Archive by Author

Rocstar Hair Show This Weekend!

3 Dec

Looking for something to do this weekend?  Stay out of the cold on Saturday (12/4) and head over to Flat Iron for a hair/fashion show. Rocstar Hair presents “Beauty is Dead” .

Photo Credit: Rocstar Hair Facebook Page

Going with the “Rocstar” theme the show will feature zombie, Victoria Secret looking models. It’s a one of a kind show that demonstrates the talent and creativity that is Rocstar Hair.Rocstar Hair is a new salon that opened in August in the heart of Wrigleyville. The Flat Iron is located at 1565 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago. The cover charge is $5 which covers beer and whiskey specials. The bar is open from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m.

Want to look like a “rocstar” yourself? Check out their Facebook page  and set up an appointment with one of their amazing stylists. Students with a valid ID get $5 off.

Lorena’s Life in the City

1 Dec

Lorena

Chicago College Life has interviewed one of the Chicago college students that has been following our blog for the past couple of weeks. Lorena Lara, an 18 year old freshman living on campus at UIC, was interviewed by Chicago College Life about her experience living on campus and trying to be dependent on herself. She was a sample of our student audience whom we sought to know how much of an advantage and help our blog was to her in her life especially as a freshman.

CCL: What major are you studying?

LL: Right now I am undecided. I haven’t chosen my major yet, but I know I want to do something in the medical field because I like science.

CCL: How far is your hometown from school?

LL: It’s two hours away by train and other public transportation, or twenty-five minutes of driving.

CCL: Did your parents have an impact on your education decision?

LL: They wanted me to do something that did not involve a lot of years of studying. But I decided to go against their will because it’s my life. They actually wanted me to go to college for X-ray technician but I did not want to get an associate degree. I wanted more than that, so I decided to go to a university instead.

CCL: You said you have an undecided major, does that have anything to do with what your parents have suggested to you?

LL: They just wanted me to get an associate degree because it doesn’t take as long as a bachelor degree. My parents want me to be independent, and attending a university would make me dependent on my parents for a longer time. I am taking my time and not rushing things because I know I will be in a career that will make me become an independent afterwards.

CCL: Are you employed?

LL: I didn’t want to work my first semester of school, because I thought it would interfere with my grades. Now that I have learned how to manage my time wisely, I will probably look for a job for next semester.

CCL: How do you handle your college expenses?

LL: I get financial aid, and I get the rest of the money from my parents.

Cortyard

CCL: What is your housing plan like?

LL: I live in Courtyard . Our room and board also come with a a five-day meal plan, so on the weekends I either go home or go out to eat with my friends.

CCL: Where do you like to eat with your friends?

LL: I like to eat in Greek Town or Little Italy . Both neighborhoods are cheap, but when I am in a Mexican mood I go to Lalos . Every Wednesday they have Salsa night. OH MY GOD it is so fun, you have to go there!

Little Italy in Chicago

Lalos Logo

CCL: Why did you choose to live in the dorms, and how were your parents involved with that decision?

LL: I wanted to get the full college experience, but my parents didn’t agree with me living in the dorms because they said it was going to be a waste of money. I think their decision was basically a Mexican tradition—that young ladies are to stay with their parents. But I convinced them, and they’ve accepted it.

CCL: How often do your parents check on you?

LL: During the first month of school, they would call me like three times a day. But now, it’s every other day. The first question they  always ask me is if I am coming home this weekend Once I tell them that I am not, they think it’s because  want to go out to a party.

CCL: How often do you go home?

LL: I go home every other weekend. When I go home I shop with my mom, because when I am home, I can’t study. That’s why I stay at school most of the time on weekends, working in the computer lab on doing papers.

CCL: How well do you know the city?

LL: I know about restaurants, but I don’t have that much information about night life, in order to be really involved in “the nightlife” I need to be 21, because most things include alcohol. I have seen the section Chicago College Life has provided about nightlife and entertainment, I am interested in it and look at it every once in a while, [Sigh] Can’t wait!

CCL: Did you have any previous knowledge about the city?

LL: I have been at a couple of clubs,  for kids my age, but it’s on the north side of downtown. Now that I have been following Chicago College Life, I gained more knowledge on what is going on around me.

CCL: What do you like do for fun around the city?

LL: I go to the movies when I get home, and I go to the UIC Theater if I was not busy. As for clubs , I go where I’m legally allowed to enter; and I go bowling with my friends. I just think that I am totally missing a lot because I am not 21, but I can’t wait for that!

Lorena 2nd from left bowling with her friends

CCL: Do you feel more responsible now that you live away from home?

LL: Yes, I’m more responsible. It feels great because I don’t have anyone calling me to ask me what time I will be home. I can get to my dorm at any time without getting in trouble. However, I feel like living in the middle of the city makes me more vulnerable to danger, especially for a young lady like me. One tip I follow from my peer mentor and Chicago College Life is to always go out in groups—NEVER BY MYSELF.

CCL: Do you think that your life would have been different if you lived at home?

LL: Time managing can definitely be hard your first semester living in the dorms. Sometimes I feel I have to choose between sleeping, having a social life, or studying. I learned my lesson the hard way; as of now I’m on the border of failing a class because of my procrastination. But I see my friends and study with them, and I followed the tips from the topic on Midterm Madness; I hope I won’t fail!

Over all, one of the advantages that Lorena has from living in the dorms is and able to experience the city life. Living in student housing has allowed her to study with the classmates, connect with friends, and avoid hours of commuting. Even though Lorena lives away from home and is dependent on her parents, she is currently learning how to be independent.

~Rima

Winter and Holiday Fun!

29 Nov

Winter break is coming up which means there’s a lot of free time to go out and take advantage of what the city has to offer. You can play in the snow, visit outdoor Christmas markets, check out Christmas exhibits and light displays. Chicago College Life wanted to give everyone a few places to go to the make the most out of your well deserved time off from school!

Do you like ice skating? The most popular ice rink is the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink located at Millennium Park. Entering the rink is free, but skates cost $10 if you don’t have your own pair. There are plenty of other places in Chicagoland that offer outdoor fun. Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier is also a good choice to look into. There is also free skating here and because of the locations of these rinks, Depaul, Loyola, and UIC students should have a fairly easy time getting there.

Are you one of those few people who like being outside in the cold? If so, you should head on out to Villa Olivia Country Club in Bartlett, IL. In the winter, this country club offers skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and more. These events are held every day, weather permitting. Prices range from $29-$39, for individual adults but you can also bring your friends along and take advantage of group prices. Also, for the people who can’t ski or snowboard, there are lessons for you at a reasonable price.

Maybe you’re the artsy type who likes going to museums and look at fancy exhibits about the holidays? The Art Institute of Chicago has different holiday themed activities that are perfect to experience during your time off from school. You and some friends can build your own gingerbread houses or eat and enjoy holiday sweets.

If you’re looking for something more visually appealing, visit the Museum of Science and Industry’s Christmas Around the World and Holiday of Light exhibits. These exhibits feature culturally unique and decorated trees from more than 50 countries from around the world. So not only will you enjoy the holiday essence, but you might even gain a history lesson on why Christmas is celebrated differently around the world. There’s even ethnic dancing and singing throughout the season. Everything is included with general admission and there are even student and group discounts available.

Would you like to do some holiday shopping outside of the mall or the Magnificent Mile? The Lincoln Square Christkindlmarket offers traditional German food, drinks, music, and decorations for people of all ages to enjoy. There are a bunch of vendors selling everything from German beer (for the 21 and up crowd) to schnitzel and baked goods. While there, you can listen to various choirs from around Chicagoland. You can buy winter accessories such as gloves, hats, and scarves. Event organizers also look for volunteers to help them put this event together so if you’re willing to help out, this will be a great opportunity to volunteer while still having a good time during the holiday season.

It’s important as college students to remember to have fun and that there is a life outside of school. Hopefully, everyone can enjoy themselves, get into the holiday spirit, and relax so you can have a fresh start for next semester. If you want to find more activities, visit The Chicago Traveler’s website to find more. Happy Holidays from CCL.

The Dating Game: Students Speak About Relationships

27 Nov

It seems like college students these days are either skeptical or naïve about dating. College is supposed to be the best years of your life, which explains how settling down is the last thing on our minds. There are many opportunities during college for students to mingle and meet new people; whether it be through classes, club organizations, fraternity parties, or just hanging out in the dorms. Some people choose not to have a relationship because they would rather be free to be their own person, It’s common to hear college girls say, “I’m not looking for Mr. Right, I’m looking for Mr. Right now”. Another reason why college students may choose to avoid serious relationships is because they want to focus more on school rather than be distracted by dating. While these are not the only reasons why students stay single during college, these points are very relatable. On the other hand, there are many people who prefer to be in committed relationships because of it offers security and stability. Relationships are beneficial because your significant other could also serve as a reliable support system. This reasoning may lead some students to believe that they’re going to marry their college sweetheart.

When researching this topic I came across a study that was conducted to find out more about love and relationships among college students. Data was taken from 184 undergraduates at a large southeastern university which revealed that 94% of the students have experienced a love relationship. The young undergraduates (age 19 and under) were significantly more likely to believe that love conquers all rather than the older graduates. Current involvement in a love relationship was also significantly associated with this belief. The analysis of the data revealed that one’s relationship status is associated with one’s belief in the power of love to solve all problems. Those who are in a relationship are more likely to believe this notion rather than someone who is single. To find out more about the study click here

Andrew from Loyola said, “I absolutely think two people can make it through college and stay committed. It’s all about trust; if you have a lot of trust and confidence in your partner, then you can make it through anything.”

Jennifer from DePaul said, “It really depends on the person. Some girls are inspired by the “sex and the city” lifestyle and care more about fashion, martinis, and their girlfriends, rather than having a relationship with just one guy.”

Kelly from UIC believes, “Yes, I do think you can have a “romantic” relationship during college because if the connection is there, then your relationship can last despite other distractions that may come with college life.”

John from Columbia stated , “No, any relationship I’ve had since I’ve been in college has ended horribly. Some people are just way to needy and jealous. I don’t have much time for myself because of my course load, so I wouldn’t have time to deal with someone else who needs constant attention. Plus, I like to explore my options.”

Dating can be very tricky. Here are some tips and advice on how to make a relationship last during college: studies come first. Remember, you’re in college to get your Bachelor’s degree not your “MRS.” degree. Your first priority as a college student is to get educated. Help each other out, instead of going out to dinner or a party head to the library and help each other study. Be clear about your motives. College students get in relationships for different reasons. Some people want to be in a lasting relationship while others want flings and one night stands. No matter which category you fall into you need to be clear about what you want in order to avoid one or both of your feelings being hurt. It’s very important that when two people are together, they have the same expectations. Cook for each other. Sure it’s easy to walk to the dining hall and use that great meal plan you’re on however, change it up once in a while and look up easy recipes you can follow (refer back to my post about cheap dates for college couples). Choose to be single? Check out Nakendra’s post about surviving the single life in college

Hefty Clean!

25 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope all of you have enjoyed the celebration with your family and enjoyed your break. I know you are probably now busy with all the cleaning from after the dinner. You must have had a lot of family members and relatives that came, and you, your mother or father are left with stacks of dishes that you don’t know where to start from. Almost all our mothers like a delicate dinner with wine glasses, and designed plates, at least we did. Just think of why you would ever fall into the same experience of having to take hours of cleaning while you can spend it with your family that you haven’t seen, or you might spend it studying for your finals. Keep in mind Christmas is coming soon, but you don’t need to fall in the trap of dishwashing and table cleaning.

With all the food on the table, advice you mother with table covers. The table covers do not need to be fancy as long as they look good, and they protect your table from wine and oil spills. You can purchase plastic table-covers for a dollar from either the Dollar Tree or Family Dollar.

Instead of washing the dishes and the glasses, you can purchase plastic or paper ones that you can dispose them.

After you are done with your dinning, you can dispose all the plastic and paper for recycling.

Enjoy the rest of your break, and happy holidays!

~Rima

Wingin’ it with Lizzy Sebuck

24 Nov

Lizzy Sebuck loves Red Bull

 

Landing the perfect internship can be a challenging and stressful task. It takes hours of researching, applying, and preparing before actually interviewing with a company. Although Chicago College Life (CCL) has attempted to make this process easier by gathering opinions from professionals on internships, the interview process, and campus career resources, we have yet to get a student perspective on the matter.  Lizzy Sebuck, a senior at UIC, is majoring in Communications and is graduating this December. Last summer she earned a position at the Red Bull corporate office in Chicago as their Communication intern. CCL sat down with Lizzy and got the scoop about her experience with a summer internship at Red Bull.

Lizzy (2nd from left) with Chicago Wiiings Team

Chicago College Life (CCL): How did you find your internship?

