Tag: Classes

Plan Ahead with J-Term

Plan Ahead with J-Term



Something quite unique at Loyola is the J-term. What is the J-term? January term is an condensed, intensive, two-week session. Courses are available online, on campus, and abroad to give you a variety of options to make the most out of your winter break. Get ahead and graduate early as J-term is one of the best ways to do so!


J-term 2017 begins on Tuesday January 3, 2017 and ends on Friday January 13, 2017. Classes will be held Tuesday January 3 through Saturday, January 7 and Monday, January 9 through Friday, January 13, 2017.


Registration opens on Monday, October 17, 2016 and closes Saturday, December 31, 2016. Students can register for a J-term class via LOCUS by selecting J-term 2017 from the term selector menu.


**REMEMBER: J-term is not part of the Spring term — Students can ONLY register for a maximum of 3 credit hours for J-term.


This is the best way for someone to fit in a tier 1 or tier 2 class! It will definitely pay off in the end and winter can get pretty boring sometimes too, so definitely take this into consideration! Similarly, you can enroll in the summer term and fit in any other additional courses as well.

Registering For Classes – What’s that like?

Registering For Classes – What’s that like?


One of the biggest aspect of colleges is class. Unexpected, right? Not nearly so much as you would think. There are also other essential components to the college experience, but class is pretty high up there on the list, definitely a tie for first with whatever you love. After all, it’s kind of the reason you’re at college – or the reason you get to complete it.

In the movies, there’s barely any representation of classes that you go to, or if there is, they take way less precedence that the drama between characters. Admittedly, a movie about an ordinary college class would not be very exciting. But classes are! Since you have freedom to choose which class you want, you can take anything that you need, love, or want to pursue.

There’s just one catch: you might not get into it on your first try. (It’s not as scary as it seems, I promise you.)

I just want to share with you all about the class registration process, because it can get pretty crazy. I know it always causes me panic, as a very schedule-oriented person, so I fix that by making alternate schedules upon alternate schedules, calculating what to do if I don’t get into this class or that. We have something called the Four-Year Plan, a layout on Excel that provides an easy layout for planning all of your classes, if you’re like me and want to check that out.


The way our registration works can seem weird, but it makes sense. Depending on your credit hours, you get to have registration priority, or if you are in a program that requires you to take classes in a specific order or amount, such as Honors.

Registration takes place entirely online, unless you need to talk to an advisor about something specifically – they can override things and pretty much have magical schedule powers. Before registration even opens, however, you can put classes into your ‘shopping cart’ after picking out the time, teacher, and class that is offered that best works with you. That way, when you do get to register, you don’t have to waste precious time scanning through the inventory – you can just click ‘enroll’ and you’re set!


Unless, of course, your class is filled by people with an earlier registration time than you. For freshman classes, that’s very unlikely, but it gets more common the longer you’re here. It’s all dependent on credits – so, credit Seniors get first pick, then Juniors, Sophomores, and so on. It’s pretty neat because many people come into college with transfer credits from AP classes so they could be a credit Sophomore while still being a freshman, allowing for earlier registration. Very cool.

Really, as an incoming freshman, you shouldn’t worry about getting into classes too much. You might hear this piece of advice a lot, but I’ll tell it again: don’t take 8 am classes. Later in your college career the professor becomes more important than the time, but I have seen so many freshmen regret their decision to take an early class. Just trust me.

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Tips and tricks to overnighting at Loyola

Tips and tricks to overnighting at Loyola


First off, I gotta say, yay! We’re all very excited to host you at Loyola, and we hope you’ll enjoy! If you’re not signed up for an overnight and you’re interested in Loyola, please check out our programs – we’d love to have you. I personally think overnighting at a college is one of the best things you can do that affects your decision, because you get to know the community better and experience a day in the life of a student, as well as familiarizing yourself with the campus and tasting the freedom that is college living. The tricky part is if you have a bad experience at a school you love – of course, those are very rare and everyone is actively working to make sure you don’t have a horrible time, but even still I would advise you to not let it truly factor into your decision. Overnight hosts aren’t exactly personalty-matched with their guests (it just isn’t possible because so many people overnight and host), and it is just about twelve hours with them – when you get to college, you’ll be able to choose your own friends and find your people.

Well, second off, here’s a list of to-do once you’ve signed up, before I even get started talking about the overnight itself. It’s important you respond when your host reaches out to you to tell them if you’ll be parking on campus, and when you think you’ll arrive, because they have to let other people know, as well as show up to get you! You also want to fill out and return all paperwork as promptly as you can – you don’t want any snafus or speedbumps that could mean you might not be able to overnight after all. And packing, which is very important! You want to pack your pajamas, clothes for the next day, toiletries, maybe a notebook if you want to take notes, and shower shoes and a towel if you plan on taking a shower! most importantly, bring a pillow and sleeping bag. Your host most likely doesn’t have an extra bed or futon for you to sleep on. Also, I’ve seen some guests come with huge suitcases and some with just a backpack – personally, I’d advise the smaller the better, since you could be hauling it up several flights of stairs, but it’s up to you. You also could bring some extra money if you wanted to buy a snack from our Cafes or Food Court, but that’s totally optional. You won’t be able to leave campus, but you’ll have food tickets to eat at our dining halls, so you won’t go hungry.


