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Experience with Achieving College Excellence

Experience with Achieving College Excellence

I am a proud first-generation student which qualifies me as an Achieving College Excellence (ACE) scholar.

ACE is a government funded program striving to provide resources for students who identify as first generation, low income and/or have a disability. I took advantage of their resources like tutoring, academic advisors, and graduate school career coaching.

The program holds a special place in my heart, where I feel like I belong. My friends are people on campus who can relate to my financial situation, my family, and my values. The staff truly care about me and I can always lean on them when I need support. I am confident that my relationships with these people will continue to exist post-Loyola.

The ACE lounge is home for many of us ACE scholars. It is a place where students take naps, do homework, meet with tutors, and come to hang out with friends. I have had some of the most genuine conversations and met some spectacular people who have authentic stories in this lounge. I will cherish these moments when I think back to college.

One of my first jobs on campus was being an ACE Peer Mentor for incoming freshmen students. I would reach out to various campus departments to collect information on how to best assist my mentees. I also aided my mentees with creating their four-year plan, joining with clubs/organizations, and sharing advice on how to make friends. During my first year I also felt overwhelmed since I did not know where to turn to for help. Holding this position, I felt like was able to give back to a community that has done so much for me.

This past August was my second time coordinating the Summer Transition Program for incoming freshmen scholars. This week-long event provides students with the necessary resources they need to begin their first year of college. It is also a week to meet other ACE scholars and develop a friend group. In this role I was able to build upon my leadership skills by leading interactive activities, preparing a staff training day, and delivering transparency through my communication skills.

ACE has helped me to achieve college success and in my leadership development that will serve me well in my future career path. I thank all the staff and students who helped me through my four years and I cannot wait to hold my graduation diploma in May of 2021 smiling and proud.

For more information about the ACE program you can visit their website at: https://www.luc.edu/ace/index.shtml

The Spring ACE Banquet: an evening of laughter amongst friends at the dinner table overlooking the view of Lake Michigan from the fourth floor of the Information Commons (IC).
Finding Your Apartment

Finding Your Apartment

Hey, glad you stopped by my post. I’m here to share with you some quick key tools/ideas you should use and consider when getting ready to rent out your own apartment!

 

1.Looking for Rental Apartments

I’d highly recommend using the following sights to get started when finding an apartment.

-Apartments.com

-HotPads.com

Trulia  <—(My personal favorite)

-RenJungle

-PadMapper

When you go to visit an apartment pay attention to what you see, and be ready with some basic questions. Take nothing you see for granted, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Some examples could

-“Do the windows open?”

-“What is the policy on pets?”

-“Is there a second exit in case of a fire?”

 

2. Find Roommates

Unless you have a lot of money around or are working on top of school, living alone is not an option. Look into getting some roommates. I currently live with 4 people and we split the cost of $2500 per month between all of us. If you don’t have any friends to room with, reach out to clubs, classes, and roommates.com. I cannot recommend this enough, I met some of my current roommates through clubs and classes that have become my friends just because I asked them about their living plans next year. Biggest thing I want to emphasize is don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Ideally try to find someone that responsible, respectful, and most importantly clean. Or don’t! Just make sure when getting roommates you find people that fit in to your atmosphere nicely instead of bringing people in who just want to live for a cheaper cost.

 

3. Knowing the Neighborhood

Since we’re living in Chicago picking the right neighborhood for you can be difficult. Safety can be an issue so make sure you check out the neighborhood during the day and then again at night. Walk around and see what it’s like. What’s around the neighborhood? Shops, restaurants, markets, coffee shops, or other night life?

When finding my place, I made sure to avoid being in a “food desert” or a place where there are few to no markets, restaurants, or places of shopping. I personally recommend that you find apartments around the Greenville and Morse area since they are very close to Loyola’s Lake-shore Campus on the sideline stop. They are filled with markets, restaurants, shops, and much more!

Another thing to keep in mind about the neighborhood is how long does it take for you to get to classes. Are you someone who rushes at the last minute, or likes to take their time? These could be important factors to whether you want to take public transport from your chosen location or walk!

 

4. Reading the Lease

Here’s a big one. You need to carefully read the lease and I mean everything! If you ever run into a problem with your landlord you can always use the lease to your advantage if they are breaking any of their own guidelines. Furthermore in some cases leases could be invalidated by having illegal clauses.

