Will Peters '17

Tomorrow night I’ll board a redeye flight to Massachusetts to begin my second year at Holy Cross. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and returning to my second home.  On Saturday, the Class of 2018 will move in and become the newest members of the Holy Cross community. Welcome!

These are things I was told or wish I was told and eventually discovered during my first year on the Hill. There’s two pieces of advice I left off the list because I consider them to be inherent qualities in every Crusader. Those two qualities are that you work hard as well as play hard. Those two aside, here are ten more things to try.

1. Say, “Yes!” – My RA told me that when he was a freshman someone told him he should go around being a, “Yes!” man in order to get involved on campus and try new things. I took his advice and said “Yes!” to many opportunities. One of my yeses was chapel choir. Even though I was the only male singer, I enjoyed singing at 7:30 masses on Sunday evenings with this talented group of women and several of them became some of my best friends.

2. Don’t be afraid to quit – Some of the things you say “Yes!” to may not work out for one reason or another. One of the new things I tried was crew. Even though I enjoyed working out with the team and I met a handful of great guys, I wasn’t passionate about the sport and it was taking up a lot of time. So I quit. Quitting was hard but I wouldn’t trade the experience of trying something new or the friendships I made for anything.

3. Practice humility – This was, without a doubt, the greatest lesson I learned during the year. Being humble was especially helpful when dealing with some roommate problems. I asked myself how I was part of the problem instead of constantly pointing a finger at my roommate. Taking responsibility instead of made all the difference in resolving the situation.

4. Go to office hours – You’ll probably get tired of hearing this one within a couple weeks. Our classes are so small and our professors are so accessible at Holy Cross, you would be foolish not to make the most of this time our professors set aside for us. While taking Calculus 2, I went to Professor Konate’s office every Monday after lunch to do problems on his chalkboard. Even if you don’t need help or have a specific question, consider going if only to foster a relationship with another member of the Holy Cross community.

5.  Never eat alone – Okay, maybe some days you’re in a rush and you can’t devote the time to talking over a meal but this is a ”rule” I created for myself to meet new people. Every time I went to eat in Kimball, I’d make it a point to find someone to eat with and if there wasn’t anybody I’d already met, I would sit with someone new and meet them. I met so many people this way and had so many wonderful conversations.

6. Go on a retreat – First, I totally recommend visiting Campion House, the Chaplain’s Office. Even if you don’t need to talk to a chaplain, stop in for one of the homemade cookies they always have in the kitchen. There’s a great retreat just for freshmen, Escape. Definitely go if you can and are interested. You don’t have to be religious at all, you just have to be open.

7. Serve others – Join SPUD (Student Programs for Urban Development), be a Big Brother or a Big Sister, or join Working for Worcester.  Find something to do that helps someone other then yourself. Holy Cross has so many opportunities to serve, especially through the Chaplain’s Office. I joined a SPUD that gave me the opportunity me to prepare and serve dinner at a Salvation Army Soup Kitchen every third Sunday. Spending time with some of Worcester’s needier individuals opened my eyes and helped me to see how blessed and grateful I was to be at Holy Cross.

8. Say “No.” – There will come a time when there are too many great opportunities to choose from. You are going to have to say no to a lot of them. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s better to devote myself wholly to a few things than spreading myself thin by making too many commitments.

9. Be yourself – I know it may sound cliché but seriously, Holy Cross will be made better by you sharing who you really are with the community there. Make friends with people who it’s easy to be yourself and I think you’ll be surprised at how much those friends help you grow into the person you want to be.

10. Be patient – For me, first semester was not easy and I did struggle. I thought I would be a lot better at college then I was. But, I tried to make the most of the situation and I tried my best to be patient. In time, things got so much better. I had such a great time second semester. The best advice I can offer is to try and never lose sight of all the things that are going right. Even though freshman year might be difficult, think of the people and experiences that make you happy to be a Crusader and soon enough you’ll be having the time of your life.

I look forward to meeting you, members of the Class of 2018. I wish you all the best as you begin your time here at Holy Cross. To everyone who has read my blog this past year, thank you. This will be my last post. It’s been a pleasure sharing my experiences with you.


At around 5:00 EST on Friday, May 9th, after handing in my Organic Chemistry I Final I vowed to think about chemistry as little as possible until I begin the second semester of the course this fall. I was much too quickly, and rather ironically, unsuccessful at avoiding chemistry, namely, three elements in particular: carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. After going a year at Holy Cross with my roommate Luis watching it on Netflix, many of my friends raving about it in and out of class, and then, finally, my English teacher commenting about the quality of Bryan Cranston’s Walter White as a complex character, I decided to watch the pilot of Breaking Bad soon after returning home for the summer. In part due to my immense need for rest after a rigorous semester and the addictiveness of Breaking Bad’s methamphetamine (C10H15N) driven plot, I finished the entire series, all 62 episodes, within two weeks.


Breaking Bad’s Walt and Jesse kickin’ it after a cook


This post is way overdue. And although I could blame Heisenberg, the great books I’ve been reading, my job lifeguarding, or my family and friends for occupying all my time all I can say is that I’m currently living on Tahoe Time. Tahoe Time dictates that things that could be done today can also be done, just as well, tomorrow. And so life has gone on up here in my favorite place on the planet, Lake Tahoe, California. Like I said, I started and finished Breaking Bad, keeping up with 24: Live Another Day (Jack is back!), and, against my better judgment I’ve started and am totally gripped by House of Cards. I’ve read some stellar books. Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken has undoubtedly been the highlight. It is a must-read story about a World War II POW if you haven’t already. I work as a lifeguard and swim lesson instructor at a local pool up here five days a week as well. Convinced I have the cushiest job I’ll ever have, I tell people it’s arduous work, but someone has to do it. I’ve also been making sure to spend lots of time with my family. I really missed the five (six, if you count Charlie, our labradoodle) this past year.  It’s been so nice to share meals, hike, float the Truckee River, and play Frisbee and baseball (Chukit!, for Charlie) with them.


My brother, sister and I ready to hit the Truckee River


I have had quite a bit of time to think back and reflect on my first year on the Hill at Holy Cross.  It went by so incredibly fast. Towards the end of the year, I started running up and down College Street to and from a nature trail that’s close by. Living in Wheeler Hall, I’d come and go via Gate 7. As I took my last run one morning during Finals Week, I ran through Gate 7 and felt as if it was just days ago that I sat with my Mom in our jam packed rental SUV on College Hill, waiting anxiously, to pull on to Holy Cross’s campus and move-in to Wheeler. I had an incredible year. I learned so much, a lot in the classroom, but more outside of it. I made some remarkable friends. Many of whom I’m really missing not seeing everyday this summer! We’ve done our best to keep in touch via Snapchat, text, email and the occasional phone call. Most of all, Holy Cross, over the course of a year, became a home. The community that is Holy Cross welcomed me in with open arms and now I feel as if I’m part of the family. Although I was very much ready to come back to California for the summer, I am looking forward to returning to the Hill this fall.


The last stateside Snap from Hannah, a friend who worked and studied at Holy Cross as a German Language Assistant this past year


Welcome to the Class of 2018!  You should be proud of yourselves. It took four years of hard work to get to where you are as an incoming Crusader. Enjoy your summers’ and rest-up in preparation for this Fall. Stay tuned for my very own Top 10 Things Every First Year Crusader Should Know coming soon.


It was a long winter ladies and gentleman. Word on the street here in New England is that this past winter was an exceptionally bad one. I sure hope so because that was a shock to my system. I didn’t sign up for that much snow and that much cold, for THAT long.  Nobody ever said it could be that bad.  Just know, they don’t tell you about the weather in admissions.


Snow removal equipment

Spring is finally in the air. Last week, rain melted the last of the snow on campus.  On Friday the sun was shining and it was a bluebird day. Even though it was only about forty something degrees outside, I busted out my shorts and a t-shirt. I figure this wardrobe change, my optimism, and longing will speed up the seasons and Mother Nature. I cannot wait for summer.

Life here at Holy Cross has been, unlike the horrendous winter weather, exceptionally good. Classes have been going great. I’ve been learning a lot and I am busy all the time. The most notable difference between first and second semester is that now I have a pretty solid group of friends that I do almost everything with. That “time management” dilemma everyone talks about is one I’ve been coping with this semester. There are just so many wonderful opportunities to pursue and tons of great people to be with in addition to all of the work that has to get done.

This past weekend, my dad came and visited me from California. It was such an incredible treat to get to see him and spend time together.  On Friday afternoon, he arrived from Boston and I gave him a campus tour and he took some of my friends and me out to dinner at the Flying Rhino Cafe on Shrewsbury Street. Then, on Saturday, I took a bus into Boston and met up with my dad. After another delectable meal out, we took the T down to Fenway Park and bought a couple of tickets off a scalper in time to see the top of the third of the Red Sox and Brewers game. That was my first time to Fenway. It’s a very cool, older stadium and Red Sox vans are diehards. With his CA blood, my dad was “freezing” in the mid-forty degree weather watching the game. Because we’re not huge baseball fans, we left the game after the seventh inning stretch. We didn’t miss much. The Sox lost by a single run after the completion of the 11th inning.  By that time, I was already fast asleep in the bed of my Dad’s hotel room.


Me and my dad

It’s hard to believe I have less than five weeks left in my freshman year. This year has gone by faster than ever.  Although I hope they all don’t race by this quick, I’ve heard the following years only go by faster.  No matter how fast, I plan on savoring all the time I have here on the Hill.


A game of stickball in progress on Wheeler beach

A long while, at that. Two months and a day to be exact. Yikes. I apologize to all of you who keep up with my blog better than I do. I’m back now.

This post is dedicated to KT Kennedy. KT is my lab supervisor for Organic Chemistry. I was on my way into the organic chemistry lab yesterday when KT told me she’d found my blog on HC’s website and liked what she read. I confessed it’s been a while since I’d posted and needed to post soon. She recommended a post about the lab we had done. This one’s for you KT.

As a pre-med student, I’ll be taking four semesters of chemistry here at Holy Cross. Last semester I took Atoms and Molecules with Professor Hupp and it was my favorite class. This semester I’m taking Organic Chemistry I with Professor Quinn. Organic chemistry is hard but I really like it.  It’s completely different than anything I’ve ever done before. It’s like math with carbons and hydrogens and more than one way to solve each problem.  It’s a new skill that’s hard to acquire, but like Professor Hupp was, Professor Quinn is an amazing teacher. Each of the faculty I’ve encountered in the chemistry department is especially passionate about not only teaching but also the material he or she teaches. In addition to being extraordinary teachers, each of them also gets “the big picture.” The engaging lectures, challenging tests, long problem sets, after-hours review sessions, demystifying office-hour visits, and involved labs have taught me equally as many life skills as they have taught me chemistry.

With each semester of chemistry I take, I also have lab. Lab meets once a week for two hours and fifteen minutes. In that time we perform an experiment. Now I don’t mean watch an experiment be performed by the lab supervisor. I mean actually do an experiment. Like spend two plus hours doing the pre-lab write up and quiz the night before, attend a pre-lab lecture, and then show up to lab and perform the experiment individually. We all have our own lockers for our glassware and goggles and this semester I even have my own hood.


Pre-lab in progress


The most important thing I’ve learned in the lab is patience. When I was a little kid and would get completely agitated waiting for something, my dad would always say, “Patience is a virtue.” Patience may be a virtue but little has changed, I am still incredibly impatient. Last semester in the lab, I learned, while performing a titration, that impatience would lead to my demise in the lab. The way an acid-base titration works is that if you have an acid with an unknown concentration, you can discover it’s concentration by incrementally adding a basic solution of a known concentration to the acid until it reaches equilibrium. Because the amount of acid and base are equal at equilibrium, once we know the volume of base at equilibrium, we can calculate the concentration of the unknown acid. The way we knew when we reached equilibrium in the titration was by adding a couple drops of an indicator to the base so that as soon as all the acid and base have reacted, the indicator turns the solution pink. Now, the goal is to stop the titration as soon as one tiny drop of base changes the color of the solution. Because we only had a rough idea of what volume the titration would be complete at, much precision and patience were required to perform an accurate titration. When I performed my first titration, I rushed through it. My solution was pink, but not too pink, I thought. So I asked Professor Hupp, “Is this too pink?” With an endearing laugh, she responded, “Oh yeah!” Good thing that was only my first of three trials. I was less pink the next time. And even less the final time. Practice makes perfect. Slow and steady…performs the titration.

