Tag Archives: chicago

Rocstar Hair Show This Weekend!

3 Dec

Looking for something to do this weekend?  Stay out of the cold on Saturday (12/4) and head over to Flat Iron for a hair/fashion show. Rocstar Hair presents “Beauty is Dead” .

Photo Credit: Rocstar Hair Facebook Page

Going with the “Rocstar” theme the show will feature zombie, Victoria Secret looking models. It’s a one of a kind show that demonstrates the talent and creativity that is Rocstar Hair.Rocstar Hair is a new salon that opened in August in the heart of Wrigleyville. The Flat Iron is located at 1565 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago. The cover charge is $5 which covers beer and whiskey specials. The bar is open from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m.

Want to look like a “rocstar” yourself? Check out their Facebook page  and set up an appointment with one of their amazing stylists. Students with a valid ID get $5 off.


Lorena’s Life in the City

1 Dec


Chicago College Life has interviewed one of the Chicago college students that has been following our blog for the past couple of weeks. Lorena Lara, an 18 year old freshman living on campus at UIC, was interviewed by Chicago College Life about her experience living on campus and trying to be dependent on herself. She was a sample of our student audience whom we sought to know how much of an advantage and help our blog was to her in her life especially as a freshman.

CCL: What major are you studying?

LL: Right now I am undecided. I haven’t chosen my major yet, but I know I want to do something in the medical field because I like science.

CCL: How far is your hometown from school?

LL: It’s two hours away by train and other public transportation, or twenty-five minutes of driving.

CCL: Did your parents have an impact on your education decision?

LL: They wanted me to do something that did not involve a lot of years of studying. But I decided to go against their will because it’s my life. They actually wanted me to go to college for X-ray technician but I did not want to get an associate degree. I wanted more than that, so I decided to go to a university instead.

CCL: You said you have an undecided major, does that have anything to do with what your parents have suggested to you?

LL: They just wanted me to get an associate degree because it doesn’t take as long as a bachelor degree. My parents want me to be independent, and attending a university would make me dependent on my parents for a longer time. I am taking my time and not rushing things because I know I will be in a career that will make me become an independent afterwards.

CCL: Are you employed?

LL: I didn’t want to work my first semester of school, because I thought it would interfere with my grades. Now that I have learned how to manage my time wisely, I will probably look for a job for next semester.

CCL: How do you handle your college expenses?

LL: I get financial aid, and I get the rest of the money from my parents.


CCL: What is your housing plan like?

LL: I live in Courtyard . Our room and board also come with a a five-day meal plan, so on the weekends I either go home or go out to eat with my friends.

CCL: Where do you like to eat with your friends?

LL: I like to eat in Greek Town or Little Italy . Both neighborhoods are cheap, but when I am in a Mexican mood I go to Lalos . Every Wednesday they have Salsa night. OH MY GOD it is so fun, you have to go there!

Little Italy in Chicago

Lalos Logo

CCL: Why did you choose to live in the dorms, and how were your parents involved with that decision?

LL: I wanted to get the full college experience, but my parents didn’t agree with me living in the dorms because they said it was going to be a waste of money. I think their decision was basically a Mexican tradition—that young ladies are to stay with their parents. But I convinced them, and they’ve accepted it.

CCL: How often do your parents check on you?

LL: During the first month of school, they would call me like three times a day. But now, it’s every other day. The first question they  always ask me is if I am coming home this weekend Once I tell them that I am not, they think it’s because  want to go out to a party.

CCL: How often do you go home?

LL: I go home every other weekend. When I go home I shop with my mom, because when I am home, I can’t study. That’s why I stay at school most of the time on weekends, working in the computer lab on doing papers.

CCL: How well do you know the city?

LL: I know about restaurants, but I don’t have that much information about night life, in order to be really involved in “the nightlife” I need to be 21, because most things include alcohol. I have seen the section Chicago College Life has provided about nightlife and entertainment, I am interested in it and look at it every once in a while, [Sigh] Can’t wait!

CCL: Did you have any previous knowledge about the city?

LL: I have been at a couple of clubs,  for kids my age, but it’s on the north side of downtown. Now that I have been following Chicago College Life, I gained more knowledge on what is going on around me.

CCL: What do you like do for fun around the city?

LL: I go to the movies when I get home, and I go to the UIC Theater if I was not busy. As for clubs , I go where I’m legally allowed to enter; and I go bowling with my friends. I just think that I am totally missing a lot because I am not 21, but I can’t wait for that!

