Author: Husna Afzal

Me: 1 Finals: 0

Me: 1 Finals: 0

Oh boy, its that time of year where you encounter moody, agitated, insomniacs preparing for finals week!  After going through my first semester, I realized that it’s better to mentally prepare yourself for what may seem so dreadful. What I did to prepare for finals week is just kept it in the back of my head throughout the semester so that it doesn’t come by surprise. Don’t let this stress you out, but motivate you. I always thought of it in a way to prove to myself that I actually learned useful information and that I will be stress free afterwards, so might as well do well if you’re going to do it. This may be a bit late for finals this semester, but use it as a guide for next semester and reflect to see what you did differently this semester.

Here are some things you can do to prepare:

  1. Find out which days you have which finals, and at what time. This helps you clearly see if you have two finals the same day and how you can equally study for them.
  2. Find out if your final is cumulative or not!!
  3. Whenever you’re in class, make sure to take beneficial notes that can help prepare for finals week. This will help you not only for the next midterm you may have, but it will also help you prepare information for the final.
  4. When you find out if it is cumulative or not, this will give you an idea of how much to study. You might want to add in more study days if it is cumulative. Don’t let that scare you though.
    1. If its cumulative, it’s most likely 1-2 questions per unit — so make sure to get the key point out of each topic.
    2. If its cumulative, its going to be shorter and more spread out, so don’t focus too much on one topic!
    3. More than likely, it will cover 2/3 of the more recent stuff, and 1/3 of the previous stuff! **this may depend on the professor, however.
  5. DO NOT study a couple days before the finals week, or only the week before. That is why I make this post. I know a lot of people that waited until the last minute and did not do so well; staying up until 4 am just a few days before is not going to be beneficial for many people.
  6. Start calculating your grade based on the syllabus, and see what you minimally need to get the grade you want for the class. STRIVE FOR THAT GRADE.
  7. Start AT LEAST 2-3 weeks before and make a schedule. Dedicate a certain amount of hours to each class. Type out/rewrite notes so you can make sense of it again. Form study groups and go over a topic a day.


These are just some things you can do in preparation for finals. Don’t let it scare you, conquer it! Think about it, if you get a head start on it now, you will kill those exams and then have an awesome Summer break back at home (or else where) until next semester, I don’t know about you, but that sounds awesome to me… 🙂

Issa Wrap!

Issa Wrap!

What a semester! Can you believe the 2018-2019 school year is near its end? Its hard for me to imagine that graduation is in a few weeks! For many of you, I’m sure the fall and spring semester were successfully a breeze, and for others, it may have been a tough adjustment from the all the summer fun. Whatever the case is, it is important that we don’t repeat the mistakes made and always leave some room for growth. Whether you had a good semester or bad semester(s), my perspective on it, is that it can always be better and there will always be room for improvement.

A lot of what I struggled with was time management with my classes as a commuter. I had two difficult science classes and I had a hard time equally studying for both, as well as my other core subject areas. I found myself prioritizing one subject over the other, either because of my interest in one subject more than the other, or the difficulty of the subject. I believe I still did well in all classes; however, it could have been better and because of this, I find myself striving to do better this semester. It is important to have this mindset with anything in life because we naturally become used to a daily routine or what we already are “used to” that we barely leave any room for improvement. It can be either really easy, or it can be quite difficult to manage time, but if you force yourself to make a plan, it will definitely be better than “winging it”.

Regardless of what you’re struggling with or looking to improve, make a plan. What I plan on doing this semester is force myself to study within the first 1-3 hours of the classes rather than pushing it off a couple of hours later. If your classes are back to back or you don’t have time right away, at least review before going to bed. I didn’t believe in this at first, but it made memorizing content so much easier and it felt good knowing I actually retained and learned something. You don’t have to do this for too long, but a couple of minutes to an hour is sufficient to excel in a class.

I also struggled with catching up with readings, and tend to put them off last minute. I made sure I did not do that this semester because your upcoming semesters only get more challenging, and the class content/material is a bit more intense, so try to read as much as you can before your next class or after a class, so that you can focus on paying attention during lecture without feeling lost.

