Hometown:Rowayton, Connecticut Major:English Minor: Psychology Activities: Habitat for Humanity co-president, ski team member
Favorite aspect of Connecticut College: After transferring to Conn my sophomore year, I knew I had found the perfect place for me. Though Conn is small, this to me is not a downside. I have learned that I thrive better in smaller communities, and I love that Conn is a school where I am able to recognize a continuous stream of faces and friends on a normal walk through campus. Small environments foster close friendships, and this has certainly been my experience at Conn. My second favorite thing would have to be the view from the top of Tempel Green. Being able to see Long Island Sound every day from campus can be a breath of fresh air during a hectic day.
Favorite memory at Connecticut College: There are a lot of moments at Conn that will stick with me forever. But I would have to say that my favorite memory would be skiing in the arboretum with the ski team during a snow day last year. We lugged our skis all the way down to the Caroline Black Garden and then lugged them back up to campus afterward, but in the interim the skiing with good friends in our backyard was priceless.
Favorite activity in New London or the region: My friends and I love going to Harkness Memorial State Park (in Waterford—just a town away). During the warmer months we lounge in the sun on the beach and in colder months we bring a picnic dinner and bundle up for a sunset dinner on the beach. It’s a beautiful place.
Saturday’s performances of “Coming From the Beast” confirmed the notion that words alone can carry immense power. The Women’s Empowerment Initiative touched upon tough topics yet carried them out sometimes with humor and sometimes with sad truths, but always with honesty. “Coming From the Beast” was a show that delved deeply into issues surrounding women and not only how they are portrayed in everyday life, but also the struggles and hardships many women face behind the unknowing eye. In my opinion, the show was a success because of the honest way that these issues were addressed. Each member of the cast was not afraid to swear, talk openly about sex, and feel deeply about what it was they were saying. The unwavering truths that were discussed helped the audience to really understand the message. If the show were a little more prudish and less honest, it would not have been the success that it was.
The show contained a whopping total of 97 Connecticut College female students. The crew had been rehearsing and getting the show together since the semester began, and their tireless efforts certainly paid off.
As a residential college, weekly activities in the residence halls are a large part of the culture at Conn. The floor governors, student staff responsible for residential programming, make a concerted effort to create varied events every week. I’m a huge fan of this. It allows the residents to grow closer, which molds what was previously just a residence hall into an actual home. This is important, because living away from home— whether you’re a first-year or a senior— is often not as comfortable as being in your own familiar space. The events are an inclusive way to band together and become a surrogate family between the months of September and May.
So the school year is about to be over, you’re a college student and are at a loss for what to do this summer. I’ve been there—big time—and so have a lot of my friends. It can be overwhelming to be feeling this new kind of stress that a lot of college students find themselves feeling. Post freshman year, a lot of students feel pressure to do something wildly meaningful with their summers to gain valuable work experience. Both of these reasons to find worthwhile work are valid and certainly important. However, the panic that has been circling around my head for almost four months has been over the top at points. Everyone in college feels the looming presence of a world made for adults, and we are students learning how to be those very adults who thrive in the professional world. It can be daunting.
As I sat in my dorm room, waiting for the editorial assistant at Woman’s Day Magazine to call me for my interview, I remember reflecting on my desire to understand how the professional world worked. Perhaps, looking back, it was not a great time to question my lack of knowledge on professionalism. Being a 21-year-old college sophomore, I hadn’t truly experienced the serious working realm of things. Of course, I’d held summer jobs at restaurants and as a babysitter, but the prospect of launching a career felt like a distant world. As I waited nervously. I imagined sitting in a whirling office not understanding the buzz and the commotion that goes into running any kind of company or business. And then the phone rang.
There’s something special about the closing of the semester and the beginning of finals coinciding with the most wonderful time of the year. As I write this post, it is beginning to snow and campus feels wonderfully quiet—a silent beauty has taken over as finals season takes hold.
The kinds of schools that encourage, above all else, spreading thought-provoking ideas are the kinds of schools that produce thought-provoking adults. Fortunately, Connecticut College falls into this category because of the kinds of discussions and real-world problems that are discussed across campus every single day. It was appropriate, then, that last weekend Conn hosted a TEDx event, which carried the theme of “What’s Past is Prologue.” Each speaker examined a certain moment or decision from his or her past and talked about how it has shaped their present.
