Month: March 2013

Music Mix!

Music Mix!

I’m always on the run from one place to another, from class to class, job to job, stores, meetings, anything else imaginable. Therefore, I always have my phone charged and headphones in, listening to music. Every genre has it’s own beauty to me, so I have a little (actually a lot) of everything in my iTunes. I’ve been meaning to write this blog of some of my favorite songs, and now I finally found the chance.

  1. Danza Kuduro” by Don Omar– this song is one of my absolute favorites. I heard it for the first time towards the end of my freshman year of college from the movie Fast Five, and have listened to it nonstop since.
  2. “Fire Escape” by Civil TwilightCivil Twilight is an indie rock band with many catchy songs, and this is just one of my favorites by them. It’s the 13th most played song on my iTunes.
  3. “Kiss Me” and “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran. When I’m looking for something calm to listen to, I always turn to these two songs first. They’re perfect for when I’m alone and want to close my eyes and relax a bit at the end of a long day.
  4. “Better Than a Stereo Dream Stereo Love Mashup” by Kap Slap- no song mashups/remixes have anything on this one. It’s really well made and I love to listen to it during my workouts.
  5. “More” by Usher– speaking of workouts, this song always gives me the extra boost I need when I’m reaching the end of a run. Who cares if it was overplayed and everyone knows it?
  6. “Lead Me Home” by Jamie N. Commons– this is one of the newest songs I’ve heard, and I got it from the end of a recent “The Walking Dead” episode. It’s short and chilling, and I’ve caught myself multiple times now listening to it on repeat.
  7. “You’ll Think of Me” by Keith Urban– so soft and soothing, I love to listen to this country tune when I’m driving.
  8. “Bangarang” by Skrillex featuring Sirah– This dubstep song is one that I can never listen to and sit still, so I don’t sit still! It works wonders to wake me up when I’m tired, no coffee necessary.
  9. “Half Moon” by Blind Pilot– Even though it’s called Half Moon, I love listening to it in the early morning because it’s great for welcoming a new day.
  10. Anything by Anberlin, such as “Inevitable”, “Fin”, “Art of War”, and “Type Three”, no explanation required for why I love them so much. I even went to their concert alone last year and it was amazing.
  11. Finally, anything by Hollywood Undead“Coming Back Down”, “Circles”, “This Love This Hate”, and “Dead Bite” are my top picks from their various albums. They are one of the few bands I have yet to see live that I really want to, so please come back to Chicago!
The Game of Footy

The Game of Footy

Footy – it’s a big deal. I finally got the opportunity to see my first match, as the season here is just starting to kick off. This match was just a scrimmage at my school in preparation for the upcoming games, but it was still great fun.

In my opinion, the game resembled something between soccer, rugby and football. I have to say I don’t know how accurate that is though, because it was a game unique to any other I had seen before.

Basically, the objective is to get the ball down-field and kick it into the goal to score. There are two teams of 18 players on the field at once. I think the thing that makes it so unique are the passing methods– drop kicking, handing off and bounce passes are all common.

Hopefully as the season goes on I can understand the rules more clearly. I might even get the chance to try my own hand at footy and add it to my list of growing firsts.

Busy Loyola Days

Busy Loyola Days

It’s just the beginning of a new week, the middle of another Tuesday, but it feels like the days are rolling from one to the next with no breaks or ends. I was happy to have Friday and Saturday as my weekend, but I spent a lot of them doing homework and catching up on my work.

I began my new job at XSport Fitness about a week and a half ago, since then my days have been busy, busy, busy. It’s taken some getting used to, but I’m really enjoying the extra workload because it’s kept me on my feet, and has kept me from slacking off and being lazy. So far, I haven’t fallen behind on anything, I hope to keep this up.

This upcoming weekend is Easter Break, and I’m really looking forward to Friday; I’m going to a concert with my best friend who I haven’t seen in over a month. I’m excited to do some dancing and let go of any stress-filled energy that I have.

In store for this week is an Information Systems quiz that I took an hour ago, and plenty of work hours. Because of Easter Break, two of my night classes have been cancelled, so I decided to take an extra work shift at my new job. It’s going to be a heavy few days, so I’m looking at the concert on Friday as my reward for braving through them.

I also wanted to post some pictures from when I was in Mexico even though some time has past, so here they are:

(Those are people hanging upside down doing a performance around that blue pole- crazy cool!)


(That outfit must have been so hot to walk around in all day)


(This tree’s shape was so different from anything I’ve ever seen in the States, so I had to climb it)


(Starbucks– In Mexico? Not my cup of tea, no pun intended)

Happy Tuesday!

