A New Year…

Wow. The semester flew by. I cannot believe it is 2023, and I cannot believe that I am going to soon begin my second semester of my second year at Holy Cross. It is true, time flies when you’re having fun!

 

The end of the semester was hectic! After Thanksgiving, we had two weeks of classes followed by a week of finals, and I finally departed for Buffalo on December 17 for what I thought would be a relaxing break filled with family, laughter, and fond memories.

 

Upon my arrival at home, I definitely got the family and memories components of my wishes, but the fond part lacked. To begin, Buffalo underwent a catastrophic blizzard that took the lives of forty-two individuals and was one of the worst recorded in history. While Buffalo is usually prepared for snow, no one was ready for the magnitude and intensity of the Blizzard of 2022 that struck on Christmas Eve. My family lost electricity for fourteen hours, and my house received about five feet of snow over the course of forty-eight hours. As I was out shoveling snow for hours on end, I was dreaming of my easy life at Holy Cross where I don’t have to shovel, and I am eternally grateful for all of the hard work of the facility staff at school that keep the roads and walkways clear of snow and ice. Even though my family suffered some hardship during the storm, we were very lucky that everyone remained safe and unharmed from the monstrosity, and we pray for those that lost their lives during the storm who were not as fortunate. 

 

Right when Buffalo saw the light, the sun, and the fifty degree weather after the storm, another tragedy rolled into town. A house fire resulted in the deaths of five children whose lives were cut short. My heart breaks for them and their family, and, as I pray for them, I wish them healing and love in a time of such need.

 

Soon after, I found myself sitting with my Josh Allen jersey on ready to enjoy the game of a lifetime when the Buffalo Bills played the Cincinnati Bengals during Monday Night Football. Joe Burrow and Josh Allen were going head to head, and the nation anticipated this matchup to be one of the best. My family all gathered together in my living room and had our eyes glued to the television. As we saw the first quarter begin, we had a sense of pride in the Bills and couldn’t wait to cheer them on. Tragically, however, during the first quarter, Buffalo Bills’s  safety Damar Hamlin fell into cardiac arrest and was in critical condition as he fought for his life. Nothing can prepare a player, coach, staff member, or fan to witness such a heart wrenching sight. Luckily, by the grace of God, Hamlin is expected to fully recover, and the nation united together during this time of hardship.

 

The support of my friends from Holy Cross during these times was immeasurable. Friends from the hill were reaching out to check in on my family and me, and I am forever grateful that the Holy Cross community stretches beyond Worcester, Massachusetts. 

I had the opportunity to attend the Bills vs. Patriots football game, and it felt like both of my worlds were colliding! The rivalry was intense, and the Bills pulled out the win!

 

A Weather Whirlwind…

Congrats to the Holy Cross Crusader Football Team!

It was cold. It was rainy. It was worse than rainy. It was down pouring. Yet, we arrived at Fitton Field with positive minds and anticipation. We were hoping that the Holy Cross Crusaders would come out victorious. They did.

The game was exciting. Because of the rain, we wore rain ponchos and still were soaked, but it was worth it. I was surprised at how many people were in attendance with the poor weather, but I felt such a sense of pride going to Holy Cross in that moment. I was so happy to be a member of the Holy Cross community, and the passion in the atmosphere was ubiquitous. The players were slipping and sliding, the crowd was erupting, and the stadium was roaring with cheers and applause for the team as they advanced and are playing next week in South Dakota.

At halftime, we went to Kimball to warm up, refuel, and eat before returning to the stadium to see the Crusaders come out victorious. I saw the excitement on the players’ faces, and I was happy to see that all of their hard work had paid off. I was starstruck, and I could not believe that I actually go to school with these people, some of whom are my friends. This community facet is another great component of Holy Cross, and I am grateful for the opportunity to say that I attended a historical game to witness great people do great things.

 

Family Weekend 2022

Hello everyone! It has been a crazy couple of weeks! Since we last chatted, we had family weekend and the Holy Cross Crusaders won the Patriot League for the fourth year in a row! My brother, who attends Holy Cross, is currently enlisted in the Washington, D.C. semester away program during which he does an internship while simultaneously crafting a thesis. He surprised me for family weekend, and it was great having him back on the hill, even though it was such a short period of time.

The weather for family weekend was beautiful. I felt so prideful as I took my parents around campus, showed them Wheeler Hall, led my dad through the library (I was kind of bored for this one, lol), and spent quality time with my family as it was the first time we all were together since I left to be an orientation leader mid-August.

