DeBlogs > Megan Thall
Every year at DePaul my belongings seem to multiply. Freshman year everything was able to fit in my Dad’s Jeep. Moving out Senior year – let’s just say it took some strategic thinking and a few car loads. If you choose to live on campus all four years you’ll likely go from a compact residence hall room to an apartment with your own living room and kitchen. Many of the items I've accumulated such as pots and artwork I'll use into adulthood - but I had a lot of clothes that I wasn't in need of anymore. Here's a few spots near the Lincoln Park campus to donate your used items and give back to the community:
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. I’m sure this was a favorite spot among many of us as kids. If you’ve already done the classics – Mt. Olympus Waterpark, the Ducks boat ride, and the upside down museum – I’d encourage you to dig a little deeper. Have you ever tried kayaking, photography, or Geocaching? The Dells are a great area for outdoor exploration. If you’re looking for a less touristy area, check out Mirror Lake, just make sure to bring your gym shoes and sunscreen!
Monticello, Indiana. Home of the Indiana Beach Amusement Park for the last 90 years! For $36.99 (cheaper than Six Flags!) you get all day access to 9 roller coasters, 22 classic amusement rides, and the water park. There’s even an arcade, beach swimming area, and a boat tour for those looking for extra attractions. Thinking about making your day trip into a full weekend? Indiana Beach has plenty of cottages, cabins, and camping options.
Tip #1: Be Prepared with Your Tool Kit
Try to purchase the basics - cough drops, pain reliever, cold medicine, tissues, and a replacement tooth brush before or soon after moving to campus. If you wake up sick on a cold snowy day, the last thing you’re going to want to do is get out of bed and go to the Student Center or CVS. I’d also recommend picking your own thermometer. It’s important to be able to track your own temperature and call your doctor if you see it reach above 103 F (Mayo Clinic).
Tip #2: Make a Doctors Appointment
Living in Chicago there are a variety of top notch networks of doctors such as Northwestern, Rush, University of Chicago, and Illinois Masonic to choose from. When making an appointment, first ask if the doctor will accept your form of health insurance. To be seen sooner, ask if you can come for a walk in appointment the following morning. Many offices are willing to see last minute patients first thing in the morning, because they won’t already be bogged down with patients. If you have preexisting conditions or want to be a doctor’s office pro, ask what Integrated Healthcare System the office uses. You’ll find that many doctors and hospitals use what’s called “Epic”. There’s a good chance that your doctor back home and your doctor at school will use the same software – if they do, they should be able to access your medical records electronically! For me, this is extremely helpful because I have a mild heart condition. It saves both myself and the doctor time when it comes to understanding my medical history and increases accuracy.
Tip #3: Know how to seek emergency medical attention
If your symptoms become intolerable or you get that feeling that something isn’t right, you’ll likely need to consider a trip to the emergency room. Illinois Masonic Hospital is the closest hospital to the Lincoln Park campus. In non-life threatening emergencies, DePaul’s Public Safety team will drive you to and from the hospital no matter the time of day. Unfortunately, this was a DePaul service I had to use for the first time last Monday night. The warm cheery vibe the officer gave off was something I was incredibly thankful for at 3:30am.
Tip #4: Notify your professors
If you go to the doctor or the emergency room, be sure to ask for a note for school. You can use this documentation of your illness to complete an Absence Notification through the Dean of Students Office. Although this process doesn’t excuse you from class or assignments, it notifies your professor of a personal or medical emergency, and is a good way to initiate the conversation about what work you might be able to make up.
Tip #5: Clean your space!
As soon as you’re feeling us to it, deep clean your space. Vacuum the rugs, wash your bedding (in DePaul’s FREE laundry machines and dryers), scrub your reusable water bottle, clean all surfaces, and don’t forget to sanitize all of the door handles and light switches in your room or apartment. The key to any contagious illness is to limit its ability to spread. Take Care DePaul!
Tuesday night Residence Hall Council (RHC) hosted its annual D-Factor Finale. D-Factor is DePaul’s premiere talent show where students compete for their chance to win a $250 Amazon gift card. Before making it to the finale there are open auditions in which all DePaul students can submit a video of their talent – any talent! Over the past for years we’ve seen everything from singers and dancers to hula hoopers, beat boxers, and whistlers. I’m always amazed by the secret talents DePaul students have been keeping under wraps, which is what makes choosing the finalists so difficult.
