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| I didn't always enjoy my time at SJU, but in the end I think it was a good and unique place to go to college. The campus is truly beautiful, the lakes and the woods are amazing in the fall and winter, the libraries are quiet and peaceful, the academics are mostly strong and did a good job of preparing me for grad school. |
The college is out in the middle of nowhere, however. There are two small towns nearby, Avon and St. Joseph (where the sister school the College of St. Benedict is located). Most people go to St. Joe and go out to the bars, the restaurants (pizza parlors and a sub shop) or the coffee shop on main street. You can also drive into St. Cloud (around 15 miles away), which is a small city with a mall, a movie theater and not much else to do.
The campus itself can be very quiet. It is not strange to go out in the morning and see more deer than people. During my first year I felt pretty lonely. When I first arrived, many of the students seemed oppressively normal and boring to me. They came from bland middle class families, loved football, were studying business because they couldn't think of anything else to do, and they liked to go out to house parties or just drink in the dorms and play video games. This isn't really my idea of a good time, especially when it happens almost every night of the week. I eventually met some off beat and more interesting people, but it took awhile to find them. SJU can seem oppressively homogeneous, but there is a partly underground counterculture there as well--artists, writers, international students and people who actually care about things other than football and video games. It is also easy to get involved in student clubs, publications and the radio station. They're always looking for people to help out. My later years were more fun because I got involved and met a range of different people. It is a lot easier to live out in the country if you have good company.If you arrive at SJU and don't like the standard social scene, try to shake things up a bit. Join a club or take some classes that fit your interests and see who else is in them. I almost transferred out after the first semester, but I'm now really glad I stuck with it.
|Aug 23 2012|| 4th Year Male --
Class 2004 |