Civility: The Etiquette of Holy Cross

alyssa-t[1] brightenedThe summer before I entered Holy Cross, my Class Dean suggested all future Crusaders read Civility by Stephen Carter.  My parents bought it for me at the bookstore during Gateways and it sat on my shelf all summer.  Two days before I moved into Mulledy Hall I reluctantly read it and, (to my surprise) loved it.  During my four years on “the hill,” I was pleased to find that random acts of kindness existed and the Jesuit ideal of “men and women for others” lived strong…..and it still does.

Yesterday, I contemplated what my most distinct memory of the 2009 travel season was and as a result I reflected on several months on the road.  One might think it was interviewing bright minds or meeting fabulous students, counselors, secretaries and teachers who all brightened my days on the road.  Undoubtedly, my interactions with those people were some of my favorite memories but definitely not the most distinct.  The day that truly sets itself apart was a lunch that managed to make me feel completely alone.

I had an hour break between high school visits so I decided to get some soup at Panera.  As I placed the bowl down on the table the massive platter went flying and landed all over me. From my hair down to my shoes, I was covered.  It was there, in a crowded restaurant, I became truly amazed with the lack of civility in today’s society.  To my amazement not one person came over and offered a helping hand.  Sadly, that day served as a tragic realization that civility sometimes fails to exist in our society.

Standing there embarrassed and smelling of vegetable broth I had a flashback to my first year at the Cross.  I was in Kimball, enjoying a meal with my friends, when a girl slipped on a wet tile and went flying.  The throngs of students that rushed to her side would have made Stephen Carter proud.  I truly believe civility is commonplace at Holy Cross and I find myself constantly amazed by positive student actions.  Sadly enough in the “real world” it is increasingly more difficult to find.

After all, my clumsy arm did ruin my cream pants but it was the pure example of fading civility which managed to destroy my entire day.

Alyssa Trometter

Admissions Counselor

Have You Scheduled Your Day Visit Yet?

alyssa-tIt is already October and I am sure a day off from school sounds like a good idea right about now.  What could be better than skipping some classes and coming up to Holy Cross for a day and living the life of a current Crusader?  You might have to make-up some AP course work upon your return but I promise you it will be worth it.  Day Visits are offered to seniors in high school and take place Monday through Friday.  All you have to do is call our office, share your interests, and we will take care of the rest.  At Holy Cross we work hard to try and pair you up with one of our volunteers that match either your academic or extracurricular interests.  We ask that prospective students arrive to Admissions at 8:30 a.m. where they meet up with their host.  During the day most students will have the opportunity to attend a few classes, have a meal at Kimball, hang out in their host’s dorm, and you can even have an interview in Admissions.  There is no better way to get a true feel of what life is like on Mt. Saint James.

So what are you waiting for?

Alyssa Trometter
Admissions Counselor

Try to relax this summer!

alyssa-tI just got off the phone with my seventeen year old cousin who is inevitably freaking out. If you are a rising high school senior, like he is, you have a lot to think about. Face it, next year at this time you will have graduated from your respective high school and most likely will be attending college summer orientation. This upcoming year has a lot in store for you as you begin to finalize your college list, visit campuses, interview, write your essays, and send out numerous applications. You have a lot of goals that need to be set and prioritizing that has to be done. Trust me, if you work hard, everything will get done.

As I spoke to my cousin though I realized that he was becoming so stressed about his senior year that he was not going to enjoy his summer. I had to help him take a step back to realize that he could become organized for the busy autumn ahead while still enjoying these summer months he has off.
Here are some of the ideas we discussed:

  • Plan a road trip with your friends to visit schools you are interested in.
  • Get your family involved. Plan a vacation that involves looking at some distant colleges while you are away. Even plan to visit those long lost relatives that live in states where colleges of interest might be.
  • Make a day of it! Come to Worcester in July for a great lunch on Shrewsbury Street and then check out our July Advisory Days.
  • On a rainy afternoon have a “mock interview” with a friend or family member.
  • Go to a café or diner with your friends, get lots of food, and talk about each other. Recalling great memories or stories from the past could lead to valuable material for that college essay.

I hope you can take advantage of one or all of these ideas listed and of course, find some excitement in the busy months ahead.

Alyssa Trometter
Admissions Counselor

“Why I love Holy Cross”

alyssa-tWe know you have a big decision to make.  Over the next few weeks, members of the Holy Cross community will share their thoughts on what makes Holy Cross so special.

What does the College of the Holy Cross have in common with famous designers like Oscar de la Renta, Nanette Lepore, Vivenne Tam, Monique Lhuillier, and Carolina Herrera?  The color purple.

Having attended Holy Cross for four fabulous years I have acquired more purple than most people can fathom:  I love my purple Holy Cross t-shirt that I wore to my first Holy Cross football game.  I love my purple polka-dotted belt that I wore for two amazing summers as a Gateways Orientation Leader.  I love my purple headband that I sported at every home basketball game.  I love my purple shorts that I wore when I saw Guster in concert during Spring Weekend of my sophomore year.  I love my purple shoulder-bag that lugged class books to Dinand library numerous times a week.  I love my purple tights that I put on before going to Holy Cross’ on-campus pub my senior year.  I love my purple “Holy Cross 2008” banner that now hangs proudly in my office.

Like all Holy Cross Crusaders, I love purple, I have a lot of it, and I am ready for this spring fashion statement.  At Holy Cross we are clearly ahead of the fashion curve.  We have been wearing purple for ages, and we’ve always made purple look good.

Alyssa Trometter
Admissions Counselor

Happy New Year…. Happy Reading?

The New Year has officially begun but this year as I welcomed 2009 I did it with a little bit of hesitation.  I have spent the past few months hearing about what “reading season” is like in admissions but did not know what to expect.  I had my first full day of reading yesterday and am beginning my second one today.  I can honestly say that despite the paper cuts, frequent trips for caffeine, and refilling the lead in my mechanical pencils — I am enjoying it.  Each of the applications I have read seems to tell me a story and my job is to present that story to our selection committee.  Through your counselor and teacher recommendations, interview write-up, high school transcript, personal essays, newspaper clips, and pictures I like trying to get to know each and every one of you.  When I pick up an application for the first time I feel as if we are just meeting each other.  As I finish the last page in your file I want to feel like I know a lot about you.  As I read each application I ask certain questions to myself, like how will you enhance the Holy Cross community?  Will you excel academically?  Will you bring something different to the campus?  Do you already bleed purple?  Do you strive to be a man or woman for others?  Ideally, I discover the answer to these questions in time.  I can admit if I happen to be reading your application, I am guilty of being a bit protective of my Alma Mater.  I want to make sure the students that we accept this year will not only thrive and contribute during their college years but will continue to do so after their time on the hill has ended.  You may have visited, interviewed, come for a day-visit, attended a football game and online chat.  I get it, you are hooked, and you love Holy Cross.  But do you also care and love for your family, the community around you, and the greater world.  Do you want to make a difference after college and work to live out the Jesuit mission?  Holy Cross students are a special type, they definitely have the brains but they most undeniably have the heart.  Basically amidst all the numbers (grades, test scores, GPA distribution charts, class rank) I really want to see your heart.

Alyssa Trometter
Admissions Counselor

Don’t worry, there’s still time to find your dream school

As a recent graduate of Holy Cross and one of the newest admissions counselors, can I really admit that Holy Cross was not at the top of
my college visit list? I guess it’s safe
to say I can. The truth is I had never
even heard of Holy Cross until October of my senior year of high school. It had popped up on one of my online Princeton Review searches as a college I
would most likely love — but I honestly didn’t take a second look. Why? The
name scared me. I was worried Holy Cross
would turn me into a nun. That’s just
the plain, candid truth. But as the fall
approached I started to panic. I had
visited twelve schools and none of them had “clicked” with me.

I felt like I was never going to find a college I absolutely
loved. After all I had attended tours
and info sessions at colleges in North
Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Colorado, Arizona and California. My parents were patient throughout the whole
process but I could tell they were at the end of their rope with planning
college visit trips disguised as family vacations. Since I felt like I was out of options I
decided to send away for information from Holy Cross. One Saturday night at 12 a.m. (Junior Driver’s License typical curfew
time) I returned from my friend’s house to find the Holy Cross “What Am I Doing
Here?” booklet on my bed. I opened it up
and started to read….and read. I was
intrigued. So intrigued I jumped out of
bed, ran downstairs and woke my parents up.
I remember sitting on their bed telling them that Holy Cross was where I
wanted to go and where I was meant to be.
Since I had said this twelve other times, they were rightfully skeptical. The next day we scheduled my November Day Visit
to campus.

One of the reasons November is my favorite month at Holy
Cross is because it is the month I fell in love with my Alma Mater and the
month I realized that there was still time for me to apply. The moment I stepped onto campus that crisp
November day in 2003 I knew I had found my school. I got the feeling I had been searching for
all along. Simply put, there is just something
about Holy Cross in the fall. As a
prospective student I had not yet fallen in love with autumn at Holy Cross
because of Halloween on campus, Thanksgiving Dinner at Kimball, or apple picking
trips to orchards planned through Student Programs. Those things indeed came later and only
affirmed my love for this special season on the hill. At first I simply fell in love with the students,
the architecture, and of course the changing leaves with their crisp browns and
rich maroons. Finally, I had found the
place I knew I belonged and I never looked back.

So as a high school senior reaching the month of November I
urge you to take a deep breathe and realize that there is still time for you to
discover Holy Cross….and what if you already have? I hope the feeling I just described resonates
within each one of you.

Alyssa Trometter
Admissions Counselor

Welcome from Alyssa Trometter!

Hi! My name is Alyssa Trometter and I graduated from Holy Cross in May of 2008 where I majored in History and created my own minor through the CISS program in Indigenous Studies.  I decided to come to work in the Admissions Office after having a fabulous experience volunteering as a Tour Guide, Day Visit/Overnight Host, and Senior Interviewer during my time on Mt. Saint James.  As you probably could have guessed I love Holy Cross and life on the Hill — even though my junior year (which I spent abroad in Melbourne, Australia) was almost as picturesque!  I was born and raised in San Diego, California and moved to Gladwyne, Pennsylvania (a suburb outside Philadelphia) before high school with my family.  Even though I live in Massachusetts now, I still always look forward to visiting my parents, older brother, and our two Pugs, black Lab and Tabby cat whenever I can.  I also love rowing, the color pink (and HC purple), watching cricket, desserts, sundresses, Vegemite and anything involving the ocean.

Alyssa Trometter ’08
Admissions Counselor