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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For some people, organization is a bad word. To others, it is a way of life. What is does organization actually mean? According to the dictionary, it is to put something together in an orderly, functional, or structure system. So being a college student, what does it mean to be organized and how does one get organized?

Here are a few tips:

  • Organize your room or study space: remove all clutter and distraction, keep books and study materials near, have pens and highlighters within reach, and reference books should be kept near. Each subject should have its very own binder, folder, or notebook so things can be found easily.
  • Find a convenient and easy way to record assignments: Shoppers, this means you can go on a spree to find the very best planner out there! You could use a planner, agenda, calendar, or even notebook paper. Whatever works for you, but make sure you stick to it. To ensure everything gets done, you must prioritize on your calendar or to-do list. This could even involved color-coding.
  • Make a schedule: set time for your classes, study time, work out time, eating, if you have a job – time for work, and of course time for sleep.
  • Set goals: Goals can be short term like ‘finish my English paper’ or they can be long term like ‘to graduate with a 4.0 GPA.’ You feel accomplished when you achieve your goals, so set a lot of them, complete them, and feel accomplished.
  • Take breaks: Break can be your reward for achieving a goal or task on your to-do list. And by break I mean go eat a granola bar or check Facebook, not go watch a movie and the latest episode of Gossip Girl.

I am the type of person who color-codes and uses check off to-do lists, some people set out their clothes for the next day and pack their bag the night before. You just have to figure out a system that works best for you, and stick to it. Organization makes for a stress-free and easy life style if you find what works best for you.

The very first goal you should set, starting today, is to get yourself organized!

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I grew up with my little sister, and we shared everything—belongings, a bathroom, our bedroom, everything.

Well, I got my own room when I turned fifteen (or, as she’d say, “I got MY own room when I was thirteen”—because perspective matters sometimes, especially if she’s reading this).

Growing up with a roommate is a struggle. No matter what, you share the blame for when something is missing. Or something is broken. Or something is dirty. It’s like parents take the safe option and just blame everyone for everything.

Like many siblings, we wanted to be separate but equal. We didn’t want to look or dress the same, but we always wanted what the other had. We learned compromise (to a certain extent—we still steal each other’s clothes).

If you’ve never had that kind of experience, though (or if you were one of those really persuasive children who wheedled their way out of the whole sharing-rooms experience), the college roommate situation may have hit you as a bit of a shock. Living with a stranger is well…strange, along with all of the other college adjustments. At the end of the day, sometimes even the most experienced roommates can’t live together. But this is rare.

Let’s look at this issue from the broad life angle (because everything in college appears to have that kind of spin—it’s maddening but true). People’s personalities are going to clash in both college roommate situations and in life. And all of those things you learned when you were a first grader are still in play. You shouldn’t have to change who you are for anyone. That’s not what I’m suggesting here. I’m suggesting a wonderfully creative way of getting along with those clash-personality types.

We all have things we’re really good at, right? And we all have things we’re not so good at. I’m a messy person. The state of my room tends to mirror the state of my mind at the moment. Finals week…well, sometimes I like to pretend that the place I live isn’t really my room and that I actually live somewhere else. So, I schedule a little block of time each week—right in-between morning workout and my first class—to clean my room a little bit. I put books back on the shelf and maybe do a little bit of laundry.

Of course, I’m a messy person, right? So cleaning takes a little more effort for me than it does for some other people. Let’s go back to strengths. I like music. I like having fun. So, when I clean, there’s usually extremely loud dance-type music in the background.

I regret nothing.

So that’s how I live with being a messy person. Notice that I didn’t change anything about myself, but I figured out how to make it so that I can live with someone else without being ostracized. Of course, the way that you apply this to your own life depends on how much you can bend yourself and the world to each other’s whims. If I lived with people who didn’t like music, I’d figure out something else to do. Maybe something that involved a trampoline.

The possibilities, my friends, are endless.

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Hi, everyone! If you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot of things going on at Loyola all of the time, but in case you find yourself with a free night, here’s a quick guide to things that we have planned for you in February. Don’t forget—it’s a leap year, so you have a whole other day to do something fun or try something that interests you!

