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Five Coffee Shops to Try This Winter

You’ve got five papers to do and you need to get in the zone — but how? If you’re anything like me, you know that a good coffee shop is the cherry on top to the perfect study session. Here’s a list of five super neat coffee shops that’ll appease that perfect study atmosphere we all crave:

  1. The Wormhole Coffee (1462 N Milwaukee Ave)
    1. This little coffee shop is completely ’80s-themed. Into Back to the Future? This is the place for you. They literally have a DeLorean mounted at the back of store surrounded by walls of 1980’s nostalgic memorabilia. Plus, you can get your coffee in a Star Wars themed mug. The wifi password? It’s stored on a 5″ floppy disk.
  2. Bourgeois Pig Cafe (738 W Fullerton Ave)
    1. If you’re a DePaul student, you’ve probably already heard of Bourgeois Pig. Located just a few blocks from the quad, it has an incredibly cozy vibe, sandwiches with literary names (“The Sun Also Rises”, for example), and it’s super peaceful and quiet. It’s the perfect place to completely immerse yourself in schoolwork.
  3. Heritage Bicycles (2959 N Lincoln Ave)
    1. If you combined a Pottery Barn catalog, a bike shop, and a coffee joint, you’d have Heritage Bicycles. This bright cafe doubles as a bike store, offering all your cycling service needs. Plus, their lattes are to die for. If you’re in need of a sunny atmosphere with a chill vibe, head over to this place, stat.
  4. Goddess and the Baker (33 S Wabash Ave)
    1. This all-day cafe is definitely a hidden gem in the loop. Their hot chocolates and banana bread slices are both superb. Also, here’s a tip: their happy hour is from 5 – 7PM every day, which means all their food items are half off!
  5. Wired Coffee House (3508 North Broadway)
    1. Wired is absolutely my favorite place to tune out the rest of the world. A hidden treasure, the place doesn’t look like much outfront, but inside they offer a really easy going atmosphere with plenty of seating and board games to boot. Also, they have a really solid selection of international coffees!

Now that you have this short and sweet list, go out and study, DePaulians! These coffee shops definitely won’t disappoint!

Vantage Points

10 Fun Things to Do in a Cold Chicago

I don’t know about you guys, but winter isn’t necessarily my favorite season. I can deal with autumn — in fact, I really like autumn because of the mid-60’s temps — but winter in Chicago is pretty brutal. To help ease the chilly pain Chicago brings along with it during the cold months, here’s a list of 10 fun (and totally cheap) things to do in a frost-bitten Chicago:

 

1. Ice Skate at Millennium Park

  • Who doesn’t love ice skating? I mean, if it’s cold, you might as well be doing something fun with the cold, right? From November to March, Millennium Park offers free ice skating daily. Bring your family or a couple of friends to good ‘ol Millennium and enjoy a day of gliding (or, in my case, falling) next to a bunch of super cool Chicago monuments.

 

2. Journey Through the Lincoln Park ZooLights

 

  • Listen, I know Lincoln Park Zoo is next to Lake Michigan and I know that means the wind chill makes the cold that much worse, but ZooLights is worth it. First of all, it’s free, and secondly, you can walk around the Lincoln Park Zoo looking at a bunch of really impressive light sculptures while Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” plays in the background.

 

3. Visit the Art Institute

 

  • First of all, the Art Institute is indoors and that means warmth, but secondly, it features a bunch of timeless pieces of art from all over the globe. If you haven’t been, it’s a definite must. Dedicate a day to it at least, because you’ll get absorbed in all the artwork pretty quickly. Plus, you can use your Demon Discount here! It’s totally free for DePaul students.

 

4. Explore the Chicago History Museum

 

  • Like the Art Institute, the Chicago History Museum is indoors and toasty (because that’s the most important part, right? Just kidding… kind of). If artwork isn’t really your thing though, the Chicago History Museum is the place for you. Demon Discounts apply here too — free admission!

 

5. See the Garfield Park Conservatory

 

  • The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of my favorite places in Chicago, honestly. If you’re constantly seeking some sort of image of thriving vegetation and life, take a day trip here. It’s free and the whole thing’s under huge, beautiful glass greenhouses.

 

6. Shop Around Water Tower Place

 

  • Water Tower Place is one of those shopping malls you expect to go into for 30 minutes and, in reality, you end up staying for about 3 hours. No shame, though — the place has about 95 attractions (including Food Life which is a definite must).

 

7. View the Macy’s Window Displays

 

  • The Macy’s Window Displays have, for me, been the quintessential epitome of the holiday season. Even though the holiday’s are over, stop by and check them out. It’s outside, but with the months of hard work that goes into them, totally worth it.

