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DePaul

Selfie
One day I was eating lunch with two friends of mine, when one of them decided to begin talking about our university. We talked about sports, academics, resources, etc. Afterward I mentioned that I love DePaul. My friend responded, “Of course you [me] do, you’re like Mr. DePaul.” I laughed because I had never heard anyone refer to me as that. “Mr. DePaul” it has a nice ring to it, but I believe there are others much more worthy of the title.

The conversation did get me thinking about my time here as a Blue Demon (I’m always thinking about it but a little more than usual this time). A story I haven’t shared with many is that the first time I actually visited DePaul was not on a designated visit day or scheduled tour, but as an 8th grader with my older sister. She was the first Blue Demon in our family and one night she brought me along to the Lincoln Park Campus and showed me all the cool things DePaul had to offer. I didn’t immediately think to myself that I would want to attend DePaul I just enjoyed the informal tour. What really stood out to me were the people and the life on campus. I forget exactly what time in the evening it was that we visited, regardless there were students all over the place doing all sorts of things.

Josue
The next DePaul adventure I had after that was with a high school friend. We were both sophomores and found ourselves on Fullerton and Sheffield one slow, summer day. Unintentionally walking to the Student Center, I convinced my friend to come inside and walk around with me. I told him I knew where everything was at because I had been there with my sister (funny story I didn’t know where anything was because I had been there with my sister and she guided me). Though we didn’t do much but walk around, I once again found myself with eyes wide open and enjoying the atmosphere I was immersed in. Some students rushed by on their way to class while others lounged with a group. There were all types of stories happening right in front of me and I loved it. Though this was my second informal trip to DePaul, I still did not immediately think I would be attending this institution.

It wasn’t until senior year when I began looking at other universities to see where I would spend my next four years. I looked and visited other place but couldn’t ever find that vibe elsewhere. DePaul wasn’t the priority on my mind but there was an indirect relationship that had been built since my 8th grade year. The people, the campus, the stories, and more are what brought me here. I couldn’t imagine how different my life would be had I not been a Blue Demon. With that being said, I continue to look forward as graduation inches closer and closer, knowing that I will always look back and know I made the right decision by coming to DePaul.

Thank you for reading my blog, and as always, stay awesome friends!

Why I Love DePaul

It’s pretty clear that I love DePaul. If I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t have stayed at DePaul to get my master’s. I could have bounced right after the first four years and never looked back. Why didn’t I? Because DePaul has become a second home to me.

To be honest, the major reason I chose DePaul is because I wanted to be in Chicago. First and foremost, despite growing up in a town of less than 10,000, I always knew that I wanted to go to school in a big city. Plus, like I wrote about a few months ago, most of my extended family lives in the suburbs, so I was never completely on my own. And because it’s Chicago, there are always so many ways for me to get home to Wisconsin whenever I want. Most significantly, I had the best memories of taking trips to Chicago to see musicals with my dad, so being in the city had a lot of nostalgia for me.

Willy
Look at all the school spirit I had at my high school graduation party way back in the day.
Being in Chicago brings with it a lot of opportunities and possibilities. Because I chose to do the Discover Chicago program, I spent my first week at DePaul running around Chicago, examining issues of criminal justice. We sent books to women in prison, met with prison reform advocates, and toured the Chicago History Museum. And that kind of unique hands-on interaction really made a lasting impression on me. Professors construct assignments based on the opportunities here in Chicago; I’ve had to go to Spanish cultural activities, observe labor demonstrations, visit memorials, and go to film festivals for various classes. It’s a deeper way of learning that I really appreciate.

And most importantly, I’ve just had really good experiences with professors at DePaul. Just a few days ago, I was talking to one of my past professors (who is also one of the members of my thesis committee), and we were laughing about how I feel the need to list all of the ways that she’s changed my life every time I write her an email. But it’s totally true. My professors have pushed me to expect so much more from myself and for myself. When I first came to DePaul, my only goal was to graduate within four years. That was it. But my professors made me realize I had the potential to do so much more. Four and a half years after starting at DePaul, I just returned from a DePaul-funded research trip to Madrid and I’m finishing up my master’s in International Studies. It’s a no-brainer for me to say that I chose the right university.

Why I Chose DePaul

​Around this time last year, I was in the process of making the seemingly impossible decision regarding where I would go to school in the fall. There are so many reasons that I had for choosing to come to DePaul that I’ve decided that the best way to share them is by making a list:

1. Location, location, location! DePaul is centrally located in one of the most exciting cities in the country for a college student to live and study in. Chicago offers so much to do and see that sometimes it can even be overwhelming. Coming from a small town in rural Ohio, this was really important for me, and I wanted to ensure that I was choosing a place that would be able to offer me a wide range of opportunities. You definitely won’t get that at a state school in the middle of nowhere.

2. The truthfulness to the cheesy slogan, “The city is your campus.” While this line was probably repeated endlessly on your visit to DePaul, it’s completely accurate. With an unlimited CTA pass at your disposal that allows you to ride all the trains and buses throughout the city, you could potentially explore the entirety of Chicago and its surrounding neighborhoods during your time here. From heading downtown for class to simply taking the train over to Wicker Park to indulge in some late night tacos, the easy-to-navigate and convenient CTA system connects you with the city in numerous ways.

DePaul
3. Depaul’s emphasis on service. Another key slogan that is often repeated at DePaul is “What must be done?” These four words are integral to DePaul’s mission because they reflect how dedicated the DePaul students and faculty are to helping communities around them in whatever capacity they are able to. Through service-learning classes, service trips that are offered over winter and spring breaks, service-oriented clubs, designated community service days, etc., DePaul makes it possible for you to get involved however you want to. This combination of activities was really appealing to me because I’ve always wanted to get more involved in my community, and throughout my freshman year I have only become more impressed with the extensive amount of service work that DePaul offers and encourages each student to take advantage of.

4. How many interesting majors are offered. When I entered college I had no idea what I wanted to major in, so it put me at ease knowing how many diverse majors DePaul offers. For example, it’s one of the few schools in the country that has a Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies major, which was a huge draw for me seeing as I picked it up as my minor. Even if you don’t have a clue what you’re doing, DePaul has so many resources and opportunities for you that it will only be a matter of time until you’ve figured it out.

5. The feeling I felt when I stepped onto campus for the first time. In the end, this is what made my decision for me. When I arrived for my visit, DePaul completely blew me away. After walking through the Quad (I did not realize a city school could have such a beautiful Quad!), hearing from students, and exploring the neighborhood, I subconsciously started picturing my life here, and it was surprisingly effortless. It’s so easy to feel at home on campus, and this feeling only grew when I attended orientation and eventually moved in.

DePaul truly has become my home away from home, and the decision to come here was one of the best I have ever made. Now that I have experienced what it’s like to be a student here, I can’t imagine living anywhere else for such an exciting time in my life. I hope this insight into how I made my decision helps you to make yours!

Why I Chose DePaul

DePaul
I chose DePaul because of their film program.

Because of internship and job opportunities in the future.

Because it was close to home but not too close that I’d be there all the time.

I chose DePaul because I went to school in Canada my freshman year and desperately missed the city.

Because it’s a diverse school and I wanted to get away from the same-ness of my hometown and high school.

Because I desperately wanted to fast forward to the life phase where you live in the city with all your good friends above a coffee shop and skip work to sit on a big orange couch all day, and this was the next best things to living the “Friends” life.

I chose DePaul because it mixed city school life (Loop campus) with college campus feel (Lincoln Park).

Because if you’re a film major you take classes at Cinespace.

Because they had an LA program where you spent a quarter out there with an internship and taking classes (too bad I switched majors to Journalism halfway through my college career).

Because they have a large number of transfer students each year so I knew I’d feel welcomed.

Because they easily transferred my credits, even though they were coming from another country and being changed from the semester system to the quarter system (I mean how awesome is that?!)

Because they have a number of housing options, from dorms to on-campus apartments to 1237 West.

I chose DePaul because I never want to leave this city.

Why I Chose to Become a Blue Demon

DePaul
 
When it came to that time of deciding which college I would attend, it was not an easy choice. Besides DePaul, I had applied to Marquette, Saint Louis University, Northern Illinois University, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My final two contenders ended up being DePaul and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but there are many reasons as to why I chose DePaul above all else. 

First off, I wanted stay in-state and close to home so that I could visit family with ease. With DePaul being nestled in Chicago, I never have to drive. I just take the CTA to one of the few train stations that’ll lead me straight home. U of I does have a small train station, but I would’ve had to buy a car down there in order to get around the city. Whereas at DePaul, everything is in walking distance or accessible through train or bus. I also was considering my major in my decision. U of I has one the top accounting programs in the country, so needless to say I wanted to be a part of that. However, DePaul’s business school is nothing to overlook. Then, upon admission into the Strobel Accountancy Honors Program and the University Honors Program, in addition to the fact that DePaul’s class sizes are relatively small to huge lecture halls, I knew that I would receive more challenging and engaging coursework at DePaul.

One of the most prominent reasons I chose DePaul over U of I was with regards to financial aid. Down in Urbana-Champaign I was offered zero dollars. With DePaul, I received the Presidential Scholarship, accounting scholarship, a grant, and the exclusive EDGE award. Despite only covering a little over half of the total $52,000 cost of attending DePaul with on-campus housing, it was still cheaper than that state school.

These days I do wonder what could have been if I chose somewhere else rather than DePaul, but after only one year of attending, there is no way I could transfer out because DePaul’s roots in Chicago are just too appealing. 

Why I Chose DePaul

As an out of state student, I've gotten asked why I chose DePaul more times than I can count. For me it was honestly a no brainer. Between the location, the academics, and the opportunities DePaul is able to give students, it was the perfect fit. Despite committing to DePaul being an easy decision for me, I know the stress the entire college application process puts on a student. After the countless admission essays, college tours, and weighing the costs of different schools, I was more than excited to finally make my decision when May 1st came around. Here are some of the top reasons why I chose DePaul.  

