Tag: Summer

So Say We All

So Say We All

As y’all may have noticed, I disappeared last semester. When they say that your spring semester of junior year is the hardest in the nursing program here, they aren’t kidding. Luckily, I was able to have such a relaxing summer that I feel rejuvenated and ready for my senior year!

So, what did I do this summer? Well…

1. I moved!

That’s right! I moved into my dream apartment in Lincoln Park! There is a little schlep to my classes on the lake shore campus (hello, 4 am Thursday morning wake up calls)…
The view from my rooftop!

… but it’s totally worth it for the neighborhood. I’m right by the Lincoln Park Zoo, the lake shore path, North Avenue Beach, countless restaurants and parks, and I’m only a 10 minute bus ride from work/the downtown shuttle.

I spent all summer exploring my new neighborhood and hanging out on my rooftop, and those two things alone made it a summer well spent.

2. I read!

When I first moved, I didn’t have internet for a week. To entertain myself, I started making progress on the giant stack of books on my nightstand. Once I started, I didn’t stop. To the chagrin of all my friends and my new apartment walls (I mayyyy have thrown a book or two out of anger), I constantly had a novel with me at all times.

The books I read this summer!

The books I read included:

– The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
– Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
– A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
– A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
– This Much I Know is True by Wally Lamb
– The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
– The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
– Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert 

Hopefully, I’ll have read enough to hold me over until I have free time to read again!

3. I watched!

Once I did get internet, Netflix essentially became my new roommate. On the recommendation of my friends, I started watching Battlestar Galactica (BSG).

I watched it at the end of May, and it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that it took over my life to the degree that I couldn’t watch any more series until August (at which point I embarrassingly became obsessed with Teen Wolf).


While it took me a while to get through season 1 of BSG, but I watched season 2 – 4 (60 episodes about 40 minutes in length) in the span of 5 days. I. Became. Consumed.

Right now I’m fresh off of Teen Wolf, and I’m watching Scrubs because “it’s a medical show, so it counts as studying.” Unfortunately, since it IS the school year now, I can’t marathon 10+ episodes in a row, but Netflix will definitely be a part of my life year round.

In addition to watching Netflix, my senior year will be pretty busy with nursing school. I’m done with all of my core classes, so I can focus all my time on clinicals, skills, and theory courses. I accidentally joined the Bioethics Bowl team today, so I’m going to try and keep up with that for an extracurricular experience this year.

Either way, I’m pretty excited to really start getting ready for the “real world”!

Photo 1 attributed to Group Fox

Photo 2 attributed to myself

Photo 3 attributed to SyFy


Summer in Ohio

Summer in Ohio

My last summer as a college student was bittersweet! I tried to make the most of every moment because I knew next summer I would (hopefully!) be employed or in graduate school.

I spent my summer back in Kirtland, Ohio (just 20 minutes outside of Cleveland) with my parents, brother, sister, and cute puppy, Marley. I worked at a breakfast restaurants on the weekends and some weekdays as a server.

I did a lot during my four month break, but I thought I’d narrow down my favorite events of the summer.

1. Birthdays on Birthdays on Birthdays! Most of my high school friends have late April or summer birthdays, so it was a lot of fun to celebrate together, just like old times. Next up is the baby of the group, me! I turn 21 next week!

2. My cousins wedding: My oldest cousin Ashley got married this summer. It was a beautiful wedding with the reception located at The City Club in downtown Cleveland- an amazing venue. It was the hottest day of the summer, so their wedding pictures right by Lake Erie were a little uncomfortable!

3. Cedar Point: Every year, my dad’s side of the family goes to Cedar Point, the greatest amusement park in the world! It’s a tradition that has been going on for 25 years, and it’s not stopping anytime soon! My favorite ride will always be the Magnum roller coaster. It’s a smooth ride with no spinning or going upside down – right up my alley.

4. Lounging by my grandparent’s pool: Almost every day that I didn’t work, you could find me lounging by my grandparent’s beautiful pool. It was often very relaxing, but other times it was crazy and hectic (which I also liked) as my five youngest cousins would come over with a bunch of their friends.  Either way, it was one of my favorite parts of the summer.

