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.