July 29, 2011

My first real experience with Saint Mike's

As I may have mentioned, oh...three or four times AT LEAST, I'm so excited to start at Saint Mike's in just four weeks! And what contributed so much to this excitement? POW!

POW (or pre-orientation weekend) is an optional program offered to incoming freshmen. There are about five different programs like this, all of which are offered on several dates throughout July.

When I first read about these optional summer programs, I didn't plan on signing up for any of them. Since I live about 4 hours away from Saint Mike's, I thought that this would be a long drive for an awkward & somewhat boring weekend. But when my mom suggested that I go on one of these programs, I signed up for POW.

After signing up for POW, I started to research it a lot (I research everything - as a slightly anxious person, I love knowing exactly what I am getting into). After hearing a little bit about POW, I started to get excited about it. On facebook, I met a girl named Lauren who was also going on POW, and since she was on my way, we decided to carpool. (Check out Lauren's blog)

POW begins with summer registration day on the Saint Mike's campus. Here, you listen to student & faculty panels to learn about the school, take your ID picture, meet with an advisor & sign up for classes, and take your foreign language placement test. If you don't go on a summer registration day, there is plenty of time to get all of this done during orientation (except that you sign up for classes way before orientation - instead you send in a sheet with all of your top-picks for classes). But I love being able to cross it all off my to-do list! There's also plenty of time to meet other incoming freshmen, and this is a great time to start to learn where all of the buildings are.

At the end of this day, you meet up with all of your POW leaders, hop on a bus, and head over to a little ski lodge where you'll stay for the next two days.
Check out this link to the lodge where we stayed.
It's the cutest lodge, similar to a youth hostel.
During the winter, lots of schools and organizations stay here. I stayed there years ago during a ski trip with my youth group

On each POW, there are thirty incoming freshmen, about ten upperclassmen, and maybe six faculty members and adults. To me this sounded pretty intimidating, as I'm not a very outgoing person, but as soon as I got on the bus with everyone, I felt at ease. The POW leaders are fantastic - they're so friendly and helpful! I also met so many nice kids & even made a couple friends! The rest of the weekend was so much fun. We played games, went on a nature walk, went swimming, and talked to the upperclassmen about SMC. They answered any questions we had about the school.

There was also so much food the whole weekend! Wen we arrived there were big bowls of m&ms, chips & dip, and fresh veggies. Yum! We also had great meals, like french toast & pancakes for breakfast, delicious sandwiches for lunch, and burgers and pasta for dinner (they had the best garlic bread ever...it was so addicting that I ate about seven pieces). And if you're vegan or vegetarian, don't worry about the food. There are plenty of options for you.

Above is our giant group picture from POW. By the end of the weekend, I felt really close with everyone, and it will be great to see a couple of friendly faces on move-in day.

If you want to know more about the optional summer programs for incoming freshmen, like SOAR, community service weekend, WOW, or the knight overnight, check out Gabbi's blog. Below are the links to her posts about these summer programs.

SOAR, WOW, & POW. All are such great programs!

Now, while you won't need to sign up for POW or any other summer program for a while, when you get your New-Student Guide in the mail (which you get in May after you send in your SMC deposit - it contains all of the info you need about SMC, including sign up sheets for summer programs) you need to sign up for your summer program ASAP! They fill up really quickly, but I think that they're definitely worth it! They're so much fun, and really get you acquainted with the school & the people. It's a great way to start off your freshmen year!

Have more questions about summer programs? Find me on facebook, or ask me on twitter!

July 27, 2011

A Big Giant Humongous Hello!

Hey Guys!

My name’s Alex Brenock and I’m about to enter my first year of college at Saint Michael’s in Colchester, Vermont.

I’m originally from Medway, Mass, which is this teeny tiny town about 45 minutes out of Boston. It’s really nice because everyone knows each other and I have so many great friends there, but I’m so excited to move on out to Vermont!

What enamored me so about SMC you might ask? Well at the time that I toured the school, it was my first college tour and I had no idea what I wanted in a college. I liked what I had read about Saint Mike’s, but my mom was afraid that it would be too small for me. Then, on the day of the tour, it was a chilly, overcast spring day – things were not looking good!

But surprise! As soon as I set foot on the SMC campus, I KNEW that I wanted to go there. Whenever I had heard my college friends say that they “felt” what college they should attend during the tour, I thought they were exaggerating. I just couldn’t understand it! Then, when I toured Saint Michael’s, I felt this tremendous sense of community. Despite the crummy weather, it felt like a great place where students were taken seriously and where the professors cared about how they were doing both in school and in life. Immediately, I knew that I had to go there; that it was the college that would make me so happy.

Thankfully, SMC accepted me! Now, I’m gearing up to move up a few states to Vermont this summer. I’m so excited that I’ve already started researching what I want to get involved in next year! Of course I already know what I want to major in – elementary education and business (because as my friends already know, I absolutely love kids!). I also want to possibly minor in Spanish or psychology. There’s just so much that I want to get involved in!

As for extracurriculars, there’re so many options! I know for sure that I want to get involved in the ministry at Saint Mike’s, as well as some sort of community service. And there’s always skiing at Smuggler’s Notch! I’ve been skiing for years, and I’m hoping to get a little better at it, as well as maybe learning to snowboard (I better get ready to fall on my butt a LOT). Lastly, there’s sooo many clubs that I want to try! (My mom is worried that I’ll try so much that I won’t have time for my actual schoolwork.) There’s the photo, wilderness, philosophy, common ground, business, and environmental clubs – how will I decide!

If you can’t already tell, I am so so excited to get started at Saint Mike’s! While I have quite a bit to figure out before I can start my first year there, I’m so ready to start challenging myself in so many ways – academically, emotionally, spiritually. I can’t wait to meet everyone in just one short month! See you all then!