My last summer as an undergraduate student at Loyola was fantastic! I always enjoy my summers in Ohio. There’s no place like home!

Summer in the City

Summer in the City

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that I’m already a sophomore, and yet here we are. Watching the new freshmen begin their lives here makes me realize how much I’ve changed in only a short year at Loyola.

But before I get all sentimental on you, I’ll fill you in on my summer.

I couldn’t bear to say goodbye to Chicago for 4 months, and decided to stay for June and July on a full-time paid internship with Loyola’s University Marketing & Communications department. After a relaxing, much-needed month home with my family, I was back to the grind in the city.

Working in the city without the safe bubble and routine of school gave me a real glimpse of adulthood. Working a 9-5, paying rent on a sublease, and (get ready for it….) buying my own groceries is a very different experience than the one I had last year living in Chicago as a student with a residence hall, class schedule and a meal plan. My internship not only gave me valuable career experience, but it taught me how to really take care of myself.

At my internship, I worked as a writer for the Advancement division. I wrote articles for Loyola Magazine (our alumni publication), proofread and wrote and brainstormed for literature to be sent out to our Rambler alumni. The job, which I expect to have all four years of undergrad, gave me an interest in a major I hadn’t ever considered: Advertising and Public Relations. I realized that I love the creative process of it and writing in a different way than I am used to. I haven’t decided to switch yet but it is something I am seriously considering. Advice to incoming freshman: you have time to change your mind, and be open to it!

What was strange about my summer was having what seemed like unlimited amounts of free time. Two months without homework or rehearsal meant I could fully experience Chicago. I went to the Art Institute, on an architectural boat tour, shopped on Michigan Ave, saw shows in the city and just relaxed. The summer made me fall in love with my city even more. Now that I’m back to the grind, I really appreciate the time I had then.

I came home in August to go on vacation in Saugatuck, Michigan with my family, which was mainly spent lounging on the beach. Midwesterners, I have to recommend Michigan for your summer vacation.

Now that I’m back, I’ve started rehearsals for Loyola’s Mainstage production of Lost in Yonkers, which opens at the end of September. I’m so excited to get back into theatre. Being insanely busy at the start of the semester will soon pay off. Anyone close to the city should definitely come see the show!


My view of the city from the architectural boat tour!


The Beginning of the End

The Beginning of the End

It is my senior year at Loyola University Chicago. Typing the sentence itself for my last first post as an undergraduate student is still surreal.

This year I am looking forward to begin the steps needed to embark on the next chapter in my life. I will be enrolled in graduate school, hopefully in the fall of 2o14.

With the help of the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program, facilitated through the Graduate School, I have begun the process to prepare for my post-graduate education as well as gain research experience.

Conducting this research this past summer has been similar to peeling off the layers of an onion. Every macro idea thus far reveals many micros that cannot be explored in nine weeks.

Why spend time behind the computer exploring the “virtual world” that is New African Social Media? The advent of African youth having the space to show creativity and to share it through virtual communities hits home. Producers are able to communicate and share what they believe Africa was like in the past, what Africa is like in the present, and what Africa will be in the future. New African Social Media is an example of how new forms of media impact culture. Those within this “virtual world” are able to re-appropriate content and attach new meaning to the content they create or share.

With this, it is interesting to unpack how this content differs from Africa-content material in mainstream media. New African Social Media allows producers and consumers to shed a different light on what Africa means and is to them: diverse, progressive, and positive. People are given the freedom to be bold to create, report, and share what they do not see in mainstream media; as well as to give a more balanced view of what occurs on and off the continent.

So far in my research, I have found that people most popularly share visually contextual content that depicts people, daily life, and women. The peeling of this onion continues as I unpack the why, how, where, and when of these findings.

Luckily, with the help of my faculty mentor, I am currently continuing what I started this summer through an independent study. I look forward to interviewing participants to learn their perspective on this topic.

With my research aside, my class schedule is light compared to semesters past. I have a little more free time to study for the GRE, as well as catch up with friends; especially those who studied abroad last semester.

