Freshmen Top Ten

April 14, 2015 in Alive Campus

Let’s get one thing straight: Being a Freshmen is FANTASTIC. It is the chance to start over, turn over a new leaf, and have TONS of fun! So exactly what IS fun? Here is a list I compiled for all you prospective freshies out there. #yowelcome

1. RUSH! RUSH! RUSH! Join a sister or brother hood! If you have been looking to gain and experience love, commitment, and new friendships, it might be time to Go Greek. And lucky for you, there is no better time to do this than your Freshman year.

2. The Breakfast Club. No, not the movie! As a Freshman, you will be able to experience a Club Rush! Yes I know, it already sounds geeky but trust me on this one! This is your chance to branch out and have fun! (Other than in your extracurricular classes! Yay for extra fun!) And hey, maybe you can even start your own Breakfast Club. #myidea #givemethecredit

3. Tryout Time! Missing your high school days? Don’t sweat! Being a new freshie gives you the chance to tryout for sports just like in the good ol’ days. Don’t forget to keep updated on the times and dates of when tryouts are; You don’t want to miss the chance to impress the coaches with your mad skills, now do you?

4. Extracurriculars. Yes, you are in school to succeed and get that degree, but don’t forget to have some fun, too! Pick an extracurricular class that is fun, but useful! If you’ve always wanted to learn how to play guitar, now is your chance! Is painting your thing? Take an art class! This is your chance to have fun while also earning credit for it! You cute, multi-tasker, you!

5. FOUR WORDS: Check Out Your Library. Geeky? Yes. Kidding? Heck no! Believe it or not, you will be using the library A LOT. Get to know it while you can! The library is a popular spot, especially during lunch time. #snaps

6. Find Good Eats. Lunch is the most important meal of the day, ESPECIALLY for any college freshie. Take time to scope out any good eats around the neighborhood. Lunch isn’t only brought, it’s bought.

7. Homecoming! Luckily for all you with high school nostalgia, college has a Homecoming, too! Cheer on your team on by getting into the school spirit! Bring your school colors, pom poms, and A game. #goteamgo

8. Add to the group! Picking and going to a college is a very personal decision and one you must do alone. So why not take this chance to add to your groupies? Socialize with your classmates and engage in the Five Foot Rule: Talk to someone within five feet of you! Trust me, it’s actually fun!

9. Find Your Destiny. Still don’t know who you are or who you want to be? Go visit your Career Center! I always took an interest in putting the pieces of who I was together and I think you will, too

10. Get Ahead Of The Game. It is never too early to apply for internships! My recommendation? The Disney College Program. As a college student, you automatically qualify to apply! For more information please follow the link: Disney College Program. And remember, this program isn’t for everyone.

I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten: Freshmen Edition! Until next time! #daphneoverandout

The Community College Guide for (Freshman) Dummies

April 1, 2015 in Admissions, Alive Campus

I remember every detail about my high school graduation day. I wore a light pink + red dress (it was so cute!), I curled my hair, and I remember my name being called along with the words, “Pasadena City College”. Oh yeah. I was now going to COLLEGE! I was now calling the shots. From here on out, anything and everything to come my way was a decision that I got to make. If I wanted to go to Disneyland on a Monday morning, no one could stop me! In N Out for breakfast? Well, of course! The same concept goes for college. YOU have the power to customize your own experience. You can choose classes, professors, and what time (yes, I said WHAT TIME!) you want to go to class. (Keep in mind you will need to take certain courses to get that degree. But don’t worry! Professors and times are still your choice!) So let’s talk COMMUNITY COLLEGE.


Going to a community college was not my dream. Actually, going to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising was. But, if you were like me and had a hard time in high school, going to anywhere but a community college was not an option. Even though Pasadena City College wasn’t my dream college, I was still beyond excited to make the transition from high school to college student! (Trust me, you will feel like an official adult!)

So You’ve Decided to go to a Community College, Eh? 

