Admission Blogs

Spring Break in SF

(Kelly) Permanent link
When I decided in high school that I would be moving to San Francisco for high school, my friends all said that they would come visit. Throughout my almost four years, some of them have been able to and over Spring Break this year, one of my best friends from high school will be visiting for the week. She goes to school at Ithaca College in New York and has never been to the West Coast. We've had amazing weather for the past few weeks and I'm hoping that it continues through Spring Break. I have a feeling that it will rain that week since we've barely had any this Winter but I hope that I'm wrong! Even though I've been in San Francisco for almost 4 years now, it's fun to show visitors around because I get to do all of the tourist-y thing that I don't normally do. I'm really excited to share some of this city's amazing food with her, maybe check out a museum or two and do some other sight-seeing. Before she gets here, though, my roommates and I need to do some serious apartment cleaning because we have tons of house-guests planned for the next three months!

Last Midterms!

(Kelly) Permanent link
This semester, I don't actually have any midterm exams. I do, however, have 2 midterm papers to write. The first is for my Law, Politics and Baseball class and I'll be writing about Baseball and the American Dream. While this class about baseball doesn't fulfill and major, minor or core requirements for me, I'm excited to take it because I'm a baseball fan(Go Yankees!). The second is for my Social and Political philosophy class and I'll be writing about some of Plato, Marx, and Bakunin's writings. Thankfully, the papers are not due at the same time; one is before Spring Break and the other is due after.

This Semester I'm looking forward to. . .

(Kelly) Permanent link

This semester, while I'm looking forward to spending time with the people I've met at USF before graduation and people start to move away, I'm most looking forward to my internship. I will be interning for buildOn, which is a national non-profit that empowers high schoolers to serve locally and globally. While the students in their programs do regular service projects in their communities, they also participate in global education lessons and fundraising. The money they raise goes toward building schools in developing countries. Some of the students get to travel to those countries to help begin the schoolhouse construction and to learn from and about the communities that they impact with their fundraising. BuildOn currently builds schools in Mali, Malawi, Nicaragua, Haiti and Nepal.

One of the reasons that I'm really looking forward to this opportunity is that I am a buildOn alum! In high school in Connecticut, I was a member of my school's buildOn program. I travelled to Mali during my sophomore year with other students from Connecticut and New York. That trip had a huge impact on me and definitely influenced my choice of major. I'm also exited to gain more experience in the professional non-profit world as I get closer and closer to graduation.

Winter Break in CT!

(Kelly) Permanent link

I just spent my last Winter Break of my undergraduate studies back on the East Coast visiting friends and family and getting lots of sleep. I spent the majority of the 5 week long break in my home state of CT. I began the break spending time with family for the holidays and doing lots of crafting of Christmas gifts. After the holidays I tried to spend as much time with my friends from high school as possible. The majority of the people that I know from home stayed somewhat close to CT and each other for college and despite all of their vows to visit me in San Francisco when I decided to move here, very few of them have actually made the trip. Because of this, the little time that I do spend at home, I spend as much of it as I can with everyone, catching up on each other's lives. This break was a little different than previous ones because the majority of my friends, like myself, will be graduating from college this Spring. There were quite a few conversations about what we'd all be doing in a few months' time that including a bit of freaking out. Thankfully, it seems as though everyone is in the same boat of not having a solid idea about what is coming next so we all were able to commiserate and try to help each other out.

I also got to do a bit of traveling, visiting a friend in Boston and family in Williamsburg, Virginia. I barely saw any snow which was a little disappointing but also made traveling easier.

Half Way There!

(Chase) Permanent link

Half way there! – Spring break

Half way through the semester and still feeling good about things! I had only a couple of small plans to do over spring break. After the plans I would be back at USF early to get back to work and start getting ahead on all of my class readings. 

The first few days of Spring break I took a car ride to Santa Cruz and stayed with my great aunt who has a house in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains. I always forget how nice it is around her house and her backyard backs up to the forest, which is very private and relaxing. Yet she is only a 10-15 minute car ride down to the boardwalk! I haven’t seen her in a long time and it was great to see how she was doing and share with her what I have been up to at school. She was kind enough to give to me some vintage mopeds, which look like they will be my summer fix-up project! I am excited to start working on them and can’t wait till I can start riding them. The vintage look of the paint and the overall body of the mopeds just look great! They are both Puch Maxi Sports from 1977, they are considered the “Volkswagen” of scooters because they were made in large quantities and they are very easy to find parts for and fix. So, I look forward to my summer project it should be a lot of fun.

The other part of my break I spent a few days back in Rocklin at home and spent some quality down time. I came back to the city in the middle of the week to get back to work and start my reading for the next week. I’m looking forward to finishing up this very busy year, but I know there is still much work to be done!

Big Sur Spring Break

(Brandon) Permanent link

From March 10 to March 18 I was free from college courses, and I would not let this time go to waste. I decided to go on a six day camping and backpacking trip with my girlfriend to Big Sur, California (about three and a half hours south of San Francisco). The trip was fantastic, with lots of exciting adventures.

We started our trip by spending a day in Santa Cruz on the way to Big Sur. We had lunch and took a nice walk along the coastline. In Big Sur we spent the first night at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. After that we hiked on the Pine Ridge Trail about 12 miles to Sykes campground. Sykes campground is my most favorite campsite I’ve ever been to in a long time. The river that flows right next to the site is wonderful, and calming through the night. Another great attraction at Sykes is the natural hot springs. There were two hot springs, a smaller one and a bigger one. I couldn’t believe how crystal clear the water was and perfectly warm. I had never seen hot springs in person and it was nice to see. The hike to Sykes had its uphill climbs, but the reward was worth the work. We camped at Sykes for one night, and although it rained all through the night and our tent got a little flooded, I had a great time. The hike back to the trailhead from Sykes was a lot easier than the hike in. 

For the remainder of the trip we camped a couple nights in the SUV and near the Big Sur Station. We went on day hikes through the area, which included trips to see an 80ft waterfall into the ocean, a day at the beach, and great views of nature. 

One of the days my friend from the bay area came down to spend the day with us as well. This was fun to catch up and spend some time together. We decided to visit some of the tourist shops, and eat at one of the Inn’s restaurants. My 12oz. New York strip, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, and apple pie ale mode was a nice treat from the backpacking food I had been eating most of the trip. The rest of the trip involved more hiking and sightseeing and card playing until we headed back to the city Friday afternoon. 

On the way back we stopped at a friend from USF house in Santa Cruz to say hi and visit. For the rest of my trip, I’ve just been doing some reading and homework as well as taking it easy. 

Spring Break at Home

(Jennifer) Permanent link

If there's one thing I like about spring semester, it's the amount of breaks we get throughout the semester!  Spring break this year at USF is a week earlier than my little brother's and the schools back home in Petaluma, so I found myself awkwardly at home while everyone was still in class.  On top of that, there was nothing but rain and storms this week.

Despite the lack of coordination of spring breaks with my family and friends, and the not-so-spring-like weather, I was able to enjoy the break from the busy world of nursing school and get some work and studying done over the break without having to worry about a freak quiz coming up the next day.


(Brandon) Permanent link

         One more week before spring break; that means two things: cram and midterms. Actually I think I’m pretty lucky the way my schedule has ended up this week before spring break. I have four classes and a lab. This week I have a lab practical exam on Monday, a biology exam on Wednesday, and an engineering exam on Thursday. Other than those I have a take home midterm to complete over spring break and I have to work on my final project proposal for my political revolution course. 

         To me this seems really manageable; I have friends who have four exams as well as essays that they need to write. I have even been able to get some relax time in this weekend. The USF Men’s Basketball team is in Vegas competing in the WCC tournament with the winner getting to advance into the NCAA playoffs. USF ranked 5th place this semester in the WCC, and are doing really well in the tournament so far. They beat Pepperdine and are facing St. Mary’s next. It’s bound to be a great game and I look forward to watching it online since the game is streamed for free.

           My plan for this week is just to stay on top of my assignments and study so I can be prepared for my exams and then relax  little over spring break. I’ll tell you about my spring break in a following post.

Studying for Midterms

(Jennifer) Permanent link

 A few nights ago my roommate asked me what I was up to.  I told her that I had a midterm tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and asked about herself.  She was on the other side of the spectrum with nothing but reading and papers.  As much as I don't like reading and papers, midterms aren't so great either.  On a small 20-question quiz I got back, I found out that I had completely forgotten to bubble in an answer on the Scantron.  You can imagine how paranoid I felt when I took my 60- and 75-question midterms today and yesterday - never spent so much time anxiously checking my bubbles until this week.

As of now, I'm halfway through my midterms.  Luckily one of my midterms next week was moved after Spring Break, although in the beginning of the semester, me along with the majority of the class wanted it before the break.  Right now I'm glad it got moved since I have another midterm waiting for me next week with a good portion on cardiac rhythms, which my professor described as flat out memorization, so you'll know what I'll be doing this weekend...

Nursing Midterms

(Chase) Permanent link

 That time of year again when half of the semester is coming to a close. It's hard for me to believe that we are already 7 weeks into the semester, I feel like we just started. I suppose it's a good thing since I haven't lost the momentum for school.

 It's been a very busy semester, this is suppose to be the busiest semester and year for nursing students. Although I do feel like I have grown and learned the most this semester as a nurse. I feel much more comfortable with being in the hospital and with the skills that we have learned. The last skill check off before Spring break is foley catheters and before that we did wound dressings and wound irrigation. It's nice this semester because I feel like I am learning actual nursing skills this semester.

 I have been able to see and do some interesting procedures. The other week I was able to watch a spinal tap or a lumbar puncture and that was quite interesting. I am on a cardiac floor and it is very interesting to experience all of the heart conditions that I am learning in my theory class. It's fun to see everything coming together for my nursing classes.

 Midterms were pretty heavy this semester. Fortunately they were fairly spread out, but in combination with skill check offs, computer science project, and general class work it was quite a busy two weeks. I ended up studying the most for the midterm that ended up asking the most simple question, that's just how it goes sometimes.

The Start of Spring 2012

(Brandon) Permanent link

This semester holds a lot in store. I can break my responsibilities down into four major groups. My first group is a student. As a student this semester I am enrolled in: General Biology II with a lab, Environmental Engineering, Religion and the Environment a theology course, and Revolution(s) a politics course. I am excited about all my classes, but mostly excited about Environmental Engineering and Revolution. I feel that engineering could be a possible route for my future career planning so I am really interested in learning more about what is engineering, and how to go about it as it specifically relates to the environment. Especially during the time we are living in with revolts occurring seemingly everywhere and movements almost unstoppable across the globe, I feel a politics course studying revolutions is not only exciting and intriguing but insightful and informative as well. These two courses I look forward to the most.

Another role is my Advocate for Community Engagement, and although technically every semester I perform the same responsibilities, every semester is different and eye opening. This role is practically another course, but also a life builder. This role allows me to become a better person in many aspects and learn more about social justice issues existent today as well as giving me the opportunity to work with great colleagues and friends that make the job all the more worth while and fun. I look forward to out innovating and performing my successes last semester as well as having the opportunity to teach and learn with a new set of service-learners at Quesada Gardens Initiative. 

My third role is a research intern with Allison Luengen, an environmental science professor doing research on mercury in the bay area. There is a lot to look forward to this semester in this regard as well. Specifically I look forward to expanding our research projects as we coordinate with another Berkeley professor studying relationships between bacteria and heavy metal concentrations in Bay Area sediment. This aspect of the job includes boat-sampling trips in the Bay as well as analyzing samples in the lab using sophisticated instruments to analyze very low concentrations of methlymercury and total mercury. Because this is closely related to my major and a possible future route I look forward to expanding my learning around this topic. 

Finally I also blog (what you are reading), and I definitely look forward to sharing hopefully informative stories about my semester and life as a USF student. So this includes my stories about hanging out with friends, adventures in the cities, socializing, challenges, successes, new found interests, and USF events and/or activities I may attend.  I think considering these four things, I have a very good semester to look forward to, as so do you as you read my blogs and live my semester through my words.

How was winter break?

(Brandon) Permanent link

              Spring semester 2012, sixth of eight semesters began on August 23rd. Fall 2011 had finished on December 15th, so what did I do for 38 days? Well I am a Colorado native, so of course I flew back home to visit my friends and family. I flew out to Colorado from December 22nd to January 4th. From the 15th to the 22nd I mostly just relaxed and took it easy and recuperated from the semester. This included sleeping in till whenever (usually noon) and going to bed whenever (usually after 1am) and enjoying a week of no responsibility (sort of). Of course I had to eat and clean a little. I hung out with my housemates and my girlfriend. I went out to eat at restaurants in the surrounding area: usually the Presidio, Marina, Richmond, Inner Sunset, Panhandle, or Western Addition districts of San Francisco. My favorite food is Mexican or Italian (it’s a close call). Other then that I enjoyed my “new” town home that I had moved into in August, it feels so great to be living in my first place out of home and not associated with dorm life. Although I do miss a few things in the dorm, such as automatic cleaning of the bathrooms, the ease to go get food and hang out in the common area, and especially free (well included in tuition) internet and cable. 

           During my two weeks in Colorado I celebrated Christmas as well as the New Year with friends and family. My Brother and best friend (both in the Marin corps and I don’t always get to see them) were able to come out during this time as well so it was a real blast to see each of them and hang out. My girlfriend also came out to meet my family and visit my friends. This was the first time she had come to meet my family, although she had been out to Colorado before. I went skiing for the first time (snowboarded previously) at Winter Park/Mary Jane Resort, and I must say I enjoy snowboarding better.

            I enjoyed visiting and eating family, o boy how much food there was. It was great to drive around doing nothing throughout the night with my friends from high school similar to the old days, and we got to catch up and play some basketball, football, and bowling. I also won my ESPN Fantasy Football League this year so that was a fun fact over winter break.

            When I came home (to San Francisco) I took a couple days to relax and recoup from my travels and then got down to business doing some extensive cleaning of my town house. We got rid of a lot of items that were just old tenants belongings or unwanted items; I hosed the entire house down and cleaned the shed. Also steam cleaned the shampoo and scrubbed the walls (I’m sort of a clean freak). My housemates and I then rearranged the living areas and went to work interviewing new potential housemates because one of our current ones at the time was moving out at the end of January. It was sort of a juggle of sorts to manage interviewing roommates and beginning the semester, but overall it went smooth.

            I returned to my student work position as an Advocate for Community Engagement (ACE) on January 18th to the 20th were we went on a work retreat to Alamo in East Bay and prepared for our work during the semester. I purchased new books before the retreat and they were waiting for me when I got back and ready to begin the semester. 

Christmas in Boardshorts

(Erik) Permanent link

 Winter break was amazing! It was so great being back home in Hawaii. 5 weeks in the sun. All I did was eat, beach, family, friends and sleep. No agenda. Just straight up relaxation. After a long semester, that is all I needed. Time to myself and that is exactly what I got out of winter break. 

Down time brought upon family bonding time. Something that was way over due being an ocean apart from them. I’ve missed them a lot and it was great spending the winter holidays with them. I’ve missed my friends a lot. It was good going to the beach all day with some of them and getting our tans that we lost on the mainland. Other than that, I would have to say that winter break went exactly how I wanted it to. 

Winter in Boardshorts

 Permanent link

 Winter break was amazing! It was so great being back home in Hawaii. 5 weeks in the sun. All I did was eat, beach, family, friends and sleep. No agenda. Just straight-up relaxation. After a long semester, that is all I needed. Time to myself and that is exactly what I got out of winter break. 

Down time brought upon family bonding time. Something that was way over due being an ocean apart from them. I’ve missed them a lot and it was great spending the winter holidays with them. I’ve missed my friends a lot. It was good going to the beach all day with some of them and getting our tans that we lost on the mainland. Other than that, I would have to say that winter break went exactly how I wanted it to. 

I'll Be Home For Christmas

(Chase) Permanent link

Winter break is come and gone and the start of school is here already. I went back home for Christmas, and was it nice to have a small break from the dorms. Nothing beats your own bed, your time with the family, food from your family, and your friends back home. I had a short, but very relaxing break. I was back in Rocklin for just over two weeks before I was headed back to San Francisco. I was able to get in just enough time with friends and family and some time to relax as well. It was a crazy busy semester and I’m expecting the Spring semester to be just as busy.

I came back to San Francisco early to get back to working at the USF Law School ITS, I love my job and wouldn’t trade it for any others. My boss was very appreciative of me coming back early so, I was able to get some solid hours in. My girlfriend also came back early, just a few days after me so that she could work as well.                  

