Thursday, September 8, 2011

What it's like

I try to blog about things that are relevant to Saint Michael's and also give a personal sense of what it's really like to be a student here. So this is what it's like, for me, right now.

I'm currently in the middle of a family emergency at home that has dominated all my thoughts. I live three hours from home and it really has been the ideal distance. I always said, "I want to be far enough that I don't have to come home, but I can go home if I need to." Right now, I need to be home, at least for a few days. I received some bad news last Thursday (and more on Sunday) and have felt torn all week. It's almost like being two people; I have my amazing Saint Michael's support system, and then my Milford family. I don't really want to get into details here, but I can speak to the outreach available on campus. 

Friends
  I love my friends so much. I live next door to my two best friends (and have a best-guy friend downstairs) and I know that they are always there. I've had friends offer to drive and fly me home, and I know I can go to them any time of day or night. I was so lucky this year also to get a roommate for the first time. There's something about having someone in the room while you sleep that helps you hold it together. She has been so understanding and I really appreciate her company.

Faculty
  I'm very close with my professors, especially my advisors for my English and Religion majors. They are always there with doors open, ready to listen. When I nearly crumbled my poetry workshop on Tuesday, my adorable Irish professor was completely understanding. My work-study boss in the library has also been incredible. She's more than just my supervisor, she's one of my biggest sources of support. This weekend she is even meeting my mom half-way to get me back to school for classes next week. I don't know how to thank her.
  In addition to these people, I also spoke to the assistant dean this week, who made sure that all my professors knew why I would be missing class. She was a discreet and supportive resource.

Residence Life
  Last weekend two members of the Residence Life staff stopped by my room to introduce themselves and make sure I was doing all right. I also spoke with my resident advisor who has been so wonderful and involved with the girls on my floor. We do nice things for each other, like an anonymous compliment 'Cup Drop.'

Walk-In Counseling
  I have been never been to the Walk-In Counseling, which is available a few nights a week, mainly because I have so many other sources of support. We have several on-campus counselors available at specific sessions, in addition to services available through the switchboard 24 hours a day. There are many support services available in the Klein building. Here is a link to the personal counseling page.

Campus Ministry
   The Edmundites on campus have a definite presence, with offices in Alliot and a residence hall near the Hoehl Welcome Center. I have done community service with one of them and we constantly cross paths. Last year at a very difficult time I found it very comforting just to go to the empty chapel and sit quietly for an hour; it's a peaceful place.

The copious resources available to us on campus have really helped me out. Situations like this are not something you plan for when choosing a college. As much as I may feel like no one can understand what I'm going through, it's nice knowing I have such a tightly woven safety net beneath me.

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