Be A Billiken Blog
What's life really like for college students? Brinda, Camilo, Colleen, Luke, Mike, Natalie, Nicole and Scott have the inside look at college classes, dorms, college sports and campus activities at Saint Louis University. Check in with them here, or follow them on Tumblr.
Saint Louis University’s Hindu Student Community held a Holi celebration on campus! The festival represents the beginning of spring and is also called the festival of colors.
Free to [be] is a movement with the vision of exploring feminism on Saint Louis University’s campus. Exciting events were planned for a week and included talks with Sandra Kim (founder and CEO of Everyday Feminism), performances by nationally renowned Get Lit slam poetry, and a dance party. Thanks to Free to [be], I learned about self-love, social justice, and women empowerment.
Hey everyone! Sorry it has been so long since I’ve posted, but I HAVE to tell you about my Spring Break trip!
Instead of doing the typical Panama City or Daytona Beach Spring Break, I decided to take an impromptu trip to none other than TEXAS!! It was a blast!! I stayed in Houston, Dallas and Austin. In Houston I visited NASA and Mission Control, as well as the science center (pic with Dinos). In Dallas I saw the skyline from the Reunion Tower, saw Lebron James play the Mavericks and even saw where President Kennedy was killed (it was actually kind of eerie). Finally I visited Austin and had a blast at U of Texas and all the awesome things Austin has to offer! Spring Break is YOUR time as a student so try and do something fun, out of the ordinary and most importantly … out of your comfort zone! It was the trip of a lifetime, and I hope you guys enjoyed your spring vacation as much as I did! Enjoy the pics! Peace! :)
Hi prospective & fellow Billikens from SLU Madrid! Surprised I’m in Europe in the middle of the school year? Well one of SLU’s strengths is the extensive opportunity for students to study abroad, especially at our own SLU campus in Spain. I’m currently studying here with almost 60 other nursing majors, and over 300 of us SLU sophomores in total. And believe me, I would not trade this semester experience for anything — even Ted Drewes (which I crave about 10 times a day).
Madrid itself has really turned out to be the perfect city to study in. It definitely has that big international city environment with that there is always something to do with a surplus of museums, tapas bars, shopping areas, and places to eat/drink. Yet with such an advanced metro system, the city is easy to navigate. While yes, I’ve tripped on approximately 109 stairs in Metro stations since arriving in January, I’ve definitely become accustomed to channeling my inner urban school girl. Language-wise, it’s the best of both worlds. As an international city, it is common for people to know some English for when you get stuck or are struggling to order at a restaurant. But being in Madrid and living with a host family has also helped me to build upon my Spanish as I pursue a minor.
Now let me take you through my travel agenda thus far. I started off with day trips to Toledo and Segovia, both in Spain. This was a good decision, as it allowed me to further my understanding of the history of Spain, my new home for the next 4 months. Plus the uphill placement of both cities helped me to start building some endurance for those pesky metro stairs (do you see a recurring theme here?). The aqueducts, cathedrals, architecture and terrain were nothing short of stunning, giving me a glimpse of what this whole “see the world” semester was going to be like.
Next up was a weekend in Lisbon, Portugal, where I was blessed with the best January weather I have ever experienced. Our 9 hour tour was led by a Lisbon native, Marcos, who lived for a laugh and stopped the white tour bus every time he saw an expensive looking German car (you’d be surprised at how often this happened). The ocean view was beautiful, filled with sun and windy enough to make my hair look like Medusa bought permanent residence on my head. With a great flight, hostel, dinner, tour and location, Lisbon proved to be an easy and relieving first big trip.
February brought a long weekend trip to Munich with 2 fellow nursing majors, and wow was that a blast. After devouring a whole gluten free pizza to myself Friday night, Saturday started with a guided tour of the Dachau Concentration Camp. After a lifetime of Catholic and now Jesuit education, the combination of stories of cruelty and inspiration were moving and thought provoking, and an experience I’ve always wanted. Sunday was an all day tour to Salzburg, Austria, which allowed me to live out my childhood fantasy of singing “Do-Re-Mi” from the Sound of Music on the sites where filming took place. That night consisted of meat and drinks at Hofbrauhaus, followed by visiting the Munich Olympic site the next morning.
The following weekend was a trip to Zurich, Switzerland, which turned out to be a surprising hidden gem in Europe. The river front had a London-like feel, with bridges that looked like downtown Amsterdam, and with the Alps in the background, beauty was afloat in all corners.
Next came a trip 20 years in the making: Ireland. Ready to tell anyone who listened my Irish sounding name, I soaked up the beautiful green of Galway like a kid seeing color for the first time. The classic pub humor kept me rather entertained, and if I could listen to anything all day I would choose Irish accents in a heartbeat. The upbeat nature of Dublin and seeing a friend studying abroad in Ireland left me leaving Ireland knowing I had just been to the place where dreams are made of.
Almost done, I swear. The following weekend was the SLU Madrid Loyola Retreat in the Basque country of northern Spain. To spend a weekend reflecting while exploring the house and worship places of St. Ignatius was humbling and surreal for a Billiken like myself. To see where the foundations of my beloved university began gave me that “I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now in my life” feeling. And as a 20 year old college student, I don’t expect to have that feeling for another 20 years, making me feel incredibly blessed in that moment.
Next up: Barcelona with Mom, London, and some more exploring in Spain.
So be in St. Louis. Be in Madrid. Be a Billiken.
Fountain Day 2015:
Today is the happiest day of the year at Saint Louis University; It’s Fountain Day! The grounds crew has finished repainting the fountains across campus that have been empty since chiller weather arrived in November, and water is finally gushing forth again as a joy-filled reminder that spring is officially here.
Fountain Day has long been my favorite “SLU holiday” and is always marked by hundreds of students flocking to the grassy study areas near the rejuvenated fountains to bask in the sun.
- Luke -
The sunset over Saint Louis University this evening is a bitter-sweet reminder of my graduation being exactly two months away from today.
As dusk falls upon my final days at SLU, I am still caught up in the beauty of this university.
- Luke -