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.
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.
Maybe this is unfair of me, but I get the feeling that when most people think about the kinds of clubs that would be among the most active at a women’s college in 2019, their first thought isn’t one that meets weekly to play Dungeons & Dragons.
But let me assure you, it is. Here’s what you don’t know about Renegades.
Sometimes when I tell people that I’m Korean, I feel like a liar. And other days, when I go to the Asian Center for Empowerment (fondly known as the ACE) on campus, the word has never felt more right. Growing up in Vermont, I’ve never known many other Asian people. And I can count on one hand the number of people I’ve met who are, like me, a quarter Asian.
“If you want to get paid to sit and eat cookies while monitoring more cookies, sign up for the M&Cs shift!”
This was the first time I heard about M&Cs, or milk and cookies. I was a first-year international student, attending a work-study meeting where we were to select shifts to work for Dining Services. A senior came up to the people in my row and quietly whispered this sage advice, which I took. (Thank you, kind member of the class of 2018!)