Admission: Not Impossible

Name and Volunteer Position: Kelly Connors, Outreach

Class Year: 2020

Major: Political Science

Hometown: Leominster, MA

What was something that stood out to you about Holy Cross?

The sense of community and the welcoming atmosphere!

What was most nerve-racking about the admissions process, and how was this resolved?

The most nerve-racking thing about the admissions process was making sure that everything was sent in on time. What I didn’t know was that I could submit things one at a time at Holy Cross.

What was something you looked forward to experiencing at Holy Cross?

I looked forward to experiencing taking a wide variety of class since it is a liberal arts institution.

What was most worrisome about transitioning to college, and how was this remedied?

I was most worried to move away from home but as soon as I got to campus I felt so welcomed and Mount St James quickly became my home away from home.

What do you love most about interacting with prospective students/families?

Hearing everyone’s story is the thing I love most about prospective students. We all have a reason to why or how we got to Holy Cross and hearing everyone’s different stories is a great way to interact with them.

What types of things do you enjoy talking about with prospective students/families?

I enjoy talking about the Jesuit, liberal arts aspect of the college. It really helps the students see what Holy Cross is all about.

What do you find prospective students are most concerned about and what advice would you give them about it?

Most prospective students are afraid to leave home. I try to explain to them how Holy Cross becomes like home and most feel very comfortable here and that makes it so much easier to leave home.

Why did you join the outreach program?

I joined the outreach program to be able to show how much I love HC to other people and hope to get them to love it as well.

Do you meet a lot of alumni during your greeting session(s)? If so, what is your favorite aspect about meeting/talk with them?

I do meet a lot of alumni and they always say how this building wasn’t here or that was just being built when I graduated. It is interesting to see how much the college has expanded and grown since they graduated.

What makes HC special for you?

HC is special because it is my home away from home. I feel so comfortable here and I absolutely love the friends I’ve made here in and outside of the classroom.

What is your favorite thing about HC?

My favorite thing about HC besides the grilled cheese in lower Kimball is the sense of community that we have here on campus.

Once you graduate, what will you miss most about HC?

I will miss 7pm mass on Sunday nights with my best friends the most when I graduate.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give to prospective students?

The college process is very stressful but in the end, you will end up where you need to be…and hopefully that is HC!!! 🙂

What is the most exciting event you’ve attended this year?

The most exciting event I’ve attended this year is the Outdoor Edge. This occurs right when we get back to school in August and it is a time when you finally get to catch up with your friends that you haven’t seen all summer. Everyone gathers on Kimball Quad with music and dancing. It is the BEST way to kick off the new school year.

Name and Volunteer Position: Liza Goodman, Outreach

Class Year: 2021

Major: English and Theater

Hometown: Manchester, NH

What was something that stood out to you about Holy Cross?

I always loved the sense of community here. My parents are both alums so I have been coming to visit HC ever since I was little and I have always felt a big sense of community so when I moved in It already felt like home.

What was most nerve-racking about the admissions process, and how was this resolved?

I was mostly nervous about my standardized test scores, but HC is test optional and I was able to decide whether or not I wanted to send in my scores.

What was something you looked forward to experiencing at Holy Cross?

I looked forward to experiencing the Theatre Community here at HC and I was able to be apart of the Fall Mainstage show “Fuente Ovejuna” and it was the most rewarding experience at HC this far.

What was most worrisome about transitioning to college, and how was this remedied?

I was worried about being incredibly homesick but luckily as mentioned before I was able to feel right at home with this wonderful community and I met so many people in my first few weeks that I am able to call my friends.

What do you love most about interacting with prospective students/families?

I love answering their questions and being able to get to know new people who will hopefully be future crusaders within the next year!

What types of things do you enjoy talking about with prospective students/families?

I love talking about all the amazing opportunities that HC has to offer through both academics and extra curricular.

What do you find prospective students are most concerned about and what advice would you give them about it?

