Month: December 2016

Let’s Take This Moment to Reflect

Let’s Take This Moment to Reflect

Sophomore year, the halfway point of college. After the first semester, I have had so many fun, moving, and meaningful experiences that I will cherish. From Peer Advising, to being a Kuya in Kapwa, to studying abroad in the summer; when my parents told me that college was the peak of their educational career, they were right.

Peer Advising:

During my first year at Loyola, UNIV 101, and most especially my peer advisor, made my first semester of college. My PA was friendly, encouraging, and became a close friend of mine! She gave me tips and techniques on how to be a successful student and a more intentional person. When applying to be a Peer Advisor, both her and my Academic Advisor were so helpful in the application process and it is because of their help and inspiration that I got the position. Being a Peer Advisor was both a lot of work but truly meaningful throughout. I have learned to be an active listener, a person of empathy, and the importance of being genuine. Being paired up with such an amazing advisor enhanced my experience as I learned to become of a leadership position in the classroom. Even adjusting the new curriculum was a challenge for me. However, I embraced the challenge and made it my mission to facilitate teaching my students on justice, acceptance, and diversity. My biggest take away however is how the PA staff and the advising staff are all in to help each other, even through difficult times. My staff was especially helpful and understanding when I had a medical emergency. We were there for each other in both times of joy and sadness, by being a shoulder and an embrace for others.

KAPWA (Loyola’s Filipino Student Organization): 

I identify as a Spanish-Filipino, and I am a minority in my hometown and my high school. After being admitted to Loyola, I knew I wanted to be part of KAPWA, Loyola’s Filipino Student Organization. With a combination of culture, dance, social justice, community, and most importantly, food; I was instantly drawn to the group! During my freshman year, I had three Ates (older ‘sister’ mentors) and two other bunsos (younger, first year students like myself). We all bonded very quickly and have been close ever since. During my sophomore year, I became a Kuya (an older ‘brother’ mentor) with a fellow Ate and had two wonderful bunsos. Both of them are super friendly and have been loving Loyola! We all enjoy spending quality time with each other and have a mutual interest with, you guessed it, food!

Study Abroad:

This summer, I have been given the opportunity to study abroad in Santiago, Chile for a Digital Storytelling Course through Loyola’s School of Communications. From May 12-29th, I will be creating a Video Documentary on an aspect of Chilean culture. From exploring the city’s museums and churches to biking around Santiago; I cannot wait for the experience. But the highlight of the trip, exploring and trying Chilean cuisine.

That’s a Wrap!

That’s a Wrap!

The semester is finally almost to an end, and with finals in full swing, I think it’s a good time to do some reflection on how this past semester has been.

As a freshman last year there was a lot for me to take in. Between no longer living at home, to living in the city of Chicago, to adjusting to college courses, I never really found the time to become an active member on campus. This year however, I was able to really take the time and get involved, and I don’t see it slowing down any next semester.

From working here and operating various social media accounts like Instagram and Twitter, to giving tours to prospective students, to working at WLUW LUC’s radio station, and deciding next semester to work for Diminuendo, I’ve been able to really see what it means to be a Rambler. I was able to learn how there are so many communities that help our students feel welcome here, and all we have to do is reach out and give it a shot. And despite knowing about how much the word ‘Community’ meant to Loyolans last semester, I was able to take solace in a number of these communities, outside of my friend group. And to any incoming freshman or freshman who haven’t found themselves a community yet, it’s entirely possible to find one that works best for you, with likeminded people being abound, whether that’s a fraternity/sorority, one of the many clubs and organizations, or even working at the Radio Station with your’s truly.

This past semester I was also finally able to take classes geared towards my major as well as 200 and 300-level courses, which was able to really give me a taste of how brilliant our professors. To be able to go into my professor’s office hour’s and just get to know them better has by far been one of the best decisions I’ve been able to make this year. Each and every one of them comes from such a brilliant background, spending years in their field of study, and each one of them really does want to see each of their students successful, if they can do anything to help them grow and develop.

It’s been amazing to be at a University that I feel at home at, and I truly hope that all of you have the ability to do the same. I can’t wait for the experiences to come

Happy Holidays to everyone, and good luck on the rest of finals, Ramblers!!!

