Category: Academics At Loyola

My advice to you all before I graduate tomorrow

My advice to you all before I graduate tomorrow

For many of you, I’m sure the past 2 semesters 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 fall semester and always leave some room for growth. Whether you had a good semester or a bad semester, 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.

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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 ~

Why Education at Loyola University is at the Top

Why Education at Loyola University is at the Top

Loyola University Chicago is a Catholic and Jesuit University where ethical and spiritual values are central. These values are expressive of human wisdom, informed by the traditions of American higher education, and animated by contemporary ideals of the Society of Jesus.

Although I do not identify myself as a Catholic, Loyola involves students and patients, faculty and staff from so many nations and neighborhoods, religious backgrounds and ethnic traditions.

Loyola University is one of 23 Jesuit universities and colleges in the United States.

Here are five “characteristics” that explain the Jesuit method of education at Loyola Chicago that makes it incredibly inspirational.

The first characteristic of Jesuit universities is a passion for quality. Jesuit universities set demanding standards for both students and faculty. If it is worth doing at all, it is certainly worth our very best. Whether it be a medical or law school, business or liberal arts college – Jesuit education has, in every age, aimed at educational excellence.

A second characteristic of Jesuit universities is the study of the humanities and the sciences, no matter what specializations may be offered. Loyola wants our students to be able to think and speak and write; to know something about history, literature and art; to have their minds and hearts expanded by philosophy and theology; and to have a solid understanding of math and the sciences with a liberal education.

A third characteristic of Jesuit education and so of Loyola University is its preoccupation with questions of ethics and values for both the personal strength and professional witness of its graduates. Family values, personal integrity and business ethics have always been important. In recent years, this characteristic has taken on added dimensions. Spurred by papal encyclicals and the pastoral letters of the American bishops, Jesuit institutions have tried to focus attention on the great questions of justice and fairness that confront our age: economic inequity, racism and unemployment in our own country; the global imbalance of economic resources and opportunities; and poverty and oppression in the Third World, to cite some examples. These are not easy issues, nor do they have any certain and universally accepted solutions. But Jesuit institutions today feel compelled by our tradition to raise these questions for our students, not through sloganeering and political maneuvering, but in a way that is proper for higher education: through learning and research, reflection and creative action.

A fourth characteristic of Jesuit education is the importance it gives to religious experience. Religious experience is vital and must be integrated into the educational process so that a student has the opportunity to grow in both knowledge and faith, in belief and learning. As a Catholic university, we try to open this all-important horizon of faith experience for all our students, whatever their religious tradition may be. Faith in God is not an obstacle to learning; indeed belief can often sharpen and focus one’s intellectual search. Prayer and liturgy are no threat to knowledge; they help form and strengthen an educational community in the fullest sense.

Finally, we come to the fifth characteristic of Jesuit education: it is person – centered. No matter how large or complex the institution, each individual is important and is given as much personal attention as humanly possible, both in and out of the classroom. The reason for this specific care for the individual is that, for so many faculty and staff at Loyola University and in our sister institutions, teaching and patient care are much more than a job – indeed more than a profession. They are a way of life. This is true not only for members of religious orders but for so many lay men and women of different religious backgrounds who look on their work of teaching or administration as sharing in God’s handiwork, as service to others in the ministry of education and health care.

We believe that the real measure of our Jesuit universities lies in who our students become, so we engage them with real-world problems and promote social justice through academic and service-learning opportunities.

Loyola lets you do AWESOME things:

Loyola lets you do AWESOME things:

 

As a Sophomore at Loyola, I had the opportunity to take the EXCM 101: Introduction to Exercise Physiology course as did many others. This introductory exercise science class is a service learning course that connects Loyola students with Chicago Public Schools’ physical education and health teachers. It has been a great experience to observe and work with children who go to underfunded schools and don’t have as many resources as do private schools. It was nice to help out these teachers and also gain a learning experience.

Each student in the introductory class is assigned to a local CPS school and have different tasks depending on what their interest is. These activities and lessons are focused on fitness and health. I volunteered in a health class from grades K-5, but others have volunteered with after school sports programs, recess, or helped during physical education class.

It was nice to see a wide range of ages. The lessons I observed and assisted with was based on sex education, so younger students learned about good touching vs. bad touching, whereas the older they got, they learned about puberty, how the body works, male and female body parts, etc. Of course the reactions were priceless, but it is so important that these children are exposed to this information because they become aware of these important aspects at an early age and know what to do depending on what situation they can potentially be placed in.

Loyola students are helping CPS with the LearnWELL Initiative which promotes physical activity and healthy eating choices in school. Doing so allows Loyola students to fulfill their service learning hours which is a requirement by the University. it is easily done and also helps the school meet their students’ needs.

“It does vary,” said Karen Berg, director of clinical placements and experiential learning at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “At some schools, we are supporting after school sports because that’s really the best fit for Loyola students to be volunteering. In others, we’re in the classroom supporting the health education teachers. We’re supporting PE instructors, and we’re also supporting recess. It really is identified by the school themselves—they’re identifying what is best for them.”

