Coming into this year, my senior year, I had every intention of taking a long backpacking trip to Europe with two of my best friends from St. Mikes. Flash forward to Thanksgiving and they had bailed. That meant no booking flights, no planning of routes and no deciding on where to fly in and out of. It meant no bar crawls in Ireland, soccer games in Germany or pizza in Italy. It meant no late nights watching the sunrise over global monuments or flirting with attractive men with fabulous accents.
It also means that I am still itching with the travel bug. Now, the question is: what are my options for traveling solo?
One of the best solutions: Contiki Vacations.
Upon entering the website, I was able to explore trips by destination or by type of trip. The great thing about Contiki is that individuals can travel solo and they will pair you with a same-sex roommate for the trip. In fact their website claims that more than half their travelers go on the trip alone. I could go to Egypt or Australia (or almost anywhere for that matter) by myself. I could also decide that I only want to go on trips that involve diving and snorkeling or skiing. The world is my oyster. It would be overwhelming if it wasn’t so amazing.
My first search was for a trip to Europe between June 2013 and September 2013. I sorted them by price: low to high. I’m on a budget like everyone else. Some of the options are simply a day long. A few are for 4 days like this one in Pamplona for $309.
1. Thursday Night - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Concert
Get ready to dance and have a great time. Chart-topper Macklemore will rock the stage in Ross Sports Center to a sold out venue. The “Thrift Shop”-performing duo could be the best spring concert St. Mike’s has had in years and expectations are that he will shame future, unnamed performers.
2. Friday Night - MLK Jr. Society Talent Show
It’s the annual event that draws an impressive number of students. In fact, so many students come to this show that it will be relocating from the McCarthy Recital Hall to the Ross Sports Center. The talent show is a great opportunity to learn about your classmate’s hidden talents like ukelele playing or stand-up comedy.
3. Saturday - P-Day
Do we need to explain this day? It’s perhaps the most well-known St. Mike’s tradition from the morning tricycle race to the inflatable obstacles and Burlington food tent. It’s doesn’t get much better than a sunny day in the 300’s field with 2,000 of your closest friends. Make sure your t-shirts are ready and that you set your alarm. This is one day you’ll skip hitting the snooze button to hopping out of bed.
Just remember that the day is a marathon, not a sprint.
4. Sunday Night - Acabellas End-of-the-Year Concert
It seems that the minute you send in your college deposit the question on everyone’s mind becomes: What do you want to be when you grow up?
For some, the answer is easy: lawyer, doctor, or journalist. For others, the vision for their future is fuzzier. No matter what side of the aisle you are sitting on, luck favors the prepared and we could all use a little bit of that on the job hunt.
For the purposes of job hunting, LinkedIn, the professional social network, should be square one in creating an online presence. It provides a platform for you to display yourself in a professional manner. Recruiters can view your past work experience, education, and recommendations. Despite the clear layout LinkedIn provides, you can make mistakes when getting started. In a world where everyone demands perfection (even though Miley Cyrus tells us that everybody makes mistakes), having an online resume you are proud of is essential.
Here are a few tips to take your resume from cheap to chic!
1) It’s all about image.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does your profile picture say about you? I’m not saying you need to go out and have professional pictures taken. Grab your friend with a camera--not an iPhone--and a solid colored wall. Your profile picture is your first impression, so put on a clean dress shirt and do your hair and make-up. Snap several pictures, so you have options.
Do not use that “selfie” you took in the 300’s last weekend. It’s blurry, pixilated, and says, “I don’t know when partying is acceptable because I shared it on my resume!”
Making shirts is a part of the tradition for P-Day. Check out how some of our staff has designed their shirts in the past!
Alexandra Brenock: Emma, Vick, Cait, Merrill, and I had a Hunger Games theme for our shirts last year. They were intended to be camoflauge, but instead they turned out tye dyed. Either way, it worked out just fine!
