Nine things I learned my sophomore year

Nine things I learned my sophomore year

BY MIA PENNEKAMP ’20 

1. One day you will finally get an A from the professor who has never given you anything but Bs. 


2. Don’t forget to keep up with your oldest friends. The ones who know you cold and ugly and like family. If you do forget, one of them will call you out for it on Easter in a coffee shop. She will sit across from you, wearing a leather jacket and a yellow scarf, and you’ll both tear up. 

Getting married at Mount Holyoke

Getting married at Mount Holyoke

BY SABA FIAZUDDIN ’21

For members of the Mount Holyoke community, many of life’s most important moments happen on campus, from their first convocation to commencement, with years of beloved traditions in between. For some, this connection extends beyond their final walk through the amphitheater. In addition to more well-known events held in Abbey Chapel and the Willits-Hallowell Conference Center, people can also use these venues for their weddings. Many Mount Holyoke graduates chose to do just that. 

UP THE HILL: HOW CLINTON’S TOP ADVISOR IS MOVING ON FROM THE 2016 ELECTION

UP THE HILL: HOW CLINTON’S TOP ADVISOR IS MOVING ON FROM THE 2016 ELECTION

BY  LINDSEY MCGINNIS ’18

Elle magazine described her as a key member of Hillary Clinton’s “Girl Squad.” To Fortune.com readers, she was “the wonk shaping Hillary Clinton’s plans for the country.” POLITICO named her one of the top 50 “thinkers, doers and visionaries” transforming American politics in 2016.

Everybody loves grass

Everybody loves grass

BY MIA PENNEKAMP ’20

The first time I saw Mount Holyoke it was summer. Everything was green. I wore white jeans and sandals, the sun browning my spaghetti strap-clad shoulders. There was powdered sugar on my jean jacket from a drive-thru donut shop (my mom came, so there had to be donuts). We toured the campus and she walked quickly ahead of me, her curls wild, shoes platformed and button-down tucked in. We spent the day exploring the valley and ended with white wine, pizza and conversation over a small wooden table in Northampton. “What did you think?” she wanted to know, clearly smitten herself. She had the giddy excitement of a school girl. The hazed eyes of infatuation, lovesick off her own college reminiscing — North Carolina in the ’80s. I had one burning question: “Mom,” I asked, “seriously, why is everyone lying in the grass?” 

MoRomance expands to the Five Colleges

MoRomance expands to the Five Colleges

BY GRACE FITZGERALD ’20

It can get lonely in the Pioneer Valley. To address this, we at MoRomance are sending MoHos on blind dates with fellow Five College students to find love! After all, isn’t that what the consortium was created for? We set up Mount Holyoke first-year Suzie* and Hampshire second-year Stephen* for our inaugural Five College date. Suzie described herself as an outgoing, energetic and vivacious person seeking someone who she can be comfortable and intimate with. Stephen, a musician, was looking for someone who loves music and can appreciate his offbeat sense of humor. Their shared love of movies and the arts seemed to make for a perfect match. We sent them on a date to the Smith College Art Museum followed by bubble tea in Northampton. The two met in the lobby of the art museum, and here’s what happened… 

Vita and Virginia: A literary love story

Vita and Virginia: A literary love story

BY GRACE FITZGERALD ’20

This week, we set up senior Virginia* with first-year Vita* on a movie date in Clapp to watch “Romeo + Juliet.” Vita described herself as an open-minded person who is fascinated by the world. As a self-described hopeless romantic, Virginia wanted someone she could talk about the depths of her soul with. Vita, who wants to know a little about everything, seemed like a perfect fit! Mid-’90s Leonardo DiCaprio plus the Clapp sloth sounded like the recipe for romance to us. The two met in Clapp to begin their date, and here’s how it went…

An insider’s look into the Office of Admissions

An insider’s look into the Office of Admissions

BY SABA FIAZUDDIN ’21

Every year, the month of March is marked with anxiety for students awaiting admissions decisions from their top colleges. For many students, this time of year is a culmination of standardized tests, all-nighters spent finishing college essays and hours devoted to extracurricular activities. The experience, however, doesn’t just wear down students; it can also be stressful for admissions officers who must read hundreds of applications in a month and make decisions that will affect students for the next four years of their lives.

Students and staff out of sync on AccessAbility Services, misconceptions lead to campus tension

BY MADELINE FITZGERALD ’21

There is a predictable rhythm to starting college. Scan department store lists of dorm room essentials. Check Rate My Professor. Check the Facebook group. Check everything, then load the car and leave home.  For Caroline Castonguay ’20, however, there was one more necessary task to complete. Castonguay, who has cystic fibrosis, a chronic and debilitating illness, needed to meet with AccessAbility services, the office that provides students with disability accommodations. 

