Tag: High School

To those who are considering going to Loyola…

To those who are considering going to Loyola…




(directed toward high school students)


I know that the word “college” may bring a whole bunch of words to mind- independence, adulthood, dorming, friends, hard classes, doctors and professors, and so much more. This list is endless. As a whole, I have talked to many students who appeared to be overwhelmed with the idea of college and/or have built this grand (intimidating) story of what college is like (based off of movies or stories).


College, in my view, is simply another step forward in life, just like moving up from elementary school to high school. Although we all have been under the impression of college being this huge, serious aspect, we have to acknowledge that it should not scare us nor drown us into anxiety and fear. 


I remember when I was in high school, I had a constant mentality of getting good grades solely for the sake of getting into a good college. Since I wanted to go into healthcare, I started volunteering at the hospital every time I had days off of school, or even half days off. I prepared for college from the very start of high school. Thus, I missed out on a lot of things I could have enjoyed as a high school student. I missed out on having those memories I will never be able to take back and relive again. Not to say that I did not have a good time in high school, but I know I could have been happier if I lived my life as a high school student, not pre-college student.


Advice to you: Create those memories and enjoy your time in high school. If you do well in school, your grades will naturally reflect that and applying to colleges and universities will be bearable to do. You only have 4 years to enjoy your time in high school, filled with dances and proms, other school events, and more; cherish those moments because there is no such thing as college prom.


This varies for everyone, but I am generally a good writer (or I hope it comes off that way). Over the summers, I took the time to write short essays I knew college essays would typically ask such as “Why do you want to attend XYZ school?”, “What is something you want us to know about you”, or “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” I did a lot of essay writing and had more than enough time to go back, fix grammatical errors, and really put effort into my writing. When it came to application times, all I simply had to do was copy and paste my pre-written response into the application itself. This made the application forms less stressful because I planned ahead. Also, because I made sure my responses were thoughtfully written, I was more confident when I submitted the application. All in all, it’s best not to procrastinate; do the essays now if you can.



Advice to you: Although you should leave time to enjoy yourselves in high school, you can at least leave 10-15 minutes to reflect on questions and have some sort of idea on what to write about. If you are not a good writer, but have good speaking abilities, record yourself talk or talk to someone about it. If you can explicitly record your answers. If you can transcribe that and formulate your words formally to create good essays, you should be all set.

When you look at an application, now you’ve already done the long, strenuous essay writing portion done, so now the application does not look like this anymore:


Again, college is simply your upgraded version of high school. Think of it as this way if this helps lessen the anxiety on your shoulders. The format of education does not change- you still have a teacher, you have a desk and chair, you have textbooks, and you do the homework or assignments. College, in that sense, should help you mentally transition into college more seamlessly.


But keep this in mind: Be happy. Don’t get caught up in anxiety over things like college admittance. Things will work in your favor when you put in effort and have the mindset to be something more. Although education is an essential part of your life, it is only a snippet of what makes up your life. You have family. You have your health. You have other things that may be just as important to be aware of. Enjoy every part of life and take things day by day. Like I said, things will naturally fall into your hands when you put in the time and effort.


Don’t worry. Everything will be okay.



Deposit Paid and Forms Signed: Now What?

Deposit Paid and Forms Signed: Now What?


Well done, you. So you’ve done everything the UAO asked you to do – took the placement tests, promised to keep doing good senior year (right?), turned in your money, signed away your life. Now all there’s left to do is… what?

Chances are, you’re going to go into this whole process without knowing where you’re exactly going to live, without knowing who you’ll be rooming with, without knowing how you’ll handle being away from home for a big chunk of your life for the first time. And you’ve got all summer to worry and get yourself into a frenzy about all the unknowns.

Let me give you the number one pro tip that saved my life.

Join the facebook group. Whatever your class will be, Class of 2020, 2021, 2050, join or make the facebook group. Chances are it’s already been made, but you never know. Go join it. And then, if you’re in any other groups, join or make those too – like Honors, or your LC, or even ‘Loyola Class of 2020 Students from Michigan.’ Anything like that. And then get involved in them.

