My favorite place on campus: Blanchard Hall

June 20, 2019 at 7:08 AM


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.

When I arrived in the fall, I was taken aback by the amount of students that felt comfortable studying on the Skinner Green. I was never one to study outdoors, but upon trying this, I was able to take some time to appreciate the beauty of Mount Holyoke. Being on the green, especially at the beginning of the fall semester and the ending of the spring semester, makes for a great experience. When students bring out their mats and picnic chairs and sit — either in groups or alone — it exemplifies a communal ideal of the Mount Holyoke experience; we are all trying to absorb as much of the sun as possible before winter comes or the academic year ends.

I see Mount Holyoke as a truly unique campus, with a perfect, thoughtful balance between nature and architecture. The way the greenery and buildings intertwine, it’s as if Mount Holyoke were meant to exist on this land. As a student, I have really come to appreciate the constant upkeep of the buildings and grounds, which makes the campus more enjoyable during my early morning walks to class or my late afternoon walks back to my dorm.

When you support Campus Preservation through The Mount Holyoke Fund, you help maintain the spaces — inside and out — that lend themselves to collaborative learning, quiet study and intersectional dialogue. You support the surroundings that enhance the educational and personal growth of students like me.

Your gift. Your choice. Choose your destination.

Aretha Nelson ’22

Written by Aretha Nelson ’22

Aretha — a (soon-to-be-declared) sociology major and entrepreneurship, organization and societies minor — is a phonathon caller for MHC’s Office of Advancement. An international student from Ghana, she is actively involved in the College’s Association of Pan-African Unity (APAU) and the Mount Holyoke African and Caribbean Student Association (MHACASA).