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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#KnowMe

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)…  

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An Open Letter to All High School Seniors

Euphoria.
Freedom.
Responsibility.
Stress.
Under-prepared.
Torn.
Contemplative.
Excited.
Nervous.
Joy.

These may be some of the emotions you’ve experienced this school year, first as college acceptance letters start to roll in… then as you started visiting campuses… and especially now, as you prepare to make “the big decision” and enroll.

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Celebrating Light and Life in Baltimore

We got off the bus, not really knowing what to expect, and as we walked towards the Inner Harbor, we were overwhelmed by the crowd, the music, and the lights.

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My friends and I trekked down to the Harbor for Light City on Thursday night, so we weren’t expecting too many people. It was a school night and a work night, after all. We thought we might bump into some other Loyola students, since it was “Loyola Night.”

To our surprise, there were thousands of people walking around the Inner Harbor enjoying the festival. I’ve never been so happy to see so many people in one place, all celebrating Baltimore…

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The Best Lessons I Learned in 2015

It’s been a tough year for me.

This time last year, my whole life was flipped upside down in an unimaginable way.

One day, you’re walking about the world, looking at everything a certain way, feeling a certain way, and expressing yourself in a certain way.

Suddenly everything is different. How you think, feel, and see the world can never go back to the way it was before. It’s scary. And it’s so hard. And it’s constantly changing, even today.

On Dec. 26, 2014, one of the best people I have ever had the privilege of knowing left us in a sudden and tragic way.

Colleen was so many wonderful things. A few weeks shy of 21 years old, she was vivacious, she was hilarious, she was kind, she was thoughtful, she was brilliant. She was one of my three best friends at Loyola. I loved her and continue to love her so much. She was one third of my sun at Loyola. And then suddenly she was gone. As a result, my whole world got dimmer.

You find ways to patch together little glimmers of light here and there, but the light you once enjoyed can never be fully restored.

This new world is the one I must live in every day now, and I am trying to live the best life I can without her.

For her.

Colleen and Rachel

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Theatre Thrives at Loyola

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.

You’ve probably heard this quote from Shakespeare’s As You Like It at least a thousand times.

For many students and faculty at Loyola, their world really is a stage.

Housed in the DeChiaro College Center, the heart of the theatre department is McManus Theatre. Students from any major or minor are more than welcome to participate in any show, but the theatre majors and minors really drive the department. They serve as student directors, stage managers, stage crew, work studies, and, of course, as actors. And while faculty and staff have participated in the past, in recent years, the casts have been solely comprised of students.

Cabaret

Cabaret performed by the Evergreen Players in February 2014; directed by Natka Bianchini, Ph.D., associate professor of theatre

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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

Creating Yourself

College students are on an endless search of finding out who we want to become in this vast universe. Our souls go through an unstoppable evolving path of finding ourselves. We are persistently reflecting on what is to come in our near future. Who are we going to become? Where will be in the next five years? What are we called to do with our lives?

College is the start to rest of our lives. Every inch and centimeter of the universe is open for us to explore. This is our time to make mistakes and learn from the consequences. This is our time to discover something new. This is our time to shape who we are as young adults. We will never have this opportunity ever again. Life is short so we must make the most out of it. We must grasp onto the new experiences and opportunities before us. Our moment to create something for the universe and ourselves is now. Not tomorrow. Not in a year. NOW. Continue reading