 

8. Catch a Movie at AMC Theaters

 

  • Going to the movies is, without a doubt, my favorite thing. Food, comfy chairs, and a giant movie screen all in one place? Yes, please. Best part? Demon Discounts apply at AMC Theaters too. Also, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out right now and if you haven’t seen it you really, really need to. It’s amazing.

 

9. See a Show at The Second City

 

  • I don’t know a single person who doesn’t like laughing and really funny people. Fortunately, Second City provides both of those things, and it’s accessible via Demon Discounts. Enjoy a night full of giggling and stop by to see some of Chicago’s funniest.

 

10. Grab a Cup of Hot Cocoa at Mindy’s Hot Chocolate

 

  • Ok, I’m a bit of a hot chocolate aficionado, and Mindy’s Hot Chocolate is some of the best I’ve ever had, ever. Guys, there’s 9 different types of hot chocolate (I didn’t even know that was possible?!); from the classic Old-Fashioned to Eggnog to Affogato (which has this coffee cocoa ice cream that I literally dream about on a daily basis). Plus, getting a nice, warm cup of hot cocoa is great way to end a day full of activities.

 
Sure, Chicago’s cold weather isn’t something to get super excited about, but the activities provided by the city during its colder months are, without a doubt, some of the best. Get out there and enjoy it!

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10 Ways to Handle Finals Stress

Hey there fellow DePaulians. Long time no talk! Schoolwork has completely taken over my life, as it usually does for students about to embark towards the dreaded monster known as “Finals Week.” It’s such an oxymoron, isn’t it? We have this week of finals, but then right after, we’re free for 7 weeks. Hello Winter Break! Here’s the thing though: with finals week just around the corner, it’s important to not let stress take over. I know what you’re thinking — “Just saying I shouldn’t be stressed doesn’t help.” I know that! That’s why I’ve compiled a list of ways to help keep the stress at bay. Here’s 10 ways to handle finals stress:

  1. First and Foremost, Don’t Procrastinate
    • Yes, it may sound like a good idea at the time to crack open the good ol’ Netflix account and watch that next episode of Scandal, but let’s be honest here: that 7 page lab report that’s due in three days isn’t going to write itself. If you’re not down to do the entire thing, I don’t blame you, but at least get some of it done!
  2. Make a Study Playlist
    • Make a study playlist that’s actually going to help you get stuff done. Yeah, you can jam out, but work while you’re jamming! That’s my favorite way to write papers.
  3. Set Rewards for Yourself
    • “Ok self, if you make these flashcards and go through them once, I’ll reward you with this pack of M&M’s.” Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? It is.
  4. Change up Your Atmosphere
    • This one’s important — sometimes studying in a super quiet library or in your dorm room isn’t the best route to go. For some people it is, but for me personally, it isn’t. I don’t know about you, but being in super quiet places when I’m trying to study actually stresses me out more. Head over to a coffee shop, enjoy those coffee aromas, outline that paper, and get a latte while you’re at it!
  5. Try to be Positive
    • Sure, finals are next week and you’re totally and completely stressed beyond belief, but think about going home and enjoying the holidays right after that for 7 whole weeks.
  6. Take Things One Step at a Time
    • Don’t try to do everything all at once; you’ll only end up being more stressed. Make a list of everything you have to get done and prioritize – get the hard stuff out of the way first and get the easier stuff done later!
  7. Stay Focused
    • Yeah, making a study playlist is going to help, but don’t get caught up doing that. What I mean by this is don’t dedicate three hours of your life to make this the perfect study playlist; stay focused on what you came here to do (and that’s to get work done!)
  8. Take Breaks
    • This one’s tricky. Definitely take breaks (you don’t want to over-stress) but don’t do them for too long. Before you know it, you’ll be on the weird side of Youtube and it’ll be midnight and you’ll realize you haven’t even finished your introduction to that history paper yet. I recommend 10-15 minute breaks – not too long but still enough time to relax!
  9. Drink Some Tea
    • This helps for some people, especially if you’re a tea drinker. I’ve heard Lavender, California Poppy, and Chamomile are especially effective for reducing stress.
  10. Know That You Can Do This!
    • Yes, looking at finals week like it’s this huge, scary task is most everyone’s go-to route, but that only leads to more anxiety. When you view it as something that can be broken down and done relatively easily, you can definitely get through it. You can do this. I believe in you.

Good luck out there, guys! You’ve totally got this.

