Latest Event Updates
Happy May, SMU! It’s that time of the year again where people say their goodbyes (many call it “see-you-laters”), pack up their rooms, and in the midst of finals, get ready to go back home. Although we haven’t had the sunniest of Spring seasons, it’s nice to see the leaves on the trees finally come back and flowers begin to emerge. Just as Washington finishes up its Spring cleaning, so should we. Through all of the bittersweetness of leaving campus for the summer, we must sort through all of the memories and friendships that we have made. Throughout the year, I have discovered more about what my role at SMU and how I can apply it to my future, I have made and lost my fair share of friendships, but that is how life goes. To me, it’s really important to keep those collections of meaningful relationships and memories that have shaped me into the person who I am today and share them with you. Saint Martin’s University has been a huge part of my life, and although this year has had its highs and lows, it is critical to recap the year so that I can carry these experiences forward.
- This year’s annual gala was a hit! Getting the opportunity to cover the event was such a great opportunity and I had so much fun doing it!
I’ve learned more about my leadership style, my purpose at SMU, and who I want to be this year, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. I’m halfway through my time at SMU, and I plan on taking every opportunity that comes my way, and I hope that you do too. What’s next for me? Well, this summer I will be taking my study abroad trip to Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Sweden, then I will go back home to California, and before school starts, I will be helping out as an orientation leader! I’m super excited to be back on campus next semester, and share with you the rest of my study abroad journey. That’s all for now, and I hope you all have a great summer!
For those who don’t know, I’m really excited to say that this summer, I will be participating in a summer study abroad program in Northern Europe. It’s a short-term program where we will be traveling to Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland to wrap up
a semester-long course that studies history and sociology. Previously, I never thought that I would be able to study abroad because I thought that it was an opportunity that was too far from my reach. In addition, being a student-athlete makes it really difficult to incorporate a study abroad program into my college experience. Being a part of the women’s softball program and fully committing myself to the team has been the most amazing experience for me, so it is important to me that I be there for the entirety of the Fall and Spring seasons. Thankfully, Saint Martin’s University provides a variety of opportunities for everyone to experience what it is like to be a study abroad student.
I made the decision to study abroad at the beginning of this school year after one of my best friends at SMU, Jennifer, and I stopped by the office of study abroad to ask Brenda Burns some questions and pick up some pamphlets. At the time, we were just curious about
what each program had to offer, but the more that we dreamed, the more we wanted to turn those dreams into a reality. This summer, we get to live that dream and learn more about the world that surrounds us (P.S. this summer she is studying at Cambridge University in Great Britain. WOOT WOOT proud friend right here!).
The study abroad office has so many cool resources to help SMU students make program decisions, find scholarships, and connect students with previous study abroad alumni. Being able to talk to people who are passionate for traveling and learning was really important in my decision-making process. In addition, learning how to effectively fundraise and search for scholarships have helped make the financial costs of study abroad more affordable.
In just a little over a month and a half, I will be on a plane flying halfway across the world. For now, I just have these months to cherish the learning process and take in as much information that I can during my weekly night class to prepare myself for the trip. That is all I have to write about for now, but I can’t wait to share more with you about how this study abroad experience will unfold!
… To be continued…
For more information about study abroad opportunities, visit the website here: https://www.stmartin.edu/directory/office-study-abroad
I have lived in Washington for over a year and a half, but until last weekend, I had never really explored Seattle before. It’s something that I have always wanted to do but had never done. Previously, the most “Seattle” interaction that I had were my frequent visits to SafeCo Field to root on the Mariners (unless they were playing the Angels, which I would be decked out in red cheering on good ol’ Mike Trout). My point is, something that we are so lucky to have at Saint Martin’s University is being only one hour away from Seattle. We take it for granted, but if we just make that drive up the 5, there is a plethora of things to do off campus. Here’s what I did with my Sunday off.
We began our day by going to mass at Saint James’ Cathedral. In awe of its exterior beauty, we took pictures outside. Little did we know that the inside was just as beautiful! We even had the opportunity to bring up the gifts for communion!
Next, we took on the streets to walk to the S.A.M., aka the Seattle Art Museum. The walk wasn’t bad at all, but it helped to have a little coffee first 🙂 Such a classic Washingtonian move…
Once we got to the Seattle Art Museum, we were entered a world full of classic and modern art. Many exhibits included religious pieces, focused on the world’s historical journey to knowledge, or brought up political issues such as human migration. My favorite exhibit of them all was the “Seeing Nature” collection of European and American paintings of landscape.
After visiting the S.A.M., we walked to Pike Place Market and explored to our hearts’ content. The fish throwing, the gum wall, the colorful murals, the music, and food were all remarkable to witness. Even the very first Starbucks Coffee shop had a story to tell. It was so fascinating to see a myriad of cultures come together in a common place. To experience Seattle is to get a glimpse of the world and the people who inhabit it.
At the end of the day, it cost about $25 dollars for a day of exciting adventure. It’s not something that I could do every weekend, but for a college student like me, it was a relatively inexpensive way to get off campus and spend quality time with my best friends. As a student at SMU, I believe that we are really fortunate to have such a wide variety of recreational opportunities around us. For more information about student life and things to do outside of campus, please visit our website: https://www.stmartin.edu/student-life/campus-life/living-pacific-northwest
When I was a first-year student, I remember driving back to campus from a dinner off campus with my friends after a long day of school. In the middle of our candid conversations and laughter, I remember saying, “When we get home, we should go to Parsons’ Store”. In that moment, I realized that this was the first time I had referred to Saint Martin’s University as “home”.
