My First 30 Days by: Joe Laurendi OSI Edge Team

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My first 30 days at DePaul could not have gone any better! I have exceeded my expectations of what it would be like living in the city of Chicago. It is truly amazing to have the city right at my fingertips and have the ability to go where ever I decide I want too.

The bulk of my time here has been spent at sporting events throughout the Chicago area. I am a huge baseball fan and I took full advantage of having Wrigley Field two stops away from our campus. In the small amount of time I was here, I ended up going to five Cubs games. Even though the Cubs were not very good, I still had a great time watching the games and being in one of the most historical stadiums in the world. I also went to a White Sox game in late September; I loved how Wrigley Field and US Cellular were completely different stadiums. I also went to the opening game of the Chicago Bears and saw them play my hometown the Buffalo Bills. Solider Field is an amazing stadium, and I loved my experience even more because the Bills got the victory. I also went to another football game, but at Northwestern to see the Wildcats play Western Illinois. I liked the whole college football atmosphere and it was nice to experience this because DePaul unfortunately does not have a team.

One of the best things I have experienced at DePaul is all of the different cultures from around the world and the United States all put together in one place. I have met and become friends with so many people from different backgrounds that I would have never been able to meet if I had not come to DePaul. I was shocked at the amount of people who traveled here from California, without a doubt the most surprising part of coming here. I have become close friends with a ton of people from California at DePaul, that over our winter break I am heading to San Diego to visit with some of them. Meeting new people has led to many different opportunities for me and that is the best thing I have experienced at DePaul.

            Becoming a student at DePaul was one of the best choices I have ever made. I love the sense of independence and responsibility I have now.

There is no one looking out for me anymore, so I really feel the pressure to hold myself accountable. I am enjoying my classes a lot more than I thought I would. Each one is very interesting to me and I find myself wanting to go to class. My work load has increased since high school though, but I have found a good balance between schoolwork and fun. My time as being a student has gone extremely well and I believe that will continue for the rest of the quarter.

Living in Chicago is totally different then I am used too. Back home I live in a very small town where everyone knows everyone. Here is obviously very different than that, you see thousands of new people every single day. Another big difference between Chicago and home is the use of public transportation. The only time I have ever used public transportation is when I was on vacation in a city. Back home you drive everywhere; there is barley any type of public transportation. Using public transportation has its pros and cons though. I love being able to access pretty much any part of the city by the train and they are extremely reliable.

The cons of trains are that they are usually pretty crowded and there are some strange people who use them, but I guess that makes for a good story.

I find it very strange that I haven’t driven a car in about two months. I am nervous that when I go home that I may be a little rusty. Another huge difference then back home is the amount of stores and restaurants. Back home we had a lot of stores about ten minutes from my house, but Chicago has everything you could possibly imagine. When it comes to restaurants and places to eat, Chicago has many options that I simple do not have at home. The first restaurant I do not have back home is Chick-fil-A. People are shocked when I tell them this, and do not understand how I live without it. Another breakfast place I fell in love with here is Einstein Bagels. I am a huge breakfast fan and specifically a huge bagel person. The different selection of bagels they have amazes me and my goal is try a new one every time I am there.

         The first 30 days of my life as a DePaul student can only be described as incredible.

The amount of sporting events I have attended in the past month is truly amazing for a sports geek like myself. I have grown up so much in the first 30 days and have a huge appreciation for what I have back at home. I am looking forward to continuing on this quarter and getting to the six week winter break!!!

My First 30 Days by: Cali Parisi OSI EDGE Team

Before coming to DePaul, I had no idea what to expect.  I had heard of what college was like from friends, movies, and family members.  When I moved into my dorm, it all started to hit me.  From unpacking my clothes to rearranging the furniture in the room, everything was my roommates and my decision.  The freedom was starting to set in already.  As sad as it was to move out of my cozy home in the suburbs, I was ready for this new adventure in a big city.

