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If you’ve ever looked at Fontbonne’s marketing, one of the things they love to talk about is the fantastic student-to-faculty ratio. I think it’s like 14:1? That means Fontbonne has really awesome, small classes, where you get to know everyone in the class by name and you never feel like you’re ignored. Your education becomes personal – which it should be.

What I can’t emphasize enough, though, is just how close you get to be with your professors. I mean, it’s really amazing, just to think about it. Let me give you some examples:
– I lost count of how many professors have written glowing letters of recommendation for me.
– I just wrote a letter of recommendation for one of my professors, at her request – the first time I’ve ever written a formal letter of recommendation! I’m still flattered she would ask me.
– I’m going out to play darts with one professor tomorrow night. (I’m expecting to get thoroughly crushed.)
– I still reach out to former professors for their advice and guidance on recent projects (like my resume)! They respond timely and with brilliant solutions.
– I took a road trip to New Orleans with my advisor (… for a conference. But it was still New Orleans)!

The thing is, I’m not some exception, some wildcard in the deck. That’s just the kind of culture Fontbonne offers. And I’ll be really frank with you: if you don’t like personal relations with really smart, caring people, Fontbonne might not be for you. If you want to hide in the back of the room and be known only as a number, Fontbonne might not be for you. But if you’re looking for an institution for higher education where the faculty members invest in your personal, academic, and professional development, Fontbonne is exactly what you’re looking for.

To close: thank you to all the faculty and staff at Fontbonne who have helped me achieve everything that I have. It’s been a blast.


Let’s talk relationships. After all, at Fontbonne, I feel like relationships are a big thing. It’s not that everyone is or isn’t in a relationship – it’s just that we’re a tight-knit school because we’re so small, and so people WILL know about your relationships. People will have their opinions about your relationships; this should not stop you from doing what you want, of course, but from my perspective it’s interesting to see how people talk about these things. So excuse me while I throw a few thoughts out here.

Starting a relationship at Fontbonne. In sum: good luck. I wish you all the best. Starting a relationship at Fontbonne isn’t difficult – I’ve watched it happen every year, especially within the freshmen class. And who can be surprised? You’re meeting new and interesting people who happen to go to the same school as you, so they’re in close proximity. If the right chemistry is there, it’s only a matter of time. The reason I say “good luck” is that if your relationship fails, you cannot escape that person. I’ve seen people basically drop out for this reason. (There’s always more reasons than just that, but that doesn’t make as good a story.) Getting intimate with someone and then having it turn sour is trouble waiting to happen, especially when one of your friends starts dating your ex. Dramatic much?

Sexual orientation at Fontbonne. As a sociology student with a heavy amount of interest in queer theory, I’m always interested to see how queerness (a convenient term that includes gays, lesbians, bis, pansexuals, asexuals, intersexed, transgendered, and every other non-heteronormative distinction you can think of) plays out at Fontbonne. My thought is that Fontbonne has two sides: one, a conservative Catholic identity; two, a liberal [arts], sexually-expressive identity. Sure we’re founded by nuns, but that does not affect how we think about sexuality. I love my queer friends. I love seeing how the ‘rules’ of sexuality and gender can be pushed and bent. The thing is, that two-sided nature of Fontbonne leads to, in my opinion, some people being afraid to be themselves. This, of course, perpetuates a cycle of fear. Fontbonne, I think, is more accepting than people will give it credit for a lot of the time. Again, we’re close-knit. We like you for you. So be yourself, and never be ashamed of that. And for God’s sake don’t make it a bigger deal than it is.

Long-distance relationships. This is just my spiel, really, because I can’t speak for too many people since I’ve only met one or two others at Fontbonne who have this. I’m sure there’s more of you, but… maybe not? I’m in a long-distance relationship. My girlfriend, my best friend from high school, is a Pharmacy student at the University at Buffalo. Being 800 miles away is difficult, but definitely not impossible. We visit each other when we can – she’s flying in next week, in fact – and we use Skype, and text and call each other daily. Staying faithful isn’t very difficult if it’s someone you care about. I will point out, of course, that when my relationship gets dramatic, people find out about it. Even the removed relationships can make waves in the Fontbonne pool.

Moral of the story: love freely, explore your sexuality, and open your mind to the possibilities. The pursuit of happiness should not be limited by what your friends think. And finally, in the words of one of my favorite authors and advertisers of all time, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”


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