Monday, December 31, 2012

Highlights of 2012!

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had wonderful Christmases filled with peace, happiness, and love.  Seeing as it's New Year's Eve, I thought I would write a post about this past year, specifically about some of the lessons I've learned and the especially great times I've had at Saint Mike's.  I'll try not to make it too long! :)

smc purple and yellow knights joyce lights winter friends smiles smiling
Me sporting my new hat with Alex!
Believe it or not, last year at this time I was dreading going back to school.  Fall semester of freshman year was pretty rough for me in terms of dealing with being away from home.  I left for winter break having the foundation for some solid friendships, but, as I know all too well, friendship takes time.  It was hard for me to accept the fact that while I had great friends from home, those kinds of relationships do not form automatically.  So, when I returned to school in January, the first night back was really fun because I got to see everyone again, but the next day it really hit me that it was back to reality, which meant lots of schoolwork and a significant amount of time before I got to go home again.  Phone calls definitely helped, but more importantly, I specifically remember my friends Vick and Emma being there to give me hugs and to listen to me talk through how I was feeling.  And of course, a care package with a hand-knit hat from my best friend Paige couldn't hurt!

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The smiling trio, as Jerome likes to call us :)
We always have such a great time at
Lit Choir so we can't help but smile!
Getting back into the groove of college took some time, but it got better each day.  I had my first Lit Choir trip to look forward to, which I posted about here.  I had an absolutely wonderful time and what made it even better was that my mom got to come see us perform, and when we came back it was time to watch the Superbowl!

The next big event for me happened over spring break in March - as a belated birthday present my mom and I went to go see my absolute favorite celebrity Nick Jonas on Broadway.  It was a big adventure getting into the city (my mom doesn't like cities at all) but we made it and had a great time.  And of course I got to see some of my friends from home who had the same break as I.  Before I knew it, it was time to go back to school.  The day I got back it was really warm so I ended up changing into shorts (keep in mind, this was in March) - it was crazy!  It was warm enough to wear summer clothes the entire first week back, which was very exciting for me because I'm a huge fan of dresses!  Throughout the week students brought blankets outside and laid on the grass in the quad, soaking up the sun.  At some point during that week, my friends and I bought tickets to go see Christina Perri at Higher Ground (a small venue about 5 minutes from campus) - best decision ever!  And of course, that was something else to look forward to and help myself feel a little better whenever I felt the homesickness start to come on.
preparation day hunger games camoflague emma vick cait merrill alex 2012 peeta katniss joyceApril was probably my favorite month of spring semester.  If you don't already know, P-Day is arguably one of SMC's biggest events.  It happens just before finals of spring semester, and is basically a stress-free day to relax and just have fun with tons of food, bouncy houses, and MidKnight Breakfast in Alliot.  Just about everyone makes themed t-shirts.  My friends and I decided to make Hunger Games shirts using various types of fabric paints.  It was a long process but very fun and definitely worth it!  Also in April, my friends and I had a surprise birthday party for one of our good friends Cait.  It was really difficult not to spill the beans but we didn't and she loved it!  To top it off, Ben & Jerry's had their annual Free Cone Day which was very exciting and delicious of course!

christina perri concert cait emma alex sunny windy may 5 south burlington higher ground venue sleeping at last openerAs you probably know, most college students finish their spring semester in May, and I would definitely say that I packed in as much fun as possible during my last few weeks at SMC.  I finally got to use those tickets I bought in March to see Christina Perri!  My friends and I loved the concert so much that we decided to start planning a trip to see her again in Montreal in the fall.  A few days and a whole lot of studying later, it was time to say goodbye and head home for the summer.  I was obviously very excited to be done with schoolwork, but I was surprised at how long it took me to transition to being back at home.  Clearly I was used to Saint Mike's!

The majority of my summer was spent babysitting, being with friends and family, and going to Maine.  It was absolutely wonderful and when it came time for me to go back to school in August, I was a little nervous but mostly very excited to get to see my friends again.  On the drive to school, I surprised myself by being a little upset that I was once again leaving my family and everything that I love in New Hampshire behind.  But when I pulled into the SMC parking lot, I couldn't wipe the ear-to-ear smile off my face.  My first thought was "I'm home!"  I hadn't realized how much I truly missed SMC over the summer and how attached I'd become.  I couldn't hope to feel any more positively about my school than I do about SMC!

canada montreal quebec posing christina perri jason mraz belle centre nice outfits converse merrill caitlin alex emma candlewood suites hotelIt was a little challenging getting back into the school routine during the first week of classes, but I managed pretty well.  I was just so happy to be back at school and happy with the fact that I wasn't feeling homesick!  In addition, I was getting really excited about my trip to Montreal at the end of September!  As I mentioned, my friends and I went to see Christina Perri open for Jason Mraz.  While the trip was filled with fun, it definitely taught brought us closer together as friends because we were truly on our own - from finding our hotel to getting to the concert to locating the nearest grocery store.  I have great memories from that trip that I'll never forget!
room of requirement costumes pacman watermelon batman robin catwoman red riding hood linnehan saint michael's college shuttle danceThe best part about October was probably the Halloween Dance.  I usually hate dances, but my friends encouraged me to go so I decided to give it a chance and I'm so glad I did!  I never thought I would have as much fun as I did and it was so fun to see all of my friend's costumes!
The highlight of November was definitely my roommate and friend Emma's birthday, which we decided to turn into a holiday because it lasted for so long between our celebration, her family sending gifts, and her dad coming to visit.  You can read more about it here!

December was a combination of fun and stress.  Right after everyone got back from Thanksgiving break, we started decorating and preparing for Christmas.  It was a bit difficult to balance decorating, exchanging presents, and all things Christmas with studying for upcoming finals.  Thankfully though, I made it through and have now been enjoying all the comforts of home for the past two weeks. 

Looking back, there is no doubt that 2012 has been a great year for me.  I have come so far in terms of truly being comfortable at SMC and being able to call it my home away from home.  I have my family and friends from home as well as all the wonderful people at SMC to thank for that.  My various roles at Saint Mike's (tour guide, blogger, TA, VITA leader, etc.) have pushed me to become more comfortable with myself and to grow as a leader and a person.  As you can probably guess, this post barely scratches the surface of everything that happened for me in 2012.  There were definitely some hard times both at home and school, but the important thing to remember is the lessons they taught me.  Being away from home has taught me to appreciate every second I get to spend with my friends and family there.  I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to attend SMC and participate in everything it has to offer.  The friendships I've developed there are some that will truly last a lifetime.

A special note to the Class of 2017 readers - within the next few months you'll be making your decision about where you want to attend college.  Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck - the upcoming year will definitely be one to remember!  And if you decide to make SMC your home away from home, I hope that you come to love it every bit as much as I do.

If you've read this whole post, all I have to say is wow and thank you so much!  I hope it was worth it!  Have a happy, healthy, and safe New Year everyone!!

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