One of my suitemates is a theater major and just finished up an awesome run of Anton in Show Business (did you see it? I hope so, or you were missing out). While she was rehearsing for the show, though, she’d stay up really late because of the rehearsals and never know what to eat late at night so she could stick with her plan of eating healthy. She has a point. There aren’t too many options available on campus after 11. Going out to eat can waste your time and money, especially when you’re already tired.

Let’s break it down.  The most logical solution is to have a plan. Do you know what nights you’re going to be busy until after regular dinner hours? Is there anything you can do to get around that yourself? Perhaps an early dinner or packing your dinner (packing your lunch is totally not just a high school thing—I do it all the time here). You can go a long way with some sandwich-making materials and some Tupperware.

If your late night happens to be unplanned (let’s face it, much of life is unplanned), here’s a quick look at your options on-campus:

The C-store

Open until midnight, the C-store is probably your best bet when it comes to healthy choices at night. The fresh section—the sushi, sandwiches, and salads are filling but don’t leave you bloated right before you go to bed. Some of the food has been there all day, so keep in mind that not everything’s available. You can throw together a meal out of pretzels and hummus and either a fruit or vegetable salad. They also sell water and vitamin water—don’t forget those drinks! Try to steer away from caffeine right before bed. Your sleep cycle has probably taken enough hits. Unless you’re pulling a really late night, try to drink hydrating water instead.

La Divina

Probably the second-best choice for late night eating. Also open until midnight, La Divina’s panini’s may be a little heavy. The soup and sandwich combo works really well here for some variety that isn’t huge on your stomach right before bed. They also have awesome salads that are big enough to fill you up.

Flambeaux

Open until 2am, it’s officially the latest-open food place on campus. Those poboys can be very unhealthy, especially so late at night, but there are a few ways you can make smart choices. Pay attention to what’s inside the sandwich. Are you getting fried chicken or mushrooms? Also, pay attention to your sides. Are you getting the mozzarella sticks or the soup? Common sense can go a long way in a pinch.

World of Wings (WoW)

Otherwise known as the Rathskeller at Tulane, this is an off-campus option that’s frequented by Loyola students a lot. Why? It’s open until 4, and you’d be surprised at the difference those two hours make. Wow is located in the bottom floor of the LBC and offers a great deal of sports bar-type foods. Most of these are definitely on the unhealthy side, though they tend to taste great when you’re that hungry that late. Again, use a little common sense. Is the food fried and breaded? Maybe shy away from there. Try to split your meal with someone (it helps with the cost too!). As far as salads and such, you’ll be hard-pressed to find them here.

Now, if you’re looking for a late-night snack, stay away from vending machines and late night college food, which tends to be on the unhealthy side. Keep a snack in your room or on your person. An apple or some carrot or celery sticks can help fill you up and keep you from feeling light. A bowl of cereal late at night hits around 200-300 calories and can also help. Your late night snack can maybe even be a reward instead of a punishment.

Good luck and happy eating!

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If you like good music, this is the place to be. There’s a show every weekend with any type of music you can imagine! I never went to concert until I came to Loyola (I didn’t know what I was missing out on!) and now I’m addicted- I love live music. I’ve discovered some of my favorite bands by stumbling on random concerts and buying an album or two.

The band Blue Party (http://bluepartymusic.com/) is one example of such an occurrence. I happened to be on Frenchman with a few friends, walking around aimlessly and looking for something to do. We heard music coming out of Maison (http://www.maisonfrenchmen.com/) and went in on a whim. We were met with a loud guitar, screaming crowd, and a person dressed up in a crazy costume standing on stage. That moment I fell in love with Blue Party. My favorite song by them, “Homeless,”(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjcRX-EbgOA) talks about what it feels like to be caught in between childhood and adulthood, not living at home anymore but not really having a new place to call your own. One lyric says “Maybe its time I redefine where my home is,” a sentiment I can relate to being a college student living in a dorm far away from home. I have all their music on my phone and I go to as many New Orleans shows as I can! The best part- they’re local so the cover is normally pretty cheap!

What about closer to school? I don’t know if you’ve noticed…. but we have an amazing music school right on campus so there is an abundance of musicians all around us. We’re coming up on recital season, so I expect there to be lots of seniors and juniors eager to show off what they’ve been working on for the past semester. There’s also crazy amounts of Loyola bands that preform places like the Neutral Ground (http://www.neutralgroundcoffeehouse.com/), a coffeehouse that lets amateurs take the stage. The better bands make it to bars downtown, and the Loyola band CityLark is playing a show this Saturday at the Howling Wolf Den! Doors open at 9pm and everyone gets a free EP (http://www.facebook.com/events/315642128487024/). If you’re looking for something fun to do, you should definitely come a fresh new band (on the cheap) with us.

