A Wiser Fool: Sophomore Year Reflection

Sophomore literally means “wise fool.” How are we supposed to feel about being called a wise fool? Is it a good thing? Does it embrace our naivety? Or, undermine our intelligence? It’s up to you. For me, it’s a fitting description for the sophomore year I had at Holy Cross. For my last post of the year (which is long overdue!) I would like to share some overall highlights, lessons I’ve learned, and some highs and lows. Precisely, I’ll take you through a year of a wise fool. 

Dinand Library

Interdisciplinary Thought

College classes are difficult. Yet, they are not impossible. After a successful first year at the college, I felt unstoppable in terms of my academic career. I earned high marks in all of my classes. I was settling into my Classics major pretty well. I couldn’t tell you what came over me, but before the spring semester, I decided to switch up half of my classes. Even though it meant putting my Art History minor on hold, I decided to take intellectual risks by taking my first Political Science and Philosophy courses. 

While I was prepared for these courses, they were well out of my comfort zone. I took a class on American Politics because I longed for some sense of political literacy and involvement. Turns out, politics is just as hollow as the politicians make it out to be. Spoiler alert: it’s all about power. I can’t see a future in politics for me, but I used my interest in the Ancient Roman Republic to fuel my involvement and interest in this course. My background in this field in Classics guided my understanding of American politics, and vice versa. It was a nice complement to my upper-level Latin class on the politician Cicero, whose Pro Caelio I read in the fall semester. 

Philosophy was a bit harder to get into, but the most rewarding of them all. The course topic was called “Metaphysics.” Yea, maybe I should’ve swapped the class when I had the chance. At the start of the semester, my professor gave several warnings about the difficulty of the class. He wasn’t kidding, these philosophers are no joke. Some days I was better off not reading the chapter, because whether I read it or not, I wouldn’t even begin to understand what these people were talking about. But, that was the beauty of the course. I learned how to better approach philosophical thought, even philosophize myself, but my professor’s lectures about the importance of the metaphysical were all worth swallowing my fear of misunderstanding the readings. I got over being wrong in class a long time ago; there is no room in college for a fear of making mistakes. 

This course was such a challenge that it completely altered my approach to my life. I saw my writing style, intent, and ideas flourish in front of my very eyes. In the same interdisciplinary nature, I was able to connect all of my classes with one another. Ancient transformation myths were now paired with Ancient and Modern political theory. I could go on and on.

New Windows of Opportunity  

This fresh embrace of life and interdisciplinary thought was not only fostered within the classroom. This year I worked as a Research Associate for the New England Classical Journal. With NECJ, I was able to write my own abstracts, host a podcast episode, and even present my very own research paper at a conference. I never thought I would have accomplished something as an undergraduate student, but I did it! Even though I was a nervous undergrad surrounded by intimidatingly brilliant grad students and professors, it was excellent exposure I am grateful for so early in my career. I even had the opportunity to produce original research in Art History for the exhibition, which you’ve heard me talk about countless times. It was truly a success! 

This year I also planned and hosted Classics Day, which was a massive undertaking. The students and volunteers all had a wonderful time celebrating the Classics. In my eyes, it was a little peace in the ever-changing world of a liberal arts education (we can get into that issue another time). This was my ultimate intellectual and leadership accomplishment that I have completed in my life thus far. Along with being Classics Day Chair and doing Community Based Learning work in my courses, I was recently named a Charles A. Dana scholar (2023-2024) for my outstanding intellectual competence, good character, and representation of the values of Holy Cross. What a way to end my sophomore year! I am beyond grateful for these opportunities and excited for what the future holds. You know, in Athens next semester! 😉 

Fools as My Friends

Turns out my fellow wise fools make the best friends. This year has posed a lot of challenges. After a particularly low fall semester, I was reminded about how much of a gift we are to one another. College is a stepping stone for our success, not the end all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m that girl who will be in Dinand for hours; but, in the spring, I found my crowd that will do the same. My people who work so hard and deserve all the accolades, but remain humble and kind. Most importantly, we have fostered a loving community that cares for one another, the kind that supports one another instead of bringing each other down. 

