All posts by linamorales21

Chico State College Student. Fashion Lover. Striving to Success. Twitter: @LinaMorales_

Valentine’s Day Outift Ideas

The following are my top 10 Valentine’s Day outfit ideas followed by the reasons why I think they’re fabulous! All ideas are via Pinterest, Enjoy!

1. Fabulous & Flirty!

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The skirt and cheetah shoe combination is fabulous, and the bag is a perfect neutral color to let the skirt stand out.

2. Little Red Dress

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The lace is everything! I love how the little black belt helps shape the dress and accentuate the waist.

 3. Simple, yet Sexy

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The grey cardigan makes this look casual enough for a more laid back date and dresses the skirt down, super cute.

4. Heart-Shaped Back

.c40684ea32c2f19bdf5a26dad962a76aI’ve literally seen this dress everywhere, that cutout is what makes it a must have.

5.Casual Daytime Chic

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Perfect for a day-time date, the white shorts and red top combination is a classic look and the heels just make the outfit a sexy Valentine’s look.

6.Valentine’s Walk In The Park

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Everything, just everything. The blazer is a perfect touch to the printed tee and again is a more casual look.

7. California Valentine

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This screams, California girl! The sun hat says it all, this outfit is for sun, sun and more sun.

8. Classy in Red

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The long skirt keeps this outfit very classy, but it still has some sexy with the laced top. Love love love.

9. Sexy Red Dress

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For a romantic night out, the slit in this dress is amazing. Just wow, might be my favorite look!

10. He takes the cake, self explanatory!

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The Power of Words

When I was little, and I was feeling a certain type of emotion, wether it be anger, happiness, sorrow etc. I would lock myself in my room and write and write for what seemed to be only a few minutes.

My mom would knock on the door asking if i was okay, she would say that I had been in there for hours and hours. I never noticed, i was just trying to get my feelings out on that piece of paper and after I would let out a sigh of relief. A sense that everything was going to be okay.

Back then i was more than certain I would be the next Britney Spears and let my emotions out in songs that I would write, with a made up melody i had put together in my head.

That aspiration to become a professional singer/songwriter didn’t last very long, but the writing did.

I remember the days where I felt as if all hope was gone, or my life was over, you know how dramatic teenagers can be. And writing down not only my feelings but everything positive in my life, made that hope come back alive.

I had many blessings growing up, as well as hardships. But the positives always outweighed the negatives. For example, my passion for writing not only helped me endure those hardships but it distracted me form reality for just a moment. And in that moment I felt invincible, like anything was possible.

The words I could write, the amount, the context, everything was my own to create and it was limitless. No rules, just my feelings and my words.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that although life is one hell of a roller coaster and people may feel as if its too much to handle there is always a positive way to let emotions out.

It doesn’t need to be writing or even something as creative, but turning your emotions into something beautiful is just a way not to let them go to waste.

And I know the greatest songs and the greatest books were created with life experiences and emotions so intense, the only way to get them out was through the power of words.

More Bang for Your Buck This Holiday

Lights aluminate the city streets. The living rooms are filled with tall, decorated trees. The best gifts must be given this time of year. This season hurts our wallets and our tellers tremble with fear, we know that the holiday time is here.

During the holiday season, is when the most business is made at retail stores and the time that most people spend more than they can actually afford. I decided to research gift ideas that one can make for a reasonable price. Many of these ideas were posted on a website, Pinterest.com, where a user can reblog posts on numerous topics. I’ve listed a few ideas that may make your holiday shopping a bit more economical.

This first idea was given to me by Hayley Downing, a Chico State Junior. Hayley, like many college students, discovers crafty ways to make her friends’ presents without breaking her bank account.

“College is already expensive enough and although I do have a job, I still find ways to stretch any dollar I may have. During the holidays, I tend to overspend on my friends and family and end up in a little debt. This year I have decided to make Pinterest inspired gifts,” Downing said.

“This is one of my favorite gifts I have come across, and I would recommend making it for any girl friends or even for moms and aunts!”

