From One World to Another

The transition from high school to college can bring out a lot of emotions you didn’t expect. College, especially if you live on campus, is a totally different lifestyle than what you were used to in high school. The change of environment can have more of an impact on you than what you thought it would. Everyone deals with the transition differently and experiences different feelings when coming to college.

Personally when coming to college my freshman year, I struggled with being homesick. Even though I only lived about an hour and a half away from my home, I still missed it a lot. I made a great group of friends during my first semester at Fontbonne, but still missed my family and friends back home. I used to go home every weekend that I possibly could, but always regretted not staying on campus. I would see my Fontbonne friends posting pictures on Facebook of their fun weekends spent at Forest Park or trying out a new restaurant at The Loop.

I struggled a lot with deciding to spend weekends on campus or going home to see my family. I wanted so desperately to hang out with my new friends, but I hated feeling homesick. I soon came to realize that it’s okay to feel homesick sometimes. It’s just a side effect of moving away from your home you’ve known all your life. Things get better!

Personal Touches

Fontbonne University has been the place I’ve called home for nearly three and a half years. I came here as first year freshman, and occupied one of the 350 beds on campus. I’ve lived in St. Joesph Hall, more frequently and fondly called “The Joe”, and Medaille Hall, my current residence hall.

Most people whine and complain about the hum drum of dorm life, but it doesn’t bother me one bit. Sure, sometimes the culinary side of me misses having an actual kitchen, but I’ve made my space my own.

It’s not the biggest space, but it’s mine. That’s been my trick to making it through dorm life for almost an entire college career. I arrange my furniture to what fits best for my lifestyle, and I add more than what the university provides. I am a fashion merchandising major after all. I probably have too big of a wardrobe. Besides extra room for cardigans and shoes, a cheap blue chair from Target works wonders.

My favorite addition to my room in Medaille this year is what I’ve termed “Conner’s Coffee Corner”. My life revolves around my obsession with coffee and tea. Needing caffeine in the morning, afternoon, and every time in between, I wanted a way to organize my collection of coffee mugs, tea bags, and coffee canisters for my on-the-go lifestyle. With one cubicle organizer, bins, and a new electric kettle, I was set to go. I now had a space, in my own space, that helps me feel even more at home at Fontbonne.

My coffee corner is tucked away in the “relax” segment of my room, with a rug and blue cozy chair. This space is everything to me. It’s my Fontbonne home.

Living Large in a Small Space

Decorating my dorm room was one of my favorite parts of moving in! It can be difficult squeezing all of your belongings into such a small area, but it is possible! This is my second year living in the dorms and I have found what works best for me in the small space. I think it is important to make your room as comfortable as possible, as you will be living there for about nine months. I would suggest bringing plenty of pictures, a cozy blanket, your favorite quotes/ images/ posters, and maybe a rug if your room isn’t carpeted. I have found those large plastic three-drawer organizers very useful because they can hold a lot of things and are easily able to be tucked away. I even put some colored paper in front of the clear part of the drawers to give it some personalization!

Here is a list of things that I think are important for anyone living in small space:

-Command Hooks: actual hooks and the velcro ones!

-Push pins (for a bulletin board if your room has one)

-String lights

-A three-drawer organizer

-An ottoman (the hollow ones can hold so many things and they make for a great foot rest!)

-Plenty of picture frames with pictures of friends and family

-Pillows, pillows, pillows!

-Bins (bins and containers of all shapes, sizes and colors are wonderful for holding things such as: lotions, paper/ notebooks, snacks, stationery, etc!)

Below are a few pictures of my drawer organizer, bins, and entire room!

 

 

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The Search for an Apartment

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. I have been spending a lot of my time on a big change: finding an apartment. The campus life thing isn’t really working for me. The showers can’t decide if they want to be hot or cold. My room can’t either. There are only two temperatures here: Mr. Freeze and Hot as the Devil’s Tears. No in-between. It’s tolerable, I suppose. But the thing I miss is privacy. My only private time is my drive to work. I can do whatever I want in the car (it’s usually just snacking and singing). I miss having an oven. I can’t cook anything. There are only so many options in the cafes, and I am getting a bit tired of cantaloupe. And while many of these things really aren’t an issue, I would still have a heck of a drive to my job here in Clayton over Winter and Summer breaks. And this will give me the opportunity to take a summer class or two, and put me ahead of schedule. So goodbye dorms, hello city life! And the adventure that is apartment hunting is a story all in its own.

Southern Illinois Summertime

Well, that’s it. My sophomore year of college at Fontbonne University is over. Grades have been submitted and there is nothing more I can do. I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with how this year went.

