POPE-A-PALOOZA

In case you just woke up from some deep slumber or have been living in a jungle and just returned to civilized society, I feel like it is my duty and obligation as a human being to inform you that His Holiness Pope Francis graced us with his presence this past weekend. Many members of the Saint Joseph’s University community had the chance to see him in person either when he drove down City Ave., at the events happening downtown, or when he stopped by campus. I am lucky to be able to say that I was one of the people who had the opportunity of seeing him this weekend!

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My Papal Experience

“Wait, the pope is coming?”

This was my friend’s favorite response to whenever the topic of the Papal Visit was brought up these past few weeks. Yes, we know, the pope is coming.

Professors, the news, my family – everyone was talking about this ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity.

Fortunately, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in some papal events this past weekend.

On Friday, two of my three classes were canceled so I was able to prepare myself and begin planning my papal experience. My mother even drove down from Rochester, NY to come visit and to see the pope!

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Once in a Lifetime Moment

 

    

Although I am not Catholic, I fully understand and appreciate what it means to have a Jesuit education. I also recognize that Saint Joe’s has given me a lot of opportunities that I wouldn’t find at many other universities. From access to certain resources to attending a national conference for free, SJU has provided life changing experiences that are not available anywhere else.

Today  I was among hundreds of Saint Joe’s students that gathered around the chapel waiting for Pope Francis to bless our new statue. As I said,

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I must Gogh!

On Friday I ran the Student Union Board‘s (SUB’s) first late night event of the semester!

The event was First Friday, which features numerous galleries and local artists from the Philly area!

“First Friday is a unique cultural event in Philadelphia and one of the city’s most popular evening escapes. Held the first Friday night of each month, this arts community ‘open house’ brings together city dwellers and suburbanites, contemporary arts and antique collectors, aficionados of classical and contemporary design, and theater and performance buffs.”

And added to that list was Saint Joe’s students!

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The Omnivorous Philly Food Tour

It’s no question that Philadelphia is known as the home of the “Philly Cheesesteak”. If you’re new to living in Philadelphia, you probably don’t know about all of the other signature foods that are unique to the city. While meat lovers may want to stop by Pat’s or Geno’s for an authentic Philly dining experience, these cheesesteak places aren’t very fun options for vegetarians. I’m a vegetarian myself, but I don’t like dragging my meat loving friends to vegetarian restaurants on a regular basis. I also don’t like eating a salad every time I go out to eat. Luckily, they are several places in the city where vegetarians and meat lovers can happily coexist.

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Tangled Up in New Beginnings

The Philadelphia Service Immersion Program (PSIP) at SJU is a program I hold near and dear to my heart, and not just because it saved me a few hassles moving into my freshman dorm a few days early.

 

The early move-in program takes small groups of incoming freshmen to a service site in Philadelphia for three mornings straight (while using public transportation!)– the same site every day. In the afternoon, groups explore various fun places in Philadelphia, meet professors who take them on a tour of a Philly neighborhood, reflect on these experiences,

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“Been away so long I hardly knew the place. Gee, it’s good to be back home.”

– The Beatles, ‘Back In The USSR’

Finish my summer job: check. Unpack my posters, clothing, and food: check. Spend hours putting together my IKEA furniture: check. Buy my schoolbooks: …almost check.

And just like that, summer is officially over. Classes are back in session and campus is bustling. Before you know it, you’ll be back in the swing of getting up early, going to classes, savoring free periods, and seeing your friends in the Barbelin courtyard.

For those who are new to SJU, whether you’re a freshman or a transfer,

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Adulthood vs. Fun?

“I feel like such an adult.”

So I said yesterday, while in the process of buying a mouse trap.

At what point did it become an “adult” thing to have to deal with mice in your apartment? Adulthood should be associated with having pro-actively cleaned counters and secured food, not with spending 9 dollars on a reactive solution to a mouse emergency. Adulthood should be associated with taking responsibility for preventing bad situations, not just for responding to them when they pop up.

Undergraduate college students are placed in a strange box between childhood and adulthood.

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Things to do when visiting Hawk Hill for the first time…

The city of Philadelphia has many great attractions. For those who are not from the area it can be a bit overwhelming. There are the usual well-known historical sites, but Philadelphia is a gem with diverse options. If you are from the Philadelphia area you have the city at your fingertips, but for those new to Saint Joseph’s University it is new and unfamiliar territory. Being a student who was born and raised outside of the city limits, I have been asked several questions throughout the semester by my friends. The one question that is asked of me repeatedly is where someone should take his or her family when visiting Philadelphia.

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PSIP: The Start of Something New

Philadelphia Service Immersion Program or PSIP is a four day experience prior to move-in freshman year. The program allowed me to become acquainted with Saint Joseph’s community as well as the “City of Brotherly Love.”

After I received my acceptance letter and sent in my deposit to Saint Joseph’s, I was eager to get on campus as soon as possible. When I received an email about the Philadelphia Service Immersion Program, I was given the opportunity to move in a few days prior to everyone else.

There were around 100 freshmen that participated in the program.

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