Tag: tips for choosing a college

Loyola is Exactly What I Was Looking For

Loyola is Exactly What I Was Looking For


When I started my college search I had one thing on my mind—Chicago. I grew up in a small town about three hours away from the city. Every time my family would come to the city for a visit my heart would start pumping fast and a smile would creep onto my face when I caught the first glimpse of the skyline. (Then again, that still happens to me today.) The problem with these visits to Chicago was just that—they were visits. We always had to leave the skyscrapers to come back to the corn fields.
My desire to do more than visit the city (and earn a degree) was the driving force behind my college search. Since I was looking for a school in the city I was nervous that all I would find were universities that consisted of a few tall buildings on a city block. I did not want to sacrifice the “college campus feel” or a quad for that matter. When Loyola University Chicago came up in my search I was pleasantly surprised.
I toured the university during spring break of my junior year. With my dad and my best friend in tow we started with a tour of the Water Tower Campus. I was blown away when I realized how many times I had been just steps away from the university on my many trips to Ghirardelli. Stepping onto Lake Shore Campus was a huge breath of fresh air. It was a real college campus, with a real quad, within the city limits! After that I was sold—so sold that Loyola was the only school I applied to.
Loyola was the best of both worlds for me, the city and campus all in one. But of course before I completely committed to this University I had to consider more than just location. Coming in without having a major I wanted to make sure the school I chose had plenty of options for me. Loyola’s School of Communications peaked my interest and someday soon I will be happy to choose a major within this school.
Now that I’m here I know I made the right choice. I’ve loved the opportunities I’ve gotten to become involved with campus ministry, do volunteer work in the community, and take classes from some truly inspiring professors. I’m so happy that I get to call Loyola home.

Off and Running…

Off and Running…

My sister in-law took my niece for her senior picture yesterday. It’s so hard to imagine that she is starting her senior year in high school. And yes, I am one of those aunts who is quick to say, “I remember going with her for her first day of kindergarten. I remember her trotting around in the headdress I bought for her when she was about 3. I remember trying to teach her how to play volleyball. I remember that she loved singing Jimmy Buffet’s ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ at the top of her lungs while in the car.”

Time flies.

This year, she will experience very special moments—from her senior picture to football games to senior trips to fun times with friends. She will also walk into the work of making her college decision. She is a young adult now: mature, smart, and beautiful. What I hope she realizes is just how many choices she will have in finding the right ‘next step.’

There are more than 4000 two- and four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. I keep trying to explain that there are likely many that will meet her criteria and many that she hasn’t even heard about yet.

I recommend that high school seniors keep an open mind and go beyond the initial search of just a few ‘big name’ schools that you know and recognize.

  • Attend a college fair at your high school or in your city and talk with the people behind the tables; they are likely the same people making the admission decision on your application.
  • Ask questions. Does the school have your major? Where is it located? What is its size? What are the popular clubs and organizations on campus? Can I study abroad?
  • Seek out college representatives that visit your high school—they have tons of information to share about the application process, scholarships, financial aid, and student life.
  • Make an appointment with your college counselor to see if he or she has recommendations for you based on your areas of interest.

And for one of you…make sure you talk with your aunt. She has some experience in this area.