Thirdly, remember that your hosts are doing this because they want to show you around Loyola! They are still human, however, and they’re nervous to meet you too. Some might cover that up by talking a hundred miles a minute, and some might be on the quieter side, but they’ll be trying their best. It makes both of our experiences much better and much more fun if you try to engage them with questions and conversations. If you’re not naturally extroverted, that’s okay! I just want you to gain as much from this as you can. It’s natural for there to be awkward pauses and silences sometimes. Since your host has been attending Loyola, they might not always realize that there’s something about Loyola that other people don’t know, so don’t be afraid to interrupt and say things like: “Go back. What’s Palm Court? Can we go to it?” And especially after the overnight is over, don’t be afraid to continue asking those questions to your host. They’ll be happy to help!

Fourth, if you’re wondering if there’s any must-see’s and must-do’s for your brief time at Loyola – there absolutely is! You won’t be able to get them all done in one visit, but here’s some I recommend.

  1. Talk to Sister Jean! She’s a living legend and holds so much passion about Loyola it’s impossible to miss the way she lights up when she talks about us.
  2. Go to Palm Court! Our Mundelein building has a great view of the campus on the sixth floor – just take the elevator up and follow the signs!
  3. Explore Cudahy library! There’s a million hidden study places in there, and it feels like you’ll be able to get a lot done, even if you’re just passing through.
  4. Try deNobili’s make-your-own-pizza. What a luxury, right? They’re just the right size for hungry students and you can always shake it up. deNobili also has chicken nuggets from 9-11 that are just wonderful.
  5. See the sights from Water Tower Campus! Loyola’s new Schrieber center and other buildings offer unique views of downtown Chicago like nowhere else.
  6. Meet TiVo! There’s nothing quite like knowing you’re in good hands… er, paws. TiVo is incredibly sweet and he’s incredibly hard-working, there’s no cons to meeting our therapy dog.
  7. Walk down W Loyola Ave, right between Mertz Hall and Campion. It leads to a nice grassy area that is a great place to soak up the sun and eat a sandwich while enjoying the view of the lake.
  8. Hang out in Damen. If you’re a serial people-watcher like I am, there’s no better place than the round tables in the Damen Student Center. It’s the heart of the campus where everyone passes through, and you can see students involved in all sorts of activities, from tabling to studying to hanging out.
  9. Go to a sports game! If there’s going to be a game, go to it, even just for a bit. Our teams work hard to do their best, and the school spirit at games (about 50% Sister Jean) is easy to catch.

Wow, this has been a long post! Well, I hope it helps. If you have more questions, feel free to ask your host or me. It’ll be a long night with an early morning, but worth it! Go Ramblers!


Second Semester Has Started Already With New Adjustments

Second Semester Has Started Already With New Adjustments

Typing my essay!
Typing my essay!

A new semester means a lot of changes such as new peers, new teachers, and new study habits, but the same me adjusting to new changes. College can be a really big adjustment from high school. It is my third week of classes and I am already studying for exams and writing a short essay. I know this week and next, I will have a tight schedule with a lot of assignments to complete, exams to study for, and activities to partake in. That is why learning to balance your time is so important and ensures that you will not be struggling to get everything done at the last minute or feeling overwhelmed.

The first thing you can do to set you up for a semester of success is decide what the best way for you to take notes in class is. Whether it be typing them, handwriting them, or printing out the slides, it is important to find a method that words for you and keeps you organized. Keep in mind though that every class is different, so what works for one may not work for the other, for example typing your notes when doing math might be a bit difficult. Deciding on your study methods is also helpful!  Flashcards, quizlet, or looking over your notes are all great ways to remember information. What works for me is looking over my notes, re-doing my homework assignments, and testing myself with flashcards.
It is also important to remember that you are not alone! There are many resources Loyola offers such as tutoring, the writing center, and librarians who can help you. Tutoring can be done in group sessions and/or tutor-led study halls for any subject needed. The writing lab is an amazing resource to use when writing papers. They will give you feedback andhelp you improve your paper. You can sign up for an appointment, or send them a draft through email, or even Skype with staff at the writing center. Also, the librarians are always there to help you through the research process. You can either set an appointment, chat with a research librarian, text them, or even email them any questions you have. While college assignments are very different from college, there is no need to panic! Learning to adjust and adapt are a part of the process and over time you will figure out what works for you.
How to Choose the Right High School Classes

How to Choose the Right High School Classes


Everyone wants to know the secret recipe of high school classes to earn admission at Loyola, and while there is not one right combination of classes to choose, I am going to share some of my personal advice for making these decisions:

How are Honors, AP, or IB Classes perceived by Loyola?

