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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Haven’t even left yet and I’ve already been bit by the Travel Bug!

T-8 days until I step on the plane heading to China- but first let me get my life together! These past couple of days have been crazy and jam packed with things to do. I had to move all of my finals up a week in order to be able to leave to China during finals week. Yes, that means bring on the stress. This week has primarily been geared towards catching up on classes, and keeping up, and getting ready for finals.

FullSizeRender-2I’m sooooorry, a lot of my blogs have been about me studying, I know, but I promise the next ones will be so out of this world, you won’t even want to stop reading!

Ondas Shenanigans…. Well this quarter our main events were the soccer and basketball intramural sports. We made it to the semifinals in basketball and are currently in the semifinals for soccer.

 

On another note, I am excited to say that I am seriously considering studying abroad next year. I am not quite sure exactly when (fall, winter, spring. or summer) , but I know that it is definitely on my list of things to do. UCI offers a lot of different programs and opportunities that I would be crazy to not take advantage of. As far as the country I would study in… well I’m not too sure yet. I used to be extremely interested in France, I even made efforts to learn the language, but now that I am older I’ve been exposed to so many other amazing places around the world! I AM SO INDECISIVE, I JUST WANT TO TRAVEL EVERYWHERE! Coincidentally, UCI offers a program that could help students do just that! “Semester At Sea” is exactly what it sounds like. I am not exactly sure about all of the intricate details, but pretty much students get to spend a semester at sea traveling to tons of different countries around the world!

I’m looking forward to further exploring my options!

zotfingers– Nicole

Double Major, what?

Hello fellow Anteaters!

These past two weeks have been very eventful for me: Care-a-thon and socials with Sigma Delta Sigma.

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We went hiking yesterday to Peter’s Canyon View Park and ate at Suzumaru, a sushi restaurant, afterwards.

 

For this blog, however, I wanted to briefly discuss a topic that I have been seriously considering this past quarter: a double-major.

In the beginning of this quarter, I declared my first major, Literary Journalism, given that I am currently taking Humanities Core (one of the School of Humanities’ prerequisite) and the fact that this major focuses a lot on my writing (which is a good asset for graduate school, a future job, and even for any major). I took my first Chicano/Latino Studies class this quarter, and found that I really enjoyed the material and looked forward to going to lecture. Since this major is within a different school, School of Social Sciences, I would have to complete their prerequisites as well.

Before I jump into anything, however, I’ve decided to take another Chicano/Latino class next quarter, to determine whether or not the spark is still there. Many of those declared, upperclassmen that I have talked to truly feel a passion for their major. I didn’t picture myself feeling a connection to a particular subject this early on. I was disappointed when I didn’t like the psychology course I took fall quarter; I wanted to like the material, but I just didn’t, which is where the difference exists between wanting to like a major and actually liking the material.

 

All the best,

Jazmin.  

University Town Center

Other than studying, whaIMG_8272t is there to do on or around campus? Well, besides the fact that Irvine is literally just a few miles away from the beach, a great place to grab a bite or just relax is the University Town Center (UTC).

Food choices ranging from Chipotle to Froyo are mouthwatering choices! To get to UTC, depending on where you are located on campus, it can usually take about 5-10 minutes walking. One definite plus about UTC is that whenever you feel a late night craving coming on, there are tons of choices to choose from. (Yeesssss, Chipotle really is life in college)

Aside from freshman 15 options, the UTC also has a movie theatre, Trader Joe’s, and yoga center.

Whether you go to UTC to hang out with friedns, or just go to get a breath of fresh air, its always a great mini getaway from coursework!

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zotfingers– Nicole

The Revisit to the Lonely Bench

Hello fellow Anteaters!

This past Friday I sat at the lonely bench (the one I introduced to you all in my previous blogs) behind the Career Center. It overlooked Aldrich Park, or at least what wasn’t covered by trees, and I just sat there, taking in my surroundings and enjoying the gloomy weather. It wasn’t midday yet, and it wasn’t passing period, so there was hardly any students out and about, except for the occasional biker.

The trees were at their darkest point and the grass was moist. The breeze was cool and subtle. I continued to inhale such freshness and appreciated how peaceful that side of campus was without the usual sea of people and fast-paced bikers. Peaceful, but not silent. The longer I sat there, the more I became aware that my surroundings were never quiet. If it wasn’t the occasional crunch against the pavement pathway, it was the birds’ chirping or the random laughter from afar. When the wind picked up, so did the movement of the trees. I heard the leaves brushing against each other and after that, they never ceased to move. They appeared to have, but they didn’t. The branches that were higher up contrasted with the clearness of the sky, giving their movement away.

And, as I walked back to my dorm, I realized that for that moment in time. My pace was slower; I was in no rush to get back to my room. It was almost a meditation session for my mind, being able to focus on something entirely different other than the amount of work and studying I had left to do. I dedicated time to focus on the nature that surrounded me on a daily basis, the nature that I took for granted.

I hope you all have a good start to Week 9!

Wish you all the best,

Jazmin.

Goodbye Week 7, Hello Week 8

So here I am… I log on to post my week 7 blog post, and THERE’S NO WEEK 6 post! I’m not sure what happened to it, but I really apologize to you all for that. I promise I will make it up to you… Somehow. lol

But first, let me fill you all in on what went on throughout my week.

For starters, I truly cannot believe that week 8 is already creeping up. It feels like just yesterday I sat in my Bio 94 lecture for the first time.

This week was full of nothing but studying. Since I had my second bio midterm, the time to grind was here. I can honestly say that I put in at LEAST 20 hours of studying. It may sound bizarre to hear that, but college midterms are a lot different than high school midterms. To put it into perspective, consider the fact that college midterms make up approximately 40%-60% of your grade. Yeah, crazy, tell me about it.

Onahi the other hand, I’m working super hard on a Care Package Project that I am heading for my Angel Heart Club. The goal is to make 5-10 care packages that we can hand deliver to the children in China. So far I am working on collaborating with different organizations around the Irvine community to hold a toy drive. It is going to be a lot of work, but I know that it will all be worth it at the end.

Ondas’ Philanthropy project took place this weekend! Sadly I was unable to attend but I heard so many good things about the weekend! I am looking forward to seeing pictures and will definitely share them with you all when I see them !

As for next week, I will continue to have a week full of studying since I have a chem midterm coming up on Thursday!

zotfingers-Nicole

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Ondas’ Day in the Sun

Hello fellow Anteaters!

Yesterday Undecided/Undeclared Ondas hall led their annual philanthropy project here in Mesa Court’s own field: Fun in the Sun Field Day.

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Ondas teamed up with Project Hope Alliance, an organization that dedicates their time and resources to end homelessness with children in Orange County, to make this event possible. The event offered a variety of activities for the kids to be involved in: flag football, bracelet making, paper cutting, relay races, painting, kickball, and origami making.

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Claudia made a poster for Kim; it currently rests on Kim’s wall, above her desk.

When asked whether she felt she had positively impacted someone’s life that day, my roommate, Kim, responded with a “yes”, specifically with her ten year old friend, Claudia. Kim noticed that Claudia was shy and seemed at distant during the beginning of the event, but by the time lunch came around, Claudia was feeling comfortable around Kim, laughing and having fun. “Food was a good way to bring us together. I had fun showing her around the different stations at Lot 5. We tried ice cream with rice krispies, and then we sat down and got to talk; it was nice.” Kim also believed that her positive reactions to Claudia’s suggestions helped her feel more at ease around Kim.

Fun in the Sun Field Day didn’t just allow for Kim to bond with Claudia, but it also allowed Kim to bond more closely with three of her hallmates: Kiet, Sergio, and Monica.

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Kim, Kiet, Sergio, and Monica teaming up with matching bracelets.

 

All the best,

Jazmin.   

 

Soulstice

Hello fellow Anteaters!

This past Thursday was Soulstice, UCI’s annual, campus-wide talent show. It was a good way to celebrate the end of midterms.

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My lovely roommates and hallmate at Soulstice with me!:)

I was blown away by the talent all the contestants possessed. I really enjoyed the variety of categories: dance, solo/duet, a cappella, fushion, and band. One of my favorite solo performances was by Adrienne del Rosario. Her stage presence made me forget I was at the Bren’s Center enjoying a talent show; she made me feel as if I was at a opera house. And her voice, wow, she sounded like a Disney princess!

During the main intermission, I distinctly remember hearing an older woman saying the follow: “These kids have so much talent, but the sad part is that they will end up being doctors, lawyers, business men and women.” In hearing this was thought-provoking. Whether or not all these “kids” end up pursuing a different career choice, the thought of that is sad and interesting. I remember when I was younger, maybe around the age of seven or eight, I wanted to be a singer and a songwriter, but slowly the idea of a “real” job began to diminish that dream. To us, and what makes up a great majority of society, those “real” jobs are considered to be jobs that will grant us financial stability. Some fruit for thought: do you think the arts are being valued in society, as they should?

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All the best,

Jazmin.

CHINA HERE I COME!

So I received what might possibly be the greatest news ever! I am officially going to China during spring break!! A little over a month from now I will be en route to help young children of China suffering from CHD’s (Congential heart disease). When I officially received the news I literally jumped up and down for probably 10 minutes! lol So as of now the plan is to leave during finals week and return a few days before school starts back up. I will definitely keep everyone updated on the status and different elements regarding the trip.

ContraIMG_0808IMG_0816ry to most Anteater’s week 5, mine was extremely relaxing. I didn’t have any midterms or deadlines to meet. I most definitely took advantage of that fact and cruised through the week.

