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Nooreen Jahan

Being Environmentally Friendly in College

Most people already know what it means to be green or environmentally friendly. But with a busy schedule and classes to worry about it can be hard to make a ton of effort in a whole lifestyle change. There are tons of small changes you can make every day that have a bigger impact than you think.

Walk, ride a bike or take public transit 
Instead of driving or taking an Uber places, try walking, taking public transit, or carpooling. Chicago has a great and convenient public transit system that makes it so much easier to avoid driving. You can even avoid parking fees and wasting time finding a place to park. The fewer cars there are on the road, the less it contributes to air pollution

Ethical shopping 
Need to a buy a whole new wardrobe for next season? Thrift shopping is your best friend. It's much cheaper than fast fashion or department stores, reduces waste, and supports local businesses. Re-wearing/repurposing your old clothing is really helpful to stay on top of trends and reduce clothing waste. Investing in reusable products like metal water bottles and reusable bags when shopping is an easy way to reduce the amount of plastic consumption and pollution.

Save paper
Taking notes electronically is a great way to save paper and a lot faster than writing by hand in a notebook. Buying e-books is another great way you can save paper and it’s also a cheaper alternative to expensive college textbooks.


My Loop Oasis (Cafe)

Chicago is full of countless TONS of cool restaurants to try out, it can sometimes be overwhelming. When I was a freshman, I wanted to check out every new restaurant I saw. But obviously this could be a little difficult when you find yourself spending too much. A good way to avoid this is to try not to eat out too often. Instead, opt for cooking if you live on campus or bringing food from home.

A friend of mine recently introduced me to a Mediterranean restaurant called Oasis Cafe​ in the Loop. It’s a great place to get a quick bite to eat that’s also very affordable! The location is a little strange, because it requires you to go through several jewelry shops and all the way to the back. But trust me, it’s very much worth it! Oasis Cafe has tons of Mediterranean options that are both meat and vegetarian. What I like most is that their meat is all Halal. This is great because there aren’t many Halal food options near campus for Muslim students, so it’s great that there’s one nearby that’s also cost-friendly. I definitely recommend checking out Oasis Cafe the next time you’re in the Loop and craving Mediterranean food. 


oasis cafe sign



Why I Chose DePaul

Choosing a university to spend the next 4 or so years of your life is a very difficult decision. I remember when I was going through the college app season around this time last year, there were a lot of things I had to consider. But through it all, DePaul was my dream school and I decided it was the best decision for me overall! Here a list of why I chose DePaul:

1. The City: DePaul is located right in the heart of the city. There so much to do in the Chicago, with Millennium Park just a short walk away and so much more to explore. As someone from the suburbs, I really wanted to go to college in a place gave me opportunities to explore the city. DePaul has campuses in Lincoln Park and the Loop, which gives you both experiences in two very different parts of the city. 

2. Diverse majors that are offered: I started college unsure of what I wanted to major in, I’m that's the case for a lot of incoming freshmen. Luckily, there's so many majors and programs to choose from, you're bound to find something you're interested in! I was also able to add a Digital Cinema minor because of the great film school and the different types of minors within the CDM

3. Opportunities: DePaul is great place for networking and finding jobs or internships after college. Through the Handshake network, it's so easy to find a internship related to your interests. You can also get networking opportunities by joining clubs, talking to professors, or talking to the Career Center.

4. Commuter friendly: I loved that DePaul was very accommodating to its commuter student population. I know lots of students who, like me, commute to school every morning. Sometimes for over an hour each day. Commuter services​ include commuter lounges in the loop and commuter events which are great ways to relax between classes and your train ride home!

Although it's only my second year, I’m so happy with the decision I made to go to DePaul, and I love all the experiences I’ve gained here. I can’t imagine going to college anywhere else. Good luck to everyone’s college decisions this year!

Nooreen



Best Korean Food in the West Loop

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!

Chicago Cultural Center

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

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:

1)    Dollop

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!

4)    Limitless

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.