Why I Chose Loyola

Why I Chose Loyola

2014-09-26 19.03.33

To begin, it is important that I tell you this: The first time I ever set foot on Loyola’s campus was on move-in day, exactly one week before classes and the start of a years-long college career. Many may gasp at my apparent lack of self-preservation—others, guffaw such an inexplicable act—wondering how I could have possibly chosen to enroll at a university, in a city I’d never before visited, without having even seen the place. Let me explain.

In late September of my senior year, despite having already decided my own college application shortlist, I registered to attend several College Admissions visitation sessions at my high school; I figured it might be interesting to hear about some schools I had never heard of. At one of these meetings, I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Stephanie Tao, an LUC admissions rep. She had traveled halfway around the world to Asia, specifically for the purpose of visiting American schools abroad like mine. I distinctly remember her praising my “wonderful questions,” which she answered thoughtfully and thoroughly, giving me the impression that she genuinely cared, not only for Loyola Chicago, but for me as a prospective student. This, along with the passion with which she spoke about both the school and the city, made me want to learn more.

Having already completed my college visits trip the previous summer and unable to travel to additional campuses during the school year, I needed to base my judgment heavily on the information found on college websites and social media pages. Of all the many college websites I had to explore, some of which did not function properly, LUC’s was by far one of the most informative and easy to navigate. This process allowed me to discover many facets of Loyola University of Chicago, and I began to find the school more and more attractive.

From the various site pages, I was able to gather that I loved the “vibe of the school”—students here have ambition, they want to get involved in as many activities as possible, and they seemed to get more out of their time here than just an academic education. Loyola also has a great reputation. According to Grub Hub, we are the fourth most polite college in the U.S. I don’t think I have ever experienced so many students opening doors for me on a daily basis. And, walking around the scenic Lake Shore Campus, it doesn’t take long to discover, niceness is contagious!

Nevertheless, we have to be realistic. College comes at a cost. I have to admit that, when it came down to my final two college choices, the offer of a merit scholarship, which ties back to the Jesuit value of believing in free education for all, influenced my decision to choose Loyola Chicago. Another significant consideration was the philosophical basis of the Jesuit curriculum, which encourages, thus provides myriad opportunities for, students to become well-rounded individuals, something I strive to become. This is an educational objective I deeply appreciate. At the recent State of the University Address, I learned that 75 percent of core and introductory courses are taught by full-time faculty, unlike at other large universities, where freshman classes are often taught by teaching assistants who may not be effective educators.

Of course, the cherry on top is Loyola’s amazing location—right by the lake, arguably, the world’s most beautiful lake. During recent midterms, I found comfort in being able to sit by the lake, to de-stress, to clear my mind and to pensively enjoy the iconic campus scenery that trademarks the college I now gladly call ‘home.’

These are some of the many reasons why I chose Loyola.

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