Well that’s great! And so is the application process! Here it is:

1. Apply online

2. Get accepted

3. Sign up for financial aid

4. You’re In!

That is pretty much the application process for a community college. A few other PROS about going to a community college is that it provides you with so many opportunities while keeping your wallet alive and well! (Think: No $30,000+ tuition!) Being a “**Mr. Grumpy Gills” about going to a **CC? No worries! Put in two great years of your life, granted you get the classes required of you, and you are off to your dream college! (Or any other college besides a CC.) Another great thing about going to a community college is that it gives you time to discover yourself. I can only imagine that if I had gone to **FIDM as a Visual Communications major, how much money I would have wasted as I loved the idea of set design but hated actually doing it. I am now a Communications Art major and it only took one class to change my whole life.


Once you fill out the college application, get accepted, and get approved for financial aid, you will be informed via your personal college account of  your class registration date. (**SNAPS: Take advantage of programs that are aimed to help college freshmen (*ehem* YOU!) into their transition. Sometimes, even an incentive, such as priority registration, is given to those who join these groups!) Once you find your registration date and time, write it down, print it out, I don’t care what you do with it, just make sure YOU REMEMBER IT!

Choose Classes and Professors Beforehand - ONE WEBSITE: Rate My Professors. Your school releases the Schedule of Classes catalog in advance for a reason! Read it, pick the courses and times you want, build your schedule, write down course numbers, and memorize them! But most importantly, look up the professors on and read the comments. This helped me build and per-fect my schedule because I was able to take courses I wanted with professors who I felt would better my college experience. Plus, most incoming freshman won’t know about this website. INSTANT BONUS POINTS FOR YOU!

  • The Half Hour Registration Rule (**HHRR) – Online course registration is a battlefield. If your registration time is 8:30 AM for example, you better be ready to go at 8:00 AM. The classes you want could and will be filled up just minutes after registration opens. #thestruggleisreal (SNAPS: Course registration can open up as early as 7:00 AM. Keep an eye out on the courses you want and how many seats are taken and still available. That way, if the course you want fills up before your scheduled time, you will know ahead of time to insert your backup course number instead. You do have a backup plan, don’t you?)

The Backup Plan - Signing up for classes is like waiting the last few seconds of an eBay auction. You either get the class- or you don’t. Keep your course numbers close, but your backup course numbers closer! When you put together your perfect, dream schedule, make sure you also find replacement courses to replace the ones that might fill up quickly. THIS STEP IS CRUCIAL.

Community College is fun and you will meet a ton of people! People who went to your high school, people who went to your high school’s rival high school, and people who come from near and far and from all different walks of life! Take this time to network, take fun classes, and find out who you are and who you want to be. It’s also never too early to sign up for internships! Most importantly, remember: This isn’t high school anymore. Your grades will determine who you are not only to other colleges, but employers as well. This is the time to start a new chapter, turn over a new leaf, and start from the beginning. The Starting Line is right here, but will you make it to the Finish Line?


1. “SNAPS”- These are tips. Why do I call them that? Because I want to. Remember this term! I will be using it often! Too often…

2. “CC”- Community College. Yeah. This one you will pick up quickly.

3.”FIDM”- Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. YOU BETTER REMEMBER THIS ONE PEOPLE! #dreamcollegeforlife

4. “Mr. Grumpy Gills”- C’MON PEOPLE! Finding Nemo ring a bell? No? GO WATCH IT NOW.

5. “HHRR”- Half Hour Registration Rule. If you don’t know this one by now, I can’t help you. #goodluckwiththat







Christopher-James’s Declassified Cornell Survival Guide

January 3, 2015 in Academics, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

Being a first-year is always a difficult stage in a Cornellian’s life. Unless you attended a boarding school during your lower or upper school years, this is probably your first time living on a school campus. You’re always getting lost (where is South campus?), you’re afraid that you might not succeed in college (will I still maintain a 4.3 GPA?), and you’re worried that all of that tuition money will go to waste (I could’ve bought so many new outfits with that $60k). As such, I want to offer you some food for thought.

"I warn you to check your ego before stepping foot onto Cornell’s three zip codes, because being the high school valedictorian is no longer special, it’s expected."

“I warn you to check your ego before stepping foot onto Cornell’s three zip codes, because being the high school valedictorian is no longer special, it’s expected.”

