Author: Meredith Simmons

Living On Campus After Freshman Year

Living On Campus After Freshman Year


When most of your friends are headed off to state schools, it can seem really weird that here at Loyola you’re required to live on campus for two years. Of course, there are always ways to get around this rule, but for the most part, sophomores tend to live on campus. Don’t fret though, living on campus after freshman year isn’t all bad, and here’s why.

Freshman year you’ll live in one of five dorms; Mertz, Campion, San Francisco, De Nobili, or Simpson, but after first year you have a lot more options. Now you can pick from residence halls like the beautiful lake side Santa Clara, or if you prefer a double, Regis Hall. Another interesting thing about upper class men dorms is that some of them do not have front desks! If you’ve already lived or are living on campus, you’ll know the luxury of this.

Another luxury of living in upper class men housing is the over night policy. While living in first year housing you have a pretty strict non-Loyola student overnight guest policy. Once you graduate to second year housing you have much more relaxed guest policies and don’t have to worry about getting a guest pass 24 hours in advance to your best friend from out of town spending the night.

Living in upper class men dorms is also nice because it gives you a chance to adapt to living with a little more independence before actually getting your own apartment. You can live apartment style after freshman year which means you’ll have your own bathroom and kitchen. This makes it easier to cut down your dining hall plan (which you’re required to have) to only a five day and start cooking for yourself!

In the end, living in student housing for two years really isn’t that bad. It gives you one more year to live in a community with your classmates and not have to worry about adult things like bills and cooking. You’ll have plenty of time to live on your own and be an adult, so don’t rush it. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up loving your upper class men housing and keep living there till senior year, you never know!

Guru Gang Loyola

Guru Gang Loyola



Being a college student comes with a lot of amazing opportunities and possibilities. I have the opportunity this semester to be a Style Guru with the website CollegeFashionista. It’s kind of like an internship, and kind of like hands on learning experience with fashion blogging on a platform other than a personal blog. So what do I do exactly?

I write monthly posts on fashion or beauty looks from around Loyola’s campus. I take photos and put together posts that reflect the style vibe of our awesome student body. I’m not the only Style Guru at Loyola though, I know many other Guru’s on campus who are excited to have this opportunity as well.

This isn’t just an all about me blog either. Most of the posts that Style Guru’s write are on people other than themselves at their university. This makes for an authentic look at what it means to be a fashionable college student in America.

I found this website through the internet, much like we find everything else today. So maybe writing about fashion isn’t your thing, there are tons of other cool internships and writing jobs that you can find through the internet in whatever field you’re interested in, all you have to do is look.

I have learned so much already from being a Style Guru.I  have had the opportunity to be featured on the websites October Mood board as well as receiving free products from beauty retailer Ulta to review for Collegefashionista. Check out their website if you’re a fashionable Loyola student, or take sometime to browse the web for other amazing opportunities for college students like you!

Chicago Fashion Week

Chicago Fashion Week


Chicago is full of hidden gems and amazing hole in the wall spots for anything you can imagine, sometimes it just takes a minute to find them. As a fashion blogger and someone who has a keen personal interest in the industry, I always felt like I was missing out by not being in NYC or LA. Finally I realized that I wasn’t missing out on anything but what was right in front of me. Chicago might not have the commercialized industry that New York has, but what we have might just be better. A raw and unique industry built by the patchwork of designers and models who populate Chicago’s fashion industry.

This past Saturday I had the chance to attend an fashion show hosted by a FashionBar Chicago, a fashion PR firm in the city. This event was part of a larger program, Chicago Fashion Week, which is aimed at bringing together the designers and talented fashion students of Chicago to help make the city a fashion capital.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I found this event through Fashion Bar Chicago’s website and convinced a friend of mine to tag along with me. The fashion show was held at the Fourth Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue, and hosted five designers who would show their collections. The location was iconic, a place you would remember if you’ve ever been to Chicago’s magnificent mile and a place where everyone wants to take a pic for instagram (which of course I did).

Once inside, we took our seats and chatted with other guests while we waited for the first show. It was a simple and intimate venue, which lent well to the nature of Chicago fashion. I consider myself an avid people watcher, and this was prime location. It was incredible to watch everyone as they settled into their seats, each sporting their own unique style.

Every designer had a vivid and uniquely personal line and served as a great reminder that you don’t need to fly to Paris to experience fashion. This experience reminded me just why I love Chicago. This city has everything, every time I think that I’m missing something, I’m surprised to find it hiding around the corner waiting to be discovered. Living in Chicago you can’t be afraid do go and seek out the things that you like. Even if at first you don’t see what you’re looking for, you might be surprised at the amazing things you’ll find in this city!

