France, Twice

Noisy City HallAt Albion, it’s not uncommon for students to travel to far off places with classes or other organizations. In fact, I have traveled to France with Albion classmates, twice.

As a first-year student, my class of 12 students and I went to France with the French department in the capable hands of Professors Dianne Guenin-Lelle and Emmanuel Yewah. During the trip, we each stayed with separate host families in Albion’s sister city: Noisy-le-Roi, France. Living with French families was an experience in and of itself – getting used to a new place in a foreign country and trying to pick up on bits of the language while getting to know complete strangers. It was difficult at first, but ended up being very culturally enlightening for us.

Our itinerary for my first trip included some sight-seeing in Paris. However, it was mostly about building relationships with our sister city, Noisy. We visited schools and city halls, each time escorted by one of Dianne’s close friends in France.

Versailles

In contrast, this year I traveled to the Paris area but with the business department instead. As a member of the Gerstacker Institute, this year I had the opportunity to participate in an international partnership with with a group of French business students at the École Supérieure de Vente, called Sup de V for short, located in St. Germain en Laye, France. Throughout the school year for this class Albion students work with the French via Skype to develop a business plan for an original product. As mentioned, the course included a trip to France in October during fall break and a week-long visit form the French counterparts in April for the Elkin Isaac Research Symposium presentations.

Group of Americans and French

Instead of staying with host families in Noisy, this time we stayed in hotels. Rather than being thrown into the culture like my class freshman year, we spent more time interacting in English and focusing on the task at hand, not submersing into the French culture.

We spent the first weekend of the Gerstacker trip sight-seeing in Paris before we moved to a hostel in Louviennces, a small town near St. Germain en Laye where Sup de V is located. From there we attended class every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. learning about business strategies and market research with our French counterparts.

Notre Dame

Garden

We were lead around Paris and to class each morning by our professor Joy Nakfoor. After class, however, our itinerary was left entirely up to the French students, who were not always the most organized. Each night they took us out to restaurants and bars in either Paris or St. Germain they picked only a few hours before. Regardless of planning though, it was completely different than what we were going as freshman in Noisy when we were all sent home to host families around 6 p.m. — that being said, nights were much more fun.

Bar

Restaurant

Each trip was different in itinerary and style, but both were a blast. In both cases I made new friends, both American or French. I’ve learned so much from working with these students, not only in improving my French language but also learning to work with students from different backgrounds. Long story short, when given the opportunity to travel while at Albion College, take it. You never know what you might get out of it, but it will always be worth it.

Train Station

 

Peace. Love. Gina’s

#1: Turkey Sub 12"

#1: Turkey Sub 12″

Gina’s Pizza & Deli is a delicious food destination whether living nearby, visiting the town, or trying to find an affordable meal as a college student. Gina’s, as it is known as around Albion, proudly serves the community for lunch & dinner in its warm and inviting restaurant located on 1313 E. Michigan Avenue. Along with sitting down and enjoying a warm pizza, sub sandwich, or wings, delectable entrees can be purchased for take-out services and/or delivery.

I have come to Gina’s at least 25 times since I have been attending Albion College. Although everything I have eaten from their BBQ Chicken Pizzas to their Cobb Salad has hit the spot, my favorite thing to order at Gina’s is the #1 Turkey Sub because it has my ultimate favorite food; banana peppers. I typically choose the larger 12” sub so I can take my leftovers back and enjoy Gina’s two days in a row!

Along with the great food, the staff at Gina’s is very welcoming. It is clear that they strive for great customer satisfaction and many people around the Albion Community love to gather and share a meal at Gina’s together.

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You know you’ve been to Gina’s too often when you walk in and automatically connect to their Wifi. :)

An Ocean Apart – Albion to Sevilla

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A Spanish procession “La Romería del Viso del Alcor”, and is an important religious festival for the Spaniards.

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The river in Cordoba, which was during a day trip with my school from Seville.

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The famous Mezquita, also located in Cordoba.

