Wednesday, August 29, 2012

De-Mystifying Laundry

As I have been at school for almost a week now, it was time to do laundry yesterday! I think Tuesday is going to become my laundry day.

Every building on the Quad has a laundry room in the basement, so it's pretty convenient when it comes time.  Only one out of the three staircases goes to the laundry room. In Joyce Hall, my building, the laundry room can be accessed using the South wing's staircase (on the boy's side of the building). 

The laundry room has seven washer machines and eight dryers, so there are plenty of machines for everyone to use. Everything seemed pretty clean and bright down there. Here's my little tutorial on how to do laundry: 

Some of the washer machines
1. Put your clothing in the washer machine. If you're using liquid laundry detergent, there is a black cover over where you pour it. Flip that up, and pour it into the spot that says 'DETERGENT'. If you're using something like a Tide pod or Purex 3-in-1 sheet (my fave!), just toss it into the machine with your clothing. Make sure you take note of which machine you are using, they're all numbered.

The card swipe machine just inside the door way
2. Go over to the card swipe machine by the door. Swipe your Knightcard, making sure the magnetic strip of the card is facing the right direction! It costs $1.25 per machine, so, in total, washing and drying one load of laundry costs $2.50. Next, punch in the number of the machine you're using. Then, hit 'START' which is the button in the bottom left corner. Now, it will get ready to wash your clothes, but you are not done. Go back to your machine and select what type of clothing you have in there (Colors, Bright Colors, Woolens, etc). I just picked Colors because it was a load of normal clothing. Now, it should start. A wash cycle takes 38 minutes. The machines won't beep or anything to let you know that it has finished so you just have to keep an eye out. 

What I did while I waited: homework...

The dryers

3. When it's time to transfer your clothes to the dryer, the process is pretty much the same. Carry your clothes from the washer to the dryer. Toss in a dryer sheet if you are using them, then make sure that the lint tray is empty. If it's not, carry it over to the trash barrel and take off the lint film before putting it back. Go back to the card swipe machine, swipe your card, hit the number of the dryer, and then hit 'START' again. You have to return to the dryer to pick which setting you want. Again, I chose Colors, and the dryer starts. A dryer cycle takes 60 minutes. When the hour is up, you'll have clean clothes! 

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of Classes

My first day of classes went really well.

I woke up pretty early because of nerves, but it's the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!! I think everyone was a little bit excited and nervous. Most of the girls on my floor had 8:00am or 8:30am classes, so I waited until they were gone to shower and get ready.

My 'First Day of Classes' outfit

Then, a few girls from my hall that had classes that started at 9:45am went to breakfast together. I love that whenever I am going to a meal, I can just go down the hall and see who is hungry and go to Alliot with them. We usually end up stretching the limit of how many chairs can be squeezed into one table, but it's always a good time. Alliot was pretty quiet around 9:00, it was the perfect time to go to breakfast.

After breakfast, we all went our separate ways. I went up to my room to grab my backpack and my schedule so I would know where to go to class. I headed over to St. Ed's, which was where my General Psychology class was. In Psychology, we went over the general syllabus, then introduced ourselves to the class. My professor took pictures of everyone in the class so that he could learn our names. One of the cool parts of class was when we got set up with the Clickers. Clickers look like tiny TV remotes, but when my professor asks a question to the class we all respond on it. The results show up over the projector. So today, he asked “Who is a Psychology Major or is seriously considering becoming one?” and the results displayed on the board, 48% were, 44% weren't, and 8% would decide after the course.

Then I went to the post office to pick up my mail! I had a card from my aunt and a pack of pictures from shutterfly waiting for me :) I LOVE getting mail, and I can't wait to put the pictures up in my room. They will definitely make it look more like home. After I went upstairs and put them away, I hung out with some girls on my floor and we all went to lunch together. We had to wait a bit to get in to Alliot because the line was kind of long since everyone is back now. The line moved pretty fast though, and we got our food really quickly. 

My binder for Christianity Past and Present

After lunch, it was time for my second class, Christianity Past and Present. Again, we just went over the syllabus and my professor talked about what he wanted us to get out of the class. After class was over, I went to Alliot. On Thursday when I got here, there was a sign in the dining room that they were looking for people to work nights and weekends. I filled out an application and got an email about it yesterday. So, I will be working in Alliot during Sunday brunches and Monday dinners! I am really psyched about this, as I did not receive work study. This will give me some pocket money, which is awesome.

I went back to Joyce and spent the afternoon hanging out with some of my floormates. I bought a whiteboard before I got here that is a weekly calendar, so I spent some time organizing what I am going to be up to this week. My schedule is filling up already!

Mid-week is looking busy!

 I also set up the wireless printing on my computer. The wireless printing is AWESOME! It means that from my room, I can finish typing a paper and send it to print. However, it just stays in the cloud until I am ready to pick it up. After I sent my paper to print, I walked over to Alliot to see if it worked. I swiped my card on the big printer, and a menu popped up that listed all of the documents. From there, I selected which one I wanted to print, and it came out! There are printers in Alliot, the library, and the academic buildings so it is super convenient.

