Austria Adventures: Staying back

Melissa Solano


Midterms week is upon us here at the Kartause. It’s actually kind of a crazy week —we’ve got midterms Monday through Thursday, and we leave on Thursday night for a seven-hour bus ride straight to Poland.

Taking all of this into consideration as well as the fact that this was a short travel weekend, myself and a number of other students opted to stay here rather than to leave for the weekend.

It might seem like a crazy idea, staying back when the whole of Europe is practically at our fingertips. But as this weekend comes to a close, I could not be happier with my decision.

This semester has definitely been one of the most academically challenging semesters so far for a lot of us here. Most of us are taking philosophy and upper-level theology classes for the first time in our college careers. For myself, I know I have definitely put off taking philosophy as long as I possibly could. So having that extra time when the Kartause was a little quieter and a little less hectic was extremely conducive to midterm prep.

Staying here also gave me the opportunity to appreciate Gaming so much more. I used my study breaks for a variety of things, from talking to family at home to afternoon runs through town to checking out some of the local businesses. All of the snow here has finally melted, and it’s nice to see what the town looks like not buried under white fluff. I can’t wait to see how beautiful all the trees and mountains will look once spring arrives.

Also, one big recommendation to students who will visit Gaming in the future: don’t be nervous to go to more stores than just the bank and Spar. Try the kebab place and Ana’s Café. The food and coffee are both so, so good—a nice change from the Mensa that won’t break the bank.

My roommate Kelly, a fellow junior and sister in Little Flowers, has herself stayed back for the past two weekends. She said that staying back helped to keep her from feeling too overwhelmed, but it also made her understand what the staff here told us at the beginning of the semester. Mr. Wolter told us that before the students get here, the Kartause is still and almost lacking in life. This could not be more true. As nice as it is to enjoy the silence, there’s an antsy anticipation towards the end of Sunday in waiting for our peers to return. With their return, there is vibrancy and noise, and the opportunity to hear the stories of travels and adventures of those who left.

I can’t wait to get back to traveling— especially to Poland with the school this upcoming weekend. I’ve been looking forward to that trip for a long time. But I can now see why so many household sisters recommended to me to stay back at least one weekend. Gaming is definitely worth the exploration and getting to relax and study in a less crowded environment are definite plusses, too.