I’m not musical at all so it thrills me to be around musically talented people. I’ve made it my goal to go to at least two local concerts a month and so far I haven’t been disappointed. With Jazzfest (http://lineup.nojazzfest.com/) coming up, I’m saving my money to see the big name acts coming. I love the big music venues, but cheap is always my favorite way to go, and there is no shortage of music for those on a college budget in New Orleans!

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Tulane students Lula Fotis, Elena Pueraro, Eliza Arnold and Clare Austen-Smith started the “It’s Not Enough” campaign after hearing about the numerous instances in which student were assaulted or robbed in the areas around campus.

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Now that Mardi Gras break is over, it is time to get back into the reality of school. With twelve weeks left until the end of the semester, classes are going to get serious. Midterm time is coming up, and most people have at least one.

Here are some tips for preparing for your midterms.

For studying:

  • Do not wait until the night before the exam to study: If you are at that point, do not panic, use your time wisely.
  • Read through all of your notes a couple of times: While doing this, highlight important topics and vocabulary that are likely to appear on the exam.
  • Make an outline of the general concepts and theme. People lean best by learning the big picture first, then focusing on the details. It is important to not try to memorize your notes from beginning to end.
  • Make charts, diagrams, and lists: Whatever helps you to memorize the information.

For your sanity:

  • Never pull an all nighter: It will not benefit you in the end.
  • Do not try to cram in the moments before the exam: This increases anxiety. You can make a list the night before of a few important points that you want to remind yourself about before the exam, but do not try reading through your notes again right before the exam.
  • Get a good night’s sleep: You will feel refreshed, and will have the ability to concentrate.

During the exam:

  • Read over the entire exam before beginning
  • Manage your time wisely
  • Try not to get frustrated, if you do take a deep breath and move on to another part

If you keep calm and focus, you will do your best. Good luck!

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There’s a whole website dedicated to telling you when Easter will be for the next eight years or so.

Crazy? Maybe. It is the Internet we’re talking about here. Easter tends to jump around every year and be quite random. There’s a science to it all, though. Do you know how the date of Easter is calculated? The Council of Nicea (read: Christian council that happened a ridiculously long time ago…like year 300ish long time ago) set the date of Easter as the first Sunday following the paschal full moon. The paschal full moon is the first full moon occuring on or after the vernal equinox. This is with the Gregorian calendar, the ones that the Western Christians use.

So there’s a method to finding out when Easter is! By knowing when Easter is, you can also tell when Lent begins. Lent is the church season before Easter (the Church has seasons too, and they’re not the same as the spring-summer-autumn-winter we’re used to) and consists of the forty days before Easter (not including Sundays, which gets confusing but the math works out, I promise). It’s famous for being a time that people “give up” something. People try to go forty days (not including Sundays, though real troopers include the Sundays as well) without something, whether that’s smoking or Facebook or bread. That’s Lent, to a certain extent, but there’s more to it.

Lent is supposed to be a time of prayer and contemplation. It leads up to Easter, a celebration of Jesus rising from the dead. But in order for that to happen, Jesus dies first. It’s a sad event. If you’re Catholic, you believe Jesus died for your sins, so there’s some character-building time, so to speak. There’s some time to draw inward (and quite a few people need to draw inward after the Mardi Gras celebrations) and really look at yourself.

Rule 1 of character building: don’t be flashy. Running around and telling everyone what you’ve given up? Probably not in the Lenten spirit (and neither is giving up something that’s easy for you, for that matter–like speaking a language you’ve never head of or eating food that isn’t in season). We’re thinking character building, prayer, contemplation.

There is a giving up aspect for Lent, sure. We’re supposed to give up something important to us, a vice or a luxury that others might not have. We go on a journey during Lent to grow in the not having and hope to end up somewhere different from where we were before. But Lent is not all depravity. I find that the definition of Lent as “that time where you give up something for a certain amount of time” is kind of empty. There’s a giving aspect to the giving up, a part that says that we need to spend more time with the people we love, give them our time and attention. We should think about our neighbors, think about giving someone something they really need. Maybe we do give that clothing drive a second thought. Maybe we participate. Maybe we rededicate ourselves to our studies or goals (always a good thing to do after Mardi Gras break).