In between working we were able to go and do some fun activities around the city. We went and saw The Descendants, The Girl with A Dragon Tattoo, Beauty and the Beast in 3D, and The Contraband. Clearly quite the variety in movies, we also went to a hamburger restaurant called Roam Artisan Burgers. I had what they call “the French and fries” on an elk burger and she had the “sunny side” with beef. It was really really good! I highly recommend it, if I go back, which I plan to, I would get the sunny side it was a great burger that had egg on it!

I’m happy to be back and feeling recharged for another tough semester. I have my clinical rotations at San Francisco General Hospital, which should be quite the experience. The rotations should be much more exciting and I’m looking forward to the faster paced nursing than that of last semester. There are a lot of new and exciting things going on with the Nursing Student’s Association including the first NSA sponsored bonfire on the beach, it should be a lot of fun! I ended the last semester on a good note, and winter break was a lot of fun so, I hope to kick off this semester continuing with the good blessings and make the semester a great one!

Nurse. . . PART TWO

(Jennifer) Permanent link

 In the fall, I had trouble reciting my classes when my classmates would ask the oh so popular question: "So what classes are you taking?"  I would reply, "An ethics class, clinicals, pathophysiology and pharmacology part I, assessment blahblah something with a really long name part I...let me check my schedule and I'll tell you."  (I kid you not - Sophomore I nursing classes have very long class titles.)  My efforts to remember the class names last semester have really paid off, because my classes this semester are:

Drum roll please...those classes...part TWO!

Despite the lack of variety in class names, I'm still very excited for the semester.  Right now I'm practicing at the LRC (Learning Resource Center) in Cowell on how to do wound dressings, and in about a week I'll be learning how to insert a Foley catheter.  My instructor showed me both of those last semester at the hospital, but I had no clue that I would be learning how to do them myself the very next semester.  If by any crazy chance you stop by CPMC Davies campus in the city and see a student nurse doing one of the two, you never know, it might be me! :P

Winter Break

(Jennifer) Permanent link

 If there's one difference I noticed about being in college, it's that you don't feel as awkward when you tell everyone that you slept and did almost nothing during the entire break.  I know that's what I did.  In fact, when I asked my friends if they did any traveling over the break, most of them said they did the same thing as me.  I had a very restful break with my little brother and parents at home.  My family hosts a small potluck dinner on Christmas Eve every year with a few families.  That combined with my parents' cooking put my makeshift cooking to shame (yes, I do actual cooking without a microwave), and made me reluctant to leave as the end of January came closer.

Finally, I had to pry myself from my family after getting used to living with them for the past month and headed back to the city.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to celebrate the Lunar New Year with them since the semester started on that very day (I still hope for the day it's recognized as a holiday in this country).  Aside from that, my break was filled with lots of restful sleep, family, and good food.

Disclaimer: Even though most of my post consisted of food, I love my family dearly and miss them!

The Finals study recipe

(Brandon) Permanent link

So how were finals? How did I study, and how did I survive? Well now that it finally is over let me answer those questions. It’s been a pretty stressful ending, but it has finally ended. This semester I had four finals and two essays due. Fortunately for two of my finals it didn’t involve much studying, due to the fact that I understood all of the material pretty well and the professor spent the last two classes reviewing for the final. This was really helpful, and resulted in me not having to spend so much time reviewing for this course. So what I did, is once the last class was over I had one day to review again and then my final was the next day. Two of my friends and I met up in Crossroads (the USF café eating area/lounge) we went over some of the major course materials and helped each other review. It took about an hour total and was very helpful and prepared me for that final. My next final wouldn’t be until Wednesday and Thursday, but I had an essay due on the following Tuesday. Thankfully my Environmental Ethics final was held the last day of class and I didn’t have to study too hard for this final as well. The professor devoted the second to last day to reviewing for the final and this was again very helpful. I took good notes and reviewed them over the weekend and was ready for the final. I would say these two finals (air & water and environmental ethics) were the easier two and didn’t require too much time to study.

So what I had left for my agenda was an environmental ethics final, biology final, political theory final as well as a political theory essay. I began working on my ethics essay the Saturday before it was due, this allowed me four days to finish it, and was more than enough. I had already been thinking about my essay and gathering research so I had to formulate the actual essay. I worked on my essay mostly at home and would do a little here and a little there. I also would balance this with some biology studying and political theory studying. Biology was my hardest course this semester and was tough all year long. It was a combination of things that made it difficult (mostly my own reasons such as not studying enough or devoting enough time to it) so for the final I tried to devote some more time to studying. I reviewed all of the course quizzes and previous finals as well as course lecture material. I think this prepared me well for the final. For my political theory final I reviewed my course notes and drafted my essay based on the prompt and felt good going into the final. 

       Over all I wasn’t so stressed, just really busy. I managed my schedule well and was able to finish all of my finals with confidence while also finishing up all my other responsibilities during the end of the semester. This included working in the lab with my environmental science professor to analyze some sediment samples from the bay for methlymercury, and wrapping up the semester for my advocate for community engagement position, as well as getting in some blogs for the CBS Defend Your Ride San Francisco site. The semester has been busy, and is still moving along. Although I’m finished with finals I still don’t feel like its all over yet so I’m looking forward to being on the plan flying back to Denver to visit friends and family for the holidays. 

The Final Battle

(Erik) Permanent link
Finals are finally over. Time to relax and enjoy the rest of my time in San Francisco before I go back home to Hawaii. Going back to finals, that was so stressful. Had 3 finals 3 days in a row and it would be on the last 3 days. I got my grade for my accounting final already and I got a 98%. That time in the library and studying to 2 in the morning really paid off. That hard work of non-stop studying did not go to waste. I just hope my astronomy and statistics final have the same results. Finals week is just never the best. Cramming a whole semester worth of material into my brain last minute is just painful. I don’t recommend it at all. Note to self, learn the material as the semester goes by. Don’t wait till the last minute to learn everything in less than a week. But forget finals already. It’s done. I am currently kicking back at my friend’s house sitting down on the couch watching Netflix and drinking coffee. This is just perfect after a week of finals.

Going back to the CT!

(Kelly) Permanent link

Greetings from somewhere above Wyoming (according to the little airplane on the screen in front of me)! I’m officially done with the Fall semester and on my way to the East Coast for Winter Break. The end of the semester is always a pretty crazy time but this particular semester wasn’t too bad for me. I had three 10pg papers due on the same day, which forced me to do some serious time management. I’ve always been a bit of a procrastinator so that was a challenge. Once I sent all of the papers in, though, I only had one actual test during finals week.

I’m very happy to be going home for the holidays and to see my family and friends on the East Coast but this trip is a little bittersweet. Tomorrow USF will host the December Graduation ceremonies and a number of my friends and classmates will be celebrating their graduation. It will be weird and a little sad to return to campus in January without those people. One of my best friends from school will be graduating and moving to Massachusetts in about a month and I will definitely miss her. However, I’m incredibly proud of her and hope that, as a native Californian, she doesn’t hate her first cold winter too much.

Also, this is most likely the last time in my life that I will have a five week long Winter Break. When I return to USF in January, I will be beginning my eighth and final semester. The question that I will hear from every single person that I see over break will be “what are you going to do after you graduate?” And my answer right now is “no clue”. I’m totally okay with that, though. I’m completely happy with my life at USF right now and I don’t want to spend my last semester obsessing over what is going to happen after May. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll be networking as much as possible and interning throughout the semester. I just don’t want to miss out on fully experiencing my last semester. 

But first, I get to spend five weeks relaxing and celebrating the holidays. I hope you all have a great holiday season and I’ll send more updates in 2012!

Home away from Home

(Erik) Permanent link

Thanksgiving is here. After such a nerve racking week of midterms and work it is finally nice to get a few days off to enjoy this holiday. I won’t be going back home to Hawaii but my friend has invited me down to his place in Southern California. How we are getting there is by means of a car jam packed with 6 of us and all of our stuff. 

It may be crowded in the car but it will be a fun road trip down. We have to stop off at Santa Barbra first to drop off one of our friends at home then we will be heading to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. This will be my second time down there and I am excited. If I can’t go home, it’s great to know that I have friends that are willing to adopt me for the holidays.

Let the Fun Begin

(Erik) Permanent link

Stress, stress and more stress! Midterms are coming up and I have 3 in one week. Statistics, Accounting and Astronomy. One after another with very minimum time to study everything I need to know. I’m getting ready for a very long week. Homework, papers, and a lot of studying all piling on top of each other.

