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!

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!

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.

Graduation is Approaching…Now What?

By: OSI Blogger Jacki Licciardi

So it’s mid January of the New Year, which means I have already started planning for what this year will bring. I am not sure about you but planning things in advance helps me feel less anxiety and stress about an unpredictable future. Bottom line is the more plans or goals I can set for myself…the better.


This brings me to my first issue. My plan for as long as I can remember was to attend graduate school and earn my masters degree. This day is fast approaching, as I will be graduating in June of this year. Insert Panic Face

This of course has me anxiously searching for what my next steps will be. Honestly, at this point I am not even sure where to look. It just frightens me a bit to not have a plan and maybe this is partial the social construct of always having to answer the question “Where are you working now?” OR “What’s your plan after school?”

It’s like you always have to have a well thought out answer loaded at all times and ready to go! … I should just start answering people by saying, “I have decided to go into modeling, what do you think?” At the very least the responses will be entertaining or the lack thereof.

All kidding aside here, this is my future life we are talking about. Maybe there is no plan and maybe I should start learning to just live each day as it comes. <—  this idea freaks me out more than I can explain.

I guess I could plan as much as I want and things can still go in a different direction. I know that I will keep planning but right now I will just use the modeling excuse.

I did attend a very informative and helpful presentation on job searching last night. One of the tips provided was to create a bookmark folder with all the HR websites of the places I would like to work. This way, I can easily keep track of job postings. You might be thinking this is common sense however, I have never done this. So last night I made a bookmark folder of all the schools I would love to work for.

Cheers to a new year and a new plan!

If you are graduating this year or have other major life events that will be changing your path this year… comment below and share your thoughts.  ~~~  I’ll take the help.

… Jacki Licciardi is currently working in the Office of Student Involvement as the Program Assistant for Social Media and Leadership Development. Jacki is also a current graduate student at DePaul studying College Student Development.

Once a Traveler Always a Traveler: Erin Go Bragh

By: OSI EDGE Member Erin McGrath

        In recent years I have become known as the “Frequent flyer” in my family. Ever since I was a kid I have always loved planes and the idea of travel. The nineteen years of my existence, I have been traveling back and forth between Chicago and Minnesota whether I was by myself or with others, while also traveling to Disneyworld numerous amounts of times.

While traveling basically all over the country and also to Mexico, I have always had dreams about going over seas to places like Italy, Spain, England, Australia, and even Ireland. For myself the biggest dream of travel I have had is to go to Ireland. Even though I am of Irish ancestry I have always had a dying obsession for the culture, music and especially the accents!

So you could say I have been to every Irish festival near my home in Minnesota and every Saint. Patrick’s Day Parade, but have yet to go to the one here in Chicago. Thankfully… I will be able to go this year, now that I reside in Chicago! I can finally go and I am ecstatic about it, to give you an idea of how excited I am I currently have a countdown going. Which if your wondering is at 59 more days!


I’m even more excited because I have been chosen to be a finalist in the running to become the next St. Patrick’s Day Parade Queen. So overall I am very Irish obsessed girl.

In regards to my obsession I have just begun my winter quarter here at DePaul and as a freshman we are required to take “Learning Studies Programs” or also known as “LSP” classes, which get us, acclimated to DePaul, Chicago, and the classroom. This quarter I decided after my application was accepted, to take a First Year Study program LSP class that is actually a study abroad program to Ireland, while learning about travel literature.

You could say that all my dreams came true when I found out about my acceptance and also the itinerary telling me that I would be staying at a “Bread and Breakfast” in a Castle!

Now that my Ireland obsession is about to be fulfilled in just about 66 days, I am nervous yet very excited. I mainly am nervous about the idea that I am not allowed to bring along a suitcase and that all my clothes have to fit in a backpack. You may say I’m being rather dramatic but for a girl that always goes over the weight limit by about twenty pounds, my packing is going to be the definition of difficulty.

Once I had found out that I was in the class my excitement ran through my veins over our 6-week long break, but quickly I had realized it was going to be much more than a leisurely vacation. At the beginning of the course we went through our syllabus and it is all becoming very real. While going on this vacation, we also go over different types of travel pieces like journals that are written during ones vacations and also problems that are going on in different countries, mainly Ireland. This class also has made me realize that I’m not very informed with problems in other countries, which made me begin research into what is going on in Ireland. While also learning about issues in other countries we observe why we travel.

I always thought we traveled just to get away or to visit others like loved ones, but after further analysis through articles we have read travel really opens up our minds. Which now when I look at it is very true because we come to do the same thing everyday and do the same old boring routines, so sometimes we need to just get away to cleanse ourselves in a way.

That brings in one of my favorite quotes, “Traveling- it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” –Ibn Batutta


Even though I am only two weeks into the course, I am overly excited that college or for that DePaul is able to give it’s students the opportunity to travel abroad, especially as a first year student.

I have always wanted to go out of the country but this day in age economically it can be very brutal on a college budget and who knows when I would be able to do such a thing once I am out of college. Which is why I’m grateful for being able to go as a first year student, because being a Health Science student it can be hard for us to go during most students ideal time (Junior year) because we are finally settling into our studies and there are not many health programs offered in other countries. As I progress through my course work I become more and more excited for what I am going to learn, while also my vacation and my obsession for Ireland to be fulfilled.

