It’s been too long

Students relaxing and playing Frisbee on the Hoval

It has way been too long.

I’m sorry everyone for dropping the ball for the better part of two months. April was a crazy hectic time for me and my classes and I found that I blinked and suddenly it was finals! My apologies and I will try to pick up the ball a bit for the fall semester. Now that the school year is over, I am marveling out how I was able to bring all my stuff home. Gosh, most of it is a blur. I have to say though, of the two processes, moving in and moving out—moving out is by far more stressful and crazy than moving in. It’s a wonder how much stuff we accumulate over the school year. Moving in there’s a lot of excitement coming back (or for the first time) to the hill and you are more than happy to unpack everything and settle into your new home for while. Moving out is an entirely different story. You have to take everything that’s in your room, everything that you have collected over the past year and compact it all into your car–that seemed to fit everything when you moved in at the beginning of the year! (Where did all this new stuff come from? How is it all going to fit? What am I going to do with it all? Yikes!) Things can quickly escalate but if you follow these tips below, everything will go much smoother!

Here are 3 tips for how to properly move out quickly and stress free:

  1. Start packing early during the study period(especially if you move out late), use it as a study break. Those winter sweaters that you aren’t wearing anymore? Start putting them into a suitcase!
  2. It is never too early to start organizing and emptying your desk. You would be surprised how stressful this particular place in the room can become when you open up your desk and discover millions of gum wrappers or useless papers while your parents are yelling at you to hurry up. Start going through your desk at the beginning of the study period.
  3. Stay as calm and relaxed as possible. It’s going to be hectic when your parents arrive to move you out. They just want to get you home and you want to make sure everything gets in the car properly. Just breathe and stay calm(repeat as necessary). If you are calm, then your parents will be too and everyone will be much happier for it!
My Dad came and moved me out this year! :)
My Dad came and helped moved me out this year! 🙂

This past year has been absolutely incredible. I finally declared my history major and a peace and conflict studies concentration. In addition, I attended the Spiritual Exercises back in January that helped me discern a great deal about myself and what I want at Holy Cross. I grew outside of the classroom as much as I grew inside the classroom. I have grown in areas of my life where I did not know I needed to grow in. And there is one thing I know for sure: I am in love with Holy Cross. It has completely stolen my heart and never have I been more sure than I am now that I chose the right school for me. Underneath all that ivy and those red bricks lies the heart of a place that has enveloped me in its arms to foster my learning, my understanding, and my growth. This place, my home away from home, is preparing me for the real world. It is preparing me to go out and question the world around me while shaping it into a better place. And although sophomore year is over, (What? When did that happen?) I am very excited and happily looking forward to the fall semester of my junior year! If it is anything like this year, it will be a crazy, fun filled ride and I cannot wait!

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.


Take the Lead

As you may or may not have guessed, ballroom dance season is well underway and the season has been extremely fun so far!! Things have been crazy awesome far and it is incredible how much time has flown.

Shannon and I at the Tufts Competition
Me and Shannon at the Tufts Competition!!

Due to the skewed girl to guy ratio in ballroom, this year, I decided to become a lady leader in ballroom. A lady leader is simply a woman who decides to learn how to do the part that is (stereotypically) the gentleman’s in ballroom. I am the Fred Astaire in this dance relationship, I get to wear the pants (literally). It has been quite a learning experience and I will admit I am surprised at how much I enjoy being a lady leader. My partner is my friend Shannon, and it has been extremely fun to be on this learning journey with her! For me, ballroom dance has become a much larger and more integral part of my Holy Cross experience, I have thrown myself headfirst into a new situation in ballroom and I have discovered a new side of ballroom that I love.  It’s wonderful!!

If you are anything like me, you constantly question whether or not you are in the right place. You question whether you are making the right decisions and whether or not you are on the right path for your life. You second guess decisions and hope that you have not accidentally closed a door for yourself. Lately, I have been having some moments of clarity where I have realized that I am exactly where I should be, doing exactly what I should be doing, at this exact moment in time. The only way that I can think to explain it is that during these moments, I feel extremely happy and it seems that most pieces of my life are shifted in their proper places. Lately, I get this feeling when I am dancing and when I am walking around campus. The feeling reaffirms my decision to attend Holy Cross, the decision to continue Ballroom Dance and the decision to apply to study abroad. It reminds me that sometimes, if you take the initiative in your life, and make decisions for yourself and your best interests—things will work out. If you take the lead, if you take the initiative, your life experience is greatly enriched because finally—it is YOUR life, being lived by and for you, not by anyone else.

Finals week is upon us!!!! Good luck to all on finals and Merry Christmas!!!!

Declaring Your Major

Yes, I wrote it.  The M word. That dirty, nasty, little word that eats at the back of your brain the minute that you start looking at colleges. It is viewed as the key to your future and by extension, your ultimate happiness in life. It’s a huge step. Don’t pick the wrong one. It determines your life!!! (And the list of endless imposing statements goes on and on) However, everyone take a deep breath because I am here to tell you that declaring a major is NOT scary and it is a huge step but a satisfying and fulfilling one. Not knowing what you want to major in or pursue for a career is very normal. Your major does not have to determine your entire career. That is the best thing about Holy Cross, you can do ANYTHING with just about ANY major.

Last week, I finally decided to declare my major in History and a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies. This was a GIGANTIC decision for me. I wrestled with it for weeks and I was nervous about committing to a department. I am a person that loves having options so committing to one thing was daunting for me. My class dean helped me considerably in assuring me that if I changed my mind, it was going to be fine and no one was going to tar and feather me. 😉 So after some careful debating with myself, I took the plunge and got my papers signed! It was both relieving and exciting to have a plan for my life for the next 2 1/2 years. 🙂

Now, you are probably sitting there wondering, “Lauren, what is a Peace and Conflict Studies concentration, is it a theme in your history major?” The answer is no. My concentration is separate from the History major. Peace and Conflict Studies is a multidisciplinary concentration spanning across three or more departments. This concentration really intrigued me because it adds an extra dimension to what I am learning that can be directly applied to today’s world. Which is unfortunately so often torn apart by violence and conflict in our world. This is a great program, especially since I think I might want to pursue a job with international opportunities.

At Holy Cross, you are not required to declare your major until the second semester of sophomore year. So freshman year, explore classes you might not have normally taken in high school! Who knows were it could lead?


The semester is flying and I cannot believe that we are already going on fall break! All of our schedules are filled and our studies are ongoing. My head is reeling at how fast these weeks have gone by.

Last weekend was Homecoming!! Although it began with a rainy friday afternoon,  the weather cooperated for the pep rally on the Hoval! We had games and the cheerleaders and step team got everyone pumped up for the game on Saturday afternoon! Campus was swarmed with alumni who could remember when the college was men only to the class of 2013. It was a fantastic showing of purple pride and although our team did not win Homecoming, the weekend was still punctuated by friends, celebration, and bleeding purple! 🙂 Having all the alumni back to campus this year really struck something within me that caused me to realize that Holy Cross is not just the place I attend college, it will always be home once I graduate. It is the incredible sense of community and the connection we all feel with each other.

Fall break is a much welcomed pause in the whirlwind of this semester and I am very excited to be reunited with my family for a week. 🙂

First Day of Sophomore Year

Hello everyone and welcome to campus class of 2017!! I am happy to be back on campus. It is going to be fun to watch the year unfold and pursue all of the new opportunities that come with being a sophomore this year. 🙂

Summer was fantastic and I cannot wait to see my hometown friends and family again on break, but now I am back on campus to make some more fabulous memories. One of my goals this year is learning more about Worcester and mastering the train system. We will see how well it goes! Hopefully I can update the blog with news of my success by the end of sophomore year. 😉 For the class of 2017, what are your goals for the year?

Today is the first day of classes for everyone. The campus is bustling with activity and people. Professors and students are melding together in one learning environment again. It’s fun to watch as we, the students, rediscover our acquaintances and tackle our friends that we haven’t seen since May. Campus echoes with shouts of happiness as we catch up, giggle, and relate our stories of the summertime.

I will be helping out again in the Admissions Office as a part of the Admissions Outreach program this year! We are the greeters in the admissions office and the students who send out emails to anyone who has visited campus. I am excited because this year I will be a tour guide too! So if you are a prospective student reading this, I cannot wait to hopefully meet you and show you what is so great about this school. 🙂

Ballroom Dance practice will hopefully be starting up again and I am pumped because this year I will be competing at the Bronze level. Many consider this the “fun” level because you learn enough steps to show off in the social dancing scene. I have added to my ballroom wardrobe for this year, I am eager to show my fellow dancers!

To the class of 2017, I cannot wait to get to know you all this year and I hope that soon you will feel as at home on this campus as the rest of us. If you have questions, PLEASE ask someone. It’s impressive if a first year takes the initiative and inquires about his surroundings.

Good luck to everyone today! 🙂