Second Semester Senior: 10 Musts

Second semester senior.

Try saying that five times fast!

On second thought, don’t. It’s not as hard to say as it is difficult to come to terms with. I am at this precipice in life where everything is about to change completely, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea that my days won’t be filled with classes and homework and WLOY and club meetings and dinners with friends at Boulder Cafe.

There are still a few things I want to do before walking across the stage on May 21, 2016, and I intend to accomplish all of them.

3028974-inline-i-9-3028974the-difference-between-what-you-should-do-and-what-you-must-doWhich is why I’ve compiled a list of my Ten Musts for a second semester senior…

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An Open Love Letter

This is an open love letter to those who I have had the opportunity to meet this semester— and who I unfortunately have to part ways with in just a few short days.

The past four months have served as a great time of personal reflection of other cultures and ways of life.

Through the Leuven, Belgium, study abroad program that Loyola has created, I have been able to live with a variety of people from a wide range of nations. My fellow students are not only from Europe but countries around the world. I have met people from Spain, Hungary, Slovenia, Japan, the Czech Republic, and of course Belgium.

These people have shared a living space with me as well as their amazing personalities and life experiences. Some will stay through the spring semester here at the University of Leuven and some must go home. Either way, they will soon no longer be part of my day to day, and so this letter is for them.

Dearest friends who have become family,

Thank you for being there for the hopeless American students who, when we arrived, didn’t know how to properly lock a bike, convert euros from dollars, or tell military time accurately.

Thank you for looking out for us by providing travel tips… like don’t bother paying for the metro in the Czech Republic, and reassuring us that RyanAir flights are “pretty safe means of transportation”—even if they are only 9 euro each way.

Thank you for sharing your holiday traditions with us in song and dance.

Thank you for exposing your struggles to us.

Thank you for being the genuine people that you are.

For this, we love you and will always remember you…

Looking back on our short time together not with sadness because it is over, but with joy that we ever knew it to exist at all.

I have grown to love you all more than I could have ever imagined in such a short period of time. Remember you always have a home in the memories of those who love you.

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 Love always, your American friend, Katie

11 Reasons I Love Loyola

There are many, many reasons I love being a student at Loyola University Maryland. And since it’s February, traditionally a month of love, it seems like the perfect time to share a few.

Some might seem silly (for instance, condiments I can only get from Loyola Dining Services) compared to others (like personal growth opportunities I’ve discovered during my time here), but I assure you, they are ALL heartfelt and sincere.

In no particular order, here are some of the things I’ve come to adore about Loyola and find myself missing most when I’m not there…

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Energy, Emotion, Excitement: Wazobia 2016

Last Friday, I attended Wazobia.

The event was organized by Loyola’s African Student Association to celebrate African cultures and heritages and the belief that beauty comes in all forms.

Wazobia featured incredible food with even more incredible live performances. If you went, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You can still taste the jerk chicken, and the dancers left you speechless. If you didn’t go, you missed out on one heck of a time.

Since I know you are regretting your decision not to attend, here’s a quick recap of the night…

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Preparing for Lent

It’s hard to believe that Lent starts Wednesday, but it does!

For Catholics, Lent is the time leading up to the Easter season. It’s a time of preparing our hearts, minds, and souls to celebrate Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. It’s a time of sacrifice and mindful reflection. Every year we’re supposed to give something up (or add something new to our lives). It’s basically the Catholic version of a New Year’s Resolution, but these “resolutions” are supposed to be focused on enhancing our spiritual lives. I remember giving up after school snacks, ice cream, and social media when I was still living at home. And then last year I gave up ice cream because it’s way too easy to get ice cream every night at Boulder.

Last year, instead of giving something up for the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, I decided to add something.

I wanted to make Lent a more spiritual time for me. So I told myself that I was going to say the Rosary every night as a time for reflection and prayer.

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I had varying experiences with this addition. Some nights, it was amazing. I was able to focus on the spiritual mysteries of Jesus’ life and it calmed me down. Some nights, it was a source of stress. It was the last thing I did before I went to bed, but I felt stressed out because if I forgot to do it, I felt like I was failing at being a Catholic that night. And some nights, it straight up put me to sleep. The rosary calmed me down so much that I woke up with my rosary either in my hand, under my pillow, or strewn somewhere on the floor.

I doubt that I would ever try to make the “Say the rosary before you go to bed” thing my Lenten devotion again—especially not during college—but I think I have a few ideas for Lent this year…

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A Day in the Life: Kelly

Loyola student bloggers offer a glimpse into the day in the life of a Loyola student— which, like our students, is anything but typical.

 

8:15 a.m. My alarm goes off

Waking up this early is always a struggle after sleeping in during the winter break, but it’s time to face the music, so I tumble out of bed to get ready.

I dress warmly for the walk to the Quad, and then head up two flights of stairs to the classroom where my first class meets…

Seton Courtyard

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Making an impact through Spectrum

Spectrum is Loyola’s LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, +) club on campus.

We are comprised of a strong and growing group of members and allies of the LGBT community who advocate for understanding and recognition on campus, in Baltimore, and on a global scale.

In our diverse and changing world, Spectrum aims to expose and inform Loyola’s population on LGBTQIA issues to promote awareness and acceptance.

As students at a Jesuit university, it is our duty and privilege to be able to educate and advocate for inclusion of all people, no matter their sexual orientation, gender, race, or anything else.

Spectrum

I have been a member of the Spectrum since my first-year at Loyola. Being part of a club that makes a difference on campus and its culture and climate is unique. It’s also pretty powerful.

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Surviving the Snowpocalypse

As the snow continues to melt on Loyola’s campus, revealing cars, trash cans, and everything else buried by the 29 inches that hit Baltimore over three days last weekend, I felt called to document the craziness of the last week.

Being a senior, this was the first major storm to hit Baltimore during my final semester at Loyola. It was beginning to look like we weren’t going to have any storms at all this winter. Then Jonas came storming across the East Coast and every major city on the coast got hammered.

Baltimore has been covered in a (heavy) white blanket for the better part of a week…

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Braille Literacy Month

Despite my profound hatred for the month of January, which really feels like 30 straight days of cold, dark, and gloomy, there is one thing I love about it: January is National Braille Literacy Month!

More than 150 million people around the world today use Braille  for a multitude of reasons.braille letters

January was chosen for this celebration because it is the birth month of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille code, which was developed nearly two centuries ago.

The idea that our nation dedicates an entire month to advocating this system of communication amazes me. Braille has a special place in my heart, not because I am able to read it, but because as an infant, there was a great chance that I would have had to some day.

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Your blizzard, my flurries

"Winter is coming"

Everyone is acting like the second Ice Age is coming this weekend.

All activities have been canceled and classes on Monday are tentative. On top of that, people are running to Giant stocking up on Ramen, Pop Tarts, and canned cheese.

My dad texted me and told me to “refrain from going outside this weekend,” which is a little over the top, if you ask me.

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