Let’s Get Back To Business

Let’s get ready to rumble! Well, maybe not—otherwise my muscles would be crying from the pain. It’s not as if college hasn’t caused me enough emotional and physical pain already. Some of these textbooks could be used for gym equipment. Seriously.

Hi everyone, and welcome back to week No. 1 of paradise!  I know that there are many new students on campus, so I would like to quickly introduce myself. My name is Eric Yanez and I am one of two bloggers that have been documenting the first freshman class experience since 2014. My main goal is to blog my college experience so that other students can share in some of the things that I experience.

Now let’s get back to business. I do want to update you guys on my eating regimen. This summer I went through a big change regarding my eating habits. I struggled a lot to find what worked best for me. My mom also told me about a superstition that her family has believed for a long time and it is that, if you put the juice of a lime or lemon in a glass of water, the citric acid helps burn fat. I don’t know if it is true but it does give the water a bit more flavor and that’s all that counts. I may not have gotten that six pack, but I sure do feel better about myself.

imagesAhh! The long awaited junior year. I have prepared all summer to get here…literally! I failed chemistry last semester and had to take a class over the summer to get me to the junior status. But, hey, there is no shame in failing—it’s a human thing. I say, let’s learn from our mistakes. I used to believe that the world would come to an end if I failed a class, but that’s really not the case. I was distraught when I saw the dreaded F on my e-service account, but, as SpongeBob Squarepants would say, “I only cried for 20 minutes.”

I know I have to focus more since I am only two years away from graduating. I still cannot believe how long it’s been. It feels like just yesterday that I was writing my very first blog. I am not sure if past Eric and future Eric would get along, but it would be really cool if I could travel back in time and let myself know what the future has in store. I do have to say that, by the end of my college career, my eye bags are gonna be big enough to be a women’s fashion accessory.

I hope everyone had a great first week of school! It is now time for those late night study sessions to begin. Have an amazing week! Go Hawks! 

Welcome Back Hawks!

UHCL has opened its doors for the fall of 2016, and Syllabus Week has got everyone running about, not knowing exactly where to go, what books to buy, or how to function so early in the morning. Are you glad to be back?

I want to say that I spent my summer adventuring, sun-tanning, and shortening my bucket list. Unfortunately, I actually spent most of my time at UHCL, taking summer courses. I know what you’re thinking—why would I do that to myself? Well, truth be told, it wasn’t the best summer of my life, but it was quite possibly the most productive. That has to count for something, right?

Transitioning from a couple of courses over the summer to a whopping seven in the fall does make me wish I had had a longer vacation. It’s only the end of week one, and I’m already stressed. Thankfully, I have made it my mission to start off on the right foot: my goal this semester is to stay organized enough to keep my stress levels out of the danger zone. I even bought a huge calendar and wrote in every single assignment that I will have due until December.

I was excited to come back, though, because I missed all of my friends, favorite professors, and (especially) my Hawk Leadership Institute (HLI) family. As a second-year HLI member, I get to welcome and help guide the new first-year members, whom we lovingly call our “littles”. I am super excited to see what this HLI year has in store for us!

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Speaking of mentoring new incoming students, I am also a Peer Mentor for the First Year Seminar Program. I know, I know… As if I didn’t already have more than enough on my plate. But I just couldn’t turn down such an awesome opportunity! I get to work with students from insanely diverse backgrounds and with different aspirations, and help them transition into the UHCL community. Granted, I also have to grade papers and attend another course (though only as a TA would), but I am certain it will all be worth the experience.

I hope you guys have also had a good first week, Hawks! Remember to say hi to me if you see me around campus. (Yes, my hair is blue again, so I’m really easy to find.)

Until next time,

Natalia

Finals and Summer

Hey, Hawks! We’re finally here! It’s the end of yet another school year. I hope you guys had a wonderful and enriching time. I know I did.

