With move-in over and the class of 2019 beginning to adjust to the shock of newfound independence, upperclassmen, like myself, can’t help but realize how many opportunities they passed up during their freshmen years. Luckily, The Phoenix has compiled a list of must-dos for first-year students — or in other words, all of the things I wish I had done my freshman year at Loyola.
The Department of Fine and Performing Arts puts on plays every semester, and ticket prices to mainstage performances at the Newhart Family Theatre are as low as $6 for students. Theater students spend a large part of the semester rehearsing, and they often put on productions worthy of a full audience. Plays are such an easy way to get involved and do something different on a school night (or weekend). So while theater may not be your thing, give productions such as Lend Me a Tenor, which begins Sept. 25, a chance. Who knows? You might even enjoy it. The older I get, the more I realize I could have taken advantage of so many different experiences.
Take advantage of free fitness classes offered at Halas
The fall 2015 group fitness schedule is now available on the Halas website. Classes available to students include Zumba, yoga, pilates, spin, abs and Synergy 360. Class descriptions are also available on the group fitness website. Many undergrads don’t realize how convenient it is to have a full-scale gym at their disposal. The Halas workout facilities are included in your tuition. Why not make use of a resource you’re already paying for — and get fit while you’re at it. Contemplating gym or yoga studio memberships off campus may sound enticing, but we have newly renovated facilities right at our fingertips. I’m only now sweating the fact that it took me this long to take advantage of free spin classes (pun intended).
Read the flyers posted around campus
Those papers posted all around Damen on cork boards and beams that block our walkway aren’t just there for decoration — they actually have some useful information printed on them. Attend a forum, hear an on-campus speaker or go to a poetry slam. Many of these events are free and hosted by student groups on campus. There are many opportunities to become immersed in life on and off campus; you just need to know where to look.
Watch a free movie in the Damen Cinema
Free movies play in Damen every Wednesday and Friday. Past movies shown include social commentaries such as Dear White People (2014) and comedies such as Horrible Bosses 2 (2014). Signs are posted on boards around Damen, and admission is free (so is the popcorn). For nights when freezing off-campus excursions don’t seem so pleasant, Damen movies are the nearest (and probably warmest) way to spend a night out.
Go on an Alternative Break Immersion
Campus Ministry sponsors Alternative Break Immersions (ABIs), which give students a chance to go on service trips across the Americas. For a small fee — ranging from $75 to $1,000 — you can travel to places such as Jamaica, Mexico, Guatemala, Maryland and South Dakota. You have the chance to work on an immigration farm, aid schools on Indian reservations or help the homeless in California. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.
One of the best things about Loyola is how many opportunities it provides to travel abroad. ABIs are fun, small-group trips that give you the chance to immerse yourself in a different culture and setting. The best part? You can go on as many trips as you’d like — as long as you pass the interview — and continue exploring yourself and the world around you.