One Year Ago: My Holy Cross Application Story

Hello again, all! First things first: I am simply dying to get back on campus for the second semester. I have had an outstanding time in Rochester for the past month, but this Sunday still cannot come soon enough. I am excited to see my friends and roommates, and I’ve gotten enough of a mental break to be refreshed and motivated for the upcoming semester.

It’s hard to believe, but tomorrow (January 15th) is the application deadline for Holy Cross. Again, congratulations to all students who have already submitted their applications. If you are uncertain about submitting an application, however, allow me share a few details regarding my application status on January 14th, 2018—exactly one year ago today:

A photo taken from the stands of a Holy Cross Men's Basketball game against Boston University
“I knew little to nothing about Holy Cross. My dad and I simply stopped by because we wanted to watch a Division I basketball game”

1 ) I knew little to nothing about Holy Cross. My dad and I simply stopped by because we wanted to watch a Division I basketball game.

2 ) I was seriously considering attending a larger, public university in my home state.

3 ) I actually spent the long car ride home from Worcester typing an application to an honor’s program at another college.

 

In short, I applied to Holy Cross essentially as an afterthought. I found the thought of attending college hours away from home preposterous, and I honestly had no idea if I was even a qualified applicant for such a prestigious school. How appropriate, then, that exactly one year later, I happen to stumble upon old photos from that afternoon basketball game in Worcester. One year ago, I never would have thought that I would later call Holy Cross my home. One year ago, I had not even begun my frantic, last minute application to the college.

Although it is extremely unlikely that any person shall read this particular post and subsequently submit a last minute application to Holy Cross, there is certainly a message I wish to convey: NEVER sell yourself short. I was a rather late bloomer in terms of having the confidence and ability to make my own college decisions, but had I not decided to try my luck in applying to Holy Cross, I cannot imagine where I might find myself today. In short, what’s the harm in trying?

Thank you for reading this week’s installment in my blog. Next time you hear from me, I will be comfortably settled on Mount Saint James once again. Until then!

 

 

 

(Almost) 2019: Resolutions for the Hill

Hello, readers! First of all, I hope that each and every one of you had a wonderful Christmas with friends and family, and that you all are enjoying your time away from classes as we approach 2019. Coming home for Christmas for the first time as a college student presents, in my opinion, an interesting dynamic. The importance of being surrounded by family member seemingly becomes magnified, seeing as it is mere weeks until the next semester begins, and I will leave my home in Rochester for Worcester, MA once again.

That said, I am already extremely eager to return to campus and resume my studies. More importantly, I am very excited to see my friends once again. Although I enjoyed my first semester as a Holy Cross student tremendously, I have an even better feeling about this upcoming semester. Time need not be spent becoming acclimated to the college climate; I am confident and ready to jump right in and find success.

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I figured an attempt at such may be fitting for my final blog post of 2018. Thus, here are a few resolutions I have made pertaining specifically to my second semester at Holy Cross:

 

1) I would love to attend breakfast at Kimball more often! I’d say I attend breakfast an average of 3-4 days per week, but I’d love to see this number increase to 5-6 days. It can be hard to wake up early enough, particularly after a late night studying, but the benefits of eating a good breakfast certainly outweigh the costs. Breakfast is my favorite meal at Kimball, and I would do ANYTHING for a Kimball bagel (my personal favorite).

2) I need to learn the new schedules for student fitness centers. Construction of a brand new Recreation and Wellness Center begins next semester. I’ll miss the old Field House, but I’m excited to have an updated facility in the future. The construction will result in altered hours for community use of facilities in the Luth Athletic Complex. I’m a person that needs to work out several times each week, so I’ll definitely keep an eye out for information pertaining to the scheduling of community hours.

3) I definitely wish to keep working hard academically, but I could use some improvement in terms of time management. I’d describe myself as a perfectionist when it comes to my courses. For example, I ended up writing/typing well over 200 pages of notes for my Social Psychology course last semester. Although I did this because the content was particularly interesting to me, it probably took up at least 60% of the time I spent on homework— all for one class. I’m looking for a more equal distribution of my time next semester.

 

2019 will surely be an exciting time for all Holy Cross students. I’d like to congratulate any Early Decision applicants who will be joining the Holy Cross community next Fall. I look forward to meeting some of you, and I wish you the best of luck finishing up your high school careers. Until next time!

End of Semester One: Update from Rochester, NY

Hello again, readers! I hope you all are well, especially as we approach Christmas 2018. I cannot believe I am writing this, but my first semester at Holy Cross is officially over! I finished up exams on Thursday morning, and have been back in Rochester for a few days now. I’m fairly confident that I did well on my exams, but I’ll know for sure on Tuesday when grades are published.

