Senior Bucket List: Part 1

My fellow seniors, the time has come upon us. We have risen through the ranks of this university, culminating in what will soon be inevitable departure in late spring.

Before that point, though, it is important to embrace what you have while you still can, while we’re still here.

Is it a bit corny and stereotypical senior of me to say this? Probably. But I think it’s important to think about the things you want to complete before donning your cap and gown come May—so that when you have some time on a weeknight or a free Saturday during the semester, you have a plan just waiting to take shape based on the things you want to do before you graduate.

Your list can be as long or as short as you want and can vary in degrees of ambition, but simply having one is a good start. The key is that your list includes things YOU have always wanted to do/see/experience, either as a Loyola student or in Baltimore or a combination.

I’ve been thinking about mine, and I’m going to modify it a little to tailor to the general Loyola crowd. With that, here are some suggestions get you started on yours, Loyola Seniors…

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Springtime in Baltimore: Top 5 Things for College Students to Do

After what felt like the coldest winter Baltimore has seen in quite some time, spring has finally arrived. And as the weather gets warmer, the opportunities to get outside and get involved in activities around the city increase exponentially.

As someone who is not originally from the area, I will tell you that at first, it was difficult to figure out things to do beyond the Evergreen campus. However, I started following the advice I received from older, wiser students, and I eventually became familiar with the downtown neighborhoods.

The amazing thing is, aside from the things I am about to suggest to you, there is so much more to see and do.

Let’s start with my top five ideas for fun, low-cost ways to spend the remaining weekends of the spring semester in Charm City…

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How the Grammys have, sadly, become the joke of all award shows

Millions of Americans and music fans around the world gathered in front of the television to watch the 57th Annual Grammy Awards earlier this month.

I was no exception. I tuned in to watch the Sunday night program celebrating the best the music business has to offer…

Somehow, I doubt I was the only one who was disappointed and, for the better part of the show, less than entertained.


With each passing year  it seems the Grammys—and really, award shows across the board—are becoming more predictable and increasingly controversial. This has led to a ubiquitous loss of respect for the honor itself. Recipients and fans no longer consider these accolades for the arts the honors they once were. (Remember when Homer Simpson famously won a Grammy, but didn’t feel like he deserved it, so he tried giving it away, only to have the person say, “Oh, its just a Grammy?”)

What happened to the Grammys?

How did they lose the respect of the average music lover—and what can they do to fix it?

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The ABCs of Final Exams

Starting today through Dec. 20, Loyola students will be preparing for, angsting over, and taking final exams.

The good news is once it’s over, we have home, the holidays, and a nice long break to look forward to.

But before we can enjoy the fruits of our labors, I call your attention to some things to keep in mind to help you conquer this final week of fall semester: the ABCs of finals.

A is for abroad.
For juniors, this is the last week we will see half of our grade for an entire semester, so be sure to appreciate the time you have with the fall group of Loyola juniors… and get ready for a whole new group of people on campus when you return from Winter Break.

B is for breakfast.
Breakfast is likely the least-consumed meal on Loyola’s campus, due largely to the fact that the average college student values sleep above all else (especially during finals). This is a shame, because breakfast is brain fuel. Breakfast stimulates brainpower to work through those tricky exam questions laden with terms you don’t remember being on the study guide.

C is for calm.
Remain calm. Panicking over finals is not going to make them any more painless. Panicking is only going to make you more nervous. If you accept the fact you are taking the final or writing the 12-page final paper—and allow extra time to prepare so you feel more confident with the material—you will be fine!

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Thanksgiving Foods: A Definitive Ranking

Thanksgiving, better known to college kids as the holiday of eating, is around the corner.

This week Loyola students will board planes, trains, and automobiles and head home to celebrate the holiday with friends and family.

Thanksgiving offers the opportunity to spend an entire day focusing on family, football, and food.

What could be better?

Family gathered around Thanksgiving dinner table

Now, there are many elements to a proper Thanksgiving dinner, and everyone has his or her favorites—as well as dishes they’ll pass without taking a helping.

Today I give you one person’s opinion on the definitive ranking of the Thanksgiving dinner elements. Continue reading

You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile

One of the brighter aspects of having a class schedule that is spread throughout the day is seeing different groups of people every time I walk out my door.

As the weeks pass and we fall into the semester’s schedule, I grow more accustomed to the people I see, and I prepare my mental checklist of hellos for whichever walk I’m making.

It is interesting to see how certain times of year affect people and the moods I see them in. The Thursday before Fall Break, for example, people are more upbeat and excited than they would be if they were just coming back from a test they pulled an all-nighter to study for.

Frowns are almost as commonplace as smiles, especially now that we are in the gauntlet of tests, quizzes, and papers. People are tired. I get that. But what I want to tell everyone on my walks, regardless of how your day is going or how much sleep you got (or missed) the night before, it’s to smile.

For most of us, smiling is involuntary. We don’t think about when we do it. On the flipside, we don’t normally make an active choice to withhold a smile. And yet we know exactly what can trigger our face to lift upwards in a grin. The truth is smiling can have a bigger impact on your day-to-day life than you think. Continue reading

Letter to the Loyola Student Body: Thank You for an Amazing Year

Hey Guys,

I sit here in my half-barren bedroom in Newman, surrounded by the trinkets and objects I have accumulated over the course of the year. The bandanna from winning the boot-throwing contest at Loyolapalooza hangs next to the nametag from moving in the freshman on Move-In Day 2014. The varsity letter from my glory days of varsity track is pinned not too far away from my schedule from last semester, the highlighter faded from the many months of sitting on the wall.

Pretty soon all of these things are just going to be objects in the back of my family’s soon to be over-stuffed Toyota Highlander. Pretty soon the sidesplitting stories that went with these various objects will all be old memories from “just another year of college.” As I pack these things away, I think about how different junior year is going to be. For those juniors going away for study abroad in the fall, a whole semester of Loyola will have gone by without seeing a major chunk of our graduating class, and the same thing applies to those going away in the spring. As someone who is going away in the spring, it feels weird knowing that people I see on a day to day basis are going to be gone come September for an entire year.

As students begin to move out and amount of people thins out per day, getting to see everyone you want to becomes more and more of a struggle. So, I just wanted to say something to those students who are going away in the fall and really to the rest of the class of 2016 as a whole:

Thank you for an amazing year.

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Teddy’s Tips for Finals

As the semester wraps up and people begin to cram for the finals that many of us completely forgot started next week, campus will soon become littered with sleep deprived students carrying extra large Starbucks cups slogging their way, praying to find a spot in the soon to be packed second and third floors of the library. Before your studying begins, here are some tips to help you with studying for finals and hopefully prevent some of you from tearing out your hair in frustration. Continue reading

Going home is just as good

As spring break winds down and I begin my frantic day-before-the-flight packing, I look at my phone and see the annual overdose of spring break pictures from every tropical place you can imagine. Spring Break is all part of the college experience, a time when college students become enamored with the idea of sunshine, parties, and large amounts of distance from their families. This week students took off to relax on beaches along Florida, Mexico, and various other islands. According to, more than 1.5 million college students will jet off to these locations and will spend a total of over 1 BILLION dollars in the process. Continue reading

Snow Days

This winter has been a tumultuous one to say the least. With the polar vortex forcing itself across the United States, many states are reporting new records in almost every winter category. One of the states that was hit the hardest by the winter storms was Maryland, which, over the past month or so, has forced Loyola to cancel school five times. My good friend Ryan said it perfectly when he said, “I didn’t think there was anything better than having a snow day in high school, but I was wrong. Snow days in college are so much better.” Continue reading