And now I'm home.
And I won't be returning to Saint Mike's until August.
Yeah, I'm freaking out a little.
I'll return to those thoughts in my next few posts, but for now I wanted to take this semester-in-review and focus on some of the crazy, awesome, fun, ridiculous happenings that went on while living in #TH103.
Since this could easily turn into another novel, I figured I'd let the pictures do the talking this time.
However, you'll find that the general theme of these photos revolves less around academics (which, trust me, is a VERY important part of college, but certainly not the entire experience) and more around family. Because my SMC friends are not only friends: they are my home away from home. They are an extension of my family. I started thinking about this much more when this happened:
My mom sent me a Christmas package, and inside were a number of little gifts for not only me, but all three of my housemates. This was her way of saying that she understands when I'm with her for Thanksgiving break but then I talk about "going home to Saint Mike's." These girls started out as friends, but they're no longer friends. They're family.
My housemates and I did pretty much everything together this semester. Here, we're dressed up as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Halloween. Yeah, we're those kinds of girls. Be jealous.
My housemates and I, plus our friends Emma and Merrill, on the day we all moved in. L to R: Emma, Cara, Merrill, myself, Alex, and Cait.
Liz (L) and Sheila (R) have been part of my SMC family since day one. Even before that for Sheila, who lives in my town and went to high school with me!
Not that I condone climbing furniture or anything, but if you're running out of places to owl or you need a quiet spot to read, don't rule out the top of your fridge. Cait and Cara had quite the blast with that!
Cara was my roommate this semester. She's an MJD major just like me, so it was pretty cool to have someone to come home to who could share ideas and relate to some of the stuff I was working on--she was even my editor for one of my Defender articles! Whether we were working, acting like 2-year-olds and having finger painting fights at the Art Hop, or getting dressed up for no reason on the weekends, we made some great memories this semester before we part ways for studying abroad this spring.
Nate is another one of my MJD buddies, and we spent a lot of time together this semester with two of the same classes and a group project. We're pretty darn hilarious (or at least we think we are), and we can be pretty crazy sometimes...he even got me to dye a strip of my hair blonde this semester!
Some more MJD family. Juliana, Lauren ("Mazzy") Mazzoleni, and Lauren Carter got me through my 8am Magazine Writing class with lots of laughs. In fact, the two Laurens and I collectively became known as "the Lauren Corner" in that class because we always sat together. When our professor (the fabulous Allison Cleary) asked a question and called on "Lauren" for a response, all three of us would answer!
My blogging family. Juliana, Boates, myself, and Mazzy. Not pictured: countless incredible others, such as Lisa Ritter, Alex Byrne, Alex Brenock, and Merrill Poor, just to name a few...and our fearless leader Christian, who held a Christmas party for us!
Alex was one of my housemates this semester, and I can't tell you the number of times we told each other we wished we had gotten closer sooner. As a fellow blogger and my friend Cait's sophomore year roommate, I was always acquainted with Alex, and we were basically brought together this year because we were both going into our townhouse with Cait. She is now one of my best friends, and we're scarily similar. We did everything together this semester!
Those are my most recent photos from this semester, but it's hardly an accurate representation of the true size and depth of my SMC family. For instance, I've yet to upload photos from our Secret Santa celebration, but that's something I do every year with my core group of friends from freshman year, including my old roommate Maya and three of my go-to guys, Shawn, Danny and Cori. There are the lovely ladies I go to Sloane with every Tuesday, the people I met through group projects, or my entire Reporting for Media class, which got very close as we helped each other revise our final projects. There are the numerous faculty members who I've come to view almost as parental figures in their wisdom. I even had an alumni mentor this semester who did everything from share his personal story to review my resume to make sure I was presenting my best self to possible employees.
These are all SMC family members, and they are what makes the difference for me. I've been saying since Day 1 that the best thing about Saint Mike's is the people, and I'm still a firm believer in that.
Now, we're all going off in different directions: Sheila, Lauren and Liz to England; Alex, Mazzy and Merrill to Ireland; Juliana to South Africa; Maya and Emma to Spain; Mary to South Korea; Greta to Denmark; Cait to Ecuador; Cara to Costa Rica; my friend Jesse to the Navy; and myself to Morocco. I imagine this is what senior year feels like, except to a lesser extent because we're all coming back. I can't even bear to think about graduation day, but I know it'll be here faster than I think.
I'm really proud of my family and the things we're all accomplishing. These are the people who push me to be my best, and they know what I'm capable of before I even realize my potential. I can't imagine an entire semester without them, but I know they'll be with me in spirit every step of the way. It's great that we're going to have so many different experiences. Then, when we come back, we won't be able to stop talking!
I know I said I wouldn't write a lot, but I lied. Sorry.
Moral of the story: tell your family (no matter who that means to you) you love them. Not because it's the season to do so, but simply because you do.