Author: Natalie Pantelis

Hello! I’m Natalie Pantelis, and I’m a freshman here at Loyola. I am currently undecided on a major, but am considering Anthropology. Some of my hobbies include singing, writing, watching films, listening to music, and attending Zumba classes at Halas. I am a member of Loyola’s Women’s Chorus and plan to be involved with the theatre program. Hope you enjoy the blog!
Farewell Loyola-Until Next Fall!

Farewell Loyola-Until Next Fall!

Can you believe it, Ramblers? This is my last post of the year! I certainly can’t believe it! I am definitely going to miss blogging for everyone and sharing my experiences throughout my first year at Loyola with all of you!

Our things are all packed and are being loaded up into cars, vans, planes and who knows what else! We are nearing the end of finals week and getting closer and closer to summer every day! My roommate and I have already moved almost everything out of our dorm, and I only have one final left! I will be out of here by 4:30 P.M. tomorrow for the entire summer! It’s a bittersweet feeling. I will be glad to have a break from schoolwork, but I am going to miss Loyola so much during the summer. I will miss the beautiful campus, stunning city of Chicago, all of my friends, and just college life in general! I already can’t wait to move in again in the fall and I haven’t even left yet!

My first year here at Loyola has been filled with many fantastic firsts. I’ve made so many new friends, learned how to live (sort of) on my own, passed all of my classes with good grades, made the Dean’s list, made good connections with professors, and have found the path I’d like to take in life! I couldn’t have done any of these things with out the support Loyola offers me with wonderful professors, counselors, and my amazing adviser.

As freshman year comes to a close, I look back with wonderful memories and look forward ready to plunge headfirst into my next three years here at Loyola! With that, I wish you all good luck for the future; especially those of you who have decided to make Loyola your home! For current students, good luck on finishing up your finals and moving out! And to all, have a fabulous summer and enjoy yourselves. See you next fall! ☺

Moving Out!

Moving Out!

Move out day is almost upon us current students! I cannot believe how fast this year flew by! It feels like just yesterday I was moving everything into my dorm and now I’m moving it all out! In this post, I’ll discuss some ways to make move out day go smoothly and some tips for checking out!

The first thing students must do in the move-out checklist is to make an appointment to have an RA check you out of your room for good! These appointments can be any day of this week-finals week-and are in 20-minute time slots (but hardly take that long). Students must have everything out of their room by their checkout time, and must be ready to have an RA check the room. At the end of the appointment, the student will give their RA their key and no longer have access to their room. They are done for the summer!

Move out day will probably be chaotic, regardless of what day you are moving out. The craziest move out day this year will be this upcoming Saturday, which is when the majority of students are moving out. I live in Mertz, which has 19 floors, about 650 freshmen, and only three elevators. It’s going to be absolutely crazy! One way to avoid the chaos is to move out a lot of your stuff prior to your actual move out date-if you live close enough to campus. My roommate, for example, went home last weekend and took almost everything home already! My room is practically empty except for my stuff (which I can’t do anything about because I live out of state). Moving stuff out early will ease in your own personal move out process, and open up any elevators you may need for the other hundreds of people moving out at the same time! (Not all buildings have elevators, so every situation could be different!)

All in all, move out on Saturday and Sunday will probably be a little chaotic. By moving some stuff out ahead of time, you will help yourself avoid a little chaos and have an easier transition! Also, checkout appointments are important! Make sure everything is gone by the time the RA comes, or there could be consequences. With these helpful tips in mind, move out should be a breeze! Good luck, Rambl

The Heartland Café

The Heartland Café

For all of you organic lovers out there, I found the perfect little place for you! The Heartland Café is a small café off of the Morse stop (just one stop north on the red line from Loyola) that specializes in all-organic and locally grown foods! I have a friend who is a health nut and vegetarian, so we decided to check it out one night for dinner! In this post, I’ll tell you a little bit about this unique place.

