Tag: Downtown

Finding Your Spot at Loyola

Finding Your Spot at Loyola


Everyone has a spot. No matter what age you are or where you live, you know exactly where you work best. In high school it was the local Starbucks. It was the only place around my town where students could hang out, do homework, and drink coffee. Honestly it sounds cliche because it’s Starbucks, but it was my favorite place to be. Without that Starbucks I would never have passed the AP U.S. History exam.

As you can imagine, coming to Loyola I was in a bit of a difficult situation, I didn’t have a place. Everything here was new and I was afraid to explore. I tried the IC and different on-campus spots, but I needed a little off campus time to focus and destress. It took me a few weeks to realize that I was surrounded by a lot of amazing study spots that I didn’t even know about.

First I tried the Starbucks, it was a no brainer for me, at home Starbucks worked so why not here? Well, if you live in Mertz i’m sure Starbucks is great, but for me (a De Nobili dweller) it’s a 15 minute walk. Starbucks is still awesome but beware the crowded tables, you can often find yourself without a place to sit!

Next was Metropolis. This local coffee shop just exudes cool, with local art for sale displayed on the walls and a menu of cool coffees and drinks to choose from. Metropolis is a great location if you live in De Nobili or San Fransisco Hall. There’s also three rooms of seating, you can usually find a place to be but it does also fill up fast. My favorite drink at Metropolis is the Green Tea Latte – perfect if you don’t drink real coffee like me!

It took me the longest to figure out the the best place for me to find quiet and calm was actually downtown. A quick shuttle or L ride to the downtown campus and your suddenly surrounded with great places to get homework done and papers written. My absolute favorite place is a Chicago specialty, Argo Tea. Not only is it generally quiet, but it’s open till 11 pm during the week! There’s an Argo Tea literally steps away from the Water Tower Campus – you can catch me there almost any day working on something!

Finding your happy place is a big step in making Loyola feel like home. For me it gave me a different connection to my school, my city, and my life as a college student. Beginning to adapt to college life can be difficult, but the perfect study space can be a small thing to make it all so much easier!


30 Reasons Why We LOVE Loyola

30 Reasons Why We LOVE Loyola


With Valentine’s Day approaching and everyone talking about love, it only seemed appropriate to talk about what Loyola staff and current students have to say about their relationship with Loyola.

Here are 30 reasons staff and students love Loyola:

  1. The ability to go abroad to the Rome center. – Ellen
  2. The incorporation of social justice into academics. – Judy Kyrkos
  3. The small campus feel with access to the city. – Lexy Rux
  4. Being in Chicago. – Maggie
  5. The small class sizes; it really feels like you get one-on-one time with the professors. – Patrick
  6. Being on a beautiful campus with access to downtown. – Adam Buller
  7. Living in Mertz and the chicken tenders from Damen Dining Hall. – Katie
  8. The sense of community. – Ricky Mott
  9. The beautiful campus and social justice focus in all of my classes. – Kara
  10. The small campus feel. – Shaniqua
  11. How the core classes make us a well-rounded person. – Elise
  12. How self-aware the student body is. I’ve never encountered an impolite person on campus. – John
  13. The community feel, size of campus, friendly/welcoming environment, and small class size. – Christy Vargas
  14. How there are Vegan and gluten-free options in the dining halls. – Sarah
  15. Dynamics of taking class on the lake shore campus and downtown. It’s nice to experience the best of both worlds. – Claire
  16. Class sizes, pretty campus, and nice/passionate professors. – Carlee
  17. Diverse community. – Samantha
  18. Friendly environment on campus. – Brittney
  19. Approachable teachers who seem to enjoy their jobs and always want to help you do your best. – Gabby
  20. The view of the lake. – Shannon
  21. I feel safe on campus. – Adrian
  22. Loyola has always given me the opportunity to succeed. – Aaron Brunmeier
  23. The architecture of campus. – Brian
  24. The sense of community. – Aliyah Jervier
  25. I love that Loyola offers something for anyone and everyone who attends so that they can be a part of something and feel included. – Hiba Abbas
  26. I LOVE that every time I step outside and see our beautiful campus I get excited for my day no matter how stressful it is. – Lucy Mooney
  27. I love that Loyola has so many things to offer to their students. Whether it be information on study abroad, fairs talking about feminism, or tutoring for certain classes, Loyola does an amazing job providing us with tools for success. I think that since there are so many resources offered, any type of student can feel like this school is a perfect fit for them. – Katherine Weir
  28. Loyola fosters education both inside and outside the classroom enabling YOU to grow immensely. Upon graduating from Loyola in the spring of 2015, Loyola has taught me that the aim of my education is not the facts, but rather of values. –Joe Sadofsky
  29. How connected students are to the Loyola community. – Callie Short
  30. How Loyola shares the same values as myself. – Alyson Crutchfield

