How Mount Holyoke Has Become My Home

When I was eating lunch on Monday afternoon, I saw a group of prospective students walking around the Dining Commons and I realized it’s the time of the year when high school seniors are finalizing their decisions for which college to attend in the fall. As I was watching, I had a flashback to two years ago, when I was in that position.

It’s bizarre to know that two years ago I had no idea where I was going to college. In so many ways it feels like I’ve been living at Mount Holyoke for ages, when in reality it’s only been a year and a half. I could go on for days talking about how much I love being here, but instead I’ll summarize my college experience at Mount Holyoke so far, in hopes of reassuring prospective students who are reading this that college isn’t quite as scary as it seems at first glance!

If you’re a high school senior right now who’s feeling stressed out and pressured into making a decision for college, you’re not alone. Choosing a college is an extremely tough decision, especially when you’re torn between multiple schools. That was one of my problems: it was late March of 2016 and I still hadn’t finalized my decision. Although I’d still had a month to send in an acceptance fee, a lot of my friends had already committed to a college, and it was completely stressing me out.

In April of that year, I decided to visit Mount Holyoke’s campus and see if that helped me make a decision towards a school. If I’m being honest here, I hadn’t been too thrilled about applying to a historically women’s college. As someone who has gone to public, co-ed schools my entire life, making the change to a private, predominantly women’s college was intimidating. Nevertheless, I figured it would be a good idea to see the school, since I’d never visited it before. And you guys, it ended up being a visit that would completely change my future.

The day I toured Mount Holyoke was sunny, warm, and relaxing. I remember walking around the campus and feeling so in awe, so speechless, by how beautiful it was.

Visit to MHC: April 20, 2016

 

I’d stayed overnight in Madison Hulme’s room, who I’d been friends with in high school (Maddie, if you’re reading this-- thank you again for letting me shadow you for the day!) and attended some of her classes. I can’t recall what classes they were now, but I do clearly recall all of the professors being so friendly when they introduced themselves.

When my mom picked me up from Mount Holyoke the next day, I already knew in my heart that this was the college for me. It’s hard for me to put into words, but as I got into the car and watched the campus pass by, I could almost see myself being a student there. I could picture myself lounging by the lake, living in the residence halls, and attending the classes. I hadn’t felt that way about any of the other colleges I’d visited that year, so naturally I was pretty excited.

From the moment my parents dropped me off on move-in day first-year year, I knew MHC was going to become a home soon enough. I lived in 1837 last year in a fairly small, but cozy room. My room had one large window that overlooked Lower Lake and during sunset, the view was absolutely breathtaking. Aside from having such a great residence hall, everyone on campus was so cheerful and positive, no matter what time of day. Given this, it didn’t take me long at all to feel completely at ease living here. Each day I felt incredibly lucky to be going to such a close-knit, intimate place where I felt accepted and safe every second.  

MHC in the Snow: taken on February 1, 2017

 

After the first few months of living at MHC, I felt familiarized with the campus and the community. I’d visited all of the buildings, had spent days walking around campus in order to become more familiarized with it, and had made a handful of good friends. One of the nicest part of Mount Holyoke, in my opinion, is knowing that the other students know what you’re going through. We all spend time in the same spots on campus, and had been going through essentially the same process of adjusting to college life. I never felt like I was alone or lost as a first-year, and that was an amazing feeling.

Lower Lake: taken on April 22, 2017

 

My first two semesters at Mount Holyoke flew by faster than I thought they would. When I was packing up my things at the end of the semester, I felt a bit sad knowing I was leaving my room and residence hall, which had become my favorite place to relax. However, I was also looking forward to taking a break from academic work for a few months and coming back in the fall.

I’m now in my second semester of my sophomore year, and I have to say I can’t believe I’m almost halfway through college. I want time to slow down, because I like this part of my life. I don’t want it to end! As cheesy as it sounds, being a student at Mount Holyoke and living here has been a dream come true.

Everyday I have these moments where I’m either walking to class or studying at the library and I can’t believe how fortunate I am to be a student at such a unique and special community of strong, young, intelligent, powerful students. Being in classes with all of these remarkable people has truly made me appreciate being a woman even more than I did coming into Mount Holyoke, and inspires me to try my hardest everyday. And in my opinion, that’s exactly what a college should do.

So, in conclusion, I want to say thank you. Thank you to the MHC Community for taking me in and making me feel accepted and appreciated in a matter of days. Thank you to my friends who I’ve met here, you guys are all amazing and I’m so grateful to have you in my life. And lastly, thank you to my mom for urging me to apply to Mount Holyoke back in high school. It ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

 

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