Another key thing you should do is get a planner and write out all the exam, quiz, papers, and final exam dates. This is extremely helpful because I found myself managing my time better and knowing when is a good week to go out or plan accordingly. Just looking at a syllabus is not going to help because you have to consider all of your other classes and make sure you are aware of instances where important tasks may overlap on a day. Finals week schedule is also important, making sure which classes have a final exam and when each are, so that you have enough time to study and not cram all the material.

Last but not least, be confident in your abilities! We get so overwhelmed with how much we need to do still or we tend to compare ourselves with others, but that is only a challenge to slow us down in the race. Be confident that you’re going to get an A in that class, don’t settle for a B, because it allows you to push yourself and achieve a lot more than you think you are capable of.

Be happy and always let yourself grow ~

Summer Plans as a Loyola Student

Summer Plans as a Loyola Student

You’ve finally gotten over the crazy midterms, quizzes, endless nights of studying, homework, labs, and soon you will conquer finals week! Even though some of you may be taking classes over the summer, enjoy your summer break! Take the time to acknowledge all of the hard work you have put forth these past semesters and treat yourself. Summer break will officially start May 4th, 2019 and classes will resume August 26th, 2019. Make sure to take advantage of this lengthy break and enjoy it with your friends and family. Get the sleep that you missed out on for the past couple of months, go out and explore, take road trips, go to the LOLLA concert, go to the 4th of July parades, work and make some extra money, try new restaurants, do some fun reading! This is your time to give yourself the well deserved break you needed, and throw the stress out (at least until September…). However, keep in mind, you should probably do some review and look into the classes you will be taking next semester, because the worst thing you can do is forget everything you have learned and have a rough start so early in the semester! Here are some school related things you should do aside from your fun shenanigans:

  1. Add some classes to your cart and register!!! Even if the times don’t seem so great or it’s a professor you don’t want, just register so that you’re in a class! You can always drop this and switch it with another one.
  2. Complete your to-do list on LOCUS! Many people may need to do verification worksheets, immunizations, or residential/commuting sheets, so look into that!
  3. Check for any holds on LOCUS  because trust me, it will be annoying if you put these off to the last minute.
  4. Stalk the registration page at random times! This will allow you to get the best classes at the best times when someone randomly decides to drop or swap.
  6. Start the monthly tuition plan if it’s something that interests you. Some students prefer paying that big chunk of money over the couple of months, so look into the monthly I PLAN so that you can start paying your tuition and relieve the burden that may come later!
  7. Look for research/internship opportunities
  8. Set goals for the upcoming semester – this will reduce anxiety and make it more clear what needs to be accomplished.
  9. Readjust your 4 year plan and make sure it is updated and clear.

There may be a lot of things you need to still look after during your Summer break, but make the most out of it. These are the moments you definitely don’t want to forget!

Adjusting to Loyola as a Commuter

Adjusting to Loyola as a Commuter

Adjusting to the college life was a big challenge for myself. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but what kept me going through the semester was the idea of how I am one step closer to fulfilling my aspirations. Currently, I am a pre-physical therapy student. One of the most difficult things I have encountered at Loyola in my four years is commuting from the northwest side of Chicago everyday. My commute is about an hour and half ONLY one way, so time management was critical for me; however, I didn’t want to have a boring college life– going back and forth to school, doing homework, and repeating the same thing all over again, as it was worse enough that I couldn’t live on campus. In high school, I was greatly involved in extra curricular activities, and I wanted to continue that here at Loyola. Although I do not have as much time as in high school, I promised myself to join at least one group so that I can give myself a break and get a little experience of the fun college life. I did have to sacrifice “sleeping in” by choosing 8:15/8:30 classes almost every single day so that I had enough time to hang out with friends afterwards as well as attending group meetings/activities, keeping in mind that I had to be home at a certain time so that I don’t commute during late or dangerous conditions.  Along with rigorous courses, being a part of Loyola’s Pakistani Students’ Association and Loyola’s Muslim Student Association, meeting new friends, and of course, commuting 1 hour and 30 minutes by Chicago’s lovely public transportation, I wouldn’t want my four year experience here at Loyola to be any different. Although it was quite challenging at first, it made the experience worthwhile and unforgettable. I was able to meet a lot of new people and realize that all this sacrifice and dedication was just an obstacle I had to overcome in order to reach my goals that I know one day my parents and I will be extremely proud of.

