Welcome back, Class of 2022! We are thrilled to reconnect with you as you settle into our non-traditional semester. Non-traditional: oddly enough, it is a word that offers me comfort and hope. It is a word that many of my loved ones have use to describe me throughout my life. Someone who can still pass within our more standard ways of work and life but is just off-the-beaten-path enough to offer fresh perspectives and keep life zesty. Orienting myself in such a manner has taught me a few things about what it means to step away from the expected.
When the cleaner paths that have been laid out for us (by ourselves or others) are no longer traversable we are forced to look inward and re-evaluate. We are invited to remember our values, to return to our most basic missions, and reassess our needs and goals. This process helps us reconnect with our north star so that we have direction as we forge new roads. If you pay close enough attention along the way, you may come to find something pretty magical. You may just discover this labor-intensive but self-constructed path to be better fitted for you than the original. And although struggle and fear often accompany each step, you begin to wonder if any of us were every truly meant to follow the neatly pre-designed road. You may even question if the traditional path ever actually existed. Suddenly, the world might feel a little less scary because you can’t fail when there is no standard to meet. The setbacks and obstacles along the way are just a part of the adventure. More importantly, you begin to trust your ability to creatively land on your feet and continue the adventure of becoming!
My hope for you this semester, Class of 2022, is that you fully embrace the blessing of non-tradition. Junior year at Loyola is often about exploring cultures and community. How can you find creative ways to re-commit to your communities? What might you need to better understand about your own culture before delving into others? How can you use the resources available to you to explore the world from your living room couch? While there is always value in the solo journey, there is often much more to gain when you explore and learn in community. Continue to seek out those Loyola opportunities that will allow you to connect and re-commit. They are still happening! Here are some opportunities perfect for juniors:
1) International Air BnB Experiences:
· When you are longing for an international experience.
2) Milestone Fair: (link not available yet)
· When you’re not sure what to expect or focus on during a virtual semester to stay on track.
· This virtual fair will help you stay on track with the important milestones of your class year. Get entered to win prizes, including international Air BnB Experiences, by participating!
· More details to come.
3) BMore Engaged
· When you still want to engage with your community in meaningful ways.
4) Loyola Votes:
· When you need to register to vote!