Finally, Lent encourages you to spend time with yourself. Take some time out from the friends and technology and stress and chill. Go for a walk. You might be surprised what you can uncover from just an hour alone with your thoughts. If you’re looking for tips, I found this video to be really helpful. It’s a gorgeous poem set to music called “How to Be Alone.” You don’t have to be Catholic to integrate the principles of Lent into life. The season has some good lessons to teach.

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The beads have been tossed.

The floats have crossed.

And Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, 2012 is now a day in history.

Let’s now remember the entire reason for the season– Lent. The forty-six day period that leads towards Easter Sunday.

According to Loyola Mission and Ministry, “Ash Wednesday gets its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of the faithful as a sign of repentance. The ashes used are gathered after the Palm Crosses from the previous year’s Palm Sunday are burned.”

This is a time for sacrifice, self- reflection, contrition, and prayer.

Prayer can begin with reading God’s word in the inerrant Scriptures.

Scripture gives wonderful advice about the Lenten season in Matthew 6:16-18, saying,

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Christians, the Bible is a tool to help us through Lent, and lead us closer to Christ. This season allows us the opportunity to learn from the past and plan to improve in the future.

Lent encourages the Jesuit attitudes of reverence, generosity, and forgiveness. These can be found through personal experiences and by following the requirements of Lent.

The requirements for Catholics starting on Ash Wednesday include abstaining from meat, fasting by only eating one meal a day, and imitating Christ in everyday actions through penance.

Loyola is offering an Ash Wednesday mass at the Ignatius Chapel at 9 P.M, and also a Midday Mass at 12:30 P.M.

Lent is not only practiced by Roman Catholics, but also celebrated by other Christian groups including Lutherans, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Baptists, and Presbyterians.

For a person not practicing Catholicism but Lent, St. Charles Presbyterian Church and St. Anna’s Episcopal Church are celebrating an Ash Wednesday service at 12:00 P.M.

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Winter is upon us! As college students we all have one thing in common: the constant need to feed, especially when we’ve been yelling and jumping for beads all day. For anyone relying on a mealplan, Mardi Gras will cut off your food supply. For those with family in town, a constant supply of good food is a given, but what about us outsiders? We get separated in to two groups you’re probably familiar with: Ants and Grasshoppers.

Everyone and their grandmother is going to be out trying to sell you a $15 bowl of jambalaya down the parade route, but don’t bite. That food isn’t for you, it’s for the tourists who pour into town looking for their first taste of gulf shrimp. Trust me on this one, once Mardi Gras is over and you’ve got five more days of vacation you’ll want the extra cash to buy normally priced food.

Now begins the time when we must scurry around like squirrels and stuff our cheeks until they’re ready to burst. And just like a squirrel would, I recommend nuts. Pistachios, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, whatever you can find that’s pocket friendly and packed with protein to keep you up and moving. And while you’re at it I’d buy a giant jar of peanut butter. Everything is better with peanut butter!

A man can not live on nuts alone, so make sure you get something to make a quick, mobile meal with. All the fixings for sandwiches are essential, but if you’re not into that (yes, some people refuse to put all that is good in the world between two slices of bread) then you need things in cups. Ramen, soup-to-go, yogurt, anything that comes in a plastic cup and fits in your microwave is perfect to heat and go before you start walking to the parade route. Just don’t throw it onto the street, there are enough people around that someone is bound to pull some vigilante justice.

If you take my advice, watch out for those who don’t, the grasshopper to your worker ant. While they spend their Wolfbucks frivolously as if smoothies were water and the well will never run dry, they will return from the parade routes hungry scavengers looking for tiny donuts and Doritos. It is not your duty to feed these sad, empty beings, but since you’re too nice to ignore their growls of hunger, why not trade food for some of those beautiful beads?

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Today, we were mentioned in a Twitter conversation between @Afekari and @itsMeTyree about our guest policy during the Mardi Gras season. @Afekari wonders where the $100 fee goes, and so we decided to take this opportunity and give you a complete look at how we spend your registration fees.

The major cost is security. Throughout the festivities, there are hundreds of thousands of visitors in town, and not all of these guests are as well-behaved as our students. Because of this, we feel it is important to heighten our security presence. We station one Resident Assistant and one Desk Assistant at each desk 20 hours a day. For the other four hours, from 2am to 6am, we bring in LUPD officers to man the building’s front line of security to ensure the maximum level of safety for our residents. These additional measures come at a significant cost to us, and so that is the first place your registration goes to.

The other major cost is advertising. Given the multiple changes to policies and procedures during this time period, we take every step necessary to ensure that each of our residents has a solid grasp on these changes. In order to do so, we create multiple brochures, flyers to get the word out. These are expensive to print, and as much as we’d love to simply post the rules on Facebook and Twitter, we know you aren’t all going to get the message.

