- No-pressure community - First, for any parents reading this, I would like to emphasize that this does not mean that the classes are a breeze! Rather, I love that there isn't a Saint Mike's "type." Even though we're a little prone to wearing flannel, there isn't a mold you have to fit or a specific way you have to dress to be a part of the SMC community. I was a little skeptical when students would bring this up during tours and student panels (thank you, Founders Society!), but it's true. As a non-skiing first-year who isn't a huge partier, I can attest to that. So for all my fellow tea-loving homebodies out there, we have room for you!
- Small classes - We may have some classes in a lecture hall, but I have never felt like I was just a number in a seat. This blends into my next point, but all of my professors knew my name within a few weeks, if not earlier. Some even had us do fact sheets so they could get to know us better! The class atmosphere is always whatever you make of it, but I like discussion-heavy classes, so it's perfect for me.
- Awesome professors - Maybe this is part of the small school vibe, but I love my professors! I genuinely feel like they value me as a person rather than just a student in their classes. Office hours may start as assignment help but half the time turns into a discussion about something else - at least for me they do. Clearly, teaching is more than a job for them, and I definitely appreciate that.
- Location - In case you haven't noticed from my other posts, there's a lot to do around here, on campus and off. Even though there are some weeks I love not having to leave the Saint Mike's world, I also like that I can go to Burlington any day and find something to do, be it dinner, a show, or just Ben and Jerry's. That's even leaving out all the outdoorsy opportunities we have; the potential is endless.
- Friends - I've only been here about seven months, but I have connected with an amazing group of people that I'm glad I met so quickly. The majority of them are fellow first-years, but (going back to the no-pressure benefits) I know people in other grades through clubs and never feel talked down to. I may live in a single, but I'm certainly not by myself!
At some point, I'm going to have to spend some serious time contemplating why I hate finishing things on odd numbers but ending on five is perfectly acceptable. But for now, it's a convenient ending point, because although there are many other things I love about my school, those are definitely the highlights. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I'm extremely grateful for everything I've done so far and looking forward to everything I'm going to do. See you next week!