Emma Mussatto

Hi all,

By now, it’s almost the end of March, which seems crazy, because that means that there are only about 2 months of school left! Even though classes have been difficult, this year has been extremely enjoyable. For this entry, instead of updating you on my various classes and activities, I thought that I would make a list of things that I have learned thus far into my college experience.

  1. You are forced to balance between academics, sleep, and a social life, and more often than not, one of these three has to be left out. It’s difficult at times to choose sleep and studying first because there are distractions everywhere but it’s most important to study hard and maintain your health.
  2. Stay organized and start early. It really helps you prepare for exams/papers when your class notes and handouts are all in order. It also helps if you review your notes right after class so that you start learning the material well before the test.
  3. Don’t get caught up in doing things just because everyone else is doing them. Do what feels right for you.
  4. Be friendly to everyone. Especially at Holy Cross, the campus is very small and you will see people from your class in your dorm building and in the dining hall all the time. Get to know the people in your hallway too. It’s nice to foster a sense of community where you live, even if you don’t want to be friends with everyone.
  5. Participate in class. Most teachers devote a percentage of your final grade to participation, or if not, most expect valued participation. Even if it doesn’t count for a grade, still try to engage in discussion during class. It helps you understand the material better and opens your mind to new ideas.
  6. Take care of yourself! This is in line with number one, but it’s really important that you value your health and well-being. I was sick for about 65% of first semester, mostly because I didn’t eat a balanced diet or get enough sleep at night. Once I started getting proper nutrients and sleeping more, I automatically felt better. Plus, being sick creates extra unwanted stress.
  7. Try not to stress out. I know that the volume of work can be difficult, but stressing out over tests and papers doesn’t accomplish anything. It’s normal to be nervous before a big exam, but if you find yourself getting psyched out, take a deep breath and attack the work calmly.
  8. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. Maybe he/she finished the paper before you, or he/she understands the material better. Regardless, work at your own pace and accept that not everyone has the same strengths.
  9. Get involved. Whether it be work-study, SPUD, a club, an immersion trip, or a sports team, getting involved is a way to keep you busy during free time (trust me, there’s a lot of unstructured time in college) and it’s also a really easy way to meet people, most of whom have the same interests as you.
  10. Explore different classes. This is easier at Holy Cross because it is a liberal arts school and thus, requires that students take a variety of classes in different areas. Still, you have plenty of time to take different classes and discover what subjects you like, especially if you’re not sure what you want to major in.

Here are some pictures from the past month:

 

 

Hi all!

By now, the workload has increased in all of my classes and I am approaching my first midterm exams and paper due dates. The last week of February and the first week of March are especially tough weeks because lots of assignments are due at once.

We’re also now officially in the dead of winter. We have about 8 inches of snow on the ground right now  with more to come this week. The school closed down last Thursday and canceled all classes (which is a rarity here) due to the amount of snow. We’re all praying for another snow day tomorrow too, but the chance of that is doubtful.

Because of all the snow, I have not been motivated to walk all the way to Kimball from Mulledy, thus, my friends and I have been ordering food in a lot. We haven’t been outside in awhile besides trekking to the library, so the past few days I’ve been going a little stir-crazy inside!

But it has been nice to hang out with my friends in the warmth of my dorm room and just watch movies this weekend. Also, last weekend was really fun because the Patriots won the Super Bowl!

Activities-wise, my SPUD starts Tuesday, which is located at the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester. I also signed up to help in the Admissions Department with greeting, online chats, and hosting overnight visitors.

But, second semester is now in full swing and I look forward to the rest of the month!!

Here are some pictures from the last few weeks:

Hey guys!

Welcome back to campus! Christmas break was a much-needed time to relax, but now I am ready to start classes again.

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Finals went better than I expected actually. I had two final exams and two final papers, which was a nice balance between writing and studying. I found that the exams were not too difficult to study for because I had multiple tests throughout the semester which prepared me for the format of the finals.

I found that it was best to switch up my studying places so that I wouldn’t get too restless in one spot. I liked studying at Cool Beans 2 in Stein if I wanted a relaxing atmosphere with a little noise, but I liked studying in the stacks of Dinand when I needed absolute silence to focus.

It’s still hard to believe that I have completed my first semester of college. Aside from the knowledge I’ve gained in the classroom, first semester also taught me other important lessons too. Even though I thought that I knew how to study when I first started school, college has taught me how to manage my time and organize my work in order to be most efficient. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice socializing with friends in order to do well, but trust me, it pays off.

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This semester, I’m taking Calc II, Principles of Microeconomics, Poetry and Poetics, and Magical Realism in the World (my Montserrat). Most of the classes are continuations of what I learned last semester, but I’m really excited for poetry, since I have never taken a poetry class before.

I look forward to seeing what new experiences second semester brings, and as always, I’m excited to share my time here on the hill with my friends and meet new people.

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Hi everyone! My name is Emma Mussatto and I am almost finished with my first semester on the Hill! I’ve only been here for three months and yet it feels like a lifetime since I was nervously awaiting the first day of college.

So far, I have been lucky enough to meet some incredible friends. This year, I live in Brooks-Mulledy residence hall, which is the biggest freshman dorm (and the best, but I’m a bit biased), and I’ve become really close with some of the girls on my floor.

Academically, I am enjoying all of my classes. I have calculus at eight a.m., which is sometimes (all the time) really hard to get out of bed for. Aside from Calc 1, I am also taking CRAW Fiction, Principles of Macroeconomics, and my Montserrat class, Global Issues in World Literature. At first, I was disappointed in my Montserrat class because it was my last choice, but now, I actually enjoy the class. We read novels and talk about them in a discussion-based class, which has also helped me get to know the people in my class better.

Besides academics, I’ve been getting involved in some of the activities on campus. I joined SPUD, in which I coach an SAT class for high schoolers at South High in Worcester. It has been an incredibly eye-opening experience for me to create a lesson plan each week and figure out how to best prepare my students. I am grateful not only to be able to help these kids prepare for the SAT, but I am grateful for the opportunity to see how much it takes to teach students.

While at first, it was difficult trying to adjust to a new atmosphere, especially with the large amount of unstructured time and freedom, I love every part of being at Holy Cross and I am looking forward to next semester and many new experiences!

Emma

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