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Life Lessons

I was particularly psyched to write this blog post. It’s the start of a new semester…or it was a few months back. And things are happening rapidly. In this crazy madness of school, work, and extracurriculars I have this growing excitement.

If you would’ve told me as a freshman that I would be this excited about my future, Freshman Me wouldn’t have believed you. Thinking back on that time I was very shy, insecure, and anxious. In fact, I even questioned my place at Fontbonne. For a while, I panicked and thought maybe I had made the wrong decision.

Now I’m over the moon about being a Griffin. (Do people still say “over the moon?”) In a few months, I’ll be a graduate. And for the first time I can adamantly say that I am excited for the future. Sure, it’s scary. But I have so many ambitions.

Aside from all the normal adult things that us millennials dream about (apartment, financial stability, health insurance, a pet…), I’m most excited for my career. Part of the reason, I think, that I’m most excited is because that I don’t know for sure what will happen. That fear factor would’ve scared me off, say, a semester ago. But something about being so close to the end has caused me to have a drastic change of heart.

I’m a proud art major who is expanding her horizons. I love art and drawing dearly but I also like to code. It was something that I was always interested in but wasn’t sure that I was smart enough, had enough drive, or even had time to pursue it. The few computer science courses that I was able to take sparked enough of a curiosity in me that I am now looking at an apprenticeship at LaunchCode!

It’s definitely a lesson: There is more than one way to do things and more than one way to look at things. Try all sorts of things before settling on what you want. And it’s okay to change your mind! There’s always another path.

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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.

 

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The semester is almost over and hopefully all of you are feeling that you didn’t hold anything back! I don’t know about you but my first swim of the year is always better when I feel that I did the best I could possibly do.

This week is about sharing the most important thing I learned this semester. I learned a lot in my one year in STL but this semester was especially significant. It has taught me (or I taught myself, either way) that life is too short to do the same things, day in and day out. Yes, routines are healthy and important when chasing success but that’s not what I mean. When faced with a decision to do something you’ve done before or something new, always chose the latter! I’m sure there are things that were so much fun you just want to do them over and over, but trust me when I say it’s better to try new things! In my one year living in STL, I have faced many decisions on where to eat or what bar to go to. I always try a new place and insist on staying away from doing things twice because I enjoy keeping things excting, new, and adventurous. In transferring from my old school, which I loved, I have learned that it doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing, you control your own happiness!

Also, Fontbonne Lacrosse’s senior day is this Saturday April 25th at Gay Field. I am the only senior and would appreicate any support I can get to help us get our first win! Go Griffins!

Ev

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It never fails to amaze me just how much I can change over the course of a semester at school. And I’ve come to find that it’s not necessarily the stuff I spend eight hours reading in a textbook that ends up sticking with me, because it’s usually (ahem, pretty much always) not. As cliché as it sounds, it’s usually other little things that I pick up on during the course of the semester that get me closer to where I want to go and who I want to be, and they’re typically not things that the authors of my mistake-filled biochem book are trying to get me to understand.

This summer, I’ve put as much distance between myself and a textbook or anything remotely resembling schoolwork or reminding me of what’s coming in three weeks as I could. And yet, I’ve found myself slowly but surely learning and growing, and maybe not so much changing who I am, but instead changing my perspective on things. A few of the lessons I’ve learned in the past few weeks…

1. Don’t judge a book by its cover: People are surprising. Like, unbelievably surprising, and I suppose that’s what makes us so awesome. I’ve spent a lot of my life growing up being too shy to really talk to people, worrying that they may dislike me if I opened my mouth and said what I wanted to say. So naturally, I kept my mouth shut 90% of the time, thinking about all of the witty contributions that I desperately wanted to make to the conversations I listened in on. These days, though, I don’t really hold back so much. Instead, I do the exact opposite and actually initiate the conversation now. I’ve learned some pretty cool things about the kids I work with as a result of this brilliant strategy of mine, and that we actually have a lot more in common than I would have ever imagined if I had sat back on the sidelines and not opened my mouth at all. I mean, one guy asked me the other day if I bake with almond flour. Um, hello? How many teenage boys do you know who know what the heck almond flour is? Seriously. I was speechless (and kind of impressed). Another kid and I both dream of heading West and moving to Colorado someday. And a lot of my coworkers are so well traveled, and way more than me, a girl whose dad is a pilot, for crying out loud! Anyway, my point is, I’ve learned that talking to people isn’t really that scary. If you’re genuinely curious about somebody, open your mouth already! Worst-case scenario: you’ll end up with new friends of all different backgrounds and interests.

2. Where you live doesn’t define you: This is one of my favorites. During the past three years of my college career at Fontbonne, I would find myself counting down the days until the weekend when I could escape from my dorm and go home. Then as I’d make the long trek home I’d beat myself up over the “fact” that I was a baby and couldn’t stay at school for two weeks straight. But this summer I’ve finally decided to own up to the fact that I like small towns and that I’m not a city person like I thought when I was a naïve little freshman a few years ago. And you know what? THAT’S TOTALLY OKAY. Going home every weekend doesn’t mean I’m lame or boring or a baby or whatever, it just means that I’m doing what makes me happy. And living in a small town, or being from one, for that matter, doesn’t make you less interesting, educated, or fun to be around. So does this mean I’m celebrating the fact that I have Fridays off this semester because it means one more day here each week? You had better believe it does!

3. Don’t be afraid to be yourself: Because in addition to being really interesting, people tend to be a lot nicer and accepting than you think. (See Lesson #1.)

4. Do what you love and what makes you happy, and everything else will fall into place: My, the beginning of the summer, when I was super pale and super stressed about my future, seems like eons ago! And news flash, I’m still not totally for sure what I’m going to do with my life. But I know I like chemistry and I’m good at it, and I’m really interested in organic agriculture. Do I have a plan for what my career is going to be? Not exactly. But am I on the verge of being sick over it? Not anymore. I’ve come to embrace the unknown and the fact that it gives me total freedom to shape my future into what I want it to be. The only thing I know for sure at this point is that after I graduate from Fontbonne, I’m going to transfer to another university to complete my second undergrad in chemistry. In fact, tomorrow I’m going on a college road trip of sorts to meet with professors from the chemistry and ag programs at Truman (my first time on their campus). I’m stoked to see what comes of it all.

And finally….

5. Don’t be so uptight: Enough said.

-Carly

“Holding On” by Classixx

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Mother Monster invades St. Louis

by Alumni Posts February 5, 2013

This past weekend I experienced something beyond my wildest dreams by attending the Lady Gaga concert. I had a lot of fun, and words cannot even describe her show. The massive castle-inspired set pieces, magnificent couture dresses, high-tech effects, talented dancers, and powerhouse vocals were all over the top in every way possible. But then […]

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