Hi there, everyone!
Nearing the stressful end of semester rush, I look back at a recent opportunity I had to take a step back, relax, and reflect.
The freshman Escape Retreat, recommend by my summer orientation leader, allowed me to relax and meet new friends. The two day retreat, held at a retreat center in New Hampshire, allowed me to reflect on my first few months at Holy Cross and my goals for my remaining time on the Hill.
The weekend featured group activities, fitting for a Retreat with a theme of “companionship.” Friday began with dinner and reflection before concluding with a campfire under the clear and starlit sky. However, many of us lingered in the company of our new companions until the early hours of Saturday morning. We sang songs with only the New England snow, the Milky Way, and a dying fire for an audience. Then we ended the night with a group game that served to build camaraderie between retreat attendees, both freshmen and upperclassman leaders.
On Saturday, the group activities assumed a more serious and more meaningful tone. Most of the day was spent working in small groups. It was during this time that I got to know several classmates well. The retreat concluded with two affirmation activities. During these affirmation activities, students commended the qualities or actions of other group members. My conversations with fellow students and the affirmation activities reminded me that Holy Cross is a community of open, caring, and supportive individuals. Several weeks after the retreat, I include among my friends several of the retreat companions who I had the joy of meeting on the retreat.
At this stressful time with finals in the near future, my memories of the Escape Retreat and the friendships I formed bring a smile to my face. I hope the same can be said for my new companions.
Until next time, take care, everyone.
Michael DeSantis '18