I find that they are most concerned about deciding what you want to major in and I tell them that the liberal arts education gives everyone time to explore different interests and they have time to decide what the want to major in and to always major in something that you love.

Why did you join the outreach program?

I vividly remember my greeters when I first toured here and I wanted to repay the favor because he gave me such a good impression of the school when I talked with him.

Do you meet a lot of alumni during your greeting session(s)? If so, what is your favorite aspect about meeting/talk with them?

I have met some alumni but not many and I love talking to them about how much we all love HC and hearing their memories but I also enjoy meeting new families and sharing all the memories I have created here at HC and how much fun I have been having at school!

What makes HC special for you?

I love HC because My parents were alums so I love having a deeper connection with them by being at this school

What is your favorite thing about HC?

My favorite thing is the people in the theatre department here. I have made so many good friends in such a short amount of time and I am so grateful to all them for creating such a friendly space.

Once you graduate, what will you miss most about HC?

I will definitely miss HC but I have just started here so I haven’t been thinking about what I will miss when I graduate. I am just so many

What is one piece of advice you would like to give to prospective students?

Trust yourself and be confident! It’s a long and stressful process but everything will turn out ok and just trust the process.

What is the most exciting event you’ve attended this year?

I would say the most exciting event for me was being in the fall production of Fuente Ovejuna and it was rehearsal every night but I was so grateful to be a part of it and it was an amazing experience.

Hi! My name is Gabby and I am one of the Social Media Interns in the Office of Admissions at the College of the Holy Cross. The study period for finals week ends today, so I wanted to write about finals at Holy Cross from a student’s perspective and provide tips for prospective students on how to survive (and thrive!) during finals week.

My first tip for finals week is to take detailed notes throughout the semester. Whether you’re taking a biology or a political science course, your notes will be one of your main studying resources when it comes time to prepare for finals week! If you miss class, ask a classmate if you can borrow their notes. In my experience, my notes have been crucial to being successful during when studying for exams.

 

Sleep. I know, this is certainly not easy when you have four exams to study for, but sleep is so important for being successful during finals week! Sleeping gives your brain a chance to rests and recharge, helping you remember more, feel better, and giving you the energy you need to crush your exams. Caffeine is helpful, but getting those 8 hours of shut-eye each night will make the difference.

 

Be active! Go for a walk around campus. Hit one of the on-campus gyms. Getting up and moving will make you feel so much healthier and less stressed during finals week, when students are sitting at their desks for long periods of time without moving around. Not to mention, exercise is known to have so many health benefits, from keeping you younger to helping your memory!

 

Go to office hours. Questions on a specific topic you learned in class? Want to know what your professor expects you to know for your exam? Want to vent? Head to your professors’ office hours. These are beneficial because they show your professor that you care about your performance in class, are driven to succeed, and are asking questions, which professors love.

 

Finals week is far from easy, but these tips can help you stay stress-free and focused. Use them and you’ll survive and thrive!

Name and Volunteer Position: Julia Palmerino, Senior Interviewer

Major: History and Music

Hometown: Sudbury, MA

What was something you looked forward to experiencing at Holy Cross?: I was excited to be a member of such a close-knit, passionate intellectual community.

What was most nerve-racking about the admissions process, and how was this resolved?: I was most nervous after I handed in my application and before I received my decision.  I spent those months making the most of my senior year, and also kept a close eye on admissions social media accounts so I would know the second that decisions would be released!

What was most worrisome about transitioning to college, and how was this remedied?: I was worried about living away from home, since I have lived in the same place my whole life.  I think getting involved and finding a community was very important for me in remedying that.  Follow your passions and you will find like-minded people!

What stands out to you the most in an applicant during their interview?: When applicants are really passionate about something, whether it is a class, an academic discipline, an activity, or something small, it is great to see people that care about something.  I want to know what makes you special!

What is something applicants shouldn’t do in an interview?: I get frustrated when it is clear that an applicant hasn’t even done basic research on the school.  Make sure you know simple information, and that your interests align with what Holy Cross offers in its curriculum.

