I’ve taken so many great classes here at Loyola, from courses for my economics major, to random electives, but by far the best classes are those I’ve taken through the University Honors Program. I encourage any incoming freshmen to apply to the program simply because the classes they’ll be exposed to will make their college experience that much more valuable.

I walked into my first Honors class, and English course, not sure of what to expect. It was my first day of college and I was so scared! The professor looked out at the students. “How many of you are freshmen?” All of us raised our hands. “Alright. Let’s jump right in, then.” Janelle Swarz quickly became my favorite teacher, and her class my favorite 3 hours of the week. She asked a lot of us- about one novel every two weeks, including in depth class discussions and literary papers. I worked hard but it never seemed like a chore. You know how some professors just have that ability to pull amazing work out of you? She had that ability, and because of her I grew more confident in my own ability to read and write analytically.

The class was called “Capturing the Self” and we tried to do just that- capture what it meant to have a self-identity. In the first book we read, “Haroun and the Sea of Stories” by Salman Rushdie, the main character asks his story-telling father the question “What’s the point of stories that aren’t even true?” and throughout the class we attempted to answer that question. As a group, we learned that stories, even made up ones, help us make points about our values, our society, who we want to be, who we think we are. They’re a means of expression when the truth might not convey the sentiment we need it too.

I’m grateful that I was randomly placed in this class by my advisor that first semester. A great professor, a great class, and great classmates! What’s your favorite class you’ve taken so far? Do you have any classes you’re wanting to take before you graduate?

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