Yesterday in the Organic Chemistry Lab, we performed a pretty cool experiment. Our main objective was to determine the reactivities of chemically different hydrogens in various compounds. We did this by mixing and heating a slew of extremely hazardous chemicals, salt, and baking soda and then analyzing our products with gas chromatography. Don’t ask me what gas chromatography is or how it works. Professor Quinn and KT explained it, it’s in my notes, but it’s almost ten o’clock on this Friday night that concludes my third quarter here at Holy Cross. I’ll figure out gas chromatography. But not tonight. Patience is indeed a virtue.


KT explaining gas chromatography


I need to get to bed. I’ll be up and at em’ at 4:15 to leave for Chicago. Over 300 Crusaders of us Crusaders are traveling to over 25 different sites as part of Holy Cross’s Spring Break Immersion Program. Over the course of this next week we’ll practice being men and women with and for others in these marginal communities in 13 of our United States. I’ll fill you in when I get back. And it’ll be less than a two-month and one day wait this time. I promise.

I’ve been reluctant to write a post for nearly a month now.  In my defense, over the course of the past two weeks I’ve been reluctant to do anything that involves any amount  of “brain strain.” I take break seriously. My days have been filled with generous amounts of reading, sleeping, eating, and relaxing with my family and friends. To give you an idea of what i consider to be a perfect day, I’ll tell you about last Sunday. I woke up early (for as much as I may want to, I cannot sleep in. Because of this, afternoon naps are king.) and just laid in bed for an hour or so. Then I rolled out of bed and transplanted my lazy self to a recliner downstairs.   I downloaded a book on my iPad, John Green’s Looking for Alaska, and spent the morning devouring half of the book, a bowl of oatmeal, and numerous cups of tea.  Then I tore myself away from Green’s page turner and went on a hike with Greg, my Canadian friend from high school who goes to the University of British Columbia. After the hike, I read a bit more then went to Mass and dinner with my Dad. Following the magnificent time with my Dad, I returned to the recliner to finish the book only to fall asleep a few pages in and mid-sentence. I had 25 pages to go but I couldn’t keep my eyes opened. Somehow I ended up in my bed (Thanks Dad).


Chilling with Greg

A week ago, I was still on campus at Holy Cross. To be exact, I had just handed in my Chemistry final.  I wish I could have done better on the exam but all I really wanted to do at that point was get home.  A storm was brewing and hit on Saturday night and my flight which was scheduled to depart at 8:30 on Sunday morning was in jeopardy. I was nervous! I’ll have you know that nearly every New Englander I told about my itinerary laughed. The majority pessimistically said there was no way my flight was gonna take-off due to the storm. Well, my flight did take-off. So there, negative New Englanders!


Holy Cross, covered in snow

After my Chemistry final, my brain switched to standby. For as desolated as campus was at this point, there were several guys still on my floor, including my roommate Luis, whose flight home to the Philippines didn’t leave Logan until two on Sunday. Walking back to Wheeler, I saw Blaze. I was bummed to see Blaze! Blaze had left for Logan four hours ago for his flight back to CA. Virgin had delayed the flight indefinitely for 24 hours. Moral of the story: Southwest rocks!

Even the though the only thing I wanted to do was go home, I had one of my best nights on campus to date. Me, Blaze, and a couple of girls from New Jersey took a Zipcar to Flying Rhino, a restaurant on Shrewsbury Street. We celebrated the successful completion of our first semester of college with great food and even better conversation. We got back to the winter wonderland that was Holy Cross around 8:30. I decided it’d be a good idea to start packing. My haphazard throwing of clothes into a duffel was interrupted when Luis and Umberto made an  offer I couldn’t refuse. The two of them had jacked three trays from Lower Kimball and had scouted out the best of the many hills on the Hill when they asked me to join them sledding. We had a blast! We stayed out until almost midnight when we decided to go in because our clothes were drenched and we were freezing. I figured with my shuttle picking me up at 4:30, I had better get some sleep.