Leaving Albion College for España was a mixture of emotions for me. I have always wanted to study abroad, but wondered if a small school like Albion could really prepare me for what I was about to experience. One part of me felt that I would transition into the culture smoothly. I believed I could pass for a Spanish woman easily with my thick dark hair, olive complexion and my (attempted) sense of fashion. In addition, I felt the culture was perfectly suited for my easygoing attitude. The afternoon siestas, strong sense in family, and an all around passion “por la vida” all appealed to me.

However, the other side of me, the more negative side, reminded me of my humble background, for Albion is a small school located in a small town. While Seville is a major city, speaks a different language, and has an entirely different culture.

Now that I am a month into my experience abroad, I could not be happier that I chose to embark on this journey. Although my time here has not all always been a cakewalk, I have had countless moments of embarrassment. There have been various occasions where I have broken down in tears in the middle of the street due to my lack of supposed instinctual sense of direction (No, Google maps is not a possibility for me here), or my inability to communicate exactly what I want to say with my host family in Spanish.

The positive experiences; however, outweigh the negative, and the obstacles I have overcome have made the good times even sweeter. I have come to realize that I was as prepared as anybody regardless of how big my school is. España has been pulling on me to come for a long time, and I am beyond happy that Albion has given me the opportunity to study here. In total, the experience has been eye opening thus far, for I have not seamlessly transitioned into Spanish culture, but I am getting there little by little. I am excited to return to Albion and share what I have learned with the rest of the community.

Cascarelli’s: Inside and Out

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We at Albion have a special place in our heart for Cascarelli’s: one of Albion’s few downtown taverns. It usually has a fairly large crowd on weekends and it’s very popular on monday nights for those senior Albion students. It’s a unique experience and great food you can’t get anywhere else.

This Saturday, the pace was packed with Albion College students, alumni, and families, plus the local/regular crowds. Whether it was a pre-football game meal or a post-game drink, the atmosphere was welcoming and warm and full of Briton pride.

Personally, I love eating at Cascarelli’s because aside from the phenomenal pizza breadsticks and sandwiches served by a hospitable staff, most of the time a visit renders a special occasion — team dinners, family visits, or friends’ birthday dinners, just to name a few. There’s always a fun reason to eat at Cascarelli’s accompanied by great view of Superior street when you’re done with your meal.

cascarellis out

Food For Thought: The Jalisco Special

La Casa Mexicana is a name that frequents the conversations of students throughout Albion’s campus. It is a spot that is craved, loved, enjoyed, and celebrated by students and townies alike. Whether you’re filling up on good eats, enjoying a pitcher of their “sinus clearing” margaritas, or just indulging in quality conversation with friends and family, La Casa is a good time to be had by all.

Since I began at Albion College, I have found my self walking through the doors of La Casa on many occasions. I have filed through a majority of the items on the menu, but nothing has quite compared to the Jalisco Special.

This La Casa staple is always a good choice, that will leave wanting more. With grilled juicy steak, tender chicken, and succulent shrimp cooked with fresh onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and served over a bed of rice covered with the special cheese sauce and three tortillas…this is a dish that will have you “ooh-ing” and “ahh-ing” till the very end.

It’s a quality dish, at a quality placed, served by quality people. So next time you are at La Casa Mexicana take a leap of faith into the world of the Jalisco Special, I wouldn’t steer you wrong!

The Jalisco Special:

Dealing With Homesickness

Harbor Park

Okay folks, I’m about a month in my short journey here in Philadelphia, and even though I have only been here for a month, I am experiencing something I never thought would happen to me: I’m homesick.

You see, I’ve lived in the country nearly my whole life. I actually grew up riding and showing horses. And even though I try to put on the strong independent city boy face, I’m a country boy at heart. This city is magnificent, although I keep finding myself missing that little bit of green.

I couldn’t let myself sit in my apartment and feel sorry for myself, so what did I do? I went to search for the green within the city.