For 2016’s D-Factor Finale we were able to feature nine finalists: Kelsey Miles, Ryan Salmon, Aurora Lawrie, Katriel Hampton-King, Patrick Sarmiento, Andrew Stembaugh, Thalis Karatsolis, Donyae Lewis, and Dylan Fisher. The competition started out fierce as Andrew opened the show with a break dancing routine. Receiving honorable mention for the judges for keeping his glasses on his face the entire performance, the audience knew they were in for both talent performances by our contestants and comedic remarks from our judges. As per tradition, professional staff members from Housing Services and Residential Education serve as judges for the event. This year we were graced by the funny remarks of Residence Directors Dan and Megan, Assistant Residence Director Chastity, and Facility Area Coordinator Taylore. RHC is always thankful for the support we receive from both Residential Education and Housing Services!
As Residence Hall Council (RHC) President I was incredibly proud of the many groups of Hall Senators who hosted events the week of Halloween. Highlights included caramel apple making, scary movies, pumpkin decorating, and costume contests. Seeing new DePaul students take the reins on planning events for their peers really speaks to the community you’re a part of when you live on campus.
To the right you’ll see our fantastic Corcoran Senators, Jesse and Anna, at the start of their Halloween event. Residents participating in the costume contest won college essentials, and all were welcome to enjoy pizza, play Mario Kart, and watch Hocus Pocus. Jesse and Anna show a great amount of commitment to making their residents feel like their hall is their home. I'm incredibly thankful that they are on RHC! Look out for them next year around campus!
If you’re planning on commuting to campus or living in your own apartment next year, don’t worry! Other organizations like DePaul Activities Board, Transfer Student Union, and Catholic Campus Ministries hold events that are open to the entire student body as well. Some exciting activities the last few weeks have included a Halloween themed grocery bingo night, tick-or-treating food drive, and a trip to a corn maze!
DePaul’s Loop Campus is located in the heart of Chicago at State Street and Jackson Boulevard. To move between campuses students can take either the Brown or Red Line. Although the Brown Line may have more scenic views, the Red Line stops between Fullerton and Jackson make their way through some tasty Chicago favorites that are sure to please any college student!
Sprinkles Cupcakes originally started in
Beverly Hills before the Food Network famous Candace Nelson opened a location in Chicago. Known for their 25 rotating flavors and Cupcake ATM,
Sprinkles is also dedicated to serving the communities of their locations. Since 2005, Sprinkles has donated $7 million
in cash and cupcakes to organizations. My recommendation is the Red Velvet,
which even comes in sugar free, gluten free, and vegan varieties.
Grand Stop: Pinkberry
Chicago has many frozen yogurt chains, but I’ve yet to find one that tops Pinkberry. My favorite is the original, a more refreshing version of traditional vanilla, with strawberries and Nutella. Before you head over be sure to download the Pinkberry app that serves as a punch card and your ticket to free froyo on your birthday!
Lake Stop: Magnolia Bakery
One of my best friends is from New York, so I originally stopped into Magnolia to pick up some dessert to further our great Chicago vs. NYC debate. This time folks, NYC wins hands down! Magnolia’s vanilla buttercream can only be described by the word 'perfect', so be sure to pick up a slice of cake the next time you’re in the loop!
Munroe Stop: Pret A Manger
First, Pret A Manger is located inside of Target, so you already know it’s going to be a great place. Second, their croissants are great and baked fresh throughout the day. This quick serve spot is a definite step up from the snack bar in most suburban Targets, so you can even grab a healthy lunch before class at a reasonable price if you want to take a break from your meal plan.
Jackson Stop: Garrett Popcorn
There’s no better way to get to know Chicago than the Garrett Mix! Cheese and caramel popcorn are mixed together in the same bag to create a sweet and savory snack. Just be sure to grab a few napkins before you head out to avoid cheesy fingers!
From O’Hare: Blue Line (O’Hare to Clark/Lake), then transfer to the Brown Line (Clark/Lake to Fullerton). This route takes about an hour.
From Midway: Orange Line (Midway to Roosevelt), then transfer to the Red Line (Roosevelt to Fullerton). This route takes about 50 minutes.