Spring Break 2017

Hey, Hawks!

What a week! Spring break 2017 was an amazing experience. It may not have started out too great, but it was a nice break from all of the nonstop homework assignments. And no, it was not a party week like the media portrays spring break to be. For me, it was a mini vacation full of family, fun and beautiful scenery.

A college student gets stressed out a lot, so it is always nice to have a week-long break within each semester. Fall has Thanksgiving break and spring has—well—spring break! It is what keeps me sane throughout the semester, kind of like a type of aspirin for college students.

The week before spring break was terrible. I was in a car accident… again. That is two in less than a year! I sometimes think my car is bad luck. Luckily, spring break helped me relieve some of that stress. During the break, my family and I were able to visit a new part of Mexico that I had never visited before—a small town near the outskirts of San Luis Potosi, which is known as Santiburcio. I have to say that the rivers and waterfalls in this town are a sight to see! The three days that we stayed there were full of non-stop fun. It was definitely the break that I deserved.  spring-break-clip-art-5-spring-break-clip-art-1600_999.png

My weekly favorite for this week was the new cultural snacks that I was able to experience. Growing up in a Mexican household, I was taught to eat a lot of weird food combinations. For example, my taste buds have gotten used to all of the spices and hot condiments. A lot of people find it weird when I drown my fruits in chili powder. “How can you eat that?” is a question that I get too often. Something new that I had not previously tried before but were able to taste this week are these potato sticks that are covered in hot sauce. Imagine a long cotton candy stick, except with a spiraled potato instead of spun sugar.  It tastes like a combination of a French fry and a potato chip—this has to be the greatest invention to date!

I hope that everyone else had an amazing spring break as well. Although many of us might not be too fond of returning back to classes, the end is near, so just stay strong for a few more weeks! Have a great week, fellow Hawks!

-Eric

 

College Superpowers!

Welcome back, Hawks!

This semester has been very wonky to say the least. It has never stable. I am constantly checking to see if something new came up. I seem to be super stressed out all the time for the littlest of things. College has been a tough journey, but luckily I adapted and am using the college skills to the max.

No one really talks about the super powers college students get when they journey toward getting their degree. I mean, I have learned to estimate exactly how long it will take to finish an assignment. I have mastered this and used it to my advantage in many classes. Another skill that I have personally accomplished (many might not have acquired this skill yet) is being able to write a 300 page paper in less than 5 hours. It is amazing what the human mind can do. OK—fine, I might be exaggerating it a bit. Nevertheless, I have heard stories of students writing lengthy reports in little to no time. It is as if I am able to freeze time and actually get work done (otherwise known as focusing).

With a new week comes a new weekly favorite. Ever since the year began, I have been trying my best to not indulge in sugary sweets or fatty chips. I surprisingly have been keeping up with that, but there are those occasional times where I slip up. Luckily, I discovered Veggie Chips this past week. They taste great—if not better than regular potato chips, in my opinion. The fact that they are so low in calories and fat compared to other chip brands is amazing. I love eating them with juice squeezed from half and lime and some Mexican hot sauce. The sauce really helps bring out the flavors. I can now eat as many chips as I please. (Just kidding! A serving is 38 chips). They are $3.49, which may be a bit pricey for a college student, but I guarantee you that they are worth it!

Well, that is it for this week, fellow Hawks. I hope you all enjoy mid-term season—use those college superpower skills!

 

 

NODA Is an Amazing Experience

Hey Hawks!

 

I hope you had another great week on campus. Mine has definitely been eventful. It feels like every week this semester is packed with so many events and extracurricular activities. I suppose this is the result of becoming a lot more active on campus. I definitely cannot say that I regret it.

 

Did you guys see the Go Texan Day event on Wednesday? It was super fun. I only stopped by for an hour, but I enjoyed it a lot. They had so many games, including hillbilly golf (which I did not know was a thing), lassoing, a memory game, a horseshoe toss and a mechanical bull. I also heard that the food was really good.

 

I could not stay at the event for long because I had several things to do, including a PHSA (Pre-Health and Science Association) meeting and an Orientation Leader training. The PHSA meeting was really informative and interesting. Someone from Career Services came to talk to us about our possible careers in the health industry, how we can learn more about them and what steps to take to reach them. The Orientation Leader training was fun too, though. I got to meet some other Orientation Leaders and learn a little more about what I will be doing this upcoming summer.

