Graduation Approaches!

Yikes! :) 

In a little over 24 hours, I’ll be a college graduate! 

It’s really sad saying bye to all my friends..every time I run into people I have to stop and ask if it’s the last time I’ll see them before I move back home. 

Also really sad is packing up my dorm room. There’s just something really depressing about seeing the last four years of my life fitting neatly into plastic bins and suitcases. It’s amazing how much random stuff I’ve acquired over the years. I hope it all fits in my car. And I hope it all fits in my room once I get home! 

Baccalaureate Mass is tonight at 5:30 in the AACC, then graduation tomorrow afternoon. Then Sunday- checking out of the dorm, saying my last goodbyes, and making the drive home. I’m going to be a mess. I haven’t cried yet but I feel like all the emotion is just accumulating and when it hits, it’ll hit hard. 

I guess I’m feeling a little ambivalent about graduation. Definitely bittersweet. I am so happy to have made it and accomplished this, but leaving San Antonio and all my best friends is going to be so hard! 

My family is getting into town today for Mass, so hopefully they will take pity on me and help me clean up the room and get my stuff to the car! 

The Home Stretch

Well, it’s all over. Almost. But all my papers are turned in, all my presentations have been done, and all my final exams have been taken. 

[Insert sigh of relief here.]

Now I pretty much just have to ride the week out, and then… graduation on Saturday! Super exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. 

This semester has been a blur of class, homework, APO, and worrying about the future, and now that I’m actually done with everything, it feels silly that I was freaking out so much. 

This week I just have a to pick my cap and gown, attend a few senior farewells, and pack up my dorm room, and then I am done, completely, forever, with my undergraduate career. What’s next, you ask? Grad school? Teacher’s certification? Job hunting? I’ll let you know as soon as I do. 

This past Sunday was Midnight Breakfast, a tradition here at St. Mary’s where the cafe stays open extra late on the first night of finals week to serve pancakes and French toast. It was really cool being able to hang out with some of my friends and just take a breather from everything that’s been going on. 

In case you’ve been living under a rock, that was also the night that President Obama announced the death of Osama Bin Laden. So what started out as a stress-free evening turned into something a lot bigger. A big group of students and faculty gathered around the Rattler Den to watch the President’s address, from residence hall directors to cafeteria staff, and students ranging from freshman to senior, of any and all majors. It was one of those moments where you really feel connected to your community, the kind of moment that can happen at any time—sitting in the University Center, eating pancakes, and watching CNN. 

asker

jazminny asked: Hello Melinda!

I'm going to be in NJ all my summer vacation and orientation is in June and August; which orientation would you suggest for me to attend?

I am hearing from my peers that going in June gives the freshmen the advantage of choosing classes, dorm partners, and housing with a first come first serve basis. Is that true? It would be much more convenient for me to have a one way trip from NJ to TX, but I wouldn't want to miss out in the benefits of going in June!

THANK YOU!
Jasmaine

While it’s true that going to the June I or II orientation has its benefits, there’s a lot to be said for the convenience of moving in early for the August orientation. 

I went to the June I session, and it was really awesome. I met a girl who ended up being my freshman year roommate, and we’re still really good friends even though she no longer attends St. Mary’s. We got our first choice for housing, and when I registered for classes that first time, none of them were closed yet. It’s really convenient to go to one of the first sessions for those reasons you mentioned—you’re more likely to get a good housing assignment, you’ll be able to request a roommate (if you happen to meet someone you want to live with, like I did), and you’ll more than likely have no problems getting into your classes, since you’ll be among the first group to sign up. 

However, I wouldn’t let those things make or break your decision on which to attend. I know plenty of people who’ve had great housing experiences and class registrations by going to the August orientation. As far as I know, the only real difference is by that point, you won’t be able to request a roommate anymore if you want to—they’ll have already been assigned. 

My real advice is this: if you can make it to one of the June sessions, go to it. It’s nice to get everything you need taken care of well in advance of the semester starting. If you can’t, don’t sweat it! Don’t put too much strain on yourself or your family if it is significantly easier on everyone if you go to the third session. Orientation is meant to get you acclimated to the St. Mary’s environment, for you to meet some of your classmates and your advisor, and to familiarize yourself with campus and the resources it can offer you. All in all, whichever session you attend won’t make or break your freshman year. As long as you have fun and keep an open mind, and always, always, always ask questions (no matter how dumb you may think they sound!), your orientation is going to be a success.  

