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  • August 21, 2013 6:43 pm

    Year 2

    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!!

  • July 22, 2013 4:39 pm

    Emma’s Guide for Incoming Freshmen: Words of Wisdom

    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!

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  • July 15, 2013 3:48 pm

    Emma’s Guide for Incoming Freshmen: Freshmen FAQ

    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!

    1. 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.image
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.image
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.

  • July 9, 2013 3:33 pm

    Emma’s Guide for Incoming Freshmen: How to be a Social Butterfly (or at Least a Social Caterpillar)

    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.

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  • June 24, 2013 3:16 pm

    Emma’s Guide for Incoming Freshmen: MARC (Mass, Adoration, Rosary, Confession)

    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.

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  • June 18, 2013 11:03 am

    Emma’s Guide for Incoming Freshmen: Successful Study Habits

    Welcome to the second installment in Emma’s Guide for Incoming Freshmen. Now that I’ve given you guys some pointers on your living space, let’s move on to what will be happening in that living space a good portion of the time: studying and homework. I made it through my first year with only a few breakdowns and maybe one all-nighter. Academics at Ave are challenging, but definitely worth it. I am also in the Honors Program, which offers extra enrichment as well as additional challenges. I did well grade-wise, but it did take quite a bit of effort.

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  • June 10, 2013 7:06 pm

    Emma’s Guide for Incoming Freshmen: One Stop Dorm Shop

    Well now that I have now completed my freshman year, I’m basically a pro at this whole college thing, right? I’d like to think so, but unfortunately I’m still working out the kinks. However, I do think that I’ve acquired enough knowledge and tips and tricks that I can pass on to the next class. This is going to be the first post in a series that I’m writing: Emma’s Guide for Incoming Freshmen.

    Lets start off with a big necessity: the dorm rooms. As many of you know, there are 5 dorms: Blessed Mother Teresa, Blessed John Paul II, Saint Joseph, Saint Sebastian, and Saint Maria Goretti. They all have info pages on Ave’s website, but to save you the trip, I now welcome you to the One Stop Dorm Shop.

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  • June 10, 2013 7:04 pm

    A Look Back at Spring Semester

    Now that I am home for the summer, I finally have a chance to catch my breath. Spring semester flew by and was filled with tons of fun, great friends, and lots of studying.

    Spring semester was awesome. As a second semester freshman, I now had one semester under my belt, had found some amazing friends, and for the most part had figured out how to survive in college. I also had a semester packed full of events to look forward to. So bear with me, this could be a long one!

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  • January 29, 2013 10:01 am

    New Year, New Semester

    I’m back! After three weeks of traveling and enjoying my break up in the frozen tundra of Michigan, (I enjoyed the break part, not so much the frozen part) I have to say it feels good to be back in Ave. Besides the obvious fact that it is about 70 degrees warmer in Florida, it’s good to see all my friends and get back into the swing of college life.

    Now that I’ve settled back into my room, it feels like just yesterday we were all freaking out about finals: late nights in the library, study breaks on the sand volleyball court, and many prayers to St. Joseph of Cupertino. After my last final, I packed my bags for break—this entailed attempting to shove all my belongings into my suitcase and sitting on it to zip it. Before long, I was on the plane back home. The weather was a shock at first, I had to sleep with mittens on because I was so cold, but I did enjoy having a white Christmas. Seeing my puppy, my family, and friends was great and break seemed to fly by.




    Those three weeks went by in the blink of an eye and before long I found myself in the bookstore, gearing up for a new semester of classes. The first day back went well, I really like all my teachers and classes so far and I’m looking forward to a great semester! I already signed up for the back to school beach trip this weekend, which I’m super excited about mostly because we’ll be going to the beach in January. The March for Life is also coming up soon. A bunch of my friends and I are going with the Ave group and we can’t wait to head up to DC to save the babies!

    Like most people, I’ve made some New Years resolutions that I’m determined to work hard to keep this semester. For example, I want to go to daily mass and adoration more often, I want to keep my workout schedule consistent, and I especially want to procrastinate less and stay on top of all my work. So far, so good!

  • November 9, 2012 7:27 pm

    Whistle While You Work

    One of the biggest adjustments I’ve had to make in the transition into college life is budgeting my time and creating a balanced schedule. There is the constant temptation to procrastinate and put off homework while lying in my bed watching Disney movies in between classes. Of course I’m still working out the bugs, but I think I’ve established a pretty solid set of working habits.

    1)  Start early. Even if you think you have three weeks before you need to start a paper, start thinking about it earlier. I’ve found that the weeks often speed by, and little assignments and essays pop up very quickly. Unfortunately, I would sometimes consider myself as an AP (Advanced Procrastination) student, so I always make a conscious effort to sit down and start brainstorming or outlining so I have something to go off of once my essay deadline gets closer.

    2)  Make a list. This always keeps me organized and helps me handle stress. I make lists all the time, of homework that I need to do, when I need to work out, shopping lists, ideas for new blog posts or Facebook graphics. Checking off a task on my list is like a mental high five and I like having everything written down so nothing gets forgotten.

    3)  Nap. I never really appreciated the wonderfulness of napping until I got to college. Staying up late studying, or even a rough couple morning classes can be rewarded with a heavenly daytime nap. It’s a good pick-me-up and also helps make up for some lost sleep. Make sure you set an alarm though, because nothing is worse than your roommate throwing a pillow at you at 2:29 asking, “Don’t you have class at 2:30?”

    4)  Find what works for you. For me, I’m most productive sitting on my floor while listening to movie soundtracks or Christmas music. Why? I have no idea whatsoever, but that’s what works for me. Some people need to clean their desk off and can’t work with music. Others are masters of multitasking, like my roommate for example. She can write an essay, watch The Office, and update her Twitter while still getting work done.

    5)  Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’ve never been a big fan of admitting when I need help, but I’ve learned that it’s not a sign of weakness or lack of intelligence. Here at Ave, there are many opportunities to get homework help or someone to proofread a paper. All the professors have office hours, and are more than willing to help with any questions or papers. The Academic Center for Excellence, aka the ACE Place, is a great place to get help as well. Going to the library for study groups or working in the 24 hour room is always beneficial, and is always popular around exam time.

    6)  Leave time for you. I’m pretty sure if I shut myself in my room and worked all the time, my brain would explode. And that wouldn’t be helpful for anyone now, would it? Set aside time to go to a sporting event, get involved in an intramural sport, have a movie night, go for a walk around campus, find a friend with a car and drive into Naples, stop by the Café for a snack and a quick game of pool. There are always activities on campus that are great opportunities to socialize and take a break from homework.

    I think Mary Poppins was absolutely right when she said, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” I’ve found that the less I worry about an assignment and the more I try to really get into it and find something to be passionate about, I get it done with less stress and I am able to finish a lot faster. Of course, sometimes that ‘element of fun’ is something you have to insert yourself, and very often includes some form of procrastination. However, once you find your balance and work out your schedule, everything seems to fall into place.