Tag: Spring Semester

Dance, Eat, Museum, Repeat

Dance, Eat, Museum, Repeat

One of the perks of living with two seniors is getting to share in the joy of end of semester celebrations. As far as senior events go, Damen Ball has got to be one of the most exciting. This dance comes at the end of the spring semester each year as a sort of ‘senior send-off’. Though technically a celebration for those that are graduating, underclassman are welcome to attend if there are any tickets left.

Chicago has countless venues I would have been happy to attend a dance at, and the Museum of Science and Industry wasn’t half bad. For the past few years this museum has served as Damen Ball’s venue of choice and rightfully so. I actually hadn’t visited this museum until Friday night. The building itself is stunning with its long steps and Roman columns, providing a perfectly dramatic entrance to the ball. The extra high ceiling-ed, cross-shaped interior of the museum has a circular center, offering the perfect dance floor. Two of the wings sported long buffet lines of quesadillas, pizza, hot dogs and burgers–which after a quick photo, became our first stop of the night.

Several of the museum’s exhibits were open for students to tour during the ball–the weather exhibit, coal mine and mirror maze. Perfect for those who needed a break from a night of dancing. Though we did find time to scope out the exhibits, my friends and I spent most of our time on the dance floor. The DJ did exceptionally well at keeping people dancing until the ball was over by playing the perfect mix of popular songs and classic throwbacks.

Even if this wasn’t technically a celebration for juniors like myself, Damen Ball was still a perfect way to celebrate the end of the year. I’ll be looking forward to next year when the party will be even more of a celebration for me.

Cheers to the end of the year!

Spring (and so much more) has Sprung on Campus

Spring (and so much more) has Sprung on Campus

Spring on a college campus brings with it a little more than a change of seasons. To name a few…

Campus tours. Come springtime campus is flooded again with loads of wide-eyed high school students and their parents. Don’t worry about your parents asking embarrassing college questions on the tours. We’ve all been there and really they just have your best interests at heart.

Frisbee games on the quad. We can all finally take a break from being trapped inside, so outdoor quad activity is back in full swing. Frisbee, football or just sitting in the grass (because good news there is grass), we’re down for whatever involves a little fresh air.

Loyola’s incredible grounds staff has the campus bursting with beautiful blooms. I don’t think that the gardeners at LUC get enough credit for all the work they put into to maintaining our beautiful campus. The blooming daffodils make me smile every time I walk past.

Unpredictable weather. Spring in Chicago doesn’t necessarily mean warmer weather and rain showers. A few days have been warm and pleasant, allowing the grass to green and for students to embrace the outdoors. But, it snowed on April 2nd, not even a little flurry in the morning. A sporadic, all-day, on-again off-again blizzard-y, occasionally sunny, spring, Chicago day.

Initial excitement, quickly followed by end of semester stress. My gut reaction to the onset of spring is to get super excited for summer, since now it’s just around the corner. But I think I speak for most of my classmates when I say that our summer excitement is shortly overcome by the realization that the five hardest weeks of the semester are standing in the way of our summer break.

Senioritis is in full swing. As I look around at the class ahead of me the symptoms of Senioritis are evident. They are prepping for the next steps in their lives and itching to graduate. Their excitement is also mixed with a sense of worry as they step outside the world of undergrad to embrace something new.

As you can see, spring on a college campus is a bit different than elsewhere. Even so, it’s still easily one of the best times of the year.


Sophomore Life: Spring Semester

Sophomore Life: Spring Semester


I still cannot believe that in only a couple of months, I will be exactly halfway done with my undergraduate studies. I have many friends who are currently freshman students, so sometimes, I get caught up in the freshman lifestyle- being excited by the little things, having so much enthusiasm, and getting lost around campus (yes, I still get lost).

This semester, I have a lot of workload on my back. I am doing 18 credits of classes and on top of that, I go to Old Town Music School on Sundays, and am currently preparing for training (for a Youth Movement) during the spring break in Texas. You can say I am doing too much, but for me, I hate being unproductive and not being on my feet; I always have to be doing something.

Two of my favorite classes by far this semester are: Organic Chemistry and Theology. Why? It is mainly due to the professors- Dr. Osner & Dr. Dickinson. They are the ones who make it engaging and actually, a lot of fun. Plus, these two classes are a great combination- I really need God with me when I take an Orgo exam. Anyone who as taken Orgo or knows about it, understands what I mean by this!

I believe I have improved on my studying habits as well. I am using my free time more wisely and prioritizing things better. Before I go to sleep, I always write myself a little agenda for the day tomorrow on what needs to get done by a certain time. It helps me stay on track and reduces the amount of thinking I need to do on where to go or what to do after a class is done.

I hope all of you enjoy the week! Have an awesome day!

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.
Saying Good-Bye to Winter Break

Saying Good-Bye to Winter Break

As the last week of winter break starts to slip away, you’re probably wondering where all your free time went? Between family dinners, holiday celebrations, and reuniting with friends your entire month of freedom happened all too quickly. While you’ve still got a chance, make the most of your last few days of bliss!

  • Spend time with people you haven’t seen yet or won’t see for a while. Give your high school friends a call to hang out one more time before you head back to college or spend the afternoon with Grandma and Grandpa. And let’s face it, Mom and Dad will miss you again too, so don’t forget to spend quality time with them.
  • Read a book for pleasure. Before you know it you’ll have piles of reading to do for classes again. While you’ve still got a little time, read a book just because!
  • Enjoy your last couple home-cooked meals. Going back to dining hall food won’t be too appealing after a month of home-cooked meals. Put in a few dinner requests and enjoy some extra good food before coming back to campus.
  • Take one more good nap. I love afternoon couch naps and they aren’t quite as enjoyable when there’s a stack of homework waiting for you when you wake up. Snooze away if you get the chance!
  • Snuggle with your dog–or cat. Your pets will be the ones you start missing first once you go to school–turns out they are hard to contact when you leave. So be sure to give Fido and Mittens an extra scratch behind the ear before you leave.
  • Start thinking about class again. When you come back you’ll need to get right back into study mode, so start putting yourself in the right mindset. Oh, and you might want to order your books.

Enjoy your last few days at home and get ready for an awesome Spring Semester!


ROME-ing for the Spring of 2015

ROME-ing for the Spring of 2015

Go forth and set the world on fire” –St. Ignatius of Loyola

As I prepare for a semester abroad at the John Felice Rome Center in–you guessed it– Rome, Italy, St. Ignatius’ words have been on my mind. I think the most important word in this quote is simply “Go”. And thanks to the opportunity Loyola has given me, that’s exactly what I get to do.

I’ve been fortunate enough to take a few short trips to Europe before. Each time falling more in love with the cultures, peoples, and overall European atmosphere. Needless to say, studying abroad has always been a dream of mine and Loyola could not have made the transition from Chicago to Rome any easier. Essentially, I’m going to LUC in Rome–no worries about credits transferring, professors not speaking English, or not seeing familiar faces.

I’m already looking forward to taking afternoon passeggiatas (walks) through our neighborhood, eating authentic pasta dishes, exploring Rome’s historic center, playing in our on-campus calcio (soccer) league, meeting locals, and traveling across the country and the continent. I want to make the most of my Roman experience by immersing myself in the culture. I’ll have to get a little outside my comfort zone and jump in to explore the richness of the Italian culture.

After our study abroad group meeting on Friday afternoon it hit me that this is actually real. In a month and a half I will be flying out of the country to embark on one of the most incredible journeys of my life. At this point I’m feeling a little terrified and a lot excited. I still have a plenty to do before my plane takes off. Next semester, I could very well be writing blog posts in a coffee bar near a piazza instead of my residence hall–I don’t think I’ll mind the change of scenery.


The Countdown Begins

The Countdown Begins

It is near the end of the second week of my last semester at Loyola University Chicago. As I get up every morning to start my day, I always ask myself,

Where has the time gone?

Four years truly flies by at a blink of an eye. Along with finishing up what is required of me academically at Loyola, reflecting on the impact this university has made on me has been very humbling.

One aspect of my Loyola experience that I will always be grateful for is my leadership development.

As a freshman mentee in the STARS program through the Department of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, I, along with my first-year cohorts, attended a workshop facilitated by Student Leadership Development on evaluating our leadership styles.

The questions that encouraged looking into ourselves, how we work best with other people and independently, and how we can hone in on our leadership strengths helped me realize over my time at Loyola how much leadership ties into building and maintaining understanding, as well as community.

Both aspects have been and still are important to me with what I am involved in on campus, and I seek to encourage the students that are younger than me to consider the same as they embark on their own Loyola journey.

Belated Update

Belated Update

Hello blogging world! This is my first blog in the new semester so, although it is a little late, I want to update you about my winter break!

Break was a lovely four weeks in which I slept a lot, ate a lot and hung out with friends. It was awesome.

The one week of break in which I actually did something productive was the week that I went to Arizona with my family. We went for a week after Christmas for no other reason than to experience a little warmer weather and a nice getaway from reality.

We stayed in Scottsdale, which is right by Phoenix. My mom and I took a couple days to go hiking around some of the mountains while my dad and brothers played golf. In the middle of the week we made the four hour trip north to the Grand Canyon and stayed a night up there.

