As a child,

I never colored inside the lines.

I drew circles instead of squares.

I asked endless questions.

I never understood why one girl couldn’t sit with everyone else at the lunch table.

I plan to spend this summer making memories my childhood identity would be proud to identify with, a time my childhood identity dreamed to become.

I want to make memories this summer by loving others, enjoying myself, and celebrating the little things. I have found that in the end, the little events and simple times turn out to matter the most. Finding God in all things, dignity & value of each person, and the appreciation of things both great and small are mindsets that allow humankind to value each day for the beauty that lies within that day.

One way that I am able to enjoy myself is by traveling and seeing different cultures.

My favorite way to document and remember these cultures and people is by taking pictures. I love to take pictures, and by the amount of postings on Facebook and Instagram, I believe that many other people enjoy sharing their experiences with others as well.

A list of some of my favorite travel spots include:

  1. Hong Kong, China
  2. Orlando, Florida
  3. The island of St. Maarten
  4. Bangkok, Thailand
  5. Cancun, Mexico
  6. St. Louis, MO
  7. San Jose, CA
  8. Nassau, Bahamas
  9. US Virgin Islands
  10. Milwaukee, WI

As for me, I will be spending my summer in New Orleans. But I love to hear stories and experiences about different cultures and traveling.

Where will you be this summer? Will you be traveling? Share your favorite travel spot or favorite picture with us.

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Summertime is upon us. With only two days left of classes, 10 days until exams are done, and and 12 days til graduation, reality is about to hit. Summer is wonderful- a season for relaxing, tanning catching up on reading, watching all the seasons of How I Met Your Mother- but it’s also a little scary to think of leaving behind Loyola and going three months without your friends. There’s good news, though. We live in an age of constant communication, free wifi, and fast mail. There’s tons of ways to keep in touch over the summer!

Facetime/ Google Hangout/ Skype.

“I miss your face!” My friends and I write this on each other’s Facebook walls consistently throughout the summer. But guess what? You don’t have to go the whole summer without seeing someone’s face! Video chatting is one of my new favorite things. I’ll admit, I was a little behind the times, but I am now truly a believer. There’s something so refreshing about seeing someone talk, watching their hands move, reacting to their body language. And Facebook makes it super easy for you; there’s a video option under the Facebook chat feature! For those of you with smartphones, you can video chat right from your cellular device. Why just talk on the phone what you can video chat?

Keep a Blog

I did this last summer when I moved to New York for an internship. A lot of people had mentioned that they wanted to keep in touch about what I was doing, but I knew that I wouldn’t have time to talk to each individual person. Instead, I kept a blog where I wrote about my New York adventures. My friends loved reading it, and I even got a few of them to start their own blogs for me to see everything they were doing!

Snail Mail

Who doesn’t love getting a letter in the mail? Talking on the phone, texting, Facebooking- these are all great ways of keeping in touch. I argue, however, that there is nothing better than getting a letter in the mail from a friend you love. A little “I’m thinking of you” card, an envelope full of little pieces of paper with a memory written on each, a manila envelope with Mardi Gras beads- get creative. It doesn’t need to be just a standard pen pal letter. One of my friends and I send each other weird stickers we find, just to make each other laugh. The point is to let the receiver of the letter know you’re missing them.

I’m going to miss Loyola and all the people I’ve met. Lucky for me, the options for staying connected are limitless. How will you keep in touch?

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Many adjectives can be used to describe final exam time.

While final exam preparation can be overwhelming and exhausting, the reminder of a diploma puts everything into perspective. Whether this is your freshman year or senior year, finishing can be a great accomplishment. Words fall short of describing the moment that the last bubble is filled in, the last word is written in a blue book, or the final paper is turned in. However, graduation is the ultimate goal of every exam, every paper, and every class.

On the other hand, every class is an important part of the college experience. Each chapter of your book is written by your professors, classmates, but most importantly, yourself. That time you chose class over sleep will show on the final exam.  The time you chose studying rather than searching on Facebook will show on the final test. Don’t forget the work that was put in during the semester. Final exams are important, but they do not ultimately determine the entire grade for a class. Exams are a time to shine through and show the professor your progress and hard work.

I always try to remember the importance of leaving the university a much better person than when I came to the university. Regardless of the grade— a day without learning is a day without living.

I have a few tips:

Lock away your distractions.

  • Whether you physically have to put a lock on them or just mentally block them out—distractions never help with studying.

Never study on an empty stomach.

  • Students require brain food. Remember you won’t graduate if you die first.

Know your ideal study zone and respect others.

  • Studying in groups can be fun and productive, but some students benefit more by studying alone. Especially during exam time, courtesy is important because people can be under extreme stress.

Make a study schedule.

  • Even if this schedule is not written, scheduling is important. I take my most difficult exams and start with those, so I have the opportunity to come back and review. Also, study in sections because the goal of studying is to comprehend and remember the information.
  • Whatever you choose to use as tools and resources, they may help you succeed.

TAKE STUDY BREAKS

  • Most importantly, take study breaks. Your grades may be important, but your health is more important.

Remember:  You will not graduate if you die first. While studying for finals this spring, remember to keep your goals in mind.

How do you study for finals? What are your goals?

 

 

 

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Between four years of high school and now college, I have learned to greatly dread the beginning of December and May because it means one thing: solitary confinement for finals.
Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating just a little, but I really loathe preparing for and taking finals… but who doesn’t? Every semester I promise myself that I will stay calm and be efficient. Shockingly, that never really ends up happening, I just end up in the library for the entire 24 hours before the final.

Loyola has a lot of resources available to students looking for help before and during finals.

Tutoring Services

  •  The Academic Resource Center is a free service available to students all semester. The center offers tutoring in anything except languages, math, and English because there are different centers and labs specifically for those subjects. There are academic counselors who can help with study skills, for example how to process information, how to organize it, or even time management skills. Student tutors are available to help during their operating hours, except for the actual week of finals.
    The center is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m and is located on the first floor of Marquette.
  • The Ross Foreign Language Center, located on the first floor of Bobet in room 310, is another resource available for students to get free tutoring. There are always students available to help with French, Spanish, and Chinese. The tutors can help students with homework or specific concepts. There are study guides and CDs also available students to use.
    The center is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The Mathematics Center, also known as the math lab, is located in Monroe 263 and offers math tutoring for students in any level math class. There is also software available for students to use.
    The center is open Monday to Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Writing Across the Curriculum, or the WAC lab, located in Bobet Rm. 100 offers students help with writing papers. You can bring a paper in any stage to the student tutors for advice. You can get help brainstorming or you can have them read your final draft for clarity, grammar, or whatever else you need.

Library

The library steps may be a spot for some students to take breaks between classes, but inside the library there is a number of resources available to students.
The library’s website (http://library.loyno.edu) alone is useful tool for students hoping to check out a study room, computer, or other device because there is a section with the number of items available and when the next one will become available, if they are all checked out. The website also has research guides, a library catalogue, and many links to other resources. The library offers extended hours for student during finals. Normally open until 2 a.m., the library stays open 24 hours during finals.

Speaking of the library, let’s talk about study habits. We all have them – bad, good, or a little bit of both. Do you study in groups? Are you one of those people that hold court in the library? What about breaks and the best way you retain information? Each student is different, but you should know what works best for you. If you know forming a study group with your best friend the night before the exam is just going to be distracting then try to find an alternative way, the reward will come after when your GPA isn’t terrible.

So keep calm and survive finals. Summer is near.

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Everything you want to know about yourself, you can tell by where you sit in the library. With three floors each featuring their own culture, and sub-worlds within each floor, the dynmaics of studying vary drastically and reveal a lot about individual studyers. Where do you like to sit? Who do you sit with? The ansers to these questions say a lot about you. Read on to see my own analysis of the situation.

First Floor: “Active Learning” aka Facebook

If you’re sitting here, you’re obviously a cool kid. You’re surrounded with people who laugh at all your studying-relateed jokes. You have the perfect snacks on the group table (ie diet coke, chex mix, and sour gummy worms). For you first floor lovers, the library is more of a chance to see and be seen, to call on friends, and to meet up for “study dates” with the cute boy from calculus. Facebook is eternally an open tab on your Macbook pro, 15 inch screen. You don’t study very hard, but you’re happy, darnit! You are truly living the good life.

Second Floor: Light Studying and Occasional Whispering

You second floor goers value peaceful studying, but you also don’t take school too seriously. The second floor houses those kids who come to class with their readings printed out (even though they didn’t really get the chance to read them). It’s the floor for students who love highlighting but can’t seem to read past the first 5 pages of their 150 page mini-text book. The second floorers like to be surrounded by people, even if they only whisper little messages to eachother every so often. This floor creates the illusion of productivity but also allows residents to keep up with their social life. It’s a win-win.