Bring On the Opportunities

Bring On the Opportunities



Being a college students means being constantly busy and constantly handed new opportunities (or so we all hope), and this isn’t a bad thing. Opportunities are the gateway to successful careers and lives, but there is a point at which you run out of time to accept these opportunities and their implied commitments. This is a problem that I am facing, not for the first time all together, but for the first time on my own.

This year I have definitely been blessed with all the opportunities I have been given, but I have started to realize that I’m coming to the end of my availability to do anything else. The realization came the moment I opened up my instagram app and realized that I had five accounts logged in on my phone that I was working on or with or ran myself. It was that moment when I said, Hey, this actually is A LOT. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. My work on social media both for the school, myself, and my sorority brings me so much joy, but the problem with working on social media is that you’re working all the time. Social media doesn’t stop, so I’m constantly posting or liking or monitoring something! Maybe I overbooked myself.

The last two weeks I’ve been stressing out more than usual, and missing assignments, something that I never like to do. Maybe you noticed I haven’t posted on this blog much, this is why. But I don’t want to live behind the excuse of overbooking myself, and neither should you. That’s why I’m taking all these things as another opportunity, one to learn where my balance is. These four years are all about finding yourself and finding out who you’re going to be for the rest of your life. Realizing where your limits are and where you can improve your time management/ procrastinating is just as much a part of this as picking a career path.

The biggest learning experience that I’ve had from this just over the past few weeks, is that I have the ability to manage a lot of things at once, but if I don’t stay organized it will all turn into one major mess. This year more than ever I have been writing things down. If it’s not written in my planner it’s probably not going to happen. Maybe you got away with just remembering it in high school or even Freshman year of college but, once life starts to move a little faster you’re going to thank god for your planner too.

Another important scheduling and time management tidbit I’ve learned, is consistency. If you do the same thing over and over again, it becomes a habit. Going to bed and waking up at the same time can seem like a drag, especially on the weekends. When it gets to be mid-semester and waking up to go downtown isn’t fun anymore though, you’ll be glad you wake up before your alarm.

Taking on more is scary and exciting at the same time. It’s the feeling of moving forward and learning hands on, and I know that I am thankful everyday for the opportunities I have had this semester, but it can be challenging. It’s okay to feel stressed out, even by something you love. Don’t forget to take breaks, and eat cookies, and when you feel like you don’t have time for anything anymore take a deep breath and tell yourself you can do this, because guess what, YOU CAN DO THIS!

To Job or Not To Job

To Job or Not To Job



Loyola can sometimes seem to have a reputation as being a posh private university, and while it’s true, we are a private university, not all of us have super “posh” backgrounds. Finances are a real issue that most Loyola students deal with everyday whether they talk about it or not. So when is the right time to get a job? Where do you get a job? And most importantly, how do you get a job?

The perfect job is different for everyone. Some students can cope with a part time retail job downtown in addition to class, other’s find it easier to snag an on campus job. Your first stop no matter what should be Ramblerlink, this Loyola run online job source is a great way to connect with jobs and internships that work for you. All you have to do is log in with your Loyola ID, answer a few questions, upload a resume and you have access! On campus jobs are all on Ramblerlink and are a great way to stay close to home, meet other ramblers, and make a few extra bucks. Jobs on campus include, working as a desk receptionist, working at the IC desk, or the desk in Halas, and much much more. You can also visit Loyola job fairs, check out the events calendar and find out when the next one is too start your journey!

So maybe you’re a freshman and you haven’t got a great resume (or any resume at all) yet. Don’t worry, we have resources for that too! If you don’t know exactly where to begin when it comes to resume writing, stop by the career center, click here to find out more!

“But I don’t want an on campus job or an internship, I want to work at Topshop or Victoria Secret!” Don’t worry, I have advice for you too! There are tons of students at Loyola who have off campus jobs in retail or as hosts/hostesses or waiters around the city! When it comes to finding these jobs you’re going to have to do a little more work on your own. Take a trip to the career center to get your resume in order and then hit the web. Your one stop shop for jobs is going to be online. Check out the website of a store or restaurant you want to work at and scroll down to the bottom of the homepage, there’s usually a link titled ‘careers’ that will take you to their hiring site. In my experience, you don’t hear back from a lot of the places you apply, but sometimes you get lucky. Applying to stores in particular is a waiting game, so make sure your resume is killer, even if you don’t have any experience.

Juggling school and work is hard, finding someone older who has experience with it is a great way to decide if you can do it too! Make sure you don’t overbook yourself, even if it seems doable in theory sometimes work and school can be too much to handle. Keep an open mind and an open schedule and see where things go! Happy job searching!

Baby I’m Back!

Baby I’m Back!


