The Rooms in St. Mary’s are cozy. They aren’t huge but they do give you just the right amount of living area. In each room items that are provided with a bed, desk, closet, sink and room phone. The rooms in South Hall are newly renovated and if you can ask, I would try to get into one of those rooms. If you are an international/study abroad student you will be put into a huge spacious double room.
Here is what a double looks like:
St. Mary’s is known to have the best food on the College Crescent. The kitchen is staffed with amazingly friendly and accommodating staff, all of whom will cater to all students dietary restrictions. The desserts are sinfully decadent and served after every dinner (so get your gym membership quickly!) And if you have a busy schedule the kitchen is open for student’s to access until 8pm. If you miss lunch of dinner you can still grab left overs from the kitchen.
Usually dinner is buffet style the only exception being High Table dinners. We have High Table, a sit down dinner with academic gowns and guest speakers, twice a week. This semester it is on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mondays are just sit down served dinners.
Despite the name, St. Mary’s is not overly religious. In fact Sister Liz, the current principal is very realistic about uni student’s social habits. Sr. Liz is respects the choices her students make as long as we are respecting our college. This cannot be said for all colleges. Newman, for example, is known for its strict Catholic rules. For example, there is a “no sex” rule and they are very strict on alcohol and parties. It is rumored that there is a rule to help regulate the no sex rule: if a guy and a girl are in a room together their must be three feet on the ground at all times. I don’t know about you but that just sounds like a challenge for them to get creative. I have heard a lot of unease from the Newman students because there has been a high number suspensions from the college regarding parties, alcohol, etc.
This is all not to say that St. Mary’s is a crazy party college, in fact, I think we are tamer than most colleges. I do think the mutual relationship between our principal and the St. Mary’s students has gone a long way in creating a respectful and warm environment for us all to live. Although she lives in a house on the St. Mary’s College campus she doesn’t interfere in student’s way of life unless absolutely necessary.
St. Mary’s kids seem to have the perfect balance of fun and seriousness to them. A lot of them can and will party pretty hard but when due dates for papers and exams come around they are equally attentive to their work.
The hallways are always bustling in residence wings of college. When in the room people tend to leave their doors open so that friends can stop in and hang out. It’s a common occurrence to walk down the hallway and see groups of people hanging out in one bedroom: a few people cuddled on the bed, a few sprawled out on the floor, and a few more perched on the desk and chair. Upon passing these doorways everyone will always shout a greeting if not an invitation to join them. Because St. Mary’s is so small I can say with a fair amount of confidence that everyone knows everyone else at college.
St. Mary’s has a beautiful courtyard which is always occupied, in the warm weather, by lounging students. Our College dog Honey usually has free reign over the courtyard and will happily greet her many adoring fans with a happy wag of her tail and a gentle lick. We also have a Junior Common Room, known as the JCR, where we have nice leather couches to chill out on, a radio/speaker system, and a pool table. We also have a TV lounge with a huge plasma screen TV. If you get over the musty couch smell that seems to always hang about the room its a pleasant way to enjoy a movie with friends.
The Accie, short for Academic Center, is another place you may find Mary’s students lounging. This a small but very modern library shared between Newman and St. Mary’s which houses a plethora of academic and general fiction books. It also provides open study rooms if you need a break from studying in the four walls of your own bedroom. A music practice room can also be found on the top floors and if you listen carefully when you’re studying there you can usually hear a gentle stream of music coming from those rooms. The best part about The Accie is that it will save you money on textbooks. At the start of the semester we are allowed to go to The Accie to make sure they have our textbooks stocked. If they don’t they will order it for you free of charge.
St. Mary’s had the highest average GPA last semester of which they take immense pride. The Vice Principal has worked hard to keep up Mary’s high academic standing. That means that we have live-in academic tutors who run weekly study sessions for specific classes. Although it is not mandatory that you show up to these tutorials, if you fail you classes and it is known that you did not attend your tutorials your standing at Mary’s could be jeopardized.