DIY Recipe Book

Cooking is always a learning experience in college to most. Mommy and Daddy aren’t around anymore to make those beloved home cooked meals. Everyone loves a good home cooked meal so this is a perfect present for anyone in the family or friends. For college students like Hayley, this gift idea is not only useful to everyone, but a creative way to discover new recipes and try foods you wouldn’t normally try.

Supplies needed:

  • Three whole punch
  • Ribbon
  • Paper
  • Markers
  • Binder
Directions can be found on Eighteen 25's website at http://eighteen25.blogspot.com/2014/08/printable-recipe-binder.html

These next few ideas came from various blog posts on Pinterest. I chose the projects my friends and I would most likely love to take part in and quick and easy gifts as well. I attempted to incorporate many versatile gifts that can be for men or women, children, and even elderly people as well.

Picture Frame Luminaries

Picture-Frame-Luminaries

These are an awesome gift idea for any member of the family. I was thinking of making this for my mother because she loves pictures around the house of my two brothers and I. My older brother and I are both away d living on our own in college so these can be a constant reminder of our love and appreciation.

Supplies Needed:

  • (4) 5 x 7 frames (Dollar Tree)
  • Gorilla Glue or other strong adhesive
  • 2 sheets of 8.5 x 11 Vellum
  • Home printer
  • Family photos
  • Square mirror (Dollar Tree)
  • Tea Light Candles
Directions can be found on Cheryl's That's what Che Said blog at http://www.thatswhatchesaid.net/2012/picture-frame-luminaries/

Pamper Yourself Gift Jar

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Girls always need to pamper themselves, and these jars will ensure just that! My best friends are all stressed out over finals and these would be perfect to give to them. I know it’s a gift any girl would enjoy and of course, all the materials needed are within a reasonable price!

Supplies Needed:

  • Ball Jars (Ace Hardware)
  • Hand Sanitizer (Dollar Tree)
  • Nail Polish(Dollar Tree)
  • Shower Gel (Dollar Tree)
  • Washcloths (Target)
  • Lip Balm (Dollar Tree)
Directions can be found on the Frugal Girls website at http://thefrugalgirls.com/2012/11/gifts-in-a-jar-ideas.html

Painted Mugs

diy mug cover

A great gift for the on-the-go aunt or uncle who needs their everyday coffee in the morning. This DIY gift was made to ensure that the paint will not come off in the dishwasher so it is a permanent reminder of your love for whom this gift will be for.

Supplies needed:

  • Mug
  • Oil based paints
  • Stencils
  • Oven
Directions can be found on the Glued to My Crafts blog at http://gluedtomycraftsblog.com/2013/12/diy-painted-mugs-that-wont-wash-away-craft.html

I had the opportunity to attend a craft lesson at Michael’s arts and crafts store. The project that day was snow globes in a jar. They were do it yourself, and kid-friendly as well. I got the opportunity to speak with one of the employees there about how customers come in and get creative on gifts during the holidays. I spoke briefly with Chico State junior, Victoria Ramirez, during her break and she has experienced numerous customer holiday experiences.

“The holiday is our busiest time and I try to be as helpful as I can when customers ask me for the cheapest ways to make a certain gift for their friends,” Ramirez said. “People show me tons and tons of DIY gifts each day, and I think it’s great we have the resources they need here and classes for them to attend and learn more as well.”

The class is about 10 to 15 people and they have a certain area where the crafts can be done. Signing up for these classes is very easy, you can go online or through the store. We had about two hours to complete the activity which was plenty of time. I enjoyed the friendly atmosphere of the Michael’s employees and the holiday music they were playing made the store feel very welcoming and warm.

“The crafts we choose for the classes are mostly do it yourself and trendy crafts, which are also between a $5 to $15 price range,” Ramirez said.

I was fortunate enough to have my friends come with me and we all enjoyed the bonding time we had before our stressful finals. I provided a similar activity and directions below for anyone who wants to try it out as well!

