December 24, 2011
"Did you read the blogs before coming to st mike's? are you friends with many of the bloggers?"
I did read the Saint Mike's blogs before coming to SMC! After I got accepted to Saint Mike's, I was pretty certain that I wanted to go here for school, but I was having a hard time making my mind up. I started exploring the SMC website to get a better feel of the school and the blogs definitely helped me understand what SMC is all about. I read about the loving, community aspect of the school, and after coming to SMC, I can tell you that the blogs portrayed Saint Mike's 100% correctly. I've loved every minute of my first semester and I'm so thankful that I go to such a wonderful, happy school with such a caring community of students, staff, and professors!
I'm friends with a bunch of the bloggers! Since we have several blogger trainings and events, most of us know one another. However, I'm good friends with Alexandra and Lauren and I see them just about every week. I also know Marci and Kayley (from Liturgical Choir), Sarah (from my Pre-Orientation Weekend), Maura (from LINK - a group that's part of campus ministry), and Tarah (from my Spanish class). Blogging both helped me meet new friends and allowed me to share my wonderful experiences from Saint Mike's!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 11:43 AM
December 16, 2011
Well, as of today I am done with Saint Mike's for this semester. At 11 AM I’m hopping on Megabus (soo cheap and an easy/quick way to get from Burlington to Boston). I’m a little sad to leave all my wonderful friends & I’m shocked that my first semester of college is already over, but I can’t wait to see my parents and celebrate Christmas!
Since it’s the end of a totally wonderful semester, I felt the need to do that corny-but-also-deep-and-retrospective-because-I'm-so-grateful thing. Henceforth, this post is officially all about my favorite moments from my first semester at SMC!
1. Thanksgiving & Christmas Dinners - so as you may/may not have heard from other bloggers, Saint Mike's puts on a Thanksgiving and a Christmas dinner just before our Holiday vacations. It's absolutely fabulous because the cafeteria gets dressed up with tablecloths, there is so much delicious food, and EVERYONE at SMC attends. It's just so much fun to see everyone so excited for the Holidays!
It was packed!
2. LBLS / Little Brother Little Sister – One group that I was so excited to get involved in was LBLS, in which you have to apply/interview/be chosen to become a mentor to an elementary school girl/boy. It’s a pretty big commitment because you sign on to mentor these kids for all four years that you’re at SMC, but I have had so much fun with my ‘little.’ It’s great to connect with my little and to be a positive light in her life.
3. Chilling in my “Second Room” – During Pre-Orientation Weekend this past summer, I met one of my really good friends, Merrill. We got along well from the second that we met, and we continued to text and talk on Facebook all summer. Merrill’s roommate is named Emma, and all three of us became super good friends. I pretty much spend all my time with them and in their room. I even got a little plaque on their door donning me their “honorary roomie”!
4. ZUMBA – for any girl (or guy) who hasn’t tried Zumba, go to your local gym and sign up ASAP! It’s basically this work-out involving different types of dance with dance & latin music. I am totally not a “let’s go to the gym” type of person, but Zumba is so much fun that you forget that you’re exercising! I go to Zumba once a week for about an hour, and it only costs $10 for six weeks!
This is one of my favorite songs that we dance to!
5. Dinner with my Future Suitemates – Recently, Merrill, Emma, and I have been discussing our rooming situation for next year. We’re really hoping to get an 8-person suite with some girls on their floor. A few weeks ago, the eight of us had dinner together and it was so much fun! It made me so excited for next year!
6. Horses & Healing – My First-Year Seminar, a class required for all freshmen, was so wonderful! It was definitely the best class I’ve ever taken! The class was about the connection between humans and nature, so we spent one day a week in class having discussions, writing, taking quizzes, and listening to lectures. Then, on Thursdays we went to Good Hope Farm to help with riding lessons and barn chores. It was really an amazing learning experience; read more about it in this blog post.
7. Roommate Talks – One of the scariest parts of college (for me anyway) was the thought of having a roommate. I’ve had my own room since I was about four, and I’m a little bit of a neat freak. However, I totally adore my roommate! Her name is Lhanzi, and she’s from Nepal. We have so many deep conversations about politics and God and global warming. Our most recent discussion was about the meaning of life. Our conversations may be little strange, but we get along super well and it’s been so much fun sharing a room with her!
8. Liturgical Choir – In high school I played flute for four years, and before that I played violin for five years. I planned on playing in one of the ensembles here at Saint Mike’s, but then decided to take it easy during my first semester and not join TOO many clubs. However, my love of music drew me to liturgical choir. And it is so totally amazing! We practice once a week and sing every Sunday at church along with a few musicians. Lit Choir accepts everyone (for example, I can’t sing at all but totally have a blast in choir!) and the Choir Director (shout out to Jerome) is amazing! He’s so funny and we have so much fun, but he also makes sure we sound great.
9. The First Snow - Although Vermont is known for its super cold weather, we’ve had almost no snow this December! When it did snow last week, my friend Merrill and I were so excited! We ran around and jumped up and down and yelled really loudly. We got a few strange looks, but we were just so happy!
10. Blogging – I’ve totally loved blogging and sharing my experiences with you all! I really enjoy helping prospective students and, of course, showing my love of Saint Mike’s!
I hope you all have an absolutely fabulous Christmas & Holiday Season! Formspring me with any questions about Saint Mike's! Best of Wishes!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 8:27 AM
December 15, 2011
Just had to share this adorable tweet about Saint Mike's! It totally describes why SMC is so amazing!
