When I stepped on campus for the first time, I immediately understood why I liked Saint Mike's. I knew just by the beautiful campus and the warm, welcoming people that Saint Mike's was the right place for me.
When I arrived on campus the first day for orientation, several orientation leaders were chanting my name as me and my family were pulling in. Right away, all the fears I originally had went out the window. I no longer feared about being alone in college or missing my family because little did I know, I was going to be creating my own family here at Saint Mike's.
As a tour guide, I'm often asked, "How's the community at Saint Mike's?" What may come across as an easy question to some people is one of the most difficult questions for me to answer on a tour. Multiple instances come to my mind to explain how Saint Mike's is a great community, but it's hard to construct all of these instances into a couple of sentences. The truth is, I could probably go on for multiple hours about explaining every single instance, but I'll name a couple that really stood out to me.
1) Having my professors tell me that they read my blog. Recently. my Philosophy and Children's Literature told me that they started to read my blog. It meant a lot that my teachers were willing to get to know me in and outside of the class. It just goes to show that they care a lot, which leads me to my next two points..
2) Meeting outside of school with my professors. Professors have pretty good office hours so you can meet with them outside of class to talk with them. If you cannot meet when they have office hours, they are generous enough to set up another time that works around your schedule. I recently met with my First Year Seminar teacher to talk about Study abroad recommendations and future plans. For my first year seminar, I took the Examined Life, where we wrote memoirs to help us do some self-reflecting. My teacher and I not only talked about future plans, but he also wanted to follow up on how the things that I wrote about were doing. It was awesome to see how much he remembered about my papers and how much he cared about how I was doing.
3) Being sick and having professors and classmates/friends check up on you. Last year, it felt like I was sick so many times that Health Services basically knew me on a first and last name basis. Luckily, I wasn't sick to the extent that I had to miss a lot of classes. For the classes I did miss, I sent my teachers e-mails letting them know about my absence. Instead of a simple feel better response via e-mails, my teachers extended it further by providing me with the notes and asking me if I needed anything. When I returned back to class, my teachers and classmates continued to ask how I was feeling to make sure I was better.
4) Going to a concert at Higher Ground and getting a ride back from someone who goes to SMC. The great thing about SMC is that everyone is always so willing to help someone out no matter what it is. I went to Higher Ground last year with a couple of my friends and we all didn't have a car to drive back. We were expecting to take the cab back, but then someone from SMC, who also went to the show, offered to give me and my friends back since she knew we were from there. Just a little thing like that speaks loud volumes.
5) Losing my Knight card so many times and always having it returned back to me. This may be another silly little thing, but it's good to know how kind people are to pick up my Knight card and return it to me immediately. It's also good for me because if my Knight card never got returned back to me, I have a very, very big bill from the Knight card office to pay so it saves me a few bucks!
and the newest addition to the list, which I must thank Alex for since she sponsored me on the trip..
6) Going on LEAP. What exactly is LEAP? Well, without giving too much away (since there are a lot of great surprises), LEAP is a Christian retreat (although you don't need to be Christian) that is built upon talks and fun activities that explore your religious thoughts and feelings. To me, LEAP goes beyond that general description. I got the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet new friends. With no concept of time throughout the process (because we could not bring cell phones or any other technology), I focused on living life in the now. I think the best part out of the whole entire weekend is finding out that when you're never alone because you have multiple communities that will continuously care about you and help you out. The people I met this weekend are just another community that I have within my communities. To see my LEAP community care about me with only knowing me for a weekend shows just how strong the SMC community really is.
The LEAP song and just to rise everyone's spirits up: