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Why did you choose Fontbonne University?  This can honestly be a hard question to answer at times for myself.  At first when looking at colleges I wanted to attend at university that had my interest of major at the time which was special education.  Though as I looked at schools there were more reasons as to why I did not want to attend anywhere else compared to Fontbonne University.  My top reason for choosing a school was that there had to be a Catholic atmosphere where I could participate in my faith.  So I looked at St. Louis University, Benedictine College, Franciscan University, University of Central Missouri, Truman University and finally Avila University in Kansas City in addition to Fontbonne University.  As time went on when I was looking at these schools I also went with my gut feeling as to how I really could envision myself living on campus at this institutions and I really couldn’t except for one which was Avila University.  Fun Fact: Avila University is actually one of the sister schools to Fontbonne University.  So when I narrowed down my choices to Avila and Fontbonne, I was deciding between two similar schools in terms of their foundation.

Though when it came closer to having to pick which university, I thought of factors such as: being close to home so I could drive back home within a few hours if something were to happen, campus life with a Catholic identity, my major, and familiarity with the university.  Now what I mean with wanting to be familiar is that either someone in my family had to have attended the school or else a close friend because then I could relate and have someone to turn to in times of certain need.  Well for Fontbonne my sister actually already graduated from there in 2009, so that was set.  But also Fontbonne is right by my house, within the same city, making it easier to commute to and from school.  Plus the atmosphere cannot be compared to a large university at all.  I honestly love that I can talk to my teachers about any subject in my life – such as a spontaneous family event that may occur in which I feel the need to drop all of my stuff and forget about homework for a few days where I get behind on schoolwork.  Now this did happen to a degree this year, but now I have caught up on my homework and am ahead in some subjects.  Though having such honest relationships with my professors helped me stay at ease and less stressed because by letting them know what was going on, in turn then, they were more understanding with any late assignment or test that I may have had.  Relationships are very valuable in college and can go a long way, and I know that there are several here on Fontbonne University’s campus.  Our teachers care about our success.

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Although Fontbonne is a very small university, it doesn’t mean that students will not have as many learning opportunities as other students who are from bigger or more well-known universities. After having studied at Fontbonne for almost a year, I’ve seen that students’ relationships are very close to each other within their department. As I am in the FCS Department, we, as masters students, have opportunities to work with undergraduate students in projects. In addition, due to its small size of class, students and teachers’ relationship are very close to each other. Students can easily ask questions in class and teachers are able to explain the lecture materials more in depth or elaborate the concepts more clearly. As I was studying in a very large and well-known university, I’ve seen that students could have more interaction with teachers in class compared to my undergraduate university. Thus, even though Fontbonne is a small-sized university, it has its own advantages of being small. More importantly, students have the same learning opportunities as others who are at different larger universities too!

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What do you wish you knew before you came to Fontbonne?

Would you like the honest truth? – I wish I knew how difficult finding a parking spot can be depending on what day of the week as well as the time of day.  It is really truly hard to believe how Fontbonne is primarily made up of commuter students until you really have a “commuter student” moment, such as having to circle around the parking lot trying to find a spot. Another moment would be that you are running late and need to find a spot so you call a friend to go and look for a spot ahead of you and try to flag down that spot before someone else does. Another moment would be to try and get to school so much earlier compared to the time that your classes start, just so that you have a secure spot for when your class does actually start. I realize I can sound as if I am being over-dramatic about parking at Fontbonne, because there really are days that are not that bad when it comes to parking but then days that are kind of not the best. It all depends on how you plan out your time to find a parking spot but also opportunities on where to park. We do have a commuter lot that is next to one of Washington University’s buildings where a shuttle will pick you up and drop you off right in front of the main building on campus, which is really helpful.

What information would help incoming students make most of their time here?

Time Management! What else could be more valuable for students who are coming in from high school to the new college setting. I know time management was talked about a lot in my high school days, though it was really difficult to understand unless I was really really busy. In college you really do have much more time to yourself to spend compared to when you are in practically the same building for more than 7 hours switching classes on the same area of land. In college, you have many more commitments to give your time to, such as a part-time job, family, friends, academics, studying, tutoring, sleeping, eating, relaxing, club organizations, office hours if you are a club officer, and much more. At times it feels like you cannot do anything because there are not enough hours in the day, but the more you plan out your priorities as well as your own personal commitments and what is best for you as an individual, the easier things can go through each day— because you planned your time.

What might students from other schools be surprised to hear about Fontbonne?

When you hear that you know just about everyone on campus, it seriously is true. There are days where I may see a friend of mine at least 4 times and each time was not planned out. It is crazy though also awesome at the same time. Having a smaller student body, it feels as if everything and everyone is more close-knit and like a family, which I think is true. Unlike those large universities where it may feel like you are just a number in the system and your teachers do not know  your name,  it is not like that at Fontonne. Here, teachers really take time to invest in their students each and every day, and take time to learn your name. It is so great to have the opportunity to know that if something tragic were to come up at the last minute and I would not be able to finish a particular assignment for a class, I would be able to go and talk to my professor for help to complete the assignment or have more time to complete it without getting a lower grade. Here at Fontbonne University, relationships exist between student and teacher — relationships of understanding and personal development for the betterment of the student.

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Hello everyone! This is the first blog I’ve ever written, so you may be asking, “Who are you?”. Well, this is my first year at Fontbonne University. I’m a fashion merchandising student and loving every minute of it! I love to shop, dance, cuddle with my cat Coco, and just live life! My hometown is a small town in Southern Illinois about two hours from campus. So why did I choose Fontbonne? Looking back on my senior year of high school, I had absolutely no idea where I wanted to be the next year, but I did know what I wanted to be doing; studying fashion merchandising. After a quick search in the Google machine and a campus tour I knew where I wanted to be–Fontbonne University. It was not a difficult decision for me to make.

After just a few months here, all I had once thought about FBU had been confirmed. The fashion merchandising program here is amazing. It has given me opportunities that I would not have been offered had I been anywhere else. Every day is a new lesson I learn that relates to my field of study, and I’m never bored with the program. Fontbonne is a relatively small university, and as soon as one steps onto campus you feel a sense of community, which is one of my favorite things about Fontbonne. You don’t feel like one in a million wandering around campus, you feel like yourself!

Overall, I chose Fontbonne because of the opportunities it provides me, the distance from my hometown and my twin’s chosen college, and because at Fontbonne I feel like they truly care about each and every one of their students. Life at Fontbonne is new and exciting every day. Whether you choose to go shopping, take a trip to the zoo, study, attend a campus event or game, or just spend quality time in the dorms, college life at FBU is an extremely enjoyable and rewarding experience!

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