Fall semester is behind us and spring semester is in full swing as Loyola students hit the brick wall that is midterms. This January, the city experienced a nine-day period without the warmth of the biggest star in the galaxy, so we all could use some rays of good news to look forward to in our lives.
The first two months of 2020 seemed like an entire year in and of themselves, but the good news is spring break is right around the corner. It came faster than we all expected, so that means the seemingly longest months of the year went by faster than we thought. Whether your plans include clearing out the Disney+ catalogue while staying in bed all day with a cup of hot chocolate and bag of Doritos or going on a 16-hour road trip to sunny, palm tree-covered Florida, it’s going to be a good week of much needed rest and relaxation.
St. Patrick’s Day
McDonald’s has resurrected the classic Shamrock Shake, an indication we are once again approaching St. Patrick’s Day. Chicago hosts a parade to celebrate this cultural and religious holiday. Depending on the weather, the city is usually bombarded by the suburban youths as the smell of pot fills the air and everyone lines the streets with drinks in their hands. There are all sorts of events throughout the Chicago area from bar crawls to the river being dyed a bright green. This iconic event comes just in time to soothe our spring break withdrawals.
March 5 to 8, the Loyola men’s basketball team is headed to St. Louis for the Missouri Valley Conference — better known as Arch Madness. As of publication, the Ramblers would be in position for the No. 2 seed out of 10 teams at the tournament and have a chance to make some noise in their second conference tournament since that magical Final Four run in 2018.
In the Midwest, there are more than four seasons. Winter transitions into first spring, then back to second winter. From second winter, we’re visited by the spring of deception, which only lasts about a week before going into third winter. Once the weather becomes more consistent, Chicagoans are quick to take advantage. The first 60 degree day on campus is a sigh of relief for Loyolans. We all struggle to get through class but when class is held outside, it’s astronomically more enjoyable. After months of cold and snow, the decision to even go to class is an easier one to make.
Baseball fans, rejoice. Opening Day is one month away, meaning you won’t have to wait much longer to see baseball on your TV during the day — unless you don’t have the Cubs’ news network, then you’ll have to listen to the radio. You’ll also be able to go to the stadium and, if you’re of age, grab a beer with your friends.
On New Year’s Day, Illinois potheads celebrated the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state. However, the party is not over yet. April 20 is known in cannabis culture as 420, a holiday celebrating the substance that has psychological effects on users. Expect a heavy fog to roll into the homes of celebrators indulging themselves with the recreational drug. For those who are interested in partaking in 420 festivities and are 21 and older, expect marijuana dispensaries to have a limited supply of reefer. Just remember to use it responsibly.
Also for those who are 21 and older, Chicago is spotted with bars that have outdoor seating and allow its patrons to enjoy a drink with the wind blowing in their hair or on their scalp. Some of The Phoenix’s over-21ers favorite bars with outdoor patios are The Plymouth (417 S. Dearborn St.) and The J. Parker (1816 N. Clark St.). Don’t fret if you don’t know those two, though. Chicago is home to other restaurants and bars that also have outdoor patios. Take advantage of a warm day and you’ll stumble upon a good one.
For those of us who are lucky — or unlucky — enough to be seniors, we have some added reasons for excitement. Not only is commencement a monumental day in all our lives, but Loyola does a great job of planning other events to honor the occasion. From a Cubs game to a bar crawl to a Lake Michigan cruise and more, seniors have more opportunities than they may realize to celebrate themselves, and rightfully so. Take this chance to ignore the stress of the unknown and simply be proud of yourselves for finishing your degree. It’s quite the accomplishment.
The point is, not all our problems will be solved by taking time to think about the good things on the upcoming agenda. But in the midst of what seems like all-encompassing stress, it’s important to focus on these upcoming gems.