February 1: Commuter On-the-Go Breakfast (Peace Quad, 8:00a-10:00a)

Attention, commuters! Loyola loves you! Go grab your doughnut and coffee in the Peace Quad on this fine Wednesday morning. If you live on campus and you can get yourself up that early, feel free to take some food too as a reward. I’ve many a time gotten a free breakfast from these people. They’re lovely.

February 2: Study Abroad Fair (St. Charles Room in the Danna Center, 11:30am-2:00pm)

Studying abroad as an undergrad is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you shouldn’t automatically write off. No matter the major or the money, consider taking half an hour to talk to the Loyola Study Abroad Office as well as representatives from over 40 countries. Most programs let you pay exactly the same as your Loyola tuition (read: no extra money beyond travel expenses). I spent this past summer in Italy with a Loyola Study Abroad program and had the time of my life. If you have time during the window, stop by and ask questions. Who knows where half an hour will take you?

February 2: Careers in Healthcare (Audubon Room, 2nd Floor Danna Center, 12:30pm-1:30pm)

The Loyola Counseling Center has a great career counseling program (stop by there if you haven’t already—there are some really fun people there who love to give advice). If you’ve ever considered a career in healthcare, no matter what your major, consider stopping by and finding out something new.

February 2: HUNS Jewish Lecture Series (Nunemaker Auditorium, Monroe Hall, 6:15pm-8:30pm)

Don’t write off these seminars. If you have the time, these really are valuable and such learning opportunities are really only available for free at universities like Loyola. Dr. Yael Hirsch from the Paris Institute of Political Studies is going to present some of her research in a lecture called “The Last Marranos: Examining 20th Century Jewish Converts-to-Christianity in Light of the Holocaust.”

Talk to your professors about this. A lot of them might be willing to give you extra credit, especially if your class is in the realm of history or religion.

February 3: King Cake Giveaway/MGI Career Fair Promo (11:00am-2:00pm, Danna Center Front Porch)

FREE FOOD. Need I say more?

February 3: 100 Days ‘til Graduation Senior Celebration (5:15pm-7:00pm, Marquette Lawn; Ignatius Chapel; Sculpture Garden)

Loyola celebrates its centennial this year, and if you’re a graduating senior, I’m quite jealous of you, because you’re going to have a way better graduation than me.

Just kidding. Maybe.

If you’re graduating, I can’t imagine how this couldn’t have crossed your lines of communication yet, but Loyola’s throwing you a party. And Loyola knows how to throw a party.

February 5: Black History Month Mass (9:00pm-10:00pm, Ignatius Chapel)

In case you didn’t know, Loyola holds a Sunday student mass at 9:00pm every Sunday (there’s also one at 10:30am), but this one is especially geared toward Black History Month. There’s usually a gospel choir and some other after-mass festivities, so consider going.

February 6-10: Mardi Gras Traditions and Celebration Week

As I said before, Loyola knows how to throw a party. Look out for various celebrations all over school. They’re bound to have free food, free stuff, and free knowledge.

February 8-12: Anton in Show Business

Loyola’s theater department is putting on their first big play of the semester, a comedy by Jane Martin. Anton in Show Business is based on three actresses who have been cast in an Anton Chekhov play “The Three Sisters.” This play will have an all-female cast, directed by Ann Mahoney Kadar. This play touches on all kinds of issues—gender roles, stereotypes, and the mysteries of life. The theater department is fantastic—consider seeing this! It makes an excellent date night or start to a night out.

The play will run in the Lower Depths Theater in the Communications and Music Building on February 8, 9, 10, and 11 at 8:00pm and February 12 at 2:00pm. Admission is $8 for students and $12 for seniors, faculty, and staff.

February 6: The Lost Eagle: The Untold Story of the Legionary Eagle on Rome’s Most Famous Statue (7:00pm-9:30pm, Nunemaker Auditorium, Monroe Hall)

Dr. Bridget Buxton is going to give this lecture about the Prima Porta Augustus. Again, ask your professors for extra credit. This is a great opportunity to learn something!

