Today was a very exciting day for me at The Pit Stop! I got a free smoothie for redeeming my punch card!! This semester The Pit Stop and The Loft (another coffee and smoothie shop on campus) started doing Smoothie Frequent Buyer punch cards. When you get 10 punches on the card, you get a free smoothie. Being the smoothie addict that I am, it only took me about 6 weeks to fill my card.
So today I went to The Pit Stop and I redeemed my card for my free Blue Moon! It was just what I needed to prepare for the stressful week ahead. Like I said before, The Pit Stop smoothies are perfect stress relief!
Usually I frequent The Pit Stop when I am having a rough day or after a class I didn’t enjoy. I don’t know why, but the place just makes everything better. Last year, it became a tradition for my friend Emily and I to get smoothies after our accounting class or when we would work on accounting homework together. “Screw accounting, let’s get smoothies!” became a common phrase for us.
Now that I live in Morrison Hall and The Pit Stop is conveniently only a few floors and a walk across the Skyway away, it is extremely easy to get a smoothie whenever I feel like it. In fact, a majority of my eXpress dollars have been spent at The Pit Stop. It has even become a habit for my roommate Rochelle and I to go The Pit Stop for a late night smoothie or milkshake. We put on our fun slippers (mine have polar bears!) and sweats, and we venture down to The Pit Stop.
The Pit Stop is definitely (and probably always will be) my favorite place on campus! It has a small, homey feeling, and it is always decorated according to the current season/holiday. Plus, Rochelle and I are such frequent customers that the owner recognizes us and loves when we visit.
Now I get to start a whole new punch card!]]>
I started my Spring Break off the best way possible–with my mom! Friday night after arriving home, we went to a restaurant in town for the weekly fish fry during Lent. It was so yummy! I love Lent because it gives me a good reason to eat a lot of fish. On Saturday morning, my mom and I went to the annual craft fair in St. Michael. We go every year, and it is always a blast! The entire St. Michael-Albertville middle school is taken over by craft tables and sellers. Blankets, jellies/jams, garden decor, purses, figurines carved out of wood, and so much more! For me–a person who absolutely loves arts and crafts and who has an addiction to cute little knick knacks–a craft fair is sort of like a mini paradise.
I even ended up leaving the fair with some goodies of my own! I now have a new wallet, a jewelry tree for my earrings, delicious strawberry rhubarb jam, and the coolest apron I have ever seen. I call that a very successful day!
I even tested out my new apron by making cookies (kind of). I found some Christmas cookies in the freezer and decided to top off the afternoon with fresh-baked reindeer cookies.
So far, the rest of my Spring Break has been spent working at CVS, organizing stuff and sending emails for Colleges Against Cancer (the club that I am the Publicity Chair for), catching up on episodes of Pretty Little Liars, and preparing for The Hunger Games movie. I have yet to start working on homework, but homework can wait. Spring Break is my much-needed relaxation time, and I will use as much of it as possible doing nothing productive.]]>
Here’s a little secret about me: I am obsessed with The Hunger Games. Next to Harry Potter, I think the trilogy are my favorite books. They are absolutely amazing. I love them because they really make you think about things like war, death, love, friendship, and society. Also, Suzanne Collins (the author) keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole series, and I love when books do that.
Having my friend Cara buy me The Hunger Games for my birthday my senior year of high school was one of the best presents ever. I remember reading it in study hall and not wanting to stop. After the final Harry Potter book came out, I had been struggling to find books that I loved so much I didn’t want to put them down. The Hunger Games solved that problem. After finishing the first book, I instantly went to Target and bought Catching Fire. I quickly finished that one as well and was blown away. Then the hard part arrived. There were seven months of waiting to do before the release of the final book, Mockingjay. Those were a brutal couple of months, but on the release day in August, I went to Target right away at 8a.m. when it opened in order to buy it. I love them so much. I even have a The Hunger Games key chain on my car keys, and I usually hate key chains. They will always have a special place in my heart.
With the movie-version gaining so much hype, a lot of my friends are becoming interested in the series, and it has become a new way for us to bond. My roommate Amanda is currently reading them, and a smile crosses my face every time I walk in the room and she is reading one of them. Last weekend, she sat down to read just a few chapters of the first book before doing homework, and she ended up reading for hours until she was finished. I also got three of my other friends to read them over J-term. Spreading your favorite books to others is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
I especially love that more of my friends at college are reading them because before The Hunger Games got popular with news of the movie, my love for the series was only shared between myself and a few of my friends from home. Now, The Hunger Games are everywhere, and I love it!
Watch the trailer for The Hunger Games here.]]>
After the first week, I can assuredly say that I am enjoying all of my classes so far. I haven’t had much homework yet, so that statement could change quickly. However, I am really happy with all of my professors so even if I don’t favor the subject, I am sure class will still be fun. Here is a peak at what classes I am taking this semester:
MGMT 305: Management and Organizational Behavior- I am actually quite excited for this class. The course is learning how to be an effective leader in the workplace and what type of behavior is the most efficient for motivating workers and consumers. I really enjoy studying people and their actions, and this class does that and applies it to the business world. Anything that will help me become a better leader is always extremely interesting to me because that is the role I feel most comfortable in. Plus, I have a feeling I will enjoy the professor. He made everyone introduce themselves on the first day by saying their favorite tree.
STAT 220: Statistics 1- Honestly, I’m not too excited for this class, but I need it for the Renaissance Program minor I am doing where I need to take 6 different business-related courses. This class is actually required for most programs on campus so practically everyone takes it eventually. It won’t be my funnest class of the semester, but at least I know it’s useful for the future.
COJO 234: Principles of Advertising and Public Relation- This is the class I am most nervous about because it is the first one I have taken that is directly related to my career in PR. All the other COJO classes I have taken have been general communication theory classes or speech/writing classes. I really, really hope I like this class so it can be a good sign for the future! I already got my first major assignment in which I have to contact a professional in the PR world and interview them. I only have a month to find someone, set up a meeting, and then write the paper! I’m going to need to start finding a person to interview ASAP. Oy. On the plus side, the main project in the class is a group research project for a real client, and the project will look great on a resumé. Research projects needing real world application are really fun to do as well because they help me learn the most.
PSYC 301: Psychopathology- This is the class that has nothing to do with my major, but it sounds incredibly interesting, and I have been dying to take it ever since I first heard about it. I get to learn about the various psychological disorders, and I always thought that subject was intriguing. I am really excited for the semester in this course! Hopefully, I will be okay even though it’s a 300-level class where most of the students will be Psychology majors. If I really enjoy it, I may even add a Psychology minor to my degree. I will see how the semester goes.
On top of classes, I am also continuing my job in John Paul II, a girls dorm on campus. On Monday nights, I work night access checking in boys that come in after 9 pm and make sure they leave by midnight. On Thursdays, I work the desk in the dorm, checking out items like kitchen supplies, cleaning supplies, board games, movies, etc to residents. It’s a relaxing and convenient since it’s right on campus. I am still working at CVS/pharmacy this semester, but unlike, last semester I am only working every other weekend at my home store in Plymouth. I decided I will be too busy this semester to continue working at the West St. Paul store three days each week. Overall, I will not be making as much money as I was last semester, which is a downer, but I will have less stress and can focus more on my classes and friends.
Spring semester: bring it on!]]>
My J-term consisted of work, more work, and some fun with friends. I transferred back to my home CVS/pharmacy in Plymouth, and I spent my 6 weeks working 40 hours/week. I feel as if I saw my co-workers more than my family. Luckily, I really enjoy my job and have amazing co-workers. On my days off, I spent as much time as possible with my friends.
I was on the Science Olympiad team in high school, and most of the friends I keep in touch with are old teammates. I am happy to say that I got to hang out with all of them about four times over break. We usually ended up watching movies, going to Minneapolis, or playing Killer Bunnies (this insane card game that my friends love). For our big get-together, we had a “Postmas” party, like a post-Christmas hang out. We wore Christmas sweaters and even did a white elephant gift exchange. The gift I received was one of those little toy hamsters that move around and even come in one of those plastic balls. It is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. I am definitely bringing it back to school with me to show my roommates.
I also got to hang out with my best friend Courtney a bunch of times. She is usually extremely busy and is horrible at contacting people so I consider it a miracle we even hang out once. One of my favorite days of break was going to Target with Courtney where we had an umbrella adventure and sat in the children’s book section reading Where the Wild Things Are and Dr. Seuss. It sounds lame, but it was so much fun! Also, I now have an awesome new umbrella to show off around campus once the spring showers arrive.
During J-term, I also found the time to catch up on some of my favorite TV shows. If there is one thing that I feel benefits all college students, it is a Netflix account. Practically everyone I know in college spends time by watching shows or movies online. My roommate watched all eight seasons of Charmed in two months last semester, and my other roommate periodically watches Gilmore Girls before class. Online TV is the one thing I think all college students have in common. That being said, I have FINALLY started watching the final season of Lost, which is my all-time favorite show. I never wanted to watch the final episodes before because I didn’t want it to be over, but now I only have two episodes left and IT IS SO GOOD! I also watched the whole first season of American Horror Story. So many people were talking about how amazing the show was, and I just had to find out for myself. I thought the show was terrifyingly good! I was freaked out the whole time but couldn’t stop watching.