All the lows were worth it when I put into perspective what it means to be a woman for others. It means putting faith in yourself, your family, and your very best friends that we can do anything we set out to do. And, this is not over-optimistic, it is true. This comes out of pure joy for the people I have grown close to and those I have sadly grown apart from: you all have positively impacted my life. Thank you. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Whether it be cracking up in the main reading room, family Kimball dinner, or an off-campus walk (or two), these memories are forever. 

Well, I guess I’m wiser now. Or, more foolish? Either way, this year was wild, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. It’s been lovely writing to you all, and thank you for sticking around. If you don’t hear from me on this blog, you know where to find me!

Go Crusaders! 

“These studies nourish the youth, they delight old age.” – Cicero

Ringing in a New Decade 

Many say that your twenties are the best years of your life. I guess it’s time to find out what’s so great about them. As we enter the last weeks of the spring semester, we have begun to think about what’s next. For some of us, we’re just getting started on our college journey. For others, we are soaking in the very last seconds on the Hill. For me? Well, I’m at a weird point in my college career. When you get to sophomore year you too will understand. There is not as much of a rush of newness as there was freshman year. You are figuring out your interests and friends that make you happy. While this is all and well, it’s the perfect time to learn about yourself. 

For some of us, we will be bringing Holy Cross away by participating in DC and international programs. I’m part of the latter group: I’ll be studying in Athens, Greece next semester. It’s a big jump, but I am confident that Holy Cross has prepared me well beyond my expectations. For many others, the Hill will continue to nourish their studies and relationships. 

So, I just turned 20 yesterday. And, attending my classes yesterday, Metaphysics and Latin, reminded me why I’m at Holy Cross in the first place. I am on the Hill to make mistakes (And, if I weren’t here for that reason, I would not be in college.). I am here to learn. I am here to love what I’m learning and to enrich my soul with these studies. Like the inscription in our beloved Dinand Library says: haec studia adulescentiam alunt, senectutem oblectant. Coincidentally it’s my favorite Latin author, Cicero and translates to: “These studies nourish the youth, they delight old age.”

While I have my thoughts of Holy Cross as a Liberal Arts Institution, I personally keep these values as grounding my identity as a Holy Cross student and woman for our community and our world. Sometimes we forget why we’re here, both in our world and our campus. But, learning things that make us happy, regardless of a direct outcome, is our purpose.

Holy Cross allows us to enrich our souls by studying a wide range of disciplines insofar as we consider this an advantage to our future. Of course, we are working towards a productive future in our professional lives, but like Holy Cross, I am a firm believer in allowing our studies to shape our person so that we can be the best version of ourselves in whatever workplace we deem fit. I have a good feeling that my twenties are going to be rewarding as long as I continue to flourish where I’m meant to be. 


For the Kids: Community Based Learning Courses

At the core of our Jesuit identity is service. At its most basic level, service is the practice of helping others. This can take so many different forms in different places and circumstances. From my experience, however, service is a duty we must fulfill given that we have gifts, skills, and passions to help others. As a Holy Cross student, I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to study. When I figure out what I am meant to do in this world I will consider three things: What do I love? What am I good at? What does the world need me to do? 

That last question grounds my identity as a woman for others. Whatever we put out in this world, whether we see explicit effects or not, is affecting our world. And so, why should we not make the world a better place from it? Even if it is a small deed, it still has a meaningful impact, even if it does not have a massive change. This blog post goes out to the skeptics who claim that smaller deeds of service, like the ones I will describe here, are meaningless. Here goes nothing. 

For the most part, the Holy Cross community practices what it preaches. They take this value so seriously, some courses have a required Community Based Learning (CBL) component alongside course material. At a quick glance, this CBL component is not seen to be merely a requirement for the course, but it should enhance the course’s material aims and goals.

I have taken two CBL courses: Kings & Caliphs: Art of Luxury and Introduction to Greek 1 and 2. I already wrote about my experience in the first course, so be sure to check that out! Right now, I’ll give you the rundown on a more hands on CBL experience with my Introduction to Greek classes.

In the fall semester, we had a CBL section of the class which focused on creating a project for the Worcester Art Museum to work on. My group created an interactive pyxis, a jewelry-type box out of materials we had at school. We were able to create a fun and enriching experience for anyone who would use our pyxis, both younger students and older ones. 

In the spring semester, we completed an exciting project which included going to Worcester East Middle School and teaching a lesson on the Ancient Athenian Legal System. After weeks of planning and outlining our lesson plans, our groups split up into pairs and we had the opportunity to teach our lesson to 7th grade students. Overall, the students seemed like they were engaged and learned something new about Ancient Athens and American Democracy. I would love to go into specifics, so feel free to reach out!

From a service learning perspective, this one day of teaching did not transform the kids. But, what is important to get out of this experience is that we showed up for them. Service, regardless of its size, is something that I will defend until the end of time. Let’s make sure we show up and understand what the world needs us to do today. 

Jesuit Tradition and Crusader Art: Student Scholarship in Action

Holy Cross prides itself on the intersectionality of student scholarship and our communities, both near and far. It’s certainly a part of the Jesuit tradition that I find myself deeply committed to. Given Holy Cross’ top-tier academic instruction and resources, our commitment to the Worcester community (and beyond), and our scholarship goes beyond the walls of our historic Fenwick Hall. 

I recently reported back on the new Prior Performing Arts Center and how integral it is for our campus community. If you remember, you might have gotten a passionate request to come to the new Cantor Art Gallery to see the inaugural historical exhibit: “Bringing the Holy Land Home: The Crusades, Chertsey Abbey, and the Reconstruction of a Medieval Masterpiece.” Well, I am ecstatic to say that the Holy Land has finally made its way “home” on St. James Hill. 

Across several semesters, different sections of the Art History class, “Kings and Caliphs: Art of Luxury,” spent countless hours researching a particular object that would be highlighted in the exhibit. And, after years of research by the leading curator, Professor Amanda Luyster, and students along the way, the exhibition was finally a reality. The exhibition activities began with a guest lecture by Dr. William Purkis from the University of Birmingham on “Bringing the Holy Land Home: Crusaders, Relics, and the Transformation of Latin Christendom’s Sacred Material World.” This was an appropriate and engaging talk to put our Jesuit identity in connection with the Islamic and Crusader Art that would be living on our campus for the next couple of months. 

The Chertsey Tiles © Janis Desmarais and Amanda Luyster

After the lecture concluded, I could feel the anticipation from everyone as we made our way up to the Cantor Art Gallery. I was feeling a great deal of honor and privilege being able to study under the incredible guest curator, Professor Luyster. The exhibition was phenomenal. So amazing, you’ll have to come yourself to see it! You’ll certainly regret it if you don’t. It’s not everyday that you can see all of these objects in physical conversation with one another. 

Me and My Seal!

Like I mentioned before, I was in one of Professor Luyster’s classes on Crusader art. So, we had the opportunity to research an object that would be highlighted in the exhibition. As many professors and advisors have told me in the past, there is nothing like seeing something you’ve worked so hard on for the first time. And, even though the seal I worked on was tiny, it was still mighty. Nonetheless, I was so proud to see it there in the flesh. You know, someone nearly 800 years ago got a letter with that very seal on it. Now we have it. How crazy is that? It’s something you can say about every object in the exhibition, and yet, something you can’t come across very often in your own community.  

My Seal! Seal of Latin Emperor Henry of Flanders (Dumbarton Oaks)

This is only the beginning of sophisticated student research with professors, advisors, and other professionals in their fields. There are plenty of opportunities at the college for involvement in our studies outside of the classroom. And, this blog post is one of the opportunities I’ve been involved in this year alone; I’ll write some more later. It truly connects our communal Holy Cross identity with our own personal identities. The exhibit closes April 6, 2023; hopefully, you can make it over here before then!

A Close Up

New Year’s Resolutions 2023 (From an “Anti-Resolutions” type)

I’m not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions, and I tend to stray away from them. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I feel some personal power in being able to make changes any time during the year. But, since it’s the season for sharing our hopes and dreams for the new year, I thought it might be nice to share them for a change. 2023 has not yet begun for my time back at Holy Cross, but we’ll be going back to campus later this month. For the meantime, I had a lot of free time on my hands to reflect on my time at school and this past year. 

Last year was certainly challenging. It’s no surprise that Holy Cross students are such a force because of how positively demanding Holy Cross is. And, don’t get me wrong, this is the best thing for a student trying to find their way. While it’s hard to academically challenge yourself, I feel like I’m truly making progress in several areas at Holy Cross. I finally feel comfortable with my academic strengths and weaknesses and began to optimize and target them. I am so proud of my peers and myself. It’s a step in the right direction for all of us! 

While this sounds optimistic, I always seek to find new things to challenge myself. What’s the joy of having the privilege to go to school if not to embrace not knowing something. Last semester I began some professional editorial work as a research associate for the New England Classical Journal under a Holy Cross professor. The work we’ve been doing is something new to me. As someone who loves to learn, I’m having a great experience. I thoroughly enjoy getting some practical experience of the ways of editing a big and professional publication. I’m looking forward to continuing my work throughout next semester. I’ll keep you posted about it!

When we get back to campus, I’m cracking down on all of my courses and planning Classics Day! It’s an event for high school students to celebrate their knowledge of the Classics with a series of activities hosted on campus. You might remember that I wrote a blog post about helping out with this event, but now I get to lead it as Classics Day chair. I’m beyond excited (and nervous). The biggest risk I’m taking this year (so far as I know) is possibly studying abroad in the fall. I’ll let you know when I hear back, but you might be hearing from me across the globe next semester!

2023 is full of endless possibilities. I truly hope that my next year on and off the Hill will be positively challenging and rewarding by putting myself out there more. I hope to lead a fulfilling year by surrounding myself with people I love and doing things I love. I hope to be kinder and more intentional in my thoughts and prayers. I hope to live more gracefully with gratitude in an attempt to be a force for the world. I could start with the Hill and we’ll go from there.

I’ll be around a bit more in 2023. I hope you like these blogs as much as I love writing them! Bye for now!

Holy Cross Christmas: A Worcester Winter Wonderland

‘Tis the season for a Holy Cross Christmas! With the semester finally finished and the holiday season upon us, it’s always so delightful to see what Holy Cross is doing for the holidays. As a sophomore on the Hill, I’ve gotten more comfortable with everything that goes on during this season, and I already had an idea of what I wanted to come back to from last year. 

Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

First on the list was the Annual Christmas Tree Lightning in front of O’Kane. During such a stressful time as a student, it’s always so special to come together as a campus to listen to our acapella and music groups perform our favorite holiday tunes and warm up with some hot chocolate and cookies while we wait for the beautiful lighting. After anticipation built up, we all came together in prayer with our hopes going into the end of the year and blessed the tree lighting. As always, it was beautifully done.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you know how fond I am of the new Prior Performing Arts Center. After spending a lot more time in the center, I can confidently say that it does not disappoint. It certainly is another lovely study spot and remarkable facility for the arts. Like many spots on campus, there were stunning Christmas trees in the “beehive.” During the last week of classes, my friends and I would come for the delicious pastries and hot chocolate they had out for students, faculty, and staff. This was so thoughtful to bring so many together during such a busy time. And, of course, it was absolutely scrumptious! 

