First Annual Worcester Classic Competition

This weekend was the first annual Worcester Classic Ballroom Dance Competition!! Our team got to sleep in a little bit this weekend since the competition was only across town in Worcester; it was a beautiful morning waking up at 6am instead of 4am. 🙂

Check out these mini ballroom dancers!! They were maybe 10 years old and already competing at silver level!!
Check out these mini ballroom dancers!! They were maybe 10 years old and already competing at silver level!!

The competition was small but the venue was excellent and wonderfully run. The competition ran almost on time, which is a miracle because ballroom competitions never run according to schedule. Our team was successful with several of our couples placing!!  Will and Julie placed in Newcomer Rumba, Shannon and I placed in Bronze Swing, Taylor and Justin placed in Silver level Smooth, and Megan and Andrew placed in Silver Viennese Waltz. Overall, it was a great day for Holy Cross and a fun time was had by everyone! We got back in the early afternoon and decided to crash on our beds for a nap before dinner. Thank you WPI and Clark for a fabulous day!

This coming Sunday is the Holy Cross Ballroom Dance Competition! I am very excited to once again be competitively dancing in the Hogan Ballroom on our campus. Not to mention that finally my friends can understand what me and Shannon do for hours of our time. 🙂 There is going to be chance for us to dance salsa and hustle too! Fingers crossed that it is another successful weekend!

Coming Back!! :)

It is finally the start of a new semester! As fun as chilling in Chi-beria was over Christmas break, it has been fantastic to come back to campus and be with everyone again. Despite the cold and the snow, I have a feeling this semester is going to be wonderful and hopefully the best one yet.

As is becoming tradition for me on campus, this past weekend was dance marathon!!  Dance Marathon is a fundraiser that Holy Cross puts on to raise money for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation. The dance marathon requires each participant to  be on their feet for 12 hours from 8pm Saturday night to 8am Sunday morning. It was a blast!! The music was awesome and it was a night well spent being awake for 12 hours. I participated in dance marathon last year and I think that each year it is just going to get better and more fun. It is definitely one of my favorite nights on campus every semester. When we finally got to bed on Sunday, my friends and I passed out trying to fully recover to rest up for this week’s homework and activities. I think some of us are still feeling the effects, but it was worth it. Dance Marathon raised over $40,000 this year which surpasses last year’s fundraising goal by at least $5,000! I have been on this campus for almost 2 years now and the dedication of Holy Cross students still never ceases to amaze me. I feel lucky to be surrounded by such passionate people.


The End of the Beginning

In the course of a year, a person can accumulate a lot of belongings. I have learned this extensively as the boxes get packed up, and the car gets loaded full of a year’s worth of clothes, papers, and memories. It’s surreal that a year ago, I had no idea who my friends were going to be or what classes I would be taking. It’s strange to think that a place I now call my home away from home, was vast and unknown. Now, I don’t know what I would be doing or where I would be going to school, I cannot imagine my life without Holy Cross or the people I have met there. I have finally started getting the hang of being away at college. I have learned that you cannot make up sleep as easily as you did in high school; there are no classes with “filler” lesson plans. Time management is crucial, and it is okay to ask for help or struggle with understanding a concept. However, as with most things in life, just as I am grasping at the rules, the game changes.  It is time to be at home and recharge. 🙂

As I begin to relax and settle in to being back home, I cannot help but realize that while nothing has changed, everything is different. No longer do we dread coming back to college, we look forward to it. I am happy to be home yet also happy with my life across the country in Worcester, Ma. Holy Cross is my school and my life for the next four years. The end of the beginning is here and I have time to reevaluate what I want out of my college career. But first, it’s time to go find a summer job!!

Whirlwind of a Week

What an overwhelming week it has been for Boston! First the Boston Marathon bombings and then the MIT shooting, all linked to two brothers. While Holy Cross was not directly endangered by the bombing and shooting, I am very thankful to both the Boston PD and the FBI for quickly finding the suspects and getting them apprehended. I am very proud to call Boston my part-time home.

On a happier note, I got some great news this past week! I applied to be a tour guide and just last week I found out I got the gig! I am super excited for this opportunity to not only help people understand Holy Cross, but for me to learn more about the history of Holy Cross. And I get to talk to these people in person, not just over the internet!

