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!

Advertisements

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!

Some of The Best S’more Recipes!

By Guest Blogger: Cali Parisi

When you think of happiness, what comes to mind?

When I think of happiness, I think of many things. One big thing that makes me happy is s’mores.

I believe that s’mores have the power to bring people together. I mean think about it, when you are sitting around a fire in the summertime, what do you really secretly want to be doing? Maybe it’s not even a secret, because who doesn’t love a good s’more?

In order to make a good time a great time, all you have to do is bust open a bag of marshmallows, some chocolate, and some graham crackers, find a stick, and BAM! You have the power to make a s’more!

Once the s’more is made, you along with your company can bond over the marshmallow goo that will appear on your face after taking that first bite into heaven. The flavor of s’mores has been formed into so many delicious treats. From ice cream to cakes, the flavor has taken over, which might just be the best thing ever.

Personally, I love to look up new recipes for baked goods, and I have a few in mind that I want to share. Some of these I have not yet made, but definitely will soon due to the fact that they look delicious! Here is a picture from 2006 of my sister, my dad, and I on vacation in Wisconsin. Our hotel hosted a large bonfire for everyone on Saturday nights, and that was a highlight that we always looked forward to. Clearly, we were all a little bit sunburned as well.

IMG_7668

First off, this cake has to be one of the most delicious desserts I have ever had. My mom introduced me to this recipe that she found online. Just looking at it makes my mouth water. The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 14 graham crackers, divided
  • ¼ cup  butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp.  sugar
  • 1-1/2 pkg.  (4 oz. each) BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 1 tub  (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping(Do not thaw.)
  • 1 container  (1-3/4 qt.) chocolate ice cream, softened
  • 1 pkg.  (10 oz.) JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows, divided
  • 2 Tbsp.  milk

Steps to make it:

Start by HEATING your oven to 325°F.

Step One: CRUSH 8-1/2 crackers to form fine crumbs; break remaining crackers into rectangles. Place cracker crumbs in medium bowl. Add butter and sugar; mix well. Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 12 min. or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

Step Two: MEANWHILE, microwave chocolate and COOL WHIP in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 to 2-1/2 min. or until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is blended, stirring after each minute. Let stand 15 min. Spread chocolate mixture over crust. Stand cracker rectangles, top-sides facing out, around edge of pan, pressing gently into chocolate mixture to secure. Freeze 20 min. or until filling is firm.

Step Three: COVER with ice cream. Freeze 4 hours or until ice cream layer is very firm. When ready to serve dessert, reserve 2 cups marshmallows. Microwave remaining marshmallows and milk in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. 15 sec. or until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 1 min. Cool 10 min.

Step Four: HEAT broiler. Place dessert on baking sheet; top with melted marshmallow mixture and reserved marshmallows. Broil, 6 inches from heat, 1 min. or until marshmallows are golden brown. Remove rim of pan before serving dessert.

And here is the finished product! This cake is great for any occasion. It can be for a birthday party, Christmas, or just because!

Smores-Ice-Cream-Cake-62754

Recipe and photo from: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/smores-ice-cream-cake-144700.aspx


This next recipe is also a great one. This one isn’t too difficult, which is quite convenient. Most people like cookies, but these have a twist due to the s’more flavor! After you make the cookie dough, you can also make them into any shape you want be using cookie cutters or just with your hands. The dough gives you freedom to make these cookies any way you want them. The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Jet-Puffed vanilla mallow bits
  • 2 regular size (1.55 oz) Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Candy Bars
  • Extra graham cracker pieces and mallow bits (optional)

Steps to make the dough:

Step One: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Step Two: In a large bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Step Three: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Step Four: Stir in the Mallow Bits and mini chocolate chips. Roll a teaspoon of cookie dough into a ball. Press half of a Hershey’s chocolate square on top of the cookie and gently press down. I stuck in a few extra pieces of graham crackers and Mallow Bits onto the top of the dough for looks, but you can skip this step if you wish. Continue making all of the cookies.

Step Five: Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, about 1-inch apart. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until cookies are set. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes and transfer to a wire cooling rack.

These cookies are great for anything. You are able to make these cookies miniature or regular sized. They are very tasty and the flavor is not too overwhelming. You can dip them in coffee or milk, or just eat them plain. The possibilities are endless.

mini-smores-cookiesRecipe and photo from: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/mini-smores-cookies/


This third and final recipe is one that I have not yet tried, but I think that it looks delicious, so I will definitely be trying it soon. I am a big fan of fudge, so this is right up my alley. Fudge is a great gift idea for any chocolate lover. It is also great just to make and eat for yourself! Here we go:

Ingredients:

  • 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 graham crackers, chopped (plus a few crushed for topping)
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows

Steps to bake:

Step One: Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Step Two: In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt. Bring to a full boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Step Two: Remove from heat and pour in semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Gently fold in graham crackers and pour into prepared pan.