The Beehive at Christmas
The Medieval Room with a Lovely Christmas Tree

While there are several other happenings for the holidays on campus, I’d love to highlight a glimpse of the Winter Wonderland in our very own city of Worcester. As you might understand, I love going to the Worcester Art Museum, and it would not be a Holy Cross semester without at least one visit. When I went to the WAM in December, it was completely decked out in holiday decor. Each christmas tree had different decorations, which was fitting for a museum with such a diverse collection of art. I personally loved it! 

It’s always such a magical time at Holy Cross, especially when you’re with people you love. From me to you, I hope you have a special holiday season filled with lots of love and happiness. I’m sure you’ll hear from me one more time before the new year, but if you don’t have a happy and healthy new year! Looking forward to what’s to come in 2023! As always, I’ll keep you updated on this blog! 

PS. If you’re into the Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel, here’s an opinion article I wrote for Holy Cross’ student newspaper, The Spire, on one of their newest movies: A Holiday Spectacular

First-Year Down

We did it; I finally finished my first year at Holy Cross. And, honestly, it was incredible.

The year was great! Difficult, but great. I had the opportunity to learn about myself, my community, and my aspirations, all within this short time. While it was not easy to transition into the college lifestyle, the welcoming environment on Mount Saint James made it all worth it.

My biggest takeaway and piece of advice for incoming and prospective students would be to throw yourself into everything Holy Cross (or whatever college you choose) has to offer.

In my first blog post, I briefly touched on things I wanted to be a part of, and every bit of community I found exceeded my greatest expectations. Coming out of my first year, I found community in all of my classes, with my peers and my professors. I found community in the clubs, forming relationships with other students in my grade and upperclassmen. And, in general, in college life, I found so many amazing people that I now call my friends.

I’m very proud of myself. And, if you’re reading this having finished your first year, another year, graduating high school, or whatever your most recent achievement is: celebrate it! I believe the smallest victories make the most impact in our lives!

Let’s take some time to reflect on what we’re proud of, and I’ll tell you about what I’ve gotten involved in already in my first year (and plans for next). I made my high school dream a reality when I declared my Classics major. After coming here as one of the Bean scholars, being a Classics major was inevitable, but I would not want it any other way. I found a new interest in art history, and on a whim, I’m now an art history minor. (See, you never know what will pique your interest!)

I found a niche research community in the department’s Manuscripts, Inscriptions, and Documents Club (MID), where we are currently working on indexing one of the oldest Iliad manuscripts we have. I met some amazing people and great friends in the Classics honor society, Eta Sigma Phi.

Not only have I found my academic community, but the friends I’ve met are incredible. Holy Cross truly attracts a certain person: a caring, independent, collaborative, hard-working eternal scholar of the world. And, I’m certainly grateful to have found my people that uphold similar values in this community and want to maintain a flourishing environment.

I’ve even interacted with many people at the college as one of the SodaStream partners, where I promoted the SodaStream Professional machines on campus. You probably saw me with tons of giveaways in Hogan. Maybe, we’ll see more of that next year!

Next year, I’m joining the Student Advisory Committee for the Classics department. I get to sit in and help the Classics faculty with decisions about curricula, requirements, and other events. I’m also pumped to be the Associate Editor for Parnassus, the Undergraduate Classical Journal, which was a blast to work on this year. And, in more exciting news, I’m off to Rome (tomorrow!) to begin the Maymester Program: Rome: History and Imagination. I’ll be posting a lot of pictures on my Instagram if you want to follow along there: @alexandraberardelli

Most importantly, if this year has shown me only one thing, it is that I am in the right place. I’ve never felt more at home, with the right people, doing the right things, until now. And I am eternally grateful for that miraculous call from God (and the gods) last spring.

Thank you — I appreciate all of you who read my blog. It was an honor writing for you to read, and I hope I’ll be able to do more of this soon. Some highlights of my year have to be: seeing Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with my Montserrat class, daily lunches with my friends at Lower Kimball, spending hours in Levis Browsing Room, and camping out on Fenwick 4 with friends.

Whenever you are and whoever is reading this, I wish you the best of luck. And, remember to throw yourself out there because you never know what opportunities can change your life for the better.

