Sunday, September 7, 2014

Survival in General: Learning From Amateur Mistakes

Hello all! Boy oh boy, has this first week been a wild ride. Just as expected, I've launched right back into Saint Mike's life, and aside from a few moments of (un)packing-panic and first week fatigue, it's been a pretty seamless transition. Here are a few shots from my first week:

 My kingdom! 

School supplies shopping! Just kidding, bad decisions at Walmart. 

It's a guy thing. 

Pretty views from study nooks. Makes it pretty tough to study, actually. 

Sniped at my worst. And yes, to answer the question, I was. 

Sunsets over the 300s field.

Stepped outside to snap a quick shot of the moon with my zoom lens.

Green, green, green.

Spotted: pasta salad, anyone? 

 A nature stroll at Gilbrook Trail while the weather was nice.

Now that classes have officially begun and you've hopefully started to get into the swing of things, it's time for some more personal tips and tricks for you incomers (prospective students, take note as well!).
Freshman year of college is scary and wonderful all at once. Mostly wonderful, of course. I considered it the best transition of my life, and still do, but now that I've been in and out of freshman year, I've come to realize lots of things I could have done differently.
Getting tossed into such a new, foreign environment can often land newcomers into a lazy routine. At least that's what happened to me. So thankfully, this is going to be something that not only I can learn from in my oncoming sophomore year, but that you newcomers and prospective students can also learn from ahead of time!

1.) Balance School and Fun.

I know what you're thinking: "obviously go to class, do your homework, blah blah blah etc." But that's not the route that I'm going to take. Of course it's going to be in your best interest to do those things, but I'm trusting you know that already. What you may not know now, however, is how easy it can be to get stuck in a weekday routine of go to class, get homework done, nap, eat, sleep. The important thing in these particular years of our lives, however, is to learn when to give ourselves a break. Stay spontaneous, get out, meet lots of people, have an adventure. That's what it's all about!

2.) Keep it Clean!

Take it from someone who let herself go a little bit in the laundry-doing and bed-making departments. On the days that I did have a neat and clean room, however, I felt more prepared for my day, and I just felt better in general. It can be really difficult to bring yourself to do anything productive (or go about your day normally, for that matter) when you return to a black hole after class. So don't let things get too out of order in there, and take twenty minutes each week to get things back to their neatly stacked, color-coordinated state. Tackle that pile of dishes, vacuum the hairballs off your carpet (girls, you'll know what I'm talking about soon enough!), and dust the desktop. You'll be glad you did! (I typically got this taken care of on Friday afternoons, before the weekend came into play!)


You know how the saying goes, but trust me, it's true. Those early morning classes are painful no matter what, but we have enough to worry about without having to make a conscious effort to keep our eyes open. And coffee alone isn't going to cut it! Those gross, groggy, still-have-eye-boogers feelings are much less after a little Alliot time. Fortunately, Alliot (the main campus dining hall) happens to do breakfast really well. You can find me at the grill ordering my eggs, chugging down some of Alliot's famous chocolate milk! (Just wait till you try it...amazing.)

4.) Look Good, Feel Good!

I think we can all admit that we feel much more motivated when we know we're looking snazzy! However, sometimes the last thing we feel like doing when that alarm goes off is to make ourselves look presentable. And though sweatpants and Uggs are perhaps most highly accepted as daily-wear at college, it can be a nice mood boost to remind people that's not all we own every once in a while. 
Along the same lines- on a "slept through my alarm" day, gum and perfume might be all you have time for before class. But on any other ordinary day, they are not a shower substitute. You will regret making them one.

5.) Take Care of Yourself.

The freshman fifteen comes for all of us in the end. But fortunately, feeling gross in general can be minimized. While the shortest lines often involve pizza and fries, be sure to visit the salad bar often and take it easy on the grease. You'll be glad you did. Take it from someone who made way too many ginger ale runs in attempt to forget all the mayo she'd just shoveled down with her french fries. Sorry for the graphic's a point that needed making. (PS, you will have free gym access. Between the Ross Sports Center and the cardio gym in Dion, you're out of excuses already!)

Long story short, have your lazy days. Have a whole bunch of them, even! Just don't forget to remind yourself every once in a while how good you deserve to feel. Let your best, most confident self shine through, and you'll be unstoppable!

**HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS, these are all tips worth taking note of for sure. When I was in your position in the fall of 2012, I pictured a college kid as a fully formed, figured-out being with all the answers and none of the doubt or questions. Perhaps having that picture in my head was the biggest mistake I made entering freshman year here.
If you guys learned anything from this post, I hope it's that not one of us, even at this incredible school that is Saint Mike's, comes close to matching that image. Because college is a place to grow and evolve, and that often comes with a lot of doubt, questions, challenges, and hurdles. The perfect thing is, however, that Saint Mike's couldn't be a better place to face those obstacles that encompass this part of your life's journey. Because amidst everything hard, there is so much support, love, and adventure. You won't find an experience quite as magical anywhere else.
On that note, good luck with your final year of high school, enjoy it while it lasts! After all, you'll never be in high school again. Keep working hard, keep making memories, and keep Saint Mike's in the back of your mind! I'm sure glad I did.

Hope this was enlightening for all, stay tuned next Sunday the 14th for more!

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