 I also forgot to mention, I have work at the Admission office as well. I know what needs to be done, time management. I have to make sure I get enough time for everything I need to get done. There will be no fooling around and slacking off for the next week. I have to stay focused and keep my head sane. Good luck to me and good luck to everyone who has midterms coming up!

Back to the Bay

(Erik) Permanent link

The weather is exactly how I like it. Nippy but not too cold. I have made my way across the Pacific Ocean back into the Bay. It’s a new year. It’s a new start to get things back on task. Moving back to the USF dorm as a sophomore is not as hectic as freshman year where a line of confused and nervous individuals wait in line to get their ID cards just to walk into the building. This year, easy as can be. This year I am living in Lone Mountain dorms on the 2nd floor. I have notice a complete change in atmosphere compared to last year. This year, it is a lot more quiet up in LoMo. Living on the 2nd floor of LoMo is completely different from everywhere else. 

This floor is known as the “spaceship room” which means, my bed is in the ceiling. Instead of having a bunk or a bed that you can jump onto, there is a ladder set into the ground where I have to climb to get into bed. It’s fun and a lot different. I hope this new change will do me well this year. I know what is expected from me from the beginning. There will be no slacking from me at all. I will go ahead into this year with my beset intentions on doing excellent.

Thanksgiving in Marin

(Kelly) Permanent link

    My first Thanksgiving in San Francisco was the first (and pretty much only) time that I got really homesick. Everyone of my friends from home goes to school much closer to home than me so they were all home for the first time during Thanksgiving break of my freshman year. Cross-country flights at Thanksgiving are ridiculously expensive and our break isn’t long enough to warrant a trip home. Luckily, I have lots of family in the Bay Area so I’ve been able to spend the holiday with them each year. It has been great getting to spend so much time with family that I didn’t get to see much growing up and the rest of my East Coast family is jealous that I get to spend time with everyone!

    Even if I didn’t have family out here, I think I would have been able to survive Thanksgivings on the West Coast. I have quite a few friends who also don’t go home for the holiday. Usually, they tag along with another friends’ family who lives nearby but sometimes they even host their own Thanksgiving celebrations in San Francisco. This year, I spent my holiday break with my family in Marin County (just north of San Francisco) and got to hear all about how excited my younger cousin was on her first Thanksgiving home from college in Santa Cruz. It reminded me of my freshman year Thanksgiving and how thankful I am to have such great family and friends here in the Bay Area. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Mid Terms and Studying

(Kelly) Permanent link

    This semester, my midterms were spread out throughout October and November so I had time to do all of my studying and paper writing-or so I thought. During the times when I had midterms, I ended up also attending a couple of conferences. The first was in the end of October and was the Not For Sale Campaign’s Global Forum on Human Trafficking. I took a class with the President and Co-Founder of Not For Sale, David Batstone, when I was a sophomore at USF and have been volunteering at the Global Forum for the past two years. There were about six USF students volunteering this year and the event was great!

    The second conference was the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, DC. About 1200 people, representing Jesuit colleges, universities, high schools, parishes and other communities affiliated with the Jesuits, attended the Teach-In. We spent the weekend listening to speakers and participating in different breakout sessions all focused on different social justice issues. A student from USF even gave one of the mainstage talks! The last day of the Teach-In was a day spent lobbying on Capitol Hill. Along with the rest of the USF delegation, I spoke with representatives from the offices of California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein about the Dream Act. Thankfully, I found some time at the airports and planes to get some of my work done! 

Back to the Books!

(Kelly) Permanent link

      Last time I blogged here, I finished up by talking about gearing up for my senior year. The first few weeks of the semester went by in such a blur after that! I moved into a new apartment on a Monday afternoon and had my first class of the semester on that Tuesday morning. I spent the next few days getting all of my stuff out of storage, getting my room organized, meeting my new professors and classmates, and catching up with all of my friends that I hadn’t seen in months. A huge number of my friends and classmates had studied abroad the previous semester so it was really exciting to see everyone again and hear all about their experiences.

      While I enjoyed my time in DC, I was so excited to get back to the USF community. Those first few weeks back were hectic but one thing really sticks out for me when I think about that time: my first dance class of the semester. The Dance Program at USF is pretty small but such an amazing program. That first class felt like coming home to a family reunion of sorts (cheesy I know, but it’s true!) and made me so grateful for being a part of that community. Though the rest of the semester is looking like it is going to be just as busy as the first few weeks were, I’m looking forward to every bit of it! 

Turkey Day

(Chase) Permanent link

    Back in the dorms from a really nice Thanksgiving… My dad, his girlfriend, and I went to my aunt and uncle’s house, we were in charge of the turkey, stuffing, gravy, and pies. We arrive at their house say hello, take it all out of the car into the kitchen and realize we forgot the turkey, it’s still at my dad’s house a hour and half away! My dad was able to buy another turkey and we were able to laugh about it at the table, good times and memories made!

Thanksgiving is the teaser break to winter break, but it’s always welcomed by everyone. It was nice to get away from the studies for a while. The year is really turning out to be a tough one, but it is what you make of it. Since I decided to be a little more involved that some it’s slightly more busy. 

Done with mid terms, and finals are just a week away, and that’s it for the semester! I had my last day of clinical, we really appreciated the support that the nursing staff showed to us so we gave them a thank you card and made some cupcakes for them! NSA has really had an awesome semester we have a great bunch of leaders who are willing to go the extra mile to make sure students get what they want out of NSA. We have made a huge number of changes and things seem to be going in the direction we all want. 

Studying is starting to ramp up with finals and I wish the very best of luck to everyone as we get closer and closer! 

Half way

(Chase) Permanent link

    Mid terms in sight, and finals not to far after that, this is for sure the middle of the year. We have been in class long enough to know how the class works and what we need to do to get by and here comes the mid terms. Classes are going well for me I’m learning more and more practical knowledge about nursing. The skill check offs are going great, learning all about medication administration, giving injections, and learning how to do a head-to-toe assessment on patients! Clinical is going well, the nurses and the nursing assistants love having students around as we are willing to do anything we are able to, anything to get more experience.

Volunteering in the OR has been great as well, I’m able to see things that I don’t get to in clinical and it’s really beneficial to be in the hospital two days a week rather than one. I feel like the more time in the hospital the better. It’s also interesting to see how different departments of the hospital operate so differently.

Other nursing classes seem to be taking up a lot of time as well as computer science and my position in NSA. I’m so glad that I decided to do all of this, but at times it can feel like I bit off more than I can chew. I find myself working better under more pressure so maybe all of this is good. 

I still find time to explore the city every now and then, went to a few movies and found a great sandwich spot over on Hayes street not to far from the school! 

I haven’t been back home yet so I’m looking forward to being back and seeing family and friends back home over Thanksgiving. 

And it Begins

(Chase) Permanent link

  Back in San Francisco with the friends and start of school, finally! Can’t wait for the school year to be in full swing as I am excited to get into what nursing is really about. I’ll be at CPMC California campus for my clinical and I’ll also be volunteering there in the OR! My board position on the Nursing Student’s Association (NSA) should keep me busy as well, but it’s an awesome organization all nursing students should at least give a try, it’s a great way to get to meet other nursing students and get their priceless advice. I’m minoring in Computer Science and hopefully this semester I’ll be able to find a way to blend nursing and computer science to come up with something useful for myself and others. 

Move in day was great this year! I was feeling a little overwhelmed freshman year with not knowing what I’m doing and barely knowing anyone, but this year was great. It was nice to see familiar faces and know what I need to do and how to prepare for that first week of new classes. It’s an exciting part of the year you just need to embrace and make the best of it and I wish the best of luck to everyone this school year!

Thanksgiving Break!

(Jennifer) Permanent link
Because of the way some portions of my final were arranged in my nursing classes, I was able to head home for Thanksgiving break a few days before that Thursday.  I was starting to get a little homesick and bored of my own cooking, so I was happy to see my little brother again and my parents when I went home that week.  I spend the week with my family and had Thanksgiving with my parents' family friends like we've done for the past few years.  I did a little bit of Black Friday shopping after the stampedes in the middle of the night.  My break was very relaxing and I look forward to the end of the semester, which is rapidly approaching in less than a few weeks.

Midterm Mania

(Jennifer) Permanent link

I found midterms rolling in faster than I expected.  After the initial transition into nursing classes and clinical, I found myself getting a better idea on how  being a nurse will be like in the future.  Within the first month or so at St. Francis, I can already tell that I will love being a nurse because almost 99% of the time I will wake up at five or so in the morning with less than three hours of sleep (I have this bad tendency to sleep later the only morning I have to get up early), feel absolutely terrible getting to the hospital, and wanting to pass out on the bus, only to find myself walking out of the hospital with a smile on my face.  This isn't something that happens when I have a good patient - overall being in the hospital is a heartwarming experience for me and I find it hard not to enjoy being there making a difference in other people's lives.