Senior year in photos :) 

Buckling Down.

I have just over 2 weeks of classes, papers, and tests before my senior year runs out. 

I would make a list of everything that needs to be done, but I’m pretty sure that would just depress me since it feels so overwhelming. 

Okay, scratch that. I like lists; they keep me somewhat organized in all the chaos of trying to finish everything. 

Work to do:

  • Final Paper (Honors Theology)
  • Final Paper (History)
  • Final Paper (Psychology)
  • Final Paper (French Revolution Lit)
  • Book Presentation (FR Lit)
  • Mini presentation (FR Lit)
  • History Presentation
  • Readings (Fiction Analysis)
  • Thesis

Final exams

  • Theology
  • History (take-home)
  • Psychology (take-home)
  • Psychology (sit-in exam)
  • Fiction Analysis (take-home)
  • French Rev. Lit  

Yikes. Looks like a lot of writing is going to be coming my way in the very near future. And by near future I mean.. as soon as I post this blog. Or as soon as I take a nap. All nighters seem to be coming my way in the near future as well. How collegiate of me, no? Too bad my weekends have been so ridiculously full that I haven’t had time to get any work done. By the time Sunday afternoon rolls around, I usually feel like my weekend needs to begin. 

So now that I’ve put all my work out there in public domain, hopefully I’ll be able to keep myself in check. “Hey, Mel, did you hear about the party this weekend?” Can’t, I have a paper. “We should do dinner this week.” No way, I have a paper. “Let’s go to La Cantera!” Dude, I have a presentation to work on. 

What I should do is lock myself in the library for the next 9 or so days and just finish everything, but I know myself well enough to know that eventually I’ll cave and watch Netflix (which, by the way, is the best investment ever. Seriously). Maybe I should have my roommate change the password temporarily… and my Facebook password while I’m at it. 

I know I’m a procrastinator, but I like to tell myself that 1) I work better under pressure and 2) eventually I always make it happen. These two scholastic philosophies have gotten me thus far in life, and (if I do say so myself) I’ve done pretty well up to now. So a few sleepless nights and stress filled days stand in the way of me and freedom, but (say it with me) I’ll make it happen. 

I Guess It’s Probably Time to Get Serious about the Future

This past weekend was Homecoming at St. Mary’s, and it was a fun-filled weekend that began as soon as I finished my GRE on Friday morning. 

The GRE was not as bad as I expected it to be, and I felt fairly well-prepared for it, even though to study I mainly just stared at vocab words and hoped for them to stick in my brain somehow (Special Thanks to my friend Aaron for giving me one of his old books to study from). 

Anyway, now that I’ve taken the exam, it’s finally starting to become real that I won’t be here next year. It took a lot of thought before I finally decided to register for the GRE. I’m an English major, so that leaves my options after undergrad really wide and just a little scary because there’s no real set path to take with a BA in English. I thought for a long while about taking the LSAT and applying to law school, but it was never something I felt super passionate about. I also thought about taking the semester or year off and trying to figure out what I really wanted to do, but the thought of not having some kind of plan gave me anxiety…

So I started researching graduate programs at universities near my hometown in Fort Worth, TX. Long story short.. I’m applying to grad school in Arlington, TX. 

  • Step 1: Take the GRE and achieve the required score. Check. 
  • Step 2: Find teachers to write recommendation letters for me.
  • Step 3: Writing sample.
  • Step 4: GPA maintenance. 
  • Step 5: Fill out and send the application.

Yikes. 

But having the GRE at the beginning of the weekend allowed me to use the rest of the Homecoming weekend to relax a little and take comfort in the knowledge that at least now I know I have something to definitely work towards, instead of being in this limbo of indecision. 

So, yes, things are getting stressful, and I’m still getting busier and busier as the semester really winds down, but it’s nice to know that my work is all towards a goal. I’m definitely going to miss this next year (my friends, my Alpha Phi Omega brothers, even my professors and my work-study job), and I’m really nervous about applying to grad school, but as the future gets closer and closer to becoming the present, I’m finally starting to accept the reality of graduation and whatever comes after. 

