Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Going to a Catholic College.

From the Saint Michael's College website.
Saint Mike's is a Catholic college (hence the name, you know). For me personally, when I was looking at colleges, that wasn't something I took into consideration. I tell people all the time that I was drawn to SMC because of the location and the ridiculous access we have to outdoor stuff (like Wilderness and the Smugg's Pass), and that I decided to attend because of the professors and small-college atmosphere. But in a lot of ways, the Edmundite and Catholic affiliations of the college have enhanced my experience even though I entered college as a non-practicing Catholic.
One such way is through service, which is a huge part of the Edmundite tradition. On campus, we have the Mobilizaion of Volunteer Efforts (MOVE) program; which, if you've ever been on a tour or are familiar with the college at all, you probably know is one of the college's biggest programs. And there are so many students involved with MOVE that it's a commonly cited activity for students (by graduation, nearly 70% of Saint Mike's students will have participated in a MOVE program in some capacity). This semester I began working with International Outreach, which is a mentoring program (run by students) for international youth from Winooski, and that's been a really positive experience. I'm also going on an extended service trip during spring break to Hope House in Long Island, which a friend of mine went on last year, so I'm really looking forward to it!
Another way the Catholic tradition at Saint Mike's has enhanced my experience personally was the LEAP retreat, and this is another program that almost every participant will recommend. I went on LEAP this past weekend, and for reasons of confidentiality, I won't share much about what was talked about or what happened (gotta keep it a surprise!). But basically, its three days of talks and reflection about topics like self awareness, faith and community, and it's geared towards college students. Also, you don't have to be Catholic to attend, and a lot of participants aren't.
Besides these experiences I've had, there's also a group called VITA, which is a peer ministry group, and I'm sure many other things that I'm not even aware of. So if you want to be involved in the church or campus ministry, you can be. But it's also possible to not do any of these things if you choose not to. Basically, there's the opportunity if you want to be involved, and no pressure if you don't want it!
Thanks for reading!

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