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!