Sandwiched between the elite universities of the West Coast, Loyola Marymount University is gaining academic, artistic, and athletic ground among the nation’s universities. The picture-perfect campus and friendly students further the appeal of this school. Before you embark on your freshman year at Loyola Marymount University, here are 38 things you must know about LMU.
This is a collaborative piece by: Gillian Ebersole and Sarah Hamilton
1. Even though you live less than 5 miles from the beach, you will not have time to go often.
Between classes, extracurriculars, employment, and social life, the beach could not seem farther away on some days. Still, making an effort to go every once in awhile will work miracles for your sanity.
2. The hook-up culture is real, but not the status quo.
For every incident of dormcest, there is a strong relationship to counter. People are accepting of each other’s decisions as long as everyone involved is being safe and respectful.
3. Drinking is not a big deal at all.
Some people drink, others don’t, but nobody cares.
4. Parties are less common.
Why party when Los Angeles is your backyard? Students who want to party visit downtown nightclubs, while others busy themselves with movie premieres, a myriad of restaurants, and concerts.
5. Sports take a back seat to the arts.
Los Angeles’ reputation for photography, film, art, and dance overwhelms the sports teams at LMU. There is definitely school spirit, but the days of high school athletes ruling the hallways are over.
6. 8am classes are not that bad.
Everyone takes one at some point, and though you may have to sacrifice a late night or two to get more sleep, having 8am classes often allows you to have free afternoons, which is a much-needed reward. Plus, the campus views are stunning in the mornings.
7. Do your laundry.
Just do it.
8. Savor every minute of time alone.
In high school, no one would be caught eating alone, but in college, people sit by themselves all the time. In fact, you may come to enjoy these moments of solace amidst the constant social bombardment caused by the thousands of students on campus.
9. It is ok to not join anything right away.
At LMU, everyone is extremely involved. But just because your neighbor is involved in student government, works a job, volunteers on the weekends, and takes more than 18 credits, does not mean you have to do the same. Take your time, and choose to dedicate your time to the activities you truly value.
10. Power walking is exhausting.
The campus is small, but this does not make the 10 minute power walk from University Hall to the other side of campus any easier. Wear tennis shoes.
11. Sing in the shower.
At LMU, being different and being talented are valued. So, you do you. Sing in the shower, play guitar in your dorm with your door open, and be unapologetically yourself.
12. Don’t expect to meet your significant other at orientation.
Or in the first month of school. Or the first semester. It is a process, and focusing on friendships will bring greater happiness than obsessing over romance.
13. Caffeine is a necessary addition to college life.
There is certainly no shortage of campus coffee and tea. With three coffee shops and three coffee carts, no place on campus is more than a few steps away from a morning pick-me-up.
14. Yes: you can overdose on coffee!
15. The cafeteria food is good as long as you make an effort not to eat the same foods everyday.
I played a game with myself and managed to last nearly 3 months without repeating the same meal. Yes, some foods are better than others, and by Christmas break, you will miss home-cooked meals, but the on campus food is good, and you will only be a short distance away from off campus restaurants.
16. Make time for the gym/exercise.
Your goal should be feeling good, destressing, and breaking a sweat. The best method of destressing and procrastinating is the Burns Rec Center, and there is always a great mix of people and exercise options.
Even if you’re like me and wasn’t a big fan of gym class in high school, the gym membership is included in tuition and a great way to relax! Plus, there are a bunch of fun classes you can attend like yoga, cycling and even Brazilian booty!
17. Make time for your mental health.
Whether you are religious or not, LMU offers so many resources to care for yourself. From Student Psychological Services to weekly Mass to conversations with resident ministers, there are countless opportunities to help you handle the stress of your freshman year. And, nobody judges you for needing help. In fact, they support you.
18. Procrastination is inevitable if you don’t prioritize.
One of the pros of LMU is that there is always something interesting happening on campus. However, when combined with the mounds of coursework, these events can be incredibly distracting. Use the events as a reward for finishing work or a method to take a break, but do not use them to procrastinate, or you may never finish your work!
19. You will not find your friends right away.
In fact, the beauty of college is that you are not forced to commit to a squad, ever. You will find friends over time, everyone does, but you can also float between many groups. Meeting so many different people is so easy with the planned events. My roommate and I made it our goal to go to as many free events as possible, and this is where I met so many of my current friends.
20. In less than a semester, you will know people all over campus.
Between classes, you will hear constant hellos from friends, coworkers, professors, and administrators. LMU is small enough that people learn your name if you put yourself out there.
21. The Bluff view never gets old.
Never stop enjoying this piece of paradise.
22. College may not be what you expect!
Just like high school, your High School Musical expectations may be a bit off coarse, but that’s alright because it will still be an amazing time in your life!
23. Club fest is overwhelming and you may sign up for more clubs than you’ll actually join.
24. The weather really is next to perfect all year around.
It may get a bit chilly in the winter months, but for the most part, it’s incredibly sunny and warm so bring sunnies!
25. You may miss your former life but that’s completely okay.
Eventually, you will realize that even though the past is in the past, the present is awesome and the future holds so many opportunities.
26. LMU offers a ton of opportunities and services so learn about them and feel free to check them out sometime!
27. Office hours are important!
Make great first impressions with your professors and go the extra mile to learn. They are here to help you!
28. It’s okay to spend some down time doing nothing.
Being in LA feels like if you blink, you’ll miss an opportunity, but sometimes it is best to just relax when you can.
29. Just because your schedule appears to have a lot of free time, that doesn’t mean that there will be!
Classwork, projects, work, and extra curricular tend to fill up your time so…
30. STAY ORGANIZED!
The planner you get at the beginning of the year is the best way to keep yourself organized throughout the year.
31. Although LMU is a relatively small campus, please note in advance that no matter where you are, the walk to U-Hall is a trip.
(However, Roski’s is located at the bottom floor at the end of it and there are more amazing food options you won’t find anywhere else on campus!)
32. There are many forms of transportation to get around LA, get to LAX, or visit the nearby mall for your Target runs.
The Lion Express, Big Blue Bus, Uber, Lyft, ZipCar and Yellow Cab are all great ways if you and your friends need to get somewhere but don’t have a car.
33. Despite the early fears of community bathrooms in residence halls, they’re actually not so bad and always available.
34. Productivity and keeping ahead of your schedule when possible is key if you’re somebody who wants to avoid late/all-nighters.
35. You can’t rush for a sorority or fraternity until spring semester of your first year.
However, there are still many ways to get involved and make friends right from welcome week.
36. Time will fly by quicker than ever…so make every moment count!
37. Stepping outside of your comfort zone just may be the first step towards discovering something new about yourself.
38. This year is going to be absolutely amazing.
You’re going to make so many great friends and have so many incredible moments.
Featured photo source: weheartit.com and flickr.com
Alexandra Smith is majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys running, hanging out with family friends, and roaming the world with her camera in hand.