Overall, my break consisted of work, friends, and catching up on TV shows. It was extremely fun, relaxing, and rejuvenating. It was exactly the kind of break I needed, and I am ready for a new semester to begin on Monday!]]>
To celebrate the last day of classes, my roommates and I went to Bakers Square in Highland Park for Free Pie Wednesday. When you go to a Baker’s Square on any given Wednesday, you get a free slice of pie when you order food.
I was really excited to go because I hadn’t been to a Bakers Square since I was little. My mom and I used to go there all the time but then the one we went to closed down. Kelley and Betsy, my roommates last year, used to go to Free Pie Wednesday all the time last year so I had heard of people going all the time, but never got the opportunity to go. Well, I finally went, and the pie was amazing! I got cheesecake with strawberry drizzled on top. Yuuuuuuum. The food was really good, too. I had the French Dip with Swiss cheese, and it was delicious. Bakers Square is sort of like Perkins because it serves a breakfast menu all day, so my roommates all got breakfast food and loved it.
After stuffing ourselves with pie, we came back to our room and watched Tangled to top off the evening. It was the perfect way to spend the night with my roommates and to celebrate the end of classes! I have a feeling there will be more Free Pie Wednesday trips next semester.]]>
Originally, my roommates and I were jittery about the evening because we had heard more horror stories about prospective students than we had good stories (which in retrospect was misleading because I heard all good things from my fellow Ambassadors about last night). My roommate Rochelle even had a nightmare a few nights ago about none of the girls wanting to do anything we suggested, causing trouble, and getting Rochelle fired from Admissions. She was terrified. However, as soon as the girls arrived, all our nerves were relieved. The three girls- Laila, Jazzmine and Sidney- were phenomenal! They were peppy, easy-going, and excited to be at St. Thomas. The night with them turned out to be one of the best nights I’ve had all year!
The evening began with the usual round of awkward questions: Where are you from? What are you thinking of majoring in? What other schools are you looking at? What do you like to do? Admissions actually matched the students very well with the hosts because of the girls, one was an Accounting major like my roommate Rochelle, and the other two were Communication and Journalism and English majors like me. Good work, Admissions!
After the questioning, we went to Snuffy’s Malt Shop for dinner, which is hands down my favorite eating place around campus. It’s an old-fashioned-type burger shop with a delicious variety of malts to choose from. Yum! Then we spent the evening in the dorm room watching movies (Crazy, Stupid, Love and Bridesmaids) and Youtube videos. I guess one could call the evening a typical girls’ night. It was a much-needed night of fun, and I hope to see Laila, Jazzmine, and Sidney on campus next year as Tommies!
Here are some of my favorite Youtube videos from the night: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, My Spoon is Too Big (Idk why, but it’s so funny!), You Forgot the Blueberries, and any video by Jenna Marbles.]]>
There is FINALLY snow on the ground in Saint Paul, and it is a beautiful sight! I woke yesterday morning to discover little specks of white floating across my window. Throughout the day, it continued to snow, creating a gorgeous (and very slippery) white blanket over campus.
The first snow of the year is always an exciting day. Sadly, there is not enough snow to play in yet. I saw a few small snowball fights in the quad, but no snowmen or snowangels have appeared yet. After the first snow last year, there was enough snow that my friend Nicole and I got bundled in warm clothes and played in the snow all afternoon! We even helped our friend Steve, who is from Florida, build his first snowman.
I love the snow because it sets the mood for Christmas, and Christmas is my favorite holiday! I love the decorations, food, music, and overall happiness centered around that time of year. At Christmastime, everyone is a little kinder to people around them, and I think that is magical! Plus, now I can officially listen to Christmas music all the time! (I actually started listening to Christmas music a couple weeks ago, but now I don’t have to feel guilty about it). Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Bing Crosby are basically playing on repeat in my iTunes right now, and I am not ashamed. I cannot wait to go home in a few weeks and start decorating my family’s Christmas tree and making Snickerdoodles, almond bark pretzels, and other holiday treats!]]>
Monday through Thursday consists of normal class times and activities, but then there are no classes on Friday. It’s amazing how much stress can be packed into a short week. I had an English midterm exam on Tuesday (three essays, eight short answers), a Communication Theory exam and a Theology quiz on Wednesday, and finally an informative speech presentation for Public Communication on Thursday. As if my week wasn’t packed enough, I had to work on Monday night and Tuesday night which eliminated a good portion of study time from the schedule. I am so incredibly glad that I have a good memory because I ended up not needing to study at all for my English test, which was really nice. However, my Communication Theory exam was another question. I had so many terms and concepts to memorize! I ended up making a whole bunch of ridiculous acronyms and phrases to help me remember, like “Gnomes Create Super Snowy Mountains” for the five types of theories (general, contextual, special, symbiotic, and micro). I memorized and studied terms in between classes and on breaks at work. I actually think I did extremely well on that exam in the end, but oh man, studying for it was horrible. For my informative speech in Public Communication, I talked about homeless chilren in the U.S. In this case, that little thing called procrastination struck again. Because of my other tests earlier in the week that I had to study for, I waited until the day before the speech to do my research, write my outline, and practice. This was not a smart plan at all because I ended up giving my speech on only three hours of sleep and little confidence in my work. Moral of the story: Do not procrastinate during midterm week (or finals week for that matter, but that comes later).
When Thursday afternoon came around, it was a miracle! I was done for the week. Some people don’t consider one day off a break, but trust me, any amount of time off is the most amazing thing in the world to a student. Even more amazing is that Fall Break is usually the weekend of Halloween so a lot of people take advantage of that fact and go somewhere for festivities. For example, a lot of people go to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and other out-of-state locations to celebrate the spooky three-day weekend.
However, this year, I was not one of those people. I didn’t travel anywhere or even go home for the weekend; I chose to stay on campus and take the opportunity to make some money. Since leaving campus over the break is popular, my on-campus job had a lot of open shifts needing coverage for employees that were leaving. I normally work Night Access in John Paul II (JPII), a female dorm on cmapus, on Thursdays, but this weekend I am working the Night Access shift on Friday and Saturday, as well as a shift at the JPII Desk on Sunday morning. That’s a total of 24 hours over a span of four days (Thurs-Sun) in the dorm. On top of that, I ended up taking advantage of some open shifts at my off-campus job at CVS. So you could say that I was one of the boring people this weekend by not leaving campus, but I will not regret it when I get my paycheck next week. College is a balancing act. You have to learn what your priorities are and how to divide time between school, a social life, work, and personal “me-time.” This weekend, I guess I picked work over everything else, and I am ok with that.]]>
Tuesday was my 20th birthday! I am no longer a teenager, which is still a strange concept to think about. Time is flying by!
My day started off with having to give a presentation in my COJO (Communication and Journalism) class on the proper uses of certain punctuation (yay…). My partner for the presentation ended up bringing cupcakes to class and got the class to sing “Happy Birthday” to me. I was so surprised!
After classes for the day, some of my friends picked me up, and we ventured to the Candyland in downtown St. Paul. Candyland is this amazing, old-fashioned, “mom and pop” shop where most of the chocolate and candy is homemade, and customers pay by the weight, not size or number, of the candy. There are three locations: Two are located in Minneapolis and the original store is in downtown St. Paul. Usually my friends and I go to the one by Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis because it’s only a few blocks away from St. Thomas’ Minneapolis campus, and we can take the intercampus shuttle to get there. For my birthday, we wanted to be different, so we drove to the St. Paul one. It was really fun, and I was excited to take a downtown adventure!
Then my roommates tried to be sneaky and surprise me with a cake and presents! I really appreciated this because even though all our schedules are hectic right now due to Mid-terms, they made a point to come together to celebrate my birthday. I was very happy!
The best part of my birthday was getting to see my best friend from home, Courtney! She came to campus to hang out with me because she never got a chance to visit last year. It was really nice just to hang out, watch a movie, and catch up on stuff. That was probably the best birthday present. I will be going home tomorrow to have Birthday Round 2 with my family.
Every week, my roommates and I have Roommate Dinner Night, a night where we make sure that all of us are present in order to have a meal together. This night is usually Thursday, but this week, we switched it to Wednesday. We have made chicken and onion rings, homemade pizza, etc. It’s always a fun, relaxing time. My favorite part of Roommate Dinner Night this week came after dinner: My roommates and I made a Gingerbread Haunted House and watched the first night of “13 Nights of Halloween” on abcFamily. I am a huge fan of Halloween (probably my second-favorite holiday to Christmas), so I was ecstatic to make a haunted house and enjoy the “13 Nights of Halloween,” especially with my roommates. The house had a pumpkin patch in front, a pile of bloody bones and body parts, and shingles made of candy corn!
Today was the first day of Tommie Fall Days. It’s a huge Admissions event for high school seniors to come learn about St. Thomas, and all Tommie Ambassadors (that’s me!) are required to give tours. I’m not one of the regular tour guides, so this was going to be my first official tour. I was so nervous beforehand because I was convinced I’d mess up the tour route or completely forget to mention something important. I even had my roommate (who is a paid tour guide on campus) run me through everything a million times. BUT everything went really well. I had two great families on my tour that seemed to enjoy it, and I don’t think I messed anything up! It was more fun than I thought it would be- even though I still have to perfect the art of walking backwards. Now I have to give another tour tomorrow for the second day of Tommie Fall Days. I’m actually excited to give another one!]]>