My Fall: Running and Coffee Shops

My fall memories are full of men and woman lacing up their shoes and heading to starting line. The brisk air hitting you as you walk around to see t-shirts being sold, runners stretching, and food being talked about. This is the sport of Cross Country and it has been a part of my fall since I could remember. Whether I was a tyke at my sister’s races or a bundle of nerves for my own, I think of fall as a time of running. The races have a community atmosphere and this helps the tension before the race. Team activities are the best to do, especially when they involve food. The team becomes a family and it’s amazing. Running in general takes up my fall, but it isn’t fall until I watch a race with a blanket wrapped around me and I’m cheering on my teammates.

My fall is also consumed by coffee shops because I’m addicted (I’m not bothered by this at all). I always want to try the new drinks and choices given during the fall. Starbucks is usually my go to, but recently I’ve discovered more and more coffee places. It has been amazing and fun to go to a new coffee place. I have always loved trying new things and I also love coffee, so this is the best season for that. Fall is filled with running and coffee, I can’t complain.

…I’m Going to See Where it Leads.

Don’t worry! I’m alive and well. It’s been a crazy semester, no doubt, but hands down it’s been the best of my undergrad career. I have so much to talk about! But here’s a quick run-down on the important things that have happened this semester:

1.) I finally, finally joined the cross country and track teams. I have a family, a team, here at Fontbonne! I don’t go home so much anymore! I have a completely different outlook on school and living in St. Louis compared to the negative views I had in the past. It’s amazing how getting involved with something that you love can totally change the way you look at things.
2.) I’m starting to really get into the chemistry curriculum this semester, and it’s both mind-blowing and, well, harder than I had anticipated. Also, I’ve done a lot more titrations than I would have anticipated doing in the class that I’m taking at Maryville this semester, Quantitative Analysis.
3.) I graduate next semester! I’m currently taking suggestions for what to do with my life.

I obviously still don’t have things all figured out. Last week I was having lots of second thoughts about pursuing a career in chemistry. I love chemistry in this really bizarre way, but to be honest, I’m behind since I don’t go to a school that offers a chemistry major (which explains the whole I’m-taking-a-class-through-Maryville situation). And also, to be honest, while I really love doing titrations in this really bizarre way (there’s something so satisfying about accurately reaching that end point, and I say that without a hint of sarcasm. I’m dead serious!), the thought of spending all my life in a lab fills me with…some dread. On our way back from Regionals this evening, it hit me that, while things seem kind of stressful and kind of messy right now, my life is slowly starting to fall into place. And you know what? I can finally, finally say that I like what it’s shaping up to be. Last semester I was in this weird, moody, searching place, but this semester, while I’m still trying to sort some stuff out as far as my future goes, I’m less afraid and more along the lines of totally stoked for the endless possibilities that are ahead of me.

During one of our first cross country team meetings waaay back at the beginning of the year, my teammates and I each filled out a little questionnaire. One of the questions asked us how we would describe ourselves using just one word. I found this ridiculously hard, but in the end it finally hit me. How would I describe myself? Simple:

(Outrageously) Happy.

At Conference. Probably my favorite race!

Have a good week everyone!


“Ends of the Earth” by Lord Huron (our assistant coach introduced me to this band on the ride back from Regionals…I love it!)

Running Down a Dream

Well, I had my last cross country meet of the season last weekend, and I must admit I miss it already. Waking up and running solo just isn’t the same as waking up and running with my team (although I must admit, not waking up quite as EARLY to run is a huge plus). But, we had a meeting with our coach today, and we are well on our way to preparing for next season, with indoor/outdoor track in between. So I may be running on my own for now, but I know that I have plenty of time with my team to look forward to in the future!

Being able to run with a team that I love is just one of the many things I am grateful for at Fontbonne. To be completely honest, Fontbonne wasn’t really my first choice school, but one of the things that won me over (besides the stellar dietetics program!) was the fact that I was being recruited by the cross country coach. He persuaded me to come visit and meet the team. Once I spent more time here, I was really swayed by the small size and friendly people. And when I look back on it, I couldn’t imagine myself happier at a different school. So yes, when I sit down to my plate at Thanksgiving (although it won’t have any turkey on it!) I know I will be thankful that I go to Fontbonne. 🙂

Happy Trails!

If you’ve been reading my past few posts, you probably know that I’m (deeply) involved with the Environmental Club. But here’s something I also love – perhaps even more – that I haven’t talked much about lately: RUNNING!

I am a proud member of the Fontbonne Track and Cross Country teams, and to me they are one of the best parts of being at Fontbonne! We’re a very diverse group of people, and I’m sure we all run for different reasons, but I love everyone on my team.

