Archive for March, 2014

From Anteater to Anteater

Dear Future Anteater,

Welcome to my second home, UC Irvine! I’m Aby Ambriz and I’m here to share some helpful advice and encouragement because I was in your shoes just last year. I’m currently an Undecided/Undeclared Anteater focusing on the Biological Sciences with an interest in a Business minor (random I know but hey, I like it!). My interests include Volleyball, the Japanese Culture, and my relationship with God through Jesus Christ (Yes, I’m a Christian!). I grew up in Riverside my whole life so moving away to UCI was a huge step. Although it was difficult at first, it became so much easier as everyone helps you adjust and welcomes you into the new college life. I chose UCI because honestly God led me here! And I’m so thankful He did because I can see how He’s used UCI to impact me. This awesome school is preparing me in so much more than just academics.

One thing I wish I knew before: it’s OK to be a U/U student! Everyone told me that I should become declared ASAP and that if not I’ll just be wasting my time. Though this may apply in different schools, I’m here to say that it’s perfectly fine to be U/U here at UCI. In fact, I think it’s one of the best decisions I made coming to UCI! Not only is the U/U Office extremely helpful and the staff has become a huge part of my life here, many of the positions and experience I’ve gained wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for being a U/U. I wouldn’t even be typing to you right now as a Zot Blogger! I highly advise to take advantage of the help UCI Staff are here for. Whether it’s going to a professor’s office hours, getting advice from your RA, or receiving help from the U/U Office – take it! This is a huge step for your success at UCI – they know what they’re talking about! One of the biggest surprises I had coming to UCI is that you can truly find a community of friends and family. For example, I totally found my family in Christ over here! God blessed me immensely with them for they encourage me in the faith, have helped me in difficult times, and brought much laughter and joy. And having Harvest OC (my church here) right down the street by my dorm is the icing to the cake! Through all the different clubs and organizations offered at UCI, you too can find your niche.

So, this is my last quarter as a Baby Anteater! Over this past year, I’ve learned how to become independent as an adult and dependent as a daughter of God. At the time (when I was picking schools like you) moving away seemed so inconvenient and unnecessary. Now I can see this experience has shaped me from the girl who strongly relied on her parents for everything, to growing into a strong adult. I can see how God has pulled me away from what I had always clung to for help so I can now cling to Him more fully. So, want to know more of what UCI has to offer? Come to “Discover UCI” these next 2 weeks! As Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp) would say, “I shake you warmly by the hand,” and wish you luck Future Anteater!

Love Your Sister Anteater,

Aby Ambriz

The first day I came to UCI and truly felt like I belonged here.
Cue the tears!


Calling All Future Anteaters

Dear Future Anteater:

I’m Carolina Burciaga, an Undecided/Undeclared  first year student possibly looking into majoring in Criminology Law and Society and I am from the Bay Area! I chose UCI being because ideally I had always wanted to come down to Southern Cali. I visited the campus and realized how beautiful it is, and the campus itself being relatively new (turning 50 years next year!) has been rising in rankings, having a lot to offer! It is ranked first in the U.S. and fifth in the world among the 100 best universities less than 50 years old, and it has also been ranked as a top 50 school among all national public and private universities. Impressive huh?!

One tip that I would give you, as something that I wish I knew as a starting freshman is to put yourself out there and meet people right away! It is really easy to make friends fall quarter by joining different clubs and orgs, greek life, and sometimes just through classes! The friends that you make fall quarter will likely be the friends that you will have throughout your whole college career. This is not set in stone of course since you will still meet more people and make new friendships, but the friends you make fall quarter will probably be the ones you will live with your second year, and enjoy the rest of the year with. Put yourself out there and don’t be shy, introduce yourself first to others if you have to, make lasting bonds. Another tip of advice that I would like to give you is to take advantage of office hours! As an incoming student you might not think that it is necessary, but it it really is! Forming a closer relationship with your professors and TA’s always has its perks. If you are stuck in a topic, they are there to help you out! Also sometimes they can offer you research and internship positions, and if you do attend office hours and you are still struggling, they can and might bump you up because they know that you are really putting in an effort. My biggest surprise coming to UCI was that there is so many people willing to help you! Ranging from your RA, counselors from your school, and upperclassmen too!

