Month: September 2016

Plan Ahead with J-Term

Plan Ahead with J-Term

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Something quite unique at Loyola is the J-term. What is the J-term? January term is an condensed, intensive, two-week session. Courses are available online, on campus, and abroad to give you a variety of options to make the most out of your winter break. Get ahead and graduate early as J-term is one of the best ways to do so!

 

J-term 2017 begins on Tuesday January 3, 2017 and ends on Friday January 13, 2017. Classes will be held Tuesday January 3 through Saturday, January 7 and Monday, January 9 through Friday, January 13, 2017.

 

Registration opens on Monday, October 17, 2016 and closes Saturday, December 31, 2016. Students can register for a J-term class via LOCUS by selecting J-term 2017 from the term selector menu.

 

**REMEMBER: J-term is not part of the Spring term — Students can ONLY register for a maximum of 3 credit hours for J-term.

 

This is the best way for someone to fit in a tier 1 or tier 2 class! It will definitely pay off in the end and winter can get pretty boring sometimes too, so definitely take this into consideration! Similarly, you can enroll in the summer term and fit in any other additional courses as well.

Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival

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If you are in Chicago, you can definitely feel the change in season right now. Especially around the first and second week of September, the cool breeze swept in and sweaters were brought out to wear. My instincts told me otherwise through seasonal allergies- yes, I am sick.

With the changing of the season, the Asian culture celebrates this transition with a Mid-Autumn Festival, or more commonly for me (since I am Vietnamese), Tet Trung Thu.

This holiday was a fun one especially when I was a kid. At my church, I was given a lantern with colorful pictures with a lit candle and tassel at the bottom. I, among other kids my age, would walk around the parking lot in the evening with our lanterns listening to Tet Trung Thu Ruoc Den Di Choi song blasting on the speakers. After our little march, full-sized moon cakes were distributed to everyone and then we got to play games and earn prizes afterwards. The grown-ups would get cakes too and would socialize with one another. Imagine this memory with the full-moon so big and bright, and you’ve got a classic vision of what my Mid-Autumn festival was like when I was younger.

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In high school and in the beginning of college, I strayed away from those “childish” things because I had other things I could be doing- schoolwork, watching TV, etc. Fortunately, Loyola gave me the opportunity to reach back to my roots and let me re-experience those nostalgic moments.

TOMORROW, September 29, CSA/VSA (Chinese Student Association/ Vietnamese Student Association), will host their annual MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL in Damen MPR North at 7pm.

Here, you will be able to immerse yourself into the Asian culture through learning the history of the mid-autumn festival, playing traditional games, and tasting different yummy food of Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine! As tradition with this holiday, you will be able to try out a moon cake, which is always a favorite and interesting thing to try out among people.

Here’s the promo flyer:

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For a more interesting take on how people celebrate Tet Trung Thu, watch Kyle Le’s video of his time in Vietnam! It’s a really good and NEW video! Instead of individual lanterns that children traditionally walk around with, students are shown with massive, handmade float-like lanterns!

Take a look:

 

Loans and Scholarships

Loans and Scholarships

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I know that Halloween is a month away, and I don’t mean to scare anyone just yet about the topic of “loans.” When I first started hearing that word and understanding what it was, I got a negative impression out of it, especially when people emphasized that they still owe money after years and years. For my first two years of college, I had that mindset and I did not borrow any money. However, this year is my first year taking out loans and I can finally say that loans aren’t that bad (or even scary).

The unsubsidized loan is a wonderful thing because it is a loan that does not acquire interest as long as you stay in school. This means that you owe money that you know you need to pay off; there is no surprise in this loan. This loan also works in your favor because it is based off of your income taxes as well- it isn’t the same reward amount for everyone. This means that the rewarded amount should have some representation of your (or your family’s) earnings.

The subsidized loans are different in that in addition to the amount of money borrowed, there is interest included and factored in.

In my opinion, thus unsubsidized loan is worth taking out because it will allow you to be more responsible and pay off the money yourself, as opposed to using your parent’s money to pay off tuition and other fees. Also, you know in the future, you will have a job and save money, so there’s certainty that you will be able to pay the loan off eventually to its entirety.

Scholarships!

In my experience, I haven’t be so successful in receiving scholarships through external sources because they are based off of specificity or given out randomly (like Scholarship Points). The chances/likelihood of getting a scholarship are not high. However, internal  scholarships within your [high] school or through Loyola are much more likely. These scholarships range from academic standing to whether or not you attended Catholic school.

Here’s a link to the LUC info on these scholarships:

http://www.luc.edu/finaid/scholarships/undergraduate/

All in all, I wouldn’t worry so much on taking out loans and I would encourage you to be on the lookout for scholarships you think you can do/apply for. Remember, it doesn’t hurt to apply for them! It can only work in your favor.

To Job or Not To Job

To Job or Not To Job

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Loyola can sometimes seem to have a reputation as being a posh private university, and while it’s true, we are a private university, not all of us have super “posh” backgrounds. Finances are a real issue that most Loyola students deal with everyday whether they talk about it or not. So when is the right time to get a job? Where do you get a job? And most importantly, how do you get a job?