We usually run in Forest Park, and let me tell you, being roughly .85 miles away from such an awesome place is phenomenal!! When I run at home, I’m usually confined to my treadmill, because the roads by my house aren’t really safe. But when I’m at school, a whole new world of running opens up, and it’s super. The park’s not just for runners, either! Biking, walking, roller skating- all would be great things to do on the web of trails there. Not to mention the Art Museum, History Museum, Zoo… I could go on and on!

So basically, if you haven’t yet taken advantage of the wonders of Forest Park, I hope you will take advantage of this fabulous weather and find the time to do so soon!

Runners, Unite!

As I think back on my freshman year of college, it is difficult to pick one person or group that has influenced me the most during my time here. From the moment I arrived with my luggage in hand, everyone has been very welcoming and kind. I was able to get involved with student organizations, be active in sports, and have good experiences in all my classes.

But there was one group of people that made my transition to college infinitely easier and were there for me at the very times that I needed them – the Fontbonne cross country (and track) team. They gave me a built-in support group even before I arrived; it also helped that fall athletes get to move in early, so I had an extra couple of days to get acclimated before the usual rush of freshman move-ins.

Even in high school, I was always super close to my XC/track teammates, and all of my dearest friends are (or at least were) runners. This trend has continued in college as well; I already feel as though I have known my teammates for years! I think it takes a special type of person to be a runner, and I have found that it is easier for me to bond with people that seem to be so intrinsically like me. Maybe I’m getting too deep here, but I really love my team!

I think the most important thing to do when starting something is to just jump in and be involved. Find a group of people that have the same values that you do, and connect with them. There are always opportunities to branch out and try new things, but I have found that this is easier once you have a solid base to start from. Although the XC and track teams have had their ups and downs this year, I still think that being a part of them is one of the best things I could have done. 🙂

I’d like to take a minute; just sit right there, and I’ll tell you all about how…

The prompt for this week was the talk about how you came to Fontbonne. My story is pretty basic and boring, but I’ll tell it anyway.

I first learned about Fontbonne from a Cross Country camp that the former Head Cross Country/ Track coach Dave Almany had been speaking at. From there, I took Fontbonne, Missouri Baptist, and Webster for a spin to see how each one fit me. I visited MoBap first, and it just didn’t fit me at all. Second was Webster, which, after my tour, I believed I really wanted to go to. Third was my visit to Fontbonne. It seemed alright, but I was still set on Webster. I talked to Coach Almany, and my idea slowly changed. He told me to have an overnight visit to see how it would work. So, bag in hand, I stayed the night with some of Fontbonne’s Cross Country athletes, along with several other recruits. This was the deciding factor. I called up Webster, told them I had changed my mind, and looked at my kingdom. I was finally there, to sit on my throne as another runner and student at Fontbonne University.

XC and RD!

My high-school was pretty prep. From the minute I walked in the door as a freshman, I was encouraged to seek out my career path and find a good college. That may sound intimidating, but looking back I’m thankful for it, because it helped lead me here to Fontbonne. Long story short, I realized that my love of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle was leading me to become a registered dietitian, or RD. My next step was finding colleges that offered programs accredited by the American Dietetic Association – these programs have to meet specific standards. Soon I had a list of accredited schools, and Fontbonne was on it, along with places like Mizzou and SLU. I knew that basically my decision was between SLU and Fontbonne, so I took a visit to both places. SLU is a good school; it has a great program. But something about the big, urban campus made me uncomfortable. The exact opposite, however, happened at Fontbonne. I just felt at home. At first I thought it was a little small, but I came to realize that’s exactly what I wanted.

I guess I should mention another factor in my college decision – I’ve always dreamed of being a collegiate athlete. It would be a stretch to make the cross-country team at SLU, but from the very beginning I was welcomed by and encouraged to join the XC team at Fontbonne. When I spent the night as a “recruit” in the fall, I tried to imagine running on a team with the people I met. I thought it would be pretty nice. I was way off, though – it’s amazing! I love my teammates so much. Although I still haven’t really known them very long, they are like family to me.

To sum it all up, I chose Fontbonne because it has a great dietetics program, because I could continue to run on a team, and because it just felt right. I am 100% satisfied with my choice, and I don’t want to be anywhere else!

Andrew- Hide N' Seek and Rock the Vote

n1385910124_30140952_7216There’s so much that goes on around Fontbonne—for such a small campus, there’s always plenty of event to participate in! I really love these events, since they’re such a great way to bond with the rest of the student body. Really, all that we do here together just leads to a great sense of closeness that makes Fontbonne my home away from home.
But as for my favorite event by far? Well, that’s a tough one. I suppose calling them ‘events’ means that they should be acknowledged as organized and publicized… so I can’t include one of my favorite ‘events’. But I’ll tell you about it anyway! It was past dark on evening late last fall, and I was working on homework, finding myself stagnating in progress because I wasn’t really getting anywhere. I couldn’t focus very well, finding myself to be just too restless. With near-perfect timing, Bill Boxdorfer—teammate and friend from cross country—comes and knocks on my open door. “Hey,” he says with that tone I’ve come to recognize as denoting inevitable excitement, “a bunch of the cross country people are going to go play hide-and-go-seek!” Perfect! I had so much fun hiding around campus (I think my best spot was in the bushes outside of Ryan’s dining hall, since the seeker walked right by me when I hid there one round). It wasn’t an official event, but it was still one of my favorites.

