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Alumna, Model, & Author Lisa Ramos

Lisa Ramos is just like us.  She quotes T. Swift, loves pizza and classic Beatles songs, and has gone on nightmare first dates with criminals and stalkers.  She even went to SUNY Old Westbury!  “I was actually wearing my big Old Westbury t-shirt for pajamas the other night,” she shared.  The difference, however, is that Lisa Ramos has the lifesaving dating advice that we’ve all been desperately searching for.  Oh, also she was on America’s Next Top Model and MTV’s Guy Code! 

In her new hit book, Pizza & Chill? ;): How to Kinda Sorta Date, Ramos lays out, in a fun and super comprehensive way, her answers to our greatest dating dilemmas.  Her answers are all based on her own experiences and she isn't afraid to say she hasn't gone through something yet but here's her best guess!  Ramos mentions people have even asked for marriage advice and she's like "Oh my God, I'm not qualified for these!"  She covers topics from first date red flags to break ups, Friends with Benefits to serious relationships.  She even advises to not confuse "they're," "there," and "their!"  *Insert praise hands emoji*  Along the way she provides awesome quotes and playlists!  Her Campus Old Westbury was lucky enough to chat with Lisa about the unique path she took to becoming an author.

Maybe you could start by telling me what your experience here at OW was like.

I went there my freshman year.  I even dormed and I started off in building 5 for the summer program!  I did the CSTEP [The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program] which was for people that had pretty good grades.  I had the entire on-campus experience, like I would go to the caf and walk up that winding ramp.  Having the residential life experience was really fun.  It was great to roll out of bed and go to class and I had really amazing grades! I had a 4.0!

What was next for you after Old Westbury?

I went to Old Westbury and then I transferred to Stony Brook for just a semester because I wanted to see how that would work out and the LIRR goes right to the campus [Lisa is from Queens].  Then I was like, ‘you know what, I don’t really want to go to school anymore’ so I took a leave of absence and then I signed to a modeling agency and I got onto a TV show- I know you know it- America’s Next Top Model. But I was only on there for one episode, I got eliminated immediately.  I’m no good for reality TV!  So I was like whatever, and I signed to an agency I just never went back to school.  I started working as a model and that was a lot of fun and I started getting on YouTube with my best friend Melanie Iglesias.  That really blew up, like my social media following.  After that, I got on MTV because they loved what we were doing together.  She was already on there so they were like “why don’t you just come on the show too?” 

How did you meet Melanie?

We were actually on the audition for America’s Next Top Model together.  We were the only two Latinas in the top 40 or so and we looked so much alike and we were so much alike that we were like “alright girl, it’s gonna be me or you.” We decided let’s just be friends after this, who cares what happens.

What was your experience on Guy Code like? It seems like so much fun and you were alongside your BFF!

It was a lot of fun! I mean you literally just get the talking points that you’re gonna discuss on the episode and you get to give your opinion on it! It was so easy- the best job ever!  The comedians, your coworkers, are just the best.

How did you decide that you were going to write a book?

Well, ever since I was on Guy Code I got so many questions over social media, in my Tumblr, on Twitter, and my Instagram comments and DM.  I was like I may as well answer them and put them in a book because there were so many.  And now I have more than ever!  I thought I had a lot before but I have way more now.

What was the most fun part of publishing your book?

The photoshoot was a lot of fun! It was my idea to do the red background and everything with hair and makeup.  I had a bit of creative control with that.  It was a really good time. Also, the playlist part, I love making playlists in my free time on Spotify.  I have so many!  I love all different genres of music so making the playlists was the best. 

So you had a lot of freedom with the layout of the book?

Yeah, I told them I wanted big font, and emoji’s here and there- that’s always relevant.  I picked the pictures and the quotes.  I wanted it to be an easy read too, nobody wants to sit down and read small print, 400 pages of my opinion.  Instead like here are the questions and here are my answers, these are my favorite songs, there you go.

What did you learn from all of this?

It was humbling to know people really cared about my opinion.  Like aw, you guys really value what I have said!  There are a lot of people that influence that should not be giving advice so I must be doing something right and I look sane to people. 

What do you hope readers get out of your book?

I just hope I gave good advice and that it resonates with a lot of people and that readers can say “oh I can use this advice” or “wow there are a lot of people dealing with the same exact thing.” Sometimes when you’re in a relationship or dealing with anything else in your life and you’re like ‘ugh this sucks I’m the only one dealing with this” you can feel stuck.  I wanted to give good advice.  Before I made the deal to write the book, I prayed about it and said “okay God, let me give good advice because I don’t want to be responsible for ruining anybody’s anything!"

Do you have any other goals or projects that you can share?

I want to expand on the whole “Pizza & Chill” thing, so I’m going to be working on a few other projects that have that name!

What advice do you have for college students?

If you’re going to do anything in this industry, whether it be modeling, television, producing, or being the talent, you just have to network a lot, have integrity, and keep your word.  Be good to the people that you’re working with because it can be such a small industry and you must really respect who you’re working with.  Don’t try to be so cutthroat- I’ve never tried to be that way and I always tried to become friends with the people I work with and really cared about them as people.  People want to help me because I always helped them!

Find the book at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, IndieBound!


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Deirdre Bardolf

Old Westbury

"With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?" Student, 22. Long Island
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