Woooooo time is flying by so fast that I’m already at my third and final quarter as a freshman, and it feels like just yesterday that I attended SPOP! One thing that I’ve learned so far while here at UCI is that you get back what you put in, ranging from classes to friendships. How much you study and review will definitely be shown in your grades. As a U/U student I can say that U/U is the way to go! Ultimately you have more time and options on what you would like to do and everyone at the U/U Office is so nice and helpful that they will make sure that at the end you end up majoring in something that you will love and be truly passionate about. All in all best wishes on whatever decision you end up making and never hesitate on contacting me or any of the Zot-bloggers. You can always leave a comment down below or any question or concern you might have! Hope you can make it to Discover UCI. 🙂


Carolina Burciaga

Picture with our 7'6 basketball star, Mamadou Ndiaye! I'm soooo little next to him D:

Picture with our 7’6 basketball star, Mamadou Ndiaye! I’m soooo little next to him D:

Dear Future Anteaters

Dear Future Anteaters,

Welcome to UC Irvine Zot Blogging for Undecided/Undeclared! I’m Lily Trang, and surprise! I’m an Undecided/Undecided freshman! I was born in Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, but I grew up in Van Nuys, San Fernando Valley most of my life. I’m a very people-person type, so I can say that I am interested in pursuing one of these majors—Psychology and Social Behavior, Anthropology, or Sociology! You can minor in any of those majors I’ve mentioned, but they seem interesting to me, so we’ll see where it leads me! Honestly, I get asked why I chose to attend UC Irvine and I chose it because of the vibes it gave me. It gave me a friendly, welcoming, and very warming feeling. I love the people that I’ve encountered whether it’s for a split moment or becoming someone important in my life, they’ve impacted my choice to go to UC Irvine. I can honestly say, UC Irvine has become a second home for me, and I’ve grown to fall in love with it because of the people I’ve encountered, and the fact that it’s so uplifting and it can really make a difference in your life a lot more than you can imagine. So, choosing UC Irvine can vary for me because I came here for the people, the environment, and how everything just fits right in.

However, if there is one tip I can give you that I wish I knew earlier is that you should have an open mind and try out clubs! Clubs are actually like family (or at least from what I’ve seen and experienced) and it keeps you occupied. You can try out any clubs that interest you, and when you find the ones you really like, you should stick to them because they help you transition into your first year, especially with being social and trying to step out of your comfort zone. I know it definitely helped me in the long run, and I am more than grateful that I can have a club where I can find myself feeling comfortable in. There are so many clubs in UC Irvine that there’s practically almost everything you probably are looking for. Also, I would advise you to take advantage of going to the Counseling Center. I’ve had many people, who come to me for help or problems, and I actually advise them to go to the Counseling Center, and I’ve heard positive feedback from those who have attended. It doesn’t hurt to ask for help if you need it! So, just know that it’s okay to go to the Counseling Center if you ever need help dealing with anything, especially during your first year in college.  The Counseling Center offers appointments free of cost, so you might as well take advantage of it, right? Honestly, my biggest surprise at UCI is the fact that people are so welcoming, non-judgmental, and just very open to anyone.

To sum it up, I’m actually also surprised that this is my last quarter as a freshman. I’ve learned a lot coming to college and realizing many different things, but one of the biggest self-realization is that I’ve learned to take care of myself. In order to survive anything, you need to take care of yourself, and it is selfish, but it’s a good kind of selfish because if you can take care of yourself, you’ll be able to take on anything. So, I hope that you Anteaters learn this earlier in order to come in more prepared. If anything, Undecided/Undeclared is the way to go! There’s nothing wrong with being Undecided/Undeclared and many people start off that way and still become successful. Hehe, so I hope to see you Anteaters at Celebrate UCI and come see what UCI has in store for you.

