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. 

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?” 

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.

The Ivy Reminder

The Ivy Reminder

BY MIA PENNEKAMP ’20 

I remember the blackened tooth my sister had for a year because I let go of the rope. The game was tug-of-war; she was three and went crashing down onto the hard marble floor. I think I won that round. Ivy, four years my junior, looks a lot like me — with a few key variations. While I’m pale, she’s sun kissed. While I wear my dark hair straight and long, she embraces the natural tumble of her lighter locks. All of our shared features are softer on her. In both looks and personality where I’m sharp, she’s soft. I thrift cleavage-bearing tank tops, blue jeans and mini-skirts. She buttons up in head-to-toe J.Crew. Our differences become increasingly apparent beyond the physical. She’s calm and content while I’m loud and restless. Sweet where I’m snarky. Faithful where I’m questioning. She is orderly and organized, relishing in routine. I don’t make the bed, or the curfew. She would never let go of the rope. 

How to do love letters for Valentine’s Day virgins

How to do love letters for Valentine’s Day virgins

BY MIA PENNEKAMP ’20 

“I love last Valentine’s Day, our first. Purple orchids and high black boots. You gave me a letter and a memory and a bottle of maple syrup wrapped in paper, and it was the best present I had ever received,” begins the Valentine’s Day card I wrote this year. It continues with 12 more “I love…” until the last one: “I love you. Happy Valentine’s Day.” Signed: “Always, M.” 

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 Fluff: Seven things I learned my first year of college

The Fluff: Seven things I learned my first year of college

BY MIA PENNEKAMP ’20

1. Take the class. Email the professor. Wear the backless silk top. Go to the party. Take the road trip. Run to the stop to catch the last bus. Listen to the lecturer. Walk around the lake. Get lost in the museum. Hike the mountain and eat ice cream at the top. Kiss them. Laugh hysterically on your dorm room floor. These are the things you’ll remember.