As a commuter student myself, I completely understand the struggle of waking up super early to catch a train or missing the last train and ending up being late to class. I commute from the suburbs which is about 45 minutes away and I usually drive or take the metra. I’ve experienced it all, from being stuck in traffic to missing a train and ending up missing half of class. It can be tough, but it pays off in the end if you’re looking to save money in college or stay close to home.
DePaul has tons of resources that make commuting easier for students.
CTA U-Pass -
Regardless if you commute or not, your U-pass will be your best friend when you’re in the city. It gives you access to unlimited CTA train and bus rides while classes are in session as a student at DePaul.
Commuter Lounge -
The commuter lounge is located on the 11th floor of the DePaul Center in the Loop Campus. It has comfortable couches, study desks, televisions, etc. If you don’t have a dorm or an apartment to go to, it's a great place to relax or take a nap after classes.
Events for Commuters -
DePaul hosts a ton of events and lunches that are made specifically for commuter students. They usually include free food, games, and movie screenings in the Loop campus that are at reasonable times, so you don’t have to take a late train back home.
Most of you are probably familiar with the film student organizations at DePaul like The Digital Cinema Collaborative (DCC), but the DePaul Film Fatales is another student org that's all about women in the film industry. Film Fatales supports women with academic and creative needs within the digital cinema field. They have tons of workshops for camera operating, sound equipment, and more, which are focused on teaching women and taught by women. They’re a great way to meet and network with people that are already in the industry and learn from professionals. It's also a great way to get information about job or volunteer opportunities and current projects that others are working on. Along with workshops and informational meetings, there are also tons of film screenings. All of the films that are shown are usually by female directors, with plots that are focused on female characters. The most recent screening was of a film The Mourning Forest by Naomi Kawase, about a nurse who mourns the death of her child. DePaul has tons of clubs that promote diversity and inclusion, and this one example of it. The Film Fatales is a great club especially for anyone who wants to meet more female filmmakers or learn more about the field from a female perspective.
This past week, I was visiting some friends that go to UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago) and we went to a place called H-mart near campus. H-mart is a Korean grocery store that has locations all throughout the country. You can find tons of Korean groceries and snacks there, and it’s not too far from the Loop campus. They even have a food court in the front that has a bakery with Korean and Japanese food to choose from. They have so many options, from steaming hot bowls of ramen, to a huge variety of sushi. I tried the Udon from one of the restaurants called Izakaya Yume. The food was so good, and the people there are super friendly and helpful. In Chicago, it can be tempting to go to fast food chains or a restaurant you’ve been to 100 times, but it’s really good to try new things as well and experience a different culture. H-mart is a great place to go when your craving Asian food, and don’t want to make the trip down to Chinatown. It’s also a great way to experience authentic culture and learn something new. I recommend checking out, and stocking up on Korean snacks while you’re there!
Self-care isn’t always as easy as it sounds, especially if you’re a college student with a busy life. We all, including myself, fall into the habit of overdoing ourselves with too many things at once, but it leaves you feeling stressed, sleep-deprived, and mentally exhausted. As a college student, it's hard to prioritize your own mental health when we need to prioritize academics and work first. It's so important to prioritize self-care along with your other activities, here are some of my tips for practicing self-care in college.
Schedules are key - Start by prioritizing your classes, work, and major due dates. Then your other activities that you need to attend and add them as they come up. If you have a set schedule, you’ll know what days you’re free to take some time off, and when you’re not.
Don’t overdo all-nighters - Sleep is super important when you’re a student. It can be tempting to just stay up all night and study for that midterm or finish up that one assignment. I usually do an all-nighter if I absolutely need to get something done, but I try to avoid it as much as possible. Instead, I would recommend starting assignments or studying as soon as you know when their due and avoid procrastinating.
Take a day off - It’s okay to take a day to just be unproductive and have a breather from the stress of school.
Take care of yourself - Sometimes self-care doesn’t look like face masks and bath bombs. Sometimes it is just making sure you drank enough water or got out of bed in the morning. Whatever self-care looks like to you, make sure you’re doing what makes you feel better and being responsible.
Choosing your major can be really daunting when you’re only a freshman. A lot of freshmen decide to start out with an undeclared major, which is a great decision! It allows you to take different classes, explore your options, and figure out what you’re interested in. In my first year, I had no idea what to do or who to talk to for help. After trying out new things and getting help from a lot of people, I finally decided what I wanted to major in. Here are some things that helped me figure out my major!
Check out the University Catalog
The first that I would recommend looking at is all the majors that are offered here at DePaul. One thing that helped me was looking through DePaul’s University Catalog. It gives a lot of information like a list of majors, class and degree requirements, course descriptions, and more!
