There are many, many reasons to love being a student at Loyola.
And while I know every student has his or her own list, these are my top ten.
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 that’s only until you experience them for yourself.
I can assure you they are all heartfelt and sincere. I miss them every summer, every time I’m home for break, and I will miss them more dearly after I graduate in May.
Without further ado, here are ten reasons—in no particular order—I love Loyola University Maryland…
1. GREYHOUND SPIRIT
They say the greyhound has the largest heart of any dog. Anyone who spends a day on our campus will see why this perfectly describes the Loyola Hounds.
Passionate people are a staple at Loyola. Rounding up a group to cheer for a team, a cause, at any event—whether it’s a men’s lacrosse or women’s soccer game, Relay for Life, or a concert on the Quad—is a staple of life at Loyola.
What’s more, the community here feels like just that: a community. If people don’t know your name (and it’s only a matter of time), they recognize your face. They say hello. They inquire about your classes, your opinions, your plans for the weekend. People here care.
2. THE SENSE OF JESUIT TRADITION
The Jesuit standard of education on a collegiate level is world renowned and provides the student body with knowledge as well as thought-provoking ideas and approaches to studies—and to life. The Jesuits encourage progress while maintaining a sense of strong tradition.
What’s more, Loyola’s mission to create men and women for and with others is woven into everything we do here, from the classroom to the sports field to special interest clubs to internships.
Who doesn’t aspire to be just that?
3. HOPKINS COURT MASS
The best end to your week and start the next is to attend the Hopkins Court Mass celebrated by none other than the Rev. Joseph Rossi, S.J., in the Hopkins Court Lounge late Sunday evenings.
The homilies always have a message that relates to college life, current events, and a global perspective. The music is always moving. And for an hour, you feel part of something bigger than yourself.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a religious person, I highly recommend checking out Hopkins Mass. You may be surprised at what you take away from it.
4. CHARMING NEIGHBORHOODS
Hampden, otherwise known as “the hipster area of Baltimore,” is a gold mine of local culture, fun, food, free festivals, antiques and thrift stores.
It’s the place where you can get the best coffee, ice cream, and Mexican food. It’s where you’ll want to shop for birthday and Christmas gifts for family and friends who aren’t familiar with Baltimore, because it has so many cool little storefronts.
Best of all, it’s walking distance from campus, so no need to worry about transportation. Go for breakfast, stay to study in a coffee shop or browse one-of-a-kind artwork for your room.
P.S. Besides Hampden, Baltimore is full of quirky neighborhoods to explore.
5. THE FRIENDLY FACES OF LOYOLA’S DINING STAFF
The smile from the Boulder Cafe staff brightens your day, especially on those tougher days. A conversation with someone like Jasmine (above) or Ms. Diane can give you perspective and encouragement on a rainy Monday during final exams when the weekend feels far away.
The Loyola community is made up of professors, administrators, graduate and undergraduate students, Jesuits, staff, and neighbors who each have their own story and who contribute to a diverse, vibrant, special place. During your time here, I encourage my fellow students to take advantage of listening to and sharing with these incredible people.
6. SHERWOOD GARDENS
Sherwood Gardens is a public garden less than a mile from Loyola’s campus. Filled with dozens of varieties of tulips, planted and cared for by the people who live in the neighborhood, it is an incredibly beautiful almost surreal place.
It is the perfect setting for a run or a game of Frisbee. It’s just as nice for a picnic or a fresh-air study session, so pack some snacks, a blanket, and your books, and walk through the Guilford neighborhood until you stumble upon this living rainbow.
7. THE CHIPOTLE MAYO
Loyola’s Chipotle Mayo was among the things I missed most when I was studying abroad. in Belgium. I am serious. Nothing is better than just the right amount of Chipotle mayo on your favorite sandwich, on chicken, on anything… as a condiment, as a dip… you decide.
8. THE FAC
Loyola’s Fitness & Aquatic Center is easily one of the best fitness centers in the country. Better yet, membership is included in the price of tuition. (I don’t know what I’ll do after I graduate and need to find a new gym!)
There really is something for everyone at the FAC. From group fitness classes to cardio machines and free weights… from swimming to tackling the giant rock wall… you will find a way to work up a sweat.
Plus you’re bound to bump into friends or classmates, which is a nice incentive to go—and a great reason to start a pickup game.
Loyola’s on-campus radio station plays the best hits in alternative music all day every day with the coolest DJs around (including a fellow student blogger!).
They have giveaways for concert tickets, new music releases and swag, and they sponsor events on campus and around Baltimore, including bringing live shows to campus. Discover new music, tune in to their programs and listen live.
10. THE OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE OTHERS
The Center for Community Service and Justice provides the most unique and rewarding service opportunities for Loyola students, and in a variety of forms.
It’s easy to get involved and make a difference, as well as make connections, with different populations in the Baltimore community—as well as around the country and the world.
There is truly no feeling like giving your time and resources to those who need it most, and the people you will meet through these experiences (including fellow Loyola students!) will change your life.