Sunday, August 31, 2014

Move In/Room Tour!

After a grueling four hours of hauling and taping, I'm officially moved in! The next few days will definitely have a lot of organizing time put aside, but it'll be worth some well-deserved relaxation time today.

Now that the hard part is out of the way, I’d like to share some dorm-living tips with you all. For those of you no-longer-prospective-students who have already moved in, these still apply to you! Note: rooms are always subject to re-decoration/re-organization!

1.) Décor

If you’re like me, you prefer personalized decorations over a collection of random posters that any given dorm room could be plastered with. I kept it simple:

This way, you can add a touch of home home to your college home. Plus, I feel a little craftier this way (a trait I’ve always wished I had more of!). I feel like these decorations represent me way more effectively than a Josh Hutcherson poster could (don’t laugh, but that one lives at home home).

  My cousin Brenna painted this cute Emerson quote for me as a going-away gift before freshman year started. Having this not only gives me a piece of family at school, but it’s a daily reminder to stay spontaneous and fun in this gorgeous location of ours!

If you read faithfully, you may remember my last post of the school year in May, when I lost my good pal Lucy. I’ve brought her with me this time, since she’s no longer around at home. :(

  In the last waking moments of vacation, I decided I had way too many adventures this summer to not bring along a reminder of them all. Things were very different this summer than in summers past, and it made for an amazing ride. Throughout the collage are sprinkled memories of Aruba, camping, white water rafting, my favorite little beachside breakfast joint, BB guns in the backyard, 4th of July fireworks, egg on a spoon with my best friend, and so much more. Couldn’t be happier to have this here. 

It’s never a bad idea to keep a bulletin board at your disposal. You never know when you’ll get a school announcement you want to hang on to, a funny card from home, or a cute memento you want to remember. 

2.) Desk

Keeping a neat, thoughtfully decorated desk helps to anchor you there when the temptations of smoothie-runs and friend-visits call the loudest.

Graaaanted, I didn't quite have all the time, patience, and sanity today to get things all nice and color-coordinated as I'd previously imagined. But I've got a few pictures anyway!

With far more limited storage space this year, my desk has taken on a much larger responsibility! I like to keep my laptop front and center, with all my books/notebooks/binders on the side. Add a few decorative pieces, and you're in business! I kept a change jar on my desk all through last year (that's the big Mason jar in the back), and it managed to yield $60 after counting this summer! A highly recommended saving tactic, plus it doubles as a cute accent to all the textbooks!

 Before I come up to move in, I like to pre-label my notebooks and folders for the classes they'll correspond to. It saves some valuable time (especially with class bright and early tomorrow). Now they're all ready for action! Throw them right in the backpack with your planner and pen, and all set.

As for the rest of your room, things typically have their own way of falling into place. You'll slowly but surely discover certain things that you need to be in certain places, what matters and what doesn't quite as much, etc. etc. Nobody's room looks Pinterest-perfect right from the start. Give it a few days! (This is advice to myself just as much as it is advice to you!)

 Well, as much as I'd love to drone on some more, it's been a busy day, and I'm ready for some low-key time. Good luck to the freshmen, I'm sure orientation went amazing, and stay tuned next Sunday the 7th for some more life-living tips and tricks!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Almost There!

A little earlier than I'd planned, but I just had so many stories to share I couldn't help but write my first post of the year a couple weeks ahead of time!
This has most definitely been my busiest summer yet...I feel like I haven't stopped for a second! The best part is, I have all sorts of memories to share with you all. Stick around till the end, where I'll share a few of my tips for a successful move-in and orientation! But first...


Hey now. One short week into summer vacation, my friend Mikayla and I ventured on down to beautiful Aruba for nine days! I had my first snorkeling experience, burned the life out of my stomach, and absolutely blew up Instagram. (Sorry, everyone.) Here are a few highlights...

 We stayed at the gorgeous Costa Linda Resort, with this at our immediate access all day long! Not a bad view at all. 

I couldn't seem to get enough sunset shots. If there was a time to go crazy with the moment-capturing, this was certainly the place to do it.

Our wild dog (yes, wild dog) friend at Baby Beach, where we paid $8 for a chair, and $1 plus a mile walk for the bathroom. We snorkeled for about ten minutes before we realized we weren't going to see anything good unless we braved the open ocean beyond the reef. May have been an opportunity missed,  but we still made it out with our lives and a few disposable camera shots of translucent fish.

