My first few days at Mount Holyoke must have looked a lot like a movie about a nervous teen who moves away from home. I was timid, shy and trying desperately to meet the people I would call my friends.
That’s when I found and auditioned for the Victory Eights, Mount Holyoke’s oldest a cappella group, which was founded in 1942 by Abigail Halsey Van Allen ’44. (After she attended a Williams College concert given by the Williams quartet and the Bennington College double quartet, she kept thinking, “Why don’t we have a group like this at Mount Holyoke?” So she started one.)
During the audition, I sang Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” (a cappella, of course), sang scales to show off my range and participated in a round of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” with current members.
To all the high school students near and far, I invite you to meet Mount Holyoke. Especially those of you who are not aware that women’s colleges even exist — as was the case when I began my college search process. The schools I was initially interested in were mainly co-ed, on the west coast and definitely housed more than 2,200 students.
It was my mother who first found Mount Holyoke. She raved about how it would be the “uncommon but impeccable choice,” and how she was absolutely certain that she could see me here. As I began receiving college acceptances, there was only one that made my mother cry — the one from Mount Holyoke. When I flew up to experience campus for myself during MHC Preview weekend, an event for admitted students, I was ecstatic. I had never been to the Northeast before, but I soon realized I had an opportunity to enjoy a life I had never imagined.
What do you think about when you hear the word “home”? What about the word “migration,” or “belonging”? What do you think other people associate with these words? These are some of the questions I explored my senior year. And, in typical Mount Holyoke fashion, my exploration spilled out of the classroom and into completely unexpected spaces.
Over the spring semester, my friend Anya Nandkeolyar ’19 and I designed, created and exhibited an art installation in the Blanchard Art Gallery, which ran April 15–24. We sourced materials from places we’d never been and found support all over campus.
At Mount Holyoke, the first of the powerful Seven Sisters colleges, we strive to be a model of an inclusive, worldly community of effective intellectuals. We find strength in our individual and collective voices — and joy in our traditions and connections to one another. Mount Holyoke’s deep, discerning approach to educating new generations of students makes us a singular force for good in the world. Our powerful, engaged network of alumnae makes us an enduring force for positive change in the world.
The world needs Mount Holyoke graduates — who share the conviction and readiness to make their lives stand for something bigger — now more than ever.
Watch the video!
My senior year of high school, I made two of the most important decisions of my life. The first was where to attend college. The second was to share a secret I’d harbored since age 11.