Archive for April, 2015

Nigerian Student Coalition Conference

This weekend I attended a conference at UCR called NSCC( Nigerian Student Coalition Conference) . Every year for the past three years a UC has held this conference in efforts to create a stronger network of Nigerian students on different campus’. The conferenceIMG_8526-1 also gives students an opportunity to not only network amongst themselves, but amongst renowned individuals within the community.

In attendance was students from : UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, UC Merced, Cal Poly, and Cal State Fullerton. In total there was near 100 people at the conference.

From Friday to Sunday we attended workshops pertaining to cultural subjects as well as workshops focused around the individual. Personally I took away quite a few new ideas and have widened my network of other Nigerian students.

It is not everyday that you get to surround yourself with others who identify with you and can relate to your ups and downs. Although it is extremely important to diversify yourself, I believe that it is also important to maintain your culture, whatever it may be.

zotfingers -Nicole

Celebrate UCI

celebrateEnjoy dancing? Enjoy food? Enjoy interacting with other students?

Celebrate UCI was a major event that just recently took place. Celebrate UCI is campus tradition that is held on campus every year. Not only is it an event for current students, but it is also meant to welcome prospective students. The day is full of events, booths, and games all put together by student run organizations. It is really awesome to see everyone on campus coming together as a single entity.

A major event that took place was the car show. Even before the day of the event I heard students talking about it. Regardless of whether or not you are into cars, the car show would definitely have snagged your attention.

Celebrate UCI can also be thought of the “Open House” of UCI. There were campus tours available, student organizations talking about their clubs and initiative, and campus representatives showing off the school.

It was a perfect opportunity for perspectives and current students to just take a day off and come out to celebrate our beautiful campus.

 

zotfingers– Nicole

“What is the hardest part of college?”

Hello fellow Anteaters!

There is one question I’d like to tackle for this blog. A question that I seem to get asked as frequently as “how’s college going?”, and that would be: what is the hardest part about college?

And although there’s the difficulty of adjusting to dorm life, the campus, and the classes, or even the difficulty of the initial move away from home, I would say the hardest part is having to start over.

Yes, in regards to being a freshman again, but on the broader scope: goal setting. Since I was in elementary school, I knew I had to get good grades in order to be granted an acceptance to a four-year university. In high school, you become involved with all these extra-curricular activities for the sole purpose of a college acceptance letter (or email). But, what about once you get there? What’s the new goal? Many, like me, would say graduate school, but, and I say this without any discouragement, this idea of graduate school changes once you start college and interact with upperclassmen. Graduate school is at a whole different level than undergraduate school that requires more commitment and discipline that what we face in our undergrad studies.

What I’m trying to get at is that, the hardest part of college is trying to find my long-term goal, because without that long-term goal, I feel lost as to what I should become involved with on campus. It’s no only about “what looks good” on my resume, but what will give me the experience I need for my long-term goal. At this point, I don’t know if I want to go onto graduate school, law school, or go straight into the workforce, but if I decide on the latter, then the question then becomes: what would be my career path?

I know this blog is different from my others, but I wanted to voice my initial/current struggle. It’s reassuring that I’m not the only one who feels this way, and I’m optimistic that as I continue my studies at UCI, I’ll slowly begin to develop that long-term goal. For now, I’ll have to be content with setting short-term goals (e.g. passing my last quarter of HumCore with an “A” or running for a board position in my sorority).


All the best,

Jazmin.

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Celebrate UCI

Hello fellow Anteaters!

Yesterday UCI hosted their annual “Celebrate UCI” event. “Celebrate UCI” was not only opened for current UCI students but for our incoming freshmen as well. The event kicked off with the presentation of the Hydrogen Bus. Unlike our current Anteater shuttles, the hydrogen-fueled bus does not release pollutants into the air. Our Vice Chancellor, Dr. Parham, was our key-note speaker for such moment, addressing UCI’s contribution to a healthier and “greener” environment.

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As exciting as the introduction to UCI’s new bus, it was not as nearly as exciting as the Wayzgoose portion of the day. Aldrich Park was filled with student-led booths interacting with the public with activities, information, and food! So much food! Tamales, rice balls, caramel apples, and tacos are just some of the few varieties of food UCI’s organizations and clubs had to offer us. And if food wasn’t enough, many of our student athletes were present as well, taking pictures with other students and future Anteaters!

Although I didn’t get to venture out and appreciate the car show up close, “Celebrate UCI” was a fun and fitting way to rally current students and our future students together to show our pride for UCI and celebrating our fiftieth anniversary. It was also a nice way to de-stress many of our fellow Anteaters who are going into midterms this upcoming week.

