Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Day in the Life: A Senior Business Major

The countdown to graduation has begun, and as May 14th gets closer and closer, I'm making an effort to enjoy this last month and a half as much as I can.  Over my years at St. Mike's I've been very busy and have learned that getting in a routine is what makes me most successful and productive. There is so much to enjoy and do in Burlington and on campus that my days are never boring or empty.

No two days at St. Mike's are ever the same with class, work, homework, and friends, but there are certain things that I try to do every week.  

A typical Tuesday for me starts with my 8am Social Media Theory class, followed by my Media Law class until 11:20. My Tuesday and Thursday mornings are full with class, but it's nice for me to get an early start and have time for other things later in the day.

After my morning classes on Tuesday, I usually head to Alliot, the dining hall, to enjoy one of my favorite meals there while catching up on any work I have to do.  Being a senior with a townhouse and kitchen, I'm on the 40 swipe per semester meal plan. That roughly averages out to 1 swipe a week, so I usually use it during my break in class on Tuesdays for lunch.

After lunch, I have my Organizational Problem Solving class, the capstone for business majors.  This class goes from 1:15 to 2:50pm, so making sure I've used the time before to get things done is key!

After I'm all done with class for the day, my late afternoon depends on how much homework I have for week.  If I have a crazy week, I usually head to the library or student center to do work for an hour or two.  My Wednesday mornings are usually free and when I do a lot of homework, so if I can swing it I try to go to the gym after class on Tuesdays instead.

Around 5pm, I come back to my townhouse and make myself dinner.  One of my favorite parts of living in a townhouse is being able to cook.  What I make always varies, but it's usually nothing too fancy!

After dinner, I'm off to work at the Phonathon for the night. One of my jobs on campus in addition to being a tour guide and social ambassador is calling alumni from the office of annual giving.  From 6pm to 8:45pm every Sunday and Tuesday night, I head to Pomerleau Alumni center (check out this campus map to see exactly where it is) to hang out with awesome people and talk to alumni on the phone.

Being a member of the Phonathon team is super fun and a great way to make some extra cash.  It's so interesting talking to alumni of all ages and learn about how much other people also loved St. Mike's!

My beautiful Phonathon coworkers!

After Phonathon, a typical Tuesday night ends with my roommates in my townhouse winding down and watching some TV (This Is Us being one of my favorites).  My Tuesdays are busy but one of my favorite days.  

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Winter Weather: Finally!

Call me crazy, but I love a great snow storm and some nice winter weather. One of the best parts of going to school in Vermont is the snow and winter activities that come along with it.  Last year we had one of the mildest winters in a while and missed out on a great ski season, but this year we have had plenty of snow and opportunities to hit the slopes.

Through the St. Mike's Adventure Sports Center (previously known as the Wilderness Program), all SMC students have access to one of the best ski season pass deals around.  We can buy a season pass to Smuggler's Notch (aka Smuggs) for just $65.  You can't beat it! A day pass to most mountains is around the same price, so even going one day to learn is worth your money.  Smuggs is just a scenic 45 minute drive from campus and the school runs shuttle buses to and from the mountain on the weekends.

This year, like most of New England, we got hit with a huge Valentine's Day weekend blizzard and my roommates and I took the opportunity to play in the snow and throw some snowballs outside our townhouse.

Smuggs on a sunny Saturday

Frolicking outside the 400's on our snow day

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Why Studying Abroad Will Be the Best Decision You'll Make During your College Career

I've been fortunate enough to have two different study abroad experiences while at St. Mike's, and they both have contributed immensely to my education.

My first study abroad experience was a St. Mike's study trip to Burgundy, France in May before my junior year. This was a trip led by two St. Mike's professors, with 15 St. Mike's students, for 3 weeks.  We traveled together and took an intensive, 4-credit art history class in the historic village of Pontigny in France. Our weeks consisted of a schedule alternating between one day of classroom lectures and the next day of excursions to nearby museums, monuments, and sites that directly related to the prior day's lecture.  This style of learning was unlike any other I've had by it's truly experiential nature.