Lizzy Sebuck (LS): I had already been working with the Red Bull Wiiings Team for about a year when I heard about the internship.  Working with the team is a lot more than promotions… being a Wiiings Team Member includes knowing everything there is to know about the energy drink as well as the Red Bull brand as a whole. In that job, the Wiiings Team Members speak on behalf of the brand to consumers.

My boss at that job came to me when he heard that there was a position open at the office. He knew that I am a Communications major, a huge media and film nerd, and that I live and breathe Red Bull so he thought it would be perfect for me. You know how they say, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? They weren’t kidding!

CCL: What was the interview process like?

LS: Scary! But I prepared for it A LOT before my interview. I spent about a week making my roommates and friends test interview me with questions we thought they might ask at the interview. I prepared myself by making up hypothetical questions, since I had no idea what to expect.  The actual interview itself was really not so bad because I was so well prepared.  The women who interviewed me were friendly but professional, so I was pretty comfortable talking to them about more work opportunities for a company that I already love.

CCL: How often were you asked to work?

LS: This internship was my life for 4 months! While I worked in the corporate office for about 40 hours week, this internship was way more than a 9 to 5 job.  Red Bull hosts many different events that span across culture; from sports to music, and art—this company kind of has its hands dipped in everything.  I would travel around the Midwest with this internship when I had to cover these events. I even lived in Detroit for 2 weeks! During these events the Communications team would work some pretty early mornings until late the next night to finish coverage for any given occasion.

CCL: What kind of responsibilities did you have?

LS: As an intern, I did just about everything and anything asked of me. For starters, I was responsible for press releases and media alerts for any Red Bull event or news. Furthermore, it was my job to contact all of the media outlets, organize interviews, and get coverage for all of our events. During the actual events the Communications team does just about everything.  The Media Center is “the hub” for the Communications team. At the Media Center, I would assist in writing press and news releases, media alerts, as well as update the entire Red Bull company of on-going changes to the event schedule as they would occur. There was literally nothing we didn’t do.  Sometimes we would arrive on site as early as 4 A.M.  to conduct interviews, work through the day at the event, and then stay up all night writing press releases and reviewing photos of the event.

CCL: What was most challenging about your internship?

LS: I didn’t really have a life when I worked as a communications/media intern at Red Bull… but I was totally okay with it. I love the brand and I loved getting real life experience in my major, so I was totally happy. Yeah, I had to sacrifice a LOT of time and did a LOT of work, but it was definitely worth it. The hardest thing about my internship was working long hours. 28 hour days aren’t easy, even if you have a Red Bull in hand!

Lizzy (far left) at Flugtag in St. Paul-Minneapolis

CCL: What was your best experience while working with Red Bull?

LS: The coolest thing about my internship was my last project. For my last event in August the Communications team and I flew to St.Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota for Red Bull Flugtag. Red Bull Flugtag is an amazing event that includes the creation of “flight crafts” of about 30 teams of people. This hilarious event was not only fun, but I learned how to work a national event. As a last task, it was my job to run and operate the Media Center for Red Bull Flugtag Minneapolis. What a cool thing to put on my resume, right? I organized and operated the entire Media Center for a national event held by one of the top companies in the world. It was amazing.

CCL: Lastly, do you have any advice for other college students in Chicago who are interested in interning?

LS: Start an internship somewhere that you might see beginning your future career at. This way you’ll get an ‘in’ with people who decide your role at that company, and furthermore gain experience in a field you could eventually be paid to work in! Get ready for a work overload! If you are working somewhere that you want to have a career at, you really have to bust your ass to show them how much you care.

Based off Lizzy’s experience, you should expect an internship to be challenging and put you to the test. It is important to search for a position that really appeals to you, since you’ll be asked to invest a lot of time and energy in the company. Learn from Lizzy’s experience from working at RedBull, and use your internship to network and advance in the career field of your dreams!

For more information about available internships, check out the career services offered by your university:

LOYOLA: http://www.luc.edu/career/index.shtml

DEPAUL: http://careercenter.depaul.edu/

UIC: http://www.uic.edu/depts/ocs/

–Anastasia

Livin In The Halls

23 Nov

So we know you go to school in Chicago, but where do you live? Are you a commuter student? Do you have an off-campus apartment or do you live on campus in a residence hall? Living on your own for the first time comes with its challenges and experiences you will never forget.   Moving away from home was an exciting, but challenging experience for me.  I was shy as a freshman and living in the residence halls was one way that helped me to meet new people since I lived on a floor with 60 other freshman!  I also got involved from the start with residence hall leadership organizations.  These have helped me not only to develop as a leader, but also as an individual.  It also helped me to meet a solid group of friends and learn how to live on my own!  As a veteran campus housing resident (and resident assistant), living in a residence hall community on-campus at your institution can have its perks.