It honestly feels a bit strange to be living at home again. I am definitely used to having roommates and living in the same hallway as my friends. That said, it certainly is exciting to have time at home for family and old friends. Christmas break lasts so much longer than other breaks (over one month!), so I definitely feel less immediate pressure in terms of doing all the things I want to do. One thing I am looking forward to most is going to all my high school’s basketball games to watch my former team in action (I’ve already been to one!)

Of all the things I’ll miss about Holy Cross over the next month, I’m definitely going to miss my friends the most. It feels as though we’ve known each other for much longer than a few months. I never thought I’d have such an easy time developing these friendships. Truly, shoutout to my gents in Clark and ladies in Brooks-Mulledy. If you’re reading this, keep being awesome!

That’s all, folks! Be sure to check in soon for updates on Christmas break, as well as things I’m looking forward to next semester. Until next time!

Montserrat Madness: Former NFL Linebacker Appears in Seminar

Hello everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Today was quite an interesting day for my Montserrat seminar. Even as final exams draw near, our class was lucky enough to host a very special visitor, Mr. Dave Rozumek. Mr. Rozumek played for the National Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs 1976–1979, and currently works in education with the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association. My Montserrat seminar, “Competition,” is essentially an introduction to the field of sports psychology, and Mr. Rozumek’s story provided valuable insight into the concepts of head trauma and athletic career transition.

Former NFL Player David Rozumek smiles for a photo during his coaching career
Since his playing days, Dave Rozumek has also pursued a coaching career at the high school level (Photo: eagletribune.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Rozumek described in great detail his unlikely journey to becoming an NCAA Division I athlete, as well as the obstacles he had to overcome throughout his NFL career. I found his account of the manner in which NFL teams used to address player injuries particularly interesting, and certainly relevant to seminar discussions we have had regarding the various pressures placed on athletes. Additionally, though Mr. Rozumek has certainly enjoyed a successful life since his playing days, he describes his career transition as quite difficult and rather abrupt.

Overall, Mr. Rozumek’s story offered a glimpse of some of the peaks and valleys associated with being a professional athlete. It was a pleasure to have him in class, and I appreciate the fact that such an opportunity for enriched learning was offered even as final exams approach.

Speaking of finals, better start studying! Until next time!

 

Second Semester Enrollment: Tips and Advice

Hello everyone! Thanksgiving is nearly upon us here at Holy Cross, which means a few different things:

1)  Snowball fight season has arrived! Worcester received quite a snowstorm on Thursday evening, and I’ll admit that I had to dodge a fair share of snowballs from my friends while walking to my dorm that night. I’d be willing to bet that our next snowfall is sure to instigate round two.

2) Most students have left or are leaving for Thanksgiving break within the next couple of days. I love the Hill, but even I could use just a few days at home to rest!

3) Last week was freshman enrollment, meaning that most of our class schedules for next semester are now complete.

Enrolling in courses for the next semester can be a fun, but stressful time. Unlike high school courses, college classes last only one semester, rather than an entire academic year. Though this allows for a great deal of academic flexibility, it also requires more thorough planning on the part of the student. Here are a few tips I have for prospective students when it comes to enrolling

  • It is not that likely that you will receive all of your first choices in enrolling, especially as freshman. Don’t fret! There will often be plenty of opportunities to enroll in such courses, whether they are courses you intend to take for your major, or you are simply interested in trying something new.
  • Some students become obsessively worried about network speeds, etc. during enrollment. Though it is true that internet speed can certainly become slower with hundreds of students trying to enroll at once, I generally find the WiFi at Holy Cross to be quite reliable. Unless you own a particularly slow computer, there is probably no need to camp out in the library overnight. (I enrolled on my laptop from the comfort of my own bed, and only missed out on one of my first choices—a course that I can easily take next semester if I so choose.)
  • Try to “double-dip” when it comes to choosing courses. In addition to the requirements of a particular major, Holy Cross students must complete courses that are part of the common requirement. For example, some courses within the Psychology department may count as a Natural Science credit. (Note, however, that no more than two courses from a single academic department may be counted toward fulfillment of the common requirements.)

Next semester, in addition to my Montserrat seminar and German class, I will be taking a Philosophy course, as well as an introductory level Music class. I’ve enjoyed my classes this semester tremendously, and it’ll be somewhat strange to be finished with them in a few more weeks. Such is college, however! Be sure to check back soon for more updates from the Hill as we rapidly approach finals week!

“Guten Tag!”: Studying a Language at Holy Cross

A German textbook on the windowsill of Clark residence hall
German is just one of the many languages available to Holy Cross students!