 

 

 

 

 

All the best,

Jazmin.

A Weekend with SigDelts

Hello fellow Anteaters!

My spring break was not like my fellow Zot Blogger, Nicole, who got to venture out and visit China! My week, unlike hers, was very uneventful, but it was nice just being able to do nothing and spend time with my parents and my brother. Given that, I would much rather talk about my retreat this past weekend!

Friday afternoon, the ladies of Sigma Delta Sigma and I embarked on our journey to Dana Point for a weekend at a beach house. Before this, I had never gone on a retreat so I had no idea what to expect, especially since it was a two-day-three-nights thing. We shared many laughs and bonding time though, that the tiring trip was worth it.

On Saturday we headed out to Salt Creek Beach. Despite the fact that the beach was only five minutes from the house, a couple of girls managed to get lost. They ended up on the other side of the beach searching for us, for an hour, I might add. One thing about the SigDelts people should know is that they love food, and when I say “love”, I mean love. To put it in perspective, when UCI gave undergraduate students without a meal plan a free pass to eat at the commons, they all took up an entire table and crowded it with food. Just when you think they would get full, they got up for another round, taking advantage of that one pass. With that being said, our retreat was full of delicious foods. We cooked and we went out to eat, but my favorite was pasta night.

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There were other moments of retreat where we were able to just sit down and talk, which was nice because many of the girls will be graduating by the end of this quarter. And even though I have only been an active member of the sorority for two quarters, I have already gotten attached to many of these girls who not only serve as mentors for me, but true sisters I can count on, vent out to, and share embarrassing moments with.

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All the best,

Jazmin.

Nicole Takes China

My Spring Break was kind of… AMAZING! Not only was it full of adventure, but the adventure took place in China! I can honestly say that my trip to China was life changing. I finally understand what it means to appreciate the little things in life. I can barely begin to put into words the different things I was exposed to. The many individuals that I met in China reignited my drive to not only become a doctor and serve those in third world countries, but they have given me a reason to. In life we often get so caught up in achieving certain goals that we often lose touch of why we are even doing them in the first place. As cliche as it may sound, I truly believe that the children I met in China have restored my sense of humanity.

The journey began early Tuesday morning. I can’t really describe all the emotions that were rushing through my body. It was like on one hand I was nervous, but on the other I was just ready to jump on thr flight and completely immerse myself into the unfamiliar culture. When we landed, it was like a whole new world, the language was different, the food was different, everything was different. BUT I LOVED IT. There is nothing like trying new things for the very first time. Nothing can compare to the moment you smell, see, or touIMG_1867ch something for the VERY first time. Above all, nothing compares to being able to help a complete stranger for the very first time.

So I guess I should get to the part of where I actually did things right? Ok, enough ranting. lol.

So the day we landed in Lanzhou province, we went to the hospital to meet the patients who were going to have the surgery the next day. We met the mother and father of two year old, “Zhenyu Tian”, and the mother of 4 year old, “Yue Ma”. It broke my heart to see such innocent young children have to be in the situation they were in. The pain in their parent’s eyes told it all. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t understand the language, I  knew that they were hurting deep inside.

The next day came and it was now surgery time. After being briefed on the conditions of the children, we suited up and prepared to watch the operation. I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that I was about to watch open heart surgery, but how can one even prepare themselves mentally for that type of thing? So I went in and there I was. Standing in the middle of the theatre watching as the doctor carefully carvFullSizeRendered an entrance into the child’s heart. I watched as the beats went from diseased to deceased. My heart dropped. Throughout the hour and a half operation, I stood watching as the doctors and nurses worked to save this childs life. It was a beautiful thing.

The next day in Lanzhou we went to visit past Ahi patients in the homes on the countryside. This was definitely the most eye opening experience for me. We watched as the families offered us literally everything they had. Their homes were made of clay, their food supply was lacking, and they collected water from the rain. I couldn’t believe the conditions they were subjected to. However, they didn’t let this break their spirits. They welcomed us with water bottles that cost half their years’ salary, and welcomed us with open hearts. This was the point where I felt my heart break. To them, they feel like we have changed their lives, but it was them who changed my mine. I admire them, and want to dedicate everything in my power to help them as well as many others in the same conditions across the world.

After the family visits we returned the the hospital to check on our patient who received the surgery. She was recovering quickly and you could see the transformation in her mother. She smiled, but this time from her heart. Her daughter doesn’t have to live in pain anymore and that is such a precious relief I will never forget.

The remainder of our trip was spent as tourists. We flew from Lanzhou to Shanghai and saw so much. From Shanghai we spent our last couple of days in Hong Kong. To put it into a few words, China was amazing!

