Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What-to-Know Wednesday : Reflections on Senior Seminar

DISCLAIMER: While part of me wishes I could have written my senior capstone on a typewriter, pinecone by my side, I didn't - I just like this picture! 

As of today, all us Media Studies, Journalism & Digital Arts majors are ONE WEEK out from turning in our senior capstone projects! Needless to say, tensions are high and excitement is in the air.

Whether we've been creating a documentary film, web documentary, or book (like me!), we've spent the last six months or so pouring our time, energy, and passion into these projects, and it's almost bittersweet to know it's coming to an end. However, I couldn't be more excited that in a few weeks' time, I'll actually be holding my book in my hands instead of staring at a screen!

Over the past few years in this major, I've heard no shortage of horror stories from seniors past - namely about senior seminar and how it would consume my life and push me to a place I'd never been. Overall, senior seminar had been made out to be an impossible task. But now, after nearly having finished the experience myself, I have two issues with the above statement: one, that it's impossible, and two, that it's a task.

(Heads up: you're about to hear about how important "perspective" is again. You've been warned!) Cliche as it may be, it's true: perspective is key. From the beginning of this project, I chose to see it as an opportunity: how many people get the chance to create and publish something of this magnitude, let alone in college? Let alone as part of their major?? When you think about it, it's pretty amazing. So no, you don't have to explore a topic you want to learn more about. You don't have to formulate concepts, stories, and visions and watch them come to life. You don't have to reach out to individuals you may have never interacted with otherwise, learn about their lives, and even create relationships. You don't have to take on an experience most students are never handed. You don't have to graduate college holding a tangible culmination of all your hard work. You get to.

If I've learned anything from this experience (I've actually learned a lot, this is just one of those things), it's that if you take this standpoint, it won't just be possible. It will be fun, rewarding, and something you'll carry with you for the rest of your life.

The next time you read a new What-to-Know Wednesday, I'll be handing in the initial copy of my book. Wish me luck, and I can't wait to show you all the finished product!

In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 2nd!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #10

Hello all! It's been a wonderful first week back from spring break here at St. Michael's College.

As per usual, here are a couple snapshots from my week at SMC!

It was a beautiful day at Smuggler's Notch on Saturday! After a week of sporadic freezing rain on campus, the snow was surprisingly light and fluffy. There's nothing like having a great day like the one we had yesterday!

* Taking a break to keep discussing "Get Out"...* If you haven't seen the new horror flick Get Out yet, I highly recommend it! I hadn't expected to see it, but we made a last minute decision on Friday and I'm so glad we did. Ever heard someone say "it's scary because it's true"? This film certainly applies! 

I hope you all had a wonderful week! And to any accepted students, I hope to see you next Saturday the 1st at this year's first Accepted Students Day. One of my favorite parts of these events is speaking with accepted students, so please say hi if you recognize me! See you then!

Be sure to stay tuned for the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 29th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What-to-Know Wednesday : A Day in the Life of an SMC Senior

Hello all! For anyone who's been reading this blog for a while, you guys will know that I like to go over my week through each "Sum-It-Up Sunday" post. I include pictures I've taken through the week, and I explain what I did throughout the week both on and off campus, both socially and academically. If you don't yet know why I do this, I do it because I want to paint a realistic picture of student life at St. Mike's for any and all prospective student and parent readers, but I also want the opportunity to do fun posts like "Mid-Semester Inspiration From Your Favorite TV Characters" and "The Importance of Getting Off-Campus,"  which I do on my "What-to-Know Wednesday" posts.

However, a common question that us student ambassadors tend get from prospective students is: "what do you do on campus on a typical weekday?" So, over the next few weeks or so, you'll be seeing some "Day in the Life" blog posts from all of our Social Ambassadors! Be sure to keep an eye out on all the blogs, which you can find here!

As you probably already know, on today's What-to-Know Wednesday, I'm bringing you my own Day in the Life! Seeing as I had my three-hour senior seminar cancelled today, I want to take you through a more typical day for me on campus - so read on to find out what I do on a typical Monday!...

