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Late Night Breakfast

At 10p.m. on Monday night, the student center dining hall was over crowded with students. People came from near and far. From dorm rooms, to study carrels and even empty classrooms, studying the night away and into the early morning for final exams. The reason was not due to dinner (dinner had already been served), but it was due to a little Saint Mary’s tradition called Late Night Breakfast. Every semester, there is a semi-annual celebration that allows all Smicks to take a break and let their hair down. Late Night Breakfast is probably the only truly great thing about finals week. Here, students gather in the dining hall at late night hours to be served breakfast by their professors in celebration of a successful semester. Seats always fill up quickly by students eating bacon, eggs, doughnuts, and hash browns. There is also hot chocolate and plenty of caffeinated beverages to sip on. However, Late Night Breakfast is not just your average meal. During the feast, there are speakers that are set up to play radio music and a DJ will take song requests. There are also club organizers giving away free T-shirts, basketballs and Frisbees. Since I have been here and experienced two of these breakfasts, I have witnessed plenty of lip-synced solos and duets by girls standing on their chairs for the rest of the hall to see and cheer them on. During the stress of finals week, it is really relieving to be able to go somewhere late at night and celebrate with others to the sound of loud music and good pastries. It is really humbling to see a Saint Mary’s tradition unfold before you. It helps you look forward to the many years to come. At the end of the day, though exams may be stressful, nights like these prove to you that these exams do not define who you are. There are bigger things in the world to worry about and more things that should be celebrated instead of stressed over. Because isn’t that what college is all about? Making memories and friends is something that is going to carry you to your fullest potential after four years-not necessarily if you aced your Bio exam or not. When I’m most stressed or I feel like I’m not having a good time I think about this motto: “No one ever remembers the nights they got plenty of sleep or were up studying for a test”. If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s that that saying couldn’t be truer.

                                                            ~Emily R. ‘17



Aran Islands 2014

What happens when you take 27 smick chicks to an Irish island for a weekend?  Tons of fun happens!  On Thursday, we all boarded the bus with our charming driver, Eugene, and our program coordinator, Roberta.  We watched, and sang along to, Frozen, and before we knew it we were in Doolin, our destination for the evening.  We explored the tiny town, interacted with farm animals, had dinner at the hostel, and then some girls went to hear traditional music and ended up singing along with the band!

The next day we went to the Cliffs of Moher, and unfortunately, it was pouring rain.  It was incredibly misty, so you could barely see the other cliffs, and I am so glad I had visited twice already and seen them in better weather.  

(Cliffs of Moher)

We took the ferry to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands, and although some girls felt ill, the ride was relatively smooth.  We checked into our hostel and then set out to see the island.  Some friends and I rented bikes and saw most of the island that way.  We went to the beach, pet horses, visited Dun Angus fort, sat on the edge of the cliffs, and got a really great workout!

(I was standing on a ledge below, don’t worry!)

That night, we went and heard great music from the band Keltic Kats at the local pub.  On Sunday, my friend and I went to the town’s first communion mass, and everything was so adorable - the church, the townspeople all dressed up, and, of course, the kids!  The mass was entirely in Irish, however, so I did not understand a single word, but it was a good, memorable experience.  The rest of the afternoon was spent picking shells on the beach, visiting Europe’s smallest church (six person capacity), and shopping for Irish sweaters.  Also, my friends and I were nominated for, and completed, the Cold Water Challenge.  Basically, someone nominates you and you then have 24 hours to submerge yourself in cold water.  It cannot be a bathtub or a pool, however, and then you film a video of it happening and nominate others.  Nicole, Madeline, and I went in at the beach in Kilronan, Inishmore’s largest town.  It was absolutely freezing, but also a ton of fun.

Finally, on Monday morning, we went to the harbor to take the ferry back to the mainland.  It was incredibly stormy, windy, and rainy, and the seas were rough.  We nearly boarded the large, two story boat, but it wasn’t ours.  The next ferry to pull in, a smaller one, was still not ours.  Our boat barely fit all 30 of us, and the waves kept washing on deck.  Multiple girls got sick, and we basically screamed the entire, two hour ride because of the scary waves rocking the boat.  It was a crazy experience, but it definitely made us all closer.  The card games, coordinating and cooking dinner, doing dishes, celebrating birthdays, and chatting over tea definitely bonded us all this weekend, and I am so glad that we all got to visit the Aran Islands together and share the experience.  Thank you, Saint Mary’s College for the wonderful trip!