The last thing you want to do is get fined or even evicted from your apartment because you failed to following a “no smoking clause”. Know the ground rules.

 

5. Utilities

Find out which utilities you are responsible for… (heat,electricity,phone,internet,hot water, etc…)

A big mistake some people make when getting into an apartment is that they don’t ask enough questions about the apartment and what utilities it comes with. This actually happened to me this year when picking my current apartment. Another place I was planning on moving into actually offered me and my roommates NO utilities. We immediately reconsidered and found the place we are living in now which offers us all traditional utilities excluding internet and phones though. Still, a very important thing you should definitely look into before committing to your very own place.

 

As I continue to learn as a proud rentee, I will be updating you with whatever knowledge I gather. I wish you best of luck in your journey and hopefully this helps you out.

Please remember to ASK QUESTIONS when finding your apartment!!!

Thanks!

Moment I Realized LUC Was Right For Me

Moment I Realized LUC Was Right For Me

This school gained my attention all the way from California. I remember feeling disoriented not knowing where exactly I wanted to go to college. All my friends seemed like they had it all together by already applying. Some even knew where they wanted to go before school started senior year. It was October and I still didn’t know where I wanted to go. I felt like I was behind and most college applications were opening up.

The pressure was on and I didn’t know what to do or how to start looking.

How do I choose? How do I know which school is best for me?The moment I knew where I wanted to go happened in my room. I was browsing the web looking at different colleges. I felt the anxiety not knowing which was the one for me. I took a moment to center myself and the next action lead me to find Loyola Chicago. I looked up “what should I major in college” and a survey on Loyola’s website popped up.

After answering all the survey questions, my results showed me possible majors that could be of interest to me.

I researched more into the University and components I wanted my school to have. Many checked off my list. Medium-sized school ✔️ small classroom sizes ✔️ big city, but not too big like New York ✔️ Faith-based organizations available ✔️ Fields of study I was interested in ✔️ I then came across their Loyola virtual tour and fell in love with the campus.The same day I shared with my mom where I wanted to go to college.

For your college hunt, I recommend making a list with the components you want your ideal University to have.

Some questions to consider: Are you wanting a small sized student population or large? A primarily commuted based school? Are there certain fields of study you want your college to have? Do you want your campus to be in the middle of a city or a small town? Are there certain types of organizations or clubs you want to join and does the school have them?

This can be a tough decision to choose from with so many options. It can be overwhelming and frustrating. I hear you on that one.Being far from Chicago and with pricey plane flights and Airbnb, I decided to visit the campus only once. From choices of overnights where I would shadow a student for two days, one-day shadow days and Loyola Weekend, it was hard to choose from.

I decided to attend Loyola weekend during the Spring semester. This weekend event is devoted to different informational sessions, residence hall tours, and social events for admitted students to attend.

Visiting during Loyola Weekend.

On our campus tour, I pointed out all the buildings to my mom that were listed on the virtual tour.

Into the night we walked around the Damen Student Center. With the sunset view, light poles turning on and the campus quiet, I fell in love all over again. After visiting, this University felt like home. I saw the beauty in this school and I knew this one was for me.

A picture from that evening, to provide an illustration for your mind 🙂

Choosing the right college for you will take a lot of invested time. It can be scary, stressful and come with some anxiety. There is no “correct” path to go on and everyone gets there at different speeds. You aren’t alone in this journey because so many other high school students are feeling the same way you are. And to let you in on the secret, all current college students went through the same if not similar feelings you are experiencing.

For me Loyola was exactly what I wanted. I didn’t want to be a number in the classroom, but rather for my professor to know me by name. I wanted a campus that builds community and would help me to prosper, rather than feeling like I was competing against my peers. Loyola was able to meet my criteria in the school I wanted.

Even through the ups and downs, I am proud to be a Rambler and am grateful for my experience here.

Loyola’s “What Should I Major in” quiz link I mentioned: https://www.luc.edu/undergrad/academiclife/whatsmymajorquiz/

 

 

Finding Your Niche on Campus

Finding Your Niche on Campus

The biggest piece of advice I received before starting college was to get out of my dorm room as much as possible. When I started at Loyola, I lived by this rule.

