Archive for November, 2011
I’m back again, guys. Hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving break! It’s almost time for finals, don’t freak out just yet. You can do this. Before you decide to do that just read my article first, okay?
So today I decided to make a continuation of my last post on hallmates. In my last post I covered how to meet your mates and make friends with them. In this post I think I am going to cover how to maintain that friendship (or help it grow) with activities. Or, basically, what to do while hanging out.
Not all of us have cars and not all of us can go to places that are not on campus. Either we have a lack of transportation or we’re just plain broke. In times like that, how do we hang out with friends who are in the same situation?
Here are a list of some of the things that I thought of off the top of my head, as well as some suggestions from several of my hallmates whom I’ve decided to ask:
Play videogames, play board games, organise a movie night, dress up/make up sessions (and take pictures), share stories and experiences (bonding time), doing hair/nails, eating competitions, cooking, hide and go seek, tell scary stories, sing karaoke, make prank calls.
I can’t write about all of them or else this will be a really long blog post. So I’ll pick a favourites of mine.
- Organise a movie night
- Call up a few mates, schedule a time so everyone can get their homework done ahead of time, clean your room, buy some snacks, and pick your movie! This is my favourite activity because usually the movie is something that my friends and I will are enjoy, and it’s interesting to see how different people react to different things that they see on the screen.It’s cheap, you’ll can have fun in the comfort of your own room, and it’ll allow your friends to come and be more familiar with your living space, and everyone can take turns hosting the nights so you will all have been to each other’s rooms by then. I usually schedule my movie nights around 8pm, so that we can all be in bed by 10 or 11 for class the next day. Don’t forget to buy a few snacks so you guys have something to munch on while watching the screen. It would be fun to turn off your lights and try to emulate a movie theatre as much as possible.
- How can someone NOT like to play video games? Okay, there are some people out there like that. But playing with multiple people is usually fun, either it be the Wii, the Playstations, DS’s, etc. I only play my DS Lite and I haven’t touched my Playstation 2 in a few years, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to snatch it out and connect it to the TV so my friends can have a little fun.
If none of your mates have a TV in their rooms, you should totally take the game night into the common room! The TVs there should be bigger and you would have more space to play, jump around, and run (especially if you’re going to play Wii or Kinect). Perhaps others will even join you in the fun and that would be another way to make new acquaintances/friends and become more familiar with the people who live in your hall.
- Girls love to do this, but that doesn’t mean boys don’t do it either (I think?). It’s not like you just call up your friends over to your room specifically to share stories…at least I don’t do that. This is just something that happens naturally while you “hang out” in each other’s rooms. It’s a perfect bonding process that can help strengthened the friendship.
Share secrets, problems, past experiences, future dreams, etc. Basically talk about anything you want, it’s pretty self-explanatory. To share your words and to hear the words of others is entertaining and interesting in of itself and it allows you to better know the other person. Who wouldn’t want that? And oh, nothing wrong with bringing out a few snacks or two. People love food.
- Oh my gosh, I absolutely LOVE to sing karaoke. If you have an actual video game that allows you to do this then go for it and set it up in your room, your friend’s room, or the common room. If you don’t, just blast some music and sing along. Granted that this is NOT during Quiet Hours, of course.
Singing karaoke with a group of friends is one of those moments where you can be as silly as you want and not have to worry about embarrassing yourself since it’s pretty much a free pass to do, say, and sing in any manner you want. Maybe you can turn it into a little singing contest as well. Either way it is fun, and you can figure out what songs/artists you guys have in common or not in common.
Greetings, everybody! I, like your other ZotBloggers, hope all of you had an amazing Thanksgiving vacation filled with lots of food, friends, family, food, fun, relaxation, Black Friday shopping, and food.
Speaking of food, sometime last week, I made the brilliant decision to test out one of the famed “eateries” that had been hyped up and recommended by UCI students. It was a lazy weekday night. My homework was finished and I had no other important tasks to attend to, so I decided to treat myself to a movie day in the comforts of my own room. The only problem was, I was hungry.
… Even though I already had dinner.