Finally, there are several other minor costs that we have to cover, including supplies for students and staff as they work the front desks, printing of ID cards for guests, and other unforeseen costs.

So where does your $100 go? That’s where. Got another question for us? Just tweet us at @loynoreslife, we’re happy to respond!

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Valentine’s Day: A day filled with greeting cards, chocolate, hearts, and church history?

February 14th is Saint Valentine’s Day, but who really was Saint Valentine?

There is a lot of speculation and confusion on who this person actually was.

Some people believe Saint Valentine to be a young man that defied Emperor Claudius II, and the injustice of forcing young men to abstain from marriage. Other people believe that Valentine helped Christians escape cruel conditions while imprisoned.  The famous phrase “From Your Valentine” comes from this legend. This greeting transcends time, yet was simply written to Valentine’s lover while he was prison. The true identity of Valentine is unknown, and many stories are told around the world about his life and death.

Regardless of whom the actual person was, St. Valentine was a martyr of the church and embodied many of the Jesuit values such as an apostolic or action orientated nature and a call to human excellence.

Valentine’s Day is not only celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church, Lutheran church, and Baptist church remember St. Valentine.

With further speculation, Valentine’s Day is believed to be held on February 14th to remember the death or burial of the saint. Although many people differ on the actual motivate for the date.

However, some known interesting facts about Valentines Day from stvalentinesday.org include:

  1. In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.
  2. The oldest surviving love poem till date is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians, inventors of writing, around 3500 B.C
  3. Women are buying a lot of the Valentines, 85 percent to be exact.
  4. Parents receive 1 out of every 5 valentines.
  5. Worldwide, over 50 million roses are given for Valentine’s Day each year.
  6. Amongst the earliest Valentine’s Day gifts were candies. The most common were chocolates in heart shaped boxes.
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The Freshman 15 is real…. And so is the Loyola 20. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you- New Orleans has some of the best food in the south. Crawfish, gumbo, po boys, red beans and rice, fried catfish, shrimp etouffee; the list goes on and on with delicious and (slightly) unhealthy options that you simply don’t want to miss out on. I feel like every time I turn around, some on campus organization is offering free food. Not to mention the buffet-style dining in the OR and Bruff! There’s food everywhere, and who can blame you for wanting to indulge?

One of the most important things you’ll learn in college is the ability to balance. For every opportunity to eat, there’s a chance to get active. Being physically active is an extremely important part of a healthy lifestyle, something that Loyola tries extremely hard to promote on campus. Loyola students have a lot of options to get moving. We are located right across from Audubon Park. If you haven’t taken a stroll around the 1.8-mile loop, you’re missing out. The park is filled with walkers, runners, bikers, rollerbladers, Frisbee and football players, as well as sunbathers when the weather is nice (which, thank god, it almost always is). The paved track takes you past a golf course, exercise circuits, a pond with duck who love being fed, and beautiful trees that keep you covered for much of the way. There’s even some artwork!

If you’re a runner, like me, you might be looking for a little bit longer of a route. Have you ever run down the streetcar tracks? St. Charles has some of the most beautiful houses in New Orleans and there’s nothing like great architecture to distract you from a long run. Last October I ran the Chicago Marathon and I did the majority of my training on the neutral ground. Running down St. Charles takes you through uptown, the garden district, and all the way down to Canal St., where the French Quarter starts. Downtown and back is a 10-mile run, a little bit daunting, but the scenic route takes away from the length of the route.

Maybe the best option for students at Loyola is going to the RecPlex located right on campus. There’s a weight room, lots of cardio machines, a pool with lanes, and tons of group fitness classes. My favorites classes to attend are Kickboxing and Zumba, both offered three times a week. These classes are extremely popular so you better get there early to get a good spot in the aerobics room! The instructors are friendly, the music is upbeat, and you’ll get a great workout while having fun. I bring friends with me every week so we can laugh at each other while we muddle through kickboxing combinations and Zumba butt-shaking moves. Click here for a link to the RecPlex website with a full schedule of group fitness classes!

These are just three options, but the list of activities goes on. Rock and Bowl on the corner of Carrolton and Claiborne is a creative way to get your heart rate up, or you could get a group together and karaoke at Little Tokyo on Maple and Carrollton. There’s a rock climbing place in Slidell and an ice rink in Baton Rouge, so you could even take a little road trip. Or just take a walk around the French Quarter! Get out in the city, get active on campus, get moving. Experience New Orleans! You won’t regret it.

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