Spencer Caron

An overused cliché is that time seems to fly by.  I try to use the saying sparingly, but it is perfectly applicable to how I, and many of my friends, feel about the speed with which freshman year has passed.  As I moved all of my things out of my room on the second floor of Hanselman, I naturally remembered the much warmer day on which my parents and fumbled through my many belongings and began to organize what would be my home for the coming year.

Moving out, however, was a different in a few regards.  First, I had my good friends to help expedite the process.  It is baffling how one manages to accumulate more things to bring back home throughout the course of the year.   Second, I had the strange feeling of being anxious to leave Holy Cross, rather than the natural anxiety I felt arriving on campus in the fall.  Being home is wonderful, but it will take time to decompress, start a new schedule and attempt to get used to not being able to see my best friends each and every day.

I feel grateful to have had such a rewarding freshman year.  One of the most notable  advantages of being at Holy Cross is how quickly one can become a part of the enriching community.  Beyond the good fortune I had of making friends with the people two doors down from me, I have met people from all grades through Moot Court and the process of becoming an RA .  The workload will leave you feeling ready for a break, but I am already looking forward to my Sophomore year at Holy Cross.


When applying to Holy Cross, it was relatively easy to gather information on the academics, class size and types of majors and extracurricular activities. These are the things that can be broken down into figures and printed in the fliers that all visitors receive in the admissions office. These figures undoubtedly helped me and nearly all prospective students decide if Holy Cross is a good fit.

However, one crucial aspect of being at a college that cannot be quantified is the living environment. Once you’ve moved your belongings into the room and the first hectic day ends, you quickly realize that Holy Cross will be your home for the next four years. This was the aspect of coming to Holy Cross that made me the most uneasy; it was simply something I could not know anything about until I was actually living on campus.

With this being said, Holy Cross has numerous ways in which they acclimate students to residence life as quickly as possible. First, prospective students can stay a night with a current student to see what a HC student’s typical day and night may look like .  Then, once a student has decided to attend Holy Cross, the orientation program coupled with the Montserrat program, in which all freshman take part, ensure that freshman do not feel like they are left to their own devices to become acquainted with their new home before classes begin.

Lastly, the Residence Assistants present in all freshman dorms have allowed me and my friends to more smoothly transition into living away from home.  Their frequent office hours and willingness to answer questions at any time provided an accessible point of contact right away.  The first few weeks, most of the people on the freshman floors leave their doors open so as to allow for people to get to know one another.  Be sure to do the same since your best friends could be right across the hall!

My friends and I are not in the Holy Cross band. In fact, none of us are studying music at the College. However, I can speak to the fact that music is a popular interest on campus, both officially and recreationally.

When you attend a basketball game, for instance, you will hear the pep band playing loudly across from the high-energy student’s section. On another occasion, you can attend a concert put on by your friends and students. Many of these students are in fact music majors, minors or double majors. https://www.holycross.edu/academics/programs/music

If you are not planning on a major in music or being a member of the Holy Cross band, there are many opportunities to explore a musical hobby. Between the frequent “10 spot” concerts held in the student center, the much anticipated battle of the bands and the handful of popular a cappella groups, there are no barriers to students sharing their musical talents with their peers at Holy Cross

My friends and I and many other non music majors on campus are given access to a band room in which we can rehearse.  Holy Cross also offers music and vocal lessons on campus if you are looking to make progress during your time on campus.  https://www.holycross.edu/academics/programs/music/lessons-and-performance-program.  In short, whether you’re an established musician or someone who has just begun to learn, you will find that music is very much a part of the liberal arts curriculum here at Holy Cross.

Diversity of studies is what one will receive at Holy Cross.  Being a Jesuit liberal arts school necessitates academic diversity. However, Holy Cross understands that not all of her students will have their most pressing questions satisfactorily answered through a traditional single, or even double major.  That is why Holy Cross’ Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS) exists.   Beyond sponsoring the exceedingly successful Washington D.C. program, CIS has helped many students fine tune their course of study to ensure that each students can have his or her questions answered fully.

I have recently been working with the CIS and my academic advisor to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics, or PPE for short.  Inspired by the model that is popular at Oxford University, I wished to combine my interests in philosophy, politics and economic theory into a cohesive course of study.  Upon bringing my idea to Professor Cass of the department, he was immediately receptive.  In addition to discussing the logistics of the plan, he advised me to talk to Professor Denise Schaeffer who, unbeknownst to me, is already advising a current Holy Cross student pursuing a PPE major.

Once a student decides he or she wants to pursue a self-designed major, they simply need to meet with an advisor, draft a letter of intent and begin to think strategically about course selection.  Whether it’s, PPE, cognitive science, computer economics or a myriad of other combinations of academic disciplines, Holy Cross will enthusiastically support her student’s academic plans.

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Spencer Caron '20

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