Sydney Snell

St. Patrick's Day in the Chi

In case you were not already aware, this past weekend was St. Patrick’s Day! Chicago is known as one of the best cities to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and it truly lives up to all of the expectations. The river is dyed green, everyone is wearing green, Irish music is blasting on the streets, and there is a great parade! St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago is such a big deal, that many of my friends had visitors for the weekend just to celebrate our heritage and view the green river for themselves.​


st. patrick's day
​​
DePaul has finals this week, so the downtown festivity of the river being dyed was a great reason to take a little break from studying and enjoy the beautiful weather. Speaking of studying for finals, I am going to give a few tips that have helped me be the most prepared for my finals these past 2 ½ years.

1. Don’t wait until the night before to start studying. Even if you study for fifteen minutes everyday about three days before your final, you will do much better than studying for three hours straight the night before.
2. Quizlet is your best friend! If you have a final with a lot of definitions and terms, making a quizlet is a very fun and easy way to learn them.
3. Get a study group together! If you have a few friends in your class, have a pizza party at your house (or have the pizza delivered to the library!) and quiz each other. Studying with friends is a lot more fun and it helps me stay focused. My friends push me to continue studying and help me to avoid the temptation of going on Instagram two minutes into reading over the terms.

I hope these three tips are useful for you all for this week and for future finals you may take! 
Good luck on all of your finals, DePaul! :) 


the chicago river, green




Dear Evan Hanson in Chicago

This weekend, I had the best surprise ever happen to me! I was canning for Demonthon (DePaul’s 24 hour dance marathon) with two other people outside of James M. Nederlander Theatre because we were trying to catch a big crowd of people to get donations. We split into groups in order to cover both entrances to the theatre. Only about fifteen minutes into canning, one of the girls that had split off from us came running up to us with a huge smile on her face. When she approached us, she told us that a woman had three extra tickets to the Dear Evan Hansen​

She saw that we were raising money for a good cause, and felt that there were no better people to give the tickets to. We were all so excited to see the show because we had all heard such wonderful things about it. I had not been to a play in Chicago for almost over a year, which made me even more excited to see it! 

The show had such a wonderful message about self-love and showed how important it is to focus on bettering yourself. I cried about three times throughout the show, and I have been listening to the soundtrack on repeat ever since. I would 100% recommend it to anyone and despite the expense believe it is completely worth it. I had a wonderful day raising money for the kids, seeing a wonderful show, and meeting two new friends!

dear evan hansen playbill



A Tourism-filled Weekend

This weekend, my mom and sister came into town…so I got to channel my inner tourist! They came into town early on Saturday morning and stayed in the Loop, so everything we wanted to do was close or easily accessible by the train.  

The first thing we did was go to the famous Eataly and enjoyed some light food and, of course, some gelato. After this, we walked around the city and went up to some rooftops (Cindy’s Rooftop has a wonderful view and is free!).  I was also forced to go to the bean, where my sister and I took a typical tourist photo. Just when you think we were not being tourist-y enough, we went to Lou Malnati’s and had some deep dish pizza for dinner. Anyone who has lived in Chicago long enough knows that one should not go out to deep dish if they are in a rush. Since getting deep dish was about a three hour ordeal, we called it a night.

Sydney and her sister at The Bean


On Sunday morning, we ventured out to the West Loop for brunch. The West Loop has some of my all-time favorite restaurants in the city, and it also has great views of downtown.  My mom, sister and I went to the Allis for brunch and all really enjoyed our meals. The Allis had wonderful decor throughout the restaurant as well, which allowed for some great pictures. After getting brunch, we went back downtown and headed towards the art institute.  I always try to get here fairly early on the weekends, because in mid-afternoon, the lines become very long.  Although I had already seen a lot of this art before, I never get tired of it. My favorite part of the Art Institute is the Thorne Miniature Rooms​, and I recommend everyone to check them out!

the allis lobby
The Allis


While I was forced to take a picture at the bean, I did have an amazing weekend with my mom and my sister.       


Getting Around Outside Chicago


Hi everyone! If you are reading this, you somehow made it through those truly awful cold days. After the polar vortex, the Midwest was treated with some great weather!

This past weekend, I left Chicago and visited a friend at University of Iowa in Iowa City. One great thing I have found about living in Chicago is the Megabus system. I took a Megabus from Chicago to Iowa City, and it went very smoothly. If you are considering coming to DePaul but are worried about missing your friends, I highly recommend taking a Megabus to go visit them. The Megabus is a cheap way to get around when you do not have a car in the city. It is also a great substitute for a plane because you can save a lot of money. The Megabus can take you anywhere around the United States, and it is great for a student on a budget. I have also taken a Megabus to Madison, Wisconsin as well as to my home city Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Sydney in Iowa
Sydney and friend on the Megabus
While I did have a fun time seeing my friend and getting to explore a new city, I missed Chicago a lot. It reminded me of how cool it is to go to college in the middle of a big city with so many opportunities and things to do. Now that the polar vortex is over, I will be sure to spend this next week enjoying the (mostly) warm weather. 

Remembering Warm Days


I hope everyone is staying warm! Here at DePaul, we have already been given Wednesday off class and potentially Thursday. In honor of the cold weather, it seems right to look back on this past summer I spent in Chicago living with my friends in our apartment.