  • It’s always nice to see students challenging themselves by taking some of these high level courses. However, it’s not a good move to stack your schedule with these classes if you’re not going to be successful in them. A transcript full of failed AP courses is not going to impress an admission counselor, so talk to your teachers and counselors to find the level that is really the best fit for you. It’s also important to know that you can be admitted without taking these classes, so don’t feel the need to force yourself into one of these classes that might be too much for you.

So is it better to take an honors class and get a B or take the standard level and get an A?

  • In my opinion, take the AP class and get a B. We accept weight GPA’s so if your school weights AP, IB, or Honors classes, you’ll still benefit in regard to your GPA (but keep in mind, your GPA isn’t everything… all aspects of the application are used to make decisions).

Should I take AP or IB exams?

Speaking of exams, should I take the SAT subjects tests?

  • Loyola doesn’t look at these scores at all during the admission and scholarship review process, so no. However, make sure you know the requirements of others colleges you might be applying to in the fall.

Should I take the writing portion of the ACT or SAT?

  • While we don’t look at this section for admission and scholarship purposes, other schools might. If you’re interested in doing the Dual-Acceptance Pharmacy Program with Midwestern and Loyola, Midwestern will want to see the writing portion to make their admission decision.

Will I get transfer credit from Loyola for Dual-Enrollment Courses with other Colleges or Community Colleges? And is there a limit to how much credit I can receive? 


If I want to go into the following major or advising track, what classes should I take?

  • Nursing – Definitely focus on taking higher level and elective classes in the maths and sciences.
  • Engineering – Physics and Calculus are must-haves and then solid results in  your other math and science classes.
  • Pre-Med – Again, focus on the maths and sciences.
  • Pre-Pharmacy – Maths and sciences are key again, specifically Chemistry.

Do I need 4 years of a foreign language?

  • Not necessarily. Loyola will be content with less as long as you still meet your high school’s graduation requirements. This goes for other subject areas, as well.


Good Luck!




Recorded Lectures: a love and hate relationship

Recorded Lectures: a love and hate relationship

I cringe every time a professor tells me that they record his or her lectures.  Why?  Well, at that point, he or she is giving me the chance to not listen.  I am tempted and the struggle is real.  However, I understand why the professors do it.  I really do!  I love hand writing all of my notes.  I am a fast writer, but sometimes I cannot get every single word that the professor is saying.  Sometimes, it is so difficult to understand what he or she is saying.  Sometimes, my thought processes are faster than my typing.  There are pros and cons to every method of note taking.  This is why recorded lectures have been very beneficial to me as well.

When reading my notes, I find uncompleted sentences and sometimes I do not even understand my own handwriting!  However, these recorded lectures do allow me to follow my notes and clarify what the professor was saying. This is a pro, right!  This is like listening to the lecture twice.  Then, there are other days…

…Days which I find myself just sitting in class.  Sitting in class and that is all.  I am not listening to a single word the professor is saying.  This is just very easy to do since I know that I can just listen to lecture later at home.  To me this is a con because it is not fair for the professor or for you.  The professor is obviously trusting that you will still listen in class, regardless whether she uploads the lecture or not.  This is why I cringe every single time a professor says that he or she will record the lecture.  It is a love and hate relationship!  Do you love it more or hate it more?  Please leave your comments below.  What are your thoughts on this?

I think that recorded lectures are great for reference use while studying, but you cannot solely rely on them!  I understand how some commuters appreciate this because accidents happen and sometimes they are unable to make it to class.  We are all old enough to understand that recorded lectures are not substitutions for class time.  We should still go to class, right?


Taking the Stage–Roman Style

Taking the Stage–Roman Style

Well, at least taking a stage that happens to be in Rome.

This semester a class of about 20 JFRC students (including myself) have decided to “take the stage” and learn a thing or two about the world of theater. Beginning Acting is taught by professor Eric Nicholson who is no stranger to the drama department and is thankfully sharing his wisdom with us. So far we’re a few masks short of a Commedie dell’Arte troupe, but with mid-term monologue performances underway I see some casting calls in our futures.

From 2-5 PM on Wednesdays our class meets in a conference room on campus. The first half of our time together looks pretty typical. We’re assigned readings weekly both from Audition by Shurtleff, which covers the “guideposts”of acting, and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream . After in depth class discussions on our reading material we break for about 20 minutes then reassemble for our not-so-typical half of class. This is when we get to put what we learn into practice via lots and lots of improv games.

