After spending a year abroad, Melody Rolph '14 of Francestown, N.H., decided to attend MCLA. With a myriad of interests that revolve around the arts, she is majoring in arts management and fine and performing arts, with a concentration in music.
"I love to sing, dance, act, make art, choreograph, and to play the violin, electric violin, ukulele, mandolin and piano," Rolph said. "I am always looking for new instruments to strum on and new mediums to paint with. There really isn't just one aspect of art that I enjoy. I am always up to trying new things and throw myself at every opportunity that allows me to. I really enjoy being outside so, in the summer, I tend to go swimming and hiking a lot. In the winter you can find me on the ski slopes."
Rolph also loves to travel, which she feels provides great opportunities to learn.
"Last year I spent a year abroad as a Rotary Exchange student in Arad, Romania, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned so much about a culture I knew nothing about, including a new language," she said.
"While in Europe, I was also able to travel to Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Holland, The Netherlands, Hungary and Italy," Rolph continued. "I think that study abroad experiences are very important for college students because it really gives you a greater understanding of the world around you and also yourself."
In addition to receiving a $3,000 merit scholarship from MCLA, Rolph is taking advantage of a tuition break offered to students from the New England region to study arts management at the College.
"When I was looking for schools, I looked most closely at those that I could afford, but also get a good education at. MCLA seems to offer an environment much like a private school for a university price," she said. "I picked MCLA firstly because of the arts management degree and secondly because, when I visited the campus, I had better vibes from this school than any other.
"Everyone seemed so nice and helpful and there was such a friendly atmosphere. I continue to see that within the students and faculty. The College is in a beautiful area, and every time I look out a window and see the rolling mountains I immediately feel relaxed. I love to be outside and this is a great place for that," Rolph said.
Although she felt very independent before she arrived on campus, Rolph said being at MCLA has increased her independence.
"I realize that if you really want to do something, you have to put yourself out there and get it done. You make your own experiences. Although others can help you along the way, in the end, it is you that makes them what they are," she explained. "I have thrown myself into many activities this semester such as Allegrettos, Dance Company and Phone-a-thon, and have been really happy. I have seen that I can get things done myself and I have realized that I can do whatever I put my mind to.
"And, MCLA is taking those things that I am most passionate about and teaching me how to make them into a career. Though I am only a freshman, I can see how helpful this school is going to be for me," Rolph said. "And, in the end, I should be able to graduate without any loans, which is great!"