Tag: Beach

Why Lakeside is Best Year Round

Why Lakeside is Best Year Round

For me, the noise and busyness of the city can be overwhelming at times. I find myself needing to find a place where I can just breathe; away from the cars and buses, not bumping into people on the sidewalk, or surrounded by skyscrapers. In any other city finding a spot that brings me a little peace might be nearly impossible. Thankfully, Chicago staked out prime Lake Michigan real estate. And Loyola snatched up the best location possible on the Northside of the city.

When I need a breath of fresh air, there’s no better place than lakeside. Loyola’s students are no strangers to the breathtaking lake views our campus offers. On sunny days the lake front is crowded with people reading and relaxing. (I’m telling you lakeside mood boosts are real.) We love to brag about the beauty of our campus, and even in the dead of winter the frozen lake is captivating.

Now, most people reserve their beach time for the warm days of summer, but chilly winter days don’t scare me. This Friday, a friend and I braved a February afternoon walk by the lake. Because Chicagoans are bold (and bursting with spring fever) we weren’t the only ones enjoying a day with temperatures above 30-degrees. The calm waves rolling onto the beach were soothing, even if the cool breeze wasn’t. The water was a pale shade of sea foam green that blended into the cloudy horizon and the beach was scattered with chunks of ice from a formerly frozen lake. So even if I couldn’t feel my legs by the time we made it back to campus a little lake time was completely worth it.

Whenever you get the chance to visit Loyola, be sure to spend time by the lake. (Even if that means gazing at it through the windows of the Information Commons like I’m doing now). Lake Michigan never disappoints. So, as long as Loyola’s my home it will serve as my breath of fresh air in the city.



9 Loyola Myths

9 Loyola Myths


Over the past 3 years in admission, I have noticed there are A LOT of misconceptions about Loyola University Chicago. I am going to use my blog this week to set the record straight. Here are what I consider to be the top 9 Loyola myths:

  1. We are not the same school as Loyola Maryland, Loyola New Orleans or Loyola Marymount. We are all completely separate schools. The only thing we have in common other than our name are our Jesuit background and values. So no, you cannot study at another Loyola in the U.S. However, you can Study Abroad at other universities all over the world or at one of our three campuses in Rome, Beijing or Ho Chi Minh City, which are in fact run by Loyola University Chicago.
  2. You do not have to be Catholic (or even religious) to go to a Jesuit University. About half of our students identify as being Catholic and as a Catholic University, we do offer regular masses, Taize prayer, resources and mentors for our Catholic students. Loyola has the only student-run mosque in Illinois and we have an incredibly strong Hillel Community on campus. We also have several different prayer spaces in our Student Center including a Puja Prayer Room. We are a home to all faiths and encourage interfaith dialogues and for students to lead their own spiritual path with assistance from Campus Ministry which provides resources, services, and mentors on-campus. I also want to throw out that you do not need to be Catholic to attend one of our Retreats at the Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus, these retreats are awesome and open to everyone.
  3. We are actually in the city of Chicago (not a suburb) and are right next to Lake Michigan (not a block away, our buildings are a foot or two from the lake).
  4. We are not a commuter school. Yes, in the past, a lot of students did commute to Loyola, but not in recent years. Now all first and second year students are required to live on-campus and while upper-classmen have the option to live on or off-campus, most stay on campus or live within a block or two of campus. However, the students exempt from the housing policy still have a community and home on campus thanks to Off-Campus Student Life.
  5. Housing is not hard to find on or around campus. As mentioned above, we require that 1st and 2nd year students live on-campus and we have several upperclassmen residence halls at both the Lake Shore Campus and the Water Tower Campus. There are also hundreds of non-Loyola owned or operated apartments near campus.
  6. Our acceptance rate is not 92% or 98%. It is closer to 63%. This is one of those cases where you can’t believe everything you read on the internet so if you’re questioning something you read, call or email your admission counselor!
  7. We are not a school that lacks athletic success, spirit, or history. We are a Division One school in the Missouri Valley Conference and last year our Men’s Volleyball Team won the NCAA National Championship on our very own campus. Go Ramblers! We are also the only D1 School in Illinois to ever win a NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship, which we did in 1963, but we are still proud of the win and of our contribution to NCAA history via the Game of Change.
  8. Chicago’s weather isn’t always horrible. Our fall is actually warmer than most of the Midwest thanks to the wind blowing warm air off the lake. Most of the time, we don’t see snow or really cold days until late December when students are already home for Winter Break. Yes the beginning of the spring semester is cold and has some snow, but harsh winters build character and stories you’ll be telling the rest of your life. And don’t forget how much of the year (typically March – November) brings truly amazing weather to Loyola. During these nice months you can find our students hanging out at street festivals, enjoying the great outdoors that you CAN find in the city, and by hanging out at “Loyola Beach” (really called Hartigan Beach).
  9. We are not “the wolves”. We are the Ramblers! However, Lu Wolf is indeed the name of our mascot.


