Tag: College

Simple and Sweet Reflection of College

Simple and Sweet Reflection of College


It is remarkable to look back and reflect on my college journey. I am almost halfway done with my undergraduate studies and there are only two more years until that long, anticipated moment where I walk onstage in graduation attire to receive my B.S. diploma.

Freshman and sophomore year, to be honest, was hectic. I am the first in my immediate family to go to college, so there was not a lot of support and no one to help me along the way. In addition, the transition from my high school to college was a bit rocky. I was not prepared for the workload, expectations, and night classes. Even as a sophomore, I am still learning many things about college life, college academics, and how to be accustomed to long days and long nights.

In these last two years, I have found my identity better. I did not even expect that to happen; it was spontaneous. Through people, experiences, and personal things, I have surrounded myself around things that I enjoy a lot. By being a part of clubs and groups, I am able to find people who share similar characteristics and interests.

Even though my college life is a bit hectic and crazy, I am being productive and doing things that matter to me. I am happy with the outcomes- I am able to serve the community, I am able to make a difference in people’s lives, I enjoy what I do, and my energy & hard work are not wasted.

I cannot imagine what junior and senior year will bring. I assume it will be an interesting journey filled with so many memories and experiences. Who knows…

College opens a whole new chapter for you. I can assure you that you will be a changed person for the better once you attend college and make an effort to do new things, join clubs, and socialize with others.

Red Line Conversations feat. The Guy in The Blue Sweater

Red Line Conversations feat. The Guy in The Blue Sweater

You hear the craziest of things on the red line.  This is why I try to remember to pack my headphones.  It is honestly such a sad experience when I forget them, but I cannot lie and say that is not entertaining!  I have heard some of the most inaccurate facts that make me giggle, but leave me with a good time.  Then, there are some conversations that just get you so angry.

Well, this was the case the other day.  The other day, I was on the red line, minding my own business, like usual.  All of a sudden, I saw a guy look at my Loyola brand tote, which I proudly bought at the Loyola Bookstore, and he he started talking to his friend about college.  He was saying remarks like: “college is not important, why do people waste their time on college, I can get rich without school, etc.”  Here I am thinking like is this guy serious?  I mean, his opinions are nonetheless, his opinions.  I, also, do not disagree that there are some super successful people out there who never got a college degree.  This is fine, but the way he was talking was not okay.

It made me reflect and really think about college.  Instead of upsetting me, I turned it around and made it into something positive.  A college education is not for everyone, but that does not mean that one should start discouraging people from attending college in the first place.  There are so many reasons as to why one should go to college.  The most important one to me, and the one that I felt like telling him, is that a college degree gives you credibility, knowledge, and makes you a competitive employee.

If those three things do not stick out to you then I don’t know what to tell you.  There are many people in college who do not end up making it, but that all comes down to persistence.  How willing are you to stick out through the highs and lows of college?  College are for the people who are willing to put in the work.  College is work and it is not for everyone!  We are a few of the lucky ones, so next time you’re feeling down remember this: you’re a small percentage and your education is worth it.

The Guy in The Blue Sweater: you were wrong.


And Then I Was a Sophomore

And Then I Was a Sophomore

As far as I’m concerned I feel like I just started college this fall. But going back to my high school for a basketball game this week reminded me how long it has been since I was a student there. It’s been two years since I was a senior in high school. I still find it weird that college is my new normal. My friends and I spent our 4 years of high school doing our best to not wish our time away, and anxiously awaiting the day we would graduate and go to college. Now when we get together, we ask ourselves where all the time went? What were we thinking when we were sophomores in high school?

Sophomore year of high school the college question had just started to find its way onto our radar. I had my sights set on a Chicago university, as long as I was headed to the same school as my best friend. We were all thankful not to have the “freshman look” on our faces anymore and couldn’t wait to be big, bad upperclassman.

As I sit at a sophomore standing once again, I’m still definitely glad to have gotten past the freshman look. Overall, I’m pretty surprised at how quickly I adjusted to this whole college thing. Sure, I was terrified my freshman year. But now when I walk around campus, I’m much more confident and comfortable with where I’m at. A feeling I never thought would be possible after my first week or so of freshman year.

This time, though, entering my junior year is much more intimidating. Rather than looking forward to attending college, I’ve got to look forward to the “real world”. Having just settled on a major and being unsure of my career path, my college graduation might leave me a little more anxious than high school. Now that I’m familiar with college life it will be scary to leave it behind for something new.

But hey, I adjusted alright to college so post-graduation won’t be so bad either, right? Well, I sure hope not.

High School vs. College

High School vs. College


Going to college is one of the most life changing and influential experiences one can ever have. Here, students will finally begin to dig deeper into their desired major and career path, learn more about who they are as a person, and develop into a mature person. Everything may be different compared to life in high school-less “dramas”, less or no mistreatment from other students, and more. Specifically at Loyola, I can assure you that the students, faculty, and staff here are more open-minded and considerate. Like Loyola has said, it has always intended to help the well-being of each student. Personally, I think that this statement is true only if you make your own effort to go forth and use its resources; it won’t come to you spontaneously.

