Being Thankful

This time of year seems to always bring out the best in everyone. People seem to be a little bit kinder, a little bit friendlier, a little bit more generous. Everyone seems willing to take a minute to reflect on the year they have been through. I have not been able to discern if this is because it is the Christmas season and suddenly religion becomes important to the non-religious community again or perhaps because the New Year is coming and people are acutely aware of the passage of time. Whatever it is: the end of another year, or the Christmas season or both, it’s refreshing relief from the depressing news stories and the seemingly hard life that happens here on Earth.

View of Worcester from Campus :)
View of Worcester from Campus 🙂

As I take my own moment to reflect, I am startled (once again) at how fast this semester has flown by. It is shocking, especially since this semester has been my favorite and yet most difficult so far. There has not been a dull moment and it has been exciting to follow some of my friends study abroad adventures. Here on the hill, I have had some moments. There have been moments of joy when old friends come back to visit and celebratory moments when someone lands a job. There have been moments of sorrow when I learned that I lost a loved one. And there have been moments of happiness when I make it through a particularly stressful week and I get to sleep in on Saturday. 😉 Through it all though, my friends at Holy Cross have stood by me and supported me. I am finally beginning to understand why people say that your college friends will be your friends for life. You get each other through the long nights before exams and big papers, you help each other through the sad times and the stressful times. As I am reflecting on my college experience so far, and my time on Holy Cross’s campus as a junior begins to close—I realize how thankful I am to be surrounded by such caring and loving people. I realize how many gifts and experiences at Holy Cross have shaped me, only some of which happened in the classroom. My life at Holy Cross has made me a more aware person, not just of myself but of other people. It draws my eye to the injustices happening in our world and calls me to take a second look at the life I lead and determine if it is one I will be proud to have lived 50 years from now. Holy Cross and the people I am surrounded with have given me so much outside of the structured classroom. It’s a gift. And one that I need to take a step back and be thankful for more often.

BMO Blue Sky

This summer, I worked at my very first internship at BMO Harris Bank doing marketing with the Marketing, Communications, and Digital Content team. As a part of the intern program we learned and were exposed to other parts of the bank. Each week, we would sit in a two hour presentation learning about various branches of the bank to understand more about BMO (Bank of Montreal) as a whole.

This experience interning in downtown Chicago, in a corporate business environment has been an invaluable experience and one I will take with me for the rest of my life. I got the experience of mastering how to ride the train downtown everyday. I learned how to navigate public transportation and I found that I really enjoyed it. Everyday I was downtown working with a talented team that supported me and wanted to further my knowledge of business and marketing. I learned quite a bit about the corporate environment, and what it takes to be a project manager. It really opened my eyes to the corporate marketing world and what a future like that could hold for me! As my first internship, I welcomed the opportunity to have access to high levels professionalism and took the chance to ask questions and see how things worked.

I was constantly impressed by the caliber of people I worked with and their passion towards their job. Their commitment and enthusiasm really pushed me to reach new levels of achievement and bring tons of fresh energy to everyday that I worked there. I learned so much that cannot be taught in a classroom. And I did not only learn about marketing from the client side, my coworkers even arranged to have us visit an advertising agency to understand round out our understanding of marketing and advertising. I understand so much more than I ever could have before. My baptism by fire was completely worth it and I cannot say enough good things about my experience there. Thank you BMO for an incredible summer!

My Kind of Town

Although I love being at Holy Cross, being at home has been wonderful. Most people like coming home because it means home cooked meals, sleeping in, and free laundry services. Theses things are nice –and make no mistake, I love being with my family–I also love being closer to Chicago. I always miss this city when I leave for school(You see where I am going with this. 😉 ).

When I tell people I am from around Chicago, they often say,  “Oh hey! I’ve been there! Well, not really, I’ve been in O’Hare airport. What’s Chicago like?” In these situations, I find it difficult to figure out how to describe this amazing city that I live near. However, since this situation come up more times than I can count, I have figured out a way to explain Chicago by listing a bunch of reasons why Chicago is awesome. And whether you wanted to read this or not, today I am going to talk about where I live and why it is phenomenal. I cannot do it full justice, but I am going to convince you to give it a visit sometime!