Packing up was an ordeal to say the least. The weekend before I moved out of the dorms, I loaded everything of my closet I possibly could into my VW Beetle. When I came back to Fontbonne I brought a larger vehicle, thinking I could handle the rest of my stuff on my own. My family was all busy that day with work or something like it, so I wanted to handle everything on my own. Independence! Last Tuesday morning I began packing everything into the car loading the biggest items first. Right away Carly and I knew we had a problem. My mini fridge and winter shoes were put into her car, and because of time we had to load the rest of my things into the hallway so I could “check out” on time. It was then that I realized there was absolutely NO WAY that the rest of my things were going to make it back in my car. I called my sister, who was with my Grandfather (Papa), and told them to come on over to STL when they were finished with whatever they were doing. Thankfully, the rest did fit in his truck and everything made it back safely. My anxiety was eased while waiting on the truck when Carly so thoughtfully went to Trader Joe’s and grabbed lunch for the both of us. I would not have made it out of there that day were it not for her! Procrastination caught the best of me, because after unloading everything back home into the early evening I still had to write a paper for one of my classes due by midnight. Let’s just say I emailed that paper around 11:40 that night, but hey, I got it done right?

Coming back home to small town Southern Illinois is a big change from St. Louis, but nice all the same. With the corn fields, barns, and neighborly “charm”, it’s a great place to be in the summer months. As of right now I’ll be nannying and reconnecting with family and friends. I was able to just this past weekend when I went to my little brother’s last baseball game of his school’s season, where I received quite the sunburn. Ouch! Later that evening I went back to my high school to see one of my dearest friends graduate. She makes me feel so old!


That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

New school year, new school

Hello, Griffins and future Griffins! My name is Corie and I am a transferred junior here at Fontbonne. I am from Plainfield, Illinois. Plainfield is about an hour south of Chicago. I usually tell people I am from Chicago because no one knows where Plainfield is located, so Chicago is easier. I like to spend time with my friends, watch reality TV and movies, surf the net, listen to some music, and the obvious shopping (when I have the money). For being a transfer student I have actually made quite a few friends. People here are incredibly nice. For the most part I see people here are very outgoing. I’m probably like most transfers, worried about making friends. Here at Fontbonne that was not a problem at all, the key is to get involved! Now you’re probably wondering: if she’s from Illinois how did she end up in Saint Louis? Well, my whole family pretty much lives here, and my cousin goes to Fontbonne as well. Actually, being here has brought me closer to my family.

Now, over the weekend was my first real baseball game. It was so much fun, I had a blast. My roommate and I went on the metro link to the stadium and enjoyed our free hot dog and drink while watching the Cardinals win. Five dollars to see a baseball game and free food; who would pass that up? I cannot wait to get tickets for the Blues games. This is a picture of my roommate and me (I am on the left), the other is the front of the stadium.

What College Has to Offer

There may come a time when I ask myself, “Why am I here?” Not here on Earth specifically, but here at Fontbonne University. The answer to that question is simple. The answer is because I value a college education, but what is the value in college education?

The education that I am able to receive here at FBU is of a far greater quality than I believe I could receive elsewhere. Small classes, a helpful faculty, and a sufficient learning environment allow me to receive the type of education not seen in typical educational institutions. It is for that reason that I find value by being here at Fontbonne. This education is the next step in ensuring a successful future for myself.

Taking that next step to college is a whole new experience for me. There’s new people, new things to learn, a new place to call “home,” and an entirely new city to explore. Adjusting can be quite difficult, but the students and faculty here at FBU have made it really easy. Just this month, our floor is competing against each other in an “open door” contest. We receive stars daily (yes, like Kindergartners, but it’s fun to act like a five-year-old right?) for each time our RA sees our doors open for communication. This has provided a friendly competition for all of us on the floor to partake in, and I find myself talking and being more sociable with others. I have learned here that college isn’t just about learning and studying  (and maybe partying for those who have a wild side), but about embracing all that your college can offer you, which is more than just an education.

I look forward to continuing here at FBU, and winning that “open door” contest at the end of the month!

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve blogged… It’s been roughly a month, and I have been adjusting myself to my new schedule. After that month-long break, it was hard for me to jump right back into classes. I can say that I am glad to be back in the dorms, I love being able to see friends at all hours, and it certainly is good to get that college experience of living away from home, and I am fortunate enough that my house is only about 15-20 minutes from here so if I need anything, I do not have to go far. The best part about living on campus is how convenient it is: 1. I rarely have a tough time finding a parking spot, because I hardly ever need to leave campus during the day and come back while the crowd of people are there for classes. Around 4 p.m. or so, everyone begins leaving and the lot becomes much emptier, so it is nice because I know that parking is one of the major problems for commuters. 2. I don’t have to wake up super early for my classes. I have an 8 a.m. class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so it is nice not having to wake up any earlier than 7 a.m. ever. 3. I can nap between classes. On Monday, Wednesday and Fridays I have a two hour break before my last class, so it is nice to know that I can easily get back to my room and have time to take a nap and have no worries of being late to class. Living on campus really is great.

