Lessons from My Sophomore Year

The semester is finally winding down, and my second year at Loyola is coming to an end. I’ve definitely learned a bunch in my classes, but it wouldn’t be a school year at Loyola if I hadn’t learned some life lessons along the way…

While I learned Greek and read Paradise Lost, I learned how to be silent. While I wrote countless research papers and tried to learn physics, I learned patience. I met countless wonderful people and reunited with old friends.

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So, what have I learned this year that won’t receive a grade?

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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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The Ultimate Guide to a Successful First Year: Part II

We live in what can seem like a stressful and competitive world. The tendency is to work hard and play harder, or to burn the candle at both ends until you’re exhausted and can’t do either. Sometimes it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day to do the things we need to do, let alone the things we want to do.

This post is part two of a post in which I share what I have found to be methods to help first-year college students like me have a productive and enjoyable experience…

(You can find Part I of my Ultimate Guide here.)

Study

Even homes is putting some hours in - but is he doing it right?

Let’s be honest: Every college student dreads studying. I can’t think of one person who doesn’t despise the hours spent in the library, taking notes and staring at pages until our eyes glaze over.

More than being prepared for a test, success in life is defined by knowledge, and you will never be able to hold an intellectual conversation without a base of appropriate information.

The most effective way to keep the information locked within your conscience is to study. Here are my top four ways to engage with information while studying…

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Memorializing the Jesuit Martyrs

If you’ve walked by Loyola’s Quad recently, you’ve probably noticed the crosses lining the path near Maryland Hall and Sellinger.

Every year, Loyola remembers the Jesuit martyrs who surrendered their lives for their faith during the civil war in El Salvador.

On Nov. 16, 1989, at la Universidad Centroamericana in El Salvador, uniformed men gunned down six Jesuits, their housekeeper, and her 16-year-old daughter. These men and women lost their lives in this act of violence.

Over the next couple of days, the Loyola community will honor these men and women, along with many others who gave their lives in service to individuals experiencing poverty. Among those honored by Loyola are Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J., Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J., Segundo Montes, S.J., Juan Ramón Moreno, S.J., Joaquín López y López, S.J., Amando López, S.J., Elba Ramos, Celina Ramos, Barbara Ford, Stan Rother, and Sr. Dorothy Kazel.

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In an age where we need to care even more for those around us—and especially for those experiencing poverty—remembering the actions of those who went before us in order to follow their selfless example is more important than ever.

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The Ultimate Guide to a Successful First Year: Part I

For most, the college experience is characterized by what you learn (academics and experience) and who you meet, forge relationships with, and go on to call life-long friends (social life). But beyond attending classes, studying and preparing for those classes, and making friends and having a social life, there are many other ways to fulfill a successful university experience. I am discovering more with each passing week here at Loyola: recreational opportunities, clubs, service, lectures, events on campus.

We live in what can seem like a stressful and competitive world. The tendency is to work hard and play harder, or to burn the candle at both ends until you’re exhausted and can’t do either. Sometimes it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day to do the things we need to do, let alone the things we want to do.

So I’ve started to pay attention to the following methods and behaviors to help me stay on track—and I’ve found a great improvement in my lifestyle when it comes to balancing my busy schedule, my responsibilities, and my schoolwork…

This post is part one of a two-part series in which I will share what I have found to be methods to help first-year college students like me have a productive and enjoyable experience.

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Why every Loyola student should go to Hopkins Court Mass at least once

I am not Catholic. I did not come to Loyola because I went to Catholic high school. In fact, I didn’t even know what a Jesuit was before I started looking for colleges to attend…

But I found that the Jesuit core values are my core values, which is a commonality I share with many of my fellow Greyhounds.

The Hopkins Court Mass provides me solace, a time to recharge and refocus before the coming week, and it helps me to exemplify the Jesuit values in my everyday life here at Loyola.

If you’ve never been before or never thought about going, here’s why you should give it a shot.

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Songs for the Soul

I was lucky enough to return to the Loyola Retreat House this past weekend for the 2015 Chapel Choir Retreat.

While the pragmatic reason for this retreat is to practice tirelessly for Lessons and Carols (Dec. 4 at 5 p.m.—mark your calendars!), we also explored our spirituality through song and the spoken word.

I wanted to share the lyrics of the songs we sang this weekend, because they really spoke to me.

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October: The Weirdest Month of the Year

October has always been one of my favorite months, yet it can also be one of the most stressful.

And weird. By weird, I don’t mean “spooky” or the obvious strangeness that comes with Halloween. Let me explain.

There are always a ton of projects, papers, and exams for classes, plus student clubs are finally getting into the swing of things. So my extracurricular responsibilities are a bit more constant.

I don’t know what it is, but I’ve felt “off” since October started…

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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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