Tuesday, July 31, 2012

College Series: Admissions Essay

So my brother and dad are still on the trip. Rumor is they were at Cornell today.

To continue with the college theme, I give to you my admissions essay for the Common Application (I think, it was over 3 years ago!)

It is funny to reread it and consider how I am the same and how I have changed. Also it reminds me how smooth refined writing can be. I remember how many times I tweaked the essay, had other people correct, discussed it with teachers, and sat on it for a few days.

So without further ado.......

The Things I Carry

A bag, worn from days carried, sits on the floor, filled with mysteries. As the bag is unpacked an individual’s life is unveiled. What we carry reveals to an outsider our passions dreams and how we spend our time. For me I carry academics, a quest for well roundedness, my dreams, and so much more. My mom, dad, and younger brother Matthew, accompany me as I carry my items and travel my journey.

The books I carry in my book bag represent my overwhelming desire to learn, the varied classes I have taken and my relentless striving to discover my gifts. My bag is incomplete without my planner fastened to it. This keeps track of my busy days with activities ranging from cheerleading to speech tournaments, service work to DNA analysis and retreat planning to family time. Packed near my heart and a driving force in my life each day are my hopes and dreams. I have the future laid out in front of me like a vast ocean, full of unknowns which intrigues and excites me. An island which holds my dreams lingers far off shore guiding my path through the enormity of the water. These dreams include one day being a neonatal nurse and a mommy. I also carry my expectations for myself, to be a hard worker, to be successful, to be content with myself and to be joy-filled.

Also defining my bag, are the scuffs and marks from my journey. Along my journey, I have developed friendships around a popping and warming bonfire and orchestrated proms for senior citizens in my parish. I traveled to beautiful and captivating places discovering breathtaking sights and many things the world has to offer. During one of my favorite moments, I spoke with a struggling mom and son as together we painted their new house through Habitat for Humanity. As we talked, the building was transformed from a house to a home that would change the life of this small family. Every Sunday, Mass holds a prominent part of my week, I dip my hands into the cool water touching my head, chest and shoulders and breathe in the calming, grounding and intoxicating smell of incense. I come before the Lord, surrender myself and trust that He will provide all the graces I need that week.

The words boldly written on posters throughout the classrooms I have journeyed through have become ideas that I carry with me. I have become a lifelong learner longing to absorb the eloquent words of contemporary writers, phrases that demand me to stop, reread and absorb more fully. I discover the intricacies that the human body contains grasping for every bit of knowledge available to me. I have become a sort of Socrates learning from my peers’ experiences ready to contribute my ideas. Rather than looking to a math problem as an insurmountable summit, I see it as an adventure to conquer. I no longer see the surface of complicated issues, but think deeper into everything that is involved in the issue. I have found my voice, and learned how to use it.

With my bag strapped to my back, I feel prepared and ready to take the next step in my journey.

Monday, July 30, 2012

College Series: Why Franciscan?

So my dad and brother left yesterday to spend a weekish on the road doing college visits. I am unbelievable thankful that I did not have to be dragged along on these. I think anyone who has ever gone on at least a handful of them knows that when it boils down, they are all the same. Anything they try to up-play on the tours you can also see up-played on their admissions website. I think the only real purpose of college visits that you can't get from spreadsheets and websites is the "feel of campus" something that you can't put into words. Beyond that I think the most helpful tool in picking a college is talking to someone you trust who already goes to the school. After that you just have to take a dive for it and commit to a semester someone with the possibility of transferring if it doesn't work out.

So as some of you may know, I have not always gone to Franciscan. For my first semester of college I went to Xavier University (pronounced Zavier NOT X-avier)and then transferred to Franciscan in Spring '10. When I tell people this I often get the question, Why did you transfer? I probably answer this multiple times a week. If you want the simple answer skip down to the bolded area, if not a little more background to the story follows.

So let me go back and say that I visited a ton of colleges and applied to 6 colleges straight away and then tacked on another one. I originally applied to Villanova, Catholic University of America, CASE, Xavier, Loyola Chicago and St. Mary's (South Bend). On an after thought I sent in an application to Franciscan without going on a college tour. I, in the end, got into all 7 schools. I was weight listed at Villanova for a while but did get in right before the dead line. It wasn't an easy decision but I chose to go to Xavier. That summer after I graduated before I went to college I wasn't particularly excited to head off to college but the time came and I moved down to Cincinnati.

