A Return to the Hill

By John Buzzard

Coming back to the College of the Holy Cross is something I thought about during the summer. After having an unforgettable first year, I was ready to move up on campus. There are a number of changes that happen between years: friends go abroad, senior role models graduate, and a brand new year of students arrive. With Holy Cross it seems that the more things change, the more things tend to stay the same. The dorms are still here. The friends we made last year are still here. The classes are still difficult. Yet despite this balance of old and new, there is a different atmosphere.

When I came to Holy Cross last year, it was an unfamiliar place with hundreds of people I had never met. These people came from different walks of life, different states, and even different countries. As I joined new clubs and made new friends, I got to hear their stories and learn how they came to attend Holy Cross. The campus’s friendly atmosphere helped me become more comfortable talking to new people and stepping out of my comfort zone. I felt like I fit in with this new group of people.

Now that I’m coming back as a sophomore, things really do feel different. There wasn’t a layer of mystery to move-in because I knew my roommates. There wasn’t a big hype to bringing all of my boxes into my room because I had experienced it all last year. I knew all the buildings, and I knew most of the professors that I would have this year. The discomfort that I felt last year has gone away because I came to feel like a part of the Holy Cross community. This year I want to keep up with my classes, be more involved, and enjoy college life. I’m no longer a first-year student, but I want to be able to share my experiences with others.

To the returning students reading this, please help the first-year students feel like a part of the Holy Cross community. We all remember where we were in our first fall semester. We were trying to find our friend groups as well as trying to find our place in the puzzle that makes up Holy Cross. Captains of teams, co-chairs of clubs, and presidents of organizations all have a responsibility to be leaders and role models who help new students adjust to life on the hill.

To the first year students reading this, join clubs and meet new people. This advice has been hammered into your brains so many times already because it is true. You’ll find your place by being yourself and pursuing your passions. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone; you’ll be happy you did. Everything is different now, but you’ll get adjusted and find your place soon. The college experience is all about what you make of it. Enjoy yourselves, and welcome to the Holy Cross community!

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