 

 

Hello everyone! Colder weather seems to have arrived here in Worcester, but students’ spirits remain high. The mornings, though brisk, are quite beautiful here on campus, and make getting out of bed just a bit easier. That said, I’m not sure I’ll feel the same way once we start experiencing snowfall. We shall see…

In transitioning to Holy Cross, one aspect that I feel is worth sharing is my personal experience in studying language in college. I am currently enrolled in German 201, and will be taking German 202 next semester, thus fulfilling the language component of the common requirements at Holy Cross. Both courses are intermediate level offerings. Having taken four years of German in high school, I was able to skip the introductory level courses via an online placement test that I took prior to enrollment.

High school language classes, however, are entirely different from those offered at Holy Cross, and presumably at most other colleges. Having always performed extremely well in German classes, I entered the course quite confident in my knowledge and ability. On the first day, however, this confidence quickly dissipated. Much to my surprise, the entire course was taught in German. I now realize that only a very small percentage of my high school courses had actually been taught in German. For the first couple weeks, I did not think I could succeed in the course.

Luckily, however, I decided to persist. German was my favorite subject in high school, and I realized I needed to find a way to rekindle the pleasure I once took in learning languages. I worked extremely hard not only in completing my coursework, but also in reviewing vocabulary and grammar from past years. Gradually, I’ve found myself able to understand most of the discussions that occur in class, and I am thoroughly enjoying German once again. I’m not sure if I intend to pursue German after this year, but I’m certainly open to the possibility.

It is worth noting that not many freshmen choose to take a language in their first semester. For those considering doing so, however, I would advise against being too confident. Once again, taking a language in college is incredibly different from high school. Classes are based on active discussion and participation, and daily practice is a necessity. That said, my German class has thus far been a rewarding experience, and I am performing quite well in the course.

Thank you for reading this blog post! Be sure to check back soon for a recap of  my forthcoming second semester enrollment!

Team “Volleyballerz”: My First Intramural Sport Experience

The website logo for imleagues.com
imleagues.com makes playing an intramural sport fun and easy! (Photo: imleagues.com)

 

 

 

 

 

Hello everyone! It took an entire week, but I am finally back in the swing of things following an eventful (and much needed!) Fall break. I spent most of my time back in Rochester catching up with my friends that attend other colleges, and even took a quick road trip to Baltimore, MD to visit my family and attend a concert.

Being back in school meant more than a return to my coursework, however. This past week, my co-ed intramural volleyball team, the Volleyballerz, played in the league playoff. Unfortunately we lost our first round matchup, thus ending our season. Nevertheless, I had such a good experience with the team over the past several weeks that I wanted to write a little bit about it.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when my roommates asked me to play intramural volleyball with them. When it comes to sports, I am extremely competitive, and I worried that I wouldn’t find the level of play exciting enough. It turns out, however, that I need not have worried. Although several intramural participants are trying a sport for the first time just to have fun, there are just as many legitimate athletes looking to prove themselves and, more importantly, win the game. Such a combination made for a fun, yet competitive atmosphere.

I was also impressed with how organized intramural sports at Holy Cross are. Prior to competition, all teams use a website, imleagues.com, to sign up for the season. The website updates league standings, rosters, and schedules in real time to provide an easy intramural experience for all players.

I would HIGHLY recommend intramural sports to any current or prospective Holy Cross students. Although the Volleyballerz finished the season 1-4, I found myself truly looking forward to the chance to step out on the court every Monday night. Aside from the fun of competitive play, it was a great opportunity to get to know my (awesome) teammates. Mark my words, the Volleyballerz will be back next year.

That’s all for now! Be sure to check back in soon to see what else is happening on and around the Hill. Until next time!

 

Aidan Ruppert: An Introduction to My Virtual Voice

A sheet cake depicting my high school, McQuaid Jesuit, as well as Holy Cross
Because what’s college without a slice of cake along the way?

 

Hello everyone! My name is Aidan Ruppert and I am a brand-new student at the College of the Holy Cross. In just six weeks, I have experienced a very successful transition to being a college student, and have already begun to LOVE Holy Cross.

Whether you are a prospective student or already a member of the Holy Cross community, allow me to share just a few things about myself in order to place some of my upcoming posts in context.

  • I was born and raised in Rochester, NY, and attended McQuaid Jesuit, an all-male Jesuit high school.
  • I plan on studying Psychology at Holy Cross, though anything is possible!
  • I am currently involved in several student organizations at Holy Cross.
  • I am a HUGE basketball fan (Go Celtics!) and love to play the game as well.
  • I chose Holy Cross because of its Jesuit identity, as well as the rigorous academics for which the school is known.
  • My favorite part about Holy Cross so far would have to be some of the great classmates I have already met!

Once again, Holy Cross has been a great fit for me so far, and I am beyond blessed to have this opportunity. My plan is to make the most of it! I cannot wait to share my academic, social, and co-curricular experiences with all of you. If you have any questions about life at Holy Cross, please always feel free to comment on my blog. Until next time!