My Real, Ugly Cry Face Love for Hollins

How to begin… Most of you know me, some do not.

Of course this doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

For the short version of who I am – visit the About Me page and take a look!


(Prepare yourselves: with this introduction post, I’m running wild, so just stick with me as I catch you up on my life…)

I’m going to start with a description of my real, ugly cry face love for Hollins.

I know, I know – Maya you’re writing for the university, doesn’t it come off as a cliché that you would write about how much you love Hollins? We came here looking for substance and humor and inspirational quotes, not a longer version of an Admissions pamphlet…

I hear you. Right now though, I’m not talking about that pretty, front cover Admissions photo type of love. I have had that Fairy Tale True Love for Hollins. (I won’t lie; the thought of looking out at Front Quad on a beautiful spring afternoon, rocking away on the Main porch, makes my soul soar and a Disney Princess sigh escape my lips).


I’m (mostly) past that honeymoon phase now.

What, you may ask, does my real love for HU feel like then?

Love. Hate. Grief. Frustration. Delight. Confusion. Pride. Exhaustion. Connection. Passion. Drive.

(Sometimes I even feel all of that real love in a single day)…

Of course that tangled mess of emotions never quite wins out over what I know in my heart to be true…

Without Hollins I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

So, I am comfortable in my real life love for Hollins. I am not constantly critical, nor am I terribly naive. I am not always happy, nor am I always sad.

I share my laughter and joy with Hollins, just as I show it my ugly cry face without a trace of shame.

Okay, so I promise I got so serious for a reason. You know sometimes it is just nice to give some background to a more recent story. AKA, I just really wanted to start talking about this year abroad for me and needed a way in…

So, Hollins helps me do the things I want to do – and the item on top of my list since I found the university has finally come true!

Study Abroad!

Wait, let me just type that one more time so I can really communicate my elation…

STUDY ABROAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Long story short, I planned academically for my first two years at Hollins to be able to spend my entire Junior year studying abroad.

There you have it, people: Paris in the Fall and London in the Spring

From apartment living in the French capital, to a quick January Term month in NYC, and finally an adorable neighborhood of London called Crouch End – my journey this academic year has been (and will continue to be) filled to the brim.

Doesn’t it sound so romantic and wonderful and thrilling? Well it has been all of the above so far, but I have definitely experienced more amazing sites than I can recount.

With that thought in mind, here is my plan:

Each blog post I write, I will include a virtual postcard (that I will create using my own photos from my adventures). That way I can tell y’all about each place with ease, and you can find out what I have been up to this year! Yay!

Postcard #1: First View of the Seine in Paris, France (September, 2014)


On a bright day at the beginning of Fall term, the group went out to see some of the highlights of Paris. Led by the ever fabulous tour guide, Marie-Laure, the ladies of the Hollins Study Abroad Paris trip were treated to a boat ride on the Seine to soak up the sights. Little did they know, that by the end of their semester, even the thought of being around tourists would be revolting (especially Americans)… for in those moments they were simply students enjoying their first few days in Europe!

Lots of Love,