The outside of this little café matches the rustic feel of the inside. The building is old, probably from the early 1900’s, and is decorated to establish some of the history into the modern business! Upon sitting down, we were handed a unique menu that offered many different types of foods, such as gourmet sandwiches, entrees, salads, and sides—all organic! One of my friends and I decided to try the buttermilk chicken with vegetables and veggie mash (mashed potatoes with vegetables in them!) It was absolutely delicious. My other friend ordered the vegetable gratin, which seemed to be a mixture of vegetables all together on top of potatoes of some sort! I didn’t try any of it, but it looked and smelled delicious! We also ordered pink lemonade, and were pleasantly surprised to find that it was also organic. The lemonade tasted extremely fresh, and was nothing like the bottled sugary pink lemonade we were used to! We also decided to try dessert. We all ordered our own slice of vegan chocolate cake, and it was so amazing! At first I wasn’t sure what to expect of it, because how can you make a cake with no eggs or milk, right? Also, the cake seemed hard until you actually bite into it and find it to be extremely soft! Needless to say, I was skeptical at first but found that I loved the vegan chocolate cake! It’s definitely a must try.

Once we were full, we decided to take a look around the shop part of the café. Here, there were many different organic items available for purchase ranging from foods to household items and cleaning supplies. It was really cool to see all of the items that I normally buy regular in vegan form. I know it’s healthier, but sometimes more expensive. However, I’d love to give some of that stuff a try sometime!

All in all, if you are ever in the mood for some delicious food, I definitely recommend The Heartland Café. For vegans and non-vegans alike, the food is delicious, the people are kind, and the atmosphere is great! Pop in and order some delicious healthy food sometime!

Lyric Opera’s Carousel

Lyric Opera’s Carousel

This past Friday night, I had the wonderful opportunity of seeing the Lyric Opera’s production of Carousel—for free! In this post, I’m going to tell you all about this stunning performance and how I scored free tickets—and how you can too! (Or at least discounted tickets).

Last week, I saw a contest through a company I follow on Twitter called Choose Chicago. The contest was to win two free tickets to see Carousel on April 16th, 17th, or 18th! All we had to do was tweet in saying why we would like to see the show, and a winner would be selected from the pool of entries! Me being a musical theatre buff entered why I wanted to see this amazing production (the sets, music, stars) and was selected as the winner! I usually do not win things, so this was extremely exciting for me! My roommate and I decided upon attending the performance on Friday night, April 17th.

Let me tell you a little about the show. Carousel is the composing duo Rogers and Hammerstein’s second musical, written and premiering on Broadway in 1945. The show is about a misguided love story between a young carnival goer and a carousel barker. The whole entire production was absolutely stunning. The sets were huge and breathtakingly beautiful, the songs were so catchy and sung well, and the dancing was mesmerizing. The storyline was wonderfully written and portrayed, and had many hilarious moments! I found myself laughing and crying within the course of two hours! Quite possibly the most amazing thing about this show, however, is that the two stars are Broadway and television famous! The leading man was Steven Pasquale, who has appeared in some movies but is most recently popular for starring in The Bridges of Madison County on Broadway and guest starring in CBS’s The Good Wife. The leading lady was Laura Osnes, who has multiple Broadway credits including Cinderella in Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Sandy in Grease, Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde, Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes, and much more! They were both absolutely stunning to see live, and I am still in awe of Steven Pasquale’s singing of “Soliloquy”.

After the show, my roommate and I waited at the stage door to meet the actors! I got awkward selfies with both leads, and also had them sign my show program. They were both really kind, and although they were swamped, made time to say hi to as many of us as they could! I’m so honored to have met such talented people!

If you have an interest in seeing this production of Carousel at the Lyric Opera Chicago, there are many ways to get discounted tickets before the show closes on May 3rd! They are offering a discount for Earth Day until the 28th, where tickets are $39 with the promo code “EARTH”. There is also a student rush tomorrow, Thursday April 23rd, where college students can get tickets for only $20 at They also offer 50% off rush tickets two hours before curtain with the promo code “RUSH50”. They also have a contest going where anyone who takes a picture with an advertisement for Carousel and posts it on twitter to the Lyric Opera page can win free tickets! You have until Friday at noon to enter using the hashtag #CSLAroundTown.