- Deirdre O. ‘16



Friends from Afar

The real question is: what didn’t happen this weekend? Being the last weekend before finals, students of both campuses and I looked forward to celebrating the end to an amazing first year. The gorgeous weather didn’t hurt the festivities either. In order to help me celebrate this past weekend, I had three of my best friends come up and visit for the first time. My one friend ‘M’ was supposed to attend Saint Mary’s with me but ended up gaining an undeniable basketball scholarship at another school. She knew the campus well compared to my other friend ‘L’ who was a first-timer visiting. She was blown away by the campus to say the least. Every time I would show her the inside of a building, one of the quads or even my dorm room, she would gasp and say, “Okay, that’s it! I’m definitely transferring!” It was very exciting to see someone experience my new home for the very first time. It was also very humbling to know that one of my closest friends fell in love with it so quickly. After they dropped off their bags and I showed them both around, we walked over to Eddy Street to grab a quick bite to eat. On our way, we saw Notre Dame’s Fisher Hall (known as the Fishermen) setting up for their annual boat races on the lake. Every year, the boys of this dorm construct boats and rafts to race while others barbecue and play music. The best part is that it’s open for all. What I really wanted to make sure my friends saw though was the men’s United States vs. México game at Notre Dame. Here, the spirit club Leprechaun Legion was passing out free t-shirts, scarves and bracelets to students who entered. One great thing about Leprechaun Legion is that if you sign up for their email list at the beginning of the year, they will alert you weekly regarding the different sports scheduled and if they will be giving away anything for free. It’s all in the spirit of supporting the team. The game was amazing! People had come from all over to support both sides. Seeing as the Notre Dame men’s team were division champions, it was an exciting game to watch due to all of the talent on the field. The next morning, my other friend from high school ‘A’ drove up to see my campus, my friends and I. We were able to meet up with another mutual friend of ours from high school who lives in Holy Cross Hall here at Saint Mary’s. There, we caught up on old times and eventually made our way over to Notre Dame that night to spend the evening with friends. It’s so nice to have familiar faces from all over (even if they’re older than you) open their doors for a quick chat or a long night full of festivities. It was so surreal to have some of my best friends from my hometown here on campus to spend a few days together before finals week and inevitable stress appears once again. But all of that will be for a different blog.

                                                            ~Emily R. ‘17



Irish Springtime

Well, it took quite a long time folks, but spring has definitely sprung here in the Emerald Isle.  As I sit at my desk typing, I don’t even need to put music on because the birds are chirping so beautifully.  The sun shines most days now, prompting my roommates and I to grab a bed sheet, pack lunch, and head outside to study and try not to sunburn!  Of course, I loved this country from the start.  I loved it even when there was lashing rain for days and howling wind.  The Irish people are so incredibly kind and welcoming, and I love meeting new people.  The National University of Ireland Maynooth gave us off the entire week after Easter, and I am pleased to say I made good use of this time.  My Dad and sister, Mary, flew over to visit me (and Ireland) from April 16-23.  We wanted to track down our relatives, whom we knew were residing in County Galway.  We asked people in different towns, and we were directed to see the local historian.  Without even knowing why we were knocking at his door, he and his wife ushered us in, saying, “You are very welcome.”  They insisted we have tea and homemade baked treats.

In addition, the accents are marvelous.  Each county has its own distinct accent and dialect.  Friends from Dublin sound distinctly different than those from Cork or Donegal.  One of my Irish friends commented that he found my accent and other Irish accents equally strong for him.  I suppose its similar to how my New Jersey drawl is distinguishable from the Midwest English I hear so often at Saint Mary’s.  

During Dad and Mary’s visit, we found and visited with our relatives.  My Dad, Thomas O’Leary, and Gerry O’Leary of County Galway share the same great grandfather.  We saw a brilliant sunset at the Cliffs of Moher, and during our stay there we met the McGuinnesses, a lovely, married couple who ended up watching the sunset with us and then joined us for traditional music, pints, and good food at a pub in Doolin!  Dad and I had a rough idea of what we wanted to do and see, but thankfully we left room for spontaneity, and that day it took awhile to find our relatives, but i’m glad it did because we saw the sunset at the cliffs and made wonderful, new friends.  

