Month: January 2018

How did I Choose MY Major?

How did I Choose MY Major?

All of my family is sitting around the table. My parents are one side, my uncles and aunts, my cousins (from 8 years old to 47 years old) are present, and my nieces and nephews have all come to have a celebration at my house. As always, there is a ton of food and drink (with enough to fill all the tupperware my aunts have brought along). There is chatter, there is laughter, and there is plenty of chewing to be heard as my family enjoys their food with gusto.

From all sides of the table you hear questions that are all too common at a gathering: Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend yet? (if not, why are you not in a relationship yet). Are you pregnant yet? (yes, this is a serious question). Are you doing well in school? (which means are you on Dean’s List). With all these questions, one always stands out to me: Miggy (one of my many nicknames), what are you studying again? Advertising and Public Relations is my reply. Silence follows.

I will be up front and honest with the fact that I broke my family’s mold. My parents and godparents support my decision to want something that I am passionate about. My other family members, they are another story. For them, success is doing medicine, nursing, and/or engineering (where the money was at). But, of all majors, why did I choose advertising and public relations?

When I was deciding on my college major, I had two things on my mind: What do I enjoy doing and how can I help the most people? Initially, before going to college, I thought that medicine would be the most obvious choice. However, I realized that there are many ways you can help, being a doctor is just one option. When looking at the majors and minors Loyola offered while also evaluating my own interests, I realized that my true passion was for understanding and appreciating people’s’ culture different from my own and the importance of proper representation of minorities in the media and advertising. Being an ethnic minority myself, I believe that these both answer the question I posed above.

My major and two minors allowed me to fulfill both of my interests. First, with advertising. When I imagine advertising, I look for representation, equality, and proper portrayal of all identities of a person. Being a voice for the voiceless is something that I carry with me. This ties into my marketing minor. Taking classes like International Marketing and Consumer Behavior only solidified my choice for my field of study. As for International Studies, I love cultures. I am an ethnic minority that is a true “Eurasian”. I am Spanish, Filipino, Chinese, Pacific Islander, and Royal French. Being appreciative of my culture, I wanted to focus in two areas that meant the most to me, Latin America and Asia.

I believe, that these programs I am currently pursuing, are closely linked to my passions and interests. I know that I can become a voice for all minority groups, including my own. Properly representing minorities and having our voices heard is the best way to give back, not just for myself, but also to my country and heritage.

In the future, I want to pursue a graduate degree and having a career in either strategic communications, advertising, consumer behavior, or specialized intercultural marketing to ensure proper representation and for the chance for all voices to be heard and acknowledged.

Beijing Life and Living

Beijing Life and Living

Wow. I can’t believe I’ve been here for two full weeks already!

It’s certainly been an action-packed adventure already. If I were to go home now, I’d still have stories for a lifetime!

All of us here at TBC have settled into our lives here in Beijing, although just as a pattern and not as a hard mold. The fact is, we can’t explore Beijing much because it’s too cold! Nobody wants to go wandering the hutongs or exploring around the hip neighborhoods because after just ten minutes of walking around campus to get to class, we’re shivering and shaking. Of course there are still indoors things to do, such as museums and galleries and meals (of course meals) but the majority of fun things college-age kids like us like to do such as going clubbing or going to karaoke are nightlife, so we’re spending our days watching television in the communal lounge and studying. It’s been pretty good, lots of bonding between the small group of us.

Of course, all this cold hasn’t stopped some of us. This weekend two groups of us, about fifteen total, went out skiing! I have to be honest, the ski hill is about two hours south of Beijing and if you’ve ever skiied before, anywhere, you’d be underwhelmed by this place. It’s made for beginners and nobody else. Still, it was a nice experience to be with my roommate and just a few other friends.

The internet here in China is not good, so unfortunately I can’t add photos right now, but hopefully in the future I’ll be able to come back and add to this.