My stomach protested as I rocked back in forth in my chair, carefully deliberating. “There’s nothing else to eat in the apartment… It’s too dark to go out now… Ugh, I’m in the mood for something filling…” Finally, with much debate, resistance, and eventually, surrendering, I succumbed to my strange, late-night desire for… Sushi?! At this time of night?!
I was appalled at myself for practically wanting a second meal, barely two hours after my first dinner. Nevertheless, I explored this rare opportunity to have sushi delivered to me at my doorstep. “Ippo Sushi, huh? Interesting, interesting. $15 minimum purchase?! WHAT. Fine…” And thus after an hour of deciding which rolls to choose to ensure that I got my money’s worth and asking a handful of friends whether I should click the “purchase” button, I ordered my very first fix of Ippo Sushi.
But of course, that was only the ordering part. I can assure you though, that from the moment I heard the melodious ding-dong! of my doorbell, things were much more exciting. Though $15 (not including tax and tip!) is a little bit on the pricey side for one person, you can easily split the order with your friends and eat just one roll. Or if you’re like me, you can have it all to yourself as a treat from time to time. Truthfully though, I think the fact that it’s sushi that’s being delivered to you, late at night, no less, is what really makes Ippo Sushi fantastically unique (I’ve never seen it anywhere else!) and worth the money. How could I tell? I’d never flown down three flights of stairs to get the door faster than when I ran for my sushi.
Being undecided/ undeclared can be a bit frightening. You do not know what to pursue here at UCI, might have no idea what you want to do in life, perhaps you feel completely clueless. Do not worry you are not alone, hundreds, even thousands of students here at UCI are not sure themselves. I personally thought I knew what I wanted, but then was not entirely sure. I was actually afraid of being undecided, I did not want to go to college not being attached to some type of career path, I thought I could get lost along the way. Today, what I thought I wanted to do is something I do not want to take a class in ever again! Funny to think about when compared to how I thought before coming here to UCI. That is the best thing about being an undecided/undeclared student though! The fact that you can be unsure, the fact that you are free to try different things, attached to nothing in particular. Being Undecided/Undeclared comes with its benefits too such as:
- Not having to be influenced towards classes for a certain major
- Possibility of becoming a U/U Zotblogger!
- Possibility of being in the U/U Mentorship Program
- Being a member of FYEP (First Year Excellence Program) Housing. Go Ondas!
- Having access to an amazing and caring staff willing to help with all your worries
- Being able to have mandatory and receive personal one on one advising
- Actually not having to worry for the future as much during freshman year
- Having access to workshops and other U/U services
I have experienced all of the above as a U/U student and after having nearly a whole quarter under my belt can say the U/U staff along with its opportunities prove to be some of the greatest aspects here at UC Irvine. Being part of the FYEP housing (ONDAS!) is one of the best opportunities, actually allowing you to have more contact than any other students to the immensely supportive U/U staff here at UCI. You can think of our staff here as academic wizards because together they form magic to clear all your worries (cheesy, I know). Truly though I would take being an Undecided/Undeclared student here at UCI over any assurance from a major any day because going through this time, despite all my issues, the staff has actually been there. The staff cooperates and communicates with you, and refers you to all the right places on campus if there are better services for your issue.
There should be no fear in being unsure of what you came to do here in college, to tell you the truth that is what we are here for, to learn what we want to do with our lives. To find out who we are, what we are good at, what that special something is that we were meant to do with our lives. Hopefully those of you coming or currently in UCI can find that with this knowledge, no matter what major you come to UCI with, even if you have no idea what you want to do, that if you stay strong, stay dedicated, and test the waters, will find out what you really want to do with your life. Best of luck to you all, and know if you made it here to UCI, it was for a reason.
Care to know more? Find all the information you need here -http://www.due.uci.edu/uu/- at the U/U official website. Take care and hope you all had a great holiday break!