My other courses during the midterm period, on the other hand, were not much different than your typical lecture class.  I found myself improving my studying skills a little more by reviewing the material earlier than I normally would (a day or two before), despite the increased difficulty in the courses I'm taking.  Surprise, surprise, doing your reading actually help!  You don't have to memorize the book front-to-back, but actually exposing yourself to the textbook that isn't gathering dust somewhere helped me score a few extra points that I wouldn't have gotten in the past.  If I had to make a point or two about midterms, they would be:

1) Do the reading when you're supposed to - not a few days before the midterm.

2) Start studying earlier!  If you don't know how to start off, make a schedule of what you'll review and when you'll do it.  Most                 importantly, what makes this work (this applies to diets too by the way), is actually doing what you say you'll do.

Other than that, I would advise you to attend class in general, because a lot of professors will make special notes of things ONLY during lecture - some even include those special tidbits in exam questions to reward those who actually show up.  I found that when I stick to what I say I'll do, I find myself doing well on my exams, so I'm anticipating on meeting my goals for my midterms.

Back to School

(Jennifer) Permanent link

This year is my first year living off-campus, so I was in for a bunch of new experiences off-campus.  One of them included something I had never done before: "real" cooking outside of a toaster oven and microwave.  Surprisingly enough I didn't set things on fire and I've been able to manage very well preparing my own food, so aside from waiting for my food to cook, it wasn't an issue.  I live no more than a 15 minute walk uphill (it's shorter downhill back) to USF, so I don't have much trouble getting to class on time.

The transition back into school wasn't as drastic as it has been in the past since I was busy working while taking classes over the summer, so I was already in a somewhat productive mood before heading back into the city for the fall.  The only thing that hit me was the transition from "normal college classes" that were the pre-requisite classes for the nursing program to taking the actual nursing courses that are directly applied in the clinical setting.  It was overwhelming at first, but I really enjoyed being able to learn things that directly helped me in my future career (I'm sure we've all felt at some point that some class we took didn't seem relevant to our jobs).  Other than that, my semester started off great and I'm geared up and excited for my first clinical rotations.

Thanksgiving Holiday

(Brandon) Permanent link

    This thanksgiving holiday was really great! Instead of flying back to Colorado for thanksgiving and again in December I stayed in the city. One of my friends held a thanksgiving dinner at his house for all of our friends and college students staying in the city for the holiday. Each person cooked and brought his or her own item to be shared with everyone else. It turned out super great and the food was awesome. There was everything that a thanksgiving dinner calls for: mashed potatoes, stuffing, salad, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, green bean casserole, asparagus, and of course a turkey.

I had the responsibility of cooking the turkey, and let me tell you it was quite the experience. This was my first time ever cooking a 20 pound turkey, and I learned a lot in the process. I bought the turkey the day before thanksgiving, and began cooking it at 6am the day of thanksgiving. I buttered the turkey and seasoned it then put it in the oven for four hours. Before and during the process I definitely called my mom for some advice and my girlfriend helped out with the seasoning and prep work. The turkey came out very great and juicy! I was impressed and proud of my first turkey. I look forward to doing it again in the future and am thankful for what I learned. 

My girlfriend also cooked a pecan pie that was delicious. After the turkey was finished, around 2:30 we headed over to my friends house and helped set up the dinner. My girlfriend carved the turkey and I assisted with setting up the table. We all were eating by 3:30 and I felt really thankful to be surrounded by friends during the holiday.

After dinner and dessert we all gathered around the television and watched the San Francisco 49ers play against the Baltimore Ravens. It was a good football game, but unfortunately the 49ers lost. After that we continued to hang out and listen to music before heading back home.

Midterms and Studying

(Brandon) Permanent link

    Unfortunately my scheduling this semester has placed me with three midterms in the same week, two of which are on the same day, and an essay due. This is to be expected in college so I’m not complaining about it being a reality of college; I just have to plan my week very well to be able to study appropriately. Depending on your individual reasons for attending college and your future goals, these test times are the important times of the school year where students need to focus on why they are in college, for me it is to learn and weeks like these I need to buckle down and study.

I think midterm weeks require a lot of dedication and sacrifice, dedication to your studies, and sacrificing a little free time and social life for a week. These sacrifices pay off by the end of the week when the dedication put into studying pays off with either a good grade or confidence in knowing you learned the material. 

For me I have a unique opportunity as a student during midterms and finals. I have an on campus job that provides me with an office that I utilize as a great isolated studying environment. I feel that USF provides a lot of areas for students to have a good atmosphere for studying. For example, the atrium in the library is open 24 hours and is 100% silent area devoted to focus on work. The library is open until midnight, and has silent areas throughout that allow students the ability to focus on studying. There are numerous lounges in buildings such as the university center, Kalmanovits, and lone mountain that also provide great studying environments. 

Overall the key to midterm time is finding a great place to study and actually devoting the time to study. If this is done I can’t guarantee that I will get an A on the exams, but that I will learn the material and will perform better on the exam if I hadn’t studied. 

Returning to Campus(2)

 Permanent link

I was extremely excited to return to campus this semester. I will be heading into my junior year, and it will be my first year living off campus.  Although the whole process of finding a house close to school in an affordable price range was a little daunting and stressful, everything ended up great.  I am living in the Presidio with three other housemates who have already graduated from college and work in the “real world”. 

Some of my friends have asked if I feel that I am not enjoying a real college experience since I don’t live with college students, but rather older people already in the work place.  My answer to that is that for me, I do not feel that I am being shorted of the college experience at all.  I know myself as a student, and I know what environment helps me accomplish my goals as a student. To me, living with fellow college students would be more distracting, and if college is to prepare us for the real world, I see it as a great opportunity to be living with three other individuals who have already been experiencing the “real world” after college and I can learn a lot from them.  Needless to say I think my housing situation will also provide a great stable environment to get my work done and focus on my studies. 

This semester I am taking: Environmental Ethics, Political Theory, General Biology 1 with a lab, and Air & Water with a lab. I’m looking forward to these classes, but am a little nervous about Biology and Political Theory because I’ve heard biology is a lot of memorization and political theory is a lot of reading and writing.  However, I am ready to take on the challenge and learn more in both of these areas that interest me. I’ve heard that environmental ethics is a great class and I’m really excited about learning various ethics that relate to my environmental science major. 

When I think about the atmosphere at the beginning of fall semester, I think it is one of my favorite atmospheres during the school year.  By atmosphere I mean all the excitement and involvement of veteran students and new students who are first moving into the college dorms and beginning a new phase of their lives. I think when I see all the students exciting and moving in it motivates me and reminds me about why I go to college. 

With that said, I’ve enjoyed the beginning of the fall semester, and being able to finally live on my own. I look forward to this semester. 

Returning to Campus

(Brandon) Permanent link

I was extremely excited to return to campus this semester. I will be heading into my junior year, and it will be my first year living off campus.  Although the whole process of finding a house close to school in an affordable price range was a little daunting and stressful, everything ended up great.  I am living in the Presidio with three other housemates who have already graduated from college and work in the “real world”. 

Some of my friends have asked if I feel that I am not enjoying a real college experience since I don’t live with college students, but rather older people already in the work place.  My answer to that is that for me, I do not feel that I am being shorted of the college experience at all.  I know myself as a student, and I know what environment helps me accomplish my goals as a student. To me, living with fellow college students would be more distracting, and if college is to prepare us for the real world, I see it as a great opportunity to be living with three other individuals who have already been experiencing the “real world” after college and I can learn a lot from them.  Needless to say I think my housing situation will also provide a great stable environment to get my work done and focus on my studies. 

This semester I am taking: Environmental Ethics, Political Theory, General Biology 1 with a lab, and Air & Water with a lab. I’m looking forward to these classes, but am a little nervous about Biology and Political Theory because I’ve heard biology is a lot of memorization and political theory is a lot of reading and writing.  However, I am ready to take on the challenge and learn more in both of these areas that interest me. I’ve heard that environmental ethics is a great class and I’m really excited about learning various ethics that relate to my environmental science major. 