What are you going to miss most about Holy Cross?: The campus!

What did you learn at Holy Cross that you will take with you into the world?: I think my time at Holy Cross has taught me the importance of context and perspective.  This is built into the liberal arts curriculum and the Jesuit ideals, but particularly as a history major I think I have discovered the importance of thinking critically and understanding different points of view on a given issue.  This broad approach to learning and thinking is something I will absolutely carry with me into the world.

What piece of advice would you like to share with prospective students?: Don’t be afraid to try new things, and soak up every opportunity Holy Cross gives you.

How do you feel you’ve grown over your time at Holy Cross?: I have always been very independent, but I think being a student here has solidified that for me.  From navigating roommate challenges, to studying abroad, to writing a thesis proposal, every aspect of my time here at Holy Cross has taught me how important it is to advocate for yourself and others.

What is your favorite thing about HC?: The professors.  They are consistently brilliant and wonderful people, and I have felt supported and challenged by each and every professor I have had in class.

What is the most exciting event you’ve attended this year?: Senior Ball! It was great to be with the whole senior class, especially since many of us were away last year.  It was a great way to kick off the celebration of our final year here!

 

Name and Volunteer Position: Connor Durkin, Tour Guide

Major: Psychology

Hometown: Merrimac, MA

What was something that stood out to you about Holy Cross?

The community. Everyone was so friendly! It’s like everyone knew each other.

What was most nerve-racking about the admissions process, and how was this resolved?

Probably getting ready for the interview process. But the senior interviewer was so nice, I had nothing to worry about once I stepped in their office!

What was something you looked forward to experiencing at Holy Cross?

I was really looking forward to working with the Psychology faculty, who helped me expand my thinking exponentially.

What was most worrisome about transitioning to college, and how was this remedied?

Finding a new group of friends. However, both Summer and Fall Orientation really helped me create new friendships. My best friend is someone I met during orientation!

The following questions are geared towards your experience as a current student.

What is your favorite thing about giving tours?

I really enjoy knowing that I am helping a prospective student make the extremely hard choice of choosing their next step in life.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?

Probably Crossroads. For Pub Night, 10 Spot, the events held on the weekends, etc.

What do you like talking about most on campus tours?

SPUD and all the amazing opportunities that we are given in order to give back to the community.

What is the most common question you are asked on tours? What’s your response?

Probably, “Why did you choose Holy Cross?” My response? I feel like a valuable member of the community here. Holy Cross is a family in which I’m glad to be apart of.

Why did you want to be a tour guide?

I wanted to be able to help prospective students with their difficult choice of choosing their next step in life; choosing a college is big decision, and I want to help them out!

What have you learned from being a tour guide?

I’ve learned a lot about why I, personally, love Holy Cross. It’s given me an opportunity to reflect on my time here and share it with others.

What is your favorite thing about HC?

100% the community. The community aspect of Holy Cross is amazing, which definitely makes it stand out from other schools.

Once you graduate, what will you miss most about HC?

Seeing my best friends everyday.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give to prospective students?

Choosing a college is a big decision, one that shouldn’t be made lightly. Before you choose a school, make sure you love it! That love will only grow once you start your first semester until you graduate your senior year.

 

Hi! My name is Gabby and I am one of the Social Media Interns in the Office of Admissions at the College of the Holy Cross. In November, Joanna (the other Social Media Intern!) and I went to see Lope De Vega’s Fuenteovejuna, a Golden Age Spanish play set during the Spanish Civil War. The Theatre and Spanish Departments worked together to present a bilingual version of the play, which is typically only presented in Spanish!

Fuenteovejuna was the first play I’ve ever been to at Holy Cross, and it definitely won’t be my last! With dynamic student actors and musicians, beautiful costumes and props, and meaningful content, Fuenteovejuna was an amazing show. It was presented in the Fenwick Theater, which is located on the second floor of O’Kane Hall.

One of the best parts of going to theatrical performances at Holy Cross is seeing your friends do something they love- whether it’s Midnight Theater (individual acts put on late at night) or the Spring Musical! I saw so many students in Fuenteovejuna that I didn’t even know acted! It was so exciting to see what Holy Cross students are capable of outside of the classroom!

I highly recommend that students and their families participate in the arts at Holy Cross. Although I’m not an incredibly artsy person (I draw stick figures!), the arts are a crucial part of the liberal arts education Holy Cross provides, and they add great substance and detail to the Holy Cross experience.

 

Learn more about the Department of Theatre and Fuenteovejuna here: https://www.holycross.edu/academics/programs/theatre

 

Hi guys! My name is Gabby and I am one of the Social Media Interns in the Office of Admissions. The deadline for Early Decision is quickly approaching (December 15th — ONE MONTH AWAY!), so I thought I’d write about my experience and share some tips for applying Early Decision to Holy Cross!

Don’t stress. I remember how nervous and stressed out I was about applying Early Decision to Holy Cross, not to mention about the college admissions process in general. Eat healthily, sleep well, and study hard — but don’t overwork yourself!

Keep deadlines in mind. Make sure that you ask your teachers for letters of recommendation early! If you ask them too late, they may not write them in time to submit for the deadline!

Keep in touch with Holy Cross! One thing I noticed during my ED application process was how much Holy Cross appreciated and enjoyed me keeping in touch with them through Open House, tours, information sessions, and my admissions interview. I think that my interest in Holy Cross helped me to stand out among other applicants during the process.

Get excited! Once your application is done and submitted (finally!), you should feel a weight lift off of your shoulders. The college application process is certainly not easy, so give yourself props. No matter the outcome, you should be proud of yourself for applying ED to Holy Cross!

 

I hope these tips help you to prepare and submit your application to Holy Cross. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I hope it will be one of yours, too. If you have any questions about the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to the office!

 

 

 

I’m back on The Hill after an exciting fall season spent on the road! Mount St. James sure is a sight for sore eyes this time of year.

My first travel season as an Admissions Counselor for the College of the Holy Cross sent me farther and farther west throughout the months of September and October. I originally set out in familiar areas like Albany, NY and Amherst, MA. As the fall went on, however, I had the opportunity to visit personally unchartered regions like the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest. I met a number of incredible high school students along the way and I began forging professional relationships with some brilliant college counselors as well. I want to share some highlights of my journey with you and tell you about what I was doing while my “Out of Office” email reply was on…

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy visiting high school guidance offices as much as the next admission counselor, but there’s just something special about those classroom information sessions! I am always thrilled when a college counselor asks if I would be willing to speak in front of a class full of their students. I’ve found that these sessions allow high schoolers the ability to ask questions in the presence of their peers – questions that many individuals might not have thought to ask just yet! And classroom information sessions provide unique opportunities for me to reach new audiences who may not have heard of Holy Cross before.

Moving from large presentations to individualized conversations, let’s talk about interviews. A quick word of advice to high school seniors – if you are applying to schools that offer admission interviews, sign up for one! This is the best way to tell your story, highlight your passion points, and showcase your curiosity about a school. These 30 minutes of discussion can add vibrancy to a student’s file and make an application spring to life. I encourage all prospective Holy Cross applicants to come to Worcester and to explore our campus for themselves, but I also understand that life is busy and that a trip like this can be a major financial undertaking. For applicants who are unable to make it to campus for an interview, we offer alumni/off-campus interviews.  During my travels far and wide, I try to accommodate as many individual interviews as I possibly can. We are eager to speak with you and learn about what makes you, you!

Another tidbit that I find worth sharing is to always remember why you are doing things. Be purposeful with how you spend your time; we are much more interested to hear about the meaning behind your experiences rather than the sheer amount of different ways that you stay busy. I prefer to speak with applicants who have passion for the lives that they lead, rather than prospective students who are spreading themselves thin with over-involvement. Life as a high school student can be hectic and pressurized, but make sure to take time to reflect and think about the value of your experiences. This will help you to articulate why you chose to do things throughout high school and to recognize the lessons that you took out of your studies and activities. Reflection might also allow you to realize that you have taken on too much and that you need to step away from one of your responsibilities in order to enjoy life more! Take stock often and declutter your life where you see fit…health and well-being will follow.

