left this past August to focus more on school and my RA job. They were the reason why I came back to help the gym close out once they decided to shut it down due to the lack of revenue being made at this location.

 

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and that everyone you meet in life will be important to you in some way, shape, or form. I know that I am a better person today because of Women’s Workout World. I wouldn’t be as positive, empathetic, and as loving as a person without having worked there. W3 gave me confidence, healthy workout habits, and friendships that will last a lifetime. There was something truly special about that place, and I am sad to see it go. But as Robert Frost wrote, “In three words, I can sum up everything I have learned about life: it goes on”. Life is always changing, moving us towards bigger and better things than any we leave behind.

Beat the Winter Workout Blues!

Days are getting shorter, the temperature is quickly dropping, and people are breaking out their winter coats and gloves. This can only mean one thing: WINTER IS COMING!!! Okay, so I know the trees still have their leaves and Halloween didn’t even happen yet…but winter is right around the corner. I know some people absolutely love this season because of the cold weather and the holiday season, but I do not. I dislike winter with every fiber of my being because it means I get super lazy. The cold weather makes me want to snuggle under my covers and never leave my bed. I want to avoid people and homework and productivity at all costs and just sleep for hours and hours.

 

And for me, this is bad. As you all have read about, I really have a passion for fitness and being healthy. I work out six times a week not only to stay fit, but because it helps me relieve stress and have some time for myself. But once cold weather hits, I find extremely difficult to get myself outta bed, off the struggle bus, and into the Shannon Center. And I know a lot of people feel the same exact way.

 

One way to beat the cold weather workout blues is to have some really kick butt music to get you excited to hit the gym. Which is why I’m making you all a playlist of songs that I blast when I’m in the Shann! These are designed to get you motivated, keep you focused, and force you to stay active these next few months. (You’re welcome)

 

Now is a great song to kick off that work out and get you pumped!

Now is a great song to kick off that work out and get you pumped!

Now – Paramore

Right Back At It Again – A Day to Remember

Still Swingin’ – Papa Roach

Bonfire – Knife Party

Tom Ford – Jay – Z

Taylor Hawkins drum work in the beginning is enough to get my legs moving and my arms pumpin' whenever I'm running.

Taylor Hawkins drum work in the beginning is enough to get my legs moving and my arms pumpin’ whenever I’m running.

My Hero – Foo Fighters

Promises – Nero (Skrillex Remix)

Bleepin’ Problems -A$AP Rocky

Diary of Jane – Breaking Benjamin

Been listening to this song since I was in the 7th grade and is STILL hasn't gotten old. A great workout jam!

Been listening to this song since I was in the 7th grade and is STILL hasn’t gotten old. A great workout jam!

Lights and Sounds – Yellowcard

Lost in the Echo – Linkin Park

Month of May – Arcade Fire

 

And because everyone needs a cool down:

Something Good Can Work – Two Door Cinema Club

Hurricane – MS MR

Really you can listen to this anytime, or anywhere. It's also a great song to study to!

Really you can listen to this anytime, or anywhere. It’s also a great song to study to!

Young Blood – The Naked and Famous

All These Things I’ve Done – The Killers

Only the Young – Brandon Flowers

 

Now, even if you don’t like any of these songs, the point of this post is to show you that sometimes all we need is a little motivation. Especially when it comes to working out during the colder months! So pick music you enjoy, and head the gym. Because on the plus side, once you’re done, you can go back to bed and sleep the rest of the day away. Just make sure you shower first!

 

Until next time!

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!

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.