Freshmen 101: Loyola $$$

Okay folks, last week I gave you all the different food options on campus and your mouth must’ve watered. So much good food but how ever are you going to pay for it? Student debt is real so try not to just whip out that credit card whenever you need to buy something. I may have mentioned some foreign terms to you last week like Dining Dollars and Rambler Bucks, but don’t fear, Dina is here! The distinction between Dining Dollars and Rambler Bucks is something that everyone gets confused about their first year. Here’s a bit of info to help you out!


  • If you purchase a 5- or 7-day meal plan, you get Dining Dollars along with it! These Dining Dollars can be used at any of the locations on either campus that I mentioned last week.
  • Dining Dollars roll over fall semester to spring semester but they DO NOT roll over year to year — so make sure you use those dollars up before the end of the year!
  • Dining Dollars were¬†called Flex Dollars in the past so you may hear that terminology thrown around.


  • Rambler Bucks are just extra money that you have to add on to your card yourself.
  • You use Rambler Bucks to pay for printing, mailing, food both on and off campus and even laundry!
  • When you use your Loyola ID for anything whether it be Dining Dollars or Rambler Bucks, you’re tax exempt!
  • For a list of locations where Rambler Bucks are accepted, please click here.
  • Rambler bucks roll over year to year!

I tried to keep it short and sweet for you guys this week. You’re welcome ūüėÄ


Posted on by Dina Puthenpurakal in Blog Series, Freshmen 101 Comments Off on Freshmen 101: Loyola $$$

Freshmen 101: Resources on Campus


Check out SDMA! SDMA stands for Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, and while this organization is dedicated to helping first-generation students, those of the LGBTQIA community, and students of color, they also have special programs for commuters! They give out coffee and donuts specially for commuters occasionally. Make sure to read more about them here.


Try Campus Ministry! Loyola’s Campus Ministry really is great and encompasses a variety of faiths. While we are a Jesuit institution, everyone of all faiths are welcome to attend Loyola and practice their faith. We have religious spaces not only for Christians, but for those of other faiths as well. Take a tour and check them out!

 Campus Ministry also takes Loyola students on service trips during school breaks! You can go all around the world with them. There are also different retreats.¬†I just want to mention the 360 retreat, which is specially for freshmen! It isn’t really a Christian-based retreat, but rather it helps all students who attend to try to figure out who they really are inside. It’s pretty awesome and I would definitely recommend going!

Campus Ministry also hires First Year Companions, who you will see in your residence halls once in a while. They’re the friends that Loyola gives you and will check up on you occasionally to see how you’re doing. They’re really sweet and nice so make sure to give them your time :)


Visit the CDC! The Career Development Center is honestly such a great resource. You can set up appointments with them and they’ll help you practice for interviews or help you choose a major, double major or minor! They’re honestly really helpful. They don’t force you to do anything but they help you figure out what you want and what would be best for you at the current time. If you’re undecided, this is the first Campus Resource that you have to visit.

The CDC also hosts different jobs fairs and programs that will help you get a job/internship/volunteer opportunity. Loyola actually cares about its students, and every staff member wants you to succeed. Check out the Career Development Center website in your free time and just browse through the different tabs and online resources that they have.

Another great resource for helping undecided people is your advisor! Your advisor is your first line of defense. If you need help with anything and everything, they’re your go-to people. You get two advisors throughout your time at Loyola, one for your first two years of college, and another one depending on your major. Visit your advisor and bond with them. Not only are they like a good friend, they also tend to write amazing recommendation letters! If your advisor isn’t available for an appointment, the¬†First and Second Year Advising Office also offers Walk-In hours where you can visit another advisor to answer your questions.


 The Writing Center is your new favorite place if you are someone that struggles with writing papers. While you can’t expect them to do all the work for you, they will help you brainstorm, organize and edit your papers! Just remember to keep in mind that you’re not the only one who struggles. The Writing Center can get crazy booked at times, especially near finals time! Make sure you set up an appointment early. For more information about the Writing Center, please click here.