6:55 AM: My alarm is going off, and I'm up and at 'em to start the day (and the week)! I like to shower in the mornings to start my day, and I always eat a small breakfast before class, accompanied by a cup of coffee, of course. (Fun fact: for me, the day starts off on the wrong foot if I don't make my bed, so that's a must as well.)

8:15 AM: Off to my first class!

8:30 AM: My first class of the day starts: Introduction to Sociology with professor Vincent Bolduc!

9:35 AM: Class is out, and I'm either heading to the library or back to my house to get going on some work- depending on how much I have to do!

9:45 AM: Now that I've arrived at either the library or my house, I like to start my work by checking e-mails and doing a few things for my job as the Online Media & Communications coordinator for the Founders Society! Usually, that means getting in touch with my boss with updates, and sending out an e-mail to whoever is signed up to take over our Snapchat account the following week with a reminder! For the rest of the morning, I continue doing some homework - typically, if I have reading assignments to do for certain classes, I like to get those out of the way so I can dedicate my evening to working on bigger assignments (usually for my senior seminar).

12 PM: Time for a break! My boyfriend typically comes over to eat lunch.

1:30 PM: Depending on how much work I still want to get done before the evening, I'll do some more work, or I'll take some time for myself- maybe listen to some music, clean, or have another cup of coffee!

4:45 PM: Seeing as I have an evening class on Mondays, an early dinner is necessary. I usually start making dinner around quarter-of-five so I can start eating by 5 PM and have time to clean up before heading to my other class!

5:45 PM: Off to my next (and last) class of the day!

6 PM: My class starts: my lab for senior seminar!

7 PM: Class is out, and I'm headed to a room in the same academic building to do some more homework for the evening.

9:15 PM: I'm heading back to my house for the evening! I usually like to finish off the night relaxing and unwinding from the day: having a snack, watching a favorite TV show, and/or catching up with a roommate about our days.

11:30 PM: Time for bed!

(Not me!)

What will your day in the life at SMC look like?

Be sure to stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 26th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #9

Hello all, it's been a wonderful spring break here in Massachusetts! To everyone at SMC, I hope you all had a fantastic break filled with friends, family and fun.

After getting back from skiing in New Hampshire, I spent the majority of my time working on my senior project, which you'll know is a book if you've been reading along this semester. Now that classes are starting back up again tomorrow, we have about two and a half weeks until the due date, April 5th. After that, it'll be time to start some job applications! It's getting to be an equally stressful and exciting time of the school year, and of life for that matter!

Here are a few snapshots from my break...

Tuesday's storm brought a perfect baking opportunity...lemon poppyseed muffins!

Homemade pizza on Thursday. (Can you tell my favorite thing to do over break is taking advantage of a fully stocked kitchen again?)

Last night's dinner out- crab rangoon sushi rolls at The Poynt in Newburyport, one of my new favorite spots!

Be sure to stay tuned for the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 22nd!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What-to-Know Wednesday : Best Ways to Spend a Snow Day

If you live anywhere in or around New England, you've been living under a rock if you haven't heard about, seen, or experienced massive winter storm Stella over the past couple of days! To quote my aunt on Facebook...

This pretty much sums it up.

But it doesn't have to be all screaming in the streets! Whether you just got a day off from work or your spring break just got a little snowier, be sure to make the best of your snow day!

Drink lots of hot chocolate!

Catch up on that book you've been meaning to read but haven't gotten around to...because senior year.

Take lots of pictures (we might not ever have another blizzard of '78 to tell our kids about like our parents told us, but you never know what'll make history)! 

Have some fun in the kitchen!

Have a movie day (or night)!

However you decide to spend your snow day, it's important to use this time as an opportunity to relax, reflect, and refuel for your return to school or work!

To any SMC readers, I hope you're all making the best of your Spring Break! To any prospective/accepted student readers, I hope you're all using this time to plan a visit to SMC for some of our upcoming Accepted Students Days! And lastly, to anyone who can't wait for spring, have faith - it's just around the corner!

Be sure to stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 19th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #8

Hello all!

On this week's Sum-It-Up Sunday, I'm writing to you from our spring break here in the White Mountains of New Hampshire!