Over a two-day period, we did the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula.  These two gorgeous, popular Irish destinations are not necessarily going to one place and enjoying.  Rather, the experience is the drive along the coastal, scenic roads.  Unfortunately, the roads are incredibly narrow, terrifyingly so.  

Yes, this road in the photo is supposed to be two lanes, and it is not one way.  My Dad did a fantastic job driving on the opposite side of the road, but we did end up losing two hubcaps on some precarious bits of road.  Mary lapsed in and out of jet lag induced sleep in the backseat, and I made up for it by taking in all the views and snapping an obscene amount of photos!

Easter Sunday and Monday were spent in Dublin.  My Uncle Wil, Dad’s brother, came to Ireland for a few days to spend time with us.  We went to Easter mass, ate delicious food, drank Guinness, and hear loads of great live music.  Easter Monday was the 98th anniversary of the Easter Rising, held in Dublin in 1916.  The majority of Irish citizens were tired of the tyrannic British rule, and they planned a rebellion to attempt to gain their independence.  The Irish fighters, a ragtag, untrained group of young people, men and women, took control of multiple, important Dublin buildings, including the General Post Office, their headquarters.  We visited these spots that Monday, and we visited Kilmainham Gaol, the jail where the uprising’s leaders were executed.  It was a very informative and heart-wrenching day.  

After my family left, I went to stay with my dear Irish friend Megan in Killybegs, the town in Donegal where she is from.  It was a relaxing four days.  I took a lot of walks, runs, and pictures, and the weather was wonderful.  All in all, I had a great break.  Now it is time to get serious and start studying for finals, although it seems a bit cruel to make me study when it is sunny….in Ireland!

(Killybegs Harbor)

- Deirdre O. ‘16



And 7 years later…

I cried. 

Standing in the choir loft overlooking the Basilica of the Sacred Heart absolutely packed with people but as soon as the air raged through the trumpets and the pipes of the organ so did the tears begin streaming down my cheeks. While, yes, I know I’m supposed to be looking at Andy (the conductor) 50% of the time and my music the other 50%…but how could I? How could I manage to steady my eyes on only two things when there were 66 other beautiful people who mean so much to me all standing around fitting the same urge I was. I couldn’t help it, but I began to look around. I started by finding all of the seniors I found Kerry who was peering over to her twin John who was making one of his ridiculous faces with his buddy Thomas, which in turn was making Kerry laugh. Then over to Isabel and Nicole who glanced at each other and then at me with the expression of excitement but the intensity n their eyes to remember every second that was about to pass. Then to my immediate left to see Matt bouncing up and down softly in anticipation and excitement, then right above his head to Anthony looking ready, and above his head to Mitchell making whatever face he makes that can only be described as his “Mitchell face.”

Looking at all the seniors and the graduate students that occupied a little over a quarter of the Liturgical Choir and realizing those spots would be occupied with new faces in exactly one year as we all stoically stood listening to the solo organ in the opening bars of the Kyrie Eleison that rattled not only our Holy Week Red binders, but the pews down below. 

I was suddenly transported back to my 7th grade self sitting in a pew in the back squished in next to my cousin listening—and feeling—the Kyrie. It was this piece alone that suddenly opened my eyes to the power of sacred music. I was so overcome by the immense presence of God I felt in that church over 7 years ago, and as I looked around at the congregation then, how it was obvious that everyone else was feeling the same. It amazed me that one 5 minute long piece could joint thousands of people together and bring them to feel, experience, and know the same thing: God. 

When I auditioned for the Liturgical Choir two years ago, I recounted this story to the director (the one I was supposed to be looking at 50% of the time, instead of at my choir-mates). I’m pretty sure it’s the reason I got into the choir, because my audition was rather horrendous. But this is what makes the sound in the basilica so great! Every Sunday morning Fr. Rocca makes his way to the podium to make a few introductory announcements, and he ends with “we encourage you to sing with full heart, and voice.” Why are people so moved by the Kyrie sung at the Tenebrae service? Because the choir sings with full heart and voice. Why did I cry before we even opened out mouths to take a deep breath to begin the piece? Because of the immense dedication, love, time, and effort each member puts into the choir.

