© Dave Mathieson - Amherst News
About 20 new students, present students and former students of St. F.X. University attended a barbecue send off last week at the Winston Avenue soccer field.
AMHERST – X-Men and X-Women are on the move.
“I think I’m pretty well prepared,” said Amherst’s Emily Pipes, who is presently preparing to enter her first year of psychology at St. Francis Xavier University. “The move-in day will be a little overwhelming, and meeting people, but after a while I’ll settle in.”
Margaret Skabar, also from Amherst, is a psychology major and is entering her third year at St. FX.
What advice does she have for Pipes and other first-year students?
“Don’t be shy. Talk to people on your floor wherever you are,” said Skabar. “I wish I had done that sooner.
“Really talk to people. Don’t hole up in your room. Introduce yourself to your neighbors. It’s a lot more fun that way,” she added.
Pipes along with about 20 other St. FX alumni and their families were on hand for the annual barbecue send-off hosted by the St. FX Alumni Association’s Amherst and Sackville Chapters last week at the Winston Avenue field in Amherst.
The send-off is an opportunity for students like Pipes to ask current students and alumni how best to prepare for their first year of studies.
“With the number of alumni here, they represent all the faculties at St. FX.,” said Dylan White, president for the alumni associations Amherst Chapter. “We can give them any feedback to classes and the great professors we’ve had.”
The association also helps with more practical tips.
“When I was in first year I brought a lot of things I didn’t need and didn’t bring things I should have brought,” said White. “We’re giving them tips on what we’ve learned from going to St. FX time and time again.”
Skabar said that something as simple as going to meal hall could make a difference in a students experience at St. FX.
“Don’t be afraid to go to meal hall by yourself,” she said. "I only started doing that last year. I wouldn’t go by myself. I would go to Subway rather than go to meal hall.”
Asked about studying, Skabar said studying should be a students 'day job.'
“Even if you have a two hour break go home and do your readings,” she said. “Don’t go have a nap, which is something I could have learned the first year because that is something I did a lot.”
“Get your stuff over with during the day so you can relax at nighttime.”
White said parents often worry about their kid’s studies upon entering St. FX.
“We let them know there are tutors and the alumni association is there to help as well,” said White. “If parents have any questions we can answer those.”
Alicia Mika, program coordinator with the alumni association in Antigonish, was at last weeks send off in Amherst. Parents with concerns can contact her at 902-867-3760.