So, as you can see, there are many opportunities for you to see this amazing production for a cheap price! It truly was an amazing show, and I’d recommend it to anyone! Go see it before it heads to Broadway! ☺

Places On And Around Campus To Enjoy The Weather

Places On And Around Campus To Enjoy The Weather

With the weather finally warming up, many students are taking their studies outside to enjoy it! In this post, I will be discussing all of the places on campus best for enjoying the nice warm weather, whether it be for studying or just relaxing and having fun!

First, the most obvious place on campus to enjoy the nice weather would be one of the two quads! These green spaces are wonderful for studying, relaxing, playing games, tossing Frisbees, or maybe having a picnic! There is plenty of space on each quad for many people to stay comfortably. I passed by the east quad earlier and saw a lot of students taking advantage of this wonderful outdoor study/recreation area that Loyola offers to us!

Another great place to study or hang out outdoors is by the IC right next to the lake. Here, students can sit outside along the ledge overlooking the lake and study or relax for a bit! It is the perfect quiet and serene location for hard studying, without having to be cramped up indoors on a nice day!

If you’re looking to get off campus to enjoy the nice weather, I’d recommend checking out the beach area near Loyola! The sand is nice, and in the summertime the lake is warm and swimmable! The beach area is perfect for sitting in the sun, having a picnic, or going for a nice walk. If you walk down to the left while on the beach, you can reach the pier! The pier offers wonderful views of Loyola’s Lake Shore campus as well as the skyline of Chicago! The pier is definitely one of my favorite locations near Loyola, and I love going there to enjoy the nice weather!

Further on passed the pier is a little grassy area/park! Here people can jog, walk, ride bikes, hang out, picnic, pet dogs, and much more! I visited this area for the first time yesterday (my first time venturing passed the pier!) It was really nice!

Ultimately, there are wonderful places on and around campus perfect for enjoying the nice spring weather we’ve been having! So next time you have to study for a big test but it’s beautiful outside, try taking your studies out with you! You can take advantage of the lovely study/recreation spaces while following up on your studies and enjoying the weather!

Fun End-Of-The-Year Activities

Fun End-Of-The-Year Activities

With the end of the year in sight, Loyola has planned many fun and exciting events for current students to participate in within these last few weeks! In this post, I will be talking about all of the events students can take advantage of to add a little fun to the end of the year stress!

One of the biggest events happening on campus within these next few weeks is ((dop))’s hosting of keynote speaker Laverne Cox from Orange Is The New Black to give a speech here on campus! The event is free to students with a student ID, and will be taking place April 23rd at 6P.M. in the Mundelein Auditorium! I believe this will be a huge event, and will be widely popular among the student population! Many students love the show, and she is an LGBT advocate so I presume her speech will be worth hearing! I personally got a ticket and am excited for this event!

Also on the 23rd, a Water Tower Block Party will be held on Loyola’s Water Tower Campus! This event happens twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. It will be from 11 A.M. to 2 P.M. The event shuts down four city streets, and will include exciting things such as food, a live band, sunshine raffle, Henna, Caricatures, Photobooth, and much more! I personally have never been to this event before, but am excited to go this time!

Lastly, there is the Damen Ball that is held at the Museum of Science and Industry! This is mainly an event for seniors, as a last farewell from Loyola! There will be food, dancing, mingling, and some exhibits open! I think this sounds like a really fun evening, especially for graduating seniors! I can’t wait to go someday!

So, to get through the stress of finals and move-out, take advantage of some of these fun activities! It will make the end of the year that much more worthwhile, and it will be tons of fun!

Staying Motivated–The End Is Near!

Staying Motivated–The End Is Near!

Hey Ramblers, summer is almost upon us current students! Only two more weeks of class and then finals! Need some inspiration to finish the year off strong? Look no further! In this post, I’ll be discussing how to stay motivated during these last few weeks and how to power through finals with straight A’s! (Hopefully!)

