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Going All In (and Not Leaving)

Having graduated just about two weeks ago, my blog posts are coming to an end, but I thought I’d leave my readers with some final thoughts. Last post, I talked a little bit about my impending doom and not being sure what would happen after graduating from Emmanuel. Well, as it turns out, this institution just can’t get rid of me that fast. I’ve accepted a full-time position as a Support Center Analyst I at the Emmanuel College IT Helpdesk where I will continue to work with our awesome department and have the opportunity to take on some more responsibility as a staff member. Maybe you’re thinking, “Hey, don’t you have a degree in Biology? What about those turtles you like so much?” Let me be the first to say 1) Can’t you just be happy for me? I have a job! 2) I truly like this job and all it has to offer 3)  Biology is definitely still in the plan.

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Amidst the Chaos of Finals

Despite this being my fourth time taking finals, I have consistently seemed to forget about them by the time the end of the semester rolls around. Especially at the end of the year, when the weather is finally nice and EC Beach is open again, (not really a beach, just the entire student body sitting on blankets out on the quad) everything speeds up. One week I’m trudging through snow with a syllabus in-hand and the next is filled with teasing sunshine and half-finished papers.

Finals week is stressful. The week leading up to finals week is stressful. Everyone, including me, is frantic, desperate to fit in one last weekend of fun with friends before the year is over. It’s an impossible feat when that once obsolete syllabus is burning a hole in your backpack with test dates.

I would offer suggestions on how to manage finals stress, such as breathing exercises and ways to effectively manage time, but to me, those tips are obvious and over shared. I know that getting a good night’s sleep will help me keep my stress levels low, but what about that heart racing in-the-moment stress? Read more

The Reality of Graduation

It’s been a hot second since I’ve made a post as this is a busy time of year (I just passed in a really fancy hypothetical grant proposal). I am also probably avoiding talking about my life because it feels like May 13th marks my impending doom. Let me be clear, I have no reason to feel this way about graduation, but transitional periods are difficult for everyone. For any senior in high school reading this blog, I know you may be feeling similarly. And yet, there’s a refreshing awareness of how exciting it will be to start fresh! There are so many new opportunities and experiences ahead of you. Whether you come to Emmanuel, attend another college or decide to end your academic career to pursue a professional one, there’s so much to look forward to.

I’m incredibly grateful for the time I’ve gotten to spend running around my favorite city and connecting with the students, staff and faculty at Emmanuel. From singing every week with my favorite a cappella group, Acapocalypse, to learning a multitude of valuable skills working at the IT Helpdesk, to yelling at students in the cafeteria who still don’t how to compost, it’s hard to imagine the person I was before came to Boston to study Biology. Read more

The Playing Field

Ever since I visited Boston, I knew that I wanted to live here at some point in my life. It didn’t occur to me early in my high school career that I could have the opportunity to study here for my four college years. Every story is the same: I came to my dream school/city/town, I met so many wonderful people in my college career, and now I hope to extend my skills in my professional career. So far, I have done all those things. But what has made my time worthwhile in Boston and at Emmanuel is the cultural aspect that surrounds me everywhere I go. A simple two-minute conversation at my favorite coffee shop, (Neighborhoods) with a professor or fellow student at many of the surrounding schools truly ties in the atmosphere that had appealed to me so much when I was picking colleges. The extension of the classroom in life lessons and conversations is what has made my time here so much more than what I had expected a year and a half ago.

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Celebrating the End of Winter with Pancakes

Every year, Russians celebrate the end of winter by stuffing themselves with thin pancakes (blini) for six whole days! And that’s just the beginning! You also get 4 days off from school and work. Known as “Maslenitsa”, everyone on this holiday prepares these pancakes at home all week, and then celebrates with a big festival on the last Sunday of February.

 

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For The Kids

We were told to sleep during the day as much as possible, since from 10:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. we would be wide-awake. This wasn’t a problem at all for me; although I remember thinking it was kind of weird to hop in bed late mid-day with my alarm set to wake me up around eight in the evening. My hands were still stained purple and pink, results of tie dying team shirts a few days before. In my head, I repeated the dance that we had to learn to be done every hour on the hour. I wasn’t sure what to expect, or even if I could make it the entire 12 hours locked inside the gym. Emmanuel College’s Dance Marathon (ECDM) had officially begun.

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To and Fro

After all the pig’s feet, roast pork belly, braised fish and some other home-cooked meals from my mom, the day going back to the airport couldn’t have arrived any sooner, and I was looking forward to flying back – well, everything except the big layover in Amsterdam. After being a couch potato on the plane for 14 hours, spying on Instagram and filtering photos, arriving at the airport in Saint Petersburg and seeing the “dobro pozhalovat” (добро пожаловать – welcome) sign was that feeling of “YAAAAAAASSS.”

After five months of studying and living in cold and scary Russia (sarcasm), I had decided to go home and pay a visit to my family. There was excitement – from going to see my parents, my grandma and rice. But also, there was an exciting feeling of knowing I was going back to the “motherland” after what would be a short 12-day visit in the USA.

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Starting my final semester

I recently began my final semester at Emmanuel College. My courses this semester are extremely interesting to me, and per usual, they are taught by incredibly passionate faculty. The semester is off to a great start. Still, the first day of school was a bittersweet day, because I am so sad to think about graduating from the school I love calling home. But it’s hard to be too sad when I think about everything I have to look forward to before Commencement in May.

This week is Founders’ Week at Emmanuel College when we celebrate both the founding of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and Emmanuel College. I’m part of The 1804 Society here on campus, an organization dedicated to living out the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame. We are the students responsible for planning Founders’ Week. I’m looking forward to inspirational events like the annual Follow Your Heart Dinner, where faculty and staff share their stories. I’m also excited for the fun things like a paint night we’re having. One of the highlights of the week will definitely be the 100 Days Celebration, a tradition which marks that seniors are 100 days away from graduating. As a class officer, I have been working to put this event together, and I’m looking forward to enjoying the night with my classmates.

Next week, I will travel to Washington, D.C. with EC Youth in Government for the 5th Annual Campus YMCA Congress National Assembly. Emmanuel attended this event for the first time last year, and we were extremely successful. We were named chapter of the year, and I was appointed to the 2016-2017 national board. I’ve been working hard to plan this conference with my fellow national officers, and to help prepare my fellow Emmanuel students as the chapter president. At this conference, students write and present their own bills on issues they care about. We get to meet and debate on Capitol Hill in spaces the legislature actually uses. It is such an incredible experience. We are currently one of the only Boston area schools that attend, and I am so grateful for all the support EC gives us to make our participation possible. Read more