Every fall semester Loyola throws a Student Organization fair in Gentile Arena (where the basketball players play). Every club and intramural sport are present and have their own table to ask questions at. If you are interested in one of the organizations, you are able to sign up on the spot to receive emails on how to get involved and when club meetings are.

I found myself entering this event feeling intimidated at all the clubs available and all the people I didn’t know. Though, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone by finding interesting clubs and engaging in conversation with the club representatives. I left leaving my email address on many club signup sheets to receive emails with more information and when their club meetings are.

Get involved in clubs that interest you and it’s okay if you end up leaving some during your four years. Clubs are also a great way to meet friends on campus. My first few friend groups sprouted from the organizations I was involved in. My Christian Life Community group sponsored by Campus Ministry included freshman like me who were looking for friends. And we were all able to find each other.

My advice for incoming students is know that everyone else is also trying to find their niche on campus. That can come from getting closer to your roommate in your dorm, trying out a new club, or introducing yourself to the person that sits next to you in class. Sparking a conversation can go a long way into potentially a new friendship.

The process of finding friends and feeling comfortable in this new environment is going to take some time. It won’t happen all at once and there might be some up and down moments. But eventually, as long as you put yourself out there, it will come. Some people might find this earlier than others, yet know that we all get there eventually.

If you feel like you are struggling transitioning into this new environment, reach out to your academic counselor, resident assistant or the Wellness Center at Loyola. We are all here for you and want you to reach college success.

Good luck and know you got this!

The three of us who all lived together on the same residence hall floor decided to spontaneously explore the city during one of the first weekends of freshman year.

First-Generation Lens

First-Generation Lens

I am a first-generation student, meaning I am the first person in my immediate family to attend college. Holding this identity is a privilege, which can be stressful at times.

My end goal: to be able to graduate.

Flying from California to Chicago with my mom during Freshman move-in, she expressed worry. She helped me get the essentials by taking me to Target to purchase dorm supplies and to buy school supplies. The next important component was visiting the Sullivan Student Center to meet with the financial aid department.

I remember my mother expressing her concerns with the payment process with the financial aid counselor. She expected that we would be eligible for more grants by being first-generation. Thank you to the FAFSA application, a new source I learned which helps students receive grants, federal work study (so you can have a job on campus) and much more, for being an outlet to fund my college education. My journey of me becoming independent began in that room, with my mother and I, two vulnerable and confused people, who cared so much about my college success.

We visited another office where we were introduced to the Achieving College Excellence (ACE) Director, who coordinates a government funded program for first-generation college students like me. As we left his office, my mom was fixated on the idea of me joining this program. The benefits of what they provide students such as advising and free printing was what she wanted me to take advantage of.

My mother, as loving and supportive a person she is, can only guide me to a certain point in this process. There were a lot of things I was unsure about and I had to motivate myself to reach out and find the answers. So once she flew back to California and first week of classes began, I realized what was ahead of me. Asking for help when I need it was more prominent than ever.

My mother and I during my high school graduation.

NEW

NEW

Three letters to describe my three years at Loyola. New. Who knew I would endure so much change within three years. But look at me now, growing to be a resilient human.

To give you some background on whose story you are reading about, my name is Sam and I am a third-year student majoring in Psychology with a double minor in Marketing and Political Science. You could say I am dipping my feet in the areas which will set me up for future success. The main reason I chose to study in a different state was to challenge myself, to get out of my comfort zone and to grow in a completely new city I have never explored before. And can I say, it was a lot of adjusting, but also being patient with myself in the process. Being a first-generation student, these three years have been about self-navigating with the help of many campus resources who wish to see me succeed.

In this blog I will tell my story and provide some advice for how I’ve survived college up until this point. And if you can relate to any of my identities, I hope this outlet makes you feel like you are not alone in this new journey.

 

Loyola Cosplay at C2e2

Loyola Cosplay at C2e2

Cosplay is not just the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, video game, or series. It’s not a mere game of dress-up, it is something much more powerful. Cosplay is a form of strength and confidence many people use to express themselves.

