Sunday, June 26, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

This past week I was privileged to return home to celebrate my birthday. Choosing to work away from home the summer after my first year was a choice that I was not sure I was going to like. After going home for the week after finals, I was eager to return to school to start my summer job. Once June started, I was counting down the days until I would return home and spend time with the family and friends I had begun to miss quite terribly.

Driving home on a Friday night meant I could be home sooner and be with my family. My first weekend home I got a surprise visit from my friend Brittany and got to go to Boston with my friend Jackie and see the Bruins Parade, ending in one of the most painful sunburns I have had...complete with the awkward burn lines.

While I was home:
I saw this at my local library and spawned
me to reread the 7th HP!
Got to delve into my creative side and paint!
Wait for my birthday to arrive...Go to a concert with my friends...To see Taylor Swift!Complete with glowstick heartsand 13s written on the back of our hands!
I capped off the week at home with a day with my fabulous godmother, a trip to the beach and boardwalk with a few friends, a fire complete with s'mores and sparklers, and being with my family.

At the beginning of my time home I thought that a week home would be just fine, but as I left today I realized that there is so much more I wanted to do! I have appreciated my time home and I cherish all the wonderful adventures I have there :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Major Change

On the road of being a college student, one huge factor is your major. Don't know what you want to major in? No problem. Many colleges offer Undecided or Exploratory tracks. At any liberal arts college, most of the Liberal Studies courses take place during your first and second years that allow you to delve into many areas where you can discover your interests. At Saint Michael's, you can check out any of these majors or minors that you might be interested in.

Typically one declares their major at the end of their second year or beginning of the third. Only a few students come in freshman year with a declared major. I entered SMC as a Classical Civilizations/Anthropology double major. After taking a few summer courses to get some LSRs under my belt, I was able to take courses that would advance me in my majors. After first semester, I realized I had other interests and changed my double major to Elementary Education and Theatre. Halfway through the semester I changed it yet again to Secondary Education.

Recently I had pondered many of my other interests...and mapped them out on all these papers! My Faith Mom and I had a huge bonding sesh to figure out what I wanted. It came with hard questions and tears, but in the end I was feeling content and I was thoroughly excited about my decisions. I think it's really good to physically see what you want to accomplish and what you are interested in. I recommend writing down a list of these things:
  • Any high school classes that you really enjoyed
  • How you want to make a difference
  • What your interests are outside of the classroom
  • What you know you DON'T want to take
  • A suitable environment/schedule you see yourself pursuing in a job
  • Any jobs that you are interested in
Once you figure that out, start focusing on what courses you're gonna take. Make sure you take ones that interest you! I cannot stress that enough. Granted some LSR courses may seem tedious, but especially at Saint Michael's, the curriculum offered is so vast and expansive that you can most likely find something that pertains to your interests.

I also recommend creating a folder with each of your semesters marked off. Put sticky notes with the courses you want to take and put them where you think you want to take them/when they'll be offered. After numerous revisions, I have set up my schedule to include courses I am interested in as well as fulfilling my potential double major in History and Theatre with a minor in Classics. Sounds crazy right? For the average college student, one might change their major 2/3 times before picking one they truly enjoy. No worries though; there is enough time to develop your interests and pursue your major.

Granted I am loving the summer, but I can't wait for the semester to start! I can't wait to see my SMC friends again and enjoy all the fun times that are sure to be had.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summertime and the Livin's Easy

Some things I enjoy about my summer so far:
Being outside! Complete with books, sunglasses, music,
water bottle, and most importantly: SUNSCREEN!

Dunks runs at work. I love me some Caramel Iced Coffee!
Graduations! Where I get to listen to my friend Aaron
and his friend Pat play some cool tunes

Being around my most wonderful godmother who
lets me drink tea in fine china! I feel fancy :)
BONFIRES! With marshmallow roasting of course!
Smores are so delicious.

Exploring our towns with my friends...of course
stopping for some homemade ice cream at Sweet Claude's!
And of course, hanging out with my friends.
We have so much fun I can BEARLY handle it. Pun intended.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why Wandering Nomad?

I recently had this discussion with a friend about how the college years us students are nomads.

As defined by, a nomad is a member of a people or tribe that has no permanent abode but moves about from place to place, usually seasonally and often following a traditional route or circuit according to the state of the pasturage or food supply; any wanderer or itinerant.

College students aren't nomads for these particular reasons, but rather for education. On the quest for knowledge for higher education, one travels to colleges they are interested in a "College Road Trip". This trip could range anywhere from 20 minutes from home, out-of-state, or even coast to coast. For me this trip ranged from Maine down to Maryland, usually hitting 3 or 4 colleges in a short period of time. If I liked the school, then we spent more time exploring the area around it to get a feel for the town.

Check out the map of where my high school friends and I are spread out.
It would take around 19 hours one way with direct stops. Crazy!

This is the first step on the nomadic journey for most; Going to college is usually the first time many leave home. We pack up our lives into boxes, crates, bags, and/or suitcases, grab appliances, and try to squeeze it into the family car and make the trek to our new home.

Once we get to our destination and unpack the boxes, make the bed, plug in the clock and fridge, decorate to make the walls of a college dorm room a little less white, it's time to say goodbye to the parents and start acclimating to the college life.

Thinking about it: during the time we're at college, we move about 10 times in four years, if you include a study abroad experience. That's quite a lot.

Luckily, we don't have to do this alone. A crucial part to a nomad's journey is a guide. There are loads of people who we can turn to who can offer us support and help as we climb through the mountains and valleys that college has to offer.

For me, I am lucky to have an support system involving my parents, brother, friends from home and from school, my faith family, and members of the faculty and staff at Saint Michael's. Being able to rely on a good support system during my first year of independence was crucial. Knowing that I have so many wonderful people to count on is really a blessing in difficult times.

As I continue on my nomadic journey for education, I can't wait to see where this will take me. I'll keep you posted!