Remember when I said we went to Arizona partly for warmer weather? Well when we woke up at the Grand Canyon it was a balmy 2 degrees! We were chilly to say the least! Nevertheless the Grand Canyon was absolutely beautiful! Because it was so cold we did not hike down into it. Instead we walked around the rim for a few hours. I have never seen anything like it!

We returned to Scottsdale to warmer weather, 50-60 degrees, and spent our last day taking a segway tour of old town Scottsdale. I had never been on a segway so it took me awhile to figure out how to make it move and turn but I soon got the hand of it and it was so fun! Scottsdale has a lot of beautiful artwork and much of the tour was spent going around to different statues that they have.

Unfortunately the vacation had to end at some point and I am back at school and back to reality. Classes are kicking into gear and we are making way into the second week of the semester.


November News

November News

Halloween has come and gone, and it’s now November. Registration is next week, so those of you who haven’t started preparing your classes, get on it! I’ve come up with a crazy schedule for myself, and it’ll be a miracle if I get it just right. I’ll update you all next week on how things went. Here’s to hoping!

As promised, I said that I would post a picture from Fright Fest last Saturday. Here it is:

And just because this was amusing, one more:

This year’s festivities weren’t quite as outgoing as they were several years ago. The costumes were definitely better, I’ll give them credit for that, but by the time daylight had gone and night had fallen, only several creatures had come out to play. If I decide to go next year, I’m hoping that this changes, because with the weather being that cold, it’ll take more entertainment than I got to stick around.

One fun new thing that I experienced at Fright Fest, though, was the showing of a short musical called “Love at First Fright”. It was cute, funny, and entertaining, incorporating jokes in relation to “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Hunger Games”. Another plus? It got me out of the cold for about an hour.

Back to talking about school and registration, along with signing up for classes, people should start considering searching for jobs and internships. Whether you are looking for a seasonal Winter break job or a Spring semester internship, the positions are filling up rapidly. I’ve begun my search for an internship, and so far it’s coming along smoothly. I’ve gotten two calls back, and I’m hoping to land one of them. I’ll keep you guys updated!

Since we are preparing for Spring semester already, that means that Winter break isn’t too far away, and before break come the dreaded Finals. I know that you all don’t want to think about them quite yet, but begin to consider reviewing materials because for many of us, like me, tests are cumulative and worth a huge chunk of our grades. No matter how well you are doing in a class, some Finals can make or break your grade, so don’t let them swallow you up.

Just a little tip for preparing so early in advanced- look over your materials and try and refresh your memory for now, and material that you didn’t understand before, now is a good time to figure it out. If you need help with a subject, but have not yet gone in for some, don’t be afraid to ask. Find a buddy in class, talk to your teacher, or get help from a tutor. From personal experience, I know that I love to study with classmates- it’s fun and social, and yet very helpful to have a student like yourself explain material to you that you didn’t understand from your teacher or the text. Take that into consideration.

Halloweekend Begins

Halloweekend Begins

These past few weeks have been busy for me, as they have been for everyone else. Midterms have been coming and going, but they’ve been like that for over a month. My schedule has calmed down now on the school front, and the waters should be relatively calm until Finals.

First order of business I want to cover- Registration for Spring semester is rapidly approaching. For those of you worried about it, like me, I suggest you start stocking up your class shopping cart on Locus now. I have already planned a schedule for myself, and I can only hope that everything goes as planned. I’m going to try to take 21 hours, and right now I’m quite nervous.

Along with seven classes, I hope to find an internship for myself. The seventh class that I want to take is BSAD 351 in the Business department, which requires an internship during the semester. So far, I have found several internships to apply to on RamblerLink and internships.com. Anyone looking for internships should check these two sites out, especially RamblerLink, our school’s job and internship website.

Like I said, my schedule has slowed down now that Midterms are basically over. I have two tests left leading up to finals, and just several more papers before semester’s end. Up until now, I have survived, and in my opinion, successfully. Knock on wood that I keep it up.

In less than one week, it’ll be Halloween, which means that (for me at least) this weekend is Halloween weekend! Though dressing up in a costume isn’t a big concern of mine, I am really looking forward to going to Fright Fest tomorrow. Even though I’m not going with Loyola, a friend of mine told me that the Loyola trip to Fright Fest is also tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to running into some of my friends.

The last time I went to Fright Fest was in high school, junior year, which means that it’s been four years since my last trip. Back then, I only went on several rides and walked around with friends. This year, I want to go to the Haunted House and see the other Halloween-themed events they have set up. I also can’t wait to see the character costumes they’ll have. Here’s a picture of one from “back in the day”:

I doubt they’ve changed much, but I’ll post a new picture of one of the coolest costumes from this year in my next post. Happy Halloween weekend everyone! Stay warm, stay safe, stay fun.