Let me start off by saying that when you come to Ave, not only are you getting a great education in a faith filled community set in gorgeous Florida, but you are going to meet some absolutely amazing people. I figured I would give you guys a little break from me, and let some of my fantabulous classmates take the spotlight. I asked them for any tips they had for incoming freshmen, what they like about Ave, or anything they would go back and tell their freshmen selves. I got great responses with great advice, so enjoy their words of wisdom!
"If I could offer you one piece of advice it would be to keep Christ in your life! I know we get super busy with school and friends and sometimes we just kinda forget to take a moment and thank our Creator. Ave is such a perfect place to grow in your faith. Take advantage of daily mass and all of the chapels that are around campus. I always loved going to mass with my roommates and my roommate and I even prayed a novena together. The Lord is sooo good and He will help you through anything! I know I wouldn’t have survived freshmen year without Him! Ave is such a beautiful place, it’s unlike anywhere else. Use your time at this amazing school to really grow in your relationship with Him.”
"One of the many things I would tell incoming freshmen is to not miss the beauty of the campus. Go outside! Admire the sunsets! The campus is stunning, don’t take it for granted."
"The cafeteria is one of the best places to meet new people so I’d recommend mixing up who you sit with for the first few weeks! Get involved with clubs but don’t overextend yourself especially in the first semester. When the cafeteria food starts to take its toll, get a group of friends and go eat at The Bean or Tropical Smoothie. This next one kinda goes without saying, but get to know your professors. Do NOT be afraid to ask questions after class and go visit them during their office hours. Showing respect and interest in their classes will undoubtedly enrich your experience at Ave. And finally take advantage of daily mass/confession/rosary walk when possible!”
"Get to know your RA’s and RD’s! They’ll come and stop by, knocking on your door because they genuinely want to be your friend, and see how you’re doing with school and all. Don’t worry, they’re not just there to be your mom away from home and looking to bust you for something. Go visit an RA, and play a game of Jenga in the office and eat cookies or brownies or something and meet new people that come in to join.”
"Make sure you get rest, and learn to balance work and fun. It’s way too easy, especially the first semester, to get caught up in the new found freedom and making friends that you forget to get a decent amount of downtime or dedicate enough time to your studies.”
"Don’t stay in your room 24/7. Be sure to go out and meet and hang out with a bunch of people. They will keep you from going insane from the occasional stress of school, while bringing you closer to God. I almost never went to daily mass before meeting some of my friends at Ave, where we went almost every day. They helped encourage me to make sure to give God glory and praise even when I wasn’t having a good day. I credit God and my friends for getting me through my first year of college half a country away from my family in Texas. So be sure to make friends, and give time for God y’all.”
"Seriously invest in a mattress pad, you’ll be glad on long days or finals week! Get a laundry basket that is easy to carry through the halls. If you’re not a morning person and you miss breakfast, you can use your meal swipe at night to get a bagel from the café and save it for the next morning—this way you utilize all your meal swipes and have a quick meal ready in the morning!"
"Freshman year is really hard…it’s a reality. But there are definitely a few things that I wish I had known before getting to school last year. First, it’s ok to say no to hanging out sometimes. As much as everyone thinks they’re missing out when they don’t go to something, it’s a lot better for your sanity to go to bed before 4am or to spend time working on that paper instead. Those friends will be there in the morning. But secondly, don’t forget that college isn’t only about the academics, it’s also about the people. Don’t get so caught up in the school that you turn into a hermit and end up ignoring a roommate crying on the other side of the dorm because you want to study. And finally, as St. Padre Pio says: “pray, hope, and don’t worry!" Keep praying at school, Ave has so many grace filled opportunities, take advantage of them! And have hope that you’re going to survive through that bad day or that awful exam. And try not worry, cause college is pretty great! God brought you to this school for a reason, so you know these 4 years are gonna be one wild ride! Welcome to Ave!!"