Choosing the Right City

Choosing the Right City

Throughout the travel season, I’ve noticed that quite a few students are applying to a wide array of schools. Applying to many schools can be a good way to keep your options open, but it can also be quite time consuming. I would recommend narrowing the list to save your self some time (and money if there are application fees, which Loyola does NOT have). One of the easiest ways to shorten the list, spend some time considering the city your school is located in and whether or not it’s a good fit for you.

Some things to consider about cities:

  • Distance- Is it the right distance from home? Are you looking to stay close by or do you want to move further away to get a new experience? What forms of transportation can you take to get back & forth? Will you be able to afford to commute home easily for holidays?
  • Weather/Climate- Are you looking for a city with all 4 seasons or just 1? Do you want a snowy winter? Do you want to be near a beach? (Loyola offers both of those options!)

  • Rural Life Vs. City Life- Are you looking to study in a small, rural town or do you want to experience fast-pace, city life? Are you looking for a quiet environment or are you okay with a little city noise?
  • Transit- Will you be able to easily commute to grocery stores, restaurants, etc? Do you need a car? How does parking work on campus? Can you rely on public transit to get around? Or is everything within walking distance? (At Loyola you can always rely on the CTA, Chicago Transit Authority, to get you around the city at no cost with your U-Pass!)
  • Diversity- How diverse is the campus & the neighborhood? Will you get a different experience from your hometown? What opportunities are there to explore different cultures, beliefs, etc.? (Loyola is in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country, Rogers Park.)
  • Internship/Job Opportunities- Are there businesses nearby who will provide internship opportunities? How far will you have to commute for work? How far are you willing to commute for an internship or job? (Being in Chicago, Loyola is very close in proximity to uncountable internship & experiential learning opportunities.)

There’s no right or wrong answer to the questions listed above, they’re all things you need to consider and answer honestly for yourself when deciding if a college or city is a good fit for you.

Good Luck!

Accio Easter Break!

Accio Easter Break!

One of the perks of going to a Jesuit University is that we get a small break for Easter. As someone who doesn’t celebrate this Christian holiday, Easter break is simply a few extra days for me to relax before the onslaught of finals.

Last year I spent the whole break confined to my bed, alternating between sleeping, eating and watching Doctor Who on Netflix. But this year, I did something a little more exciting…one of my best friends, Rachel, convinced me to head down south and visit her in Miami!

I don't even go here.

It was one of the best trips I’ve taken in a while. We saw “The Hunger Games,” enjoyed an all you can eat sushi buffet (a challenge which we glad accepted) and I watched Rachel play quidditch. She also showed me a stereotypical Miami “study break” by taking me to the beach.

Rockin' our bikinis!

However, the highlight of my vacation was definitely the small road trip we made from Miami to Orlando in order to visit the Islands of Adventure

With my hero!

… and none other than The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Yes, that is Hogwarts!

I’m not sure what my favorite part was – road tripping for the first time, getting my wand picked out by Ollivander himself (ash with unicorn hair!), tasting butterbeer for the first time, flying with Ron and Harry over Hogwarts or eating at the Three Broomsticks. I don’t think I can explain how amazing it was, except to say that the whole time I was borderline crying from happiness.

Typical picture of me and my borderline crying.

It had been so nice to just get away from everything, but visiting the world of one my favorite childhood books was the icing on the cake to an amazing trip.

Now that we only have about a month left of school, I’m more than glad that I have some warm memories to get me through to May 5th!