This time last year I was scared and truthfully pretty unsure about whether I had made the right decision in coming to Loyola. A year later I’m sitting here writing to you and loving my life. It’s crazy how different things are already as a sophomore, I couldn’t wait to come back this year and I wasn’t stressed about if my dorm would look like it came off Pinterest. A whole year away from home gave me a confidence that I never dreamed I would have, and a group of friends and sisters I wouldn’t trade for the world. Over the past year I changed my major, made new friends, lost new friends, lost a roommate, and joined a sorority. Freshman year your life is put on fast forward, and even though there were moments last year that tested my character and my ambition, I am so glad that it all happened.

This year I’m excited to be an initiated member of Chi Omega and have a better idea of what I want to do with my life. Last year, I decided that the business school wasn’t what I wanted to to be, so here I am switching to the School of Communication!

My advice for freshman would be to take a deep breath and chill out. Stop stressing about making friends and sitting alone in the dining hall. It’ll happen, you’ll find your people with time, and sitting alone in the dining hall means you can watch Netflix. Half way through first semester last year, I thought I would transfer out for sure. It only took one good friend to convince me otherwise. I remember the moment when I realized that there were people here who wanted me around, and that was the best feeling in the world. Even if it was only a handful of people, it was a handful of people who were my friends. So if you’re a freshman don’t stress out, and don’t think that if you don’t have a best friend by week two that it’s the end of the world. You will find your place and when you do it will be awesome!

I’ve hit the ground running this year and I’m so glad that I stuck with my gut and stayed at Loyola. I can’t wait to see what sophomore year has in store for me! Stay tuned, I’ll be back and blogging every week!


Summer is Coming

Summer is Coming



As we wrap up the projects and exams and say goodbye to our freshman year, It’s interesting to look back and see just how much we’ve changed over the last nine months. In August I was eighteen and anxious. I started this year without any friends, I started this year with a roommate, I started this year on the dance team, and I started this year with no idea how much I would love Loyola.

Now I’m nineteen, which isn’t really a big difference, but at the same time it kind of is. This time next year I’ll be twenty and I know now that that day is coming much sooner than I ever imagined. I still feel like I moved in a week ago sometimes. I’m a much different person now than I was a week after move in though. I’ve made a lot of good decisions, and a lot of bad decisions, but most of all I’ve made a lot of memories.

Ending freshman year is kind of surreal. I don’t really know if i’m ready to not be the new kid anymore. I mean once you’re a sophomore you know what college is about, you’re still learning, but you’ve been around the block a few times already. That’s going to be weird.

Next year people start going to study abroad. They start specializing and looking for internships. The real world is gonna be coming at us even faster. I’m glad that this year I’ve found what I think I want to do with my life, and next year I want to do even more to make my future a reality.

Freshman year is fun, it’s a lot of learning both in and out of the classroom, and a lot of finding yourself. You find out a lot about yourself freshman year, and you start to understand who the people you went to high school with really are. People change after high school, and some people really don’t.

If you’re an incoming freshman, get excited, and don’t worry, because yeah it will be hard but it will also be totally worth it!

10 Things I Did Not Expect About Loyola

10 Things I Did Not Expect About Loyola




Every school is different, and for the incoming college freshman, they’re all unknown territory. Now you can read any number of student testimonials and pictures, but you’ll never actually know till you’re there. So why should you read my list? Well, because you still want to know what you’re getting yourself into before you actually move on campus next fall. So here’s a list of the aspects of Loyola that I never understood from the website, pictures, and even campus visits!

1). Loyola is NOT a state school – Yes, you’re thinking, I already know that idiot. But I say this just as a reminder not to expect a lot of the same campus trends as your friends who go to state school. You’re in the city, and even though you have a campus – it’s nothing like any school you’ve seen in the movies.

2). People “dress up” on campus – This is one of the differences between state school and city schools that I didn’t really expect. Students – practically everyone – actually get up and get dressed in actual clothes for class. This is different from what I had heard about other schools and everyone living in sweats and pajamas because on campus no one cares – people kind of care here.

3). Greek Life is actually a thing – because Loyola isn’t exactly known for it’s greek life, I never imagined that being part of the greek community would mean anything. I was surprised to find out just how developed and thriving this community is. Check it out, it’s worth it.

4). A lot of students have on campus jobs – I clearly work for the university since you’re reading my blog post right now, but I was slightly surprised to find out just how many kids actually have on campus jobs with Loyola. You can get involved with these different opportunities at job fairs and through the information on the website.

5).Even though we aren’t a party school, people still go out – Yeah, finding weekend activities is a little more challenging here than at any big ten state school, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good times to be had. Once you find your friends or join a group on campus you will find that going out and having a good time becomes much easier.

6). Not everyone is Catholic/Jesuit – You might not be surprised by this, but I kind of was. I didn’t think everyone would be Catholic, Jesuit, or even Christian, but I didn’t really understand just how diverse Loyola would be. There is a place for everyone of every religious or cultural background on Loyola’s campus.