Look over your Degree Progress Report
>DePaul offers a Degree Progress Report on Campus Connect that shows you how much progress you’ve made toward your current degree. You can use the what-if report and see what it would look like if you changed your major or added a minor, and what classes you would need to complete.
Talk to the Office of Academic Advising Support
Sometimes your academic advisor won’t always be available for a meeting, especially during registration time. Talking to an advisor from the Office of Academic Advising Support can be really helpful. My advisor helped me a lot with figuring out what majors would be best suited to my interests.
Being on Chicago’s Loop Campus for class is really great because it’s near so many different things to do in the city. Also, if you’re a college student, chances are you're looking for something cheap to do on the weekends or when you’re bored. Last week, my friends and I decided to go to the Chicago Cultural Center, which has free admission for everyone year round. It's a great place to experience Chicago's culture and history or explore different parts of the city.
The Cultural Center has so much to do: free art exhibits, classical music concerts, theatre, and family events. It’s located right across from Millennium Park and right off the Washington/Wabash Brown Line stop. I love looking at all the different art galleries from new, interesting artists. Some people find art museums boring, but I find them interesting. They’re a great way to expand your knowledge and appreciate different cultures. The art exhibits are always changing, so you can see something new each time you go there. If you’re someone who is interested in doing art or working in the field, they also offer lectures and workshops by gallery curators and artists.
The building is absolutely beautiful, especially on the very top floor. The Cultural Center is known for its stunning architecture, and they even offer guided architecture tours to learn about it more in depth. Overall, it’s a great place to go to learn more about Chicago and broaden your horizons. And you can take a great Instagram pic too!
Coffee shops are a college student staple, whether you're getting your morning cup of coffee or looking for a quiet place to study. With midterms right around the corner, coffee shops will be your new best friend - even if you don't consider yourself “a coffee person.” Chicago has so many cool coffee shops everywhere, and they're a great way for you to explore the city. Here’s my list of the best coffee shops in Chicago:
If you have classes mainly in the Loop campus, Dollop is great because it is located a block away from campus right off the Harold Washington Brown Line. I love the quiet and comfy environment, it's a perfect way to chill out after classes and get some homework done.
2) Hero Coffee
Another Loop campus staple for most students, located right on campus in an alley across from the DePaul Center, this is the perfect place to go when you're running late to class and need to grab some coffee because it's so close by.
3) Goddess and the Baker
Goddess and the Baker is a really cute cafe that doesn’t just serve coffee but really cute desserts too! They're known for their rainbow cake and gelato. I love their cozy environment and homey feel, it’s a great place to go when you feel homesick!
If you're looking for the most Instagramable coffee, Limitless has you covered with their glitter lattes! They're regular lattes with a glitter design on top. Located in the west loop, they have a really cool atmosphere that’s great for getting work done.
Hey, readers! My name is Nooreen, and I’m one of the newest DeBloggers. I’m a sophomore here at DePaul majoring in Information Systems, with a minor in Digital Cinema. I was born in Chicago but raised in the Northwest suburb, Itasca - where I commute from. I love going to school at a place that lets me be in the heart of the city and still be a short commute away from home.
Some of my interests include watching new movies, exploring the city, taking pictures, and going on adventures with friends. I love going to new places in the city in my downtime, and DePaul has made that so easy. I get to experience so many new things since we have two different campuses. Fashion and photography are both ways that I love to express myself, especially in a place like Chicago where there's inspiration everywhere! From the people to the sites and sounds, there's so much to be inspired by from just being present.
DePaul has so many opportunities, and I highly recommend that you take advantage of them. I’m beyond excited to share my experiences with you all on this blog and if you see me around campus don’t be afraid to say hi!
Once again, it's that time of year to get back on your regular sleeping schedule and kiss summer goodbye! The back to school season always brings a mix of emotions: anxiety, sadness, excitement, you name it. Luckily, DePaul. My favorite event that DePaul does at the beginning of the year is the Loop Block Party, which is basically a party with games, food trucks, and music held across the street. Whether you’re an inexperienced college freshman or a senior, this event is a great way to meet new friends, learn about the campus clubs, or just chill between classes.
The Involvement Fair is a great way for anyone who wants to get involved on campus. Although it’s known for being solely for First-year students, it’s a good way for anyone to learn about what's going on at DePaul. You can learn about tons of different organizations that are on campus. This is a great way to meet new people and get more involved in the community. From clubs to sororities and fraternities, the involvement fair will have something in it for you.
Vinny Fest is a highly anticipated annual event, held at the Lincoln Park quad. The festival is a celebration of St. Vincent de Paul’s feast day. It includes games, raffles, trivia, photos, and of course food! This is a great way for students to get to know one another and just hang out. There's always TONS of events going on at DePaul, especially during welcome week, make sure to keep an eye out!