The Beijing Center also offers lots of activities and fun things to do to get to know Beijing and China better, even more than Rome did. To begin with, we have our Chinese roommates, who know the city and the area very well. And TBC also puts on programs such as a Culinary Arts lesson where they taught us how to make southern Chinese dishes, taking us to the arts district with a semi-guided tour of its history, and watching Disney’s Mulan with the roommates to point out the cultural inaccuracies of the film. Still, it’s all in good fun, and didn’t lessen my love of the film one bit.


We’ve all gotten through a week of classes and internships now, and gotten a gauge of how they’ll be. I’m really looking forward to it, to be honest, because I think I will really learn a lot in every subject. I’m really loving Beijing. It’s been an experience and I’m sure it will be even more so as I move through the semester. Right now I’m looking forward to our trip to the southern (and much, much warmer) Yunnan province, because, as they say in China here, I’m 冷死了 – leng si le – freezing cold!

Federal Work Study

Federal Work Study

I high encourage all of you guys to do Federal Work Study (FWS) and mark that down when you do the FAFSA. The purpose of FWS is to help undergraduate and graduate students earn some income, based on their financial need. Especially at Loyola University, we are known for hiring student workers for a lot of part-time positions in multiple offices – Damen Student center, Tutoring office, First-and-Second Year Advising, Undergraduate Admissions (THE BEST), and so much more.


With federal work-study, you get paid like any other job (at least once a month), and the job is part-time (probably around 20 hours a week). The amount you earn, according to Federal Student Aid (, can’t exceed your federal work-study award.

Most of my friends also do FWS in different departments -First-and-Second Year Advising, Residence Life, and Undergraduate Admissions. Balancing a job and school is quite doable. These departments already know they have student workers, so obviously scheduling hours is flexible based off of students’ class times. In addition to flexibility, the departments/bosses are understanding. If you cannot make it to a shift because of an exam or emergency, it is a-okay. My personal opinion is that if you are a hard worker, are very responsible, and have a good work ethic, things can work in your favor. I cannot speak on behalf of many other student workers nor do I wish to represent a department’s way of dealing with student workers– this is just my opinion.

At Loyola, we have a website called Ramblerlink.

Here’s the link:

Ramblerlink is a website for Loyola students, staff, and faculty to use (with their school login) to see any job positions within the university. Like any other job, there are requirements, resumes, and other specifications; they vary. It is quite helpful and useful for our Ramblers because every school job is located in one website and there are tabs to filter out things that they are eligible/qualify for. In order to successfully use Ramblerlink and apply for a job, it is required for everyone to submit a cover letter and resume that is up to university standards. This means that the Career and Development Center (CDC) will look over your two documents first and if they approve, access is granted to actually apply. This is fantastic because CDC reviews and gives you comments on how to make your documents PROFESSIONAL and COMPLETE, as a free service. How great is that?!

Perks to doing FWS also include, but are not limited to:

  • Gaining experience in the particular department
  • Developing a better work ethic/become more responsible
  • Improve speaking skills
  • Have friendships with other student workers and staff members
  • Tons of funnn!

And remember, Loyola is a very student-oriented school. The work environment is pretty nice – Student of the month, funny wall of student workers, etc. With all that being said, consider applying for a LUC job once you become a Rambler!!!

Ni hao from China!

Ni hao from China!

Coming to you live (and early) from Beijing, I’m abroad once more and feeling great! (So far.)

A lot has happened in the past week, but I won’t bore you with the orientation details. Let me just tell you about some of the surprises I’ve been having, and will continue to have, in this chapter of the adventure.

First off, in Rome I had a taste of what it’s like to live in a country where you don’t speak the language. But I picked up Italian pretty fast, signs were usually in Italian and English, and people usually spoke both languages. Even in Greece, where the alphabet was different, everyone spoke English and I didn’t have a lot of absolutely free time to jump into the culture and living anyway.

