I spent most of my first car ride to Mount Holyoke kicking the back of my stepdad’s seat. No, really, I was that terrible.
By the end of my junior year of high school, desperate to find the perfect fit, I had become a pro at touring colleges. Nearly every weekend, our itineraries filled with different schools to visit, my family hopped in the car and drove all around New England. After I showed interest in gender-minority institutions and absolutely fell in love with Bryn Mawr, Wellesley and Smith colleges, my parents suggested that we go check out Mount Holyoke.
“No,” I insisted, picturing the words “Holy Oak” in my head. “I won’t go to a religiously affiliated school.”
Before taking the fall 2018 course Making the Past: Geosciences in the Makerspace, I had never stepped foot in the Mount Holyoke Makerspace (which has since been relocated, expanded and renamed the Fimbel Maker & Innovation Lab).
I had heard about the makerspace through advertisements for staff-led events and from friends who had taken classes there. I also knew that it was different from makerspaces at other colleges, which friends reported were only available to people with certain majors or were so restrictive that it was nearly impossible to reserve a time to use the equipment. I knew that ours was accessible for all Mount Holyoke students. I’d just never had a reason to use it. Until I signed up for a 100-level class. Part lecture, part design workshop, the class promised to explore dinosaurs and ancient species by utilizing high-tech equipment, which sounded like an intriguing combination.
During my school breaks, I spend a lot of time teching at various animal hospitals across the South Shore of Massachusetts. At the Randolph Animal Hospital, which doubles as the town shelter, I have the pleasure of working with the resident stray dogs and cats. As a future shelter vet, this aspect of my job is especially important to me.
In the summer of 2017, when I first started as an intern at the clinic in Randolph, I met an American pit bull terrier named Rollo. He had been living at the shelter since the previous December, when he had been found roaming the streets, super skinny and covered in bite wounds. It soon became clear that he harbored a fear of other dogs, and this, combined with a slew of health issues, made it hard for the shelter to find potential adopters.
During summer and winter breaks from Mount Holyoke, I work as a technician and an intern at three different veterinary hospitals. Two of the hospitals treat small companion animals and one treats wildlife: the New England Wildlife Center in Weymouth, Massachusetts.
As a pre-veterinary student, I am incredibly privileged to be a part of these three communities. Over the past few years, I have developed so many important skills — from drawing blood to making small talk with clients — that I hope to one day utilize when I am a veterinarian myself.
When Mary Lyon founded Mount Holyoke in 1837, she firmly believed in the power of studying the sciences. Herself a chemist, she introduced students to “a new and unusual way” to learn science: by collecting field samples and real data and by inviting renowned scientists to speak at the College. Today, her legacy of inspiring students to pursue careers in the sciences persists and Mount Holyoke remains a strong leader in scientific education.
Recently, our science lab facilities were deemed among the best in the nation, per the 2019 Princeton Review. As someone who has spent many long hours in our Science Center’s beautiful laboratories, lecture halls and study spaces, it’s easy to see why. Here’s an inside look at these top-ranked facilities!