Tag: Life At Loyola

8 Free Apps You’ll Need for College

8 Free Apps You’ll Need for College

Ah, modern technology. Isn’t it great? It allows us to connect with each other, it allows us to create, to learn, and to share.

Incidentally, it also allows me to write this to tell you about apps you’ll be needing in college. Some of them are Loyola-specific, but the ones that aren’t will be useful anywhere, I guarantee. Mind, I have an iPhone, so I don’t know if they’re all available for Android products. Also, I’ve been sponsored by 0 of them, tragically.

  1. Mint


This app is a life saver, and I decided to start out with it because it deals with something everyone panics about once in a while: money. But in a good way! Mint links to your bank accounts so you can easily see how much you have and how much you spend, but you can also create budgets for yourself. It can tell, based on your shops, what category you’re spending in, and will yell at your accordingly. Of course it’s not always right, but that’s why you can always go back and edit it. Additionally, it can show your credit score, you can add cash transactions, and it’ll tell you your spendings and earnings over time or just in the past few days. I love it so much, takes away so many worries about moolah.

2. Venmo

I know, I know – another money app! But this one’s less about you and more about that situation you get into with your friends, where maybe you’re out of cash and you owe them or you want to keep the score even and watched-over. Everyone knows those people that try to wriggle out of debts, and when you’re a college student and money is very, very precious, Venmo makes it much easier to ensure your friends send you the money immediately. Plus, if you’re not the type to carry cash or don’t have the change to split and give to someone you owe the money to, you’re covered with Venmo.

3. The Loyola App

Yeah, Loyola has its own app! Through this, you can access your class schedule, a map of campus, Sakai, Locus, your financials, and on and on! It saved my life so many times during the first few weeks of school. No more printing out the class schedule – it’s right there on your phone! Plus, you can see what books you’ll need for your classes, how many people will be in your class, your syllabi – and so much more. It’s really great.

4. Campus Dining

What’s this? Well, our three dining halls have an app! That way, you see what’s being served where, and when, and for how long. So if it’s Wing Wednesday at Simpson but you’re nearer to Damen, but you don’t want to swipe in and regret, you can look up what’s in Damen before you make the decision! It’s really useful and great.

5. GroupMe


If you don’t have this yet, download it immediately! Before I had GroupMe, I had a variety of other chatting apps like LINE and WeChat, but they both take up so much room on my phone that eventually I caved and just deleted them. Then, I made a GroupMe groupchat with other people on the Class of 2019 facebook page (this was the end of senior year of high school) and bam! With easy texting between everyone with different phones and easy adding more people as they joined, we became really tight. It was a load off my shoulders that when I arrived at Loyola, I already felt like I really knew people here because we had talked and even Skyped so much. Nowadays I use GroupMe with all my friends, both here and back home, and since it’s so easy to make groups and organize them, I use it for group projects constantly!

6. YikYak

You might already have this, but trust me when I say YikYak is best on college campuses. I can’t guarantee it’s quality content, but what I can tell you is that it’s the fastest way to learn about things happening on campus that you won’t see flyers for – not in a bad way, but if someone gets hurt on campus or there’s a dorm that’s being evacuated due to a water incident, YikYak’ll be the first to know. That way, you can avoid going to Late Night Dining on nights where the entire population of Campion is going to deNobili because they got kicked out of their dorms while the authorities dealt with the rogue sprinklers. True story, folks.

7. Spotify

College is a place where you’ll find like-minded people, and it’s incredibly easy to find people with the same music taste as you. Spotify can not only hook you up with new music from them as you see what they’re listening to, but it saves money – Spotify Premium is way cheaper than constantly buying new songs on iTunes or trying to download them from filesharing sites (which, I may add, is illegal.) Plus, since there’s wifi everywhere on campus, you won’t ever be without music.

8. Uber


You’re gonna find yourself needing this some time in your college career in Chicago, I guarantee it. It might not be so useful if you’re going to college in the middle of nowhere, but in Chicago it’s invaluable. You never know if the L will be skipping your stop for the day, or if you’ll need a ride back from the airport because otherwise you’ll be late for something, or even if you’d prefer not to take public transportation after an evening downtown. You could also get Lyft, I suppose – either way, you get what you need, it’s fast, it’s worth the price.


I love technology, I could go on and on about different I’d recommend, but these are the top 8 essential apps. WatchOverMe, Outlook, Kite, probably even Plant Nanny I’d recommend as well, but then the list gets really long and eventually I’d just be telling you my favorite apps, which are a little different and off-topic. Anyway, keep these in mind! I hope I help!

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!

What Loyola’s Doing Over Spring Break

What Loyola’s Doing Over Spring Break


As usual, I’m going to be honest with you folks – Mexican Beach Parties made of hordes of college kids like you see in movies like 22 Jump Street do happen. Some of my friends who go to other schools around the country are part of groups that flock by the hundreds, and they take up practically the whole plane. To me, that’s a little crazy, going to a school that gives you so much tension and dislike you, for a whole week, party and drink and party some more.

I genuinely enjoy my school, and on breaks I can only think about going back. It’s more than just classes – the college life suits me, and my friends are phenomenal, and I’m passionate about what I’m involved in. And, I think, my peers here at Loyola feel the same. It’s just one week to Spring Break and I haven’t heard a whisper of colossal groups jaunting off to the Coast. I’m sure it happens, of course, but the groups aren’t big enough to be heard through the grapevine outside of those specifically invited – which is fine by me!

Here’s something. The talk of the town are programs Loyola does called ABI, or Alternative Break Immersions. Now, they’re nothing new, but the hype is definitely real every single time. I have friends going to Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Maryland, Oregon, Tennessee – and even sticking around Chicago to volunteer.

ABI trips are very popular because they’re learning, outside of a classroom, that integrates Jesuit values, social justice, and aiding those in need. Though they’re short, they’re transformative, so I’ve heard.


If you want, there are some blogs by those who went on the trips here!

ABI trips are incredibly popular – I’d definitely say that more people go on them than go to Mexico with their friends. (of course, people are still going to Mexico with their families, because who would pass that up? Not me.) People also go home to wherever they came from, be it Seattle, Los Angeles, or Skokie. It’s a week off of school after midterms, so there’ll be a lot of relaxation, working to refill the ol’ piggy bank, and lots of catching up on movies and shows that we’ve been missing because we’ve been studying.

So that’s where we’ll be! If you’re touring campus, sorry to say, you probably won’t see too many students, but you can always come back! Where are you going for your Spring Break?

I hope also that you’ll consider our ABI programs if you end up coming here, because the more the merrier, and here at Loyola we love to make a difference!