…Erin McGrath is a current freshman at DePaul studying Health Science. Erin is also a member of Delta Gamma Eta Pi Fraternity! Erin’s favorite movie is Bridesmaids because she is a huge Kirsten Wiig and Melissa McCarthy fan and she can quote basically every line in the movie!

How Can We Become an Effective Leader?

By: OSI Blogger Jacki Licciardi

As a graduate student at DePaul, becoming an effective leader is one of my top priorities. At DePaul they strive to instill Socially Responsible Leadership as a framework for students to develop as such. The five dimensions are as follows:

  1. Self Understanding and Personal Integrity
  2. Taking Seriously the Perspective of Others
  3. Contributing to a Larger Community
  4. Knowledge and Intellectual Competence
  5. Striving for Excellence


'Leadereship' highlighted in green

Reflecting on these had me thinking… how can each of us become a leader in today’s society that represents these characteristics? Well I thought this was a great question, so I will share my thoughts. As a counselor in training, it is important for me to bring out the best in people. This reminded me of a book written by Alan Loy McGinnis “Bringing Out the Best in People.”

These 12 rules for bringing out the best in people had a powerful impact on how I viewed my relationships and interactions with the people in my life. I am a firm believer that no matter what your age you can always learn and improve from the people around you- no matter what the age difference is.

I swear I have learned some of the most powerful ways of being from my 6 year old nephew.

So… I share these 12 rules for Bringing Out the Best in People hoping that these can help you become a socially responsible leader while bringing out the best in others.

  1. Expect the best from the people you lead.
  2. Make a thorough study of the other person’s needs.
  3. Establish high standards for excellence.
  4. Create an environment where failure is not fatal.
  5. If they are going anywhere near where you want to go, climb on other peoples bandwagons.
  6. Employ models to encourage success.
  7. Recognize and applaud achievement.
  8. Employ a mixture of positive and negative reinforcement.
  9. Appeal ‘sparingly’ to the competitive urge.
  10. Place a premium on collaboration.
  11. Build into the group an allowance for storms.
  12. Take steps to keep your own motivation high.

I would suggest taking some time to reflect on how these 12 steps could be worked into your daily schedules both personally and professionally. I would *also* suggest thinking about the last time someone did any of the above steps to you and how that made you feel.

For example, how great does it feel when someone recognizes and applauds your achievements without you asking? It feels pretty great!


What are you waiting for? Go be a positive leader who brings out the best in people!

… Jacki Licciardi is currently working in the Office of Student Involvement as the Program Assistant for Social Media and Leadership Development. Jacki is also a current graduate student at DePaul studying College Student Development.

How Can You Start Off The New Quarter Strong?

By: OSI Blogger Jacki Licciardi


Well it’s that time again. The new quarter at DePaul has begun and this is your chance to start out strong while avoiding the catch up game. So the holidays are over, winter break has ended… quicker than I anticipated, and classes are underway. The weather has dropped to freezing and wearing my ski goggles to walk to class doesn’t sound so crazy.

If you’re like me at all, being a college student can take a back seat during breaks. Again, break is over. I know it’s hard to digest but we need to get into gear and start this quarter off like a rock star.

Starting out the new quarter strong means understanding that the first few weeks and even days can have a long lasting impact on the rest of our quarter. So where should you focus your efforts?

Manage your time. Effective time management skills might just be one of the most important skills you can learn as a college student, I know it was for me. The system of managing your time is different for everyone. What works for me or your roommate might not work for you. Find something that works for you! Use it every day. Get a planner. Make a list. Print and highlight each due date on your syllabus. Set reminders.

Get involved. This is important for many reasons but one reason is because involvement helps you meet new friends. The key here is to not get over involved. Join one student organization and see how it goes and how well it fits into your schedule. Having a support system will help you stay on top of your work. Log in at

Order your books. Many classes at DePaul use D2L which, means you can prepare for your readings and assignments before the classes have started. Having your book ready for the first day of class will help you feel and be prepared. Oh and it shows your professor you are here to learn. You mean business this quarter. So if you haven’t ordered your books, order them.

Come to class on time. Showing up late to class (or anywhere) can give the wrong impression of your character or priorities. Starting off the quarter strong means showing up to class on time and prepared. I am guilty of this myself but it’s a new quarter and a new year so lets be on time.

Spend time for healthy and fun activities. College is stressful, we all know that. So spending time relieving stress is going to help you academically. With so many events coming up like the Winter Involvement Fairs, #DePaulAfterDark and Blue Demon Week #BDW2015 you have plenty of options. So, I’ll see you there?

I don’t know about you but I am going to purchase my books and start writing down my assignments in my day planner. Good luck this quarter. You’ll be great, I have a good feeling about it.


Visit our web site to see more information about student organizations, campus activities and much more

Follow the Office of Student Involvement to get connected.

Twitter: @DPUInvolvement
FaceBook: “DPU StudentInvolvement”
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… Jacki Licciardi is currently working in the Office of Student Involvement as the Program Assistant for Social Media and Leadership Development. Jacki is also a current graduate student at DePaul studying College Student Development.