Tag: Loyola

Hotspots Around Loyola

Hotspots Around Loyola

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As this blog is primarily directed toward new, perspective students, it is possible that some of you have not visited our Lakeshore Campus yet or are not familiar with the area yet. Even if you took a tour of our campus, there are some things not mentioned on the tour regarding popular spots.

Loyola’s Lakeshore Campus is quite large in size and we are very fortunate to take up a lot of the space right next to the lake. Since Loyola has a long history, with renovations and construction dating back to the early 1900s in this area, there are a lot of interesting facts about the buildings and general location too. (If you have been following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, you may have seen some of these facts on #throwbackthursday).

 


Hotspots:

  1. Front of Madonna Della Strada (facing the lake).¬†Not only are the views of the lake are spectacular and you can hear the organ, but there is a specific location in the middle of this area that is regarded as the “whispering zone.” When you stand in the middle and face the lake, you or softly talk and you’ll hear your voice whisper back to you. The sounds of your voice bounce back at you, from the lake. It’s quite fun and interesting! Every time I see people do it for the first time, they always are so surprised! Try it sometime! ūüôā ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Bourque-0004
  2.  Outside Palm Court (4th floor Mundelien). Here, you are on a balcony overseeing the majority of campus with the view of the lake in the background. Needless to say, this place is quite beautiful- Palm Court can be used for wedding spaces, so you can imagine how nice this place looks already.                                                                                                                                             reception
  3. East Quad (sometimes West Quad too). This place is usually calm, but when there is a need, people can come together here for various reasons such as protest or to support a cause. You can imagine the type of energy that can happen here when students come together.                    150605_Under_the_Stars_09-1000x667
  4. Atrium Area (located in the Damen Student Center).¬†Everyday, there is always high energy here. Student organizations can set up tables to fund-raise, different offices can promote their services here, etc. St. Baldricks Head Shaving event is done here too as well as the ice skating rink ¬†and placement of Loyola’s Christmas tree. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†23205904380_93bc13d2ce_m
  5. Convocation Doors. Besides the fancy intricate designs on this door, it is famously known for its purposes for when freshmen symbolically enter in and seniors walk out. Along with this tradition, students are given convocation keys. It is pretty meaningful and cool!                                        29254054015_72b530c6d2
Loyola’s Multicultural Greek Council

Loyola’s Multicultural Greek Council

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It seems like every American knows about sororities and fraternities, and the not-always-positive¬†image of them that exists because of movies like Neighbors and Legally Blonde. People see them as white, full of, well, the type of people whose appropriate adjectives I can’t type in my position as an employee for my school. Of course, most of it is untrue and illogical. There are always exceptions, but Greek life as a whole has been changing over the past twenty years for the better and better.

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So, you might be aware of those sort of stereotypical sororities and fraternities, but did you know there is also many, many Greek-letter organizations that are not historically white? Alpha Phi Alpha was created in 1906, the first black fraternity in America. From then on, Greek organizations have been created and oriented more multi-culturally. They’re all similar to Panhellenic groups, but with a few differences that span across them all.

Multicultural Greek Organizations have traditions like stepping, strolling, calls, and reveal shows of new members that all contribute to the community of multiculturalism and pride in the organization. The Try Guys of Buzzfeed recently learned Stepping with UC’s Alpha Phi Alpha Chapter, and you can check it out right here. They also don’t have a combined Recruitment Weekend like Panhellenic and IFC organizations do, but rather usually hold free events over a course of two weeks.

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Loyola has it’s own Multicultural Greek Council. None of them are exclusively for members of one race or ethnicity or another, but rather reflect why they were founded and seek to continue those values. And usually, they’re a lot smaller than the 150+ members in other sororities and fraternities.

We have Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc, as well as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, and Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. Delta Phi Lambda is the only Asian-interest sorority on campus, while Lambda Theta Alpha is predominantly Latina. Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta are both historically African-American, but that doesn’t mean that if you aren’t, you can’t join!

As for fraternities, we’ve got Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and Alpha Psi Lambda National, Inc., which is a co-ed Latinx fraternity. Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi are historically African-American as well.

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I know what you’re thinking – that’s a lot of words and groups that mean nothing to you right now. Loyola has a policy that means you can’t join a sorority or fraternity your first semester freshman year, no matter which, so there’s no need to go comparing everyone on campus right now.