Left: Dylan as Okuyasu Nijimura (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure). Instagram @sogeking00 Right: Parker Harris as Jotaro Kujo (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure). Instagram @busyearnin_

This Spring Break I had the opportunity to dive into cosplaying with a few Loyola students. They showed me the ropes and helped me create two whole cosplays throughout my journey. I’ve always been a fan of cosplayers and how they represent themselves. It is really fascinating to see your favorite characters come to life and how people portray them on the con floor.

Ellie Walters as Shoto Todoroki (My Hero Academia). Instagram: @noraa_cosplay

Beyond dressing up, the feeling of playing your own character really stands out. As I roamed the comic con floor, I felt like every other person. Aimless wondering around trying to find something to purchase or someone to take a picture with. After I put on my costumes, I felt like I was embodying the characters essence to some degree. I cosplayed two well-known anime protagonists Jotaro Kujo (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure) and Shota Aizawa (My Hero Academia). Everywhere people got excited to see their favorite characters, I got to take hundreds of pictures and meet so many wonderful people. Even though it was my first time cosplaying and my cosplays weren’t exactly accurate, people still gave me compliments.

Julianna Scivinsky as Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto Shippuden). Instagram @naukajewel

I’d like to give a quick shoutout to a few local Loyola cosplayers who have heled me out tremendously with costume design and getting into the community. You can check out their respective cosplay accounts linked under their photos.

Cosplaying is a very positive experience overall that I would recommend to anyone interested in trying something new. There are a lot of ways to get involved in cosplay here at Loyola through various clubs such as the Nintendo, Anime/Manga, and eSports clubs. If you don’t want to join a club, I highly encourage you to reach out to people over social media on where to start! What I found most interesting in the cosplay community is that everyone is so accepting. No matter who you are, everyone helps each other out and makes sure they feel welcome to express their opinions and ideas. From an novice artist and cosplayer, this helps support creativity and promotes the most positive attitude. If you’re looking for a place to express yourself artistically or physically look no further and try cosplaying yourself.

The Quinlan Ramble Trip to Boston

The Quinlan Ramble Trip to Boston

< 3 minutes read >

Last Spring Break, I got an amazing opportunity and honor to participate in the Quinlan Ramble trip to Boston ✈️. The Quinlan Ramble is an annual alternative spring break trip that enables Quinlan undergraduate students and Arrupe business students to experience business in another part of the United States. Where I got to network with amazing professionals in different business fields and with our great Loyola Alumni🎓. I also got to make many new friends with whom I know I can count on during my time at Loyola University Chicago🐺 and beyond.

On the first day, I realized that I am here for much more than just visiting companies. Being on this trip has also allowed me to build community within the Quinlan School of Business. The Quinlan Ramble team is so diverse and I’ve been able to learn about a variety of cities, cultures, and languages through the trip.

There are couple lessons I learned from all the company visits. Networking🤝 is one of the most important skill for students to step into the real business world to get an internship and job. We did a lot of penal sessions with current/incoming employees during our site visits. It’s very surprised for each of us to see how many people who do not have a business degree and working at Accounting and Finance firms because of their network with someone in the firm. It sounds very harsh, but it showed us what does the real business world look like. And, it also motives and warns us to build our own network and create professional connections for our careers. I am glad the Quinlan Ramble trip gave us the great opportunity to connect with all the people we met from the trip. Also, thanks to our Loyola Alumni connection, we had a chance to visit the Massachusetts State House and hold an Alumni Reception in the house! The second part I learned is the importance of transferrable skills. Companies are always looking for someone who has transferrable skills, not expecting you know everything about their business. Companies recruit from all different majors today, not just business majors. Communication🗣 and teamwork👥 skills are the key elements they are looking for. Today, employees can easily transfer to different departments within the company. I think it’s also great for our college students to experience different field of business, but keep learning the fundamental skills we need in our lives. 

I have met so many amazing people within Loyola & Quinlan, especially with Dean Stevens. We had great conversations in many events during the trip. I really appreciate all of his advices and stories he told me. It was an honor to speak with all of the individuals; being able to hear the journey and successes of them was a notable experience. I will always reflect on this trip and how it has helped shape my look into the business world. I am very grateful to be attending this trip, and hope to further myself as an individual, business person, student, and member of the Loyola community!

Thank you and hope you enjoyed reading this blog. The Quinlan Ramble trip is heading to Los Angeles this spring break. I can’t wait to hear about their experience soon! For more information, please visit: https://www.luc.edu/quinlan/thequinlanramble/

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions, thoughts or suggestions about our page.

