The Fluff: (Not so) secret Mount Holyoke pleasures

BY MIA PENNEKAMP ’20 

There are many things I claim to love: cheeseburgers, books, tube tops, ginger ale, airports, lingerie — none of which surpass my love for Mount Holyoke College. As a self-proclaimed die-hard MoHo, you may be interested in how I find my ~bliss~ on campus. Or maybe not. Either way, let’s dive in to some of my not-so-secret Mount Holyoke pleasures. 

THE PEOPLE. I met my current roommate in a geology class that we were both taking to fulfill a requirement during our first year spring semester. She sat in my row and was spunky and stylish with a dusting of freckles and a killer sense of humor. Occasionally, we’d exchange comments and steal talk time while we were supposed to be drawing diagrams and petting pebbles. One day late in the semester I asked her, “Have a roommate yet?” She said “No.” Somehow, me and this semi-stranger agreed to live together come fall. The night we moved in, we stayed up talking for hours. A month later, she wrote me a birthday card and got me a monogramed “M” mug (for my coffee habit) and dark chocolate covered goji berries. Every day since, she has impressed me with her wisdom, kindness and, of course, her trademark sense of humor. 

THE SELF-CARE. My routine is as follows: Order face masks to Auxiliary Services. Apply said face masks weekly. Paint nails, then change color to fit mood. Yoga in dorm room. Apply self-tanner, and wash hands afterwards to avoid orange palms. When running to the bathroom butt-naked, check both ways to avoid running head on into anyone, like a visiting boyfriend (true story) (sorry). Cut your own hair with tiny eyebrow scissors and let your locks fall into the trash — therapeutic. Take a nap. Watch a movie. Read an article for fun. Call Mom, call Dad, call Nana. Ask for advice. Read “Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed for the eighth time. Do your hair and makeup one day out of the blue, and shock everyone in your 8:35. Spend the rest of that day feeling fly. 

GETTING OFF… campus. What did you think I was going to say? Leaving campus is a welcomed change of pace, and it makes returning that much sweeter. One of the best things about Mount Holyoke happens to also be one of the most important elements in real estate — location, location, location. Driving through the Pioneer Valley still takes my breath away, every single time. The snow-capped mountains, the picturesque fields. The way autumn washes everything in gold. The creamy wholesomeness of an ice cream cone at an outdoor picnic table, so many flavors. The Five Colleges, so many flavors. A trip to the mall is a retreat from the week, a procrastination playground used mostly for sampling from the food court. I’ve done the route through New York City’s Port Authority enough times to know the drivers. I’ve made bus friends. I’ve driven hours with students I didn’t know until I messaged them on Facebook. I’ve crashed on couches, large arm chairs and dorm room floors. Wherever I go, whether it be Thirsty Mind or home for break, Mount Holyoke welcomes me back with a warmth that melts this biting cold.

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