Thank you so much for taking time to read my blog about my first year here at Holy Cross.
I’ve been on Mount St. James as a student for a little more than a week now, and I honestly can’t see myself at any other school. The Holy Cross experience so far has truly been everything that I ever imagined that my college experience would be. Luckily, my older sister soothed all of my general fears about college, but it was rather intimidating to leave my comfort zone and come to a college that is literally a thousand miles from home.
Within the first week, I have made several friends, and I’m slowly getting to know my classmates one by one. The entire community here at Holy Cross is very receptive; the faculty and staff here are always trying to help out new students. I’ve seen Dean Freeman (Class Dean for the Class of 2011) on campus many times simply talking to new freshmen. Holy Cross truly has a sense of community which I think is rather rare on contemporary college campuses.
Let me do a brief recap of my life here so far. On Saturday, Aug. 25, my family and I ended our vacation on Cape Cod and made the drive out to Worcester. Even for a girl coming from Georgia, the heat on that Saturday was astronomical. Despite the unbearable heat, move-in day was definitely an exciting day. Right after we pulled up and I got my room information, upperclassmen swarmed the car and moved everything up to my room for me. It was definitely a relief for my dad to not have to carry up my refrigerator three flights of stairs! After running around the campus for my student ID, my family and I went off to the Mass of the Holy Spirit. During the mass, I was given the instruction to remain open to new thoughts, challenges and experiences throughout my next four years here; my family was given the instruction to simply go home. Quite honestly, I didn’t really have time to say goodbye to them because I was whisked off to Orientation activities. Don’t worry – there was a tearful phone call later on that night.
During Orientation, I took part in various activities that acclimated me into college life. I met with my academic advisor, Professor Luria, with whom I made a basic sketch of my next four years here on the hill. While all the activities were a great way to familiarize myself with the campus and community, the best experience throughout all of Orientation was the Convocation on Monday. During Convocation, the Class of 2011 was officially presented to and inducted by President McFarland. During Convocation, our idiosyncrasies and talents were displayed and presented, such as an original piano composition by one of my classmates. Later on in the evening, we sat down to a fabulous meal which reflected our common summer reading, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. It was a fantastic night, and I’m quite sure that I’ll always remember the day that I officially entered the Holy Cross community.
And then, finally, after four days of Orientation, it was time for me to actually start college classes.
On Wednesday, after a nice and relaxing breakfast, I started with Intermediate Latin with Professor Vodoklys. I love the Latin language and Roman culture, but I didn’t exactly study Latin during the summer, and the first class was definitely intensive to help “clear some Latin cobwebs out of my mind,” as Professor would say. After that, I ran down two flights of stairs to Making of the Modern Middle East with Professor Bazzaz. Within the first day, I knew that I was going to fall in love with this class. I was nervous about having one class right after another, but Professor Bazazz makes her topics so interesting. Lastly, all of the students involved with the First-Year Program had an ice cream social on Wednesday night. It was a great time to socialize with our professors on the question that we will be tackling this year — “Given that we are both producers and creators, how, then, shall we live?” Of course, the ice cream was quite delicious.
On Thursday, I woke up extremely early to head over to my CRAW: Poetry class with my roommate, Carrie. Professor Ireland is my instructor for the class, and he’s absolutely hysterical to listen to in class. Of course, the fact that our only four grades for the entire semester are four papers is somewhat intimidating. After that, I had a nice break, and I headed up to Fenwick Hall for my First-Year Program class, Freedom and Nature, with Professor Kee. Fenwick Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus, and, I personally think, one of the most beautiful. My walk up four flights of stairs really doesn’t bother me because of the view — antique stained glass windows, heavy wooden staircases, and vaulted ceilings are just a few of the sites that I get to see on my way to class. I truly enjoy every minute of my walk, even though I do end up somewhat breathless. In my First-Year Program class, we will be analyzing the general First-Year Program question with a somewhat retrospective analysis as we read The Republic, Theogeny, excerpts from the Bible, and many more pieces of literature.
Since then, I’ve made friends, acclimated to college life, and made Holy Cross my home. Of course, I still get lost every so often, and I definitely still have questions about the place (for instance, why is Mamie Reilly one of our fight songs? Dean Freeman doesn’t even know!). However, despite my bad sense of direction and some general questions, I know I’ve made the right decision for college.
I guess one could say that my first week here has been a success!