There is a lot less ramen than I expected…there’s still ramen, just a lot less.
My idea of what I thought college changed a lot based on what I saw and heard as I grew up. I would say my first impressions of college would be the first time I saw Disney’s The Extremely Goofy Movie. I figured I’d be heading out with my best friends, driving away from home, getting involved in a sport, and maybe even a fraternity. In the movie, Goofy ends up following his son Max to college, and I hadn’t even ruled that out at the time. I love mom and dad, but that is not an option anymore. Please visit anytime, however!
Later I had learned from movies and tv to expect lots of parties in college, and crazy friends. That was also inaccurate. Those opportunities exist, but good friends keep you out of those scenarios, and rather, watch Netflix and make food until the late hours of the night. A classy alternative. Coming from a place with no professional sports teams and limited concert options, going to college in the Seattle was a huge eye opener for me. Fellow social squad member, Lauren Diuco and I, are counting down the days till we can watch games at SafeCo Field again or see the recently crowned Sounders take over CenturyLink Field as the MLS Cup Champions. I really didn’t consider these options until I arrived at Saint Martin’s.
Until my teammate in high school signed to run track in college, I hadn’t seen collegiate athletics to be in my future, but I planned to make it a reality, and I did! Another reality that came true in college stems from another Disney movie, Toy Story 3. Mom took that one hard watching Andy go to college, and I always thought it was kind of ridiculous until it actually happened to me. It is crazy hard to say goodbye to your parents, especially when you live far enough away that you’ll only see them a few times a year. You learn how to stay close, and they love updates and pictures, so make sure you do that.
Reality definitely breaks expectations and that is such a great thing. Lessons continue to be taken out of the classrooms, and you learn so much more than what you have on your class schedule. You learn which stereotypes you can break about college students, and create your own experience here at Saint Martin’s. However, I’d be surprised if you don’t accompany a late night of homework with ramen at some point in your four years…
Two weeks ago, a group of Saints got off a bus in Seattle and made their way to CenturyLink Field. The Seattle Sounders, a Major League Soccer team, were playing their last game at home before trying to make the playoffs. All they needed was a win, and we were there because Campus Life put it together. The Sounders won 2-1, and since then have won the next two playoff games without allowing a goal. On October 1st, Residence Life took a group to go see the last home Seattle Mariners game. They had unfortunately been eliminated from the playoffs the night before, but they were one of the best Mariners teams in recent years, and Saint Martin’s was there to watch them.
The location of SMU is really incredible. Only an hour away from Seattle, and two away from Portland, events are never hard to come by, and SMU is great at getting you there. Saint Martin’s attendance at a Seahawks game may be many years down the road, that isn’t stopping anyone from throwing together their own residence hall, football party. These experiences are not limited to sports!
My American Immigration class, taught by Dr. Brian Barnes and Dr. Jamie Olson, took us into the Seattle Chinatown-International District. I doubt I would’ve made the trip there on my own, but now I’m sure I’ll go back. We were given a tour of the Wing Luke museum and the historical buildings in the area. We were also able to try some amazing food! Another example of an off-campus event would be discounted, or free tickets to the Washington State Fair in Puyallup.
While it isn’t off campus, one great annual event that most students can get involved with is the Saint Martin’s Gala. The Gala can still provide as a fun distraction from studies and stresses while staying at SMU. This year, it will be Saturday, November 5th. The Gala is a fundraiser for student scholarships, hosting wonderful guests every year. This year, we welcome Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods, and Ligia Karazawa of Eataly Brasil. Last year, we were fortunate to host the cast of The Chew, including Iron Chefs, Michael Symon and Mario Batali. It’s amazing that we can get such incredible chefs, and personalities on our SMU community to help create scholarships. This will be my first year attending the Gala as a member of the Social Squad! If you would like to donate, but cannot attend The Gala, we would welcome a gift that you can give here.
We’re so lucky to have outlets provided by the school that get us off campus and let us see what else is beyond the Residence Halls and Old Main. We can spend so much time in study rooms and behind our textbooks that we can forget how important it is to focus on our own self-care, and watch a game, explore a new city, or meet new people.
Thanks for reading.