Overall, it was a pretty great first day of classes. It is weird to be back in school mode, especially after having a good four months off from school, but I cannot wait to settle in to my routine here. I will update again soon!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

What I Learned At Orientation

Well, it's over! Crazy to believe that Orientation is over already and that classes start in the morning! I'm actually really excited to go to my classes tomorrow. I cannot wait to get into my routine here at Saint Mike's, even though I had a blast at Orientation. I thought I would write down a few Dos and Don'ts I have learned over the last few days!

DO keep your door open! If you are just hanging out in your room, there's no reason to have your door shut! One of the best ways I have met people over the last few days has been wandering down my hallway and poking my head in open doors to say hi. Everyone is really friendly.

DON'T be afraid to ask questions. I feel like I've asked my RA a million questions in the last few days (Where is the nearest water bubbler? How do I get to the laundry room? What are the hours for the mail room?) but everyone has lots of questions. I was afraid I would look silly, but all the upperclassmen just want us to feel at home.

DO go to as many Orientation activities as possible! You can only do Orientation once. I went to most of the activities that had been planned for us and I met new people at every one of them. Although it's tempting to sit in your room on your laptop or spend all day texting friends at home, Orientation is a great time to live in the moment.  However, that leads me to my next point...

DON'T push yourself too far. Personally, I haven't been sleeping so well because I am still getting used to sleeping in a different place. Friday afternoon, I was exhausted and feeling kind of homesick, so I made the decision to skip a campus tour in order to get some sleep. I got to nap for about an hour and that made a huge difference. I had plenty of energy to do the rest of the activities I wanted. Know your limits!

DO finish your summer work before you get here! I know a few people who did not finish their summer work (reading the Common Text and completing an assignment for their First Year Seminar) and they had to miss out on some Orientation activities in order to get their work done. That stinks!

DON'T miss Connections! It was my absolute favorite Orientation event. It is such a raw and heartwarming tradition at Saint Mike's. I have learned that I am TRULY not alone here... there are lots of people on campus who care about me even if they don't know my name. Everyone here is so supportive and it is really awe inspiring.

Alright! That's just my two cents regarding the awesome Orientation weekend at Saint Mike's! Now it's time for bed... classes start tomorrow!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Move In

Well, I'm here! I am all moved in to college!

It's crazy to think that I am finally here. I have prepared for this for so long, and I am finally here. It's been awesome so far.

My mom and I left Massachusetts on Wednesday morning, to stay at my grandmother's house in Vermont that night. We packed the car up with all of my stuff. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when everything fit into the back of her Explorer! It was full, but it all fit.

My car, packed up with most of my stuff. 

My Little Sister, Me, and My Mom
We got to Saint Mike's just after 9am on Thursday morning. Our first stop was to pick up keys and my ID card, then we went into the gym, where there were a bunch of tables set up. I was able to open a bank account, talk to some different clubs, and get information from some of the resources on campus. 
Orientation Leaders were waiting outside the school.
Then, we went over to my hall and unloaded my stuff. Want to know what's awesome? I did not have to bring a SINGLE box up to my room. The O-Leaders swarmed my car and brought everything up for me. Considering I am on the third floor and have a lot of stuff, I was quite happy about that. I was left to check out my room.

The sign my RA put on my door
 Before I came in my room, someone warned me that my room was really small. My room is kind of at the back corner of my hall, so I have my own little hallway to it. When I opened my door, I was actually impressed by the size. It's not as big as the double rooms, obviously, but it's a great room for me and all of my stuff fit with plenty of room. With my mom's help, I had the place all set up and organized in about two and a half hours.

My bed and dresser

My desk and window


Boxes, boxes, and more boxes.
We got to eat lunch in Alliot together, then got ready to say goodbye. Saying goodbye to my mom was the thing I was most anxious about. I have never been away from home for an extended period of time and I love my family. But when it came time, I only cried a few tears, and I haven't been really sad yet. I miss my family, but this place is also my home. It's what I have been working towards for eighteen years. I am exactly where I am supposed to be, meeting really awesome people, and having fun at orientation activities :) So overall, I am glad to be home ;)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Between Now and Then

Five days until I leave MA, six days until I move in.

Wow. For most of the summer I felt like I would never get to college. I would be stuck in this endless summer and not get to college. But now, with less than a week to go, it's pretty obvious that college is REAL and CLOSE. I'm starting to feel a little anxiety over making friends, moving everything, and missing my family. But, I'm sure that once I am at school and busy with orientation activities and meeting people and starting classes, I will be too busy to dwell on the anxiety.

I have a lot to do before I leave on Wednesday morning. Here's a brief timeline of what I'll be up to:

My friend Amanda's Going Away/Birthday party! She will be attending Saint Andrew's... in Scotland! (Yes, that is where Will and Kate went!) It will be great to see her and a few of our other friends one last time before we all go separate ways until Christmas.