When I think about the atmosphere at the beginning of fall semester, I think it is one of my favorite atmospheres during the school year.  By atmosphere I mean all the excitement and involvement of veteran students and new students who are first moving into the college dorms and beginning a new phase of their lives. I think when I see all the students exciting and moving in it motivates me and reminds me about why I go to college. 

With that said, I’ve enjoyed the beginning of the fall semester, and being able to finally live on my own. I look forward to this semester. 

Gearing up for School!

(Kelly) Permanent link

    After a whirlwind of a semester in D.C., Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, I moved out of my dorm on May 4th to start my last (and longest) summer vacation as an undergraduate student. On May 4th, my only plan for the summer was to get back to San Francisco as soon as I possibly could. I missed the city and the USF community incredibly while I was away and booked a plane ticket for early June back to the Bay Area. For the majority of the summer, I’ve been living with family in Marin County (just north of the city, across the Golden Gate Bridge) and taking the ferry into San Francisco for a few days each week to work in the Office of Admission and see friends who are in the city for the summer.

    Fortunately, I’ve also had some friends from around the country visit San Francisco this summer. I love having visitors and showing them around the city that I’ve come to love. My absolute favorite thing about San Francisco is the city’s food. While you may have to wait in a line to get Blue Bottle Coffee and the most amazing waffle ever at the Ferry Building downtown or for ice cream at Bi-Rite in the Mission, the food is well worth the wait. 

   Now I’m gearing up for my senior year: moving into a new apartment, getting books for my classes and welcoming everyone who spent the summer elsewhere back to San Francisco! 


(Lionell) Permanent link
The long awaited summertime has finally arrived and it is so long overdue. I flew back to the “Big Easy” (New Orleans), the place I call home for the summer. Looking for a summer job in the beginning was relatively hard. I could have continued working at the corporate law firm that employed me for the last two summers, but I wanted a change of environment. It took about a month of applying and interviewing to find a good part time job, but now I am employed as a sales associate at Johnston & Murphy. I have worked there for about three weeks and I think it was right choice for me. Offering my style expertise to those who need it is a wonderful use of one of my many talents.

As I calculate it out we are about halfway through the summer, and I am missing not only my friends but the city of San Francisco. I will always have love for my hometown of New Orleans but this humid summer heat sometimes makes me question why I left San Francisco in the first place. You know Mark Twain said “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.” I am thinking next summer will probably be the first that I may stay in San Francisco once the school year ends. I am mentally preparing for how different this school year and school in general will be next year. Many of my really good friends are planning on studying abroad and I will for sure miss their company. I am planning on going to London this spring semester which I will update you on later. I also can not wait to see the renovations that are happening basically in the center of campus. If construction plans are kept as planned I should be able to see the new University of San Francisco campus before I graduate. I am awaiting this upcoming school year with anticipation and excitement for what next year holds.

Making History

(Lionell) Permanent link
It’s February, Black History Month. If I have not told you all before I am on the Executive Board of the Black Student Union here at the University of San Francisco.  We are planning numerous events this month honoring the history of black people as a whole. This month will begin with a film screening of the movie Amistad directed by Steven Speilberg about a 1839 mutiny aboard a slave ship that is traveling towards the northeastern coast of America which will be followed by a discussion. Next, we are holding Expressions which is a night where we showcase the many talented students of USF. Whether they do poetry, sing, rap, or paint it is a beacon for anyone to basically express themselves. Black History Month will culminate with the Civil Rights  activist, Co-founder and national chairman of the Black Panther Party.

Back To School We Go

(Lionell) Permanent link

About 80% of college students change their major at least once. On average, college students change their major three times over the course of their college career.Initially hearing this statistics I never thought I would be one of the students. I had a very detailed plan for the course of my life through and beyond college and I was sure I was going to stick to my 4 plan . All I have to say is that plans change and things do not always turn out as you expect. In my first two semesters I was on track to graduate as a computer science major, but since that time I have figured out that maybe computer science is not my passion. Second semester of my sophomore year has just commenced and I am a newly declared Psychology major. This semester my main focus is getting started on my new major requirements because I am a newly declared psychology major. I am enrolled in Psychological Statistics, Biological Psychology, Writing in Psychology, Native American Literature, and Third Semester Spanish. I think this will undoubtedly be an interesting, yet challenging year.

Busy Summer

(Jennifer) Permanent link

This summer is my busiest summer yet.  I found myself taking three classes at the local junior college and an internship.  My first week this summer was spent trying to move my belongings back home AND clean out my room at the same time – very bad idea.  It led to my room looking like a bombing site for days.  The week after that was spent on a relaxing vacation with my family in Hawai`i.  After those two weeks, I found myself getting right into the internship where my dad works, and another week later, summer school.

If there’s one thing my summer is teaching me at the moment, it’s forcing me to make use of every free minute I have.  Since I have classes starting at seven in the morning, internship in the afternoon, and an evening class until nine, I have to keep myself from chatting with friends online and lollygagging when I get home.  After crowning myself the procrastination overlord back in high school, me being productive is like a Christmas miracle.

There are two more things I’m also doing this summer:

1) Getting excited for clinical rotations this fall!
2) Getting even more excited over being a part of the Saint Ignatius Institute orientation team this fall!!

A Break From The Grind

(Chase) Permanent link

Hi everyone, I hope your summer is going well! Hopefully you are enjoying the summer sun and the much needed break from the grind of school.

I know for me it has been the busiest summer I have had and I'm not even taking any summer classes. So I can't imagine adding that to the equation for those taking classes. Being away from the beautiful weather of the bay area is starting to take it's toll with the many days of 100 degree plus here in Rocklin. Crazy as it may sound, I am starting to miss school and my job at the law school. So I can't wait for the school year to start back up! Thus far the summer has been filled with being with my girlfriend, spending time with friends and family, as well as working.

My girlfriend and I have been getting our fair share of frozen yogurt in this summer, as we rarely are able to enjoy it in the city. We have a summer trip planned with her family to Cabo in a couple weeks and I cannot wait! A couple of weeks ago I spent the week with the grandparents, my uncle, and the rest of my family in San Diego for a quick get away. It was very nice to get out and play golf with my grandparents and escape the sweltering heat! I was very fortunate this summer to be able to come home and have a job waiting for me, it was such a relief. I am working for a family friend who owns a hotdog business and have been going to different events helping sell hotdogs out of the many hotdog carts they have. Not the most glamorous job, but always interesting and fun talking to all sorts of different people. I am working a few days a week in downtown Sacramento as well as helping out with a few major events on the weekends such as the Folsom rodeo in the beginning of July. Like I said I can't wait for school to be here, but in the mean time enjoying the summer here in Rocklin.

Summer 2011

(Brandon) Permanent link

Summer 2011 has been very productive and I had time for a little vacation on the side. A couple of weeks after the spring semester I began my internship at the U.S. Geological Survey where I would work with scientists whose focus in measuring different types of mercury in the bay area. The types of mercury include: methylmercury, total mercury, and reactive mercury. The samples were obtained from all different areas, and the types of samples analyzed have included water samples at various depths, pore water (which is the water extracted from sediment), sediment, and filters. I’ve been living with a family friend in San Mateo and commute to work in Menlo Park using CalTrain and a bicycle. CalTrain is a very good way to get around in the bay area if you don’t have a car. The reason for interning at the USGS is not only because it is related to my environmental science major, but also because it goes hand in hand with research that I am working on with a professor at USF. Allison Luengen is an Environmental Science professor who is researching the bioaccumulation of mercury through the food chain, and my internship experience will allow us to further her research when I begin in Fall 2011.

Recently I just took a vacation/trip to hang out with my best friend from high school who is in the Marine Corps and just got back from Jordan and was on post deployment leave. I hung out with him and we visited San Diego, Hollywood, Twenty-nine Palms, and Las Vegas. I was in Vegas for the fourth of July. The trip was fun, and it was good to see the fireworks in Vegas. I will travel to southern California in Santa Barbara for the last week of July in order to intern with another Environmental Science professor who specializes in riparian ecology. I will assist in her research regarding riparian ecosystem restoration. After that I will return to the USGS until the 16th of August. On the 16th I begin training for my position as an Advocate for Community Engagement at USF. Concurrently with all this I have also begun looking for a place to live for the next year in San Francisco. I will have two other roommates who are students as USF as well. Hopefully we can find a place and move in by August 1st.

This summer has been busy and very fun. I have learned a lot and still will learn so much. I am looking forward to starting a new semester though.

Hello, Summer!

(Kayla) Permanent link

Hello, Summer! Something I’ve been wanted to say all year. Also means hello to the scorching summer sun, to family and friends, and most importantly to home-cooked meals and the most delicious baked goods you could ever ask for.

A man in a coffee shop once asked me where I was from, and I answered simply with, “Hawaii.” He was mildly surprised and responded with, “Wow, it must be a vacation everyday.” I guess you could say that this is somewhat true, I’ve been packing each day to the gill, with hiking, going to the beach, spending time with my closest friends, eating my fill of strawberry shave ice with ice cream on the bottom + acai bowls topped with granola and honey, my favorites, along with the little, petty things such as summer school at the University of Hawaii and work.

You wouldn’t believe what today is, it’s the 4th of July, one of my favorite holidays! This means BBQ at my best friends house + watching fireworks on the Naval Base, already the 5th year in a row and counting; we’re making it a tradition. Cheers to a wonderful 4th of July, I’m sure I’ll be stuffing myself with 20 different pies and 10 different types of ice cream. Thank you, America. –Xoxo K

Hi All!

(Kelly) Permanent link
Hi all, my name is Kelly Mills. I'm a senior originally from Norwalk, CT. I moved out to San Francisco 3 years ago to attend USF and love both coasts. I'm majoring in International Studies with minors in African Studies and Peace and Justice Studies. At USF, I'm involved in the Not For Sale club, a couple other social justice-focused clubs and the USF dance ensemble. With classes I've taken during my time at USF, I've travelled to Cambodia to research human trafficking and Greece, Turkey and Cyprus to study conflict resolution. I've absolutely loved my first 3 years at USF and I'm excited to share a little bit of my senior year on the hilltop with you!


(Kelly) Permanent link

Happy Summer! I just got back to the Bay Area after a semester in Washington, D.C. For the Spring Semester, I participated in a program called USF in DC, taking classes at American University 3 days a week and interning the other 2 days. I was a member of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Seminar with 22 other students from around the U.S. and the world. We spent the majority of the semester visiting with different organizations, companies and individuals who work in the Peace and Conflict Resolution field in D.C. and studying different conflicts. I interned at the International Labor Rights Forum, an advocacy organization that focuses on the rights of workers globally. I learned about ILRF through a USF Professor, David Batstone, whose own non-profit, the Not For Sale Campaign works with ILRF. The internship was my first experience working in a formal office from 9-5 and taught me A LOT about what my future job may entail.

The highlight of my semester was a 3 week field research trip to Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. My classmates and I studied the Cyprus Conflict in-depth for about a month and a half before travelling to the Mediterranean. In Cyprus, we met with a huge variety of speakers and organizations. We even got to visit the UN Buffer Zone that cuts the tiny island in two and met with UN Peacekeeping troops stationed on the island (the UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus is the longest running UN peacekeeping mission and has been active on the island since 1964). All of these UN visits were especially interesting to me after taking a class at USF the semester prior to living in DC on the history of the UN.

I went to DC hoping to figure out whether or not I could move back to the East Coast after graduating in the Spring. While I was reminded about how terrible living in the snow can be, I also really enjoyed much of what DC had to offer and now I’m even more undecided about where I’ll be after I graduate!

Summer Time

(Keala) Permanent link

Finally its summer time! Summer has been a blast so far. Staying in San Francisco to work, I have been able to do a lot of work with my youth group called Young Life! I got to take kids to summer camp and get to hang out with them all the time. Plus when it is sunny I get to go enjoy the nice weather and BBQ with my coworkers. Working at Hukilau is awesome it is like a party every weekend and I get to be there! I can’t wait to go home to Hawaii though.

Even though summer is almost half way over I still can't wait for the new school year to start. I am excited to see all of my friends again and resume our adventures in San Francisco!

Nearing The End of Freshman Year

(Keala) Permanent link

So school is almost over! My freshman year is almost done and I really can’t believe that it is over. It feels like just yesterday was freshman orientation. I guess that makes sense seeing as how busy I have been lately. With all the work and studying for finals and finishing projects time has really been flying. The ending of school is bitter sweet because I don’t know what next year is going to be like, but at the same time all of my hard work throughout the year has paid off! Well time to go study for finals and finish up projects. I can’t wait for the summer!

Hey Guys!

(Keala) Permanent link

Hey guys! My name is Keala Freitas and I just finished my freshman year of college at USF. I am currently majoring in Performing Arts and Social Justice with a concentration in Music. I am also in the Dual Degree for Teacher Preparation Program, working towards getting my masters in education. I graduated from Punahou School in Hawaii, class of 2010. I was born and raised in Hawaii on the island of Oahu.

I love going to school in San Francisco. San Francisco may be a physically small city, but there is so much to do. Some of the things that I love to do in the city are go to the free concerts in Golden Gate Park, going to Haight Street and visiting all the shops and having bon fires at Ocean Beach!

The First Semester

(Lionell) Permanent link

Hello all! My name is Lionell Daggs I am from New Orleans, Louisiana “the Big Easy.” I am a Computer Science major and a Business minor, and I am also involved in the Saint Ignatius Institute, a community learning program here at USF that focuses on philosophy, literature, and history. Everyone asks me how I ended up here and I really could not tell you; I applied, got accepted, visited, and now I’m in my first semester of college here in the wonderful city of San Francisco. A word of advice to all of you applicants, if you have the means to visit your prospective colleges before making your final choice do it, visiting USF really helped me with my final decision.

We are now around the middle of the first semester so you know what that means, midterms. I have been fervently studying, writing papers, and just basically spending a lot of time with my books; but I did make time to see Chris Rock’s documentary “Good Hair” this weekend which was not only funny but very informative as well. You know the saying all work and no play makes jack a dull boy; I hold that to be very true so I had to make time for some fun this weekend. Overall, my experiences here at USF and in San Francisco have been needless to say interesting. I always leave the dorms and come back with an intriguing MUNI bus story or I see a couple very unique looking people along the way to my destination. The city and people here are so diverse so San Francisco lends itself well to be just a fun place to live. I have been to the Mission for burritos, the Presidio to watch a rendition of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, the Fisherman’s Wharf for some In & Out Burger, Downtown for shopping, and to the Arts & Sciences building to watch a ballet of the Medea. So whatever you are fond of, whatever grasps your intrigue and interest, you can find it here in San Francisco. Now I would like some home-cooked Louisiana food every now and then and I haven’t been able to find one, so if you know of places tell me about them.

P.S. I would like to shout out the YAY AREA Tribe of Foreword 2009 at USF of which I was a part of this past summer.

I'm a working man now!

(Lionell) Permanent link

I finally got a job!!! I have been searching and searching and now I am a student intern in the Admissions Office. Now I am just starting out, but I think I am getting the hang of scheduling my time wisely. Time management is a big thing in college that I never thought about.You are juggling a lot of things and all of this newly found freedom is refreshing, but it also comes with added responsibility. Life here at USF has been good. I think I am getting used to this colder weather, something I never really had to deal with in my hometown of New Orleans; but hey it is an excuse to get more warmer clothes right. I am also warming up to the city in general(no pun intended). I was reluctant in the beginning to accept the fact that my dorm room is my home now because I just considered it the place I slept and studied, but I have come to the realization that USF and San Francisco will be my home probably for the next four years and I don't think I mind that too much anymore.

Halloween is fastly approaching and I am anxiously awaiting the pumpkin carving, costume parties, etc. They should be fun. My mom sent me a care package this past week full of all kinds of things, so that is always good. There was a bag of candyin the package with about 300 pieces of candy in it. Now why the 300 pack I don't know, but my roommate and I have been slowly breaking into the large mass of candy and that has been fun. I am really thinking that I made the right choice in coming here. I have great friends, great fun, and great classes everyday; and if I made a different decision about my final choice of college I don't think it would have been the same way.

See ya next blog!


(Kayla) Permanent link

Hi, my name is Kayla Ching and I'm currently a freshman at USF. I began my first semester majoring in biology, but in the process of taking some core classes, I've decided to make what some would call a huge jump and changed my major to architecture, which has so far been a better fit for me.

I really do love the big city; I've been exposed and "cultured" to the very many things that San Francisco has to offer, but Kaimuki, Hawaii has always been my home. In my spare time, I love hiking, going to beach, basically anything outdoors, drawing, painting, reading, listening to music, traveling to new places, trying new foods, experiencing new things, and just being spontaneous!