Step Four: Top with mini marshmallows and some crushed graham cracker. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until firm.

Smores-Fudge-logo

Recipe and photo from: http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2012/08/smores-fudge/

…I hope you enjoy these recipes, and I hope that you are able to try them yourself one day!

My First Time Back Home From College.

By Guest Blogger: Madison Page

So you never really know what to expect when you return home from college for the first time. I envisioned… stepping off the plane, walking to baggage claim, and having my parents waiting with signs that read “WELCOME HOME MADI” and me running into their arms. No. This is not exactly how it played out- let me just get one thing clear that fantasy of mine – never happened.

What really happened was me getting off the plane, walking to baggage claim, lugging my two heavy bags alone, waiting on the curb of LAX with a homeless man badgering me. Home sweet home LA. Well, then my mom arrived with a bag of Five Guys and she was like – “Madi, you’re driving home! I want to eat!” and I was like great to see you too! It was like I never even left, and I loved it.

Once I got home I gave my dad a huge hug, then my dad, mom, and I talked for around two hours about my whole other life in Chicago and how much I missed them. Then, Will came home!  I rushed into his arms and I couldn’t believe it – my sixteen year old brother had facial hair, but not only that, his voice changed, and he has muscles now! Ahhh the worst part – HE IS TALLER THAN ME. I was so shocked… I couldn’t believe it. The pest of a little brother I’ve grown up with is now taller and stronger than me (how much time had past?).

It was a realization that now when we get into fist fights I will probably lose (like most brothers and sisters do, right?). Such a depressing thought, I never thought the day would come when I wouldn’t be able to beat my little brother anymore.

Also, another thing I never thought I would appreciate so much is, my dad’s cooking. Yummy!! He has always been an amazing chef , but the transition from STU food for months to a home cooked meal, it was pure heaven. I ate so much food when I was home because it tasted like it was food for the gods. He made Chicken Piccata for my first night back, and let me just tell you that I had three pieces of chicken, but a part of me died and went to heaven…so it was all worth it. Home cooking will forever be my favorite food. Whereas before I went to college my favorite food was In-N-Out Burger. If it was possible I would marry home cooking! What a great trip home I had, can’t wait for the next time.

Credit:

Photo created using canva.com and photo from www.goodwinhouse.org

I Dare You To Just Try.

By OSI Blogger: Jacki Licciardi

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about how truly unpredictable life can be, no matter how much we try and plan things. I bet you are thinking, of course life is unpredictable, duh… but this fact of life has never stopped me from planning for my future. This made me think about how many things I have had planned out for this year and how many of those things actually took place! I mean, I don’t think that planning is wasteful because I would be really lost without planning. Now really think about it. How many ideas or desires did you dream up for yourself last year (or at all), and how many of those things have happened just the way you planned or thought? If you are anything like me- none of them happened just as planned. But, here’s the thing, maybe none of them happened just how I planned because they happened in the way they should have happened.

I’ll give you an example. As a graduate student at DePaul studying counseling, I am required to complete 700 clinical hours- yeah, 700 – it’s a lot. Last year I was working as an Academic Advisor and had been for 4 years. How in the world would I complete 700 additional hours in three quarters when I was already working 40 hours each week? Craziness, I know. So…I made a plan (of course) and I found a part-time job and a part-time internship to make sure I could complete these hours and still pay my bills. The plan was to stay at both of these positions until June 2015 – until I graduate and land my dream job, good plan…right? Well, this is not how things worked out. I found my dream job now, as in literally starting in three weeks. Looking back, I was so worried that I would not find a full-time position in time for graduation or that I would not complete my hours in time. Maybe the plan didn’t work out just as I planned but it worked out. I was afraid and anxious about leaving my then full time position but it turned out great. I really believe that the things we are most afraid to try are the same things that turn out great! Chance is good. Change is good.

I don’t know about you but I do not know anyone who has been successful in life because they never took a chance or never changed in the process.

I was at a conference in New Orleans over the weekend (NASPA: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) and the opening featured speaker was Dr. Jennifer Arnold- who can I just say was Aaamazing and very inspirational. I want to share one of the quotes she shared during her presentation by hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” This really stuck with me.

So my point is that you have to try to succeed otherwise you’ll never know. Maybe the outcome won’t be the way you planned or maybe you will fail but either way you would have taken the shot. Failing isn’t the worst thing that could happen because this can lead you down a new path. So maybe you are starting a new job, a new quarter of classes, or just need to repair a relationship in your life…whatever it might be, just start by trying.

Don’t be afraid to be amazing!

