Thanksgiving 2019: Expressing Gratitude

Hello, readers, and Happy Thanksgiving! It’s been far too long since my last post, so I figured I’d check in with a brief update for the holiday. I am comfortably situated in my hometown of Rochester, NY, with classes set to resume on Monday, December 2nd. It seems impossible to believe, but final exams for Fall 2019 are fast approaching! Only two class weeks remain in the semester, and I have no doubt that they will fly by, as this entire semester has been a blur.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d like to take a moment and reflect on some of the great opportunities I’ve had at Holy Cross thus far during my sophomore year. As is perhaps evident in my lack of updates during recent weeks, I’ve found this semester to be infinitely more busy than my first year on the Hill —something I would not have thought possible. That said, however, I am enjoying myself immensely. So, without further ado, here are a few of the experiences and opportunities from this semester for which I am most grateful:

  1. Prior to enrollment for Spring 2020 (which went very well, actually), I was able to make multiple adjustments to my academic plan. In addition to being a Psychology major, I have added the Sociology major, as well as the German minor. I’ve decided not to study abroad during junior year, so I plan on using the flexibility in my schedule to pursue these three areas of study. In fact, next semester, I will once again be taking at least one class in each of these fields. Although I took some great classes in order to fulfill various common requirements, I will admit that it feels great to finally focus on classes that, for me, possess the most inherent interest.
  2. Over the past couple weeks, my radio broadcasting career has resumed! As mentioned in one of my posts from last year, I am a member of WCHC 88.1 Sports, which broadcasts a variety of sporting events for Holy Cross Athletics. My expertise lies in basketball alone, and I serve as a broadcaster for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. My most recent broadcast was as the play-by-play announcer for women’s basketball team’s 68-42 victory over Merrimack on Saturday, November 23. I’ve had a blast as a sportscaster thus far this year! A lot of work goes into preparing for each broadcast; as I tell most of my friends, it’s quite comparable to studying for a test. I’m looking forward to continuing broadcasting, particularly next semester!
  3. Every Tuesday evening, I’ve had the opportunity to visit Nativity School of Worcester – an independent, Jesuit middle school in the City of Worcester. There, I’ve served as a one-on-one tutor for a student named François. François is, without a doubt, the coolest middle schooler that I have met in my life. During evening study, we work together to make sure all of his homework is finished by the time he leaves. I’ve much enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside such a bright, motivated student, and I’m glad I picked the right SPUD!
  4. I was recently accepted into Spring Break Immersion Program (SBIP) for Spring 2020! Per my own choice, I will be assigned to a site in the Appalachian Region (not sure where yet, but stay tuned!) I’ve never been on an immersion trip before, so I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to experience something new.

There have been so many great opportunities that I’ve had in just three months on campus that it is simply impossible to list them all. These are, however, a few of the highlights that have stood out. Naturally, I am also grateful for the opportunity to visit home, albeit for only a few days. I’m confident that I’ll return to Worcester freshly energized and ready to finish the semester strong (and, quite likely, with multiple pumpkin pies). Be sure to check back soon for updates from the Hill!

 

My Top Ten Freshman Year Moments at Holy Cross

Hello, all. As promised, here is my final blog post for the 2018-2019 academic year. It has been an amazing journey throughout my first two semesters, and I cannot wait for the next three years. I’m not sure if I will be posting at all during the summer, but I would like to express my gratitude to you, the reader. Whether you have followed my blog all year long, or are just now checking in, I truly appreciate the time you’ve given to reading my posts, and I hope that my words have adequately described how fantastic my Holy Cross experience has been. With that said, let the countdown begin! Here are my top ten moments from my first year on Mount Saint James


10. ACCEPTED STUDENTS’ DAY FOR THE CLASS OF 2023

Although I’ve had some enjoyable experiences throughout my time volunteering in the admissions office, this particular day was easily my favorite. On this beautiful April afternoon, hundreds of high school seniors flocked to campus to see the college that they will (hopefully) call home for the next four years. The vibe on campus was filled with excitement, and it served as a meaningful reminder of the position I had been in only one year prior. It made me finally realize how far I had come during my two semesters at Holy Cross.

9. HC FOOTBALL 31-28 COMEBACK WIN OVER YALE

Although I am, by no means, a devoted football fan, this particular matchup produced a memory that will certainly last a long time. Holy Cross football, after trailing by multiple touchdowns throughout most of regulation, executed a miracle comeback over the Yale Bulldogs, who were, at the time, the reigning Ivy League champions. It was one of my earliest memories with people that I now consider my close friends. Although we did miss all of the third quarter to grab lunch at Kimball, this afternoon demonstrated the tenacity of a Holy Cross Crusader, and offered a moment of tremendous joy and excitement, as we emerged victorious on a game-winning field goal in overtime.

8. HC MEN’S BASKETBALL VS. URI @ THE DCU CENTER

A court-side view of Holy Cross Men's Basketball against the University of Rhode Island, held at the DCU Center in Worcester.
My friends and I knew we were going to need great seats for this exciting matchup with URI.

 

 

Technically, this memory was not supposed to be made in the first place, seeing as I was supposed to be studying for final exams after my first semester. Nevertheless, two of my close friends and I purchased tickets to this matchup against the University of Rhode Island of the A-10 Conference. The game was actually held at the DCU Center in Worcester, and it was a cool experience to leave campus for the city alongside fellow students on our fan bus. Although Holy Cross ultimately came up short, losing 79-63, the second half included a truly inspiring comeback attempt from the Crusaders, who rapidly cut a massive point deficit to only a few baskets with less than ten minutes remaining. I’m excited for future Men’s Basketball games at the DCU, and would highly recommend these games for any Crusader fans looking for an electric atmosphere.

7. MOVE-IN DAY FOR THE CLASS OF 2022

I’m not kidding when I say that this day feels as though it occurred only weeks ago; I remember nearly every detail exactly. This day was meaningful for a multitude of reasons, seeing as I was finally meeting my roommates, as well as preparing to live away from Rochester for the first time in my life. I remember the leaders of Fall Orientation swarming my family’s car and bringing all of my belongings to my dorm room in Clark Hall. Later, before saying farewell to my family, I remember attending the Mass of the Holy Spirit, which was fitting, seeing as all of my middle school and high school years began with the very same celebration. Later, we were placed in orientation groups, and we began a three-day program designed to help us meet friends and become familiar with campus. Although the day was extremely tiring (my roommates and I were actually exploring campus until extremely late that night), it was a memorable start to a memorable year, and I’ll never forget where it all started.

6. ED SHEERAN CONCERT AT GILETTE STADIUM

A view of the stage at Ed Sheeran's concert at Gilette Stadium in September 2018
Perhaps not the greatest view, but an amazing experience nevertheless!

This was an interesting experience to say the least, seeing as the concert took place only a couple weeks after classes began, and my new friends and I decided to attend a mere 24 hours before the concert actually started. Still, I thought that it sounded like a fun way to spend a Friday night. We split the cost of an Uber between the four of us, and soon found ourselves in Foxborough, MA. The concert itself was an awesome time; attending concerts is one of my favorite activities. It was also pretty cool being in the home stadium of the New England Patriots; Ed Sheeran actually sported a Rob Gronkowski jersey during his encore performance. Unfortunately, we made a terrible error in believing we could easily use Uber to return to Holy Cross. After an hour or so, we finally found a driver, but the cost was unfathomable. In the end, however, being able to have this experience with my roommate and two of my other (now) best friends was worth it. Hopefully I’ll be able to find a concert or two during my sophomore year!

5. WCHC SPORTS 88.1 BASKETBALL BROADCASTING

Honestly, this was NOT an experience I was expecting to have, not during my freshman year at least. At the beginning of my second semester, however, I had the opportunity to provide color commentary for several Men’s and Women’s Basketball games. As evident in many of my blog posts, I have always been extremely passionate about basketball. Although I lack the talent to play at the collegiate level, WCHC Sports presented itself as a tremendous opportunity to stay involved with the sport I love. Although the first couple games were primarily learning experiences, I quickly became comfortable on the air, and found that broadcasting was something I really enjoyed. I am extremely excited for my future in sports broadcasting, and look forward to following the basketball programs for years to come.

4. LATE NIGHT MILKSHAKES AT COOL BEANS

A milkshake from Cool Beans, found in the Hogan Campus Center at Holy Cross
Love, in its purest form

Really, I can’t explain this one. It’s either something you experience, or you don’t. Shoutout to my milkshake crew; you know who you are.

3. INTRAMURAL BASKETBALL

A team photo of my 5v5 intramural basketball team
A celebratory moment, following the Kimballers’ first win of the 5v5 Basketball session.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I’ve already written about my experience with intramural sports, I feel the need to reiterate: JOIN INTRAMURAL SPORTS AT HOLY CROSS. It is such a fun, fulfilling experience to be able to form athletic teams with your closest friends, and intramurals present a great way to do that. I served as the captain of two basketball teams throughout my freshman year, and can honestly say that this experience was one of my favorites. Although the success of the team varied, it was so fun to be able to look forward to our game each week, and have the opportunity to compete together. Again, intramural sports at Holy Cross can get pretty intense!

2. MIDNIGHT BREAKFAST AT KIMBALL

Okay, so this one is honestly pretty lame. But really, it is one of those moments from freshman year that I will always remember. Following the conclusion of my each semester, Kimball Dining Hall hosts a late night breakfast for students as they study for their final exams. In December, some of my closest friends and I went to the breakfast, simply needing fuel to continue working on final projects and essays. This may not seem particularly memorable, but it stands out as the moment that I could finally look back and say, “I made it.” I realized how close I had become to this particular group of people in four short months, and understood that these were the people that I would be spending the next several years with. As my roommate shoved an entire pancake into his mouth at once, I felt immense satisfaction with the person I had become, the relationships I had established, and where I was in my life. Exactly one week ago, I sat in midnight breakfast once again, only this time, knowing that the next day I would be leaving my best friends for nearly four months. It was a  sad moment, yet meaningful for all of the aforementioned reasons. I will always remember midnight breakfasts from freshman year.

1. SPRING WEEKEND 2019

A view of the stage at the Spring Concert, featuring Loud Luxury
I’m not kidding when I say Loud Luxury put on a SHOW!

 

This entire weekend was honestly so fun, and I don’t think I can really put it into words. Between the free food trucks, petting zoos, games, giveaways, and  live music, this weekend was certainly one to remember. The highlight, of course, was the 2019 Spring Concert featuring Jay Sean and Loud Luxury. It didn’t matter that Jay Sean hadn’t been particularly relevant since 2009; his hit song, “Down”, captured the hearts of hundreds of Holy Cross students. It was amazing experiencing the sheer excitement of a live music performance right on Mount Saint James, and I already cannot wait for next year’s Spring Weekend. This weekend was, of course, made even sweeter due to the presence of amazing friends. The Outdoor EDGE, a party featuring a DJ outside of Kimball, was nearly as fun as the concert itself, and was a great way to let loose prior to final exams.


Once again, thank you for your support of this blog. I’ll see you all next year!

-Aidan Ruppert, Class of 2022

End of Year One: Quick Update

Hello again, readers! Due to the chaos of finals week, I was not able to spend time writing a post about Spring Weekend, nor about my final exams themselves. That said, I will take some time today and tomorrow to compile a list: My Top Ten Freshman Year Moments at Holy Cross. Be sure to check back for this post tomorrow evening, as it will be my last official post for the 2018-2019 school year.

I do have some exciting news to share, however. I have been asked to return as a blogger for my sophomore year as well! I have tremendously enjoyed the opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences online, and I am looking forward to being able to do so in the future. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out in the comments (or via personal correspondence) to let me know what you’d like to see for next year. I’d love to hear your ideas, and I’m interested in knowing what posts are the most/least interesting.

Obviously, I am already looking forward to my sophomore year. In addition to blogging, I have been accepted into the C.O.P.E. organization, which I am extremely excited to be involved in. I have also been offered a leadership role within the Admissions Office’s “Outreach” program. I am still waiting to hear back regarding other opportunities I’ll have on campus in the fall.

For now, though, I am back in Rochester, and will be continuing my work as an accountant and receptionist in our local amusement park. I’m looking forward to traveling for concerts and short vacations this summer, and being able to truly reconnect with some of my friends from home. I’ll also be spending much time playing basketball, working out, studying music, and improving my German. Overall, I think it’s going to be a great summer.

That’s all for now! Again, please be sure to check back tomorrow evening for my last post of the 2018-2019 year, My Top Ten Freshman Year Moments at Holy Cross. Until then, peace!