Academics: Even before I graduated high school I knew I wanted to study public relations. When looking up PR programs while I was applying to colleges, I continued to stumble upon DePaul’s program. Through research I was also able to find that PRWeek recognized DePaul as one of the top five PR schools in the U.S. three years in a row. Despite the fact I knew what I wanted to major in long before I my first day of college, I know tons of students go into college undecided on what major they might choose. The great part about DePaul is they literally have a major for everybody. Even though I was fairly certain I would stick with PR, I could rest easy knowing if I wanted to switch majors, I had a ton of options to choose from. 

Choosing DePaul
Location: I grew up on the seacoast of New Hampshire in a pretty tiny town. And needless to say, I was eager to move to a big city for college. Boston was too close, LA too far, and New York too big, which made Chicago the perfect fit. The past three years I've spent living in Chicago has been such an amazing experience. There are tons of great foods to eat, shows to see, and festivals to visit. Not only is it a fantastic city to explore, but the career opportunities that can be found throughout the city was something that immediately drew me to DePaul. When I first toured here and heard that many students get real life experience through internships around the city I was beyond excited.   

Campus life: Campus life is also a huge factor that made me choose DePaul in the long run. This includes everything from Vincentian service opportunities, on campus groups and clubs, and study abroad opportunities. While at DePaul I've been apart of tons of different community service projects across the city, joined clubs, and even spent a semester studying abroad in Budapest​. I remember when I first toured DePaul and it seemed like nearly every student was doing something they loved outside of class hours. No matter what interests you, there is a group here on campus that would be a perfect fit.


A Secret to Scholarships

Scholarships
 
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.

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.

The Next Phase of My Thesis

Previously, on the “Willy is Getting His Master’s” show, I was a mess. I mean, you can read that blog and tell I was a mess. Not much has changed in that regard, but I am in a completely different place in the thesis process now, which is VERY EXCITING. I’ve been working on thesis research for a long, long, long time. Like, at least a year and a half now. In that time, I’ve read so much on my topic and my topic has gone through so many revisions. 

For the past few months, I’ve been slowly putting together my thesis proposal, which essentially outlines my argument, some preliminary research, and the general outline of my thesis. Right at the end of Fall Quarter, I decided to sort of shift my topic and take a different approach. I threw out most of the work that I had done up until that point and started anew. Well, this week, I successfully defended my thesis proposal! WOOHOO! This means I can finally get started on actually writing my thesis. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m so excited to finally be done with the proposal.
 
MPSA
I’m almost as proud of this picture as I am of the picture of me auditioning for American Idol back in the day. 
On a similar note, one day back in October, I got an email from the International Studies department that the following day was the deadline for applications to present at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference. I was pretty sure that I had no interest in presenting, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to apply anyways. Sure enough, I got accepted! Despite my initial apathy, and despite now being incredibly nervous and intimidated, I’m officially registered to present at the Conference in April! I have no clue what the preparation process for presenting will look like, but I will definitely keep you all in the loop! 

Discover vs. Explore Chicago

Awesome. So you’ve made it to the portion of your Orientation sign up where it asks you to select a Discover or Explore class. Follow these steps to ensure an informed and successful decision about your first class at DePaul.

Step One: Breathe. You’re going to take roughly 48 classes during your time here at DePaul, today you’re choosing just one of them. Any class you choose from the options listed will fulfill the same Chicago Quarter Liberal Studies requirement. ​

Step Two: Know the difference between these three terms: Discover Chicago, Explore Chicago, and Chicago Quarter. Discover Chicago includes immersion week. Since immersion week starts the week before classes, you’ll step five days focusing on just one class – which leaves plenty of time for class led excursions and discovery of Chicago. Once regular fall classes begin, your Discover class will meet once a week for 2.5 hours during the first eight weeks. Explore Chicago begins with regular fall quarter classes. Your class will meet a total of 4 hours a week for all ten weeks. You’ll still have plenty of time to explore Chicago, but your excursions will be spread throughout the quarter. Chicago Quarter is simply the overarching name of the program that includes both Discover and Explore Chicago classes.

Step Three: Decide which type of course is best for you. I recommend Discover if you’re looking for the opportunity to meet new people and are new to living in a big city. If you’re living on campus, you’ll have an early move-in to your residence hall – for no extra charge! You’ll have access to your meal plan early as well. If you’re commuting to campus, keep in mind that Immersion week days can start early and go late. You’ll be need to make arrangements to and from campus. On the other hand, I’d recommend Explore for anyone who’d rather start classes in September, has a less flexible schedule, or wants to get in extra hours at a summer job before starting school full time.

Step Four: Look through the course options here and choose your top five. 

Step Five: Sign up as soon as possible through Campus Connect as some classes fill up faster than others. Make sure you’ve completed your placement exams at least 24 hours prior! If you have difficulty signing up contact New Student and Family Engagement at (773)325-7360. 


What’s Premiere DePaul?

Attention incoming first year students! Orientation sign up is now open! During your time on Campus Connect you’ll be selecting both your Premiere DePaul Orientation dates, and more excitingly, the first academic class you will take at DePaul University (see my next blog for more info). You might be feeling some butterflies and stress, but reading the below Q&A will hopefully lessen those feelings!​
At Premiere DePaul you'll have an Orientation Leader to show you the ins and outs of DePaul

What’s the difference between Orientation and Premiere DePaul? All students go through some sort of Orientation; as in incoming first year student your Orientation is called Premiere DePaul.

Do I have to attend Premiere DePaul? It’s not that you have to attend, you GET to attend!

Do we sleep at DePaul overnight? Yes – in the infamous Munroe Hall! Unless you are not living on campus next year and plan to attend Premiere DePaul Session 12 or 13. If you have extenuating circumstances, email orientation@depaul.edu.

Should my parents or supporters come to Premiere DePaul? Bring them along! There’s a two-day guest program that runs along side the student program. You’ll have the opportunity to see your guests at meals and a few conjoined sessions.

Is Premiere DePaul boring? NO WAY! In addition to meeting new people and scheduling your first quarter classes; three meals are provided, there’s two tours of campus, a theatre performance, and friendly competitions at the Ray Meyer Fitness Center that always begin with a dance party!

Speaking of food, what if I have allergies or dietary restrictions? When you sign up for Premiere DePaul, make sure you list any accommodations you’ll need during the program. Someone from the Orientation team will follow up with you if they need more information. If you forgot to list your accommodations when signing up, you can email orientation@depaul.edu.

Do I have to pay for Premiere DePaul? There is a fee, but it will be assigned to your student account. The money is not due when you come to Orientation, instead it will be added to your Fall Quarter tuition bill.

Will there be time to explore Chicago? The Premiere DePaul schedule is jammed packed with DePaul campus events. Don’t worry! The exploration of Chicago is coming – check out my next blog on Discover and Explore Chicago for more info! 


Admitted Students Weekend

When spring rolls around students all over the country are going through the same thing: making college decisions. The acceptance letters are in, the financial aid packages have arrived, and now there is one thing left to do: CHOOSE. While I am now in my junior year of my undergraduate career, I remember this time of year vividly, my senior year of high school trying to choose the right college to attend. I've briefly mentioned some of my experience choosing a school, but there is an event coming up at The Theatre School that is has got this on my mind. That event is Admitted Students Weekend. I remember as a high schooler going on countless college tours, reading endless pamphlets, and surfing around too many college websites. Sometimes these would be an overload of too much information, and sometimes not enough information, but the tours and pamphlets and websites don't always let you know what the student experience is really like at a college or university. Enter Admitted Students Weekend. I remember once I had received my acceptance letter to DePaul, I was beyond excited. But I had a big choice to make whether to attend DePaul, which had been my first choice at the time, or choose one of the many other options I had. A big thing to consider is fit - do I think I can fit here? Will I get not only the education I desire, but also the student experience I want? 

The Theatre School at DePaul hosts an awesome event to allow students to get a taste of just that. Students who have been accepted into one of the many different degree programs at TTS are invited in April to come to campus for Admitted students Weekend. This is a 2 to 3 day event where students who have been admitted get to truly experience the student life of people with their major. These prospective students get to spend the night in the dorms with current students with their same major, seeing for themselves what it is like to live on campus. They get to watch classes attended by current students to see what they are learning, and get to attend a demo class themselves to try out some of the work. This is a chance to meet some of the other students who may attend, meet current students, ask questions and feel the energy of the school. There are panels with current students and panels with alumni, answering any questions, addressing concerns, and sharing their own experiences. 

As a girl from the Pacific Northwest, who had never really been to Chicago other than to tour the schools, it was important to me to know more before making a huge decision to move all the way across the country. Also I knew that the other school I had visited really didn't feel right to me. In April of 2013, I got an invitation to attend Admitted Students Weekend, to come see what it is like to be an Acting Major​ at DePaul. I can honestly say that it is one of the best decisions that I made. With some objections from my parents, I found a way to get a ticket to Chicago to visit for the weekend. When I got here, I got to tour the school (this was not the beautiful 73 million dollar facility we have now), meet the students, ask questions and get a feel for it myself. I really had to ask myself, based on what I have seen and heard here, could I see myself here? I think that is a CRUCIAL question to ask yourself when picking a school. There are many factors to think about, for me they were location, cost, curriculum, diversity, and more. To be honest, cost was a huge one for me, coming from a single parent home. But to be even more honest, it was important to me to put the cost aside and ask myself is this where I see myself for the next 4 years? For me, the answer was yes. I loved the idea of conservatory style training paired with a well-rounded liberal arts education. I loved the idea of being in Chicago. I loved what I saw as a collaborative environment with committed students and artists. I loved the values DePaul has regarding service to our community and using the city as your classroom. These appealed to me greatly. 