Stephanie Wilson, director of the Exercise Science Program says “They truly find it rewarding. These children really count on the Loyola students to show up. They almost look for these students on the day and the time that they’re supposed to come. I think our students recognize that and are confident and proud in the end that they have given something back to the community.”

These are the little things that go so far in our community. Loyola has done a great job in connecting with the community and offering a helping hand. It allows students’ to step out of their comfort zone sometimes and be able to have a hands on experience. This exercise science course has allowed Loyola students to have the chance to give something back and also gain insight for future plannings.

One thing I Will Miss at Loyola…

One thing I Will Miss at Loyola…

Now the typical, cliche thing to miss is the lake. But for me, it will definitely be the exercise science classes. I made my switch into the field of Physical Therapy my Sophomore year, and it was the best thing in my life. 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.

LUC PSA Wrapping Up the Semester With Service Work in Pakistan

LUC PSA Wrapping Up the Semester With Service Work in Pakistan

Kiran Foundation is a Non-Profit organization that is imbedded in the reality of Lyari, an area that has been through immense pain and turmoil, but is resilient and largely misunderstood.

“We provide education rooted in the awareness and understanding of mental health and wellbeing by building safe and happy learning environments where children and their families can not only heal through their traumas but also flourish.”

“We nurture mothers and caregivers along with their children, and build safe and happy spaces where they are free to grow and thrive together. We develop positive habits in children from a young age, with the aim to nurture them into kinder, more mindful individuals.”

“We go beyond the ideas of conventional education, and incorporate elements that help children as well as the adults develop a deeper sense and understanding of themselves and others, enabling them to regulate their thoughts and emotions. The beauty of our education system lies in the fact that we engage parents and caregivers (especially the mothers) in the learning process as equal partners. Without the active involvement of the mother, our job is only half-done.”

Children give what children get. The abused have the tendency to become the abusers. This is the ‘Cycle of Abuse’ that has plagued the world at large, and areas like Lyari in particular. “We believe that the only way to reverse this cycle is to engage people in activities that help them direct their energy towards a purpose that is bigger than their pain.”

Our visit to Kiran Foundation was an eye opening and enriching experience. Our PSA executive board fell in love with their mission since day one, but visiting the Foundation in person was powerful and meaningful. There were bright colors everywhere, children smiling and laughing while learning and playing cricket, girls battling guys in basketball, and so much more. Kids ran up to us and gave us warm hugs, which melted our hearts.
Alhumdullilah, this has been eradicated and the neighborhood is much safer in present day. Residents are able to go about their normal everyday lives.
Kiran Foundation gives the underprivileged children of Lyari a noble opportunity to learn, along with their mothers, so they can be women the children can look up to. These children are able to go from Lyari to the top preliminary schools in Karachi, and dream of attending some of the top universities in the world such as Harvard and MIT all because of this foundation. We are very excited to support Kiran Foundation and work closely with the children to give them the resources they need to reach their dreams. 
We are grateful for the amazing donations of all these books by Asim Ali and our Executive Board. We cherish members like you!
Time to HIDE and STUDY

Time to HIDE and STUDY

You casually come back to class after a relaxing weekend and remember you had some exams this week. Particularly…finals. I think its best if you studied… but what is studying without a beautiful view and concentration? Its so important to know that the Information Commons Center is not the ONLY place to study. It will most likely be filled up because of its incredible view of the lake from through the window, but here are some other places to study at Loyola!

Of course, the Information Commons!

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This is usually the first go-to place because its beautiful and has 3 levels to it. The first and second floor are a bit more interactive with computer and resources available. The 3rd floor is meant for silence, so if you really need to isolate yourself, take that elevator up to the 3rd!

 2nd floor of Damen

Damen Spaces

The second floor of Damen has many couches to sit back and be able to get some work done in between or after classes. If you go towards the back, it get’s really quiet so try staying in an area farthest from the dining/food court area!

1st/2nd floor of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability (IES)

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Not many people go here, and I’m not sure why! It is a small area, but it gets the job done! It is very peaceful, not to mention, you’re studying in one of the best buildings Loyola has to offer.

Cudahy Library

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Of course the library is one of the best places to study! Be sure to check out the Donovan Reading room (Echo chamber, Harry Potter Room…)

3rd Floor of the Life Science Building (LSB)

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This spot gets filled up pretty fast as well but it is relatively quiet and a great spot to catch up on some homework! (or review notes before your lab quiz)

Mundelein Center

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The first picture is Mudelein’s Palm Court on the 4th floor which is what you notice when you are outside looking at Mundelein from the western wing of the building. During the week it is filled with tables and chairs for students to study. The second picture is Mundelein’s Green House on the 7th floor where students can enjoy couches, sunlight and perfect silence for studying in this eco-friendly area.

Of course there are other places to study as well, such as The Coffee Shop, a local library, or even a friend’s place. However, if you need to stay on campus to focus, these should definitely help!

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.

NOTE: A CUP OF COFFEE/TEA/SOME SORT OF CAFFEINE IS REQUIRED FOR THIS – NO EXCEPTIONS!

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… 🙂

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 —

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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!