There’s no question Loyola is different this year. No one is cramming into the Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts elevators, nabbing extra cookies from Damen Dining or getting blown over in a wind tunnel on the walk to class.
Mertz Residence Hall is dark, missing the gaggles of first-years who usually scale its 19 floors to reach their converted triples. The few first-years who arrived on campus this spring are staying in mostly single occupancy rooms with private bathrooms and participated in a two-week mandatory quarantine. Even now, they’re required to follow guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on Loyola’s campuses.
Although campus looks different for good reasons, it’s hard not to mourn the typical Loyola routine so many of us had the privilege of falling into. The Phoenix Editorial Board looks back on some common experiences of attending Loyola in a “regular” year:
Wiping out on a patch of ice as you speed walk to the other side of campus to make it to your 8 a.m. class during a snow storm.
Hearing the Intercampus Shuttle driver shout “MOVE BACK” even though you’re already in the back of the shuttle squished between business majors like a sardine.
The embarrassment of your sneeze echoing in Cudahy Library’s Donovan Reading Room — dubbed the Harry Potter Room — and having everyone around give you death glares as you blow your nose.
Seeing Ashlar the therapy dog walking through the Damen Student Center, wagging his tail and giving out stress-relieving licks.
Bopping your head to the daily music of choice in the Damen Student Center, whether it be Disney hits or Kendrick Lamar.
Waiting 45 minutes for an 8-Ride outside of spots like Raising Cane’s in the middle of the night.
Trying to hide how out of breath you are and casually wiping your sweat after climbing eight floors to get to your Mundelein class because the elevators are broken.
Experiencing the fear of being stuck inside one of the consistently broken Mundelein elevators.
Loyola Dining worker Fran calling students “super baby” on Wing Wednesday at Simpson Dining Hall.
Pretending not to see your friend tabling for their organization in Damen because you don’t want to stop.
Carrying a moldy shower caddy and wearing your seventh-grade flip-flops down your dorm hallway every time you want to take a shower.
Getting overly excited about building tiny Rambler stuffed animals with a bunch of other first-years you’ll never end up speaking to after Welcome Week.
Congregating under a heater in sub-zero temperatures with your friends while waiting on the CTA Red Line to head out on the town.
Confronting your messy, annoying roommate for leaving clothes everywhere and stealing your snacks.
Skipping a class only because you aren’t in the mood to suit up in your winter gear.
Flacos Tacos Margarita Mondays for those 21 and up. Need we say more?
Waiting in an obnoxiously long line so you can get a front-row seat at a Loyola men’s basketball game.
Feeling your heart stop when the RA on duty knocks on your door because you and your friends are playing music too loudly after quiet hours.
Stopping to talk to the random person who is walking their dog on campus just so you can pet the dog and then obsess about it later.
These are just a few of the true Loyola experiences, and while we miss them, we’re excited for a new generation of Ramblers to carry them on once campus life returns.