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It seems crazy to think that just three-and-a-half months ago, I was starting my college journey.  Now, it’s almost 1/8 done!  Whoa…that’s a little scary to think about!  If this semester went by quickly, just imagine the remaining seven; before I know it, Fontbonne will be a memory and I’ll be entering yet another new phase of life.

But before I get too carried away with the future, I’d like to focus on the past 16 weeks and how my life has changed.  My professors have not only built a solid higher-education foundation for me with this semester’s classes, although that is very true.  I’ve also built solid relationships with many faculty members, including several I didn’t even have as teachers but may later on.  It’s priceless to have those positive associations both now and in the future — they know I’m a dedicated, hardworking student who is invested in learning for life; I know they care about me, truly want to push me and see me succeed, and are always willing to help in any way possible.  I can’t compare this to other schools because I was always homeschooled, and Fontbonne is my first college experience, but I must say I think you’d be hard-pressed to find — anywhere else — the level of dedication and professionalism all the instructors at Fontbonne have.

I have learned a lot more about myself and Fontbonne’s mission.  I’ve gotten through exams and essays and hard days that, prior to, seemed daunting, scary, or even impossible.  I’ve become more confident and knowledgeable in areas I never imagined I would be.  I’ve worked through difficult problems with logic and persistence, finding joy in finally coming up with the correct solution/answer and knowing I’m capable of doing so.  I’ve laughed a lot and cried a little (hope to keep it that way!).  I’ve been blessed with support and respect from my family.  I’ve learned how to be impeccable — and I mean impeccable — with my time.  I’ve also learned how much of a privilege sleep is — here’s looking at you, long-since-gone 8-hour nights!  Finally, I am not only majoring in dietetics; I’ve officially declared a minor in history, which is not something I expected to do at all, but now I am and I’m so glad!

For all this sentimentality, I sincerely hope I have expressed how glad I am to be a Fontbonne student (bet you never would have guessed).  This semester wasn’t perfect; I wouldn’t expect one to ever be.  But it completely affirmed my decision to attend; there’s no looking back or second-guessing myself!  I’m happy to have a month off with family, relaxing and getting ready for next semester. Christmas is my favorite holiday, so I’ll be that all-December-long celebrator.  I’ve already got the Christmas music in full swing during my commutes…and I’ll be starting my chocolate Advent calendar tomorrow (as I write this…and yes, I do have a chocolate Advent calendar; I don’t think you’re ever too old for one)!  My family and I are also going on a quick ski trip to Colorado at the very end of December/beginning of January, so that’s something I eagerly look forward to.

Whether you’re graduating in a couple short weeks (congratulations!), are midway through college, or completing your first semester ever, here’s some good luck sent your way for finals and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and break.  Study hard, have fun, and I’ll be back in a month!

Blessings,

~Anna

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Anna

Ten Things I’m Thankful for

by Anna on November 21, 2016

in College Life

Thanksgiving is just one week away!  It’s probably my second- or third-favorite holiday; I can’t decide between it and Easter.  Anyway, now is a great time of the year to count your blessings, so to speak.  I know it’s nearly the end of the semester, you’re probably exhausted, and you’re looking forward to some time with family…but in these busy moments, I think it’s especially important to look at yourself with a positive outlook.  In a world of negativity and brokenness, we, Fontbonne as a community, can spread some counter-feelings of optimism, respect, and encouragement.  And what’s a great way to start on that track?  Look inward, outward, and all around you, and see what’s good in your life.  I’d like to encourage you to make a list of your own in the next few weeks; maybe it would be appropriate for in between studying for finals…a nice way to take a breath, relax, and appreciate everything a little more fully.  It can be as short and simple as you like!

So here’s my “top 10” list of things I’m thankful for, in no particular order, by the way!