I think I know what my favorite organized event is, though. In fact, now that I consider it, I’m certain it has got to be one of the most satisfying for me. This one took place late September; in fact, I believe the exact date was September 31st, because I wrote the date down. The Fontbonne University College Democrats, led by the marvelous Julie Paszkiewicz, had organized a “Rock the Vote” concert, in which artists performed music live in order to draw students in to register for the November elections. On a side note, apparently the Rock the Vote concert was successful enough in getting young voters, based on our new president! Anyway, at the time I was a member not only of the College Democrats club, but also of Fontbonne’s Music Club—and I managed to get the two together so that the Music Club would perform a couple songs at the concert! As a result, I played my first live show ever. I had a blast.

The events Fontbonne holds are nothing short of spectacular; they provide learning experiences that can’t be had in a class room, bringing Fontbonne to a whole new level in education and personal development. What fun!

See what other fun activities are happening on campus and get more information on student organizations on the student life webpage!

Rachel – Starting the New School Year

My heart began to race in anticipation the first week of August. My return to Fontbonne Univeristy was quickly approaching, and I couldn’t wait! Being at home in Tennessee all summer fell short of my fast-paced life at school in Saint Louis. Coming back to school earlier than other students was refreshing to me. I was so eager to see my friends, teammates, roommate, coach, and even some of my professors again! I had missed all my familiar school faces.

Arriving at safely at school with my car loaded down with everything I owned, I was surprised to see a mob of rushing people streaming in and out of the Joe.  Focus leaders, students, parents, and staff lugged all kinds of dorm room amenities through the lobby. The Residential Life staff immediately welcomed me and got me my key to my brand new dorm room in Medaille! After a few hours and lots of heavy lifting, my room was complete! Bob Marley, Monet, the United State map, the Beatles, and Gunner the Griffin all hung proudly on my walls. The theme was eclectic or, as I like to call it, “multi-cultural chic,” equipped with braided rug and batik director’s chair! I was also glad to have the community bathrooms of the Joe in my past and happy to share a a bathroom with one of my best friends and former roommate, Sarah.   Although the green tile walls and shower wouldn’t have been my first choice in decor, it didn’t clash with our new rubber ducky theme.  A solitary room, without intrusion from my parents, was extremely relaxing for my five days free of class, especially with the new pressure of a upcoming cross country season.

Meeting my new teammates was exciting, especially since our former running program was so small. I loved having my group of running friends back, especially since we had a few days free of class to run amok in the city. We played in Forest Park between practice times, as well as ran errand to get ready for classes to start. Dorm meetings, work study fairs, athletic meetings, and physicals made me excited to get the school year running! Our five free days went a little too quickly, and I found myself having to go to bed early so I would be  able to make my 9 a.m. class on Wednesday! The first day of class was the norm: an introduction, syllabus, background notes, and an early class ending. All my classes were new to me and very interesting, because I had less Gen Ed classes and more courses in my major. Cultural Communications and Spanish interested me the most, mainly because the professors both had such charisma and charm! Books were an expensive and painful trip, but necessary. I had to put off my fall wardrobe shopping excursion until September when work study started.

Convocation Day came and was a great start to the academic school year! From many great speakers to a beautiful mass in Doerr Chapel, I enjoyed my day off from classes. Being blessed as an SGA officer was a wonderful experience. I am glad to know that the University faculty, staff, and students are behind the Student Government! Student Government activities got off to a great start with the Activities Fair, which was fantastic and sugar-filled despite having to be  moved inside the DSAC. All the clubs were present and music filled the gym, both from the Music Club equipped with a bass guitar and from the fantastic Itunes DJ, Chris Gill. I am excited to get more involved in new clubs, especially Dance Marathon! Who doesn’t love to dance all night for a good cause?

With all that has been going on in the last month, nothing could have topped the wonderful birthday weekend I had this year! The cross country team were both men and women’s team champions, and I was the first girl overall! Plus, my parents came up to watch me race and brought us all cupcakes. My birthday weekend also included the new Niki exhibit at the Botanical Gardens, The Saint Louis Art Fair, dinner on the Hill, brunch at First Watch (my favorite breakfast spot), Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Two, the mall, Coldstone ice cream, lunch at the Elephant Bar with all my girlfriends, and dinner with my boyfriend at P.F. Changs! Stuffed full and excited for the year to come, I would say that so far I’ve started it off right! Ciao!

Don’t forget to check out Fontbonne, the Cross Country Team, and Res Life