Category Archives: UHCL Freshman Experience

It’s Always Strange Coming Back From Break, Isn’t It?

Hey Hawks! 

 

I hope y’all had a great week. It’s always strange coming back from break, isn’t it? I wish I had slept more, read more and watched more Netflix. Oh, well. Time will come for that during the Winter Break. Right now, all I’ve been doing is cramming for all of my final exams. It’s been hectic.  

 

Campus Activities Board hosted a No Stress Zone event where they basically had a bunch of de-stressing activities. I was there taking pictures for CAB, but I also got to enjoy their activities (and food!) They had board games, coloring pictures and even a special appearance from Murphy, the school’s therapy dog! I love him so much. He was so happy to be there! He ran around, playing with all the attendees.  

 

The UHCL Police came by and gave out free stuffed animals! I got my own puppy plush. I named him Mylo. It’s been a week full of anxiety, and having Mylo to hug has actually helped reduce that anxiety significantly.  

 

On Wednesday, the Student Life Office hosted their most memorable tradition: Lighting of the Letters! It’s a holiday-themed event, where we all get together to watch the UHCL letters on the hill light up in blue and green. Even Hunter was there! There were also some great performances from UHCL’s Spirit Squad, Fusion Dance and Music Club. It was a lovely event, especially because they gave out hot chocolate and cider.  

 

On Friday, I finally decided it was time to do some serious studying. Of course, I didn’t actually do any studying until Saturday night. That’s just how it usually goes, isn’t it? I’ll keep y’all posted on how my exams go.  

 

Until next time, Hawks! 

– Natalia  

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Thanksgiving Break!

Hey Hawks! 

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Welcome back from Thanksgiving break. I hope y’all had a really great time and ate some really yummy food. I definitely did. I told myself I was going to catch up on some studying, do some extra credit assignments, and be overall really productive this break. None of that happened. Instead, I spent the break watching Netflix, eating food, shopping and napping.  

 

I finally started “Stranger Things 2.” I really loved the first season, and the second one isn’t letting me down so far. I also watched some of “American Horror Story: Roanoke.” It’s pretty scary, especially compared to other seasons. I started a show called “The Good Place.” It’s about a lady (Kristen Bell) who dies and ends up in the “good place”, but she actually doesn’t belong there because she wasn’t a good person on Earth. It’s a pretty hilarious show! 

 

I went to the movies (twice) to see Disney’s “Coco.” It was amazing! I loved everything about it – the music, the art, the characters, the message. It really touched my heart, and I ended up crying in the theater (which is a rare occurrence for me).  I think it really spoke to me because I could relate to Mexican culture aspect of the film. The second time I watched it, I took my grandma to a showing that was entirely dubbed in Spanish so she could also enjoy it. Frankly, I think I enjoyed the Spanish version a lot more. It felt more natural to have the characters speaking in Spanish, since the setting was Mexico.  

 

Speaking of Mexico… My family doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, so I usually don’t do anything special on the third Thursday of November.  This year, however, I spent Thanksgiving Day with my girlfriend. She took me to her family’s Thanksgiving dinner. It was definitely an experience. The food was delicious and the company was great. Afterwards, we went early Black Friday shopping – something I also had never done before. We stayed up until around 4 in the morning, slept for just a couple of hours, then went back at it again early Friday morning. I usually hate shopping, but I actually had so much fun! I got a lot of Christmas shopping done at a relatively low cost, which is nice.  

 

Afterwards, I spent the whole weekend napping and playing Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp on my phone. Animal Crossing has always been my favorite video game, so when they came out with the app I was ecstatic. It’s not the same, of course, but it’s definitely just as adorable.  

 

As y’all can see, not once did I pick up a textbook or open BlackBoard during the break. This week might be a little rough as I try to get back into the swings of things. Wish me luck. 

 

Until next time, Hawks! 

– Natalia  

Taylor Swift’s Newest Album!

Hey Hawks! 

I hope you’ve had another wonderful week at UHCL. My week was relatively uneventful and I think it says a lot for me to consider a week full of exams as uneventful. Maybe I’m finally getting used to being a college student with too much to do all the time or maybe it’s that time of the semester where it all kind of blurs together and I can’t really tell the weeks apart.  

I had a few exams, which I think went okay. I know they didn’t go as well as the first set of exams this semester, but I didn’t do too terribly.  