I got to meet amazing people, both students and professors. I tackled a plethora of essays and exams. I got to be part of exciting school events such as The Lighting of the Letters and the Chili Cook-Off. Most of all, I found my second family: the Hawks.

It’s a bittersweet end to the year, with many of my friends graduating. I am forever grateful that I got the opportunity to get to know them. However, I am having absolutely no difficulty saying goodbye to this semester’s classes! Don’t get me wrong – I loved all of my professors (shout out Dr. Kice for helping me find the confidence I didn’t even know I had), but I am so ready to take on my next academic challenges.

I will be taking two courses over the summer. With that, all my state requirements will be fulfilled, and I will be able to focus solely on the courses going towards my major. Hopefully, I will also be getting a car and a puppy over the summer. (An update on that is to come in the fall!)

summer-time-1484814-1280x960Of course, it’s not truly the end yet. Many of us are still scrambling to soak in as much information as we can before finals. The therapy puppies are back, though, so that’s the upside of this week. I’m aiming for all ‘A’s this semester. This is entirely feasible, if I do well on my finals. Needless to say, I am spending most of my time in the library or locked in my bedroom, knee high in textbooks. I wish you all the best of luck on your finals. (If you’re reading this, this is your sign that you need to stop procrastinating!)

Summer is so close, Hawks! You can do it! Soon we’ll be sunbathing on the beachside, having swimming pool parties, going on road trips, visiting family members… or, more realistically, catching up on sleep.

Stay safe and have fun summer, Hawks!

-Natalia

I’ve Changed, But It’s A Good Change

It’s been another great year! The time has come to once again bid farewell until next semester. Sophomore year has been a heck of a ride. I grew as a person, and – believe it or not – matured a bit more. It’s mind boggling to think that I’m now halfway to graduating. Soon, I’ll be starting my junior year, and talking on different challenges than I faced this year.last blog

I faced different challenges this year than I did last year – mostly academic related. Chemistry was one of them. I occasionally lost the drive that I had my first year here. I had to constantly keep reminding myself to keep fighting.

I have gained so much knowledge in these past two years. I honestly don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t at UHCL. Everything I strive for is to be the greatest and best that I can be.

One of the goals that I would like to set for myself next semester is to become engaged in student organizations again. I would also like to get all ‘A’s next semester. I know this will be very difficult, but it’s not impossible! Of course, personal growth is really what I hope to achieve next semester. College is a time where we make mistakes and learn from them.

I’m no longer that shy high school boy who wouldn’t get involved or talk to people. I am a strong outgoing person who has worked hard for what he wants to achieve. I hope to see you all next semester, and I hope you all have an amazing summer break. Go Hawks!

-Eric

HLI Ceremonies and the End of the Semester

Hey, Hawks! I hope you all had a really great week.

Are y’all as excited as I am? We are so close to the end of the semester. Just one more week of classes and finals, and then we’re out of here. Of course, we’ve got to get through what’s arguably the most stressful time of the entire semester. At least the therapy puppies are coming back!

hli%20banquet%202My week was pretty eventful. My family had a two-day mini golf event in Freeport. We had a lot more people come out and play than we usually do. To celebrate, we went to see “The Jungle Book” afterwards. I’ve never been much of a “The Jungle Book” fan, but I highly recommend the new film.

On Friday, the university had its 38th annual Student Leadership Banquet at Space Center Houston. It was put on to celebrate an amazing school year, and to award those students who showed memorable leadership skills throughout 2015 and 2016. The night began with a nice dinner surrounded by various astronaut suits. Afterward, we moved to the IMAX Theater for the awards ceremony. I received a plaque for completing my first year of HLI, which was exciting. The best part was watching my friends get recognized for their hard work. Some of them even got scholarships!

It was a nice way to end my first year with HLI. It’s sad, as I’ve said before, to see some people go, but hopefully we’ll still get to see them around campus. The people in HLI and I really grew close this year. They’re all like my second family. I’m excited to watch this family grow! Next semester, I’m going to have a few “little siblings” of my own.