So far, I’m known as having the “yolo” type of mentality, and I leave you with one of my favorite Latin quotes I discovered this past semester.

dum vivimus vivamus
(While we live, let’s live — from Epicureanism)

Peace out, Crusaders!

Alexandra Berardelli


One Semester Closer to my Degree: First Semester Reflections 

Well, here we are. One semester done. Half of the way done with Freshman year. So, this is the game time plays with us; you know the saying: Tempus fugit. Anyway, I’ve been home for a little more than a week already and having handed in all my finals, taken my exams, and received the grades I earned, I’ve had the chance to reflect on the first semester of my undergraduate career at Holy Cross.

First Day of Class Photo!

A New Academic Career

The part of college I and many others are most nervous about is our class. In my first semester, I took four classes (the standard for most Holy Cross students), one being the Montserrat seminar I wrote about a couple of blog posts ago. Aside from the mandatory seminar, I took three classes of interest and within my Classics major. 

The Fitz (Classics Library on Fenwick 4)

Before I actually started at Holy Cross, I knew I was going to study Classics, so taking Classics courses in the first semester of freshman year had already been a plan. 

Within my major classes, I took my first Latin class and a course on Classical Drama! No doubt, they were my favorite. We read Augustine’s Confessions in Latin, which was incredible and sparked meaningful reflection. And, in Classical Drama, we read many plays of ancient playwrights. It was very interesting and explored many themes of my own interests. 

Outside of my major, and even though I’ve been granted my STEM credits already, I decided to take Calculus 2, a math class primarily full of STEM majors. Don’t get me wrong, this was a challenging class and isn’t for everyone. But, it’s always been a goal of mine to take this course, and I’m so happy I did. (Even if it wasn’t for my major or common requirement credit.)

Taking classes outside of your major is the beauty of the liberal arts education at Holy Cross. All of my courses have already impacted my academic career significantly in their own ways. I can use the analytical skills from my math course to think critically about what a certain word means in the context of a Latin text I’m reading. I could use my visual analyses skills to better understand how we as an evolutionary society interact with each other. I mean, the possibilities with an interdisciplinary education are endless!

New Life, New Friends: A Little Bit of New in Everything

Managing the transition into college is different for everyone, but it’s not easy across the board. There is so much newness, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with classes and your social life. In my experience, try to find time, even in the slightest, to reflect on why you’re here and be sure to keep trying your best. Your best is enough. If you love what you’re doing, then you’re doing the best for yourself, and it’s a perk that others feel the energy glowing off of you.

Some Friends! (Shane, Liz, Libby, Kathryn, Julie, Alexandra, Audrey)

I’ve met some of my favorite people through clubs and classes. And, a lot of them are upperclassmen! As someone who was very intimidated by the upperclassmen at my high school, this really went away when I came here. The friends I’ve made in other grades have been mentors to me, taking me in as one of their own. And, honestly, this has made all the difference in transitioning into college socially and academically. 

Another critical group of people who have helped me transition into college easily has been my professors. Being in a close-knit community in my major has allowed me to meet most professors and establish relationships with them. So, go to office hours for class and yourself. They’re always ready to talk about anything. I always find myself in one of my favorite professor’s offices talking about our lives, and they’re not even teaching one of my courses! So, shut down that stigma where professors are super scary. Here, they’re certainly the opposite. 

Takeaways for Next Semester

This semester, amid so much struggle and change, made me very proud of myself. I’m proud of just getting to class, showing up, and putting my all into everything. (And, what I’ve earned in my courses is not a bad bonus!) In total, I’ve never felt more sure of myself deciding on what college to attend than being at Holy Cross. It’s easily the best decision of my life up until this point, and I feel grateful and lucky to have stumbled upon this gift.

So, for me and you reading this, here are some key takeaways that I’ll be bringing with me into the second semester and beyond. (And, if you’d like me to elaborate on anything, feel free to reach out!)