Lauren Mazzoleni: "Brianna, Emily, me, and Sophie ironed letters onto ours shirts to spell out P-Day. We each customized the back of our shirts with a common phrase we say and the number 12, which stood for 2012."
Gabbi: "This photo is of my friend Kerri and I on P-Day of last year. About 10 of us wore white tanks which we had spray painted with green and blue. They said "Third Times a Charm" and then we all signed each other's shirts on the back. It was a cute and easy way to make shirts at the last minute."
Senior Emma Hauser is a leader. She’s a captain, a president and a member of the Purple Knights Leadership Academy. She was an Orientation Leader, so we know she loves to have a good time and even thought St. Mike’s wasn’t her first choice of colleges, the smiling face on campus made her decide that this was the place to be!
What are you majoring in? What are your plans for after graduation?
I'm a mathematics major and in all honestly, I'm not sure about after graduation. I think I would like to work as an analyst maybe in a non-profit or as an actuary.
What clubs/activities are you involved in on campus?
I'm a member of the SMC Swim team, president of the Aca Bellas, an Student Association representative, an Orientation Leader, member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a member of the Purple Knights Leadership Academy, a member of the senior class gift committee and a math tutor.
What was the best part of being a four-year student-athlete? The worst?
The best part of being a four-year student-athlete at Saint Mike’s was definitely the team camaraderie. I've made some of the best friends I've ever had on this team. I don't know if there is a worst part of the team, but days when I had an afternoon class during practice, I had to get up at 5:15 in the morning to swim my practice with the master’s team, but I did get to watch the sunrise after practice, which made it worthwhile.
Starring: Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses), Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)
IMDB Description: Mild-mannered businessman Sandy Patterson travels from Denver to Miami to confront the deceptively harmless-looking woman who has been living it up after stealing Sandy's identity.
Review: Advertised as a comedy of Bridesmaid’s memorability, Identity Thief failed to deliver. Both actors have the potential to bring viewers to tears from laughter, but the script seemed too sentimental to let that characteristic shine.
Of course, this shouldn’t deter you from going to see the adorable flick. McCarthy packs a punch...literally. Her favorite defensive move in the movie is to hit attackers in the throat. Bateman is on the receiving end of several of these attacks
Throughout the film we see an enemy relationship morph into a friendship with bumps along the way including a scene when McCarthy brings back a man to the hotel room, which Bateman and her are sharing. Needless to say, the scene ends awkwardly, but with a key character change for McCarthy.
My advice: Wait until this flick comes out on DVD. It’s not worth spending the 10 dollars for the big screen experience. You won’t be missing out on any special effects or audio.
Cynthea’s Spa on Church St. has an array of indulgent spa options. You can enjoy a couple’s massage together for $145.
Just looking for a gift? Get your special someone the “Student Care Package.” $100 gets them a 60-minute Swedish Massage and a Foot Treatment or Facial.
Classic Dinner and Flowers
Another great way to spend Valentine’s Day is on a classic dinner date. Downtown Burlington is full of potential restaurants to fit your price range. If you want to get really fancy, try Leunig’s Bistro. If you want to go more casual, but still feel fancy, try the Three Tomatoes. Nothing says “romance” like Italian food and a nice glass of wine, right?
Do you really want to treat your date for the evening? Try cooking dinner. This might be hard in a college residential hall, but it’s less expensive than a restaurant and easier to plan if you both have busy schedules. After all, Valentine’s Day is on a school night this year.
Vermont Teddy Bear Factory has many Valentine’s Day-themed teddy bears. Pick up one and a bouquet of flowers to complete a perfect Valentine’s Day.
If you are 18+ and have a boyfriend/girlfriend who seems to have an endless stream of fun facts stored in his/her brain, take them to Trivia Night at Nectar’s. It starts at 7 p.m. and goes until 9:30 p.m. Questions are posted on TV screens and read aloud. Topics range from pop culture to history to science, so it doesn’t matter what your major is.