Ciao New York Hello Rome!

So guys, this is farewell for now. Finals are coming to a close and everyone will be going home for the holidays. However, for some of us who have called the New York campuses home, next semester will present new challenges. Those some of us are called Global Travelers. Next semester a select number of students and I will venture overseas and study abroad for the semester whether it be Discover the World or just Rome. Sure it’s a bit nerve-racking, but words cannot capture how excited I am to visit Italy (let alone live there). I am seeing this as an opportunity that I might never get again so I had to jump on it.

Though this semester is closing fast we can’t forget about next semester. The end is only in sight! Don’t forget to study for the rest of your finals and finish out this semester strong because then, and only then, can Christmas break live up to its potential. You guys are going to be hearing a lot less from me, so sorry to disappoint, because of this whole studying across the world thing. The time difference alone will be a challenge, but a challenge I am willing to accept. But don’t forget about me! I’ll be back for the fall semester. So for now, arrivederci! I look forward to telling you guys all about my travels.

Happy Christmas and Merry New Year!

Courtesy of Social Media Ambassador: Montana Allen

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It’s beginning to feel a lot like finals

Finals. Possibly the scariest word know to high school and college students alike.  A necessary evil, if you will. But there is nothing we can do about it. They will happen. They will stress us out. However, we can find solace in the fact that after the couple all nighters we have pulled to take a two hour test the end of the semester awaits us. That glorious light at the end of the tunnel, or on top of the tree, that is Christmas vacation provides sanity. So breathe. Open that philosophy book. Study. Time management is one of the most cliché things that you hear about throughout your college career, but the clichés exist because they’re true. If you find out how you study best and utilize your old, or new, time management and study habits finals won’t feel quite so intimidating. Finals aren’t meant to kill you, just momentarily get you addicted to caffeine and that’s ok. Hard work can pay off. In this case it could pay off with an A and who wouldn’t want one of those?

So, good luck to everyone taking finals this week and next week. The worst is almost over! In the mean time enjoy the last few activities of winter carnival that may or may not provide some stress relief and may the grading curve be ever in your favor.

Courtesy of Social Media Ambassador: Montana Allen

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‘Tis the season for Winter Carnival!

So, Thanksgiving is over. However, this does not mean we don’t have anything else to look forward to because Winter Carnival starts today! It’s that time of year again! This is an entire week of fun filled, winter themed activities. Who could say no to that? We kick off the week with the most classic New York City activity: ice skating in Bryant Park. Other activities include the Holiday Market, Tree Lighting, and our own Central Park Christmas. What better way to prepare for finals than to participate in some holiday excitement?

Personally my favorite part, and the activity that I am looking forward to the most, is the Central Park Christmas. Even though it isn’t all that far away, the fact that we can bring things from Central Park like horse drawn carriages to our own great lawn is always a good time. To the freshman: check out as many activities as you possibly can fit into your schedule. You won’t regret having an excess of holiday spirit. To everyone else: same thing. You may or may not have gone to some of the events last year, but I can assure you they are a great way to take your mind off the impending doom of finals.

Thanksgiving was just the tease before the Christmas season can officially start, so let the Christmas festivities begin!

Courtesy of Social Media Ambassador: Montana Allen

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I’m Thankful for St. John’s

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Literally, it’s like two days away. So, I, like everyone else I’m sure, have been reflecting on what we are thankful for. Cliché, I know. But it’s nice to think of the things we take for granted sometimes. St. John’s has a multitude of things that fall under the category of things I appreciate. So here are just six of those things.

First, the faculty. The professors and everyone else that is employed at St. John’s really care about what they are doing, and it shows. Some of the professors I have had and classes I have taken have in all honesty changed my life, or at the very least my outlook.  Second, the immense study abroad opportunities. SJU is very aggressive when it comes to study abroad because they know that it is the opportunity of a life time and should not be missed. I am planning to study in Rome next semester and could not be more ecstatic. Next is location, location, location. We are situated in one of the greatest cities in the world (and across the world *cough cough Rome cough cough*). The fact that I can go into the city at any given time is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Fourth is the stellar alumni base. I am very comforted in the fact that there have been so many people that have gone before me and that I have at least one thing in common with. Who knows, I could get a job out of it in the future and wouldn’t that be fantastic. Fifth, our hardcore basketball tradition. We more than make up for our lack of football here with our emphasis on basketball. I love going to the games, especially the ones at MSG, because there is such high energy. Last but not least is our Vincentian mission. I am a Catholic Scholar and very involved with Campus ministry and don’t know where I’d be without it. College is a place to find yourself, and my faith has definitely helped me figure myself out through service and this mission .

