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Four Years at the Mount

Freshman year

Something about the Mount

Leeanne Leary
Class of 2017

(5/2014) I keep asking myself and everyone around me how this year flew by so quickly. I still canít figure it out myself to be honest. Sure, Iím still only finished with one of four years, but the time thatís passed now seems so much more meaningful than it did after my freshman year in high school. Finishing freshman year here means one step closer to becoming a sophomore, which is one step closer to being a junior and then a senior and then, a college graduate. This, by extension, means that I am one step closer to being an adult, a fact that is not even fathomable at this point.

I ask myself how this year flew by so quickly and how it is that I am already a quarter of the way through my time here at the Mount, and it doesnít make sense to me. It doesnít make sense until I run around the trail behind the ARCC or walk to the basement of the library. It doesnít make sense until I get my Banana Berry Splash smoothie at the cafť or walk to PT at 6 oíclock in the morning. It doesnít make any sense at all until I stand in the grill line in Patriot, and they know exactly how I like my sandwich Ė and then it makes sense. Iíve made a home here; Iíve found my place. Iíve learned where itís most peaceful to run and where to relax. Iíve replaced my study spot at home with one in the library. Iíve adjusted and adapted in a way that I didnít realize was happening along the way. Looking back, itís much easier to see how it all happened, and how it is actually possible that a year has come and gone already.

Not to be too clichť, but it actually feels like just yesterday I was moving all my stuff into my room, sitting on my bed and thinking, "What next?" Then I started classes and learned Ė after far too many incredibly late nights Ė how to study and when to study. I walked outside my room and met some of the best people. I started playing field hockey and learned what itís like to have fun playing a sport. I had to work harder than ever on papers for an English class where a 94 wasnít an A; I kept all of those papers. I did all of these things that stand out to me, and even more that seemed routine at the time but upon reflection were actually pretty special. I met my future roommates and went out to get ice cream with my friends. I cheered for my best friend in his first season of college basketball. I learned that nobody is going to tell me when to be home, and that I really can eat macaroni all the time no matter what. I had to write in a journal every day for my Veritas Symposium and discovered that everything becomes a little more important when you put it in writing. Iíve done so many things here at the Mount that I couldnít see myself getting to do anywhere else, and I discovered a place at Mount St. Maryís in which I fit perfectly.

The first semester seemed to take a little longer than the second because this semester has been a whirlwind. I joined Army ROTC and after what seemed like an hour Ė but was actually a few months Ė I will be swearing in and accepting a contract at the end of April. I travelled to Robert Morris and had the time of my life watching the Mount win the NEC championship in menís basketball. I did Relay for Life and had the most incredible experience before having to work all day with zero hours of sleep. I got my very first speeding ticket and cried way too much about it. The Grotto held certain serenity for me that I couldnít find anywhere else, and I discovered that I indeed do have enough Mount Flex Dollars to get a smoothie every day. There is so much that went on in my individual experience of freshman year, itís almost impossible trying to fathom how amazing all the other freshmen experiences were. I donít think I could have had quite the same experience anywhere else, so after all the stress and confusion at the beginning of the year over not knowing where I should be, I do think that I found my place at the Mount. Now, Iím sad to see the year end.

As much as I hate to leave this year behind, I am excited to move in a little early this coming August as a Peer Mentor and help incoming freshman have as great and unique an experience as I did. I also canít wait to get back to the smoothies, but that is another story entirely. I know that when I come back in August I will feel like Iím returning to my second home. Iíve been told that before the Mount created their four pillars Ė Faith, Discovery, Leadership, and Community Ė many would say, "Thereís just something about the Mount." There is just something about the Mount and something about the experience Iíve had that I canít put into words. Itís special and itís different than any other college experience Iíve heard about. I truly was immersed in a community that led me to faith, leadership, and discovery, but there is so much more that I will never be able to define with a single word. There is just something about the Mount, and Iím truly glad that I am here.

Read other articles by Leeanne Leary