I am an English major with minors in Anthropology and Spanish who will graduate in the spring of 2013. While my academic life is on the hectic side most days, I am also a Prefect in St. Benedict Hall, a Barista at the Gristmill Coffeehouse, and an English tutor. In addition, I also work for the SVC Visiting Writers Series, a program that brings an international writer and a poet to campus each year giving the SVC community a chance to interact with contemporary writers. In my spare time, I serve as President to Sigma Tau Delta (the honor society for English majors) and Advisor to Alpha Lambda Delta (the honor society for students who excelled their first semester of college.) I also participate in Phi Sigma Iota (the honor society for students studying foreign languages) and the English Club, among other clubs.
Looking back on my short time here at Saint Vincent, I have come to love the community in general. I remember as a freshman being completely lost for the first months. I had the air of a tourist (and probably also had the look of one as well,) but I always felt like I everyone was looking out for me. From my Big (an orientation member assigned to guide me during my first semester) and Prefect to my advisor, Fr. Wulfstan, and my teachers, I always had someone to answer my questions and guide me in the right direction. And even today, two and half years after I arrived her, I have an amazing network of friends and mentors on campus that continues to grow. Even on my worst days, I always know that I am never alone, which is a definite plus to this small campus.
As an upperclassman, I have taken classes throughout each of the schools in order to fulfill the core requirement, and I have had amazing experiences with almost every single professor that I have taken. Some of my favorite professors that I have taken include Dr. McMahon, Dr. Bennett, Dr. Lindey, and Dr. Johnson. All of them brought something new to the table when I took their classes, and each one taught me something that I never expected to learn in their classroom. But Ms. Gil-Montero, the professor of the creative writing classes, has definitely influenced me the most during my time here. I came to Saint Vincent College with a faint idea of what I wanted to do, but no real plans or clear goals. I was an English major because I enjoyed my English classes in high school and loved reading. But Ms. Gil-Montero (or MGM as her students enjoy calling her) took me under her wing, providing me with amazing classroom experiences and offered me a position at the Visiting Writers Series, a position that has given me more amazing opportunities than I can count. And in all of her classes that I have taken with her including her introductory courses such as Intro to Creating Writing and both of her Reading as Writers, as well as her advanced workshop courses such as Poetry and Literary Translation, I was forced to expand my horizons and give up any preconceived notions I had about any particular genre. MGM taught me to think outside of the box and to always search for innovation, particularly in my writing. Under her tutelage, I have learned so much about myself and about the world around me, and I am extremely grateful to her for everything that she has taught me.
Don’t try to mold yourself into what you think a college student is “supposed to be.” Keep your mind open to new ideas. Challenge yourself daily to try new things. Put yourself in foreign situations. Let yourself grow into a “real” college student, whatever that might mean for you.