So one of the many reasons I love Holy Cross is that there is something for everyone when it comes to activities to fill your free time.

WCHC 88.1 FM Worcester's Only Alternative Source

Two of my friends, Maggie and Jessica, have a show on Holy Cross’s radio station (WCHC 88.1 FM Worcester’s Only Alternative Source!). Their show, “The Jercisscer and Magswag Show,” airs every Friday from 9-10pm. Last weekend, “Jercisscer” couldn’t make it, so Maggie let me help out during the radio show!! She even let me talk on air!!!! 🙂

Saturday was the home meet for Men and Women’s Track team. Our friend Shannon was competing in the triple and long jump. We went up to the Hart Center and cheered her and the rest of the team in our purple. Our cheers were so obnoxiously supportive that later Shannon said she could not go start her jump without smiling. Below is a great action shot just before she landed her jump.

Go Shannon Go!!

This weekend was Accepted Student’s Day at Holy Cross!! Because I volunteer for the Outreach program in Admissions and I am now a tour guide, I was given the task of talking about the Montserrat program and how it works. Both sessions of the panel were packed and it made me so happy to see all of the potential future Crusaders on campus today! I was not able to attend accepted students day last year and that made it so much more special for me to see how nervous and excited everyone was. It reminded me of how nervous and undecided I was at this time last year. I have been marveling lately at how I am now on the other side of the panel table. I am no longer in the audience. I am the person giving directions, talking about my experience on campus, and getting people excited to attend a school which has already presented me with so many opportunities in just 8 short months. It was such a good feeling to know that in just a few months many of the people I met today will be my classmates in the fall. 🙂

Such a beautiful day to welcome the new Crusaders!!

Easter Break

Goodbye March!!

Well it looks that all that warmer weather I wrote about is taking its sweet time getting here because we got more snow last week!! I am beyond ready for the spring time weather. According to many of my friends it is not usually this cold so we are all attributing it to the mild winter last year.

Sun coming to melt the snow!

Easter Break has been a blast so far! Instead of going all the way home to Illinois, I went home with my friend Jessica. Her family generously hosted me for 3 days and I enjoyed exploring her hometown and seeing the beautiful landscape that surrounds her house. In addition to sightseeing around her town, we went to a concert!!! It was “wicked!!!” (As many Massachusetts people say 😉 ) It was so much fun and the road trip there and back were fantastic bookends to a perfect night. Between getting ready, screaming songs in the car, and the midnight run to McDonald’s afterwards, it couldn’t have been more delightful.

outside of the concert 🙂

After Easter Break, there are only 6 weeks of school left!! How is that possible?

Welcome Back and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

Where is the time going?

I cannot believe that we are halfway through March right now!! Coming back from spring break, I am now halfway through the spring semester of freshman year and I am excited as warmer weather starts to creep in!! 🙂

Holy Cross hosted its annual Ballroom Competition a few weeks ago and we are proud to announce the Crusaders dominated!!! The day started out cold, windy, and quite early. Getting out of bed was definitely difficult, it was so comfy and warm compared to the awful weather outside!!! After some minor difficulties which involved hunting for my partner, hunting for breakfast, and hunting for our registration numbers, the competition started. It turned out to be a great day despite the bitter cold outside. My partner, Robbie, and I placed 3rd in Swing! My friend Maggie and her partner Pat got 6th in Swing also! All around, it was a phenomenal day and we left happy and excited to see our hard work pay off.

Swing Finals!!!
After the competition, sweaty and tired, but happy!!

This Monday was a great day for our Women’s Basketball team!! We went to the semi-final game and spent it cheering in happiness as our Crusaders dominated over Colgate University!! It was a great way to kick off the second half of the semester. The ladies basketball team will travel to Annapolis, Maryland this weekend for the Championship game against Navy. Good Luck Crusaders!!!!!

Lady Crusaders!