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Chicago: The Best City to Spend Your Summer

By: Christina Han

In recent news, Chicago was ranked as the number one best college town to spend your summer in, which only makes sense. What makes Chicago so great is that the summer is a beautiful reward for the long and grueling winters it’s infamous for. If you were to ask any Chicago native what their favorite part about Chicago is, they would most likely answer with “the summer.” The second it gets a tad bit warmer, you instantly see a lot more people walking in the streets, going for a jog, or walking their dogs. It is always nice to come out of hibernation after a long and cruel winter. Granted, Chicago is the third biggest city in the United States, so there’s a ton of things to do during the summer.

When it comes to outdoor activities, Chicago has a wide variety of options. Lake Michigan, for one, is open during the summer. When on the beach, you will find lots of people laying out under the sun, playing beach volleyball, and having picnics. What’s so cool about Chicago’s “beach” is that you get the entire skyline while lying out in the sand, which you don’t see every day (or really anywhere else). If not on the beach, people are most likely walking, jogging, running, rollerblading, or biking by the lakefront (this is when you’ll probably realize just how many people were deprived of their daily exercise with the amount of people that’ll be out and about).

Aside from the beach, there are plenty of places near the lakefront that are prime destinations and, not to mention, free! The Lincoln Park Zoo, for example, is very close to the beachfront and also includes free admission! Just like the beach, it’s an interesting sight to be looking at giraffes and lions while simultaneously being able to see the city skyline in the background. Right next to the zoo is the Lincoln Park observatory, which is also free. It’s home to hundreds of different plants and flowers from all over the world! It’s a wonderful sight to see in the summer, especially since all the flowers are in full bloom.

Aside from activities held in Lincoln Park, there are plenty of events that will be held all across Chicago. When it comes to food festivals, there are more than you can imagine. The biggest and most popular is “Taste of Chicago” that takes place downtown in Grant Park and showcases the diversity of Chicago’s dining community. It’s a 3-day long festival, which includes live music performances and hundreds of different restaurants from all over Chicago showcasing their awesome food! Also, this happens to be the world’s largest food festival and attracts visitors from all over the world.

Along the lines of food, there are various food festivals that happen in different neighborhoods of the Chicago region. At the beginning of June, there’s the “Flavors of Mexico” festival held in Little Village. The focus of this festival is the authenticity of Mexican food, which is highly adored by most Chicagoans. During mid-June there’s the “Taste of Randolph”, which focuses on the neighborhood of the West Loop and all of the famous restaurants near the location. This is an event to promote the best restaurants of the West Loop region. This is just a taste of the food festivals Chicago has to offer – there’s even more festivals to be found online!

Aside from the numerous food festivals, there are plenty of music festivals all across the city. It’s great because there’s a huge musical variety (EDM, Indie, punk, etc). Chicago’s biggest music festival is Lollapalooza, which takes place this year from July 31st-August 3rd. Each year, Lollapalooza brings in the biggest names of music, from Eminem and Kings of Leon, to Drake! The festival attracts more than 160,000 people every year. Another big music festival is Spring Awakening, which specifically caters to EDM and House fans. It’s held in Soldier Field and brings in world famous DJ’s, including Tiesto, Alesso, and Calvin Harris. These two festivals are primarily the two big deals of the summer, but there are plenty others scattered around the city with smaller names that can be just as fun!

In a wonderful city like Chicago, there are plenty of things to do. With the summertime being something that everyone cherishes before the brutal winter, there are more than enough things to do and see. No wonder Chicago was ranked one of the best college towns to spend your summer!

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Apartment Shopping

By: Joe Laurendi

I’ve lived in the same house for all 19 years of my life; I’ve had the same room with my bed in the same position for my entire life; I’ve never had the experience of being away from home. When it was time to finally move into my dorm at DePaul, it was a totally new sensation. Calling a new place my home was undoubtedly going to be a little weird for me. Now that freshman year is coming to a close, I’ve noticed that I definitely had it easy last summer. All I had to do was put my name down and write a check to reserve my spot in a dorm… It was a breeze compared to my life right now! Apartment hunting is in full swing as students are on the lookout for the best possible place that fits within their price range. Although this is a very exciting time for me, this has become an extremely stressful process that both my roommates and I are going through.

Don’t get me wrong, the dorm life has been great. Some of my best friends live all throughout my hall. I love being able to walk around at night while simultaneously making plans for the upcoming weekend. Unfortunately though, the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to dorm life. I need more room to function! I honestly can’t take another year of living in what seems like a 2 x 4 room, which I also share with another person. Yes, I think all freshman should have to dorm their first year in order to make friends, but after that, its definitely time to get out of the dorms.