Taking a Public Speaking Class

Taking a Public Speaking Class

< 2 minutes read >

Public speaking skills are valuable in both our personal lives and careers. As a business major student at Loyola, one of the curricula required classes you need to complete is COMM 103: Business & Professional Speaking. After taking COMM 103 for a month and completed my first speech this week, here are some of my experiences I want to share with you all!!

FYI: My class is held at Loyola’s Water Tower campus each Tuesday and Thursday morning (75mins per class session). Also, there is no school year restriction for this class, which means you can take it during your first year at Loyola too!! 

Okay, allow me to assume that a lot of people have some fear of public speaking (me🤚). So, I want to start with a question: “What do you think would make a public speaking class more comfortable or enjoyable to students?” 

My answer would be respecting, supporting and appreciating each other. After 3 weeks of learning, preparing and practicing. Our first speech presentation week is finally here. (A 5-mins informative speech on any topic you want.) In Prof. Borden’s class, there is an important rule everyone has to follow on speech days: clap 👏after every speaker finish their speeches. It may seem like a very little thing, but it shows a lot of your respect and support to the speakers. We all have good and bad (performance) days, even though we did our best. Ice-breaker talks with my classmates helped us get curious and excited about each other’s stories and speeches. 

At a very diverse school, there is a big chance your classmates may come from different countries or culture backgrounds. Which is also part of the reasons why I enjoy this class so much. Students have the option to choose whatever topic they want to talk about. So far, I have heard speeches on Mexican Tacos, Shanghai Yuyuan Garden, and Princess Diana, etc. It’s very interesting to learn something new or something you are familiar with from a different perspective. (The Taco one was so fascinating!! I couldn’t stop thinking about trying some traditional Mexican Tacos🌮!! Btw, there are two Flaco’s Tacos restaurants at both of our campuses.)

Please let me know if you want to hear more about my COMM 103 class experience in the future. I am happy to share more of my experience and stories with you!!

Before I go, 

If you ever feel nervous about public speaking, I have a quick tip for you. As Pro. Borden always says to us: Your peers and audience want you to succeed. Don’t be nervous, you will do great!! 😊

Getting Involved on Campus

Getting Involved on Campus

My name is Dorien Perry-Tillmon, I am a freshman at Loyola and I am from right outside of Boston, MA. At Loyola, I am a Film and Digital Media Productions Major with a Photography Minor, Visual Communications Minor, and Women’s Studies and Gender Studies Minor.

As I began to get settled in my first semester at Loyola, I realized I was ready to get involved on campus, however, I wasn’t quite sure where to begin. As I walked through the Org Fair and talked to various clubs and activity leaders, one that surprisingly stood out to me was Student Government (SGLC). I had not had prior experience with student government, but I couldn’t think of a better way to get involved on campus. I took all the information and planned on running for First-Year Senator. With my extreme procrastination, it wasn’t until two hours before the deadline, that I was reminded by an upperclassman friend already in SGLC that the application was due at midnight. I scrambled to get my 50 student signatures required and finish my application to run. Somehow I was able to get all of my work in and was added to the ballet. 

After campaigning and networking, I was one of seven people elected out of the nineteen that ran. I was both honored and shocked that I was chosen to represent the freshman class. As I became accustomed to my new life as a Senator, I learned a lot of things such as email etiquette, how to shake hands, and where to wear my nametag; mainly things that I never would have thought about. When SGLC meetings began, I was placed on the Justice Committee, where my team’s goal is to make sure our campus is diverse, sustainable, and accessible. The project that I chose to take lead on was making our residence halls more sustainable by organizing the trash rooms, adding recycling bins, and introducing composting to the dorms. Before coming to Loyola, I didn’t even know what ‘sustainability’ meant, and now it has become a major part of my life.  

The Freshman Senators of Student Government

Without Student Government, I wouldn’t have found many of my passions. I realized how important it is for me to be a student’s voice. Although it makes my schedule super busy, I have gotten to meet a ton of amazing administrators, students, and Student Organizations, and have been able to witness firsthand all of the passion that students and administrators have for this school, and I am proud to be involved in such an amazing organization.