February 7: The Romantic Cello (7:30pm-9:30pm, Roussel Performance Hall, 2nd Floor Communications/Music Complex)

Allen Nisbet and Yui Asano present a free night of cello and piano music. Free concert!!! Bring your friends.

February 8: Study Abroad Info Session (5:00pm-6:00pm, Multimedia Room 2, Monroe Library)

If you missed the study abroad event earlier or just want even more information, consider stopping by and learning about your options. Remember, your college experience is what you make of it.

February 13-17: Love Your Body Week

Hang out around the Danna Center around lunchtime to view art and participate in activities celebrating people of all shapes and sizes. It’s a lot of fun and you feel awesome, so definitely go!

February 14: Class of 2012 Grad Fair (10:00am-6:00pm, St. Charles Room, Danna Center)

If you’re a graduating senior, celebrate Valentine’s Day by getting everything you need for graduation! If you’re not a graduating senior, stop by to look at what you get to look forward to!

February 14: Biological Sciences Research Seminar with Dr. Stephanie Cormier (12:30pm-1:30pm, Monroe Hall Room 157)

Alternatively, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day by heading to a research seminar on Developmental Regulation of IL-4Ra and the Immunopathogenesis of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection. Biology students will probably get extra credit—how romantic!

February 15: Hungry for More—African American Women and Body Image (6:30pm-8:30pm, St. Charles Room, Danna Center)

Robyn McGee is a Los Angeles-based write and a motivational speaker who’s written a book called Hungry for More. She travels around the country speaking to young people about the importance of maintaining healthy minds, bodies, and spirits. If you’re interested in gender issues (or, if you’re interested in gender—we all have a gender, and it affects us way more than we know), definitely attend. There’s a reception afterwards, and that means free food!

February 20-24: Mardi Gras Holidays

Have fun, be safe, and catch those beads!

For more events, click here to find our lovely school calendar that has all of the events you could ever ask for! A great place to round out your social calendar (and maybe stalk places that have free food).

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Whether yours is done or not, Residential Life is done taking in RA applications. Now it’s time for the real fun to start. When I turned in my first RA application I instantly set my sights on the group interviews and that’s when I realized that I had no idea what a group interview was. As it turns out, I wasn’t supposed to. I’m not sure if I can tell you what happens behind those closed doors, but I can give you a few pointers to help you make it out alive.

First of all, show up on time. Not even Iggy himself can save you from Res Life’s swift and merciless judgment if you come in late and interrupt this sacred ritual. I don’t remember who showed up late to my group interview, probably because they were never seen again.

Supposing you do make it on time, don’t complain about it being early. You’d better be there with bells on, and by bells on I mean business casual, but not too business, you’re going to be on the floor a lot. But it’s not all about what’s on the outside. You need to be feeling it. Getting some rest and getting excited about being there and having this opportunity is the only way you can prepare. There’s no way to prepare for the questions they’re going to ask you, and by ask you I mean ask everybody, but you’re going to be the one who answers it.

This is the most important part. If you can do this and do it will, you’ll stand out through the selection process: shut up. The key to doing well in the group interview process is realizing that you’re in a group interview for a reason. Res Life isn’t trying to save time and just interview everyone at once, they want to see you work as part of a team. Listen to the people leading the interview and listen to the people you’re being interviewed with. I know it seems like a competition when you’re all trying to get the same job, but Res Life isn’t looking for people who throw each other under the bus or attempt to stab each other in the back.

If you get this job you’ll be functioning as a team for an entire year and that’s a big part of why Res Life does this. You’re here to make friends and show that you  can listen when you have to and speak up when you need to. There’s no need to be on your best behavior or try to be what you think Res Life wants you to be. Just act naturally and be yourself. Unless you’re a jerk. In that case fake it ‘til you make it.

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It’s rush week at Loyola! Every January, the three fraternities on campus spend a week showing off their best qualities and wooing potential new members in the hopes of building a strong pledge class to carry on their brotherhood for another year. The rushers put on their best faces and try to convince the boys that their fraternity is the best; the rushees eagerly wait to hear back about bids. At the end of rush week, each fraternity has a new pledge class and the process of integrating them into the chapter begins.

