Jake Santos's Blog

December 11, 2015

Picture Bitterness and anger filled my heart after receiving a letter of denial from SDSU's TFM Production committee. I've worked harder than I've ever had and all my efforts produced no fruit. I spent many early mornings and late nights volunteering on upperclassmen productions. I battled my way into the Honors College. And I also invested a significant amount of money on production equipment. Needless to say, I felt betrayed. The best I could describe my feelings now is how Anakin Skywalker felt after being denied from becoming a Jedi Master.

This denial is my first one, and they do allow a second petition to get into TFM Production. The caveat is that I am already at Junior standing at school even though it's my second year. I was one those people who did the majority of their GEs during high school. One of my main tuition scholarships is measured on how many units I've completed, not semesters. If I were to try again next semester to get into Production, I would be attacking myself in the finance area. Given the severity of the state of the economy, I decided against applying again.

In the end, I decided to switch to TFM Critical Studies, a more theory based TFM major. It's not ideal, but it's a solid Plan B. I will continue to gain production knowledge through other sources. This was financially the best choice I could make so I could still graduate on time and not have to take out huge loans.

Getting into the Production program is not the end-all-be-all of my career. I will become a media creator no matter what happens. I will create content until my last dying breath.
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Published on December 11, 2015 15:50 • 3 views

August 30, 2015

Picture Most of us have been there. The dilemma of choosing the wrong major has plagued current and potential college students everywhere.

Back in middle school, I had an amazing biology teacher. He always made learning about life enjoyable and was easy to relate to. I was certain back then that I would end up as a biology major.


I enrolled in AP Biology and everything changed. I did well in the class and passed the AP exam, but I couldn't feel the harmony I once did with biology. This time, I decided that I would become a chemistry major.

Wrong again.

After AP Biology, I was enrolled in AP Chemistry. I found it to be the worse course experience that I've ever had in my LIFE. The only positive I can take away from it is that I found what I hated early on.

Junior year of high school was my first year as a yearbook editor and a newspaper staff writer. I had an amazing teacher who taught us the nitty gritty of the media industry. I was assigned as the video production head. I loved my role very much as it was the single most influential transformation I had in my life. 

That's how I ended up as a Television, Film. and New Media Production major. Video games, TV shows, and movies are awesome and I loved learning about the technical aspects of each one.

And that's my journey. I've met so many people who share the same passion and enthusiasm. I thought I was alone, but I wasn't. This was the best decision I've made.

And FYI, your major doesn't determine your future. Your thinking does. It is ultimately your responsibility to chase your dreams.
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Published on August 30, 2015 11:29 • 6 views

April 2, 2015

Look both ways when you are on the bike lanes - you don’t want to get run over.

Live in the Residence Halls your first year. It is worth the investment because you get to make close connections with people on your floor and on campus. Living in a Residential Learning Community will help you and people of similar majors collaborate and be in the loop of campus events.

You have three accounts: Webportal, Aidlink, and Blackboard. Each one is different but use the same password.

You are able to choose your own roommate instead of being placed randomly as long as you and your friend agree to work on the housing application together and fill out the selection process with your redIDs. Highly recommended unless you’re feeling lucky or like to take a chance. 

At least twice a day, CHECK YOUR EMAIL for notifications about homework, campus events, financial aid, and everybody’s favorite: cancelled classes.

If you want healthy food, there are more options at West Commons. There’s an organic food cafe and a gluten-free cafe called Olive Oil there.

The best meal plans for freshmen are the Flex 5 and Meals Plus. The Flex 5 gives you meals for Mon-Fri. The food on campus is good but eventually you’ll get tired of it so the Flex 5 allows you to get off-campus food on weekends. Meals Plus allows you a debit card style balance as well as access to Cuicacalli dining hall (all-you-can-eat).

Go to the gym late at night or early in the morning because it’s crowded as heck during the day.

There is an extension of the gym on the third floor of the student union called the ARC Express. It has a more relaxed atmosphere and not many people go there. It’s close to the Residence Halls (unless you’re in Chapultepec) so that’s a plus.

Use the online library to get sources for your essays. http://library.sdsu.edu/

Use Encyclopedia Britannica for sources. Wikipedia is a NO-NO!!! - Edit: You're encourage to scroll to the bottom of the Wikipedia article to find the sources that the article uses. Think of this as a gateway to legitimate sources.

If you need spoons and forks, go to East Commons or West Commons.

Be wary of The Koala newspaper (it may be extremely funny or extremely offensive depending on your views).

Scantrons are sold everywhere, not just the bookstore.

You can put money on your student ID (ONEcard). This can be used for printing, laundry, and food.

You can borrow DVDs from the Media Center, located in the bottom floor of the library dome. There is a LOT to choose from.

You can get pretty much anywhere in San Diego using the Trolley.

You’re allowed to take classes for Credit / No Credit to safeguard your GPA. These classes will give you credit if you pass them, but will not affect your GPA in any way. Use these for classes that you feel shaky on. Warning: Credit / No Credit cannot be used for certain classes. Check the general catalog for updated information.

Wait until you’re absolutely sure that you need a textbook before buying it. There are classes that I’ve bought textbooks for that I never had to open.

Type your papers on Google Docs so there is no fear of losing your files and is easy to access from anywhere.

Always go to class. You never know when a professor will drop a test hint or extra credit.

Choose to get involved instead if you have the urge of double majoring. Experience and connections are more important than books.

Use Adblock Plus + Chrome or Firefox. Trust me.

Bring two weeks worth of clothes so that you have a flexible laundry schedule.

Talk to your roommate (if you have one) and sort out issues before summoning the RA.

Go to your professors’ office hours! These people have connections that you can’t even imagine yet. Plus these people are bored!!!

Be professional. You’re an adult now. Attend Career Services workshops to sharpen your job hunting and networking skills.

If you can avoid it, NEVER register for an 8 am class.

Put your alarm away from your bed so you have to get up to turn it off.

Know the campus map by heart.

Create a resume. You will need this many things besides jobs. Scholarships and leadership position applications will ask for this.

Apply for scholarships. There have been incidents that a student won money because they were the only one that applied.

You are given a .edu email address in your Webportal account. Look for Rohan on the sidebar and activate it.

You can use that .edu email address to get 6 months of free shipping on Amazon.com.

There is a bowling alley on campus in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

Use a planner. You will have peace of mind when you write down your schedule. I recommend the Mortar Board planner in the bookstore. Picture
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Published on April 02, 2015 09:50 • 72 views

February 19, 2015

I've been working on multiple film and video game projects but I will be focusing on film from now on. The games are still on the way, but have been stalled. I am working to earn spots in all the honor societies on campus so the games will be slowed, but not stopped.

Project Statuses:
The Secret Testament (iOS/Android - RPG Game) - 25% Complete, Estimated Completion: Spring 2016
Starfall Rising (PC/iOS/Android - RPG Game) - 20% Complete, Estimated Completion: Spring 2017
Fire of Arianna (Fantasy Drama Film) - Script writing phase, Estimated Completion: Unknown
Misfortune Cookie (Fantasy Short Film) - Script writing phase, Estimated Completion: Spring 2015
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Published on February 19, 2015 20:06 • 15 views

February 15, 2015

I used to be a big fan of winter time when I younger. I enjoyed the cold-ish San Diego atmosphere and the holiday decorations. Somewhere along the way, I started to shift toward liking summer better. Let's face it, summer is so much better because of the awesome sunny weather and less sick people. There's also the matter of energy. I feel so much more motivated to work out in the summer. The cold always bothered me anyway. I was just in denial.
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Published on February 15, 2015 12:17 • 12 views

December 27, 2014

Picture I can't believe that it's almost 2015! First semester of college, first game published, living on my own for the first time - it all went by in a flash! I've met so many wonderful people and I can't wait to meet many more.

2015 will be a continuation of my goal to do my best to continually improve myself.

In 2014, I lost nearly 100 pounds through proper nutrition, meditation, and exercise. I went from wearing size 42 pants to wearing size 34. I went from nearly 300 pounds to just over 200. Having suffered through obesity makes me appreciate health a whole lot more than if I was initially lighter. So instead of getting the freshman 15, I gained (lost) the freshman 100. Yes, I admit that I've cheated more than I'd like to during the holidays but it's inevitable. I will compensate for that in the near future.

The rest of resolutions are as follows:
I will get proper sleep. This can be a challenge because I live with a nocturnal roommate, but challenge accepted.
I will take better notes in class. This ties along with getting proper sleep. My notes are more concise when I actually get sleep.I will continue my journey to optimal health.I will earn the highest grades possible.I will create more scripts, videos, and video games. My biggest goal is not to live forever, but to create something that will stand the test of time. Will it be a movie, a book, a video game? Time will tell.

