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One of the times of the year that I look forward to the most is Thanksgiving. The thing I look forward to the most is being able to go home and cook Thanksgiving meal for my family. At the beginning of the week I forced myself to get all of my work done and have my homework done before leaving so that I would get the most out of my weekend away from the school environment.

I think that coming to college, one of the hardest things for me to get used to was not being able to cook as often as I would like to. Which is why for Thanksgiving, I always decide to cook the whole meal. For me there’s nothing like going back home and cooking for a whole day.

I went home very late on Wednesday after I had gotten done with classes and work so my mom had to prep everything for me so that I could cook all of Thursday. I was in charge of making sure that the turkey was put to cook in the oven by a specific time and on top of that, I decided to also make a pineapple glazed ham for the first time, which happened to have turned out incredibly amazing. I made my very much liked mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, sautéed green beans and carrots, and my family’s favorite, cranberry cocktail. Of course, you can’t forget the cranberry sauce and stuffing. The meal was quite the success and everyone really enjoyed it which made me really happy because I miss cooking for them so much.

Another thing that happens during Thanksgiving break is an annual retreat that I help out with at my church back home. It’s basically an all weekend thing that begins on Friday in the evening and goes until Sunday afternoon (obviously with the nights off.) Usually these weekends are always busy for me because I have to balance school and church events at the same time. Thankfully, my whole family is involved and so I get to spend time with all of them during the event and I don’t feel I miss out on family time during the weekend. Because I had gotten my homework done, all I had to worry about was studying for exams. Long story short, the event was also a success.

It turned out to be a really good break, but busy and slightly overwhelming with all that I had to do, and for some reason it’s the weekend that I look forward to the most during the school year.

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Fatima Ruiz Villatoro

Name: Fatima Ruiz Villatoro

Class: Sophomore

Major: Engineering Management and Spanish


Hometown: Seattle, WA

Activities: OLE, Coffee and Catholicism, Entrepreneurship Club, College Republicans


Favorite Professor: Dr. Male

Favorite Class: EGR 110

Favorite Commons Meal:  Salmon with mashed potatoes and vegetables


Why I Chose UP: The campus was amazing and the community at this school was exactly what I wanted. I liked that my classes would be very small and I would be getting the right academic attention. I believe strongly in the mission of the school and I felt at home when I made my decision.

Favorite Thing About UP:  Close enough to home that I can go for a weekend, come back and not be totally exhausted. There are so many things to do in Portland and I like that we have a lot of studies abroad opportunities.


Advice for Prospective Students: Visit the school; you don't know what you're getting yourself into until you truly experience it.

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