Hometown: Dartmouth, Massachusetts Major: Psychology Minor: Human Development Pathway: Bodies/Embodiment Activities: Student Adviser, Admission Tour Guide, Yoga Instructor
Favorite aspect of Connecticut College: My favorite part of Conn is the small, tight-knit community. On my very first tour, I could feel it. The people, the place, all of it just has this welcoming feeling. Coming from a small high school I knew a small college would be right for me as well, but now I really understand the beauty of this small school. I love that the student body here is not competitive. There is no race to the finish line instead we all seem to work together and help each other out. Our community holds students to a high standard, creating the warm, kind environment we have and manage to uphold.
Favorite memory at Connecticut College: My favorite memory at Conn so far happened during my very first week on campus. I was walking around with my little group of women who lived on my floor. They were my first friends, but of course I was still looking for more. We stopped on the green to watch some kids playing games ranging from Frisbee to Spikeball. There was a woman walking by herself also watching. My friends were in a group together, so I decided to go over and introduce myself. She was so friendly and asked if I wanted to go on a walk and check out the Connecticut College Arboretum since we both hadn’t seen it yet. We took the walk and got to know each other and had more in common than we thought, especially connecting on the idea we were both pretty homesick. Our friendship grew from then on and we are still close, often going on runs and walks in the Arbo!
Favorite activity in New London or the region: I love anything near the water. I enjoy runs along the water through the Coast Guard Academy, going to Ocean Beach Park in New London, or going to Muddy Waters Cafe in downtown New London and enjoying the view of the boats.
New London Hall This has become my favorite day-time studying nook. Whether I have journaling to do for my Pathway course or I need to outline a paper, it’s the perfect spot to do some work while also enjoying the view of everyone walking between classes. For me, it’s a good thinking spot where I can brainstorm and look around. It’s also usually quite easy to find a quiet spot as classes are not always taking place on each floor.
Everyone has their own way of clearing their head. Maybe that’s going for a walk, playing a game or taking a drive. For me, I turn to my yoga practice. About two years ago I discovered Buti Yoga. I immediately fell in love with this type of yoga and have been practicing it ever since. With its upbeat music and incorporated dance, it helps me release energy. Buti Yoga not only puts me in a good mood but doubles as my workout. The practice also consists of breathing awareness and patterns, creating a sense of clarity and focus in times that I am stressed or feel distracted. All these aspects of the practice have taught me how to ground myself and create a better sense of self-awareness. As someone who previously struggled with injuries from sports, this has been a healthy and healing form of exercise. Buti Yoga has led me to find not only a new passion but a healthy way to de-stress after a busy day of sitting in class.
Every college student dreams of having a four-day weekend. In fact, most students try to plan out their schedules to avoid classes on Friday, just for that extra day. Speaking from experience, this can be harder than you’d think! I have never been one to care much about my schedule, as long as no classes overlap and I’m taking classes I enjoy. A few months ago, I sat down to plan this semester's classes with my adviser, professor Jillian Marshall. I selected all of my classes and then drew out my schedule on paper to help visualize my week. Professor Marshall read aloud the days and times each of my classes met while I color-coded my schedule, and that’s when we realized I had somehow managed to have no classes scheduled for Monday or Friday. I quickly looked back to check that I had written in all four courses, thinking perhaps I’d missed one. Nope, that was it! I was pleased with my choices and already looking forward to these continuous long weekends!
Even when you don’t have an important exam, it’s still important to reset your brain and take a break. This has been something I’ve been good at for the most part, but this year, with my schedule much heavier, it’s something I forget often. In my Psychology of Disorders and Dysfunctions class, we learned about Mindfulness Meditation— a type of meditation where you focus on nothing but the present and yourself in that moment. For a few weeks every class, we would take five minutes or so to do what was called a body scan. We all put our heads on our desks and listened to the voice of the women guiding the meditation, doing as she said, aware of our breathing and surrounding sounds. I found this to be a nice break, helping us to regain our focus for the remaining hour of class time. We were then assigned to practice this five-minute exercise, five days a week, for five weeks. After the five weeks was over I realized how helpful these types of exercises are for me, along with other breaks like running outside or going to yoga. It’s tempting to just climb in bed and take a nap after a long day of classes before starting some homework, but you end up being so much more productive if you take the time to get some fresh air or just do anything that works for you to reset your brain.
One of my biggest fears going from a high school class of 45 students to a college of about 1,900 was how I would leave all of the clubs and activities I was involved in and somehow restart in a different, much larger place. It’s hard to imagine having to transition while also trying to find places, groups and clubs on campus that you want to get involved in. When I arrived at Conn for my first year it was important to me that I joined clubs and took on other responsibilities outside of academics because I wanted to meet new people that I had shared interests with.
I went to a small, private high school in East Providence, Rhode Island, where I had countless tools and people who helped me and guided me through the college process. I am forever grateful for their support. Despite this, I could not seem to figure out what I wanted and what I didn’t want in a college. I had toured multiple schools and thought they were all fine, but I hadn’t had that “falling in love” feeling every high school senior talks about when they find their new home.