A guest blog by Anwyn Payonk, a senior at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods for SMWC and Prospective Students
At Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, I’ve been able to live the typical college experience. I’ve been up way too late writing a paper last minute; I’ve gone to events put on by various college organizations; and I’ve missed a class or two on account of sleep. But what truly makes my college my home is the community it offers. I won’t lie to you, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is a bit small for a college. But personally, that is what I love about it. The entire campus feels as if it is one community. I have been able to make connections with students, staff and faculty that I know will last after I graduate. The sense of community extends into Terre Haute. Terre Haute and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College quickly welcomes their college students each year to cultivate a town where young adults can get their college education and experience the crazy times that being in college is supposed to bring.
Downtown Terre Haute
The Best Place to Dine and Study
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is unique. The gorgeous campus offers a serene atmosphere, but it is, quite literally, in the woods. Heading into Terre Haute can take anywhere from 10 - 30 minutes, depending on which part of town you’re headed to. That’s why downtown has become the perfect area for all SMWC students. I’ve taken advantage of downtown Terre Haute and learned the best places to eat, study and hang out. Downtown is about 10 minutes away from campus and offers a large array of places to eat at affordable prices (even for a college student). My favorite downtown restaurant has always been Wise Pies. Pizza is always affordable, and it helps when it tastes absolutely amazing. I highly recommend the white pizza or the WOW pizza. It’s become my go-to restaurant when my friends and I want to get something to eat but don’t want to spend too much. Splitting a delicious pizza from Wise Pies is always the way to go, but don’t let me make the decision for you. Places like Chavas, The Copper Bar, Crossroads Café and plenty of downtown restaurants are perfect for any college student’s appetite and budget.
As for studying, two specific local coffee shops have become my personal favorite. Federal Coffee, in downtown Terre Haute, is the place to be when you just need to focus. Its small feel and coffee house vibes are perfect for independent studying. When I need a break, it’s also perfect for people watching in downtown. My other favorite is Java Haute. This coffee shop is arguably one of the most popular places in Terre Haute. But it has plenty of space for homework or group study sessions. They also are open late so its perfect for late night study sessions.
Photo taken from Java Haute's Social Media
Terre Haute Nightlife
As a college student, nightlife is incredibly important. It’s your free time! The evening is your time, as a college student, to de-stress and separate yourself from class for a bit. School work is incredibly important, but it’s also important to enjoy your college years and spend time having fun and being yourself. While I love a quiet night in doing my puzzles and watching a movie more than anyone, we, as college students, deserve to go out and enjoy ourselves! For me, I enjoy going to the Verve or hanging out at a bar such as 7th and Elm, Charlie’s Pub and Grub or Sonka Irish Pub. For a classy outing with friends, the Sycamore Winery is only five minutes away from SMWC’s campus! They always have some event going on. It could be a fun wine tasting, trivia or an event with beloved Terre Haute food trucks. There’s plenty more to do than just taste wine, but if you’re old enough I definitely recommend doing that. It also never hurts to have a low-key night by getting a group of friends and enjoying a movie at the Moonlite Drive-in Theater or Terre Haute’s AMC 12. If you’re lucky, you can even plan for a weekend where the Terre Haute Community Theater is putting on a show! As you get to know Terre Haute, you’ll be able to find the places that offer you an environment where you feel comfortable calling Terre Haute home.
Photo taken from Sycamore Winery's Social Media
Staying in the Know
One tricky aspect of being an out-of-state college student is learning about new places in Terre Haute and finding events that are perfect for you. It took me a while, but really utilizing social media is the key. I was constantly scouring websites like See You in Terre Haute, Haute Happenings and simply googling “Things to do in Terre Haute?”. Liking and following all the businesses you can find is also a good way to go. This can give you access to knowledge about events going on, special promotions and great deals going on in Terre Haute! Taking advantage of your friends who are from Terre Haute also never hurts!
Terre Haute can be the perfect college town for anyone. You just have to make sure you find the things that give you joy and allow you to take breaks from the crazy and fast-paced academic life.
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