Why hello there! Griffins! Hope you’re all well! I’m so glad to be back on the “Real Life at Fontbonne” staff for my very last year as a Fontbonne student (WOO- HOO!!!). The topic of my posts will be about the perspectives and lessons I’ve learned (or am learning) during my time as a Griffin. Let me just start by saying, I am so very grateful to be a part of the Fontbonne family, I have been blessed to meet a ton of great people during my three years on campus. Fontbonne University will forever hold a special place in my heart. I remember when I started my freshman year on campus (hard to believe that was three years ago….), my view of the world was so different; I only saw the world one way at the time. I remember how nervous I was on the first day of class because I thought that since I didn’t have a Catholic background, I wasn’t going to succeed in my classes. I remember going to a professor’s office that semester and crying because I felt I didn’t measure up to the “smart” kids that went to different schools.
Fast forward to the end of my first semester at Fontbonne. I was so nervous to check my grades for the term (that seems to be a theme with me — oh well, what can you do?). I actually did well, better than I thought I did. From that day, I have never doubted my academic abilities again. It was like I was finally getting the academic success I had been working toward for twelve years. I knew then that this journey was going to be well worth my hardships. Each week, I will share some of the lessons I’ve learned as an undergrad student at Fontbonne, and how those lessons have changed my outlook on the world around me and my own life. I’m sharing these things because someone on campus may need to read what I say to get through a tough battle of their own, I just wanna be of help to someone who was in my shoes three years ago.
I think I’m becoming what you would call a professional student. I went to college straight out of high school, got my bachelor’s degree from UMSL in communications 4 years later, then continued to go back and take random classes because I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Eventually I found out what my true passion is…FOOD! I love cooking and have had my mind set on culinary school the past 2 years. After running into some health problems I did some research on diet and exercise and figured a slight lifestyle change was worth a shot. I changed my diet, joined a gym, and 8 months later I lost 25 pounds and was in the best shape I had ever been in a long long time. More importantly, my health improved dramatically! Since then I have been fascinated with what great things good food and exercise can do for your body.
I pondered long and hard about what I could do with my life that involved the two things I now love most, food and exercise. My mom is a diabetic educator and works with a lot of dietitians. One day she sent me a text saying, “Hey, I know what you can go back to school for — dietetics!” Just like a lot of other people I replied, “Ummm … what’s that?” Then I pulled up my trusty Google homepage on my iPhone and figured it out. Dietetics seemed absolutely perfect for me so I began researching some of the schools that offered the major. Sadly I’m 26 and still get homesick, so I knew I wanted to stay in St. Louis. I stumbled upon Fontbonne and SLU and had a decision to make. I decided I should probably attend any open houses or welcome opportunities at both schools to make my decision. I registered for Fontbonne’s open house last November, and that was all I needed — decision made. Not only was the campus beautiful but every single person I spoke with was extremely nice and all of the current students had nothing but positive things to say about Fontbonne. I was sold, and here I am now! 4 weeks in and loving it!
I have been thinking about the new information I have been learning this semester. I had not really realized how much of my classes really linked together as well as they did. Though really, what I have enjoyed the most about would be in my Family Policy & Advocacy in Family and Consumer Science class. We reviewed important texts of information especially over the Human Ecological Model created by Urie Brofenbrenner, where this visual representation illustrates how relationships within our lives impacts those around each and every one of us. Take a child within a family, an individual. This could be the center core to the circle model. Around the center core of this circle, there are about five circles which stand other “layers” of the larger circle and have significance. Each level focuses on various amounts of interaction, through relationships, with the specific individual, which can be anyone we wish to analyze or take time to learn more about. The first layer surrounding the center core stresses the importance of direct relationships with the main individual, such as relationships with family members. The next layer really focuses on the relationships with people who interact with the main individual – creating indirect relationships with the main individual. As the circle expands out further with each relationship, the impact on the individual is less direct. I know I can go much further in explaining the layers, but I want to mainly talk about what I have taken away from learning about this new information.
What I really appreciate about my major is the importance of relationships we create with people around us. How the relationships we foster with one another really impacts the way we develop as an individual in life. I know I have been told in the past that my actions really impact others around me, but I had not really understood until learning this diagram in depth. As a citizen in the United States, though more specifically as a citizen in the city of St. Louis, I am part of the bigger picture in some people’s lives. But, additionally I am also part of the smaller picture in other people’s lives, such as those closest to me.
My biggest challenge at Fontbonne has been being too harsh on myself. Mostly with academics I’m a huge perfectionist. This means I spend lots of time worrying about little things. Recently I have spent lots of time doing online homework and even wasting time on certain questions. However this is not a terrible thing because all my hard work will be worth it in the end!