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!
The biggest challenge in college, so far, for me has actually been the act of going back to college. I tried going for the first time when I was just out of high school. I took two semesters at a local community college back home and it was nearly disastrous. I thought I wanted to be an art teacher, but I wasn’t the least bit serious about doing all the hard work to get me there. I was more interested in skipping classes to hang out with my friends, or sleep in. I dropped classes, without actually dropping them, and without regard for the impact it might have on my future.
So now I’m 31 and just starting my bachelor’s degree. Getting through my associates at St. Louis Community College felt like a very rough start. It had been quite some time since I was in a public classroom; I had forgotten some of the basics, like how to study effectively, time management, and how to write a research paper. The last class I had taken was in the military, where certain rules are understood and followed without question. In the public school system I was shocked and distracted by people talking when the teacher was teaching, openly arguing with the teacher, texting on their phones, putting their feet on the desk, and wearing hats indoors (that one will always be ingrained in my mind). I was equally shocked to find that the teachers didn’t do a whole lot to stop the behavior; I was so used to seeing people getting put on their faces for pushups if they disrupted class. I guess you could say one of my biggest challenges was a type of culture shock.
Over time the shock wore off because I knew what to expect when I entered a classroom. It also helped that each semester I moved up in the classes I was taking, the lessons were harder and the people in the classes were more serious. Now that I’m at Fontbonne I’ve completely gotten over my culture shock. It really helps that the classes are so small and the whole environment is more relaxed to allow for freedom of creativity. I still struggle with research papers, but all the challenges have been more than worth it. Cheers!
The moment I stepped onto the Fontbonne campus for my first day of classes just four, short weeks ago, it felt like a homecoming of sorts. The old, brick buildings, and even older trees, spoke of strength, endurance, and a solid foundation on which to continue to build my dreams and goals. Everyone I met on campus, from professors and administrators, to café workers and fellow students, seemed genuinely happy to be here. The small class sizes are a major bragging point at Fontbonne with good reason. The professors are able to help each and every student without sacrificing quality or quantity. As a fine arts major/psychology minor this set up is invaluable. Every professor that I’ve met so far fosters an environment of free thought, expression, and creativity that cannot be equaled anywhere else. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to study here and can’t wait to see what else is in store this year!
My first few weeks at Fontbonne have been AMAZING! I am from St. Paul, Minnesota and transferred to Fontbonne this semester from the University of Minnesota, so I am a long way from home! I got accepted to Fontbonne last spring, was granted a generous scholarship, and then everything just fell into place! I couldn’t have chosen a better place to come!
The people here (staff, faculty, and students) are all so welcoming and approachable; if I have a question about where to go or how to use my meal plan, or what clubs to join, someone is always right there willing to help! The Resident Assistant (RA) on my floor has given me great advice, helped me with things around my room, and even convinced me to join the tennis team here at Fontbonne! If you have a question and someone can’t answer it right away for you, they will send you in the right direction to someone who can and that is just one of the many things I love about Fontbonne.
Another subject I want to touch on is orientation. During the first couple days here before classes started, freshmen and new students participant in orientation events such as small group meetings, trivia night, and plenty of ice-breaker games. One orientation event was the “Catch the Fire” Ceremony. I won’t go into too much detail about it and spoil it for perspective students, but it was such an amazing event that united the entire new student body at Fontbonne and allowed us to learn about the rich history of Fontbonne, listen to great speakers, and, well, catch the fire!
I am so excited to begin my journey here (and to be here during the winters rather than up north in Minnesota)! Although I have only been here for a few weeks, I can already tell that Fontbonne will become my new home away from home.
I took this photo on the day I moved into my dorm at Fontbonne.