Ninety percent of Holy Cross students live in one of 11 residence halls on campus — but how do they make those spaces feel like home? The answer is both literal and emotional.
The Holy Cross housing experience starts as soon as students arrive on Mount St. James. All first-year students live on campus and participate in the Montserrat living and learning program. Students within each cluster live in the same residence hall, so they are immersed in the spirit of community. Big ideas that come up in the classroom start conversations that continue over dinner or during late-night study breaks and give rise to enduring friendships.
From single rooms to suites, there are lots of different places for students to hang their Holy Cross hat, but all residence halls share certain comforts, including study areas, community living rooms and, for most, shared kitchens.
We opened the door on residences to learn how students, from California to China, turn four bare walls into a campus home. (Spoiler alert: Home-baked cookies help.)
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Space shown: Brooks-Mulledy Hall, in a first-year triple room
“We’re all in different Montserrat classes, but we’ve had clustered events together, and it’s kind of cool to see the academic sides of everyone, like how they study and how they value school,” said Maggie. “It’s cool to kind of see the balance that you guys have between school and classes and life.”
Maggie’s roommate Meghan Dimercurio chimed in. “We had a cluster event and Maggie was getting up constantly in front of the entire cluster, getting up to the microphone and talking. I was like, ‘Wow, that is so her.’ Jocelyn and I were like, ‘That is our roomie.'”
Hometown: Chengdu, China
Major: Accounting and philosophy double major with a minor in art history
Space shown: Healy Hall, as a Resident Assistant
“Healy’s a nice building. It has the best location at Holy Cross. It’s pretty close to all the academic buildings and close to the Hogan Campus Center. And my residents are super friendly, so it’s pretty good to live here.
“My roommate is a music major. We’ve known each other for a long time, but this is our first time living together. He is focused on making the electronic music, so it’s very advanced. He combines the technology and the traditional music series and makes extra beats and compositions. It’s very cool.”
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Major: Russian and sociology double major with a concentration in peace and conflict studies
Space shown: Clark Hall kitchen, where, as a Head Resident Assistant, she takes time once a week to bake and talk to her residents
“It’s really cool to be a resource for my peers. I’m excited because I think that will be a good life skill, you know what I mean? To have to tell your peers things they don’t want to hear. But it’s a really good feeling to help people think about how they should take care of themselves. It’s a really good feeling to help them through a roommate conflict and restore peace in this tiny, tiny little place.”
Hometown: San Diego, California
Major: English major with a minor in education and a concentration in creative writing
Space shown: Williams Hall, with three roommates in a suite-style room with a full kitchen and living room
“[As a senior,] coming back to campus every year just feels natural at this point. As soon as I move into a building, I immediately know how to settle in, and it’s just kind of like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m here now.’ When I first moved in as a first year, there was an adjustment period. But by the time I came back as a sophomore, I was ready, and I just knew, ‘This is what I’m going to unpack first, this is what I’m going to put on the wall first.'”
Hometown: Beijing, China
Major: Psychology and economics double major
Space shown: Loyola Hall, in a room with an excellent view of Worcester
“I bring this and that from China to decorate my room. These pictures on the wall remind me of home. Some are from in Beijing and some are from here — they’re all my friends and my family. So when I miss home, I just look at them for a while. My roommate is my best friend here. Last year we were living in the same hall and we went to each other’s rooms a lot and we had a lot of fun. This room has now become like my little home.”
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