Month: January 2013

New Discovery

New Discovery

Over Christmas break, I had a lot of free time, so I decided to do some leisurely reading.  I really enjoy reading, but I never have time during the semester because I have so much other reading to do for my classes.  However, this semester won’t be too tough for me, so I decided to go find some good reads at a Chicago library.

There a ton of library branches in Chicago, but my friend recommended the Harold Washington Library Center.  It’s right off the Jackson red line stop, so it’s a convenient location.  My friend and I headed there after class one day, as she had a Chicago Public Library card.

The library was huge! I think it had around seven or eight floors of novels and periodicals.  It also looked like a great place to study, as there were endless amounts of computers and study space. I think  it’s going to be a great place to study, especially during midterm and finals weeks, where the university libraries are absolutely packed.  Now that I’ve discovered this hidden gem (well, hidden for me), I’m going to make this my go-to study spot! I highly recommend it. Also- the novel I got is called “Girls in White Dresses” by Jennifer Close- so far it’s very good, and it was on a best sellers list, so I highly recommend that, as well!



My name is Tanner Walters, and I am currently a Freshman, starting my second semester at Loyola! This blog is where I’ll be talking about my personal experience as a student at Loyola and as a new Chicagoan. A little about myself:

  •  I am double-majoring in theatre and journalism (we’re not all biology majors, I promise!).
  • I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, about five hours away from the Windy City. I went to a college-preparatory public high school with a history of sending students to Loyola every year-I am one of four students from my high school in the class of 2016.
  • I have a twin brother who attends DePaul University.
  • I speak fluent Ubbi-Dubbi. Anyone who watched Zoom on PBS as a five-year-old should be thoroughly impressed.

Now that I’ve been at Loyola for a couple of months, it truly feels like my home. I was fortunate enough to make a tight-knit group of friends on campus relatively early, which definitely helped. I also got involved quickly on campus. Though it might seem scary to immediately put yourself out there in such a new environment, it is important to stick it out and go for what you want early. Just a tip? When you’re feeling awkward and nervous on  a new campus, just know that every other freshman is feeling the same way.  Luckily for me, the Loyola community was enthusiastic to welcome its new class.

I found this to be especially true in the theatre department. I auditioned for every production available until I was cast in Loyola’s production of Illuminating Voices in the brand new Newhart Family Theatre. Illuminating Voices was a unique experience in that it was written completely by Loyola alumni and faculty about Loyola. It was a perfect way to be introduced to the wonderful theatre department we have here. This semester, I’m in the student-run Second Stage production of Frankenstein, which I’ll definitely be talking about more once rehearsals start!

I also work as a writer and student intern for the Loyola Magazine at the downtown campus, a gig I got through the work-study program.

In my free time, which I’ll admit is limited at times, I like to explore Chicago with my friends. One of the best benefits of being a Loyola student is the UPass, which means unlimited rides on the train and the bus-and full access to the city. My friends and I spend a lot of time walking around downtown, but also exploring some of the other neighborhoods around the city.

That’s a wrap for the introduction, and I look forward to keeping you updated! As a frequent reader of the student blogs on Loyola’s website before I enrolled here, I hope that my blog can be as helpful to any future Ramblers.


My friends and I in front of Lake Michigan!

Paying for College Part I: 5 Financial Aid Tips

Paying for College Part I: 5 Financial Aid Tips

I posted the following comments previously but this information is important to share with this year’s high school seniors and their parents.

It is that time of year when newly admitted students search for more information about scholarships and other available funding to make their college choice a reality for this coming fall. Understandably, families are faced with the difficult discussions about how to finance a son or daughter’s college education, and in many cases, multiple children.

Here are the “Quick Five” tips to consider when you hear the acronym “FAFSA” and reasons to submit it.

Tip #1: For families less familiar with the college admission process, FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and the key word is FREE. It costs nothing but your time. You should never pay anyone to fill this out for you and certainly financial aid offices at any college or university are happy to provide individual guidance. This is your opportunity to see if you qualify for additional scholarships, grants, loans, or a work-study job on campus.

Tip #2: Keep in mind that the results from the FAFSA are linked to a specific student, and much like a Social Security Number, these results follow the student from school to school, whether in-state or out-of-state, and regardless of whether the institutions are public or private. Each institution reviews the results to see what that college or university is able to offer. The results are made available via the Student Aid Report (SAR) and can be sent to any number of institutions a student is considering by simply using the school’s code. At Loyola, the code is 001710.

Tip #3: Ensure you do your best to meet the priority deadline for filing. At most institutions like Loyola, you will see that the date is generally around March 1. Filing by March 1 gives our Financial Aid Office the chance to ensure you have your results (a financial aid package) for review by the May 1 National Candidate’s Reply Date.