But this is my advice to you: keep your eyes open and your mind even more so. Even if you wouldn’t consider yourself ‘multi-cultural,’ you’re not excluded. You might just find a something new – whether it’s a whole new family, a changing experience, or a new favorite food.

(that’s something I love a lot about Loyola. All the groups are selling food 24/7. score for me, the churro-lover.)

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Registering For Classes – What’s that like?

Registering For Classes – What’s that like?

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One of the biggest aspect of colleges is class. Unexpected, right? Not nearly so much as you would think. There are also other essential components to the college experience, but class is pretty high up there on the list, definitely a tie for first with whatever you love. After all, it’s kind of the reason you’re at college – or the reason you get to complete it.

In the movies, there’s barely any representation of classes that you go to, or if there is, they take way less precedence that the drama between characters. Admittedly, a movie about an ordinary college class would not be very exciting. But classes are! Since you have freedom to choose which class you want, you can take anything that you need, love, or want to pursue.

There’s just one catch: you might not get into it on your first try. (It’s not as scary as it seems, I promise you.)

I just want to share with you all about the class registration process, because it can get pretty crazy. I know it always causes me panic, as a very schedule-oriented person, so I fix that by making alternate schedules upon alternate schedules, calculating what to do if I don’t get into this class or that. We have something called the Four-Year Plan, a layout on Excel that provides an easy layout for planning all of your classes, if you’re like me and want to check that out.

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The way our registration works can seem weird, but it makes sense. Depending on your credit hours, you get to have registration priority, or if you are in a program that requires you to take classes in a specific order or amount, such as Honors.

Registration takes place entirely online, unless you need to talk to an advisor about something specifically – they can override things and pretty much have magical schedule powers. Before registration even opens, however, you can put classes into your ‘shopping cart’ after picking out the time, teacher, and class that is offered that best works with you. That way, when you do get to register, you don’t have to waste precious time scanning through the inventory – you can just click ‘enroll’ and you’re set!

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Unless, of course, your class is filled by people with an earlier registration time than you. For freshman classes, that’s very unlikely, but it gets more common the longer you’re here. It’s all dependent on credits – so, credit Seniors get first pick, then Juniors, Sophomores, and so on. It’s pretty neat because many people come into college with transfer credits from AP classes so they could be a credit Sophomore while still being a freshman, allowing for earlier registration. Very cool.

Really, as an incoming freshman, you shouldn’t worry about getting into classes too much. You might hear this piece of advice a lot, but I’ll tell it again: don’t take 8 am classes. Later in your college career the professor becomes more important than the time, but I have seen so many freshmen regret their decision to take an early class. Just trust me.

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Being an Out-of-State Student at LUC

Being an Out-of-State Student at LUC

In looking at colleges, you might have considered a public school what with reciprocal or in-state tuition, compared to a private school like Loyola. That was definitely the pull for me away from Loyola, but all the other things brought me back!

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I’m from Minnesota. But here at Loyola, I have friends from California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, and all the states in-between. We came here not because it was cheapest but because it’s where we belong, and where we’re happy. (Also, going to private school is interesting when you’ve been a public-school kid all your life.)

Of course, I do have friends from the Chicago area, or from nearer states like Wisconsin and Michigan. And though I’m not as far away as, say, New Jersey, the distance does present some obstacles- and some opportunities. If you’re hesitant about a school because of its distance, let me tell you: it will be okay.

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First off, your experience is what you make of it. I call my parents once a week (and/or if something really exciting happens), but I have friends that call twice a week, three times a week, or only once in a while when they remember. Some take the train back home for breaks, or don’t go back at all. Me, I take the plane – it might not seem so, but you can definitely find cheap flights at my distance. And the school provides a U-PASS allowing for unrestricted transport on the L, so I don’t have to be shelling out for an uber each time. And there’s plenty of opportunity to go home or have people come here, whatever suits you – from Parent’s Weekend to Easter Break, it’s pretty nice.

Second, they’re well aware of travel costs. If you’re a really far-away student, over the summer you can ask to be assigned to the very last Orientation with the Honors and International students that takes place right before the rest of the school moves-in, so you don’t have to make two trips. You might not know this, but you can also request extended stay (though not infinite) in the dorms over summer break, or stay here over winter break should you please as well.

