Category: Undergrad Admission

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.

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!
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… 🙂

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!

Loyola Ranks in Top 10 for Female Students in STEM Programs

Loyola Ranks in Top 10 for Female Students in STEM Programs

What is a stem field? College and university degree programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are considered STEM degrees, and they are in high demand across many industries. It is common to find most male students to typically outweigh the number of female students in most STEM fields; however, recently many colleges have sought to balance this idea by getting more female students into mote STEM programs.

For bachelor’s degree and above, female recipients increased at nine of the 10 largest such programs between 2012 and 2016. In fact, six of those STEM programs now award at least a third of those degrees to women.

We should definitely acknowledge this amazing increase our school represents. About 50% of our Loyola graduates were females in the STEM fields. This is a significant amount and being in the top 10 is truly incredible!

What Makes a Good Resume: 101

What Makes a Good Resume: 101

 

A cartoon hand shakes and quivers while holding a resume.

Many of us may need to start working on our resumes whether it is for a job, an internship, applying to a school, etc. Now what is the function of a resume you may ask? It is a concise summary of your education, work/volunteer/internship experiences and other qualifications relevant to your audience’s needs. Employers use resumes as a first impression and will use it to compare you to other candidates. NOTE: a good resume does not guarantee you a job, it just allows you to be considered. A resume demonstrates the skills and capabilities that the reader would value and it is essential for you to demonstrate your abilities and is showcases a sense of direction in your career.

How to layout and format a good resume:

There are a few basic resume types but lets focus on some things that are particularly helpful –

  • It is recommended to format chronologically so that the reader is able to see organization qualities as well as being able to follow your experience.
  • Aim to fit your resume on 1 page – unless you have more experiences that are relevant to the job, you should limit it to one page because it is a general overview of your skills and capabilities.
  • AVOID using templates as a basis for your resume because sometimes they can be difficult to alter and limits you from standing out if your resume looks just like everyone else’s. (Remember, the person reading your resume is most likely reading soooooo many others.)
  • Use CAPS, bolding, underlining, bullets, and indentation to direct the reader’s attention and separate different sections of the resume.
  • Do NOT use graphics or unusual fonts and colors to “dress up” your resume. It doesn’t look professional and you need to limit your space as well because you only have 1 page remember.
  • Use margins between 0.5″ – 1.0″ which leaves enough blank space on the page so that the document is comfortable to read and enough margin to allow for different viewing software and printers.
  • It would be better to save your file as a pdf before submitting electronically so that it preserves the format.

 

Sections within your resume:

 

Contact information

  • Include your name and email address as well as the phone number and street address you would prefer to be contacted at

Introductory Statement 

  • “Objective” statements are often considered awkward, obsolete, or unnecessary.
  • If you use a summary statement, make sure that your experiences live up to that statement.

Education

  • List degrees in reverse chronological order
  • List the official names of the school you have attended
  • You may list your GPA if it is strong
  • Course Work descriptions: which can include honors and awards (scholarships/fellowships)
  • Study abroad – list school(s), location, dates

Work Experiences 

  • List experiences in reverse-chronological order.
  • Show the name of the organization, your title, and dates of involvement.
  • Be consistent in your formatting of each experience
  • Use bulleted phrases to describe each experience which should demonstrate skills and capabilities – consider how your experiences demonstrate core work skills (communication/interpersonal skills, organization/time management/leadership, analytical/problem solving skills.
  • Use a professional and active voice

Internship, Co-curricular and Volunteer Experience 

  • List experiences that involve leadership or organizational responsibilities
  • Format the same way and be sure to demonstrate core work skills

Skills

  • This section is optional but this includes additional language skills you possess or certifications/licenses
  • This can also include technology or soft ware skills that are relevant to your career.

 

Hopefully this helps many of you! If you need additional guidance, refer to Loyola’s Career Development Center – they have many available resources, including sample resumes/cover letters!

 

Such a ‘Bler: Failure: A Love Story by Alumni Philip Dawkins

Such a ‘Bler: Failure: A Love Story by Alumni Philip Dawkins

At the beginning of this semester, my design professor Rachel Healy recommended that I applied for a design position on Failure: A Love Story – a play written by Loyola University Chicago’s alumni, Philip Dawkins. She then recommended that I auditioned for the play. I did audition, and being not much of an actress, did not get casted (it’s okay I saw it coming, but HEY AT LEAST I CAN SAY THAT I FINALLY AUDITIONED FOR SOMETHING!) and had too much on my plate this semester to join the design team.

The reason Rachel was so excited to get me involved was because the show featured music, beautiful costumes and PUPPETS! Context: Rachel was my Storytelling Design via Puppetry Spring Semester of freshman year. Rachel then became my theatre mentor and well, she knew I couldn’t resist a production with both music and puppets. Leading up to opening night, images from the show popped up all over Loyola’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts’ socials and I regretted more and more about not being able to contribute to the production. This especially kicked in the night I was going to see the show.