Tip #4: Don’t assume you won’t be eligible. Every year, I hear from families who assume they won’t qualify or explain that they went through this with an older child and they didn’t qualify before; it is a different year with different circumstances. The real answer is you don’t know what you might be eligible for until you apply. This fall, Loyola welcomed over 2000 freshman students, with 96% of them receiving some form of financial aid. We also award more than $105 million in scholarships and grants each year.

A few things to remember: first, at Loyola we award merit scholarships to eligible admitted students, but we also have additional scholarships. Second, many students filing the FAFSA demonstrate need, which may serve as a way for a university to award some additional scholarships or grants that have a need component. Third, if you are reviewing college options and determine that there is still a need for more funding but you never filed the FAFSA, this puts you at a disadvantage. Admission and Financial Aid Offices can’t assist with a “want” but are happy to assist families to discuss options, and there are many more options if the college or university actually has a FAFSA on file for you. Sometimes there are even special circumstances which may be reviewed.

Tip #5: Perhaps the most important reason to file the FAFSA is to trigger a conversation about college financing between parents and the student. I am amazed at the number of students who go through the college admission process and never have the “talk” with their parents about what the family can contribute, what he or she is expected to contribute, and ultimately that college is an investment. College-bound seniors often don’t know the truth about the family circumstances when it comes to money, and at times those discussions happen too late.

The FAFSA provides a mechanism to promote a discussion about finances. Students often wish they knew more, but out of respect for their parents it is unusual that they will ask or start the discussion. Keep in mind that a student is much more apt to maintain a high level of commitment to his or her degree program when they know what sacrifices are being made.

High Life on the CTA

High Life on the CTA

Taken by Ania Jakobiec

New train cars have been added to the CTA. While this may just seem minute to most people I was quite thrilled to see the change.

Coming from Southern California I came to Chicago with very little previous knowledge of how public transportation works. I was much more acquainted with the traffic jammed free ways of LA and Orange County. To put it simply LA’s public transportation is horrible. But I’ve found Chicago’s public transportation system easy to navigate and generally, awesome. It’s so nice to know I’ve got Chicago at my finger tips.

Hockey is Back

Hockey is Back

It is that time of the year! HOCKEY SEASON! Unfortunately it took much longer than it should have to get here, but hockey is back. Better yet, the Hawks started the season off in the best way possible… undefeated.

One of the best things about Loyola is is our proximity to downtown Chicago! It’s fairly easy to head to the United center to catch a game.

I am looking forward to a great season LETS GO HAWKS!!!

Photos taken by Ania Jakobiec
Summer Plans

Summer Plans

January seems a little early to be making summer plans doesn’t it? I thought so too, until I decided to study abroad in Ghana this summer! In fact, I began looking into studying abroad in October! I guess that’s what happens when you are as excited about future plans as I am.

I was able to do a lot of the work, such as applying, over winter break. I also researched volunteer opportunities in Ghana. I figure that I might as well make the most of the opportunities I have while I’m there. I found an organization, International Volunteer HQ, that offers short-term volunteer opportunities in Ghana.

I applied to IVHQ and was accepted to volunteer teach in a rural school in Ghana for three weeks before my study abroad program! I am so excited!

Talking about this makes me wish it was summer already. I have to pull myself back to reality though and focus on the semester at hand. It ‘s going to be a tough one but my trip to Ghana this summer is a bright light at the end of the tunnel!

Check out this cool poster of Africa that my roommate got me after finding out that I was accepted into my programs!

“Where you live should no longer determine whether you live” -Bono
All About Internship Interviews

All About Internship Interviews

So, my first internship interview was on Wednesday afternoon. I haven’t heard back from them yet, so I plan on giving them a call at the beginning of next week. I would like to get the internship, but the most important thing that I wanted to get out of this interview was a test run of my skills as an interviewee.

Because this was my first face-to-face internship interview, it was important for me to really pay attention to my behavior as well as my interviewer’s. There are several recommended guidelines that people are given for interviews. Here are a few:

  1. Look presentable. Granted the weather is very cold right now, so walking outside in a skirt is not my cup of tea, but still wear nice clothes (aka no holes, stains, etc.) and have a nice appearance. Also very important is to smile (genuinely of course). It is said that most interviewers make their decision within the first minute (even less) of meeting you.
  2. Have some background knowledge of the company you’re interviewing for. At the very least, know who they are and what they do. It doesn’t hurt to have some knowledge on what you could be doing for them as well. Being informed will only benefit you and not being informed can be the end of your chance for the job/internship.
  3. Have some questions prepared. This was a difficult one for me this time because my interviewer was just starting up a new project for the company that I had not found any information on, so I thought up some questions on the spot. One thing I did was I asked my interviewer questions about her relationship to the company, as in what she does within the company, how she does these things, etc. I’ve heard before that making the interview more personalized regarding the interviewer can help your interview. You need to be informed about the company itself, but have questions to ask the people in the company about their jobs. Keep it professional, but make it more personalized so that the interview isn’t rigid.

