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! 🙂

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!

Goodness it has been a while since I posted last!!

In the interim, these past weeks have been a whirlwind of papers, quizzes, and preparation for our final exams which will be taking place next week!! In the meantime, Holy Cross was getting into the Christmas spirit by decorating campus with our very own tree lighting ceremony, life size manger, and tree lights on the Hoval. Our acapella groups on campus put on Christmas shows, and Kimball Dining Hall had beautiful decorations up, complete Christmas music being piped through the speakers during every meal. 🙂 With everything going on, the Christmas music was a welcome distraction from the stress of final exams.

Cool Beans 2 with Christmas Lights!

While final exams were stressful, my friends and I tried to set aside an hour each day that we spent as our study break. On top of being good for our brains, this was an incredible motivator to keep us focused. The nice thing about being done with classes and having a study period was sleeping in!! You can study and still get enough sleep if you budget your time well enough. 🙂


Special Birthdays.

Last Monday was my birthday, and I was feeling a bit anxious about it because: 1. it was on a Monday (who likes that? NOONE!!!!), and 2. how could it possibly fun without my old friends? We couldn’t go to my favorite restaurants or walk around and window shop down Michigan Ave in Chicago. I was not going to be woken up by my parents with birthday hugs and singing or yummy breakfast.

Or at least, so I thought……

I am blessed to have the friends I have here at Holy Cross. They really know how to make a girl feel special, and this past birthday is at the top of my favorite birthdays. (Right up there with the time my parents and I went to Disney World for my 7th birthday.)  In honor of my wonderful experience, I have compiled a list of things that you can do for your friends next year at college in order to make their day special.

Top 10 things you can to make your friend feel special:

  1. If your friend is a night owl and takes showers at night, go into the bathroom while she is in the shower at midnight and sing Happy Birthday at the top of your lungs to her. (This has a great effect because you scare everyone else in the showers too.)
  2. Once you know she is awake on the morning of their birthday, knock quietly on her door and when she answers, hug the snot out of her.
  3. If your friend is a coffee or tea lover, give her a mug for their birthday. It does not matter if she already have one, I promise. Everyone can use at least two.
  4. Decorate her door with streamers and put Happy Birthday banners all over the door, bulletin board, and white board.
  5. Get balloons of that person’s favorite color, blow them up, and write funny messages on them. Then, when you know she is not her room, get her roommates to open the door and put the balloons on her bed and desk.
  6. If you have time, get a card and have everyone on the hall sign it.
  7. If she does not have any food allergies, order a cake, cookies, or special cupcake for her.
  8. If you participate in a club or sport with this person, make sure you tell the superiors it is her birthday. Then embarrass her by getting everyone to sing to her at the end of practice/ meeting.
  9. If you don’t have much homework, watch a movie together, go out to dinner, or just hang out together.
  10. Tell she looks extra nice today, and how happy you are that she was born, so that you could be friends with her.

In case you were wondering, several of the things on the list happened to me. I will leave up to you to decide which you think happened……. 🙂

First Snowfall of the Year!!

Sorry for the late post guys. It’s been a hectic week as the professors are adjusting their schedules and assignments to keep us on track to be ready for the finals.

Beautiful Morning.

Jess and I decided to nickname the three buildings that are connected on campus, Fenwick, O’Kane, Brooks, and Smith, FOBS. We think it works well because this way everyone knows the general direction you are going in. Since there are technically two Smiths on campus, (Smith Hall and Smith Labs) this solves everyone’s confusion!! 🙂 We have started popularizing it on campus, it is beginning to stick a little bit!! Our goal before graduation it to get everyone to refer to those buildings as FOBS. If you decide to come to Holy Cross, please help us accomplish this goal!!!

Jess in front of Fenwick, affectionally referred to as FOBS.

Last friday, my friends decided that it was going to be an experimental food day for me. I am not a picky eater, but I guess my friends think I need to try more things. After hearing that I had never tried an egg salad sandwich, Jess decided that it was time for me to try it in Kimball. I was not allowed to watch as she put it together, and once she handed it to me, I was not allowed to smell it. I had to simply take a bite. I looked at tentatively, and her response was, “I’m not trying to kill you Lauren; I didn’t put arsenic in the sandwich. Just eat it.” Taking a bite, I thought it was pretty good!! Jess had a smug grin on her face for the rest of breakfast as she considered her mission successful.  Then at lunch, my friend Gaby brought me a piece of homemade flan. I didn’t realize what it was at first, I thought it was cheesecake.  I stared at it for a good 10 minutes, then I decided it was time for a bite. Wow, it was tasty! A nice treat after going to the gym that morning. 🙂

Yummy flan!

