Loyola University Chicago

Division of Student Development

Alumni: Biz Reilly

Title: Kent College of Law Student

Started LUC: 2010

Completely different. The first building I went into on campus was old Damen, the one that looked like a barcode/prison with elevators that terrified everyone. During my time at Loyola, there was always massive construction and I really hope the next generation of Loyola students gets a break from that.

Loyola's Campus is usually so full of activity, but my favorite places are the little tranquil spots on campus. There are two rocks big enough to sit on outside of Crown Center facing the lake. Whenever I was feeling overwhelmed with class or life, I would sit there and listen to music for hours, and it never failed to make me feel better.

Well, I have a very cheesy response for this. What makes me smile about Loyola is the memories I have of the people that made me laugh. I had a group of friends freshman year that would go to dinner together every night and laugh until our faces and stomachs hurt. Every year at Loyola, I had an abundance of laughter in my life.

Loyola gave me the skills and support I needed to get into the law school I wanted and then some. I'm your average broke student, so financial aid was a huge factor for me. Law schools are a lot stingier with giving out large amounts of money, so the competition for these packages is a lot steeper. Luckily, I was able to earn the package I needed from multiple schools.

I was very heavily involved outside the classroom. During my time at Loyola, I studied abroad in Rome, I had two on campus jobs, I held two Law internships, and I spent hours upon hours of time with Loyola's Mock Trial team. I'm actually exhausted remembering all my commitments, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.

My favorite program was called 24 hour theater. In 24 hours, a topic would be chosen, five plays would be written, rehearsed and performed for a live audience at the end of the event. I loved theater in high school, but I was going to be a political science major. I wanted to make sure I kept theater in my life, and this was the perfect way for me. The experience was an incredible entrance into the fun culture of Loyola.

The Jesuits have taught me so much, but the most important skill they taught me was reflection. Retreats with the Jesuits always meant reflection, and I have utilized that skill in everyday life to better understand myself and grow from that understanding.

Besides my parents both being students here and meeting then falling in love, there are many more reasons!  See my other responses.  I do appreciate all the opportunities staff and faculty make available to students.

Repeat after me: "That's ok." Say if often to yourself, say it to others, say it to anyone who comes to you for counsel, and learn to mean it. Society puts so much pressure on everyone to be perfect. The perfect sister, the perfect daughter, the perfect student, the perfect roommate, the perfect girlfriend, the perfect employee, and this list can go on forever if you let it. We're taught that if we are not perfect, the result will be failure and loneliness. The general consensus has somehow become if you fail a test that you'll die alone living in a box under the el. I know because I have made that joke a thousand times, and everyone laughs because they have felt that fear too. You know what? I have indeed failed a test, and I am happy to report the world continued to spin. Saying "that's ok" allows you to forgive yourself for "failure" and learn from it. Have you overslept on the morning of a meeting? "That's ok. I'll set two alarms next time." Did you not get into the team or club you wanted? "That's ok. There are other clubs and I'll try again next year when I have more experience." Are you afraid to graduate and move on to graduate school/ the job hunt? "That's ok. No one feels ready, and you are not alone." This lesson is brought to you from my absolutely brilliant friend Martin, a person who said those words to me more times than I can count.

"If you don't have a solution, you don't have a problem." I also have a fantastic father, who knows how to talk me off an emotional cliff when necessary. Until I learned the lesson from above, it was frequently necessary. I'm what you might call a "trigger happy worrier;" given a crisis, my first reaction is to predict doom. However, this phrase, a Donald Reilly original (I googled it to make sure he didn't steal it from Gandhi or Oprah or someone.) taught me that if you have done everything in your power to fix a crisis, and there is nothing else left for you to do, you need to relax and let it go. Now, in moments where I am itching to solve a problem I don't have control over, this mantra allows me to take a deep breath and move forward.

Loyola will always keep its root in the Jesuit tradition, but I see it stepping up to another tier of universities. There is something so special and different about the students here and how much they care for the well-being of the world. I hope that never changes, only grows.