Snow Globe in a Jar

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Supplies needed:

  • Jars {a good shape and size for your trees)
  • Bottle Brush Trees
  • Glue dots or hot glue
  • Faux snow
Directions can be found on the WhipperBerry blog at http://whipperberry.com/2011/12/anthro-inspired-snow-globes-tutorial.html 

 About Michael’s Craft Classes

There are multiple opportunities to learn how to create new crafts at Michael’s. They provide numerous lessons and class times that work around any schedule. Attending these classes is a great way to spend quality times with your loved ones and exploring new talents you never knew you had! It is a great pastime for the holidays.

They’re courses are as follows:

Wilton® Cake Decorating

You don’t have to be a chef or even experienced in the kitchen to decorate a cake, cookie, cupcake or brownie. The Wilton Method of Cake Decorating will teach you the techniques for making treats that will amaze your friends and family.

Grumbacher® Art Painting and Drawing Classes

Learn basic acrylic painting techniques and create your own art piece featuring landscapes, florals, seascapes, still-life paintings and portraits. No painting experience required!

Jewelry

Complete a unique jewelry piece with the guidance of our qualified instructors. You’ll learn the latest trends, tricks and techniques for using the right tools, beads and findings that will bring your inspiration to life.
Book Your Class Now

Paper Crafting

Join the movement to take memories off your pages and into your life. Sharpen your paper crafting skills, play with ink or test your favorite tools. No matter what you love to paper-craft, you’ll find your class in our paper crafting classes.

CYC Discover™Knit and Crochet Classes

Whether you want to learn how to knit or crochet or already know the basics, Craft Yarn Council’s Discover Knit and Crochet class series offers something for everyone. Learn new skills by completing a fun and fashionable project with the guidance of our certified instructors.

Kids’ Club ®

Let your kids explore their creativity while you shop! Just $2 per child ages 3 and up. All supplies included.

Trend Classes

Be in-style and on-trend. Create what moves you in these special DIY classes focusing on the latest trends. Enroll now!

They make it easy for you to sign up for classes, with just one click on their website:

https://classes.michaels.com/OnlineClasses/control/main?firstVisit=firstVisit

What Would You Tell Your Freshman Year Self?

College is a stepping stone into a whole new world. For the students who leave home and go as far as leaving their home state , it’s a transition into adulthood that can be a scary time but one of the most memorable times in one’s life. I was fortunate enough to have the resources to leave my hometown, Burlingame, CA, and venture to a university in Chico, CA.

I wanted to get the entire college experience and wanted to live on campus in order to meet new people and take advantage of the fact that I wouldn’t need to learn how to cook just yet.

That first year I was the typical lost freshman, not knowing where to go or what to do. Luckily, California State University, Chico, is such a welcoming and friendly environment and I felt nothing but warmth and safety my first year here back in 2012.

Although I can say that my freshman year was one, if not, the best time of my life, there are definitely something I wish I could go back and tell myself to have a smoother transition.

Here are a list of some things I wish I could tell our freshman year self.

1. Get Involved. Join a club and/or play a sport. Getting more involved around campus activities would’ve given me a more opportunity to meet more people and not watch countless episodes of Netflix all day. Clubs are also great resume builders and my passion for cheerleading in middle school and high school would’ve been great to carry on throughout college. Sororities and Fraternities are also great ways to be able to network as you get older and can form friendships and bonds with a large group of people.

2. Be good to your body. Yes the freshman 15 is indeed real, only if you let it. The endless amount of freedom one finally has, tends to bring bad habits into one’s daily lives. The options at the dining hall aren’t all healthy therefore many students will always choose the tender juicy burger over a simple salad any day. This is not only harmful to one’s body but will cause weight gain which in the long run may cause depression and other health problems. Tuition also pays for a gym membership so taking advantage of that will also assist a healthy lifestyle.

3. Play hard, Study harder. Chico is known for being a notorious party school, so getting caught up in that party lifestyle is extremely easy. Letting grades slip can be just as easy and knowing how to at least balance that out, or getting your school work done ahead of time is an important skill to develop.

4. Stress A lot of times the pressure of keeping your grades up and staying on track with a lot of school work may cause stress. So, knowing what’s worth stressing out over and what isn’t is necessary in order to maintain a good mindset. A lot of people in our society associate stress in a negative way but there is such a thing as good stress. Stress keeps you motivated and on the right path. It’s important to remember that GPA does not define you and to just do your best.