Admittedly, fall travel season is a busy time in the life of a college admissions counselor, which makes it more important than ever to find moments to pause, breath, and reflect (everyone is well aware of our uncanny ability to blabber on, after all!). One such moment presented itself during my travels this year. As I crossed state lines on my drive from Western Massachusetts to New York State, I was thinking about my grandma who was very sick at the time. I pulled over at Immaculate Conception Church in New Lebanon, NY and had the chance to light a candle and say a prayer for her health and for a speedy recovery at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine. When I returned to my car, my mom had just sent a message to our family group chat asking for prayers. I was able to send along this picture and say that I was way ahead of her.

This was a simple, beautiful, and seemingly providential moment during my first travel season for Holy Cross that will stay with me. It was also a healthy reminder that while we all have jobs to do and goals in mind, everyone carries different weights around with them, and kindness is paramount in every interaction that we have with others.

My fall travels invigorated my passion for this school and instilled meaning in the work that I set out to do each day. I am happy to be back at the college now, able to settle back into my duties in the office and interact with our current students on campus. I am excitedly gearing up for my first reading season here at Holy Cross, where we will work to build an incoming class of zealous young adults from a variety of backgrounds. I strive to embody our Jesuit mission of being a human being for and with others, so please don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know if I can help guide you through your college admissions process in any way!

A few addendums – Despite this being my first trip to the Pacific Northwest, I was overjoyed to learn that Seattle Preparatory School had named their gymnasium after me! In full disclosure, my middle name does not start with a “C”, but I figure that this must just be a typo.

Note to readers: When I see a student on campus who I met with during my travels, I get very excited. So no pressure – but if we have the chance to chat about Holy Cross while I am out on the road, please come visit for a campus tour. I promise, it will make my day!

Note to self: when driving from place to place in Chicago and Seattle, leave 30 minutes before you think you need to. The traffic is no joke!

 

written by Tom McHugh

 

 

 

Hi guys! My name is Joanna and I am one of the Social Media Interns in the Admissions Office here at Holy Cross! Being involved with the office for my three years at Holy Cross, I’ve seen so many prospective students sit in the waiting room and stress over their application interview. I hope this isn’t you, but if it is, hopefully reading this post will alleviate some of your worries!

 

Looking back on it, my interview was actually my favorite part of the whole application process, and I wish had someone telling me exactly what I’m about to tell you. So, below are 6 quick tips to help you make the most of your interview!

 

Don’t stress! The interview isn’t a stressful process. Sure we all get nervous, and some nerves are good to keep you on your toes, but when it’s not necessary, it’s not necessary!

Relax! The most important thing to remember is that the interview is a conversation. Of course it’s a professional one and you want to make a good impression, but your interviewer is not going to quiz you on Holy Cross facts, and they’re not going to test you on your knowledge of the institution. They’re just looking to learn more about you!

Be Yourself! Your interviewer is trying to get to know you. They want to find out in what ways you can contribute to the Holy Cross community. After all, a Jesuit education does not only focus on care of the whole body, but also of a community.

Shake hands, make eye contact! I know you’ve probably heard this a thousand times from parents, but confidence is key here. The interview is most likely your only face-to-face part of your application. It is most likely the only time an admissions counselor can actually SEE how serious you are about the application process. So, approach it with confidence. If you make it evident that you are serious about your application process, the admissions counselor will think the same.

Be passionate about something! Interviewers LOVE when you have something to talk about! It not only allows them to get to know more about you, but it also makes the interview more fun because you are talking about something you love!

Come with questions! At the end of your interview, your interviewer will ask if you have any questions. And, you should! Questions show you are interested in the school and are another way of showing you want to be here!

 

Best of luck!

