Why I Chose Holy Cross
In my senior year of high school, I really had no idea what I wanted in a college. I didn’t like high school at all, so I was more interested in just going to college rather than any specific ones. I had followed my sister around on her numerous college visits, and one of those visits happened to be Holy Cross. As she met with the swim coach, I went around the campus with my grandmother and enjoyed the summer weather. We then went on a tour, and I remember that I was extremely impressed. One of the images that was forever ingrained in my mind was Dinand Library (The best way I can describe Dinand is the Beast’s library in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” It is that beautiful and grandiose.). After we left the campus, I told my parents that I liked the school, but I wasn’t wild about attending a college in Worcester. That was the last I said or thought about Holy Cross throughout my Junior year.
In the beginning of my Senior year, I only knew two things that I wanted from college: a strong English department, and a geographic location above the Mason-Dixon line. When I presented my final list of colleges, my mom asked, “What about Holy Cross?” I wrinkled my nose at her suggestion, and said I wasn’t interested because of Worcester. She urged, “I really think that that’s the college for you.” I decided to apply to satisfy my parents, but I had no plans to matriculate. It’s a common teenage syndrome – we never want to admit that our parents truly know what’s best for us.
The next time Holy Cross crossed my mind was when I went to the National Youth Leadership Forum on Defense, Intelligence, and Diplomacy in Washington, D.C. One of the days was a free day for us to explore the city, and, me being the nerd that I am, I ended up in the Capitol and Supreme Court buildings. As I walked around the Supreme Court, I picked up some pamphlets on each of the Supreme Court Justices. I began to read the one about Clarence Thomas, and his alma mater was listed as Holy Cross. Clarence Thomas was also raised in a small town in Georgia. Now, while I couldn’t exactly speak to him about his personal experience about coming to Holy Cross from Georgia, the wheels really began to turn in my mind.
When I returned home from the conference, I began to think more about the colleges to which I had applied, albeit it a little too late. I wondered if I would be truly happy at any of the colleges to which I applied, so I made lists. As I began to write down the pros and cons of each college, I realized, to my surprise and dismay that my parents were correct, that Holy Cross had the most pros. It had the perfect location (close to a large and entertaining city, but not actually within the city), rigorous and excellent academic programs, a small and strictly undergraduate student population, and excellent alumni successes. In addition to this list, Holy Cross also had a vibrant faith life, something that was missing from all of my other selections. I began to realize that Holy Cross was the best academic environment that would allow me to pursue all of my academic interests, specifically English and Latin.
I was at school breaking the set of the musical when my mother called me. She exclaimed, “You got into Holy Cross!” Of course, while I was swayed to Holy Cross, I wanted to go up to the campus one last time before I submitted my deposit. My mom and I went up to Holy Cross for Accepted Students’ Day on April 15th, 2007. This date just might go down in the Holy Cross history books as the worst possible weather for an Open House. A “Nor’easter” was passing through, and right when I saw the snow falling, I began to wonder what I was getting myself into. We arrived on campus, and the weather was chilling to the bone. It was raining, snowing, and overcast. Despite all of this, right as I drove up Linden Lane, I instantly fell in love with Holy Cross.
After attending an address given by President McFarland, meeting a group of English professors and students, and walking around campus, I agreed with my mother. Holy Cross was where I was meant to be. I stayed on campus overnight with Erin, and attended her classes the following day. Experiencing her classes were a huge asset to my decision because I knew that this was the rigorous academic setting that I wanted. When my mom picked me up, I had a huge grin on my face. I myself knew Holy Cross was the school for me. After I told my family members my decision, my grandmother called my mother, and told her that she knew either my sister or I would end up going there. My grandfather called my dad and told him that he had a feeling that I would attend Holy Cross. It seems that everyone knew where I was going to college a long time before I even did.
In many ways, Holy Cross found me. I nearly didn’t come that summer day that my sister was touring Holy Cross. I nearly didn’t even apply. But, looking back over my other colleges, I know I wouldn’t be as happy as I am anywhere else. At Holy Cross, I have a strong academic milieu and close interaction with my professors, which are unique aspects that I’m not sure I would have received at any of my other colleges. I’ve been able to take extremely engaging classes that pertain specifically to my academic interests. I’ve made enduring friendships with people who are just as crazy as I am. I’ve been able to live out my Catholic faith within an extremely supporting and loving faith community. I know that any other college simply would not suit my academic and social needs or personality in the manner that Holy Cross does. I couldn’t ask for a better freshman year.