5. Exploring different academic options. Be open to taking general education classes that are outside of your degree or interest. Although it may be tempting to take that class everyone says is an “easy A,” exploring other options may increase the chances of expanding your knowledge on topics you wouldn’t have been interested in before.

College is all about finding yourself. And if you aren’t open to going outside of your comfort zone, then you’re never going to grow.

If Tears Could Build A Stairway, and Memories a Lane. I’d Walk Right Up to Heaven and Bring You Back Again.

My phone fell to the ground. The silence in my room was growing, I felt as if someone had punched me in my gut. The voice on the other line grew faint. As I picked the phone back up I tried to speak but no words came out just tear after tear.

It was a typical Sunday morning, or so I thought. I was getting ready for work at around 10 a.m. and suddenly my phone rang. My mom was calling me and I definitely predicted a lecture on how much money I had spent that weekend. To my surprise, when I answered my mom’s voice wasn’t as perky as usual, in fact it wasn’t my mom on the phone.

My dad’s voice came through the speaker, so soft and quiet, I knew something wasn’t right.

“Honey, are you busy right now?”

“No I’m in my room, what’s up…,” I said cautiously.

“We were in the hospital all night with my brother, Sammy’s gone.”

He whimpered and had to get off the phone. I’ve only seen my dad cry once and that was just a few tears when his father, my grandpa, passed away a couple years back.

My mom quickly took the phone as my dad was crying in the background. She asked me if I was okay, not to worry, and that my cousin was in a better place. I told her I would call her back, I needed to get off the phone right away and gather my thoughts.

Sammy was only 23 years old, he was of course, my favorite older guy cousin, my parents godson, and someone I had grown up with and shared so many precious memories with. My older brother Esteban, Sammy, his younger brother Erik, and myself were like four peas in a pod growing up.

Of course his younger brother, Erik, and I were closer due to us being the same age. But Sammy was always around, joking about everything and anything, making us laugh 24/7 and had his signature super, cheesy smile to brighten up the room.

The date was October 13th when he left us. It was his younger brother, Erik’s birthday. I know unfortunate, right? Sammy’s intention that day was to just get to my aunt and uncle’s house and celebrate with the family.

Unfortunately, that was not in God’s plan for him. I won’t get into detail about how my cousin passed away, because for me what’s more important is how he spent his life, not the last few moments of it.

I must admit, I wish me and Sammy had more conversations, and made more memories but as we grew older and since I had left for college our last conversation had been about a few months prior. I remember him telling me, like he always does, that I better not have a boyfriend or he’ll hunt him down, because he always saw me as that little girl he had grown up with. And just how proud he was that I was doing well in college. It was definitely one of our most easy-going and love-filled conversations. That is a memory I will forever close dear to my heart.

I can write about how I learned we need to live our lives each day as if it were our last, the usual cliché one says about their tragic losses and what they learned. But I honestly have realized so much more from this unfortunate, devastating event in my life. Although living each day to the fullest is a great mindset to have, I believe telling your loved ones how much you appreciate and care for them is just as important.

I wish I had kept in closer contact with him, that’s my one regret.

The weekend after his passing I got to see family members that I hadn’t seen or spoken to in years. I finally got to spend time with them after so long. But for what? For a funeral. It took Sammy to pass away for my cousins, aunts, uncles, and extended family to get together after many years. I loved seeing everyone, but it shouldn’t take a tragedy for all of us to be communicating and in one place.

Tragedies happen and people dear to our hearts will leave us for some reason or another but life shouldn’t stop because everything happens for a reason. Time is precious and being happy and surrounded by positive people and people who you care for is so important. A simple, “I’m thinking of you, hope your day is going well,” doesn’t hurt. Keep your family close and don’t take anything or anyone for granted, because you never know what their destiny may be.