After the ceremony, I stayed home and babysat my brother for the weekend. It gave me some time to catch up on several of my shows: “Once Upon a Time,” “Bates Motel,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “The 100.” I also finally started reading again, which is something I’ve always loved to do. I’ve just not had enough time lately. I’m reading “The Solitude of Prime Numbers” by Paolo Giordano. I’ve only read the first 10 chapters, but I’m already loving it. I highly recommend it if you like coming of age dramas.

Until next week, Hawks!

-Natalia

Three Tips For Summer Fun

We’re in the final stretch, Hawks! Don’t give up! As I near the end of the semester, I realize I have no idea what I’m going to be doing for the next three months. To fix this, I am going to suggest a couple of tips for you all to try out this summer. There are three main components to having a blast that you will not forget:

IMG_00931. Always have friends. No matter what it is, friends always make it better. It’s not a party with only one person. Get up off that couch! Forget Netflix! Go out and enjoy that Vitamin D, as many science majors would say.

2. Never forget the food. Let’s be honest here. A party, or hangout, is never a fun experience if there is no food. Be sure to stack up on all the snacks you can grab. You’ll be having fun burning tons of calories in the hot rays of sunshine anyway, so don’t be afraid to consume a few extra Twinkies.

3. Remember that you don’t need a swimmer’s body to have fun. Let’s face it. Many of us thought we would have more time to prepare for the summer. A lot of us still have our Thanksgiving bodies going on. That’s not a problem; we can always try again next year. For now, let’s just worry about having fun!

Follow these three tips and you will be on your way to having those slow-mo beach moments; running toward the light as the beautiful ocean waves reflect off the sun’s rays. Remember to be safe, and have loads of fun!

-Eric

Radio Stars and Floods

Hey Hawks!

I hope you guys had a nice week and kept dry this weekend! I had a lot of things going on, so last week actually went by really fast. All my midterms are over, so now I can focus on studying for those finals. I am so ready for this semester to be over!

Friday was HLI’s Spring Social. We ate pizza, had ice cream, played board games and just hung out. There are several of our members who are leaving HLI next semester, so it was a bittersweet event. We also got our certificates for completing our first year in HLI, which was exciting. All that hard work volunteering, going to workshops and partaking in leadership activities paid off. This upcoming Friday is our actual graduation at the Johnson Space Center, so I’m still looking forward to that.

krystinaAlso on Friday, my family and I went to an Earth Day festival in downtown Houston. It was really fun to see so many people interested in bettering our planet’s environment. My favorite thing (by far) was getting to meet my favorite radio star: Krystina Ramey from Houston’s 104.1 KRBE. She’s part of the radio station’s morning show: “The Roula and Ryan Show.” I listen to that show religiously every morning on my way to school. She was incredibly nice, and let me take a few pictures with her.

The rest of the weekend and the beginning of this week was quite hectic, as you can imagine. The flood had everyone on edge. I woke up Monday morning, got ready for school and even had breakfast, before I realized what was going on. Over in Alvin, there wasn’t much flooding at all, so I assumed it was just regular rain. My mom, who lives way out in West Houston, messaged me saying that most of the school districts had cancelled classes. She also said she wasn’t going to work because of flooding, and that she had lost power in her house.

After I knew the university wasn’t going to have class, I spent my morning studying and watching TV to catch all the latest weather news. It was all quite terrifying and devastating for a lot of people, but I’m glad that we didn’t get hit so hard over here. I’ve heard several students complaining about the fact that we’ve got class while other universities, such as the University of Houston, do not. However, I think we should consider ourselves fortunate that we didn’t have any major catastrophes as a result of the storm.

Anyway, I hope the rest of the week clears up, and we can all just go back to our regular schedules. I don’t need anything in the way of me finishing this semester!

Until next time, Hawks!

-Natalia