My second, and most recent study abroad experience was the more traditional study abroad experience.  I studied at a university in South Africa for an entire semester through the third party provider, AIFS.  Unlike my experience in France, I did not travel with any St. Mike's professors (although coincidentally one other girl from St. Mike's) and had lots of independence. I was able to travel on the weekends and meet so many amazing people from other parts of the U.S. and around the world.

If you are able to make it work with your class schedule over the years, here are some of my favorite reasons why it will be the best semester of your life:

1. You'll be pushed outside of your comfort zone.  During my time studying in France, our two St. Mike's professors traveling with us decided on a zero-electronics (minus cameras) policy during our 3 week trip. This was tough at first, but we all got very into taking pictures and photography and our relationships were so much stronger with each other because of it.

Paragliding over Cape Town, South Africa

World's highest bungee jump from a bridge, Bloukran's Bridge Bungee

2. You'll learn new things. 
Learning (kind of) to surf was one of my favorite parts of South Africa

3. The food. Nothing else to say here, foreign food is amazing!!

'Za with a view in Stellenbosch, South Africa
South African brunch

French macarons!

French cuisine, including escargot- snails!

The French love their cheese (duh)

4. The locals.

The wonderful and beautiful kids I taught at Ikaya Primary School in Kaya Mandi, South Africa

5. It will be a semester full of exploring. 

Wally's Cave, Lion's Head, South Africa
Small town in Burgundy, France

Blyde River Canyon, South Africa

6. You'll make lifelong friends.

Friends who wine tour together stay together

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

5 of the Best Study Spots that Aren't the Library

It's that time of the year again - Christmas carols have hit the radio, snow has fallen, and the fall semester is wrapping up, which means - finals week!  Although we only have exams during our last week before break, the 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and winter break are always jam-packed with final projects and papers to complete before the end of the semester.

Earlier in the semester I could be found studying in my hammock enjoying the warm weather or even braving the library, but at this point in the year I know I work best in places that don't feel too stressful or intimidating. Downtown Burlington is just a quick bus ride away and there are too many awesome coffee shops to pick from to do work. Here are some of my favorite study spots that make you forget you're even studying!

1. New Moon

New Moon is first on the list because it is my absolute favorite study spot off campus. With it's big tables and high ceilings it's easy to get into a groove of writing a paper and people watching.

2. Muddy Waters 

Muddy Waters is the best place to go when you have a lot of reading to do that doesn't require research on your computer.  Although it's one of the few coffee shops in Burlington without wifi, it's still a great place for some serious concentration and caffeine.

3. Alliot

During finals week and the weeks leading up to it, studying, sleeping and eating are priorities and pretty much all there's time for.  Moving your study sesh to Alliot ensures that you'll have plenty of food to fuel your work and get an occasional break to say hi to familiar faces.

4. Uncommon Grounds

Uncommon Grounds has the best maple latte I've come across so far and wifi to work on those big end of semester research projects.

5. Scout & Co 

I'll admit that I've never actually done any studying at Scout & Co because the table is always too full of beautiful food, but it's a great environment to relax in and would be a great spot for some reading or journaling.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

October at SMC

October is always my favorite month at SMC and this month definitely did not disappoint.  Fall in New England is breathtaking, but fall in Vermont is something else. This year, we experienced the peak of foliage and some snow flurries within the same week.

Last week, we got a bunch of rain on campus, but it was cold enough in the mountains for snow.  On Wednesday flurries hit campus and I couldn't contain my excitement.  After a pretty snow-less winter last year, many of us are excited to hit the slopes really soon.

I finally bought my season ski pass to Smuggler's Notch for $65 and I can't wait for ski season!

Foliage along the Burlington Bike path

Snow on the mountains at the View

October means pumpkin spice everything, and halloween, two of my favorite things. This year, my housemates and I go very into the spirit.  The MOVE program Best Buddies that works with people in the community with phyiscial and intellectual disabilities came by our townhouse to trick or treat, and the Little Brother, Little Sister program did too.

Handing out candy for the trick or treaters

Jack o lanter carving - a must

Even our napkins in TH 408 are festive

Monday, October 3, 2016

Fall Festivities

It's pretty hard to believe that it's already October of my senior year.  The October part, I'm excited about, but senior year? Not so much.  I had to fill out an intent to graduate form today and thinking about leaving my favorite place didn't go so well.

