Stonehill

Stonehill Student Profile: Ryan DiFalco

August 29, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

Ryan DiFalco

Ryan DiFalco, a girl and her bucket hat

Class:

Junior

Major:

Communications

Minor:

English

Where are you from?

Burlington, Vermont

What is your spirit animal?

I’ve been told a seal because I’m playful and silly. I’ve also been told a sea turtle because I’m peaceful and conscious of not upsetting the balance of things.

One word that describe Stonehill:

Community-oriented.

Favorite movie?

Dead Poets Society

Why did you choose Stonehill?

I chose Stonehill because I had that weird magical moment where you walk on campus and fall in love. And the internship opportunities, like NY, DC, and LA sounded cool.

What advice would you give to a new student?

Join a lot of clubs in the beginning. If you feel like you’d be interested in something just try it! You’ll find your happiness in joining groups.

What are you involved in?

I’m the Captain of the ultimate Frisbee team, the music section editor of The Rolling Stonehill (Stonehill’s culture magazine), and the Secretary of PRIDE (providing a responsible, inclusive, and diverse environment).

How do you manage time?

I take it day by day and hope I don’t cry at the end of it.

How do you handle living four hours away?

It’s tough sometimes because I’m really close with my family, but I stay busy and see it as an adventure.

Favorite place on campus?

The bridge by New Hall. Super convenient, but a nice place to go to clear my head.

One thing you want to do before you graduate?

One academic thing I want to do is stay on the dean’s list, and one silly thing I want to do is climb Donahue.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

Aside from going abroad (in Ireland), I’m excited to live in the Colonial Courts with all of my friends.

Ryan is one of my best friends and she is a great example of a Stonehill student. She has a great heart and is very involved on campus. Just remember that college comes with many opportunities, and you should take advantage of each and every one. Whether that means joining clubs, going abroad, or doing an internship, it’s important to get yourself out there like Ryan does. Already in our junior year, we are confident and ready to take on anything, all thanks to the new things we tried and chances we took that got us to this stage.

More Than Just An Old Dorm

August 1, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

The Sem

The Sem

I could tell you about the weird or messy moments from my first year, but it wouldn’t be much different from other people’s crazy stories. Typical college. This week I want to tell you about an unforgettable experience from sophomore year, which is much more than any drunken night could amount to. It’s about living in Stonehill’s dorm, The Sem.

I’ll do my best to describe it to you, but many don’t fully understand the building until they’ve lived in it. The Sem is in the boonies of Stonehill, past the Sports Complex, near the fields and by the road. No one goes there unless they live there, they’re going to Sem mass, or they’re going to brunch on the weekend. Either way, I’m confident in saying that it’s the hidden gem of Stonehill.

It’s a first year student dorm, but I had the opportunity to live there sophomore year because my roommate is an RA. Before The Sem, her and I were friendly, but didn’t really hangout much besides getting breakfast between classes. When she asked me to live with her, I was hesitant especially because of the Sem’s location on campus. I had to give her an answer fairly quickly, so I just decided to go for it. I didn’t have a roommate for the following year at the time, and I figured I would make some new friends. It wouldn’t be so bad.

Little did I know, it was a great fit for me. The special thing about the Sem is that it’s more than a dorm, it’s a community of people, of friends. Because we’re far away from the center of campus, we’re lazy and are just stuck together a lot of the time. From RA programs, to floor meetings, to hanging out in the common room, there is so much pride and involvement. Everyone is proud to be a sem kid, old and new. There are always familiar faces whether it’s hanging out with an RA on duty or hanging out in your room. No one is afraid to talk or say “hello.” Yeah, I was a sophomore, but it’s just the kind of place you want to be as a first year, despite the distance.

I made friends just like I thought I would, and my new roommate became a best friend. Coincidentally a few girls on my floor knit and liked to craft. We’d hangout and watch tv or a movie. There were a lot of opportunities to bond, especially in little ways. People usually had their door opened, and it was common for someone to pop in and chat or just say “hey” while walking by. Since we had a small cafeteria in the building, a lot of us would eat there instead of walking all the way across campus if we were already in our rooms and didn’t have to go out again. Sem brunch every weekend was a tradition. A very delicious weekly tradition. During my first year I didn’t get out enough and wasn’t that involved. Living in The Sem, making new friends, and having to make more of an effort to see my other friends and attend meetings, truly pushed me to put myself out there. When I first agreed to The Sem, I didn’t realize what it would do for me or how much of an impact it would have. Although that chapter is passed and it’s summer now, I still text my roommate and keep in contact with a few girls from my floor. I’m grateful that I was given the opportunity to be a Sem kid and anyone who is chosen to live there is lucky.