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Third, being from a distance makes Chicago all the more fun to explore! Going into this year, I knew very few things about this fair city. Navy Pier, yeah, and Chinatown, the Mag Mile, and like, there are some cool towers and cool zoos. Not that I didn’t absolutely adore it regardless, but now I feel really accomplished when I can picture where the neighborhoods are on the Red Line or estimate how far away something is, or even be walking downtown and actually know where to go instead of just consulting the skies.

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Of course I’ll advise taking everything into account when you’re picking a college, but this is just to say that distance, at Loyola, is not the biggest or most important factor. The deadline to decide is May 1, so think carefully!

Picking a College

Picking a College

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Wow, a hefty topic. Crazy how big the decision is, too.

I don’t mean to scare you. But I do want to remind you that decisions are due May 1, and if you haven’t started thinking about what you want to do, well… Now is the time.

So that’s where I come in! As a student who made her own choice less than a year ago, I can tell you the tips and tricks I used, saw, and have learned about deciding where to go to start the Next Big Adventure!

Let’s get things straight from the get-go: whatever you do, it doesn’t have to be permanent. You can always transfer, or (though I don’t encourage it) drop out. You are not locked into a path that will define you for your whole life after this month ends. I know people who have transferred in their junior year of college, or transferred twice, or even chosen to leave Ivy League schools. Whatever you do, whatever you tell a college, you still have options.

And who knows? The person you are now might fit in perfectly at the school of your choice, but the person you might be in two years might say: this is no longer who I am, nor what I want. And that’s okay.

Now onto the key stuff: choosing a college.

A lot of people will tell you they just ‘clicked’ with a campus when they stepped onto it, and if that’s you, congratulations! Follow your heart.

A lot of people will get excellent scholarships and decide to attend a school solely based on that. Congratulations if that’s you! Very practical.

But sometimes people are strongly torn between two, three, or even four schools where all the factors seem the same.

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Consider your life when you’re looking at colleges. Where is the college? How far is it away from home? Will you be okay being so far or so close to places you’re comfortable with? Do you like to explore and see new things in a city atmosphere, or will you just stay on campus or do outdoorsy things on a campus that is farther away from the urban jungle? Will you be able to be smart for the weather?

Would you be better at a large school, a medium, or a small?¬†Are you undecided, or do you know what you want to pursue? I’d advise that either way, you attend a school that offers other things you’re interested in, just in case. Just trust me. Even the most stubborn people I know have gone on to change their major.

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Now, if you’re sure you’ve considered everything, from financial aid to campus aesthetic, but you’re still torn, I’ve got ideas to help you.

  1. Grab your most no-nonsense friend, a friend that’ll tell you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it. Give them a coin. This one’s for if you’re torn between an even number of schools, because, well, coins have two sides. Have your friend assign one school to one side, another to the other. Have them flip it, and tell you the answer. Now, I’m not saying this to have chance decide for you. When they tell you the answer, listen to your heart. Are you sad? Glad? Disappointed? Whatever your initial reaction was, take note of that. Add that in to your considerations. (Any other arbitrary decision-making process can be substituted in, like picking petals or eenie-meenie-miney-mo.)
  2. Tour them like crazy. Even if you’ve been on the same tour five, six, seven times, do it again. Are you bored of the tour? Do you tire of seeing the campus, or would you rather break off and enjoy it on your own time, in your own path? Interact with the school as much as you can – after all, you might end up there for the next four years.
  3. Talk, talk, talk. Contact your admissions adviser. Contact whomever would be your First Year adviser. Leave a comment here and talk to me. Go on Facebook and talk to other potential students from the school. Talk to current students that you meet on your tours. Even if it’s about the weather, interacting with people can tip the scale.
  4. Write it out. Physically grab a piece of paper and divide it in half, or however many sections you need. Then use a pen and write out the pros of the school – and then the cons. If you find it’s very¬†easy or too hard to write them, take note of that. Pay attention to what you’re thinking.

 

I chose Loyola because of a combination of good factors, from scholarship to location, even though I didn’t love it immediately. But now that I’m here, I can’t help but think that I could have avoided a lot of mental agony and decision-making stress by looking into myself and realizing why I kept it on my list of ‘to-consider’ was because it was really great, I was just being stubborn. I may be one of those people who make the most out of everything, but even still, I love Loyola and I’m glad I came here. I hope that, no matter where you end up going, you’ll love yours the same.

(And if you don’t, see above paragraph about how nothing is permanent, everything is permitted.)

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Deposit Paid and Forms Signed: Now What?

Deposit Paid and Forms Signed: Now What?

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Well done, you. So you’ve done everything the UAO asked you to do – took the placement tests, promised to keep doing good senior year (right?), turned in your money, signed away your life. Now all there’s left to do is… what?

Chances are, you’re going to go into this whole process without knowing where you’re exactly going to live, without knowing who you’ll be rooming with, without knowing how you’ll handle being away from home for a big chunk of your life for the first time. And you’ve got all summer to worry and get yourself into a frenzy about all the unknowns.

Let me give you the number one pro tip that saved my life.

Join the facebook group. Whatever your class will be, Class of 2020, 2021, 2050, join or make the facebook group. Chances are it’s already been made, but you never know. Go join it. And then, if you’re in any other groups, join or make those too – like Honors, or your LC, or even ‘Loyola Class of 2020 Students from Michigan.’ Anything like that. And then get involved in them.

Now, I’m not saying use it like a blog, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to make introductions and put your opinion out there on some questions, or do some research and help to answer some questions people with less Googling skills than you might have. Be active. Make friends. Make a group chat. Go into campus with people you already know, so that you can start with a solid base of people to branch out and hang out with, if only for that first week before you make other friends.

Now for number two: communicate with your roommate, when you get them.

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Text them. Call them. Pack your stuff while Skyping with them. Meet up with them, if you can. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, but if you start it off with a foundation of friendship, or even mutual respect, it’s gonna be a whole lost easier. Disliking people you live with is something you want to try to avoid all your life – it’s just not good. It helps nobody.

For a lot of things, you won’t know until you get here which of you is more likely to wash dishes or take out the trash, or if they scratch in their sleep, or if they’re the type of person that will go out every. single. night. Most people haven’t gotten the chance to learn who they are in a non-monitored living environment, so they can’t tell you honestly whether or not they’ll go to bed late or if they’ll eat in their bed, just because they can. All those sorts of things are totally unknown until you find the rhythm that works best, so you have to try to start everything off on the right foot.

Number three: when it comes time, make a packing inventory list. Make a packing list for things you’ll need for college, but don’t set it in stone – be willing to add or detract things you find you might or might not need. But write it all down, and make some sort of note when you definitively have packed it. You’ll know what you have left to pack, what you have packed, and what you have overall so that you’re not at the very last moment going crazy on whether or not you’ve packed deodorant or gotten all your school books.

And, if you have forgotten something, don’t worry. I’ll tell you in advance that a time-honored tradition of Welcome Week is a late-night Target run for everything you didn’t know you’d need.

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Number four: enjoy your time right now. Enjoy the last few weeks of your senior year, enjoy your parents cooking and your hometown. Enjoy each and every moment you spend with your friends, cause it’s gonna be a lot harder to get together when the fall rolls around again. Give your pets as much affection as your heart can handle. Lie around and watch tv. Recognize that your job is gonna be useful when you’re in college and all you want to do is go down to Molly’s Cupcakes and get some cupcakes, and you can do that because you have the funds.

Really, don’t dread it – be excited! This is whole new world and an opening to experiences you can’t even begin to imagine right now. It’s going to be great. I’m excited for you!

Where to Work as a First-Year Student

Where to Work as a First-Year Student

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Ooh, a job. For some of you, it might be a scary, new prospect that just a reminder of the incoming doom of life after school. For others, it’s something you’ve known for years. Whether you’re looking to get a job to help pay for this expensive (but worth it) school or just so you can get bopngrill every week, let me tell you about the state of jobs and Loyola, both on and off campus.

Even if you live just down the block from Loyola, things change when you get here. In the job quest, you might qualify for work-study – or you might not. Luckily, no matter your needs, Loyola is here to help! We have job fairs every single semester that host companies looking to hire college students and RamblerLink, a website that also connects prospective employers to potential employees.

Of course, there’s more than that, too. That’s mainly off-campus. Near-campus opportunities include working at The Coffee Shop, Subway, Insomnia Cookies, and so on, and so on. Businesses hire, and you don’t have to take the CTA to get to work! There’s also online freelance jobs perfect for students, like writing for The Odyssey.

It’s Chicago. There’s lots of job opportunities, if you’re willing to go out and get ’em! And if you’re not comfortable leaving the campus or your schedule won’t allow for a thirty-minute commute, then on-campus is for you!

