Tag: Study

Tips and tricks to overnighting at Loyola

Tips and tricks to overnighting at Loyola


First off, I gotta say, yay! We’re all very excited to host you at Loyola, and we hope you’ll enjoy! If you’re not signed up for an overnight and you’re interested in Loyola, please check out our programs – we’d love to have you. I personally think overnighting at a college is one of the best things you can do that affects your decision, because you get to know the community better and experience a day in the life of a student, as well as familiarizing yourself with the campus and tasting the freedom that is college living. The tricky part is if you have a bad experience at a school you love – of course, those are very rare and everyone is actively working to make sure you don’t have a horrible time, but even still I would advise you to not let it truly factor into your decision. Overnight hosts aren’t exactly personalty-matched with their guests (it just isn’t possible because so many people overnight and host), and it is just about twelve hours with them – when you get to college, you’ll be able to choose your own friends and find your people.

Well, second off, here’s a list of to-do once you’ve signed up, before I even get started talking about the overnight itself. It’s important you respond when your host reaches out to you to tell them if you’ll be parking on campus, and when you think you’ll arrive, because they have to let other people know, as well as show up to get you! You also want to fill out and return all paperwork as promptly as you can – you don’t want any snafus or speedbumps that could mean you might not be able to overnight after all. And packing, which is very important! You want to pack your pajamas, clothes for the next day, toiletries, maybe a notebook if you want to take notes, and shower shoes and a towel if you plan on taking a shower! most importantly, bring a pillow and sleeping bag. Your host most likely doesn’t have an extra bed or futon for you to sleep on. Also, I’ve seen some guests come with huge suitcases and some with just a backpack – personally, I’d advise the smaller the better, since you could be hauling it up several flights of stairs, but it’s up to you. You also could bring some extra money if you wanted to buy a snack from our Cafes or Food Court, but that’s totally optional. You won’t be able to leave campus, but you’ll have food tickets to eat at our dining halls, so you won’t go hungry.


Thirdly, remember that your hosts are doing this because they want to show you around Loyola! They are still human, however, and they’re nervous to meet you too. Some might cover that up by talking a hundred miles a minute, and some might be on the quieter side, but they’ll be trying their best. It makes both of our experiences much better and much more fun if you try to engage them with questions and conversations. If you’re not naturally extroverted, that’s okay! I just want you to gain as much from this as you can. It’s natural for there to be awkward pauses and silences sometimes. Since your host has been attending Loyola, they might not always realize that there’s something about Loyola that other people don’t know, so don’t be afraid to interrupt and say things like: “Go back. What’s Palm Court? Can we go to it?” And especially after the overnight is over, don’t be afraid to continue asking those questions to your host. They’ll be happy to help!

Fourth, if you’re wondering if there’s any must-see’s and must-do’s for your brief time at Loyola – there absolutely is! You won’t be able to get them all done in one visit, but here’s some I recommend.

  1. Talk to Sister Jean! She’s a living legend and holds so much passion about Loyola it’s impossible to miss the way she lights up when she talks about us.
  2. Go to Palm Court! Our Mundelein building has a great view of the campus on the sixth floor – just take the elevator up and follow the signs!
  3. Explore Cudahy library! There’s a million hidden study places in there, and it feels like you’ll be able to get a lot done, even if you’re just passing through.
  4. Try deNobili’s make-your-own-pizza. What a luxury, right? They’re just the right size for hungry students and you can always shake it up. deNobili also has chicken nuggets from 9-11 that are just wonderful.
  5. See the sights from Water Tower Campus! Loyola’s new Schrieber center and other buildings offer unique views of downtown Chicago like nowhere else.
  6. Meet TiVo! There’s nothing quite like knowing you’re in good hands… er, paws. TiVo is incredibly sweet and he’s incredibly hard-working, there’s no cons to meeting our therapy dog.
  7. Walk down W Loyola Ave, right between Mertz Hall and Campion. It leads to a nice grassy area that is a great place to soak up the sun and eat a sandwich while enjoying the view of the lake.
  8. Hang out in Damen. If you’re a serial people-watcher like I am, there’s no better place than the round tables in the Damen Student Center. It’s the heart of the campus where everyone passes through, and you can see students involved in all sorts of activities, from tabling to studying to hanging out.
  9. Go to a sports game! If there’s going to be a game, go to it, even just for a bit. Our teams work hard to do their best, and the school spirit at games (about 50% Sister Jean) is easy to catch.

Wow, this has been a long post! Well, I hope it helps. If you have more questions, feel free to ask your host or me. It’ll be a long night with an early morning, but worth it! Go Ramblers!


