I remember the first time riding the L and looking at the train line map like it was in a foreign language. I thought to myself, “how could I remember all these stops’ names and where I was?” Just as any newcomer to the CTA, hearing the “doors closing” sent my class and me into a frantic rush into the train since everyone was afraid not to get left outside the cart and removed from the group. Then came the day when the professor let us get back to campus on our own after an excursion to one of Wright’s houses. It was that time when I had the first moment of actually exploring the city as a local, unrestrained of guidance and freedom to go anywhere I want. At the time I did not know where I was or how far from campus I had ventured with a small group of classmates, but now I realize it was Belmont since it was when I was introduced to Cheesie’s Pub & Grill.
For the rest of that quarter, I continued my explorer mentality and getting acclimated to the new lifestyle that is college. I would say I miss that feeling of being a newcomer, full of curiosity and awe from the new wave of experiences that were to come.
While the bus is my savior when it comes to traveling to and from the Sheridan station, I ride the buses for more than just commuting to class. Since the train station is about five blocks west, bus #36 travels north and south on Broadway, a street lined heavily with restaurants and grocery stores. Timing the buses is sort of an art, however, one that requires experience with the CTA system. To this day I still am not quite sure how many minutes it takes from one train stop to the other, so I often will miss the bus that’ll pick you up at the train stations. The best way to track both trains and buses is the Transit Stop app. Although the Maps app that comes with IOS does provide bus arrival times, since I started using this platform about three weeks ago I had multiple instances where the Maps app provided wrong information. Such an instance was telling me a bus was arriving in three minutes but it turned out to be twenty-five minutes instead. So ultimately, what I am trying to hint at is that there is no need to waste money on Uber or Lyft, but instead, take advantage of the CTA system in which DePaul provides .
On the other hand, choosing to attend DePaul, or stay for that matter, solely based on the premise it is located in Chicago does not by any means constitute a valid reason to study here. Truth be told, I think it is the field experience - in terms of jobs and internships - that separates DePaul from most universities. I see firsthand the dedication of studying in honors programs, declaring multiple majors, working a job as a full-time student (whether it be on or off campus) and attaining internships before graduation; all to which typical DePaul students will have the luxury of accomplishing as opposed to those of a state school. I see old high school classmates in their state universities partying and tailgating, to which I must admit seems so fun, you know that stereotypical college experience. But, it is no wonder as to why parties are the dominant theme; they don’t have some of the world’s most renowned cultural institutions, corporate employers, and recreational parks in their backyard. There is a reason why Chicago is the first destination they flock to when summer break comes around.
Well it happened. I will soon have to say goodbye to my Centennial apartment. After trying to get a two-person studio amidst the mad rush of applying for on-campus housing, I was not fortunate enough to snag a place at Centennial
, or anywhere for the matter. So, where do I go now?
I have now accepted the fact I will have to live off campus next year, and I am perfectly okay with that. However, I am not sure about the whole process. I do remember a workshop within EDGE Program that pertained to finding apartments, but I threw away all of the sheets and notes I was given.
Luckily, DePaul does offer guidance when it comes to searching for off-campus housing and not just on-campus. In fact, there is a website committed to just this reason. At this link
, there is an interactive experience dedicated to finding that special place to call home. The listings here are rich with details, but can be a tad bit pricey. There is also apartments.com
to expand your options.
As for myself, I have just begun the process. I’ll come back to this subject once, or if, I find an apartment for the next few years.
When you receive your bill for your quarterly tuition, you’re being charged for eighteen credit hours every time. Yet, most students only enroll for sixteen credit hours a quarter. Why? They may find five classes to be too overwhelming, or simply because they don’t know that there are courses worth less than four credit hours.
I did not know until recently that there are one and three credit hour classes. Regardless of that, some majors have at least a few two credit requirements. What I am getting at is that there are ways to fulfill eighteen credit hours every quarter and not doing so in a burdensome way.
After getting those two credit courses that are required out of the way it leaves you with freedom to explore subjects that outside of your major or even college. As an accounting major I was required to complete a professional business writing course as well as a career management class for accountants. With no other requirements to look towards I was able to search for some unconventional courses for a business student. I currently am taking a two credit course in the history of jazz
because I wanted to take a break from the formalities of business courses.
Some classes that intrigue me are the “PE” classes that are held at Lincoln Park’s Ray Meyer Center. These include basketball, volleyball, golf, or even actual fitness classes like weightlifting and conditioning. Imagine that, playing and studying a sport that you enjoy for credit. By fulfilling the full eighteen credits each quarter you increase your cumulated credit hours that slowly brings you closer to graduation. As a requirement for the Certified Public Accountant exam
, I am obligated to complete one hundred and fifty hours, and each additional two credit hour class brings me nearer. So, before you decide to burn the money that goes toward those two credits, take a look into different areas of study and see if there anything that interests you.
Being a private university, it comes as no surprise that DePaul has a higher tuition rate. Despite that, I chose DePaul because it was actually cheaper than my state school preferences after all the scholarships and grants they offered me. There are more scholarships out there other than what DePaul has to offer upfront when you’re an incoming freshman. In fact, there are scholarships that don’t even necessarily apply to your major and you can still be eligible. All scholarships, through DePaul and off campus funding can be found at DePaul’s Scholarship Connect.
Once you are a DePaul student the first step would be to visit DePaul’s scholarship website
. Here you will sign in with your usual Campus Connect username and password, and will be directed to the main page. This will show you all your active or submitted scholarship applications. In order to view what applications are currently open, go to the “Opportunities” and choose between “Ours” for DePaul scholarships or “External” for such. Also, there is a “Recommended” tab that will show a list of scholarships that are though to be your most compatible according to your major. If there is any that applies to your major, I recommend filling out a general application, which is one application that makes you eligible for multiple scholarships.
And if you’re curious about who funds your scholarships, there is a “Donors” tab to read a short biography of your donor and the history of your scholarship. So, at least visit the Scholarship Connect site because any money that goes toward your tuition is always welcomed.
Unless you’re a commuter, local, or just fortunate enough to have your place, you more than likely spent your first year of DePaul living on-campus. Although some look to the dorm life as a burden, I look to living on campus as an advantage more than anything else. As a sophomore living at the on-campus apartment of Centennial Hall
, I deeply enjoy all the spoils that come with my time staying within DePaul.
Whether it was Seton Hall freshman year, or Centennial my second, it is really nice to be in the vicinity of nearly everything DePaul. If I want to work out at the Ray, eat at the Student Center, study at the library, attend Lincoln Park classes, or hop on the train, it is all within a short walking distance. For most that live off campus, it is a pain to have to get on the train or bus to go nearly anywhere. And with all that is available on campus, I find it much easier to get involved and active. As I have seen with some friends that live off campus, they’ll at times say they don’t want to do some things, like play basketball at the Ray
, because it’s too far.
Another great benefit of living on-campus that many people overlook is the quality of the rooming. As a freshman with anything from one to three roommates (such as myself) it can be difficult to appreciate the conditions you’re living in. In Seton we took pride in our high ceilings and walk-in closets. Now, I was lucky enough to get a two-person studio apartment at Centennial. My roommate and I are spoiled with our own bathroom, two closets, fully equipped kitchen, free laundry, and individually controlled air conditioning. I’ve been to a couple of apartments in Wrigleyville
and none have compared to the spaces at Centennial.