Especially if you attended a small, private Catholic high school, the transition into college may be more drastic and/or radical.
Here is my list of differences between college and high school based on solely on my experiences and understanding:

-in college, you are surrounded by students who, for the most part, are mature and care as much as you do about academics
-in college, technology is up-to-date considerably
-in high school, you may have instructors who do not specialize or have a PhD in the subject they teach
-in college, there are a variety of useful resources that can help you become more involved, stay healthy, and have fun
-in high school, quizzes and exams are not as frequent as they are in college
-in college, students have independence to do what they want to do and go wherever
-In high school, there may be more opportunities to seek out help from the instructor
-in college, you develop better, effective ways to succeed in class (like study habits, teaching yourself a concept, etc)
-in college, there is a bigger possibility you might meet your friends for life

Midnight Organ Blast

Midnight Organ Blast

There is a stage somewhere around junior high to high school where it isn’t socially acceptable to get excited for Halloween. Thankfully, college is a time where this tradition is ignited and dressing up is something encouraged among the student body. I had the pleasure of having a Superman, ninja turtle and vampire in class. Since the day was on the busier side of studying and reading, I spent most of the evening being productive and getting work done.

Later that night, my friends and I had plans to meet up for a Halloween special, the Midnight Organ Blast. The event was held in the Madonna Della Strada chapel and featured the Director of liturgical music, Steve Betancourt. He played several Halloween-themed songs in celebration of the spooky season. I appreciated getting to spend time in the beautiful chapel as well as get into the Halloween spirit with friends even in the midst of a busy school day.

Loyola Organ Concert Series

Last Week of Summer!

Last Week of Summer!

So this week is the week when all the freshmen are moving in, so as I walked to work this morning, I got to witness many eager new students with their parents unloading their cars to move into their dorm rooms. Their expressions got me thinking about what I was like as an incoming freshman versus how I am now, about to start my junior year.

For one thing, I’m calmer and more collected than I was when I came in to school. Back then, I was hyper and excited and worried- about my classes and teachers, about my family and old friends, about the new friends I wanted to make, and overall about the person I wanted to be. I wanted to make a good first impression, and I’ll admit that I wasn’t very successful at it. I made mistakes with how I approached people, but with trial and error and time, I grew into my college self.

Freshman year was full of experimentation, with friends and with interests. Not all of it was good. But overall, my freshman taught me so much about my new self.

After a crazy first year of college, I came back from the summer eager to begin my second year. It was a tough year all around, and it taught me as many important lessons as my first year.

One lesson that I learned was that all of the friends that you make your first year won’t be there the second year, and that you need to pick your friends wisely. The keepers aren’t the ones who are free to go out with you on Friday night or who are all fun and games. Though having a few of those people around is awesome, and even essential, the best of friends are those who will listen when you are having a bad day, who put you in your place when you are out of line, and who are by your side. Whether you’ve been apart for months for the summer or too close together in a small apartment.

This lesson was crucial for me during my sophomore year, and it was the main year I got to formulate my relationships with friends and see people for who they are, whether good or bad.

I’m going into my junior year now with the best knowledge of who I am and whom I want in my life. My goals now are clearly defined, and I’m confident that though this semester is going to be very challenging, it’s going to be one of my most memorable ones. I look back at my freshman self and the journey I went through to get to where I am today, and I’m proud of myself. Though I made many stupid mistakes and had to overcome hard trials, I wouldn’t change anything about my college experience thus far.

So therefore, I welcome myself, as well as the incoming freshmen and returning students, back to Loyola for what I hope to be the best school year yet!

Becoming a Real Person

Becoming a Real Person

As I’m sure you know, this previous weekend was Loyola Weekend, a two day event that gives admitted students a chance to explore the university.

When I was a senior in high school, I visited LUC, to learn more about the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and interview for the Presidential Achievement Scholarship, which I happened to later recieved.

As I swiftly approach the halfway mark of my college career, I recently thought about how much I’ve changed since I attended that weekend oh so long ago.

NBD, just being super cool on prom night

High school, as a whole, was pretty up and down for me, but senior year was completely amazing. Yes, I was taking five AP classes, and yes, applying for college was stressful, but it felt like my friends and I were livin’ the dream. At the same time, I was definitely naive about everything – real life, living on my own, how money worked, how to interact with strangers and the idea that it could even occasionally be dangerous to be out alone at night.

Pretty much a stereotypical picture from my freshman year*

My freshman year of college was wonderful. It was filled with plenty of new learning experiences and a lot of growing up. In high school, I always felt that a 4.0 GPA was more important than new experiences with my friends; that completely flip-flopped last year at Loyola.

I'm finally a real person!

This year has been a strugglefest. At the end of freshman year, I thought I understood how college worked. I quickly learned that I was sadly mistaken. However, this year has taught me how to be a function independently as a human being; I have a job now, I’m about to sign a lease on an apartment, I no longer have a mental breakdown every time I get a grade that is lower than an A and I partake in food groups other than “pizza” and “fries.”

When I look back on all that has changed in my life from two years ago, I’m astounded. I can’t imagine what I’ll think as a graduating senior when I look back on my sophomore self!

*My Asian friend (Sandy, from Unbeknownst to Me, My Friends are Actually Cats) she said that she didn’t find this picture offensive. If you are Asian and find it to be so, I’m sorry!