Greetings, all! My name is Vitaliy Nikolaenko. I am sophomore commuter student at Loyola University Maryland. Currently, I am a B.A. candidate in economics and history, a blogger for A Hound’s Life, and a contributing columnist at The Greyhound.

Born and raised in Eastern Ukraine, in the city of Kharkov, I was a boy whose fate was uncertain and whose future established great doubts. 

Years later, I would be sitting before a screen illuminating a dark, dusty study composing a brief introduction about my life’s journey as it occurred (or perhaps, describing the experiences in a more vivid, exaggerated fashion)…  

Spending the last moments at a house in Kharkov, Ukraine as we prepare for a one-way trip. (left: sister, Sofia; center: cat, Sarah; right: Vitaliy)

2010: Spending the last moments at a house in Kharkov, Ukraine, as we prepare for a one-way trip (left: sister, Sofia; center: cat, Sarah; right: Vitaliy).

High school went by quickly. In fact, four years of (dreadful) public school faded away as I rapidly approached the ultimate college experience (or at least, one I was anticipating, thanks to various amusing Netflix shows, which are not to be named).

Choosing a college was quite simple, for I was aware of Loyola’s reputation within the community of academia.

Not long after, I selected, with some careless ease, a Business Administration (with a concentration in Finance) major, one which would later be eliminated as a field of study. Because a few experiences had shaped my academic interests, including long hours of excessive study of the subjects I thought I would never bother my mind with: economics and history.

Among various disciplines – such as chemistry, computer science, and Spanish – the aforementioned fields provided the most joy as I avidly flipped the pages of primary source documents or analyzed spreadsheets containing statistical data.

The mathematical nature of economics excited me and the mysterious cultural exploration of historical events stimulated my intellectual curiosity. This is the beauty of the core: it affords students the opportunity to discover, explore, and define their own academic passions and journey here.

Immersing myself into the ultimate experience of historical discovery while... shopping at the mall.

Immersing myself in the ultimate experience of historical discovery while… shopping at the mall.

Loyola’s course offerings, containing multitudes of academic disciplines is not, however, the sole beauty of the school. Surrounded by a community of infinitely curious students and driven faculty, Loyola is a welcoming and supportive environment. 

As uncertain as the future may first appear, one aspect is definite: the Loyola experience is distinct, and one that I will cherish for years to come.

I’m looking forward to writing here about my experiences.

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