Blaze and his homemade snowboard

 My travel day was unbelievable really. My alarm went off at four.  I walked out of Wheeler to find an accumulation of nearly a foot of snow. Knight’s wouldn’t pick me up at Wheeler so a snowy walk to Hogan 3 was a must. I got into the van to find it full of other Crusaders, the majority of which were on my flight. I had to hand it to the shuttle driver. We slipped and slided most of the way to the Mass. Pike and yet he still managed to get us to Logan safely and promptly.  Now for the flight.  As if by a miracle, we boarded on-time. The entire forty minutes we spent taxiing and waiting to take-off on the tarmac, the ground crew was spraying the plane with deicer. I’d never seen anything like it. And then those two wheels lifted off the runway.  As far as I was concerned I was as good as home.

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I hope your holiday season has been filled with joy, light, and hope.  God bless you all and thank you for reading.

Colourful 2014 in fiery sparklers

I liked Holy Cross from the moment I stepped on campus. My family was in Boston for a wedding during Christmas of 2011 when I asked my Dad if we could drive out and take a tour of Holy Cross. He agreed to spending one night at a hotel in Worcester in order to do an early morning tour. I was a junior at Jesuit High School in Sacramento, California and this was going to be my first college visit. While on the tour, I turned to my dad and said, “I think I could go to school here.” He stopped and was like, “Whoa. Hold on buddy. Do you know how cold it gets here?! Do you know how far away from home we are?!” I didn’t know the answers to either of those questions and although I couldn’t really tell you why, I l knew I wanted to go here. Now, I know the answers to both questions.

First, it’s really cold here. Last Sunday, I was on the phone with my parents when my mom asked if I’d worn the base layers she bought me. I responded, verbatim, “No, I haven’t needed them!  It hasn’t really been that cold.” Little did I know, the temperature had dropped twenty degrees from Saturday night to Sunday morning. I left my dorm at around noon to go get lunch. I was dressed in the usual, a long sleeve shirt and a sweatshirt. Much to my surprise it was about 28 degrees, not to mention the harsh windchill. I was freezing! Winter had arrived.



“Siri, how cold is it outside?”

The wind is what gets me. It literally takes my breath away and I’m left gasping for air.  It’s gotten colder and colder. Supposedly, I haven’t even seen the worst of it yet.  There’s not even snow on the ground. People keep telling me, “Just wait until February…”  All I’m saying is California boy is cold already!  I think it goes without saying that, I’vestarted to wear my base layers.


Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket = One of the Best Things Money Can Buy

 Second, according to Google Maps, Holy Cross is between 2,954 and 3,091 miles away from my home in Sacramento. At first, that distance was hard to comprehend. Looking at a coast to coast map kind of made my head spin. The fact that I was able to watch not two but three movies on the flight home for Fall Break helped me understand a bit more. The flight time from here to Sacramento is anywhere from 6 to 8 hours, depending on the direction of the tailwind. However, I didn’t really feel the distance until this past Thursday.


Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 9.11.39 AM

Home to Holy Cross


Thanksgiving. Considering that two weeks from this very moment I’ll be in midair flying home for Christmas break, my family and I didn’t think it was worth it for me to go home for Thanksgiving. The idea of not being home was harder than anything else. Although I wasn’t able to be with my family, my friend Ben invited me over to his house for the holiday. I wrote a bit about Ben and his family in an earlier post. I met them previously on Homecoming weekend. Ben had invited me to join his family at their tailgate.  Spending Thanksgiving with Ben’s family was wonderful! They welcomed me in and made me feel right at home. I am so grateful to have spent the day with them.


Me and a portion of the Nicholson Family. All current HC students or alum.

I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t miss my family on Thursday. I still miss them now! But, the countdown has begun. I’ll be home for Christmas.

I’ve been at Holy Cross for nearly a semester now and I can say with certainty that I was very well prepared for the rigorous academic environment here on the Hill.  What I can also say with certainty is that I was NOT prepared for dorm life.  I thought I might be somewhat prepared considering the fact that I grew up in a family of six.  Nope.  I’m just not sure there’s anyway to prepare for living in very close quarters with lots of other dudes.