My favorite part of family weekend was the tailgate. Because we are from Buffalo, we tailgated to the max. It wasn’t quite like the Bills mafia tailgates, but it was pretty close. We went to Wegmans and picked up subs, and feasted on cookies, dips, chips, and snacks. All of friends and their parents came, and it was truly an incredible time. After the tailgate, we went to the game, and the Crusaders played amazingly to narrowly beat Fordham University. Overall, it was the best fall weekend, and I am so grateful for the memories I made as I was able to show my parents a glimpse of life on the hill!

The Josh Allen Fan Club

As I returned from fall break and school was in full effect, I was faced by a real hurdle on Sunday night. Revenge night. The Buffalo Bills played the Kansas City Chiefs. I still have trauma from the last time we played them, and the Chiefs came out victorious .

This Sunday, I was praying for victory. As a tradition, I wear my Josh Allen jersey every game day with Buffalo tie-dye sweatpants. I have a Josh Allen fathead on my wall in my room, and I wake up to see his beautiful face every morning. I was nervous for the game, but I was excited to see how far our team has grown.

I had Buffalo wings for dinner (how could I not), and my friends and I gathered in the common room to watch the game. None of them are Bills fans, but they know how much football means to me, so they cheered on the Bills and watched with me as I anxiously monitored every play.

In a beautiful, elegant, manner, the Buffalo Bills came out victorious, and I used that positive energy to start the intense school week in a positive way. I felt as if I was watching the Crusaders when I was watching the Bills as they both are dominating their seasons right now!

GO BILLSSSSSSSSSS!!!!

ROLL SADERSSSSSS!!!

Buffalo, N.Y. is my hometown. Since the Holy Cross football schedule was released, I had my eye on the game in which they played University of Buffalo in Buffalo. Friday at 3 P.M., one day before the game, my friend and I made a gametime decision. We were gonna make the trek to Buffalo to cheer on the Crusaders!

 

We packed in twenty minutes, loaded our stuff into the car, and began the six hour journey to Buffalo. My friend had never visited before, so I was excited to bring her home. We stopped at Chipotle on the way home, and we ran into traffic, so our six hour mission turned into seven and a half hours. We laughed, sang songs in the car, and rolled down the window to feel the Upstate New York air as we traveled west.

 

We were actually in Buffalo for less than thirty-six hours. When we arrived, we had chicken wings waiting for us from Duff’s, the BEST place to get chicken wings in Buffalo! We also went to a famous toast spot in Clarence, and we went to Niagara Falls! We then went to the mall, went to Starbucks, and got ready to tailgate with my parents! The tailgate was so much fun! We met some alumni and staff members who further welcomed us to the Holy Cross football world in Buffalo, N.Y. 

The game was absolutely incredible. It was amazing to see all of our friends on the field playing in my hometown. I felt as if my worlds were colliding, and I loved talking with them after the game. The Hail Mary pass to win the game was even more beautiful in person. It was a great win for the Crusaders, but it was an even better win for me because I had all of my favorite people in one place <3.

 

Gateways Greatways

Hello everyone! It’s great to be back on the Hill. The year is off to an amazing start!!!


I began my second year at Holy Cross early this year. I was an orientation leader for the Class of 2026, and the experience was fun, tiresome, but very rewarding. We moved in about ten days early to undergo volunteer training that would prepare us for the welcoming of the incoming students. While the days were long, I made some of the best memories and friends. We hung out after orientation training, watched Mamma Mia, ate Chipotle, and bonded as a family. The highlight of my day during orientation was unpacking the day with all my friends after training ceased, and I will cherish the laughs we had as we made inside jokes, shared our experiences with our groups, and decompressed all the stressors we underwent. I will forever be blessed with my orientation leader friends, and I know we share a common commitment to make the Holy Cross community close-knit and inclusive. Around seventy upperclassmen took on the task of initiating nine-hundred new students to the first-year class, and we fulfilled the task to the best of our abilities.

I was a leader of the O’Kane Octopus group. I feel like these first-year students became a part  of the Holy Cross community early on. Whether we were singing as part of icebreakers or talking about their fears coming to Holy Cross, I bonded with them in a very special way, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity of being a source of familiarity and support for twenty-five first year students. While the school year quickly followed and classes picked up, I stay connected with my orientees, and I love seeing them at tailgates, in the stacks of the Science Library, or at Kimball. I hope they feel the sense of belonging as integral members of the Holy Cross family. 

 

A New Member to the Holy Cross Community

We have a New Roomie on Campus!!!

Returning from winter break, classes underwent and the second semester was in full swing! It was nice to catch up with friends while submersing myself in new classes that brought new possibilities.

As my roommate and I have our nightly talks, we pondered what our room was missing during the first semester that we could change during the second semester. We both stumbled upon the same idea. We were missing a family.

So, we trekked over to Petco and picked out the cutest Betta fish in stock. We got him some gravel, a heater, food, and a Starbucks cup to fill his tank. We also got a plant and a fish hammock so our fish could have somewhere to sleep.