  • Go to class
  • Meet with your professors a bunch
  • Make friends in your classes 
  • Eat and drink good and energizing things 
  • Sleep 
  • Find music you like 
  • Enjoy your own company 
  • Establish your own rhythm 
  • Set goals (even small ones) for yourself

Thank you for reading along this semester! I’ll see you next semester!


First Christmas on the Hill 

With the end of the semester approaching, it could be hard to get in the Christmas spirit with all that stress. So, it’s difficult to pull yourself away from all your work, but Holy Cross Christmas is magically worth it. 

Friends at the Tree Lighting (Maddie, Jen, Alexandra, Shane, Kathryn, Julie, Liz)

The first Holy Cross Christmas tradition I experienced was the Christmas Tree Lighting. On a particular day, the entire campus came together on Linden Lane in front of O’Kane Hall for the lighting ceremony. Student volunteers brought delicious hot chocolate and cookies to get us in the mood as student performances began. All the acapella groups and bands performed Christmas hits, and it was beautiful. (I was so surprised by the number of groups we have!) Everyone was singing along and getting in the Christmas mood.

After the Tree Lighting!


After all of the performances, Father Hayes came up to the microphone and gave his annual Christmas Tree Lighting Blessing with a scripture reading and a prayer. And, it was time—the perfect moment. The trees and wreath in front of O’Kane were lit up, and Christmas at Holy Cross had officially begun!





This was an enjoyable experience for my friends and me to prepare for the Holidays. The next holiday tradition I experienced was the annual Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols in the Chapel (Click to watch this year’s event!). After eating a delicious Christmas dinner at Kimball Dining Hall, my friends and I headed to the chapel (very early) to get a seat for this event.

Waiting for Lessons and Carols to start! (Alexandra, Jen, Ava, Julie, Liz, Audrey)


We were welcomed by student volunteers and prepared for the special event. Throughout the night, members of the faculty and staff, including President Rougeau, read special Scripture readings for the holidays. And, between the readings, the Holy Cross Choir and Chamber Singers sang your favorite Holiday Classics. It was wonderful!

The Holy Cross Choir beautifully singing for the event!


You already know that I’ll participate in these events again next year. It was a great time to start getting in the Christmas spirit and making memories with my new friends! I would love to see some of you experiencing this with us next year!

Happy Holidays! 

My First Taste of Home Off of the Hill: Jesuit Edition

‘Twas the night before Holy Cross Freshman move-in day 2021…

After the ride up to Worcester, I began to relax, full of so many emotions: excitement and nerves. Suppose the thought of moving into college for the first time wasn’t scary enough. How about accidentally running into nearly all of the Jesuit community at dinner the day before move-in?

You read that correctly, I unintentionally met the Jesuits at Holy Cross, and it’s most definitely a highlight of my freshman year, even before stepping onto campus as a student. At dinner before the big day, my waitress mentioned that the large table in front of us were the Jesuits from Holy Cross. Definitely a coincidence! What are the odds?

Alexandra Berardelli, College of the Holy Cross, Move-In Day 2021
Move-In Day 2021

Anyway, I went up and introduced myself. I felt so much love, excitement, and already a warm welcome into the community. (Even from my future Latin professor, whose class I would soon find myself in!) They said this was their last celebration since “It was the calm before the storm,” or when all the fresh faces of students would revive the campus for the first time in a couple of months.

If this wasn’t a sign that I was going to the right place, I don’t know what was. I’ve always adored the Jesuits, their mission, and their commitment to the community. It is an integral part of what I wanted to get out of my college experience. This warm welcome I unexpectedly found helped me release any lingering fears and enjoy my move-in experience.

This was a blessing in disguise. Since this fantastic meeting, I’ve never felt more welcome. Of course, the Jesuit community and its values are one part of the broader picture of Holy Cross, but I’m a firm believer that it truly makes a difference in our home.

So, I’m glad I bumped into them; maybe I’ll be sitting at their (Jesu)lit table next time.