The reason I haven’t blogged in a while is because this semester I am trying to dedicate myself a lot more than last. I did really well last semester, I just know that there is room for improvement, and that I can stress myself out a lot less if I don’t procrastinate quite as much. I remember last semester my friend and I were talking about how we both had put off a 7 page paper until the week it was due and out of stress and frustration I just said to her “College is a procrastinators playground!” Which really is a good way to sum it up. Because if you procrastinate in high school, there is a good chance you may have a really tough time adjusting to your first semester of college. Even though you are not in school for as long during the day, that does not mean you have a lot of free time. College can get really busy and hectic. If you don’t manage your time well enough, it will bite you in the butt later on. I have learned this and not necessarily the easy way either. That is why I am trying harder this semester, and I hope to keep it up.

Typical Tuesday

My idea of a good, relaxing day at Fontbonne? Only having one class in the morning, where we only watched a video! It does kind of suck to have to wake up for an 8 am class every day, but it is GREAT to get classes done and over with! So while everyone else is in class I get to sit in my room getting work done, listening to music, or watching movies. Whatever I want with no distractions!

That’s not the only thing that makes a good day, Tie-Dye Tuesday in the Meadow for Spirit Week helps a lot too! This will be my second time Tie-Dyeing in the Meadow since I have been living here for just barely a month! It’s fantastic! Tie-Dyeing is so much fun and relaxing. And I love it because no matter how many times I have tie-dyed I still have fun each time, and nothing ever turns out the same!!

Another ingredient in this good day is my usual chicken wrap at lunch from the DSAC: Some people tease me because I get this so often, but everyone loves the wraps there and get them a lot! The main reason I get teased is because of how I eat it.

First you order a fried chicken wrap (I am not a big fan of grilled, but I know others are) and your side should be fries (You’ll see why later). When they ask you what you want on your wrap you ask for the following:
-ranch
-lettuce
-shredded cheese

Then when they hand you your food you find somewhere to sit: Often my friends and I head back to my room to watch something on TV and eat and hang out.

Before I start eating I usually open up my wrap and put a few fries in it (See, I told you there was a reason for the fries as your side). By now most of my friends just think it’s hilarious, but at first they thought I was fairly weird for doing this…I am not even sure why I started doing this, but I am glad I did 🙂

I picked this sort of thing up from my two older brothers – they always put stuff on their sandwiches or in their mashed potatoes.

It makes a delicious wrap and I get it very often! You should try it sometime 🙂

Another great part about tonight…Glee season premiere! I am quite the Gleek and I am really looking forward to this, but the down side to today: I have a class from 6-8pm…This means we are recording Glee and are going to all hang out in someone’s room (most likely mine) and watch it after class is over!!

Plus, it’s a beautiful day outside…so it’s time for me to stop typing and to go out and enjoy this weather until I have to go to class 🙂

Conversations with My Community

One thing I really love about Fontbonne is how easy it is to embed yourself in the community. I’ve been very fortunate in my experiences at this school and have gotten a lot of opportunities that I may not have at a larger school. With all these experiences has come the possibility of making friends and building a pretty strong community. I would say that I have a diverse group of people that I “fit it” with and that’s something that I really enjoy. I am on the Fontbanner staff this semester, I am a member of Campus Ministry, I sing in the choir, and I live on campus. That’s so many opportunities for me to meet people and make friends!

I think this past week has really shown me how much I am part of the Fontbonne community. I was sick at the beginning of the week and because one of my roommates works in Student Affairs, someone in that particular office sent me an email and mentioned that she hoped I was feeling better. Another student gave my roommate some medicine for me to take, which has really helped me sleep this past week.

I’ve also had some completely spontaneous conversations this week. My neighbors from down the hall consider me their fifth roommate, and I had two great conversations with one of them in the last two days. We talked about relationships, friends, school, Halloween, etc. I also had a conversation with a girl who lived on my floor from last year. We’re friends, but we have never really hung out that much. I was originally interviewing her for the Fontbanner, but I found myself in her room talking about our views on friends, boyfriends, marriage, families, and plenty of other topics. I am just glad that these types of conversations are possible on this campus. I’m sure they happen in other places, but I just don’t think I could have the same experience of being close to so many people at any other school. While this may not be everyone’s view, it is something I realize how much I appreciate as the Thanksgiving season approaches.