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Breathe Easy Sammy Morales. November 24, 1989- October 13, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Peace Corps Volunteer

Jennifer Clowers begins her lecture of her experience in the Peace Corps by exclaiming a hello in the native language of Guinea, Pular. She immediately grabs the attention of all the texters, tweeters, and other Chico State students in the room.

Her journey as a volunteer in the Peace Corps began when her mother many years ago told her about her own experiences in the Peace Corps when Jennifer was growing up. This, of course, intrigued her and she knew that when it was the right time, she too would join in on this “life-changing experience,” as she describes it.

“Within the first few months, I learned so much about myself but also seeing how any one person or community can have a major change and impact,” Clowers said.

Her major impact was a two and a half journey, and it began at her first destination in West Africa, Guinea. Here she learned about their culture, traditions, and everyday personal and work life. Her resources were extremely limited and in order to stay in touch with her loved ones, she wrote many letters back to the States.

“One of the most challenging parts was dealing with the loneliness of being away and not having as much contact with home and the other volunteers,” Clowers said. “But then again, you’re living in your community and so the more you get to know people and you build those relationships, it becomes home.”

Jennifer was placed in this village due to her being fluent in French, which was one of the major languages in Guinea. This was to her advantage when it came to communication and gaining trust while building those relationships, when she assisted the women in gaining as much profit as they could by helping with their work loads.

Her time in Guinea ended after about a year when political and social unrest arose. She was moved to Niger where the differences between both villages were extreme. In Niger, her lack of resources were no longer an issue and states that she met some of the most hospitable people.

Her little time in West Africa made a major impact on not only the lives of the people she interacted and lived with but on her life as well. Not only does she have an advantage in many federal jobs within the U.S., but is now a volunteer supervisor for the Peace Corps program and efforts in the program as a whole.

 

“Diets Are a Disaster.”

heart shape by various vegetables and fruits - stock photo

Unusual dieting, eating disorders, and body image issues have been a factor in the lives of college students for many years. Strange diets seem to have become a fad in young people and some Chico State students would say they actually work. The counselors at Chico State have had hundreds of students come to them regarding body image issues and feeling insecure about their appearance. Although students may seem normal and healthy on the outside, many could be dealing with eating disorders and no one would ever notice. Media and celebrities contribute a lot to low self-esteem issues and crazy diets.

Dr. Stephanie Chervinko, Chico State counselor and resident expert on body image issues said that when students start dieting it is often related to issues including depression, anxiety, increased stress, and low self-esteem. A lot of these issues may develop at schools, such as stress from school work and self-esteem issues from seeing other students’ “perfect bodies.”

“Many people believe that changing their body will fix the other issues they have with themselves, and popular media and advertising really want us to believe this,” Chervinko said. “The reality is that everyone is human and we all have our ups, downs, and foibles. Conforming to a particular standard of beauty doesn’t change that.”

Students start diets for a short period of time and quickly become addicted to them without noticing it and eventually develop a problem. In a college environment such as Chico State, there is increased peer pressure to look thin. Due to the busy schedules of college students, many don’t have time to exercise or diet properly and often want the “quick and easy fix.” This fix may include crash dieting, excessive exercising and unusual methods of eating. In general, the three major factors for dieting and eating disorders are a person’s biology, environment, and psychology.

“Diets are a disaster,” said Marjorie Bommersbach, Chico State counselor. “They are a set up for eating disorders and do not work.”

Bommersbach said social messages and media play a big part in eating disorders and body image issues, but people have been anorexic pre the media era. It can be from feeling out of control, due to conflict in the family, or sexual trauma. These problems may often link with anxiety, obsessional thinking, and low self-esteem. This problem is very common at Chico State and in many college campuses across the country.

According to the Tripbase blog, unusual diets used today include, the baby food diet, the kangaroo meat diet, the “air” diet, the morning banana diet, and the fork diet. Most of these diets have become popular because celebrities used and promote them claiming that they work. Since students want to lose weight quickly, their own health and safety are rarely a concern when it comes to dieting,

“According to date from the Chico State Healthy Minds Study (2007), 28 percent of our students say that they feel fat even though others tell them they are too thin.” Bommersbach said. “Body image issues are a huge problem at Chico State. It goes on all the time.”

