One of the best things you can do in your first year is immerse yourself in the culture of the school and get involved. Here are ten fun and easy ways to get involved at Stonehill College.
1. Explore the City of Boston - Many Stonehill students are from Mass., but whether you’ve been to Boston a hundred times or have never been, it’s always enjoyable. First years can’t have cars on campus, so your source of transportation will be the shuttle. The schedule is available on Stonehill’s website or the Stonehill app. The shuttle will bring you to the Quincy Adams T station, where you’ll take the Red Line into Boston. You could go to the MFA (Museum of Fine Arts), the Aquarium, shop at Newberry Street, Faneuil Hall, or just walk around the commons. It’s an incredible city, so take advantage of all it has to offer!
2. First Football Game - What better way to christen yourself as a Skyhawk than to throw on all the purple attire you can find and support our division II team. Walk over to the field with a group of friends and cheer along with our mascot Ace. The cheer and dance team are amazing, and never disappoint. Win or lose, you won’t regret going.
3. The Famous Stonebridge Challenge - If you haven’t got the memo yet, brunch is a pretty big deal to college students. This challenge is not such a triumph, but it’s fun nonetheless. Stay up all night with a bunch of friends, then head over to The Stonebridge Café (within walking distance of Stonehill) when it opens at 6 a.m. for some cheap, and delicious brunch. I’m not sure how or why the challenge started, but I’m glad it did. Totally worth it.
4. Activities Fair - Okay, this one isn’t as exciting as the others, but it’s still important. Getting involved shapes your college experience. You hear it all the time, but it’s true. There are tons of clubs at Stonehill, it’s impossible not to join at least one. I’ve been involved with Women’s Health and Empowerment Now (WHEN), The Rolling Stonehill (our student run culture magazine), The Summit (student run newspaper), dance club, and volunteering. There’s something for all interests, and you can make your own club if you want. Even if you’re not positive about joining, give out your student email, and at least go to the first meeting. It’s the easiest way to make friends.
5. Retreats: Christ Encounters and Women’s Retreat - I know you’re probably thinking something like “that’s not for me” or “I’m not even religious.” I’ll tell you that it is for you, and that you don’t have to be religious at all. You just have to bring a positive attitude and an open mind. Christ Encounters happens once each semester, and Women’s Retreat is in the spring. I had never been on a retreat before, and thought it wasn’t for me either, but Women’s Retreat has been one of my favorite experiences at Stonehill. Spending a weekend in a house in Cape Cod, going to the beach, and sharing meaningful stories was relaxing and more than I could have ever expected. I’ve heard great things from friends who went on Christ Encounters, too. You should try one because you might surprise yourself.
6. Halloween and Christmas Themed Parties - These are super big and super fun! No matter where you’re going, get creative and original, and make your own costume for the night. It’s interesting to see what everyone comes up with. By far, one of the most original costumes I’ve seen is by my friend who dressed up as the Snuggle Detergent Bear. Her homemade costume included mittens for paws, a headband with ears, with a brown felted top. She cut a hole in a laundry basket, and wore it around her all night. Inside the basket she carried her phone/wristlet, had a towel, and an empty bottle of the detergent in case anyone questioned what she was. She got so many compliments, all well deserved. Being creative makes a huge difference and builds excitement.
7. Participate in or Attend DiverCity - It’s one of Stonehill’s biggest events that celebrate the differences in all of us. It features social justice performances by various clubs on campus. This year I performed with Women’s Health and Empowerment Now (WHEN), and we put on a feminist fashion show. I represented a transgender woman in the punk scene, Laura Jane Grace, while others represented Wendy Davis, Demi Lovato, Jane Austen, and Eve Ensler. We were all so nervous about saying a few lines in front of a big audience, but we kicked butt. There were student choreographed salsa and Indian dances, and powerful spoken word poems just to name a few. Each piece was different and expressed an empowering message. Join us next time and be a “piece of the solution.”
8. Spring Weekend - Do I even have to say it? This is probably the biggest weekend at Stonehill. There’s a concert, a dance/mixer, and a carnival. We’ve had Matt & Kim, Cobra Starship, Andy Grammer, Dev, Timeflies, and many others perform. Even if it’s not your type of music it’s still fun to go and dance. And if you don’t like dances, just go. You won’t want to miss it, because you will be missing a lot.
9. Mr. Stonehill - Stonehill’s male pageant is a must see. There’s a swimsuit competition, question portion, and talent competition. The contestants and the MCs will make your jaw sore from laughing so much. A tribute dance to the Jabbawockeez, interpretive dancing, performing “What Does the Fox Say” in a fox costume, rapping Dr. Seuss tongue twisters…what will you see at your first Mr. Stonehill?
10. Sledding Down Donahue hill - New England winter and Stonehill’s iconic Donahue hill are a great combination. Bundle up, grab a food tray, laundry basket, or an actual sled and hike up the hill. You can put the studying and homework on hold. Just because you’ve made it to college, doesn’t mean you can’t be a kid again for a little while.
Choosing Stonehill is one of the best decisions I’ve made. No matter what school you end up choosing, be sure to take advantage of every resource available and get involved. It’ll only make your college experience that much more fun.