I just received an email today saying that this coming weekend is Admitted Students Weekend at TTS, and to be on the lookout for ways to make the students feel welcome, and help them with their decision. It is crazy to me to be on the other end of the experience this time around, as I have the last few years. I am so grateful that DePaul hosted a weekend like this, as it really helped me make one of the biggest decisions in my life. My advice to anyone currently making their own college decision is to definitely attend any event offered such as the one I have just mentioned. But if you have only experienced the tours, and the photos and paragraphs that are scattered across the website, really ask yourself, "Can I see myself here? Will I get what I want out of my education and my experience?" Answer honestly, and go with your gut. Everything else will work itself out. 

This is a very exciting time of year, and I am very excited to see who decides to become a Blue Demon next fall. 

Congrats, Accepted Students!

​​​Congratulations accepted students! Decisions for the DePaul School of Music​ have finally been sent out and we all are anxiously waiting to see who decides to join our community in the fall. Choosing a college and enrolling is extremely exciting – but it can also be overwhelming! As an employee of the music admissions office, I thought I’d give you few tips to ease your transition into DePaul (plus some reasons why you should choose us!)

1. Do your research before making a decision.

What is the mission of the college? What academic resources will you have access to? What kinds of clubs are available? Will there be internship opportunities? What are the perks of being a student at DePaul? Where is the campus? What are the facilities like? What are the college’s strengths and weaknesses? Can you study abroad?

Check out these amazing DePaul resources: The Writing Center​, Career Center​, Ray Meyer Fitness Center​, University Counseling​, DePaul Central​, Financial Fitness Program​, Study Abroad Program​

2. Music students only: Relax, You’re guaranteed on-campus housing!

All incoming undergraduate music students are guaranteed on-campus housing​. What does this mean? As long as you get your housing paperwork in on time, you will not be turned away or put on a wait list. Keep in mind that you are not required to live on campus – though we do suggest it for your first year at DePaul! Field trips, free food and new friends? who wouldn't want to live on campus.

3. Sit in on classes, take a tour and pick a current student’s brain.

The Music School is currently offering 1:30pm info sessions and tours​ Monday-Friday, but we are more than happy to arrange custom visits to show you why DePaul is the place to be! Want to see a music theory class, intro to music education or orchestra rehearsal? How about a tour of our new and improved practice rooms? Call or email the music admissions​ office to set up a visit.

4. Join the Official DePaul University Class of 2020 Facebook page.

You’ll be able to ask questions and get to know other admitted students! DePaul organizations often post useful information about housing, orientation​ and exciting events designed just for you. Also “like” the DePaul School of Music page for updates about current students, construction and fun facts!

Choosing a university can be really challenging with high attendance costs and (potentially) leaving home for the first time. I hope that you will consider DePaul for your next educational journey! As always, you can contact the music admissions office with any questions or concerns – you might even get me on the phone! DePaul is a great place to be, and I think you will agree.


Financing Your Education

I submitted my FAFSA for 2016-2017 last month, it is the LAST time applying for financial aid in my undergraduate career!  Looking at the cost of attendance, and what kind of aid I’m eligible for has got this topic on the brain, and I thought I’d share my thoughts with you all.

Everyone knows college is expensive. This is true at any institution of higher learning. And without sugar coating anything- it is true at DePaul. While I can only speak from my own experience, when I was applying to college, cost and financial aid were of upmost importance. While it had always been my dream to attend a great private school, one with a fantastic arts program and career opportunities, the price tag often made it seems like my dream college was out of reach.  DePaul had always been my first choice school, but the cost was overwhelming. To my good fortune, DePaul is also one of the schools I applied to that offers the most scholarship and financial aid to its students, and in my 3 years has continually tried to help me pay for my education.

When paying for your higher education, whether at DePaul or elsewhere, it is important to cover all your bases, and know what resources you have available to you.

1) FAFSA - this is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is an application that all students must fill out before being offered any kind of aid. This form is for the government, and schools use it to determine how much aid you will be offered. When I was in high school, there was a rumor that FAFSA was just money they give to students. NOT TRUE. FAFSA is simply a way of measuring your “need” to see if you are eligible for government funding grants and loans that will be paid to your school.  Remember loans are the ones you have to pay back!

2) Know what kind of scholarships and grants your school offers. DePaul offers a MULTITUDE. In fact a great majority of students at DePaul receive scholarships and other aid to cover costs of tuition, housing, and more. Be in communication with the financial aid department of your school.  There are ALL kinds of scholarships available, from academic to talent, to even ones based on service. Weighing what is available against cost of attendance is a great way to measure if a school is affordable to you.

3) Know there are outside scholarships available. I have spent many hours of my life applying for outside scholarships, and believe me there are tons out there! I am fortunate to currently have a scholarship from the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which gives me scholarship dollars to supplement the aid I get from DePaul. There are scholarship search engines that help you find ones based on the criteria you specify! The internet is a glorious thing for finding help paying for college.

4) On campus jobs and work-study. Many schools, including DePaul, offer on campus jobs, and work study jobs that you can apply for to help get some extra cash or cover educational costs.

The key is really about being strategic, being thorough, and knowing for yourself what is doable. I knew coming to college that I wanted to keep my debt to an absolute minimum. Weigh your options! Paying for college is hard, but luckily I have been adamant about knowing the resources available to me, and DePaul is one of the most helpful institutions I know! I will graduate with an arts degree from a great private catholic school, with minimal debt! That’s absolutely something to be grateful for.

 

Check out these links to learn about Financial Aid and scholarships to finance your degree!

 FAFSA - The Government Website can be found here​

 DePaul Financial Aid Department info located here​

 There are many scholarship search engines out there. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Fastweb​

Cappex  ​

Scholarships.com ​

And of course there is always good old fashioned Google! 


Honors Program: What Actually Is It?

​​​​​​ANNOUNCEMENT (and update to my previous blog​): If you haven’t heard, DePaul Activities Board​ has announced that We The Kings​ will be playing at Polarpalooza​ this year!

It’s crazy to think about how my time as an undergraduate is coming to a close. Last quarter, I completed the last of the requirements for my Spanish major. After next quarter, I will have finished my International Studies major and will be registered as a graduate student at DePaul​. Right now, though, I’m taking my final Honors class.

No matter what you study at DePaul (during your undergraduate career, at least), you will have to take some series of liberal arts classes to fulfill your degree requirements. For most students, this requirement takes the form of the Liberal Studies Program​. For other students, the Honors Program​ replaces the Liberal Studies Program. I know when I was applying for the Honors Program, I really had no clue what it was. And now even as a senior, I still meet students who have never heard about the Honors Program and know nothing about it. With the deadline for Honors Program applications approaching quickly (March 2nd, in case you were wondering), I thought this would be a great time to talk about how the Honors Program differs from the Liberal Studies Program.

The Liberal Studies Program is comprised of two parts: the Common Core​ and the Learning Domains​. The Common Core is a series of 7-8 classes that all students in the program have to take, including the Chicago Quarter​ class, the Focal Point Seminar​, and the Sophomore Seminar on Multiculturalism. The Learning Domains, on the other hand, are extremely broad categories. Each student must take at least one class (depending on your major) from each of the six Learning Domains. Each Learning Domain can be fulfilled by taking one of ~100 eligible electives​.

A genuinely embarrassing throwback photo from freshman year. Here I am with the incomparable Steph Wade at an Honors event.

The Honors Program is designed for students who want an extra academic challenge. In particular, the Honors classes really emphasize writing and critical analysis. That being said, participation in the Honors Program severely limits your course options. While Honors students similarly have to meet the same Common Core and Learning Domain requirements as Liberal Studies students, Honors students are generally limited to the courses offered by the Honors department. For instance, while Liberal Studies students can choose from a list of over 100 courses​ to fulfill the Arts and Literature requirement, Honors students take HON101: World Literature​ (to be fair, the content of which can vary with the professor). While I’ve heard of one or two people that really didn’t like the limited options, I can say in all honesty that I’ve been genuinely satisfied with almost every class I’ve taken in the Honors Program.

In addition to your transcript reading “Honors Program Graduate,” the Honors Program offers a ton of perks​. Seriously, I tell everyone to apply to the Honors Program for one main reason: priority registration. At DePaul, freshmen get last choice for signing up for classes. By the end of registration week, a lot of classes are already full. As an Honors student, you have first choice for signing up for classes, even before seniors. It’s amazing (and a good way to make sure you always get the schedule you want). Beyond that, the Honors classes are never more than 20 students. Never. I have four years worth of emails from the Honors advisors reminding students not to waste their time asking professors to make an exception for them. Because the program is relatively small, you end up seeing a lot of familiar faces in your classes. And if you want even more of a familial atmosphere, the Honors Program has its own floor​ in Seton Hall​.

The Honors Program may not be right for everyone, but I recommend it to anyone who thinks it might be right for them.​ Check out their website​ and apply soon!


Auditioning for DePaul

One of the toughest aspects of wanting to attend music school is the audition process. For those of you who aren’t musicians or don’t plan to apply to music school, auditions are short, live performances that perspective music students must play for an audience of instrument-specific teachers. For example, when I applied to DePaul I had to perform the first movement of a famous Bassoon concerto​ and some scales for two bassoon faculty members here on campus. Though academics are still important for getting accepted, the audition often becomes more important in the decision process.​​​​

What you might be thinking now is, ‘why are you bringing this up right now?’ ​ DePaul School of Music​ audition season is right around the corner! Starting the first weekend in February, musicians from all over the country will be here throughout the month (only on the weekends!) to audition for a spot in the undergraduate and graduate classes for the fall of 2016. It’s an exciting time, but for all those students auditioning it is probably equally or more of a nerve-wracking time. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some information and tips for auditioning at DePaul.​

Regardless of major, everyone MUST audition!