So what are some of the things that have taken some getting used to?  Showering in flip flops, separate stalls for 1 and 2, hauling a shower caddy to and from my room, getting stuff stolen if I accidentally leave it in the bathroom (happened to my razor), living with two other guys.  I’m in a forced triple.  That means my two roommates and I share a room that is supposed to accommodate two people.  Now, I’ve complained plenty about this.  It’s in no way an ideal situation.  The three of us and our belongings are packed into this small Wheeler room and when all is said and done there’s little room left over for us live in the place.  For a while, I’d wake up every Sunday and become completely fed up with how sucky the whole rooming situation was.  A couple Sundays ago, I decided to stop being mad and just accept the situation.  I decided to change my perspective.

My roommates, Nick and Luis, are great guys.  Slowly but surely we’re figuring out each other’s eccentricities.  Honestly, as far as roommates are concerned, I could have done A LOT worse.   It’s been nearly three months since we moved in and Luis or Nick have yet to throw up on my stuff, host any unwanted guests, or steal anything.  All three of these unfortunate scenarios have happened to many of my less fortunate friends.  If there’s one thing I’m sure of it’s that I’m very lucky to have such chill roommates.  I’m lucky to be here at Holy Cross.  I’m blessed.

It was about five months ago when I reluctantly sat down at the computer with my Mom to shop for bedding and the other dorm necessities.  Like all shopping trips, it took way too long and was unnecessarily tedious.  But it had to be done.  Anyway, as I browsed Amazon comparing different shower caddies and laundry bags I noticed something about the reviews I read for all of these items.  Most of the reviews were written by men and women serving in the military.  Reviews read, “Bought it and had it shipped to Afghanistan for my deployment…I ordered this for my current deployment in Iraq…I’m stationed in Afghanistan where the only means of washing laundry is…”  The reviews go on and on.

Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day.  While I am here at Holy Cross, “roughing it” in my forced triple to receive a world renowned education, there are many brave men and women stationed around the world roughing it to defend our nation.  Today, tomorrow, and every day, let us remember them.  I can say with certainty that their struggles are much greater than mine.  I can say with certainty that they are sacrificing their lives so that we can be safe here at home.  Men and Women of the United States Military, I thank you.

Sometimes all it takes is a change in perspective…


Earlier this evening, I was in Calculus Workshop working on my homework.  Due Friday,  I figured I’d just get it out of the way.  Then, I got a text from one of my buddies asking if I wanted to go swimming with him and some other friends of ours.  I thought he was kidding.  Swimming?!  At 8:00 on a Monday night?!  He was completely serious.  Swimming did sound like fun and there was always later for Calculus.  Right?  I went back to my dorm, threw on my suit and went up to the pool at the Hart Center.  It was great!  We all had a blast.  Floating around was quite refreshing.  And then the steam room and sauna to top it off…excellent!   Now, I’m hanging in Dinand Library curled up in my PJs trying to get some more work done before I call it a night.

This past weekend was Family Weekend.  My grandparents traveled all the way from California to spend the weekend with me.  It was so great to see them, spend time with them, and give them a taste of my life as a Crusader.  I had the opportunity to sing at Mass on Saturday afternoon.  The entire chapel was filled to the gills with people.  It was phenomenal.

It’s been a little over a week since I arrived back on campus from being on Fall Break.  I was lucky enough to get to go home back to California for the week.  It was really nice seeing my family.  Being home reminded me that from now on I am a visitor.  Home is still home.  But I’m only visiting.  After that week I went right back to HC and life on the Hill.

Coming back was great.  It’s hard to explain but it was as if being home reassured me of the fact that my family is not going anywhere, they’ll always love me, and it’s my job to make the most of my time here at Holy Cross.  I returned to campus with a newfound desire to fully immerse myself into the Holy Cross community.  Although it was harder to leave home now then it was in August, I arrived back on campus to find others who were eager to be present and experience Holy Cross together.  Despite the fact that I miss home and my family, I know HC is exactly where I need to be.

That’s it for now.  I do need to do some of that Calculus.  Thank you for reading.