Third Floor: In It to Win It

Have you ever been to the third floor? It’s my personal study floor of choice but I have to plan carefully when I go there. The third floor has a very specific set of unwritten rules. 1. Do not wear flipflops. They’re altogether too noisy and will distract the serious studyers from their small print books. 2. Do not even think about opening up facebook. Sirens will go off and people will know you’re not studying. 3. You know that bag of chips you brought to munch on? Don’t even think about it. The noise of you chewing will echo across the entire third floor. This floor is where people go to get serious. Only the most intense studying happens here. If you’re a third floor lover, you most likely are the one student who comes to class with not only this week’s assignment read and annotated, but next week’s too. That class roject due next month? You finished it a week ago. People from your classes text youto ask for help on assignments or studying for tests. You’ll help them out as much as you can, but ultimately you study alone and in silence. I applaud your dedication.

Finals are quickly approaching- where will you do your studying?

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Like lots of you, I was very time-conscious during high school and tried to fill my days with activities. All any parent, teacher, and school administrator had to do was say, “That’ll look good for colleges.” and I would freak out and add whatever “that” was to my schedule. When I wasn’t going to school, I was trying to do my extracurriculars. When I wasn’t doing my extracurriculars, I was thinking about ways to talk up said extracurriculars to colleges. When summer rolled around, I had to think of more ways to fill my time, and that meant joining the millions of teenagers employed in a variety of odd jobs. I didn’t know it at the time, but these jobs taught me valuable skills. Here are some lessons I have learned:

1. Look for opportunities everywhere.

I got a job as a restaurant server when I asked inside the restaurant after seeing a “help wanted” sign while I was passing the restaurant. If you want a job, look everywhere–the Internet, billboards, want ads, Craig’s List …just be careful! Be smart and use common sense. If your gut is telling you that the job is not legit or sketchy, don’t take it. But keep your eyes open, and when you have a question, ask. Squeaky wheels in life get the most attention.

2. Use (and nurture) your connections.

I got my job working at the desk at the rehab clinic because my mom worked there and found out that they wanted people to take jobs. Use your connections! If your connection consists of your parents or your great-aunt Sally, that’s great. Because, at the end of the day, while people who don’t know your parents or your great-aunt might be out of work, you’ll have an “in” that those people do not. Ask around if you’re looking for work, and pay it forward. If you know where there’s a job opening up at your workplace or somewhere nearby, let others know about it. Building a network is important. Everyone you know is part of your network. You never know what opportunities will arise with different people. If you get a job through someone you know, great! Thank them. Building relationships around you will also strengthen your network.

3. Show up.

I got my job as a wedding and funeral cantor by chance because I was a regular churchgoer who got drafted into singing one Sunday because the regular cantor was sick with the flu. If you like doing something, show up regularly. That shows your interest and helps people get to know you within that setting. If you want to work within a particular career, try to get involved somehow. I have several friends who have been able to get jobs at their favorite hang out spots because they were there regularly, befriended the people who worked there, and dropped a few hints that they were in want of work. Give purpose to your daily outings. Each outing is an opportunity.

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This summer will be my first summer spent away from Illinois in many years, and I can’t think of a better place to unravel my summer plans than in New Orleans.

A few events that I have planned for this summer include spending my time as a Resident Assistant at Loyola University. I want to get to know my residents on a personal level, and I would like to put on events for them to enjoy. Also, I want to spend time enjoying myself and relaxing from the chaotic nature of the school year.

I plan to take the summer as it comes, but most importantly to follow the principles of Finding God in All things and a Call to Excellence. I believe this means taking life at a slower place and appreciating the beauty in everything—no matter how small. Size is all about perception. Life is truly what you make of it. Each person has a story, and the summer time is a time to slow down and read each page carefully.

Summer is a time for sun, resting, and peace. Peace from exams, homework, and chaos. Unfortunately, separation always has the possibility of bringing sadness and loneliness, but Loyola will be waiting with open arms in the fall. My summer plans include on average more hours of sleep, a time for rejuvenation for another stretch of life. Summer is an important time of the year— be sure to spend your time in places worth remembering.

In the Words of St. Ignatius of Loyola, “Go forth and set the world on fire.” but “Laugh and grow strong.”

How will you spend your time this summer?  Will you make a difference?

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Summer job. The two words that inspire mini-panic attacks and stress-related hyperventilating in college students world wide. Not only do we face the daunting idea of three months away from our friends, we also have to find a decent paying job? Do we stay in New Orleans, or do we go home? Should we look for an internship or should we shoot for a real money earning position? Do we want to be pushing paper and answering phones or working with people? Part time? Full time? One job, or two? What to do?!

