Going socialAdrienne Picciotto ’16
Mount Holyoke is pretty rad. It’s filled with forward-thinking individuals from all over the world who spend every day learning, challenging themselves, and dreaming big. We are branded as progressive intellectuals, gliding across well-kept greenery, with a thirst for changing the world. But there is more to the community here than academics, career goals, and activism.
Hello, social life!
Let me be the first to tell you that social life at MHC is whatever you make of it. If you want to sit in your room and marathon Arrested Development for the fifth time, go for it. Once you cross through the MHC gates, you are an adult. Likewise, if you want to kick back with friends in a residence hall or common space, you can. As long as you follow residence-life policy, you’re all set.
If you’re feeling more socially ambitious, you can end up at a party at one of the other Five Colleges and have an awesome time. There’s a Five College Social where students can mingle, plus speed dating events for people looking for that special someone. Just prepare yourself for a rowdy bus ride home—especially if you’re catching the last No. 38 bus on a Saturday night!
And, of course, there’s a whole world of awesome concerts, delicious restaurants, and shopping hubs across the Pioneer Valley. As a first-year student, I was both excited and intimidated to explore off-campus activities alone. So I reached out to my hallmates. We organized a weekend to venture into the valley, which was a ton of fun and a great way to connect. As sappy as this sounds, these hallmates are now my closest friends.
At first I approached socializing on a women’s campus with similar apprehension. Having spent a lifetime in coed schools and social scenes, the idea of hanging out with primarily women was a totally new and strange concept. Come the second semester of my first year, however, I realized my thought process was totally false. Here’s why.
- I grossly underestimated how fun MHC students are. Because my first interactions were either in class or the library, my initial impression was that people here were studious, career-oriented, and rather stoic. However, after getting to know people outside of academic settings, I discovered that this campus is packed with wildly interesting, energetic people, and fresh ways to unwind on a Friday night.
- The gender makeup of a party has no impact on how much fun you will have. As a sprightly first year, I thought I needed men at parties to have a good time. However, as a wise, worldly senior on the threshold of the workforce, I can tell you candidly that you don’t. In fact, I would go as far as to say that parties are much more fun without men. You can quote me on that.
- That being said, there is no shortage of guys near and around MHC! Because of the Five College Consortium, it’s easy to find guys in your classes, whether you’re here at MHC or at another school. You can also meet guys at events, parties, and restaurants around the valley.
- Mount Holyoke has awesome social programming. Just keep an eye on the Student Programs calendar and social media platforms like Snapchat (account: MHCStuProg), Instagram, and Facebook for goings-on around campus. You’ll find org-run parties and entertainment such as a capella, improv comedy, cultural house gatherings, and concerts. (For the record, I’m not getting paid to promote these resources. Though I should. If anyone wants to pay me, feel free to leave cash or a check by my dorm. Address the envelope to “the coolest cat in Creighton”—my roommates will know what it means.)
Social life is indeed what you make of it. As Mount Holyoke so convincingly teaches us, you have to take charge of your own life. I guarantee that if you actively navigate your social fate, you will have the time of your life here. Plus, you’ll make super rad friends that you couldn’t imagine living without.