In Campus Activities Board (CAB), I’m the co-chair for the Membership Committee, which means I’m in charge of (along with my Co-Chair) holding orientation sessions for incoming members. This week we were able to have our first session of the semester! I know it sounds odd because the semester is almost over, but my co-chair and I just very recently acquired our positions. Previously, another chair was holding orientations at the beginning of the semester.  

I think the biggest thing to happen this week is the release of unspecified: “reputation.” (Yes, she didn’t capitalize the “r” on purpose. She’s a true artist.) If you know me at all, you know that I absolutely love Taylor Swift. Needless to say, I was super excited on November 10 when the album finally dropped. I had already pre-ordered it on iTunes, so it was directly added to my phone. I don’t think I’ve listened to anything else since. I’m excited for tickets to come out for the tour! Last time I saw her (for the 1989 World Tour) was quite possibly one of the best nights of my life. I know she won’t disappoint.  

That’s pretty much everything for this week. I hope y’all had as much fun as me.  

Until next time, Hawks! 

– Natalia  

The End Is Near

Finals, projects and my social life are all in danger. The time is upon us, students are falling victim to stress. In my experienc3_yogurt-dropse, I have dealt with stress with eating, but I have to remember healthy snacks! 

As I progressed through my college career, I noticed my eating habits had changed. I also noticed my body had changed, and so did the scale. This was a result of eating out and buying a lot of junk food. Being able to drive and get whatever I crave is one of the main reasons I became unhealthy. I couldn’t help myself if I was craving McDonalds McNuggets at midnight; I couldn’t fall asleep if I didn’t have them. In the end, I felt bloated all the time.  Luckily, there are healthier options to stress eat with. These frozen yogurt drops are the perfect snack. 

Frozen Yogurt Drops: 

Ingredients- Any kind of yogurt 

Step 1- Place penny-sized drops of yogurt on tray until full. 

Step 2- Place in freezer 3-4 hours, or until solid. 

Step 3- Enjoy! 

Another great way to reduce stress is school event, and holidays! The good news is that UHCL has many events coming up to look forward to. For example, the annual Lighting of the Letter is only a few weeks away! This is one of my favorite events at UHCL, and I haven’t missed a single year!  

And we can’t forget the best holiday out of the year – Thanksgiving! Thankfully, it’s just around the corner and personally, I cannot wait to gain 30 pounds. It’ll be worth it.  

Now it’s time for my weekly favorite, Chipotle. The concept of creating your own burrito or burrito bowl is great! I got the chicken burrito with rice, tomatoes, lettuce and salsa. The flavors went very well together. The atmosphere of Chipotle was nice, almost like a factory type feel out of it. The menu doesn’t have much of a variety which was kind of a bummer, but I got great customer service and an amazing burrito. I will definitely be going there again. 

Well that’s it for this week guys I hope you all have a great week of classes! 

-Eric 

 

 

 

It’s my birthday week.  

Hey Hawks! 

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This has been an amazing week. Do you know why? It’s my birthday week.  

 

Thankfully, this week wasn’t very academically demanding. It mostly consisted of getting graded tests back. It’s always a nerve-wracking experience to sit in the class waiting for the professor to hand you your exam. It’s even more stressful when you see other students receiving them and groaning about their grade. Thankfully, I did pretty well.  

 

On October 30, my girlfriend and I celebrated our one-year anniversary!  We both had previously agreed to not get each other anything (mostly because we’re both broke college students), so we just gifted ourselves a lazy day at home. We slept in, watched TV and only went out to get some delicious food.  

 

Three days later, it was my birthday! I didn’t plan anything, but I knew my friends were planning a surprise for me. They’re terrible at keeping secrets. After, I went out to have dinner with my family, I got to school and they were all hiding in a classroom. They had decorated the room with a lot of balloons and each balloon had a cute drawing or inside joke. They played Taylor Swift songs (which I love), gave me presents and played a bunch of board games with me. It was super fun! Then, the next day, I went over to my girlfriend’s house and they were there! We played board games again, opened even more presents and then smashed watermelons. That’s right! We smashed watermelons with a bat! It’s a weird way to celebrate a birthday, but it was definitely fun and I highly recommend it. In fact, I think it’s going to become a new friend tradition.  