We have four sororities and three fraternities on campus as well six NPHC chapters (historically African- American fraternities and sororities). About 20% of students are involved in Greek organizations and many times serve as the leaders of the school. Being a member of the Greek community creates well-rounded individuals with a focus on scholarship, service, values- based leadership, as well as providing a fun social atmosphere. For the past one and half years, I have been privileged to be a member of the sorority Delta Gamma, a national organization founded in 1873. We have 147 chapters worldwide, 15,000 current members, and 171,788 living alumnae. I feel truly humbled to be a part of an organization so widespread and respected.

I went through formal recruitment fall semester of my sophomore year, a little bit unusual but not at all unheard of. I signed up for recruitment on a whim- I wanted to see what sororities were all about. None of my immediate family had been involved in Greek life at their colleges so I went into the process totally blind. Throughout the five-day  recruitment process, I learned the personalities of each chapter, the different service organizations (or philanthropies, in Greek speak), and experienced a ritual with each organization. By the end of the week, I knew that I wanted to be in a Greek organization. Delta Gamma was the sorority I felt most at home with and now I can’t imagine my life without my letters.

Going through recruitment or rush can be scary, especially if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. But being a member of Greek life at Loyola made my world here seem much more manageable- I have 60 girls backing me up every step of the way. Delta Gamma is my support, my fun, my study buddy, and my home. I encourage everybody to take the time to learn more about the Greek organizations on campus because you might just find something you love.

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Jenna Vercillo is the Assistant Director of Student Leadership. She has shared her professional perspective about the incoming student experience.
Lucy Dieckhaus is a Mass Communications and political science freshman from northern Illinois.
Hannah Iannazzo is a Mass Communications freshman from New Orleans and commuter student

1.    What activities have been put in place to help integrate transfer students into Loyola? Would you suggest any activities in particular? Where can I get involved in outside of the classroom?
Jenna Vercillo: A few resources Loyola for transfer students are New Student Orientation in both the Fall and Spring. These programs are designed to introduce students to campus, find resources and departments to be helpful in their transition to Loyola, as well as meet other students.

Lucy Dieckhaus: I would recommend students to get involved with clubs associated with their majors. In my experience, students who are involved in clubs associated with their specific field of study share many similar interests. I am personally involved in the Maroon, Loyola University Dining Advisory Board, and the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).

Hannah Iannazzo: For me, getting involved was the best way for me to meet people. I became an Ambassador and a writer for The Maroon, our student newspaper. I made friends with the other people involved very easily because we had a shared interest. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Loyola has so many departments that are to help students every step of the way.

2.    Do you have any advice for students beginning this Spring at Loyola?
Jenna Vercillo: I would advise students to get involved in the Loyola community through student leadership, find service opportunities in the New Orleans community, as well as reach out to their faculty and staff members to develop relationships. The opportunities will also allow incoming students to meet their peers and find home in the Loyola family.

Lucy Dieckhaus: Some advice on the academic side of campus life for fellow students is to be prepared. One way to be prepared is to read all of the syllabi in depth before going to classes. This tool is crucial to success in a lot of classrooms. Additionally, ask as many questions to faculty and staff as you need to. The professors that I have come in contact with are extremely friendly and truly care about the success of their students. Lastly, a tour of campus would be helpful to know the location of specific classrooms.

Hannah Iannazzo: One thing I would definitely say is talk to people. If you know someone at Loyola ask them about their experience. Once you start don’t hesitate to ask your professors or advisor for help; that is what they are there for. And getting involved is one of the best things you can do, whether it is a club, team, or Greek life.

3.    If students are having trouble either academically or socially, what are some resources students could contact?
Jenna Vercillo: If students are having trouble socially, I would encourage them to visit the Counseling Center, or Co-Curricular Programs (to find out how to get involved). Academically, students may contact their faculty advisor, visit the Academic Resources Center, or Writing Across the Curriculum Lab.