The 1st time Professor Nicholson tried to talk us into these activities we were pretty hesitant, but the timidness wore off quickly. Sometimes I wonder what other people think when they walk past our classroom only to hear utter chaos coming from inside. Spontaneity is highly encouraged and always helps our “mini performances” turn out better. These games allow us to perform as all different kinds of characters, from high and mighty to meek and nervous–often times switching roles at the drop of a hat. Looking and feeling ridiculous probably means we’re doing it right.

And what would a theater class be without a performance or two? Though there was a small written portion to our mid-term exam, the majority of our grade will come from a monologue performance. We were all allowed to choose one or two monologues of our choice from a play, movie, musical, or even an SNL skit. Some of us have chosen to perform two monologues from differing genres, the other option being one monologue that’s a bit longer. I decided to go with a classic, comedic monologue–Viola’s monologue from Twelfth Night–and a contemporary, dramatic monologue–Sarah’s monologue from High and Uptight. My performance went well as far as I can tell and I was happy to have the chance to play two very different characters. I’m sure I couldn’t have pulled it off quite so well without the coaching of my professor and for that I am certainly grateful.

After our midterm performances come to an end our class won’t have seen the end of our time on the stage. Our final for the class is a performance of (you guessed it) A Midsummer Night’s Dream. If all goes according to plan we’ll get to perform in the courtyard of the JFRC during finals week for everyone to come watch. Our monologue performances have been impressive thus far so I’d bet that we’ll have a pretty successful show–especially if Professor Nicholson has anything to do with it.

So here’s to breaking some legs for the rest of the semester! …Or just having a good show.

First Day of the Second Semester

First Day of the Second Semester

Today, things were quite casual for me despite the new classes and teachers. I was pleased to now be in classes with my friends (which made going to class and understanding the material easier). We all had back-to-back classes, so it was fun to walk with them to each building and discuss what we liked and disliked about the teacher and class. Everything felt so right; the transition to second semester was very smooth. In addition, I have the great honor to have four professors from my first semester classes, continue to teach me this semester. Because I know their teaching styles, I have an idea on how to learn material that best fits the way they teach.

However, I still have the rest of the week to finish off with and still have many new courses to take with new teachers. I am really interested in Biology Lab where we now get the opportunity to do dissections and I am most looking forward to taking my UNIV 102 class called Bones, Bodies, and Diseases. The one class I am worried about would be philosophy class because it is heavily discussion-based (I am quite shy and tend to stay quiet). With that being said, I hope this class will break my shell and set me free from being an introvert (on the optimistic side)!

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.


Homework Tips Part 1

Homework Tips Part 1

After a long hiatus from blogging, I’m finally getting back into the groove of things. A topic I want to revisit in the next two posts is about how to stay on top of your classes. This is extremely important for those students taking 5, 6 or even 7 classes (like me).

Many students think that taking a full schedule of classes is “crazy” and unimaginable, but honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way. As a self-proclaimed procrastinator, I work harder and get everything done more efficiently when I know I don’t have a lot of time. Since I have to fit in seven classes, my jobs and all of my homework into my week, I tend to stay on top of things better so as to not fall behind. It’s taken four years to master my homework strategy, but I’ve got it down to a tee. My top tips to staying ahead of the game are:

  1. Literally jump ahead of the game. For easy classes of mine or the ones I enjoy most, often times I’ll do as much homework ahead of time as possible so that it gives me more time to focus on lengthier or less enjoyable assignments. For example, I’m taking Russian 102 and because I am fluent, the assignments go quicker for me. Because of this, I’ll usually do the whole week’s worth of assignments on Sunday so that throughout the week I don’t have to worry about it.
  2. Figure out what time of the day you work best. I work best in the evening or in the early morning, and on Sundays starting in the afternoon. I also work best after I’m caught up on my main television shows. This doesn’t work for everyone, but if I have one episode to watch, usually I have to get it out of the way first as soon as possible to be able to concentrate. My prime hours of homework tend to end around midnight, so instead of pushing myself to stay up later, I acknowledge that primetime is over and I go to bed. If I have a serious assignment due the next day that isn’t complete, I just set my alarm for a little bit earlier in the morning, organize what is left to do before bed, and get cracking first thing the next day.
  3. Lay everything out on the line. At the beginning of each week I write a list of every single assignment I have due that week, things I have fallen behind on, and things due the next week. I write each individual class and each individual assignment. For example, instead of writing for a class “Read Chapters 1-4”, I’ll write each one separately “Read Ch.1; Read Ch.2; Read Ch.3; Read Ch.4”. When Chapter 1 is done, I cross is out, and it makes me feel much more accomplished and motivated to start on chapter 2 and keep going.

These are the tips that I’m currently using that are working best, but I’ll add a Part 2 to this blog to mention several other tips that are very effective.