One More Political Ad

And that’s a wrap! The elections are finally over. It is time to say goodbye to the political ads and hello to our newly-elected politicians! This week has been nothing but hectic on campus, especially, as you can imagine, down at my favorite place, the Institute of Politics. Now with the elections ending, I finally have time to breathe and I guess it's time to reflect on my past week of madness, and I am excited to share with you my experiences.

So, it all began with the Granite State Debates. The Institute hosted the debates this past Monday through Thursday. The debates were for the First Congressional District, Second Congressional District, Governor and then finally the most highly-watched debate, the Senatorial debate.

It was fun to watch the set-up of the news stations, see the rallies for the political candidates, and be in the heart of the action.  On Monday and Tuesday I had the opportunity to help a close friend of mine rally for specific candidates and parties. I loved seeing this side of politics. It showed me a new experience and different perspective. It was thrilling to watch the die-hard supporters in action. Although, I did not vote in New Hampshire, it was cool to see the structured chaos.

On Thursday I had an unbelievable opportunity. As a Kevin Harrington Student Ambassador I got to work the debates. My title was press assistant. I huddled news reporters to their designated room and got to chat with them. It was fun to greet the candidates, families, and supporters. I loved my job because I finally got a perspective on the real world. I chuckled as the reporters eagerly asked about the schools Wi-Fi password, why they were so far away from the actual debates, and when the spin-off press conference would happen. They gave me much anxiety with their  deadlines; however, I fell a little bit more in love with their job. This opportunity gave me great clarification about my dream to work in the news industry.

Five minutes before the debate another Ambassador and I were urgently asked to fill seats in the audience for two people who didn’t show. I gladly sprinted down to the auditorium. We rushed to get our seats before WMUR [New Hampshire's television station] went live. It was interesting to pay close attention to the details of candidates' specific positions. On television a viewer only sees the candidates and the moderators. As an audience member, I loved watching the production, the candidates' families, and the tension between both groups. It truly felt like the real deal.

Also, on Thursday something very special happened. As Ambassadors we got to meet George Stephanopoulos from Good Morning America because he was here to moderate the Senate debate between Scott Brown (R) and Jeanne Shaheen (D). We got a group photo before he went into the Green Room. He was the sweetest man and it was a dream to meet him. I have always been a fan of Mr. Stephanopoulos and I still, to this day, am in shock. I actually got teary-eyed as he shook my hand and stood next to me in the photo. He is a true inspiration and I hope that one day I’ll have the chance to work with him…..we could reflect on the time we first met down at Saint Anselm College!

Tuesday brought Election Day, and the campus was nothing less than bumping. There were supporters all over asking students to go vote. They even offered rides to polling stations. Down at the Institute various people were in and out. At four o’clock Alex Wagner went live for her show with MSNBC. I was in the audience and again I had an amazing time watching the production. It was cool listening to her and her producers talk, but my favorite part was watching her true self show on a crazy day.

I am so thankful for the experiences that Saint Anselm was able to provide me this election season. I will forever remember the Election of 2014.

Saint Anselm Grotto

One of the most recent physical additions to the College that I am very impressed with is the Sullivan Memorial Grotto. To the right of Joan of Arc Hall there was rocky area with a little path that arched around near it. I always thought that the area looked like it had a lot of potential to be something, but it remained unused during my freshman year.

This year in late October, I noticed some work being done on the area over a stretch of a couple days. I saw a stone tile pathway being constructed and was very intrigued to see the finished product. Recently, during Family Weekend, a blessing ceremony took place for the Grotto.

Abbot Mark at the Grotto blessing

After the ceremony I went over and looked closely at the beautiful new addition to our already beautiful campus.

The grotto's main feature is a new statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to be known as the Madonna of Saint Anselm, which was created by a local artist who has crafted several statues on campus.

I want to also make a nod at the quad that borders it. I remember when I first saw the area that is now the Campus Green. I was a junior in High School, just passing through to see the school for the first time. The quad was one huge messy parking lot. The transformation from that, to what it is now was just incredible.

For a school that has so many wonderful sights, quite a bit has been added to make it even greater.

WBA & SBA Bowling Night

Once a year in October, both Winter and Spring Break Alternative (very cool College-sponsored service trips to another part of the country) holds a bowling night at Spare Time in Manchester to help fundraise for the trips.

Last year I was part of SBA but did not attend the night. This year, however, I did go and I can say it was well worth it. The deal was thirteen dollars for unlimited bowling from 9 p.m. until close (which was Midnight). This deal also came with free pizza – a nice bonus to go along with it.

Bowling for WBA/SBAI was originally a little nervous when I got there because I had never been bowling with full-sized bowling balls before. I had only been candlestick bowling with balls that are about the size of softballs. This was a different experience and I was a little unsure, but my friends were equally inexperienced, so it made me feel better. Plus, everyone there was there to have fun and support a good cause so really there was not any actual pressure.

I had a shaky start but pretty soon I got the hang of it and had a great time. One thing I wanted to point out was that Spare Time had banners that advertised specials just like this on every Thursday. If you go and take advantage of the specials, you wouldn’t be donating to Winter Break Alternative or Spring Break Alternative, but would still get a great deal.

I think that is a really fun option to have close by. It was a great night and really helped out amazing programs here at Saint Anselm College.

Your Average Dorm Room

When first looking into Saint Anselm as Junior in High School, I remember being very eager to see the dorm rooms in the residence halls. I wanted to know where I could be spending my first year of college and how much space I would have to myself. I wanted to give just a little bit of insight on this topic. From my experience here, I can say that the standard double-sized dorm rooms are a perfectly comfortable size. I say this from a men’s perspective but honestly, the men’s rooms are pretty similar to the women’s.

My dorm roomCurrently I live in a double in Brady and as a Freshman I lived in Dominic Hall and the rooms are basically identical. I wouldn’t say the rooms are big by any means but I wouldn’t ever say they are small either. I think anyone would prefer a bigger room but the size that is offered is definitely comfortable enough to live in. The rooms have two closets built into the walls near the door along with cubby areas. This allows for a considerable amount of storage space in the closet and up in the cubby as well as a place to hang up nicer pieces of clothing.

Moving on from that, your bed can be adjusted or put on risers to provide plenty of space underneath it. Two desks are in the room with plenty of drawers to hold your books at what not. I don’t even come close to filling up all this space because it’s not necessary to but I still like knowing it is available.

The last important piece of furniture is the dresser. There is only one per room which is sort of tough because you have to share with your roommate. Sometimes I wish I had a bit more space due to how much more convenient a dresser is for clothing but I don’t see it has much of a negative aspect. I don’t even use some of the clothes I have so if I sorted through and only kept a few extra pieces of clothing, I would have plenty of room left over. In all, I think the average double-sized dorm room here at Saint A’s is just right for space and comfort.

A New Hampshire Road Trip!

This weekend, two of my friends from high school made the five-hour drive to come visit me! On Saturday morning I got the long-awaited phone call from my friend, Caitlin, asking which way to turn onto campus. I haven't had any visitors from home besides my immediate family so far, which made the trip even more exciting.

Friends visiting campus!First we had lunch in Davison, and my friends couldn't stop raving about the food (They'll have to come back on a weekday for action station sometime!). I then got to give the full campus tour and show them around. Both of my friends go to Molloy College in New York City, so it was really cool to see the similarities and differences between the schools.

Once nighttime came, we ventured out to Coppal House Farm in Lee, NH. A few times during the fall season, the farm hosts a flashlight corn maze. Once you find your way through the entire maze, you receive apple cider and doughnuts at the end. There was also a bonfire and the farm's store was open to buy eggs, fresh produce, pumpkins, and more. I'd definitely recommend a trip there before autumn ends! After that, we drove to my favorite restaurant in the area, La Carreta, for some awesome Mexican food.

On Sunday, we explored the area a little more, took a much appreciated Walmart trip, and then had dinner in the Coffee Shop. This weekend was a blast and I'm so thankful that my high school friends made the drive to come visit.

The Silent Mouse on Campus

Here at Saint Anselm College we are currently in Fall Break. Our classes finished up Friday and will resume this Wednesday. Fall Break is the perfect time to re-energize after a hectic and sleepless midterm week.  Most of our students have either headed back home or have taken a getaway off-campus. Therefore, campus has been unusually silent as the College is pretty much closed.

Kelsey's dorm roomHowever, some students, including athletes, Resident Assistants, and myself have stayed on campus. My home (aside from Saint A’s) is Minneapolis, Minnesota so traveling home was a bit too much. I was lucky enough to stay on campus this break. During our mini vacation I have been amazed by how much I have accomplished. I thought that I would be homesick but have found myself very busy recuperating after a stressful week.

I stayed in Friday night and had a movie marathon by myself. I made popcorn and enjoyed time relaxing. I slept in on Saturday and realized I needed much more sleep than expected. My favorite part was waking up without an alarm clock! Saturday, I rested and cleaned our room head to toe –  and it is now spotless. As cold season is just around the corner, I am glad I had the time to clean and rearrange. I know my roommate will be bringing her winter wardrobe back, so it was beneficial for me prepare our room. I even got the chance to redecorate which has been on my to-do list for quite some time.

Saturday night, I ordered Asian food and found myself enjoying time away from a busy campus as I hibernated in my room. I cannot stress enough how peaceful it was to take a break from the action. Sunday, I slept in again and during the afternoon I got back to the schoolwork mode. I prepared for my upcoming exams and studies. I am glad I was determined to do this because come Tuesday night I know there will be a rush for the library however, I will gladly be going to bed at a decent hour.