Now, I know this blog is a week late, but it is still Easter! During this Easter Octave I encourage you to put as much heart into something that you love, with people you love, and others who you don’t know will be touched by it. 

Ally D. 2016



Taking a Break

College life is a lot of hustle and bustle. During the week, there are always papers due, endless exams and countless tasks for your job to do. On the weekends, there’s always that movie you and your girls want to catch or that Notre Dame sporting event you have to get to because they’re giving away free stuff and what’s your wardrobe without one more t-shirt or bro tank? Before you know it, Sunday morning has arrived and you’re back to studying for the next week to come. It is extremely easy to get caught up in the constant stresses of college. For one, there is almost twice the work to do than high school and almost half of the time to do it in. In college, you will do everything you possibly can academic and activity wise. You will have a drive within you to attend and participate in everything despite how tired you might be. It is what my friend ‘L’ likes to call F.O.M.O or “fear of missing out”.  When you’re in college, this is a natural feeling. However, if you have this mentality for too long, you will get burnt out. One of the great things about college is that no matter what you do, you’ll almost always be in the company of friends when you do it. It is important though to take some time to be alone so you can think and reflect. Don’t get me wrong, living with my best friends is amazing, but it’s always nice to get away every once in a while. For me, I think to make it a routine in my schedule. In particular, on Fridays after my last class at noon, I like to walk over to Notre Dame, visit the grotto, grab a Starbucks and sit in a common room. Sometimes I study or get homework completed before the weekend begins. Although, mostly I just like to unwind by watching funny YouTube videos on my laptop or catching up on the latest celebrity gossip. If I’m in desperate need of quiet time rather quickly and don’t have time for a 15 minute walk, I usually find myself at the island at Saint Mary’s. Just along The Avenue, there is a large pond with a fountain and a beautiful bridge that leads to an island lined with benches and foliage. Here, I like to sit and enjoy the nice weather that South Bend has been so recently blessed with. It’s nice to be able to listen to my iPod, read for leisure, or just write freely about anything that comes to mind. On the island, there are four full oak trees that protrude from the thin grass allowing there to be sufficient shading. The trees are littered with carvings of past couples’ initials from previous years. When I see that, it makes me smile. I like to know that there were young people who once visited that exact place. They were happy and in love. Sometimes I find myself wondering where they are today. It goes to show that places like Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s will always be historical. There have been thousands of people who have walked these grounds and left their mark. I hope to one day do the same as they have done. So whether it’s a 10-page Communication paper due in a few hours or a Finite Mathematics quiz that needs studying for, make sure you take a break. Even though college is meant to be shared with others constantly, it’s always beneficial to make sure you make time for yourself. Find a spot that’s just yours and you will be surprised what magical things you can discover.

                                   ~Emily R. ‘17 



Keeping Up

The system in place at colleges and universities in the United States is vastly different than the one here in Ireland.  At Saint Mary’s, class discussion was usually supported and encouraged, there was continuous assessment, whether it be exams, quizzes, papers, or projects, and attendance to all lectures is mandatory.  Here, both at my Irish university and others across the country, there is only one test or paper marking the end of the semester.  This one assignment or assessment is supposed to accurately determine whether you have learned a sufficient amount this semester.  Now, it’s nice to be able to miss class if you sleep in or feel sick and not have to worry about losing points on your grade, and in the short term it feels nice to not have to constantly study for tests, but I feel like the system here does not accurately figure our how well you know the material.  I know some students here who don’t even bother coming into school some days because they commute and it’s easier to stay at home.  Also, each class is held only one or two hours per week total.  All semester I had nothing to do but show up to my classes and do some reading, but now, I have three upcoming exams and three enormous essays due.  I’m not complaining at all, just stating how different the two educational systems are, and I am sure that most people wouldn’t know the first thing about the Irish higher education system.  For example, students attend primary school for one extra year and then only spend three years at university.  It was a big adjustment coming here in January, and I will be in for a surprise when I return to Saint Mary’s next fall and have to get used to continuous assessment all over again!