Look out for some pictures from Homecoming weekend next time! :) 

My Last Midterms Are Over!

Woohoo!! 

Spring Break may be over, but with every cloud comes a silver lining…. I’m done with midterms too!

The semester is turning out to be a busy blur as I try to get my thesis done, study for the GRE, stay on the ball in my classes, finish my work-study hours, keep everything in check with ΑΦΩ (Sectional Conference, Family Olympics, Spring Formal, AIDS Awareness Week, service hours, fellowship hours, and all kinds of meetings…whew), and still try to have a social life (Baby Bake, anyone?). And, of course, keep you guys posted as I navigate the dark, scary waters of my graduating semester. :) 

I’m taking the GRE (the official entrance exam for graduate school) this Friday…eek! Luckily for me, the program I’ll be applying to is for English, and so my score on the math section will be disregarded, which means I can focus on making sure my verbal score is as high as possible. I’ll let you all know how it goes!

Remember, if anyone has questions or comments, don’t forget to click the Ask Me Anything button! 

Spring Break, Where Are You?

Spring Break countdown: 9 days. 

Between now and then I have to:

  • Get a study book for the GRE (which I take on March 25, eek!)
  • Register everyone for APO Sectional Conference
  • Finish my Thesis for the Honors Program (15 pages down, 10 to go)
  • Study for Psychology test
  • Read The Great Gatsby
  • Study for my Theology mid-term
  • Pick a book for my presentation in Fiction
  • Finish reading A Tale of Two Cities

Can we fast forward to next weekend please? No? 

Usually I drive home for Spring Break and spend the week relaxing at home, seeing some high school friends, maybe visiting my old school and hanging out with my brother and nephew. 

This year, I’m going on a road trip to New Mexico to visit my friend Sharlene. You’d think, this being my last Spring Break and all, that I’d spend it going crazy on a beach somewhere. But I often find that I have more fun just hanging out with one or two really good friends. 

I am going to have to use my free time wisely this year, since after Spring Break I have the GRE. And after that I’ll be helping out with AIDS Awareness Week, which is APO’s annual philanthropy event on campus. THEN after that I’ll be on the home stretch with my last finals and (drum roll please…) graduation! 

Anyway, senior year is getting pretty busy and as you can see, I still have a lot to do and a long way to go. But I’m doing my best to go out on a high note! :) 

asker

jazminny asked: Hello Melinda, it's nice to meet you; thank you for the follow!

I have a few questions. I intend to take pre-dental and take art either as a class or an extracurricular activity; do you know of any art clubs in St. Mary’s? I really want to join or start an art club; however, as a senior and in the last semester, it's too late. Due to my late realization of what I wanted for my school and peers, I want to take the initiative in college and make an impact to the community.

Moreover, does St. Mary's have any programs to study abroad?

Thank you and good luck on your last semester!!
Jasmaine

Hi there! 

St. Mary’s offers a wide variety of art classes, including Painting and Drawing, Drama, Music, Sculpture, and Photography, and it’s actually a Core Curriculum requirement for students in the School of Science, Engineering, and Technology (which will include you, since you plan to be pre-dental) to take at least 3 hours of Fine Arts credit. You can find out more about Core Curriculum requirements here, at the StMU website. 

I work in the Student Life Office, and I asked there if we had an art club. What I found out was that while some of the established student organizations do include art appreciation as part of their activities, we don’t have any clubs that are aimed solely at that purpose. If you’d like to check out how to go about starting an organization, I can direct you to the RSO page where you can read the frequently asked questions and start learning how to go about forming a Recognized Student Organization on campus. 

Lastly, we do have a lot of study abroad programs! The semester programs take place in London for the fall, Spain for the spring, and Innsbruck (Austria) or Southern Cone (Brazil, Chile, and Argentina) for summer. You can find out more about those programs here

Hope that was helpful! Thanks for your questions and feel free to ask more any time! :) 

asker

feral-ghoul asked: Hi! :) My name is Lissa and I came across your blog through an e-mail from St. Mary's :D I plan on going to St. Mary's in the fall and majoring in English as well! :D

Nice to meet you! :) Wellll I hope you like my blog. Let me know if you have any questions! 

safariguideafrica.com
How to cook Kudu