Courtesy of Social Media Ambassador: Montana Allen.

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Colby Mrowka’s: A Week In The Life Of A Johnny – Day 7

Mondays are all about class and of course, common hour (the hour that no classes are held at the university so events and club meetings can take place).

Today started off with me catching the 8:45am St. John’s shuttle to campus from my off campus residence hall. On those not so typical days I generally end up making the ten minute walk to campus which isn’t all that bad either. Unless of course it is raining or I woke up twenty minutes before I need to be in class :P.

From there, I trucked through my three classes, ethics, advanced forensic psychology, and the study of the Holocaust. Being that I am a criminal justice/forensic psychology major naturally advanced forensic psychology is my favorite class. In advanced forensic psychology I presented my research paper on pedophilia along with a psychological interview I conducted on a classmate. With guidance of the professor, I was able to create a basic psychological profile on a person based off of sketches a person drew of a house, a tree, and a person.

* A neat fact about St. John’s faculty is that the majority of them all have substantial amount of work experience in their field. My forensic psychology professor has been credited for developing the first hostage negation team at the NYPD which has since expanded around the world saving countless lives. *

Later during common hour, I attended a mandatory meeting for the office of admissions student workers aka student ambassadors. This weekend is accepted students day! To make sure we were all prepared, today we got together to hash out all the little details. In addition, winners of next year’s student executive board were announced. I was elected as special events chair! I was running opposed, but it is still a pretty exciting!

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Colby Mrowka’s: A Week In The Life Of A Johnny – Day 6

I apologize for writing so late tonight! I have been writing a research paper on pedophilia for the entire day and just finished. It really is not that exciting to tell you the truth, but it is a fact of life in college. A few days a semester you always find yourself inside all day, slaving away at a term paper, most likely due the next day. Thankfully when my friends went into the city last night I used common sense and stayed home and started my paper.

Enough about my research paper on pedophilia. If you are super curious as to what I wrote about and want to know more feel free to comment below. To take a healthy break, I stepped away from the journal articles, laptop, and books to play intramural soccer.

Intramurals are a huge part of who I am at St. John’s. Although I just started playing last semester, it feels like I have been playing since freshman year. All together, this year I have played flag-football, volleyball, softball, and soccer. A cool fact about me is that before my first intramural soccer and volleyball games last fall I have never played those sports competitively in my life. Even still, with the help of my teammates, I was able to learn the rules of the game and have fun at the same time.

Don’t think that it is just a bunch of college kids getting together and running around. This is serious stuff! Nearly every team has uniform t-shirts with their team name and every team has their secret rival. It gets intense! Either way, intramurals are a bunch of fun and a great way to make friends, stay active and in shape during the school year. I am so glad I take part in it.

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Colby Mrowka’s: A Week In The Life Of A Johnny – Day 5

Waking up early on a Saturday is definitely not on my list of favorite things to do. With the night I had yesterday at Citi Field all I wanted to do was sleep in. Yet, when you love something as much as I love St. John’s you are willing to make sacrifices. Today I gave two tours of the university that both completely exhausted me. Unlike the days before, I do not want to go into too much detail and tell you everything that you will hear once you visit. Instead, I will share my college experience and what led to me to my decision to transfer to St. John’s University.

I started off my college career at a school in themiddleofnowhere, Maine. I was 6 hours away from home with a freshman class of 150 kids. Needless to say I hated every second I was on that campus. Thankfully, I was able to convincing my mom to take me back home the next day and completely wash my hands of the school I had intentions of going to for over six months. …She wasn’t too happy.

When I got home the next day I quickly registered for classes at a state school close by my home in Connecticut. I knew it would only be temporary. I didn’t want to spend my college career living at home (sorry mom!) and I wanted to go to a bigger school with a big fan base. After some serious searching and several college tours I managed to stumble upon St. John’s University.

It was at first sight. The campus was absolutely beautiful. On my tour I walked up the stairs leaving the residence village and I looked to my right. I saw the Manhattan skyline clear as day. It sounds cliché but at that moment I knew this was the school for me. It met my standards for academics, it had a huge athletics fan base, and it offered a possible future working in the world’s greatest city.