I know that this is the beginning of the end of my undergraduate career at Loyola. My senior year will flash right before my eyes, but I will savor every moment of it.

Looking Forward To Spring

Looking Forward To Spring

Well, it’s been a minute since I last wrote. This has been due in large part to what admission counselors call “reading season.” This is the time of year we read the numerous applications that students filled out in the Fall. Much like the “holiday season,” this time of year is stressful, fun, busy and rewarding. I can’t count how many applications I’ve read, but I’m through the busiest part.

With the Fall over and Winter on it’s way out, there are some excited things happening at Loyola this Spring.

Since reading season is just about over, our office is finalizing our plans for Loyola Weekend. Loyola Weekend is our annual Spring open house and one of the best chances for admitted to students to check out the University before May 1 (the deposit deadline). We’ll have a great deal going on the weekend of April 6th: tours of campus, tours of residence halls, a mini department fair and a student organization showcase. Use the Loyola Weekend link above to check your customized schedule.

When (or if) you attend Loyola Weekend you’ll get to see our new student union! The student union, or the Damen Student Center, will be complete April 1st and pretty beautiful. Our office is getting a preview tour of the space next week. I’m very excited to see what exactly the student union is going to house and the physical space. It’ll be a big upgrade from what I had available as a student. I plan on taking a number of photos and maybe some videos to post after we return.

Each Spring also welcomes Loyola’s annual concert/comedian pairing known as Colossus. During this Friday and Saturday in March Loyola traditionally brings a band and comedian to preform, on campus, for students. We’ve had some great acts preform over the last couple of years (Jim Gaffigan, Donald Glover, Flo-Rida and The Black Eyed Peas to name a few), but I’m pretty pumped for who’s preforming this year: Karmin/Matt Nathanson and Aziz Ansari! I’ve been the last couple of years and I think I’ll make it out again in March. Tickets for the show are sold together for $7 and separately for $5, what a steal!

If these three events weren’t enough to get you excited about Spring, the clocks are going to spring forward soon! That means another hour of glorious day light is on the way. Which means, Summer is approaching.

Check back Tuesday for my photos of the new student center!


Traveling & Study Abroad

Traveling & Study Abroad

So for the past month, I have spent A LOT of time on the road and living out of a suitcase for fall travel, recruitment to various high schools and college fairs around Indiana & Illinois. This has led to quite a bit of reminiscing over my study abroad experience while I was a junior at Loyola University Chicago.

The summer before junior year, I traveled to Rome for a 2 week international 3 credit hour marketing course with a small group of students and one of my favorite professors, Stacy Neier. During our short-time abroad, we traveled throughout Rome, Florence, Lake Como, Milan and then we ended our trip in Paris. I started going through my photos from the trip and decided that the old saying is true, “a picture is worth a thousand words” so instead of writing about my experience, I’ve decided to share some of my photos!



-Lake Como-



Overall, it was an absolutely phenomenal experience, I’d definitely recommend that you consider making study abroad a part of your college experience. Loyola offers over 100 study abroad programs in over 55 countries, so you can definitely find the right location for you!

Summer Was Our Best Season

Summer Was Our Best Season

The title of my “return to school” blog has been taken from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. For one of my best friends and I, this quote has became the unofficial motto of every summer since our senior year of high school.

This poster was hanging up in my freshman dorm room!

It’s also completely true.

Because while I love the hustle and bustle of the academic year, there’s also something special about going home to the suburbs and laying in bed all day and weighing down your backpack with library books on a weekly basis.

That’s not to say that I didn’t also spend this summer being extremely busy – I moved out, learned to cook and worked 24 – 30 hours a week. But it was also nice to get an academic break before heading back to Loyola for my junior year.

Not that I’m not excited for this year: I started my mental health clinical last week, I’m taking some pretty cool nursing classes (pharamocology, say what?), I’m on exec board for Alpha Phi Omega, have been accepted into Alpha Sigma Nu, I’m becoming a quote unquote runner (see: the 5k I’m running tomorrow morning!), and still working, amongst other things.