You may not think that a major metropolitan city offers anything I was looking for, but boy was I wrong. My first stop was at Harbor Park, which made its debut this summer. Harbor Park is the ultimate place for relaxation. It is a small park nestled against the Schuylkill River. Within the park there are many hammocks tucked in between the tree’s, with neon lights dangling from the branches. It is truly a beautiful sight to see, especially at night. Along with these hammocks, which always seem to have gross couples cuddling and hogging the hammocks from me, there are ping-pong tables, giant Jenga and chess games, and food trucks.

Along the park runs the Schuylkill River. I come from a town that is along a large river with a boardwalk, so being here really made it feel as though I could find home here in Philadelphia.

That was all I had time for this weekend besides attending College Fest, but next weekend I plan on visiting Fairmount Park!

I may be feeling overwhelming homesickness at times while I’m here, but I am finding out that I can find just as much home here in Philadelphia as I can in St. Clair, Michigan. It’s just a matter of perspective.

You’ve Got Mail

Before coming to Albion College, getting the mail from my family’s mailbox was a chore. Rain or shine, I walked to the mailbox to get bills, catalogs, & letters for my parents, which for the most part got thrown into the recycle bin.

Coming to Albion, I was told I was going to have a mailbox in the Kellogg Center and this little piece of Albion would be mine for the next four years. I remember not being very excited or giving the little key I was handed much thought.photo(19)

Since my time at Albion, I have received packages from my family members filled with delicious food and thoughtful letters from my grandparents wishing me well. Also, as a student I receive information about events taking place on campus along with an occasional piece of candy or hand sanitizer tucked away in my mailbox.

The task of checking my mailbox is now something I look forward to everyday and although filled with uncertainty, it is very exciting. Along with checking my mailbox, getting an email from Michelle Garrett from the Campus Post Office saying I have a package to sign for has definitely been the highlight of my day on many accounts.

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The Flags Are Flying

 

 

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The flags that adorn each lamp post throughout the campus are a great reminder of what this coming weekend is all about.

Homecoming weekend is just around the corner. That means its time for everyone to gather in harmonious frivolities to celebrate the past, present, and future of Albion College.

This tradition, of welcoming back our beloved alumni as we celebrate current classes and prospective students, is one that instills pride in each and everyone of us.

To each of us the “purple and gold” hold different meanings. To some it means finding their true love that sunny day on the quad, to others it means realizing your true calling after that day in the science lab, or to others it could mean finding a place to call home for some of the most pivotal years of your life.

In light of Homecoming weekend, next time you walk on campus and look up at those purple flags, stop and think what they mean to you.

Albion Memories

Once in a while I find myself stopping to think: wow, this is college. These are memories that I’m going to remember for years to come — that I’ll tell my kids — that I’ll maybe even tell my grandkids. Whether its going to school-sponsored events or just hanging out in someone’s dorm room, each and every day I am forming memories that we will cherish forever. And I, for one, am SO glad that I get to experience these priceless college adventures at Albion College.

So here’s a favorite memory that I have from each of my 4 semesters here so far. Enjoy!

Freshman Year, Semester 1: My first home football game. 

It was a rainy gamed day, but as a member of the cross country team, my teammates and I were traveling most weekends, so that first weekend we were on campus for a football game, we made sure we got out there to support our fellow Brits. We five freshman girls on the team got all geared up and stood there cheering for these people we barely knew in this new school we were just beginning to identify with, but it was a great feeling to finally be united with the rest of the student body for, personally, my favorite sport to watch: football! Afterwards we all cuddled up in Baldwin and warmed up over some hot food. It was, as always, a great day to be a Brit.

Freshman Year, Semester 2: Anchor Splash. 

Yes, this fraternity- and sorority-wide synchronized swimming competition is a college favorite. It meant so much more to me, however, because as a new member of Delta Gamma, that Anchor Splash was the first time I felt completely united with my new sisters and 100 % sure I had picked the right sorority for me. During that week I learned so much about our philanthropy while making my first contributions to Delta Gamma as an individual member.