Love Always,
Lily Trang


Zot, zot, zot with Peter the Anteater! (Plus my roommate, Jennifer Truong.)

The End of Winter Quarter

Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone is enjoying their Spring break thus far!

This quarter finals week was crazy for me! I like to blame the fact that last quarter I only had one final versus this quarter that I had 4 finals, which caused me to become more overwhelmed. But no worries, I was able to finish the quarter strong. Just like last quarter, I did most of my studying at Gateway because it is opened 24/7 during Finals week, and it is more likely that I will actually study there than in my dorm! I did most of my studies with a group of friends in the study rooms that Gateway offers. The one thing that I like about studying with a group of friends is that they keep you alert and awake and on track with studying, and if you have classes with them, you have someone else to review with 🙂


I did pull all nighters most of finals week and took small naps during the day after my finals. I would say pulling all-nighters was not the best idea because I would be really tired while studying. I will admit that I crammed, but that was only for my last two finals since they were both back to back and I had less time to study as opposed to my first two finals that were more spread out and I was given more time to study since the professors posted up the studyguides very early on. Since next quarter I’m taking less classes, meaning less finals, I hope that I do spend longer time studying for each class.

Crazy to think that I am almost done with my first year in college, and in a few months I will be a sophomore in college. For this next quarter I hope to grow the friendships and bonds with the people that I’ve met so far. One thing that I wish to accomplish is to be satisfied with my grades because even though I’m already down with two quarters, I still haven’t gotten the hang of the quarter system. I know that when I do, my grades will be where I want them to be, especially since I know that I can do it. I know that by asking for help from the professors early on, I can definitely reach this goal. Overall I want to learn to better manage my time with a lot of things on my plate.

This spring break I’m looking forward to hanging out with friends and catching up with family and just relax a bit before starting spring quarter!

I hope everyone keeps having an awesome spring break! Stay cool anteaters 😀



Finals Week- Christ Who Strengthens Me

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

After Finals, my parents surprised me and brought my dog! We took our first walk through Aldrich Park.

Anteaters, it’s finally Spring Break! These past two weeks (including Finals Week) were probably the most demanding I’ve had since coming to UCI. Besides the job interview, having my hardest finals 1st on the same day, and the huge portfolio due for my writing class, everything worked out well! In preparation, I studied mostly by myself in my dorm or around Ondas (my hall). The quietness helps me focus since I’ve noticed I’m not great at studying in groups! But all of this was only a success as I depended on God for wisdom, strength, and encouragement.

Next quarter I’m hoping for many things. For one, I’m ready to get a job! Specifically, I want a job that is on campus so I’ve been looking for openings in Housing at UCI (like working in Mesa Court!). Any way I can help out in supporting myself while attaining new experience and skills is in my agenda. I also want to take better care of my health by working out more. Winter Quarter I really lacked (like I was hibernating), but I want to become disciplined in visiting the ARC. UCI’s gym is an excellent tool and cost of entry is not an issue! But something I’m really looking forward to next quarter is Ondas’ Philanthropy Project with our local Ronald McDonald House! Guess what? Our Blaze Pizza Fundraiser was a success after all! We’ve raised money and we’re planning to raise more to better serve the families of this house. May they know the support we want to give them and their children at Saint Jude’s.

Quick side note: I cannot believe it’s already going to be my last quarter – the end of freshmen year (the end of being a Baby Anteater!). I can see how much I’ve learned and grown as an adult, as a person, and as a follower of Jesus Christ. God has done amazing things this first year at UCI. This leads me to my last goal.

I desire to finish this year confident that I accomplished the things God had planned for me. I want to be able to say that I impacted the GOD'S NOT DEADlives of those He specifically placed around me – that they may have seen the love of Christ in me and became aware of the hope they also can have. But only in CHRIST do I have the confidence He will guide, keep me through, and give me the power to accomplish His plans. Just as He’s helped all along, even by strengthening me during Finals Week, I know God will work through me.


Aby Ambriz

P.S. This Spring Break, along with catching up with family and friends and visiting Universal Studios to experience the new ride for “Despicable Me,” I plan to watch the new movie, “GOD’S NOT DEAD!” I’ve been so excited as it highly relates to a personal fear I held moving to college. Check it out too!

Finals Week of Winter Quarter!

Hi, lovelies! Can you believe it’s already Spring break now? We’re all done with finals, and we can relax! Hehe. That’s definitely rewarding after finals, and boy, it feels great.

Let’s review over what happened during finals week. Honestly, I was not as stressed out over finals week since I was able to manage my time properly this time around compare to last quarter! My finals did go a lot better than I expected since I studied and worked on it pretty hard.


My roommate and I, in the science library studying during finals week.

This time around, I prepared for finals by going to the libraries, studying in Starbucks, and taking little breaks compared to staying in my dorm and trying to study like I did last quarter. It worked more efficiently for me this way as I’ve realized because I was able to focus and stay awake rather than feeling the urge to sleep. Throughout finals week, I studied with my roommate, Jennifer Truong, who would keep me company and study as well, so it helped me focus.

Fortunately enough, I did not pull any all-nighters or cram since I knew to pace myself and do better. However, in order to use my time more efficiently, I would try to take care of myself better by eating on time and sleeping more, which is much needed during finals week! It’s okay, everyone lacks sleep during finals week, really. Hehe.

Let’s talk about Spring Quarter now. I can’t believe it’s almost my last quarter as a freshman, and it’s still barely getting to me that it’ll be my last quarter until I am a sophomore. I do hope to accomplish some things such as maintaining good grades, taking care of myself by sleeping and eating more healthy, working out more, and that’s pretty much it! Pretty simple goals that I can attain, right? c:

So, I just hope everyone will have a good Spring break, and find some goals for Spring Quarter! I will be relaxing over spring break to recover from such a spontaneous quarter! It’s been such an adventure.

With that being said, have an extraordinary break and enjoy it, everyone! Until next time!

Love Always,
Lily Trang

Love and Basketball

It’s already Week 10! WOW! And what can be considered the start of dead week! Starting this week, both Starbucks on campus and Gateway, the study center across from Langson library, will be opened 24/7 until the end of finals. I personally do like this a lot, because I have a place where I can stay and study and not fall asleep for a long period of time like I would do back in my dorm. Also, the fact that so many people around me are studying keeps me motivated in continuing to study other than giving up and going home to sleep. Last quarter, I sure did spend most of Week 10 at Gateway studying for finals, and hope to do the same again this quarter.

This past Thursday, my hall Palo played versus our sister hall Ondas at playoffs in Intramural basketball! Our hall ended up winning (wooohoooo) and got the chance to play at the Bren Events Center Sunday vs Otero at the Championship game which they also won! Michelle Wong, friend of mines, resident of Palo, and player in the team says that the games went by really fast and she is really glad that they all got the chance to play together as a hall. “It’s interesting to see different sides of my hallmates. The chemistry between us got better with time, especially the last two playoff games. We didn’t start tonight off well, but after getting the guys to calm down, they worked together much better on the court. I am really sad that I fouled out, but regardless, I am thankful that they finished the game strong! It has definitely been a great hall bonding experience, and we all had a lot of fun!” Congrats to them! If anyone is free this Tuesday at 7 pm, they will also be playing another championship game, but this time soccer versus Isla at the Arc Fields.

I hope everyone has a nice week, and keeps pushing. We’re so close to the end now. It’s time to give it our all and finish strong!



Majestic Name Fills the Earth

“O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens.” – Psalm 8:1

Oh, how true this verse is! I witness it every single day, for it’s so hard to ignore. His powerful name is shouted among all the work around us – the beauty of God’s creation.

If anyone knows me, they know how frequently I comment on the loveliness of the day, especially when it comes to the sky! If I were to be quoted, it’d probably be, “Oh – look at the sky! Look! Isn’t it beautiful?” That’s what I’ve noticed of myself. I’m easily awed by the splendor marked around me. But you know, I really love that specific appreciation God placed in my heart. These frequent admirations help me to really stop and consider the work of my Lord. If someone were to quote my mind, it’d be, “If this beauty amazes me, how much more beautiful is the Creator who made it?” I think this thought all the time. Now you know!