Lucy Dieckhaus: Because writing is a very important aspect in many classrooms at Loyola, the WAC lab is a helpful service on Loyola’s campus. This resource is free to all enrolled students and will help everyone improve their writing. I was required to attend multiple sessions for my freshman seminar class and it has opened my eyes to information that has drastically improved my writing, even in small ways.

Hannah Iannazzo: There are always numerous events on campus for students to attend. The Window on Tuesdays and Thursday usually offers a plethora of activities, so don’t be afraid to go out and have a fun time with your fellow students.
If you need help with s subject the Academic Resource Center is your greatest tool, and the WAC lab is definitely a great resource to utilize.

4.    What services are available to me through my meal plan or Wolfbucks? Do you have any favorites?
Lucy Dieckhaus: Eating is a topic that all students are interested in. Loyola is a part of Uptown campus dining alongside Tulane University, so our dining options are expanded to include choices on both campuses. On Loyola’s campus, the Orleans Room is offered as a cafeteria buffet style eating option. Other options include Community Coffee, La Divina Gelateria, Smoothie King, C-store, Satchmo’s, Dunbar’s (Cajun and Creole Cuisine), and Flambeaux’s (Po-boys). My personal favorite is Bruff Commons at Tulane University.

Hannah Iannazzo: Commuter students are also offered a meal plan and Wolfbucks. If you should choose not to get a meal plan, all of the venues on campus accept cash and credit cards, so it is still easy eat around campus and at Tulane.

5.    What is life like as a commuter student?
Hannah Iannazzo: The Office of Student Affairs is dedicated to making sure the commuters are taken care of just as well as the students who live on campus. Commuters have their very own lounge given to them by SGA. It is equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, television, and couches. On the first Wednesday of every month, commuter students are offered a “On-the-Go” breakfast. On Tuesdays during the Window, SGA offers peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And to make sure the commuters are happy, twice a semester the Office of Co-Curricular Programs hosts a commuter student forum to answer any questions commuters have about campus life as well as address any commuter student concerns.

Lucy Dieckhaus: Resident students and commuter students have a lot of interaction, and have the opportunity to complement each other. Some of my best friends at Loyola are commuter students, and I see them every day. Their knowledge of the city has allowed me to see parts of New Orleans that only locals know about, and I have been able to show them the night life on campus.

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Hey guys! My name is Bridget Kratz and I an Economics junior at Loyola University New Orleans. I’ve been at Loyola for two and half years and I’ve loved every second of it! There’s so much going on, not only at Loyola but in the city as well, that one of the challenges of being here has been deciding what opportunities I want to take advantage of. I’m a member of the Delta Gamma sorority, employed by the Office of Residential Life, and a king cake connoisseur, three things that have only been made possible by attending Loyola and taking in the full Loyola New Orleans experience.

Currently I live in one of the Carrollton apartments (706- the Penthouse!) and we have a nice kitchen (which we barely use), a huge fridge (stocked with Redbull and Lean Cuisines), and a cozy common area (where our TV is perpetually tuned in to reality television). I live with four other girls, including my roommate who is a foreign exchange student from Italy. The five of us sharing a bathroom and a kitchen gets hectic and messy but somehow we make it work!

It took me about a year to figure out that my current Economics major was what I wanted to pursue. While my major has always been Econ, I’ve switched back and forth between the College of Business and the College of Social Sciences. With the help of my advisor and the deans of the two colleges, I was able to make the transfer pretty easily and without losing any credits! I’m considering adding a Catholic Studies Minor. What better place to study Catholic culture and theology than a Jesuit institution?

I’ve held a few jobs over the past few years, both on and off campus. I worked as a research assistant for Professor Walter Block, a demanding and rewarding experience. The work was fast paced but I loved getting to see the processes involved in maintaining a website and publishing articles. Actually, Professor Block and I coauthored an article slated for publication in the Journal of Markets and Morality this spring. I also worked at a clothing store called Wish in the French Quarter. My paycheck never seemed to stay in my bank account, but my wardrobe was great while I was employed there!

