Livin’ the [Loyola] Dream

You know that person you see around school who seems to do absolutely everything?  Every time you’re at an event or meeting it seems like she’s there, and you don’t know how she seems to balance everything.  Well, though I’m only two weeks into my sophomore year, I think that person is me.

When I was a first-year student last year, I used to constantly wonder how so many Loyola students had time to be so actively involved in their on-campus as well as the local Baltimore communities.  How can someone have a job, be in clubs, attend supplementary lectures and still have time for things like…oh, I don’t know….school work and sustenance? My first-year mind was overwhelmed with the opportunities for involvement on Loyola’s campus.  But now I’m working on seeing it all in perspective.

Many people at Loyola have a focus (or a few!), something they dedicate a lot of their time to and about which they are truly passionate.  This can range from community service and justice to campus ministry to student government to sports to the newspaper to any variety of clubs that Loyola offers.  As a first-year student, I spent my year discerning what my focus would be, and indeed, I have found a few.

Jazz Concert

Playing saxophone in the Spring 2012 Jazz Ensemble concert.

I’m happiest when I’m busiest, and the more I do, the more I feel like I really have purpose, and I put all of my efforts into the activities I involve myself in: playing saxophone in the jazz ensemble, writing for our student newspaper, The Greyhound, working as a service coordinator for CCSJ (The Center For Community Service and Justice), being a member of the Honor Council (concerned with upholding the Honor Code and academic integrity), and leading an SBO (Spring Break Outreach) trip through CCSJ.  Oh yeah, and I find time for schoolwork too.

Community Service fair

With my coordinating parter at CCSJ, Jenn, at the Community Service Fair on the quad on 9/12/12.

My roommate Jen and I were joking tonight that all I seem to talk about lately is social justice and Soviet-era socialism (blame the former on my job at CCSJ and blame the latter on my Politics of Russia class).  These may seem like two completely unrelated topics, but they’re very representative of who I am.  I like to discuss issues of social justice at the dinner table, theorize about the strengths and weaknesses of both socialist and capitalist states (#polyscimajorproblems), and play Sorry! with my roommates to the death.

With my best friends and roommates, Meagan and Jen

With my best friends and roommates, Meagan and Jen.

Even with everything else I do though, I always make time for fun with my friends, because what is college if you can’t allow yourself time to unwind and explore the diverse and colorful community that is Baltimore?  I’m a Maryland native (which you’ll learn within five minutes of meeting me) and incredibly proud of it.  Still, though, I am constantly discovering new things that I love about the city my classmates and I call home.

With my roommates at Federal Hill Park

With my roommates (from left) Jen, Becky, and Meagan at Federal Hill Park (taken on 9/8/12), with the Inner Harbor in the background.

While my life might seem unfathomably chaotic, I promise you I wouldn’t have it any other way.  And this is actually really good news for you.  Think about it, would you want to read the blog of someone who holes up in her dorm all day, looking out the window as the Loyola campus comes alive without her?

I may be committed to a lot of different things, this blog being one of them, but what a great way to truly see Loyola through the eyes of someone who is the proudest Greyhound you will ever meet.  At Loyola our motto is “strong truths, well lived.”  Every time I hear this on an admissions video or see it on a banner there is a sense of pride and responsibility that surges through me.

With the NCAA lax trophy

With the NCAA championship lacrosse trophy, this past spring, when we welcomed our winning lacrosse team home on campus.

I strive to live Loyola’s ideals every day.  That might mean going on a Campus Ministry retreat, coordinating service in the local community, or putting in the extra effort to meet multiple times with my professor before a big paper is due.  But most often, for me, this can mean simply sitting on the porch of the Humanities building, looking out over the quad on a crisp fall day, and reflecting on my role, privilege, and responsibility as a student of Loyola University Maryland.

Humanities porch

Looking out over the quad from the porch of Humanities.

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