Being a tour guide means a lot to me. I want everyone to know why I came to St. John’s and why out of three schools this is the home for me. More importantly, I want to show transfer and incoming freshman students alike why this is the school for them.

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Colby Mrowka’s: A Week In The Life Of A Johnny – Day 4

Living in one of the world’s largest cities always has something to offer. For some it may be the many museums, others it may be the music, but for me it’s the sports. I grew up surrounded by the game of baseball. Don’t let the fact that I go to school in New York confuse you. I am, and always will be a Red Sox fan. You would never find a true Sox fan at Yankee Stadium so naturally I spent tonight celebrating opening week at Citi Field with the Mets.

Tonight was nothing but cold, windy, and of course wet. Regardless, my friends and I made it out to the park. We started off by taking the complementary St. John’s shuttle to Kew Gardens from campus. From there, we took the E train and then finally the 7 to bring us right outside the stadium. For those of you asking yourselves why I am including directions to the field, I promise I have good reason! When you first come to St. John’s as an out of state student you have no idea how to use the subway or where to go. Trust me… I learned the hard way.

My trip to Citi Field!

My trip to Citi Field!

Anyway, one of the greatest advantages of being a St. John’s student is that you get discounted tickets to every Met’s game at Citi Field. It is a well kept secret, but I am telling you now in advance. All you need to do is show up at the ticket booth, flash your St. John’s identification card (aka your Storm Card), and you get the discount. Tonight, seven of us got into the park for $44 total. That’s a deal in my book. The seats aren’t terrible either as one might assume. Due to tonight’s weather, we actually had to climb up into the nose bleeds to find shelter under the canopy, out of the rain (which still didn’t help).

My view hiding from the rain

My view hiding from the rain

In the end, we all had a blast. It is something that we all agreed we will defiantly do again before this semester ends, next time on a much nicer day.

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Colby Mrowka’s: A Week In The Life Of A Johnny – Day 3

What a beautiful day! For the first time in what seems like forever the Queens campus was full of life. There was not a cloud in the sky, no predictions of rain, and a high temperature of 67 degrees. It was absolutely gorgeous.

As a direct response to the weather, after class everyone ventured their way outside for some fresh air. Early in the afternoon I went for a run around campus. Later in the day, I met up with a group of friends on the Great Lawn and tossed the softball around for an hour or so.

Aside from the usual recreation on campus, similar to colleges around the nation, St. John’s stands out each spring. At the conclusion of every spring semester we have what is called Spring Week on campus. Spring Week is a week dedicated to celebrating the end of a fantastic school year. With the warm weather I enjoyed today and my time spent of the Great Lawn today I couldn’t help but think about my favorite part of Spring Week, the spring carnival.

When giving tours around campus I like to compare the spring carnival to the ending scene in Grease. There is a huge slide, ferris wheel, scrambler, sno-cone machines, zeppoles, cotton candy, games, you name it! Best part is that it is all free! After today, I can’t wait to see what this year has in store. Continue reading

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Colby Mrowka’s : A Week In The Life Of A Johnny – Day 2

Wednesday is my favorite day of the week. I take one class that starts at 7:10 pm and runs to about 10:00 pm, practically giving myself a day off. Normally, I would sleep in or catch up on some reading for class. Today was a unique and enjoyable exception…

For the past few weeks I have been participating in a program sponsored by both St. John’s University and Target Corporation. The program was designed to educate a selected group of students on leadership skills that can be used in and out of the workplace. Weeks prior, we had quest speakers and role played possible scenarios we may face in the workforce.  Today, the final day of the program, we traveled to a Target location and got a behind the scenes tour of the store and witnessed everything we learned in the classroom in action. I bet not a lot of students can say they have worked alongside Target representatives in a high volume store in New York City!

Continuing on discussing the uniqueness of my day as a Johnny, I have to touch on something a bit more personal. This morning I woke up to a text from my boyfriend of two years and eleven months, also a St. John’s student, saying he had a surprise for me. Initially I thought he was pulling a late April Fools’ joke on me. It turned out to be joke at all! Early this morning he went to the campus concierge located in the D’Angelo Center and purchased this month’s “date” package that I have been talking about since the beginning of the semester. For the price of 40.00 he got two metro cards, two movie tickets, and a 50.00 gift card for Shake Shack. Not only do I feel loved I feel super happy because I get a date with a discount! Happy early three year anniversary :) Go us <3

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