St. Baldrick’s Day

St. Baldrick’s Day

This past week, one of the fraternities at Loyola (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) put on their annual philanthropy event, “Paddy Murphy Week”.  The week includes events such as penny wars (a competition between sororities), powderpuff football, Paddy’s Widow Pageant (a talent show between girls in different sororities) and St. Baldrick’s Day.  Any proceeds made from these events all go towards St. Baldrick’s, an organization trying to find a cure for childhood cancer.

St. Baldrick’s Day seemed to be the main event of the week.  This was the day when tons of guys, and even a few girls, would shave their heads in honor of the boys and girls that have cancer.  The event was held in Rambler Room in CFSU, and there was a HUGE turnout! There were a ton of people from Greek Life, as well as many others from the student body, as both Greek students and Non-Greek students shaved their heads.

At the event, there was a stage where the head shaving was taking place.  There was also a guest speaker and singers, as well. My favorite part was watching the girls get their heads shaved.  It was really heartwarming to see how brave they were and how they were doing it for such a good cause.  It was also cool to see the girls with super long hair donate their hair, as well.

The whole week was very successful, and the amount raised was over 40,000 dollars!!! It was amazing to see how much money can be raised by students to such a fantastic cause. It was a great week!

O’Week at Deakin

O’Week at Deakin

Orientation week, or o’week as they call it, is more than just getting acquainted with the campus and crowds of new faces, it’s a tradition here at my host school in Australia, Deakin University. Not only is it the last week until summer ends and classes begin, but the week is filled with events, new relationships and of course, freebies. Each day, there are dozens of tents set up on the main quad on campus with information about clubs and events, as well as free t-shirts, water bottles and snacks. By night, a focused social event is organized on campus or in the city with a specific theme and activity.

Day 1: Flash Mob

Yes, Australians have hoped on the flash mob bandwagon. Students gathered on the residences field to learn and practice the dance to kick off the week.

Day 2: Beach Party

Although the event did not take place at the actual beach, everyone dressed in the best beach/lifeguard apparel to enjoy barbecue, tropical refreshers and music.

Day 3: Mini-games

Mini-games was a day to explore campus. Every area had an activity from water balloon fights to face painting. Students were enjoying the entertainment or trying their own luck for a prize.

Day 4: Mystery Bus Tour

My favorite event. The busses were based on themes that varied from back-to-school, tight and bright, and sportsmen. No one was supposed to know where the bus is going, it’s a mystery. The bus ride was a social atmosphere and a sight seeing opportunity. It stopped at numerous landmarks all over Melbourne as a chance for pictures and souvenirs.

Day 5: Freshmen Initiation

On the last day, the local freshmen were welcomed to college. In order to be welcomed, they needed to prove themselves. They were harshly woken up at around 6AM for pushups, a flour fight and other hazing methods. A perfect end to the week.

Visit and Revisit Your Top College Choices

Visit and Revisit Your Top College Choices

Many students get a jump start in the college selection process. One example is a high school sophomore who just e-mailed me about her upcoming visit to campus. Being ahead of schedule and making an early campus visit is a great idea—you’ll get to see where the campus is located within the city/area, get a feel for who goes to school there, and learn about all of the opportunities that this particular college or university offers. If you like what you see and want to know more, keep that school on your list. You’ll always have the chance to revisit the same school in the upcoming years to see if it remains a top choice for you and to be certain that all of your questions are answered.

On the other hand, there are many students who wait until later in the process and then realize that they need to make time to see the schools that top their college lists. This might happen during senior year of high school and often becomes a matter of trying to find time in a busy schedule. But remember that it’s worthwhile and will likely help you decide where you will enroll. I always share with students and parents that you don’t buy a car without test driving it, so why wouldn’t you make sure to visit at least your top three college choices before finalizing?

Sophomore or senior—make sure you visit a campus and ideally, visit again. For students who visit early in their high school career, things will change at that school over time. The physical appearance of the campus, the deadlines/requirements in the application process, and your feelings about whether or not it is a real ‘fit’ for you are just a few of the things that may change. With this in mind, I encourage you to visit the schools on your short list again if it has been more than a year since your last visit.

For seniors, you may have visited by going on a tour and/or attending an information session. But now is the prime time to meet with an admission or financial aid counselor, attend an admitted student event such as an overnight program, or make sure you are on the list for the larger spring programs. These spring programs are especially important as universities typically invite admitted students and their families to campus to meet with faculty, staff, students, alumni and more. Here at Loyola, this event is called Loyola Weekend and it is coming up April 6-7. We hope to see you there and we can’t wait to meet the students of Loyola’s Class of 2017!

Viva Mexico!

Viva Mexico!

