Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Vacation

This Easter Break I spent at St. Mike’s.  It was the first major family holiday I spent away from my family.  I thought I would be miserable the entire weekend but I really wasn’t.

Thursday afternoon I cleaned my room.  I packed all my heavy sweaters and boots away in the back of my closet.  Even though we have been getting snow every so often, it hasn’t stuck to the ground or lasted very long for me to keep it out.  At 7pm I went to Holy Thursday mass at the Chapel.  It was a nice service and I got to sit with a few friends who were still on campus.

Friday morning I packed a couple things for my friend’s house.  I was spending the night there with her for some fun.  When she picked me up we went grocery shopping for lunch food and made sandwiches at her house.  After lunch we colored Easter Eggs with her sister. 

We went for a walk in the woods and attempted to climb trees.  (Unfortunately that isn’t something I can really do so - no pictures).  We also played on her neighbor’s rope swing which was lots of fun.  

When we got back to her house, her brother had made a bonfire and we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores…YUM!!
Then we got cleaned up for a delicious dinner her mom cooked.  I got to try squash, zucchini, and crème brûlée.  These were all first times for me and I was thrilled I liked them.  After, they taught me cribbage, which I loved, and watched the movie: Leap Year. 

On Saturday, my friend’s dad made us eggs for breakfast which was really nice.  He put my poached egg on a bagel with cream cheese and ham.  It was also something sort of new for me and it was delicious too.

For most of the morning we curled my friend’s sister’s hair with my curling iron for Easter.  Then she straightened my hair.  We also took a trip to the University Mall for some shopping.  We got a pair of matching shoes which will be fun to wear.

For the rest of the afternoon we played some games that she had.  It was a nice relaxing day for us.  It was also fun for us to relax and hang out without the worries of homework or other people hanging around.

After a delicious dinner my friend brought me back to campus.  I got some more cleaning done and fell asleep during Ella Enchanted.

Easter Sunday was a nice relaxing day.  I started out my day by calling my parents to wish them a “Happy Easter.”  I then followed the call by calling my grandparents and friends for Easter.  After those calls I realized I had missed Alliot breakfast so I whipped out one of my handy mini cereal boxes and ate that.

I then proceeded to get ready for 11am Mass in my Easter best.  I am so glad St. Mike’s has a Chapel on campus because I knew people who were there so I wasn’t totally alone.  After mass I was invited to a brunch in Alliot which was nice because I was hungry by then.  After eating I went back to my room and Skyped with my brother for about 2 and half hours.  That was really nice because I haven’t talked to him in a couple weeks.  I got some homework done too but decided to go to bed early.

Monday I woke up early, well rested, and did laundry.  I was able to get it all done without the worry of people moving it because no one was here.  Then I went for a short walk to enjoy the nice weather and waited for my friends to return to campus!!!

If you have to stay on campus during a break here are some tips:
            1.  Make a to-do list for yourself.
            2.  If a friend is on campus make plans with them.
            3.  Don’t be afraid to go to Burlington on your own and walk around.
            4.  Take advantage of local events.
            5.  Catch up on sleep.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

10 Tips to Survive College

1.  Get your work done early in the day so you can hang out with friends at night and/or sleep if you want to.

2.  You don’t have to go out every night.  Sometimes the most fun is hanging with friends and watching a movie.

3.  Professors are the nicest at St. Mike’s.  Don’t be afraid to talk to themThey are there for you outside of the classroom too.

4.  Get extra help if you need it.  Ask around, most likely there is an upper classman or a tutoring session available.

5.  Try every club and activity to see what fits for you; you may be surprised where you fit in.

6.  Don’t be afraid to try something new, you may enjoy it.

7.  Roommates aren’t for life, but be conscious of what you say and do.  It is a give and take relationship and any pair can make it work.

8.  Don’t think the first person you meet will be your best friend at college, you may not meet them for a couple weeks but they will always be there for you.

9.  Place sweats at the end of your bed in case the fire alarm goes off while you’re sleeping.  Trust me this helps especially on a cold night when your half asleep and aren’t thinking straight.

10.  Don’t be afraid to ask people who live near you for a ride, they most likely can help you out.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friends and Support

So this week has been one of my toughest weeks here on campus.  There were so many stresses from back home which built up inside of me.  I was out the entire week trying to get things done for classes and other events I was part of.  Also, I was on the phone with people back home trying to see what I could do for them being about seven hours away.

