If you are a newbie at Steuby this year, you don’t want to miss out on these 7 tips!

1) Don’t Be Afraid to Have a Glass of Mountain Dew With Your Breakfast

This may be your first experience eating at a college dining hall. After you see all the options, you’ll want to eat until you pass out . First of all, don’t actually eat until you pass out! Secondly, be sure to eat all you take, and don’t be wasteful. Finally, don’t be afraid to have a glass of Mountain Dew with your breakfast: it’s something your mom would never let you do at home, but the caffeine will help your energy levels.

On another note, enjoy the dining hall while you can. Trust me, a few weeks into college you’ll be tired of it and craving a good home cooked meal from mom.

2) Go Exploring

steuby playing frisbee

MSU has a beautiful campus and serves us by being a great host. Respect the facilities and be courteous guests, but feel free to lie down on a blanket and star gaze in the courtyard, take a selfie with Boomer the Bear, and kick a ball around on the soccer field. Just remember to be back in your dorms by midnight!

3) Reconciliation Is Worth the Wait

steuby reconciliation sign

With 3,700 people attending week 1 and 4,100 attending week 2, the line for the sacrament of Reconciliation can get kind of long. Don’t be intimidated by it though. Reconciliation is worth the wait. Rather than complain, view the line as a blessing. It provides the opportunity to do a thorough examination of conscience and (quietly) meet the strangers waiting with you.

4) Actually Get Some Sleep

Everyone knows that there are times to pray and times to play at Steubenville. However, a little known fact is that there’s also time built into the schedule to sleep! And no, this time isn’t during the sessions or Mass. While it’s fun to stay up and have life-chats with your new friends, balance it out with a good night’s sleep so that you can stay active and don’t end up “resting in the spirit” during programming, cause we know you’re actually sleeping!

5) Go To Small Groups

After the sessions, people do a variety of things. Once programming is done for the night, you may want to go play, run to get a good spot in the Reconciliation line, or order some pizza. However, another little known fact about Steubenville is that there’s also time built into the schedule for small groups. During this time, you have the opportunity to share a little bit about yourself, your faith life, and experiences throughout the weekend with people in a quieter setting. It’s an opportunity to listen and learn from your peers, and an opportunity to share your own wisdom with everyone else. So while you wait for your Domino’s to arrive, actually go to small groups.

6) Pack the Essentials, and Only the Essentials

steuby unicorn head

Steubenville is not a month-long vacation in the Alps (although that would be cool too). Unfortunately, it’s just a weekend, so you do not need to pack up your whole bedroom. Instead, try to pack with a mindset of simplicity and challenge yourself to live with less this weekend. When we free ourselves from our lives’ noise, gadgets, and distractions we can become more attentive to God and to those around us. So leave your laptop at home, and bring only the essentials– like a comfortable pair of shoes, a sweater/sweatshirt for the notoriously cold arena, and deodorant.

7) These Nuns Won’t Hit You With a Ruler

steuby nuns

As I already mentioned, there will be around 4,000 people at this conference. That means you have the potential to make 4,000 new friends by the end of the weekend. First of all, be kind to everyone you encounter. After all, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Secondly, try to get to know someone new. That person could be from your parish, but Steubenville is also a great opportunity to meet people from across the Midwest. Thirdly, there will be plenty of people in the religious life at the conference. I encourage you to have at least one conversation with a priest, seminarian, or a sister. They have tons of cool experiences to share and can give you valuable tips on how to discern your own vocation. Don’t be afraid to approach them and say hi. I promise these nuns won’t hit you with a ruler!

Written by Drew Holtmann
Drew is an intern at the Office of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He graduated from Creighton University in 2016 where he studied Theology and Secondary Education. He loves indie/alternative rock, Cardinals baseball, and afternoon naps.