– The Beatles, ‘Come Together’
On Sunday afternoon, I headed over to campus to represent Radio 1851 at the Fall View open house. I’d never been to one of SJU’s open houses before today; after I applied as a senior, my family and I took a guided tour and, more or less, decided on the spot that St. Joe’s would be my new home for the next four years.
As I woke up that morning to the brisk morning air coming through my window, the only thing on my mind was snuggling back into my blankets. “Do you really want to get out of bed, Danielle?” my bed seemed to be saying.
The honest answer was no, I didn’t. After a long weekend of errand-running and homework-doing and friend-seeing, I was more than a little exhausted. I knew, though, that I’d signed up a month ago to work at something called “Fall View” and that I had to get up and go. After downing some coffee, I made my way over to campus and got situated at Radio 1851’s table in Campion.
Prospective students and their parents started pouring in as the open house began; some people were familiar with SJU, while others were visiting the school for the very first time. Seeing students look around at the variety of majors and activities brought back feelings of the both the impending excitement and apprehension of heading off to college. I remember being so overwhelmed at the many options I could choose from; with merely the choice of a major and extracurriculars, I could literally be anything. I could shape my life into whatever I wanted it to be. That’s quite a scary idea – but, at the same time, an incredible one.
We talked to quite a few students and their families throughout the afternoon, but a conversation that specifically struck me was one with a girl and her mother who live in Philadelphia; they said they passed St. Joe’s almost every day but never really thought much of it, being that it was in their own backyard. But though she had “taken it for granted” for so long, her mother said that she was thoroughly impressed by the school.
One thing she found particularly memorable? The genuine feeling of family and camaraderie on campus.
“Everything feels accessible here,” she said. “There’s no pretentious attitude, and you can tell the friendliness isn’t just put on or faked for today.”
I told that she was correct, that the familial feeling is here year-round. I told her that everyone looks out for each other, students and professors alike. I even told her that we tend to hold doors for everyone and anyone, just out of courtesy.
And I wasn’t lying about any of those things.
I then realized that in the same way this mother tended to take SJU’s close proximity for granted, so too do I often disregard SJU’s ultra-friendly aura. The world isn’t always smiles and “hellos” and door-holding outside of Hawk Hill. The welcoming atmosphere here is what initially hooked me; I finally felt free to be who I truly wanted to be. I suppose I had forgotten how lucky I am to be here, but conversing with this mother-daughter duo about how convivial SJU is made me count my blessings.
Although I went to Fall View for radio representative purposes, I left with a rejuvenated love for St. Joe’s and an eagerness for new students to find their homes on Hawk Hill. I guess you could say I’m pretty darn glad I got out of bed.
If you’re a prospective student, I encourage you to visit and to feel the friendliness and omnipresent passion that flourishes throughout this campus. If you’re a current student, I implore you to take a minute to simply be thankful for the life we live here, and for the lives that surround us each and every day.