So what’s challenging about Harvey Mudd?

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Ninja Duck after his “ice bath training” hiding in the freezer

People sometimes ask me what is the most challenging part of Mudd. When I got here, I thought it would be having roommates. Before college, I had never lived in the same room with anyone, I always had my own space to retreat to. But surprisingly, I hit it off really well with my freshman roommates, Malia, as she described in a previous blog post. Even this past year when they had moved into the Living Learning Community (LLC) I have kept in contact with them. With my new roommates, then friends I made in freshman year, I got to spend more time playing games and I got to interact more with the seniors in our suite. We even created our own suite traditions, such as hiding a rubber duck we called Ninja Duck in the common area.

I also thought it could be finding food. Would I like it? Would I get tired of it? Turns out, the answers were yes and no respectively. Hoch food is delicious, plus we have access to the dining halls at the other colleges when you just need something different. That is in addition to having kitchens in some of the dorms, for those who prefer to cook for themselves or for those times when you just need that one dish from home. We also have resources like flex which is money we get with the meal plan and can be used to get into the dining halls for an extra meal or to pick up coffee or snacks at the Café.

Some people might say that the most challenging part of Mudd is the academics. Mudd students do a lot and the work pushes us to learn. Sometimes we don’t do as well as we would like on a homework assignment or an exam. I agree that Mudd is work, but I don’t think it is the most challenging aspect of Mudd. There are so many resources available to us to get help. There are our professors, who are available during office hours, by email, or just to ask a question after class. For our core classes, there is Academic Excellence (AE), and for other classes, there are student tutors. Most of all there are the other students, both upperclassmen and classmates who more often than not are happy to lend a helping hand, especially if they are already working through the same problem themselves! Collaboration is encouraged at Mudd, within any specific class limitations, and so long as everyone comes out knowing more than when they started.

For me, the most challenging part of Mudd is having enough time. Not necessarily to do my classwork, although I admit I’m guilty of procrastinating more than once and later wishing I’d started earlier. No, I’m talking about time at Mudd. There are so many fascinating classes I want to take, people I want to meet, and events I want to participate in. Even in four years, I know I won’t have managed to try everything I want to. For me, finding that balance between getting the most out of life at Mudd socially and academically while not trying to do so much that I burn-out is the real challenge.

This blog was written by Anya ’23