Month: March 2012

Becoming a Real Person

Becoming a Real Person

As I’m sure you know, this previous weekend was Loyola Weekend, a two day event that gives admitted students a chance to explore the university.

When I was a senior in high school, I visited LUC, to learn more about the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and interview for the Presidential Achievement Scholarship, which I happened to later recieved.

As I swiftly approach the halfway mark of my college career, I recently thought about how much I’ve changed since I attended that weekend oh so long ago.

NBD, just being super cool on prom night

High school, as a whole, was pretty up and down for me, but senior year was completely amazing. Yes, I was taking five AP classes, and yes, applying for college was stressful, but it felt like my friends and I were livin’ the dream. At the same time, I was definitely naive about everything – real life, living on my own, how money worked, how to interact with strangers and the idea that it could even occasionally be dangerous to be out alone at night.

Pretty much a stereotypical picture from my freshman year*

My freshman year of college was wonderful. It was filled with plenty of new learning experiences and a lot of growing up. In high school, I always felt that a 4.0 GPA was more important than new experiences with my friends; that completely flip-flopped last year at Loyola.

I'm finally a real person!

This year has been a strugglefest. At the end of freshman year, I thought I understood how college worked. I quickly learned that I was sadly mistaken. However, this year has taught me how to be a function independently as a human being; I have a job now, I’m about to sign a lease on an apartment, I no longer have a mental breakdown every time I get a grade that is lower than an A and I partake in food groups other than “pizza” and “fries.”

When I look back on all that has changed in my life from two years ago, I’m astounded. I can’t imagine what I’ll think as a graduating senior when I look back on my sophomore self!

*My Asian friend (Sandy, from Unbeknownst to Me, My Friends are Actually Cats) she said that she didn’t find this picture offensive. If you are Asian and find it to be so, I’m sorry!

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt

I’m the Co-Chair of Fellowship for Alpha Phi Omega. I felt that it was time the pledges paired up with the activities in a scavenger hunt  to build Brotherhood and show the rest of the fraternity how much they know about Loyola.

Here was the list of objectives:

All of the questions could be answered on the campus without the use of electronic devices. My favorite being that in 1963 Loyola men’s basketball beat Tennessee Tech. 111 – 42, for the national basketball championship. This score still holds a record for the largest margin of victory in an NCAA tournament game.

Here are some of the pictures that were sent in for the competition.

Norville: the newest building on campus!

Random Stranger in the CFSU

Milwaukee Day Trip

Milwaukee Day Trip

Having friends with cars in the city is awesome.  Having friends who will take road trips in their car is even more awesome!  Friday, my friends and I randomly decided to head up to Milwaukee for the day.  It’s about an hour and a half trip, which isn’t too bad.

Milwaukee is a super neat city, almost like a mini Chicago.  We didn’t really have much planned, plus it was a rainy day. We ended up going on a brewery tour at Lakefront Brewery, which was pretty interesting.  Afterwards, we went to get some delicious custard at Kopp’s.

Because we were pretty much winging it, we ended up driving around most of the time.  One of my friends has a friend attending UW-Milwaukee, so we met up later that night for dinner.

Safe House is a spy-themed restaurant with Bond memorabilia and gadgets everywhere!  By far one of the coolest restaurants I’ve been to.  You enter from an alley, go up some stairs into a tiny room.  There, you are asked for a password.  Of course, no one in our group knew, so we had to do Ring Around the Rosie to be let.  Then, a bookshelf wall opened up to the restaurant.

The fact that we were able to fit so much in in about a five hour range is super impressive to me.  While Chicago is great, sometimes its nice to get away to some of the other cool places that aren’t so far.

Presidential Scholarship & Acafriendzy

Presidential Scholarship & Acafriendzy

Friday night was a busy, but fun, night for me.

It was one of those times when my Event Manager job for the Department of Fine and Performing Arts coincided with my job with the Undergraduate Admissions Office and my social life.

I was contacted by one of the Undergraduate Admissions Counselors, Suzannah Magnuson, a while ago asking if I could help with the audio support for their presidential scholar reception. It was a weird role conflict because I work for her department, but the job she was asking me to do was out of the scope of my job description. Instead it landed within the scope of my event work for the DFPA. But we figured out the best way to arrange payment and it was no problem. Sometimes the system works.

Anyway, I was later contacted by a representative of three of Loyola’s a Capella groups. They were putting on a combined concert in the Auditorium and were in need of sound assistance. Once again I agreed to help, and that’s when things got rough: both events were on the same day.

This did have it’s advantages, however. Even though the events were back to back with little time in between for setup, I was able to do a little work before the Undergraduate Admissions Event kicked off. Once again I had problems locating microphones, and it seems as if the wind shields for some of the microphones have disappeared, but I found enough various mics to set up a working solution.

The presidential scholarship reception went off without a hitch (plus I got to enjoy some of the great catering!) and then the Acafriendzy show went exceptionally well, given the circumstances (little set-up time, missing equipment). I even got a cupcake out of the Acafriendzy group too!

A lot of work, but totally worth it. The concert was great and I’m always glad to help out when my skills match the needs of some other group.

