Happy New Year everyone! Currently I am buried under almost two feet of snow, so I figured now would be a good time to mentally head back to sunny Florida and reflect on my favorite parts of the fall semester.
When I signed up to do O-Team at the end of the semester last year, I thought that it was just going to be like “Here’s your t-shirt, let’s move the freshmen in!” (more or less). I didn’t realize how much planning and work the O-Team did for my orientation last year, and now that I’m experiencing it first hand, I definitely am grateful. Working with my fellow O-Team members has been a blast and I can’t wait to meet the freshmen and get them through this orientation weekend!
This past weekend, I returned to Ave for the Open House held on Saturday. I was the MC for the event, and I had a great time welcoming our prospective students to Ave! One of my favorite parts about Open House events is the Q&A session with the student panel. Students agree to share their experiences and answer some of the visitors’ questions, as well as some of the more frequent questions that the admissions office receives. Each student is involved in different activities on campus, and each brings a different point of view to the table. This way, visiting students can see the many wonderful facets of Ave as well as the various possibilities that await them if they attend Ave. Another reason I love the student panel is because it is so evident how much the students love Ave. We all love sharing our favorite things about Ave, and it really shows how students view Ave as their home and enjoy the faith community, academics, and social activities.
Now that I’m back, I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. Currently, all of my belongings are strewn about my room and cover just about every inch of surface area. So unpacking and organizing is definitely at the top of my list before my wonderful roomies get back. I also almost forgot about Florida’s lovely rainy season, and have somehow managed to get caught in the rain way too many times already without an umbrella. When it’s not raining, the temperatures climb, and I am once again enjoying acclimating myself to the Florida sun (my hat is off to all the athletes who practice outside in this). In order to get such perfect weather in January and February, I guess you have to pay for it sometime.Regardless, I am beyond excited to be back at Ave and look forward to getting ready for the coming school year.
I always tell people that when I first visited Ave, that as soon as I stepped on campus, I knew that Ave was the place God was calling me to. I cannot say enough about how much I love Ave and everyone and everything I’ve experienced here so far. I’m excited to welcome our new freshman class next week at orientation and can’t wait to see what amazing things this year has in store for us all!!
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!
I asked the admissions counselors for a list of the top questions that they receive from incoming students, and because I love helping you guys out, I figured I would do my best to help answer them for you!
What are the beaches like and how long does it take to get there from campus? Ah yes, the beaches. I still can hardly wrap my chilled northern mind around the fact that we have access to gorgeous Florida beaches all year round. The most popular beaches among students are Vanderbilt and Lowdermilk, which are about 45 minutes from campus.
What is there to do around campus? This was pretty much the topic of last week’s post, so you guys can check that out for more details. But in summary, Student Life and SAB put on tons of fun events: Dorm Wars, Karaoke Nights, Ave Idol, Trivia Nights, Theology on Tap, Movie Nights, concerts, and Love Week, for example. There are also intramural sports, a variety of clubs and Households to join. Each semester there is an Activities Fair and a Household Fair where you can learn about the different options. And of course, there are Gyrene sports games to go to.
What is the food like? Hmmm, good question. It’s pretty much classic college food. We have a salad bar, pizza, burgers and hot dogs, a sandwich station, the meal option of the day (ie Taco Tuesday), fruit, desserts, cereal, the norm.
Is there a bank, urgent care, dentist, grocery store in Ave? All of the above, and all within a short walking distance. Shamrock Bank is the bank on campus and they offer student accounts. There is an urgent care, EPN Urgent Care, as well as a dentist, Ave Maria Dentistry, in the Piazza (the town center around the Oratory). There is also a Publix on campus, a short walk from the dorms, across the street from Shamrock.
Are there any jobs on campus? There are student worker positions that will pop up throughout the year, keep an eye on your Ave student email as well as the Daily Bulletin that is emailed out. Also, if you catch it at the right time, you might be able to find a job at one of the businesses in the town.
Where and when do I buy my books? As soon as the book info goes up on your self service account (go to your schedule, click on the class, then book information), you can look for your books either through Ave’s bookstore online or Amazon. If you order them online through Ave’s bookstore, you can have them ready for pickup there before school starts. You can also buy them at the bookstore once you arrive on campus if you choose.
Can freshmen have cars on campus? Yes! There is a parking form you’ll need to fill out and submit in order to have your car on campus.
So last post I shared with you my tips on spiritual growth, and this week’s post will be focused on social growth. This is Emma’s Guide for Incoming Freshmen: How to be a Social Butterfly (or at Least a Social Caterpillar). There are tons of opportunities and activities both on and off campus, and I would definitely suggest taking advantage of as many of them as you can.
At one of the first Masses I attended at Ave Maria, my fellow students and I received a crucial acronym to live by: MARC. This stands for Mass, Adoration, Rosary, and Confession. So for my third installment of Emma’s Guide for Incoming Freshmen, I will be focusing on how to be a part of Ave’s excellent Catholic identity.