Wednesday was the worst.  I had a project due and was working on little sleep from the past week.  I wasn’t myself.  My friends could tell right away.  As I got back to my room at 6 (I had left at 7:20 that morning), I realized my key was missing.  That was the last thing that set me off and I broke down crying.  My friend came out into the hall and gathered up my things and took me into her room.  She called my roommate who then came running back to let me in.  The same friend then proceeded to find my key in my room and I gave her a huge hug.

I didn’t think I was going to make it through the LINK meeting that night that I was running for the first time solo.  My friends through LINK realized throughout the day how out of it I was.  They showed up early and set up the room.  Then every time I went to go set up something they asked if I they could do it for me.  They also cleaned up after and made sure I was ok.

Moral of this story:  St. Mike’s has a supportive community.  The only thing is you have to go meet these wonderful people here and they’ll be there for you.  People are always here for you on campus:  professors, administrators, staff, and especially friends.  I know I can turn to these people any time if I need a shoulder to lean on. 

I’m so glad I came here and met my wonderful friends; I think I would have had a much worse week without them.  Thanks gang!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Jackie Francois!!!

Me and Jackie Francois
Yesterday I met an amazing woman, Jackie Francois.  Through Campus Ministry, I was invited to have lunch with her at Farmhouse Tap and Grill in downtown Burlington (a block over from Cherry St.).  Jackie also sang/spoke last night in the chapel and was very inspirational.

For those of you who don’t know who Jackie Francois is, I’ll tell you.  She is a full-time speaker, singer/songwriter, and worship leader.  Jackie travels the world speaking to young people about God and helping with various events and ministries. She has an album called, “Your Kingdom is Glorious.”

I loved having lunch with Jackie because she is down to earth.  She isn’t one of the speakers who talks to you constantly about God or tries to convince you her belief is the right one.  Jackie was laid back and lunch was really relaxed.  During lunch, Jackie told us about different types of food she has had and which have been her favorites.  It was also really nice how Jackie didn’t just talk about the places she has been to but was curious where we had been too.

For dessert we had different desserts and each shared some.  As a warning to anyone who goes to the Farmhouse Tap and Grill, don’t order a slice of chocolate cake by yourself.  I made that mistake yesterday and regretted it.  However, bringing the slice back to my dorm, two of my friends were able to finish it off.  So they were happy :-)

At the chapel last night, Jackie was so inspirational.  Even if you weren’t Catholic (like a friend of mine) you still came out feeling inspired.  She had an amazing story and told religious and non-religious jokes that made everyone feel comfortable.  She even played and sang for us.  Jackie had an amazing voice.

Below are some links for you check her out for yourself:

Alex and Carrie selling CDs with me before and after her presentation

A heart out of her business cards

She signed our CDs!!!!
Thank you Jackie for an amazing afternoon and evening!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


One of my favorite groups on campus, where I find another home, is VITA.  VITA is our Campus Ministry group at St. Mike’s.  I have made most of my wonderful friends through VITA.  These people have been so supportive this year and I know I can count on them.

I participate in the church services by being a Lector, Eucharistic Minister, and Alter Server.  I also help out with some of the special events like, Stations of the Cross.  

Katie M, Me, Kate W., and Alex B - All looking our best for Stations of the Cross

Alex, Me, and Katie M goofing off before heading to the Chapel
Campus Ministry offers a couple of retreats each semester.  The two of I participated in this year were the Emmaus Retreat and LEAP Retreat.  I LOVED both retreats so much.  I highly recommend looking into these two opportunities when coming to SMC.  You meet many wonderful people and get to know your friends better.  You do a lot of reflection and group discussion which helps, especially as a freshman on campus.

LINK, which is a small faith sharing group on campus, had been one of my FAVORITE weekly events.  Starting off as a freshman, I thought I would never be asked to lead an event or feel so included that I could voice my opinion to the leaders.  LINK changed that feeling.  Last semester I went to just about every LINK and I participated in the activities they offered:  picnic, pumpkin carving, and the Snowflake-Semi.  Coming back this semester I realized many of the leaders went abroad and decided to offer assistance if they needed.  I didn’t think they would take me up on it so soon.  Before I knew it, I began helping Lauren, one of the leaders, out every Wednesday night with setting up and discussion topics.  I’m so glad I took the initiative and offered my service.

For those of you coming in next year, I suggest you try a lot of NEW things and when you find something you LOVE go for it.  Also, don’t be afraid to step up and say something.  Everyone is warm and welcoming and would love to hear your ideas.  You won’t regret it, I guarantee.