(That's exactly why I chose Saint Mike's!!)
Check out my blog's new winter theme & let me know how you like it! Be on the lookout for a post about my favorite moments at Saint Mike's, coming tomorrow! Tweet me with any questions about SMC!
P.S. - check out Saint Mike's "It Gets Better" Video! So proud to go to such a wonderful college!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 6:05 AM
December 7, 2011
"Hi Alex! I'm really interested in St. Michael's, and I was just in a chat with some students from St. Mike's and when I asked about the Elementary Education Major, they directed me to you! I just checked out your blog, and I figured I'd get in touch with you! My main question for you is if you found the major to be too overwhelming with the double major that's required?
Also, I was wondering what made up your mind to decide to go to St. Mike's?! It's definitely in my top 3, but it's pretty far from home. (I live right outside of Philadelphia!) I absolutely loved, loved, loved the vibe that I got when I visited, but it's so hard to make a decision!
Hope to hear back from you soon! :)"
Hey Jenna! SO great that you're interested in Saint Mike's!
About the education major, I haven't actually taken an education class yet. The first education class available to students is in the Spring semester of their freshman year. Since I'm considering switching majors (there's just so many things I'm interested in studying, I can't decide yet!) I'm not taking an education class next semester.
But back to your question about double majoring, there are a lot of classes to fit in. Depending on your second major, if you plan on studying abroad, and which foreign language class you place into, you may not have a lot of time for extra classes. But, when you declare an education major, you get a WONDERFUL advisor! The education professors are great, and I've only heard amazing things about them. Also, all education majors create a "four year plan", which consists of manilla folders and color coded sticky notes (each of which lists a class you need to take during your Saint Mike's college career). Then you plan out your four years at school by organizing the sticky notes. It sounds a little confusing and silly, but it's tremendously helpful. My advisor helped me make my "four year plan" and helped me decide which classes to take next semester.
SO basically, after that extremely long description of the education program, the double major is a lot of work. However, it's totally managable and you have tons and tons of help from the extremely wonderful education department.
About why I chose Saint Mike's - the list is endless! When I toured Saint Mike's during my senior year (one of only three schools I toured) I absolutely fell in love with it. Like you, I totally loved the vibes and it felt so friendly and community oriented. SMC was one of my top picks, but UVM was my number one. But then, the more I thought about it, the more I loved Saint Mike's! After getting accepted, I started reading some of the blogs and found so many reasons to love SMC - the friendly people, the incredibly caring professors, the abundance of Christmas decorations, the crazy amounts of clubs, and the chance to spend four years on a beautiful campus where I felt at home from the moment I arrived. Even though I didn't realize it at first, since I toured the school, I just kind of had this feeling that Saint Michael's was the school for me.
I live in Massachusetts, about four hours from Saint Mike's. It's definitely closer than Philidelphia, and I've been able to go home for every long weekend or vacation, but I know plenty of students who live much farther away - in fact, my roommate is from Nepal! Students who live across the country or are foreign students don't have the opportunity to go home every vacation. Some of these students have a problem with this and I know one that plans on transferring, but most kids are happy to visit a friend's house during the Holidays or spend the long weekend on campus.
I totally get how hard it is to choose a college! But I'm really glad that you loved Saint Mike's (because I love Saint Mike's too!), and I wish you the very best luck in your college search! I hope my incredibly long answers actually answered your questions, but if you're curious about anything else, don't be afraid to ask! Best of wishes!
Send me any questions you might have via Facebook, Twitter, or Formspring!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 5:49 AM
December 4, 2011
Good morning everyone! It is a cloudy, overcast Monday morning, but I am in a surprisingly good mood!
So the next two weeks on campus are CRUNCH TIME. We have finals in one week, and this last week of classes is filled with end-of-the-semester quizzes, tests, papers, and homework. Everyone is feeling the stress! However, the Saint Mike's Campus is also getting Christmas-y!
There are trees in the Alliot lobby, in the dining hall, in Hoehl, the Welcome Center. It's so exciting! There are also two ginormous trees outside between the library and chapel that have lights on them! All these decorations are really getting me in the Christmas spirit!
SO since it's nearing the end of the semester, a few of my friends decided that it was time for some Christmas shopping! We went to bustling Church Street to eat and to find some presents!
Me & my friend Merrill
Vick & Emma - so cute!
THEN we shopped like nobody's business! I got all of my Christmas shopping done!
And finally, we ran into Mike Check - the male acapella group on campus. They were singing on Church Street for a couple hours, and they were great! Check out their blog (with videos!) here! Also, check out the Acabellas - the female acapella group at Saint Mike's. They also have a blog here and if you have any questions, ask my fellow blogger Gabbi (who's in the Acabellas!). There is one other acapella group at Saint Mike's - the Sleepless Knights - which accepts guys & gals.
Mike Check doing some serenading.
Be on the lookout for a few more SMC-filled blog posts before I head home for the Holidays! I'll update you all on the Christmas festivities here, Stress Free Knight (the Friday before finals - I heard it includes free massages!), and the craziness that is the end of the semester! Hope you're all having a wonderful December, and listen to some Christmas music!
Formspring me with any questions you have about SMC! Love always!
And as a side note - the last Knight Chat of the semester is TOMORROW NIGHT from 7:30 - 9. Check it out right here! It's a great way to ask any and all questions you have about Saint Mike's!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 8:08 AM