Sam Lim of Scholarship Junkies Visits Loyola

Sam Lim of Scholarship Junkies Visits Loyola

Today I had to opportunity to collaborate as a social justice advocate through Loyola University Chicago‘s Empowerment Pipeline program and with the first year students who participate in the STARS Lead Program. We, along with the department of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, invited Sam Lim, founder and executive director of Scholarship Junkies, to speak with the students I mentor, along with my fellow advocates, about the process of applying for scholarships.

Lim told his story of how he was able to completely fund his college education himself, by solely through scholarships. As a recent Fulbright scholar, he strives to go around the country and share with high school students (even college students) of how it is never too late to appeal to private scholarship opportunities to fund expenses from books, laptops, study abroad programs, and room and board.

I encourage incoming and prospective students who read this blog to check out his website! There may be some very helpful information there!

The Hunger Games Premier

The Hunger Games Premier

Last night, Thursday March 22, “The Hunger Games” movie premiered at midnight; and, lucky me, I got to see it at 12:01 at a downtown theater!

If you have not heard of “The Hunger Games” trilogy, it is the new adolescent book series that everyone is raving about. I will not give anything away about the books or the movie, but I will strongly encourage you to read the books!

Don’t let the fact that is is geared towards the adolescent audience discourage you from picking up the first book! I have convinced many of my friends to read them and none have regretted it.

Reason I Love Chicago #2: People watching

Reason I Love Chicago #2: People watching

By now my fellow bloggers have already dished about St. Patrick’s Day in the city. One of the greatest things for me about everyone being out and about on the holiday weekend with the gorgeous weather was being able to people watch. The highlight of my St. Patrick’s Day (besides seeing the river dyed NEON green) was grabbing dinner with a friend at Chick-Fil-A downtown and taking it to the plaza surrounding the historic Chicago Water Tower. We camped out for an hour or so and got to watch crazy people all hyped up for the holiday and dressed head to toe in green. I have never seen so many people in one place in my life! Michigan Ave was packed. I’m already looking forward to the next St. Patrick’s Day weekend in the city!

Photos by me!

Spring Break Part Dos: London!

Spring Break Part Dos: London!

After my Polish adventures, a friend and I ventured to London! I was really excited because it was somewhere I have always wanted to go. It was a ton of fun, and very American. It actually felt a lot like New York City.

When we first got to London, we literally ran to our hostel, threw our stuff down and explored. We just wandered around until we found something we wanted to do or see.  We went shopping down a big shopping street called Picadilly, and that led us to CHIPOTLE!  We felt so American, but we haven’t had Chipotle since we were back in the States.  It was delicious, and we were lucky we  randomly ran into it!

After we wandered around, we headed up to North London.  t was like a whole different world.  There were very cheap shops everywhere and you could bargain for the right price. I got an originally priced thirty dollar dress for ten dollars!  It was nice that the sellers would bargain, but bad for my bank account seeing as I may have bought one too many things…

The highlight of the London trip was the double decker bus tour.  It was the cliche and touristy thing to do, so clearly, we had to do it.  The double decker bus tour went everywhere! It went to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, The London Eye (giant ferris wheel overlooking London), Trafalgar Square, London Bridge, Kensington Gardens… and so much more.  Last April, I was competely royal wedding obsessed, so of course I circled Buckingham Palace several times trying to catch a glimpse inside.  No such luck. 🙁

On our last day, we relaxed and took in all London has to offer.  We went to the main shopping street, and went to the world famous Harrod’s.  Then, we got lunch and just relaxed in Kensington Gardens.  It was so nice.  People were playing hockey on the sidewalks (one of the guys had a Blackhawks jersey on!), families were having picnics  and people were riding bikes.  It was a beautiful day and it really made me realize how lucky I am to be able to see such beautiful places.

That night, we saw a play at Her Majesty’s theater.  I was very excited since I love plays and going to the theater; it’s something I would always do with my dad when I was little.  We saw The Phantom of the Opera, a play I hadn’t yet seen.  It was great!

London was amazing.  The people are so nice and everything is just as beautiful as I imagined it to be.  Once I’m not a poor college student, I better make it back there!

The Great Escape

The Great Escape

I wish I could write something witty and eloquent about my week and upcoming weekend, but I just don’t have it in me.

This week I had a lab practical, a lab competency and an anatomy exam. While I get a brief two hour break this afternoon, I work three 8 hour shifts at the hospital (from 3 pm – 11:30 pm) tonight, Saturday and Sunday, meaning that I don’t really get to relax this weekend, especially because I have to study for my two upcoming tests next week.

While I love nursing more than anything else in the world, sometimes I just want to run away from school for a few days.

Recently, I came across the following article at Thought Catalog:

5 Fantasy Exit Strategies by Courtney Preiss

Besides being extremely rhetorically pleasing, the article put into words everything I was feeling.

And while, at the end of the day, I don’t think I’d change my sleep deprived, nursing obsessed, over worked, social life lacking life for anything, it’s definitely fun to fantasize…

…as long as I go back to studying as soon as I’m done! 😀