In the past three summers, I’ve had three very different types of jobs and three incredibly different experiences. Summer after freshman year I went home. It wasn’t easy getting adjusted to living with my parents again, but I’m so glad I got to be with my family. I worked as a front desk girl at Seal Swim School. Working the phones was stressful, handling crazy parents was interesting, and trying to explain things to people who didn’t speak English proved tougher than expected, but I had great mangers and coworkers so no struggle was too big.

Summer after sophomore year was a struggle. I stayed on campus and worked part time as a DA, but I needed another job to supplement my income.mi searched for about a month without luck. Finally I found a retail job downtown. I went into the job with no real experience and expecting the worst, but I ended up having a fun time, learning a bit about sales, and building up a great wardrobe.

It was especially fun when my friends came in to try cloths on!Last summer, I took an unpaid internship in New York City working with the Department of Homeless Services. If you ever get a chance to be poor in New York, take it. I haven’t had that much fun being broke ever! Summer in the city was magical. The internship itself…ehhh…but the experience helped me grow and mature.

This summer, I’m trying to stay in New Orleans. I’m reaching out to friends, family, old bosses, etc. to figure out somewhere to work. I’m honest about my skills, open about potential job placements, and willing to work odd hours. I’m confident something will come through! Y’all, the options are limitless. But don’t let the infinite possibilities weigh you down. Get started now- summer is coming sooner than you think!

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I would like to take this moment to thank every music teacher I’ve ever had.

I was thankful before, you know. My music teachers have been awesome. They’ve opened up doors for me, helped me become so much more comfortable with myself, and, at times, even served as somewhat of a makeshift therapist for me. Music teachers are awesome. I remember Ms. Ward in first grade, who taught us to sing our songs for the Thanksgiving and Christmas pageants in grade school. I remember Mrs. Gaines, who would tell us stories about what it would be like to perform in an opera with a tenor singing in her ear (complete with pretty accurate actions to go along with everything) and then teach us all how to do Irish dances (and all of us did them, even the boys, which is a pretty big deal in middle school). I remember Mr. Wood, who has always been somewhat of a personal cheerleader for me. Music opened up doors for me that weren’t necessarily related to jobs or careers, but they were related to my self-confidence and the way I viewed myself as a person.

The reason I feel so thankful right now is that I’ve lived and hung out with a bunch of music majors for the past few years at Loyola, and I can’t help but admire their passion and work ethic. I watch them go to bed late at night and get up early in the morning so that they can get in a few more minutes of piano practice. I watch them do their theory homework, which makes almost no sense to me. I watch them practice conducting–everywhere. While watching TV. While brushing their teeth. In the middle of conversations.

And then I watch them perform. And they are magnificent.

I realize that Ms. Ward and Mr. Wood and all my music teachers were like them, once. They essentially spent a significant portion of their higher education in training to help silly and awkward kids like me feel good about themselves. So I thank them. And I thank my music friends, because watching them conduct while talking to me is hilarious and distracting and it just gives me hope about life in general. Even if they don’t realize it, they teach me new things everyday.

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Loyola is the only Jesuit University to have a College of Music rather than a department or school. This speaks to the music culture and possibilities available in our colorful city of New Orleans. New Orleans has many opportunities for students to showcase their talent within the city, but this one of the opportunities students have to demonstrate their hard work at Loyola—recitals.

I don’t have a musical bone in my body, but I have a lot of respect for the hard work the music majors put in, (and it seems as if they work during all hours of the night– this alone deserve applause! )  As a Mass Communication major, I spend many hours in the Mass Communication/ Music Complex, and I continually hear music majors practicing and perfecting their music.

The senior and junior recitals allow the Loyola community to come together, enjoy, and celebrate the great entertainment and musical ability that students choose to showcase to their peers and in a unique setting.

I have seen a multitude of advertisements and flyers around campus regarding these events. From funny pictures to professional poses, I am intrigued to learn more about these recitals through the advertisements. Musicians have a keen eye to sell their work, and an advertisement is a way to visually depict their talent.

A few approaching recitals include:

The Trinity Junior recital Beau Autin, Jessica Mixon, and Thomas Lin on Thursday at 7:30p.m.

Victoria LaFitte on Sunday April 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Also many other music events will be taking place in the month of April at Loyola University New Orleans including:

On April 13, Loyola Symphony Orchestra with Concerto Competition Winners at 7:30 p.m. in Roussel Hall

On April 20, Loyola Concert Band at 3  p.m. in Roussel Hall

On April 21, Loyola Jazz Band at 3 p.m. in Roussel Hall

On April 21, Loyola University Chamber Singers at 7:30 p.m. in Holy Name of Jesus Church

 

What has your favorite senior or junior recital been?

 

 

 

 

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