Happy Valentine’s Day from Loyola University Chicago!

The Spirit of Christmas

The Spirit of Christmas

Since the start to my winter break, I have had the chance to go downtown a couple of times to see the beautiful lights wrapped around the trees, decorations in the store windows, holiday music in the malls, and little specks of snow falling down on our beautiful city of Chicago. Daley Plaza is filled with people ready to enjoy themselves by sampling a taste of German food and viewing the ornate craftsmanship of delicate, wooden ornaments and figurines. The city tree stands tall and every part of the tree is lit up with colorful lights of red, green, blue, and yellow. At Millennium Park, the Bean (Cloud Gate) reflects the cold, crisp white sky and showcases the view of the skyscrapers at an interesting angle. Below the Bean, my cousin and I had the wonderful opportunity to go ice skating; it was fun as people of all ages were present and gliding smoothly on the ice to the beat of the Christmas music blasted through the nearby speakers.

All in all, there is so much to do in Chicago to celebrate the Holidays; things in this city never get old. Besides the usual things to do downtown, there are other places to see and visit such as Lincoln Park Zoo for their famous zoo lights, local malls, and grade school Christmas pageants.
To top everything off, let’s wish for a very White Christmas!

~Stay warm, be with your loved ones, and make everyday worth it!~

Joyful Hearts at Millennium Park

Joyful Hearts at Millennium Park

Last Day of Class. Downtown Chicago. Millennium Park. The Bean. Christmas Lights. An Ice Skating Rink. Enough Said. Well almost…

To celebrate the last day of classes two of my roommates and I made our way downtown for an ice skating adventure. This wasn’t a spur of the moment decision, Chloe and I planned far enough ahead that we brought our ice skates to school with us. Bringing your own skates is a little trick we learned last year after we paid $10 last year to rent them at Millennium. Don’t get me wrong, $10 rentals aren’t bad at all, but when you can go for free instead…Count me in.

Reason #2 to bring your own skates: The rental wait on a Friday night is approximately an hour. Lucky for us, we were able to hop right on the ice. Considering I haven’t skated in a year, I was pretty impressed with how quickly I got the hang of it again. After a few laps I was feeling my inner “Michelle Kwan” break out. So, naturally… I fell. It wasn’t a full blown wipe out by any means. Thankfully, Chloe was holding my hand and was able to support me enough that I only slid on my knees for a bit. I escaped with a little bruise on my knee, but lost all of my Michelle Kwan confidence.

Chicago at Christmas time is one of my favorite parts of the year and ice skating downtown was the perfect way to spread so Christmas cheer. I don’t think there is anything more magical than ice skating under the Bean, enjoying the city lights, and soaking up a little Christmas spirit with some of my favorite people.

Will Run for Chocolate

Will Run for Chocolate

When you sign up for an average 5K you usually get a fancy, new race shirt, maybe a water bottle if you’re lucky. When you run the Hot Chocolate 5K you earn a little extra race swag. Crossing the finish line of this race earns you a “Finisher’s Mug”, which (of course) includes, hot chocolate, chocolate fondue, and goodies to dip in your chocolate. Not a bad deal.

The Hot Chocolate 5K is a pretty big deal in Chicago with a total of about 45,000 people running–including the brave 15K-ers. Runners are sectioned into “corrals” A-T, then started at 3 minute increments. I started in corral H and managed to run all 3.2 miles before my mom even started from corral T. There were only a few thousand people in between us. Corralling this many people also meant that we had to line up at 6:15 AM. Getting up before the sun in November also meant that it was about 35 degrees outside. If you want your chocolate you’ve got to be dedicated!