 

The OL training was a good way to start the week because on Friday, some of us went to NODA, which is a conference in Dallas focused on orientation, transition and retention of incoming students.  It was super fun! Students from universities in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri attended the conference, which made us a very diverse group of around 600. The 3-day conference included fun socials (like casino night, lip sync battle and a glow dance), school spirit activities (shirt swaps, school chants and school trading cards) and educational sessions. The educational sessions were hosted by either faculty or students, and centered on topics ranging from “How do we get commuter students more involved on campus?” to “What are the possible consequences of orientation leaders dating each other?”

 

For me, the best part about NODA was learning about other campus’s traditions and orientation methods. It made me feel really excited about seeing UHCL and its orientation program grow.

 

Another thing I should add is that I have been considerably sick this week. I know, I know – when am I not sick? Thankfully, I caught it early and took antibiotics right away. It seems like I am getting a lot better, which is perfect because I cannot afford to miss school. I am still a little sniffly and coughy, but that is nothing I cannot deal with.

 

Until next time Hawks,

Natalia

So Many Meetings!

Hey, Hawks!

I hope that you all had another great week at school. Mine has been very eventful and exciting! Thankfully, I only had one exam this week, so it was already off to a good start.

On Saturday, I walked around Bay Area Park, looking at birds for a birdwatching assignment. It was such a peaceful and interesting experience. I used to think that birdwatching was boring and, frankly, kind of lame; but while I was walking around, I found myself having a really nice time. The weather was lovely, there were so many families at the park, and I had the company of my best friend and girlfriend. We spotted several birds that we did not know the names of, so we used a cool app called Audobon Birds to identify them. The app not only included the species name and picture, but also a brief description, a map of where they are found, and even an audio of what they sound like.

On Tuesday, I volunteered at The Office Viewing Party, hosted by CAB. This was the final step of finally becoming an official CAB member. It was exciting because now I get to be in a specific committee. They put me in the Entertainment Committee, which is actually what I wanted.

On Thursday, I had my first CAB Entertainment Committee meeting! Later that day, I attended the Kahoot Trivia Night, also hosted by CAB. I won a couple of times, but since I became an official CAB member, I was not actually allowed to get a prize. Regardless, it was super fun and they had colorful waffles.

Afterwards, I attended the Flash Fiction event, hosted by the Writing Center in front of the UHCL Art Gallery. Faculty from the Humanities department read poetry inspired by the art currently on exhibition. This was followed by an open mic. It was a beautiful event altogether and I am very glad that I got a chance to witness it. I was inspired to write a poem myself during a 15 minute break between guest speakers and the open mic. I wish I could have read it out, but I did not have time. The poem will now just exist on my iPhone notes app until I find out what to do with it. I have submitted a few pieces to The Signal, but this particular poem is a bit personal and I do not know if I want it online. Either way, I think that just the process of writing (or typing) it out brought me a sense of serenity.

On Friday, I had a Chili Cook-Off Committee meeting, where we finally picked our team and chili recipe. Then, HLI second-years got together with other student leaders and we went on a leadership retreat. We stayed at Trinity Pines, which is incredibly beautiful, and had a truly amazing time together. There are no words I can think of to describe how moving, motivating, inspiring, and heartwarming the experience was. I learned a lot about myself – both as a leader and a person. It was, without a doubt, the best retreat I have ever been to. There were no dull moments or times I wished I could be somewhere else. I was exactly where I wanted to be and I was doing exactly what I wanted to do – grow.

The Leadership Retreat is hosted by SLICE and offered every Spring semester. There is an application process and small fee, but it is definitely worth it. I highly recommend this retreat to every student at UHCL.

That is pretty much everything that I did this week. I hope that y’all had great moments too.

Until next time, Hawks!

– Natalia

A Week Full of Reflections

Hey everybody!

We are slowly heading into the sixth week of the semester. Mid-terms should have arrived by now—if not, be patient, it should only take two business days. This past week was full of reflections and a new weekly favorite!

With time going by faster than the speed of light, it seems that senior year is going to be here in no time. This is what has been terrifying me during the last couple of weeks. What scares me the most is how I am going to have to face the “real world” once I graduate. This includes looking for a job, finding a home, finding a spouse—whoa, maybe I am getting too far into the future.

