Orientation week had officially come to an end and as the first day of classes drew closer, so did Hurricane Isaac. Everyone was busy watching the radar and making preparations for the storm. Now being from Michigan, I had never experienced a hurricane or tropical storm before, so needless to say I was pretty excited. Snow days are an integral part of Michigan educational culture, so I came to Florida with the unfortunate knowledge that I would no longer spend a day off of school sipping hot chocolate with six feet of snow outside. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Florida has hurricane days. It was announced that the first day of classes would be cancelled due to Isaac. It was quite the stormy welcome to Florida and Ave Maria. As many may have heard, Isaac turned out to be no more than just a little wind and rain. My roommates and I spent our hurricane day at the pool and walking around campus. It’s good to know that Ave has good safety precautions, plus we did appreciate the extra day off.
My classes started Tuesday and Wednesday, and I now understand why Ave is sometimes called the Harvard of Catholic schools. All of my professors are fantastic—they are very passionate and intelligent and effortlessly make class enjoyable. We immediately began with reading multiple chapters in Genesis, Western Civilization, and the Iliad for homework. One of my favorite aspects of class is how the professors integrate multiple ideas into class whether it be relating Church teachings to topics in Literary Tradition or how the Iliad parallels the material in Western Civilization.
Ave Maria has a wonderful, close-knit community, which makes it very easy to make friends. My roommates and I are already extremely close, it seems like we’ve been best friends for years. I’ve also already made tons of great friends and met people from all over the country as well as some from other countries. One place to meet new people is at the sand volleyball court. There are always people playing pick up games, and I love going out at night to play. The participants range from beginners to seasoned players, which always makes for a fun game. Another thing that I love about Ave is adoration and daily mass. I’ve already visited our dorm’s adoration chapel multiple times. I love that I can go whenever I need to, it’s basically like a slumber party with Jesus.
Our first weekend, we drove to Vanderbilt Beach and spent the day studying on the beach, swimming, and soaking up the sun. The only negative aspect of the weekend is that my Michigan skin is not quite used to the Florida sun. Apparently, a day at the ocean requires more than one application of sunscreen. You live and learn. This coming weekend, Student Life is sponsoring a trip to Night of Joy at Disney World and I am beyond excited. Life at Ave is pretty great so far. I’m learning to balance homework, working out, socializing, and adoration and mass. Tonight, I’m finishing my reading assignments and then watching Hercules (an educational companion to the Iliad). I feel like I’m an accomplished college student already.