Lorena 2nd from left bowling with her friends

CCL: Do you feel more responsible now that you live away from home?

LL: Yes, I’m more responsible. It feels great because I don’t have anyone calling me to ask me what time I will be home. I can get to my dorm at any time without getting in trouble. However, I feel like living in the middle of the city makes me more vulnerable to danger, especially for a young lady like me. One tip I follow from my peer mentor and Chicago College Life is to always go out in groups—NEVER BY MYSELF.

CCL: Do you think that your life would have been different if you lived at home?

LL: Time managing can definitely be hard your first semester living in the dorms. Sometimes I feel I have to choose between sleeping, having a social life, or studying. I learned my lesson the hard way; as of now I’m on the border of failing a class because of my procrastination. But I see my friends and study with them, and I followed the tips from the topic on Midterm Madness; I hope I won’t fail!

Over all, one of the advantages that Lorena has from living in the dorms is and able to experience the city life. Living in student housing has allowed her to study with the classmates, connect with friends, and avoid hours of commuting. Even though Lorena lives away from home and is dependent on her parents, she is currently learning how to be independent.


Thanksgiving Moments: Words from Students

19 Nov

It’s the day everyone has been waiting for! College kids always seem to love this holiday because you get some much needed time off before finals.  It’s the time to be with family, friends, and other loved ones, eat delicious food and watch football until you can barely function. I’m talking about Thanksgiving: the precursor to Christmas, the other favorite holiday of some college students. Chicago College Life wanted to know how others like to spend their holiday, so we asked around to get the scoop on your favorite things to do over Thanksgiving break.

There are a multitude of people you can spend Thanksgiving with. These people can be family, a significant other, friends or a mix of all the important people in your life! It’s fun to catch up with others. It’s great to have most of your family in one place. A huge part of trying to coordinate this holiday chaos is figuring out who will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner because that’s the place where everyone wants to be.

“For Thanksgiving, I spend time with just my family at home, and we cook at home also. Then we just fall asleep.” – Shaughnessy, St. Xavier University

“I spend time at home with my family, then we usually eat at my grandparents’ house.” – Armani, Columbia College

“I’m usually with my family and boyfriend on Thanksgiving.” – Shastina, Chicago State University

For those of us not lucky enough to live at home, our commutes are longer than the walk from the bedroom to the kitchen. Of course, many people can’t hang with their families if they’re not at home, so many students who stay on campus drive home or catch the train.  Of course, the big issue here isn’t how you get home, but what you eat when you arrive.

Some enjoy traditional meals.

“Deep fried turkey breast, homemade macaroni and cheese, dressing and cranberry sauce, and gumbo are my favorites. I like them because they have been made ever since I can remember for Thanksgiving.” – Shaughnessy

Some prefer something different.

“I love Chinese food & French fries [on Thanksgiving].  I really don’t know why they’re my favorite to be honest.” – Brittany, St. Xavier University

And who can resist mom’s cooking?

“I love to eat my mother’s mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, and greens. She also makes a great chocolate éclair. They’re the best simply because she makes them.” – Arman , UIC

There’s always something to look forward to as well.

“Baked Ham is my favorite because I don’t usually have that on a regular basis.” – Michelle, The Art Institute of Chicago

But, everyone isn’t so lucky to eat at home.

“Well, I usually work on Thanksgiving day, and have been for the past 4 years so someone brings me a plate of food to work.” – Laila, UIC

Do you help cook the turkey? Most students said no. They’re at home to relax and enjoy the holiday. Since they are college students though, there is still homework to be done for some, which means not enjoying themselves to the fullest.

“No, I don’t do homework and hopefully my teachers won’t assign it either.” – Shaughnessy

“I do homework. For some reason, professors think that we have all the time in the world over break to do papers.” – Laila

“Yes, I do homework. I usually study for finals, but I make sure it doesn’t interfere with family time.” – Brittany

Do you help others on Thanksgiving? Some responded that they may give food to neighbors who may not be fortunate enough to have enough food and that in the future, they would like to volunteer and donate their time and material possessions to those in need. They are thankful that they have enough to be able to have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy everything about this holiday.

“I love the good food, being around my family, and us recognizing that we are blessed and thankful. We have a place to live and each other to spend Thanksgiving with, and that’s all I want.” – Brittany

Brittany summed it up greatly. Thanksgiving is about being happy that you’re with people who love you and who you love in return. Let’s be realistic; it’s also about the tasty food. This is one of the few times each year that families can get together so be thankful for this holiday, eat lots of food, and kick back.