Throughout my entire life, I have only ever gone to school, so it makes sense that I am not looking forward to moving on. The truth is that I am a bit scared to not be able to hold my mommy’s hand anymore. Of course, my mother would always want to have me at home if it were up to her. As a Latino, my family has always been very overprotective, even to this day. So one of the things that I am looking forward to is that I will have most of my freedom after I graduate as well as (hopefully) a successful career. Graduation is going to be a bittersweet feeling—only a year and ¼ left.

With the end of the week, comes my new weekly favorite. This week’s feature is a show full of deceptions. I love a good mystery/romance show and Imposters is the perfect blend of the two genres. The show focuses on a woman who has become an expert at the craft of manipulation. She makes people fall in love with her and then marries into the wealth that they have. Within little time, she has robbed them of every cent. I will not spoil too much, but I do have to say it is worth the watch. Imposters airs on Tuesdays at 9:00 PM Central Time on the Bravo Network.

That is all for this week, Hawks! Have a great week and tackle those mid-terms. Show them who is boss!

See you!

Eric

 

 

 

 

 

A Week Full of Surprises

Hey, Hawks!

Another week; another level of stress added to the workload. College has given me enough pain that it has numbed my body. I seem to expect to stay up late and cry every time I overlook an assignment. Nonetheless, I always make it through. This past week was full of healthy choices, a sharp schedule, and a new weekly favorite.

I have some great news! This past week marked my 6th consecutive week of sticking to my workout regimen. My journey to a healthier lifestyle started this past January. Eating healthier and exercising daily has given me more energy. I feel like I can focus better in classes and even get my homework done earlier. It has not been an easy task, though. Junk food is extremely tempting—trust me—but once I learned to resist I craved it less and less. A healthy snack that I love to eat is fresh cucumber sliced and seasoned with chili powder and a squeeze of lemon. Take notes, guys, I am the next Gordon Ramsey.

Classes have surprisingly been getting easier as the weeks go by. Once I get used to a weekly pattern of tasks, my days seem to go smoother. I never realized that organization and time management actually worked as much as people said. I need to pay more attention to the tips I find around UHCL.

maxresdefaultNow, let us move on to my new weekly favorite: This past week, I was in love with the news that a brand new Legend of Zelda game was coming out soon. I am the number one Legend of Zelda fan, so it was a surprise that I had not heard of this before. The new game in the series is the most brilliant one yet. So much is changing in the Zelda universe; the massive universe has finally been given the detail it deserved. The title is launching on March 3, 2017 along with the new videogame console the Nintendo Switch.

Well, that is it for this week. Be prepared for those sneaky finals. Study up as much as possible, but also squeeze in a couple of breaks in between. I hope that you all have a great week! Go Hawks!

-Eric

 

 

 

Getting Ready for the Chili Cook-Off

Hey Hawks!

I hope that you all have had another great week. Mine consisted of four exams, so you can bet I am really exhausted. It is hard to stay motivated sometimes when so many things seem to be going on at once and you feel like you cannot catch up. Luckily, I have a great group of family and friends who serve as my support system when times get tough.

Do not worry—I will not bore you guys with a long list of exams and the biological terms that I had to study. I had four exams and, now that they are over, I am so ready to move on. I will admit that I did not do my best on them and that is, ironically, because I had so many things on my plate this week.

I have been pretty busy (but excited) planning and getting ready for the Chili Cook-Off. As the Team Captain of HLI’s Chili Cook-Off Team, I have started a committee to vote for our theme and chili recipe. I am also looking into how much everything will cost, planning what decoration we will Cds76-YUIAAZvDv.pnghave, and what costumes we are going to wear. I am really excited about the whole thing.

Another thing—I have suddenly become the leader of a new student organization! I am president and founder of a student organization focused on student activism, specifically concentrating on social justice issues. This all started when I attended the Day of Action workshop on campus. It was really inspiring and motivating to be surrounded by like-minded individuals with the same drive to make a difference in the world. I am very excited to be spearheading this new organization and hope to make our presence known on campus.

On Thursday, I also attended a UHCL Music Club meeting, which was really fun. It is exciting to see the members preparing for their big upcoming concert in April. You guys will have to keep an eye out for that because you will not want to miss it!

That is all for this week. Until next time, Hawks!

-Natalia