Mount Holyoke has shifted my perspective on the world around me

I am a springie, and I am proud of that.

Starting in the spring semester can be complicated. Missed opportunities for early relationship building and social connections come to mind as potential barriers.

But there are two sides to every coin — opportunities amidst the challenges.

While the larger fall orientation groups are great for many to get socially acclimated early on, the smaller class was perfect for me. There were fewer than 60 incoming students in my orientation class, which allowed me to get to know my peers very quickly and closely.

The affinity of those early relationships was an essential foundation for my Mount Holyoke experience and gave me the confidence to broaden my social scope after that first semester.

Starting my journey and finding a community

I did not think I wanted to attend a women’s college, but a trip to Mount Holyoke changed the trajectory of my decision and life.

At the suggestion of my parents, I visited campus with a friend and was immediately impressed with the beauty of Mount Holyoke. I fell in love with the college.

However, what finalized my decision to attend was a conversation with the student host with whom I was staying. The student was a biology major, which is what I wanted to study after high school. She walked me through her research, including a study abroad trip to Germany, and what it was like to be in the sciences as a Mount Holyoke student. It was through that conversation that I got connected with the right introductory class and had all of my questions answered.

The most important part of our talk, though? She asked me about my interests and my passions as a budding scientist. It made me feel welcomed, as if I belonged here. I knew then that I would have the support I needed at Mount Holyoke.

I committed right after the preview weekend trip.

The intro class I attended during preview weekend was Life on the Wing, which jumpstarted a passion for birds and ornithology. I am still in a group chat with people I met in that class, which gave me an additional social support group beyond my fellow springies. That very conversation had a ripple effect on my entire college experience.

It was exactly what I needed to be set up for success.

Getting the most out of the liberal arts

Mount Holyoke’s interdisciplinary-focused teaching has reinforced my decision many times over the last three years. While I am wholly focused on science research, my professors often give us connection points beyond our major. I remember going to an art museum to look at a specific painting and being asked, “How do you find small details in a big picture?” I’ve thought so much about that question and its relation to my studies and research across subjects. And one day, in an integrative physics class, we talked about the same painting and the belongingness of structures within it.

This is where the liberal arts matter. I received transferable skills from two different departments and topics that would never be integrated otherwise.

I love that Mount Holyoke has shifted my perspective on the world around me.