College Dating: Stonehill Edition

July 11, 2014 in Alive Campus, Love

This week is all about college dating and relationships. Read on to hear my old fashioned thoughts on dating. Maybe our grandparents could teach us something in this department…

Couples and Relationships

Couples and Relationships

During my first year of college I had a boyfriend who went to a nearby community college and lived in a town pretty close to my school. I was transitioning into a new life and moving away from home. We were both going to school and working, so we were busy during the week. Just about every weekend he would pick me up. He stayed over a few times, but we either walked around campus or hung out in my room. I partly think this experience kept me from being at school when I should have been there. Weekends are perfect opportunities to go out and make friends, and I wasn’t really doing that. I had some friends and I had fun, but not nearly as much as Sophomore year when I was single. I had a lot more time to focus on myself, school, and friends. I gained confidence and became more sure of who I was. In the end, I learned a lot about myself, improved my grades (I even made Dean’s list for the first time), and became closer to my friends. The single life can be really great, and maybe something more students could learn to embrace instead of being bothered by it.

Relationships in college are hard, and they might not be for everyone at first, but they sure are for some people, although this couple might be an exception. My friend Sabrina at school has a boyfriend, John, who also attends Stonehill. He’s a senior and she’s a junior. They’ve been going out for a while, and are very cute and happy together. Although they can both get busy with school and work, they live on campus, so if they want to see each other it’s manageable. Sabrina said, “I like going to the same school as him. It makes it easy to be near each other and it’s nice to be within walking distance. For fun, we go hiking or on walks, out to dinner, or for drives around just to talk. Simple things like that.” Around Stonehill, there are places to eat like Bertucci’s in walking distance, or you could go to the Braintree Plaza for California Pizza Kitchen or The Cheesecake Factory. If nothing close by seems up to par, you could head into Boston for something new and fun. You can always find something to do.

I think one reason why Sabrina and John have such a successful relationship is because they became friends for a little while before they decided to go out, which not many people do anymore. Most people seem to be in a rush to make things happen, but what for? Whether it’s Stonehill, or college in general, I feel as though everything happens so fast. You meet someone at a party and you’re dating two weeks later. People rarely take the time to court anymore. What ever happened to just being someone’s friend for a little while, and bringing them into your friend group first to see if they’re not only compatible with you, but with your friends?

It seems like a lot of the romance died with most things from the 50s and 60s. I mean what ever happened to the sock hop and cute things like that? Why did grinding even start? The latter is probably what you can find at a courts party. If someone is looking for a hookup, I’m guessing they’d go there. Hooking up is fine, but just do what you’re comfortable with. There’s nothing wrong with it. I think the problem is that some people come to college expecting that or feeling like that’s what they should be doing. It’s not what everyone is doing, and if someone tell you it’s all they’re doing, they’re probably lying.

Remember that even though you’re getting older, you have your entire life ahead of you. Even if it seems like you should be hooking up, or you’re the only one without a partner, learn to be comfortable with yourself and know that sometimes that might be all you need. Just do what makes you happy and comfortable, and the rest will fall into place.

Eating Spots on Stonehill’s Campus

June 6, 2014 in Campus Life, Colleges, Reviews

The Hill at Stonehill College

The Hill at Stonehill College

1. The Caf

This is the largest place to eat on campus, and it has the most options. Here you’ll be using your meal plan money from your Hillcard. You can eat as many times as you want per day, but just be aware of how much you’re spending.  Make sure you don’t run out of money toward the end of the semester, which easily happens to all of my friends, and sometimes me. You can go to managemyid.com to see your balance, and Stonehill will post how much money people with each plan should have per week.

There are different stations where you can order a meal. Vegetarian, international, entrée/main, grill, salad, sandwich and panini station, and of course the beloved bakery are the different options. The food is pretty good and you can usually find something you’ll like. I usually stick to the entrée or international lines. The meals rotate, so after a while it feels repetitive. Don’t worry if you have allergies or restrictions. People in dining services are super sweet and cooks are always willing to work with you.

One of the downfalls to the Caf is the hours. They’re not bad, but sometimes I wish it was open all day. You have to plan your days around when you’re going to eat, especially if you have classes during the majority of a meal time. But, that’s why we have The Hill.