The Digital Media Lab is a real hidden gem! Located in the IC, you can create and edit videos here. You can probably do more that I don’t know about, but this place is perfect to hit when you need a creative innovation for a class!

I hope you can remember all the different resources on campus when you’re in a bind. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but gee, doesn’t hearing how much Loyola cares for us as students really make you glad that you decided to come here? It sure does for me :)

Posted on by Dina Puthenpurakal in Blog Series, Freshmen 101 Comments Off on Freshmen 101: Resources on Campus

Freshmen 101: Food at Loyola

Are you constantly hungry? Is food always on your mind? Whether it is or not, here are some food-related things about Loyola!


  • There are currently three dining halls where any student can eat during the day. In the Simpson residence hall, there’s the Simpson dining hall. Likewise, in the DeNobili residence hall, there’s the DeNobili dining hall. The last dining hall is in the Damen Student Center and as thus, is called Damen dining hall. Easy enough, right?
  • There are soda, milk, juice and coffee machines, several types of pizza options, soup, salad and fruit sections, a dessert area and a section for cereal (Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple Jacks, you name it, you got it…or at least the generic version of it) in every dining hall. However, some dining halls have specific food items¬†that other dining halls may not have.¬†
  • The Simpson dining hall always has a taco bar and usually offers Mexican and Indian cuisine. Pasta, meatloaf, and mashed potatoes are served pretty often.
  • The Damen dining hall¬†has a burger station and typically serves Italian cuisine with lots of pasta, greens and other food items.
  • The DeNobili dining hall is famous for its make-your-own-pizza station. You get to choose whether you want a regular pizza or a calzone, what type of sauce, meat and other toppings that you want and the chef will throw it all together, cook it, and serve it to you warm, cut and with your name on it. This pizza section beats the pizza in any other dining hall, in my personal opinion. Another DeNobili specialty is the make-your-own pasta area where you can choose what kind of pasta, sauce and flavor you want. Isn’t that really cool?
  • There are different opening and closing hours for the dining halls. Last year DeNobili had late-night dining hours when they would still be open after the other dining halls closed. Check out the Loyola Dining website before the semester begins and see what’s going on.
  • Here’s a tip! Try not to go to any of them between the times that they’re changing the menu from breakfast to lunch or lunch to dinner (between 3-4 PM) because your options will be very limited.

OTHER PLACES TO EAT (Lakeshore Campus)

While any student can eat at these places (you can use your Loyola ID, credit/debit, or just straight-up cash), these places are the best for you if you want something quick and simple!

  • Damen Food Court: Perfect for your philly cheesesteak, sushi, ice cream cravings and more, this is the place to go if you’re looking for a different variety of food and snacks to munch on!
  • Center Stage: Running late to class but craving coffee? In the Mundelein Center for Fine and Performing Arts where many classes are held, is where Center Stage Cafe is located. From coffee and cookies to sandwiches and sushi, this place has a whole assortment of¬†foods and drinks!
  • Engrained Cafe: Located in the San Francisco Residence Hall, Engrained Cafe has a bunch of different food and drink items. My personal favorite is their loaded macaroni and cheese sandwich, which is just heavenly!
  • Connections Cafe: Desperately in need of a break amidst hours of studying at the IC or Cudahy Library? Connections Cafe is located neatly in the passageway between the Information Commons and the Cudahy¬†Library. Many professors like to meet students here during office hours for a change in setting!
  • Bleecker Street Cafe: Located right in front of the Damen Food Court, this cute place serves coffee, muffins and super tasty breakfast croissants among other things.
  • Rambler Express: Also located in the Damen Student Center, this is where to go when you desire a smoothie, milkshake or a healthy snack!
  • Vending machines are located all around buildings on campus. The one in the Crown Center even has a coffee machine!
  • There are also several local restaurants that accept Rambler Bucks if you want to walk a little off-campus! See the upcoming post about Rambler Bucks for more details.

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Posted on by Dina Puthenpurakal in Blog Series, Freshmen 101 Comments Off on Freshmen 101: Food at Loyola