I am a SuperFan

Super fan.

SuperFan. 

What’s the difference? I’m glad you asked…

Loyola SuperFans is a student organization that is dedicated to the promotion and publicity of Loyola’s Athletics program and to support the student-athletes.

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But for me, it is so much more than that. SuperFans is a lifestyle. It’s waking up every day, putting on a Loyola hat or Loyola hoodie, knowing that I’m representing this amazing University.

Come game day, this institutional pride gets taken to a whole different level…

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5 ways to combat stress this holiday season

Yes, the holidays are festive and fun… but also you have to admit they can be SUPER STRESSFUL.

From the decorations to the gift-giving, travel, added expense, and socializing, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year… and the craziest time of year.

Add in final exams and saying goodbye to friends who are leaving to go abroad, and it can be a very emotional time of year.

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Before you do a 180 from merry to cranky and overwhelmed this month, here are five common holiday season stress points—and tactics to combat them.

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No regrets

Something I read for a class this semester really made me stop and think, and I want to share it here, as the year comes to a close and we all shift mental gears for a New Year.

A few weeks ago, Dr. Sondra Guttman, an exceptional professor of literature at Loyola, offered a few worthy reading options which required further literary analyses. Overwhelmed by the diversity of each text, I decided to focus on one particular story, one that served as an invaluable reminder of life’s greatest (and perhaps most disregarded) gift: time.

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Young Man on Sixth Avenue (by Mark Halliday) is an extraordinary account of a lost opportunity to respect and treasure limited existence—a concept we all often fail to reflect upon, however essential it is for our very lives…

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Behind the scenes: A commuter’s life

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Walking across Loyola’s campus on a beautiful day, you’re bound to see many familiar and not-yet-familiar faces. 

But even for those faces you recognize, the mystery of the characters behind them remains: their backgrounds, their goals, their pet peeves, their struggles, their ambitions.

When I walk across campus, I wave hello and engage with my professors and fellow students, and I can’t help but wonder how many of them know…

I’m a commuter student.

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A few of our favorite things: Christmas traditions at Loyola

12301727_10153795449331563_5244460696509420787_nAs the Jesuit, Catholic institution that it is, Loyola celebrates the holiday season in a special way.

When students return from Thanksgiving break, campus has already been decorated for Christmas at Loyola. This not only puts you in the spirit, but also make campus feel merry and bright during finals and leading up to the end of the semester, when we head home to be with family for the holiday and winter break.

There are also several traditions Greyhounds look forward to every December involving generosity and giving, carols and Christmas readings, ugly sweater parties, festivals, and lights around Baltimore for the student body to enjoy during the most wonderful time of the year.

So whether its your first or your last holiday season here at Loyola, be on the lookout for a few of these seasonal favorites…

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Go for it and go alone

Hello again from abroad!

For those of you going to info session after in session on different study abroad options, you’ve heard this more than once: Study abroad is stepping out of your comfort zone.

If you’re like me, you may have rolled your eyes after the third time. Not because what they are saying is not true—quite the contrary—but because at the time I was a self-proclaimed traveler and felt I already knew it all.

I’ve been blessed to have traveled a decent amount in my life. I have family all over the world, and since I was a kid my parents have always encouraged the importance of traveling. I spent my first birthday in Guam, last summer studying in Portugal, and almost every year traveling somewhere, even if just to Connecticut.

With all these experiences under my belt, study abroad was exciting. I wasn’t nervous, just eager to jump right in.

That said, as I near the end of my first semester in Leuven, I understand what the comfort zone thing is, because I’ve learned the difference between being abroad and living abroad.

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Friendsgiving

There’s always been something about Thanksgiving…

More than any other holiday, it’s the one where I feel most like a kid again (I’m already in denial about my age, but that’s another story). Waking up and spending the whole day in the kitchen with my family is what I look forward to. Even though we bicker about whose turn it is to use the oven and someone always burns themselves, it’s time that I wouldn’t want to spend anywhere else.

This year is the first I won’t been home for Thanksgiving, and it feels weird. Usually by this time, I’m on a train headed to New York, wondering if I’m making apple or blueberry pie this year. I’m excited to see my dad at the train station. I’m excited to walk up my stairs and smell whatever is sitting on the kitchen counter for dinner. I’m excited to cuddle up next to my mom on the couch. I’m excited to be home. 

But this year, I’m in Belgium. Since Thanksgiving is strictly an American holiday, Christmas decorations are already going up around Leuven.

Being this far from home hasn’t stopped me from being able to celebrate Thanksgiving…

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Getting a great internship

Internships.

While they can seem like a vague limbo between indentured servitude and actually making a living, internships are absolutely essential for your résumé and to gain some experience in your field before joining the work force.

Some of us are lucky enough to actually find the rare opportunity of a paid internship. For the rest, there is usually little to no pay involved. At the end of the day, beggars can’t be choosers; in other words, when you have no experience on your résumé, you will take anything!screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-7-01-28-pm

Employers that don’t offer monetary pay to their interns argue that they are paying with experience and connections, which is absolutely valid.

Each job is a stepping stone to the next which will eventually lead you to that ultimate career goal.

Where do you start?

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Ignite your passion

When RA training began in August, my dad pulled up to the Student Life office with a packed trunk and my siblings to help unload. I scrambled to get my key and back to the car to make the process as quick as possible.

I was so ready for my new apartment and my new role as a resident assistant, but I knew I only had about an hour and a half to do all of this before my first-ever RA meeting.

After emotional good-byes at the car, I turned back to Campion Tower and felt ready to take on RA training, even though I didn’t really know what this meant or entailed.

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When I applied for the position, I knew RAs are meant to help students with the adjustments of college life, such as aiding smooth transitions into the residence halls, the new college workload, the social aspects of building community, and personal adjustments.

What I was interested in finding out was… what else? 

What were we going to spend two weeks being trained for?

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Finding life-changing work at Guilford Elementary

April 2015: A warm spring day, right around the time I had officially declared that I would be a student at Loyola University Maryland come the fall.

Around this time, I had received a package stating that I was eligible for federal work study, a common need for students in college. Little did I know what job I would be placed in, where I would work, or what a work study position truly entailed.

Little did I know that my work study job would change my entire career path and lead me to what I wanted to do with my life.

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