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Four Years at the Mount

Freshman year

Why I came to the Mount

Samantha Strub

Have you ever heard of a Midwestern girl who came all the way from Milwaukee to Emmitsburg to go to college? I would guess you haven't because I believe I'm the first one. I know, call me crazy to drive halfway across the country. Who would ever do that unless the school is top quality, or has something special to offer? That's why I did. My coming to Mount Saint Mary's University is a miraculous story of the power of prayer and knowing that anything is possible.

I didn't know that The Mount even existed until I talked with my high school principal about where I would be applying to college. To be honest, I didn't know where I wanted to go. All the colleges I looked at were great schools but I just didn't feel totally at home when I was on their campuses. My principal gave me the book, Choosing a Catholic College, published by the Newman Society. I took this book home, not expecting anything new. However, I was greatly surprised when I came across a university that had everything I wanted. I was shocked to see that this university was in Maryland. My first reaction was, "That school is far away, but look how beautiful it is."I had immediately fallen in love. This university was prestigious, academically excellent, Catholic, good size, rural, and sports. I knew that I had to visit.

I was worried about what my parents were going to say when I told them about the Mount. Of course it was a good school, there was no doubt about that, but the distance and the tuition concerned me. Surprisingly, my parents were supportive and together we figured out a way to visit the campus on a family vacation during my junior year.

As soon as I saw the University in the distance; those picturesque mountains took my breath away. Something was different about this campus. I had never seen anything like this at the other college campus that I had looked at. It was a combination of the location, the beauty of the campus, the quality of education, the Catholic atmosphere, and sports. The community at the University was very friendly and encouraging, which endeared me to this University. Mount Saint Mary's University is just an all around beautiful place. I just knew that somehow, someway I had to come here. I knew that I could call this place home for the next four years.

However, the tuition was an obstacle. How would my parents and I afford it? I pondered this question all throughout the tour, and as my family and I were leaving, I broke down in tears. My parents couldn't understand why. At first they thought that it was because I didn't like the campus. Obviously it was quite the contrary. I had fallen in love with The Mount, but I couldn't figure out how we would be able to afford it. My parents told me not to worry about the logistics-- to apply, put faith in God and see what happened.

So, I applied and prayed to Our Blessed Mother. I knew she would hear my plea as I waited. The long awaited letter came with the acceptance and a major scholarship! I was thrilled because this made it possible for me to go to the Mount. This answer to a prayer was a huge sign that I needed to go to this University. Part of the reason was because it was dated December 8th, which is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. God has a plan for my life, and the Mount is a part of it. I'm still thanking God and Our Lady for this privilege and plan to make the most of every opportunity I'm given.

As the day grew closer for me to move in and the preparation for leaving; buying things for my dorm and packing up all my stuff, I got more and more excited plus little bit nervous. Hoping to God that this was the place where, He wanted me to be. The drive out to Maryland gave me a lot of time to think about if I had made the right decision or not. I was always pretty open about what I thought about college with my parents but this worrying was one thing that I didn't tell them. They were spending so much money on me and trusting that I had made the correct decision about going to The Mount.

Once I saw the scenery, the part that had me from the beginning, of Maryland and the surrounding areas I knew that I had made the right decision, and all my worrying was in vain. This was where I was called to be. This part of the country is beautiful and for some unknown reason it just feels like home. I know that God has some big plans for me in my life and going to Mount Saint Mary's University is one step in that plan.

A proven example of that grace working in my life was when I got asked to write for the Emmitsburg Newspaper. I have always wanted to write for a newspaper and have been thinking about doing that for my future job. What a great way for me to get experience in writing for one. I was completely thrilled! I couldn't believe my luck, a freshman in college writing for the newspaper, after only being in college for four weeks! First thing I did was called my parents to tell them my good news. My mom couldn't believe my luck and was ecstatic! I could write stories, something that I love to do already, and be able to share it with the world.

Right then I knew that Mount Saint Mary's University though a long way from my home in Wisconsin, is the place I need to make my dreams become a reality! These dreams are slowly beginning to take form, starting with writing for the newspaper. I'm finally embarking on my life journey at The Mount and I couldn't be happier!

Read past editions of Samantha Strub's Four Years at the Mount

Samantha Strub is a Freshman at Mt. St. Mary's majoring in English with a Secondary Education minor. Samantha will be authoring an on-going column sharing her thoughts, achievements, thrills and yes disappointments as she progressed from being a Freshman to Mount graduate.