Author Archives: Mike Queroz, Communication

A Healthy Balance

Let’s face it – being healthy and being a full-time college student is hard. Life gets super busy with school, internship, and other activities – therefore, it’s really easy to just grab a quick fried snack from a restaurant and want to stay in after a long day. During the summer, when the only obligation I had is to work part-time, I worked out everyday and ate healthy. I was feeling great — I really miss that! That’s why this week I implemented a new lifestyle change.
Part of my lifestyle change was influenced by the human nutrition class I am in. This class wasn’t required – I took it because it teaches all about human eating habits and overall health. I have not regretted taking this class at all so far! Each day I go to class I learn something new – about what foods I should eat more of, what to limit, how my body absorbs nutrients, and the like. It truly has inspired me to eat better and have an overall better lifestyle.
So, starting last Monday, I started working out again and eating better. I have managed to squeeze in about an hour during the day to get a good workout in. I’m already feeling a greater sense of happiness strangely enough. I feel proud that I’m taking an extra step to be healthy. Whenever I’m stationary and just plain lazy, I feel disappointed in myself. It hasn’t been easy at all though – my body is so sore and I’m really craving a donut. But I know that in the grander scheme of things it’s going to be worth it. My health is important. I can be a healthy college student – it doesn’t have to be one thing or the other.
So join me on this journey to improved health! I’m really dedicated right now and could use some mutual encouragement. Are you in?
Until next time…
Mike

New experiences as an intern

Recently, I started working as a communications and public relations intern for the Shedd Aquarium. It’s kind of a dream job for me — it combines my love for sea animals and my love for public relations. So you can imagine how excited I was when I found out I received the position!

Even though I have had quite a few internships before, I knew that I wanted my (hopefully) last internship to be a type of capstone for all of the experiences I have gained in the field of communications. I want to graduate in May with the most experience I can get. I’m glad that I found an organization that has already helped me get closer to that goal.

I intern at the Shedd office three times a week. So far, I have made several media coverage reports and a press release. I was also recently able to attend a Publicity Club of Chicago luncheon with the public relations team. The luncheon was very informative — I truly learned so much about public relations and media during the luncheon that I am already noticing the business mentality on me! Even though I’ve only been at the Shedd for two weeks, I have enjoyed all of the practical work I have done so far and already know that it’s going to be a great, enriching experience.

I’m also loving the workplace at the Shedd Aquarium. Everyone is quite friendly at the Shedd and the corporate culture is so nice and formal. I truly feel like a good fit at the organization. Also, it’s pretty awesome that from my cubicle area I can view an aquatic show featuring beautiful and extraordinary animals!

All around, the internship has so far fulfilled all of my desires and more. I look forward to going to the office every day and have enjoyed all of the work I have done thus far. Sometimes, when beginning new experiences you can get a feeling about whether or not you’ll enjoy the experience. I honestly have never been more confident than I am now — as each day goes on, I am starting to love my position even more. And it feels great to know that I have a few more months of experiences awaiting me.

Until next time…

Mike

Great schedule gap fillers!

Throughout my entire undergraduate career, I have learned the true value of time. This means maximizing every free second throughout the day. Many times, undergraduates have gaps in their schedules. What do you do during this time? Here are a few of my favorite things to do on campus to take advantage of your schedule gaps!

Power work out: So you have an hour-and-a-half gap – who says you can’t workout during that time? Lately I have added in quick power workouts during my gap. I go to the Student Recreation Facility to get a 30-minute cardio session and a 15-minute abdominal workout, followed by a warm shower to get clean and ready for my next class. Sure, this requires a bit of a hassle with extra bags and limited time, but you will feel rejuvenated and healthier after a quick workout.

Eat at a random restaurant: I always love spending one afternoon a week at a restaurant around campus. I usually try to eat at different places each time because there are so many options around UIC! Go out with a friend, or even by yourself, to a new restaurant whenever you have an afternoon break. New restaurants equal new experiences, which then equals new conversation pieces and cultural/social benefits.

Explore new parts of campus: After eight semesters of being at UIC, you think that I would have visited every part of campus. Wrong! Every now and then, I like to take a walk with a friend around campus, exploring unfamiliar buildings and lounges throughout campus. It’s always refreshing finding a new spot on campus — they usually make for great secret study spots!

Just sit and relax: Forget Facebook, BuzzFeed and your textbooks. Sometimes it’s just nice to just find a spot to sit and simply relax. Let go of any other worry in the world and just sit and let your mind wander on about what is going on around you. Or carry a book around that you can read during an hour break or so. No matter what you desire, make some time to step away from the hustle and bustle of school and focus on reenergizing yourself within.

What are some of your favorite things to do during breaks? Let me know below!

Until next time…
Mike

Most difficult part of starting the semester?

After seven completed semesters, I think I realized the most difficult part of getting adjusted to a new semester: personal scheduling.

Sure, you have to schedule your classes and get used to going to and locating the classrooms. Yes, you have to buy books and empty your college funds for new classes. However — the hardest part about getting adjusted to a new semester is in fact scheduling your personal life. What time do I have to start waking up? What route should I take so I can avoid heavy traffic? How much time can I workout for before I have to shower and run to my next class? What time should I eat? What time should I start homework at after classes? Can I really fit in all of these classes? These are all of the questions I’m finding myself asking, and then some.

I just landed an internship, so that will take up a good amount of my free time during the week. This means I can drop a class due to the internship credit – but should I? I truly enjoy all of my classes – acting, human nutrition, communication pop culture, religious thought. But with my new addition of the internship, I keep debating internally if I should drop a class. Thinking ahead, as tests start and paper season begins, I’m thinking about all the juggling I’ll have to do. I did this all of my academic career, but I’m graduating in May. I still have to fit in job hunting and career planning next to my daily class schedule, homework, USG, internship, and other social and extracurricular activities. Maybe I should lighten up my load?

I know much of this was a rant…but in a strange way, ranting to a blog helps me make sense of my thought process. It is a blog, right? I’m positive many of you readers have related or can relate in some capacity. I just finished making a weekly planner for the rest of the semester. All of my activities and such have been counted in so that I can be more prepared for the semester load. I’m still debating about whether to drop a class – but I know that either way I can manage any path I take. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m maintaing my cool until then.

Until next time…

Mike

Things are a changing

Hey everyone! It’s great to be back! And no, I am not fibbing. It is actually good to be back, as this is my final semester at UIC. It’s a bit bittersweet, since I’ve spent my entire college career here at the university and have had plenty of great experiences during my time here. Nevertheless, I am excited to be soon starting a new chapter of my life – the real job world.

Despite being my last semester, the past few weeks have been a bit hectic when it comes to organizing and finalizing my schedule. I am still deciding which classes I will keep/remove. I’m also still trying to get into the swing of things and vaccinate myself from the senioritis flu that is lingering around. To be completely honest, I’ve been super stressed these past two weeks. However, this all changed on Thursday.

I just found out I received an internship at the Shedd Aquarium! After a few interviews, I received the call with the offer. I am super stoked that I will be strengthening my communications and public relations skills that I have gained these past four years. Ever since I was a child, I have had an immense love for sea animals and aquatic life. At one point, I even wanted to be a marine biologist! However, after my disinterest in science became apparent as I got older, I nixed that idea. I am extremely happy that I will be able to intern with a world-class institution that I have loved and appreciated since I was a child.

With only four months until graduation, everything seem to be quickly changing. I like it, though. I now believe I am fully ready to rock my last semester, excel at my new internship, and start a brand new chapter in my life.

I am happy all of you will be on this journey with me :)

Until next time…

Mike

Winding down, one semester go

As I’m writing this, I’m detoxing from the whirlwind that was last week. I had the rough draft of my senior communication research paper due on Tuesday, so I was writing my butt off until the last minute making sure it was just right. Needless to say, I really needed this Thanksgiving mini-break.
A couple of days ago it just hit me that we only have TWO weeks of classes left. I don’t think I say this every year, but this semester went by really fast. I suppose that’s a good thing, right? Although I have had a lot of work this semester, none of it has been too unbearable. I think it paid off taking more credits early in my college career so that I had only a few left for my senior year. Since I only had three major classes to focus on, I was really able to apply myself and give my best to all of them. I hope this reflects when I receive my grades in the middle of December!As I wind down this semester, I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I only have one more semester of my undergraduate career left. It’s actually a bit shocking to me that I have so little time. I think I have made the most of my undergrad years, but it’s odd that in just 6 months I will be graduating and (hopefully soon after) getting a full-time job.
In order to assure that I finish off strong in May, I am going to make the most of out of the relaxation that is called winter break. I’m already salivating at the thought of no time pressures of assignments and projects, and being able to sleep in, have some quality ME time, and time with family and friends.
But I can’t get too comfortable yet, I have two more weeks to tie up loose ends this semester. I hope all of you do great as well!

The Power of Education

It’s pretty common to dislike your homework, but you should like your major work, right? Well, if there’s one thing that I’ve disliked across my academic career, like many others, is research. Why did I go to a research-based school? Because I knew understanding the theory behind communication would be vital to actually doing communication work in my career.
I have already completed my own communication research last Fall. This year, I had to take my last research class in order to complete my communication program. The seminar’s theme is monsters in the media. To sum it up in the simplest way possible, the course explores how monsters in film and other media are used as symbolism to talk about deeper, social and political issues in the real world. Before taking the course, the topic seemed to be a bit silly. But now that I am pretty much done with the semester, I now understand the importance of using allegory to communicate larger issue alerts to the public. In fact, I now look at horror movies and television shows in an entirely different manner — just last week, instead of watching “The Seed of Chucky” as a simple-horror film, I was ale to understand the deeper social implications the film had. The course has made me look at media as an even more powerful tool then what I thought before.
As a result of this appreciation, I’ve actually found myself enjoying critical research. Instead of dreading my research paper this year, I’ve actually found myself excited to write it as well as doing research for it. I’m writing my paper on how pop music uses its platform and monster imagery to create awareness for social change. It’s a pretty interesting paper, as I talk about how something as simple as Lady GaGa singing “Born This Way” means much more for LGBT rights and gender neutral equality. The entire process of researching and writing is fun — did I just say that? That’s the power of education!
As a result of me beginning to like my school work, I realized that I’ve actually learned a lot about the greater world from my education at UIC. I can honestly say when I graduate in May I will be a very educated adult ready for to apply my theoretical understanding to a great job. I have been thankful for this education.
Until next time…

Mike

At home stress remedies

So it’s that time of year — final projects, research papers, exams and STRESS. But if you just breathe and get to work, things will be alright. Today, I’m going to share with you all my personal habits and likings that relieve my stress. Take a look below — I hope these help!

Aromatherapy – So if you live in any of the residence halls, then please move to the next suggestion. If you’re a commuter student, then this is for you! Nothing relives my stress like some aromatherapy. I like to light a scented candle on those nights where stress or anxiety is at an all-time high. There’s something to be said about the aromas of a scented candle and the beauty of the light during a book’s worth of readings. I also like to burn scented oils in my room whenever I need a moment of relaxation. The oils help promote relaxation and peace. Aromatherapy, overall, is the closest thing you can get to therapy itself!

Tea – It’s always a great feeling having a cup of hot tea whenever I’m feeling stressed out. My favorites that help promote relaxation are any brand of green or chamomile tea and Yogi brand Kava Stress Relief Tea. All of these drinks help me take a moment out of my busy day to enjoy myself. The magic of tea is euphoric.

Sweats – If you don’t have access or dough to any of the above, then just slip into something comfortable. There’s something behind the mentality of being in your shirt and jeans at home after a long say. Slip into something different and more comfortable when you get home, like sweatpants and plain T-shirt. Not only will it remove you from the state of mind of being at school or work, but you’ll be comfy as well!

Let me know what your stress relievers are below!

Until next time…

Mike

Buckle down — the end is near

This week marks a month until the end of school. Crazy to think, huh?

I just made a schedule of assignments for the rest of the semester and although the amount of papers and studying I have to do is not as much as previous semesters, it is enough to make me feel overwhelmed. At this time of the semester, I always remember to breathe and just do. There is no point in getting anxious over the workload, as it has to and will be done anyways. What I’ve learned helps is just laying a schedule out and doing accordingly.

This past week, I registered for my last semester at UIC. As I registered, I felt strangely overwhelmed. You think it would be a liberating feeling, right? Not exactly. Post-grad life is all becoming real. I am not planning on attending graduate school, so now I have to begin worrying about landing a job. And once I land a job, I am daunted by how many opportunities I will have with a salary — my own place, a new car, anything! It’s like my life is going to drastically change in six months. It’s a bit scary, but I’m finding the excitement in it, too. I’m overwhelmed by how many ways my life can go after graduation, but also am excited by what can go right.

The past couple of weeks have been a bit overwhelming, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. While six months may seem a bit away, I know that if I buckle down and get to work, I will be having a sweet celebration as I conclude my last year of college.

Keeping in touch with the student body

As some of you readers may know, I am the chair of the communications and recruitment committee for the UIC Undergraduate Student Government. As I hold this new position, I’ve been working hard to assure that undergraduates are aware of USG and how we serve as the official voice for the undergraduate student body.

I love my position because I get to apply the same skills that I learn about in my communication courses. Some of the new ideas my committee members and I have brainstormed will help assure that our image is projected throughout campus in a variety of ways. We will utilize our digital screen on the 2nd floor of SCE to project biweekly updates of what we are currently working on for the student body. Also, I am thankful that UIC News will also put some of our updates in the paper whenever there is room. We’re also working on getting our news updates on campus televisions in the student centers. We’re also going to be purchasing stand-up banners in the student centers as well.

Recently, we also started having our members go throughout campus to talk directly to students. The past couple of weeks, we have been in the Daley Library set up at a table with a USG tablecloth, giveaways and other promo material. This is a great way that will get the word out there about USG. So keep an eye out on our website about the next promo table location.

Let me know if there is anything else we can do to get the word out about USG! Feel free to comment below.

Until next time…

Mike

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