While life at Mudd can be pretty unpredictable, it doesn’t usually involve blind-folded students nearly pegging Dean Maggie with stress balls, or students climbing on ropes high above the ground. But at the Sophomore Retreat, this is exactly what happened.
A few days before the beginning of the spring semester, nearly 40 students returned from break early for the retreat, which took place at Pilgrim Pines Camp in Yucaipa. Overall, the retreat focused the student’s strengths and on the importance of building support networks at Mudd and beyond.
The Deans, student facilitators and a keynote speaker challenged the students to think about themselves in new ways, and participants discussed how to set goals and understand their strengths and their weaknesses. Alumnus Mina Youssef delivered a keynote speech while Dean Q (the Dean of Health and Wellness) gave a down-to-earth talk about coping with stress, and the other Deans shared their wisdom throughout the workshop.
Sophomores were challenged both physically and mentally by activities at the Challenge ropes course. Working together in teams, Sophomores completed activities requiring strength, trust, bravery, and cooperation. Many were able to conquer a fear of heights with the encouragement of their fellow students.
For many students, the retreat was a literal and figurative breath of fresh air that will help sustain them throughout the remainder of their challenges at Mudd. After the retreat, sophomore Sarah Paek stated, “All my insecurities about struggling at Mudd had dissipated”.
By learning more about each other and making deep connections, the participants gained confidence and community that will serve them through and beyond their time at Mudd.