Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The SMC Experience

Hello everyone and Happy Tuesday!  Hope you all had a great weekend.  I know I did - especially because of all the wonderful snow we got!  Unfortunately I didn't make it to Smuggs, but I plan on going again soon!  I spent a fair amount of time catching up this weekend - on homework, sleep, and of course my favorite TV shows!

Anyway, last week in my of my sociology classes we got to talking about how expensive it can be to attend a residential college and with online classes being much less expensive, maybe it makes more sense to do that.  My professor then tried to figure out some of the reasons everyone in my class chose to attend Saint Mike's and whether or not we would consider sending our children here in the future.  He also pushed us to think about what the benefits might be of attending SMC vs. getting a degree online instead.  All of this has turned into an ongoing thought process for me over the past week about why I am okay with my parents making such a big investment in my education and what I am truly getting out of my SMC experience.

For me, one of the most important aspects of living at SMC (a residential college) is getting used to living away from home.  College was the first time I really left - I was never a fan of sleepaway camps during the summer or anything like that.  Naturally, it was a big transition for me, and one that is still difficult from time to time.  However, I can honestly say that even though it's hard sometimes, the relationships with people I have at home in New Hampshire have only gotten stronger as a result of me being at school.  I have learned how important it is to make time to call or text my friends (and family of course) to see how they're doing and make sure they know I'm thinking of them.

Obviously, a huge part of why I'm at Saint Mike's is to get a great liberal arts education.  I can definitely say I'm getting that - I am so happy to be able to take a variety of classes (not all of which pertain to my psych major) and not feel like I'm wasting my time.  As I mentioned last week, I am absolutely loving my sociology class, even though it doesn't count towards my major.  Last semester I took General Chemistry (also not required since I had already fulfilled my lab requirement) and got to have an amazing professor.  Speaking of professors, that is just one thing I love about SMC.  If I decided to take online classes, I wouldn't be able to meet so many amazing people, participate in on-campus activities (and be a part of the campus community), and I wouldn't get to have such meaningful in-class discussions like the one in my sociology class.  All these little things add up to make me so grateful for being able to go to Saint Mike's.

Back to classes though - in addition to my liberal arts classes, I am loving my psych classes.  Now that I'm a second semester sophomore, I've taken a fair number of psych courses.  Each one I take reconfirms my decision to be a psych major, which I'm obviously very happy about!

As important as getting an academic education is, I am tempted to argue that the education I receive outside of class is just as important, if not more, than my academics here at SMC.  As I mentioned, being away from home has taught me a lot and helped me to grow as an individual.  But more than that, living on campus where all my friends and activites are has truly been a blessing for me.  I absolutely love having everything so conveniently close, but also having the option to get off campus if I need or want to.  Choosing to live near my friends this year has been great as well.  It allows us to have sporadic dance parties, great conversations, or go on spontaneous outings and act like complete goofballs (see below).

Cait and me in our animal masks at Shaw's :)
While it's hard for me to put into words everything that being at SMC has taught me, I hope I have been able to convey that there is so much value in getting an education at a residential liberal arts college like Saint Mike's.  I couldn't be happier that I decided to come here and make this place my second home!  And for those of you deciding what school you might want to attend in the fall, I hope you strongly consider all that Saint Mike's has to offer you, inside the classroom and out. :)

As always, thanks so much for reading my blog!  Have a great week!

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