…Don’t miss next weeks “goodbye” blog by Jacki Licciardi— stay tuned.

What Games You Should Be Playing Today!

By Guest Blogger: Spencer Albin

One of the best benefits of attending a college larger than the high school system that you attended is that there are a lot more people with interests that are similar to your own as well as a lot of people that are experienced with things that you are a novice to. This allows you to both reinforce existing interests and branch out to learn about and explore new interests!

There are many organizations at DePaul to help facilitate this process. This is also a great way to meet new people and potential friends, which is the primary objective for many people during their first year at college, including me. Already well into the winter quarter, I am happy with the friends I’ve managed to make so far. I was fortunate enough to become friends with my roommate, Cole. Through him I was able to meet several other people including another one of my good friends, Scott. I also met many people through my classes, which is nice because it allows me to say hi to them in passing. I’ve also made friends through my classes, though almost exclusively through classes for my major, Computer Game Development.

There must be something about the people in these courses that separates them from the majority of people in the other classes. It doesn’t take long to figure that out; we all have a passion for games and everything to do with them. Games are something that multiple people can experience separately and instantly relate with each other. They provide a lot of content to talk about with other people. Even sharing the games you like and dislike allows a glimpse at your personality. Gaming is an inherently social activity, therefore I believe they are the best method through which to get to know people and become friends with people (and also have a lot of fun by doing so).

I think that there are a lot of people that still characterize the ‘gamer’ as belonging to the societal fringe; a person that has no friends and sits alone in a room…most of the time. I would like to say that even among the hardcore section of gamers, there is an incredible variety of people that are as social as they are diverse. Everyone can be a gamer in their own right. You just have to play games! Speaking of, there is tremendous variety when it comes to games and they are not limited to digital devices; there is a huge tabletop game market nowadays, ranging from simple card or dice games all the way to full scale role-playing games.

Not sure where to find a game that would interest you or how a game plays? Consult the Internet. You should be able to find a number of games that are fun and suit you. Now get some people to play with!

I mentioned before that playing a game gives you an experience that you can relate with someone through. In some form or another, playing games, especially with other people, builds comradery. Playing games is a great way to spend a night during the weekend and is often overlooked by people that typically do other things. Scott and I recently spent a Friday night playing a notoriously difficult platformer called Spelunky together. The amount of entertainment we got out of the experience both brought us together and gave us a great start to the weekend. I could go on about other games that I have spent hours playing with other people, but I think you understand how games can be great to make friends through.

DePaul has a large community of gamers, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the largest student organization on campus is DeFRAG (Check em out: http://defrag.depaul.edu/ ). The DeFRAG meetings are a perfect place to meet people and learn to play new games at the same time. It is open to everyone, even if you’ve never played any games before. Plenty of people would be willing to teach new games to you and help you out while you play them. If you haven’t played many games before I suggest going to at least one of these meetings or to someone you know to play a game, any game. You might find that you have been missing out on a completely unique experience.

The two main points I am trying to make with this blog are… First, to offer people a way to meet new friends and have fun. Second, to encourage people that don’t consider themselves to be gamers to branch out and play a few games. Both gaming and starting your college career are things that start out uncertain and rough. However, after some time has passed and you receive guidance, it evens out and becomes easier to do and to enjoy. With that I will leave you with some table games that run the gambit of complexity but are definitely fun. It is by no means a comprehensive list of awesome games, but it is a list of games that I like. Maybe you’ll find one to your liking!

 Tabletop Games that I’m sure you’ll like!

  • Left-Center-Right – A simple one die gambling game where one lucky winner takes the pot.
  • Cards Against Humanity – Think Apples to Apples, but dirtier. For those that aren’t familiar with Apples to Apples, it is a game where players alternate drawing prompt cards and choosing the card that best matches it. The other players submit the other cards.
  • Fluxx – A card game with a simple premise: draw one card and play one card per turn, meet the goal to win. However, there are cards that change the rules and steal victory from the other players. Available in many themes.
  • Munchkin – Munchkin is a sort of role-playing lite game that primarily uses cards and does away with much of the complexity and time typically needed for RPGs. It is really fun once you get the hang of the basic rules. Loot the room and stab your friends in the back! (Also has a large variety of themes.)
  • RISK – You can take over the world, enough said. More seriously, RISK is a classic strategy game that I like to play a lot (because I win most of the time).
  • Betrayal at House on the Hill – A B-rated horror movie in a box! If you like the kind of horror movies that take place in creepy old houses, you’ll probably like this! It is another RPG lite and is one of the most unique games I have played. It has fifty different possible haunts!
  • Settlers of Catan – A strategic trade and economy game set on the island of Catan. This one can be a bit more complex for new players, but like any game is more fun once you’ve played it a few times. Disclaimer: I am not responsible for premature terminations of friendships due to playing this game!

