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This week we’re going to talk about Fontbonne’s mission statement!  In case you’re not familiar with it, or if it’s been awhile since you saw it, here it is straight from Fontbonne’s website — “Fontbonne University, a Catholic institution sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, is committed to the common good through the daily pursuit of transformative education, inspiring students to become global citizens who think critically, act ethically, and serve responsibly.”

Since last semester was my first one here, I was required to take INT 105, Culture and the Common Good, which introduced me specifically to Fontbonne’s mission statement, vision, values, statement of Catholic identity, and what they want from me as a student during my four years here…and how I take what I learn into the world.  I didn’t know what to expect in this class, but I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of the semester.  I was blessed to have the sweetest teacher ever; a very intimate, small class of students with a wide variety of majors; and a large amount of personal growth and development.  Over four months, we had conversations about everything from religion and Fontbonne’s academic convocation to transportation and vocations.  The thread holding all those topics together was the common good, which is clearly stated in the mission statement.  I really enjoyed digging deep into what it means and how it affects practically every aspect of our lives — healthcare, transportation, religion, education, relationships, careers, etc.  The discussions we had were respectful, diverse, and educational.  It was so inspiring to see and be a part of young adults maturely engaging in conversations about sometimes-controversial topics!

I emerged from this class with a much broader view of the world and the people around me — a global citizen.  I now understood and could explain what Fontbonne’s values and mission meant, and I had been encouraged to form my own opinions and thoughts — think critically — while also respecting the people who I did not agree with — act ethically. Ultimately, I found myself embodying Fontbonne’s mission statement in my everyday life, whether I was studying, going to class, eating lunch, working, spending time with family and friends, or interacting with the cashier in a store.  It enshrouded me completely, not just while I was on campus, but everywhere.

I sincerely hope the same thing happened or is happening for you.  You don’t have to agree with everyone 100% of the time. You don’t have to spend 24 hours a day volunteering.  You don’t have to analyze every world event that happens.  But you can certainly aspire and work to be a respectful listener, volunteer, and global citizen.  Let’s all try to do that a bit more in the coming months.

Until next week,

~Anna

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Well, before I begin my statement, I think it is best to give y’all a little rundown of the Fontbonne Mission.

Fontbonne was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, a group of Catholic nuns that had immigrated to St. Louis from France. They sought to teach their students the common good and inspire them to become people who think critically, ethically, and behave responsibly.

What does this mean to me as a student? Well, I am glad that I am in a place where the first priority is morality. We live in a very odd world, where people are constantly fighting because of ignorance and intolerance. I was raised in a mixed community, meaning I was exposed to other races and cultures from a very young age. I cannot imagine a world where there is only one race and one religion. It would make me feel very uncomfortable.

Everyone deserves respect, no matter their skin color or cultural background. Here, at Fontbonne, you can find that respect and feel special.

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It seems crazy to think that just three-and-a-half months ago, I was starting my college journey.  Now, it’s almost 1/8 done!  Whoa…that’s a little scary to think about!  If this semester went by quickly, just imagine the remaining seven; before I know it, Fontbonne will be a memory and I’ll be entering yet another new phase of life.

But before I get too carried away with the future, I’d like to focus on the past 16 weeks and how my life has changed.  My professors have not only built a solid higher-education foundation for me with this semester’s classes, although that is very true.  I’ve also built solid relationships with many faculty members, including several I didn’t even have as teachers but may later on.  It’s priceless to have those positive associations both now and in the future — they know I’m a dedicated, hardworking student who is invested in learning for life; I know they care about me, truly want to push me and see me succeed, and are always willing to help in any way possible.  I can’t compare this to other schools because I was always homeschooled, and Fontbonne is my first college experience, but I must say I think you’d be hard-pressed to find — anywhere else — the level of dedication and professionalism all the instructors at Fontbonne have.

I have learned a lot more about myself and Fontbonne’s mission.  I’ve gotten through exams and essays and hard days that, prior to, seemed daunting, scary, or even impossible.  I’ve become more confident and knowledgeable in areas I never imagined I would be.  I’ve worked through difficult problems with logic and persistence, finding joy in finally coming up with the correct solution/answer and knowing I’m capable of doing so.  I’ve laughed a lot and cried a little (hope to keep it that way!).  I’ve been blessed with support and respect from my family.  I’ve learned how to be impeccable — and I mean impeccable — with my time.  I’ve also learned how much of a privilege sleep is — here’s looking at you, long-since-gone 8-hour nights!  Finally, I am not only majoring in dietetics; I’ve officially declared a minor in history, which is not something I expected to do at all, but now I am and I’m so glad!