FullSizeRender (2)

Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

If you’ve reached that point where “giving up” has been an option (or feel like it is about to be), STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING FOR A SECOND.

College can be pretty stressful, trust me… I am the queen of stress, I totally get it.

Whether you’re a 4.0 student, a 3.0 student or even below that GPA, you are capable of so much and you do INDEED have that strength to overcome the obstacles coming your way. Think about it. Life wouldn’t be as fun or exciting if everyday were the same, boring thing.

I get it. You want to make everyone happy, including yourself. You want to be that balanced student who works hard and maintains good grades. At the same time you want to have fun, play sports/join events, and explore within your Loyola community.

So then do it! It does seem like a lot; however, I’ve come to the realization where, you just need to put the fun and interest in what you’re doing in order to do it. (Yes, even if you don’t like it) If you just sit back and think about what you have to do rather than just doing it, it drags on.

I am a pre health student who commutes, works out, has an on-campus job, and is a member of many organizations at Loyola. I wouldn’t be able to count the number of times I wanted to just give up and take the easy way out… Yet I realized, it wouldn’t be the same if I did that. I wouldn’t encounter all the fun, exciting adventures everyday on my way to and from Loyola. I wouldn’t have made the friends I made, or have the determination to become the one thing I’ve always wanted to become, a doctor.

Now, I’m not trying to make you sit here to tell you about my everyday struggles, but to remind you that if you feel like you’re overwhelmed with everything, just sleep it off and wake up with determination. Put some fun into what you’re doing and just be chill about it. It may be easier said than done, but this is the beginning and you’re capable of much more than an obstacle coming your way.

Relax and enjoy the moments you have now (at least we have summer to look forward to!!)

The struggle is real for all of us, but don’t let the struggle blind you. Your success is out there waiting for you to achieve it.

Remember, fall seven times and stand up eight —


Spring Finals Breakfast

Spring Finals Breakfast

Finals are approaching faster than it may seem, and as nerve wracking that sounds, the bright side is that summer 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 26th!

Remember: Finals Breakfast Spring 2019: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 9:00-10:30PM


Making Use of Time 101

Making Use of Time 101

Sometimes we become so caught up on what we HAVE to do, rather than what we CAN do. Don’t let a list of plans overwhelm you from doing it. I have learned to make use of my time by not overworking myself nor wasting my time. This doesn’t necessarily have to be school related, but in general, we become so stressed over things we have yet to do, and that takes up the time we actually have to do it. What I personally do to overcome this, is make a list of what I need to do for that day. I enjoy waking up early and being productive, because if I don’t, then I just get lazy and watch Netflix. This is okay sometimes, and I’m not encouraging non-morning people to do this too, but find what works for you and what allows you to get the most things checked off your list. Also, when I wake up, my motivation to get up is usually going to get a cup of coffee; sad, but true. Find something that motivates you to get up and running.

You don’t need to get everything done back to back. Take a break in between and get something healthy to eat, hang out with friends, surround yourself with optimism. Set goals for yourself to get certain things done in a day. I have learned to set aside some time for myself, so after classes I go for a 20 minute run just to get my mind off of things and relax. I found myself doing significantly better in classes and relatively much more relaxed and happy.

If you find yourself being “lazy” when you have so much to do, just get it over with so that you can be lazy and not even have to look at a list of “yet to-do’s”. (Its an incredible feeling, trust me.)

These tips may or may not work for you, but find what does. Everyone deserves leisure time, but it comes best knowing you don’t have to look at a list. Don’t stress over the little things, avoid complaining, and just do it.



Family Doesn’t Have to be Far!

Family Doesn’t Have to be Far!

Eventually that point into the semester is coming where you are starting to feel slightly home sick but can’t really go home either because all those first round of exams are here. Did you know the variety of hotels near Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus that your family can lodge at? Definitely check out the variety of selections, especially during Commencement Week, which will take place May 7-10!

Hampton Inn-Chicago North/Loyola Station
1209 W. Albion Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626
Phone: 312.265.5800

*The Hampton Inn is now filled to capacity for Family Weekend, please see below for other hotel options.

Loyola Flats (Loyola’s student run luxury guesthouse)1216 W. Arthur Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626

Hilton Garden Inn

1818 Maple Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201

DoubleTree by Hilton – Skokie

9599 Skokie Blvd
Skokie, IL 60077

There are other options as well that are closer to the Water Tower Campus if you reside there!