 

Finally, on Saturday, I came to the Leadership Conference! Waking up early after a night of celebrating was difficult, but it was worth it. One of my closest friends, Flor Gonzalez, was the Co-Director of the Leadership Conference Planning Committee. I had seen her work hard- putting this conference together. I’m so proud of her and she did an amazing job. The Social Justice Organization was asked to facilitate a workshop for the conference, so that’s what I did alongside my vice president, Izuh Ikpeama. It was really fun to be a part of the conference!  

 

Now that the fun week is over, it’s time to get back to business. I have two exams tomorrow and I haven’t even started studying!  

 

Until next time, Hawks! 

– Natalia  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Cow!

Holy Cow! The fall semester is flying by at the speed of light. With the semester coming to an end, and the stress levels reaching an all-time high, college students are sure in a bit of a pickle, especially the seniors. 

Senior year isn’t all that different from any other year, to be honest. The main difference is that the stress level is magnified by 100. On top of assignments and studying, seniors have to start looking towards their future career. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I have been second guessing myself in terms of my major. I know I made the right choice, but it’s kind of like when the bride gets nervous before her wedding. The same rule applies here; I’m just nervous before graduation. On top of the nerves kicking in, I was sick all week, and that sure got me thinking. 

I have been under house arrest all weekend due to Jack in the Box tacos. Sure, it may have been a two for one-dollar deal, but I think they forgot to mention that they also need to torture your insides. Now to be fair, I shouldn’t have eaten more than 8, so that may have had something to do with it. Luckily, before all the pain I was able to enjoy my weekly favorite. That was, of course, before refusing to even look at food.  

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My weekly favorite has to be a local burger joint that has been a Pasadena favorite for years. Star Burger has been the place to get burgers since I was a kid. It has been around for over 30 years. The family owned and operated business has better burgers than Whataburger, in my opinion.  

Well that’s it for this week Hawks. I hope everyone is having a fun time studying and getting perfect scores on their exams. Until next week.  

-Eric 

College Tip: Always keep note of your due dates, but don’t be afraid to ask for an extension. Some professors won’t mind giving an extra day. I’ve noticed this is more common with upper level classes. 

Got Privilege?

Hey Hawks! 

I hope you experienced another amazing week at UHCL. As usual, mine was very busy!  

 On Tuesday, I co-facilitated an event with my friend Izuh. The event, 22713471_10210592924720852_2222722775525502344_o_preview.jpegUnderstanding Power and Oppression” was part of Student Leadership, Involvement, Community and Engagement’s (SLICE) Social Justice Dinner Dialogue series. Yolanda Barnes, the coordinator for SLICE, asked the Social Justice Organization if we wanted to facilitate, so we did! It was a really great experience. We held amazing, genuine conversations about our privilege and how we can utilize it in terms of social justice. Plus, there was delicious pad thai! 

 

The next day, the SJO discussed hot topic issues, like sexual harassment in Hollywood, misrepresentation of Hispanics in the media and the presence (or lack thereof) of LGBTQ on campus. I’m happy to announce that, for the time being, the LGBTQ Student Coalition will be a part of SJO! We will provide a space for people who want to have these conversations about LGBTQ and be able to build community.  

 

On Thursday, I spoke at the student panel for Hawks Embracing Leadership. It was an amazing experience, where I was able to openly and honestly discuss my experience on campus in terms of diversity. It was refreshing to hear students with genuine answers. The Dean of Students David Rachita and Associate Vice President Darlene Biggers also attended which made the conversation that much more impactful. It’s one thing to talk about these issues to your friends, and another to talk about them with people who actually have the power to make a large change. Another great part of the experience was that we got to have a small meeting after the panel in the Faculty Club. I didn’t even know that place existed! It’s so fancy and beautiful.  

 

On Friday, I left for my Leadership Retreat! This was a powerful experience for me. Attending as a facilitator, I thought that I wouldn’t really get as much out of it as I did last time as a participant. I thought I’d be helping others learn, but not really having anything to learn myself. I was wrong! I was challenged, motivated, and pushed to grow. It’s been an amazing experience. I strengthened the meaningful connections I already obtained by going to this retreat. 

 

As you can see, it was a really busy week. Next week will be just as busy but less exciting, considering it’s exam week…again. 

 

Until next time Hawks! 

–  Natalia