Last weekend was an adventure. We decided that it was time to try and explore around Boston. As the typical college freshman girls, we got all excited and dressed up for our walk around the city on Saturday. Hopping on the shuttle that leaves Holy Cross on Saturday, we excitedly chatted about what we were going to do. Since this idea had been kinda last minute, we did not really have a plan. We thought we would just make it up as went along. Once we got there, we walked around Faneuil Hall, smelling all the delicious foods. It was great to be walking around a different terrain, which for most of my friends, was completely new and unknown. After doing some shopping, we ate a delicious dinner at this Mexican restaurant called Zuma. Getting back on the shuttle, I realized for the first time how easy that whole process had been. We resolved to come back downtown closer to Christmas so that we could have our shopping before we go home for break. Mission Accomplished.

Amber with her giant cookie sandwich from the Quincy Market

This past week was just as action packed!! We had out first snowfall of the year!!! On Wednesday, the sky was gray, chilly and it was extremely windy. As I was walking back from classes, the snow started to come down. For me, this was the first time in while I was experiencing a real winter. It was so pretty to watch!! This is the start of sledding season, and I cannot wait!!! 🙂

About a half hour into the snowfall....everything was covered by the time it stopped

Happy Halloween!!!

A little bonus post today in honor of Halloween!! 🙂

Kinda eerie huh??

My friends and I found the weather oddly appropriate for the Halloween today, especially since most of the leaves were blown off the trees during Hurricane Sandy. It was creepy because the sky was dark grey and we kept thinking it was going to rain. It was one of those days where you carry around your ponchos, rain jackets, and umbrellas because you are convinced it is going to pour buckets on you at any second,  but it never does.

I am not sure if you saw the Crusader news recently but Holy Cross bought Smart Cars and they decided to bring them out right after we got back from Fall break. I think the cars are really cool, except I would have made them purple with white writing. It is kind of funny to see these tiny cars zooming around campus. 🙂 One of the cars even had a friendly passenger today for Halloween!

Scarecrow driving the smart car?

It seems pretty crazy that this semester is already half over, I just started registering for 2nd semester classes. Registering for thee 2nd semester seems so much more confusing but also exciting than the 1st. Unlike over the summer where the thought process was something along the lines of, “Okay, just take something you like and see how that goes…” 2nd semester seems more focused on where the studies are going. It is neat and intimidating to start to draw up a master plan for college and see where you might end up. Thank goodness I am only a freshman and the possibilities are endless!!


Oh, I forgot to add this into the Hurricane Sandy post but here is an extra picture from being locked into our residence halls on Monday.

The picture does not do justice to the amount of wind and rain that was going on outside

Sandy attacks Holy Cross

For the first time in 50 years (or so the rumors say) Holy Cross actually cancelled our classes for Monday and Tuesday!!! This caused chaos and confusion all night Sunday as my friends and I sat in our dorm rooms and calls came through from campus security saying there would be no classes for the next two days. At 2pm on Monday, we were issued a “shelter in place” warning, meaning that we should not leave our residence halls unless otherwise ordered. Kimball dining hall closed, handing us boxed lunches and supplies for dinner that night and breakfast the next morning. As the Sandy encroached, the winds picked up and we saw trees bent practically sideways as the heavy rain descended. It was crazy to watch! We kept getting updates from our families. Many of my friends families lost power and took the brunt of the storm. Please keep them and anyone else who was hit hard by the hurricane in your prayers as they get back to their normal routine. For the most part, Holy Cross came out okay, we only had minimal damages with downed branches and TONS of leaves everywhere. Including inside the buildings where windows were accidentally left open.