It’s important to remember that all of our majors in the school of music require an audition. Are you interested in Sound Recording Technology​ or Performing Arts Management​? You are also required to audition! Even if you are not a performance major, you will be required to take lessons and participate in ensembles​. You can check out the audition requirements for each instrument here​. Not feeling the performance aspect? DePaul School of Music is now offering three different minors that do not require an audition: Music Business​, Music Recording​ and Music Studies​. These can be declared once you’re already a DePaul student, so don’t worry about it until your first quarter.

Take the audition, and then make a day out of it!

During the audition weekends, current DePaul students will be offering music school and campus tours for perspective students and parents – do it! Not only will you get another look at all DePaul has to offer, you’ll get to talk to a current student about his or her experiences here. You’ll also be able to attend an information session with the director of admissions​ to get a recap on degree requirements​ and financial aid​. Lastly, DePaul is surrounded by delicious restaurants and fun things to do – check out the Lincoln Park Zoo​ or see a Chicago Symphony​ performance. Get a taste of what it’ll be like to go to school here.

Perhaps most importantly, be prepared for your audition.

Your entrance audition is your chance to show the DePaul faculty just how talented you are, so be prepared! At this point, you should be practicing every day for at least a couple of hours. Play your audition materials for anyone who will listen. Record yourself all the time. Take lessons with different teachers (even better – take lessons at the schools you are applying to!). The audition plays a huge role in decisions about admission and financial aid, so make sure you are putting your best foot forward.

Lastly, if you have questions, please ask!

During the audition weekends, DePaul hires current students to help make sure things run smoothly – don’t be afraid to ask them questions! Have a question about a program? Ask. Don’t know where to go for lunch? Ask. All of our students are eager to help and share their experiences, so take advantage of it. You can also email the admissions office at musicadmissions@depaul.edu​ if you have application or scheduling questions.

I wish you all luck during the upcoming audition season – and for those of you not auditioning, perhaps send some good vibes to anyone you know who might be. The audition process may seem, and quite honestly IS, daunting, but it’s all worth it for the chance to pursue your passion – it was for me!


MAP Grants

It is no secret that the cost of higher education is absurd. Luckily, there are many scholarship programs and grants at DePaul that can help students cover the costs. Education is truly an investment and it’s promising to see that our university is dedicated to helping students attend DePaul.

Outside of DePaul, the Monetary Award Program (MAP) provides grants to Illinois students that demonstrate financial need. These grants do not need to be repaid and many DePaul students rely on them to attend our university.


DePaul Computer Screens

Unfortunately, the state of Illinois has not passed an annual budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, meaning that MAP grants are up in the air. 


While this situation is scary for many students who rely on the MAP grant, we as students can have our voices heard. Student Government Association and our school’s president Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider have been encouraging students to contact our state representatives and governor’s office to urge them to fund MAP now. 


If you believe in giving students financial help to attend college, I also encourage you to call.

​• Governor Bruce Rauner’s office may be reached by calling: (312) 814-2121 or (217) 782-0244. You may also leave a comment on his website here​.

• Using your zip code, you may find your state representative and his or her office phone number h​ere​.

I have already made some calls and plan to continue to do so. Every call counts and it’s important to have your voice heard. 


Spread the word and make a difference! 


Top Five Lincoln Park Lunch Spots

With admission processes in high gear and the beautiful fall weather Chicago has been having recently now is definitely the time to visit​ DePaul’s campus! When I first visited DePaul I chose to do the Admission Information Session and Lincoln Park Tour back to back. These programs generally run 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm on the weekdays, as well as Saturday mornings. Before or after your tour be sure to check out one of Lincoln Park’s award winning restaurants.  Below you’ll find my top five lunch spots within walking distance of campus.

​5th Place: Uncle Sammy’s​

Named ‘One of the Six Serious Sandwich Shops of Chicago’ by Time Out magazine, Uncle Sammy’s is a great soup and sandwich shop located below the 1237 West student apartments. I recommend roast beef, ham, and provolone cheese on freshly baked bread, also known as the ‘Windy City’. Another must is Uncle Sammy’s Ghirardelli brownies. They’re the perfect dessert to save for your trip home!

4th Place: Jam 'n Honey​

Calling all Nutella fans! You’re college decision will easily be made once you see Jam & Honey’s Nutella jars on every table! Serving breakfast all day, you can’t go wrong with the Banana Nut French Toast or Eggs Benedict. You’ll just want to remember to stop at the ATM before heading to this cash only restaurant.

Third Place: State​

State (at the corner of Webster and Bissell) takes sports and food to the next level! 80% of ingredients are locally produced before they are prepared in State’s full scratch kitchen and served to your table surrounded by 124 flat screen TV’s.  On Wednesday through Fridays State has different specials that bring many menu items down to just $5.99 or $6.99 each, including their signature Buffalo Skillet Dip and Signature Rock Shrimp.

Second Place: Homeslice​

Just across the street from State is Homeslice. Their 31 types of pizza (Yes 31, that is not a typo!) are perfect for groups of two, four, or even more! Can’t decide which pie to try? Calzones are also an option! I recommend the Smoked Ham & Avocado - it’s a new twist on a time old classic. Homeslice also offers whole grain crusts and gluten free options to please all pizza lovers. 

First Place: Pasta Palazzo​

Locateat Halsted and Armitage, Pasta Palazzo offers classic Italian cuisine with reasonable prices.  The grilled calamari appetizer in lemon-herb vinaigrette offers a refreshing twist to traditional fried calamari. Next I’d suggest the handmade gnocchi with your choice of sauce. After these two dishes your room for dessert may be limited, but if you’re up for the challenge you won’t regret the tiramisu!​ 


Visitng DePaul

​​​​​Hello, again friends! 

As some of you may know Fall Visit Day​ is almost upon us!  While I myself never got to attend a Fall Visit Day when I was applying for college, I highly recommend visiting any college you are interested in, including DePaul University! Scheduled visit days and other campus tours are an excellent way to get to see a school, learn what it is like, and get your many burning questions answered. When I was in high school, I went on about a million campus tours of various colleges and universities (at the insistence of my parents, ha!) and I can honestly say it is well worth the time and effort it takes to make it happen. 

For those who are not as familiar with Fall Visit Day, or what happens during a campus visit, let me lay it down a little for you. Visit Days and campus tours are a way to introduce prospective students and their families to the college or university they may be interested in. It is essentially a time when prospective students can learn about the unique qualities of that institution, view the campus, speak to admissions staff, and ask those questions that we all have when searching for the right school. Here at DePaul, fall visit day is a great way to tour campus, learn about admissions, housing, dining services, resources on campus, ask questions to current students or alumni about their experience at DePaul, and find answers to anything you have been wondering about. It is a fantastic way to sample what DePaul has to offer, and fall is the best time to do it, when the weather is nice, classes are in full swing and you can get the real experience. 
This is a picture of me, the summer before my senior year of high school. The new Theatre School​ building was still under construction!

While I mentioned before that I had not been to Fall Visit Day, when I was applying to college, I was able to take a campus tour during the summer. When looking for colleges I knew that I was very interested in coming to Chicago, and applied to a few schools here in the city. I was lucky enough to be able to take a trip out here to visit them, and that was the first time I was able to visit DePaul. There was an informational session about DePaul, it’s mission and values, a guided tour of the campus and facilities, and I even had a meeting with someone in admission of The Theatre School. It was nice to be able to see where I would potentially be eating, studying, working out, having classes, and learning about what makes this school unique. While summer worked out for me, I wish that I could have visited for the first time while school was in session. It is nice to get a sense of the vibe on campus, and see the facilities in use. I didn’t get to see the dorms, or see the students, which was something I was looking for. Fall Visit Day is the perfect time to check out what the school has to offer. 

My few tips if visiting a college are:

1) Plan ahead and check the weather- you may be walking around in unfamiliar surroundings and varying weather, so wear the right shoes, bring that umbrella, and be prepared. 

2) Do not be afraid to ask questions! Asking questions is a great way to learn! Big or small, it’s okay to ask about anything from tuition to laundry! No question is stupid. 

3) Write it down: if there is something you want to ask or want to see, write it down so you don’t forget when you are there. Also, if you are like me, and visit many schools, take notes of how you felt on campus and the answers you got so you can refer back to them later. 

To learn more or register for Fall Visit Day, visit the DePaul Website:


What Really Matters Through the College Decision Process

​​​​​I grew up in a town where the question was never, “Are you going to college?” but instead, “Where are you going to college”. With this you probably won’t be surprised when I tell you the first time I took the SAT – yes the real SAT – was in 6th grade.  I spent most of middle school obsessing over the Ivy Leagues, as I wanted nothing else but to be Rory from Gilmore Girls. However, in high school I learned that if you want to be a teacher it makes the most sense to go to college in the same state where you eventually want to teach.  So I traded my east coast Rory Gilmore dream for collegeboard.org​

Out of all the schools I applied to I was serious about three of them. DePaul was the only school out of my top three where housing wasn’t guaranteed to first year students, so we put down both the tuition and housing deposits early on just in case. It’s pretty obvious now that, to my parents liking, those three hundred nonrefundable dollars certainly did not go to waste! 

Even with the deposits down I didn’t end up making my official college decision until April of my senior year. One of my Student Council advisors, Mrs. Manheim, was the one who helped me make that final choice. We were in the car on the way to a district board meeting when she had me list the pros and cons of each university. I remember sitting there and telling her, “and DePaul’s version of student council is called Residence Hall Council​, RHC for short. They have a website and everything. I’ve already read their whole constitution. They elect three senators from each hall, and one day if I’m President I’ll get to spend the whole summer on campus just planning RHC stuff”. Continuing to drive she said, “I think you should go to DePaul, but it looks like you’ve already made up your mind”. It was there ladies and gentleman that deep down in my heart I found my answer. 

