- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Biology
- Gender: F
- High School: Harry D. Jacobs High School
- Transfer Student: N
One of the best things about Loyola is the opportunity to live on two different campuses. Loyola has this really nice shuttle bus service that usually runs every fifteen minutes taking you from the Lakeshore Campus in Rogers Park to a few blocks off Michigan Avenue in Downtown Chicago. One of the greatest ezperiences I have had and probably will ever have is the opportunity to live Downtown as a sophomore. The dorm rooms are apartment style and just amazing. Whether you live on Lakeshore Campus or Downtown, it is so easy to commute between the two and there will always be something to do. Loyola's campus is also beautiful. We are literally right on Lake Michigan. In my freshmen year dorm room, my view was from the Penthouse floor of my building overlooking the lake. The sunsets could not be more pretty. It was great. We also have a brand new building called the Information Commons that is eco-friendly and literally feet away from the lake. It is almost entirely made of glass and you can sit on sofas, use the computers, and relax while looking at the lake. You can even nap..I've done it a few times. Loyola also has its own train stop on the CTA redline, virtually making anything around you accesible. Loyola encourages exploring the city by including a CTA Upass in the tuition. It really comes in handly whether you want to travel north to Evanston for some great food, or go to Belmont for some new posters. Pretty much all of Chicago is your playground. Usually when I tell people I go to Loyola, I get the "Oh, that's so nice! Loyola is a great school." And it ends just about there. I think it has to do with people know it is a private school, assume it is extremely expensive and must be worth something. I think one thing I would change is Loyola's scholarships. In the past, scholarships were merit-based, and if you didn't get the highest one right away, with a good GPA in college, you were eligible for an upgrade. They changed it my freshman year that in order to be eligible for an upgrade, it needed to be need-based. For those people that may have counted on upgrading their scholarship, it kind of sucks their policy changed in the middle of their academic career. Also, we don't have the biggest school pride on campus. We have basketball games which can be fun, but I definitely miss football games like the ones in high school. The biggest recent controvery on campus was the Anti-Racist Movement. Apparently the security guards were racial profiling and a group of students got together to speak against it and protest in a march across campus. As far as I know, our President handled it very well, wanted to hear everything anyone had to say, and was working on resolving the issue.
Maybe I'm really nerdy in saying this, but I personally love Loyola more for the academic aspect than the social aspect. For the most part, I have had outstanding teachers that really have passion for what they do. They really push you to learn and have no problem helping you along the way. I have been taught by TA's in lab, but they are some of the nicest people you will meet. I guess to help prove I'm a nerd, I spend most of my time on campus in the library. You will find a lot of people there. In my situation as a pre-med student, I have to study all the time, but you realize that everyone else you see studying there with you is most likely in your classes studying for the same thing. Professors usually want to learn your name. Some take your pictures in order for them to quickly correlate name to face. In some classes, like big lectures, it is just impossible for your teacher to know you by name unless you make the effort to make yourself known. If you just attend lectures and do the basic things you have to do, you'll just be another butt in the seat that gets credit for attendance. I think my favorite class has been Women in Literature. I did not expect to like this class at all because in high school, I wasn't the biggest fan of English (I'm a science kid), and I didn't really know what to expect since it was centralized around women. I ended up loving the class because the discussions were great- intellectual, relevant to the course while still applicable to everyday life. This class got me into my minors, "Women and Gender Studies," and "English". Although it seems annoying, Loyola has a CORE curriculum you must complete along with your intended major. These classes consist of two history, two theology, one ethics, two philosophy, two english, two science, and one math course to make you a well-rounded student. Some classes also "double-dip" by counting for two subjects. For example, taking the course "Ethics" fulfills your ethics requirement while also counting as a philosophy core. Although it seems like a lot of work, it's worth it. You learn so much outside of what you want to focus on. In my case, I had no idea I would enjoy women's studies and english classes so much they became my minor. With biology, the major of everyone and their mother that is pre-health, I would say students are pretty competitive. But, I think that's how it would be at any school you looked at where the students are pre-health. In the fields of pharmacy, medicine, optometry, and so on, you have to be to try to secure your spot in professional school. The competition isn't horrible though. You pretty much find that people are in the same boat you are, they want to do well, and they don't mind helping people along the way. Mostly everyone I know in my classes are really friendly and willing to help anyone that needs it. I personally don't spend a lot of time with professors outside of the class. I just started going to office hours my sophomore year because I pretty much like to do things on my own. That's my own mistake though because for those people that are pre-health, letters of recommendation are extremely important, expecially from a science professor, and not making that effort for your teacher to know you better may harm you in the future.
I really don't think any student would feel out of place at Loyola. We really have such a diverse group of people. If I had to pick four tables of students in the dining hall, I would say they would be the Asian students, the pre-health studnets, the business students, and the athletes. Mostly everyone fits into one of these categories. I only say the Asian students have their own table because one of my close friends is really involved with the Asian clubs and they are a really close network of friends. You either think it's really cool or kind of awkward. I'm one of those people that finds it pretty cool. And there is definitely interaction between these categories. Loyola has a high percentage of students that commute, so a lot of people are from Illinois and the suburbs. There are also a lot of people from different states. I always wonder why students from California choose to leave the warm sun to experience the dreery midwest weather. I think "diverse" is again the right word to chose when it comes to explaining Loyola student's political actions. As far as I know, we have a pretty active Democrat and Repuclican group, each invitiing several speakers to represent their party.
The Best Things
Being in Chicago
The Worst Things
No football team