EVERYONE was valedictorian:
It’s an exaggeration to state that every single Cornellian was the valedictorian of their respective high schools (especially considering that some high schools send up to 30 graduating seniors to Cornell every year), but the joke still stands: EVERYONE was valedictorian, and if not valedictorian, salutatorian, and if not salutatorian, student government President. The idea behind this mentality is that every student accepted to Cornell University was chosen for a specific reason, those reasons ranging from their commitment to community service, to their proficiency in oratory and logical reasoning, to their athletic achievements in varsity leagues. The Cornell bubble is one that is comprised of overachievers, brainiacs, and creative geniuses. With such an incredible student body comes the inevitable mountain of egos clashing with one another. I warn you to check your ego before stepping foot onto Cornell’s three zip codes, because being the high school valedictorian is no longer special, it’s expected.

Compare yourself to others (to a certain extent):
We are raised to never compare ourselves to other people. We are told from a young age that in order to be happy and successful in life, we must only compare our current selves to our past selves. In an institution like Cornell, only the brightest survive without scars. By that, I mean to say that Cornell—and most educational institutions—privilege the select few who stand out in a crowd of thousands. Classes are graded on a curve, internships and teacher’s assistant positions are given to those that deserve them, and secret societies tap the few who excel at the most.

"I am now a double major in English with a concentration in literature, film, and media and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I would’ve never discovered my love for film theory and English literature had I not dropped those two government courses for my English writing seminar."

“I am now a double major in English with a concentration in literature, film, and media and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I would’ve never discovered my love for film theory and English literature had I not dropped those two government courses for my English writing seminar.”

It’s problematic to state that we should compare ourselves to others (especially coming from a student who went mentally insane last year for over-comparing and losing track of his own life), but it’s also important to remember that you’re in a school that looks for the best of the best, and privileges the best of the best.

Don’t over-major in the first semester:
On the first day of Frosh Orientation Week, I introduced myself to my group: “Hello, my name is Christopher-James Llego and I am definitely going to major in Government and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.” Being a gay-identifying male who attending a law and society high school, I was pretty set on studying gender politics during my undergraduate years and heading to law school immediately after graduation. As such, I spent my first semester taking an inordinate amount of credits; all used for gender studies and government courses. 365 days later, I am now a double major in English with a concentration in literature, film, and media and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I would’ve never discovered my love for film theory and English literature had I not dropped those two government courses for my English writing seminar. I would’ve stuck with the government major out of feelings of necessity had I never broadened my educational scope. You apply to Cornell with a prospective major, but please take your first semester to explore all of the new fields that your high school probably never offered to you.

10 Things You MUST HAVE Your First Year In College

October 3, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Top 10 Lists

a funny meme.

a funny meme.

1. Great Workout Clothes

WORK. WORK. WORK OUT.  Great work out clothes are awesome in so many ways.  First off, if you don’t work out, they make you look like you do, and second off, if you actually do workout, they’ll give you a little extra motivation and plus, you’ll look great doing it!

2. Desk Hutch

This probably might vary depending on schools, but if your college or university have these as part of the dorm room furniture already, ignore this one.  But if not, this is a must have.  With all of those hundred dollar books, photos of friends and family, and little mementos you hoard, a desk hutch offers more space for all of your special  gems. Also, you can paint, sticker, or glitter them.  So for all you Pinterest-crazed college kids, get yourself a nice, sturdy desk hutch and decorate away!

3. Costumes, Costumes, Costumes!

Sounds silly, but from themed parties, to holidays, or to just wanting to get a little wild with friends, you MUST always be prepared with a cool costume or two.  Whether you want to be the showstopper at a party, or just make people laugh, I promise you that a good costume never hurt nobody.

4. Full-on Rain Protection

Full-on rain protection requires many things, but the two most important are a rain coat and rain footwear.  First, a rain jacket.  These can be used in the rain or snow, and sometimes they even double as winter coats.  Yes, good ones are kind of expensive, but good rain jackets is a win-win for everyone.  Second, some type of rain shoe.  Whether they are Bean Boots (my shoe of choice), Hunter Boots, or just some traditional rain boots/shoes, everyone needs some rain protection for their feet.  Remember, that most of the time you will be walking, whether in rain, shine, or any other type of weather, so you best be prepared for a rainy day.

5. Stock Pile of Snacks!

OMG SNACKS. Who doesn’t love a nice snack or two?  The best strategy is to come already prepare with a decently sized bin full of your favorite snacks.  Because remember, your bonus dollars do run out and food places do close, so if you want to ensure you will never go hungry– Stock Up!

