St. John’s Winter Carnival… annual tradition!
We all know it’s no secret; Saint John’s University is an expensive institute; but becoming a part of the University shows that our tuition is being used for the best interest of the students. The facilities are well-maintained, the dining options are numerous, free give-aways never cease to end, the halls are extremely safe and programs at STJ always foster community and school spirit. Take the Winter Carnival for example, it blew me away.
While walking to class one cold morning, there was a huge horse drawn carriage circling the great lawn. I passed one of the members of Student Government and asked them, “how much does a ride cost”, and she replied with a simple “it’s free silly”. I was pretty impressed. So I kept walking through the great lawn towards Marillac and there were a group of individuals dressed as though they were from the 1800’s. As I began to pass them and they began to smile and started singing Silver Bells; for a moment, I forgot that I was in Queens, New York. Later on in the week, a couple of friends from Manhattan wanted to see a basketball game at St. John’s. While driving to the University from the train station, the sky was lit fireworks coming from St. John’s, my friends were in awe. I took them through the great lawn where the library was lit up with purple and green lights and families and students socialized. My friend, who was in the process of transferring, said to me “We don’t have any of this at my school, I should transfer to St. Johns” (she was actually accepted the following semester). The week of winter activities really showed the University’s dedication to its student and its desire to provide them with all the things that make college an amazing place.
St. John’s takes over the University of Miami…
Parties, events and social clubs, these three words define our first perceptions of what it means to be a college student; we anticipate and glorify the expectations of these experiences. In reality, there is much fun to be had but even more work and tasks to be accomplished. Eventually, after all the work piles up to the point where we feel as though we can no longer take it, we are given a break from all the studies and have the opportunity to relax. These are the moments we long for, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring and April Break; this year, Spring Break was nothing like I have ever experienced before and I will never forget the memories that brought six St. John’s students closer than ever.
It was the first time in my college career that I took a major trip with a group of friends on spring break; the seven us sat down and decided where we wanted to go and eventually we settled on Miami, Florida. After weeks of procrastination, we finally came together and bought our tickets. It was official; we were going to Miami for Spring Break. The weeks leading up to our trip, we became more serious about the journey ahead of us; we held meetings, found a rental car, and even made an itinerary (most people left it on their desk when we left for the airport). We were prepared; suitcases in hand, we hoped on a plane and headed to Miami for seven days.
When arriving in Florida, we were met with numerous complications that we were not prepared for. First, we missed our train to Miami from West Palm Beach, causing us to have to sit at a Mexican Grill for 2 hours!! We passed the time with good food and music; people would come and talk with us and ask us where we from, it felt good to say St. John’s University in Queens, NY. This instance would be the first of many to challenge the friendships that we created over the last two semesters. Eventually, five hours and three missed stops later, we finally arrived at our destination, the University of Miami! Two of our friends that arrived before us were waiting for us off the train and it was like a huge reunion (even though we just seen each other two days prior).
It was an amazing trip! The campus was beautiful and being in Miami with my college friends was even more amazing. We had a lot of fun and we tried to represent our university as much we possibly could. One day we drove thirty minutes to Buffalo Wild Wings just to watch St. John’s play Syracuse. At one point in time I was even offered to trade my STJ hood for an UMiami one; of course I came back with the same hoodie that I left with. St. John’s really did take over Miami this Spring Break. While walking along South Beach, my friend seen their roommate walking down the street and then when we finished eating, I saw a fellow co-worker, a member of the gospel choir and a really good friend (all from St. John’s) eating on the beach. The warm weather and palm trees were impressive but around day five, I was ready to go back to Saint John’s University. I guess you can say I was a little home sick. Overall, it was a really great experience in friendship and responsibility; it wasn’t perfect and there were a lot of arguments but I can honestly say that we arrived in Queens with a renewed since of growth in our friendships.
STJ school spirit…
Before transferring to STJ, I never truly experienced school spirit that was focused and centered on the success of the athletic program. #STJBB was a trending twitter topic that dominated our timelines with current-time updates, motivational support and most importantly, pride. Tweets were not the only method in which we showed our support, Facebook was flooded with status mentioning the St. John’s Basketball Team. As I strolled down my newsfeed, I started to realize that our Basketball Team was responsible for the breaking down of cultural differences and boundaries; in this very moment, we were connected by one thing, our school pride.
Far too often, basketball fanatics doubted the ability of St. Johns to defeat teams such as Georgetown or Notre Dame but we did; then we continued to take the world by storm(figuratively and literary) with big wins. Sometimes, St. John’s students were worried that our team wouldn’t be able to finish the job; they (the players) proved us wrong and caused us to have even more trust in their talents and ability. It was a true lesson in faith.
For me, it was a revitalization of something that has been dormant for too long! I’ve always wanted to see the wild fans cheering on the team, painted faces and 20 different variations of one t-shirt. My friends and I would leave the university with our STJ hoodies and people would constantly stop us to engage in a conversation about our Basketball team and its success; it’s a good feeling to be a member of a proud community of students that supports their student athletes, the university and its initiatives. School spirit is alive and well at St. Johns!!