Save your class absences, you’ll need them later on in the semester.
It can be tempting to use your absences right away but we promise it’s in your best interest to save those for an actual rainy day. Coming into the semester fresh after break, you have about two months before most of your brain cells have given up on you.
Don’t be a lounge lizard.
If you have access to a perfectly usable dorm room that costs a lot of money then on behalf of the rest of us who might need a quiet place to study, socialize and sleep in your own dorm and don’t loiter in residence hall lounges. Some of you will probably understand — if you don’t, then you’re probably a lounge lizard.
Take advantage of the CTA.
There’s nothing worse than sitting at a standstill on Lake Shore Drive during rush hour. Loyola didn’t provide us U-Passes for nothing. Take the train early in the morning and in the evening to avoid these delays when you’re hurrying to classes on Lake Shore Campus and Water Tower Campus. Also, take advantage of the 147 bus — it’s very efficient, runs right through campus and can drop some students off very close to their apartments.
Your 8-RIDE isn’t coming. Don’t bother.
Need to get across campus at one in the morning? 8-RIDE is Loyola’s equivalent to Uber. The similarity is you can schedule to get picked up at a location on campus. The difference is there’s no guarantee you’ll actually get picked up — The Phoenix reported major issues with the service last year, leaving many students feeling abandoned. Instead, we recommend finding other safe ways to get around the neighborhood. Walk with a friend, call someone if you feel unsafe, stick to well-lit paths and trust your instincts.
Take care of yourself.
Take a shower. Get immunized. Wash your sheets. Get STD tested. Get a flu shot. College gets busy, but don’t forget these things. Walking to urgent care on Sheridan Road in a parka with a 105-degree fever isn’t fun. Also, if you drink a little too much, make sure to chug some water and eat some toast before you go to bed.
Perform a following cleanse on social media after your first year.
Go through and delete the people you met your first year who impulsively added you on Snapchat and Instagram. If you don’t do this, you’ll have a newsfeed full of strangers who were too eager to meet people at orientation.
Figure out how crosswalks work and impress people by walking just before the sign changes.
Don’t be a “normie” and walk when the sign tells you to. You’re now a veteran city dweller who has learned the system. Shave a few seconds off your commute by timing your walk across the street just as the oncoming traffic light turns red. If you’re really pushing it, jay-walk across North Sheridan Road. We dare you. Don’t just follow the person in front of you — Chicago drivers are determined to make those three-second yellow lights.
Don’t worry. No one else in your tier-one philosophy class knows what’s going on either.
What’s something that math, journalism, nursing and accounting majors have in common? They are all clueless to what’s going on in most of their core classes. You probably don’t know anyone in your class, but if you ever talked to someone else there then they’re probably just as lost as you are.
Pop your head into Sr. Jean’s Damen 123 office every once in a while.
Loyola’s 100-year-old beloved nun sits there all day with her door open. She’s told The Phoenix she does that because she wants students to pop in and talk to her. Her wisdom and hilarity will brighten up your day.
During the warmer months, spend some time studying or reading in front of the lake.
When it’s not polar vortexing outside, the best green space to hang out is on the hill behind the Crown Center for the Humanities. There’s nothing better than the lake view and the sound of waves crashing on the rocks. Bonus points if you bring a hammock.
Dunkin’ Happy Hour iced coffee will save you on hard days.
In the words of former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka, “Coffee is the lifeblood that fuels the dreams of champions.” Dunkin’ Happy Hour from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. offers unbeatable discounts and has saved our lives many times during the hardest parts of the semester. Vanilla iced coffees are the elixir of life.
Get comfortable with being alone and spending quality time with yourself – just not in the lounge.
Mental health is essential for getting through these four years. College is strange because there are constantly people around you, yet it can be a very lonely time. Learn to spend time with yourself and enjoy it. Between classes and socializing, the moments when you find yourself alone in your dorm can hit you hard. Use this as an opportunity to find out what you like and don’t like and practice self-care. Get comfortable with yourself.
Get a unique-colored coat.
Everyone and their mother in Chicago has a black coat. If you want to make life easier, purchase a unique color so you don’t lose it in the coat room at a random party on North Lakewood Avenue with the rest of the black coats.
Pet dogs around campus.
Hug Loyola’s therapy dog Ashlar during his weekly visits to the Damen Student Center. Also say hello to Bella — the giant, furry Newfoundland that wades in waterfall outside the Loyola Information Commons.
Come in with an open mind — and keep it that way all four years.
College is a place where you meet people from various backgrounds and you will meet people with beliefs that are different from your own. Whether in class or on the quad, be respectful of others’ views and engage in a conversation. Loyola is a great place to expand your horizons.