Sophomore Year, Semester 1: California.

1392610_10202113549381793_674282956_nThough this memory takes me off campus, I must say, other than perhaps attending Sigma Chi’s formal, this trip was one of the only good things about this rough semester (grade wise) for me. The Albion Cross Country team, my second family here, traveled to San Diego for a week to train and compete. It was amazing: warm and sunny, and I even kicked off the week with a new personal record in our race! I got to run in some really awesome places while bonding with my teammates, old and new.

Sophomore Year, Semester 2: Making friendships last. 

This may seem a bit vague, but throughout this semester I strengthened so many friendships, possibly more than any other year. Freshman year was a good time for meeting people, but this was when I really invested in my friends. By being on the other side of formal recruitment in DG, I both met new girls and eventually gained new sisters, but also got to know the girls in my house better than I ever would have imagined. As the semester went on, with different events like coaching fraternities for Anchor Splash or dancing in Mock Rock during Greek Week, I got closer to people both in and outside of my greek organization. I also spent a lot of time at the Owl House with some of my friends who would graduate that year who I never imagine I would get so close to. Friendships made at Albion are the friendships of a lifetime.

I’ve loved every second of my time here at Albion. Now as an upperclassmen with great friendships from all places and great relationships with my professors in my different departments, I can’t wait to experience two more years of this fun.

 

 

Alone in the 5th Largest City in the Country

For someone who is in love with the glamour of the big city, I am always quite shocked that I ended up at a small liberal arts college in the middle of no-wheres-ville, Michigan. Albion has been absolutely amazing to me, giving me lifelong friends, great relationships with professors, and coaches that are like family. However, I decided it was time for me to experience the kind of life I thought I had always wanted, so I applied for The Philadelphia Center.

Upon coming to Philly, I was under the impression that I would be one of the few students attending from Albion. It was quite a surprise when I realized I was the only one… I’m not going to lie; it threw me for a loop. In the beginning introductions, I decided to just put myself out there in an attempt to make some immediate friends. Thank goodness I did. This program is so unique because of the whole housing placement. Within the first few days, you have to learn to be comfortable enough with people to live with them for the next three months.

What is so amazing about this program is what fancy educators like to call “Experiential Learning” what this basically means, is that I get not only have classes in a classroom, but throughout the city of Philadelphia. I also get to experience working in a real company far away, and living on my own. I am living in an apartment with four people I have known just over a week; in a city I had never visited until I became a resident. Yes, this is a scary process, but it is also exhilarating. I love this taste of freedom that the program allows me to have.

Even though I am the only student here from Albion, I do not feel alone in this process. I have four amazing new roommates and nearly 50 new friends. This program was a ginormous leap for me. I could have stayed back at Albion and had an amazing semester with friends, learned so much more from the professors who are now people I look up to, and had a complete swim season but I decided it was time to live my dream. And let me tell you, I am only two weeks into this program and it has by far exceeded my expectations. And the food is so damn delicious.

Running

This is a difficult piece to write. I’m not really sure where to start, so like most of my runs, I’ll just go and see where my path takes me.

I’ve been a runner since at least 8th grade. It started out as a way to get in shape for other sports but it eventually ended up being my only sport. I ran track and cross country in high school, and starting in 2012 I took my running career to the collegiate level when I joined the cross country team at Albion.

I remember my first interaction with a future teammate like it was yesterday. I timidly approached a peppy, curly haired A-team member at SOAR with a question about joining the team, and she immediately embraced and applauded my decision. I didn’t know it at the time, of course, but she would end up being one of my closest friends on the team. After chatting with her briefly, she called the coach, Hayden Smith.

After first hearing his name, I didn’t know what to think of this man. Would he be mean? Would he be nice? Would he be tough? Would he be young? Would he be old? What was I getting myself into? Out of fear of not being good enough, that summer I worked harder than I ever had before at running. I wanted to show others but also prove to myself that I was capable of running on a collegiate cross country team.

