Hello, my name is Amy Vilimek
I am writing this on behalf of all my fellow classmates who are over the age of 22 years old.
I am actually 24 years old and anticipate to graduate in 2017. I transferred here in Fall 2014, to continue my journey in studying Elementary Education.
Now, this wasn’t an easy transition by any means. Upon coming here, I only knew my sister who was at the time a Jr, and Jenna Neal, who was my transfer counselor and the reason I was totally sold on coming here 🙂
If you think about it, spring 2014 was when most of the traditional college students graduated, which means that the students who were my age at the time had already graduated just before I came here, while I was just fresh into my true college life experience.
I’m not going to lie, I felt a little unsettled at first about being a little older than some of my classmates, and if anything also intimidated.
Although I had taken several of my general education courses at Meramec, this experience was a lot different! I was in smaller classrooms, with less people, and everyone seemed to know each other and be friends.
Like I said, it’s rough going to a new place and not knowing anyone.
For my first 2 semesters, I was pretty low-key. I wasn’t very involved on campus, and I mostly just cared about my academics.
We get to December 2015, where I finally decided to take a step in the water and get involved.
I started attending more on-campus events, and even applied to be a student leader in Griffin 101.
I think Griffin 101 was the biggest break through I had. Janelle Densberger helped me out in so many ways to become outgoing, yet professional in helping new students feel welcome at Fontbonne. I had a fantastic companion; Lizz Brooks who also knows how it feels to be a little older than traditional students, and is also one of my greatest friends I have here! I joined this group because I knew how it felt to be the new student, and I wanted to make sure each new student felt welcome and included into the griffin family. No matter what age, race, gender etc.
After Griffin 101, I felt like I wanted to do so much more on campus, and the joy I feel when surrounded by this beautiful community who also feels the same.
Age is the last thing that should matter when going to college, and what truly matters is that you are doing something so meaningful for yourself. You’re getting an education, and on the road to getting that degree!
Getting involved on campus is like icing on the cake! You build your resume up, you meet people of similar interests, and you develop all sorts of connections. I also believe involvement helps you grow in so many different ways, and by the time graduation comes you’ll be able to look back at many good memories of your college journey.
As of now, I am in the Quest Leadership Program, I am a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa honors society, I am an intern in the Center for Educational and Emerging Technology (also oversee the social media!), I’m a part of a new education organization called Council for Exceptional Children, I cantor and participate in the mass choir, and I am on the Student Alumni Association. I think that’s everything haha 😉
Needless to say, I think this year has been a great year and probably one of my favorites. I was never one to get involved in school, and the outcomes of doing so are incredible. As a future teacher, it also pushes me further out of my comfort zone to be more extroverted and not be afraid to try new things.
My overall hopes upon writing this blog is to encourage EVERY Griffin here to get involved! Whether you are 18 or older, there are all sorts of organizations and groups on campus that have so much to offer. Growth can only happen if you make the effort to put yourself out there. 🙂