Happy Thanksgiving from CCL.


Leadership in the City: An Interview.

10 Nov

Valerie L. Holmes

Valerie L. Holmes, the Associate Director for Student Development Services, explains why leadership is so important. One of her responsibilities include working with leadership development. She has a Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration and has worked for several other universities. This is her 10th year working in student affairs, so given her background, she was a great person to talk to about the importance of leadership as it relates to students.

Chicago College Life: What is leadership and what are your perceptions about it?

Valerie L. Holmes: The most widely known definition of leadership comes from a group of scholars in higher education. It is defined as a relational process of people together, attempting to accomplish change or make a difference to benefit the common good. What that means is, there has to be a positive and mutually beneficial relationship between the people involved and that they are attempting to accomplish positive change. For me personally though, although that is the definition of leadership that I teach most, I think there are very specific attributes to good leaders. Not everyone has the ability or capacity to master those attributes and I think that leadership can be both positive and negative.

CCL: Why is it important for students to learn leadership? How does it benefit them academically?

VLH: I think it’s important for students to learn about leadership because of what I call personal leadership discovery. In doing that, one finds out about him or herself, their personality, likes and dislikes, how they react and behave during times of stress and challenge or celebration and joy, how they treat other people, what they like about how other people treat them, etc. They learn about congruency between their own beliefs and actions and how to interact with people and yield a positive result.

It’s beneficial to them in several different ways. It teaches responsibility, accountability and how to think critically, which is important for students. It helps to strategically think about one’s life, as it relates to other people, and what it takes to be a support to someone. I think it also exposes them to different concepts that challenge their own past views of things and therefore allows them make their own decisions. In my opinion, leadership experiences and concepts are the things that connect the classroom learning with experiential learning. It brings them together and solidifies the collegiate experience.

CCL: What about learning leadership for a future career?

VLH: Leadership in a career is very important because employers are looking for students who have very specific skills. Not just as it relates to the actual field but skills that happen to be general. Those are the skills of communication and interpersonal relations. Employers are having a harder time finding graduates that have these skills. Students can be highly capable of doing the technical part of the job, but if they don’t have those general skills, they won’t get hired. Who would want to have to micromanage someone who they’re paying all this money for?  You say you’re an adult and that you’re capable, competent, and ready for the responsibility, but if you don’t know how to interact with people, then really you’re not a total package. So, when students participate in our programs around leadership or they do their own leadership self discovery, it opens the door for them to start learning more about how to interact with other people and that shows in an interview. Even just with answering generic interview questions, you can tell who has good interpersonal and communication skills and who does not.

CCL: You mentioned campus activities earlier. Could you mention some programs you have?

VLH: Well, I was brought in to revamp the office because we don’t have very much right now. But, some offices on different campuses have what we call “leadership staples.” You’re always going to have leadership workshops and conferences and we have both of those things here at UIC. We have been working on trying to come up with a workshop series that’s interesting and presented in a way that will be palatable to the students. In addition to those generic leadership offerings that other campuses have, we also have a luncheon series, a seminar series, and one on one consultations.

CCL: What are some general, well-known leadership resources?

Some resources mentioned by Valerie.

VLH: It depends on what field you’re in because well-known is subjective. From the business world standpoint, things such as StrengthQuest, Fish Philosophy, Whale Done or anything by Spencer Johnson is great. He’s written a lot of books on leadership and management. Kouzes and Posner and Susan Komives have great books coming from the student affairs standpoint. We try to integrate both the business and student development side of leadership and use things such as Who Moved my Cheese, True Colors, and the Student Leadership Practices Inventory. We also offer different academic workshops for students that are ran by administrators. They use simulations like the Archie Bunker’s Neighborhood and BaFa’ BaFa’ to showcase intergroup dynamics and how leadership comes into play in situations.

CCL: Do you have any last words for students?

VLH: In my heart, I feel very firmly that participating in the free leadership and free community service programs that your campus offers is the easiest, cheapest, and most fun way to make the biggest impact on your future. It’ll help you in your personal and academic life and future career. You’ll be exposed to things that people pay thousands of dollars for in the corporate world. It will give you a leg up over other candidates because you sort of already know the concepts of leadership. It lets you think about what you do in your life and not just going through life and letting it happen to you. You understand it and can tap into your own potential and make strategic plans for your future.

Here are some references for Depaul and Loyola students. Don’t forget to check out your own school’s leadership resources and take advantage of them.