This past summer was the first one I spent in Chicago, and I had so much fun living in an apartment with my friends. One of our favorite fun and free things to do was go to Millennium Park almost each Tuesday. Every week there was a new movie, and they showed some of my favorites such as Coco and Get Out. All of my friends worked 9-5 shifts during the week during the summer, so we typically all met at the park and had a picnic dinner while watching the movie.
Coco at Millennium Park
Another highlight of my summer was going to Lollapalooza. This was my second time going to the festival, and I had so much fun. I saw some of my favorite artists such as Brockhampton, Allie X, Bruno Mars, Jaden Smith, and more. It is so crazy for me to think back to this festival, because my friends and I were SWEATING. One great thing about Lollapalooza is that they have free water fill up stations, which was my saving grace during each of the hot days during the festival. Having a music festival just minutes from my apartment is something I found to be super fun and exciting. My sister and her friend drove down from Minnesota to come to Lollapalooza for their first time, and we all had a blast. 
Lollapalooza 

Being able to live in Chicago for the summer was such a unique experience. There are so many fun things to do each day like going to the beach or simply walking around the city. There are also many street music and food festivals each weekend during the summer. I loved being able to live in the city over the summer and not have to focus on the stresses that school may bring.  


Winter Fun in Chicago

The true winter season has hit DePaul, but I am here to try to keep the winter blues away! Being in a big city like Chicago makes it a lot easier to find fun things to do in the winter instead of being stuck inside your dorm or apartment. Some things I recommend to do are going to a play, a museum, or a local coffee shop.

When you are a student at DePaul, you get free access to the Art Institute of Chicago which has amazing art from all around the world. Some of my professors have made it extra credit to go to this museum and look at all of the beautiful art work and exhibits, but I have gone for fun numerous times. I also recommend checking out the Chicago Cultural Center, which is also free to the public and is right across the street from the art institute. One museum I recommend with paid admission is the Museum of Contemporary Art. The art is rotated in and out fairly regularly, so it is worth visiting multiple times during the winter season! There are also many “free museum days” during the winter months, so be sure to keep an eye out for those.
Sydney and friend at the Art Institute
​During the winter, I also love going to new coffee shops and cafes. Some of my favorite places to grab a warm drink and a snack are Colectivo Coffee, Floriole Cafe & Bakery (this one is very close to the Lincoln Park campus!), Goddess and the Baker, and Dollop Coffee Co. With Chicago as your campus, there are countless cafes and museums to enjoy.
Camera, winter hat, latte


The Concert Queen

Hey DePaul!  This past week was filled with so much fun.  I went to three (yes three!) concerts this week, and also had my semi-formal for my sorority. 

On Monday evening, I saw a band called Years & Years.  I have been obsessed with them for about four years now, and I finally got the chance to see them live!  Wednesday night, I went to see Abhi the Nomad who I just recently began to like.  His show was very small, but he continuously had high energy throughout his entire performance.  On Friday night, I saw Kim Petras and Troye Sivan.  My roommate and I won tickets to this show through Radio DePaul and had the best night ever!  We are both such big Kim and Troye fans and are so grateful for the opportunity to see them for free with such great seats.  Each concert I went to was at a different venue, which I also found to be pretty exciting.  The Kim Petras and Troye Sivan concert was at the Chicago Theatre, which I had never been to before.  The venue was so beautiful, and Troye made everyone have a great time by singing and dancing their hearts out whether they were in the nosebleeds or in the front row. 

Friday evening was also my semi-formal, which was at the Laughing Buddha.  This venue just recently opened off the Chicago brown line stop and was perfect for our group.  While I had to leave my semi-formal early in order to get to the Troye Sivan concert, I still had a blast.

I hope you all had as fun of a week as I did! :)   ​​


Brunch in Chicago

Over the weekend I celebrated one of my friend’s birthdays.  Now, in my friend group, one of the necessities for celebrating a birthday is going out for brunch together.  We always try to go to someplace new, and today we tried out Batter & Berries.  Although we had to wait about an hour and a half for a table, I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves French toast.  The food and service were exceptional, and I will be back soon.

In Chicago, there are many restaurants to choose from for brunch.  There are places that are known for their cinnamon rolls, their French toast, fried eggs, and more.  When I first became vegetarian, I thought I would dread going out to brunch.  I had grown up eating sausage or extra crispy bacon whenever my family decided we were going to have a big breakfast together or when I went out to breakfast with friends.  To my surprise, Chicago has many restaurants with vegetarian and even vegan options.  Some of my favorite go-to places for brunch near the Lincoln Park campus area include Ann Sathers, Pick Me Up, and Cornerstone Cafe.  Cornerstone is my personal favorite.  Whenever I go there, I always build my own veggie skillet.  The skillet is placed on top of hash browns (I order mine extra crispy of course) with a side of pancakes.  The build your own skillet allows you to choose either toast, French toast, or pancakes as your side.  It is about a ten-minute walk from campus and rarely has a long wait.

One thing I love about living in Chicago is that you never run out of new places to try.  What are some of your favorite places to go to brunch in Chicago?  If you see me around campus, feel free to let me know.