7). Taking the ‘el’ get’s 100% easier after the first time – I was really scared that I would never figure out the public transportation system, or be confident using it. Don’t worry though, after you do it once you’ll be much more calm and you’ll be able to start using it all the time.  (pro tip – save a picture of the CTA train map on your phone for ref).

8). Living In Mertz isn’t all Bad – There’s a lot of hype surrounding the biggest oldest freshman dorm on campus, “Mertz till it Hurts” is everyone’s favorite mantra. But Mertz has the best community feeling of any of the dorms I know. I lived in De Nobili (loved it btw), but kids who lived in Mertz seemed to always know what was going on.

9). You’ll see people around campus constantly! – Because of Loyola’s size you’re going to see people in random places around campus and downtown like all the time. This isn’t a bad thing! It actually makes living in the city a little more homey! I love running into friends downtown, always a fun surprise!

10). College is what you make of it – Going to any school, whether it’s Loyola or a state school, is going to give you exactly what you put into it. What I mean by this is that there are a lot of stigma’s surrounding private schools and city schools that can seem hard to break through, but after a year at Loyola I can honestly say that whatever aspect of college you really want you can probably find at Loyola. If you really want to be in a sorority, you can do that; If you really want to be independent and never see anyone, you can do that; If you want to go out every weekend, you can do that; If you want to bum around your dorm 24/7, you can do that too. Loyola is unique, but it has a wide variety of activities and qualities to offer it’s students that you might not realize till you’re here.




On the Eve of Initiation

On the Eve of Initiation




As I get ready to become a fully initiated, real life, Chi Omega, I wanted to take the time to reflect on what the past two months have been like for me as a new member. Joining Greek Life at Loyola was not something that I had ever really intended to do. As I talked about in my post “Going Greek” which was all about the recruitment process and picking my chapter,  I was not completely on board with the whole idea of sororities when I first signed up for recruitment. Through the recruitment process though, I found that I was at home with the beautiful women of Chi Omega.

Joining a sorority isn’t just about the recruitment process though. Becoming a member of Chi Omega, or any sorority or fraternity on campus is a life changing process that goes way past the excitement of bid day.

Once you get over adrenaline of bid day, you have to get down to the reality of sorority life, which is a huge commitment. You now have to learn about not only being a sorority woman but also how your chapter works and what commitments you have to uphold as a new member. This of course can seem daunting, you’ve just met one hundred plus new people and can’t tell up from down, and now you have to set aside a huge part of your time for your chapter. Don’t worry though, because everyone that you just met is either going through this process with you or has done it themselves.

Soon you’ll be getting your Big and joining an amazing greek family, these girls will become your home and your rock in the face of anything and everything. Then slowly and without even noticing it you’ll start to find that the women who were strangers a few weeks ago, are now quickly becoming your best friends.

Attending mixers, formals, and any other social events is different as a sorority woman. Not only do your sisters hold you to a higher standard but so does the world. You will learn that you set the example for how people will view your sorority and sororities as a whole. But don’t forget to have fun.

You’ll make mistakes, and it will be okay. You’ll feel lost at times, but your sisters will be there to help you. You’ll be overwhelmed… a lot, but your sister will help you find your balance. And soon it’ll be initiation weekend and you’ll find that you yourself have changed. You have grown as a person and you have found a group of women who you know will be there for you for years and years to come.

There is an amazing group of women waiting to welcome you into their world, no matter which chapter you choose. So as you start to think about joining Greek Life at Loyola, consider this.


Downtown AMC

Downtown AMC



This past weekend I finally took a trip to the downtown AMC movie theater! This theater isn’t like an ordinary movie theater though, it’s a luxury theater! Since moving to Loyola full time I’ve wanted to see a movie there but I’ve never had the time. I finally got the chance to go when my best friend from home came to visit and check out Loyola. After a day exploring the city we decided that a trip to the movie theater would be the best way to end the day. Since I had never been to this theater, we bought out tickets online for a late showing of Deadpool. We ate dinner across the street at Eataly (I had the mushroom pappardelle), we headed over to the theater.

Inside, the theater has fancy reclining seats instead of regular movie theater seats. When you buy tickets online you pick your seats so that you have a reserved set of copy reclining chairs. Instead of regular movie grub concession stands, they have a menu and you can order real food. It’s a pretty bougie place to be honest, and it’s amazing. The movie was amazing and the whole experience was great, 10/10 would recommend.

I wish that i had checked out the AMC downtown earlier, it would have been a great winter activity, as it’s indoors. This would also be a great date location 😉 If you go to Loyola, you have to see at least one movie at the downtown AMC, you won’t regret it!