The sixth grade SAT studying me knew that academics were important, and the twelfth grade me knew that student activities ranked in at a close second. The best advice I can give anyone heading into the admissions process is that picking the right school involves more than just looking at the fast facts. Do your research about everything else the campus has to offer, and most importantly trust your gut. No matter what you’re never going to know what exactly the future has in store. After all, three and a half years from now you might be the one who just wrapped up their summer “planning for the next year of RHC."

FALLing for DePaul

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it!” --Yogi Berra

As an indecisive person who has trouble simply getting dressed in the morning and choosing between waffles and cereal for breakfast, picking a college was the ultimate stressor. With thousands of choices in thousands of places, it’s insane that high school students are expected to choose their home and possible career path for the next four(ish) years of their lives.

Choosing DePaul for me has been one of the best life decisions I’ve made thus far, but I didn’t fall for DePaul during my first visit. Taking your typical college road trip, my family and I packed up our lives during Spring Break of my junior year and rode on down to the good ol’ South.

Yes, the South. Visiting North Carolina State, University of South Carolina, Clemson, and University of Georgia, I thought that destiny was calling my name where the weather was warm and I could always get a tan.
But I was so wrong.

I spent the summer researching schools and applying to colleges. If you’re at this point of life, best of luck to you. The process is more than daunting. With personal essays and ACT or SAT scores, the second-guessing can be overwhelming.

As the summer sun turned to shorter fall days, the admissions process progressed and I started to hear back from schools. I flipped coins and begged my advisors and teachers to tell me what school I should go to, keeping DePaul in the back of my mind and the Southern schools in the forefront.

I let my senior year progress without thinking about college until about April when the deadline to commit was fast approaching. At this point in my decision-making process, it came down to DePaul and University of South Carolina.

South Carolina was a beautiful campus. The tour I had went on a year ago was still very memorable, the traditions and school spirit at the college were very apparent, and the scholarships I had received topped DePaul by a significant amount.

DePaul was beautiful, but in a different way. The city landscape was unique to every other college I had seen and the lack of football team gave the campus an independent vibe. I liked how close to home I would be in Chicago and how accessible the city was.

I decided to give DePaul one last visit before I made up my mind. I met with one of the Honors Program​ Directors who gave me a personal, inside perspective on the university. She taught me about DePaul’s offerings, culture, and community, and suddenly, I was sold.

I knew in that instant DePaul was where I was meant to be.

The city will always be my home and I can’t imagine being on any other type of campus. I like the independence and the anonymity that Chicago provides.

If you’re stuck choosing a college, I encourage you to get in contact with a staff member at your prospective university. This eye opening experience allows you to ask questions to an expert in a private environment, rather than asking questions awkwardly to a student tour guide in front of other prospective students.

With student visit day coming up, maybe you’ll FALL for DePaul?


Fall Visit Day

Now that I have been at DePaul for a few years, it is always fun to look back on what my life was like as a freshman and how different my life is now. I loved my freshman year, the experiences I had that year have definitely shaped me into the person that I am today. Just recently I was in Munroe Hall, where I lived my freshman year, and it brought back so many good memories. Now that the fall tour groups are starting to make their way around campus, when I see them I always think of my first tour of DePaul. 

My mom and I took a trip out to Chicago to visit DePaul just as I was beginning my senior year of high school. We stayed downtown and I remember that the train was delayed and I was so worried about being late. It was one of my first college experiences and I was already making a bad impression! However, we made it and all was well. Someone who works for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions gave a presentation highlighting all the wonderful qualities about DePaul (and there are many!) and went through how to apply. The presentation, and the information packet that came along with it, were very helpful and answered many questions my family and I had about the school, for example: questions about the residence halls, public safety, and how the quarter system differs from semesters. 

After the presentation, the big group was split into smaller groups and we got a tour of campus. My campus tour guide took us to all the big, main areas: the Student Center, a residence hall, the academic buildings, the library, the dining hall, the fitness center, and the quad. I remember being very overwhelmed at all that he showed us, but campus is actually so easy to navigate. You get the hang of it really quickly and fall in love with the campus almost immediately. After the tour, my mom and I walked around Lincoln Park for a while and checked out what the neighborhood is like. Lincoln Park, too, is amazing and is a safe, great neighborhood to live in. I could not ask for anything better! 

I had a really good experience on my tour and it is what made me come back for another one later in the year. Most, if not all, of my questions were answered, the campus is beautiful, and I truly felt like everyone who I came in contact with was interested in me and my future. I know how great DePaul is and I hope other people will get to have the same wonderful experience that I have had, too. 

Fall Visit Day

​​​​​I was terrible at planning college visits. When I was a senior in high school I thought I knew where I wanted to go to school; due to this I made the decision to visit no other colleges. Lucky for me, all of my friends were very excited to visit as many schools as possible. 

I was sitting in physics one day when my friend asked me if I wanted to visit DePaul with her. She needed a ride to the city, and I had nothing to do that weekend, so I agreed to go! I remember going to the store to buy a disposable camera (that I lost as soon as I got home) and registering for the visit day online. When Saturday finally arrived we headed to Lincoln Park, it was the first Fall Visit Day, and we were really excited (and also very nervous). My parents dropped us off in front of the student center so that they could go park our car, and we headed into the building with a large group of people.

I remember that during high school everyone kept telling me that I would “know” when I found the right school for me. Personally, I always thought that this was a lie. I always believed that there were way too many colleges in the world, and I wouldn't be able to find the school that was actually right for me. After attending a Fall Visit Day I realized that everyone was correct. 

The second I stepped out of my car I knew I belonged at DePaul. 

At the visit day, we went on a campus tour, I listened to a presentation about the psychology program, and I got to eat some free food. Overall, it was a really great way to get to know DePaul and the people who go there. Spending the day on campus helped me make my decision to attend DePaul. The second that I got home from Fall Visit Day I filled out my application. 

DePaul
There is a pretty significant difference between a visit day and a normal tour. At a visit day you get to go to a presentation from a major that you are interested, you go on a campus tour, and you can go to presentations from offices like housing and financial aid (among others). If you are able, I highly suggest that you try to attend a visit day. 

If you want to register for a visit day click here​! Or visit go.depaul.edu/visit

Positive Learning Environment for the New School Year

Before I began my first day of junior year I tried to remind myself that academia goes more smoothly when paired with a positive learning environment.

Having a solid relationship with professors and peers is a good place to start! I have never been one to instantly introduce myself personally to my professor on the first day of school, but I do try to make it a point to raise my hand at least once during the first week. Honestly, I’ve noticed this makes me a lot more likely to contribute to class discussion later on in the quarter. By making an active attempt to interact with your professors and peers, this creates an environment that feels safe to ask questions in. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel apprehensive to ask certain questions in class because I think they might be silly or unnecessary, but more often than not someone else in the class has the same question. I believe that if you try to create relationships with your professors and peers it will make for a comfortable and fun learning environment that could last until graduation day. You never know when you will need those teacher recommendations.

Finding a comfortable place to study is also crucial for creating a positive learning environment. The most obvious choice on campus is the library with its beautiful stained glass on the third floor and easy access to printers, but I have friends that can’t concentrate in complete silence. If that sounds like you definitely check out Brownstones in the Student Center or the Pit area in the SAC. They both provide comfortable seating, printers, and glorious glorious coffee. Ain’t nothing like some good ambience to get you in the mood to crank out some essays.  

Also, keep in mind that a positive learning environment is not necessarily the physical place you are in, but could also include the mindset you have in your noggin. Creating attainable and realistic expectations while studying is crucial for avoiding the feeling of being overwhelmed. Laying down the ground rules for yourself and how far you can push your brain is quintessential to your victory as a student. For example, give yourself a time limit on how long you will look over a particular subject or take a break from revising an essay when you feel the words starting to blend together. Sadly, we are not machines that can work days on end, but it is amazing how far we can push ourselves with a positive mindset and a little bit of scheduling.

Good luck this quarter, y’all!


In Defense of Honors Students

In high school, I was an honors student. Like, I mean the textbook definition of an honors student. Anxiety-ridden, stressed and overloaded with positions on the executive boards of student groups. You know the one. That was me. The long-term effects of my honors-induced anxiety is a subject for a novel of Russian proportions, but the benefits I have reaped from the AP​/IB​/honors seeds that I sowed in high school are undeniable.

The later years of high school consisted of a combination of AP and IB work that helped me take care of a goodly amount of liberal studies requirements during my first couple years of college. I didn’t even get the highest scores on any of those exams and DePaul was still pretty generous with accepting the credit. I was able to complete all of my liberal studies requirements by the end of my second year. This opened my schedule up to take classes that I wanted simply for the fun of it. I took an Islamic studies class, a couple French classes, a German class, and a creative writing class. I was very glad for the opportunity to diversify my class experience outside of The Theatre School. But beyond that, the time gifted to me allowed me to see more shows, get to know more theatre companies, experience more around the city and figure out what my real goals are after school. That’s the biggest benefit. You have to have breathing room in school to be able to build relationships and just wander. 

In essence what I’m getting at is that if you’re in the thick of an AP or IB course load in high school right now and you want to pull out your hair, stuff it into your textbook and eat it with mustard, you’re going to survive. And you will reap some reward from the experience. I guarantee it. If nothing else, you’ll know that you can accomplish something you set your mind to and that’s a feeling worth its weight in gold. 

Tyler’s Hot Track of the Week:

Future Islands - Seasons (Waiting on You)







5 Things I Wish I Did Before Coming To DePaul

​​This time of year is pretty exciting because of all the looming change.  Whether you're getting ready to graduate high school or to start your senior year, it's time to start transitioning.  Change is fun!