  1. Fontbonne:  I love the faculty, staff, my fellow students, the opportunities to pursue one’s passion and “serve the dear neighbor”, and the entire atmosphere in general.  Even on days when I’m really tired and just not feeling too upbeat, my mood ends up brightening by being on campus, going to class, and knowing I’m surrounded by wonderful, supportive people.
  2. My family & friends:  My parents, brother, godparents, and other friends (young and old) bring me so much joy.  They’re patient, kind, loving, encouraging, funny, and genuinely interested in hearing about the latest topic or subject I’ve covered in class.  I may not have a huge social web, but the relationships I have with my relatives and companions are deep and permanent.
  3. My horses:  Dear, sweet little Pearl-baby and Blondie-girl, who have been so cooperative and easygoing about my lack of time for them since school started.  They’re happy to just be groomed, petted, hugged, loved on, and told how much they mean to me.  Owning a horse is so much more than riding; in fact, it’s really quite irrelevant to me.  I think it’s way more important to have a strong relationship, built on trust and respect, than a surface level “hop on and ride off into the sunset” sort of thing.
  4. Good health:  I’m grateful for the ability to exercise every day and not be compromised in any way by injuries or illnesses.  My first semester at Fontbonne is nearly over, and I have not gotten so much as a sneeze, which I’m pretty proud of…especially considering how little sleep I’ve recently been getting!
  5. Freedom:  I’m thankful for all of the men and women who have served or are currently serving in our military, protecting and preserving my rights.  I’m really glad for my, your, and everyone else’s ability to voice their opinions and beliefs.  Now more than ever, we need to ensure this right does not get lost or suppressed for anyone; but even more importantly, we need to be civil and respectful when speaking with someone who may hold a different set of beliefs.
  6. Faith:  This ties into #5 above (freedom).  Every Sunday morning, I can go to church with my family to experience communion and fellowship with other believers.  I can be refreshed for the coming week, forgiven of my sins, receive the Lord’s Supper, and encouraged to live a life of grace and love.  My right to worship is not infringed upon, and for that I am appreciative.
  7. Sunrises & sunsets:  For all the darkness and gloom surrounding winter, you have to admit we have some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets.  Colors of red, orange, golden, blue, pink, purple, and more set the sky on fire and always make me hopeful for the day ahead.  In that quiet stillness, there is peace to be found.
  8. Home sweet home:  I have a roof over my head, heat and air-conditioning for all seasons, abundant clothing, running water, electricity, Internet service, and so many other creature comforts.  We take these for granted far too much.  Remember that there are millions of people all around the world who do not and may never experience these everyday conveniences.
  9. Food:  Once again, just how many people do you think do not have access to quality food and water like we do?  I’m not trying to shame you for enjoying the bountiful feast your mom or grandma prepares for Thanksgiving…I think it’s one of the best times to come together as a family for fellowship and yummy goodness.  But maybe after that final piece of pumpkin pie, consider volunteering for a food pantry or donating to a charity that seeks to improve the lives of people who aren’t in the same fortunate position we are.
  10. The Future:  I’m thankful to be able to pursue my studies in dietetics and history, two passions of mine, and eventually help people live their lives to the fullest.  I’m thankful for classes that challenge, push, and mold me into a version of myself I never dreamed I would be.  I’m also thankful for the opportunity to share my musings about the future with all who read this blog…you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Blessings,

~Anna

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If you’ve read some of my past posts, you probably know I’m a commuter.  Overall, this is the best possible way for me to get an exceptional higher education experience and maintain the lifestyle I’m used to at home.  My commute ranges from 35 to 45 minutes one way, depending on traffic, but I enjoy driving, so it’s actually something I look forward to.  A lot of the time, I listen to music (more on that here); sometimes, I will also review some concepts we’ve been covering in class to push myself to think a little harder.

One of the best (in my opinion) parts of being a commuter is that it forces me to be impeccable with time management.  Spending one-and-a-half hours per day on the road means I have that much less time for homework/anything else.  I have to get up every morning early enough to get ready, take care of my horses, and hopefully grab some breakfast before heading out the door for the day.  Mondays and Wednesdays are my long days, so I have to make sure I have a lunch packed in advance for them.  I also have to double-check (every day) that I have all of the materials/books/supplies I need, because I can’t just run back to my room in a matter of minutes.

For all the effort surrounding being a commuter student, I really do like it.  I can still work, see my family and horses, and have the comfort of home around me every morning and evening…but I also experience the wonderful campus community of Fontbonne during the day.  Sometimes being a commuter (and also my work schedule) prevents me from participating in evening activities on campus, but I’ve found some really great events during the day (and lately, I’ve had more than enough homework to keep me occupied all day and night).