Dr. Devjani Banerjee-Stevens, Chico State counselor, also disagrees with the use of any type of diets. She said they tend to put foods into “good” and “bad” categories and eventually it becomes more tempting to eat “bad” foods.

“You’re more likely to enter the “cycle of shame” if you allow yourself to indulge.” Banerjee-Stevens said. “That is, you’re more likely to feel out of control when you do eat something “bad.” Not a good way to live.”

She also said body image issues can emerge and persist at any point during a person’s life. Most of the time puberty and young adulthood aren’t the most common times to develop an eating disorder, a person’s functioning or impact self-esteem.

“I’ve worked with clients for whom pregnancy, extreme weight loss/weight gain, or entering a sexual relationship can trigger body image concerns for the first time later in life,” said Dr. Banerjee Stevens. “I also have worked with clients in their 30s and 40s who continue to struggle with bulimia and anorexia, and body image issues often accompany these disorders. It’s also important to remember that both men and women can struggle with negative body images.”

Although many believe dieting is not a good approach to losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Dr Banerjee-Stevens is in favor of mindful eating and exercise. The Health at Every Size approach to eating/exercise is one she definitely endorses. [This approach can be found at http://www.haescommunity.org/index.php.%5D There is always a healthy way to monitor eating habits for a long lasting and satisfied life.

The counselors at the Chico State Counseling and Wellness center are extremely caring and supportive people. If anyone on campus feels that they have even the slightest problem with body image issues, self-esteem issues, or just want to express their feelings to someone then that is the place to go. The Counseling and Wellness center is located in the Student Services building on campus. Self-love is extremely important and everyone was made in different shapes and sizes. There is nothing wrong with living a healthy lifestyle and wanting to cut back on the sweets, but it should not become an obsession.

Stephanie Chervinko, Ph.D.

California State University, Chico

Counseling and Wellness

(530) 898-6345

schervinko@csuchico.edu

Devjani (Juni) Banerjee-Stevens, Ph.D.

California State University, Chico

Counselor and Cal MHSA Program Manager

(530) 898-6345

dbanerjee-stevens@csuchico.edu

Marjorie Bommersbach

California State University, Chico

Counseling and Wellness

(530) 898-6345

mbommersbach@csuchico.edu

Representation Has Replaced Reality

Nightclub party clubbers with hands in air and red confetti - stock photo

Guy Debord has said that representation has replaced reality. The pop culture influence on Deltopia has been great since this social event in Santa Barbara, California began in 2004. Participants consist primarily of college students from all over California. It is an event that takes place during the weekend at the start of spring quarter where parties are thrown with djs and multiple events on the 6500 to 6600 blocks of Del Playa Drive. I had the opportunity to go to Isla Vista and see what all the talk was about a couple weekends ago.

Upon arriving on Friday night, my friends and I were eager to get the celebrations started. Along with friends, we checked into a small motel on State St. After finally getting to the famous Del Playa Drive, and after paying the pricy $40 cab fare, it was finally time to experience what some peers called, “the best weekend of their lives.” We were quickly greeted by crowds of people walking up and down the infamous street and also noticed a lot of law enforcement standing on the sides ensuring everyone was safe and taking care of the ones who were seeking assistance. The excitement came on Saturday when a reportedly 15,000 people were in attendance.

The pop culture was quickly noticed when arriving at approximately 11:30 a.m., hearing well-known songs such as “Heads Will Roll,” as heard in the popular party movie Project X,  at every other house, beer pong tables everywhere, hats with sayings such as “party with sluts” and “let’s get wasted,” and the typical bro tanks on almost every guy there. After partying for what seemed to be forever, I was instantly brought back to reality when seeing numerous guys and girls being assisted by the EMT from alcohol poisoning and numerous other issues involved in extreme partying environments.  At about 5 p.m., the “daygers” as they were referred to died down and people went home to prep for the night parties and events.