-Your UCI Zotblogger Carlos
The fear of not being able to study as you prefer. It may come to mind, it may not, but in college one should consider alternatives to the comfort of the college dorm. As you become immersed in the college experience it will be clear that people will find time and ways to incorporate fun into their schedule. That time may turn out to be the time you choose to study. What are you supposed to do when noise level rises during your study hours? Well the main options would include:
- Putting some headphones with music/ earplugs
- Asking the people nearby to be quiet and respectful to you
- Go to a different floor in your housing complex
- Go outside somewhere in the campus
- Decide to visit one of the study centers on campus
All of these options can be useful in their own way depending on the situation but one will find out the study centers prove to be the most efficient for your studying needs. I personally have used the first option most, but I have found UCI’s study centers vary no matter where you on campus. I have personal experience with the MAC (Mesa Academic Center) which is the study center for Mesa Court residents. Personally I enjoyed this housing study center because of its convenience and comfortable setting with a variety of seats. Middle Earth housing has their own share of this as well with Arkenstone, and Buckleberry. Middle Earth’s study centers allow 24/7 access, while the MAC closes at midnight. My suggestion, unless you prefer your dorm room, is to utilize the housing community’s study centers as their abundance of benefits places them at the top of the list even though there are more choices.
The are other fantastic locations to offer for studying here at UCI. If you need to study, and you know your housing’s study centers check out the local library on campus since we have several of them(Langston, Ayala science, Gateway, or other subject specific ones). I have to say from experience the Ayala Science Library allowed me to see how great the library study centers could be. There were many seats, private study rooms, and outlets for laptops. Hours vary as seen here - http://www.lib.uci.edu/about/hours/index.html - but there are still a variety of locations to find! The student center also contributes spots to get studying done, and actually are found to be pretty popular as the student center is where “all the action is” according to many people here on campus. The details on the student center’s offerings can be found here - http://www.confserv.uci.edu/students/study.php - as hours differ by normally an hour or two between each other’s closing time.
These alone are not the only study centers, more spots can be found or discovered all around UCI such as inside the Student Support Services 2 building, within the Cross Cultural Center, and all around Aldrich Park serves as a nice place to enjoy nature while studying (some hours are better than others though such as when the masses have gone to usual class hours). Hopefully those of you coming here to UCI can keep this college in mind, and those of you already here can take these options into consideration. Remember studying does matter, and being in a beneficial environment makes it only better.
-Your Zot Blogger Carlos
Hello everyone!!!! Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend. I had a great time back home catching up with family and friends. It was an awesome jam-packed 4 days with lots of fun. Finals are coming up soon and many students including myself have a lot of studying to do. Students tend to develop unhealthy habits during the final weeks of the quarter due to cramming and sleep deprivation. This week I’m going to teach you some tips you can use to prevent illness during times of pressure.
One of the first things you want to do when keeping yourself healthy is to get the minimum 8 hours of sleep you need for the next day. Without proper sleeping habits, your mind will not be able to function properly and your body is prone to more illness. Lots of students pull all-nighters the night before a midterm. This is probably one of the worst things to do and will guarantee poor brain stimulation the next day. Try not to sleep past your usual sleep schedule because no matter how many hours you make up for it, your body still feels unrested. That’s why if you sleep at 4AM and wake up at 12PM, your body is not completely rejuvenated.
Another tip for keeping healthy is to do some physical activity every day. Studies have proven that if you exercise and then study after, you greatly improve your ability to focus. Also, when you exercise, your body temperature is increased, giving you a refreshing feeling after you are finished.
The third tip is to maintain a healthy diet and to drink plenty of water. Eating enough is important because your body needs nutrition. Without the proper diet, your immune system is weakened, making it easier to get sick. Staying hydrated with water is essential for feeling active and restored.
If you follow these 3 tips, I can guarantee that your studying and health will improve. It’s never too late to begin being healthy and increase your academic success.
Good luck to everyone on their finals and I wish you all a wonderful week!
Zot Zot Zot!!!!!
- Dennis A.K.A. Denny Han
Hi everyone! I hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving break whether it involved eating lots of yummy food, doing some hardcore shopping, watching the football games, or just spending some quality time with family and friends. Anyways, I’m here this week to talk about a simple yet fun aspect of college: spending time in the dorms.
Now, most people typically think of dorms as a place to sleep, eat, and maybe even study once in a while. However, the dorms also provide ways for people to interact with each other. One of the key reasons why I wanted to live in the dorms was so that I could have that social experience. While I am not a social butterfly, I feel like I’ve truly become a more open person these last few months thanks to my fellow hall mates as well as my RA (Residential Adviser).