It’s been a long time since my last blog, but I’m back now! Almost two weeks ago, I was in Mexico, which was amazing. We stayed in the beautiful resort, Riu Palace Mexico, and in the future, I’ll definitely be going back.

We didn’t venture far from the hotel, choosing instead to stay close and relax. I did a little reading and napping on the beach, and not enough swimming. When we first arrived, the water was warm and calm, but by the time we left, it was freezing (granted I did take a night swim the night before our departure- of course it’d be cold).

On one of the afternoons, we walked into the town, Playa Del Carmen. We took a little detour to some nearby ruins before heading in, and wandered the shops once we were there. It was interesting to see how different the shopping environment was there versus back in the States. Because the weather allows for it, they have many open shops with workers standing outside trying to, for lack of a better word, lure customers in. They really push to get sales, which isn’t as common here (sometimes).

It was so nice to take a week away on the beach, and while there, I ran on the beach a few times. I recommend this challenge to everyone because it’s a great workout, even though I sustained a minor injury during one of my runs. I stepped on a coral rock one of the days because I ran barefoot, so for anyone who chooses to run on the beach, either wear gym shoes or be very aware of rocks, shells and anything else in the sand.

Other things I loved to do there was go exploring to see what our resort had to offer. This led my family and me to discover this nice little 24 hour room that provided coffee, snacks and treats, so if I was hungry late at night, or if I woke up super early in the morning, I knew I had an option to curb my appetite. This was extremely useful because I ended up going to this room usually two or three times a day at random times.

Even though it’s been almost two weeks since I left and already so much has happened since, I really miss it there and I think about it everyday. Though I can’t be there now, I brought back my laid back attitude from there, and every time I start feeling stressed, tired or unhappy, I just think about how I felt when I was in Mexico. So my de-stressing tip post- Spring Break is to think about a time or place that made you feel really good, both about yourself and where you were at in your life. Make this your happy place and use it.

PS: A loud enthusiastic shout-out to our friends from Mexico who made our stay even better than I thought it could be- Abraham, Anmeil and Cindy. Muchas gracias y hasta pronto mis amigos!

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s day in Chicago is the best! At home, St. Patrick’s day comes and goes with an article of green clothing and maybe some green eggs. But in Chicago, it’s a whole different story.

We celebrated it on Saturday instead of Sunday. My day started when I woke up at 7:30 am to start getting ready for the day. I dressed up in my best green gear and, unfortunately, had to grab my coat and mittens because it was so cold! I headed over to a friends apartment for some St. Patrick’s day breakfast. We had scrambled eggs (unfortunately not green), bacon, french toast casserole and blueberry muffins. It was a feast!

We left his apartment around 9:15 am to head downtown for the dying of the river at 10:00 am. The Chicago river is dyed green every year to celebrate the holiday. In case you have never seen it in person, it is not a murky, dark green like you may be thinking. It is a vibrant, bright green. I marvel at its color every year and how they manage to get it to be such a bright color continues to be a mystery to me.

After the dying of the river, we warmed up a little in a coffee shop before heading to the parade. I can not believe how many people showed up for the parade! Downtown was so crowed but so awesome. Everyone was in green and in a great mood.

By the end of the parade, we were exhausted and hungry. So we jumped on the El and headed back towards Rogers Park. We stopped at Aldi on the way home and made ourselves a (not very Irish) lunch of turkey tacos. We were pooped and ready for a nap after our late lunch.

Needless to say, it was so much fun celebrating St. Patricks day here in Chicago. If you don’t believe me, just look at some of the awesome pictures we took during the day!


Game Night

Game Night

While many students might be spending their Friday night doing other things, me and my group of brothers decided last night would be spent better just relaxing and playing some board games.

Of course no game night is complete without Risk… I’m not allowed to play with them anymore, I am 20-0-2 (one of my brothers flipped the board and another decided a tidal wave destroyed Africa and Australia) in college.

Photo Taken by Ania Jakobiec

The other game we love is Settlers of Catan. A game that is a bit more fair for everyone, I am only 6-2.

Spring Break

Spring Break

We may still have Winter weather but last week was our Spring Break. Unfortunately, I did not get away from the cold as many of my college peers did. It was okay though because I went back home to Michigan and got to see my family and my dog.

I had a very relaxed break and was able to catch up on my homework. That may sound like a terrible break, but I assure you, I loved it. Having a whole week to sleep in and gradually work on assignments and even get ahead in school is heaven! All of my friends who went somewhere fun like Florida are miserable this week trying to complete all of the work that I have done.

Also, just because it was cold does not mean that I didn’t appreciate the weather! I even got to go cross country skiing with my mom one day on our frozen lake.

So there is a silver lining to staying home all break; or, at least that’s what I tell myself 😉