22 Things Freshman Want to Know About St. Mary's

We found a few freshmen and had them ask their friends, "what do you want to know about college life as an Aggie Catholic." Then, we got busy answering their questions!Many thanks go out to Joseph Pettibon '22 who pulled all these questions together while he was still figuring his way around campus. And thank you to our esteemed St. Mary's interns who took time to answer these questions!-------------1.  How can I balance getting involved with studying, and how much is too much to participate in the first semester?- HannahSchool work and class should always come first. First semester is a fun time to get involved with many activities and organizations to find what you are really passionate about. One way to know if you are involved in too much is if you do not have enough time to focus on school and studying. But also, don’t be afraid to make time to hang out with friends, go to mass, and participate in the sacraments!-Camille H. ‘192.  If someone wants to learn more about our catholic faith where would they go? - NicoleJoin a ministry! Almost all of the ministry’s here at St. Mary’s offer some sort of formation where you would have the beautiful opportunity to learn more about our faith. Different ministries have information on different aspects of the faith. I would advise checking out the website for information on all our different ministries to find the one that would best serve you!- Katie V. ‘193.  Who wants to 1v1 me in ping pong? - EdwardI myself am very bad at ping pong, but there are many students that enjoy a good friendly competition. I’ve heard that Sr. Tatum is a killer when it comes to playing ping pong, so I definitely recommend you asking her to a challenge at ping pong!- David O. '194.  How do I become a Eucharistic Minister? - HannahThere are trainings that you can attend on throughout the year. You can also contact Blayne to find out how to get trained even if there isn't a training on the schedule. You can find that info here!- Sarah W. '195.  I've heard great things about Aggie Awakening! Should I go as soon as possible or wait until after freshman year? - PaulDoesn’t hurt to apply! You may not make it your first application, but you’ll make it when you’re supposed to :)- Sarah W. '196.  How available is confession at St. Mary’s? - EmelieE V E R Y  D A Y except Sunday!  Hit up Hannigan Chapel on Monday’s from 3:00-5:10 and Tuesday-Saturday from 4:00-5:10pm.- Sarah W. '197.  What is the Catholic Church’s stance on joining non-Catholic, Christian organizations as a Catholic?  - EmilyThere’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! It’s great to be involved with a variety of people.  We are all brothers and sisters in Christ! Living by His example outside of our holy ground at St. Mary’s is a great way to evangelize and be a witness of our faith.- Sarah W. '198.  How can I get involved in service and mission trips? - EmelieSt. Mary’s offers 5 mission trips to 4 locations, Guatemala, Honduras, South Texas, and Haiti each year. FOCUS also offers several great mission trips to different places around the globe! We also have service opportunities in the community that are updated each week. You can volunteer at the soup kitchen, the homeless shelter, with Habitat for Humanity, do pro-life work - all with fellow Aggie Catholics!  St. Mary’s offers an amazing opportunity to serve the Universal Church and to grow in community with each other.Katie V. ‘199.  Are there any bible study groups that I can get involved with? - JosephYEAH THERE ARE!  St. Mary’s Home Groups are a great way to meet other Catholics and they’re tailored to what you want out of a bible study.  Be on the lookout for those sign ups coming out soon! FOCUS also offers bible studies that you can apply to and get involved with.  Also, some organizations at St. Mary’s have bible study opportunities within their ministry. There are many ways to participate in small groups.  In fact, we encourage you to be a part of one. They are a great way to build community and run towards heaven. Christ loves his children in so many ways, including through authentic friendships.- Sarah W. '1910.  What events are held throughout the year that we can go to to get involved with St Mary’s?  - HannahThere are so many!!!!! Magnify on the last Thursday of the months! Men’s & Women’s Ministry on the first Wednesday of the months!  Social events put on by interns!!!! We want you to feel at home here and we are confident there is something for you to be regularly involved in.  If you want to talk over what might suit you best, reach out to a Campus Ministry Intern for help getting plugged in. We’re here to serve you!!!- Sarah W. '1911.  What other things at St. Mary’s could I join to stay active in my faith? - JosephThere are many of ways to get involved at St. Mary’s. For starters Magnify is an awesome way to stay in tune with your faith in college, in addition to mass. There are organizations to meet all sorts of needs you may have. CSA is great to outreach to students on campus about the Catholic faith, there are many service opportunities through SMYRT, prayer bench, and ACT. FOCUS bible studies and Home Groups are a great way to access community that will support you in growing in your faith. On the St. Mary’s website under students, there are many of options of organizations, retreats and activities that will help you stay active in your faith.