Tag: Advisors

Unsure about your major? Talk it out.

Unsure about your major? Talk it out.

Freshman year can be full of fun and laughter but it’s also composed of a new realm in academics. You are now entering a place that is no longer preparing you for college but is preparing you for life. It may seem scary but it becomes less frightening if you discuss your concerns with other people.

I began my Loyola at career as a Creative Writing major thinking that it was the only thing I could succeed at. I enjoyed editing, I could write a mean analytic paper on a book, and I could travel a path to a career or even to graduate school. It was perfect! I would be a journalist and I would travel the world. But, after taking a few classes I felt bored, I felt unenthusiastic and I didn’t feel challenged enough. It was like I was missing something.

In High School, I not only loved to write and read but I loved to translate Latin. I love and still love learning about the ancient world because the progress of the ancients still influences our world today.

After some urgings from a friend, I contacted Dr. Mannering who is the director of the Classics Department at Loyola and he agreed to speak with me about the possibilities that follow a Classical Civilization Major. I thought that the meeting would be brief and disgruntled, but we spent an entire hour in a thoughtful debate. The talk calmed my nerves and gave me the confidence I needed to succeed in the next few steps of my college path.

In college, there will be decisions and those decisions will be difficult. Just remember, you are NOT alone. Other students feel the exact same way that you do. Talk to your friends, your family, or even your RA. Reach out to a faculty member or advisor and tell them what is on your mind. Although they may seem very busy, most professors care about the well-being of their students and will make time to speak with you.

If you’re anxious right now, don’t be. Good decisions are not made immediately. Take a piece of paper, write a pro and con list, and stick it in a place you will see it often. Constantly add to this list, take away from it and calmly debate it when you feel to be in the proper mind set. It will take time, but you will find your true path eventually.

A lovely view from Loyola's Crown Center for the Humanities.
A lovely view from Loyola’s Crown Center for the Humanities. My new home.
Choosing a College Major VS Undecided

Choosing a College Major VS Undecided


While there are over 80 majors and minors to choose from at Loyola, believe it or not, one of the most popular majors in college these days is UNDECIDED! So don’t be afraid or embarrassed if that’s your current major of choice; you have plenty of time to finalize your choice during the first two years.  If you apply as a traditional Undecided student, you will be admitted to the College of Arts & Sciences which is home to most of the majors on-campus (but you can easily do an internal-transfer to the other schools should you choose a different major). Or, if you know you want to major in something related to business, you can choose the Undecided Business major so you’ll be enrolled in the Quinlan School of Business, but you’ll have time to narrow it down from there.

If you apply undecided, there are many different resources on campus designed to help you choose a major:

There is only one major at Loyola that is impossible to transfer into and that is Nursing. So if you are interested in nursing, be sure to indicate that on your incoming freshmen application, as you can transfer out but you cannot transfer in (even if it’s only your second day at Loyola and you started as a Biology major). You are able to transfer into any other major, so again, don’t be hesitant to apply undecided!

It’s more important to submit your application in a timely manner instead of waiting because you can’t choose a major. However, if you are certain which major you identify with, be sure to indicate that on your application, because all of our programs are direct-entry, so you are admitted to them and will begin in that program on you first day of classes.

All of our majors fall under these different undergraduate schools:

Good luck, future Ramblers!




Tips for First Generation Students

Tips for First Generation Students

You’re the first one to go to college and you’re clueless, but it’s OK.   I, too, am a first generation student at Loyola University Chicago.  I am also an only child and I did not have any close relatives attending college in 2010; it was difficult, but I did it!  Here are some tips that worked for me!

  • REACH OUT EARLY.  This is the most important and this is why it’s my first tip!  Talk to your counselor/advisor asap.  If you know you’re major advisor, talk to him or her as well.  You need to make sure you’re on track so you don’t end up doing a fifth year.  It’s a huge transition from high school, so make sure you’re aware of your options and you know what to do.
  • INVOLVE YOUR FAMILY.  As a first year, I thought I could do it all myself.  However, I still talked to my parents about their opinion(s) on which classes to take, even though I was the first one to go to college.  Don’t try to do everything yourself, involve your parents and siblings and try to explain things to them so they understand and can help you out.
  • JOIN ORGANIZATIONS, INTRAMURAL SPORTS, GO WORK OUT, ETC.  The goal here is to make friends.  You did it in high school, do it again!  You’ll meet many people and who knows, if you meet someone in your major they’ll be able to give you advice on professors, classes, homework, etc.
  • GO TO OFFICE HOURS.  Meet with your professors if something doesn’t make sense, or if something does make sense!  Let them know about your issues, or likings about the class and introduce yourself.  They’re there to help; take advantage of it.
  • BE PATIENT. Sometimes it’s difficult for your family to understand that you have work to do, or that you can’t go home as often as you’d like because you’re swamp with papers/exams.  Talk to them and explain what the classes entail and require from you.  With time, they will understand and get the hang of it.
  • MAKE FRIENDS.  Meet other people who are also first generation students.  There will be days when you don’t know where to run and it’s always nice to have someone there.