At this very moment I am 35000 feet above sea level flying home for Fall break. It’s been a long day already.  For once, my roommate’s alarm woke us up this morning.  Most days it’s my alarm that goes off at six.  His shuttle to the airport left at 5, mine left at 5:50.  We’ve both been going since4. In less than three hours I’ll be back in Sacramento.  I am so excited to be home and see my family.

Last weekend was Homecoming at Holy Cross.  One of the guys I row with, Ben,  invited me to tailgate with his family before the football game. Ben’s parents met each other sophomore year in a computer science class here at HC.  It was really neat to see his parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins there at the tailgate together, all of them bleeding purple.  Ben’s family and the many other alumnus at the tailgate were evidence of the strong community and family that is rooted in Holy Cross.  I feel honored to be a new member of this family.


Emails.  Holy Cross sends lots of emails.  I would be slightly worried if I didn’t have at the very least 10 new emails from various offices on campus by noon each day.  It’s tempting to just delete the majority of these emails without a second glance at the subject line.  But, if I do that there’s a chance I might miss out on some cool opportunity. Was it not one of these emails that informed me about the chance to join the novice crew team?  So I take the time to open all of these “opportunity” emails.  Two weeks ago I opened one from Dean Kramer, Dean of the Class of 2017, informing me of the chance to join Father Boroughs, the President of the College, on a field trip to Higgins Armory on the following Tuesday.  Why not?  In fact, that sounded like an awesome way to spend an afternoon! I immediately RSVP’ed “Yes” and this past Tuesday, Father Boroughs, about 15 other students went to the Armory together.  The Higgins, which is unfortunately closing in December, contains our nation’s largest collection of medieval armor and weaponry.  This stuff is hard core.  Actually used in battle, some of the armor was dented.  I’m glad I got to see weapons behind glass as opposed to having them wielded at me.  Thankfully, a good portion of the Higgins collection is being moved to the Worcester Art Museum for all to enjoy for years to come.  Although, if you get the chance within the next two months I would strongly suggest going to the museum and seeing this impressive collection there.


 With Autumn in the air, the days have been beautiful and busy on the Hill.  From concerts in Brooks, to talks in Rehm, to service at the Salvation Army, to mass in Mary Chapel, to rowing on Lake Quinsigamond, to meals in Kimball, to late nights in Dinand.  Did I even mention going to class?!  Don’t worry, I wouldn’t miss it.

And just like that, the first quarter’s down.  15 more to go.  I plan on making the most of each and every one of them.


I got an email a few weeks ago soliciting freshman for the novice rowing team.  I’d always wanted to row crew.  But I’m small.  5 foot, 8 inches and a whopping 140 pounds.  How was I supposed to row crew?  The email did say, “No experience necessary.”  I had to give it a try.  What did I have to lose? Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

My first few weeks here at Holy Cross have been spectacular.  I’ve made some great friends and have been having a lot of fun.  There’s always something to do.  From one more game of pool to a movie in the common room.  Last night, some friends and I took the bus to Boston for the first time.  We had dinner in Quincy Market and walked around the Old North End.  It’s nice having the city so close.


Chipotle with Derek and Zach

My classes are great.  I think it’s so cool how each of my professors already knows my name.  Not one of my classes has more than 60 kids.  I totally feel like we students are the focus here.  That being said, there is A LOT of work.  And it’d be one thing if it was just me who was doing a lot of work.  Nope.  Everybody works really hard.  Work hard, play hard is definitely a thing herel.  It’s good.  It keeps me focused during the week.

Adjusting to college has not come without it’s challenges.  I do miss home.  I’m still getting use to the tight living quarters with my two roommates.  The food in Kimball is good but it’s nothing like my mom’s amazing cooking.  I know that the challenges are a part of the experience.  And like I said, I really am enjoying it.  I am doing my best to embrace the experience and trust the process.

My alarm goes off.   It’s 6:15 a.m. and time to wake up.  Within the hour, I’m out on Lake Quinsigamond for practice.  Sitting in the coxswain’s seat, steering, and watching the sunrise, I’m reminded of mornings spent on Lake Tahoe back home in California.  It’s absolutely gorgeous.  As a team, we novices are getting better and better every day.  Patience.  We’ll get there soon enough.


Home base