When we got home, we washed his gravel in the bathroom sink. Different floor mates then became invested, and we all couldn’t wait to welcome our fish into the Clark Hall family. When we set up his tank and his water temperature was suitable, we added him into the tank and decided to name him Bernard.

Bernard is the best fish that my roommate and I can ask for. He is so smart, and, every time we walk into the room, he swims up to the front of his tank to say hi to us. He is always there to comfort us if we have a bad day, and he brings us so much joy.

Most of all, I love that Bernard embodies a Holy Cross student. He fits right in to the larger Holy Cross community and family. He swims along hoping to find new adventures, as do Holy Cross students. He relaxes in his hammock when it’s time for a break and enjoys the view, as do Holy Cross students. He keeps on swimming even when his water is cold and his heater hasn’t turned on yet, as do Holy Cross students. Lastly, he takes advantage of his environment and enjoys every second of it, as do Holy Cross students.

Return to the Hill

Back and Better than Ever

As classes begin tomorrow, I ponder the relaxing break. I loved being home for the holidays, seeing my friends and family, and catching up on some much needed sleep, lol! I also worked a lot as a babysitter, so I was able to maintain a routine to an extent. While I really enjoyed my break, I am excited to begin the second semester grind and get back on the Hill.

Holy Cross is doing a staggered return to school plan due to the recent state of affairs with the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the first week of classes are online, I am going to stay home for the remote week and go to Holy Cross next weekend. I am looking forward to seeing my Holy Cross friends and create many more memories with them in the spring. I also cannot wait to get out of all of the Buffalo snow that we’ve gotten during the last couple of weeks! (Also currently mourning the loss of the Bills last night, but so proud of our team!!!)

Overall, my anticipation for the spring semester is reflective of the spirited environment of Holy Cross. I miss my friends. I miss my professors. Honestly, I miss a routine centered around schoolwork. I miss learning. I miss Crossroads. I miss the Jo. I miss my dorm room and all of my pictures that hang on my wall. I miss Holy Cross, and I am looking forward to a semester filled with fun, challenge, and many laughs.

The Home Stretch

Time has Flown by…

I cannot believe that we are already approaching the end of the semester and finals. There are only two weeks left of classes! I just came back from a relaxing and enjoyable break seeing my family and my friends in Buffalo, but, I have to say, I really missed Holy Cross.

While the transition accompanied by the distance from Holy Cross to Buffalo has not been easy at times, when I went home for Thanksgiving break, I really missed being here. That’s when I realized that Holy Cross was becoming my second home. It is not an either-or relationship between my home in Buffalo and my home at Holy Cross, but, rather, it is a both-and relationship. I enjoy the sense of home I feel in Buffalo, and I enjoy the sense of home I feel at Holy Cross. I was excited to return, and arrival back on campus felt incredible.

These next two weeks of classes are bittersweet. As the work piles on, I am studying and working hard to finish the year strong, as we all are. However, I will miss all of my friends that I have made thus far and the connections I possess as I head into winter break and change classes for the spring. Right now, however, I am focusing on the fun I can have in the moment with my newfound family at Holy Cross before we have to depart and say goodbye for winter break.

My Montserrat Retreat and Instagram Takeover!

Montserrat Retreat at the Joyce Contemplative Center

For my Montserrat, which is Reading the Self, we had to partake in a retreat night at the Joyce Contemplative Center. I was excited to go and hang out with some of my friends! We boarded a bus and headed over to the JCC. It was beautiful. I had been there before, but I had not participated in a retreat there. We underwent a spiritual exercise during which we had to reflect on our time at Holy Cross so far. We reflected on our experiences, classmates, and professors. I felt hopeful after reflecting on so many positive facets that I have had the opportunity of experiencing since attending Holy Cross in the fall.

After that, we participated in a forty-five minute yoga session. Now, I am not a yoga person. I do not usually have the patience for it, and I can never relax enough to truly take away the meaningful vision that yoga encompasses. However, this time, I was able to stay present and in the moment during the yoga class. I even almost fell asleep. While I was not the best at the moves, I relaxed and felt at ease as I focused on my breathing and recollected my thoughts.

We ate dinner then, and the food was incredible! Everyone shared laughs, and we got to know our classmates in a different setting.

Instagram Takeover

I also had the opportunity to take over the Holy Cross Instagram this past week! I was so nervous at first because I did not know if people would like what I did in a day, but I stayed true to myself and reflected my authentic personality. It was so much fun! I ate dinner at Crossroads, went to the Science Library, and even visited Cool Beans and the Lobby Shop. It was a joyful experience, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to showcase a glimpse of life at Holy Cross.