Tag: Winter break

Being an Out-of-State Student at LUC

Being an Out-of-State Student at LUC

In looking at colleges, you might have considered a public school what with reciprocal or in-state tuition, compared to a private school like Loyola. That was definitely the pull for me away from Loyola, but all the other things brought me back!


I’m from Minnesota. But here at Loyola, I have friends from California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, and all the states in-between. We came here not because it was cheapest but because it’s where we belong, and where we’re happy. (Also, going to private school is interesting when you’ve been a public-school kid all your life.)

Of course, I do have friends from the Chicago area, or from nearer states like Wisconsin and Michigan. And though I’m not as far away as, say, New Jersey, the distance does present some obstacles- and some opportunities. If you’re hesitant about a school because of its distance, let me tell you: it will be okay.


First off, your experience is what you make of it. I call my parents once a week (and/or if something really exciting happens), but I have friends that call twice a week, three times a week, or only once in a while when they remember. Some take the train back home for breaks, or don’t go back at all. Me, I take the plane – it might not seem so, but you can definitely find cheap flights at my distance. And the school provides a U-PASS allowing for unrestricted transport on the L, so I don’t have to be shelling out for an uber each time. And there’s plenty of opportunity to go home or have people come here, whatever suits you – from Parent’s Weekend to Easter Break, it’s pretty nice.

Second, they’re well aware of travel costs. If you’re a really far-away student, over the summer you can ask to be assigned to the very last Orientation with the Honors and International students that takes place right before the rest of the school moves-in, so you don’t have to make two trips. You might not know this, but you can also request extended stay (though not infinite) in the dorms over summer break, or stay here over winter break should you please as well.


Third, being from a distance makes Chicago all the more fun to explore! Going into this year, I knew very few things about this fair city. Navy Pier, yeah, and Chinatown, the Mag Mile, and like, there are some cool towers and cool zoos. Not that I didn’t absolutely adore it regardless, but now I feel really accomplished when I can picture where the neighborhoods are on the Red Line or estimate how far away something is, or even be walking downtown and actually know where to go instead of just consulting the skies.


Of course I’ll advise taking everything into account when you’re picking a college, but this is just to say that distance, at Loyola, is not the biggest or most important factor. The deadline to decide is May 1, so think carefully!

Winter Break Farewell

Winter Break Farewell

From previous school years (in high school and grade school), my winter breaks only lasted about two weeks. This is the first time that I have been able to have a winter break that is a month long. The best part about this break is that, unlike some high schools and all grade schools, I start new semesters with brand new classes which mean that I do not get follow-up assignments to complete during break. With all that being said, it may seem that my time off of school was full of leisure— quite the contrary.

Most weekdays, I looked after my younger brother while my mother went to work. I would read a lot of books with him and occasionally, bake a ton of delectable cookies, and watch movies for the majority of the day. On the weekends, I would help her around the house by cooking and cleaning and sometimes I would go with her to go Christmas shopping for presents to give to others. This week, I am taking and picking up my brother from school via the train and I must say, I feel like a parent and I enjoy it- sending my little brother off to school, talking to his teacher, conversing with parents, and arranging play dates. Unfortunately I was not able to read many books on my list and had to deny some hang-out sessions with old friends because of my busy schedule.

Anyways, I am happy that winter break is almost concluding and I look forward to coming back to Loyola on a daily basis to see my good friends, learn many new topics, and go through the hectic but interesting life of commuting.

With that said (in advance), I bid winter break a good farewell!

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!


The Spirit of Christmas

The Spirit of Christmas

Since the start to my winter break, I have had the chance to go downtown a couple of times to see the beautiful lights wrapped around the trees, decorations in the store windows, holiday music in the malls, and little specks of snow falling down on our beautiful city of Chicago. Daley Plaza is filled with people ready to enjoy themselves by sampling a taste of German food and viewing the ornate craftsmanship of delicate, wooden ornaments and figurines. The city tree stands tall and every part of the tree is lit up with colorful lights of red, green, blue, and yellow. At Millennium Park, the Bean (Cloud Gate) reflects the cold, crisp white sky and showcases the view of the skyscrapers at an interesting angle. Below the Bean, my cousin and I had the wonderful opportunity to go ice skating; it was fun as people of all ages were present and gliding smoothly on the ice to the beat of the Christmas music blasted through the nearby speakers.