Rent. Yes, money can either be very important when considering where to live. Unlike an off-campus house or apartment, student loans can be used to fund your housing experience. It’s also great because all utilities are included and paid with housing fees, so there is no worry month to month about making rent.

Transition. Those first couple days away from home can be tough. Your parents aren’t there to make you dinner or to talk to after school. You are on your own now and need to do things for yourself! It’s convenient to live in campus housing just for the fact that housing staff is there to help you as you learn how to live by yourself. Resident assistants and academic mentors are current students who live on your floor and are there to answer questions and help you adapt to living in the away from home.

Community. Yes, it’s cool to get an apartment off-campus with a bunch of friends. However, how cool is it to be placed on a floor with a lot of new people? There are so many opportunities to meet new people and learn about yourself while gaining exposure to people of different cultures and backgrounds. In on-campus housing, resident assistants plan programs and events to help you meet new people, create bonds and build friendships.

City living. We know how awesome living in the city is, but did you know that resident students can get awesome discounted tickets to major city attractions? As a way to build community, housing staff will put on programs and get group rate tickets to a lot of city attractions like movie, theater, and sporting event tickets (you have to support your Chicago teams, and how better to do that than at a discounted rate?).

Safety. All residence halls are locked and secured 24/7. Living in Chicago may have you and your parents concerned about your safety. With on-campus housing, all doors have to be accessed with keys and guests have to be checked into residence buildings.  There are also desk and security workers who monitor who enter and exit the building to insure a safe environment for students.  Each Chicago campus also have blue light systems on their campus.  These units are located every 10-25 feet and each is equipped with a push button to talk directly to campus police.

Leadership. There are so many leadership opportunities available to on-campus residents. Student leadership groups such as your school’s Residence Hall Association (aka Residence Hall Council at DePaul) and the National Residence Hall Honorary provide social, leadership conference and service learning opportunities. Also, after living in the residence halls for a year, you can apply to be a resident assistant or academic mentor. Getting involved in these organizations helps you to network and make new friends, all while building your resume!

Check out your school’s on-campus housing ( UIC, Loyola, DePaul, Roosevelt, Columbia) website and learn about all the amenities and opportunities that residence hall living provides!

 

–Ashley

Thanksgiving Moments: Words from Students

19 Nov

It’s the day everyone has been waiting for! College kids always seem to love this holiday because you get some much needed time off before finals.  It’s the time to be with family, friends, and other loved ones, eat delicious food and watch football until you can barely function. I’m talking about Thanksgiving: the precursor to Christmas, the other favorite holiday of some college students. Chicago College Life wanted to know how others like to spend their holiday, so we asked around to get the scoop on your favorite things to do over Thanksgiving break.

There are a multitude of people you can spend Thanksgiving with. These people can be family, a significant other, friends or a mix of all the important people in your life! It’s fun to catch up with others. It’s great to have most of your family in one place. A huge part of trying to coordinate this holiday chaos is figuring out who will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner because that’s the place where everyone wants to be.

“For Thanksgiving, I spend time with just my family at home, and we cook at home also. Then we just fall asleep.” – Shaughnessy, St. Xavier University

“I spend time at home with my family, then we usually eat at my grandparents’ house.” – Armani, Columbia College

“I’m usually with my family and boyfriend on Thanksgiving.” – Shastina, Chicago State University

For those of us not lucky enough to live at home, our commutes are longer than the walk from the bedroom to the kitchen. Of course, many people can’t hang with their families if they’re not at home, so many students who stay on campus drive home or catch the train.  Of course, the big issue here isn’t how you get home, but what you eat when you arrive.

Some enjoy traditional meals.

“Deep fried turkey breast, homemade macaroni and cheese, dressing and cranberry sauce, and gumbo are my favorites. I like them because they have been made ever since I can remember for Thanksgiving.” – Shaughnessy

Some prefer something different.