So here is why I transferred.

The process of transfereing is kindof all a blur because honestly I have no idea how it all happened because God so had His hand in it. I didn't particularly love Xavier and at one point I just all of sudden was like I am transferring to Franciscan. I didn't really tell people at Xavier for a long time because if it didn't work out I didn't want them to treat me any differently for considering leaving. My mom had suggested some other schools to consider also and I just remember being, nope I am going to Franciscan.

On October 8th I visited Franciscan during my fall break. Part of Francsican's tour included noon Mass, which my parents were extremely impressed by and in general they were really impressed with the school. They wondered why I hadn't there to begin with. My dad is very much so the kind of dad who trusts that we can make decisions for ourselves and doesn't often share his opinion too much if it isn't necesary. However on the way home from the tour, he says to me "if you don't go there you are crazy" That's how much he felt like it was the right place for me.

So why did I transfer? I could have stayed at Xavier and survived just fine. But that is it I would have just survived and I think been mediocre. However, at Franciscan I thrive and am becoming great. There are two points I make when I explain why I transferred. First, is the overflow of kids that were at Xavier. The class before me had 800 students, my class had 1200. That is a big jump in one year. We were all tripled in double rooms, there weren't enough classrooms, professors, classes, support staff, caf space, etc. I knew that that would follow me all 4 years as Xavier adjusted to the bigger size and I did not want that for my college experience.

That was the surface of it however, the next point turned out to be even more important. Xavier was only half way Catholic. To give a few examples I had a friend whose Theology professor had taught her that the resurrection may or may not have happened(!!!!!!!). Another thing that often upset people is that Xavier sponsored a gay/lesbian/bi/trans club. Those on their own may not have been deal breakers but are only a small example of why I say Xavier is half way. Franciscan on the other hand holds strong to the fact that they teach the Truth of the Faith. All Theology professors take the Oath of Fidelity that Pope John Paul II asked all universities to use in their institutions in his 1990 apostolic constitution on higher education, Ex Corde Ecclesiae (From the Heart of the Church)(You can read more about it here: http://www.franciscan.edu/Theology/.) I am a firm believer in the fact that you vote with your money. By putting that money at Xavier I was saying that being a half way Catholic university was ok, but it isn't! Instead I put my money at Franciscan, doing my small part to say, THIS is Catholic education, THIS is Truth, and THIS is how the world is changed.

So January 2010 I transferred to Franciscan University one snowy weekend and I have never looked back.

I would love to hear from you. If you have any questions or comments, please comment below!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Getting back into it.

So I had a sort of epiphany today.

I am defiantly I blog reader. For some reason I love reading about the lives of people even though I don't know them. Although I love this, it is really hard to find blogs about young, single, passionately Catholic people. So then I thought "well I fit into that category, I should start blogging again" (by again I mean really start because two posts don't really constitute as a blogger). Well then of course I wondered what the heck would I write about. Again another idea "I love reading about people's everyday normal lives not always about their out of ordinary stuff" And thus it came full circle. I plan on writing blogs hopefully with lots of pictures of just the ordinary stuff I do each day. Things about my life as nursing student, as a student at Franciscan University of Steuvenville, as a young lady striving to follow Christ in full abandonment, a Catholic, a daughter, an amateur crafter, and a half way decent cook. So here I start this journey, hopefully it will grow into something beautiful. Please comment and let me know who you are, how you stumbled upon my blog, what you want to hear about, really anything.

So what have I been up to so far today...

Well we had to do some shopping for an upcoming Girl's Night In/Retreat for St. Mary's Chardon. So it was decided that we would begin after 7:30 Mass. Now mind you I normally go to 8am Mass at St. Helen's but for some reason that half hour makes a huge difference.

So my alarm starting going off entirely too early and apparently I also need to tidy up my end table.

While at JoAnns I took a lookie at the remnants and found a few that I really like in order to give a try at making some burp cloths. I figure I am starting that season of life when everyone is marrying and the natural result of that is babies. By making my own burp cloths I could have a great go to baby gift for all those babies. And besides all that fabric was $2 and some change!

List making. I have begun to make lists for the things that I must or want to do before I head back down to school. This list also includes "consumables" (i.e. shampoo, lotion, etc) that I want to buy before heading back down to the good 'ole ville.

My current view. Basically what my dogs do all day everyday.

Hope you have a blessed day and check back for more posts about everyday life!