Here are five things that I wish I did before starting college at DePaul:

(1) Identify a mentor for the next four years, someone that you will be able to look up to for guidance.  This may be someone in your potential career field or someone from back home that you're particularly fond of.  Whoever it is, it may be best that they are a bit older and ready to give honest advice.  This could also be a DePaul professor.  In fact, that would be excellent because they can help you navigate your four years while also being someone that will see you change through your time here.  I've had a faculty mentor (Dr. Caitlin Karver) and I can't stress enough how thankful for her I am.  So, take a leap and reach out to someone (a professor, someone in Chicago, someone back home).  Think about your support system, who you go to when you need help or support.

Four years go by fast! Make the best of every one of them.
(2) Do some introspection.  Think about the core of who you are.  You're going to be challenged by a lot of new things in college, but what are some things that you're not willing to give up?  What are some things you're ready to move past?  College is a fantastic time to let these changes happen :) 

(3) Make a list of goals.  Like real, solid goals.  They could be long term (4 years and above) or short term (1 year) goals.  Even goals that may seem impossible.  Challenge yourself to set expectations.  It may help you start taking advantage of the incredible things that DePaul and Chicago offer!  For example, "Tom's goal #1 as an entering freshman at DePaul: Ride on every single CTA ​bus line start to finish"- Such a great way to see new neighborhoods.  Goal status: incomplete (because I didn't articulate this goal before starting college!) :( 

(4)  Summer, Summer, Summer.  This summer you should do something life-giving.  Something that will give you energy that you can take with when you go to college.  For example, maybe get a job working at a summer camp.  You'll have countless stories when you get to college.  Or, get a fun job where you learn something new.  Make memories with your parents, family, loved ones.  Then, document your memories!  I can't tell you how many times freshman year I went through the pictures from my summer before.  It was comforting and helped me remember some of the people I loved when I wasn't seeing them all the time.      

(5) Get ready for a hell of an incredible experience!  I'm not sure how to prepare for this, but just get excited.  You're soon to embark on a fantastic journey.  Celebrate your success so far and prepare so that you can thrive in college.        

Why I Chose DePaul

DePaul kind of fell into my lap. As a kid growing up in the outskirts of Chicago, the bustling city was always intriguing to me. I spent many middle school nights taking the Metra ​inbound to Union Station​ to catch some terrible pop punk shows. After 4 years of typical high school angst, my plan for college was to get out of the Midwest and travel far away just to experience something other than flat land and indecisive weather. After looking around at different college fairs, I applied to several Arizona Universities.

Soon after the fair I visited DePaul on a tour that I felt like my mom was more excited for than I was. It was a cold day and I had the attitude that I had already seen all Chicago has to offer. BOY, I WAS WRONG. DePaul blew me away with the campus grounds that even looked decent on a muggy, cloudy day. I applied with high hopes and felt that even if I didn’t know what major I wanted to declare, I knew that I wanted to figure it out here. Having 2 academic years at DePaul under my belt has given me enough to process why, in fact, I choose this school when I was so dead set on getting out of the Midwest.

I honestly believe that it all comes back to DePaul’s reputation for being a part of a service driven community and using Chicago as a second classroom. The potential idea of being stuck at a campus ONLY surrounded by my peers made me feel so trapped…. but a campus surrounded by a large city?! That I can handle. The location was definitely a huge plus. And with a large city comes many opportunities for internships and volunteer work!

Besides the fact that I was awarded scholarship ​money from DePaul, I mainly based my decision on the fact that I believe that Chicago will provide me with all the tools I need to succeed in whatever I choose to do. It is a plus that I am so close to home but I rarely visit unless it is a holiday. I am happy to say that, although DePaul isn't the cheapest option, it is the best investment that I am making towards my future.​

Why I Chose DePaul

Choosing a college is arguably the hardest decision a young person ever has to make. ​How can you choose a home based on an hour visit, a subpar student tour guide, and thousands of brochures screaming at you that [insert college here] could be your new home?

It’s definitely quite close to impossible.

I decided I wanted to go to DePaul a few days before the decision date, so I’m no stranger to the big decision.

Luckily for me, DePaul was the perfect fit. I love city life and couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else. I’m close to home, but at the same time, far enough away to establish a name for myself from the ground up. This is exactly what I wanted.

Last weekend I spoke as a panelist at DePaul’s Honors​ Reception, an event for admitted Honors students, and I was reminded why I chose DePaul in the first place.

I chose DePaul because I wanted an adventure. The sprawling cornfields of the Midwest and the sweltering heat of the south didn’t do the trick for me. I felt stagnant — I couldn’t see myself exploring the location and in the process, finding myself. College is a time to grow, and while academics are important, environment is equally so.

The deciding factor came down to a scheduled visit with a potential advisor. Being able to ask questions about DePaul and student life in a personal, one-on-one setting helped me feel that faculty was approachable. And the truth is at DePaul they are more than approachable. I consider some of my advisors and professors my friends.

Last week I found myself sitting next to my political science professor at a Mexican restaurant eating chips and salsa and chatting about bubble baths— if that’s not friendship, I don’t know what is.

I encourage you to contact a DePaul student or advisor if you are curious as to what student life and academics look like beyond a brief tour. This helped me choose the right college, and I can say that the advisor I initially met during one of my visits to DePaul is someone that I am very close with now.

I always thought DePaul’s phrase, “The city is your campus,” was cheesy and simply a public relations ploy, but being a second-year student at DePaul, I can say that I live by that mantra. The city truly is my campus. I learn something every day from walking the streets of Chicago, and exploring the different neighborhoods and cultural environments. 

Additionally, the opportunities this city has are endless – I’ve seen Broadway shows, went to some really intimate concert venues, had access to the mayoral candidates election parties, seen drag shows, been to famous restaurants, walk Michigan Avenue​ and State Street on a daily basis, been to Chicago sports games, and I currently live right next to Wrigley Field​.

Beyond that, I’ve had the opportunity to become an editor at our student newspaper, write this blog, nailed some pretty sweet internships, started a blog, volunteered with CPS ​students, helped start a Super PAC, became a research assistant, and so much more.

I think it’s safe to say that not everyone has been as privileged as I have in their college experiences.

Wherever you’re at in the decision making process, I wish you the best of luck and know that at the end of the day college isn’t always about where you go, but about what you do once you’re there.​ ​


DePaul Is My Type of University

DePaul University was the right fit for me because of many different reasons. 
I knew that I wanted to stay in the city when I was looking for colleges and that led me to look at DePaul, Columbia, UIC, University of Chicago, etc. One of the major differences for me was the liveliness of DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus​. I remember walking through and seeing so many students racing from one side of the quad to another trying to get to class. It was the quickness of DePaul life that I really found intriguing as well. There was always some sort of activity happening somewhere on campus, never a dull moment. 

Having had my sister attend DePaul, I visited and saw the campus a lot whenever my parents would drop her off or pick her up. Aside from the Lincoln Park campus, I fell in love with commuting to the loop for class. I remember talking to my family about how cool it felt to be in the morning hustle on the L​ to get to class while professionals made their way to offices and work sites. 

In the end I knew DePaul University was the place for me because it simply felt right.


Why I Chose DePaul

 This is the golden question. Even now, as a sophomore, I get asked frequently why I chose DePaul. The summer before my freshman year I felt like I was a broken record. Every time I get asked it, I seem to forget every reason WHY I chose DePaul. In actuality, there are many reasons why I chose to come to this great school!

I applied to five colleges and got accepted into four of them (gosh darn it, reach school). Of the four, I was torn between Ohio State and DePaul. OSU was closer to home and was technically cheaper due to in-state tuition, but I received the biggest academic scholarship​ from DePaul and truly loved the school more. I also was accepted into the Honors​ and Pathways Program​. I was really excited about the Pathways Program as I was very passionate about becoming a doctor and the program was a perfect match for me. In my opinion, it would have been a silly and careless decision to say no to a school that was giving me the opportunity to shave a year off my undergraduate degree and create connections and a good relationship with a medical school. 
 
Arriving at DePaul for Freshmen Orientation. I can't believe it's been two years!
Besides the academic and financial reasons of choosing DePaul, I really felt like I connected with the school and belonged here. Choosing a school is so important and it is essential that you fall in love with the university you will be attending for the next four years of your life. I love Chicago and was so excited to go to a college that would allow me to live in and explore the city. I especially loved the location of DePaul: it’s in the city, but not right downtown, meaning that I would get a break from the crowds, traffic, and noise. Lincoln Park is beautiful, safe, and is full of restaurants, parks, and so many things to do. The advisors, professors, and staff, for the most part, are friendly, helpful, and passionate about their jobs.  I have made lifelong friends here and I encourage everyone who is interested in DePaul to come check it out and experience the same great things that I have. DePaul University was the right school for me and I am so happy that I chose it. 

Go Blue Demons!

Why (and How) I Chose DePaul

​​​When I tell people I grew up near Madison, I’m always asked why I didn’t go to University of Wisconsin-Madison and why I ended up at DePaul. 

To answer the first part, almost everyone (more likely 10%, but it seems like everyone) from my high school goes to UW-Madison. Let’s be honest: four years of high school was already four years too many. Furthermore, the campus is just impossibly big. Not only am I prone to getting lost (one time, a police officer had to help me because I got lost in my hometown), but also I have no interest in walking a 5k in order to get to my next class.

As to the second part of the question, to be honest, my choice to apply to DePaul was sort of a “Why not?” moment. My parents had been pushing me pretty hard in the direction of small liberal arts colleges. Naturally, I had been rebelling (like a typical teenager) and applying to huge public universities on the side. As I went to submit my Comm​on Appli​cation​, I saw DePaul on the list of schools that accepted the Common Application. At the last second, I thought to myself, “They have great pizza in Chicago…and I guess I have some family who lives there, too,” and decided to apply.
 