The perfect job is different for everyone. Some students can cope with a part time retail job downtown in addition to class, other’s find it easier to snag an on campus job. Your first stop no matter what should be Ramblerlink, this Loyola run online job source is a great way to connect with jobs and internships that work for you. All you have to do is log in with your Loyola ID, answer a few questions, upload a resume and you have access! On campus jobs are all on Ramblerlink and are a great way to stay close to home, meet other ramblers, and make a few extra bucks. Jobs on campus include, working as a desk receptionist, working at the IC desk, or the desk in Halas, and much much more. You can also visit Loyola job fairs, check out the events calendar and find out when the next one is too start your journey!

So maybe you’re a freshman and you haven’t got a great resume (or any resume at all) yet. Don’t worry, we have resources for that too! If you don’t know exactly where to begin when it comes to resume writing, stop by the career center, click here to find out more!

“But I don’t want an on campus job or an internship, I want to work at Topshop or Victoria Secret!” Don’t worry, I have advice for you too! There are tons of students at Loyola who have off campus jobs in retail or as hosts/hostesses or waiters around the city! When it comes to finding these jobs you’re going to have to do a little more work on your own. Take a trip to the career center to get your resume in order and then hit the web. Your one stop shop for jobs is going to be online. Check out the website of a store or restaurant you want to work at and scroll down to the bottom of the homepage, there’s usually a link titled ‘careers’ that will take you to their hiring site. In my experience, you don’t hear back from a lot of the places you apply, but sometimes you get lucky. Applying to stores in particular is a waiting game, so make sure your resume is killer, even if you don’t have any experience.

Juggling school and work is hard, finding someone older who has experience with it is a great way to decide if you can do it too! Make sure you don’t overbook yourself, even if it seems doable in theory sometimes work and school can be too much to handle. Keep an open mind and an open schedule and see where things go! Happy job searching!

Calling All Commuters!

Calling All Commuters!

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Commuter life is a world of its own. If there’s one major difference between Loyola students, it’s if you are a commuter or you dorm on-campus; our [commuter] lives are quite unique and different.

 

Unlike the dorming student, we travel, sometimes from afar, every single day via different methods of transportation. Train, bus, car (or even Uber), bike, on foot, or teleportation- we have some idea of how to get around from place to place. We have to make the daily commitments of being on time (finding out when the train will arrive at the station, running after a bus, or factoring rush hour and traffic times, etc). Timing becomes more crucial during the winter because Mother Nature loves to surprise Chicago with unexpected snow blizzards and below zero weather. As a native Chicagoan, I know to have my supplies ready- umbrella (A MUST), an extra sweater, a sled, some reigns, and a pack of sled dogs.

For us commuters, please consider us warriors. (That will give us motivation for this upcoming winter)

 

Timing is one thing, but having the motivation and mindset is another. Commuters have to be determined to wake up earlier than the dorming student, know his/her responsibilities that need to be done at home for the family, and have enough energy to get through the day (factoring classes, school work, and the commute home). The dorming student may have similar responsibilities, but they can be considered more independent because they are not living under a family roof and since they live on campus, can do much more with friends 24/7.

 

The one thing (in my case) that I think commuters especially appreciate and love is……the UPass. Whereas people in general have to pay a fee every time they use the CTA, we have this lovely card which allows us to use the CTA as much as we want, whenever we want, using any form of CTA public transportation. This card allowed me to explore much more of Chicago during my free time and has allowed me to cut costs on commuting.  Prospective freshman…you will understand what I mean! 🙂

 

Here at Loyola, we have the Off-Campus Student Life group (which I am a part of). Our motto is that we are “Commuter Proud.” Yes, we are proud. We are warriors, aren’t we? We are more than your average dorming student because not only do we engage in student activities and go to classes, but we actually experience Chicago in a much more raw and realistic way. Us commuters, though we tackle many obstacles, we still are proud of who we are and our accomplishments.

 

Go Green! Ramblers Are On The Top!

Go Green! Ramblers Are On The Top!

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Loyola University Chicago has been named the greenest colleges in America by the Sierra Club! How exciting that this is the second time in three years!

The rankings were released last week stating that Loyola is number 7 out of over 200 participating schools. As you may know, our dorms are equipped with low-flow shower heads, energy efficient lights, and dual flush toilets which make an incredible difference just right there! In addition to this, the cafeterias consist of tray-less dining (thus reducing food waste by 25%), napkins are made from recycled paper, the oil from the fryer gets converted into bio diesel, and the meat itself is organic, therefore all of these go green methods have lowered the buildings’ energy consumption by more than 3% a year!

Loyola is the only university in Illinois in the Top 30 in rankings and the only Chicago school to crack the Top 90. In 2014, Loyola was also ranked number 4! There is just so much to mention about our incredible school.

Though this is current, Loyola is committed to sustainability and extends beyond the buildings. It is woven into the University’s culture and is a key part of “Plan 2020: Building a More Just, Humane, and Sustainable World,”

 

Feel free to mention this to your friends and family, this is something we should definitely be proud of and encourage all of us to always go green!

Baby I’m Back!

