One of my favorite things about being a first-year student at Mount Holyoke is that there are places for everyone to complete their work. In high school, when I wanted to study or take some time to write or read, my only option was the library unless I waited until I got home. This is not at all the case at Mount Holyoke. There is a space for every kind of learner to feel comfortable studying. I am particularly fond of the third floor of Blanchard Hall as a study space. There are small rooms for people who want to study alone, larger rooms with whiteboards and conference table for people who want to study in groups, and couches for those who like to study in a neutral area between the two. I have used this floor for all of these opportunities.
In preparation for my first year at Mount Holyoke, I asked a lot of alums about their residential experience. Though many said that they had a mostly positive experience, some students mentioned that they wished their dorm halls felt like more of a community. I quickly realized that I would not enjoy living in a dorm where I felt as though I would not know my neighbors.
I was fortunate to arrive at Mount Holyoke just as the Shirley Chisholm Living-Learning Community (LLC) was beginning its second year on campus. The “Shirley” was created to provide a supportive space for students of African and Caribbean descent. As a black girl coming from Ghana, I was not sure I would be able to find a community well-suited for me. Even as I moved into the Shirley, I had my doubts about whether or not I would find my people.