Tag: Campus

Decision Time

Decision Time

You’ve made it. You’re nearly finished with your senior year of high school and you can’t wait to take the next steps toward your future in college.

College…that’s the tough part isn’t it? By this point you’re probably dizzy from all the campuses you’ve toured and the pile of acceptance letters at you’ve accumulated. Now that you’ve seen the scholarship options from these schools you’ve probably nailed it down to a top two or three. And by this point you just want to make a decision so that you have a concrete answer to the dreaded “What are your plans for next year?” question.

When it comes down to it here’s a few questions to ask when making your college decision:

1. Does the school offer the major you’re interested in? (And a variety of others in case you change your mind?) Students change their majors much more often than you may think, so even if you can’t predict what you might change your major too, at least look for schools that offer a variety of programs that appeal to you.
2. Are you comfortable with the distance from home? Whether you want to go to school across the country or in your hometown, be sure to think about if you’re comfortable with the distance from home. Consider how often you’ll be able to make the trip home (and how worried your mom will be if you go too far away).
3. Were you offered any grants or scholarships that will make paying for school manageable? College is expensive, which means that schools that don’t offer you large enough scholarships will probably have to be thrown off the list. Don’t forget to look for outside scholarships that can certainly help you pay your way.
4. Do you like the campus? It’s layout, the way it looks, the residence and dining halls? Even if you like everything else, if you don’t like the way a campus looks or feels then you probably won’t end up loving the school. These are the buildings you’ll be taking classes, studying, eating and living in for the next four years—liking them is important.
5. What are the major pros and cons of coming to school here? Go ahead and write it out, when you’re able to see your likes and dislikes in front of you may be able to better understand what is most important to you.
6. Will you be happy calling this school home for the next four years? Loving everything about the college you choose may be impossible, but if this is a place where you can be happy, see yourself grow and ultimately become a better person, then without a doubt, that is the school for you.

Now I must admit that the college decision was much easier for me than it is for most people. In fact, I did exactly what all admissions counselors tell you not to do and only applied to one school. Thankfully, Loyola wanted me and offered me a generous scholarship. For me, LUC checked off all the boxes I needed: plenty of majors, a beautiful campus, academics that would challenge me, Chicago (enough said), opportunities to study abroad and ultimately a place where I could be transformed.

Loyola 360 Virtual Tour – Do it!

Loyola 360 Virtual Tour – Do it!


You may or may not have noticed, but right above the link to click on these blogs on the Undergraduate Admissions Page is a link to Loyola’s Virtual Tour.  I can’t speak enough of how awesome this is!

I’m not a Chicago local – in fact, the drive from where I live in Minnesota is between eight and nine hours. I actually only toured Loyola once before I decided to come here, and it was a saving grace that the Honors Program Orientation was after we moved in so I wouldn’t have to drive down during the summer after my senior year. I actually have a lot of friends who didn’t tour Loyola before choosing it – none of us regret coming here though, thankfully.

When I started my college search process, there was only one school that I was interested in that had a virtual tour like Loyola has. It was confusing, hard to navigate, and took forever to load, no matter the internet connection I had. It also skipped a lot of walking paths so you couldn’t quite orient yourself every time you wanted to ‘go’ somewhere new. Now, this isn’t to say Loyola’s is the best virtual tour out there, but for the ones I’ve seen (which is few and far between) it does pretty well!


My favorite thing about it is that it operates a lot like Google Maps, which is straightforward and simple – just click the directions you want to go! It’s also got a map in the upper corner so no matter what you can orient yourself, and see where you’ve been! There’s also three 360 degree photos that let you twist and turn your virtual view. And although it doesn’t cover all of campus, it’s pretty good at getting the main student hubs!

So why should you play around with this nifty tool if it’s only limited? Well, if you live far away like me, or even further, one tour might be all you get a chance to get before you come here. The virtual tour is guided if you’d like, and captures a lot of important and cool buildings we have on campus, as well as making routes clear. I’ll be honest with you, before classes started I spent a lot of time on this to plan my path from one building to another.

Also the pictures are really beautiful! It might seem like there aren’t a lot of students in some shots, but I’m guessing that these pictures were taken during a time when a lot of students were in class – having classes from 11-1 seems like a good idea in the winter when you won’t have to leave a lot, but when it comes to nice weather we all regret not being able to enjoy the most out of the sun!

There’s no good reason to not take a walk around campus from your computer or phone. Explore! See! Familiarize! Learn lots of fun facts about Loyola that you can dazzle your real-life tour guide with when you come to visit!


(this is you, but online!)

Hopefully, I’ll see you around real campus!