From Whizzer to Cici: Seeing the College through MHN comics

From Whizzer to Cici: Seeing the College through MHN comics

BY LINDSEY MCGINNIS ’18 

Mount Holyoke News has a long history of running both original student art and nationally syndicated comic strips. The creative commentary on college life has added a note of levity to the weekly news and campus discourse, and even helped launch successful careers in illustration. 

Letters to my First-Year Self

To baby Kelly:

In so many ways, you will be the same in four years. You will graduate as the same awkward dork that you have always been. You’ll still make questionable life choices, and sometimes you’ll have worse judgement than a five-year-old. As always, you’ll continue to obnoxiously laugh at your own jokes without shame, because you think you’re super funny. You will still love to dance like a fool at almost any party and you’ll forever be kind of a dweeb. You’re always going to be high-wired with a lot of energy, and you’re still going to be the kind of person who always tries to give more than they take. You’ll work hard at everything and have the heart of a true athlete.

Trans icon Miss Major visits Smith

BY SHEBATI SENGUPTA ’19 AND MADELINE FITZGERALD ’21

In an effort to increase awareness around queer history, Smith College hosted several events surrounding Transgender Day of Visibility last week, including a screening of the documentary “Major!” and a talk with the film’s subject, LGBT rights activist Miss Major. An iconic figure in the fight for transgender rights, Miss Major was a participant in the 1969 Stonewall Riots and today is the executive director emerita for the Transgender, Gender Variant and Intersex Justice Project. Today, she focuses primarily on mass-incarceration and the way it intersects with issues of racial justice and queer activism. Miss Major is also a prominent advocate for prison abolition, an issue which was featured heavily at the talk.

A strip freeze

A strip freeze

BY MIA PENNEKAMP ’20 

I suck at being still. I’m the girl who bounces her leg up and down — shaking the table. I’m familiar with the feeling of hands landing on my thigh, and mouths telling me to please “be still.” I tap my pen, play with my hair, adjust my shirt. Chapstick and lotion, apply and reapply. I’m the girl who does calf stretches in the subway station. I rise up on my toes, relevé, plié, tendu. Dancing on my own. I suck at being still, and have for most of my life. I likely lack the discipline. What I do know: I’m intently, intensely curious. Anxious sometimes, always searching and scanning. Perhaps it was this curiosity, or perhaps my expensive and insatiable Sephora habit, that led me to a Mount Holyoke figure drawing class.

Letters to my First-Year Self

To my first-year self,

Where do I begin? You will change majors about four times, and know how to speak six languages by the end of junior year. College is going to start off rough. You won’t have the same friends you started out with, all your expectations of how college was supposed to be will fall apart and you will face reality. There will be lonely, confusing moments throughout most of college and that is fine. These difficult times are going to teach you how to mature, deal with situations and build your own self-respect. You’ll learn how to cut out toxic people and environments from your life and allocate your energy to those who merit it. Do not be afraid of letting go because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, certain people are only supposed to be in your life for that certain period if they no longer have the capacity to grow with you. Give yourself space for the new chapter, which will be more exciting than you could ever imagine.

Faculty Show reflects the changing senses of humor

Faculty Show reflects the changing senses of humor

BY SHEBATI SENGUPTA ’19

The first faculty show was held over 100 years ago. In earlier years, it was used as a fundraising tool for the College, to benefit anything from the health center to a scholarship fund and the tradition has continued almost uninterrupted every four years since. It operates on a volunteer basis, with a group of interested staff and faculty coming up with ideas, writing scripts and participating in skits. The writing, planning and the faculty band are prepared in advance. The comprehensive rehearsals, however, start the Monday before the show. This year some of the cast, such as psychology professor KC Haydon, participated for the first time. The longest continuous volunteer, Dawn Larder, coordinator for the economics department, has been part of faculty show since 1976. Regardless of experience and commitment level, all the faculty interviewed reiterated that the show is, first and foremost, supposed to be fun.

Dawn and Miranda: “It is a blind date after all”

Dawn and Miranda:  “It is a blind date after all”

BY GRACE FITZGERALD ’20

This week we set up junior Dawn* with senior Miranda* on a date at Thirsty Mind. Dawn described themself as a corny food lover seeking a caring and sarcastic person to spend time with. Miranda described herself as a gregarious and caring person looking for someone to get coffee with and make laugh. Their mutual caring nature and love of art made them seem like the perfect pair! The two wore their cutest red outfits and met in Thirsty Mind. Here’s what happened… 

So what’s the deal with the housing lottery?

So what’s the deal with the housing lottery?

BY FALGUNI BASNET ’21

It’s that time of the year when rising sophomores, juniors and seniors at Mount Holyoke participate in the housing lottery. The process can be stressful, and students often worry about who they are going to end up sharing a room with and whether they will get into their desired residence halls or living learning communities (LLCs).