Fall Semester Final’s Breakfast

Fall Semester Final’s Breakfast



Finals are approaching faster than it may seem, and as nerve wracking that sounds, the bright side is that winter break is almost here! You should be preparing for finals because you’re going to have a lot of reviewing to do, depending on how many exams you have, whether they’re cumulative or not, and the level of easiness or difficulty of the content.

You should also know when your finals are scheduled, and if you don’t, here is the link:

NOTE: Make sure this matches up to your syllabus, and if it does not, bring this up to your professor.

Now enough of the scary stuff, FINALS BREAKFAST IS ALMOST HERE.

Finals breakfast takes place at the end of each semester, the Tuesday of every finals week! The fun part of it is that its at 9PM instead of the morning, so take a break from the stress and get together with friends. Take advantage of the free food, after all, food makes everyone happy.

I wish everyone the best of luck on finals! Do the best you can, make sure you have tons of caffeine, and be optimistic. You won’t have to deal with this again until August 29th!

Remember: Finals Breakfast Fall 2016: Tuesday December 13th, 2016 9PM-10:30PM in the Gentile Arena!

To those who are considering going to Loyola…

To those who are considering going to Loyola…




(directed toward high school students)


I know that the word “college” may bring a whole bunch of words to mind- independence, adulthood, dorming, friends, hard classes, doctors and professors, and so much more. This list is endless. As a whole, I have talked to many students who appeared to be overwhelmed with the idea of college and/or have built this grand (intimidating) story of what college is like (based off of movies or stories).


College, in my view, is simply another step forward in life, just like moving up from elementary school to high school. Although we all have been under the impression of college being this huge, serious aspect, we have to acknowledge that it should not scare us nor drown us into anxiety and fear. 


I remember when I was in high school, I had a constant mentality of getting good grades solely for the sake of getting into a good college. Since I wanted to go into healthcare, I started volunteering at the hospital every time I had days off of school, or even half days off. I prepared for college from the very start of high school. Thus, I missed out on a lot of things I could have enjoyed as a high school student. I missed out on having those memories I will never be able to take back and relive again. Not to say that I did not have a good time in high school, but I know I could have been happier if I lived my life as a high school student, not pre-college student.


Advice to you: Create those memories and enjoy your time in high school. If you do well in school, your grades will naturally reflect that and applying to colleges and universities will be bearable to do. You only have 4 years to enjoy your time in high school, filled with dances and proms, other school events, and more; cherish those moments because there is no such thing as college prom.


This varies for everyone, but I am generally a good writer (or I hope it comes off that way). Over the summers, I took the time to write short essays I knew college essays would typically ask such as “Why do you want to attend XYZ school?”, “What is something you want us to know about you”, or “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” I did a lot of essay writing and had more than enough time to go back, fix grammatical errors, and really put effort into my writing. When it came to application times, all I simply had to do was copy and paste my pre-written response into the application itself. This made the application forms less stressful because I planned ahead. Also, because I made sure my responses were thoughtfully written, I was more confident when I submitted the application. All in all, it’s best not to procrastinate; do the essays now if you can.



Advice to you: Although you should leave time to enjoy yourselves in high school, you can at least leave 10-15 minutes to reflect on questions and have some sort of idea on what to write about. If you are not a good writer, but have good speaking abilities, record yourself talk or talk to someone about it. If you can explicitly record your answers. If you can transcribe that and formulate your words formally to create good essays, you should be all set.

When you look at an application, now you’ve already done the long, strenuous essay writing portion done, so now the application does not look like this anymore:


Again, college is simply your upgraded version of high school. Think of it as this way if this helps lessen the anxiety on your shoulders. The format of education does not change- you still have a teacher, you have a desk and chair, you have textbooks, and you do the homework or assignments. College, in that sense, should help you mentally transition into college more seamlessly.


But keep this in mind: Be happy. Don’t get caught up in anxiety over things like college admittance. Things will work in your favor when you put in effort and have the mindset to be something more. Although education is an essential part of your life, it is only a snippet of what makes up your life. You have family. You have your health. You have other things that may be just as important to be aware of. Enjoy every part of life and take things day by day. Like I said, things will naturally fall into your hands when you put in the time and effort.