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After spending Labor Day getting to know my roommate and new neighbors, it was time to start my Discover Chicago: Summer Sports class.  I was both nervous and excited for this class.  It was my number one choice for discover classes, so I was really glad I got this opportunity. I was nervous to go into a class without knowing a single person, but this class proved to not be scary at all.  On the first day, we took a bus to Diversey Lanes and bowled with my new classmates.  It was so much fun to just get to know everyone in such a light setting.

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The next few days would be the best ones yet.

The next day we went to U.S. Cellular Field and toured the stadium.  Being a die-hard White Sox fan, this was one of the most breathtaking experiences of my life.  We were able to go to the press box, walk on the field, the dugout, and many other cool places.  We also had guest speaker’s talk to us while sitting in the dugout, so that was just amazing.  Sitting where my idols have sat just made everything seem more real.  I now have a whole new perspective while watching the White Sox games.  Later that day, we went to Comcast Sports Chicago Studio and toured that as well.  David Kaplan was our guest speaker and we were even able to see him do a live telecast.  Being behind the scenes was something I had never experienced, so it was neat to see all the equipment and work that went into it.

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The day after that adventure, we traveled to Arlington Race Track, which was another spectacular day.  We had a guest speaker talk to us about behind the scenes work in regards to the horses, gambling, and other things.  I had been to the racetrack previously in my life, but was never able to gamble on my own due to my age, so this time was a lot more entertaining.  Learning that sort of system was so exciting and thrilling.

At the end of that week on Friday, we went to a restaurant called “Deuces and Diamonds” that is in Wrigleyville.  The manager talked to us about all kinds of events they host and the atmosphere that is around.  The restaurant was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone.  After eating there, we went to a Cubs game.  Even though I am a huge White Sox fan, I do not hate the Cubs so I was able to survive being there!  I had never been to a Cubs game in my life, so it was actually a very cool experience.  I had a great time with my new friends, even though it rained a ton at the game.

That weekend my new neighbors in my dorm and I started to explore the city.We walked all around campus to start, but ended up going downtown sometimes during the weekend.  Using the L trains is so much fun once you get to know them. I am still confused with the bus system, but I am learning.  Meeting new people was the main mission of that weekend, and I definitely succeeded with that.

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After the weekend, it was still immersion week, so on Monday we went back to the Cell and went to a White Sox game.  It was a night game, which is my favorite kind of game, so that was great.  I had been to some White Sox games in the past, but I will never get sick of going.  We also took the Red Line to get there, which I had never done before.  Taking public transportation to a baseball game was a new experience that I didn’t mind.

Finally for my last day of immersion week we had our service project assignment at a warehouse for the Chicago Marathon.  Our job was to put together the volunteer credentials.  It was a very annoying task, but we completed the project.  I was also inspired to actually volunteer for the Chicago Marathon race day, which was a ton of fun.  I convinced my friend to join me, and she agreed.  We got a free jacket and hat too!

After immersion week real classes began and life started to become more realistic and not just fun and games.  My new classes are challenging, but with hard work and dedication I know I can pull off good grades.

Living in my hometown of Prospect Heights, IL, which is a suburb, is a lot different than living in the city.  The city of Chicago is home to so many opportunities and experiences.  Public transportation in the city is actually the best.  Being able to take a train or bus pretty much anywhere is super convenient.  The city is also very busy and loud, which I like.  When I go to sleep at night, I hear noises of trains and horns.  In my hometown, everything was so quiet compared to here.  Not that either is a bad thing; they are just both different in their own ways.  There is never a dull moment in the city.

Deciding to come to DePaul was one of the best decisions I ever made.  I love the area of Lincoln Park and can’t imagine being anywhere else.

It is busy, but not too busy at the same time.  I like how we are so close to the city, but we seem to be in our own little world.  I like my classes here and I like having a small class size.  I have made so many new friends that I can see lasting a lifetime.  I am also close enough to home and I know I can go home whenever I want so that makes me happy.  My two best friends from back home have also visited me due to the proximity of DePaul to my hometown in the suburbs.  I love having people that I know and love nearby, and it just made the adjustment process a lot less difficult.

I absolutely love DePaul and can’t wait for the memories and experiences to continue!