2015 will be an awesome year. I can't wait to see what excitement lies ahead!
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Published on December 27, 2014 18:50 • 13 views

December 6, 2014

When I received my acceptance letter to San Diego State, a feeling of victory flowed through me. It was time to start a new chapter in the novel of my life. Here are some things that I've learned in my first semester of college.
Joining organizations is the best way of making new friends with common interests. There are hundreds of them on campus from Greek Life to Religious clubs. My personal favorites and the ones that I connected to were Film Society and Young Americans for Liberty. Social and Business fraternities didn't really click with me, but they might for you. Just make sure you research into all their history and practices before you pledge. I'm aiming to join the Honor societies so I'm trying to maintain a high GPA. Just join organizations with like minded people. It will be the best decision that you ever make.
The Freshman Fifteen is a virtually nonexistent at SDSU. With the ARC and the ARC Express (My favorite workout spot), I was able to prevent myself from gaining weight this semester. There are also healthy options on campus such as Olive Oil Cafe, Shakesmart, and Juice it Up. There are organic food options everywhere on campus. It's my personal opinion, but I would spend the extra money on organic food than at a future hospital visit. There is really no excuse for letting yourself go. Visit your professors during office hours. Professors tend to be bored out of their minds in their offices and would really like some company. Don't wait until the last minute just to rant to them about your final grade; you're wasting their time and your time. Professors don't bite. Don't take more classes than you can handle. I registered for 18 units my first semester and it was my biggest regret in my life. Thankfully, I was able to get through this with some help from my mentors.
Think twice before taking an online class! I HIGHLY recommend avoiding online classes like the plague, especially math! My experience was riddled with computer glitches and crashes. Take them only as a last resort. Believe me, you will pull your hair out. The Media Center is an awesome place! There is a large collection of movies in the basement of the Love Library dome. You are free to check them out or watch them with friends in a private room. Use a planner. You will NEED a planner if you want to be active in the community. This will prevent your life from becoming a clusterf**k. I suggest the Mortar Board planner available in the SDSU bookstore. It's the one that I use and I love it. You could also use a 15 minute planner if you want to be really meticulous. They are available everywhere or you could just print them.
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Published on December 06, 2014 09:52 • 18 views

December 2, 2014

If you ever admired someone great who has passed away, such as a scientist or musician, you're still able to talk to them through books. Read their autobiographies or listen to their interviews.

Knowledge is part of the unseen and the unseen is the most powerful. Just because someone is dead doesn't mean you can't talk to them. You just need to take a detour.
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Published on December 02, 2014 21:27 • 9 views

November 22, 2014

Thanksgiving is upon us once more, which means that the winter holidays are coming. And if you're a student, finals are approaching. It is your last chance to end the semester strongly. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Now back to Thanksgiving.

There's so many things that I'm thankful for. This is just a partial list.
Android OS: I've tried the "Big Three" smartphone operating systems: iOS, Windows, and Android. In a nutshell, iOS is better than Windows and Android is better than iOS. As a liberty oriented person, I love the freedom that Android users have over their iOS counterparts. Not to mention that my dream phone is the HTC One M8; I'm saving up for it!San Diego State University: I've always dreamed of attending this school and now I am. I love the people and the general atmosphere; it has the right balance of work and relaxation. One of my biggest inspirations, Kathleen Kennedy, was an alumni here. She is a film producer at Lucasfilm, the team that makes the Star Wars films. What others have done can be replicated. She is a beacon of hope for aspiring filmmakers.My Broken Heart: I'm partially thankful for having a broken heart from my first real love. It made me realize that I am more than just a bag of hormones.My Family: Need I say more?Film Society @ SDSU: You guys make my day a little better every time we have a meeting. I'm thankful for what we've learned together as a family.Olmeca 3: This floor has some of the weirdest (in a good way) and friendliest people on campus. I'm very lucky to get a spot in the Visual and Performing Arts learning community.So what are you thankful for?

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Published on November 22, 2014 10:48 • 11 views

October 31, 2014

I go through a challenge that most people don't have to go through. It's called having a long name.

Seriously, don't take your short and simple name for granted. It's probably one of the best things that happened to you (unless you're reading this and you have a long name too. Then you probably get my pain).

My birth name is Jonel Jacob Arellano Santo Domingo. I intend to be a filmmaker and an entrepreneur so a long name is not appropriate for industries that rely on memorability. Who in their right minds would remember my long name? It also gets really frustrating when computer programs get my name wrong: they put my first name as my last name, cut off sections of my last name, or reorder my name randomly. Also people pronounce "Jonel" differently every time I verbalize it and also misspell it as Jonell, Jonelle, Jonnel. I mask the feeling on my face but I feel like a part of me dies every time this happens.

I eventually got so fed up that I created a pen name derived from my birth name. This is how I ended up with the name "Jake Santos". If I have obstacles, I find ways to overcome them.

So folks, be thankful for your short names. Trust me on this; the struggle is real.
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Published on October 31, 2014 15:17 • 16 views