Pre-clinical GPOY

I know this year is going to be crazy busy, and I’m sure I’ll be stressed and frazzled and have my fair share of all nighters that end in me confusing bikers wearing all black as a Nazgul (longgggg story), but I know that this school season is also going to be just as great as my summer season, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Dwindling Summer= Back to Chi!

Dwindling Summer= Back to Chi!

After 8 long, long, months I was ready to get back to the greatest city in America! I was incredibly eager to get back to Chicago and Loyola, since I hadn’t been there since December because of my trip abroad this spring semester.

My summer wasn’t too eventful, but it was very relaxing! It mainly consisted of work, work and more work. (Can you imagine how broke I was after roaming around Europe?)  I worked at a small breakfast cafe as a waitress, so that took up most of my time seeing as I had to be there every morning at 5:30.  Yep… 5:30 A.M.  I just cringed typing that.

Besides working, I spent a lot of time with my family and friends.  We took our annual three day trip to Cedar Point, the largest amusement park in America.  It’s basically Ohio’s claim to fame.  It has a ton of roller coasters, a water park, and it’s right on Lake Erie.  We go with all of my dad’s brothers and sisters, and all 16 of my cousins. Here’s the tallest roller coaster in the park, the Top Thrill Dragster.  It’s literally about a ten second ride. Straight up, straight down.  Terrifying.

The remainder of my summer was spent getting ready for Loyola.  I was on a mission to find cute decorations for my apartment.  I was extra excited for this year since I would be living right off Michigan Avenue- the most prime location!   I knew it was about to be the best school year yet.

True Life: I Survived The First Week Of Classes

True Life: I Survived The First Week Of Classes

It was painful, but I did it. I survived the first week of classes!

The first few days back from Summer break are always the hardest to get through. After an amazing, relaxing Summer spent sunbathing and swimming, sitting in class is the last thing I look forward to. It is the inevitable end to every Summer however and I have found that there are a number of emotional stages that every recently back to school student must go through:

1. Denial – “School is not actually starting that soon. I still have time. It’s still Summer, for goodness sake its 95 degrees out!”

2. Crisis – (partly a result of the denial) “I’m not ready! I haven’t even thought about my classes yet and they start tomorrow morning!”

3. Depression – “I am actually up at 7:30am getting ready for class…”

4. Acceptance – “Well I am here I might as well pay attention. This may be boring but I need good grades”

5. Excitement – “OK wow, turns out that this is actually interesting material. I am excited for this class!”

Now, if you’re lucky, like me, you are actually taking classes that really interest you and apply to your future. I am taking 5 Education classes and 1 English class. I have found that the content we are learning in my Education classes is actually incredibly interesting and very applicable.

This Fall I have a new tutoring job that I look forward to starting with a company called Frog Tutoring. Also starting soon is volunteer opportunities such as Loyola’s chapter of UNICEF and Loyola 4 Chicago.

After I got through the initial stages of denial and depression (which didn’t take long) I see that coming back to school is actually something to look forward to and to be excited about.

I am going to miss this! A sunrise this Summer from my house back in Michigan.
Coming to a School Near You…

Coming to a School Near You…

Happy fall! What’s not to love about this time of year? Students are back on campus, the summer heat is slowly disappearing, pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks and it’s travel season for Admission Counselors!

This will be my first travel season and I’m ready to hit the ground running after weeks of phone calls and emails trying to schedule as many high school visits/college fairs as possible. I’ll attend 62 school visits and 12 college fairs in just 26 days in the following 4 states: Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey and New York.

All of the Admission Counselors are putting the finishing touches on their schedules, and we will be traveling just about EVERYWHERE! You can check out the travel schedule online to see when a Loyola Admission Counselor will be at your school or town. My advice if you do meet with an Admission Counselor- Ask Questions! Take advantage of the opportunity to meet with us in person; we can provide you with tons of information about our school and the admission process.

Not only is the office busy with fall travel this month, but we are also busy planning the first Open House of the year, which is Saturday, October 20th! If you’re up for a little traveling of your own, Open House is definitely a great way to visit campus and get a taste of Loyola University Chicago!

I’ll spend much of the next two months in planes, trains, automobiles, and hotel rooms, so that should allow me some time to blog and share tips about the admission process and Loyola!