Winning the Scholarship or Honors Program Acceptance Letter

Winning the Scholarship or Honors Program Acceptance Letter


Congratulations, you’ve been admitted to Loyola University Chicago as a future Rambler! And now, some of you have been invited to apply to Loyola Interdisciplinary Honors Program or the Business Honors Program and some of you have been invited to apply for selective scholarships at Loyola! While being invited to compete for these prestigious organizations and awards is an accomplishment in itself, you can follow a few quick tips to put yourself in the best position to win the scholarship or acceptance letter; my advice:

When it comes to your essay

  • My number one tip: ANSWER THE QUESTION. Many students submit essays that dance around the topic, but your essay will be much more impressive if you acknowledge the question head-on. Be direct and be concise.
  • SUBMIT IT EARLY. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to start your essay. You want this to be a well thought-out and well-written essay. Not something you threw together at midnight between your math homework and science project. We read enough essays to tell which were written with care and which were written hap-haphazardly.
  • USE SPELL CHECK. It’s your friend. Use it. Then proofread it. Then read it again. Then have someone (a teacher, counselor, parent, etc.) read it. Then put it away for a few days and then break it out and read it again. You want this essay to be perfect.

When it comes to your resume

  • SEND IN A NEW ONE. If you submitted a version for college admission, that’s great, but you might be leaving out some new accomplishments. I would recommend adding new information like new awards, honors, participation in organizations, leadership, service, etc.
  • DON’T FORGET FRESHMAN YEAR. We should know everything you’ve been involved with in regard to extra-curriculars over the past 4 years; not just what you’ve been doing junior and senior year. Leave nothing out; this is your chance to awe us with your accomplishments. (This updated resume will also be helpful in the future if you are looking for jobs on-campus in the fall!)
  • MAKE IT PROFESSIONAL. The font should be clear, text in black, with a format/style that says organized. There are so many different template available to help you do this. A final tip, send you resume as a PDF so you don’t have to worry about it being distorted when opened on different types of computers and programs.

When it comes to your interview…

  • BREATHE. You’re here to talk about you. No one knows you better. This is a topic you’re a natural pro at so try to relax. Just come in, be yourself, and don’t be afraid to brag a little.
  • BE PROMPT. Walking in late will not impress anyone.
  • DRESS FOR SUCCESS. You don’t have to wear a suit necessarily, but you should be dressed appropriately (definitely no pajamas, disheveled clothing, or clothing you wouldn’t wear to school or to dinner with your grandma).
  • BE POLITE TO EVERYONE YOU ENCOUNTER. If an administrative assistant checks you in or escorts you to the office for the interview, be polite and friendly with them, you never know if they might share this input with the decision-makers.
  • PREPARE. Do your research about the school, their values, their mission, etc. Knowing what is important to the school will likely help you impress the interviewers.
  • LEARN SOMETHING. If you’re there on campus, this is another chance for you explore and determine or confirm “fit”. Also, keep in mind that whoever is interviewing you has some connection with the University whether they are staff, faculty, current students, or alumni, they are great resources whom you can ask questions.

Good Luck!


Loyola keeps winnin’

Loyola keeps winnin’

It’s difficult to not sound cliche every time I have to answer the question: Why did you choose Loyola?  First, let me take you to 2007.  I remember that year perfectly because I had my list of universities I wanted to apply to.  Loyola was the first one down on the list.  My mother’s good friend had two sons who had just graduated from Loyola and she always talked to me about it.  Always.  Among DePaul, U of I, UIC, Saint Louis University, Iowa State University and Northwestern, I knew Loyola stood out the most to me, but I wasn’t sure as to why just yet…

It wasn’t until my senior year of high school when I received all of the acceptance letters that I started feeling overwhelmed.  I took it one step at a time and decided to visit the campuses.  You know how they say don’t judge a book by its cover?  I had to.  No other campuses compared to Loyola’s breathtaking views.  Needless to say whenever I mentioned Loyola to anyone they always “oohed” and “aahed.”  It’s prestige made it that much better.

I had finally realized why Loyola stood out to me the most.  I always wanted to be a city girl, but still be close to home.  I wanted a prestigious education, but at a reasonable price.  I wanted a beautiful campus, but still feel at home.  I wanted to meet people, but make lifetime friends.  I wanted to challenge myself as a student, but find myself as a person.  I knew Loyola would make all of this happen and it did.  It also made me realize that it’s OK to sound cliche when you appreciate your education THIS much.

Sweater Weather

Sweater Weather

I have to be honest with you. Sometimes, Chicago weather can make me grumpy. It can be windy, cold, a little bit dreary and often results in me being blown into light poles and unsuspecting pedestrians. And I think that’s what most people think of when they think about the Windy City (the cold and wind, not blowing into innocent people). But, people who just file Chicago weather under freezing and miserable are forgetting one important season: Chicago Fall.

The time between the sweltering summers and frozen winters includes the best weather I have ever experienced in my life. Fall is beautiful.

It’s usually warm, but with enough breeze that it’s comfortable to wear a nice combination of clothes – t-shirts and pants, dresses with tights or my favorite, shorts with sweaters. In general, it’s just nice not to be a melting puddle of sweat or a freezing iceicle.

Last week, it seemed like Chicago finally began it’s fall transition, giving up the sweltering days of 90 degrees in favor for 70 degree weather with intermittent breezes. Seeing everyone hanging out along the lake and sprawled out on the quad reminded me of just how gorgeous the Lake Shore Campus at Loyola can be.