The Countdown is On: Winter Break Here We Come

The Countdown is On: Winter Break Here We Come

Tomorrow marks the official start of finals week, which means in 7 days or less Loyola students are free to go home. I for one am forever grateful for the person that decided to give college students an entire month off between fall and spring semesters. Especially after a week of non-stop studying, a stress free month at home is well-deserved.

While anticipating winter break there are a few things every college student should watch out for. First off, avoid settling into “break mode” too early. (Break mode being when all you want to do is relax, drink hot chocolate, and visit with friends and family–not conducive to finals studying in the slightest.) Working hard all semester makes you want to coast right into winter break. Unfortunately, that’s not an option. Just think, studying extra hard for a week will be followed by the most relaxing month of the year.

I think the best strategy to avoiding “break mode” is by taking your week one step at a time. When you look too far ahead it’s easy to lose sight of all the things you have to do before break actually starts. Although packing for winter break instead of studying for your last test sounds like a good idea–it’s definitely not. Give yourself about an hour the day before you travel home to pack up. Keep in mind that you’ll only be gone a month. Don’t drag home too much or you’ll be regretting it in January.

During your last week on campus be sure to deep clean your residence hall room. There’s nothing worse than coming back to a mini-fridge with month old milk in it–well except for an entire room that smells like it. Also, double check your class schedule for the spring semester. If you’ve already changed your mind about taking a certain class the academic advisers will still be there to help. Waiting any longer to adjust your schedule is not something you’ll want to deal with during your time off.

So get down to it, Ramblers! Fight off the urge to sink into “break mode” for another week and then you’re home free–literally.

The Perfect Study Spot

The Perfect Study Spot

Recently, I’ve been itching to find a new study spot. I cannot focus in my apartment (I usually turn on the TV and watch a “Friends” marathon) and I can’t focus at the library, either (I  just want to socialize while there).  My apartment in Lakeview is full of a ton of cool coffee shops (Intelligentsia is my recommendation!), but I recently gave up coffee so I was looking for somewhere different.  I found the perfect spot: Barnes and Noble!

Barnes and Noble is located just a few blocks from the downtown campus.  It’s two stories and is located right near State and Rush.  It was perfect for me because it was completely silent; it was all either students studying, or people reading.  There was also free wifi and a big cafe full of coffee drinks, pastries, and cheesecake!! This Barnes and Noble location sells cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory! I got some Oreo chocolate cheesecake, and it was the perfect dessert to get me through my paper and studying!

I will be back to study at Barnes and Noble (and eat mass amounts of cheesecake).  It’s my new favorite study spot, and I whole heartedly recommend it!

Finding a Niche

Finding a Niche

When you come to college for the first time, it’s a bit difficult to find that perfect place to study. After growing up and spending a majority of your time at home, college it is quite the change of atmospheres.

Over the past week and for the next week I would probably go crazy if I did not have places on campus where I love to study. When you have a test in every class and you are a major in Biophysics and Biology, you’re bound to feel a little crazed.

Here are my two favorite study places:

Harry Potter Room: Honestly I have no idea how it got the name, I actually don’t even know the real name of the silent study hall in Cudahy Library. And personally I do not think it looks anything like the hall in Harry Potter. This space  is a large silent study hall with lots of people burying their heads in books and laptops.

Isaac and Al’s: This is the Physics study lounge, most departments do not have there own lounge but being that our dept. is kinda awesome we not only have a lounge but we are also equipped with a computer room providing free printing for Physics Majors. Not to mention the free food any time Professor Rubbel is in his good mood. Sure, it would be nice if the dome on top of Cudahy was a physics lounge but its not, it is an empty old room. If I get the chance to go up I will take a picture and post it as proof.

Top 5 Songs for Studying

Top 5 Songs for Studying

Ok, so as I crunch to finish up all of my homework before I can mentally check-out for Thanksgiving break, I rely on relaxing remedies to get me through the process.  Here are my top 5 songs for studying:

5. Blackbird by Dave Matthews Band- Yes, I realize that there was nothing wrong with the original by The Beatles, but I find this one more soothing.

4. Casimir Pulaski Day by Sufjan Stevens- A sobering song that allows me to focus on the task at hand, unless I listen to the words, and then I become sad.

3. Love Vigilantes by Iron and Wine- A slower song with alot of emotion.  I really like the lyrics and the storyline in the song.

2. Góðan Daginn by Sigur Rós- A fine choice if you have a difficult time listening to music and focusing because unless you speak Icelandic, you will not be able to understand the words.

1. Re: Stacks by Bon Iver- A favorite of mine for awhile now; a simple strumming pattern on the guitar mixed with some high octave vocals makes for a pleasant sound to study to.