Don’t worry. Everything will be okay.






Loyola’s one and only Literary & Arts magazine, Diminuendo & Cadence recently released their first issue for this school year, featuring photography, poems, short stories, and visual art from Loyola talent. Being around since 1952, this quarterly magazine has been a great outlet for Loyola students to detail emotions, that transcend just being a college student.

A couple weeks ago I was invited to their release party held in Piper Hall, chock full of readings and performances from students and professors alike. The experience was very inclusive and supportive, with attentive eyes and ears the entire time. To be a part of that experience, I was welcome to see the family-like environment, with how professional with everyone who attended. I personally believe that that professional, inclusive environment resonates with the pieces featured within the magazine itself, with almost every piece having some sort of sentiment attached to the author of the piece.

Entirely student run, the staff is a inclusive group of people, always welcoming more members to help in ever facet of the magazine, from PR, to formatting, to editing and proofreading.

If you’re a talented student and want your artistic masterpieces to be potentially featured in the following release of Diminuendo, all submissions are welcome at

If you’re interested in picking up the most recent copy, there are racks in the Damen Student Center, by the Damen Help Desk, as well as the Connections Cafe in between the IC and Cudahy Library.


Exploring Chicago: “I Am Booked”

Exploring Chicago: “I Am Booked”

As I mentioned in a previous post, Chicago is a diverse city, full of unique neighborhoods. Each, has its own culture, identity, and vibe.

Now, imagine this scenario. You are sitting in an antique arm chair with a freshly brewed cup of ground coffee on a side table while you cradle an anthology of the poetry of Jorge Luis Borges in your left hand. The ambiance is relaxed and you can quietly savor the text and the beverage. The following description is how many unique and quaint bookstores around Chicago. While some are more formal bookstores like a Barnes & Noble, others tend to be hole in the wall places that reminds a customer of something similar to a place from the magical world of Harry Potter. Many of these stores tend to be cheaper and a have an array of uncommon texts. To enter one of these bookstores is an experience in itself. From the smell of paperback books to the bookshelves that never seem to end to the sound of rustling paper; your senses are heightened during your visit.

Here are some bookstores that I would recommend near Loyola:

  1. Armadillo’s Pillow: 3 blocks from Loyola’s Campion Hall is Armadillo’s Pillow. While the store serves its primary function to sell books, they also sell little trinkets, small scale art pieces, incense, and sometimes accessory jewelry. Throughout, rocking chairs and comfortable seats are available to those who wish to sit and read a book. Often, music is heard and features either local artists, opera arias, or solely instrumental pieces. Many of the books are reasonably priced with some shelves selling for $1 or a box in the corner for free books. While it is smaller compared to other bookstores on this list, it is still a treasure of Rogers Park. (
  2. Unabridged Bookstore: Found in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood , Unabridged, is personally, my favorite bookstore in the city. Like Armadillo, the prices in the store are very well priced with a bargain section that can easily rival Barnes & Noble. Several times a year, the store hosts various authors to come and talk about their books at either the store or the Music Box Theatre. Last year, I got the opportunity to attend a talk from my favorite author, David Mitchell, on his new text Slade House. He was accompanied by Lana Wachoski, who directed a movie off of one of his books, Cloud Atlas. I greatly enjoyed my experience as I was able to have a quick conversation with the both of them but also got both to sign my books. The store is also renowned for its extensive collection of classics, particularly Penguin Classics. Likewise, the shop feels almost like a maze with its varying collection through each twist and turn, similar to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (
  3. Myopic Books: Found a few blocks off the Blue Line at Damen, in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, this bookstore is unassuming at first glance. Compared to other bookstores, the store is more tall than it is wide. When entering the shelves are overwhelming as they tower over you, as if the Eye of Sauron (Lord of the Rings) was daunting you. With over four levels, the place confuses you on where your adventure should start. Here, the shelves are packed closer together, to the point that one person can walk down the aisle at a time. Even the basement, where one can find biographies and science fiction, is reminiscent of a catacomb or a prison. Regardless, this is a place not worth missing whether you come for the slam poetry or for the beautiful books. (