Lake view numero uno

It’s easy to get distracted by all of the work, committments and other things I have going on, forgetting just how completely beautiful my campus can be.

Luckily, because my workload hasn’t been too heavy so far this semester, I’ve had a chance to remember and enjoy the gorgeous weather. I’m glad that I’m not too busy…I don’t think I would have been able to study from my 7.3 pound pharmacology book if I wanted to. The idea of making millions of notecards along the lakefront seems a little out of place in my mind.

That’s not to say that people haven’t been doing their homework outside – reading and laying around the grass and lake paths seem to be the activities of choice for students during the past week or so. I just have a habit of getting too distracted by the mesmerizing waves or breeze.

Lake view numero dos

But for me, I think that’s okay. While part of college consists of the academic experience, I think another big part of it consists of those lazy days where you can just lay out under the sun and listen to the waves before heading to your next class.

Events on Campus

Events on Campus

As a Senior, I acknowledge that the perspective may not be the most relevant to the readers of this blog. After all, the Undergraduate Admissions Office’s primary audience is prospective Freshman. But I think that my perspective after an “average lifespan” of a Loyola student can be helpful. They say hindsight it 20/20, and I am in a unique position to see my time at Loyola more clearly than others.

Which brings me to the subject of this blog’s post: on campus events. If there is one thing I regret it is not going to as many on campus events as I could have. My advice to incoming Freshman and underclassmen is to make a habit of going to events that may not interest you.

As somebody who hosts events on a professional level I can tell you that there’s no such thing as an uninteresting event. The amount of work, time and planning that goes into hosting an event on campus is great enough that you are guaranteed to have an enlightening experience.

I believe I can say with confidence that I have enjoyed every event I attended on campus and that I never left an event saying, “Well, I got nothing out of that.”

A lot of events offer free food, t-shirts or other prizes just for showing up. So that is reason enough to go. But the content is what will make you stay. At Loyola you will be at the center of a multicultural, multidisciplinary contingent of ideas and activities. That experience is unlikely to be duplicated any time soon.

So don’t make excuses such as, “I do not have time today,” or “I will start going to more events later.” Because I can tell you, you will always feel like you’re too busy, and you will always put it off, if you don’t make it a habit not to do so early.

I’ve listened to famous philosophers speak, heard great music from Loyola’s a cappella groups, tasted amazing middle eastern food, learned about the fascinating culture surrounding political cartoons, learned how educators are trying to improve my college experience and more. Each time I go to an event I leave knowing more about a part of the world that until then I had no idea even existed.

College events will open you up and pleasantly surprise you, if you let them. So just give them the chance, you won’t get it again.

Top 5 Places to Eat Around Campus

Top 5 Places to Eat Around Campus

One of the things people forget about when they move out of their house is the fact that they’ll have to start making their own meals 3 times a day. That said, there’s plenty of help around if somebody isn’t up to the task–or, more likely, is too lazy– of cooking for themselves. Around Loyola is a range of places from bottom dollar to gourmet.

My favorite place to eat at Loyola

Uncommon Ground – $$$

This is the place you ask your parents to take you when they come to visit. The food is exquisite, local, and fresh. They grow their own herbs on their rooftop garden and purchase their meats from a local farm. The gourmet chefs modify the menu each month with new culinary creations. To top it off, the atmosphere is classic Chicago: exposed brick walls and wooden furniture.

2 for 1 meals if you pace yourself

Chipotle – $$

Everybody knows Chipotle, there isn’t much to be said that hasn’t been said before. This place is great for a college student because everything you buy is really two separate meals. I always get the feeling like I ended up spending more than I meant to when I come here, but then I walk away with tomorrow’s lunch. Those burritos go far and are very delicious.

The only on-campus restaurant

Subway- $$

Three words: 5 dollar footlong. I’m a pretty big fan of the Italian BMT myself, but whatever you want you’re guaranteed to get it fast. The biggest benefit of this place is that it’s the only restaurant on the campus side of Sheridan Road, so you don’t even have to cross the street to get fed.

Quick and Dirty meals

McDonalds – $

Let’s be honest. Nobody likes to admit that they eat at McDonalds, but it happens to the best of us. Sure, it’s unhealthy and there’s probably no nutritional value in anything they sell, but sometimes you catch of whiff of those fries and you just can’t help yourself. Call it comfort food.

It's better than you think

Campus Dining – __(meal plan baby!)__

You know what? I actually liked Loyola’s dining. I remember when I came here Freshman year and I couldn’t believe how good the food was. After a while people started to complain about the quality of food at Simpson or Mertz, but I just couldn’t agree with them. And I’m not just saying this. I think people forget how bad food is at other schools and take for granted how lucky they are that Loyola’s dining is so good.

The trouble, in my opinion, is simply this: If you eat the same thing every day, you’re going to get sick of it no matter how good it is. It’s not that Loyola’s food ever got worse, it’s that people just ate the same thing over and over. The trick is twofold: Go out to eat now and then so that your meals are varied, and keep in mind how much worse cafeteria food could be.