Here, I feel like a baby. Here’s a photo from my first ever trip to China with my aunt. Pretty much how I felt this first week. I think I’m pretty lucky, however, to have at least some of the culture ingrained in me and to know at least a basic grasp of the language. The other Ricci scholars and my new friends here mostly came in with no knowledge of the language or the culture. They’re really starting from nothing! Every day and every interaction though, I’m gaining more confidence. I haven’t yet eaten alone or gone downtown by myself, but I have no rush to. I want to get to know the people around here first! Meals are, in my opinion, the best way to get to know people. All my rusty chinese is getting polished, and fast.


But sometimes not knowing the language or the culture can lead to fun surprises! I have to tell you this story: my friends Mark, Jacob, Jenna and I were out for dinner at a restaurant none of us had been before. Mark wanted to try some Chinese beer, so I taught him the word for it – pijiu, since he already knew how to order something. He said it alright, I thought, but the waitress pointed to the menu, gesturing to the whole drink list. So Mark, not knowing how to read, assumed she meant all the drinks were beers and he should just pick one. Five minutes later, the waitress came back with a can labeled ‘herbal tea’, and gave him a straw for it.

The food here is so good. Of course, that’s not a surprise, but I’m always surprised by how cheap it is for the quality! You can eat a good meal for about 20 kuai, or just about 3 US dollars. We have a meal card for the canteen on campus, but it only has about 400 kuai loaded on to it (you can add more when you need), and you can spend it on the on-campus convenience store, so I’ve already spent about 100 kuai, which is about 20 dollars, on snacks and school supplies and other little impulse buys. I can’t help it! Everything is so cheap here! My friends and I went out for famous chinese hotpot, and our total came to 115 kuai each, which is only about 18 dollars, but we were shocked already. We will hate returning to the expensive USA, I can tell already!

I love China, I really do. The living is less loud than in flashy, fancy Rome, and it’s been really strange to see my friends from university back home who have started in Rome this semester, but I can tell how different I am because of Rome. I’m so glad I’m here!

Explore Chicago CTA Edition: This is Fullerton

Explore Chicago CTA Edition: This is Fullerton

This is Fullerton. Doors open on the right at Fullerton, transfer to Purple and Brown line trains at Fullerton. This is a train to Howard. Hey everyone, welcome back to the fifth installment of Explore Chicago CTA Edition! As always, I’m your blogger, Miguel Molina! Today, we are going to be having some fun with both eats, treats, and sights down at the CTA’s Fullerton stop. Be sure to bring your student ID card, ventra card (u-pass), and as always, a hungry belly. So come on, let’s go and explore!

Getting There:

There are three ways that I would recommend getting to Fullerton, depending on where you live and with time considered. The first way is the easiest. You can take the CTA Red line down from Loyola straight into Fullerton station (toward 95th). This may take around 30 minutes, give or take. Or, you can take the Intercampus shuttle from the Lakeshore Campus to the Water Tower Campus and take the El from Chicago and State north toward Fullerton (only one stop away). Lastly, you can always take an Uber or a Lyft, depending on the size of the group you are traveling with, and what time of day you are planning to visit the area.

Main Attractions:

  1. Lincoln Park Zoo: As one of the last free public zoos, and one of North America’s oldest zoos (it was founded in 1868); Lincoln Park Zoo is a fun place for families, students, and visitors to all check out! Inside, there are several different exhibits for the whole family to enjoy with monkeys, reptiles, birds, and so much more. Sadly, there is no Harambe, but it does have gorillas! During the winter months, the zoo becomes a popular attraction for an event called “Zoo Lights” where the whole site is lit up. Here you can go with your friends and sip away at your hot cocoa while going throughout the zoo and even find some ice carving demonstrations. Regardless of the season, you should definitely check out the Nature Boardwalk before leaving. This is a true Instagram worthy area for photos and a perfect place for that new profile pic that Facebook keeps annoying you about. With the background of the John Hancock building and the River North part of the skyline; this place offers excellent views of Chicago. Once you are done here, be sure to check out our next stop.
  2. Oz Park: From Lincoln Park Zoo just “follow the yellow brick road” to get to Chicago’s Oz Park. Commemorating L Frank Baum, the author of this literary classic, this park is open to the public and features the characters from the book. Be sure to be on the lookout for Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and of course Dorothy and Toto as well! This play is fun to visit in the summer months as well, as they offer free movies to the public (perfect for a friends’ night out or date night).

