Christmas on Campus

Coming back to campus after Thanksgiving, I was worried about missing out on the holiday spirit I was used to at home. I feared missing seeing houses all lit up at night on my drives home and going to my town’s holiday events, however, I was so surprised by how much festivity there was around campus throughout the entire month of December! 

my roommate Megan in front of our decorated door!

The day we returned to campus to finish out the semester, my friends and I all immediately set up our small fake Christmas trees in our rooms and decorated the walls with stockings and lights. The hall of my dorm was decked out as well; everyone covered their doors in wrapping paper and lights! It was so fun to take a break from studying and spend an afternoon decorating. 


The school provided us with hot chocolate, coffee, and cookies all around campus throughout the month. My friends and I enjoyed treats at the

Tree lighting!

Christmas tree lighting while enjoying all the carols and continued to find goodies around campus all the way through finals week! We made stuffed teddy bears and found so many other fun Christmas activities as well.



First night with snow

One of my favorite memories from the semester was the first night of snow.  It was the middle of the week, but there were still crowds of people sliding down the hill on cardboard boxes, chairs, and plastic containers late into the night. The hills of campus were made for sledding; my friends and I got so snowy and shared so many laughs. Walking around the snow-coated campus with a hot apple cider from Cool Beans in hand definitely put me in the Christmas spirit!

snowy sledding 🙂


Fast Forming Friendships :)

It’s Thanksgiving break, which means that finals are coming up and I’m almost done with my first semester of college! It’s crazy how fast the past semester has flown by, but what’s even more mind-blowing is how close I’ve become with people I didn’t know at all only 3 months ago. When I first arrived on campus, I had no idea the girl I’d met in Hogan grabbing my ID who was now living a couple of doors down, or the girls across the circle in my orientation group, would become some of the most important people in my life. When you live in a dorm, you get to spend every waking minute with your best friends.
We eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner together (along with many midnight meals!), do homework together, study together, go to the gym together, and even do laundry together.

I never could’ve imagined I could learn so much about a person in such a short time, but I feel as though I’ve known many of my Holy Cross friends for our whole lives. I also had to idea how many opportunities I’d have to meet new people; I’ve met friends at orientation, in class, roaming around campus on the weekends, at extracurriculars, and just by leaving my dorm room door open. I am so grateful to Holy Cross for giving me a second family, and I can’t wait to come back from the break to see my friends and make so many more memories!

Studying Around Campus

Now that I’ve been on campus for half a semester (it’s crazy how fast it’s flying by!!).. I’ve had a chance to explore so many study spaces on campus! I’ve found so many spots, each with a completely different environment, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites!

Most nights you can find me with my friends under the staircase in the lower level of Dinand library. It’s a silent study area that’s open until midnight, so the space forces us to focus and grind out the last our homework before bed. The library is nice and warm, and sitting in the comfy chairs in sweatpants makes it even more cozy! 

A great outdoor study spot!

The Dinand Library rooftop patio is a great spot when there’s nice weather! Studying outside is my favorite way to take advantage of beautiful days, and my friends all agree that this spot is one of the best!

View out the Rehm window


I firmly believe that Rehm library is the most silent place on campus. If you’re looking for quiet.. this is the place! The stained glass windows make for a beautiful environment, and I find that I get through readings so much faster here without any distractions!


There is a space overlooking memorial plaza in Smith that’s also a great study space! I love to sit at one of the tables or comfy chairs looking out the huge windows at all the red ivy and get homework done between classes here. 

I’ve only recently discovered that I love doing homework in my hall’s common room or kitchen! Working in the common room is a great space if you’re working with friends and aren’t exactly being quiet, and it’s fun to say hi to all your friends as they head off to class or come back to their dorms! The table is nice and big so it can fit many friends 🙂


Hello Holy Cross!

My name is Isabella Ruel, and I am a member of the Class of 2025 here at Holy Cross. I grew up in Littleton, MA, and am looking at majoring in neuroscience and possibly minoring in education and/or dance. I can’t wait to take you along as I navigate being a freshman on the hill! 

I figured the best way to start this blog would be to show you what a typical day has looked like for me in these first three weeks on campus… so here’s a look at my Monday! 

8:00 –  Intro to Cell and Molecular Biology

I pretty much show up in my pajamas with a to-go cup of tea in hand every time. It always feels good to get my day going nice and early!

9:00 – Back to the dorm!

This is usually when I put some real clothes on, make some oatmeal (the best dorm food!), and review my notes for class.

10:00 –  Montserrat: Environmental Ethics

Walking into Smith for class


This class really wakes me up- we have so many fun discussions and debates! 






12:00- Lunchtime!

My friends and I meet at dags (aka D’agastinos/science cafe) for lunch and eat out on the grass if the weather is nice. There’s no better food on campus… the sandwiches are the best!

1:00- Calculus

I’ve never been a huge fan of math classes, but this class is really interactive so it’s been fun!

2:00- Homework

Homework on the patio with friends!

I go to the Dinand library’s rooftop garden pretty much any moment I have free time and the sun is shining. It’s the best place to do homework! I always run into friends and we talk and share music recommendations as I take bio notes and work through philosophy readings.



6:00- Dinner @ Kimball

My friends and I always end up spending way more time here than we plan to, and looking at the sunset through the windows is always amazing! 

Smiles at dinner!








8:00- Dance ensemble

I recently auditioned for the campus’ dance ensemble and Monday night tap has already been such a great way to end the day! 

View on my walk to dance


9:00- Finishing the day

My friends and I often finish our homework in each other’s dorms, drink some tea, eat some snacks, and get a little too distracted. Then I usually shower and get ready for bed!