Admission: Not Impossible

Volunteer Spotlight: Jerome Siangco ’19 and Michael Peplowski ’20

February 5th, 2018 sshuman

Name: Jerome Siangco

Class Year: 2019

Major/Concentration: Asian Studies & Global Health, Peace & Conflict Studies Concentration

Hometown and State: Renton, Washington

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

Flexibility of the academic schedule and the student population size.

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

Taking standardized tests, such as the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and the ACT. It was resolved because after taking all these tests, multiple times, Holy Cross did not need any of them.

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

I looked forward to being involved in student organizations and athletics.

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

I was worried about living in New England, coming from the west coast. It was remedied through making friends from all different geographic locations.

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

What is your favorite thing about giving tours?

The energy I receive through sharing my experiences, knowledge, and stories of being a student at Holy Cross and interacting with prospective families.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?

The Hogan Campus Center first floor is my favorite spot because I always see people I know and have great conversations.

What do you like talking about most on campus tours?

I like talking about Student Affairs.

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

The most common question I get on tours is why I decided to come to Holy Cross. My response in a nutshell is I chose Holy Cross because I felt I would be able to grow and find a comfortable community here through a student population size of 2900 and of professor’s focuses being only the undergraduate population.

Why did you want to be a tour guide?

To share my experiences of being a student at Holy Cross and to have an impact on prospective families regarding their college admission process.

What have you learned from being a tour guide?

I learned the bell in front of O’kane disappeared over night.

Do you find that there are a lot of alumni on tours? What’s it like interacting with them?

During certain weeks, such as Alumni Weekend or when there is a home sporting event. It is great hearing their stories, of where they lived and what they did here. Some of them talking lead at points when walking or coming into Dinand.

What is your favorite thing about HC?

The community of students, faculty, and staff at Holy Cross.

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

I will miss living in close proximity to all my friends.

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

When thinking about college, try and picture if you would be able to live for four years at a given institution. Look around and think if you could see yourself as one of the students you see walking.

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

The Sanctae Crucis Awards dinner. Here five alumni were awarded the college’s highest award for their service to the great community. It was inspiration to see what a Holy Cross education and experience can amount to because all five of these individuals have done remarkable things to serve both domestically and internationally.

Name: Michael Peplowski

Class Year: Sophomore

Major/Minor/Concentration: Undeclared (Leaning towards History)

Hometown and State: Pittsfield, MA

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

I was really drawn by the atmosphere and the strong sense of community that I saw on my visits to Holy Cross.

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

I was most nervous for the interview but I was interviewed by a student who did their best to calm my nerves. She actually made the interview feel more like a conversation which definitely made me feel better.

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

I was looking forward to taking advantage of all the opportunities that Holy Cross offers. From volunteer opportunities to engaging lectures to sporting events, I was eager to be involved outside of the classroom and experience extracurricular activities.

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

Coming from a high school of 80 kids, many of them who I had been going to school with since kindergarten, I was worried about leaving behind the tight knit school community that I had been a part of for 12 years. I was also worried about leaving my family and friends. However, my worries proved to be trivial because Holy Cross has a very strong sense of community that made me feel right at home. It is very easy to meet people and everyone is so friendly that it did not take long for me to feel comfortable and leave my fears about transitioning behind.

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

I enjoy engaging the families and prospective students and trying to make them feel comfortable. I remember how uncomfortable and nerve-racking some of my college visits were and I do my best to make sure that the prospective students and visitors do not feel that here at Holy Cross.

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

Many prospective students and families are interested to hear about the transition process and extracurricular activities at the school. While these seem cliche, I actually enjoy talking about them. I think that my transition from such a small school to here was so seamless that I can honestly tell the prospective students and families that Holy Cross does a wonderful job of helping students transition. That conversation shifts into extracurricular activities, which played a huge role in my acclimation process. I participate in several extracurriculars, all of which I am passionate about, so it is very easy to talk about those while touching on the importance of getting involved to help the transition process.

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

Many prospective students are concerned about finding a major and a career path as soon as they enter college. They think that they need to have an idea and plan for their college career as well as their postgraduate life. While some people  may like to have this, it is totally not necessary. I came in with no clue what I wanted major in, let alone do for the rest of my life after graduation! My advice to those with no clear path, would be do not worry. You have plenty of time to figure things out. Just take classes that you are interested in and fill some of those general requirements along the way. Keep an open mind! Take classes that you are unsure about. Explore. When you find a subject that you feel strongly about, pursue it. Overall, do not stress major and career path if you do not have one.

Why did you join the outreach program?

I joined the outreach program because I feel strongly about Holy Cross and I wanted to spread the word. I also want to do my best to make all prospective students and families feel calm and comfortable during what can be such stressful times!

What makes HC special for you?

Holy Cross is special for me because it feels like home. I am not sure exactly how to put it into words but I just knew that Holy Cross was right for me and I still have that feeling today.

What is your favorite thing about HC?

My favorite thing about Holy Cross is the people. The faculty, staff, and students here make Holy Cross the place it is. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming and it is these people that allow Holy Cross to have the feeling of a tight knit community.

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

When I graduate, I will miss the people the most. I will miss all my friends as well as the faculty and staff that I have grown close with. Also, I will definitely miss fall on campus. The foliage on the buildings is wonderful.

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

Relax and enjoy the ride! Do not let the college process stress you out. Find the school that feels like home for you.

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

The most exciting event that I have attended this year was when Judge Leon came to my American Government class. Judge Leon, a Holy Cross Alumni, came back to campus to give a lecture in the Rehm Library the night before about his job and some of the high profile cases that he has ruled on, which was very interesting. My American Government class was lucky enough to have him come in and talk to us and answer our questions. It was a great experience to have a high profile figure who happens to be a Holy Cross Alumni come talk to a our class. (Shoutout to Political Science Professor Hindman for making that happen!)

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