“I love Chinese food & French fries [on Thanksgiving].  I really don’t know why they’re my favorite to be honest.” – Brittany, St. Xavier University

And who can resist mom’s cooking?

“I love to eat my mother’s mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, and greens. She also makes a great chocolate éclair. They’re the best simply because she makes them.” – Arman , UIC

There’s always something to look forward to as well.

“Baked Ham is my favorite because I don’t usually have that on a regular basis.” – Michelle, The Art Institute of Chicago

But, everyone isn’t so lucky to eat at home.

“Well, I usually work on Thanksgiving day, and have been for the past 4 years so someone brings me a plate of food to work.” – Laila, UIC

Do you help cook the turkey? Most students said no. They’re at home to relax and enjoy the holiday. Since they are college students though, there is still homework to be done for some, which means not enjoying themselves to the fullest.

“No, I don’t do homework and hopefully my teachers won’t assign it either.” – Shaughnessy

“I do homework. For some reason, professors think that we have all the time in the world over break to do papers.” – Laila

“Yes, I do homework. I usually study for finals, but I make sure it doesn’t interfere with family time.” – Brittany

Do you help others on Thanksgiving? Some responded that they may give food to neighbors who may not be fortunate enough to have enough food and that in the future, they would like to volunteer and donate their time and material possessions to those in need. They are thankful that they have enough to be able to have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy everything about this holiday.

“I love the good food, being around my family, and us recognizing that we are blessed and thankful. We have a place to live and each other to spend Thanksgiving with, and that’s all I want.” – Brittany

Brittany summed it up greatly. Thanksgiving is about being happy that you’re with people who love you and who you love in return. Let’s be realistic; it’s also about the tasty food. This is one of the few times each year that families can get together so be thankful for this holiday, eat lots of food, and kick back.

Happy Thanksgiving from CCL.

-Nakendra

Be fit, Be Happy: Sara Shares Her Story

18 Nov

Did you know that almost 50% of college males and 30% of college females are overweight?  10% of all college students are considered obese.  Alarming, isn’t it?  We all know that obesity is an epidemic in America, but what are we doing to fight obesity in our own lives?

Chicago College Life (CCL) would like to introduce you to Sara*, a nineteen year old Psychology major from UIC.  Sara battled obesity during her early teens, and recently reached her goal weight after continually motivating herself and staying dedicated to changing her lifestyle.  Sara sat down with CCL to share her weight loss story and tips about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle while in college.

*name has been changed.

Chicago College Life: Can you describe your life and how you viewed yourself before your weight loss?

Sara: I’m not one of those people that you see on infomercials for weight loss products, who explain they had an absolutely terrible, lonely life when they were heavier.  I was happy.  I had a great family life, lots of friends and a boyfriend.  The one thing that I didn’t like about myself was my lack of self-confidence.  Yes, I think it’s normal for any teenager to have some self-confidence issues, but I think being overweight amplified my low self-confidence.  It would take me such a long time to get ready for school in the morning.  I would try on outfit after outfit and make sure my hair and makeup were perfect before I would leave my house.  Then, I focused too much on the outward beauty and didn’t realize how beautiful of a person I was overall- overweight or not.

CCL: What made you decide to change your lifestyle?

Sara: Health problems run in my family.  Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke– you name the problem, we have it.  Funny how all those problems are amplified by being over-weight, right?  Well, when I was sixteen, my family faced two major health scares.  My grandmother died suddenly of a stroke that was brought mainly by diabetes.  Later that same year, my family doctor told me I had slightly high blood pressure for my age.  Being young, you think that you are invincible.  I didn’t want to believe that I was unhealthy and putting my life in danger.  But I had to ask myself, do I want to continue living this unhealthy lifestyle that I’m living with little exercise and too much junk food and end up developing the same health problems as my family members?  I decided that I wanted to make a change for the better and put myself at a lower risk for developing all those health problems.

CCL: What was the first step you took?

Sara: I wanted results really fast.  No-carb diets were a huge fad at that time, so I jumped on that bandwagon.  My “diet” lasted about 2 days until I couldn’t resist the urge to eat bread.  Sad, I know!  But, I now know that you can’t just switch your lifestyle instantly.  It takes a lot of hard work and diligence in order to live healthy, especially with all the temptations that we have in our daily lives!  [Since I was] disappointed in my first attempt to lose weight, I [asked] my mom about how she thought I should lose weight.

