January 25, 2017

M&Cs: What’s not to love?

Liz Tucksmith ’19

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To a college student at any other institution, 9:30 p.m. is just a time. But for Mount Holyoke students, 9:30 – 10 p.m. means only one thing: M&Cs. And M&Cs, in case you don’t know, means milk and cookies.

Cookie bars served at Mount Holyoke's M&Cs

A legendary tradition

Every Monday through Thursday night, a rotating lineup of treats is served up in each residence hall. On Sunday nights, a community version of M&Cs is served from 9 – 10 p.m. in the Blanchard Campus Center.

As a prospective student, I first heard about M&Cs during my College tour and interview. And I read about it in nearly every college guide book. It’s one of the many traditions that make our school unique. How far back can the cookie crumbs be traced? This time-honored College tradition was well-established by the early 1960s — and was originally referred to as milk and crackers — but it may have begun even earlier.

An orange alarm clock: don't miss M&Cs!

Inside the ritual

As I can confirm from firsthand experience, students love M&Cs! And what’s not to love?! Free food on campus is truly every lazy college student’s dream.

For me, M&Cs has been a nightly ritual since my first year. It starts with checking the online menu well beforehand, which is an essential step. If that night’s treat is one of the indisputable student favorites (brownies, cider donut holes, chocolate chip cookies, among a few others), it’s wise to set an alarm to ensure that you arrive right when it starts. Nothing’s worse than wanting to munch on a brownie, losing track of time, then walking downstairs a bit late to find that they are all gone.

Liz Tucksmith and friends take a break for M&Cs

“They don’t call it community for nothing”

Although I adore the convenience of weeknight M&Cs, community M&Cs is the best by far, in my humble opinion. The sweets (mini-cheesecakes, eclairs, hot apple cider, hot chocolate: Need I say more?) are even sweeter. And they don’t call it community for nothing. Since it is the only (M&Cs) game in town on Sundays, many students make it a weekly appointment to take a break from their studies, hang out with friends and enjoy a snack — all at the same time.

Blanchard tends to get pretty loud on Sunday nights, as community M&Cs tends to draw in the whole school. I find myself stopping every five feet to say hi to someone I know, and savoring those quick interactions as much as the treats.

Catching up at the end of the day with M&Cs

Space to unwind, catch up

Which, in a nutshell, is what M&Cs is all about: food … and food for the soul. Yes, the treats may motivate me to take a break from whatever I’m doing. But the part I’ll remember most about M&Cs is being with my friends. By commiserating about a test, sharing a joke or otherwise enjoying one another’s company, M&Cs creates time and space to unwind and catch up with friends at the end of the day.

MHC: How sweet it is! Learn More

Liz Tucksmith ’19 hails from Chatham, New York. Tucksmith majors in computer science, works as a digital content assistant for the Office of Communications and Marketing, and is cocaptain of the MHC rugby team.
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