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.

A Weekend to Remember


During the month of October, excitement was ubiquitous. The leaves changed color on the Hill, and fall anticipation filled the air. The landscape, including beautiful mums and new signage in front of Hogan, welcomed many in October.

After fall break, we returned to the Presidential Inauguration and Family Weekend. President Rougeau was inaugurated during a beautiful ceremony, and we received t-shirts to commemorate his triumphant moment. For me, seeing President Rougeau’s inauguration was one of the most fulfilling experiences. I was watching history in the making, and seeing his family and many colleagues, as well as students and professors, applaud him and welcome him with open arms reinforced the sense of community of Holy Cross.

In addition to the inauguration, Holy Cross football played Colgate at Polar Park, the new stadium where the WooSox play. My family came in for family weekend, and we attended a tailgate and the game. Purple and white persisted throughout the stadium, and I had a blast!

Perhaps my best moment at Holy Cross so far occurred on a Saturday night in the Kimball Quad. After a day of celebration and a football game at Polar Park, we ran into President Rougeau in the quad. He was nothing but friendly and kind even though he had a busy day. My family and I talked to him for twenty minutes, and we asked him about all the pictures he was taking with people and what it was like being famous. Talking to the president on a Saturday night is something unique to Holy Cross. He even laughed at my joke! It was a great weekend filled with a lot of fun, and the laughter we all shared was the icing on the cake!

Welcome to Life on the Hill


Hello! My name is Mia Burgio, and I am going to be blogging my experience as a first-year student! I am looking forward to sharing my adventures with you as I begin my journey as a Holy Cross Crusader who is for and with others.

First Night on the Hill

The Friday night before move-in captured, in essence, the spirit of Holy Cross. My brother, J.T., is a second-year student at Holy Cross, and I was nervous but excited to join him. He was an orientation leader, so he moved in a week early. So, on Friday night, I went to Holy Cross to drop off some chicken wings for him and his friends (I’m from Buffalo, so this is a must), and, as I was walking to his dorm, I saw all of the orientation leaders headed to dinner. I recognized two of my summer orientation leaders, and, to my surprise, they both knew me from my tiny Zoom box in our weekly meetings. They waved to me, and, all of the sudden, all of the orientation leaders were cheering me on and welcoming me with much enthusiasm.

In my first five minutes on the Hill, I felt a sense of belonging. I knew I was supposed to be here, and the feeling of welcomeness eased my nerves in the best way possible. The friendly faces, positive attitudes, and captivating charisma of the orientation leaders reflected the true nature of Holy Cross. I already felt a part of something so special, and I did not even move in yet. As I went to bed in the hotel room that Friday night, I felt an overwhelming sense of anticipation for what was to come.

Move-in Day

When move in day arose, I sprang out of bed, eager to begin my new college life. After getting breakfast with my parents, we set off for the first move-in experience at Holy Cross. Immediately, I was greeted with nothing but joy. Students were singing together, dancing, and laughing as they all helped unload my car. I organized with my roommate, and we were on our way.

The final event with my parents before they left was Mass outside. It was beautiful, and the theme relayed in the service truly emphasized the values of the school. The faculty and staff stressed the notion that our next four years would be challenging, but they would be the most impactful if we worked hard, put in effort, and got involved. They promised us that they would support us when we are struggling and cheer us on when we accomplish our dreams. The sense of security they provided made me feel safe, and I knew I was in good hands.

The Goodbye

Saying goodbye to my parents was extremely difficult. We are very close and we live far away, so the distance was intimidating. My mom and I were crying throughout Mass. I could not even look at her without sobbing, so I barely made eye contact with her throughout the service. When Mass ended, we had to say goodbye. My dad reassured me that all would be okay and that he would always be there for me no matter what. As I sit here writing this with tears in my eyes, I still feel comforted by his words. My mom quoted Mother Teresa and told me to “Be the One.” This simple phrase is loaded with meaning. “Be the One.” Be the person who helps others. Be the person who serves others. Be the person who makes a difference. Be the person who lives, learns, loves, has fun, makes friends, and tries new things. Be the one who is kind. Be the one who is faith-filled. Be the one who puts in effort. Be the one who prioritizes school. Be the one. While being all of these things seemed impossible to me then, now, after having been here for a month, I realize that Holy Cross makes “Being the One” possible. Holy Cross fosters an environment that allows for such character traits to be built. Holy Cross has a commitment to these ideals, encouraging students to always “Be the One” in any situation they face. At Holy Cross, we are many who strive to “Be the One,” committed to making a difference and leaving a legacy.