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How to College in Chicago

Photo Credit: Rozel Garcia and Taken by: Eric Bailey

In this year alone, there have been about 43,000 undergraduate students enrolled in Chicago colleges. Over 43,000 students ready to take on the four years that’s suppose to mark some of the best days of their lives.

But what’s in store for them isn’t just what college holds academically. It goes beyond that. Beyond the walls of classes and the stacks of syllabi, lies a city where students can learn even more about themselves and the world that surrounds them. There’s a city out there, and it’s ready to be discovered.

Color outside the lines.

As important it is to work hard in school, experiencing life outside of class is just as important. Getting the most out of college isn’t just what’s in books. Sometimes it takes a little bit of coloring outside the lines. Ready to do that? Use this checklist and see for yourself.

  • Get involved with your community–Chicago is filled with a lot of diverse communities. Find ways to volunteer, or explore the different cultures each community has to offer.
  • Look for internships–With you going to school in a city, you already have a wide foundation of networks. Use those networks to search for some internships in the city and build up your experience.
  • Ask for discounts–College students have the perks of getting discount prices at certain attractions and places. Don’t be afraid to ask for what they are.
  • Explore, explore, explore–Find that quirky bookstore or that coffee shop. The city of Chicago is filled with little gems. Make one of them yours.


So why does it matter?

What difference does going to college in the city make in comparison to those big name schools in college towns?

College expert and RA from Depaul Univerisity, Roochita Kakadia, answers this question. “The mindset is very different.” she says, “Going to a typical state school in a college town is almost like high school but larger–which is all great, but I think the city is much more diverse.”

Filled with culture and history, Chicago offers so much to students.

“You’re exposed to a variety of different cultures. You experience a lot of different neighborhoods, restaurants, and larger attractions you wouldn’t really get to experience normally,” said Loyola student James O’Brien.

Because of this, the city’s diversity holds a key component to success–exposure. In art history you read and learn about art in your textbook. In history, you read about the different civil movements that changed the world. But what’s read in books doesn’t have to be just that. It doesn’t have to be just text. In a city such as Chicago, you get to take what’s inside the book and actually bring it to life.

“I learned that there are problems in this world that need to be fixed. You hear on the news and read bout it all the time. But in Chicago, I get to see all that happen outside my window.” Said UIC student, Jezreel Pimental. “There are protests happening right outside and my friends are a part of it. Things like this are so cool to me because it’s all stuff that is going to be in our history books.”

College isn’t all about academics. It’s about discovering who you are outside of it. So it’s ok to deviate a little from those textbooks. The city awaits.


By: Rozel Garcia


Photo by: Eric Bailey/Pexels


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The Hub Bub is a collection of articles, videos, audio, photo slideshows, interactive maps and other media produced by students enrolled in journalism courses at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. For more about the School of Communication, our award winning faculty, and our state of the art facilities located in the heart of Chicago, visit our website.