And soon August 19 arrived. My family and I packed up my car and headed to Albion. We arrived to the back courtyard of Wesley and I stepped out and took a first look at my new home. As dramatic and cliche as it sounds, my life was about to change.

That first week was better than I ever could have hoped for. Although I was waking up at 6:45 a.m. every day for practice, and getting back out there for a second practice at 4:15, each time making that long trek from Wesley to the Dow, I was making friends that are still by my side today. This new group of people that were so positive toward each other and so passionate about running was inspiring and exhilarating. Together we ran 800 workouts, we ran seven and a half mile runs, we ran winding paths through the nature center. I was running farther and faster than I ever had before.

And Hayden, he turned out to be the best coach I’ve ever had. To this day I think he is the most kind and compassionate authority figure and role model that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He would cheer us up on bad days, he would always bring a positive attitude to practice. He greeted each and every team member with a smile and a “how’s your day going?” He wasn’t scary at all, but he did make sure we worked hard. He cheered us on in every workout or practice and no matter how good or bad we ran a race, he was always there to congratulate us at the finish.

As of this year we have gained a new coach. It was time for Hayden to retire. Countless structural changes to the program were made, and in the long run I think they will be for the better. Our team has changed a bit, but we are all running well with less injuries, so I really can’t complain. Our new coach is great too, I just haven’t known him long enough yet to say much else right now. My experience on the Albion Cross Country team has taken me places I never thought possible and I wanted to share that with others. I love running and that will never change. I’m extremely excited to see this team move forward, but I sometimes miss where it’s been.

“The Exams Are Coming!”

Just like one of our country’s most admired and honored patriots, Paul Revere,  once said “The British are coming!”, a similar and perhaps even more fearful statement can be heard from the mouths of Albion College students…..”The exams are coming!”.

Yes folks, the time is upon us where you really start to crack open that textbook, pause that episode you’re streaming on Netflix, add one more pin to the “Food” board of your Pinterest, and start studying!

As we begin to wrap-up week 3 of this semester, professors have begun to announce Exam dates and handout study guides. This may seem like a lot already, especially for you Freshman, but from my experience throughout my college career I have found that there are a few things you can do to ease the pain.

First, make sure that you are taking good notes in class. This is a very pivotal step in preparing for your exams, it acts as a pre-made study guide with all of the information needed to snag that ‘A’. Secondly, make sure that you utilize your professors office hours. They are here to help….seems a little crazy thats a professor would want to help you learn what they are teaching, right? (wrong). Thirdly, do not cram all your studying in the night before. This is not a wise choice, just try and study a bit of information each night and then review everything in total the night before the exam so its fresh in your mind.

Just a little tidbit of advice from me to you. Good luck out there Brits!

(Also, don’t be this guy….)

Reasons Why We Should #CelebrateAlbion All Year Long

With Mauri Ditzler being inaugurated this past Friday as Albion College’s 16th president, this past weekend has been one big celebration along with Family Weekend, and Community Day. With people sharing their love for Albion this weekend using #CelebrateAlbion on social media, I can only hope this school spirit continues throughout the year. Here are a few reasons to remember why it is always a great day to be a Brit.

  • Our Greek Life is simply amazing. With about half of the student body involved in Greek Life, our campus comes together to support not only each others hopes and dreams, but works together to have a greater impact on philanthropies.
  • Our academics are top notch, truly giving students an Albion Advantage. With Forbes Magazine ranking Albion College #331 on their list of America’s Top Colleges, Albion students are one step ahead and able to take their knowledge outside of the classroom to further their education and/or land leadership roles in their field.
  • Our sports have scored success with 188 MIAA Championship, 108 MIAA MVPs, 69 First Team All Americans, 14 MIAA Commissioner Cups, and 8 National Championships in sports across the board. I know I am not alone when saying the colors purple and gold have never looked better on any campus photo 2across the county.
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Never Forget

Fellow survivors,

Today marks the first anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Albion. One year ago today, we came together as a community to stand tall against a storm that battered not just our trees but our very existence. Yet, as true Britons, we barred our teeth and bore through the unexpected winds and sparking power lines. We Brits looked to the sky, raised our fist, and like modern day Captain Ahabs to our meteorological Moby Dick, shouted words defiance at mother nature.

