An update from Monica, a sophomore Hunt Leadership Scholar planning to major in business and communication studies who is interning at Taos Community Foundation

Ice cream at the Taos Cow

I am the oldest child with two brothers — one entering college and the other a rising  high school senior. The things I love most in the world include my friends, the color green, a good fantasy novel, the outdoors, my dog Muffin, an intense political discussion, well-choreographed musicals, and last but not least, all that pertains to my Catholic faith. So that’s me.

In Taos, I am working at nonprofit internship as part of my Communication Studies class. In my short time here, my routine looks a little like this: up at 6:30 or 7, eat part of a breakfast burrito with the fresh fruit and berries they set out each morning. Then I go on an hourlong mountain biking trek. If not that, then I go to a wellness exercise class at 8 a.m. where I can do yoga, Pilates, or boot camp.

Next, I shower and change for my internship at Taos Community Foundation. My friend and I both jam out to tunes as we drive into town. (Safely, of course. She is an excellent driver.) I am at my internship from 10-4 (which I’ll detail in a later blog post), and then we drive back to campus in time for dinner.

In the evening I attend my Nonprofit Communications class, taught by Professor Flournoy. After class, the nights vary … mostly school work, TV and board games, visits to the Taos plaza, or tennis and volleyball. Weekends vary, too, but include Wellness II experiences that take in the beautiful natural landscapes of Taos. (My photos capture some of what we do.)

To be honest, I was not looking forward to summer. It’s not that I don’t like my home in Saint Louis, Missouri; I love my home and the people there. But as most freshmen can attest, somewhere along the line college turns into your new home.  The new college friends somehow turned into my family, cliché as it sounds. There’s no definite beginning or end for this fantastic phenomenon, but for me, SMU was home from the beginning.

During freshman year I became the crazy overcommitted girl, running on very little sleep at a non-stop pace. With the close of the spring semester, when weeks were eliminated as fast as the contestants on American Idol, I began dreading summer. Summer, which I romanticized, seemed the temporary termination of my current college friendships. Melodramatic? Obviously.

However, I looked forward to Taos, and I came ready for an adventure, to make friends and to grow. It’s the perfect place to do just that. There’s something nice about slowing down. So that’s what I’m doing … slowing down in Taos.