This weekend was pretty chill. My friend held a brunch at the spectrum (mall) for her 19th birthday. It was really nice to just hang out with friends and celebrate her day with her!

I also took the free time I had and went home for a night. YES, one night. lol I think its important to take some time away from school and spend with family every now and then. ( If you are able to do so.)

Other than that, week 5 was really just a time to let my brain get some air. Next weekend I’m going to the Valentines Crush concert so I’m looking forward to that.

I have some midterms creeping up in the following weeks so that should be…… FUN! Hahaha.

Oh, I almost forgot! This week is Soulstice ( UCI’s annual talent show), a lot of residents in Ondas will be there, so I will let you all know how that goes in my next blog!

 

zotfingers– Nicole

Upcoming Dance-a-Thon!

Hello fellow Anteaters!
For this blog I wanted to talk about community service and how big of a factor it is for my sorority (Sigma Delta Sigma). Our sorority requires twenty-five hours of volunteer work per quarter, and although that is a lot, there are many opportunities to do so from outside organizations or at UCI. It is sad to say, but I have not yet completed any of my hours, and as a result, I have booked the rest of my February and March for events. Coming up this month is the UCI Care-a-thon, which is a six hour dance marathon that is fundraising for NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for premature babies). For those who fear dancing, don’t worry about it, I’ll most likely be Monica Gellar from the gif below, but dancing is not required as long as you don’t sit down for the duration of the event!

I don’t know how many of you are Pretty Little Liars fans, but there was an episode in which the girls participate in a dance-a-thon in attempts to find “A”, an anonymous person who has been threatening them with their secrets. I think it would be a fun experience to have; I’ve never attend one before, but that particular episode made me want to attend one (except “A” won’t be there to ruin the event for us).

“A” attempting to ruin Hannah’s night by using her financial problems against her.

I am really looking foward to participating in the event, and I’ll be sure to let y’all know how it went, but for now, if this has caught anyone’s attention, fellow Anteaters, this is the link to sign up: http://www.ucimpact.uci.edu/cause/careathon2015/ .

 

All the best,
Jazmin.

P.S. Good luck on midterms this upcoming everyone!

Homecoming week

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Hello little Anteaters!

So last week was a very exciting week for the UCI community! It was HOMECOMING! Now I know that when a lot of you think about homecoming the first thing that comes to mind is, a football game and a dance. Well, although that idea may hold true for many of you in high school, homecoming at UCI is slightly different.

 

First off I would like to congratulate and flaunt our outstanding football team for going undefeated in 50 years!

(If that doesn’t entice you to want to come to UCI, then I don’t know what will.)

Throughout the week the campus held several events to rally spirit for the game. The homecoming court was challenged to all sorts of games and activities to prove who would be declared the “best”.

Saturday, the day of homecoming, there were many festivities and events held on campus. All the way up until the basketball game there were things to do. We played UCSB, and of course won!

Personally this week was not the easiest week for me. Although everyone was out having fun, I was in studying for my midterms. YES, life gets REAL anytime a test comes around. Monday I have a Bio midterm, and Thursday I had a Chemistry one. Not to mention the 6 page essay due by Friday at 4. The week was extremely stressful and full of endless studying, but somehow I survived to tell this story to you!

If you were interested in Ondas, well I have a few updates for you. We have officially started Basketball and Soccer. Since I’m not “on” the team, I will try my very best to get out and support the team! Our Philanthropy project involving the children is going to take place in a couple of weeks so I am excited to see how everything pans out!

Hope everyone is doing well!

zotfingers– Nicole

Homecoming!

Hello baby Eaters!

 

Yay Our Homecoming game has passed and we won!!! Yessssssss!!!!! It’s so exciting because we won 77-55 or so I have heard. I wasn’t able to make it to the game 🙁 I had to work that day wahhhhh and I also had to work during the Super bowl. I can’t believe that I missed all the commercials and the halftime show! Well that’s one of the downsides of having a job but on the upside I have a little extra money each day and that can be really helpful especially when it comes time to buying all my textbooks and supplies. This week was really fun because of all the festivities around campus. All the booths and stands in Aldrich Park were really fun to visit. It was cool watching how much effort was put into the celebration. I think that Homecoming was really interesting because we don’t have a football team. Our Homecoming revolved around our basketball team. It’s definitely not what I ever expected from a college homecoming; it’s very different from the movies. Well it was a lot of fun, but I’m just sad I didn’t get to enjoy all of it.

I can’t believe that we are halfway through the quarter. It’s going so quickly and everyone is getting ready for midterms. I already had my first midterm for Math 2A! There is so much to look forward to this quarter, and we are almost done with the first five weeks. Good luck with midterms everyone!!!

Zot Zot Zot!

Lots of love from little me