Chicago Skyline from Willis Tower
Chicago Skyline from Willis Tower

Chicago is a large, international city like New York City with some elbow room as you walk down the streets. It’s historical but modern, bustling yet easily navigated. There are clear neighborhoods like Chinatown or Greektown. There’s a theater district and financial district. Chicago functions just like any other major city. We have trains, planes, and automobiles. As the famous play Twelve Angry Men depicts, Chicago is home to the elevated train or the “L” for locals. The “L” goes around the “Loop” of downtown Chicago. We have Italian beef, deep dish pizza, and Chicago style hot dogs. Not to mention Willis Tower (the world’s tallest building from 1974-1998), the John Hancock building, the Tribune Tower, and Wrigley Field. The Cloud Gate, affectionately referred to as “The Bean” resides in Millennium Park.

The Field Museum in downtown Chicago is home to “Sue” the dinosaur, the most complete skeleton of a T-Rex dinosaur on record. We invented spray paint in 1949, the Ferris Wheel in 1893, the vacuum cleaner in 1868, and the zipper in 1851. You’re welcome for making state fairs more fun, household cleaning easier, and clothes better.

Every year we host Lollapalooza in Grant Park, a large three day music festival in August.  We also hosted and broadcasted the first televised presidential debate in CBS Studios between JFK and Richard Nixon in 1960. Not to mention that Chicago is the home of current president of the United States, Barack Obama.

Beach on Lake Michigan

And if none of the aforementioned things have convinced you to think Chicago is fantastic, let me leave you with one more.  Batman’s Gotham City? Yeah, that is largely based off of Chicago. The most recent Batman movies? They were mostly filmed in downtown Chicago. BAM! POW! Chicago is great.  Holy St. Patrick’s Day Parades Batman! I love my home. I’ll miss it in a couple weeks. <3

Home Stretch

As we are deeply entrenched into summer and starting to look forward to our time together on the Hill, you might start getting antsy and a bit homesick for late nights in Crossroads and starry nights on the Hart Lawn. I know I am! However, with a little less than a month left, I am soaking up my time at home and the last few moments of sleeping in before we get back to the books. Before we get back to the steps and coffees at Cool Beans, there are some things that need to be done beforehand, check out these tips for getting ready to come back to Pakachoag.

  1. Start ordering your textbooks. If you haven’t done this already, you will regret it. It’s so important and  much easier buy your textbooks ahead of time. Then, just pick them up when get back to campus.
  2. If you are ordering things for your dorm room, ship it to your Holy Cross mailing address. Holy Cross will hold anything you send to your mailbox and it will be there when you go to your mailbox at school. This way, there will be less things to pack in the car and a few less things to worry about and keep track of during move in.
  3. Start making a list of things that you need for school and then start tackling it week by week. Maybe one week you tackle cleaning supplies and the next week you make up your list of food or school supplies.
  4. Call your roommate! If you haven’t done this already…you REALLY need to get this done. It’s most likely that you need to coordinate who will bring the fridge or the stereo.
  5. Read up on some of Holy Cross’s history. Finished packing and still looking for your Holy Cross fill? Research the history of Holy Cross and how the school got started.
  6. Start thinking now about clubs and activities. Start thinking now, because trust me you will get back to the hill and sign up for more clubs than you have time for! So start narrowing down and realistically think about what you have time for.
  7. Put together an address book. Whether you are a senior or a freshman, it’s never too late to put together a compilation of your friend’s college’s addresses! We all know how great it feels to get something in the mail, so why don’t you prepare now to surprise a friend for their birthday?
  8. Start exercising! There are over 1,000 steps on Holy Cross’s campus and nothing kills reunion conversations more than when everyone is winded walking up all the steps to go to Hogan Center. Get that body back in shape for the stairs!
  9. Do all your laundry. You most likely be packing clothes for the future months and the last thing that you want is to pull out a dirty sweater on the first windy day.
  10. SLEEP IN! Because let’s be honest, you’re going to be so excited that you won’t sleep much once you get back.