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My First 30 Days by: Alex Wolf OSI EDGE Team

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One of the things that I have experienced so far are all of the events that DePaul has going on.  So far I have seen a show at the theater school and I have seen a soccer game.

What has been the best thing though, I think was seeing Second City during Immersion Week!

When I heard about this during orientation, I really wanted to see one of their shows. I was also told it was something that I should do since I was going to be in Chicago.  Not saying that the performances I have seen put on by DePaul were not good, I just enjoyed Second City more than the rest.

I really enjoy having all of this public transit available, so I can go anywhere.  Back home I really cannot rely on public transit being reliable and able to get me close to where I want to go due to how the city is set up.  At first, it was hard to know the timing of the transit and where the different routes went because of how many different ways there was to go to the same place. I will admit that at one point, I did get lost… but I was able to get pointed in the right direction and made it to my destination in good time.

During the first few weeks of school some friends and I all went to Millennium Park late at night and just walked around the park. One time we went and saw a concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, and we all enjoyed just sitting in the grass talking and listening to music.   After we left the concert we walked around some more and met some interesting people on the street, for example one guy quoting The Lion King, which is something that would never happen where I am from for a few different reasons.  One thing that I really want to go to is a show at the Steppenwolf Theater.  Also, the theaters in my hometown are either small companies or the main theater, but otherwise there are not really any options to choose to go to see theater.

Being a student at DePaul so far has been enjoyable.  I have gone to many different parts of Chicago in this first month and some I want to go back to more often.  All of the immersion week activities that I went to were really enjoyable.  When I told some of my friends at other schools what I got to do and see they were jealous.  Also having class only Monday through Thursday is really nice because it gives me time to get tasks done that have to happen during the week, like meeting with advisors or even getting most of my homework done so I can enjoy Saturday and Sunday.  So far living in Chicago has been a great experience for me and in this month that I have been here I have learned to get almost everywhere on the CTA transit system and which lines are better at what times and which line will take me there.

        One thing that I want to go see is more sports games, both DePaul sport teams and professional ones. I have heard many good things about many of the DePaul teams and cannot wait to see them play.  I cannot wait for some of the other events that are planned at DePaul this year, such as blue demon week, who the artists are going to be for the winter quarter concert, and DePaul Fest.

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In my hometown I live near two colleges so I have seen college students wandering around getting use to the neighborhood.  Now I am that student and not the resident of the neighborhood and have to get used to my new surroundings.  The difference with Chicago and my hometown is that there is always something going on over the weekends in Chicago, even if you didn’t hear about it.  I enjoy seeing good live theater and there are always plenty of options in Chicago since it is such a large city. I am really excited about seeing shows at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and shows at the DePaul Theater School throughout the year.  So far I think that choosing to go to DePaul was a great idea for many reasons. One reason is being able to go to a school in a major city is a great opportunity for internships. In my home town, there are not as many people who play music on the street for money, which sometimes can be nice when you are waiting for a train.

 I don’t know what else I will be doing this year, but I know I will have a great rest of the year here at DePaul.

My First 30 Days by: Megan Bogolia OSI EDGE Team

I’ve only been at DePaul for six weeks and yet it feels like a life time.

So much has happened to me in such a short amount of time. Living in the city is the most amazing experience. There is always something going on and there are so many opportunities that I would never have been able to experience in my hometown. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago called Elmhurst. It’s a nice town, but it can be incredibly dull. One of the reasons I wanted to go to college in the city is because I wanted to be in a faster paced, more exciting environment.

Attending DePaul and living in the city of Chicago definitely does not disappoint.

While living in the city I have explored several exciting places with my friends. It is definitely the best thing about living at DePaul. We have explored China Town, gone shopping at Water Tower Place, tried several different restaurants, and went to the beach. Everywhere we go we meet new people and have an amazing time. There is so much activity in the city that we are never bored. There are still plenty of places to explore and I cannot wait for Christmas time. I am having so much fun and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Not only is living in the city amazing, but so is DePaul itself. The campus here is beautiful and I have access to so many resources. I love living in University Hall, I have meet some really great people that I am already extremely close to. The dorms are wonderful, especially the suit style set up University Hall has. Having a bathroom that is only shared between four people is very nice. As are the spacious rooms. My roommate is really cool and we get along great. Being able to walk across the quad to the library is also very convenient. The library is a great place to study and I love that it is so close. The food here is pretty decent and the Ray is a great place to work out and let off some steam. My experience in the dorms has overall been very positive but I still am very much looking forward to living in an apartment with my friends next year.

I am also really enjoying my classes. My Discover Chicago class is very fun. It was especially enjoyable during Discover Week. I have really bonded with my classmates and we are good friends now. The subjects I am taking are fairly interesting and I enjoy the pace of college life a lot more than high school. I’m very excited to begin taking my psychology courses in spring quarter. Only having class nine hours a week and having the rest of the time to complete assignments and do what I want is a schedule that fits me really well. There is definitely a lot more homework than high school, but it’s manageable and I feel like it is actually important, not just busy work. The quarter system is also interesting, everything is going by so fast, I can see how it would be easy to fall behind. But so far I am doing a good job staying on top of things.

There are so many activities going on through DePaul and so many clubs/organizations to join. I have been participating in the DSCA, specifically the Hoops for Hopes program at the Kelly YMCA. I learned about this volunteer organization at the Student Involvement Fair and thought I would check it out. The people I volunteer with are wonderful and the kids we work with are very special. I volunteer every Monday and have never been disappointed. I am so glad DePaul puts on events like the Student Involvement Fair so students can learn about all the wonderful opportunities through DePaul.

Another program I have started to participate in is the Student Leadership Institute. I have been attending the seminars in order to get the Leadership Certificate. The workshops have been very interesting so far, especially the one where I developed my specific leadership brand. The opportunities for students at DePaul can help immensely in trying to develop your resume or get a job. I feel like more students should take advantage of them.

The EDGE program is also, of course, a highlight of my week.

The meetings are not boring like I feared they might be. We do interesting activities that are enjoyable and help us bond as a team. I also think the assignments we have are interesting. This blog, for example, was fun to write and made me remember all of the fun things I have done so far while at DePaul. I am also looking forward to the Neighborhood projects when I get to go to Chinatown and take pictures.

So far my first month at DePaul has been amazing and I cannot wait for it to continue. 

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My First 30 Days by: Erin McGrath OSI EDGE Team

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It’s the big city, the city of dreams, the city everyone wants to be a part of, and finally I am!

Throughout all my life I have been coming to Chicago to see my family and to see the city that brought such excitement into my life and now I’m living here. I’ve always wanted to live in the city and see what it was like to finally be a city girl.

Now living in the city of Chicago it is very different from my hometown of St. Paul Minnesota. Where I lived it may have been a large town but it seemed very small after living there for 10 years, it felt like one big circle. We had our Target, McDonald’s, the mall, and our high school. After being there for 10 years I began to get very bored with my surroundings because I felt like I was doing the same things everyday.

Now being in the city of Chicago it is a lot different. Even though I may have been excited to come to the city for school I was also very scared at the same time, because now I was going to be on my own rather than being with family going to the same landmarks of Chicago. After the first few days being in the city I actually couldn’t wait to get out and explore my surroundings. While I was here for the first few days that I didn’t have class I went out by myself and attacked the city with full force. I had gone to little boutiques, little bakeries like “Sweet Mandy B’s” which I may add is the best place since sliced bread and recommend going if you have never been there!

I also went shopping on Michigan Avenue, which is every girl’s fantasy, well at least mine. I also went to a Cubs game which was a lot of fun because I haven’t gone to one since I was 10 years old, and also a Sox game, which I have never been. They were both such a great experience and I was even able to go on the field of the Sox stadium for my Discover class which was amazing!