The race course weaves through downtown Chicago, starting and finishing near the Buckingham Fountain. Along the course are typical hydration stations with Gatorade and water or if you need a sugar rush… cups of chocolate chips. Whatever keeps you motivated!

While most of the runners wore their new 5K sweatshirts there were a few who were more creative in their attire. My favorites were the people dressed as Hershey’s kisses, M&M’s, and bananas.

Sitting down on the lawn with my Finisher’s Mug at the Post Race Party could not have made me happier. Because let’s face it, I was only in it for the chocolate.



When the City Opens its Doors: Open House Chicago

When the City Opens its Doors: Open House Chicago

Exploring Chicago is one of the many perks of going to Loyola. But it’s not every weekend that the city gives you an opportunity to go into the buildings you only ever see the outside of. Some friends and I jumped at the opportunity to explore Chicago in an entirely new way when the Chicago Architecture Foundation opened the doors of 150 buildings throughout the city. Most importantly the event was free to the public. You know what Chicago? It doesn’t get much better than that.

If there was enough time in the day I would have loved to go into every building. But my friends and I barely made a dent on the list.

The first building we stopped in was completely on a whim. The Gensler office is on the third floor of the Sullivan Center on Madison Street. This architecture and design firm is one of the largest in the world and they didn’t shy away from beautifully and functionally designing their own office. The most interesting points of the space were definitely the ornate columns that were featured throughout the room.

We made our next stop at Millennium Park on the stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Having only experienced the architecture of this stage from the opposite end of the park it was really incredible to get to stand on the stage. To see the perspective of the performers—without the audience or the nerves of course—was pretty surreal.

The view from the office space of RTKL Associates Inc. was one of the best I have ever experienced of the city of Chicago. Another architecture and interior design firm, this office had a very sleek and modern look. The design draws your gaze out the floor to ceiling windows to the sights of the city. You can see everything from the Bean to Soldier Field and all of Chicago’s most popular attractions in between. Not to mention the majesty of the Lake extending beyond the horizon. I could handle a view like that from my desk.

Our last stop was the Oriental Theatre. This was the tour I was most excited for because of my love for Broadway. The building’s intricate interior detailing blew me away. My friends and I sat down in the middle section of seats, titled our heads back, and let the walls and ceiling do the talking. Every time you looked around you noticed something new and different. Elephants, marble columns, griffons, gold detailing, gods, symbols—all inspired by Indian culture. If I ever get to see a show there I would be just as excited to see the stunning interior again.

Three buildings I didn’t visit are ones I see every day because they are all on Loyola’s campus. The Institute of Environmental Sustainability, Mundelein Center, and Piper Hall were all featured on the Open House Chicago tour. All three of these are well worth a visit during your time here. So yeah, you could say our school and our city are pretty darn cool.

Good Eats at Eataly

Good Eats at Eataly

My first week back at school has been full of great new food, specifically of the Italian variety.  My friends and I ventured down the red line this week to Eataly, an authentic Italian restaurant and supermarket.

Eataly is located downtown just off the Grand stop.  The place is two floors of Italian food paradise.  The smell of fresh bread fills the market, and free samples are offered around every corner.  After a quick walk through the first floor, my friends and I settled down in the upstairs restaurant and enjoyed some thin crust pizza.

After scarfing it all down, it didn’t take long to decide that some gelato was the perfect way to end the trip.  For a good price, Eataly is a great option for eating out on a college-student budget.  I’d highly recommend it for any authentic Italian lover looking for a fun new dinner spot.

School of Social Work

School of Social Work

Another perk of living downtown is having the convenience of being able to walk just across the street for my classes.  The School of Social Work is located in Lewis Towers, which is right above the Hershey store.  The first time I went in there, the whole building smelled of chocolate.  It was heaven!

The School of Social Work classes are either in the Corboy Law Center or Maguire Hall.  Lewis Towers is mainly professor’s offices and other admissions and financial aid type stuff.  I try to go to professors’ office hours as much as possible, though, because Lewis Towers is an awesome building. (And I like making a pit stop at the Hershey store)

There’s a ton of classes offered downtown, such as business classes, some education classes, and social work.  There’s also core classes offered down here, as well.  I would definitely take advantage of the city and schedule some classes down here!