Me at my graduation party. Clearly very excited about DePaul and about hitting the piñata with my face on it.
As I went from touring colleges that were the size of my high school to universities five times the size of my entire hometown, I realized that I felt no connection to any of them. I wanted a compromise between the two. I wanted a big school, but I didn’t want to be taught by teaching assistants or have 100 person classes. I wanted to be in a big city, but I wanted the campus to be compact (and navigable, for my sake).  

Confession time: I never toured ​DePaul. I literally drove past the campus with my dad and was like, “Okay, that seems nice.” But after I was accepted to the Honors Program and was guaranteed that all of my basic liberal arts classes were capped at 20 students, I realized that DePaul had everything I wanted.

As it got closer and closer to the deadline to commit to a school, I grew more and more sure that DePaul was right for me. I liked that DePaul is concerned with social justice and responsibility. I liked that I would be closer to my extended family (my dad has nine siblings and eight of them live in the Chicago suburbs). I like the quarter system and the fact I’m on break during all of December​. I also liked that there was a great bakery basically right on campus. With that in mind, I decided to pick DePaul. I’ve become a regular customer at the bakery (just for the record, Sweet Mandy B’s really is one of the greatest bakeries ever) and life has been uphill ever since.

​​​​​Why I Chose DePaul vs. Why I Like DePaul

Choosing what college to attend wasn’t an easy decision for me.  I knew that I wanted to go to school in Chicago, but I was conflicted between schools here.  I had visited the two that I was interested in, but didn’t necessarily know which was going to be better for me and which would better prepare me for the future. 

So, I chose DePaul based on these considerations: 
- Location in Chicago and proximity to downtown
- Smaller size of the science program compared to other Chicago schools

My story doesn’t stop here because these reasons only scratch the surface of why I’ve enjoyed my four years here at DePaul.

Here are the major reasons why I’ve had an incredible experience at DePaul:

- Small size of science program:  Because the science program​ is relatively small, there’s more of an opportunity to get close with professors and get involved in undergraduate research.

- Location in Chicago: The proximity of DePaul to downtown Chicago, specifically the major business districts and many hospitals, means that you have the more opportunities to get experience outside of classes.

- Relationships with professors and staff (feeling much more like an individual and not a number): This is one of my favorite aspects of DePaul.  It’s clear just how much professor’s care about their students and how hard they will work to help students succeed.  While they have high expectations for students, they make sure you have support and the resources you need to make the most of your experience at DePaul. 

- Vincentian mission: I didn't know anything about the Vincentian mission​ before coming to DePaul, but it's been an important aspect of my college career.  The mission has provided a larger purpose for my education here and guidance to how I see myself contributing to society in the future.



Why I Chose DePaul

When I was a junior in high school, I was confident that I would be going to school to study acting. But that was about it. I didn’t really have any clue as to how to go about pursuing those programs because I hadn’t been exposed to the culture of drama conservatories too much in high school. I vaguely knew about NYU and Juilliard​, and knew that DePaul had a conservatory because my uncle attended DePaul and told me about it. With that most basic knowledge, I scheduled a visit at The Theatre School​ during the summer between my junior and senior years.

I was struck immediately when I entered our old building​ on Kenmore. It felt good; like it was full of life and inhabited by real people. As I went through my information session​ and tour of the school, what I picked up was that this was a place where I could be a part of a team and also grow as an individual artist. That was what I wanted. It was small, focused, and dedicated to the craft. Plus, everyone I interacted with during my tour and audition process was incredibly kind and seemed genuinely interested in expressing their belief in their school. That certainly made an impression on me. I left with the distinct feeling that I might have found a home for my college years.

Once I was actually accepted and offered a financial aid package, it became clear that the stars were aligning. I received the best scholarship offer of any school I was accepted to and also knew that Chicago would be a great city for me being from the Midwest. Chicago also held the attraction of being an incredible theatre town​ where I could learn my craft from the city and not only my school. Checking the “yes” box to say I would be attending The Theatre School at DePaul University is a moment I will never forget. I hope any other young theatre artist who does the same feels just as much satisfaction.

Tyler’s Hot Track of the Week:
This one makes nostalgia ooze out of my ears. Please enjoy.

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Choosing DePaul

​I am not good at making decisions. Simply ask my sisters, parents, or friends who go shopping with me. I look at the shelves of lamps, the racks of shirts, the boxes of macaroni and cheese, and I just get overwhelmed. I spend thirty minutes deciding between two different pieces of jewelry and usually end up buying both, either because I cannot handle being so stressed about making a choice, or the person I am dragging around cannot handle being so stressed by watching me make a choice.

So when it came to choosing which music school to attend, which was the biggest decision I had had to make at that point in my life, it was a big struggle for me. I applied to seven schools. Three of them were music conservatories, two were universities with huge music programs, and the other two were big schools with smaller music programs. After I submitted my applications and finished my auditions for all of the schools I applied to, I did not let myself hope that I would get into my dream school, one of the conservatories. But when I was informed that I was accepted to my dream school two days before I was obligated to inform all schools which program I chose, and after I had already picked DePaul, I felt stuck. Here I was, standing in the hypothetical shopping aisle. In one hand, I was holding a small, competitive conservatory I had strived to get into for years and always thought I would love. In the other hand, I held a university in a fantastic city, with an incredible cello teacher, and much more of a liberal arts experience. So, I followed my instincts and chose the unexpected.

After a couple days of intense prayer, reflection, heart-to-hearts, and talks with prospective music professors, I chose DePaul. How did I have such a big change of heart in a matter of days? There were many logical factors that pushed me toward DePaul, including the fact that my identical twin sister was also interested in the conservatory and we had wanted to go to different colleges, but there were also deeper realizations about what I actually wanted to experience in college that hit me as I grappled with this decision.

 As I debated between these two very contrasting school environments, cities, and college experiences, I discovered that being a student at DePaul seemed so much more appealing to me. I realized that when I thought about going to college, I always envisioned being on a beautiful, big campus that was full of a variety of schools and majors. I wanted to be surrounded by history, architecture, and nature. I wanted to be classmates with people whose majors were completely unrelated to mine, and with people who grew up in very different economic, religious, and physical backgrounds so I could learn more about the diversity of my generation. I craved to feel like I was in college while also gaining experience in this oh-so-scary “real world” everyone kept informing me about at every dinner party my parents ever threw. After talking with my future cello teacher and emailing with a current School of Music student, I saw that DePaul had these aspects I had been hoping for. Being in Chicago, a city with a very strong and diverse music scene and a great amount of history and sites to see, attending a school with a student population of 25,000, and being able to grow greatly in my musical aspirations, were my expectations and my actual experiences as a student at DePaul.

As I enjoy my senior year at DePaul and reflect on those two days of panic and difficulty, I am grateful I took the time to truly step back and ask myself, “Is this what I want?” I definitely heard strong, contrasting opinions about this major decision, but in the end, I felt it within myself. I envisioned myself walking the streets of Lincoln Park, wearing a DePaul sweatshirt and carrying a cello on my back. I saw myself growing into the person I wanted to be at DePaul, as I encountered many different cultures and ideas and grew in my faith. I chose DePaul for many reasons, but what really moved me to choose this school was that I finally felt at peace when I let myself say yes.



Undecided? No worries.

If you're a junior or senior in high school, you probably get this question a lot.  "So, what are you going to study?"  It might also come in the flavor of, "So, what do you want to do?"  They're both pretty bold questions, as they ask you to predict your interests for the next four years or even longer.  The truth is that a lot can change once you get to college.  You might start college having declared a certain major only to find that you're not really interested.  In that case, you've lost some time in fulfilling degree requirements. 

If you're not sure what to study, you're not alone.  This Times article suggests that about 80% of college students don't know what they want to study when enrolling in college.  Don't feel like being "undecided" is a character flaw.  It means that you're willing enough to try something new.  Some of you may have known what you want to study in college for a while, but it's not a bad idea to figure out where that desire comes from.  Entering college "undecided" means that you have a little extra work to do, but the opportunity you have is extraordinary.    

If you're not ready to choose what to study you have an incredible opportunity for exploration.  While I didn't enter college undecided, I did change my major three times.  I started as a biology major.  Sophomore year I switched to health science for a quarter, and I eventually figured out that I'm most interested in studying chemistry.  I didn't lose time because I was still taking general classes.  If you're motivated to try new things, to get involved in something at college, to seek out help from professors and professionals, and to talk to people in the world, chances are that you're going to find something that you love.  It will take effort and patience.  There will probably be things that you realize quickly you're not interested in, and things that you are infatuated with from day one.       

The Times article gets at the same message by saying that some colleges have dropped the word "undecided" in favor of "exploratory".  What a cool opportunity.  If you're undecided, you have the chance to do some soul searching.  You have the chance to figure out where you want to fit in.  You're likely going to grow greatly in this search process, and you'll come out better informed about your future.  You essentially have a blank slate.  While that may be scary, you should try to see it as one of the best opportunities you've had.  So, whether you've chosen a major out of chance or you're still figuring your decision out, now is your time to think about how you want to contribute to the world. 

DePaul has an office to help.  The Career Center​ advisers at DePaul can provide guidance in your journey.  Another approach could be to simply talk to other students.  Ask them why they are studying what they are studying.  You might share common interests.  Or, you might find that they too aren't really sure.  Either way, you can walk away with a better understanding of how your interests can translate into a major and future career.         
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Watch the video below about college majors:


Looking for a challenge at DePaul? Apply to the Honors Program

​When applying to DePaul, I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of the Honors Program. I was used to the extra rigor of honors classes from a high school career dictated by AP tests, so the transition from high school classes to college level honors classes was pretty smooth. If you are considering applying to DePaul, I highly suggest looking into the Honors Program. If you are ready for the challenge of more difficult classes, this is definitely the route for you.​


Honors Student Government Meeting​​

Being in the Honors Program at DePaul was one of the best decisions I’ve made thus far in my college career. Our class sizes are capped at 20 students, we register before other students, we have quarterly student-faculty dinners, and we have our own student government. I like the sense of community that the Honors Program has to offer. At a school with around 20,000 undergrads, being in the Honors Program creates some recognizable faces while walking around campus. 