The last few weeks of the school year are always tough, especially when the weather begins to be nice. I’ve always been able to get through them by just remembering that the end is near, and that it is important for me to do well in these last few weeks! Slacking off now will get you nowhere, and hurt the GPA you’ve been working towards all year! Remember to always get all of your homework done, and to go to class! Continue studying hard to ace your finals, so you can enjoy your summer break with no worries! If you need some motivation, try making a list of goals or a to-do list. These lists will keep you on track so all of your work gets done! You can also reward yourself for every task you get done. Incentive is always a great motivator!

If you would like to take advantage of the nice weather, try taking your work outside! Loyola features two wonderful green quads that are perfect for studying. You can also sit along the lake or on the beach! This way, you will be getting your work done but not letting the wonderful weather escape you! Study groups can also help when powering through studying for finals! Find people in the same classes as you and study together! More minds are better than one, because someone always catches things that others don’t!

Ultimately, powering through the last few weeks are always tough, but you can do it! To increase motivation, remember that you need to do well before you can play in the summer! Don’t let your GPA down now! Make lists, form study groups, study outside, and form incentives; all of these things will help you stay on track until the end. It is near, Ramblers! You can do it! ☺

One Night of Melody

One Night of Melody

This past Tuesday night, a few people involved in the vocal music program here at Loyola hosted a very special night full of jazz and soft/older pop music! I was lucky enough to be a part of this wonderful evening of music. In this post, I’m going to tell you all about One Night of Melody!

The little jazz/pop cabaret, entitled One Night of Melody, was completely put together by a senior student in the choir program who intends to study music professionally. This performance was a part of her engaged learning experience before graduating this spring. I was extremely thrilled to be a part of it! The event was held Tuesday night at 7:30 P.M. in the Mullady Theatre. About 7 different small groups, ranging from all boys, all girls, to a mix of both genders, all performed one or two songs of the jazz or pop genre. My small group, composed of about 15 women of the Loyola Women’s Chorus, performed a beautiful rendition of Ira Gershwin’s “Long Ago and Far Away. Other songs included “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, “L-O-V-E”, “Someone to Watch Over Me”, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”, “Long Train Runnin’”, and jazzy fun versions of “Blackbird” and “Sweet Caroline”. All of the groups were amazing and extremely talented! It was a lot of fun to see everyone get up on stage and perform an amazing number and sing along to the ones I knew! The audience was really into it, and made it worthwhile hearing them sing along to the popular songs!

The beautiful thing about this show was that it was free! Anyone was able to come share a love of music and watch as these students effortlessly displayed their amazing talents! It is said that this night is to become an annual thing, and I sincerely hope it does! It gives students who wish to study music professionally a chance to put together a show, work with professors, and complete an engaged learning experience before heading off into the real world. Also, it works as a creative outlet for all of the talented students involved! I know that I definitely want to participate in this program again next year in as many groups as I can be in! I love singing, and singing in little shows such as this make everything seem worthwhile because we get to share our joy with people who want to watch, for no charge! If you enjoy jazz or soft/older pop music, I highly recommend looking for this (hopefully more advertised) event next year! I know I’ll be there!

Chicago Crime Tour

Chicago Crime Tour

This past weekend, my mother and I decided to do something in the city of Chicago that we had never thought of (or even wanted to do) before: we went on a Chicago crime tour! I honestly did not think I would like this tour, as gangsters and criminals never really were an interest of mine, and I had no idea what to expect. However, as the tour got started, I quickly found myself loving the stories and historical areas that we were able to visit and learn more about the great city of Chicago.

The tour, officially called Chicago Crime Tours, began next to the Water Tower Place/water tower on Michigan Avenue downtown. We boarded a big black limousine bus with yellow crime tape on it and began our journey. Our tour guide was really informative, funny, and I could tell he really loved the stuff he was talking about. The first stop on our tour was in Lincoln Park, near DePaul’s campus. This was the famous Biograph Theatre, where the notorious bank robber John Dillinger was killed in an alleyway nearby after exiting said theatre. At this point in the tour, we were able to get off the bus and walk around to the front of the theatre, and then to the alleyway to stand where he actually lay dying so many years ago. We also were able to drive by his favorite “speakeasy” where he would go right after a bank robbery. Seeing these historic buildings and locations were really cool!