6. A Laundry Basket with…Wheels

To the lucky few who get the room right next to the laundry room, we all envy you. Trust me when I say that it totally sucks to carry your loads and loads of laundry down the hall or sometimes elevator, to the laundry room.  Get a nice rolling laundry basket and your “laundry-doing” motivation jumps about 75%.  Trust me.

7.  An iPhone

I’m so biased with this one, but having an iPhone literally might change your life.  You just get it all: group messages, read receipts, and iPod, free headphones with purchase, and applications you can’t get on any other phone.  But most importantly, it’s a great tool whenever you need to call home.

8. For Guys, A Wallet.  For Girls, A Wristlet.

In college, your college I.D. is your life.  Above I mentioned two great ways to protect your precious I.D. card (wallet and wristlet), but there are many other options depending on what you personally like.  Most guys have wallets and for girls a wristlet is nice because it’ small, portable, and can fit almost anywhere and in anything.  But other options (for both girls and guys) include a clutch, satchel bag, purse, anything handmade, or even a fanny pack!  Just remember, for the next four years your life is practically on that card and some are expensive to replace, so get/make something great protect it.

9.  Some Cool Piece of Technology

Laptops, iPads, Kindles; there are a lot of great technological options that will suit not only your studies, but also your hobbies.

10. A Signature Piece

College is a place to learn a lot about yourself, but also to share a lot about yourself.  Bring a signature piece/something that defines who you are to college.  Whether it’s a favorite picture, blanket, stuffed animal, bright colored backpack, or even 5 TV’s to show your love for gaming, this is a great way to start a new chapter in your life, but never forgetting who you were before.

10 Things You MUST Do as a Freshman

September 11, 2014 in Top 10 Lists

Some Advice for Freshman

Some Advice for Freshman

1. Explore: Whether you go to school in the giant city of Boston or an itty bitty town in the middle of the country, you must explore your school and the area surrounding it. This is a great way to meet people, keep yourself busy, and just have fun! You may think you know everything about where you are, but you’ll be surprised to find exciting things in the hidden nooks and crannies of your surroundings.

2. Make Friends: This is a given, but it really is important your freshman year. If your lucky, a random friend will wander into your room and ask if you need help setting up your things, which is what happened to me. But, chances are, that probably won’t happen. You need to put yourself out there and talk to people. You’ll make friends and lose friends, but eventually you’ll find a true few you can count on.

3. Career Center: This may seem like it’s a little soon if you’re just a freshman, but the sooner you visit your career center and get some advice on things like your resume and internships, the better off you’ll be. College is all about finding yourself – so the sooner you think about what you want to do and what you love to do, the sooner you will feel at ease with yourself. You can start internships as early as you want, and the sooner you start the better.

4. Volunteer: Check out your “Reach out Center” at school and see what interests you. I’m not saying you have to volunteer everyday and become a saint, but it’s helpful in forming your perspective for the rest of your life. If you’ve never volunteered before, college is a great place to start and you can make a lot of awesome friends along the way.

5. Study Abroad: I think I’ve heard more people say they regret not doing this than anything else. Why wouldn’t you want to study abroad? You get to live in a different country, eat amazing food, make new friends, and get your travel bug out of the way before you graduate. They have great programs today that are very safe and provide great education as well. Don’t worry about missing out on things back home: it’s worth it.

6. Sports: Even if your school’s sports teams have lost every game ever, it’s still fun to attend a game with friends. Show some school spirit and meet new people while supporting your school. (There’s usually a party following a sporting event too.)

7. Party: This may be difficult if you’re a freshman because you’re not 21 yet, but you don’t have to go crazy. When you go to class on Monday, this is what everyone is usually talking about, so might as well check out the scene and meet some people too!

8. Join Something: This can be anything from a campus club to a local band. We all want to be a part of something, and you can meet some awesome people and end up finding a passion you didn’t realize that you had.

9. Random Course: If you have enough time, take a random class that you wouldn’t normally take. You could end up loving the class and really enjoy it. You may think you know what you want to do, but you never really know unless you try other things.

10. Do Something crazy: Be spontaneous! Do all of the things you wish you could have done before college! This could be anything from getting a tattoo to changing your hair color. College is a time to explore and have fun, so take chances and have a good time!