Discover the “YOU” you want to be at Mount Holyoke
The person I am leaving Mount Holyoke College is certainly not the student who applied or walked onto the campus as a first-year student. I knew I would be happy here. What I didn’t expect was how much the community would change me.
The pursuit of self-discovery doesn’t end with your high school experience but will continue into the journey of who you want to become. And there’s no better place to do that than Mount Holyoke.
Let me start by saying that choosing a school in the beginning wasn’t easy. I was drifting on autopilot during my senior year, but I knew I wanted to attend a liberal arts school. My parents gave me a list of colleges, and as I began passively crossing off schools, I realized I wanted to go to a gender-diverse women’s college because I felt these colleges had a more mature and respectful environment. This discovery turned my college search from passive to active, and as I searched for options, I found Mount Holyoke.
As I began my college visits, I found that I was trying to convince myself I could be happy at each school I toured. I would hear about a club I thought I could participate in or a class I might like. Each time I would leave without feeling any particular attachment, but that all changed the first time I stepped onto Mount Holyoke’s campus. The feeling of detachment that I’d had on other tours vanished. It was the first time that I actually could see myself attending the College.
After my first visit, I knew I wanted to come back, so I took a second tour, and I did an overnight. The overnight served as a true glimpse into what my experience at Mount Holyoke might look like. I had a great connection with my host and her roommate. In the morning, my host offered to take me to breakfast before her early morning class.
During my overnight visit, I sat in on a biology class. I had never seen a class conducted in this way before. I was surprised to witness the students’ enthusiasm and the easy conversational flow. This led to my decision to major in biology.
I left that weekend with a network of familiar faces. This was proof of Mount Holyoke’s strong community atmosphere, and I knew I had found my home.
Finding your voice
The person I am leaving Mount Holyoke College is certainly not the student who applied or walked onto the campus as a first-year student. I knew I would be happy here. What I didn’t expect was how much the community would change me. I’m more confident. In high school I was extremely shy and would never raise my hand in class. Mount Holyoke eradicated my shyness very shortly after coming here. You feel safe among your fellow students and faculty.
The College encourages an environment of participation and belief in yourself and your abilities. I’m taking on roles that I never would have had the confidence to say yes to before, such as my Lynk-funded internship at our Fimbel Maker & Innovation Lab. I was challenged to go outside my comfort zone and celebrated when I did.
Every night when I leave the library after studying, I make a point to exit through Dwight Hall so I can see the clock tower. The dark silhouette against the sky and the glow of the clock reminds me of how far I’ve come as a student and as a person. Mount Holyoke changes you into a version of yourself you never knew you could be.
- Written By
Sophia Smith ’22, biology major