BALTIMORE— A Loyola sophomore learned more than she ever thought she would in college on just one Thursday night. Margaret Bellini, 20, is from a small town in central New Jersey and knew next to nothing about Baltimore before attending Loyola.
“When I saw Hairspray, I thought Baltimore was a made-up place,” Bellini giggles. “I had no idea it was a real city that had so much to offer.” It is now Bellini’s mission to help pop the infamous Loyola bubble for her fellow classmates.
Her journey started when Bellini went random on housing this year and ended up in a room with seniors. Her new roommates were excitedly discussing all the things they were planning for their final school year.
Plans included typical senior banter about senior countdown parties, post-grad work, crippling debt, etc. But Bellini said the most interesting topic was the nightlife they talked about. She said she heard the names of what seemed like ‘hundreds of new places to get turnt.’
“I was in utter shock," she reflects, teary-eyed. "I thought they were messing with me, the uncultured sophomore I was just a few weeks ago.”
Bellini’s roommates quickly showed her just how much she was missing. To her disbelief, Baltimore is more than just PowerPlant Live! “It’s just a whole different side to Baltimore most of my classmates and I never saw.” Bellini’s highlights include Zen West, Maxie’s, Bond Street, and of course, her new favorite, Magerk’s.
Having discovered this new side of Baltimore's nightlife, Bellini now proudly asserts, “I know basically everything about this city now. Baltimore is my second home.” She claims that discovering these new Baltimore landmarks has greatly enhanced her college experience and the connection she feels with the city.
Bellini wants to offer the same mentorship that she was lucky enough to receive from her older, more mature roommates to other Loyola students. Partnering with the Center for Community Service and Justice, Bellini is working on creating another Experience: Baltimore immersion trip. This second Experience: Baltimore will not only be offered as a pre-fall program, but also every Thursday night.
Bellini remarks, “This is my legacy, I don’t want any student to miss out on Charm City and all of the margarita pitcher deals it has to offer.”