Some fliers from Student Development Services’ leadership programs/events:

Surviving the Single Life in College :)

4 Nov

Be single. Be happy.

Ahh, it’s that time of year again! Cool air, warm drinks, and the need to snuggle. If you’re single, don’t stress. Society tells us that humans are meant to have close relationships (which you might have learned in your sociology or anthro class), and if we don’t have that, something’s up. Being in college is the time in your life before the real world comes knocking at your door. For some people, this is the best time to get to know yourself and frame your life the way you want it. CCL wants to give you a few reasons to not fret/what to do if you’re single in college.

  1. Concentrate more or your work: You’re in college and I’m sure you knew that, which means there should be many, many hours spent studying. If you have one less person to worry about, you can put that energy towards studying and homework. It’s possible to slack off in school if you’re spending much time with a significant other. Take advantage of this time and make your school your main priority.
  2. Have a “you” day or night: Don’t have a date? That’s cool! People always say, “If you can’t be happy alone, how can you be happy with someone else?” Take yourself to a nice restaurant, take up a hobby, go to the gym, do something. Keeping yourself busy will keep you sane and prevent your mind from wandering.
  3. Make more friends: Sometimes if you’re in a relationship, you spend most of your time with that person. It’s important to build relationships with other for many purposes. These can be personal reasons or since you’re in college, these new friends can help you network for internships, jobs, volunteering, etc.
  4. Make your own decisions: College is a time to be free. You don’t want to have to hear from anyone else. You can be independent and plan out what you want for yourself. It will make you happier in the long run if you learn how to do this now.
  5. Understand the real you: With so many things going on, you could lose sight of who you are as a person. You are more than a college student, athlete, tutor, or whatever you are. It’s extremely vital that you realize that you should not be what you are being molded out to be. It’s better to be yourself and come to terms with who you are. Don’t be defined by your relationships.

Here’s a video from a life/relationship coach about being single in college:

Scary Halloween Fun! >:)

25 Oct

Scared yet?

We have another Halloween treat for everyone! Megan got you ready to get creative with your Halloween costumes and I’m here to share some scary and fun events that are taking place this season. Do you like to be scared?  Well then this is for you.

One of the most popular destinations for the Halloween season is Six Flag Great America’s Fright Fest. Many college people attend this just to have fun and it’s great to go in big groups. Fright Fest runs on the weekends from October 2nd-31st. Tickets cost $36.99 but there may be student discount tickets available on your campus. In addition to the spooky decorations at the park, they offer four different haunted houses: a house based on the Saw movies, the Mausoleum of Terror, Back Lot Horror tour, and Area 51. They also offer several more activities that are sure to keep you entertained in this creepy season.

Do you like haunted houses? One of the most well-known haunted destination spots is the Statesville Haunted Prison. It’s located in Crest Hill, Illinois and began in 1996. It’s has been voted number one for 8 years by HauntedHouseChicago.com. It costs $30 to get in and on Thursdays, you get $5 off with a coupon, which is good for those of you on a budget. Many of the people I know who have visited say it’s the scariest thing they’ve ever experienced.

Another house that boasts being the Midwest’s scariest haunted house is Midnight Massacre located at Odyssey Fun World in Naperville, Illinois. It’s over 12,000 sq. ft. and has 30 rooms filled of scary excitement. It costs $20 to enter and is open Thursdays to Sundays only.

Chronicles of the Cursed, The Sinkhole: A Chicago Haunted House Experience is a haunted house located on Grand Avenue in downtown Chicago. It’s the biggest haunted house in the city and came about after people started hearing strange noises and strange things began to happen around a sinkhole that was discovered on Grand Avenue. Admission is only $15 and there are many interesting things to learn about this house on the website. Are you still in the mood to get scared? There are plenty of options out there of haunted houses and places to get your paranormal fix.

What about ghosts? Ghosts have always been fascinating to many people and Chicago has plenty ghost tours throughout the city. Chicago Haunting Tours has been named one of the top ten ghost tours in the country. Tours start in October and last until the end of November, and explore areas that have a rich, local history (for the history majors and lovers out there). Some of these places include Fort Dearborn, the site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Archer Avenue which is the site of Resurrection Mary, Native American grounds, and many more. Most tours cost $29-$32 and specialty tours prices vary.

Weird Chicago is also another favorite for Chicagoans and tourists. They explore many different destinations around the city and topics including the haunting of Al Capone and The Murder Castle, which tells of America’s first serial killer. Prices are $30 for adults and most tours last 3 hours. All tours for October have been sold out but there are plenty available for November and December. If you check out the website, you’ll see links to other tours around Illinois as well.

If you love to be scared, these are the places to go. Many college students like the thrill of the unknown and if you’re one of those people, be sure to check out these places and more. Paranormal spots are everywhere in Chicago and with midterms being over for many people, treat yourself to some eerie enjoyment this holiday season; or if you’re away from school during Thanksgiving break, have a night on the town with your family. I’m sure it’ll be an experience you won’t forget!


Staff Introductions

17 Sep

Name: Anastasia aka Anamal

Age: 21 years

Hometown: Brookfield

Major: Communications

Minors: Gender & Women Studies and Sociology

Three Random Facts:

  1. There’s nothing I hate more than flies and the word “ca-ca.”
  2. I have a Red Bull and chocolate addiction.
  3. My favorite drinking game is THUMPER.

INSPIRATION FOR WEBSITE: The city can be so overwhelming! After growing up in the suburbs, I was not prepared for the busy lifestyle of Chicago. There are so many deals and free events for students, but I always have a hard time finding discounts that appeal to me. Now that I am 21 yrs old, it has become even more complicated! Therefore, my inspiration for this website was to spread awareness on inexpensive entertainment as well as to provide recommendations on the bars and drink specials for Chicago college students.

Name: Ashley aka Ash or Ashro

Age: 21

Hometown: Hoffman Estates

Major: Communications

Three random facts:

  1. I was born with three kidneys!
  2. I love Bon Jovi & know all the lyrics to his songs!
  3. I know it’s bad, but I still have never learned how to swim!

INSPIRATION FOR WEBSITE: From an early age, I knew I wanted to get out of the suburbs and live in Chicago!  Choosing to go to college in the city was one of the best decisions that I have made.  I loved every minute of exploring and getting familiar with the city, but I wish I had more information about different neighborhoods and places to check out that were not recommendations from my RA.  My inspiration for this website is to provide college students with information about their new home away from home that will help them get out and explore the city in between living the hectic life that comes along with being a college student!

Name: Megan aka Malibu or Blondie

Age: 23

Hometown: Chicago

Major: Communications

Three random facts:

  1. I am overly obsessed with Halloween especially coming up with original costumes!
  2. I have a fear of pigeons
  3. I somehow am able to hold 3 jobs and be a full time student

INSPIRATION FOR WEBSITE: The creation of this website was very important to me. When I entered college I had NO idea what I was in for. I am the first of my siblings to attend college so I really had no guidance. As time went on I learned about cheap ways to buy books, learned great places around the city to study, and many other valuable tools to get me through my college career. With this site I hope to give you information that I wish I had received, I will write about topics and issues that us college students deal with everyday.

Name: Nakendra aka Pooh, Kenny, or Nicky

Age : 21

Hometown: Chicago

Major : Communications

Minor : African-American Studies

Three random Facts:

  1. I’m a Lady Gaga addict.
  2. I love chocolate, chocolate flavored foods, foods with chocolate in them, fudge, chocolate frosting, etc.
  3. I intern for WGN Morning News.

INSPIRATION FOR WEBSITE: I truly appreciate being in school and the opportunities that come my way. I was born and raised in the city of Chicago and am currently a senior at UIC. I believe that it’s important for students to have resources available to them to have a successful college career. It’s also important to have a social life while in college. These are, after all, the best years of your life! I love going to different restaurants, museums, and just strolling around downtown on beautiful days.  Ice skating at Millennium Park is cool (no pun intended) in the winter too.  Enough about me though; I hope you guys reading our blog will enjoy it and use it to your fullest extent! Enjoy your college years! They fly by pretty fast.

Name: Rima aka Mima 

Age: 22

Hometown: Chicago

Major: Communications

Minor: International Studies

Three Random Facts:

  1. I hate chocolate, fruit, and cheese in all its productions
  2. I know a singer who looks identical to me
  3. I’m a pro at hookah

INSPIRATION FOR WEBSITE: In college, you “live your life.”  It’s true only if you actually know how.  As a senior-international student,the unfamiliar conversations that were disclosed between my peers have led me to Google anything. My life off-campus has restrained me from opportunities to join any kind of sports,organizations or clubs. I don’t want other students to have to go through the same process of Google-ing everything the same way I did; I also want to advise students on how much they are missing out for living off-campus. Instead this blog will provide some insight that I never had!

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