Pack all of my clothes up and clean my room. I am definitely not the neatest person, but packing for college has made my room especially messy. So I must clean that up before I go! Also, I will have dinner with my family and say goodbye to my aunt and uncle. Goodbyes are abundant the next few days.

Finish packing everything and run around to get the last few things I've forgotten!

My last shift at work. I have worked at my job for over a year now and it will be hard to say goodbye to all of it! I work as a cashier at a grocery store, so it will be hard to say goodbye to all of the people I have met over the last year. Hopefully I will be back for the break over Christmas!

Have breakfast and say goodbye to my dad and little sister, then head off to Vermont! My grandmother lives about an hour and fifteen minutes away from Saint Mike's, so it will be way easier to be there at 9am than if I had to come up from Massachusetts. I will spend the day relaxing with her and my mom.


As you can see, I'll be very busy over the next few days! But it's an exciting, productive busy. It's surreal to think that one week from now I'll be at school and my room will be all set up. I'm so close!!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ten Days Out

I had the same locker for all four years of high school. I had a lot of the same things all four years, actually: my homeroom, my Latin teacher, even my backpack. I sat with the same people at lunch. It was all familiar and constant. And for all four years of high school, the same magnet hung in my locker.

I picked this magnet up while at a giftshop in New Hampshire before starting Freshman year. It seemed like a good reminder then. Of course, it's an even better reminder now.

I'm nine days away from leaving home, and ten days away from moving in to my new home. The transition to college? It's a scary thing. There will be so many firsts, so many steps taken beyond my comfort zone. But it is good for me. As I saw at SOAR a few weeks ago, so much reward can come from taking risks. However, I think that it still qualifies as enough scary for more than one day, if you live by Eleanor Roosevelt's mantra. I'll be leaving so many things behind: my family, friends, the job I worked at for over a year, the community at my high school, my cat. In one day and one car ride, I'm saying goodbye to so much.

But I'm excited for it too. I cannot wait to get there and start making friends and begin my classes. I want to get involved with the clubs on campus. I want to see my hard work rewarded and feel the thrill that comes from being outside my comfort zone. I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and that is the most comforting thing of all. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Registering for Classes

It's hard to believe that I'm only three weeks away from Move-In Day! Part of me is feeling so anxious. I have made a huge dent in my shopping list and everything I've bought is already packed away in tote buckets in my basement. It's starting to sink in that I am actually going to college. I have received my first assignments, my book list, and of course, registered for my classes.

Registration Day took place on the Friday of my SOAR pre-orientation weekend. We gathered in Alliot, the Student Center, around 9 and got manila envelopes. They contained things like our schedule, a ticket to eat lunch in the dining room, and an index card that had our adviser's name on it. Before things really got started, I went upstairs and got my picture taken for my KnightCard. I will have this ID picture for all four years of college. I was a little intimidated that in four years I will still be looking at this reminder of who I am right now. Kind of crazy.

After everyone came together and was welcomed into the dining room, the students were sent to McCarthy, the arts building. There's a big auditorium there where all of the approximately 150 of us could fit. Once we were there, the required classes were explained better. We have to take classes in a wide variety of areas, like Religious Studies, Philosophy, a Lab science, Historical Studies, and more. They explained we would take four classes each semester, unless we signed up for half credit classes like Dance. After the informative session, the students were split up. Some remained in the auditorium to take a survey, but I got to go meet with my adviser.

To meet with our advisers, we went to the academic buildings. It was the first time I had been to school since officially deciding it was where I would go, so I got a chance to see where my actual classes would be. I can definitely picture myself going to class there. There were probably about eight of us assigned to the one professor, but we all got a chance to talk individually about what we were considering taking. I felt really well prepared, since the previous nigh I had gotten a chance to speak to current students about what classes I should take as part of SOAR.

I was also able to switch my major at the last minute, from Exploratory to Psychology. This was super convenient, because I was worried about not getting into General Psych (it was restricted to Majors only). In the end, I had my list of four top choice problems and about ten back up classes. They reserve the same amounts of seats for every registration day, but they can still be tough to get for some of the super popular classes, so it's essential to have back up classes.

We went down to the computer lab and set up. The time that registration officially opened was 12:00 noon, so we all made sure to load up which classes we want. I was really determined, so I pulled up the clock function and watched it tick away the seconds so I could press right as it turned to 12:00:00. There was a short processing time where all I could do was wait, but eventually it popped up with this:

First Semester Schedule!

I had gotten into all of my first choice classes!!!!! I was super excited. The people around me in the computer lab were pretty lucky as well, most of them got three or four of their top choice classes. I printed out my schedule so I could make sure I would remember later, and my first registration process was complete. It was stressful but I was well prepared. There's still the general add/drop for people who don't like their classes, but I feel like I'm satisfied with them. I can't wait to start school :)