Much like the people depicted in Plato’s Republic, my colleagues and I have recently spent a great deal of time in a dark space looking straight ahead. However, while the protagonist in the “Allegory of the Cave” is forced to grapple with the meaning of shadows, statues, fire, and sunlight, the Holy Cross admission staff has pondered over academic rigor, personal statements, interview notes, and letters of recommendation. Having just completed our admission committee process for the Class of 2023, it feels like the right time to reflect on our work and the work of our applicants…through a liberal arts lens, of course.
While Plato’s cavemen and cavewomen view the shadows on the wall as their one true reality, Holy Cross’ admission counselors never lose sight of the fact that our applicants are more than what can be seen on our projector screens. Through interviews, essays, recommendations, and conversations, we strive to know each applicant on a personal level so that we can fully understand and evaluate the essence of every individual.
I can’t tell you how happy we are to walk out of our
cave committee room and interact with the Holy Cross Class of 2023 during Admitted Student Day in April. We are thrilled to watch new students join us for summer orientations and to see the impact that each new Crusader will have on our campus over the next four years. Like Plato’s philosopher who is initially blinded by the sun, first days on the Hill will be marked by adjustment and awakening. Fortunately, the education that you will receive and the experiences that you will have atop Mount Saint James will ultimately transform you and point you towards the Form of the Good in life.
There is nothing better than knowing where you are going to college early-on in your senior year of high school. I applied ED to Holy Cross because I knew there was no other place for me. I loved everything about this school from the people to the buildings and even the hills. ED was a big commitment and I remember hitting send on the application was daunting. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I’m incredibly happy that I applied ED, because I truly had time to anticipate the next part of my life and the changes ahead. The transition to Holy Cross is challenging and takes much preparation. Here are some of my personal tips and tricks to maximize college readiness before you begin your time on the Hill.
- Don’t slack off with your school work now that you’ve gotten into and committed to a college. The Holy Cross Admission team asserts that your acceptance is secured by maintaining good grades. For many of my ED friends, the transition to Holy Cross was much harder because of the fact that they really hadn’t studied for anything since the fall of senior year. Classes here hit the ground running as soon as you arrive so be sure to continue to practice good study habits so they are fresh when you get here. Also, finish strong! If you were accepted to Holy Cross, you are a phenomenal student. Don’t stop now. Classes are challenging but manageable and professors are incredibly supportive and helpful.
- Connect with your classmates via the Facebook group and Instagram. I met my best friend here through Instagram and I’m so happy I did. Don’t be afraid to DM each other, and if you live in the same area grab coffee and get to know each other. The transition into college is much easier when you already have a community of people you know. It also makes events like Summer Gateways Orientation extremely fun because you get to experience everything with a group.
- College is not at all like high school. The biggest lesson I’ve learned since arriving at Holy Cross is the fact that college is very different from high school. You no longer have parents telling you to wake up and get ready, meal times are when you want them, and you have more freedom and autonomy over your schedule. These differences become apparent as soon as your parents leave you on move-in day. Over time, I’ve discovered other differences that helped me grow more comfortable. College students are generally more mature. You never have to feel nervous about asking a stranger if you can sit with them in Kimball Dining Hall.
- Everybody is in the same boat. Walking in as a first-year student is really hard especially during orientation. My orientation group was awesome and I still talk to all the students, but we also ended up forming friendships outside of the group. I wish I had known early on that so many people feel that way going through the orientation process. It’s important to know finding your best friends doesn’t happen overnight. It took me a really long time to solidify my friendships here and even part of the way into the second semester I feel like I’m still making friends. It takes time so don’t sweat it, because you are not alone. Just get involved on campus and you’ll find your community, that’s how I did it.
- Branch out. That said, don’t confine yourself to one group of people. Eat meals with people in your classes, in your clubs, or on your floor. Be sure to introduce yourself to people. Holy Cross is a small campus full of friendly people who are here to make friends and get to know you.. There is nothing better than sitting in the Hogan Campus Center and having many different people say hello to you. Sometimes it can be distracting but it’s really telling of the community built here.
- Try and visit (again). If you know anyone currently studying at Holy Cross, contact them and try to come and visit. Get to know the campus more. I’ve been visiting Holy Cross since I was little, but for the people who don’t know the campus as well, visit a bunch of times. It’s extremely helpful to get an understanding of campus before you arrive.
We are so excited for the Class of 2023 to join us here on the Hill. Spring semester is here in full swing and there are so many wonderful adventures to embark on here at Holy Cross. Stay focused on the rest of senior year and look forward to the next four years at Holy Cross.
-Olivia H. ’22