 

For more information on how to schedule an interview, interview deadlines and more, please visit our website: https://www.holycross.edu/visit/interviews.

 

 

 

 

 

From crisp fall weather to apple cider in Kimball Dining Hall, autumn is my favorite season on Mount St. James! Below I’ll tell you about some of my favorite parts of the season at Holy Cross:

 

Kimball Dining Hall’s Fall Fest

Every autumn, Kimball hosts “Harvest Fest,” an event where all of the dining facilities on campus serve fall-themed foods and drinks such as apple cider, cider donuts, pumpkin spice lattés, caramel apples, and more. I LOVE apple cider, which is one of the main reasons why I love fall on the Hill so much!! 

 

Halloween

Halloween is a super fun (and spooky) time to be a Holy Cross student. We are the only college that I know of that has a cemetery on campus (for Jesuits) which creates a spooky ambiance. One tradition I enjoy is the Healy Haunted House. My residence hall, Healy, plans this interactive event for all students to attend! I’m one of the Co-Presidents of Healy, so I had a lot of responsibility for planning the Haunted House. It was definitely a success!

 

Family Weekend

Family Weekend is a great way for students to decompress from the hustle and bustle of the semester with their families and friends.  This year was particularly special for me because my grandparents visited from my hometown: Brockton, MA. There were plenty of events that were planned we had a lot to choose from. When they first arrived, we went to the Hogan Campus Center and they got adorable purple “HC Grandparents” pins! We later ate lunch in Kimball and my grandmother loved the soft serve vanilla ice cream. After lunch, we went to the Holy Cross football game versus Georgetown—and we won!

 

Overall, fall is a fun, spooky, and exciting time to be on Mount St. James. Not to mention, our campus is incredibly beautiful during this season!!

 

written by Gabby Caceres ’20

 

Curious as to what clubs and organizations our students are involved with on campus? Learn more about what tour guide, Meltem Eracar ’19, does as a member of Holy Cross for a Cure.

 

Holy Cross for a Cure is a student-run organization whose main goal is to raise awareness and money for cancer research. Our club mainly focuses on raising awareness through athletic events. If we want students or the public to know more about HC for a Cure, join the organization or donate through purchasing one of our t-shirts, then this is most easily done at sporting games where there are usually many people attending. Other times, we have mini competitions that are hosted at games to help get students, parents, and all spectators involved while also spreading the word about our club. My involvement is typical to almost everyone else’s in the club, I volunteer a few hours of my time during each of our events, which are usually hosted a handful of times throughout the year.

The reason why I joined HC for a Cure is because I was involved with something similar during my time in high school. Every fall, all athletes at my high school would participate in a program called “Play for the Cure”, which is very similar to “HC for a Cure”. Our athletes, including myself, would bake various desserts and on this specific day, would sell them to students and parents attending the games. Through this event, we raised awareness and money for the Dana-Farber organization and other organizations who are in need. The reason that this event was so special to me was because my volleyball coach at the time had a mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She really appreciated the time and effort that our high school put in for such a great cause. It really helped to bring the coaches and students together. When I heard that there was an entire club at Holy Cross devoted to this kind of fundraising throughout the school year, I knew that I had to join in order to help make a difference for anyone who has been affected by cancer.

 

All of this college application stuff can take its toll on your physical, emotional, and psychological health. Remember to take some time for you. Go for a run, watch a movie, or spend time with friends and family.  It’s okay…you can tell your parents I told you to do this, and I am a bona fide Admissions Counselor who reads applications and votes on application decisions. At Holy Cross, we believe that a relaxed applicant is a confident applicant. This is not the crossroads of your life, even though it may seem that way at times. You are not defined by where you get accepted (or rejected…or waitlisted). You can always transfer, go to graduate school, take a gap year, or better…..become successful despite not getting into your top pick, and end up putting your alma mater on the map as a result. What truly defines you as a person is not what cards you are dealt, but how you play them. You will play yours most efficiently if you are able to roll with the punches and take everything in stride. Keeping the college search in perspective is probably the most important piece of that!

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