Coming to Irvine, here at UCI alone, there is so much beauty to marvel at. I came to realize my appreciation for God’s work more intimately once I came. Every day here, I kid you not, there is always something that takes my breath away. Just walking to class, I catch myself stopping to take pictures every now and then. If you ever come visit UCI, you must take a walk through Aldrich Park! Though it’s in the middle of a city, in the middle of a school, take a walk through there and you’ll feel like you’re in another world. Back at my hometown, it’s beautiful as well, but there’s just something about Irvine.

The sky, fluffy clouds (my favorite), night sky of moon and stars, the rain, beaches, beautiful flowers, grand trees of Aldrich Park, animals and critters (even my dogs!) – His majesty is truly all over the earth. All you need to do is look around! God is so awesome that He would display His power and beauty for us to enjoy – for us to remember our Grand Creator!

So what shall I do in response? I shall sing! I shall give praise and stand in awe of the LORD of all!


Aby Ambriz

P.S. I’m really glad I had a chance to dedicate a blog for this. God’s work of art is a huge part of my life. This verse is also a song so check it out!

Jillian Cayas, the Anteater!

Hi, lovely Anteaters!

Isn’t it quite shocking that it is already the tenth week of Winter Quarter? Almost Finals week already! Everything’s going by so quickly. Everyone will be studying for finals again before we know it. I hope everyone is having a great week so far and will have another great week!

IMG_1620I’ve interviewed my 5th Anteater today—Jillian Cayas! Hehe. She is an Undecided/Undeclared Anteater as well who is actually currently interested in majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Whew, right? Although aside from her interests in her major, she has a few things like to do for fun like listening to music and taking pictures.

I’ve asked Jillian what were some of her motivations for doing so well in school or what her source of motivations stemmed from, and she said her parents. She’s a hard-working soul who includes that “I always strive to make them proud by pushing myself to work hard.” A lot of Anteaters strives to do well in school because of their parents, and I think that’s a very wonderful source of motivation for anyone.

Although with only one quarter left as a first year at UC Irvine, one of Jillian’s goals is, “I hope to figure out who I am and who I want to become. I also just want to have fun and enjoy the freedom that college has given me.”

Continuing on, I’ve asked what she likes about UCI, and she said she finds that UCI has a “happy, positive environment.” Even saying that the “campus is beautiful and always lively.” Since Jillian is from Northern California, she said “living down here in Irvine is a new experience for me that I love so far!”

Lastly, I asked what was a favorite memory she had at UCI, and she replied, “I will never forget the experience I had at SPOP, where I met new people and learned so many new things.”

With all that being said, I hope you enjoyed getting to know her a little more. She’s definitely a very wonderful, hard-working Anteater and person.

Love Always,
Lily Trang

P.S. Keep striving, Anteaters! It’s only one more week, then finals and then spring break! c:

Love the Lord

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” – Mark 12:30

Good news, everyone! I’m going to be serving at Harvest OC in the children’s ministry with Rock the World! I’ve been praying that God would give me the privilege to serve over here at UCI and He came through. I’ve realized from experience, that just coming to church and leaving every Sunday isn’t enough; you don’t reach the connection God intends. Only when you commitment yourself to truly serving with a heart for God (not to impress or feel like you have to) and solely out of love because He loved you first and gave everything for you, only then do you begin to love and grow in your relationship with God and His family. So the verse above – I’m striving for this in all I do! To know Christ, grow in love and a deeper relationship, and become more like Him, bringing glory for His kingdom that is not of this world.

Speaking of service, Ondas is getting closer to achieve our Philanthropy Project! As I’ve mentioned in past blogs, Mesa Court’s FYEP (First Year Excellence Program) annually hosts a hall project to reach out to the UCI Community, and this year we will be serving the OC Ronald McDonald House! This charity provides housing for struggling families who have children in critical care at Saint Jude’s Hospital. We’re beginning the process by raising money in fundraisers through Boba sales (which is huge at UCI if you didn’t know, literally, Boba for $2 is sold on campus everyday) and a fundraiser at the local and delicious Blaze Pizza! Once we raise enough, we’re going to buy supplies the families need daily, and welcome them with a homemade pancake breakfast! It’s going to be delicious because we have Gisela as our head chef (she’s always cooking something yummy for Ondas, another plus of FYEP)!