140 East Walton Place
Chicago, IL 60611

The Talbott Hotel – Corporate Code 3224
20 East Delaware Place
Chicago, IL 60611

Residence Inn Marriot
201 E Walton
Chicago, IL 60611

Other options near the Loyola Campus area are:

Loyola’s Baumhart Hall Lodging
26 E. Pearson St.
Chicago, IL 60611

Lang House Bed & Breakfast (formerly Cat’s Cradle B&B)
7421 North Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60626

Millennium Knickerbocker
163 East Walton Place
Chicago, IL 60611

The Hilton Orrington / Evanston
1710 Orrington Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201

So no need to fear or have your parents awkwardly squished into your dorm with your roommates, Loyola has a variety of hotel options that are fairly distant and will make Commencement Week, or any weekend in general, an amazing experience!

Easter Break 2019

Easter Break 2019

Believe it or not, Easter Break is right around the corner! Many of us are probably at that point into the semester where classes may seem a bit overwhelming with exams, projects, quizzes, papers, etc. If there should be anything that keeps you going and gives you the extra push, it is to look forward to this mini break. However, not to kill the excitement, but it is important to consider lots of studying time during this break because following this, is finals week. Yes, the lovely finals week. A lot of students tend to put off the studying until the last week of class (a week before finals week) but, of course, that is not ideal. You should really use this time to plan your schedule for this intense upcoming week and take advantage of the studying time. It may not be the most fun thing during a break, but keep this as a push because it is a few weeks before summer break! I always look forward to this break, because although it is stressful knowing how close final exams are, it reminds me how close summer break is as well and that keeps me going. Because break is only Friday-Monday, its not long enough to do something super eventful, but not short enough to do nothing, so I take advantage of this time to catch up on lectures, notes, and prepare for what exams I have coming up. Take a look at what your grades are looking like, and what you need on these last few assignments to get your desired grade. Try to also catch up on a normal sleep schedule; I’m sure many of us have pulled all-nighters or have had an off schedule, so its possible to get a good 8 hours of sleep and be productive throughout the day with a balance of studying and relaxing! Make sure to also eat well, because unfortunately, we need to prepare our bodies for what will come forth during finals week. I know this all sounds like obvious things to do, but many of us ignore important tasks like so, and it becomes risky during finals week.

This year’s Easter Break will take place April 19-April 22, 2019.

**Note: Classes after 4:15 on Thursday are CANCELLED.

Also, not many Universities have an Easter Break, so proudly embrace it and plan accordingly, where you can be productive and give yourself some free time!

Exercise Science Labs?

Exercise Science Labs?

Did you know Loyola has an Exercise Science lab? Not many people do, but it has been a great addition to Loyola’s BVM 11th floor! The facility features an instructional classroom for Exercise Science students and an advanced lab for measuring performance in fitness. Loyola athletes will exercise on ordinary gym equipment — just as if they were in Halas — but will be hooked up to machines for the purpose of researching the body’s reaction to athletic activity.

“It allows students to take what they learned in the classroom and use it in a hands-on approach,” said Stephanie Wilson, director of Loyola’s exercise science program. “We used to perform our labs at Norville, and we had to work around the athletes’ schedules. This gives our students their own space to go forward.”

The facility’s equipment includes a metabolic cart that evaluates an individual’s response to various forms of exercise. The cart is specially made to measure athletes’ oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production and energy expenditure during both exercise and resting periods. The cart helps researchers evaluate a subject’s performance as well as testing stress levels.

Exercise bikes and treadmills can also be found in the lab. This equipment, like the metabolic cart, has the ability to further analyze the human body’s reaction to strenuous activity.

Students in classes that take place in the lab will observe data recorded on the metabolic cart as athletes exercise, according to Wilson.

“We have over 100 students [in the program], so it was definitely time for us to have our own lab for exercise science,” Wilson said.

Loyola pre-med or nursing students, may seek permission to use the lab, or take courses that give them access. Many find the opportunities presented by the lab fascinating. The exercise lab is open five days a week and is accessible to all Loyola students who have declared Exercise Science as their major or minor or are taking classes in exercise science.