Favorite CMC advice for the Class of 2024

They’ll forever be bonded in 2020—one class exiting CMC, one class entering—and both experiencing the loss of their senior years to COVID-19. With our newest students from the Class of 2024 starting their second week of virtual classes, our latest graduates from the Class of 2020 offered their best advice about embracing and enjoying all that CMC has to offer.

“These are strange times, but also times with a lot of potential. Don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone and try new things—no matter how big or small. But above all else, make sure to take care of yourself. You will achieve special things, so trust in yourself and enjoy the journey!”—Santiago David

“Take advantage of the Athenaeum. I often had ‘more important’ things to do than go to the Ath, but in retrospect, I really wish I had gone for more talks. This is a great way of exposing yourself to different ideas, work experiences, and to meet peers. One rule I made for myself is to ask at least one question at every Ath talk. This forced me to listen carefully to the speaker and actively think throughout the talk.”—Yao Li

Lean into the fact that we are a small liberal arts school where you can be many things at once. I studied economics and literature because both were interesting to me, along with running track and working in a student-run nonprofit consulting group. I really appreciated how my thesis advisor would ask me how my track meets went, and my coaches wanted to know how my thesis was going. If you let people see all sides of your life, they are better equipped to understand and support you throughout your CMC career!”—Bridget McCarthy 


“Don’t spread yourself too thin. With the buffet table of opportunities that CMC and the whole consortium offers, it’s quite easy to overcommit yourself. It’s much more gratifying to identify a smaller handful of activities and pursuits that really interest you, and go all in rather than give just a portion of your time and energy to a wider variety of interests.”—Ethan Kable 

“Something our class had to learn at the end of the academic year was to adjust quickly and roll with the punches when life takes a sharp turn that you were not planning for. I hope the incoming class allows themselves grace and room to fail. It can be intimidating to not know what’s next, but CMC gave me a great community to help fill in the gaps and they should lean on that same community.”—Maya Love

“Get deeply involved in the clubs and institutes that interest you. Some of my fondest memories of college happened as a result of my leadership roles at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Soll Center for Student Opportunity.”Victoria Flores Najas

“Be open-minded and let CMC’s sea of opportunities guide you along the way. Having a short-term plan might ensure temporary satisfaction, but take advantage of your college life to build a relationship with yourself and explore what you really want.”—Tanisha Sheth

“Try your best to be thoughtful and intentional about how your experiences during college will help set you up to live in ways that will bring you joy and meaning going forward. Also, put yourself out there socially and put effort into making genuine connections with people who you truly enjoy interacting with. That’s something I wish I’d done more of, especially early on in college.”—Abraham Saikley

“Don’t compare yourselves to your peers. Don’t forget your initial passions coming into CMC.”Hannah Alderete 

“Enjoy yourself. The range of classes and extracurricular opportunities at CMC can be overwhelming, but don’t feel like you have to do it all. Take some fun classes on a subject you normally wouldn’t, and when you find a group of friends who will tolerate you talking about things like ‘Paradise Lost,’ hold onto them.”—Sarah Tocher

“There’s always a way to find solutions. You are capable of solving any problem you are faced with, even if it seems impossible at the time. Sometimes that means refusing to take the ‘no’ you receive as an acceptable answer. Other times, it is taking that ‘no’ and morphing it to best work for you and your well-being, goals, and aspirations.”—Lia Gagliuso 

“Always be yourself and pursue your own interests. I found my most enjoyable experiences were in things that I did not participate in for any career advancement. I loved working in the Athenaeum kitchen with Chef Dave and I loved listening to the Ath speakers for nothing but to gain a greater understanding of the world around me.”—Clare Burgess 

“Study what excites you, what makes you hopeful, and what you find yourself coming back to when you’re lost in thought. Make time for play, for rest, and for being alone with your thoughts.”— Erin Baranko 

“Look at faculty profiles online and seek out professors whose areas of study interest you. Don't be afraid to send an email to those professors to pick their brains about a case in their areas of study. I became a co-author of a research paper with a professor by doing that!”—Zenaida Huerta 

“Really take the time to enjoy and explore all the aspects of college. Your friends, your classes, your major, study abroad—there is really no time like this (as I've realized with my senior year at CMC being cut short with the pandemic).”—Hanna Shiferaw

“You chose to come to a liberal arts college: now embrace it. I found my GE classes to be some of the most enlightening and inspiring classes during my time at CMC. Enjoy the pursuit of knowledge, not just as a means to an end (career, grad school), but as an end in and of itself.”—Matthew Johnson