Back To School

The best is yet to come!

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“Last” first day of school with one of my best friends, Madison Hibbard.

Well, my senior year has official started. I have just completed my last “first” week of school and honestly the feeling is bittersweet. Where did all the time go? I still feel as though I have just moved into the dorms my freshman year and now I’m living off campus and a senior college! My parents really weren’t kidding when they said “enjoy it because it’ll all be over before you have time to blink”.

But, I don’t know why I am getting emotional about the year when I have only had about a week and a half of school. I’m pathetic, lol. Instead of being sad about my last “first” day of school I should be happy that I still have an entire year (9 months) left until I graduate. I still have so many events and adventures that need to happen before I can even think about my college years coming to an end. For example, this is my first year on SMU’s social squad and I am so excited to see what different obstacles and opportunities I am confronted with. I am so excited to be a part of this amazing group of people and I am especially excited to experience all the wonders of the 2015 Gala. For those who do not know much about the SMU Gala, it is a Black Tie event that happens to be one of the largest funding opportunities we are so fortunate to have for our university. For the past several years we have been blessed with celebrity chefs too come demonstrate and cook a meal for our sponsors, alumni and anyone else who wishes to purchase a ticket. This year we have four celebrity chefs! Members of The Chew will be coming to Saint Martin’s to host the 2015 Gala. The Gala is clearly the largest event I will encounter, but I am so excited to explore all of the other duties of an official social squad member.the_chew_cover_craig_sjodin_600x480

I have so many other exciting things to look forward as well. I have my final golf season of my college career split into two seasons (both fall and spring) and I couldn’t be more excited to share my final year with my amazing teammates, traveling all over playing beautiful golf courses and making memories.

I also have to remember the amazing internship I was given the opportunity to have with the Saint Martin’s Athletic Department. I have been working for the athletic department since my freshman year working to promote games and student involvement. This year I am so blessed to have been able to turn that opportunity into an internship and work alongside SMU’s student information director and have a front row seat to what it really takes to run and promote and athletic program through community outreach and involvement, advertising, sponsorship and boosters. I am so thankful for this experience.

And of course how could I forget my two favorite clubs on campus SAAC (student athlete advisory committee) and Circle K. I am excited to use my internship with the athletic department and a boost to the events and fundraisers we have planned for the 2015-2016 school year in SAAC. I hope to be able to gain a better understand for what it really takes to get a group of students motivated to do good things for their student body along with the community in which they serve.

2015 Circle K members celebration the 100th birthday of Kiwanis in Indianapolis, Indiana.
2015 Circle K members celebrates the 100th birthday of Kiwanis in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Like SAAC, I hope to bring my knowledge for fundraising and upbeat spirit to my fellow Circle K members. I know that this year we have made it a goal to up our number of members. We want all students to be aware of the different opportunities there are when being a member of Circle K. Circle K International (CKI) is a service organization that is formed at the college level to help communities through service projects. Our Circle K Club is sponsored and works closely with North Thurston Kiwanis to direct our focuses towards our community and how we can work together to serve it. The values of Circle K are very much in line with the Benedictine values of Saint Martin’s, Faith, Reason, Community and Service.

This will be my fourth year serving on SAAC and what a great group it is to be a part of. I have met so many great people, attended so many successful events and in turn have gained so much experience when it comes to how to better our university and athletic program. I love watching student-athletes coming together to support their communities and organizations like Make-A-Wish and Boys and Girls Club. Being able to support and donate our time to these organizations have been such an honor and life changing experience. I hope to work closely with our Boys and Girls club contact this year and work to better SMU Athletics involvement in the program. I also hope to spread awareness and ignite a bigger flame in our involvement in Make-A-Wish. I would love for our program to grant a wish to a child who’s dream is to be a part of a college team.

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2013-2014 Women’s Golf team.

Long story short, even though my years at Saint Martin’s are coming to an end there are still so many things that I want to accomplish and see happen with all the programs I am involved with before I graduate this spring. So this year through my blogs I hope to share all my experiences with you, and help you all to become more involved in the Saint Martin’s community or whichever community at whatever school you may be attending in the present or future. Involvement with the university at which you attend is something I feel is very important and plays a roll in making life on a college campus more rewarding and enjoyable. So join me! Start thinking about, or keep your ears and eyes open for different clubs on campus. Even though I talk about how important I think community involvement is, I also think that it is so important that no matter what you are doing or involved in, to always stay true to yourself. Maybe you are unsure of what kind of person you want to solidify yourself as, but in all fairness, we never stop growing within ourselves. For me, golf has always been a part of who I am and I have worked hard for many years just to be where I am today. Why would anyone want to throw all of their hard work away? I sure wouldn’t! I only have one senior year, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that I don’t waste the opportunities I have set up for myself over the years. I am so excited to see where this year takes me and I am most importantly excited to see how SMU helps me grow and mature into a real adult. I know I will be transformed this year and I know I will be faced with hardship, but I will not let that stop me from becoming the best possible version of myself that I can be.

What to bring to College…

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Hello again!

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and staying out of the heat. Lets be honestly, the Pacific Northwest has been blessed with some very nice weather these past few months, but come on mother nature, turn down the heat just a tad. This PNW girl is starting to overheat! Anyways, the start of the school year is right around the corner and approaching quickly I might add. At this point in the game I am sure most of you are starting to wonder about what you should send your beloved child off to college with, or maybe you’re a freshman and just wondering what exactly you should expect from your first year in college. Well, you’re in luck and hopefully I can help save the day (or year) with these tips as I attempt to give you and anyone else my advice on what to bring to college based on my personal experiences.

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My dorm room freshman year (2012-2013)

Now, I like to call myself an avid Pinterest user and I have read so many different “what to bring to college” articles and honestly after reading them I find myself questioning whether or not the person who wrote it actually even went to college. I have found that most lists are way too detailed and you may find that you would probably have no use for half the items on the lists, or at least I felt that way. So, don’t waste your time or money on hundreds of items that some random person (not me of course) says you need in order to survive in college.

I have done my best to keep these tips as gender-neutral as possible. I might be a girl, but I know that guys need just as much help with figuring out what to bring to college. So here it goes…

I recently found out that for the last several years SMU Housing and Residence Life have been teaming up with a website called Roomify.com in hopes to aid incoming or current students with preparing for the school year. Roomify allows students to create personalized dorm room packages that will get any student started with the primary college essentials. I personally did not order from this site when I was an incoming freshman simply because I did not know that it was an option, but before putting together this list I decided to take the site on a little test drive, and honestly I think it is a great option of all students! The site allows you to add and subtract items from a package, pick personalized colors and the best part about all this is that Roomify will package all your desired items into one box and deliver them to you. Isn’t that pretty cool? I think so! This saves you the trips to multiple different stores all over town, and I think it’s an ultimate one stop shop for back to school. Some of the items that are included in one of the standardized packages might include:

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Freshman roommate, Grace showcasing why is important to have a comfy bedroom setup while being a busy college student.
  • Twin XL sized bedding (required) (100% cotton)
  • Memory foam mattress pad (twin XL size)
  • Bath set
  • Shower caddy
  • Storage set (Hanging organizer, underbed storage, and more)
  • Clip fan and lamp
  • Dining set
  • Lap desk

Just to name a few things!!

I personally think it is so important to create your own space in your dorm room that will help you feel comfortable when making the transition to life on your own without the immediate assistance of our oh so loving parents who have worked so hard to raise us. 😉

A comfy bed is clearly a necessity, as seen in the picture above. This was my freshman roomie, Grace, taking a much needed nap after class. I never truly understood the real meaning or purpose behind a nap until I came to college. Sleep is our friend and we must cherish it when we can.

Another awesome fact about Saint Martin’s is that when you live in the residence halls you will be provided with all the important furniture that you will need. When living in the dorms each room is equipped with a dresser/set of drawers, a computer desk with matching chair, a closet, a bed frame with twin XL mattress, and a bedside table. So no need to bring any of those items from home.

Freshman roommate, Grace.
Freshman roommate, Grace, waiting for laundry in the laundry room. See!!! You will need a laundry hamper for multiple purposes!

Next up are what I consider to be the dorm necessities:

  • Alarm clock (most students use their cell phones)
  • Laundry hamper
  • Full-length mirror (obviously optional)
  • Push pins
  • Trashcan
  • Photos (of friends, family)
  • Wall art (posters or easy off decals)

Even though you will be living on your own and when your parents drop you off for the semester you might be itching for freedom, I personally think it is important to bring small mementos from home that remind you of friends and family. Even though I was one of those itching 18 year olds who was way too excited too make it on my own, I did find myself in experiencing severe episodes of what us college kids like to call “home-sickness”. I found that those mementos that I brought from home and a quick call home to Mom and Dad seemed to be an effective cure.

Moving onto cleaning supplies: At Saint Martin’s, you are not expected to clean the communal bathrooms in the dorms. However, if you are in an apartment style bathroom or single-single with a bathroom in the room you will be expected to keep the bathroom clean. But, for those of you who are new to college and will be freshman you will be living in Res Halls with communal bathrooms that are gender separate. Some items that I found to be extremely helpful my freshman year were…

  • Bleach (laundry)
  • Fabric softener
  • Laundry detergent
  • Tide To-Go pen
  • Lint brush
  • Stain remover
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Trash bags

I hope that this list helped if not all, but hopefully most of you in grathering those last minute essentials for the new and upcoming school year! I wish all of you the best of luck on either the start or continuation of your college adventures!

Love,

Sarah