Lauren Tilmont ’16

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.

 

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!!!!

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. 🙂

The year has gotten underway without too many hiccups and it has been a fun one so far!

To celebrate the end of summer, my friends and I went to a Red Sox game last friday! It was quite an adventure!  We actually took the train to Fenway Park. Most of my friends are not from Boston, so the night was a learning experience. However, once we got on the train, it was not too difficult from there. We got off at the right stop and made our way to Fenway! Hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, clam chowder made up our dinner in the classic baseball game style! The Boston Red Sox won the game to clinch the East Division Championships and are advancing to the playoffs. A fun time was had by everyone there and it was cool to sing “Sweet Caroline” along with thousands of others. 🙂 This was my first time at Fenway Park and boy, it is an awesome baseball field! Built in 1912, Fenway is the oldest baseball field in the country. It reminded me a little of Wrigley Field in Chicago, which makes sense since Wrigley was built around the same time period as Fenway in 1914.

Fenway Park

Ballroom dance season has begun again and it is exciting to see all the new faces of the first years and all of the dancers back from abroad. We had a large group of fresh recruits this past monday and they are looking great so far! It’s fantastic to see so many people excited about ballroom and I cannot wait to see how everyone develops this year. 🙂 I even got a few of my friends to join. It’s awesome to see them pick up the steps and go from appreciating dance to being a glittering ballroom dancer! 😉 Tonight is the ballroom social and the theme is pirates vs. ninjas. This should make for a fun night! Hopefully pictures will follow soon!

See? I have already begun to fulfill my goals this year! Can you believe September is practically over already?

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! 🙂

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!!

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!!

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?

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! 🙂