1. The Cyber Café's Smoothies
I go to the Cyber Café when I want a treat but don’t want to leave campus. They have this mixed berry smoothie that makes my taste buds smile. What really makes it beyond great is when the lady that works there asks me if I want whipped cream on top. Is that even a question? Of course I do!

She tops it with a grand helping of the fluffy cream, and I use my straw like a spoon to scoop it up. I need a few bites of just whipped cream before it mixes with the deliciously chilled mix of berries. The smoothie cools me off on hotter days and brightens my mood whenever the straw hits my mouth. Sure, it may be just ice and mixed berry flavoring, but wow, it’s still so good.

A mixed berry smoothie with a pile of whipped cream on top from Mount Mary’s Cyber Café is good for the soul.

RATING – Tastiness: 4/5 stars  Would order again: 5/5 stars

2. The Benches by the Peace Pole
What could be so great about some benches? You’re probably thinking. Let me tell you.

It’s not really the benches by the Peace Pole that are great by themselves. It’s not even the spot in general, although it is a really nice spot. It’s all about what you can do there.

There’s a pretty unique pole there with the word “peace” on it in several languages. I don’t know why it was put there, but I enjoy the message it sends. Sitting on the adjacent benches, I enjoy peaceful days with my friends, captivating books and yummy lunches. I would recommend to anyone looking for some peace to do the same.

3. Therapy Dogs
Every semester before midterms and final exams, Mount Mary invites the therapy dogs from Health Heelers to campus for students to pet. It’s supposed to be a stress reliever, and to some degree, it is. Either way, it’s an opportunity to pet cute fuzzy dogs. Who could say no?

There’s a cute basset hound named Toto that visits sometimes. The poor baby is blind, but that doesn’t stop Toto from being sweet. Toto’s paws are cute, and I’m obsessed with them.

Sometimes a Golden Retriever comes. Sometimes there’s a little dog that only likes to be pet by certain people. Often there is a dog named Hawkeye who is super friendly. One of the dogs, I don’t remember which one, licked my hand so much last semester that it was thoroughly coated in saliva. I certainly forgot about exams during that experience.

To everyone’s wonder, they brought a miniature pony last time they came. I was not on campus that morning and was heartbroken that I missed it. View photos from the special day on Facebook here.

I love that Mount Mary cares about our stress. I love fluffy puppies. I would’ve loved to meet the pony.

New students: don’t miss Health Heelers. You’ll regret it later.

4. Late Night Breakfast
The Monday of finals week, you can go to Mount Mary’s dining hall at 9 p.m. for a late night breakfast, completely free of charge. You don’t even need to use your meal plan. It’s a campus event, not a meal. They have eggs, sausage, bacon, waffles, tater tots and more.

The food is not the only fun part. Once you’re finished eating, there are tables set up around the sides of the dining hall where different departments host craft events. There have been tables with bracelet making, nail painting, watercolors, fabric, pin making, stress-ball making, DIY play-dough, and more! Last semester, I had fun at the watercolor station painting a portrait of my cat. My friends thought it was a really good painting. I was proud of the way that I used dark blues and purples for shadows.

Late night breakfast is meant to be a stress-relieving break from studying for exams, and that it certainly is. I can easily lose track of time going from table to table, focusing my full attention on craft after craft.

To anyone debating about whether or not they should go to late night breakfast: if you don’t go, you’re missing out.