Our own TEDx event introduced numerous wonderful speakers (including some Conn students) that all had some pretty important ideas to share. My favorite speaker, however, was a woman named Ella Dawson. Ella is a 23-year-old social media manager and sex writer who happens to have genital herpes. She has made it her mission to educate, well, pretty much everyone on why the stigma that surrounds herpes has to cease. Her talk was one I felt lucky to witness. Not only did Ella explain how she has made it an important part of her life to define what herpes really is and how common it can be to contract, but Ella also made it clear that contracting herpes should not be the be-all and end-all. A woman like Ella was a fantastic addition to this year’s TEDx. Her confidence and her motivation to break down the stigma that the world has placed on herpes was an inspiring kind of bravery to listen to.
“It’s really not as far as you’d think.” I heard this numerous times before my first year at Conn, because I had explained to people my skepticism and doubts that the city of New London would be just out of reach for exploration and escape from the campus environment. I feared that I’d be trapped on campus with a small seaside city close enough to see from the top of Tempel Green, yet too far to get to without a car. Everyone told me that though New London is no New York City, it is an absolutely fine college town. In fact, odds are that if you’re at a small school like Conn you would probably rather not be located in a city like New York. New London is quaint and charming, an old fishing port which now services a few year-round ferries to local destinations. Coming to Conn I felt inspired to explore this little New England city which, with its interesting murals, whale sculptures and pretty buildings, begged for exploration.
Last week, on a typically “warm” late March afternoon, my friend and I got on our bikes and headed into town—an easy adventure that not enough people on campus take advantage of. We decided that lunch off campus at our favorite little cafe was a must on that particular afternoon. Because neither of us have cars, bikes were our only option besides walking would be too time consuming.
Something almost magical whips through the air each fall, and it is always most prominent in October. At Conn, this time of year is celebrated with the return of alumni as well as the welcoming of parents, family and friends all coming to enjoy the exceptional beauty of the season. Though the changing colors of the trees alone is enough of a reason to visit campus, people flock from all over for a different reason: Fall Weekend.
I’ve said this a million times, and I’ll say it again: the community that makes up Conn is remarkably special. It’s something that I love about this college, being part of a community of people that cares for one another loudly enough that it’s unmistakably visible day in and day out. In an uncertain time, like the coming arrival of a soon-to-be president, it makes sense that levels of anxiety would rise and those affected by something so unknown could possibly rub off on others around them. In the wake of an unpredictable new era for the United States, Conn students gathered together and expressed their doubts, questions, hopes and concerns for our country.
It’s funny how graduation—"the G word," as many college seniors prefer to call it, as not to draw too blatant attention to their looming and terrifying futures—necessitates a completely different kind of uncertainty, unlike any other prior graduation ceremony. High school graduation brings its own vast amounts of anxieties and worries, but there is some certainty in that the expectation of what college will be is somewhat a reliable picture. However, once graduation day comes for college students, heading out into “the real world” brings a brand new kind of uncertainty. With the second semester halfway over, I thought it would be an appropriate time to talk with a senior here a Conn to see firsthand how his experiences have prepared him for the seemingly terrifying world that looms just beyond May 22.
Parker Veroff, a senior here at Connecticut College, exemplifies a fulfilling four-year College experience. Parker is an American studies and elementary education double major. This past summer, Parker put his studies into action with an Education Policy Research Internship at the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teacher's College, Columbia University (NYC). Throughout his time at Connecticut College, Parker has been a representative for the Sustainability House, a communications intern in the Office of Sustainability, as well as a tour guide and tour guide coordinator for the Office of Admissions. Currently, Parker is a Senior Admissions Fellow for the Office of Admissions and one of the captains for the school’s ski team.
Taking advantage of the many opportunities outside the classroom is an important part of the College experience. In the following interview, Parker elaborates on this very point.
On October 22, the Connecticut College Habitat for Humanity chapter celebrated World Habitat Day. Within the Habitat for Humanity community, this is a day to recognize the successful global network that this organization is. Like most other events that we host, it is intentionally inclusive and asks for the community’s help to spread awareness of our presence on campus and to encourage participation from our peers and friends. My own involvement in Habitat includes being a member of the executive board as the fundraising coordinator. I have found a dedicated and awesome community of students through my involvement in our Habitat chapter at Conn.