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Flying proud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Brit’s dont quit! Blackout, Blackout!

Most of all, we persevered. We sneered at the storm and walked through dark buildings and over downed power lines. We sat on our porches in the dark, imbibed alcohol if legal, and lit candles with both old friends and new. We bravely read texts from Campus Safety and faced their sentence of a four day weekend with more grace and poise than Ned Stark

SPOILER ALERT

did during his execution in Game of Thrones Season 1.

RIP, Ned.

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As the first anniversary passes, let us take a moment of silence. May we always remember:

We are Brits. We are many. We are mighty. We are strong. #neverforget

Trees attack the sororities. Photo Cred: Dave Lawrence

 

Read Dannie’s harrowing account here:

Why first year seminars are irreplaceable

 Perhaps one of the most important assets Albion College provides to its freshmen are the First Year Experience classes. As a junior, I still value the information that I learned in my FYE and I still consider it to be one of my most valuable college classes. Not only does the class allow a student to adjust to college classes in a comfortable environment, but it also provides a student with the necessary resources to seek advice or help throughout the first semester of college. With excellent professors and outstanding student-mentors, I discovered my what my place at Albion is through my FYE class.

My freshman seminar was all about French culture. We learned everything from how the French act differently in grocery stores, to how to behave in the business world in France. Our group of students, our mentor and our professor were privileged enough to travel to our French sister city, Noisy-le-Roi, France in October of that year to experience the French culture first hand. I learned more about another country’s culture than I ever thought was possible that week. It was truly the trip of a lifetime.

Even in the classroom before and after the trip, my group of freshman had become so close with each other, and so close with our mentor, that adjusting to the college day to day life and homework load became easy. We were comfortable with each other which made Friday meetings a blast, and comfortable with our professor, making each class period run smoothly. We may have started out as strangers, but we all became great friends as we experienced our first months of Albion College.

In so many ways my FYE shaped me into the college student I am today. For example, after learning so much about French culture and the differences between France and the United States, I decided international studies was something I wanted to continue here. I declared a French language minor along with my previously declared Communication Studies major (and soon to follow a Business and Organizations minor) in hopes of one day continuing my studies abroad or working closely with an international organization. Dianne Guenin-Lelle, my FYE professor, is still my adviser, and has helped me so much in the past few years figure out what I am best at, and what I want to continue studying. Nick Diamond, my FYE student-mentor, helped me adjust to life at college on a student-to-student level, and is now one of my best friends. My FYE classmates are still some of my closest friends at Albion; it’s hard to imagine that first day picture scavenger hunt where we barely knew each other, now that we have all gone through so many wonderful experiences together.  The FYE program is an amazing opportunity for Albion College freshmen; my hope is that all students get the most out of the experience, learning to bond with their classmates, mentors and professors like I did.

9 Things You Should Consider When Choosing A College

As I am about to graduate I look back at when I was first choosing a college and what it was that was important to me. Recently I have been attending college visits with my fiance’s younger sister and helping her decide on a school. I remember that it was not an easy decision and there were a lot of things to consider. So here is a list of the 9 things that I think you should consider when choosing a college!

1. Size - Colleges come in all sizes, from a school like Albion that has 1300 students to schools like Michigan State, which has 40,000 or more. Which one is better? Well, that depends on you and what you’re comfortable with. Did you go to a small high school or a large one? Did you like the size of your high school? Did you grow up in a city or a rural area? Do you like being places where everybody knows you, or do you like the anonymity of a crowd?