Baby I’m Back!

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This time last year I was scared and truthfully pretty unsure about whether I had made the right decision in coming to Loyola. A year later I’m sitting here writing to you and loving my life. It’s crazy how different things are already as a sophomore, I couldn’t wait to come back this year and I wasn’t stressed about if my dorm would look like it came off Pinterest. A whole year away from home gave me a confidence that I never dreamed I would have, and a group of friends and sisters I wouldn’t trade for the world. Over the past year I changed my major, made new friends, lost new friends, lost a roommate, and joined a sorority. Freshman year your life is put on fast forward, and even though there were moments last year that tested my character and my ambition, I am so glad that it all happened.

This year I’m excited to be an initiated member of Chi Omega and have a better idea of what I want to do with my life. Last year, I decided that the business school wasn’t what I wanted to to be, so here I am switching to the School of Communication!

My advice for freshman would be to take a deep breath and chill out. Stop stressing about making friends and sitting alone in the dining hall. It’ll happen, you’ll find your people with time, and sitting alone in the dining hall means you can watch Netflix. Half way through first semester last year, I thought I would transfer out for sure. It only took one good friend to convince me otherwise. I remember the moment when I realized that there were people here who wanted me around, and that was the best feeling in the world. Even if it was only a handful of people, it was a handful of people who were my friends. So if you’re a freshman don’t stress out, and don’t think that if you don’t have a best friend by week two that it’s the end of the world. You will find your place and when you do it will be awesome!

I’ve hit the ground running this year and I’m so glad that I stuck with my gut and stayed at Loyola. I can’t wait to see what sophomore year has in store for me! Stay tuned, I’ll be back and blogging every week!

-Meredith

Revisiting Summer

Revisiting Summer

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After [spring] finals week, I always fathom about what kind of summer I am going to have, what am I going to do, am I going to be productive…the list is endless. As a native Chicagoan, you would think that I would roam the streets of the Magnificent Mile or take a typical touristy picture next to the Bean (no, it is not called the Cloud Gate…).  If not, you may think my family would plan a summer road trip to the Dakotas or fly to another country to enjoy a relaxing week, holding coconuts with little umbrellas and colored straws watching a majestic dolphin leap in the ocean sunset.

Nah. Nope.

The first half of my summer was spent at Loyola taking a Genetics course and chemistry research. It is quite nice to take a course over the summer for some reasons. Firstly, you can focus on just that one class and dedicate more study time for quizzes and exams. Secondly (speaking as an introvert), campus isn’t flooded with people walking around and it is generally more quiet and peaceful outside. However, since I am taking a summer course (and class only meets for a total of 18 days over a stretch of 6 weeks), course material is crammed and the content is heavy-filled. Especially for science courses, it is crucial to be on-top of everything because if you don’t, it will be a struggle to catch up.

On toward the more exciting parts of my summer! I’ll focus on 3 main events to keep things simple and easy.

Music. If you do not know by now, music is what I live on. I recently joined my church’s Saturday choir, Seraphim, as a musician (not as a singer because my voice is not that angelic). For a couple of masses, I played the piano, but primarily I play the cello. I’m a mere novice at this giant violin, but I’m not giving up. The sounds that get produced and beauty of the instrument itself is enough to keep me motivated and satisfied to keep playing on. In addition to choir, I still attend Old Town School of Folk Music for cello classes. In July, our class had our biannual recital which included pieces from J.S. Bach, Bartok, and Suzuki followed by ensembles and other classy arrangements. Also, in the span of the three-month long break, I was able to play cello for 5 weddings too. I always wanted to do something like this and now, I got the opportunity to do so with talented musicians and vocalists.

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Marian Days. As I do every year (for the past 5 years), I go to Carthage, Missouri to attend an unforgettable and exciting religious event. This year’s theme is: Jubilee of Mercy, which coincides with what this year is called, declared by the pope.  If you want to know more about the logistics of Marian Days, here’s the link: http://blogs.luc.edu/uao/2015/10/15/40-years-of-tribulation-grace/

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Here I was able to participate in many things such as during mass and at a restaurant booth, and more importantly, meet up with some good friends, who live insanely far from Chicago. Regardless, Marian Days continually grows in attendance and I hope to participate more in that event in the near future (goal- play my giant violin in the orchestra during the evening mass).

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Fishing. Immediate downside is waking up early, but still, it is amazing to be up to fish and watch the sun rise over the Chicago skyline. Almost every Saturday was spent doing this. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be in a great city and be able to experience and see so much, Little things like fishing really do get taken for granted. It doesn’t matter that you do something grand to be considered worth talking about or bringing up.

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Unfortunately, summer doesn’t last forever and obviously, I’m back in school again. Junior year! (Isn’t it scary how time flies?) Throughout the year, I hope to add some more input on topics such as commuting and off-campus life in addition to anything religious related and cultural. This year, I hope to write better material and write more colloquially (to make things much more comfortable and enjoyable to read).

Anyways, I’m always here if you have any questions or simply want to get to know me better. I am friendly and am willing to help you get more acquainted with Loyola University!

Again, welcome (back) to my blog!