Monday has been another day of relaxation. I caught up on Netflix and hung out with some friends who returned to campus early. It was definitely a day of nothing well spent.

Studious Stress

Sometimes it is very easy to get wrapped up in attending sporting events, binging on Netflix, socializing with friends at the Coffee Shop, and doing everything possible besides the unfavorable action of studying. I have a love-hate relationship with studying, and as midterms fall this week, I primarily am dreading studying.

Now, I realize that this is why I am currently writing this blog post rather then going over flashcards for my exam tomorrow.

Studying in the libraryI love studying because it is so rewarding to be well-prepared and, as a result, getting a good grade on a paper or test. But, right now, I am not loving studying because I would much rather be with friends or resting than spending hours focusing on my schoolwork. However, although I may currently be bitter and crabby I need to remember I attend school for an education and studying is a part of the gig.

I lucked out this week because my friends and I are all in the same boat with countless papers and test equaling in hours at the library. Everyone here at Saint A’s has been nothing but supportive because everyone understands the high stress levels students are going through.

A majority, if not all, of the students here want to succeed and really push to do well, which is amazing, but many of us also have a high level of last-minute anxiety about upcoming exams.

My friends and I encourage each other in our studies. We encourage each other to not pull that “all-nighter” and really focus while we are in the library.

In my case, I always ask my friends to take my phone away so I can concentrate on the two papers and a midterm due this week. Also, we always send that “good luck” text to make sure everyone knows they have a support system.

I couldn’t be more thankful for my friends here at Saint A’s for supporting me in every aspect of my life, whether it’s pushing me to know the material for my next exam, or advising me to take a deep breath.

Along with my friends, my parents have been nothing but supportive. I know I can always count on my Dad for listening to a minute-long rant about how hectic my week is. And, now, with that being said, I think I am in need of a phone call with my Dad to prepare for my midterm tomorrow!

Late night Ice Cream Runs!

With midterms quickly approaching, the workload is definitely picking up.

One of my favorite parts of going to a school with so much community is that when you're stuck in the science building (Goulet) until who knows when, there will always be someone else doing the same exact thing.

Ice cream sundaes at the coffee shopStudying is part of college, it's a fact.

But, late night ice cream runs to the Coffee Shop with other science majors make the whole thing a lot more fun.

Thank you C-shop for getting us through the week once again!

Meeting My Idol

All of my life I have been a dreamer and have taken to heart Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Last night one of my dreams came true, I met my idol, Dan Harris. I met him at an event at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP). Dan is a correspondent for ABC News, where he is co-anchor for Nightline and works the weekend edition for Good Morning America.

ABC News' Dan Harris speaks at the NHIOPI am a Communication major here at Saint A’s and it has been my dream ever since I was a little girl to become a broadcast journalist. I strive to be a news anchor one day, so meeting Dan Harris was definitely a highlight of mine.

Dan very recently published a book called 10% Happier. In the book, Dan tells the story of the most embarrassing moment in his life and his coping mechanism. Oddly enough, his story was easy to relate to in a million different ways. His most embarrassing moment was his panic attack on television. I felt as if I could relate his panic attack to stress levels at school while studying. Dan quite comically expresses how he overcame this downfall by discovering meditation. He now has become a persuasive advocate of meditation. Last night, he characterized meditation as “the next public health revolution,” and I fully agree.

I am a Kevin Harrington Student Ambassador for the NHIOP and earlier this summer Ambassadors were notified that Dan Harris was coming to speak about his book, and it was suggested we read his book. After reading his book, my love for journalism grew.

It was fun to hear him actually discussing the book. He spoke for about an hour about meditation and then opened up to question and answers.  My favorite part of the event was when he noted that the United States military, government agencies, the Olympic organization, and huge corporations are now incorporating meditation into their structures. I felt as if this allowed me to realize that meditation might help me grow to become a better individual.

At the end of the event, Dan Harris signed my copy to the book. He was so personable and fun to talk to. He even wrote “Good luck in Journalism!” I will always remember this evening down at the Institute.

Saint A's Trails

Recently, I have used the trails around campus for running and I wanted to highlight them a little bit. They are not something that you would really think about, or maybe even know about at first glance of Saint Anselm College. As a freshman last year I would frequently use the trails to work out because of the pleasant scenery and variety they provide in a running route.

Running trails on the Saint Anselm campusThey take you through the woods, up hills and through fields all behind the main part of campus. One of my favorite parts about them is that they are not too heavily used, yet they are maintained quite well. You may encounter a few people running or walking their dog but for the most part they are very peaceful.

I know that the cross country teams use them for practice, but almost every time I have run on them I have not come across any practices. I think that they are a great part of our College and should be enjoyed by as many students as possible. To really get a feel for them, you'll have to see them for yourself. Check them out sometime!