St. John's College Santa Fe

Introducing: the 2019 Santa Fe Admissions Ambassadors

"I’ve been here a month and I’ve said, 'I’m wrong,' more than I had in the last eighteen years. "

Alexis Barton ‘23
Denton, Texas

What do you remember about your first visit to St. John’s?
Summer Academy, Santa Fe 2018. I remember everything. Our first day, we went to Meow Wolf and we had our first seminar, and then we went to Ghost Ranch, had a seminar on Symposium and a language class on “Sonny’s Blues.” It changed the way I thought about everything.  

After seminar, you’ll find me…
Taking Huckleberry, my cat, on a stroll.

On a Saturday afternoon, you’ll find me… 
Hanging out in Lowers, doing my laundry. Doing the adult stuff. 

What’s something that has surprised you about St. John’s?
That you don’t learn “math” in math class. You learn how to communicate with people. In lab, we don’t just learn “science.” We think about how we look at the world, and how that influences us. 
Mario Moreno ‘20
Stockton, California

What do you remember about your first visit to St. John’s?
I first visited in 2009. I remember talking to Randall Hollensebe about math in my interview. It was nice to be listened to without having to worry about presenting myself in a certain way. I thought, “I can see myself here.” I can say what’s on my mind without being judged. 

After seminar, you’ll find me…
In my suite, relaxing with friends and talking about seminar.

On a Saturday afternoon, you’ll find me…
In Albuquerque. It’s good to get away. 

What’s something that has surprised you about St. John’s?
I didn’t know what the experience of an academic community would be like, especially coming from a public school. People here want to be here and figure out what it means to be here, and attempt to live the ideals that we read about in the texts. You learn how to be here, and you have to learn who you’re going to be when you leave. It changes you in ways you never wanted.
Cintia “I’m always good on Fridays” Osorio ‘21 
Poughkeepsie, New York

What do you remember about your first visit to St. John’s?
The dining hall in Annapolis. I could tell what the atmosphere of the school was. Everyone was talking about things that sounded important, things that you normally wouldn’t hear people talking about. I didn’t understand what they were talking about, but I wanted to. It was the moment that I knew, “I want to be a part of that.”

After seminar, you’ll find me…
Hanging out in the uppers courtyard, or drinking chamomile tea in my room. 

On a Saturday afternoon, you’ll find me…
Working at the Teahouse on Canyon Road. It’s a really nice work environment, and it’s nice to do something off campus. 

What’s something that has surprised you about St. John’s?
I didn’t expect that the St. John’s education would translate so much into my own life, my personal life. It’s changed how I talk to people. It’s changed me. I don’t know if you can even get a glimpse of the whole experience when you’re visiting.

Cameron Hines ‘21
Aspen, Colorado

What do you remember about your first visit to St. John’s?
I remember conversations with faculty members and students who were committed to teaching and learning, and not just to their own narrow fields of research. I was coming right from a college where that was not the case, and St. John’s appeared like the intellectual paradise that it is, really, like an oasis in a desert of higher education. 

After seminar, you’ll find me…
Debriefing about seminar on the placita or trying to do a handstand with my roommate. 

On a Saturday afternoon, you’ll find me…
Biking or doing something fun off campus. My friends and I went to a Renaissance Fair, and this weekend I’m working at the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta.

What’s something that has surprised you about St. John’s?
Everyone here does their own thing in a powerful way. Your life at St. John’s can be whatever you want it to be, however you want to build your life, because that’s what we’re doing here: learning how to live our lives. There’s a brilliant variety of people here, especially considering how few of us there are, with so many different perspectives and insights. 

Doug Spurlock ‘20
Phoenix, Arizona

What do you remember about your first visit to St. John’s?
I went up to the swing spot at night with the other prospective students. It made my decision. So the people, definitely. 

After seminar, you’ll find me…
In my room, playing Super Smash Brothers.

On a Saturday afternoon, you’ll find me…
On the balcony of Murchison, probably rereading the Odyssey.

What’s something that has surprised you about St. John’s?
Just how awesome the tutors are. I think they’re really incredible people. 

Zhansaya Kuatzhan ‘22
Almaty, Kazakhstan

What do you remember about your first visit to St. John’s?
I remember reading on the grassy knoll before seminar, and my first tour. I’m living in the same building as the three people I went on my tour with, and we’re all still friends.

After seminar, you’ll find me…
In the coffee shop, getting snacks!

On a Saturday afternoon, you’ll find me…
In the Plaza, on a good day. 

What’s something that has surprised you about St. John’s?
The particular fashion sense on campus. Johnnies have style, and it’s changed the way I dress. 

Chinazor Ike-Njoku ‘23
Abuja, Nigeria

What do you remember about your first visit to St. John’s?
I didn’t visit before I came here, but when I first arrived in August, there was someone really nice who showed me around and took my bags to my room. I noticed right away that it was a welcoming environment and that I wouldn’t have to figure everything out myself.  

After seminar, you’ll find me…
In the coffee shop, finding out about the other seminars. 

On a Saturday afternoon, you’ll find me…
Dancing in my room. 

What’s something that has surprised you about St. John’s?
There are so many strong personalities here. No one is forced to conform, so you meet all kinds of people. 

Isabel McDonald ‘23
Gambier, Ohio

What do you remember about your first visit to St. John’s?
My tour is why I’m in Santa Fe. It was a life-changing experience. We went up to the swings before seminar, and after, a bunch of us played volleyball and talked for hours.

After seminar, you’ll find me…
Still talking to people in my seminar about the last point, because we always get cut for time! We normally move to lowers courtyard. 

On a Saturday afternoon, you’ll find me…
Last Saturday, I was at Whole Foods getting challah bread for Tuesday Challah Night– twenty of us get together every Tuesday and eat challah, and this Friday, we celebrated Rosh Hashanah. You should come!

What’s something that has surprised you about St. John’s?
That it would teach me that it’s okay to be wrong, that you don’t have to have the answers all the time. I’ve been here a month and I’ve said, “I’m wrong” more than I had in the last eighteen years. 

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