Of course, every dorm is different. Some are more quieter than others, and some are more crazier than others. However, in the long run, you’ll get to know people and even gain some new friends and/or study buddies. Whether you are playing videogames with each other in the common room, cooking together in the kitchen, or simply chatting in the hallways, you are bound to enjoy the dorms. The halls allow you to meet new, diverse people, and I personally think it’s comforting to live with other students especially as a freshman when you can lean on each other for support.
Even if you don’t live in the dorms, you can still benefit from them! In fact, many halls welcome outsiders whether they are from other dorms, commute, or live off campus. Loma, my dorm, especially has a lot of adoptees, some of whom I see even more than some people who actually live there! So, if you ever want to see for yourself what the dorms are like, just ask someone you know who lives in them and invite yourself over. People in the halls are generally hospitable to outsiders and are more than happy to have their company even for hall activities. If you don’t know anyone living in the halls, you are more than welcome to come over to Loma in Mesa Court (just say that Sabaa invited you).
If you want more information on living in the dorms, I highly suggest you read the blog posts by my fellow Zot Blogger Vanda, for she writes about dorm life.
Well, that about wraps up this week’s blog post. Have a great week everyone, and best of luck studying for finals!
Zot zot zot!
Hello everyone!!!! Hope you all had a terrific weekend. I’m so excited to finally go home in a couple of days for Thanksgiving!!! It’s going to be absolutely amazing to see friends and family again. Since last week, I have already started preparing myself for the nonstop eating that is soon to take place. I will be grubbing and gorging to my heart’s content. Speaking of food, this week I will be talking to you all about an awesome place in Irvine where you can get all kinds of delicious grub.
Last Monday my friends and I didn’t make it in time for Mesa Court Common’s dinner, so we decided to find food elsewhere. Of course, finding food without discrepancy among four grown, young adults was exceptionally challenging but we all came to an agreement to grub tough at Diamond Jamboree, a plaza filled with a variety of different restaurants. Some of these restaurants include Guppy House, Original Buffalo Wings, and Ajisen Ramen. A lot of us were in the mood for noodles that night so we ended up going to Ajisen Ramen which is known for their incredibly flavorful noodle soups. When we were finally seated inside Ajisen Ramen, I immediately started looking at the menu that had a variety of different options. Even within every option more options would appear which made it even more exciting. After looking for a good while, I came to a conclusion of getting the spicy beef noodle soup recommended by my friend Rani. After all, recommendations are the safest way to eat your money’s worth. When the big bowl of ramen came and I took my first bite, I was blown away by the taste. It was a mouth-watering taste of both the beef and spiciness together.
After finishing our meal, we took a picture with the waiter and thanked her for the service she provided for us. On top of her awesome service it turned out that she was a UCI alumnus which made our experience all the more pleasant. To finish the night, we headed to Lollicup, a boba and tea shop in the same Diamond Jamboree plaza. It’s always good to end the night with some good boba milk tea.
Diamond Jamboree has a lot of good food to offer and I strongly encourage those of you who haven’t been there to go check it out. It is around 4 miles away from campus and is worth the drive for the gourmet food.
Have a great Thanksgiving and happy holidays!!!!
-Dennis A.K.A. Denny Han
Hallmates are the people you will be living with for the rest of theyear. All of you have something in common and that is you live in the same hall, and your relationship can grow if you put effort into it. Even if none of your hallmates are in any of your classes, it shouldn’t stop you from befriending them. It is a good idea to try to at least know people who are in your suite, because you might never know when you will need help/advice/a shoulder to cry on, etc.
The boys/girls who live in your suite should be easy enough to befriend, because you would usually come into the most contact with them on a daily basis. There is the front door neighbor, the next door neighbor, the two doors town neighbor, etc. Here are some suggestions as to how to boost your points with each person, eventually allowing you to become actual friends with them. As always, choose your friends wisely and put your trust in the people you feel that you can rely on.
- Introduce yourself.
- This is something I saw a girl in my suite did on the very first night of our being there and I thought it was a great idea. When you think it is appropriate (when everyone is in their rooms), go to every single door in your suite and just knock. Introduce yourself when they answer. Give them a cheery hello, “my name is…”, and “I live in Room ___”. It’s a good way for people to just get to know you fundamentally, and because you took the initiative of going to them first, it makes them feel more comfortable to come and talk to you later.
