Being a freshman, this is my first year experiencing the holiday season away from home, on my own. So far, Dominican has made it an absolutely magical transition. I thought that it would be irrevocably hard change to make, but I’ve learned that if you’re with the right people, the holiday season is fun no matter what. You might think that the holidays are about family, and while that it true, I believe that they are also about being aware of all the great people, family, friends, teachers and co-workers alike, that you are lucky to have in your life. Here at Dominican, that becomes obvious right around Thanksgiving, if not before.
The Thanksgiving tradition here at Dominican reminded me immediately what the holiday season, no matter your religious beliefs or personal family traditions, are really about: giving back. You walk into a dining hall completely staffed with the faculty that you see, normally, in formal wear, in offices, on their telephones. You see them hurry through the hall, glancing at you and giving you a short wave before disappearing. But during Dominican’s Thanksgiving dinner, you see them differently. All dressed up in chef’s gear, hat on head and ladle in hand: they are there to serve YOU. The faculty, including the Sisters and President Donna Carroll, serving you Thanksgiving dinner as an ultimate gesture of giving thanks to YOU, the student, for putting your mind and your future in their hands. This tradition is an absolutely beautiful gesture that I imagine does not occur at many other universities, and one that I am so glad to experience.
While I was home for Thanksgiving, time flew and before I knew it I was back here at Dominican (which, on multiple occasions while back in St. Louis, I called "home" much to my mother’s dismay). Once back on campus, I realized that the true holiday season is upon us! While this experience is so different than the family orientated one that I’ve been a part of in the past, it’s been nothing but wonderful. From watching a beautiful Noteworthy concert (DU's ac cappella group) in the Social Hall, where they sang Christmas Carols, Glee songs, and much more, to hanging Christmas lights in my dorm room with my friends while singing Christmas music, it’s all been new and exciting. I know that I will be home in time for Christmas and New Year’s, but I can’t help feeling that I’ll be missing the family that I’ve made here at Dominican.