Wednesday, December 23, 2015

There's No Place Like Home

As I blog from the comfort of my dad's living room couch, I realize that the title of this post may be misleading. I will admit, it is truly nice seeing family and some old friends. There's a certain nostalgic comfort in driving through the center of my tiny hometown, seeing the Christmas lights on the trees and the lampposts, despite the disconcerting lack of snow in late December.
However, as I spend my third college Christmas in rural Massachusetts, I realize that my true home has become Saint Michael's College. I look forward not only to seeing all of my friends, professors, and the beautiful campus in three weeks, but also to making Vermont my permanent home. I have fallen completely in love with northern Vermont, and I hope I never have to leave. The quaint state has everything I could ever ask for: kind people, the comfortable hub of Burlington, environmental consciousness, four (usually) distinct seasons, a coastline of sorts, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and much, much more. With only three semesters to go, I realize that I have so much to thank St. Mike's for. I have created a new home that I truly love, and I can't wait to be back in my "home sweet home."
Maybe don't try this at home.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you all. I genuinely hope that you all have a restful break and enjoy the time off.

Questions, comments, concerns, cat videos? Social media links are above, and you can write to me below or at

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tips: How to Do Everything and Not Go Crazy

Hey all! This is my first of hopefully many posts within a Tips series, where I share my wise sage advice (that I too often don't follow as well as I should).

Today, I'd like to talk about time management. Life can be pretty insane, if you're not careful -- actually, even if you are careful, it can still be insane. But, with these few helpful tips, you may be able to sort through the chaos and still find time to do everything that you need and want to.

1. Create a master schedule.

Now, this may be easier for some and more difficult for others, but it's an excellent way to organize your life. There are three things you can do to create a near-perfect master schedule.

  • Make a four-year plan (for classes). This will keep you on track, and it's often good to look at the big picture. It's especially nice to cross things off your list when you've finished a semester - you feel accomplished! 
  • Keep a monthly calendar on your wall, in a planner, or online (I prefer Google Calendar). I do this for all of my normal weekly things, plus any meetings, auditions, events, and anything else I have. I also take advantage of class syllabi - I can see my homework for the month and know when my exams and large papers are due! It's an awful feeling when you forget to go to an appointment and have to reschedule, or worse, forget about a test until the night before or morning of.
  • Plan your day out - include your normal class/work/rehearsal/practice schedule that you expect each week and don't forget to write down appointments, meetings, and the like. It's especially good to write down when you want to do "flexible" things - this means homework, going to the gym, etc. If something is out of the ordinary (or even in the ordinary), I like to use reminders on my phone to keep me on track. Scheduling everything out, although tedious, can help you from getting overwhelmed, and best of all, you know when you can actually go spend time with friends or relax.

2. Try to get a good night's sleep...every night.

I know how hard it is to stay on track and get homework done early. However, a healthy sleep pattern will make you feel better physically and mentally, can help reduce stress, and will make you a happier person! (As a note, all-nighters are a really bad idea. If you have a big assignment that you put off, don't skip it. But a couple hours of sleep is better than nothing.)

3. Don't put too much on your plate, or, learn how to say no!

As a theatre major with many opportunities to join new projects and take on new responsibilities, I know how hard this is. However, if you over-commit yourself, it's very easy to fall apart. You start to get double-booked, your academics can slip, sleep gets put to the wayside, and suddenly there's no free time to relax. I know it sounds fun to do everything, but you have to decide: is it worth it to you?

4. Take a little time for yourself.

Every single day, take at least thirty minutes to relax. If you have more time, enjoy it. If you feel like you have no time, trust me - you have time for at least a little bit of fun. Take a study break and watch an episode of your favorite Netflix show or chat with friends. If you have even more time, take a little more time for yourself! Go spend quality time with friends, go into Burlington, and enjoy life. College only lasts four years - make the most of it (but do your work too!).

5. De-stress in healthy ways.

No matter how hard you try not to, you're probably going to get stressed out at some point. Worst case scenario: I've been there - you have three papers to write, an exam to study for, a two-hour practice to attend, and all you want to do is nap. That's okay! Take a nap...but set an alarm. Wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take everything on. However, if you follow steps one and three, hopefully you won't end up this stressed! Dealing with manageable amounts of stress, like a difficult paper or test anxiety, can be a little bit easier! Get some fresh air and take a walk. If you need it, go for a run or hit the gym! Listen to your favorite music. Meditate and use deep-breathing techniques. No matter what you do, try not to get overwhelmed and give up on everything. I have faith in you - you can do it!

If you consider all of these tips, you can do just about everything and not go too crazy!