The California Lighthouse- nearly crashed an engagement photoshoot for this shot, but I'd say it was well worth it. 

2.) White Water Rafting!!!
I was back from Aruba for a week before I was at it again. A group of us made our way to Millinocket, Maine, yanked on some wetsuits and rafted the Penobscot River for the weekend. This was my third year in a row of rafting, but I have to say, this was the most treacherous trip yet. With the water level a tad lower than it had been for us in years past, each rapid became bumpier. That being said, we had our very first raft-flip at a daunting 13 foot waterfall...not an experience I would care to repeat. However, we've all lived to tell the tale, and I made it out with plenty of photo documentation, as usual.
 The Penobscot around sunset, taken from where we'd set up camp for the night.

The very waterfall that sank our ship. See that stretch of water that sort of drops off below the sun? That's right about where right-side-up became upside-down. Goodness gracious.

A quick adventure to this gorgeous view of Mount Katahdin.

3.) Work

After returning from the Penobscot, I finally buckled down and started my regular work schedule for the summer, lifeguarding at the YWCA of Greater Newburyport Monday through Friday. This was my first summer working that many hours, and it was uplifting to finally feel like a big part of things around there. I worked with an amazing group of people who I became very close with, some who sadly won't be returning next summer. But the moral of the story is, I had an amazing experience in which work no longer felt like a burden, but instead a part of my summer.
 Our last day with the full crew, captured with the utmost class and style.

The Yankee Homecoming Bed Race, 2014...a Newburyport tradition in which local businesses decorate a "bed" of sorts (on wheels), dress up according to theme, and haul down Federal Street. This year we decided to enter as a staff, designating yours truly as the "rider". So, doing my very best to take one for the team, I mounted our flimsy stretcher of a "bed", begged them not to run too fast, and held on tight. Once again, I live to tell the tale. ("Why worry when you've got a team of lifeguards by your side?" was not as comforting as it should have been.)

4.) A few more adventures...
 The final year of the Danvers 3rd of July Fireworks...a family tradition that will surely be missed.

Exploring Halibut Point State Park in Rockport, MA...easily one of the most picturesque towns I've ever been to. 

Kayaking Loon Pond in Acton, it just me, or does this give off a Notebook vibe (minus the swans)? I definitely felt like Rachel McAdams that day.

Camping at White Lake State Park in Tamworth, NH. Always an Instagram-worthy sunset here.

Ziplining at Wildcat Mountain...and yes, I took my phone along for the ride to document. A risk worth taking for sure.

With the majority of the summer come and gone (very quickly, I might add), it's time to start getting excited about heading back to St. Mike's. But let's get real...I've been excited since I left in May. So without further ado, here are a few tips for a smooth move-in day and orientation weekend! Incoming freshmen...I am so excited to see all your brand new faces!

1.) Relaaaxxxx
I only say this because I didn't. I felt like one way or the other,  I was going to end up missing something with all the bustling energy that was move-in day. But the truth is, moving in takes way less time than you would think. So enjoy those last few hours with the fam before you part ways for a little while, you'll have the rest of the weekend to run around like a crazy person making all the friends in the world! 

2.) Get Out and About!
The majority of the meeting and greeting happens during orientation weekend. You'll find that most everyone is bouncing from room to room saying hi, or engaging in a lively game of Clap-Ball on the lawn. Join in! Everyone is in the exact same boat as one is best friends already, and no one is going to turn down the chance to meet yet another someone new!

3.) Keep Getting Out and About!
If you happen to make a really great pal especially early on, that's fantastic! Keep hanging out with them, texting them, and meeting up at Alliot. But whatever you do, don't take it as an invitation to stop meeting new people. The people you meet here will most likely be the people you'll be around for a good long while, so water all the seeds and see which ones grow!

3.) Go to the Events!
I was very surprised to find that anyone would want to skip out, but there's always a party pooper. Don't be that guy/girl! Such an unbelievable amount of bonding happens throughout the events of orientation weekend (which I won't get specific about, because you should be surprised!), so you don't want to be the one that's too cool for it all. Trust me, it's an amazing time. Get into it!

4.) Take Pictures!
I know I might sound a little biased here, and I do love a good photo-op...but you'll be happy you documented the earliest moments of freshman year. Looking back on my own photos, I'm amazed at how far we've all come and how much has changed in just a year. These are the memories you'll want to keep! 

