Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Let the countdown begin!

With nine days until I return to SMC's campus, I thought I'd finally write about why I love this school so much.  As many of my close friends know, I CAN'T WAIT to get back to campus.  There is so much to look forward to, and I am really excited to jump right back into everything.
First, I am really looking forward to seeing all my friends.  The community at Saint Mike's is one of my favorite things about the school.  I have made some of my best friends in college.  The best part about Saint Mike's community is that everyone is so friendly and willing to help one another.  I have found that Saint Mike's is not cliquy like high school.  Another big difference is you are living with all these people so you are forming much different (and sometimes tighter) friendships.  I love all the friends I have made at Saint Mike's and I can't wait to see all of them.
I can't wait for my classes this semester! I am taking three journalism classes and honors colloquium, so I will have a full schedule, but I am really looking forward to diving into all my studies. (Some would call me a geek, but I just think I have a good reason to be this way.) The professors at Saint Mike's are awesome and so personable.  The best thing about them is they are more than willing to help their students out, but the students need to ask for the help.  I think I've only had one professor that I haven't really enjoyed at my three years at Saint Mike's, but this professor was teaching the wrong sized class.  That's pretty good if you think about it that only 1 teacher out of probably over 20 that I've had was less than satisfactory.  I really enjoy the classes at Saint Mike's so I'm looking forward to delving into everything.
The surrounding area is wonderful as well.  There is always something to do in Burlington, whether it be eating at one of the restaurants, going to the Saturday morning farmer's markets in the fall, grabbing some Ben and Jerry's ice cream, or just hanging out at the lake front.  With all of the activities on campus on top of that, you will never be at a loss of things to do.  As a girl who loves to be busy and go on adventures, I am totally psyched to get back up there.
Finally, I'm excited for all my extracurricular activities.  I am the co-president of the tap club at SMC, so I am excited to share the tap steps I learned this summer with all the members.  It has been such an awesome experience to be the founder and leader of a club at SMC, and I really love how dedicated all the members are to the club.  I'm also excited to be an editor on The Defender staff.  I LOVE writing and reporting and I'm excited to be able to take on somewhat of a leadership position on the staff.  Being a blogger this year is also very exciting, as well as taking part in some of the community service activities MOVE offers during the year.
As you get closer to starting your 4 years at Saint Michael's, I just want to say this.  Your college experience is what you make it.  Don't be afraid to try new things or talk to people you wouldn't normally talk to.  Dive right in because Saint Mike's has so much to offer.  I hope you love it as much as I do.

This is my first (and best) friend Mike on pre-orientation day before our freshman year.  He will be a freshman RA in Lyons hall this year. 
This is my floor and me on one of our floor outings at the beginning of freshman year.  We went to Papa Frank's for dinner in Winooski.  I lived with 7 of the girls from that floor last year and will be living with 3 different girls from the same floor this year.

This is me and my freshman roommate Sam.  We became fast friends during freshman year, and we are still very good friends.  This was taken on a "roomie date" we had during the fall.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Adjusting to Living With A Roommate

For many of you, living on campus as a freshman is the first time you will be living with a roommate.  I already had experience when I was coming into freshman year since I've shared a room with my sister since I was 4 years old.  Sometimes transitioning into sharing a room can be difficult, especially if you have never shared a room ever.  Here are some tips to make living with your roommate a good experience:
1. Get in contact with your roommate before you move in on August 25th.
Start getting to know your roommate.  Find them on Facebook, call them on the phone, or email them.  Start to get to know each other as you plan what to bring for your room.  Figure out what you have in common and work off that.  You don't have to become best friends before you come to school, but communicating with them a little bit is a good start to your "roomie" relationship.
2. Make a roommate contract.
Every set of roommates will need to do this and hand it into their RA.  Don't blow this off though because this will shape the kind of relationship you want to have with your roommate for the entire year.  Spend some time hashing out a set of conduct rules that you and your roommate should follow in order to have a pleasant year together.
3. Communicate.
If you are having someone over or you're going to be out late, let your roommate know so they aren't surprised at 2 a.m. when you return to your room.  If you have a test the next day and your roommate is known for staying up late, let them know that you need sleep that night and you would appreciate it if they would try to be quiet.  Communication is key to having a good roomie relationship.  It shows respect for your roommate and keeps the air clear of any problems or issues.  If you and your roommate have an issue, talk it out.  The RA's are always there to help you as well, so if you and your roommate need help settling an issue, seek out your RA.  It's what they're there for.
4. Make boundaries clear.
To avoid getting into any arguments or disagreements with your roommate, make sure that if there are any boundaries, make them clear.  (This could also go along with the last tip: communicate.)  If there is a certain snack in the fridge you don't want your roommate to eat, either mark it some way or tell them that it's yours.  You will be sharing a lot in your room so if there is anything in particular (like a hair dryer, a snack, etc.) that they'll need permission to use, let them know.  This will prevent misunderstandings during the year.
5. Get to know your roommate.
Ok, so not all roommates become best friends.  In reality, some just don't get along.  So, I'm not telling you that you NEED to become best friends with your roommate.  You'll be living with them all year though, so get to know them a little.  It makes living with them that much more pleasant, and it can be really fun sometimes (for example, my freshman roommate and I would go into Burlington on "roomie dates" and take pictures together or grab some drinks from Starbucks).  Having a roommate is all part of the freshman experience so be open-minded and have fun with it.  You could end up making a life-long friend!
If you have any burning questions about living with a roommate, please let me know! You can find me on Twitter (LittleLizzie33) or email me (emurray@mail.smcvt.edu).  I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have!