Posts Tagged ‘tours’

Summer Visit Opportunities

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Zachary WielgusSummer is an interesting time for us here in Admissions. With the stress of application reading and the selection process behind us,  summer is a great opportunity for admissions officers to plan travel, take some vacation days, and admire the gorgeous trees and flowers blooming all over campus.

But we haven’t forgotten about you, high school juniors, who are just starting your college search. Once you’ve had some time to relax, think about making some college visits.

Summer is an excellent opportunity to visit Holy Cross. Come for a tour and information session. You’ll hear directly from students as they guide you around campus and from an Admissions Counselor about the college process. If you happen to be here in the next few weeks you might want to take advantage of our July Advisory Days, where you’ll receive insider tips on interviewing and writing your college essay. It might be nice to get all of this done before your hectic senior year starts up (where you’ll likely be juggling AP classes, soccer practice, band rehearsal, community service, etc.). For tips during the week, follow us on Twitter @HCAdmission, where we will be posting visit tips during June.

We will be here and looking forward to your visit!

Zach Wielgus

Assistant Director of Admissions

The College Search: Facts, Figures, and Feelings

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Kate StewartThere’s an endless and oftentimes overwhelming supply of resources out there to help you through your college search. You could camp out in the College Guide aisle at Barnes and Noble for two years and never make it through half the books. You could pull all-nighters clicking through Naviance and scouring every ranking posted by US News & World Report and The Princeton Review until your eyes bug out of your head. You could spend so much time on each college’s website that you know exactly where to find obscure information like how many people the dining hall seats.

 

And don’t get me wrong, statistics are certainly important. You should figure out what the academic profile of an admitted student looks like in order to predict whether a college is in your “range.” You should calculate a college’s distance from your home and decide how far away you’d be okay moving. You should research the size of the student body and the average classroom size and figure out whether those numbers seem comfortable or intimidating to you.

 

But ultimately, your college choice is not formulaic. You can’t plug a set of numbers into a magical College Calculator and expect it to spit out your Perfect College. The facts and figures can provide you with a great starting point and help guide your search in the right direction, but they won’t be what convinces you that you can call a college “home” for the next four years of your life.

 

That’s where the intangibles come in. Nothing beats visiting a campus and getting a feel for it by exploring it and soaking it all in. I’m not saying that you need to get “that special feeling” that a college is “the one and only” for you as soon as you step foot onto the campus; this is not a fairy tale, after all, and you do need to keep some options open. But as a human being, you will naturally have reactions to being in a new environment, and you should pay attention to those. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else.

 

Go on guided campus tours and attend information sessions, but also find more informal ways to discover the energy, vibe, and identity of a school. Walk through a quad and sense whether students seem excited to go to class. Sit in the campus coffee shop and eavesdrop on students’ conversations with one another (without being too creepy, of course). Take a moment to peek at bulletin boards in the student center to investigate the weekly and weekend goings-on. Take some pictures of the campus to jog your memory later on and maybe even jot down some notes for yourself before all of your many campus visits start to blur together. Finally, consider sharing these thoughts and observations with friends and family who are supporting you through this process. Chances are they’ll be able to either see the sparkle in your eyes or read the lack of enthusiasm in your voice.

 

Kate Gimourginas

Assistant Director of Admissions

Fat Squirrels … and four other important tour tips

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

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The Top 5 Things to Look for on a Campus Tour:

1) Grass and flowers. 

Let’s face it – you’re not buying a skillet, you’re choosing a place to live for four years.  Don’t you want it to look nice?  No, it’s not the most important thing, but it is something.  And something counts.

2) College gear. 

Don’t worry about whether students are smiling or not (do you smile when walking to a calculus exam?), notice whether or not students are wearing clothing or gear with their school’s name on it.  No one flies the flag for a school they dislike.

3) People holding doors. 

When someone holds a door for you, it is a sign that they understand that they are not alone in this world – they realize you exist, they acknowledge it and they’re going to try and make your day just a tiny bit better.  That’s the kind of place you want to spend four years.  Now return the favor.

4) Fat squirrels.  

Want to ride the subway to class in college?  Great – ignore this step.  But if you have ever pictured yourself in college hanging out on a quad and walking to class across a grassy, green vista then you want to see squirrels on your tour.  If you see squirrels, then there trees and grass on that campus.  If they are fat, then there’s lots of trees.  And no coyotes.  And that’s something, too.  And something counts.

5) Stairs. 

Seriously, no one dreams of going to college and falling out of shape.  Going up and down stairs will keep you fit. And remember —  where there are stairs, at the top, there’s always a great view.  Stairs equals healthy, fit people enjoying gorgeous views.  Sounds like a great place to go to college.

Summer Visit Opportunities

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Summer is an interesting time for us here in Admissions. With the stress of application reading and the selection process behind us,  summer is a great opportunity for admissions officers to plan travel, take some vacation days, and admire the gorgeous  trees and flowers blooming all over campus.

But we haven’t forgotten about you, high school juniors, who are just starting your college search. Once you’ve had some time to relax, think about making some college visits.

Summer is an excellent opportunity to visit Holy Cross. Come for a tour and information session.  You’ll hear directly from students as they guide you around campus and from an Admissions Counselor about the college process. If you happen to be here in the next few weeks you might want to take advantage of our July Advisory Days, where you’ll receive insider tips on interviewing and writing your college essay. It might be nice to get all of this done before your hectic senior year starts up (where you’ll likely be juggling AP classes, soccer practice, band rehearsal, community service, etc.). We will be here and looking forward to your visit!

Nicole Zervos ’09

Assistant Director of Admissions

The Invisible Gorilla

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Many people have seen the well-known “Invisible Gorilla” experiment on YouTube.  Viewers are instructed to watch a short video clip with two groups of people – some wearing black shirts and others wearing white shirts.  Both groups of people move around in a seemingly random, jumbled fashion and the challenge for the viewer is to count how many times the participants wearing white pass the basketball. 

The answer is fifteen.  But that’s not the point. 

The point is that in the middle of the clip, a person wearing a gorilla suit enters the frame and most viewers are paying such close attention to counting the passes that they simply don’t even see the gorilla.  It’s a wonderful study in “looking without seeing” or how our focused attention can cause us to miss obvious realities that are staring us in the face (and pounding their chest).

While traveling this fall to meet with students, I’ve heard the following statement several times:

“I love that college – the tour guide was awesome!”

When I hear that, I think to myself – they missed the gorilla.

Taking an official campus tour is a valuable part of the campus visit.  But, when walking the campus, you should not only pay attention to the tour guide, but also to all the information you can gleam from your observations of the campus, the environment, the students, faculty and staff that you may notice during your tour. 

During your college search, tour guides (and even admissions counselors like me) can help relay important information about a college but we are merely basketball-passing conduits.  It’s only when you slow down on your visit and take the time to notice all that’s around you that you’ll see the gorilla and gain true insight into how that college might fit for you.

Andrew N. Carter
Associate Director of Admissions

Meet Your Summer Tour Guides: Amanda Osowski

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Hometown:  Hopkinton, MA

Year: 2014

Major: History

Activities: Mock Trial Team, Holy Cross College Choir, Giving tours to prospective students and working with the Admissions Office!

One of my favorite memories of freshman year was traveling with the Mock Trial Team. The Holy Cross Mock Trial Team traveled to various colleges and universities this year, including the University of New Hampshire Law School, the University of Massachusetts, Tufts University, and Clark University. The team would stay at a local hotel and would compete in a weekend-long tournament against other schools. It was always nice to get away for a couple of days during the semester! Although we were still working hard during the weekend to perform well as a team, we still got to have a lot of fun together! The coaches would always take the team out for a group dinner and it was always a good time. The coaches are knowledgeable, friendly, and also hilarious at times! Participating on the Mock Trial Team allowed me to develop my analytical and public speaking skills as well as helped me to branch out and meet new friends and upperclassmen.

Favorite Place to Study at Holy Cross: The lower stacks of Dinand Library (it’s cozy and quiet!)

Favorite Class:  Montserrat. I was in the Natural World Cluster and I lived in Wheeler Hall. My Montserrat class was called “The Road to Armageddon. ”  In this class, we learned about the history and science behind nuclear energy. We studied nuclear energy development all the way back to the founding of the atom and back up to the recent nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan. I really enjoyed the discussion and met a lot of my close friends in that class. Also, my professor was awesome and became a great guiding resource for me at Holy Cross!

Meet Your Summer Tour Guides: Ada Van Wyhe

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Ada van Wyhe

Year: 2012

Hometown: Reedley, California

Major(s): History, Pre Law Concentration

Why I love Holy Cross: I am in love with Holy Cross because of the vast amount of opportunities that have been offered to me on this campus, and because the entire Holy Cross community has made my education a true living and learning experience.  Coming from over 3,000 miles away, I arrived to Mount St. James not knowing a single person, and I was immediately embraced by the students and faculty on The Hill.  I feel like my education is truly invaluable and that the Holy Cross community is really invested in my education.  I’m excited by the  study abroad programs, the small class sizes, and even just the fact that it’s a solely undergraduate college.  I love that as a community, we are all working together toward our goals – for now, and for well beyond our four short years here on campus.  (And Spring Weekend is a pretty wicked Holy Cross experience, too!)

Meet Your Summer Tour Guides: Paul Maloney

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Paul Maloney

Year: 2012

Hometown: Mansfield, Massachusetts

Major(s): Economics, Mathematics

Why I love Holy Cross:  To me,  HC is all about the people.  Everyone at Holy Cross is so open and so friendly that HC becomes more than a just a college but rather a community.  This sense of community along with an outstanding academic reputation is why I love Holy Cross.

Meet Your Summer Tour Guides: Mary Jo Coughlin

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Mary Jo Coughlin

Year: 2013

Hometown: Brookfield, Massachusetts

Major(s): Undeclared (leaning towards Psychology)

Why I love Holy Cross:  I love Holy Cross because of its excellent academic reputation as a small liberal arts college with access to challenging classes and individual attention from professors.  Outside of academics, I have made amazing friendships that I know will be long lasting. Holy Cross also offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities, a favorite of which is volunteering at the Nativity School,  a Jesuit middle school for boys in Worcester.  Having recently completed my freshman year,  Holy Cross has met my every expectation.

Meet Your Summer Tour Guides: Christine Freije

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Christine Freije

Year: 2013

Hometown: Worcester, Massachusetts

Major(s): Undeclared

Why I love Holy Cross: The people. I’ve found that Holy Cross attracts students who are extremely intelligent, but still down to earth. I’ve felt comfortable here discussing everything from academia to pop culture with my professors and fellow students. I’ve loved being at a liberal arts school that values not only grades and numbers, but also each student’s personal growth.