All in all, there is so much to do in Chicago to celebrate the Holidays; things in this city never get old. Besides the usual things to do downtown, there are other places to see and visit such as Lincoln Park Zoo for their famous zoo lights, local malls, and grade school Christmas pageants.
To top everything off, let’s wish for a very White Christmas!

~Stay warm, be with your loved ones, and make everyday worth it!~

Winter Break!

Winter Break!

My last final was on Thursday and I was relieved and happy to have finished testing before most of my friends. Nonetheless, I had come back to school the next day to wish my friends good luck on their tests and for the whole day, I was relaxing in a comfy chair enjoying myself watching Netflix. That very weekend for the first time since August, I was able to sleep freely without any worries. I am proud of myself to have accomplished so much in my first semester of college, and I personally think I deserve to relax, be happy, and finally breathe during my break.

During my break, I do not plan to travel or do anything extraordinary. I will be at home, just like every year, taking care of my brother and house while my sister goes to school and mom goes to work. We might have a Christmas family party and I will forward to that very much as I will be able to see my other family members I have not seen in quite a while. I have a lot of young cousins in the family, so I am certain that we might take them to see the zoo lights or Navy Pier, or the Christmas market they have downtown at Daley Plaza (all of these options would be the first time these youngsters).

With all that being said, I wish each and every one of you an amazing winter season filled with your beloved family and friends.

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.

Winter Break

Winter Break

Loyola is absolutely amazing for so many reasons. Reason #27 (roughly) of why Loyola is the best: they give us one full month of winter break! I remember as a freshman I had mixed feelings about this long hiatus from my new college friends, but as a busy, busy senior, this long break was exactly what I needed.

I would have to say the highlight of my break was seeing the love of my life, Justin Timberlake (yes, I am a crazy fangirl when it comes to him). He performed his 20/20 Experience tour in Cleveland the Thursday I got back. It was the perfect start to my break! He is a great performer and absolutely hilarious. The highlight of the show was when he sang happy birthday to a six year old in the audience!

The whole week of Christmas I was surrounded by family, specifically my 20 cousins. I always have the most fun with them, so I was grateful that everyone was able to come together. My parents did Christmas a little different this year. Instead of buying my siblings and I specific gifts, they gave us money and a night to shop at the mall. My mom was getting tired of us returning everything she bought us (sorry we’re picky, mom!) so she thought this was the best solution. It was fun shopping with my parents and siblings, but the best part was enjoying a nice family dinner afterwards at Maggiano’s.

The rest of my winter break was pretty low key. As you Chicagoans know, the -30 degree wind chill that lasted a few days was killer! It was so cold in Cleveland that our schools closed for four days! It was a nice extended break for the school age kids, and my mom, who is a teacher, but I was getting a little stir crazy being cooped up in my house. It was nice to relax and catch up on some television shows, though.

My ride back to Chicago was great… I had two of my best friends from home come back with me! My friend Anne goes to Miami of Ohio and was visiting for the weekend, and my friend Tiffany goes to Columbia College Chicago! We had a great weekend together, and it was the perfect ending to my winter break!

Christmas Break

Christmas Break

Christmas break was EXTREMELY relaxing! It was so nice to take a break from the mounds of schoolwork I usually have and just enjoy the company of family and friends while eating tons of home cooked meals (my favorite part!).

One of the many perks of Loyola is that they give everyone a full month of break. (Mostly everyone, depending on finals)  I got home December 13th, and a few days later, my siblings and I hosted our first annual Trubiano siblings cookie making party.  We each invited a few friends, and made a ton of cookies for Christmas and Christmas day… although most of them were gone that night.  Here’s a picture of the cookies I was in charge of, before they were decorated.

On Christmas Eve, my family has my moms whole side at our house.  We ate delicious lasagna and exchanged presents.  It was extra exciting this year because it was my cousin’s baby’s first Christmas.  He is the chubbiest, cutest little thing.

