Staying Rooted: Dealing with Culture Shock at Holy Cross

Moving to a PWI from an inner city school can be hard. It’s different. And it’s definitely true when they tell you there will be a culture shock. I’ve found it difficult to acclimate myself to a world with different demographics than I’m accustomed to, but I can definitely say I still feel at home.

A big part of this been the presence of Multicultural Student Organizations (MSO’s) on campus and their ease of availability to students, but that is not the only resource that has helped me. Below are a few ways I’ve been able to engage with different activities on campus in and out of the class room that have helped me cope with the culture shock and engage more with the diverse community on campus.

Latino History Project of Worcester

I have a strong interest in Latin American Studies, so I’m currently in a Spanish course [304]. One of the components of it is a Community Based Learning (CBL) experience. The community aspect of my course is the participation in the Latino History Project of Worcester, which  is a local organization that aims to collect the stories of Latinxs in Worcester through interviews. Last weekend I went to the THE JOURNEY, which showcased much of the present local Latin American culture and its rich history. I even got the chance to do my first interview in Spanish with a Worcester local that day!

Cantor Art Gallery

The Cantor Art Gallery at Holy Cross strives to showcase “the intellectual and cultural life of College of the Holy Cross”. In the early fall I visited Gabrielle Thierry’s exhibit for my creative writing course, but recently I also got the chance to attend the opening for the current exhibition, Rethinking the Afropolitan: The ethics of black Atlantic masculinity on display

Rethinking the Afropolitan: The ethics of black masculinities on display showcased in Cantor Art Gallery.


The Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan is reputable for their involvement on campus with current events. With the news of DACA, the MEChA hastily organized a Phone-a-ton  event to show our support of DACA to our fellow representatives. Later there was also a fruta fundraiser that I was able to help in where the proceedings went to DACA recipients.


Apart from being a support group, I have enjoyed the several  Latin American Student Organization efforts to explore the complex identity of the Latin American community. One of my favorite events this semester has been the Café con leche talk. During this discussion, we got to enjoy some warm coffee and donuts while Holy Cross staff moderated a discussion on the implications and history of identifying as Latinx or Hispanic.

More than Worcester: A Boston Experience with Japanese Breakfast

I hope your first semester of school is going great! So far, the schoolwork on the hill has started to stack up [which is something I’ll talk more about later] and I am at a much deserved rest now during fall break. Since I didn’t go back home, that also means I have a lot of extra time on my hands.

One of the things I was excited about when coming to Holy Cross was being so close to a big city offering so many opportunities for concerts, especially smaller unknown bands. Coming from Kansas City, Missouri we do get a fair amount of different bands but it does not compare to bigger cities like Boston or New York City. In July, I bought tickets to see Japanese Breakfast, an uprising indie band. Last night, I had the experience of my life watching them perform live.

My biggest takeaway from my trip was the complex transportation system. Below are 3 tips if you ever plan on traveling to Boston on your own without the free school shuttles:

  1. Download the mTicket app to buy your tickets in advance and avoid the lines. When you get on the commuter rail, you just show your mobile ticket.
  2. Be prepared to take the T when you get there too. The Commuter rail from Boston only makes it so far and there are some distances too far to walk
  3. Examine the maps well before deciding which line you are taking and where you are stopping. You will lose a lot of time going back!
Spirit of the Beehive performing at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA., One of the opening bands for Japanese Breakfast.