Before the performance, I and other theatre students got the chance to chat with him. He actually got inspiration for this plot from a night at a cemetery with a group of friends. They found a bunch of tomb stones all having the last name “Fail” and became both curious and convinced that he needed to write a play about them. What had happened to the Fail family? Hearing this really showed me that inspiration can come from really anywhere, at any time! 

(READ MORE ABOUT THAT IN MY OTHER BLOG POST) http://blogs.luc.edu/uao/2019/02/27/such-a-bler-pizza-with-the-playwright-alumni-phillip-dawkins/ 

Sitting down to watch the play, I tried to not keep too much of this information in mind, but I guess in a way it made me understand the theme of the piece more – as well as made me wayyy more emotional. I was simultaneously giggling because I’d actually never seen the use of puppets before. The huge snake that my classmate from Design II made was controlled by two actors at one point. They danced and swerved the puppet up and down in order to mimic the slithering motion of the creature – it was incredible. Other puppets included birds equipped with quirky voices and a wonderful beagle that seemed so real resting on the arm of one of the actors though its voice was presented by another actor standing next to them. I came away feeling equally unsettled, warm and inspired. Such an intimate theme played peekaboo through rather whimsical storytelling devices, making it easier to take in.

Though already having an idea in mind, I am now currently drafting a project of my own for Loyola’s second stage laboratory at full speed. Hopefully you will see it during my senior year. I guess this entire experience empowered me to push my involvement in the Loyola theatre community even more.

Such talent walk and have walked these walls. It is amazing to be among them.

 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS!

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST:

 

Girls and Weight Training?

Girls and Weight Training?

A lot of times, there is a stigma placed on women who lift weights– associating them with ‘manly’ characteristics. This misconception that women should not lift weights and put on muscle mass is still largely existent today and is completely wrong. There are a lot of long term benefits to doing so, and solely doing cardio to lose weight can have deteriorating effects. As a Freshman at Loyola, my goal was to lose weight, but I depended a lot on cardio for that. I used to go for runs every day, and solely go to Halas for the cardio machines. However, I noticed that I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. In addition to the goal of losing weight, I wanted to reduce my anxiety. As I faced a challenging Sophomore year, I began to take on a different academic route, and developed an interest for Exercise Physiology at Loyola. Developing my knowledge in this field, I began to experiment and try weight training, and it has significantly changed my life (literally). Here are 7 things that have benefited me, and can benefit you as well!

1. Lose Body Fat

Weight training builds muscle, as lean muscle increases so does metabolism. A higher metabolism means that you will burn more calories all day long. Studies found that the the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat. For each pound of muscle you gain, you’ll burn 35 to 50 more calories per day. That can really add up over the long term; for example, 4 extra pounds of muscle can burn up to 10 extra pounders per year!

2. Gain Strength Without Bulking

One of the most common reasons I used to avoid weight training as well as women in general avoid weight training is because they are afraid of “bulking.” This is a misconception as it physically can not happen. Women simply don’t have the testosterone to build muscle like men. Women have 10 to 30 times less testosterone than men and have a much harder time gaining size from strength training.

3. Decrease Risk of Osteoporosis

Weight training not only strengthens muscles, it strengthens your bones. Weight training increases bone density, which reduces the risk of fractures and broken bones. Research has also shown weight training can increase spinal bone density to create a strong and healthy spine. (Nowadays you see a lot of elders at Physical Therapy clinics, because they are attempting to increase their bone density!)

4. Reduce Risk of Injury

Weight training also increases strength in connective tissues and joints. Strong joints, ligaments, and tendons are important to prevent injury and can relieve pain from osteoarthritis. Strengthening muscles and connective tissue will make injury from daily tasks and routine exercise less likely, and can even improve sports performance.

5. Burn More Calories

Weight training has been proven to raise your metabolism for up to 24 hours after a workout. The more intense the workout the more calories are burned. After an intense workout there is more Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC, meaning there is an increase in oxygen consumption, helping break down fat stores in the body.

6. Improve Posture and Reduce Back Pain

Weight-training will strengthen your back, shoulders, and core, helping to correct bad posture so that you can stand taller, with shoulders back and spine straight. A stronger back and core will also prevent lower back pain

7. Enhance Mood and Reduce Stress

Exercise and weight-training release endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood, and fight depression. An increased in endorphins naturally reduces stress and anxiety. Endorphins also stimulate the mind, improving alertness and boosting energy. Weight-training can brighten your entire day or help you combat a bad one.

 

I encourage you all to step away from this negative connotation of lifting weights, and consider it in your everyday lives. It helps short term and long term, and will make your workouts worth it, trust me.