You can't deprive yourself of one food group to lose weight! Moderation is key!

CCL: What did your mom suggest?

Sara:  My mom and I talked about my grandmother and her health problems.  [I mentioned my fear] that I would become unhealthy like her when I got older, since I already had high blood pressure.    My mom suggested Weight Watchers because some of her friends had been doing really well at losing weight with the program.  So I tried it out.  It had to be better than the no-carb ridiculousness I had tried to put myself through!

CCL: Did it work?

Sara: Yes it did, but let me tell you it wasn’t easy.  Adding physical activity to my life was brutal!  I fought it at first.  I started walking and jogging outside, and even tried to find some sport that we played in gym class to get more interested in [physical activity], but it just wasn’t for me.  It wasn’t until we had our gym curriculum changed the following semester of high school that I discovered yoga!

Find an activity you enjoy 🙂

I fell in love with it!  I did keep walking and jogging since Weight Watchers called for some form of cardio.  The second part that sucked was being the only sixteen year old more focused on trying to figure out how many point my food was worth, when I was out to dinner with my friends, rather than having a good time.  I tried to hide the fact that I was on Weight Watchers because it felt like such a weird thing for a sixteen year old to do.  However,  I found that once I told my close friends what I was doing, they totally supported me.

CCL: How long did it take you to get to your healthy weight?

Sara: 3 years.  I had to completely re-focus and change my eating and working out habits.  It was tough, but now I can’t imagine living how I did before.

CCL: Did moving away from home have any effect on your weight loss?

Sara: Yes, definitely.  People aren’t lying when they tell you to watch out for the “freshman 15.”  I didn’t gain 15 pounds- it was more around five or six.  But let me tell you, being 5’1”, any weight I gain shows!  I thought I would be okay if I wasn’t so strict with my daily points, but the all-you-can-eat plan in the cafeteria caused me to backtrack.
I had to learn to control myself more, and maintain the lifestyle that I worked so hard for.  On a positive note, moving to campus gave me free access to the UIC gym!  I loved having the options of working out on a bike, treadmill or elliptical!  It made it easier to switch up my workouts, and not get bored with a routine.

CCL: Do you have any advice for other college students on how to stay healthy?

Sara: Be mindful of what you eat, but don’t punish yourself for eating some junk food.  We all need to have french fries or that slice of pizza from time to time!  Make sure you eat some fruits and vegetables everyday!  Also, be aware of calories that you are drinking!  Alcohol is loaded with calories and so are coffee and smoothie drinks.    Also, get some exercise!  Walking to class doesn’t count.  Try some of the cool classes that the rec[reation] center offers like yoga, step or my favorite- spinning.  I just found out that there are classes you can take for academic credit like aerobic conditioning, military fitness and weight lifting.  You choose the lifestyle you want.  Make small choices to keep yourself healthy.

You have lots of options!

Each college campus provides resources to their students to help them make healthy choices for their overall well-being.  Check out the Healthy Eating Tips from Loyola’s Wellness Center website.  Also, UIC and DePaul both have walking clubs that students and employees can join!  Don’t forget to stop by the gym and look at what free, drop- in group classes are available, and bring a friend to help mix up your workout routine!  Living a healthy lifestyle is important for all college students!  Make a few healthy choices each day, and remember to make your overall well-being a priority!

Need more suggestions?  Check out the daily Groupon & their daily fitness deals or Ana’s Turkey Trot blog on how to get through the food-pack Thanksgiving holiday!

–Ashley

Come On, Do the Turkey Trot!

17 Nov

Food Coma?

Don’t let turkey weight gain hold you back from gobbling up Thanksgiving dinner this holiday!  You know you’ve missed mom’s cooking, and how could you resist pumpkin pie. College students—don’t fret! CCL has an easy solution that can help you return to your normal size, in no time.

Have you ever heard of the Turkey Trot? In case you didn’t get the scoop,

Boost your resume, and run for charity this Thanksgiving!

 the 5K Marathon for Running in the USA is being held in Chicago on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 25th. What are you waiting for?! Shake a tail feather, and run the Chicago Marathon for charity. All proceeds benefit The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. Don’t be a stuffed bird this holiday!

The marathon would be great to put on your resume. Plus, it can help you stand out from others and is especially useful with today’s competitve job market.

GOBBLE, GOBBLE!

–Anastasia

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