On Christmas day, we went to my grandparents house.  My dad has five brothers and sisters, so there was a ton of people packed into the house.  I have so many cousins, and I always love Christmas because I get to hang out with all of them at once! Here is a picture of all of my female cousins besides one.

I spent a lot of time with my high school friends over this break as well.  We had a lot of holiday parties and went to a lot of movies. (I highly recommend Silver Linings Playbook!) Here’s a pic of my six best friends. 

I definitely needed the long Christmas break.  I was great spending time with family and old friends.  It is great to be back in Chicago though, and I am really looking forward to this semester!

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.


The Three Parts

The Three Parts

When The Prestige first came out on DVD during my sophomore year in high school, I happened to be flying back from a trip to Israel. Because of this coincidence, it playing on its own channel during my 12 hour flight from Jerusalem to New York. The movie is just over two hours, and they played it about 5 times. I watched it every single time.

The reason for this high school throwback at the beginning of my annual “Look what an awesome time I had during my winter break this year!!!11!” post is that throughout my holiday break, I couldn’t stop thinking about the ending of the movie.

We hear Cutter (played by Michael Caine), explaining that, “every magic trick consists of three parts, or acts.” And, if I needed a quote to describe my winter break, that was it. It was grouped into three different segments of time and every one felt just like magic.

Part 1 (aka Livin’ the Dream)

Christmas at a children’s hospital!

During the first week and a half of winter vacation, all my dreams had come true. I was able to limit myself to four activities: 1. watching cheesy CW television shows; 2. sleeping; 3. working Christmas shifts at the hospital; and, 4. sleeping some more.

After my semester filled with at least 48 hours without sleep at least once a week and countless commitments to take care of, it was so nice to go to work in the afternoon, watch television all night, and sleep all day.

I know that it sounds like working over break wouldn’t be very fun, but surprisingly, it was a blast. Since I work at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, we constantly had Santa and his elves dropping off toys for our patients. And we got to wear awesome holiday themed headbands!

Part 2 (aka JewFest 2013)

Last year, I spent Easter Vacation in Miami, Florida with one of my best friends. Since she had visited me at Loyola our freshman year, we wanted to go somewhere different for what we have now decided is our now annual reunion.

Our destination for junior year: New York!

Reunited…and it feels so good!

We ate, saw, and did so much over the 10 days we were there.


…inadvertently ended up spending New Years Eve in the penthouse at the Waldorf Astoria


…went to the American Museum of Natural History

…continued to eat

…saw Peter and the Starcatcher


… and reunited with many of our old counselors from the camp where we first met each other about 10 years ago.

While New York and everything in it is pretty ballin’, seeing all of our old friends was definitely the best part of the trip. We saw staff (including my first counselor, who I hadn’t seen since I was 10!) and other campers who we used to be in awe of, whispering to each other, “OhmyG-dohmyG-dshe’sSOCOOL.” And the best part…they treated us like real grown ups now!


Part 3 (aka Cabin in the Woods)

Finally, with one weekend to spare and after only 2 days back in Chitown, I went up to my mom’s cabin in Minocqua, Wisconsin with my two friends, Maureen and Scott.

We had originally planned on going skiing, but that fell through when the snow did. However, we still had as much fun as three kids alone in a cabin in the middle of nowhere could have. Spoiler alert: it was a lot.

Wilderness Explorers!

We watched an obligatory we-are-three-kids-alone-in-a-cabin-in-the-middle-of-the-woods horror movie, in addition to cooking meals, convincing family friends to give us free meals, going hiking, and even playing some pretty intense Scrabble. It was the perfect.

Even though I’ve cut down on my commitments (maybe i’ll actually get sleep now!) this semester, I still have a long ways to go before summer vacation. I’m really grateful for the chance to rejuvenate before I dive back into school life, and I can’t wait to see what Spring 2013 brings me!

Photo 1 attributed to myself

Photo 2 attributed to myself; used with permission from the ballin’ Rachel Niederhoffer

Photo 3 attributed to, and used with permission from, the lovely Batyah Weiss

Photo 4 attributed to the grown up Koz; used with permission from Maureen “Cool Cat” Burns and Scott “I Haven’t Been Scared Since Alien” McCoy