For all this sentimentality, I sincerely hope I have expressed how glad I am to be a Fontbonne student (bet you never would have guessed).  This semester wasn’t perfect; I wouldn’t expect one to ever be.  But it completely affirmed my decision to attend; there’s no looking back or second-guessing myself!  I’m happy to have a month off with family, relaxing and getting ready for next semester. Christmas is my favorite holiday, so I’ll be that all-December-long celebrator.  I’ve already got the Christmas music in full swing during my commutes…and I’ll be starting my chocolate Advent calendar tomorrow (as I write this…and yes, I do have a chocolate Advent calendar; I don’t think you’re ever too old for one)!  My family and I are also going on a quick ski trip to Colorado at the very end of December/beginning of January, so that’s something I eagerly look forward to.

Whether you’re graduating in a couple short weeks (congratulations!), are midway through college, or completing your first semester ever, here’s some good luck sent your way for finals and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and break.  Study hard, have fun, and I’ll be back in a month!

Blessings,

~Anna

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If you’ve read some of my past posts, you probably know I’m a commuter.  Overall, this is the best possible way for me to get an exceptional higher education experience and maintain the lifestyle I’m used to at home.  My commute ranges from 35 to 45 minutes one way, depending on traffic, but I enjoy driving, so it’s actually something I look forward to.  A lot of the time, I listen to music (more on that here); sometimes, I will also review some concepts we’ve been covering in class to push myself to think a little harder.

One of the best (in my opinion) parts of being a commuter is that it forces me to be impeccable with time management.  Spending one-and-a-half hours per day on the road means I have that much less time for homework/anything else.  I have to get up every morning early enough to get ready, take care of my horses, and hopefully grab some breakfast before heading out the door for the day.  Mondays and Wednesdays are my long days, so I have to make sure I have a lunch packed in advance for them.  I also have to double-check (every day) that I have all of the materials/books/supplies I need, because I can’t just run back to my room in a matter of minutes.

For all the effort surrounding being a commuter student, I really do like it.  I can still work, see my family and horses, and have the comfort of home around me every morning and evening…but I also experience the wonderful campus community of Fontbonne during the day.  Sometimes being a commuter (and also my work schedule) prevents me from participating in evening activities on campus, but I’ve found some really great events during the day (and lately, I’ve had more than enough homework to keep me occupied all day and night).

My biggest tip for future commuters would be to have good self-discipline.  If you’re not on campus, it can be easy to forget about “college” and “homework”, but you really have to be on top of things at all times if you want to be a good student.  Plan your time and schedule wisely, which includes making not-so-fun decisions (passing up an outing with your friends to study for the upcoming exam is unpopular, but may be necessary).  Most of all, don’t forget to enjoy being a college student!

Blessings,

~Anna

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Let’s Talk Music…

by Anna November 7, 2016

Okay, so where do I begin for this post?!  First of all, let’s start with the fact that I am pretty much all over the map as far as favorite artists/genres/etc. goes.  A lot of the time, it depends on my mood — if I’m a little down, or really upbeat, or stressed, or open […]

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Fall Break Fun

by Anna October 6, 2016

Fall break is just a few days away, which means we are halfway through the semester!  Wow!  That doesn’t seem possible.  As much as I enjoy coming to campus for classes each day, breaks are also really nice because they give everyone a chance to breathe, regroup, maybe enjoy some free time with family or […]

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Falling for Fall

by Anna September 21, 2016

As I write this, we are just TWO days away from fall (although with the temperatures, it’s hard to think about)!  Can you believe we’re already back at this point?  It feels like we just started 2016 and now we’re moving into the final quarter of it! Coming in at a very close second to winter, fall […]

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Decisions! Decisions!

by Candance September 8, 2016

Have you ever been in a spot where you’ve had multiple things on your plate and yet you had to make a decision as to what you’d prefer to do? Should I do A? Should I do B? If I do A, then this will happen and then I could potentially lose out on B. […]

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Trip to Jefferson City

by Alumni Posts March 9, 2016

When I first heard the news that I would be visiting Jefferson City for advocacy day, I was really excited and eager to learn more about the legislature and the way policy worked. This was an eye opening experience for me because I was able to see how mean, sarcastic and egotistical some of the […]

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Taking a Second Look : Fontbonne Gallery Opening

by Lauren February 29, 2016

I attended Fontbonne’s gallery opening last night. Mounted on the walls was Muhammad Alhawagri’s “Occurrences [reduced]”, a brilliant series of black-and-white photographs that aimed to capture the essence of everyday objects. While art is most often subjective, and Alhawagri’s work isn’t exactly an exception, there is comfort in knowing that perhaps these objects and subjects […]

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