Weekdays: Continental Breakfast, 7:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.; Hot Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.; Lunch, 11:15 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Dinner Mon. – Thu., 4:45 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.; Dinner Fri., 4:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Weekends/Holidays: Continental Breakfast, 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.; Hot Brunch, 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Dinner, 4:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

2. The Hill

The Hill is great because it’s opened basically all day. It’s perfect if you get to the Caf as it’s closing right after class. Food here is mostly finger foods. There are burgers (veggie and black bean included), wraps, chicken fingers, quesadillas, salads, etc. Sushi is also available. There are pre-made salads and sandwiches if you’re in a hurry, along with yogurt, fruit cups, and hummus. There are bagels and pastries, but not as much as the Caf. It’s pretty good, but again, it gets old after a while. Sometimes it’s awesome, but it depends on who’s working and cooking. I recommend the garden burger or the veggie wrap, and you can’t go wrong with chicken fingers and sweet potato fries. Here you’ll also be using meal plan money, so beware, because The Hill serves Starbucks coffee. Chai tea lattes and caramel macchiatos can be dangerous.

The Hill has booths and tables where you can do homework, eat, or just hangout. The pool table is pretty popular. There’s usually music playing, or the TVs are on playing a movie, news, or daytime shows. On weeknights or weekends there’ll be trivia or intimate concerts on the small stage inside.

Hours: Sun.  2 p.m. – 11:30 p.m., Mon. – Thu. 7:30 a.m. – 11 p.m., Fri. 7:30 a.m. – 1 a.m., Sat. 2 p.m. – 1 a.m

3. Dunkin Donuts in the Science Center

You can get breakfast sandwiches, coolattas, donuts and muffins like any ordinary Dunks. The only downfall is that it comes off of your $50 food flex that automatically goes on your Hillcard each semester. If you drink coffee even a few times a week, this will run out fast. You can add money on your Hill dollars. Food flex and Hill dollars go hand in hand, but you have to add the latter yourself. It can be spent at Dunks, the bookstore, or places just off campus like Bertucci’s or Daddy’s Dairy. I usually just pay with cash or my debit card. Or you can ask for your family for Dunks gift cards for your birthday, Christmas, or random occasions. You might be reading this and say that you don’t drink coffee, and that this won’t be a problem for you. I used to be like you until Sophomore year came along. Pretty soon, you too will be sucked into the heavenly, yet costly coffee vortex.

 4. Ace’s Place in the library

Ace’s Place is fairly new. It was renovated in summer 2012, and now looks like an actual café. There are tables and booths to sit in. A lot of people like to study in there, and it’s a great place to meet a professor or coworker outside of the classroom or office. Ace’s Place offers Starbucks coffee and beverages, bagels in the morning, cookies, and pastries. There is also trail mix, Panera soup, and other to-go sandwiches and salads. It’s super convenient for someone like me who spends hours at a time in the library. It’s also convenient if you want something small to have on the way to class, as long as your classes are after 10 a.m. At Ace’s Place you’re spending meal plan money.

Hours: Mon. – Thu. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Fri. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Sun.  4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

5. The Sem Caf (The Holy Cross Center)

The Sem is off in the boonies of Stonehill. It’s a place only those who had the opportunity to live there truly understand. It’s a freshman dorm, but I lived there as a sophomore with my best friend who’s an RA. Since it’s pretty secluded, you typically wouldn’t come here for a meal besides Sem Brunch. Plus, you’ll need someone to let you in. This Caf is pretty small, and that’s mostly because it’s typically only for Sem residents. Brunch is popular because it’s amazing. The pancakes are a lot bigger than brunch at the Caf in the commons. You order what you want and they make it for you right there…chocolate chip/banana, blueberry, or m&m pancakes. Enough said. The omelets are also delicious. If you get veggies, cooks put them on the grill before they put them in the omelet, which they don’t do at the commons, and it makes a huge difference. You haven’t lived (at Stonehill, anyway) until you’ve had Sem Brunch.

Brunch hours: Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Stonehill's Ace's Place

Stonehill’s Ace’s Place

Ten Ways to Become a Stonehill Skyhawk

May 23, 2014 in Campus Life, Top 10 Lists

My friends and I take on Boston

My friends and I take on Boston

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.

My frozen friends and I after sledding down Donahue Hill.

My frozen friends and I after sledding down Donahue Hill

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.