Student Post: Fall Break!

Happy Friday, everyone! This week’s blog post is brought to you by current senior Mackenzie Horl. Take it away, Mackenzie!

After a week of paper deadlines and midterm exams, fall break always seems to arrive at the perfect time. Some first-year students stay on campus to participate in the Worcester Immersion or for athletics and various other extracurricular activities. The remaining students visit friends who attend other colleges or go home for a few home-cooked meals.

I spent the weekend of my break in Providence celebrating my 21st birthday with friends. After the weekend, I took an Amtrak train home to Long Island, New York. I was greeted warmly by my parents, siblings, and our two boxers: Laila and Scout. A few days later my mom, older sister, and I jetted off to Nashville, Tennessee! As big country music fans, we were excited to explore a new city and learn about its history. I ate many meals of “chicken-fried chicken” with creamy sides of mac & cheese or mashed potatoes. I visited the Country Music Hall of Fame as well as the Grand Ole Opry. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to do something I love, visiting a new city, with the people that I love! 

Being back at school is now bittersweet. I have reunited with friends and shared stories of our respective breaks. By now, Holy Cross Crusaders have fallen back into our daily routines and dived into academics at Holy Cross. Fall Break is much-needed and much-deserved by students on the Hill. Now we are refreshed and re-energized to jump back into this semester!

Student Post: On Being a DI Athlete

To gain some insight into the student-athlete experience at Holy Cross, we asked a current student for her perspective. Without further ado, here is Madison Smith ’17:

Locker room egg hunt last spring! Photo provided by Madison Smith.
Locker room egg hunt last spring! Photo provided by Madison Smith.

If you’ve been to Holy Cross recently, you can tell that it’s a great time to be an athlete on the Hill!  All you have to do is look up by the Hart Athletic Complex– you will see construction workers, cranes, and the beautiful new facilities being built.  While the 2016-2017 school year will be my fourth and final year as a student athlete here, I am excited for all those who will go through the life-changing experience that is being a college athlete at Holy Cross! I’d like to take the time to reflect on my own experience on the Women’s Lacrosse team and why being on this team has been such a positive and strong experience for me.

When people ask me my favorite part about being on the lacrosse team, the answer is simple: my 32 best friends, a.k.a. my teammates! There’s nothing better than knowing you have friends all around campus–in different grades, in different majors, involved in a variety of activities–who all want the best for you. I love knowing that when I walk into Dinand Library, Kimball Dining Hall, or the Hogan campus center, I will likely see one of my closest friends.

Next, obviously is the love of the sport.  If you are considering playing a college sport–at any school–please be sure that at the end of the day you love what you are doing.  Trust me, you’ll be doing it a lot and it won’t always be easy.  Thankfully for me I started playing lacrosse in third grade, and have always loved it since!  I’m a defender and for me there is no greater feeling than stopping my opponents or getting the ball to your teammate to help your team score.  Some days are hard, but I try to take a greater effort to reflect on how lucky I am to simply play the sport I love every single day.

Finally, being a student athlete in general at Holy Cross is an experience like no other.  Here on the hill about 20% of students own a big black.  For those of you who haven’t experienced a Worcester winter yet, big blacks are the HUGE jackets student athletes are given to survive the winters of the Woo. 1 of out 5 students on this campus is a student-athlete and is sharing in the same experiences that you are.  You make friends in class or through other campus clubs, and you see each other in the weight room or on the field. Every team at Holy Cross is connected and supportive–which you can see when sidelines are filled with students showing their support.

Overall, being a student-athlete at Holy Cross is bound to be one of the most rewarding and powerful experiences of your lifetime. You’ll instantly be connected to your teammates, your classmates, and all of the students who have come before you. I can tell you it will take a lot of work to play on the hill, but I also know that it’s worth it.

Women's Lacrosse outdoor activity: lifting each other up over an 18ft. wall! Photo provided by Madison Smith.
Women’s Lacrosse outdoor activity: lifting each other up over an 18ft. wall! Photo provided by Madison Smith.

“I’m coming home. I’m coming home. Tell the world I’m coming home…”


…….is what singer/ songwriter Skylar Gray might have been shouting a few weekends ago had she been fortunate enough to claim the College of the Holy Cross as her alma mater. Instead, she’ll have to settle for a #11 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart while the rest of us yearly rejoice in the persiflagacious (yes, dear editor, it’s a word- a portmanteau of loquacious and persiflage) but where was I? Ah yes, the persiflagacious procession of purple pride that is Holy Cross Homecoming!

Homecoming- or as I like to call it “Reunion without all the pressure”- is an opportunity for Holy Cross alumni, young and….err, we’ll say “young at heart” to relive the magic that made our time here on the hill so special.

For two days at the end of last month, folks got a chance to step back onto the “Field of Dreams” baseball diamond that once served as their house and will forever remain their home. They took in the sights, the sounds, the faces…and even got a peek at the new $95 million athletic center reconstruction project. While state-of-the-art in its design and majestic in its visage, it is perhaps most groan-inducingly described (at least by this author) as the “Hart Transplant.”

All puns aside, the weekend boasts a bevy of fun fare for Holy Cross friends and family. With adventures ranging from the prestigious (Alumni Association Dinner / O’Callahan Society Annual Meeting,) to the peppy (Goodtime Marching Band Concert / Football, Soccer, and Lacrosse games,) to the perhaps peculiar (“Hidden In Plain Sight” Campus Tour / Kimball Quad Takeover) Holy Cross Homecoming indeed has something for everyone!

Whether you’re a current student looking to support your teams, a recent alumus/alumna longing for one more crouton on the platter of your salad days, a “somewhat” recent graduate looking for someone to mistake you for a student and have you (if only for a fleeting moment) “feeling 22” again, or a member of the “We never should’ve turned down the Big East!” generation, eager to regale with myriad memoirs of mischief and mayhem from many months much missed, Homecoming is blank canvas patiently poised for the purple paint of your particular personal preferences.

And isn’t that what we all love so much about Holy Cross in the first place? Yes, good “young-at-heart” Holy Cross- that small, Jesuit, liberal arts institution- nay *community* – nay *FAMILY* that cooks up such vast and varied cuisine on so many different plates and yet still somehow manages to make us feel like we’re all eating at the same table. That is why we come home, and that is what makes it so hard to leave.

And while now our mass [of congregating alumni] has ended, we look forward to breaking bread with members of the Crusader family in the future. Winter Homecoming (February 24, 2017) is just around the corner. So come and join the meal.

Know your kingdom awaits, we’ve forgiven your mistakes…….and we’ll have a mug of hot chocolate waiting for you!


Thomas J. Severo ’06