- Camille H. ‘1912. I'm going to get tired of Sbisa, where are the best places to eat? - EmelieSome of the best places to eat on campus is the underground, the MSC, and in the newly improved Commons area. Off campus favorites include Blue Baker, Mad Taco, The Village, Antonio’s, First Watch, and any restaurant in the new Century Square area. We're also big fans of Jason's Deli around St. Mary's! - Camille H. ‘1913. What is my roommate is making choices that I don't agree with (and impact me negatively) who can I go to in order to sort this out? - JohnIf it’s illegal that is something you can report to the Campus Police. If it is not a legal issue, I would refer you to Matthew 18: 15-20, “If your brother sins [against you], go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.” In all of this have tremendous mercy, and respect yourself and your personal boundaries. You can always reach out to your parents, your R.A., TAMU Residence Life or a campus minister at St. Mary's for advice, too.-Katie V. ‘1914.  What is an easy way to be a Catholic witness on campus? - KaylinIt is not always easy to show your Catholic faith on campus, and at times it can be quite scary. However, an easy way to be a Catholic witness on campus is as simple as wearing a shirt that says “Catholic” or has some Catholic images. I usually like to pray a rosary if I am ever walking long distances throughout campus, and I have had a few people ask me what I am holding in my hand. Even blessing your food and making the Sign of the Cross is a sign of being a witness to the faith. It is important to remember that our exterior actions must reflect our interior life. The strength to be a Catholic witness in a secular campus comes only from trusting in God and prayer!- David O. '1915. If I meet a Catholic Cutie, what are some good date ideas? - EmelieThere are a lot of great restaurants around town with fair prices that cater to college students, but are still quite nice! You might try Korean barbecue at Master Yakiniku, or grab some barbecue at Fargo’s, or whatever you would like! Then after you could go out dancing at Harry’s if it’s a weekend, go ice skating at Spirit Ice Arena, or bowling at Grand Central Station! It’s a bit of a tradition to stop by St. Mary's, St. Thomas Aquinas', St. Anthony's or St. Joseph's adoration chapel to say hi to Jesus while you’re out so be sure to do that as well!- Blake N. ‘1916.  Are there cliques at St.Mary's? - KarliTo be very honest with you, I have personally found it difficult at different points to avoid cliquishness at St. Mary’s. It is very easy to be so in love with our amazing group of best friends that we find here that we can forget to be welcoming! That being said, I have seen tremendous improvement in an effort to create an OUTWARD FACING community here at St. Mary’s, and I've experienced the fruits of that change as well. St. Mary’s strives to be a place where all who are hungry can eat, and all who are weary may rest! I pray we can continue in this mission together and grow as a community.-Katie V. ‘1917.  What are some good groups for freshmen to join? - JohnThere are  tons of great organizations for freshman to find community! SMYRT, Pescadores, Liturgy Team, John 15, CSA, Home Groups, FOCUS, Men's Ministry and Women's Ministry, KTB, the Aggie Knights, Music Ministry... the list could go on and on! St. Mary's is blessed to have multiple pathways for you to find friendship while you grow in faith. If you're not already plugged in, come by the student center and talk to a staff member and we'll get you all set!-Blake N. ‘1918. What has been your favorite aspect of St. Mary’s throughout your time here? - EdwardMy all time favorite aspect of St. Mary’s throughout my time here, besides daily mass and regular confession, has been the community. Everyone here is striving for something greater, striving for sainthood whether they know it or not. Coming into college as a freshman, I was welcomed into the Aggie Catholic family and that gave me reassurance in my faith- David O. '1919. Is there spiritual direction available? - HannahYes, there is! There are a number of people on staff who meet students regularly for spiritual direction, but you may find that there are many more people wanting a spiritual director than there are available. Don’t get discouraged, though, because some of your favorite people on staff are able to meet up with you, whether for spiritual direction or just to talk! So don’t be afraid to reach out.- Laurie M. ‘1820. If I'm at Blinn what can I participate in? - JohnBlinn students are welcome to participate in all the organizations and opportunities that are at St. Mary’s. It's actually written into our mission statement! We are all apart of the Aggie Catholic family!- Camille H. ‘1921. How can I get to know the AVI sisters better? - HannahWho doesn’t want to hangout with the AVI Sisters? A great way to get to know them better is by going to their Movie Nights at their house. They always have a great selection of movies, along with great food or snacks, and great company. You can even catch them after daily mass and introduce yourself to them.- David O. '1922. How can I build a solid community of friends? - JosephMy freshman year, I found myself constantly on the outside looking in. I felt like everybody had a solid group of friends and I didn’t! If you feel that way, don’t worry. Everyone has been there. What’s important is how you respond to that feeling. Do you continue to isolate yourself, or are you intentionally reaching out to people you want to get to know? This can be awkward and daunting, but it takes effort and time to build virtuous friendships. All good friendships start with an encounter. Don’t be afraid to get involved, reach out, and put yourself out there!- Laurie M. ‘18Want to know more about St. Mary's? Visit our main website, and get in touch. We'd love to meet you and make sure you find the perfect way to get involved!

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