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On-campus has a lot, a lot of opportunities. Unlike other schools, our dining halls are run entirely by Aramark employees, so you don’t have to resign yourself to working to feed your peers. Instead, you can work at the Undergraduate Admission Office, like me! Or you could become a Desk Attendant, an RA, a lab assistant, or a tutor. You can work at the Phonathon, or with Campus Reservations, or even Conference Services. There’s also¬†Orientation Leaders, Welcome Week Leaders, College Coaches, and on and on and on. You could be a security guard at LUMA if you wanted to give that a try. If you can dream that Loyola has a need, then there’s a job.

So where will you work? There’s so many choices, it’s really up to you, your circumstances, and your need. ¬†Trust me when I say that the job market isn’t something you have to worry about being too small here in Chicago and on campus. Happy hunting!

Tips and tricks to overnighting at Loyola

Tips and tricks to overnighting at Loyola

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First off, I gotta say, yay! We’re all very excited to host you at Loyola, and we hope you’ll enjoy! If you’re not signed up for an overnight and you’re interested in Loyola, please check out our programs – we’d love to have you. I personally think overnighting at a college is one of the best things you can do that affects your decision, because you get to know the community better and experience a day in the life of a student, as well as familiarizing yourself with the campus and tasting the freedom that is college living. The tricky part is if you have a bad experience at a school you love – of course, those are very rare and everyone is actively working to make sure you don’t have a horrible time, but even still I would advise you to not let it truly factor into your decision. Overnight hosts aren’t exactly personalty-matched with their guests (it just isn’t possible because so many people overnight and host), and it is just about twelve hours with them – when you get to college, you’ll be able to choose your own friends and find your people.

Well, second off, here’s a list of to-do once you’ve signed up, before I even get started talking about the overnight itself. It’s important you respond when your host reaches out to you to tell them if you’ll be parking on campus, and when you think you’ll arrive, because they have to let other people know, as well as show up to get you! You also want to fill out and return all paperwork as promptly as you can – you don’t want any snafus or speedbumps that could mean you might not be able to overnight after all. And packing, which is very important! You want to pack your pajamas, clothes for the next day, toiletries, maybe a notebook if you want to take notes, and shower shoes and a towel if you plan on taking a shower! most importantly, bring a pillow and sleeping bag. Your host most likely doesn’t have an extra bed or futon for you to sleep on. Also, I’ve seen some guests come with huge suitcases and some with just a backpack – personally, I’d advise the smaller the better, since you could be hauling it up several flights of stairs, but it’s up to you. You also could bring some extra money if you wanted to buy a snack from our Cafes or Food Court, but that’s totally optional. You won’t be able to leave campus, but you’ll have food tickets to eat at our dining halls, so you won’t go hungry.

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Thirdly, remember that your hosts are doing this because they want to show you around Loyola! They are still human, however, and they’re nervous to meet you too. Some might cover that up by talking a hundred miles a minute, and some might be on the quieter side, but they’ll be trying their best. It makes both of our experiences much better and much more fun if you try to engage them with questions and conversations. If you’re not naturally extroverted, that’s okay! I just want you to gain as much from this as you can. It’s natural for there to be awkward pauses and silences sometimes. Since your host has been attending Loyola, they might not always realize that there’s something about Loyola that other people don’t know, so don’t be afraid to interrupt and say things like: “Go back. What’s Palm Court? Can we go to it?” And especially after the overnight is over, don’t be afraid to continue asking those questions to your host. They’ll be happy to help!

Fourth, if you’re wondering if there’s any must-see’s and must-do’s for your brief time at Loyola – there absolutely is! You won’t be able to get them all done in one visit, but here’s some I recommend.

  1. Talk to Sister Jean! She’s a living legend and holds so much passion about Loyola it’s impossible to miss the way she lights up when she talks about us.
  2. Go to Palm Court! Our Mundelein building has a great view of the campus on the sixth floor – just take the elevator up and follow the signs!
  3. Explore Cudahy library! There’s a million hidden study places in there, and it feels like you’ll be able to get a lot done, even if you’re just passing through.
  4. Try deNobili’s make-your-own-pizza. What a luxury, right? They’re just the right size for hungry students and you can always shake it up. deNobili also has chicken nuggets from 9-11 that are just wonderful.
  5. See the sights from Water Tower Campus! Loyola’s new Schrieber center and other buildings offer unique views of downtown Chicago like nowhere else.
  6. Meet TiVo! There’s nothing quite like knowing you’re in good hands… er, paws. TiVo is incredibly sweet and he’s incredibly hard-working, there’s no cons to meeting our therapy dog.
  7. Walk down W Loyola Ave, right between Mertz Hall and Campion. It leads to a nice grassy area that is a great place to soak up the sun and eat a sandwich while enjoying the view of the lake.
  8. Hang out in Damen. If you’re a serial people-watcher like I am, there’s no better place than the round tables in the Damen Student Center. It’s the heart of the campus where everyone passes through, and you can see students involved in all sorts of activities, from tabling to studying to hanging out.
  9. Go to a sports game! If there’s going to be a game, go to it, even just for a bit. Our teams work hard to do their best, and the school spirit at games (about 50% Sister Jean) is easy to catch.

Wow, this has been a long post! Well, I hope it helps. If you have more questions, feel free to ask your host or me. It’ll be a long night with an early morning, but worth it! Go Ramblers!

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The Million-Dollar Question: Food At Loyola

The Million-Dollar Question: Food At Loyola

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Believe you me, I toured a lot of colleges when I was in high school. Being led around by the tour guides like some sort of wayward puppy, I’ve asked a lot of different questions. You know, the important ones – and the not-so important ones. “Why did you pick this college?” “What’s there to do around here?” “Would you say the school spirit is high or low?” “How often does the ice-cream truck come by?”

(I’m not ashamed of the last one. The answer was, tragically, not often.)

Here’s one you might not have thought of – and if you did, it’s hard to get a satisfactory answer. “How is the food?”

I vividly remember my older brother coming home from college his first semester and bemoaning his single dining hall and student center with only Chik-fil-a, Panda Express, and Express Pita as other, actually edible options. And even those get old after a while. He was out of Dining Dollars, spent on avoiding the dining hall as best he could. He was sick of it all.

But he doesn’t attend Loyola.

Here, we have not one, but three Dining Halls, each unique for what they serve on any given day of the week, at any time of the day. You could go to Damen for some lasagna maybe, or de Nobili for make-your-own pizza, or Simpson on Wing Wednesday for some chicken wings in a sauce of your choosing. Or perhaps you want some fried rice and orange chicken, so you go to Damen, or you really want some chicken nuggets – de Nobili, but Simpson has a taco bar that is always prime. They also strive to always have a vegan option and to rotate through ethnic/cultural areas like the Mediterranean, East Asia, South Asia, and so on. How can you possibly keep all the options straight?

There’s an app for that. (No, really, there is!)

I won’t tell you the food never gets old – you could go to the same Dining Hall every day of the week if you want, and you could eat the same thing every day. But with this many options, why would you? All the Dining Halls have make-your-own-salads and sandwich bars, all of them have (hopefully) working ice cream machines and soup. It all depends on you.

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There’s also wondrously fun monthly events like cookie-decorating day, hot apple cider and hot chocolate bars, and cupcakes for those born in the month. The cookie-decorating is especially great because the cookies are top-notch.

Then again, if you still decide you need a break from the large, open sitting areas and big windows from which you can observe the world, Loyola’s still got you covered. You’ve also got Dining Dollars and Rambler Bucks that can be spent at Bleeker Street, Damen Food Court, Engrained Cafe, Ireland’s, Nina’s, Connections Cafe, Lu’s, and our coffeeshops – and that’s just on campus!

‘Off-campus’ food locations are less than five minutes away, and they include Subway, Pita Pit, Potbelly’s, Five Guys, Felice’s, Cafe Descartes, Flaco Taco, Epic Burger, Metropolis Coffee, and Papa John’s, not to mention local hangout The Coffee Shop.

I’m not saying that each food court is five-star dining all the time, but it’s certainly not slop and it’s much better than anything I tried at all those other schools. I don’t dread eating and I enjoy a lot of the food! The dining hall workers try really hard to spice things up for you and there’s always a variety to choose from.

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I recommend Damen’s meat loaf and potatoes, encourage you to give de Nobili’s pizza a try (my favorite is to make bbq hawaiian pizzas), and definitely, you can’t miss Simpson’s cinnamon sticks!

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Adjusting to Loyola as a Commuter

Adjusting to Loyola as a Commuter

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

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