I was expecting it to be just like the night before, unfortunately I was completely wrong.  Project X, which came out in 2012, shows that after the major party that was thrown that there was a large riot in which intoxicated party goers participated and where cops attempted to control, the bomb squad and what seemed like the SWAT team was present, fires were engulfing cars and houses, and there were news helicopters hovering the out of control riot in attempt to get a good news story. Many people exclaimed they felt as if they were in that movie with what occurred Saturday night the weekend of Deltopia.

At around 11 p.m. after attending a few parties I heard someone yell, “a cop just got stabbed in the eye!” My friends and I quickly run towards what seemed to be a billion people in a crowd chanting “fuck the cops, fuck the cops!” Chants kept changing from “Ole Ole” to “USA,” while people were smashing car windows, starting mini fires, and ripping stop signs up from the concrete. The police were quick to control the scene, using tear gas, flash bombs, rubber bullets, and bringing in what looked like the bomb squad in massive trucks. I remember hearing multiple people saying they felt like they were in the movie Project X, with the multiple law enforcements, helicopters, and officers yelling at everyone to “stand down!” I believe they were highly influenced by the pop culture movie because in the movie all of the kids get away with no consequences, in this case over 100 people were arrested and over 40 were taken to the hospital; this was including the events during the day.

No deaths have been reported from the weekend or the riot. An officer did sustain a head injury when he was hit with a bag which appeared to have alcohol inside of it. The impact this riot had not only on the local people of Santa Barbara but around the country was great. It made it on Good Morning America and was a major wake up call for local UCSB students to potentially end this party packed weekend for good. There are still a lot of property damage to recover and the relationship with law enforcement to be healed but popular culture among students does have a great impact for thinking they could be more authoritative or have more power over police just because they see it in TV shows and/or films, which many learned the hard way is not the case.

Who Needs a Gallbladder Anyway?

Four days before her 20th birthday Veronica was admitted to the hospital for an emergency surgery that since then has changed her life forever. The surgery was a result of a gallstone that grew 1.5 cm in her gallbladder due to an infection that was causing her excruciating pain. A week had passed and Veronica quickly noticed her symptoms were not normal. She had her follow up appointment and the doctors had prescribed her pain killers which helped mildly with the pain but she still suffered from nausea, diarrhea, and extreme weight loss. Her biggest worry was how long this healing process was going to be, and if she would ever be able to get back to her “normal” life. Timing was not in her favor either and winter break was coming to an end, therefore she needed to go back to Chico hoping the new medication doctors gave her would be more helpful.

Unfortunately, that was not the case and Veronica spent at least one day every two weeks in the Student Health Center. The symptoms were not only affecting her body, but were affecting her schoolwork as well. Her mother even told her she needed to take the semester off, but Veronica refused. Since having put so much effort in the previous semester, she wouldn’t let anything get in her way of a bright future. As she realized the medication prescribed to her wasn’t helping her feel better at all, she decided to change her diet to an all vegan diet. Unfortunately, that ended up being counterproductive because the sugar from the food in that diet caused her triglycerides to become high. Three months later and Veronica still continued to struggle, mind you being one of 10% of people who experience post-surgery complications.

After finally being approved by her insurance to be seen by a gastroenterologist, she had an endoscopy procedure done. Her results showed that Veronica had an enflamed, red stomach and white spots on her esophagus. Once again, she was prescribed more pharmaceuticals that came with unbearable side effects.

Desperate for a solution, Veronica turned to Holistic medicine as an alternative therapy. This method has practitioners who consider the whole body in the sense that if one part of it isn’t working then the rest of it is thrown off. With this medicine, Veronica isn’t completely free of her symptoms but can finally have them under control.

It has been eight months since the surgery and she is now about 60% recovered. She still takes it day by day experimenting with what foods she can hold down, maintaining her weight to a healthy one, and controlling the numerous symptoms she has been dealing with. This life changing experience has changed her outlook on the FDA, the Pharmaceutical business and the medical field over all. To raise awareness for the information she was never provided with, Veronica wrote her opinion column last week for The Orion on Holistic medicine versus FDA approved medicine and how she was able to regain control of her life. Veronica is taking this experience and making a career out of it, hoping to one day work with an organic food and beverage company.