Loyola New Orleans is the kind of place where everything aligns to make for an experience unlike any other college. Diverse campus organizations, a beautiful city, and great friends have all made my time here worthwhile, and four years just doesn’t seem like enough. Stay tuned for more exploration of life on campus and fun times around the city!

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Statistically, I’m at what tends to be the lowest point of the college experience. Ever heard of the sophomore slump? That’s where I am at the moment, except—and this could be me—I haven’t experienced a slump yet, and I’m more than halfway through my sophomore year. I wish I could say that I owe my lack of slump to sheer willpower, but I can’t deny that Loyola has really helped me to find my path and stay motivated.

My major’s a bit of a mouthful: I’m a premed sophomore studying English writing. It took me a year to put together a major that incorporated my passion for writing with my passion for health science. I had a slew of extremely understanding advisors and professors who helped me and encouraged me to pursue my passions at this time in my life. Behind these advisors and professors stood my friends I’d chosen and Loyola Residential Life, which I feel like chose me. Whether it was the desk assistant singing Disney songs at the top of her lungs on a good day or my RA giving me a bag of candy when she noticed I was having a bad day, ResLife really became a positive force in my life.

I’ve lived on campus both years of my college experience. I spent my freshman year in the honors community in Buddig (emphasis on the word community because we were—it was less like living in separate rooms on a floor and more like living in one house that happened to have twenty or so rooms) and loved it. Now, I live in Carrollton with five suitemates and love it even more. Living on campus has been a great exercise and adventure in living with all kinds of people. I’m never bored—I never know what’s going to happen at all hours of the day. It’s great to know that the resident assistants are just down the hall if there are any problems. We hardly have problems, though, and I’ve become friends with both my current RA and my past RA.

Actually, I like ResLife so much that I’ve become one of those Disney-singing desk assistants. You might catch me working at the Carrollton desk or at one of the other residential halls. I also write a column for The Maroon entitled All of the Tidbits and work with University Ministry, as well as serve as co-president of Loyola Life and the Loyola University Queer-Straight Student Alliance (QSSA). In my spare time, I like to watch television. I plan on writing for one of those television shows one day, so I like to call it “research.”

I’m certainly excited to blog for all of you. Like I said before, it’s an exciting time in our lives, and I’m equally as excited that I get to spend some of that time with you.

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Hi! My name is Hannah Iannazzo, and I am freshman from New Orleans. I am majoring in Mass Communications with a focus in Journalism.

When the time came to make the decision about housing, I chose to stay living at home being that I live about twenty minutes away from campus. Also the thought of sharing my room and bathroom with other people was not very appealing to me, since I am an only child. My parents were over the moon with my decision to live at home and the money they would save.

The semester finally arrived, and I had all of the emotions, mainly excited and nervous. We started classes, and I made a couple of new friends and reconnected with the people I had met at Orientation. My friends were going to all the special events on campus, and I couldn’t because they were late at night. After this happened numerous times, I began to resent living at home; I wished I lived on campus more than anything. If I lived on campus, I wouldn’t have to wake up as early, drive to school, or find a parking spot. I could roll of my bed and go to class. I couldn’t even eat lunch with my friends most of the time, because they had meal plans and I didn’t.  It got to the point that I was only on campus for class and to do my work-study.

However, I eventually found my niche on campus. I had other friends who were commuter students, so we stuck together. I joined some organizations on campus and got involved. Once I got involved, I started to realize commuting was not so bad as I was making it out to be.

Living at home definitely has its advantages, but at the same time it has some drawbacks. The same goes for living on campus, though. No situation is perfect. You have to figure out what works best for you, and what you feel most comfortable with. Whatever decision you make, you have to remain positive and do your best to make the negatives a positive, or at the bare minimum to make them work.

One of the main reasons I chose Loyola was for the sense of family and community. That sense of family and community does not just apply to the students who live in the residential halls. It applies to the commuters as well, and the best way to be a part of the community is to get involved. Once you get involved, you too will find your niche, and hopefully you will fall in love with Loyola like so many people before you, including me.

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