It’s Time to Eat:

  1. Cafe Ba Ba Reba: Who can say no quality Spanish tapas, paella, pintxos and jamón serrano? As one of my favorite Spanish restaurants, outside of Spain of course, this place has such flavorful and rich foods. This is a place that you want to ask your parents to bring you when they come to visit Loyola and want to treat you for a meal. Here are my suggestions for you to try:
  • Pintxos: (These are bite sized dishes) Chorizo wrapped dates and cheese (What is better than spicy sausage with sweet dates and salty cheese as the perfect three in one? That’s what!); Bacalao Croquette (this is a creamy and rich cod croquette with potatoes that is fried to crispy goodness and has an excellent aioli sauce with it)
  • Tapas: (Small Plates) Fried Calamari (nothing is better than a classic); Seared Spanish Sausage (a great way to try a variety of different kinds of Spanish meats from spicy sausage to blood sausage)
  • Paella: (Rice Platters) When you go to a Spanish restaurant you definitely have to try their paella! Cafe Ba Ba Reba is no exception. I would recommend two of their paellas. The Paella Valenciana (pork rinds, pork shoulder, pork belly, and pork sausage) is on point! If you are more into seafood, try their Seafood Paella (shrimp, monkfish, clams, and vegetables). Either one, be sure to add the extra virgin olive oil that is offered on the table, this elevates the food to another level.

Still hungry and looking for more to visit? Be sure to tune in February 6, 2018 as we go and start to explore more of the north side as we stop at Belmont on this edition of Explore Chicago CTA Edition. Doors closing.

Apparently this is “Spring Semester”

Apparently this is “Spring Semester”

It’s great to be back at school and welcome to Spring Semester, where there are still inches of snow cover and single digit weather! Nevertheless, being back at school and seeing old friends seem to warm things up a bit. Things are starting off to a great start. My school and work schedule are doable and I am feeling good about how my last semester is going. I just hope that at the end of the semester, Spring DOES come and I do graduate with cherry blossoms in bloom, green grass, blue waters on the lake, and good weather!


Unlike Fall semester, Spring semester has a different vibe. Everyone seems to know where all the buildings are at this point and people know the drill with class expectations. In a way, the ‘Back to School’ vibe isn’t as great as it is in August when people return from summer vacations. For seniors like myself, WE ARE NEARING THE END.

For me, it is a sad realization with good intentions. Over the last couple of years at Loyola, I have seen Loyola grow and I have seen myself develop into a more mature, self-aware, and responsible person. I love coming to work in the Undergraduate Admissions and come to enjoy everyone in the office- staff, student workers, etc. However, my departure from this University is something that must be done; I accept it.

My Biology 101 teacher, Dr. Helfgott always tells us, “Hard work pays off.” Though it is a well-known phrase/saying, I always remember her telling me this. My 4 years of hard work must be rewarded and being able to walk down the aisle and walk out carrying my diploma does just that. The finish line is so close, but at the end of that line, is a whole new beginning.

I have been accepted to the University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate Program for this coming Fall 2018. This new beginning is so exciting and I feel so fortunate and ready to continue my higher education.

But, for now, I’m enjoy what I can now. I’ll make the most out of this semester. Loyola is a great place and I will take every advantage I will try to forge new friendships, create new memories, and more.