For the week surrounding Easter weekend, my dad and little sister Mary are visiting me here in Ireland.  We tracked down relatives of ours in County Galway just by asking people in the area if they knew any O’Learys.  We found Gerry, who shares the same great grandfather as my dad.  We drove the scenic and beautiful Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula, stopping at quaint towns along the way.  The weather was clear and sunny for days in a row, and we were able to watch the sun set over the Cliffs of Moher!  After the cliffs, we stayed in a Bed and Breakfast in Doolin, the capitol of Irish traditional music, and we heard a great session in a local pub there.

Easter Sunday was spent in Dublin.  My Uncle Wil flew in to join us, and we spent the day together.  Our first stop was mass at none other than Saint Mary’s cathedral.  We heard some great live music, shared a meal, strolled around the city, and, of course, had some Guinness!  The rest of this week will be spent showing my family around Dublin and visiting Thurles.  Archbishop Ryan, the founder of my high school in Philadelphia, was born and raised in Thurles, and my dad, who teaches for Archbishop Ryan High School, has arranged a tour of the town for us.  We are going to get to see the home where Archbishop Ryan grew up, and my dad can go back to my high school and give a great presentation about the founder’s history to the school at an assembly.  We’re all very excited to learn about his life and see where he grew up.

- Deirdre O. ‘16



Communication is Key

Going away to college means exactly that. Going away. Leaving your friends and family that you have known since birth. It’s a big step, no doubt. It’s what separates the men from the boys, the amateurs from the professionals, the weak from the strong. It is what fully defines you as a college student. You realize you’re no longer in high school when you can’t sit down for a home cooked meal every night after a long day of class. It hits you. And for many, it hits them hard. It’s a huge shift, and for those who don’t like change, that shift feels like an earthquake. Luckily, our generation has grown up in an era where everything has become instant, especially in the communication aspect. Now a days, I can send a text and a friend of mine from home can get it within the same thirty seconds of sending it. I can see my old pals’ reactions to stories I tell over revolutionary inventions such as Facetime and Skype. I can even upload all of my pictures from my weekends directly to Facebook and see how my friends celebrated their weekends just the same. I don’t think that the young adults of our generation truly appreciate our technology today. Back then, you would send a letter to someone and hope that they get it three days later. However, in a constantly instant world, it is always nice to get what is now known as ‘snail mail’ or a good old-fashioned letter. This past school year, I’ve been so fortunate to receive all kinds of cards, letters and care packages from friends and family all over. Getting mail while you’re away at school is exceptional. There’s truly nothing else like it. I always get chills right before I turn the key to my mailbox. My heart beats fast, my hopes get up and I pause my breathing ever so slightly. When I receive a letter in the mail, it shows love. It shows that someone took the time to sit down and think about you even for just five minutes. They took the time to go to the store, buy a card and write something long and meaningful, or short and to the point. It shows character. For that person, it would have taken them less time and money to send a quick text or email, but they chose not to. I always see people’s handwriting as something that is so special. In a text message, everyone’s words look the same. The same Helvetica message is always typed out clear as day upon opening my messages app on my phone. When you go away to college, there’s a lot you’ll miss, but there is even more you have to look forward to. Even though you won’t be able to see your friends from high school or family everyday, they are always a text away. Just know that. But, going away to college will prove whom your true friends are. Many people will lose touch with you. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just life. People will come in and out of your life all of the time to teach you lessons, help you grow and show you love. Yet, it’s those who go beyond the Sunday afternoon: “Hey. What’s up? I’m bored” text that truly care about you. The ones who send you the cards just to say hello, the ones who will talk to you on Skype for 7 hours, and the ones who will send you long texts just to say how much they love you and cherish your friendship are the ones that are your true friends. Those are the people that will help you grow the most. So here’s a tip: care for the ones who deserve it. College will separate a lot of people but it can also draw many even closer. And when it comes to communication: the more personal, the better. Buy some stamps, sit down, and write a letter every once in a while. Make it a long one. Write what you feel. Show your chicken-scratch of handwriting. Draw some doodles. Write a joke or a poem. And then, send it. I guarantee that the good deed will be recycled. Because in a world of instant everything, it’s always exciting to open that mailbox and have something for a change from a loved one and not just a boring bank statement. It’s the little things, the details that matter most in people’s lives. Always.