- Say hello.
- Even if you are going to the bathroom or just walking to your class, if you are in your hallway and you see another mate be sure to say hello. Saying hello every time ensures–usually–that they will remember you, and they might start a conversation with you, which in turn could lead to a whole list of other things. Even if they don’t know your name, you will still be “that mate who says hi to me all the time”, and eventually they will probably ask for your name.
- Each hall usually has different activities that they do as a group on a weekly basis. Though you do not have to go to them, as they are not mandatory, it is a nice way to get to know the other people who are in your hall and not in your suite. Since everyone is doing one activity (perhaps playing video games, baking cookies, watching a movie), you already have something you could mutually talk about. These activities also open up opportunities for you to knock on your neighbor’s door and ask if they want to join you, giving you another free ticket to making friends without feeling awkward.
- Bake/Cook something…
- …and offer it to everyone in your suite (or just a few people if you don’t want to make too much food). It has always been said that food is the best way for people to bond, so this sounds like a wonderfully cute idea. Maybe during midterms week or the week before Thanksgiving you could bake a batch of cookies and offer a small bag to each person in your suite. Not only will it be a nice way for you to show them that you want to be better neighbors, it is also a nice surprise that might just make their day.
- The possibility of you running into a hallmate at one of your club meetings isn’t all too unlikely. I made friends with someone who lives in my hall (but not my suite) thanks to our Students For Animals and Pets meetings. In my case, SFAP is a nice way to socialise with that particular hallmate because sometimes I just don’t have the time to go to her suite. Once again, the club/organisation will open about give another form of common ground for you and your hallmate. You already live in the same hall, now you’re in the same club? That highly suggests that you are interested in the same thing, a conversation can surely start this way!
Hallmates are potential friends who will make your first year as a student of UCI an even better experience that it already should be. Like said before, they will be living with you for the rest of the year, and there are so many things you can do as buddies. Some hang out ideas will be addressed in my next post. For now, have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!
Dong, dong, dong, dong! A subtle smile lifted my face as I passed by the Student Center on my way to the shuttle stop to head home. I slowed my pace down to a stroll to listen to every resonating chime, relishing in those deep, satisfying tolls. It was four o’clock in the afternoon, and it was made very noticeably so. The bell tower that stands elegantly at one of the corners of UCI was one of the first things on campus that captivated my attention and excited me more than it probably should have.
To be rather frank, my fondness of the Student Center Bell Tower is rather unexplainable.
Perhaps it has to do with the security of knowing that every hour of the day can be accounted for by those bells. If ever I were to mindlessly forget my cellphone or wristwatch, I know that I can always rely on that faithful bell tower (not so much if I wanted to be punctual to class, though!).
Maybe, it’s the way it serves as an instrument of order and regularity that, in a small way, unifies our school and its people and all of the different happenings occurring simultaneously.
Or perhaps, it is the way those stately chimes make me feel more collegiate, especially when the autumn chill nips at my cheeks and the back of my hand, exposed because it’s clutching cup of piping hot Starbucks. I’m quite sure it’s all of the above, though.
Speaking of time though, there isn’t much of it before school lets out for Thanksgiving break and promptly after that, the eagerly awaited Winter Break. Max it out before the holidays, everyone! It’ll be worth it.
Hello everyone! I hope you all had a lovely week. Wow, can you believe it’s week 9 already?! It seems like I have only been here at UCI for a week instead of two months! Anyways, for this blog post, I will be discussing the dance performance I attended on Friday night called “New Slate” as well as the UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts in general.
Now, until this past weekend, I had never seen a dance performance before, so I didn’t hold many expectations. In fact, I anticipated seeing mainly ballet and other classical dances. Whew, boy was I wrong.
It turned out that “New Slate” featured quite a variety of dances. From ballet to jazz to Latino to other forms of dance that I couldn’t even identify, all the performances blew my mind away. All the dances were choreographed by graduate students and performed by the undergraduates. The outfits were flashy and eccentric, and I extol all the dancers for maintaining such immense energy while being graceful at the same time.
I definitely enjoyed the performance and will do my best to attend more of UCI’s dance performances. I also urge you all to do the same even if you aren’t into dance or even the arts in general. Students get discounted tickets, and some of the performances held by the Claire Trevor School of the Arts are free. Whether you are a huge fan of the arts or simply want to get a first look into them, you should definitely check out the dance performances, music concerts, and more. It’s one thing to attend an event, but it’s even more exciting to see your fellow students performing. I definitively felt that way on Friday night, for two of my dorm mates happened to be in the event, and I’ll make sure to watch them in future performances.
Well, that about wraps up my blog post. If you want more information on the School of the Arts, upcoming events, and more, click on this link: http://www.arts.uci.edu/
Have a great week everyone, and I hope you all have a fun, safe Thanksgiving break!
Zot zot zot!
This week I will address my fear that I would not have time for three square meals in the midst of my busy college schedule. Freshmen at times can be overwhelmed with work, immerse themselves in clubs, and surround themselves with things to do. Sometimes eating does not fall into the equation. There have been times when I have gone nearly an entire day without eating due to all the college stuff I deal with. This week’s post will give you some tips to make sure you keep up with food amidst the great whirlwind that is college.
First off there are a variety of locations where you can eat here at UCI. There are two locations in the Middle Earth freshmen housing which include Brandywine Commons, and Pippin, along with Mesa Court housing’s own Mesa Commons. You may want the meal plan to receive the treasures of the commons, but fear not there is flexibility with three different meal plans, and the option to pay on your own time when you want to eat at any of these locations. Extra times to eat are offered between normal meal times when commons offers a limited selection of options. (go Mesa Commons for late night!)
Meal plans also include FlexDine dollars. FlexDine dollars help when you want a bit of variety as UCI has an abundance of on campus locations and nearly all accept FlexDine dollars. A few of our options include Quiznos, Subway, Wendy’s, Wahoo’s, Panda Express, along with Jamba Juice, Starbucks, and much more. I found myself eating several times at these nice little locations around campus before a class, and enjoy the convenience of having FlexDine dollars. If you are willing to pay for food out of pocket, there are also a variety of restaurants at the University Town Center nearby and close to campus.
Some other tips for fitting food into your busy schedule:
- Order a takeout meal from commons
- Bring snacks
- Keep small, easy to make meals in your dorm
- Buy food on Ring Road from a club holding a fundraiser
I hope I have provided you with useful knowledge for how to make times for meals in college. See you next blog!
P.S. There are themed meals at commons several times throughout the year! Check them out!
- your zot blogger Carlos
Hello, everyone! How were midterms? Hopefully not too stressful? Today I’m here to briefly talk about a term that most, if not all, college students should be familiar with. Quiet Hours. It is a specific period of time where all noise and voices should be kept at a reasonably low level, almost like in a library, so not to disturb hall members who are trying to sleep, study, or simply relax. The day time is usually hectic and loud, so for some people quiet hours is a blessing.
For both Mesa Court and Middle Earth, quiet hours are in accordance to this sign…
But not everyone follows the rules, do they? While some people can sleep and study through loud noises and the likes, others cannot. So when it comes to dealing with noises that shouldn’t exist during quiet hours, here are a few suggestions on how to handle it.
- Ask the person(s) to keep it down.
- A natural response. If a person is playing their music, laughing, or talking too loudly it is only logical to think that one would go out and ask them to lower their volume, right? Keep in mind, however, to be polite with your words and body language so you don’t instigate any unnecessary conflict.
- Your RA is the big brother, the big sister of our Hall. They make and set the rules and whatever they say goes. Though I would suggest you only go to your RA after the previous suggestion fails. And no, this is college so that won’t be considered “tattle-telling”.
- These things are extremely useful, especially in sudden situations (example would be when a friend of mine used them during a six hour fire drill in Middle Earth). Though I don’t think it is a common item amongst students to have in their rooms, I suggest you to go and buy a pair because they really are a good investment.
- Another alternative if you don’t have earplugs is to simply plug in your earphones (or headphones), with or without the music playing. With the music turned on, it could help block or drown out any unwanted outside noises. With the music off, the outside noises would sound muffled. It’s a nice alternative if you do not own any earplugs, it’s also what I do most of the time.