Now, I’m not saying use it like a blog, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to make introductions and put your opinion out there on some questions, or do some research and help to answer some questions people with less Googling skills than you might have. Be active. Make friends. Make a group chat. Go into campus with people you already know, so that you can start with a solid base of people to branch out and hang out with, if only for that first week before you make other friends.

Now for number two: communicate with your roommate, when you get them.


Text them. Call them. Pack your stuff while Skyping with them. Meet up with them, if you can. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, but if you start it off with a foundation of friendship, or even mutual respect, it’s gonna be a whole lost easier. Disliking people you live with is something you want to try to avoid all your life – it’s just not good. It helps nobody.

For a lot of things, you won’t know until you get here which of you is more likely to wash dishes or take out the trash, or if they scratch in their sleep, or if they’re the type of person that will go out every. single. night. Most people haven’t gotten the chance to learn who they are in a non-monitored living environment, so they can’t tell you honestly whether or not they’ll go to bed late or if they’ll eat in their bed, just because they can. All those sorts of things are totally unknown until you find the rhythm that works best, so you have to try to start everything off on the right foot.

Number three: when it comes time, make a packing inventory list. Make a packing list for things you’ll need for college, but don’t set it in stone – be willing to add or detract things you find you might or might not need. But write it all down, and make some sort of note when you definitively have packed it. You’ll know what you have left to pack, what you have packed, and what you have overall so that you’re not at the very last moment going crazy on whether or not you’ve packed deodorant or gotten all your school books.

And, if you have forgotten something, don’t worry. I’ll tell you in advance that a time-honored tradition of Welcome Week is a late-night Target run for everything you didn’t know you’d need.

Mertz Move IN Welcome

Number four: enjoy your time right now. Enjoy the last few weeks of your senior year, enjoy your parents cooking and your hometown. Enjoy each and every moment you spend with your friends, cause it’s gonna be a lot harder to get together when the fall rolls around again. Give your pets as much affection as your heart can handle. Lie around and watch tv. Recognize that your job is gonna be useful when you’re in college and all you want to do is go down to Molly’s Cupcakes and get some cupcakes, and you can do that because you have the funds.

Really, don’t dread it – be excited! This is whole new world and an opening to experiences you can’t even begin to imagine right now. It’s going to be great. I’m excited for you!

Flashback to High School

Flashback to High School

High school was the best time ever for me. Those four years of schools went by so fast because I enjoyed hanging out friends (some I can consider life-long), I was a good academic student, I participated in a lot of fun extracurricular groups. I miss the prep-rallies, retreats, dances, prom, fundraising- everything. High school was the time when I got to be more independent, understand more about myself, and learn tons of cool things from really fun teachers.

I began taking AP courses during my junior year and started looking into colleges and learning about loans, financial aid, scholarships, etc. One thing I should have done more of, was to actually go to the college campus and take a tour. Visiting college websites and seeing an admissions counselor at a college fair isn’t enough- trust me!

Anyways, I enjoyed my senior year of high school the most. As National Honors Society president and class secretary, I had a lot of things to do and plan for. Many of the student council members and I had a cupcake war to see how many people could bake and sell the most cupcakes- fun times! As NHS president, I help tutor students in all subjects and inducted the next NHS class towards the end of the year.

(Picture caption: Leticia Z., Olga S., Daniel R., and Chris L. (me) at the Gordon Tech National Honors Society Induction Ceremony)


For prom, I did most of the planning and managed to hire a limo for my particular group, taking care of the funds and calling up the limo company. Anyways, my friends and I had a very good evening of fun- something I cannot forget.

(Photo Caption: Prom picture at Buckingham Fountain -May 3,2014)


All in all, the main message I  am trying to get across is to enjoy your high school years! Once you are in college, things will be a lot different. The inclusiveness of high school and all those memories will not be found in college. In college, you will be exposed to more things than you can expect. Everything is open to you and it will be up to you whether or not you make good memories.

Prospective LUC students- cherish and enjoy your time in high school!

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!




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