Senior Catherine Swick has done it all—Resident Advisor, an active tri-campus community member, a Holy Cross soccer player, working as a counselor for the summer programs Visions and Saints & Scholars, a writing center employee, etc.—and she has done it all in only three years.
From Elkhart, Indiana, Catherine didn’t always plan on graduating early, but after a few unexpected events and an urge to join the “real world,” she decided to adjust her schedule and finish her degree in three years with gracious help from Holy Cross College administrators.
“I wouldn’t have had the chance to graduate early if I went to a bigger school because this has required a lot of communication with many people. It is amazing how I can just stop into offices for help and always meet with my professors,” Swick said.
Viewing the University of Notre Dame as an added benefit of attending Holy Cross College, Catherine has used Holy Cross as her home base but also pushed herself to find ways to get involved across the street. Her experiences at Notre Dame, like taking extra elective theology courses to enhance her Theology minor each semester, being a Visions group leader in the summer after her second year, and participating in the University of Notre Dame’s Women’s Liturgical Choir, helps Catherine be a mentor and inspiration to the students in North Resident Hall as their Resident Advisor. By learning how to balance both campuses herself, she has the right advice to share with younger students.
“Sometimes you just have to have a center, and Holy Cross is perfect because it’s small, a little quieter, and has a great community. Being able to reach out to Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College and pull from other pools definitely enhances the experience here. It is a tricky line to walk, being involved in both places, but I think I did a good job establishing my community at Holy Cross early on,” Swick said.
Also, Catherine has found herself truly living out and exploring her faith while on campus. Involved with Campus Ministry, she now understands how religion seeps into different aspects of her life.
“Sustainability as part of Theology has opened my eyes to seeing and exploring my faith in different ways, like by going out into the community and doing service. Holy Cross is great at focusing on the service part of being Catholic.
Already thinking and planning for her future, Catherine has enriched her English major by working in the writing center and is communicating about an opportunity to work as an intern and teacher with Alliance for Catholic Education through Notre Dame. Graduating a year early will allow Catherine to explore and relax after three years of deep education, meaningful leadership, and spiritual growth at Holy Cross.