2. Type - All colleges are not the same. Some have large graduate programs and devote much of their time and resources to research. Others enroll only undergraduates and focus their attention on teaching and learning. Some schools have a specialty in one specific area, like engineering or writing, while others are best known for giving their students a broad education. Other differences include whether schools are single sex or coed, if they have a religious affiliation, and whether they are public or private.The options really are almost limitless.

3. Location - There are colleges in every living environment you can imagine, from tiny towns in Michigan to the middle of New York City. If you have always lived in the suburbs, choosing an urban campus can be an adventure. But after a week of urban noise, dirt, and rude people, will you long for a grassy campus and open space? On the other hand, if you are used to the suburbs and mall life and choose a college in a rural area, will you run screaming into the Student Center some night looking for noise, lights, and people? Think about where you grew up and how much of a change you want from that when you go to college.

4. Distance from Home - Closely tied to location is the issue of how far from home you want to be. For some people, going to college is a chance to explore a totally different part of the country. For others, they want to make sure they can have dinner with their family once a week, or go home to do their laundry. When you decide how far you want to be from home, think about how likely you are to get homesick, and how much money you can afford to spend in travel. The farther you are from home, the less often you’ll be able to visit. On the other hand, with email and cell phones, you can still feel close to home even if you’re in California and your family is in Michigan.

5. Cost/Scholarships & Financial Aid - Cost is one thing that most parents think about when the topic of college comes up, but did you know that not all colleges cost the same amount? Or that there are different types of financial aid at different schools? Or that if your grades — or musical talent or athletic ability — are good enough you could earn a scholarship?

Public universities often offer much lower tuition rates to in-state students, but their fees to out-of-state residents are usually pretty similar to private schools. Private institutions charge everyone the same tuition, but they often have privately-funded scholarship money available, so it’s worth applying to them even if the price tag seems too high. *For me personally, Albion ended up being cheaper than public universities because they offered me more in scholarship!

6. Majors and Requirements - If you know what field you want to go into after college, it’s important to make sure you go to college somewhere that will prepare you for your chosen profession. Some schools are particularly well-known for a specific major, like pre-med or architecture. Going to one of these schools will put you in a great position to get a job in that area when you graduate. If, however, like many entering freshman, you’re not so sure what you want to do, you should choose a school that will give you plenty of options.

Some schools require students to take classes in a wide range of areas during their first year or two. These schools are great for students who either want a well-rounded education or are trying to figure out what area to focus on. Other schools let students just dive in to their chosen majors without a lot of other requirements. These schools are great for focused students who know what they want to do and don’t want to spend their time in classes that won’t help them in their major.

7. Athletics & Events - Are you a sports nut, or does the sound of a marching band and the sight of a football uniform make you cringe? At some schools, sports are the order of the day, the main social activity on most students’ calendars. Other schools may not have a football team at all, or may not pay much attention to it if they do.

Maybe you’re really into going to live concerts, or you love nothing better than to go hiking in the woods. If you like to spend your free time going to shows at clubs, you probably won’t be happy at a small school in the countryside where few musical acts stop on tour. However, if you love to be outdoors, a campus in a natural setting can give you just the kind of balance you need to feel your best. *Albion is really great about bringing shows, comedians, and musicians to campus even though they are a small town so it is kind of the best of both worlds!

8. Activities & Special Programs - Have you always wanted to try living in another country? Some colleges have special programs to help you do just that, for a semester or even a whole school year. You’ll usually get full credit for your work overseas, plus have the chance to learn a new language, make some new friends, and try some new food.

Or maybe you’re a dancer or a journalist. You’ll want to make sure you go to a school that not only fulfills your academic goals, but your personal ones, too. Some schools have great arts and theater programs, or excellent newspapers, giving students a chance to be involved in extra-curricular activities outside their majors. Other schools focus all their attention on great classes, but not much else.