It all started in January when I decided I wanted to move off campus. The first step was finding the people I would trust to be my roommates for the upcoming school year. Luckily, I already lived with those people in the dorms. Through random selection, I was paired with three great roommates who I know I can trust and live with in the future. We pretty much knew from the start that we were all going to be living with each other for a while. Finding the right roommates who I knew I could live with and TRUST was a vital part of my decision to move off campus.

As the months have passed, my roommates and I have consistently been checking apartment websites. It’s really exciting to see what’s out there on the market, but looking back at it now, we had no idea what we were doing when we first started looking. We would view apartments and dream about all the different things we could do with the space. We would plan these unrealistic parties and design unique ways of setting up the furniture in the living room. The thing we didn’t notice was the price tag. Once we started to run numbers, we realized that we couldn’t afford any of the apartments we’d been dreaming about.

When we started to get serious about the price, apartment shopping started to get stressful. It wasn’t that we were finding bad places; it was just that each place was missing one key part. For example, we found a great apartment, but it was a pretty long walk from the L stop. I am all for walking, but in the cold winters of Chicago, it would’ve been far hike. We continued our quest for the perfect apartment, but to our dismay, we weren’t having much luck.

On multiple occasions, we would go out to apartment viewings and see what the places had to offer. We’d consistently find nothing that fit all of our requirements. We actually eventually found the perfect place; it was beautiful and not far from the nearest L stop. As college kids do, however, we procrastinated. The apartment was gone before we knew what happened and we missed out! After that incident, we told each other we’d never let that happen again.

After a couple more weeks of shopping around, another perfect one came along. We jumped on it as fast as we possibly could. Within two days we all had viewed the apartment and had all of our applications in (which, might I add, was not an easy process!). There seemed to be about a thousand different forms each person had to fill out. Then the co-signers have to fill out forms, which ended up being our parents. The problem we ran into was that our parents didn’t live anywhere close to Chicago. A lot of emailing and scanning took place over the stretch of two days. Finally, all of the papers and money we owed were in. It was time for us to wait and see if we were accepted or not.

Fortunately, we were accepted and got the keys to our new apartment! We were overjoyed when we finally were able to call the apartment our own. This long and stressful process took all of our time and energy, but thankfully, it all paid off for us in the end.

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The Difficulty of Being a Blackhawks Fan When You’re from Minnesota

By Guest Blogger: Erin McGrath

All my life I have been a Chicago Blackhawks fan. Who doesn’t get a rush from seeing the attractive captain Jonathan Toews? Or when Patrick Kane scores an amazing goal? Those are my only some of my obsessions with the Chicago Blackhawks. I’m originally from Illinois, so that’s how I’m a Blackhawks fan; that’s how my mom raised me. When I was eight, though, I moved to Minnesota (which was an interesting experience for a Blackhawks fan).

Minnesota is known as “The State of Hockey.” Even though I was the only one in my family, I had many friends who had played hockey; I was surrounded by it when I was growing up. I really hadn’t shown my love for the Blackhawks until high school, where I watched more games because I understood the rules of hockey more. Let’s just say as a Blackhawks fan whose friends were Minnesota Wild fans, we undeniably would root against each other during playoff seasons whenever the two teams played each other. In high school, we would sometimes have spirit weeks where one day would be “Jersey Day.” Of course, I’d usually wear my Blackhawks jersey. Many of my friends were not too happy about this and called me a “bandwagon fan.” They thought I knew nothing about the game (but how could I be a bandwagon fan when I was originally from Chicago?!). I had to show them what I knew. Once I did, they realized I knew what I was talking about! Still, they gave me crap and lashed at me about their hate for the Blackhawks. Because of this, I realized the differences between Blackhawks fans and Wild fans. While living in Minnesota, I had gone to a couple Wild games; that’s where I recognized they have some of the worst fans ever. If their team was two or more goals behind, they gave up right away and left their team to fend for themselves without any motivation which, from the other side, is a terrible thing to see. Being a Blackhawks fan is the most enjoyable thing because there is so much spirit for the team. Living in Chicago once again, I finally get to see that. On game day, you see so many college students and residents of Chicago wearing all red, black, white, and yellow gear to prepare for the night that is to come. It even amazed me what restaurants would do for the games! When the Hawks won the Stanley Cup in 2013, they turned the lights down to a deep red and played the last 17 seconds of the game. It blew my mind and made me so excited to be a fan of this team! Even if we had bad games, you could still see the fans were hopeful that the next one would be better. I think that’s why the Blackhawks are so successful in what they do. In the regular season (2014-2015), the Blackhawks had played the Wild in the Madhouse and I was able to go with a couple of friends from back home. They made the risky decision of wearing Wild jerseys in a sea of red. Let’s just say they were the targets of the night. I had warned them but they didn’t want to listen to me. That was their fault, I suppose. The thing that surprised them the most, though, was Chicago’s fan base. They even got slightly jealous because of the fans devotion to team. I realized here that I made the right decision of being a Blackhawks fan.