All that being said, I hope all you incoming freshmen have an amazing move-in day and orientation weekend! It is by far the most exciting, enthusiastic weekend at St. Mike's...or quite possibly the most enthusiastic weekend you'll have in your life! Make the most of it, and stay tuned for a few more life-living tips on Sunday the 31st. 

See you soon!!! 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Wrapping it Up

I'll start with noting that sadly, this will be my last post of the year! It's been such a great time; I'm very sad that it'll be a few months before I'm blogging again. The good news is, I'll have plenty of great new ideas, stories, and photos to share come September!
The last few days have been both exciting and busy...I got one final out of the way, with one more to go on Tuesday. To celebrate the last weekend on campus, we ventured to Burlington one last time. Strawberry smoothies, playing with the lava lamps at Spencer's, puppy-petting on the boardwalk, and some more ski-drooling made for a great last trip.

Gonna miss this view for sure! 

In other news, the Cavanaugh family lost a valued member this weekend.

Loveable, energized, and fun till the end, Lucy will undoubtedly be missed. But thankfully, it was a quick escape to Gilbrook Trail (right next to campus) for a head-clearing hike.

Amidst everything going on, we've all made our last few days fun and chock full of great memories. It will be a long summer away from this place, but I know that returning will be even more glorious with a set of new faces to discover! As you prepare for your transition to St. Mike's throughout the summer, remember to continue making a few more high school memories.
On another note, I hope lots of you have begun considering the summer orientation options, WOW, POW, SOAR, Knight Overnight, and the Service Weekend. I went on POW, and as my first official St. Mike's experience, it was certainly an unforgettable one. I got the chance to meet several of my soon-to-be classmates, and I even met my very best friend Jared. It was an incredible weekend away that served as the perfect transition into starting my first semester of college. Already knowing a few familiar faces on move-in day was an invaluable comfort! Consider it very highly recommended! More information on POW and other summer orientation programs can be found here.
Lastly, as you pack and prepare, please try not to stress! St. Mike's sends plenty of reassuring information, packing lists, confirmation, etc. throughout the summer, so you will never be left behind or out of the loop! I cannot wait to meet you all in the fall!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Coming to a Quick Close

While its been a fun ride, the last weekend before finals has come to an end. The study window that has been looming over our heads for weeks has finally opened...and there's a really cold, unwelcome draft emanating from it.
On the brighter side of things, yesterday was the long waited for P-Day! Yes, it rained, and yes, it was about twenty degrees colder than it has been for the past couple of weeks, but it still came out to be one of the funnest days I've had yet here at St. Mike's!
I vividly remember looking at St. Mike's, deciding I wanted to go there, hearing P-Day mentioned a whole lot, and never quite fully understanding what it was. So for those of you incomers who don't know, P-Day is the Saturday of the last official weekend before finals. Events go on for the majority of the day- the "trike race" (a spirited race on tiny scooters, either to be watched or participated in!), inflatable obstacle courses and games, lots and lots of free food, live music, and a comedy show!
On my very first P-Day, I had pizza, fries, crab rangoons, ham and cheese crepes, and, once again, Ben and Jerry's all for free, failed miserably at the inflatable obstacle course, soaked my socks at the inflatable slide, and very quickly exhausted myself! But first, I heroically woke at 7:45 AM to attend a few presentations at the Academic Symposium, where St. Mike's seniors present their final research projects. Needless to say, it was a very full day!
Photo-ops in the long line for food tokens.

One of the many inflatable decide who the victor is! 

Can't wait to see all you incomers at next year's P-Day, I know it'll be a great first, just as it was for me!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!!!

To those of you out there who celebrate, happy happy HAPPY Easter!
Oh, the perks of a Catholic college- Friday and Monday off! St. Mike's is coming to the end of a quick little Easter break, and it's insane to think that after just a few finals, packing, and of course P-Day, I'll be done with my freshman year of college! Time FLIES.
As always, I'm beyond super excited to be headed back up to St. Mike's tomorrow (I feel like I say this every time...), and I'm surprised at how sad I am to be leaving in just a couple of weeks.
I've heard of a couple of friends who will be coming up to St. Mike's in the fall as freshman- SO excited! And to the rest of you who also made the right choice in choosing St. Mike's, I'm equally as excited to see all of you in the fall! I hope you're just as excited too.
So, to wrap things up: a little peek of today's Easter goodies...

 Easter basket finds...malted milk ball eggs! Whoppers, anyone? One of my favorites.

One of Auntie's many dessert creations: red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, covered in Cadbury Eggs! (Needless to say, my eyes were bigger than my stomach on this one. God bless holiday food! Gotta love a good excuse to stuff your face.)

In other news, I'm all packed up and ready to go for tomorrow morning...comin' in hot, St. Mike's!
PS, I can only hope that all you incoming freshmen will share my enthusiasm for this place come fall-time! See you soon!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Home Stretch!

As the semester is coming to an end and the weather has begun to warm up (thank god!), there have been lots of things to do!
Earlier this week, I made it to Church Street for Ben and Jerry's' Free Cone Day! Even though it rained a little on our way over, we managed to get lucky and it stopped just in time. The line extended through most of Church Street, but it was worth it! Especially since we correctly answered a trivia question that bumped us to the front of the line...if you ever need to know which Ben and Jerry's flavor is the most popular in Japan, it's Cherry Garcia!

After a brief wait in line on this cold, soggy day, we finally made it out with our free ice cream...what better ice cream is there?

In other news, it's hard to imagine as students have begun to lay their blankets out on the lawn and whip out their guitars that it snowed under a week ago...if there's one thing I've learned about Vermont, it's that you never know. Sundresses one day, flurries the next. Even though it was brief, it certainly sent a panic through campus on Tuesday morning. 
Thankfully, that came and went, and I think it's safe to say that Spring has officially sprung! Though this past Friday was a bit of a stressful one with class registration for next Fall looming over our heads, we made it a good one with a trip to the Champlain waterfront, my favorite place in Burlington! 

It's always a gorgeous day at the waterfront...the only struggle is deciding which lake shot to Instagram! #SoManyChoices
Somebody spotted Champ, the Champlain lake monster.
We also made a quick stop into SkiRack, because it's never a bad idea to drool over the latest models. 

Wasting time before catching the bus...camping wine glasses, anyone? Always fun finds at Outdoor Gear Exchange.
As hard as it was to tear myself away from the sunny campus, we had to make one last Smugg's trip on Saturday to get in some Spring skiing before putting away all the hand-warmers for the season. 
A little sticky, but it was a beautiful, warm day. It was the first time in a long time that I had no layers constricting my head freeing!

I swear I could see Lake Champlain...and farmland...and across the entire state. Thankfully, it wasn't a crowded day, so I could stop and take all the pictures I wanted without a judgmental eye or  catastrophic crash.

Fun find of the day...a crafty wind chime made from ski poles!

I'll certainly miss Smugg's in all of its skiing glory and photo ops...but I'll happily trade it in for the beach just for a little while! 
It was a fun week accomplished before the stress of next year's housing and final exams hit, but we'll all make these next couple of weekends at St. Mike's worth our while for sure!



Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fun in Historic Jericho

If you're ever venturing up to the Smuggler's Notch area, you'll pass through an adorable little town called Jericho. This week, I made it up there with my freshman seminar class on a field trip (yes, those still happen at St. Mike's)! We visited the snow-making crew at Smugg's and heard the tales of their's definitely a much more difficult job than most of us would think! Later on, we visited Old Mill Park and the Snowflake Bentley exhibit (only a 30 minute drive, and well worth it!) where we witnessed the original copies of his iconic crystal photography.

Bentley ventured out into snowstorms with a piece of black velvet and a feather, selecting the perfect snowflake, holding his breath, and capturing it with his microscope and camera contraption before it melted! He made a life of this, never marrying and living with his mother- that's passion!

Some of Bentley's original handwritten letters.

A quilt made by his mother.

The beautiful gift shop! 
I definitely recommend stopping by after a day at Smugg's, or even if you just happen to be in the area! (It's also very close to Snowflake Chocolates, I mean, if you're into that kind of thing...) 

In other news, the weather seems to have turned, although I'm not quite sure if I should get too excited just yet. As of now, however, campus seems to be turning green! Skies have been blue, and clouds have been few! A few muddy puddles aside, campus has been gorgeous!
The view from good old Lyons 411!

It was amazing seeing so many families at the Accepted Students Day yesterday. There was quite a bit of enthusiasm for such a cloudy day! I take that as a good sign. Can't wait to see every one of you in the Fall!