Finally, I would like to leave you with the incredibly wise words of April Ludgate:

This week I'm on the knightlifevt Instagram account! Give it a follow!

Questions, comments, concerns, cat videos? Email me at or Get Social! (As always, links are above.)

If you haven't seen Maple on Vine, you're missing out. (She's the cutest.)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

October: Halloween All Month Long

October at college in Vermont is incredible for so many reasons.

The foliage is beautiful and the coffee is pumpkin:
Pumpkin Spice Macchiatos at DD are my fave
So many colors!

But mostly, it's because we celebrate Halloween...all month long:
Even the professors go all out!
(Taken at Prof. Peter Harrigan's home)
Actual Halloween is a week away and I've already done so many spooky activities! Earlier this month the cast of The Crucible (this semester's Mainstage production that I'll talk about more in a future post) went down to Salem, MA to learn more about the witch trials that we're recreating! We packed as much as we could into a short 24 hours, and it was awesome! (See Pat's post and Sarah's post for more!)

First, we had a candlelight tour given by the town historian! He was so knowledgeable and taught us so much about the actual story of the witch trials. We got to learn a lot more about our characters, and Salem is very cool at night. 
Plus, the beard was a nice touch
The next morning we went to the historical home of Judge Corwin of the trials, ironically called The Witch House. Although it was not home to any witches, it's full of historical artifacts and information actually pertaining to the trials (unlike much of Salem which is non-historically spooky).

We also went to the House of the Seven Gables, which although was not related to the Witch Trials, was related to Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables, which was supposedly influenced Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Also, Nathaniel Hawthorne is a descendant of Judge Hathorne from the Witch Trials!

The last stop of the day was the Rebecca Nurse Homestead in Danvers, which was actually Salem back in the time of the trials. It was a beautifully sobering end to the day, as we finished up at the Rebecca Nurse memorial toward the back of the property.
But of course, there was plenty of silliness scattered throughout the day, such as band pictures for Old Dog & The Saltine, "the premiere seventeenth century bluegrass pentet."
Also, this weekend was the Annual Drama Club Haunted House! This year, the theme was a twisted art exhibit. It was super spooky and an incredibly fun time. (Note: I didn't actually take these pictures, they're lovingly stolen from friends.)

October is coming to a close, and the weather is getting cooler, but it's been a fun, though short, fall!

Questions, comments, concerns, cat videos? Email me at, get social (links above)


Friday, October 9, 2015

Open Houses & Visiting SMC (and it's finally fall!!!!!)

Hello friends!

I'm so sorry that I haven't posted in a while! I'm still getting used to balancing my schedule (and figuring out what to share with you all).

So this weekend is the first open house of the semester! As a tour guide, this is so exciting for me because it means that so many people are going to be on campus! (The tragic thing is that I'm actually going on a trip this weekend, so I'll be here in spirit.)

Here at St. Mike's, we have a saying: it's all in the visit. I remember back when I was looking at colleges, and on paper, some of the schools I was looking at looked pretty similar. But, when I went and toured the schools, there were vast differences. You don't really know a school until you've been there - you have to know how it feels to be there.

For me, St. Mike's felt like home. I loved it here then, and I love it even more now! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend an open house when I was applying to St. Mike's, but I do know about them! So you might be wondering...

Why should I come to an open house (or visit in the fall)?

  • If you don't know where you want to go to college

If you're still deciding on which school you'd like to attend (or what schools you want to apply to) then visit! If you aren't able to make it for an open house, we have tours Monday-Friday every week! (I lead tours on Friday at 2:30, so obviously that's the best time to come.) You should also visit other schools; go out, see the world, explore!

  • The weather right now is ideal
Yesterday was a gorgeous day.

Fall seems to be the favorite season of just about everybody up here in Vermont. The foliage is colorful (my girlfriend claims that it's leaf-peeping season), and the weather is absolutely perfect. It's not too hot, and it's not too cold - it's sweater weather. There's no snow on the ground (yet) so it's really the perfect time for a visit!

  • Open houses are the perfect opportunity to meet other people like you!

We have nearly two hundred families visiting this weekend; that's two hundred potential friends you could meet! Talk to St. Mike's students and faculty, but also talk to other visitors and find people with the same interests as you. If you're lucky, maybe you'll both decide to go here! St. Mike's is known for creating lifelong friendships.

  • You can get a personal take on St. Mike's
Taking a tour or attending an open house gives you an opportunity to see SMC from the perspective of a real student. Your tour guide and other students have personal stories that they can share with you - you aren't just getting the statistics. Most of all, you can ask us anything. We're here to answer your questions honestly. Whatever question you have, no matter how specific or unique, we will do our best to answer (and if we don't know the answer, we'll direct you to somebody who will). 