It’s going to be so awesome to share with the families of the Ronald McDonald House. It’s a great opportunity to bring praise to God by sharing the love and hope He gave me. In the Bible after the verse above, once again, the importance to “love one another” is brought up. I can love the Lord by demonstrating His love to others. May I serve with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength with Ondas and Harvest OC! Oh, to love the Lord, He is too amazing to not love!

Love Love Love,

Aby Ambriz

What’s Going On?

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone enjoyed and had a great weekend, and is ready to jump back into classes, in order to finish the quarter strong!

This upcoming week there are a few activities and events going on around campus and Mesa Court. One of the events going549070_10200571753216515_388692696_n on in Mesa Court this week, who many residents are looking forward to is the Mesa Court Talent Show that will be taking place this Friday March 7th at the MPR room. Although the deadline to apply already passed this last week, it is always fun to attend and support friends and hallmates, so I encourage everyone to attend! This year, Mesa Court Council took the time to create this neat video that promotes the talent show and gives insight of what is expected to be seen at the event that day, like singing dancing, comedy and a variety of much more different talents!

Another heads up, in a week from now, the applications to be a tour guide for celebrate UCI/Wayzgoose 2014 will also be due, Monday March 10 at 12 PM in the housing office! Applications are now available in the Housing Office or from your RA. The tour guides will tour future potential students and their families around Middle Earth and Mesa Court area and halls. Volunteer tour guides will receive free movie tickets and a Celebrate UCI shirt, awesome right?! Just for touring people around Mesa or Middle where you currently live and sharing your so-far UCI experience. The event will be taking place Saturday April 12.

Below I have included the video link for the MCC Talent Show Promo. I hope that everyone has a great week 🙂



Mesa Court Talent Show Promo

The Fourth Interviewer, Amberleen De Leon!

Hi, lovely Anteaters!

Isn’t it unbelievable how there are only two more weeks until winter quarter is done?! I hope everyone been well and that midterms score came out okay!

IMG_3245Anyway, I have my fourth interviewer with me today. I introduce you to Amberleen De Leon! Or you can just simply call her Amber for short. She lives in Mesa Court in a hall known as Lluvia! She is also another Undecided/Undeclared Anteater around here. She told me she currently interested in pursuing Public Health Science or either Environmental Sciences as a major. I ask her what motivates her to do well in school, and she said her little sister is her source of motivation because she wants to be a good role model to her as an older sister. Isn’t Amber such a darling? I definitely know she is! Hehe.

Getting to know Amber a little more, she actually have plenty of hobbies which includes dancing, basketball, and being a disc jockey (aka DJing). She says, “I’ve been involved in dancing since I was 4 years old, starting off with ballet then after 5 years transition to the hip hop scene. Dancing at that point became more than a hobby for me- it became my passion. Basketball was my stress reliever and I still play every now and then. DJing is something I just started pursuing. I love music and being able to share and set the mood of the venue I’m DJing for is quite rewarding, especially when they all start dancing and then they realize a 5 foot girl is responsible for this ha!” It’s nice to know she has hobbies she enjoys doing and to keep her on her feet. c:

Asides from that, she likes the fact that UC Irvine has a “very welcoming sense of community.” Then states that, “Other campuses I’ve been to can’t compare to UCI. I felt like I made the right choice. Zot on!”

And that’s the fourth interviewer, Amber! She’s a very friendly, lovely person. So if you see her around campus, don’t be afraid to say hi. She doesn’t bite, I promise. Hehe. I hope you guys enjoyed getting to know her a little more as much as I did.

All in all, I hope you lovely people have an extraordinary week as it goes on!

Love Always,
Lily Trang