This April I had the opportunity to take an all-expense-paid trip to sunny Los Angeles, where I represented Mount Holyoke at the International Business Ethics and Sustainability Case Competition (IBESCC). To think an international relations major would become so involved with business and entrepreneurship is probably surprising, but that is exactly what Mount Holyoke allowed me to do — reach and stretch outside of my comfort zone in order to expand my horizons.
I first visited the Mount Holyoke campus on Admitted Student Day and, as I got out of the car to pick up my welcome packet at Blanchard Hall, I was taken aback by how unlike a college campus my surroundings were. The colleges that I had toured throughout high school looked very similar — tall, drab cement or grey, gothic-style buildings. Mount Holyoke’s campus was open with bright red brick buildings and arched doorways. My first thought, which has since been echoed by many friends who have visited me on campus, was that this place looked like it was straight out of Hogwarts. It was April, a time when spring was in full bloom, and the magnolia trees were swaying in the wind, showering the ground with their flowers and filling the breeze with their sweet scent. Everywhere I turned, I was astounded by the sheer number of flowers I saw. That was my first impression of campus.
As a senior, the start of the fall semester was also the start of the countdown to my last Mountain Day. Every year, the anticipation and conversation surrounding Mountain Day becomes a staple at every lunch and dinner table in the Dining Commons. One person wants Monday off so they don’t need to worry about homework that’s due, another doesn’t want it on Monday because they don’t want to miss a work shift. Each day is filled with excitement and nervous mornings as October approaches. For seniors the anticipation is bittersweet, as we realize that our “lasts” at Mount Holyoke are about to begin.