Whether these tips helped me is yet to be determined, and if they didn’t, I’ll be on the lookout for more and better advice to give from my own experiences. In one of my next week’s blogs, I’ll post an update on this first internship of whether I got it or not.

Week Two!

Week Two!

We’re halfway through week two of school everybody! Happy belated Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Because I only have classes three days a week, and I had a four-day weekend, I’m still not quite in school mode yet.

Now that I have experienced every class, I am very pleased that all of my professors seem solid, and getting up and going to class isn’t too much of a hassle. My workload is slowly expanding, and it’ll be interesting to see how on top of my work I stay since I have four night classes (out of six total). I know from experience that night classes give you room to feel like you have an entire week to do the assignments, but this is not a smart idea, especially since I have two night classes in a row on Mondays.

Along with the transition to back-to-school, I’m am trying to maintain my resolutions. For the most part they have been good, and I had my first in-person interview for an internship today. I’ll post later this week on how it went.

There is one resolution that I am struggling with already, and I haven’t even begun it yet, which is my vlog. I haven’t yet had adequate time to devise a plan of action for how to accomplish this resolution, so I may not be able to start it for another month or so. I will try to start a vlog this weekend, but if it doesn’t work out, I plan on extending my time limit to before Spring Break. I will succeed though!

Other than keeping up with my studies and applying for internships, I’m doing everything to keep my stress level down while the workload hasn’t become completely overwhelming. A tip for the day to help de-stress, courtesy of my boss and Admission Counselor, Adam Buller, is to take some time out of your day to focus all of your attention on something small, such as doing some cleaning.

Personally, I like to cook when I’m feeling overwhelmed because it takes my mind completely off of my day’s malfunctions. Other things I do include washing the dishes, reorganizing my things, or taking 10 minutes to listen to new songs I’ve fallen in love with. Two current picks are “Killin It” by Krewella and “Mermaid” by Train.

(As a side note, Krewella is a dubstep music group that was founded by two girls that went to my high school, one of which was in my graduating class. I’ve recently been introduced to their music by my best friend, and in support of them, I’m giving them a mention in my blog, not as paid sponsorship. Take a listen and if you like them, show some support).

Christmas Break

Christmas Break

Christmas break was EXTREMELY relaxing! It was so nice to take a break from the mounds of schoolwork I usually have and just enjoy the company of family and friends while eating tons of home cooked meals (my favorite part!).

One of the many perks of Loyola is that they give everyone a full month of break. (Mostly everyone, depending on finals)  I got home December 13th, and a few days later, my siblings and I hosted our first annual Trubiano siblings cookie making party.  We each invited a few friends, and made a ton of cookies for Christmas and Christmas day… although most of them were gone that night.  Here’s a picture of the cookies I was in charge of, before they were decorated.

On Christmas Eve, my family has my moms whole side at our house.  We ate delicious lasagna and exchanged presents.  It was extra exciting this year because it was my cousin’s baby’s first Christmas.  He is the chubbiest, cutest little thing.

On Christmas day, we went to my grandparents house.  My dad has five brothers and sisters, so there was a ton of people packed into the house.  I have so many cousins, and I always love Christmas because I get to hang out with all of them at once! Here is a picture of all of my female cousins besides one.

I spent a lot of time with my high school friends over this break as well.  We had a lot of holiday parties and went to a lot of movies. (I highly recommend Silver Linings Playbook!) Here’s a pic of my six best friends. 

I definitely needed the long Christmas break.  I was great spending time with family and old friends.  It is great to be back in Chicago though, and I am really looking forward to this semester!

Belated Update

Belated Update

Hello blogging world! This is my first blog in the new semester so, although it is a little late, I want to update you about my winter break!

Break was a lovely four weeks in which I slept a lot, ate a lot and hung out with friends. It was awesome.

The one week of break in which I actually did something productive was the week that I went to Arizona with my family. We went for a week after Christmas for no other reason than to experience a little warmer weather and a nice getaway from reality.

We stayed in Scottsdale, which is right by Phoenix. My mom and I took a couple days to go hiking around some of the mountains while my dad and brothers played golf. In the middle of the week we made the four hour trip north to the Grand Canyon and stayed a night up there.

Remember when I said we went to Arizona partly for warmer weather? Well when we woke up at the Grand Canyon it was a balmy 2 degrees! We were chilly to say the least! Nevertheless the Grand Canyon was absolutely beautiful! Because it was so cold we did not hike down into it. Instead we walked around the rim for a few hours. I have never seen anything like it!

We returned to Scottsdale to warmer weather, 50-60 degrees, and spent our last day taking a segway tour of old town Scottsdale. I had never been on a segway so it took me awhile to figure out how to make it move and turn but I soon got the hand of it and it was so fun! Scottsdale has a lot of beautiful artwork and much of the tour was spent going around to different statues that they have.

Unfortunately the vacation had to end at some point and I am back at school and back to reality. Classes are kicking into gear and we are making way into the second week of the semester.