If you are a commuter student at Fontbonne who cannot afford a parking pass, like me, there is a key component to your day to day experience that most residential students do not get the pleasure of experiencing: commuter bus rides. Now, it does depend on the time of day that you get to see the widest array of backgrounds on the bus. However, it only takes three steps up the bus’ stairs to gaze into the eyes of Fontbonne’s diversity. On an average ride from the commuter lot on Clayton Road to Fontbonne’s campus around 9 a.m. on an average Tuesday morning, I am only a few feet away from:
one international student from Beijing, China
three from Saudi Arabia
one from Iraq
a couple of grad students
a basketball player
a soccer player
a baseball player who I most likely would never get close enough to smell had I not taken the bus and sat next to
a softball player
a professor, and
a bearded, non traditional student clearly practicing a speech of some sort.
These are people I would see as I cautiously cross the yellow sidewalks of Fontbonne on any given day. There, the cowardly lion inside begs me not to open my mouth asking their name, or what their day requires of them. But when I am on that 4 wheeled diesel, I cannot help but open my mouth to discover those things. As I walk up those stairs, I have on my red, glittery slippers. I take a seat. I’m inquisitive as I remember that the clock is ticking before the Wizard parks the bus in front of Ryan Hall.
Typically I open a conversation with a joke or a compliment. One particular instance I started an exchange with a baseball player when we both chuckled from witnessing a poor woman in a car beside us spilling food on her blouse. I later came to find out that we knew a few of the same people from high school. On another occasion I offered an international student a ride back to Cotta Hall when it was raining so she would not have to walk home without an umbrella. We ended up swapping phone numbers, and are currently still friends. These are just a couple examples of what can happen on a commuter bus without the walls of the academic buildings limiting the probability of meeting new people.
I am beyond thankful that I attend to a school with such a welcoming and diverse atmosphere. I used to never think there were perks to being a low income student, but when I am on that bus, the culture and the opportunity to learn as much as I can in seven minutes about someone new, is worth more than buying a parking pass.
Every dorm room is almost the same size here at Fontbonne. My room is a double, but I paid for a single which means it is just me. My door has my own style of just random or funny pictures. I have some Walking Dead and pro wrestling pictures on there. I have a carpet I bought to help it make it feel more like home. The walls have photos and posters posted on them. One of the most important things is my Ohio State Buckeyes Flag hanging on the way too. I use one of the desks to hold my T.V., VCR, and video game systems. I have a nightstand that has two containers as the bottom and one more as a place to hold the rest of my stuff.
“Are you doing anything this weekend?” That’s a common question asked among Fonties on a Friday afternoon. Answers usually involve hanging out with friends and going somewhere around town. That “somewhere around town” usually involves food!
As far as food goes, I have some personal favorites here in St. Louis! One of my favorites is Fitz’s, which is right in the University City Delmar Loop. Fitz’s is a cool restaurant that serves some of the best, yet classic American food like pepperoni pizza and pretzels with cheese. They also have their famous Fitz’s Root Beer and Root Beer Floats that are simply amazing!
Another one of my fav places to eat is the Courtesy Diner which is right off of Laclede Station Road. (There are two other locations in St. Louis as well!) It’s about 10 minutes or so away from campus and is a must go for college students. Courtesy Diner is open 24 hours so you can go whenever you’re feeling like a hamburger or, my personal favorite, some French toast with extra powdered sugar!
So, hey, if you and your friends are trying to find something to do this weekend, check out Fitz’s or Courtesy Diner. Both are delicious and I highly recommend them! They are just two of the amazing restaurants in St. Louis!