…Spencer Albin is a freshman at DePaul studying Computer Game Development. Spencer is also a member of the Office of Student Involvement EDGE Team!

What To Do If You’re Feeling Home Sick.

By Guest Blogger: Alden Claire Knight

Something I’ve noticed at DePaul is that I always get mixed reactions when I tell people where I’m from. Generally, the consensus seems to be that people react with mild surprise. Others react loudly. Some don’t care. I mentioned previously that I was from North Carolina. I also mentioned that I disliked it.

North Carolina isn’t the most shocking place to come from. I’m picking up on the “what-an-anticlimactic-place-to-live” vibes I’m sure you’re experiencing right now.

Something you need to note: North Carolina is pretty far away. 2 and a half hours by plane; 12 and a half hours by car; 76 hours by bike; 249 hours by foot (not that I’d ever do the latter two). I can’t take the next Metra ride home or pack my overnight bag into my mom’s car. What I’m getting at here is this: when I’m homesick, it’s pretty tough.

No, I’m not saying I regret my decision to come to Chicago. In fact, I’ve frequently thought about what a great fit it is. But everyone longs for home sometimes. You can’t deny that sometimes you just want to snuggle up on your couch (in my case, with my dog) and watch your favorite movie. You wouldn’t decline the opportunity to get pampered by your mom or veg out with some high school friends. Maybe even visit your favorite childhood park or walk that trail behind your house that you loved when you were little.

I’ve recently discovered that what seems like well over half of the student population at DePaul are from the suburbs (or aptly, “the ‘burbs”). When asked on the first day of class where they’re from, classmates of mine will usually name a suburb and then either mention its distance from the city or its directional location in the state. Most in-staters nod in agreement, mentally adding another suburb to what seems like a never-ending suburban list. Nearly all of the friends I’ve made go home most weekends. This stifling tidbit of information hadn’t even crossed my mind until a friend of mine approached me a couple of weeks ago asking if I had gotten homesick at all this quarter. The reason she asked was because I was the only other person she knew who had come to DePaul from a state farther than five “driving hours” away.

Truthfully, my longing for home was far more difficult this quarter than last. I found myself feeling lonelier than ever when I came back from winter break and I noted that my calls home had practically doubled. It could’ve been a seasonal thing, or really just an “adjustment to college” thing, but I think it was my recognition that almost everyone I know here has the capability to go home whenever they feel like it. Friends of mine will mention how excited they are to go home for dinner and get a home cooked meal, or they’ll express their need for a haircut from their hairdresser whose known them for eight years. I realized then that I was jealous. Jealous because if I need a haircut, I have to go find someone I’ve never met. Or if I want a home cooked meal, I’d have to find a restaurant that specialized in that kind of thing. Of course, it’s not my friends’ fault in the end. They can’t control where they’re from. If you had the option of going home whenever you felt like it, who could blame you.

I realize looking back on this now, homesickness comes and goes in waves. Sometimes I want to spontaneously purchase a plane ticket and take the next flight home, but other times I’m super happy that I’m not in North Carolina anymore. It’s totally normal to feel this way, especially when you’re really far from home base.

During a rough patch when my longing for home was nearly unbearable, I made a list of things I could do to make myself feel better. I’ve tested some of these tricks, and most of them seem to work. Recently, for example, my mom and I have been watching our favorite shows together while simultaneously reacting via phone call.

Another item on the list included getting out of the dorm and seeing friends to take your mind off things. If friends aren’t available, take a walk around Lincoln Park (dependent on weather). We’re fortunate to be in a really beautiful part of Chicago. Exercising helps for some, and I know looking at old photos can bring back some great nostalgic memories. Compiling a care package for a loved one or friend from back home helped me a lot as well (I know I’m not the world’s best “feel good guru”, but these things worked for me).

My favorite, though, was to make a playlist of songs to unwind with. I’ve included one that I put together at the end of this post for you DePaulians who might be going through the same thing. Just remember, being homesick is totally normal. It’s going to get better. Enjoy…

Chicken Soup for the Homesick Soul (2)

Chicken Soup for the Homesick Soul:

Big Jet Plane – Angus & Julia Stone

Hero – Family of the Year

Piledriver waltz – Alex Turner

Seaside – The Kooks

The Commuter – Jeremy Messersmith

April Come She Will – Simon & Garfunkel

Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths

Take Care – Beach House

Blue Skies – Albert Hammond, Jr.

17 – Youth Lagoon

…Alden Claire Knight is currently an undeclared Communication major however, intends to pursue a degree in Communication and Media Studies field with a concentration in Radio, Television and New Media! Alden also enjoys any film by Wes Anderson, with her favorite being Moonrise Kingdom!