                                       ~Emily R. ‘17



Only 34 days left…

This past week I was accepted to Blackfriars Hall at Oxford University. Yeah, no, you’re thinking of the right Oxford—the one with all the Etonian boys and old buildings—in England. It’s a big deal. It will probably change the course of my life (because who doesn’t think they’re going to find a prince to marry if they go to Oxford; I’ll settle for a Duke or Earl or even a Count—I’m not picky). However, it is a full year program. Even though I had been working since my senior year in high school toward this, had been physically doing the application since Christmas, and had been to countless meetings to make sure I was doing everything in my power to get in—when I did get in, the second thing I thought of was everything I’m going to miss here. 

You have to understand, I’m realllllyyyyy bad at showing excitement. I’m also just really bad at being excited. My philosophy on life has been to have zero expectations and always think the second-worst thing is going to happen (not the worst thing, b/c that’s just depressing.) That way when sometime goes terribly wrong you’re not devastated. But if something goes incredibly right, then HOLY COW! IT’S THRILLING! I’ve been thinking this for so long that it’s hard to make myself excited about things when they do finally happen—that is until I’m completely immersed in them. Like I said above, I don’t mind staying in and doing nothing. But when I do go out I’ll most certainly have a wonderful time once I get there! (I’m fun to be around, I promise…) So how do I balance trying to get excited, yet still making sure I’m living in the moment here while it lasts. I’ll really only have 3 years here at college, so I better make them worth it. So far I’ve resorted to doing everything I can, all the time, with as may different people as possible. Sometimes when your life decides to show up all at once, you have to make it work so that you can make sure to get it all in. Like I’ve said before, there will always be more homework, tests, and papers. But my friends who are seniors and juniors won’t always be around. The junior moms won’t always be having an afternoon get-together, (insert your own crazy life). So, my conclusion: If I don’t seem excited about Oxford it’s only because I’m trying to enjoy the time I have left here, I promise. Come October 3 as I arrive in the UK I will be THRILLED and you’ll probably get sick of me after a week from all the pictures and such (enjoy the calm while you can…) 

So… here’s to my second-to-last Holy week with the Liturgical  Choir, my last orchestra concert of the year, the last few weeks of photographing for the Observer for a long while, and to all the juniors and seniors who I will miss devastatingly much. 



Ally D. ‘16



Giving Back (with blood)

Thinking back, if someone would have told me ten years ago that I would donate blood someday in the future voluntarily, I would have never believed them. For years, my fear of needles and anything medical related has crippled me into ever entering the nursing field. Although, sometimes being in college and being exposed to new people, new ideas and new cultures, it’s easy to look at things differently. My good friend ‘K’ donated blood for the first time about three years ago when her dad got sick and giving blood has been a yearly ritual for her ever since. I was inspired by her story and with the idea that each donation can potentially save three lives. Everyone on campus received an email on Tuesday to pre-register for the semi-annual blood drive the next day. Even though I was a little reluctant to put my name down, my friend was there to support me and in the end, I knew I was going to feel good about giving to a good cause. After class on Wednesday, my friend and I treated ourselves to a large dinner to make sure our iron and blood sugar levels were steady.  From there, we proceeded to the basement of the student center where there were lounge chairs set up and a full nursing staff. After filling out a few forms and running some tests that involved a lot of blood pressure cuffs and finger pricking, I was finally ready to donate for the first time. I waited anxiously for one of the nurses to call my name and when she finally did, I felt my body move automatically to the next available seat. I was greeted by a very friendly nurse who proceeded to prep me for the needle injection and after three squeezes of a stress ball, two deep breaths, and one small pinch in my left forearm, I was well underway. I stayed calm by talking with the nurses and my friend ‘K’ who was sitting right next to me during the whole time and even helped document my first experience. Before I knew it, it was all over. I found myself unafraid of needles and blood after just this one procedure. I even helped the nurse take out my needle and package my bag of donation. From there, the hospital supplied a plethora of free t-shirts, cookies and juice for us to help ourselves to. Overall, it was an amazing experience. I was able to get over a fear and save three lives in the process. If I could teach any incoming freshman a thing or two about college it would be: let it change you. Allow for college to open all kinds of possibilities for you and get over a few fears. Expose yourself. Take risks. In these four years here, you’ll grow more than you every thought possible. And no matter what, you’ll always make a friend along the way. I’ve learned that it’s amazing what the environment of college can have on you in trying new things. I’ve learned this so many times already through so many different experiences. And the best part is, it’s only my first year.

               ~Emily R. ‘17