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Thankful for Our Fellow Her Campus Chapters: Riley From HC Holy Cross

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and while I personally believe gratefulness should be practiced and celebrated daily, it’s a great time to reflect on what we’re thankful for here at HC. To kick off the Holiday Season, I’m glad to have joined a special collaboration between HC UPR and HC Lasell. Through it, I had the chance to meet Riley Peck, a fellow HC writer from Holy Cross College. In our conversation, an amazing sort of double interview, we were able to talk all things academics, interests, writing experiences, holiday traditions and future plans. 

Where do you study?

I’m at Holy Cross in western Mass, a small liberal arts school. I’m a political science and psych double major, with a minor in French. 

What classes do you take?

I take French, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Anthropology. I like the basic classes I have to take as requirements, but I’m excited to keep learning about everything.

What do you plan on doing in the future?

I’m still kinda trying to figure that out. I think I might go to law school someday, but I’m not really sure yet. I think I definitely want to do something related to mental health. Like, my mom’s friend is a judge and she works with mental health. I’d like to integrate it with poly sci, so we’ll see where it takes me.

What are your hobbies? Any pastimes you enjoy?

I work out every day and I like to read, but sometimes with school it’s hard to find time to sit down and read. Honestly, I consider Her Campus as a hobby, because I get to write. I’ve always loved writing, but I never really had a place to just write whatever I wanted and share it whenever I want to. So writing has definitely become a hobby. I also really like coffee and visiting local coffee shops.

How did you join HC?

I joined because the chapter at my school uploaded an Instagram post that was announcing the application period. So, I basically found out about it through social media, and started this year, too, earlier in the Fall. 

That’s so cool, we entered practically at the same time. So, what’s been your favorite thing about being a writer for HC?

I like that you can write about whatever you want; at least for our chapter, we also sometimes do themed weeks like Halloween Week and Thanksgiving Week and then we’re gonna have a Christmas one. I’m also a Relationship Peer Educator (RPE) at my school, which basically means I work with sexual assault prevention, awareness and education at my campus. I’ve written a few articles about that, as well as things I’m passionate about.

What’s been your favorite article you’ve written so far?

That’s a tough question. I think maybe the one I wrote about seasonal depression, because I think that resonated with a lot of people at the time. I was able to write about it well, and I think that people really enjoyed reading it.

What are the themes you write about the most?

I write a lot of (articles in) lifestyle and things that are going on at my school and in the world, like Taylor Swift’s album. When I’m able to relate to what I’m writing about, it’s easier for me; and also, more enjoyable for both me and the reader.  

Is there any area or category you’re interested in exploring in the future, like for example, a sports article?

Yeah, I would definitely do something like that. Well, I haven’t done a movie review, so I’d definitely do one too. 

As an HC writer, what has been your greatest challenge?

I think just getting the articles done on time is pretty challenging, because we do one a week; which isn’t a lot, but they’re due on Sundays. I want to put all my effort towards writing it, but when school gets demanding, sometimes it gets hard to find the time to sit down, stop doing homework, and start writing. 

What are you thankful for this year?

I’ve been thinking, I’m just thankful to be at school, because last year with the pandemic, we had a remote semester. For the first semester, in my Freshman year, we were at home, so all my friends were at their schools and I was at home doing school online in my bedroom, all day, every day. I had no friends, because all my friends were gone, and I felt honestly so very alone because how do you make friends online? So just thinking about my life now compared to my life and mental health last year, I’m just thankful to be in school and have all these opportunities and all these people I can’t believe I’ve only known for like ten months, because they’ve become my best friends. This place has become my home, and it’s kinda cheesy, but I think reflecting from last Thanksgiving to now, it’s what I’m most thankful for. And also for my family, and my mom, cause she always brings me cookies to school.

That is so sweet, and I’m really glad you’re getting this experience. So, what are your Holiday traditions?

Usually everybody just comes to my house, my mom hosts most of the holidays in my family. It’s usually my grandparents, their siblings, my mom’s cousins and my brother, but it’s kind of a chill day to see everyone, be grateful and eat good food. I’m running a 5k this year, so maybe it’ll be a little tradition with my friends, because we’re all doing it.

That sounds really fun. Speaking of, when I was in elementary school, they did this event called Carrera del Pavo, which roughly translates to Turkey Race, a sprint everyone did around the school and whoever won would win a frozen turkey. It’s pretty interesting how we share that tradition of running on Thanksgiving. 

Sofia Capllonch is a music and architecture student at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras Campus. When she isn't working on design projects, producing original music from her bedroom studio or reading science fiction, there's a huge chance you'll find her obsessing over guitar gear or hanging out with her cats.
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