The Academic Committee Chairs






This year, I am serving as the Academic Committee Co-Chair on the Honors Student Government executive board. My job is to help maintain the relationship between Honors Program faculty/staff and our club members. My fellow co-chair and I are currently working on planning for our annual Alumni Panel, so stay tuned for a post about this in February. ​


Honors Student Government provides honors students with many opportunities to become involved through and with the Honors Program. We have a Service Committee, Social Committee, Academic Committee, Newsletter Committee, an Ambassador Committee, a treasurer, vice president, and a president. Freshman can become involved too by either joining the general body, or running for a position called the honors floor representative, if they live on the Honors Floor (3rd floor of Seton). 

​​Some events that we have recently had has been ice skating, an internship tip information session, a scholarship information session, ambassador lunches, study sessions before finals, and the Service Committee is currently hosting a canned food drive. Each year we have a spring quarter dance which is always fun as well. It’s easy to become involved in any aspect of Honors Student Government and meet new people. I’ve posted a few of our event posters throughout the blog, but you can always check to see what we’re up to and what we’ve been doing at: https://dphsg​.wordpress.com/​​


While I will say that the honors curriculum can at times be very challenging (flashback to last quarter when I wrote a 25 page research paper double spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt. font and I almost broke my brain), I think that my college experience has been really enriching because of it. 




We do have a lot more reading and lengthy writing assignments for our core classes, but the academic community that I am a part of makes it all worth it. I have formed many close relations with many of my honors professors and classmates, which has played a huge part in the positivity of my college experience thus far.


For those starting to make those tough college decisions, good luck! Wherever you end up, college is truly what you make it. 




Concerning Auditioning for The Theatre School

This past weekend was The Theatre School’s first audition and interview day of the year. For the next couple months, we will see thousands of students from around the world showcase their talents and see if they might be a good fit for our program. We do these auditions and interviews at regional locations around the country, but I am of the opinion that it is certainly more fun to come and do it on campus. You get the chance to actually work in our beautiful facility and feel out Chicago a bit to see if it might be your bag. Of course, equal consideration is given to all of the auditions done at any of our audition locations. I just think that if you can come visit us on campus you definitely should.

So, for those of you auditioning for our Acting program, let me give you a few pointers on our audition that will hopefully reduce your nerves and help you feel like you can put forth your best work. First off, breathe. Nervousness can make us get all tight and compressed but it will be to your advantage to be as open and available as possible during your work and allowing yourself to breathe is the first step in that direction. And I know it’s not as easy as it sounds sometimes! I still struggle to allow myself to breathe in auditions but when I do, it’s always better. Second, choose a piece that you really love. If you are doing a monologue that you really connect with on a deep level, you will automatically show a lot of who you genuinely are in the piece. And that’s what we want to see. Be willing to show us a little bit of yourself during the limited time we have with you and you can’t lose. Lastly, be willing to play. Acting and collaborating is all about being willing to think on your feet, take what your partner is giving you, and strongly give them something right back. So come in to the process willing to try some new things and surprise yourself. That right there is the best feeling; when you’ve committed so deeply to the piece, and the people you are working with, that you do things you didn’t even know you were capable of. That’s theatre and people will pay to see it.

I hope this has been helpful for those of you out there cutting up monologues and booking tickets to Chicago or wherever else. Who knows? You might even have a little fun when you audition. I sure hope you do.

Tyler’s Hot Track of the Week:

Some mellow vibes and often devastating lyrics can come from Iron & Wine. Just what the doctor ordered.


Connecting on Social Media

Hello and welcome to DeBlogs! I'm Anna Hanson, and I am currently a senior in the Honor's Program double majoring in Communication Studies and Spanish. Yes, I know, that was a lot of words. When I first came to DePaul, like many incoming freshmen, I was not sure about what I wanted to study. However, I discovered what I am passionate about through my coursework and experiences at DePaul. I am now thrilled to be working as the Social Media Coordinator intern for DePaul's Office of Undergraduate Admission.

I came all the way from Boulder, Colorado to attend DePaul. I didn't know a single person at the university, let alone in the Midwestern United States. Like many new college students, I was nervous for college. (It's okay, you can admit it, starting college is nerve-wracking!) So, what did I do? 

Like any other teenage human with an internet connection, I went on Facebook. 

I joined my class page and began to talk with other future DePaul students. Today, I now monitor the DePaul class groups on Facebook. You can join the Official Class of 2019 group and begin connecting with your future classmates today. I'll see you there! go.depaul.edu/Classof2019

I am excited by the power of social media. Everyday, I help to run our @depauladmission and @transferdepaul​ Twitter accounts as well as our Tumblr account, depauladmission.tumblr.com.  

You can start exploring DePaul before you even arrive on campus. 

Countdown to Classes: 10 MORE Tips to Get You Ready for DePaul

We posted 10 tips to help you prepare for life at DePaul. Here are 10 more to quench your thirst for DePaul knowledge. 

 
1.      If you’re living on campus, move-in day will be the start of your DePaul adventure. Get a feel for this exciting start to your college experience.

2.      Curious about what awaits you at DePaul? Take a break from getting ready and explore #IAmDePaul on Instagram. Soon you'll be having experiences just like these students. 

3.      Put (773) 325-7233 in your phone. That's how you call public safety escorts and, during mid-terms and finals, the Vinnie Van! This off-campus shuttle that helps you get home safely after a long night in the library. 

4.      Have car, will commute? If you're driving to campus, leave your street-parking woes behind and purchase an on-campus parking permit.

5.      Make your space your own. Check out these decorating ideas for your residence hall room, apartment or bedroom back home.

6.      Meet "Vinnie." Do you know more than these students about our patron saint? 

7.      Bookmark Demon Discounts and follow it at @DemonDiscounts. You'll find over 100 deals ranging from movie tickets and restaurants to rental cars and moving services.

8.      Connect with the DePaul Student Government Association, which represents your interests on everything from tuition rates to sustainability initiatives to two-sided copying.

9.      Win DePaul swag. Visit the bookstore on either campus on Monday, September 8 between 6-8 p.m. for refreshments, discounts, personal help with your textbooks, and a chance to win prizes.

10.  Pick up your U-Pass from ID Services. The U-Pass gives you unlimited rides on CTA buses and the "L" train during the academic term—which means unlimited access to everything Chicago has to offer. 

You’re officially ready to start fall quarter at DePaul. But if you have a question once you get to campus, be sure to visit the Welcome Tables in Lincoln Park or the Loop. You also can follow @DPUWelcomeWeek on Twitter to keep up to date on all the goings-on around campus. And don’t forget, you can find all these tips and more by following DePaul University​ on Facebook.

See you on campus! 

This One's for the High School Juniors! It's Your Turn Now.

​By now, most of the visitors we have been getting at the admissions office at The Theatre School are already admitted students or current juniors in high school since admissions decisions for this coming year have already come out. As such, I thought I’d throw out some advice for those current juniors, rising seniors, in high school who are interested in applying to The Theatre School. 

One of the things many people don’t immediately know about being a student at The Theatre School is that we still do have to complete Liberal Studies courses outside of TTS. These are things like the writing seminar WRD 104 and quantitative reasoning LSP 120. In addition to those classes, there are a certain amount of electives that can be satisfied in more diverse ways. You have a history requirement and a science requirement as well as a few others. Never fear, though. The general understanding is that, as a TTS student, if you take at least one Liberal Studies course outside of TTS each quarter then you will be able to complete those credits no problem. That being said, one of the best things you can do is take as many AP or IB or other college courses in high school so that you can get transfer credit. I was able to do this and, because of it, I have been able to take a lot of classes that were not required but simply interested me. Credit from high school transferring isn’t guaranteed but it’s absolutely worth it if it does end up applying. You’ll be able to individualize your college experience so much more. 

In terms of preparing to apply to The Theatre School specifically, now is the time to start searching for a monologue for your audition or putting together a portfolio for your interview. If you’re auditioning for the Acting major, it’s important that your two-minute contemporary monologue is as familiar to you as any monologue has ever been. You want it to mean a great deal to you and show off who YOU are as an individual artist. If you really, truly care about the piece you’re doing and do the requisite work to prepare it, then you’ll have a great audition no matter what. For those interviewing for the design/tech majors, you want to start compiling those portfolios of not only work that applies specifically to the given area of design but also includes your artistic endeavors in other areas. Are you a photographer? Do you paint? Or maybe build sculptures out of toothpicks? Include that stuff! That’s the kind of stuff that really shows who you are. Theatre Studies interview? You want to start thinking about that writing sample. What inspires you about theatre? Why do you want to live in it? Where do you see it going? Those are the kind of things you can keep in mind as you are applying to not only The Theatre School, but also any other theatre major around the country. They’re the most important questions a theatre artist must ask her or himself. 

It may seem early, but you can never be too prepared for an audition or interview! And you should definitely make the time to come visit us this summer and see what you think of the building. It’s good to have an idea of the place you’ll be spending four years before you apply. 


Tyler’s Hot Track of the Week: 

This week’s Hot Track is courtesy of my great friend Addi, who will be joining us as a Blue Demon this fall! She introduced me to this up-and-coming band from Ridgewood, New Jersey. It’s perfect spring, driving-around music. Hope you enjoy! 

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