Apart from being St. Patrick’s Day weekend, my friends and I went to the second of three Men’s Hockey Quarterfinals!! As I had never been to a hockey game before, this was really exciting for me. The fans are almost as aggressive as the players, the game is chaotic and there are almost no rules. The players slam each other into the walls of the rink!! (I am probably preaching to the choir here, but hey, this was my first game!) Thus, the experience is loud, energetic, and are on the edge of the bleachers since goals are few and far between. I went in knowing almost nothing about hockey and I came out a definite fan of the sport (I know, just in time for spring/summer sports to start, well better late than never, right?)

Next week CNN news anchor Soledad O’Brien is coming to Holy Cross to give a lecture. This is a part of the on going celebrations at Holy Cross to commemorate 40 years of co-education. I am going to try and attend the lecture with a couple of friends, since I think it would be valuable to hear such a successful woman, talk about what it takes to break into the career world, especially journalism, which is still centered and geared towards men. It’s important to understand, regardless of gender, what it takes to be successful and to keep that in mind at all times.

I am excited to watch as the snow melts and spring slowly starts to move in. It will be nice to see the ivy on the buildings again and to have warmer weather again. I don’t know about anybody else and but I cannot wait to break out my sandals again! 🙂

Why I Love Holy Cross

Are you a high school senior looking anxiously checking your mailbox every day waiting to hear back from colleges? Are you having problems deciding on a “first choice?” Do you not know what you want to do with your life? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then congratulations, you have come to the right blog!!

When I applied to Holy Cross last year, I had no idea where I wanted to go, what my first choice was, what I wanted to choose as a major, or what I wanted to do with my life. I applied to Holy Cross and seven other schools and within a few weeks decided to visit. I actually was not sure that Holy Cross was in my top three before visiting. The reason I looked at Holy Cross initially was because my parents and my school counselor encouraged me to. When we came and visited, it was a bone chilling day over the freak snowstorm Halloween weekend in 2011. However, once we checked in and got on the tour, I found myself enchanted by this institution situated on Mount St. James. People were friendly to us here, coming up to our tour guide and saying hi or welcoming us to campus. Every effort was made to ensure that we felt comfortable asking questions about Holy Cross. Unlike many other institutions, Holy Cross was not seeking to intimidate us, and that was first reason I liked Holy Cross. The second reason, what really made me happy I applied, was how accepting and encouraging Holy Cross was about applying undeclared and not really having any idea what you want to study.

When acceptance letters started coming in and decision time rolled in, I had narrowed down my choices between two schools. While I was not one of those people who had a big epiphany moment about what school I wanted to go to, something drew me to Holy Cross. When trying to make a decision, I found myself on Holy Cross’  website, reading student blogs, and learning about majors. I would read the blogs and discover that there were people like me at Holy Cross. People who enjoyed volunteering, having fun, and exploring Boston. Ultimately, I made my decision and chose Holy Cross because I wanted to attend a college with strong academics, approachable professors, relatively small class sizes, friendly, down-to-earth people, and a great community atmosphere. Other schools I looked at fulfilled some of these things, but not all. And none of them had the incredible campus atmosphere Holy Cross has.

Now that I am here at Holy Cross, I can safely say that Holy Cross has been everything I needed and wanted. We are encouraged and required to try every area of study, and being undeclared is not looked down upon. My professors are very approachable and they make every effort to make themselves available if, for some reason, you cannot make office hours. I have had incredible time here so far and I have no regrets about my decision. I cannot even envision what my life would be like at another school. I am so happy I chose being a Crusader. I have made fantastic friends, tried new things, and loved all of it. I cannot wait to see what my Holy Cross life holds in store next. 🙂

Adventures in the snow 🙂

Blizzard Nemo

This second semester has certainly kicked off with a bang! In addition to the great experience I had at Dance Marathon (In total, we raised $35,200 dollars), my Montserrat class, Music as Expression, took a class trip to New York City to attend a rehearsal of Arye, composed by Holy Cross’s own, Osvaldo Golijov. Winner of two Grammy’s, Professor Golijov is the composer-in-residence at Carnegie Hall for this year. In addition to the rehearsal, we were also going to tour Carnegie Hall, and then have some time to explore the city.

Outside of Carnegie Hall

It was a beautiful, windy day when we got into the city. Attending the music rehearsal was very neat. Watching the musicians play and silently communicating amongst themselves was enlightening–we were watching the development of a phenomenal, dynamic performance. It was a fantastic thing to have the privilege of watching. The magnitude of what we had witnessed really hit home after we had a tour of Carnegie Hall. The rehearsal we had just watched was eventually going to be performed in Carnegie Hall and we had already gotten a sneak peak! Unfortunately, we could not take any pictures inside the Hall but it was beautiful inside. To stand in front of the stage and realize that all the legends, from Frank Sinatra to Joshua Bell to Lady Gaga, have played at Carnegie Hall is breathtaking. The space is stunning and befitting of its prestigious purpose.

After our tour of Carnegie, we were given some free time before we had to get back on the bus. I was able to meet up with my friend Cam, who attends NYU. It was great to catch up with him and see a familiar face among the bustling city. We walked around the city for a while after grabbing a bite to eat and we even walked through Central Park for while. 🙂 Hopefully I can visit again soon–three hours is just not enough to walk around New York City.

Night view from Central Park

As I sit and write this post, I am watching the blizzard Nemo descend on Worcester. We are expected to get at least 18-24 inches. It looks so beautiful!! Although it is windy and cold, it was kind of magical to walk back from classes as the snow started falling. When the sun comes out on Sunday, it will be so pretty looking on campus!

On my way to class. Already, the snow was starting to stick. 🙂

Second Semester :)

Snow covering the track at the top of Mount St. James

The first week of classes for our spring semester as Freshmen has commenced and it couldn’t be colder!!!! While temperatures descended to single digits and snow fell to the ground, we all moved back into our dorms for the start of an exciting semester.

The four day week was packed full of reuniting dinners at Kimball and snowy treks across campus to classes. It was wonderful to start getting back into routine and being with my friends again.

View of campus the morning of Dance Marathon. How beautiful!!!

For my first weekend back on campus, a couple of my friends (Amber and Maggie) and I participated in the Holy Cross Dance Marathon. It was a 12 hour long dance marathon raising money for the research to end Pediatric Aids for the Elizabeth Glaiser Pediatric Aids Foundation. During the 12 hour long marathon, we were educated on the HIV virus and ways to prevent the spread of AIDS through short 10 minute lectures by wonderful professors in both the psychology and biology department. We had awesome DJs from our very own student body who played song after song in order to keep us on our feet and full of energy. The steering committee who organized the event were wonderful at keeping us all motivated through the wee hours of the morning. Although we were worn out and exhausted by the end, it was such a rewarding and worthwhile experience. We were able to raise over 28,000 dollars!!!! Even with a nap I was pretty exhausted all day Sunday but I think I might do it again next year. It was so much fun and I got to listen to great music with my friends nonstop! That sounds like a good time to me. 😉

Love the Hart Center!!! Go 'Saders!

Also on Saturday, my friends and I decided to check out our Men’s Basketball team home game against Bucknell. Although the Crusaders lost, it was fun to go and socialize with everyone else in the purple student section. I love our basketball gym in the Hart Center. Personally, I like going to basketball games better than football games.

Happy New Year!!

Although my New Year’s consisted of being curled up on the couch with a book, it was still a great way to ring in the New Year. I got to finish The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling and set a precedent for this year–read more books. 😉

Visiting high school is definitely one of my favorite parts of break so far. It allows me to see and truly understand just how far I have come. One year ago, I had sent in all my college application before Christmas, but I had no idea where I was going to college. I did not know if I was going to be at Holy Cross. I did not know what I needed to take to college and I did not know just how much I was going to enjoy my first semester. Then, I was stunned by the fact that I was a second semester senior–college still seemed something that was happening in the distant future. It was an unknown. And yet, here I am now–looking back on my first semester with happiness and fulfillment.  I am excited to go back in a few weeks and dive head first into my new schedule, while exploring Boston and meeting more people.

Sledding in the Snow! Cannot wait to try this on Mount St. James!! 😉

In addition to visiting high school and enjoying old friends, I have been baking tons!! Baking is my favorite pastime when I am home. Fortunately, the holidays provides a great excuse to bake all the time!!!! As many of you already know, I bake a lot of cookies with my friends at college but there is something really wonderful about baking cookies completely from scratch and having all the adequate supplies right there in front of you.

Beautiful Gingerbread house I made with my friends from high school!!