Stress and No Sleep = Architect / Community Design Major

(Kayla) Permanent link

I have been up for the past 40 hours living off coffee with extra shots of espresso and skittles along with 20 other of my classmates pulling all-nighters in the studio. It’s not even to the point where this is procrastination; I have put in at least 50+ hours on this project over my non-existent spring break and am trying to put in the final details in my drawings and my model. But I know that I will be satisfied and all of the hard work will be worth it.

An Architect understands form and space, how space is created, and how people use that particular space. For the past month, I have been working on a precedent study for my Architecture 2 studio class, for which I was assigned the Heidi Weber Museum designed by Le Corbusier. Today was the final review for this project, being critiqued by three of the professors. The final presentation consisted of a large model, a section drawing, plans, an exploded parti, and diagrams. By studying this, I was able to learn more about the process of designing and constructing, familiarizing myself with model-making materials, improving my craftsmanship, and most importantly learning why this building and other famous buildings researched by my classmates work and what makes them so successful. I now have a greater appreciation for form and space; they should be held in much greater esteem.

And now, I can finally Sleep.

Let Me Introduce Myself

(Jennifer) Permanent link

Hi, I'm Jennifer Yu, or Jen for short and I'm from Petaluma, California. Just think about "pet a llama" if can't remember the name. I was born in New York City and I'm the first-generation born in America. I can speak and write a little Mandarin here and there, aside from "chow mein" and "kung pao chicken." Some things I like doing on my free time is drawing what's on my mind, biking, and swimming. I'm secretly an online forum junkie that is a moderator for a game and I'm a band geek as well.

I get excited over the silliest things, like wearing legitimate lab coats for my microbiology lab and having a mini Beanie Baby crab on my desk. I have a betta fish that my little brother decided to name "Feesh" after he ingeniously tried to phonetically spell out "fish" when he was spacing out (he was in the county spelling bee last year) and he likes to hide under the dinosaur in my fish bowl. I try my best not to be too weird when it comes to meeting new people. I hope I didn't scare anyone off, but if you're still reading this, I guess I didn't.

Hello from Erik!

(Erik) Permanent link

My name is Erik Pang and I am currently a freshman of the class of 2014 here at University of San Francisco. My hometown is Mililani, Hawaii and I came to San Francisco, California because I wanted to experience something completely different from a small island. I enjoy the city life a lot, going downtown to explore the fascinating city that San Francisco has to offer.

I came into USF as a psychology major but decided after my first semester that that wasn't the right path for my future. I switched to the undecided business major and I am currently taking business classes looking for the right specific business major I would want to pursue. This search for the right major is difficult but the classes that I am taking right now are really helping me figure out the right move I should make.

Back from Break

(Erik) Permanent link

The ring of my alarm woke me up at 10am this morning to the view of the sun rising over the staggered houses in my back window. Tuesday back from spring break, time to get back in the groove of things. My first class, Macroeconomics went by with a breeze. One class down, one more to go. I quickly made my way back to my room for a quick power nap. An hour and a half nap was an excellent way to start off my second class. Again my alarm goes off, time for my freshman seminar class: Western Literature. I take my journey up to Lone Mountain through the cold crispy air. When I got to class, I sat in the front row with my friend and we talk about how are break was.

In Astonishment, this 1:45 minute class has been cut an hour early by my professor who felt that the class had an excellent discussion and deserved a break! I then made my way down to Koret Gym to get in my daily workout. Spring Break has really made me feel sluggish and that workout session really made me feel completely different. I then trekked my way back up to Lone mountain for work at the Admission Office. It was pretty busy, answering over 50 phone calls from prospective students. Overall this Tuesday back from Spring Break was pretty busy but it went by quick and easy. I hope tomorrow will be just like today.


(Chase) Permanent link

My name is Chase Smith, I am a Nursing major part of the USF class of 2014. I grew up in the town of Rocklin, California a small suburb outside of Sacramento. I attended Rocklin High School, played for the boys basketball team, worked as a babysitter, and was deeply involved in volunteer activities. My senior year I was part of the Every Fifteen Minutes program and would love to share my experiences with anyone who asks!

Since attending USF I have started an on-campus job at the USF School of Law working as a Student Assistant in ITS. I have participated in many volunteer activities, I am one of the officers in the Nursing Students Association, and a member of the Male Student Nursing Society. I spend most of my time involved with activities related to school and NSA while trying to squeeze in some time to explore the city with my girlfriend and friends. So, I encourage you to follow me and see what the life is of a male nursing student at the University of San Francisco.

Getting Started

(Brandon) Permanent link

Hello, my full name is Brandon Lee Oldham and I am one of the bloggers for the University of San Francisco's Admission Department. I will be a junior at USF during the 2011-2012 school year, and I have been a USF student my entire college career since my freshman year of 2009-1010. I am majoring in Environmental Science with a minor in Politics. I was born and raised in Colorado where I attended Horizon High School, and graduated Valedictorian in 2009. I enjoy a lot of things including the usual: spending time with friends, snowboarding, biking, gardening, walking around the great city of San Francisco, and being healthy and active overall. I'm a nice person and am always open to meeting new friends.

I wasn't always an Environmental Science major; I use to be a Politics major with no minor, but then I found a passion for Environmental Science so decided to major in that and keep a background in Politics. Besides just being a student and blogger at USF I work as and Advocate for Community Engagement (ACE) in the universities McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good; here I act as a liaison between service-learning courses offered at USF and a local non-profit in the city called Quesada Gardens Initiative. As an ACE I facilitate meaningful service as well as reflections, and may see some of you if you enroll in a service-learning course. I am also performing research under an Environmental Science professor at USF where we are examining ways in which methylmercury travels through the food web and biomagnifies and bio-accumulates in species. With any time left on the side I try to be as active as possible on campus by attending presentations, sporting events, plays, and/or guest speakers. I really love my time here at USF and hope that through my blogs I can help give you an idea of what life is like as a USF student or give you ideas of things you can do on campus. If you ever see me feel free to say hi, and I hope you enjoy some of my blogs!

Wrapping Up the Semester

(Brandon) Permanent link

As I look ahead to the next 13 days left in the semester I can't help but to also look back and realize that in 13 days I will be 50% finished with my undergraduate experience. Time has flown by, and the next 13 days will definitely be a grind. This semester I have been enrolled in: General Chemistry II with a lab, Ecology and Human Impacts with a lab, Latin American Perspectives (a history course), and Second Semester German totaling 16 unit hours. The last day of courses is on May 12th. I then have my German final on May 14th at 10am, my Chemistry final on May 16th at 7:30am, my Latin American Perspectives final on May 17th also at 7:30am and finally my Ecology final also on the 17th at 10am. On the 17th at 9:00pm I will be flying from San Francisco International airport to San Diego to visit my brother for a week. That will be a nice break directly following finals. Besides being just a student at USF I also participate in other activities and job positions. If I were to summarize what I do I am a student, Advocate for Community Engagement (ACE), Environmental Science Research student intern, as well as a blogger for the admissions department. With all these things on my plate I also try to make time to relax and enjoy company with my friends and be engaged in activities/events occurring on campus as well as in the city.

This past weekend was really relaxing and great. Since I knew finals were approaching I thought it would be a good time to enjoy activities and events while I could, so I did just that. Following classes and work on Friday the 29th I went to a play entitled "The Maids" being put on as a senior project for graduating seniors majoring in performing arts and social justice. The play was very intriguing; it had a cast of only 3 people and explored the life of two maids who go crazy out of envy and jealously of their Madam that who they work for. The play led viewers trough the psychological breakdown of these two maids minds who eventually … well I wouldn't want to spoil the plot so you'll just have to see the play for yourself. On Saturday April 30th from 8am to 6:30pm I went on a field trip to Point Reyes for my Ecology course. The national park was wonderful! We hiked, went to the beach, and ended our day at the lighthouse. If you don't know of or have never been to Point Reyes I strongly recommend a trip there sometime! Sunday I finished my weekend with a trip to the De Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco (admission was only $4 thanks to my USF ID) with my girlfriend, our friend, and her father who was visiting for his daughter's birthday. The museum had some great exhibits including ancient artifacts from Latin America.

This week reality of the semesters end kicked off with my Chemistry course at 8am. Over the last three days I have been finishing up class assignments, lab reports, and essays. Tuesday I worked in my research lab, and I have also been finishing up preparing for the training of new ACEs that will take place this weekend. It has been a busy week, and busy couple weeks lay ahead. Currently I am finishing up laundry while I type this and then going to get back to course work. Till next time!

~Brandon Oldham