Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Journey to Phil, Part 2

(Read Part One here)

So there I was at Franciscan University of Steubenville in August of 1997. 13 hours from home, and all alone. I was missing my high school friends, and most of all my boyfriend whom I had just begun dating 4 months earlier. They were all still in Massachusetts. What was I doing in Ohio? My roommate was just okay, and my classes were a bit of a repeat from high school. I was a biology major because like most of my older siblings, I was going to be a doctor or at least something in the medical field.

My very first biology class was Botany, and the super-hard professor called on me the first class asking me to identify a plant. I had NO idea, I'm still not good with anything that grows green, and I felt really embarrassed. That class was my hardest class, and I eventually dropped it because it made me rethink the whole biology major. If I had someone to turn to for advice, I may not have made that decision, but in the end I am glad I switched. The next semester, I decided to become a double major - Theology and Journalism. Mostly because I had to pick something, and I liked to write and we had the greatest theology professors right on campus (Scott Hahn and Mark Miravalle, just to name a couple).

That major lasted for only one semester (Theology requires deep thinking, and I'm more of a worker bee) and by the beginning of my sophomore year, I switched again, this time to Accounting. I must admit, I picked this without really knowing what it entailed, but I LOVE math and the computerized tests I had taken in high school said I should become an accountant. And who's to argue with a computerized test that picks your career?? ;)

Luckily, accounting and all the business classes came easy to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I think growing up in a family business really helped! I was still missing my old friends, and still dating the boy from back home, who now was going to college in Maine. But, I was also making lots of new friends, most of them from other countries (they used to joke that I was the minority when we all hung out) and joined a volleyball team. I was enjoying the whole college experience, yet still felt I was missing something. I began thinking about when I would go to Austria in our study-abroad program. Part of me didn't want to go and be away from home and my boyfriend for a whole semester, but a bigger part of me knew this was an opportunity I couldn't miss. I worked extra hard that school year, making money by scrubbing toilets in the dorm, working as a secretary on my Christmas break, and taking extra business classes during the summer.

(not me)

By the time January 2000 came along, I was ready to start the second half of my Junior year in Gaming, Austria. After a teary-eyed departure from the Boston airport, I waved goodbye to my parents and boyfriend and began an adventure that would change my life...


  1. austria? didn't see that one coming...lol.

    I changed my major a zillion times too and I wish i had a better advisor too.

    scott hahn is amazing.

  2. Haha I didn't know that you had originally thought of majoring in biology, that's what I majored in! But I could never be an accountant..

  3. aaaaaaaaggghhhh!
    oh colleen.. your killin' me here!
    cannot wait to read more.. this is really fun!!!

  4. Funny . . I was a a bio major at first and did not like Botany either, but I only switched to biochem, which I loved.

    Love hearing your story, cannot wait for more!

  5. Colleen!!! So glad that you found my blog. We are strangely more similar than just out names - I went to college in Ohio, started as a biology major (of course to become a doctor), switched to Business Finance, studies abroad (although mine was in Maastricht, Netherlands), etc. Woah! :) Anxious to read more of your blog!!!

  6. Austria??? That sounds so exciting...way better than cleaning toilets. :)

  7. AHH! More, more! Love it. It's awesome how you intersperse the pics in with your writing...it makes the story even more intriguing.

  8. Okay, you lost me at the "lovin' math" part. What?! ;) Seriously loving these posts.

  9. maria on lap or i would say more

    can't wait to hear more!

  10. Okay, Maria's busy and NOW I can type!

    Exchange to AUSTRIA!? How cool is that?? Jeremy went to France for a semester. He studied PHYSICS in FRENCH. Now that's one smart dude.

    How cool is it that you had Scott Hahn? I've got five of his books sitting in my reading corner! I think that one of his kids moved here to our little Catholic bubble. Anyone else?

    So I'm eager to hear more!

  11. Austria-how fun! I spent a semester in Rome! Great experiences!


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