Finding Peace of Mind

By Colm Ashe

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed you wanted to escape? I have.

It was a typical Wednesday on Molloy’s campus. Homework assignments and project deadlines buzzed around my anxious brain, demanding every bit of my conscious attention. I felt disconnected. Like I was just going through the motions.

I couldn’t focus on a single task. Every time I sat down to my work, I kept thinking about everything else I had to do. I couldn’t even focus on procrastinating. I tried distracting myself by mindlessly scrolling through social media and compulsively checking my emails. Nothing could take my mind off all the work I had to do.

I felt this urge welling up inside me. This gnawing anxiety in my chest that manifested as a whirlwind in my head. I don’t know why, but I started walking.

I left Public Square and headed through the back lots towards Mercy Medical Center. Just past Mercy was a highway and a thick line of trees on the other side. Curiosity pulled me towards it. By this point, I had given up all hope on getting any work done.

Just beyond those trees, I saw Hempstead Lake for the first time. I didn’t expect to stumble upon this massive pocket of nature hidden amongst the highway traffic. I walked until the sounds of rumbling engines were replaced with rustling trees and my racing thoughts were carried away by the autumn air.

Eventually, I sat down and stared out at the lake. There was something hypnotic about the scene. Smooth ripples pulsating outwards as if echoing the whispering winds. The slow, spiraling motion of an occasional falling leaf. The feeling of the sun on my skin.

While paying attention to these simple little details, I felt this deep sense of peace. The chatter of my to-do list had faded in the face of this powerful stillness.

Sometimes I get caught up in my schedule. From school to family to friends to work, it can feel like I’m being pulled in every direction by obligations. In this frantic state, I neglect my own emotional and mental health. That stuff builds up without me even realizing, causing even more anxiety down the road.

By carving out some time for myself every day to relax in a distraction-free environment, I can avoid feeling like I’m constantly rushing from A to B. I’ll still have my busy life, but it will be much more manageable. Rather than impulsively reacting to situations, I’ll feel more capable handling responsibilities. Rather than half-heartedly attending to every task, I can learn to focus on one thing at a time.

As I left the lake, I experienced a surge of creativity. Inspirations and solutions emerged from the depths of my mind. Stress gave way to a relaxed state of flow, which carried me back to school and straight into my work. With my renewed energy, I was ready to tackle the day.

Molloy’s Student Leadership Conference: “The Best Three Days of My Life.”

By Anika Chowdhury

On August 21, I was one of 41 Molloy students who embarked on a trip to Princeton, New Jersey, to spend three days at the Chauncey Conference Center. This trip, sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs, was the first step to a life of leadership. It was an amazing opportunity.

The three days were characterized by early mornings, gorgeous views, five-star meals, and bucket loads of fun. We took part in various icebreakers and activities to get to know one another, and even played a kickball game, while learning about important life skills such as public speaking, tips for academic success, and getting involved on campus. Some of the activities brought out the best parts of us, and even helped some of the shyer people emerge out of their shells. It was so beautiful to see. It was incredible to be able to form such strong bonds with people I didn’t know a week ago, and I can easily say August 21 to August 23 were the best three days of my life.

Getting to know the freshmen on the trip was by far the best part of the experience. I watched them make their first college friends right before my eyes, and saw them build relationships and develop skills that will resonate throughout their lives. They learned from the workshops that Eryn Hornung, Janine Payton, Bob Houlihan, and Brendan Caputo in Student Affairs put together; and then they came forward and asked the upperclassmen about our experiences. They asked us about clubs, work-study, and professors, and they inquired about their majors with wide eyes. During every conversation I had with them, I found myself laughing so hard, my stomach hurt. They surprised us all, and I cannot wait to see what they bring to campus come this fall.

The Leadership Conference was a bonding experience for all who attended. We roomed with someone we probably weren’t familiar with, and we were in a conference room for multiple hours a day with people we didn’t know beforehand. The craziest part is that at the end of it, I knew everybody and I considered each one of them a friend. It was a great way for us to mix and mingle not only with people who have been going to Molloy, but the incoming freshmen who we didn’t know yet. We not only brought home pictures and smiles, we brought home memories that will last a lifetime.

Images courtesy of Anika Chowdhury.

My Dearest Molloy: A Letter to the College

By Christie Catterson

My Dearest Molloy,

I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation of how awesome you really are. Ever since I set foot on campus over three years ago, I felt the loving, close community that I was looking for in a school. When I shadowed a current student, I saw how teachers passionately taught their classes and genuinely wanted their students to thrive. With small teacher-to-faculty ratios, I knew that professors would invest their knowledge and experience to help me succeed after graduation.

I knew that you would be the perfect place for me to thrive with the numerous clubs and activities on campus. You give me the freedom to enjoy and build upon the things that I love, and to build a community in which I can form strong friendships. There is always something for me to get involved in, whether it is going to club hour during the week or by attending (or participating in) NCAA Division II sporting events on the weekend.

Even with a rigorous course load of 18 credits packed with Biology and Honors classes, I thoroughly enjoy the classroom experience with my fellow peers. You have definitely pushed me to be stellar at time management with running between homework, practice, and work. I have long, exhausting days, but they are all worth it because I absolutely love you for the amazing friends and family that I have made during my undergraduate career.

Thank you for making my time as an undergraduate an unforgettable one, filled with a tremendous amount of learning and growing into a young adult ready to achieve the lifelong goals I have worked so hard to accomplish. I will always treasure the wonderful memories and lifelong friendships with both peers and professors that I have made. I owe it all to you, Molloy, for being the best college that I could have asked for.

Sincerely,

Christie Catterson

 

Finding Myself at Molloy

By Sarah Moughal

When I started my freshman year, I wasn’t sure if Molloy was for me. I chose Molloy at the last minute because it was close by and offered a great Business program. I am a junior now and have fallen in love with all that the school offers during my years here. Molloy is ideal for someone who wants to make the most of her college years. The College makes it possible for me to take the classes I want, be involved on campus, and intern.

I love that Molloy doesn’t constrict me to one field of study. I am majoring in Accounting and minoring in Art History. I am happy that I can pursue my Business degree and take classes in the Art department. I also like that I can sign up for elective classes. For example, I got the chance to take an American Sign Language class, which was awesome!

The faculty is always available to help and provide extra assistance. My professors work one-on-one with me to help me understand the course material. Having a very open, friendly relationship with my professors allows me to build my network and gain support and confidence in my studies and career aspirations. My Corporate Finance professor always pushed me to try harder – he frequently stayed after class to help me and encouraged me throughout the class to stay focused and made sure I understood the course. My Art professor saw the passion I had for art history and offered me free tickets to MOMA and a personal tour conducted by her. I am so grateful for the relationships I’ve made with professors at Molloy.

Outside of class, I am president of a club called Circle K International. This club is part of an international service organization, which means we interact with various schools in New York State, as well as internationally. Through my club, I am able to work with other clubs on campus to brainstorm new projects and host events. Student Affairs is always welcoming new proposals and ideas to add to campus life. This year, I have focused on mental health awareness and am in the process of hosting a “Let It Go” event. I am collaborating with a project coordinator at Molloy who is a professional on speaking for suicide awareness. We are proposing a bonfire on campus where students, faculty, and staff can throw in a written note with insecurities, issues, or fears and just let them burn and let them go. Molloy allows me to share my voice on such a strong topic – I am constantly motivated by my school to express my voice and help others.

I am exposed to many cultures at Molloy. Many of my classmates and club members were born in different countries or have parents who were born outside of the U.S. Molloy is huge on studying abroad and expanding cultural exposure. I have been inspired by my school’s diversity to use my club and voice as a platform to work with Student Affairs on getting international flags hung up at Molloy.

At Molloy, we are fortunate to be able to take part in many networking events, which is how I landed my internship this semester. I am a production design intern at Lifetime Brands, which is a huge international houseware production company. I get to research new patents and prints while working with people overseas to make samples and prototypes for various tabletop products. I am grateful that I can commute to my internship and then back to class. This allows me to gain experience in the field of my study as well as guide me into what I want to do with my career.

Molloy College offers me the chance to utilize my time to the fullest. I am able to juggle so much while getting a quality education. I can run my club, participate in other clubs, throw campus events, and engage in networking and cultural events. I can be the well-rounded and ambitious student that I want to be.

Journey Towards Appreciation: My Trip to the Philippines

By Clarissa Bernardo

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This summer, for the first time in my life, I traveled to my family’s homeland in the Philippines. I left shortly after finals week and the end of the semester, right as I was transitioning to summer mode. Twenty-four hours after we started our journey, which included several connecting flights, my father and I finally arrived. I was so happy to see my mother for the first time in a few months. My mother is in charge of my family’s Pancit-Canton (noodle) factory in Quezon City, Philippines, so she travels back and forth between there and the U.S. for several months throughout the year.

Most people say that being born in America is a blessing and I am lucky to have grown up in New York. They were right. I never realized how privileged I am. My first week in the Philippines was definitely a culture shock. The part of Quezon City I was in was called a campsite, but it was nothing like what you would think of as a campsite. Many families had homes made out of pieces of sheet metal and clay. I saw people with newborn babies or toddlers living in conditions where they can barely take care of themselves. Some children don’t even have enough money to attend school. We never walked around the area because it was too dangerous. People get robbed, pickpocketed, and even held at gunpoint, especially if they see you’re not from the area.

In addition to seeing the “gritty” parts of the country, I also saw beautiful, breathtaking areas. I went to Subic, where I zip-lined and went to a beach with a great view of the water. In Tagaytay, I saw the second most active volcano in the Philippines. My favorite part of the trip was going to Bonifacio Global City, or BGC, which was similar looking to New York City. It was safe, clean, and full of shopping malls and restaurants.

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Whereas American kids are so fixated on their phones and technology, in the Philippines, I saw children playing outside with a small ball or making up games to play without an item in their hands. They were so appreciative if you gave them a small bag of candy. It was the smallest things you would do for them that would put the biggest smiles on their faces. This trip wasn’t like a vacation; it was more of a learning experience for me. It made me realize how blessed I am and to appreciate every single thing, right down to taking a normal shower.

As a nursing student, this experience made me want to work harder, not take anything for granted, and focus on my studies to become a nurse. I want to show my appreciation for what I have by getting a degree because some can’t afford to get an education. One day, when I am a nurse, I would like to return to the Philippines and do several medical missions to help those in need. I originally wanted to become a nurse so I can help and care for people. This trip solidified that I am on the correct path at Molloy to becoming the nurse I’ve always dreamed of being.

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Images courtesy of Clarissa Bernardo.

Why I Chose Molloy

By Anna Risolo

molloy dorm

The college decision did not come easily for me. I attended a community college close to home for a year and a half. Then, I considered attending the University of West Florida, Queens College, LIU Post, and even a university in Connecticut.

I never looked at Molloy College, until one day when I went to visit my best friend Megan at school on my break for lunch. I pulled into the parking lot of Molloy and noticed the small-town feeling of this campus. I found a parking spot close to the building and entered the Public Square. Megan showed me around her campus and pointed out some of the hang-out spots. At first, I thought the campus was small and there was not much going on. Oh, was I mistaken! I came back a couple of times. I wasn’t sure why I felt compelled to come back so much, but somehow I found myself there every Tuesday afternoon. I started to notice the one-on-one tutoring sessions, the professors sitting in the same dining area as the students, and the kindness of everyone around me.

Seeing such a warm and open place made me feel comfortable. And given the hard time I had adjusting to college at first, comfortable was exactly what I needed. I started researching my program and began to send emails and make phone calls to receive more information about the school. Eventually, I decided to send in my application. After all, what was the worst that could happen? I could simply decide not to go, but a part of me already felt like I belonged at Molloy.

I received my acceptance a week or two before Spring 2016 classes began. Excitement overwhelmed me. At that instant, I knew I found a place that would welcome and support me during my time at the College. Telling my mother that I wanted to go to Molloy was interesting. She had never heard me speak of the school, but even she thought it was clearly a great choice.

As it would turn out, I was born at Mercy Hospital, just behind Molloy College. My grandfather and grandmother were also taken care of at that hospital. Many signs pointed to me ending up at this campus. During my registration, I was welcomed with nothing but smiles and warmth. For a school I had no intention of even researching, I wouldn’t have wanted to end up anywhere else.

Image courtesy of Anna Risolo.