In the spirit of making sure our last year counts, my friends and I have been exploring around VT the past few weekends enjoying fall.  Here are some of the must-see spots that we've been enjoying - check them out and let me know what you think!

Shelburne Farms - Shelburne farms has so much to enjoy.  There are animals to pet, trails to walk, food to enjoy, and even cheese-making to watch.  I went for the first time this year and will definitely be back soon. 

Shelburne Orchards - My favorite spot to pick some apples around Burlington! There are lots of different apples to chose from, hayrides, and the best cider donuts I've ever tried.  When in Vermont in the fall, apple picking is a must.  Between all of my roommates and I, we have enough apples to cook at least 5 apple pies. 


Sam Mazza's - Sam Mazza's is famous for it's corn maze, which I haven't tried yet, but they also have a great selection of veggies and farm stand food.  We bought some fresh veggies to make a hearty autumn soup with, and it was great!

My roommate Emma wanted to bring this home for our townhouse...
Stay tuned for more of my fall adventures!!


Friday, August 19, 2016

8 Signs You're a St. Mike's Student that Needs to Go Back to School, ASAP

As the end of August is approaching and I'm hearing lots of "I don't want summer to end!" sentiments, I couldn't be more ready for September 27th to come.  Apart from a quick drive through campus earlier this summer, I have not been at SMC since December.  I spent my last semester studying abroad in South Africa, which you can read about on my other blog here.

 It was an incredible experience, one that I wouldn't change for anything, but I am happier than ever to be coming home for my senior year. Living at home this summer, commuting into Boston for my internship has been fun but exhausting, and I couldn't be more excited to come back to my favorite place with my favorite people.  8 more days! (Yes, I'm counting)

1. The group chat with your St. Mike's friends is blowing up daily. It's been a few months (at the least, but many more for those abroad, like myself) since you've seen some of your best friends and it's starting to show by the daily texts you're getting filled with heart emojis and "I miss you" messages. 

2. You're seriously craving a chicken patty. A St. Mike's classic, found in either Alliot or at the late night weekend BBQ (aka "The Grill"), chicken patties make up approximately 67% percent of any St. Mike's student's school year diet (the other 33% is made up of Ben & Jerry's, obviously). The summer months away from this staple in our diets are a cruel reality. 

3. You are actually wishing away the hot summer days away in favor of crisp, cool fall in Vermont. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for sunny days spent at the beach and the season of s'mores and sandals, but there is something so refreshing about the cool fall days in fall in the Green Mountain State.  Whether you're conquering those green mountains during a fall hike up Camel's Hump, or just enjoying some locally made apple cider in Burlington while watching the leaves change, there really is nothing else in the world quite like fall in Vermont.

View from summit of Camel's Hump, VT
4.  You've realized cooking isn't quite your thing. You need Alliot in your life ASAP. Even for upperclassmen like myself who will only get 40 meals in the dining hall a semester because we have a kitchen in our apartment or townhouse and will cook for the rest, Alliot meals are truly a blessing. The local, healthy, convenient, and tasty meals aside, going to Alliot is also a social experience unlike any other.  Every time you walk in for a meal, you see friends, professors, and friendly staff.  Which brings me to my next point...

5. You can't wait to see Rosemary again.  A St. Mike's legend and one of the most popular people on campus, Rosemary is everyone's favorite Alliot staff member.  Every day is brightened by Rosemary swiping you into the SMC dining hall. 

6.  You're spending hours each week buying and planning decorations for your new krib. If there's one thing I've learned this summer, it's that I have absolutely no self control in  A.C Moore, Target, or any other store that sells dorm decorations. 

Townhouse 408 is about to be stylin' this year, watch out. 
7. You are sick and tired of people referring to your Birks as "Jesus sandals".  Vermonters, along with those of us who only inhabit the state for 8 months of the year and like to think of ourselves as locals anyway, really do love their Birkenstock's.  And those people who just don't get it are dead to us.  Fashionable and SO COMFY, my feet are happiest when sporting my trusty "birks".

8.  You're ready to trade in your hometown scenery for The View.  City views have nothing on everyone's favorite spot on campus, "The View".  This field across from the SMC Welcome Center is a hangout and homework spot for many students.