Calling a place that isn’t where you are from as “home” is a scary thing because it isn’t actually home. Doing this is truly an exhilarating experience because you feel so many emotions including fear, a little bit of disappointment in yourself for betraying the place that you have lived previously, but also a little bit of joy. As a first-year student, it was the first sign that I was beginning to absolutely love SMU. Every college student goes through this phase where you stop calling it just your room in your residence hall and transition into calling it your home. It is almost like a rite of passage! As a student, I fell in love with the people, my surroundings, and the values that the university upholds. I have learned that home isn’t just the place where you live, but it’s where you surround yourself with people that you love and feel like you belong.
On a separate note, last weekend, I travelled with my softball team to sunny Southern California, the place where I had grown up for eighteen years of my life. It is my
original home where my family lives, my roots are, and where I am most happy. I had a wonderful time having my parents, my brothers, and the rest of my family in the stands to watch our games. Being able to spend time with them outside of softball was special too. Even though I was disappointed to have two of our games cancelled on Monday, February 6, my team and I were able to go to Disneyland
(which if you know me, this was really exciting). Everything about being in Southern California just felt right. But despite all this, when I talked about being at Saint Martin’s University, I would still call it “home”.
It’s so crazy to think that you can call two places home. Being able to have a place to call home is special, but the fact that I have two places to call home makes me the luckiest gal in the world. Saint Martin’s University has provided me with so many opportunities to grow and succeed, and for that I am thankful. I love living on a floor such as the Norcia Leadership Community to help me discover who I was meant to be, having teammates that always hold me to a higher standard, and being a part of a university that creates the feeling that you are part of a family. I am so fortunate to be able to call this wonderful place as my home away from home, and I hope that you feel the same way.
When I was first dropped off at college as a first-year student, I was so excited to have my first taste of freedom. It wasn’t because I was excited to leave California and not see my family anymore, but because it was something that was different. I love being at Saint Martin’s University for the community I have formed here, but as time goes on, I can’t help but miss my family. For the longest time, I have been wishing that they could come
up to Washington to truly experience why I love Saint Martin’s so much; last weekend, Family Weekend allowed me to do that.
That weekend, around 300 people filled the Norman Worthington Conference Center despite the stormy weather that hit the Pacific Northwest, and one of those people was my mom. She flew in from California to join me in the festivities and we both had a great time. The event itself promoted one of the university’s core value of community, and it was really interesting to see how so many Saint families came together to participate in Saint Martin’s University culture. The event began with a luncheon where families were able to meet each other and mingle with SMU faculty. Here, President Heynderickx talked about what has been happening around the university,
including social events and the midterms that are upon us students, and Abbot Neal talked about how he began his journey at Saint Martin’s as well as his role in the abbey community. The big tables at the event were provided a welcoming environment. I was fortunate enough to sit with the Watson family and the Wesselman family. We talked about future careers, what it’s like when we are home, why we are at this university, and so on and so on. I loved getting to know them and forming these friendships that will carry me through college and beyond.
Following lunch, families were invited to attend SMU Bingo, various “University 101” presentations by
professors, the women’s volleyball game, and wine, dine, and cider with the deans. These events really allowed me to give my mom a taste of SMU culture, as well as meet and hang out with the other people! The coolest part of it all was learning where every SMU family came from. What amazes me is that if it weren’t for Saint Martin’s, I would have never met so many interesting students and families. People from Hawaii, Indiana, California, Washington, Alaska, and even international students come together to celebrate education and community. And that is incredible.
I am so thankful for family weekend. I missed my dad, my mom, my three brothers, and my dog, but even having just my mom here that weekend really helped make that longing a little more bearable. Our first family weekend as a university was a success, and I can’t wait to see what is to come.
“Leadership comes in all shapes and sizes, even in from the people you least expect it from. Leadership isn’t just for the extroverts; it can come from anyone…” Someone told me this during my freshman year and it is something that I will never forget. It sticks with me because it was an original idea that had never crossed my mind, but proves to be true. Saint Martin’s University produces great leaders who are changing the world because of the unique opportunities it provides, and I hope that I am one of them.
One of the unique programs that Saint Martin’s provides for students is the Benedictine Leaders Program (BLP). BLP consists of two phases that focus on the university’s four core themes, faith, reason, service and community, to help students discover where their strengths are and how they can apply them. It also allows the students to reflect upon how the four core themes affect their lives, and how to lead with integrity. Many leadership positions on campus, including orientation leaders, AHANA mentors, Norcia mentors, club officers and resident assistants, require BLP completion. As someone who has
participated in phase 1 of BLP, I am glad that I had the opportunity to participate in the process
because I met some of my best friends during the program, and because it has helped set me up for success during my time a Saint Martin’s, as well as out in the world. Students of all ages, personalities and talents (even the people I never would have formally guessed to pursue leadership positions), gather for a common goal and have proven to be some of the best leaders I know.
To sign up for the Benedictine Leaders Program, visit https://www.stmartin.edu/student-life/leadership-opportunities/benedictine-leaders-program-registration-form