An experience like no other

“My Mount Holyoke learning experience has been very intimate, and the opportunities I’ve received have been very helpful to my personal growth.”

Hello! My name is Sarah Bell, and I am originally from New York City. Shortly after I received my acceptance letter from Mount Holyoke, I received a lovely letter from a Black alum, Casey from the class of 2001, who also attended my high school, Rudolf Steiner. I instantly connected with her. Casey shared with me her love for the memories and opportunities she gained while attending Mount Holyoke. And the fact she contacted me personally, something the rest of my choices didn’t offer, impacted my decision to spend the next four years at this institution. Additionally, she connected me with fellow young Black alums who I’ve shared connections and conversations with. They have inspired me to find a successful career for myself like they have!

When I first stepped onto Mount Holyoke’s campus, I was ready to move-in the following week. I was quite nervous as I never visited the campus before finalizing my decision. However, all that went away because of the warmth from my tour guide and the beauty of the campus; I felt like I found another place to call home. After a year on campus, I’ve become more extroverted, and I push myself out of my comfort zone by joining extracurriculars like the APAU (Association of Pan African Unity), E-Board and the Mount Holyoke News. Additionally, I participate more in my courses and in community events around campus and off campus.

I’ve met many different people from all over the world.

What I especially love about Mount Holyoke are the celebratory traditions. I fell in love with hiking because of Mountain Day and love the mini, cute carnival-esque feel of Pangy Day. Events like these give me memorable experiences and something special to look back on.

I hope to declare my major as international relations with a possible minor in French and a nexus in journalism, media and public discourse. My interests have always revolved around economic and sustainable development in the Global South, and my love for the French language is something I would love to utilize in the future. In one of my current courses, World Regional Geography, I will be focusing on the recent referendum vote on the French territory of New Caledonia for my research proposal. I want to examine how identity plays a role in the voting process, specifically focusing on the power structure held by French New Caledonians as compared to indigenous New Caledonians, and how colonialism has historically impacted the island and the idea of the independence movement. I hope to learn so much from this experience and to manifest my research into being published!

Being a Mount Holyoke student is an experience like no other; so far I’ve met many different people from all over the world and stateside as well. My learning experience has been very intimate, and the opportunities I’ve received have been very helpful to my personal growth. The professors I’ve had have been so patient and encouraging throughout my journey, be it during office hours or a lecture. My fellow classmates will reach out and vice-versa if there’s any help needed. I’ve never felt that I was in a competitive environment, and this has made me feel comfortable with my abilities.

As a representative of The Mount Holyoke Fund, I want to be honest with alums because I am in a position that allows me to represent underrepresented voices on campus. I am a young Black woman from a single immigrant parent household, and my presence on Mount Holyoke’s campus is very important to me. I want to be able to talk about the pros of being a student but also to share the areas of development the College needs help with through these funds. Being on financial aid is a huge support to me and my family. It’s a large part of why I am writing my biography and presenting who I am.

I am very grateful to be this year’s development ambassador for The Mount Holyoke Fund and to connect with alums around the world.