‘2017 Was Sooooo Last Year’

‘2017 Was Sooooo Last Year’


It’s crazy to think that 2018 is already here. It feels like just yesterday I was in high school with my 5 minute commute back home. One more year to graduation, deadlines approaching, anxiety rising, and one last year of my journey at Loyola.

Winter break was not as eventful as I thought it would be, not to say I didn’t enjoy it. Most of the time, I was trying new recipes, studying for the GRE, attending weddings and parties, volunteering at Community First Medical Center, and stalking LOCUS to check for open classes. It was the time I was able to actually reflect on my 3 years at Loyola and realize how quick things are approaching.

I was able to positively reflect on things as well. As stressed as I am about the graduate school deadlines, GRE exam, taking 19 credit hours, and my overall health this year, I am motivated to strive and do my best in all of these things; one thing for sure though, is that I must prioritize my health. A lot of times, we get so carried away with school or work that we forget to take care of ourselves or don’t really care at that point, but please, if there is anything I would like for all of my current/past/future Ramblers to do this year is to always prioritize your physical and mental health. It is something we don’t talk about often, and don’t realize until it is at toll. There will be moments where you stress, or are unhappy; that is not to say that everything will always go in the direction we don’t want them to, but when they do, let them. I have accepted that things do happen the way they are planned to happen, and rather than hurting myself or my health, do something fun. Get your mind off of it, and just go with the flow. I had many moments where I would start panicking and stressing, but instead of sitting there crying and looking at the thing that was stressing me out, I went out, bought myself some ice cream or went to the gym and got my mind off of it. Sometimes, I would just face time a friend too, as long as I find some sort of distraction.

Take care of yourself first; it won’t be worth it, trust me. I made the mistake before during my 1st and 2nd year of College where I wouldn’t take care of myself and just did whatever was needed to be done. I realized, in those moments, I wasn’t truly happy, nor was I myself. I was forcing and convincing myself to be something or doing something that wasn’t me, and in the end, all I got of it was MORE stress and complications as a consequence of not taking care of myself first.

Be smart, but in the sense that will benefit you first. Trust me, you’ll live a more experiential and happy life if you live life like Dory from Finding Nemo 🙂

Welcome Back Ramblers!

Welcome Back Ramblers!

It’s Tuesday, January 16th. There is a mini-blizzard seen outside the classroom, the smell of hot coffee beckons (waiting to be drunk), the sound of crunching snow and slosh of slush being stepped on by heavy duty boots. With all this, we are back to work. Welcome back Ramblers to Spring semester!

Today, I am here to tell you about what to expect this semester from your weekly blogger! As always, I am here to be your resource to connect you to your Loyola experience. Every other week, I will talk about academics, extracurriculars, and events going on at both Loyola’s Water Tower and Lakeshore Campuses. Here are some of the topics that I hope to cover this semester:

  • How to choose a college major, minor
  • Why it is okay to be undecided with your major/minor
  • Some Loyola history (St Ignatius of Loyola, History of Certain Buildings, Important People on Campus)
  • Tips for academic success (Tutoring Center, Writing Center, Research, etc.)

However, starting next week, we will be going to have Explore Chicago CTA Edition where we are going to explore Fullerton. Just a quick reminder, during this segment, I give you a bunch of tips on places to explore and what makes Chicago such a beautiful and unique city to live. As always, you can count on receiving suggestions for tasty meals (sit downs, cafes, fast food, and of course…desserts) as well as shops (bookstores, boutiques, speciality shops) and many attractions in these neighborhoods (parks, historic centers, and so much more)! Make sure to bring your U-Pass and an empty stomach to come on this fun adventure!

  • January 23 (Fullerton)
  • February 6 (Belmont)
  • February 20 (Addison)
  • March 13 (Argyle)
  • March 27 (Granville)
  • April 10 (Morse)
  • April 24 (Howard)

I hope you have a great spring semester and are ready to embark on adventure. Welcome Back Ramblers!