Now that we’re leading up to the Stanley Cup finals, the Blackhawks have gone onto the second round and are, of course, going against the Minnesota Wild for the second time in a row. When I received this news I was excited but at the same time annoyed because I knew my friends from back home would be there to harass me about them playing each other. This is why I enjoy being a Blackhawks fan, because I don’t believe pestering other people about who is better is fair. I’ve already received constant snap chats and Facebook posts of who is the better team. All I have to say is this: may the better team win, be it the Blackhawks or the Wild. If the Blackhawks go onto the next round though, I’ll gladly pester them (lightheartedly, of course).

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What the EDGE Program Taught Me

By Guest Blogger: Megan Bogolia

I have participated in a lot of different activities and events during my freshman year at DePaul. I must say, however, that the EDGE program has been the highlight of my freshman year involvement. I have had so much fun working with my team in the Office of Student Involvement and I’m so thankful to have been part of such a great program.

EDGE has helped me a lot in my professional life. The resume workshop we did during Winter Quarter was extremely helpful. It showed me how to develop a strong resume that has helped me land several interviews and even a job! The cover letter workshop, as well, was equally as helpful. I had been avoiding job applications that required a cover letter because I didn’t know how to write a cover letter; after that EDGE workshop, I had no problem confidently applying to jobs and internships that needed one!

Another thing EDGE has helped me with in terms of my professional life is my LinkedIn profile. I actually had no idea was LinkedIn was until EDGE! Essentially, it’s a very important tool for networking and potential jobs and/or internships – it’s kind of like a professional Facebook. Without EDGE, I honestly wouldn’t have known how to create a successful profile so early. Interview skills, along with this, were something we learned about during one of our meetings. I was taught a lot about what interviewers were looking for, especially in group interviews (which was actually something I had never been exposed to).

My personal life has also greatly benefitted from EDGE. We had two great presentations from the Office of Financial Fitness: one that focused on budgeting (which I have learned is very important in college) and one that gave useful information about renting apartments. Something that I’ve learned is that managing money is very different now that I’m not living at home – the budgeting workshop showed me how to organize my spending and saving. During the apartment workshop, I learned what to look for when renting, the proper steps to take prior and after finding the space, and the kinds of questions that are important to ask. These workshops were both so helpful and I’m extremely grateful to have been able to participate in them!

We also had a workshop on StrengthsQuest, a website that basically helped us discover our talents for future job opportunities and beyond. There was an online quiz we were all required to take that helped to determine our core strengths and assets. This workshop in particular taught me a lot about myself. I learned how to challenge my skills in a way that would be beneficial in both leadership and everyday instances. These strengths, I learned, came into play every day of my life and being aware of them has helped me know how to act in a ton of different situations.

During our team meetings, we also talked a lot about other organizations at DePaul that you can get involved in. This was nice because I learned about different clubs and groups that I would never have heard of otherwise. I joined the organization Hoops for Hopes (which is a volunteer group that works with children at the Kelly YMCA). I’ve had a great time there and am glad I learned about it through EDGE! Another thing I learned about was the Student Leadership Institute. I discovered their certificate program and was so interested that I decided to complete it! The seminars were very interesting and I had a great time improving my leadership skills through them.

I love everyone on my team. We’ve spent so much time together over the quarter and I am so grateful I got the chance to meet all of them. During our Earth Week projects, I got to know a few of them even better which was a great opportunity. Of course, the actual Earth Week event was also a fun experience. I learned how to plan an event and how much work actually goes into it! It was a fun idea and I’m glad we got to spread the word about helping the environment.

As the weeks progressed, we were also introduced to the other staff members in the Office of Student Involvement. They’re all really awesome and I’m glad we had the chance to meet them in person. We were taught so much about OSI and what exactly the office does. Now I know where to go if I ever need tickets for an event or if I’m looking for something fun to do in Chicago! It’s a great resource at DePaul and I’m very happy it’s now an office I’m really familiar with.

Being a part of the OSI EDGE team and the EDGE program in general has been such a great experience. I am so thankful for all of the people I’ve met and for all the opportunities it has brought me. I would highly recommend incoming students to look into becoming a part of the EDGE program because it’s been such a rewarding and memorable experience for me this year!