The next stop on our tour was to drive by the would-be location of the warehouse in which the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre occurred (would-be because the building has since been torn-down). We also drove by the Walgreen’s where the Tylenol scare of the 1980’s began, and the Rock n’ Roll McDonalds where people used to sell drugs through the drive-through window (apparently)! From here, we drove passed the Chicago Fire Department, which used to be the location of the original Cook County Jail, and the parking lot where the gallows used to hang. Right next-door was the old courthouse, where many gangsters, mobsters, and criminals were convicted, and then hanged next door at the gallows.

Our next stop on the tour was the Harry Caray’s Restaurant on West Kinzie Street. This was significant in the gangster-era because Frank Nitti, the “enforcer” in Al Capone’s gang, used to live on the fourth floor! In the basement, guests can view an old vault and once-hidden underground tunnels. It was amazing. Next, we stood and looked up to what was Al Capone’s favorite speakeasy: the dome at the top of the old Jewelers Building (35 East Wacker). Apparently, he loved this building so much and decided to open his speakeasy here because of the car-lift the building featured to allow jewelers to transport jewels to their offices without being robbed. Al Capone used this as well, to smuggle up his alcohol during prohibition! Truly an amazing story!

The last stop on our tour was the location of where Earl “Hymie” Weiss (leader of the North side Gang and rival of Al Capone) was killed outside of a church. A crater from where a bullet landed can still be seen at the foot of the church, but most of the bullet holes have been covered up by a new set of stairs. It was still a pretty cool thing to see, and is a major part of Chicago history.

All in all, the tour that I thought I wouldn’t enjoy turned out to be one of the coolest tours I’ve ever taken! I learned a lot about Chicago history and visited historical locations, all for a cheap price! If interested in this type of thing, I would definitely recommend taking this tour. Even if you are not interested, I would still recommend the tour because who knows! You may be surprised at the things you learn and find yourself enjoying some of the lesser-known historic facts about Chicago.


Helping Out With Loyola Weekend

Helping Out With Loyola Weekend

This past weekend, the Undergraduate Admissions Office here at Loyola held their biggest event of the year-Loyola Weekend! Loyola Weekend is held one weekend at the end of March each year, where prospective accepted students can spend a day or two on campus visiting various presentations and receptions that show all that Loyola has to offer! This weekend really helps in the final college decision of many students, and this year, I was so excited to help out! In this post, I’ll be discussing what it was like to help during Loyola Weekend and to meet a lot of prospective students!

I attended Loyola Weekend myself last year, and loved every minute of my experience! I attended presentations on financial aid, next steps, study abroad, choosing a major, and was able to tour all of the freshman residence halls! I also was able to meet my prospective roommate in person (we are currently roommates, and still good friends today!)

For all of these reasons, when the Undergraduate Admissions Office offered me a chance to help out with this wonderful weekend, I jumped at the chance! I was assigned to give room tours of my room in Mertz Hall. I worked from 8A.M. to about 4P.M. on both Saturday and Sunday with a few other tour guides also living in Mertz! As families and students would arrive in the lobby of our residence hall, us tour guides would take turns taking the families up to view our rooms and listen to all we had to say about how we love living here! We also showed the laundry rooms and little kitchenette. It was really great to interact with the prospective class of 2019, and the response I received back after my tours were wonderful and really rewarding! It made me feel great knowing that I may have helped influence someone’s choice to come to Loyola, or even to live in Mertz!

All in all, helping out with Loyola Weekend was definitely an amazing experience. I was able to make connections with prospective students, share my knowledge of Loyola, all while making new friends with people already living in my residence hall that I may have never seen or talked to before (the other tour guides)! I think that Loyola Weekend is a great idea, and it definitely was successful! If possible, I know I will be signing up to help again next year!