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The Four Week Tale: As Told By A Junior Belle

On the morning of August the 14th, an exhausted me embarked on yet again another journey to South Bend, Indiana for a semester full of dense studying and abundant shenanigans. The trip to my Midwest home featured a million and a half hours of waiting in the Orlando airport, (thank you, standby flying…), two and a half quick hours of flight time, and 2 more hours of waiting to get to Saint Mary’s even when I arrived in The Bend. (Thank you luggage displacement…) After waking up at 3 am, putting “heavy” stickers on my suitcases at the ticket counter, and getting bumped on the 5:40 Chicago flight, I accepted it when I had to roll my name over to the 11 am and thus, debated on the $60 airport couture pedicure to fill my time. I chose a Wendy’s chicken biscuit instead. Ew.

Looking out the window at the sun peeking out over the treetops, I observed my situation. There I was. 6 a.m. Me, my phone, a half-eaten pile of grease, and a scary man drinking a Corona. We made eye contact twice because I was so confused. It is six o’clock in the morning. The man is drinking a Corona. I noted the situation and moved on.

Finally, 6 hours later finally, they called “passenger Drinkall” and I leapt out of my seat, avoiding eye contact with the elderly couple that had been standby-ing with me since four in the morning. (#Buddies?) The journey to South Bend was chockfull of stressful scenarios, some of which included binge listening to Lady Antebellum’s “Bottle Up Lightning” as I flew over the Indiana corn desert, casually strolling through security as my flight was about to leave, confusing conversations with ticket agents trying to explain to them that yes, I realize I am late for the flight I am listed on – please roll me over (UGH! STANDBY!), and complementing a ten year old boy on his Notre Dame sweatshirt just to get an angry stare form his mother. When I finally landed in good ‘ole Indiana (prettiest, coolest 20-minute flight ever), my two-hour wait time for my late bags ended up being not so terrible thanks to a little 2 year-old named Alfred. What a heartbreaker.

Move-in was a blur of attacking my roomie in the SB airport parking lot, jumping up and down with excitement for the dome view of room 403, sweating like wooly mammoths moving our furniture around, and plenty of shenanigans thanks to pre-Sylly week. Residence Life provided us with plenty of desk shifts to occupy the rest of our time and Cyber’s Starbucks Vanilla Iced Coffee was what got me through my 9-hour Sunday. Finally, regular (non-desk-working, non-Frosh-O, non-athletic, or non-RA) students started coming back and it was time for school.

Between the class “we have to get everything and anything approved” gift campaign meetings, cookie butter induced Phonathon work shifts, networking receptions with some of the college’s coolest alumnae, a few 21st birthdays (yep…already), intense (but interesting and actually awesome) class discussions (double major for the win woo), and uploading tons of articles thanks to my leadership position with the best Her Campus chapter ever and the best Co-Campus Correspondent ever who just happens to be a bestie of mine… it could be said that I’ve had a busy past four weeks. And it has only just begun. However.

(Thursdays) Fridays and Saturdays have been full of touchdown push-ups while sporting french cross fannypacks and bouncing around University Edge singing along to “Shake It Off” with the guys, culminating with the other one million Saint Mary’s seniors living “life on the Edgeee” that has so far featured plenty of be-bopping in buildings 6 and 7. Two home games and puzzling mornings later; we are already through with week four. Between my friends and myself, there have been fulfilled Le Peep brunch cravings, some of us have kindly (and unknowingly) washed dishes at Edge, and we’ve had a couple break-ups with boys we never even dated. We’ve all realized again that we will never get tired of walks along The Avenue or lighting candles at the Grotto and that LeMans will always be 300 degrees either too hot or too cold when we’re trying to get ready.

Recent Sundays have featured some great (but lazy) afternoons. There have been struggle-bus trips to Hes, cash (rather than Flex Points) paying for one too many ABP tall coffees, and laying on each other’s cracking backs watching Friends.

The weekdays have been considerably more efficient in regards to productivity, but much less exciting when it comes to making it to sailing practice or doing anything besides studying in Stapleton. Career fairs and beautiful campus runs occupy our free time and buying business clothes became a real thing. We’ve come to love our teachers who sign their emails, “Party hard and play safe” and have actually become BFFs with them since we’re finally enrolled in our major classes.

The “How was your summer? You look so skinny! Did you love interning in New York? Your Greece pictures looked amazing!” questions and comments have subsided and the tan lines have faded away. More cookie butter has been consumed, impromptu naps have been taken on room rugs, the “pick a number” game has been played one too many times, and somehow my friends and I have managed to successfully achieve decent grades on all our assignments. Thank you, Trumper.

Lessons learned from the first month of my junior year: nothing’s (still) slower than Belleaire WiFi, senior comps are real things & junior year means start thinking about them (I’m sorry…what?), players gonna play, play, play, play, play and, according to Tara, a 24-year old friend of mine, when asking the CJ’s bartender ”what drink can I get for two dollars?” don’t trust or answer him when he replies, “pink or blue?’

Noted for all those 21st birthdays on the horizon…

We’re all back at it; excited for a semester full of dancing around LeMans when receiving an A- on a Comm paper, bowing down to our Keurigs because, well…they exist, and loving Father John for celebrating Sunday mass at the awkward, but ever-so convenient time of 9 p.m.

As always,

Once A Belle Always A Belle,


Photos provided by the author

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Hannah Drinkall

Saint Mary's

Hannah graduated Saint Mary's College (May 2016) with a major in Communication Studies & a minor in Public Relations & Advertising. She was the Campus Correspondent of Her Campus Saint Mary's, which she co-founded in December 2013. She's from Florida, and she is now working in New York City with New York Times best selling author, Adriana Trigiani. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter, @hannahdrinkall!
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