 

zotfingers– Nicole  FullSizeRender-2 Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 15.13.06DSC_1480IMG_8425  IMG_8409

Dear Future Anteater

Dear Future Anteater!

From one Anteater to the next, I would formally like to welcome you! My name is Nicole and I am currently a first year Undecided/ Undeclared student here at UCI with hopes of pursuing bio. Aside from studying, my hobbies include getting involved on campus and hanging out with friends! Originally I’m from a small little town called Victorville. Ever heard of it? Yeah, not many have.. lol. I chose UCI for many reasons. Major determining factors that led me to UCI were the renowned faculty and departments, the school’s atmosphere, and the location.

Coming into college can definitely be exciting but also in many cases scary! One piece of advice that I always tell incoming students to do is to get as involved as HUMANLY possible over the summer. Around this time you should be receiving different invitations to come to campus and check out some programs. Other than SPOP, these programs will not only help you get acclimated with the campus, but it will also provide you with a network of friends! The summer before school started I came to a couple different programs on campus, but one that I really wish I attended was the “ Summer Start Program”. Mostly everyone that I talk to now say that it was an experience that they are truly glad they took advantage of. Another piece of advice is to talk to your TA’s. If you ever need help with a subject these people will do as much as they can to make sure you get the help you need! The biggest surprise for me was all of the opportunities. I have only been through ⅔ of my first year and I have already traveled to China! Needless to say however, in order to do things like this, you must be willing to put in the time and effort.

I cant believe that I am already in my last quarter as a freshman! Time flies! These past quarters have taught me a lot about myself. Through all of the trials and trivials, I have found my way and realized that I can do anything that I really put my heart into. Hope to see you on campus!

zotfingers– Nicoleunnamed-2

Welcome Freshmen!

Dear Future Anteater,

First and foremost, I would like to congratulate you on your acceptance to UCI! My name is Jazmin Reyes and this is my first year at UCI, and as a first year, I can definitely understand the process and the feelings you are currently experiencing. I came in as an Undecided/Undeclared student, but I have recently declared my major: Literary Journalism. I’m from Bakersfield, CA; it isn’t too far from here (which is one of the reasons I choose UCI), but it’s still far enough to where I can’t go home as often. I was immediately attracted to UCI because of it’s large campus. The city of Irvine is very UCI oriented, which is nice to get a small, college city feel. Irvine was actually ranked as one of the top ten safest cities in America. That’s right America. It’s a vibe you can just feel. After a basketball game, for instance, I feel very safe and comfortable walking back to my dorm or even to Jack-in-the-Box, which cannot be said when I’m back at home.

If there’s one thing I wish I would have known before selecting my first set of classes is that my perception, along with the majority of my first year Anteaters, about 8am’s (the earliest time a class can be) was completely wrong. In high school, I was used to getting up around six in the morning, six-thirty if it was a long night, and have class start at seven-thirty sharp. I figured if I was able to do that for four years that I could do it for ten weeks, but I was wrong. Waking up for a class that started at eight was extremely hard. To this day, I still can’t fathom why. If you would like to finish your day early, at least sign up for a 9am or a 10am, you’ll thank me when your quarter starts. Another thing I would recommend before starting off your fall quarter is to take advantage of UCI’s summer program for incoming Freshmen. I did Summer Bridge before coming in and it was one of the best decisions I made. Not only was I able experience what it was to take a class at UCI and get credit for it, but I was able to familiarize myself with the campus and make friends before coming in. I felt much more confident on the first day of fall quarter simply because I had a sense of direction. One of the biggest surprises I’ve had here at UCI is how close I’ve gotten with my roommates. I’m currently living in a triple, and I was initially worried of how close we would actually become since our personalities differed from one another. This took time and an open-mind, but at this point, I can say I feel completely comfortable with them; they have seen every side of me and I of them. They have definitely become my family away from home and have made my dorm experience the best, and the room itself, a comfortable place to come back to at the end of the day.

Crazy enough, this is my last quarter as a freshman, and yet, I have already felt a growth in me, not just in an intellectual sense, but in a personal sense. Being away from home and a structured lifestyle, I’ve been able to test my decision making, the drive that motivates me, and my time management skills. I’ve slowly been able to know more of who I am, confirming and disproving my strengths, my weaknesses, and my ignorances.  It’s both unsettling and exciting to see how I’ll continue to grown over the course of undergraduate studies here at UCI. With that being said, I hope you can come out to our “Celebrate UCI” event to witness how much fun it is to be an Anteater! If you make the amazing decision to choose UCI, the Anteater family will be here to support you on your journey to your first year at college!

Together We Zot,

Jazmin Reyes.

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