My biggest tip for future commuters would be to have good self-discipline.  If you’re not on campus, it can be easy to forget about “college” and “homework”, but you really have to be on top of things at all times if you want to be a good student.  Plan your time and schedule wisely, which includes making not-so-fun decisions (passing up an outing with your friends to study for the upcoming exam is unpopular, but may be necessary).  Most of all, don’t forget to enjoy being a college student!

Blessings,

~Anna

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Okay, so where do I begin for this post?!  First of all, let’s start with the fact that I am pretty much all over the map as far as favorite artists/genres/etc. goes.  A lot of the time, it depends on my mood — if I’m a little down, or really upbeat, or stressed, or open to anything, it makes for different “musical cravings”.

My time on the road adds up to about 1 1/2 hours per day, so I end up listening to some form of music for upwards of 7 hours every week while I commute to and from campus.  My car has a free year-long subscription to Sirius radio so I’m definitely taking advantage of that through March; anything from French country and Spanish stations to retro (’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s) and classical.  Yeah…like I said, I’m all over the place.  I also often listen to 99.1 JOY! FM, which has some really nice contemporary Christian music, moments in the Word in the mornings, and ever-so-helpful on-time traffic reports that have given me enough warning to change my route more than once.

As far as favorite artists goes, I think it’s a toss-up between Matt Maher and Tenth Avenue North.  I really love the great variety of their songs, so no matter how I’m feeling, there always seems to be one that directly speaks to me.  I’ve also been known to dance really wildly to some of Matt’s songs.  I’m reserved on the outside, but inside there’s a spark of lively, unreserved craziness that will occasionally make its presence known. 😉

Oh!  I can’t leave out Hamilton!  I didn’t know anything about this smash-hit musical before this semester, but we’ve been using the soundtrack for some discussions and an assignment in my history class.  If you would ever like to engage in an endless, deep conversation about any of its songs or underlying meanings, by all means feel free to engage me…or just count the time until the whole shebang comes to the Fox next season!  I’m really looking forward to finally seeing the dancing and visual artistry go along with those catchy lyrics!

So to sum it all up, how about this quote from Victor Hugo (1802-1885)?  “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent”.  Words sung a certain way can be so much more powerful and meaningful than simply spoken.  Happy listening to whatever it is that you find enjoyable!

Blessings,

~Anna

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Fall is here!

by Adriana October 25, 2016

Even though fall already started few weeks ago, I still want to share the different fun activities I have done during this season. I am not a fan of cold weather, but right now it’s kind of a mix between cold and hot so its fine. I went apple picking for the first time and […]

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We are Griffin Nation

by Anna October 21, 2016

I know the “We Are Griffin Nation” movement kicked off a little while ago, but honestly, it slipped by me because of all the homework and studying surrounding midterms.  I just got a chance to check out some of the wonderful statements other Fontbonne students have come up with.  It’s clear that “Griffin Nation” is […]

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Before Fontbonne

by Lauren May 2, 2016

I know it was only a few short years ago but it’s hard to imagine a time before Fontbonne. Yet I can still remember some of the fears and anxieties I had about starting college. I look back on that time and I’m thoroughly confused–there was nothing to be afraid of! Here is some advice […]

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Advice to Pre-Fontbonne Me (and You!)

by Claire April 27, 2016

Dear younger Claire (and incoming freshman), Thinking back just 9 months ago before I started school at Fontbonne, I expected something totally different. I excepted teachers that didn’t care, huge classrooms and having to stay up until 3 am every night. When I got to Fontbonne, I was mistaken and for good reason. The faculty and […]

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When I Grow Up…

by Lauren April 13, 2016

Interestingly enough, in 2nd grade my teacher asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. And then she had us write a letter to our future selves and include our future job description. Then she said she would mail it to us some years down the road. I received the letter years […]

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Real Life as an Art Student

by Lauren February 22, 2016

Let the blogging begin! Hello all! My name is Lauren and I’m a junior here at Fontbonne. I’m an art major with a graphic design focus–actually, now it’s called Applied Design! The graphic design program was changed quite recently to include more computer-based classes. So far, it’s been an adventure. I have some big plans […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.