It's always a beautiful drive from VT through the White Mountain National Forest!

With windchill temperatures of -45 degrees yesterday, skiing was not in the cards! So we bundled up and headed into North Conway to our favorite spot, Zeb's General Store!
But for the rest of the day, we were indoor-bound, and it only seemed right to get creative with dinner. Chicken pot pie, anyone? 

Wherever you are and however you're spending it, I hope you all enjoy a relaxing, fun spring break! Stay tuned for the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 15th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What-to-Know Wednesday : Planning a Successful Spring Break

[via Unsplash]

With SMC's spring break just around the corner, it's time to start thinking about the best ways to spend it! And if you're anything like me, you like to have a plan. So take a look below at how you can plan your most productive, relaxing, and fun spring break!

Make a to-do list

Ok, don't bail on me now. Establishing what you want to get done over break now will ensure that you have a better chance of actually doing it! Whether it's getting a haircut, bringing your heavy winter clothes home for the year, or *cough* working on your senior research project, there may be a few things you'll want on your list for spring break.

Plan something fun

Whether it's as small as meeting a friend for coffee or as big as taking a special trip, make a plan! You'll have plenty of time to relax as well.

Make time for family & friends

Especially for us seniors, we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We're due for a break, and many of us will be lucky to spend it with family and friends back home!

Make time for yourself

Of course, don't forget to sleep in a little and watch a few Netflix standbys. You deserve it!

How are you spending your spring break?

I will definitely be blogging through mine, so be sure to stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 12th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #7

Hello all! It's been another wonderful week here at St. Mike's. We're about to start our last week before Spring Break- and after that, the year's remaining weeks will fly by!

It was a chilly weekend here in VT, so we opted out of our usual Saturday Smugg's trip for a day in Burlington...

Poutine is a breakfast food, right?? Well, it can be at the Skinny Pancake. I enjoyed a delicious Cheesy Pesto crepe across from Jared's Veggie Monster, and of course, a hefty helping of poutine on the side. 

Next came the butterfly exhibit at the ECHO center! The room erupted when this guy decided to camp out on Jared's face for a few minutes. 

And of course, it's never too cold for ice cream: namely, a scoop of smoked raspberry at Scout and Co. in the Winooski Circle!

I hope you all stayed warm this weekend, wherever and however you spent it! Stay tuned for the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 8th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What-to-Know Wednesday: Why I Love Being a Founders Society Coordinator at SMC

Hey Founders Society! It's that time of year again- we have begun the application process for next year's Founders Society coordinators! 

If you've been reading along on my blog, you know that I've been working as the Online Media & Communications coordinator this year. For me, it's been a rewarding experience in many ways:

1.) Work as a team!

As a Founders Society coordinator, I work with three other Founders coordinators: the Open House coordinator, Tour Guide coordinator, and Alumni Relations coordinator. Throughout the year, we've worked together planning and running different events, and each of us brings our own strengths to the table. It's been an amazing experience growing closer as coworkers and as friends, and I know Founders brings that unique experience in teamwork!

2.) Become more informed & involved on campus!

One of the biggest roles of the Founders Society on campus is to coordinate a group of informed student ambassadors. Even as a coordinator, I'm learning more and more every day about different parts of the SMC community- whether that's majors, activities, clubs, programs, etc.!

3.) Connect with prospective students & families!

There's nothing more rewarding as a Founders coordinator to know you've reached a prospective student in some way- whether that's through a Knight Chat, blog post, tour, Open House or Alumni Event! As a coordinator, I have the opportunity to connect with prospective students through every branch of Founders.

Are you interested in applying to be a Founders Society coordinator for next year? 
The deadline is THIS FRIDAY (3/3)!
(The application is attached on an e-mail that was sent to the Founders listserv yesterday.)

Our open positions are:
- Online Media & Communications Coordinator 
(Contact: Claire Cavanaugh at and/or Allison Scavotto at ) 
- Alumni Relations Coordinator
(Contact: Chris Holloway at and/or Allison Gardner at
- Open House Coordinator
(Contact: Hailey Dubuque at and/or Matt Seklecki at


Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire