Kate '18

Let’s Get Saving!!!

As college students, it’s the first time in our lives we are officially living on our own. Our parents still may be paying the bills, but as students we have to be strictly conscientious of our spending habits. This is call living on a budget, but I prefer to think of it more as looking for ways to save money when you can.

Here are my 10 tips which have proved essential in keep my spending habits in check and more importantly, my bank account happy.

1.) Purchase your groceries at Target. I have shopped at many different grocery stores, and per a trip, the low prices at Target are unbeatable. When shopping, don’t be tempted by the name brands just because they are what you have grown up eating. Store brands, such as Target’s Market Pantry, sell items most often times made in the same factory as the name brand products, and the only difference is the packaging, as well as the significantly lower price. Another grocery store tip is to never shop hungry. It is scientifically proven you are much more likely to buy food items you don’t need when you are hungry. This is your hungry stomach talking, and you don’t really need these extra items. Bringing a list to the store also helps to ensure that you won’t forget any of the essentials, and you will be more likely to deter from buying unnecessary things.

2.) Limit the number of times you eat out a week. You are paying for the convenience and experience of eating out, however eating out is expensive and should be observed as more of a treat. My general rule of thumb is to try eating out only once a week.

3.) Coffee really can be pricy. It may not seem like it at the time, but the amount of coffee you consume in a single month carries a high price. Caffeine may be a crucial aspect of your morning routine, but is spending $80 on coffee in a single month truly that valuable to you? Lavish coffee drinks such as mochas, lattes, and blended ice drinks can cost upwards of $5 in a single purchase. I suggest opting to limit or reward yourself every once in awhile to such drinks, or to simply swap out these pricy, and not to mention, high calorie drinks for just a regular coffee. An even better option to keep in mind is most coffee shops sell reusable mugs which can be filled up for less than $1.

4.) Buy on Sale. I can never turn down a good sale on food or other items. In regards to food, it never hurts to buy food, particularly meats, on sale. You can always freeze it until you actually need it. With clothes or other things, you can’t exactly “freeze them until you need them,” but what you can do is buy what you do need in the off-season and then pull it out once again in the appropriate season.

5.) Coupon, coupon, coupon. Need I say more? Cutting and collecting your coupons ahead of time will save you tons of money in the long run. It may only be 50 cents or a dollar off, but it quickly adds up. I have never been embarrassed to pull out my envelope stuffed with coupons, and nor should you. If you are more into the techy version of couponing, my favorite app to save money with is Target’s Cartwheel App.

6.) Evaluate the difference between needs and wants. You may think there is a fine line between the two, however, what you think you may need is more likely to be masked as a want. Remember to think twice before reaching into your wallet. It also helps me to shop with a friend because the presence of another person keeps my wild shopping ideas, not to mention my wants, strictly in tact.

7.) Quality over quantity. That being said, there are things we truly do need. As young adults, we are taking our first steps into the professional world, and it is crucial to look and dress the part. I suggest investing in staple items which will serve as the core of your professional wardrobe. Look for high quality items made of washable materials (no dry cleaning necessary). Also keep in mind the concept of “mix and match,” so that these pieces can be worn many different ways.

8.) Paint your own nails. I recently attended an event about dressing professionally and holding a more put together image in the business world. One of the components in the session was entitled “attention to detail,” including the topic of groomed nails. However, being a college student, I don’t have $40 to spending on getting my nails done. Instead, I opted for the $4 clearance gel nail polish at Marshalls. If you are good at painting your nails, this method looks the same as having your nails professionally done, and an additional perk is the polish will last about a week without chipping.

9.) Don’t splurge on activities. There are countless free or reasonably priced activities to do, especially, in the Twin Cities. Don’t forget to ask about college discounts too!

10.) Good minds think alike. Surround yourself with people who have similar spending habits to you. Don’t be that person who gets caught up in hanging around a crowd who spends more money than you can afford to spend.

It’s truly up to you if you choose to incorporate these ideas into your life or not. I promise these simple tricks are super easy, you won’t even realize how much money you are saving!

Good luck and have fun!


Kate '18

A New Rendition of Giving Thanks

Cooler weather has snuck up upon us once again, and November and the Thanksgiving season has begun. As tradition holds, this season is known as the month of giving thanks and being thankful for the people and things in our lives. And don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving and I am extremely grateful for the people and things in my life. I also happen to relish the one day a year it is acceptable to eat as much turkey, stuffing, and pie as possible. However, this November and Thanksgiving season has left me with feelings of guilt and remorse for not having taken the opportunity to give enough thanks. I also happen to know I am not the only one out there who feels this way. We are all guilty of wanting more and more things, and often find ourselves forgetting to tell our loved ones how much we truly appreciate them.

Another thing we take for granted is our safety. In the past few days after the tragic events in Paris, a tremendous outreach and prayers have been offered, and this is truly mesmerizing to witness. Living in the United States, and especially secluded on our beautiful St. Thomas campus, we heavily engross ourselves and are consumed in our busy schedules and lifestyles. It is all too easy to get caught up in everything, and neglect the fact that other parts of the world are not as fortunate as us, hence, taking our own blessings for granted.

So this November and Thanksgiving season, I propose a challenge for you. I challenge you to not just pray in hard times, and not just give thanks in times of joy and plentiful. I challenge you to say exactly what it is you are thankful for, and say it out loud, telling people precisely how you feel. Yes, I know it’s hard, and maybe a little awkward, but just do it. You may be thankful for a teacher giving you a break from homework, or that amazing latte from your favorite coffee shop, or even your friend who always remembers to ask about your day. Even the little things in life are things we need to be thankful for. With all that being said, I have one last challenge for you- I challenge you to take these habits of giving thanks and telling people exactly how you feel, and apply them to the other 11 months of the year when it is all too easy to forget what exactly it is you are thankful for.

Good luck, I know each and every one of you can do it!

Kate '18

Welcome to the Blog!

Hi everyone! Welcome to the University of St. Thomas WordPress Blog! Here is a quick rundown of what our blog is about!

I just wanted to provide you with an overview of what our blog is, it’s purpose, and what St. Thomas is all about. Liz and I co-run the WordPress Blog, and it’s our pleasure to provide you with a glimpse of what it is really like to be students here at the University of St. Thomas. First and foremost, we are students, but in between classes, homework, studying, and work, we do manage to have plenty of fun as well. We are real people who live real lives, so outside of the school setting we have taken it upon ourselves to embrace life in the Twin Cities. We face many challenges including what it’s like to be young adults who are making their way into the “real world,” but throughout this incredible journey at St. Thomas we have have encountered amazing people, sites, and plenty of adventures.

I want to start by giving you the chance to get to know me. As I indulge you in details of my current life, I feel it is crucial that you know my past background as well. As you know by now my name is Kate, and I am originally from Appleton, Wisconsin which is about 5 hours away from the Twin Cities. I am currently a Sophomore at St. Thomas studying Business Marketing, and from the beginning (and I know that sounds cliché, but it’s 100% true), I knew that St. Thomas was the right school for me. I toured and was accepted at 6 different private schools throughout the Midwest, but the only one I felt truly at home at, and just had a gut feeling about was St. Thomas. I am involved on campus with Tommie Ambassador, Women In Business, Campus Ministry, and I have two on campus jobs (I work as an office assistant in Admissions, and I am part of the University’s Social Media team). When I am not knee deep in homework and studying at the library, some of the things I love are fashion, good food (I’m a total foodie!), running and working out, blogging, and going on amazing adventures with my friends and family. As you get to know me more and more, you will see that I am spontaneous and always up for anything. My goal as a blogger is to give you a unique, yet completely real view of my life, and since St. Thomas is such a huge part of my life, I am truly honored to be able to share that with you through our blog!

I am just going to jump right into telling you about life at St. Thomas. During the week I work extremely hard and spend long days going to classes, working on homework, and studying. Over the weekends is when I typically have more time to do the things that I love which include experiencing new restaurants. As I mentioned before, I am a “foodie,” which basically means I love good food. This weekend was no exception, so with a group of fellow Tommies, we headed to the Nook which is a local bar and grill in St. Paul. Famous for their hamburgers and the small bowling alley in the basement, the Nook is always packed and full of life. A cool fact about the Nook is that it was originally founded by my roommate’s grandmother. It was started from basically nothing, and over the years with a lot of hard work, this family business has turned into a place known to all for the cool atmosphere, and food that is completely worth the 45-minute wait. You have to check it out, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

The Nook

The Nook (492 Hamline Ave S, St Paul, MN)

Group of Tommies eating at the Nook

Group of Tommies eating at the Nook

Group of St. Thomas students outside of the Nook

Tommie Take Over at the Nook

Liz '17


Hello WordPress World!

My name is Liz and I am a junior at St. Thomas! I am originally from Northern Illinois where I grew up with my mom (Robin), dad (Marty), and two brothers. My older brother Chris is 24 and lives in Arizona whee he is going to school to get his masters degree. My younger brother is 16 and a junior in high school.

I love St. Thomas, and three years ago when I made the decision to attend this school, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but wow am I happy with my decision. I love being involved with everything I possibly can, if there were more hours in the day, I would do even more. One of my favorite things that I am involved in is the jobs I have here on campus. I work for the office of admission as a tour guide, and man do I love that job! The fact that I get paid to walk around campus, and talk to people, is just perfect for me. Not to mention the fact that I have the potential of making a huge impact on the prospective students and their decision to attend St. Thomas or not. I also work at Tommie Central in the Anderson Student Center, which is also so much fun for me. I love being in the know of all things going on in the student center, whether that be tickets that are going to be going on sale soon or new renovations that will be taking place in the upcoming months. I also really like being in the central part of campus, because you get to see so many people that you might not normally see since everyone is always walking through that building and past our desk.

During the weekends, I like to do as much as I can, which should be no surprise. This weekend was a perfect example of that! I started Friday morning with a meeting, then a visit to Children’s Hospital of St. Paul, where I volunteer every week! I got to end the day with a trip to Mendota Heights to watch the men’s hockey team win their first home game vs. Gustavus. It was such an exciting game!!! They were down 2-1 at the start of the third period. With less than two minutes left in the game, the crowd started to go wild because St. Thomas had just tied up the game! Gustavus then pulled their goalie with less than a minute to go in the game. The Tommies had the puck and ended up scoring with less than 30 seconds left in the entire game to win 3-2! Wow, let me just tell you it got my heart rate up that’s for sure!!!

Most people would have ended their night there, but not me. On Friday night, well Saturday morning I got the privilege to ‘Stay Up Til Dawn’.  Up Til Dawn is an event where college students sacrifice a night of sleep to help raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The night consisted of many different events ranging from a dance party, to lots of food to eat, to gingerbread house building, to a scrub fashion show. It was definitely worth the night of sleep that I lost. Our goal this year, was to raise $75,000 for St. Jude. By the end of the night, our grand total came to $75,064!!! WE REACHED OUR GOAL!!! Despite the fact that everyone was exhausted from not sleeping, the explosion of cheers that broke out in the McCarty Gym here at St. Thomas at 5:45 AM was amazing. Often times I think that college students are given a bad reputation for only wanting to drink, party, and not worry about anyone but themselves. But man is that not true! This night really showed me that no matter who we are, if we have a goal and put everything into reaching that goal, amazing things can happen! So glad that I stayed Up Til Dawn (quite literally) this year, and I can’t wait to do it again next year!

10309176_856109254402792_36703246768391373_n   Here is a picture of my family. From left, Matt (16), Robin (mom), Chris (24), Me (20), Marty (dad). This picture was take at Chris’s graduation from the University of Missouri in May of 2014.

151113_M_HOCKEY13-620x686 Tommies rally after scoring to tie up the game! (Photo by Tommie Media 11-13-15)

File_003 St. Jude Up Til Dawn photo booth with my friend Liz!