The biggest difference between being in the city of Chicago and being back home in Minnesota for me would have to be the means of transportation. While being in Minnesota I had my own car and was able to go anywhere whenever I wanted and be there right away. Now being in the city, the train is my only means of transportation. The trains were my biggest fear when coming to the city I never enjoyed taking them with my family because they scared me when going underground and with how many different trains there are to get to all the different places of Chicago. In my days of preparing for becoming a city college student I went through many panic attacks with my mom about the trains and told her how terrified I was of getting lost and not getting on the right train to where I needed to go. A way for her to calm me down was by saying the trains here are just like the “Monorails” in Disneyworld (I am Disneyworld obsessed), this helped me a lot as weird as it is.Throughout my first few days I went on the train like crazy, and now love going on them and don’t have any problem taking them.

I also realize my mom was very wrong about saying that they are like the “Monorails” in Disney because they don’t sing happy Disney songs inside them and bring you to an amusement park, but it was helpful at the time.

Now trains are my favorite means of transportation and I rather not drive myself in a car, even though I might get the occasional feeling of driving around in my car just to jam out to my music. That is one thing I miss about not being able to drive my car anywhere because I can no longer drive around by myself, with my stereo turned on high, and scream and shout to my music. I mean, I could probably do that on the train but I think I would get some very interesting stares on the train.

When I think of both Chicago and Minnesota they are both very different from each other but now being here… I’d rather be in the city. Some may say “home is where the heart is” and yes that is true, Minnesota will always be home, but I enjoy being in the city so much more. While being in the city there is so much to do and so many new things to try and find, but while being home I felt like I was looking at the same people and doing all the same things everyday of my life. Yes, the city can get overwhelming at times with the constant sirens and honks going around on the streets but there is something always going on. In all actuality Chicago has become my new home, yes I may go back to Minnesota to see my family and what it used to bring to me but I rather be in Chicago.

It’s just been the first thirty days and I can’t wait for what else Chicago has in store for me.

~Erin McGrath

Boost Your Recruitment Numbers with #TheNewOrgSync

Update your Organization Profile

Students looking to become involved can use OrgSync to learn about organizations on campus. Keeping your organization profile up to date with a logo, welcome message, and social media icons gives interested students a better idea of your organization’s purpose and goals. The following are profile updates that clarify membership opportunities:

  • Add a welcome message detailing membership and contact information, which provides interested students with a quick description for how to get involved
  • Configure the membership join options so new members can purposefully join the organization

Portal administrators can edit the organization profile with these simple steps:

  • Arrow over the Settings button
  • Click on Organization Settings
  • Select the tab on the left side you wish to update

Create Effective Calendar Events

Posting calendar events and tracking RSVPs are useful to share important dates with interested students and obtain contact information. A few tips when creating an event:

  • Add a location for easy navigation
  • Use a photo to illustrate the event and get more attention in the feed
  • Make the event public for increased visibility
  • Add a pre-registration event form to collect contact information
    • When creating an event, pre-registration forms are available to add in Advanced Options: Assessment and Forms

OrgSync was updated to assist organizations in recruitment, programming, and communication. Utilize this resource to grow your campus organization! Any questions about OrgSync can be directed to studentorgs@depaul.edu

Have you logged onto #TheNewOrgSync yet?

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#TheNewOrgSync made it’s big debut in August, and we can’t get over how awesome all the new features are.  #TheNewOrgSync puts all of the important information that you frequently access into a ‘drawer’ at the top right hand of the screen. Let’s not forget about the improved smart search function which makes it easier to find the events calendar, forms, files, and anything else you might need.

All of the content, files, and forms you use as well as helpful video tutorials can be accessed 24/7, and a new iPhone app gives you OrgSync at your fingertips!

Still not sure about #TheNewOrgSync? Watch this video! It’s a great overview of all the awesome features.

The new user interface is everything you could want: it’s easier to use, less time consuming, and has a cleaner look. If you have any questions, contact Lindsay Ritenbaugh in the Office of Student Involvement at 773.325.7361. Student Involvement Ambassadors are also eager to assist you in joining an existing student organization, creating a new student organization, or finding alternative ways to become involved on campus. Please email them at studentorgs@depaul.edu to set up a one-on-one consultation.