Hurricane Sandy as it storms up the East Coast

My friends and I mostly spent the day working on our various papers and homework. There was so much to do even though the storm had extended many of the deadlines for our papers. It was great to hang out in sweatpants the whole day though!! (Gotta love the college mindset) 🙂

Last weekend was parents weekend!! I got to see my family, and even though it had only been two weeks, I was jumping up and down with excitement when I found them in the Hogan Campus Center. Over the weekend, we went to the football game and I showed them some of my favorite places to hang out on campus. We also went into Boston and visited my cousins. 🙂 If you ever go to Boston and you are looking for great seafood, go to The Barking Crab. I had the lobster mac and cheese and my taste buds had a small party in my mouth!! It was SO good. On Sunday, they helped me get groceries and loft my bed higher. Special shout out goes to my Dad, he is the best. He deconstructed my bed and then put it back together at the height I needed. What would I do without my family? By then it was 3:00 and they had to leave for the airport; it was really difficult to say good-bye even though I will be seeing them at Thanksgiving. It was tough knowing that I would be missing one my little brother’s birthday on Monday. Sometimes it is the little things I miss more.

Fall is here!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, fall has officially arrived! Well, I am finally noticing it arrived. I was getting used to being back on campus last week, and I did not notice until today that Holy Cross is awash in vibrant hues. The trees are gorgeous, fall is definitely my favorite season at Holy Cross so far, campus is so pretty!

The other day, there was a “Dancing Calligraphy” event that happened on the Hoval (Hogan +Oval). I thought I would post a small clip of it for you guys to see. The participants put large sheets down on the grass, then while a drum was playing, they wrote calligraphy across the sheets. I thought it was really neat, and I did not realize what was going on until I saw the huge crowd standing on the Hoval.

Dancing Calligraphy on the Hoval

Last weekend, I went to my first ever ballroom dance competition at Harvard University in Boston. I did not realize, until a few days before the competition, just how much prep work goes into your appearance, especially for the ladies. After a quick tutorial on hair and makeup on Thursday, I was really excited but also extremely nervous. This was unlike anything I had ever done.Getting ready early Saturday morning was fun. My friend Maggie also does ballroom, so we helped each other pin hair into place and put on the necessary make up for the dance floor. After I got to the competition, it did not look like I had any make up on compared to some of the other competitors. There were so many different costumes and hair styles, I definitely got inspired for the next competition. 🙂 And it was so much fun to dance and watch all the different couples (If you have ever seen Dancing with the Stars, it gives you a great idea as to what the higher levels look like).  Although I did not place at my first competition, two of the veteran couples did!! Congrats guys!

Justin and Taylor, one of the couples from HC who placed at the competition

Parents weekend is this coming weekend! I cannot wait to have my family up at campus. I was looking at my calendar today and I realized there is only one week til Halloween, October is more than halfway over!! Are you dressing up? I am not sure if I will and what I will be if I do dress up…maybe I will find something at the store this weekend…. 🙂

Salutations from Holy Cross!!!

Hi guys! As many of you have already seen, my name is Lauren and this is my first blog entry. I am excited to share my life at Holy Cross with all of you!

Since it is already October, I will try to relay most of what has happened in the past 6 weeks.

Move-in day was actually pretty smooth, the welcome wagon attacked my car and all my stuff was in the room in one trip! After tons of help from my family, the room was all set up and it was time to mingle and attend the Mass of the Holy Spirit. All too soon it was time to say good-bye; I had to walk away from my family and get acquainted with my Orientation Group.

A couple weeks later, as things started getting settled and classes were getting underway, I decided to attend the Escape Retreat. It was a 24 hour retreat in a New Hampshire, and I loved it!!! I met so many new people across all the residence halls who I would not have met otherwise. The retreat site was beautiful and the whole experience reaffirmed my decision to come to Holy Cross. I recognized so many of the qualities that I loved about the school just during that short retreat. It helped to stave off any homesickness that might have been looming.

Also in September, we had the President’s inauguration for Fr. Boroughs. Campus looked especially beautiful on that sunny day. The students got to attend and participate too! We lined the walkway from Hogan Campus Center to the Hart Recreation Center and cheered on Fr. Boroughs as he made his way up campus. It was a great event, and I felt really united as a student body.

Gaby and I at the inauguration

Homecoming was fun! It was exciting to see alumni come back to campus, pumped with school spirit and bursting with memories that they wanted to share. As I looked around at all the alumni, I kept thinking about how someday it will be me coming back and marveling at all the “new technology.” The Marching Band also surprised us in Kimball during Homecoming weekend as they gave an impromptu performance with the alumni.

Doodle of the week from my friend Maggie! 🙂

It was nice to come back to campus and know that there were friendly faces already there to talk to and have fun with. When I got back, my friends and I made cookies, and even though I was missing home, I was having fun and enjoying the time with my friends. 🙂