9. Your Gut Feeling - Trust your instincts. If a place feels right, that’s important. Similarly, if it just feels wrong, no matter who wants you to go there or how good it looks on paper, it probably is. College is a very personal choice, and after considering all the other objective factors, the fact of the matter is that it comes down to you. Visit colleges you’re interested in, and see how you feel walking around their campuses. Could you imagine yourself going to school there? Once you find a few places that you like, you’ll be well on your way to finding the college that’s right for you.

Graduation In 19 Days

Albion College Commencement

This week I have been thinking a lot about my future. I am going to look at houses to rent for after graduation, going to a second interview for a job, and attending many senior banquets. It seems like this semester flew by and now in only 19 days I will be wearing my cap and gown while walking up the steps of Kresge to receive my Bachelor’s Degree.

But even though every decision that I need to make right now is for my future – it makes me look back at the past four years here at Albion. I have made so many great friends here and many memories that I will look back on during my life.

I remember my first ever move-in day at Albion and meeting my roommate and her family.

I remember making chili in the dorm kitchen with all of my friends.

I remember going to New York and Boston with the Briton Singers choir.

I remember going to my first Fraternity party – Highlighter Party.

I remember going through sorority recruitment and get my bid to Kappa Alpha Theta.

I remember switching my major and minor probably five times.

I remember living off-campus in Philadelphia for four months and working at my internship.

I remember all of the Union Board events in the Kellogg Center.

I remember the Big Shows in the spring time.

I remember going to Fraternity Formals in Canada.

I remember participating in philanthropy events like Anchorsplash and Powderpuff.

I remember going to get ice cream with my friends at Frosty Dan’s.

And I will always remember my graduation day. After all – only 22% of the population has a Bachelor’s Degree!

There are so many memories, I could go on forever. Albion has taught me so much but most importantly it gave me the opportunities that I needed to be able to find myself and what I want out of my life. Io Triumphe!

New Beginnings

Two years ago I would have never imagined myself doing some of the activities that I’m now doing here at Albion.  At the start of my freshman year I soon realized that this was a school where one doesn’t simply go to class but rather they get involved in just about anything and everything they fancy.  When I was registering for classes, I saw a PE credit that offered western riding lessons.  I decided to take the class for a half a credit, because I have always had an interest in horses and to be honest I thought–“why not”.  I figured I was in college and this opportunity was dangling in front of my face, so it would have been foolish for me to ignore it.

To say the least, walking into the barn the first day was intimidating and there were a few times that I doubted if I really belonged there. I was surrounded with unfamiliar faces, an unfamiliar setting and most importantly animals that I realized I literally knew nothing about. Luckily, all activities that one could get involved in at Albion facilitate a welcoming environment, and that feeling of intimidation went away quickly. I ended up falling in love with the sport and the girls that I met at the barn.

After two lessons, my professor actually asked me if I wanted to join the team, and I went out on limb once again and said yes. She is now my coach and most definitely one of the most amazing people that I have ever met —I’m not exaggerating either. I would of laughed if someone told me that I would be a member of the equestrian team and that I will actually win a few blue ribbons. Now that I’m at Albion it doesn’t feel completely absurd. That’s one of my school’s shining attributes a person can literally do anything they want. As cheesy as that sounds, it’s the truth here, all a person needs to do is embrace the opportunities that are laid out for them. Now that I’m on the team I can’t even imagine what my life would be like without it.

11th Annual Jessie’s Gift Charity Classical Basketball Game

Last Friday was a special event for Sigma Nu because they celebrated their 11th Anniversary of Jessie’s Gift. The purpose of Jessie’s Gift is to celebrate the life of Ms. Jessie Longhurst and her passion for mentoring youth in her community. So to conclude this event, a basketball game is played between Sigma Nu and Alpha Tau Omega as well as few words from the Longhurst family.

Congratulations Sigma Nu, Albion College Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and to the beautiful the Longhurst family for an inspirational event! Continue to strive for excellence.

 

To the world, you may just be somebody. But to somebody, you just might be the world. ~Unknown