Come and experience St. Mike's! Schedule a visit, register for an open house, send me questions, go to performances and sports events...the sky is the limit! If you want to know what it feels like to be a St. Mike's student (and it feels great), we are here to make that happen!

Enjoy the fall while it lasts!

Questions, comments, concerns, cat videos? Get social! Twitter and Instagram links are above, email me at or comment here! 

Adorable animal video of the week is here!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

First Post: Kicking off the Year with Mike Check and Drama Club!

Hey all! After three very busy weeks here at St. Mike's, I'm all settled in and writing my first post here! My name is Chris Holloway and I'm a junior psychology and theatre double major (learn more about me here). Between move-in, first week of classes, seeing all of my friends again for the first time in months, club kick-off events, and more, it's been pretty crazy here. But, amidst all of the insanity, there have been some pretty awesome things happening here.

First of all, we had auditions for Mike Check! Mike Check is the premiere all-male a cappella group here at SMC. There are four fantastic a cappella groups in total: Mike Check, The Acabellas (all-female), Sleepless Knights (co-ed), and Soulful Harmony (the newest group on campus). As of this summer, we had fourteen guys in Mike Check. They're all really awesome and we have a blast together. (Want to see the handsome faces of Mike Check and know more about them? Click this link!)

Our group picture from the end of last year! 

We had quite a few guys come out to audition, and they certainly didn't make our selection process easy. The audition itself is super-secret, but I can tell you that it's a lot of fun and kind of famous on campus (maybe I'm biased).

A sneak peek of our enhanced audition process. 

We ended up taking two wonderfully talented gentlemen, Andrew and Owen! They're just starting to sing with us, and it's looking to be a really great year! There will be plenty of posts about them in the future, I promise you that.

The other big event going on is the annual 24 Hour Play Festival! This is the first major event put on by the SMC Drama Club each year. In the time-span of a mere twenty-four hours, plays are written, cast, rehearsed, and ready to perform. Anybody can participate, and that tends to be a lot of people! This year, I chose to only act because I've been fighting a cold, but next year I'll definitely be writing and acting again!

Here's a timeline of how it works:

Friday, 7:30 PM: All directors, writers, and actors arrive for a very relaxed audition. The actors play various improv games so that the directors can get a feel of each actor's strengths. (It's a whole lot of fun, and probably the least stressful "audition" I've ever experienced.)

The actors pre-audition!

Friday, 8:30 PM: Actors (who aren't also writing) are dismissed. Writers are split into five even groups, disperse to various areas of McCarthy Arts Center, and start brainstorming!

Friday, ~9:30 PM: Writers usually begin writing down some serious thoughts and the play begins to form.

Friday, ~11:30 PM: Insanity begins to set in.

Saturday, 12:00 AM: Pizza break!

Saturday, ~1:00 AM: Plays are starting to wrap up, and any hopes of coherent thoughts are vanquished.

Saturday, 1:30 AM: Writers break for a lighting workshop and a Shakespeare workshop to clear their minds and have some fun!

Saturday, ~3:00 AM: Plays should be just about done and edited, sent to the coordinators, and writers try to get a little bit of sleep. If participants are writing and not acting, they are free to go home to their comfy beds. Otherwise, they sleep in McCarthy.

Our lovely coordinators, Lindsey and Michelle! (Note that this is at 7:30, not at 3:00AM. nobody looks this put together after being up all night.)

Saturday, 7:30 AM: Wake-up call! Actors are called (directors get there at 6:30). Directors are assigned their plays, cast their characters, and the actors are told what group they are in!

Our directors, up bright and early!

Saturday, 8:00 AM: The rehearsal process begins! We break at 11:00 AM for lunch, and then at 5:00 PM for dinner.

My co-performers and director! We were all pretty tired.

Saturday, 6:00 PM: Actors and directors arrive for a dress rehearsal with costumes, lights, and sound.

Saturday, 7:30 PM: The show must go on! The actors perform their plays that did not even exist 24 hours ago.

The play I performed in was a piece titled "Here Comes the Sun," which was a post-apocalyptic piece. Although the 24 Hour plays are often humorous, there tends to be one play that is on the somber side, and this was it. However, we had a fantastic time and it came out beautifully!

The cast & director of "Here Comes the Sun"
L-R: Molly L., Jordan M., Joshua L., Jillian K., Rissa J., and myself!
The silly picture.
And the mandatory cast/crew selfie.

It's been a wonderful start to the year, and I'm really looking forward to all of the adventures to come! Keep an eye out for more posts, and please let me know if there's anything in particular you'd like to learn about SMC! Find me using the social media links above, comment or message me on Blogger, or email!

And the adorable animal video of the week: